Sunday, December 16, 2012

DIY Chalkboard Frames

So this is my first DIY post I'm doing which is outside of my usual posts but I love DIY projects and getting my hands messy with art.

Lilly & Rose are turning two in less than two weeks and we will be throwing a party for them. I said I would NOT go overboard this year because though it wasn't a whole whole lot to last years 1 year party I made everything myself.

When I see things on the shelf at a store I think, "Cute!" then I look at the price and decide, "OH MY! I can make that myself!!" Then I build up way too many projects and find myself running out of time, rushing and then exhausted.

I decided this year nothing too extravagant, but of course the treacherous and addicting Pinterest sparked too many urges to not attempt a few fun projects for their party.

I saw the chalkboards on some pins for parties as a means to show the menu and foods for the party. Do I need it? NO. But do I want it? YES! I talked myself into how this is a long term item I'll have for every party for next 35 years.... because they aren't allowed to date till then let alone get married and leave me.

But why buy chalkboards when I can MAKE THEM?!

I went to the dollar store and picked out some frames. Most the same size but I like different shapes and sizes therefore none need to look exactly the same because attempting to replicate the same thing over and over can be an obstacle and boring for me.

I then picked up some chalkboard spray paint from Michael's and I had a 50% off coupon. I got chalk and some sponge brushed also. I had Mod Podge already as well as scrapbook paper. So My total cost for this project was $15.

My tools:
Chalkboard Spray Paint
Scrapbook Paper
Mod Podge
Sponge Brushes

First I need to get my frames out and begin pulling them apart to get the glass out.

 After I removed the glass I just straight up used the plastic bags (& some) that they came in to lay them on as I sprayed the Chalkboard paint. You can tell I use this spot often for my messy work that needs to be done outside.
Note to self: Don't do this on a windy day- I had a load of leaves sweep over my freshly painted frames and I was no happy mama.
 I let them dry and I did another coat as the label suggested. 

Now onto my frames! I wanted to use the same scrapbook patterns and colors I did for the girls Birthday Sign I made for them last year. I wanted to go for a collage of different papers for my first frame. I figured it'd make it easier to not have all the paper fit exactly right on the frame and can be totally random. 
I got my sponge brush and globed some Mod Podge on the section of the frame I was going to put paper on. I just tore pieces off from the scrapbook paper- again for the random look I was going for. Laid it over the soaked section of the frame and put more Mod Podge on top of the paper. I continued this for a while with different sizes of teared paper till I covered all parts of the frame.

After it was all covered I did a second coat. Here is how it looked when I was done.

Here are three frames I finished so far with the glass covered in the Chalkboard Spray Paint back in. I did the second with one paper and added stars and third is one paper with ladybugs all over. Sorry it's a little blurry!

 I chalked the whole board down and wiped it clean as directed on the Spray can. But It worked like a charm! It's easy to write on and erase. I love the look and am so excited to use them in a couple weeks for the girls PARTAY!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Always Expect the Unexpected

I'm sure that can be said for any child but when you enter in another child, even more so. And a child that is the same age, EVEN more.

I figured with a child I have a 50/50 chance for a good outing. A 50% chance of success. But with twins that changes to a 33.3% chance of a good outing. My chances change because I have 3 probabilites.
1- Both are happy!!
2. Both are not happy :(
3. One is happy but the other is not :/

And to reach my maximum 33.3% I need to make sure they are well rested, not hungry- or that they are so they are distracted eating if we are going out to eat, clean diapers, enough toys, enough snacks, enough drinks, lovies are in tow, enough to distract them to last us the duration of time needed to accomplish the outing. And I have to know their time limit before they start to lose it.

I've come to expect things are not going to go as expected.

I have gone to get photo's done expecting them to sit happily, smile, and get priceless pictures to hang in my house to look back on with joyful memories.
I came home flustered and frustrated. Rose cried the whole time. Trying to get her to sit in front of the photographer was like asking her to sit on lava. The few photos we got were blurry because they wouldn't sit still. That was the last time we went to JCPenny's.

I can picture in my head how perfect things can go when we get out, or do a craft together or try something new. I picture gobbling up new foods, but get food untried or spat back out on the table. I picture a fun time at the beach, but get two girls squealing as they try to climb my body like a ladder because the sand is stuck to their feet and hands. I picture them finger painting with grace, but get two very messy children who are frightened by the dried paint on their hands.

It's no longer a picture I imagine of perfection but of life. I factor in the dislikes, the anxiety, the uncertainty, the rejections, and the cries.

It doesn't make it bad, it makes it real. It makes them, them and me, me. It makes us all a family. It gives us the unexpected and the joys that come with that.

How boring if it did always turn out exactly the way I wanted it to? Okay, yes it would be nice but I'd never have my kids be themselves. They are so unique and so girly and quirky! They make stories we can look back on and laugh at and learn from. It makes my everyday something new and unpredictable. I get to see my girls experience all these things with their personalities shining through, whether they are crying or laughing.

I don't let myself expect perfection anymore. It won't happen. It's not meant to happen. My life isn't a well drawn picture with perfect strokes and shades, but full of color and splatter.

I expect to enjoy the moment. Enjoy their smiles, enjoy their laughs, enjoy their unexpectedness.

 So dear friends. Never expect anything except the unexpected.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Milking It

So I've decided to start blogging what I know as a mom. Cause all though I haven't been a mom long, I have been a mom for almost 2 years of twins and that's saying something.

I wish there was a lot more information out there when I had the girls. Talk about having your life turned upside down with a baby! I had 2 to figure out!

I didn't feel like books were helpful to me and in fact felt condemned by them at times for not being this all natural, done everything by the book kind of mom.
Letting my children cry it out was like a sin, formula- even worse! I didn't appreciate these books that seemed so robotic, where was the life and truth in their words? Life happens.

Luckily I'm surrounded by honest to goodness mom's who are honest in it's pure tortures at times but also have a deep unconditional love for their children. REAL MOMS.
Find a network of these women near you!

Well, on to what I wanted to start doing. Giving my information in hopes it helps someone else with twins, or a single, or quads, or for me to look back on someday and remind myself I am NOT perfect, but I AM perfect for my children.

I want to start with the basic things when we first have our children. First off the most certain thing they need is- Milk.

The glorious golden liquid. It's priceless, It's perfect. It's made by your body and is made purely for your baby.
It's a magical time of intimacy. It's free. Can it get any better than that??

But unfortunately it can't happen for every woman. Many women struggle to keep up supply and it's darn right painful!
I would bite my lip down and kick my feet against whatever was near to pass the latch. Once one was latched, Daniel had to keep them in place while I prepped the other baby to latch on my other breast and once again, bite, kick and push through.  Finally both would be latched and all I could do was hold it all together. I didn't have an extra hand to eat, drink, re-position or keep them awake. They'd always fall asleep and Daniel had to keep waking them to drink. But worse was that one would always let go and I'd have to make them latch again! I couldn't keep them there.

It finally seemed easier to just do one at a time. I'd feed one and then I'd feed the other, and when I finished, the first would be hungry again and I'd start over. I felt like a cow. I was just constantly feeding and I had no time to myself to sleep, bathe, use the bathroom or eat.

Trail mix was my only food and water my only drink. Needless to say my supply wasn't very strong.
I also had one side that was so tender I'd cry when I tried to get them on it.

I wanted so badly to do it. To exclusively breast feed my girls. To give them the perfect source of food, that again is FREE. Formula is pricy and I have two babies to feed! I was in love with the intimacy I shared with my babies during that time. But I had not one moment to do a thing for myself. I was getting angry and irritated. I was in pain and I was heart broken. I was sleep deprived and stressed. I couldn't hand the girls off to anyone to relieve me to clean up, sleep a little, or enjoy some food at the table. 

It truly felt like one of the hardest moments of my life. Deciding to introduce and use formula.

Formula had it's downfalls. I had to pay for it. I had to buy double of it. I had to buy bottles, I had to buy double the bottles. I had to start washing bottles. I had to wash double the bottles. I had to prep the formula and prep double of it.
But the benefits, I could let Daniel feed them, or we could share them and I could have an arm free. I could excuse myself to clean, sleep, eat and other amazing things I wasn't getting done. I could let other people help feed them and it allowed me time to breath and function. I could feed them at the same time and actually work a feeding schedule, and I could see how much they were getting.

It can be a brutal and devastating feeling to go through or at least it was for me. Especially when all the books discuss how fantastic breast milk is (and I do agree) but it never talked about formula and how great that is too!
We live in a blessed time. We can get outside sources to feed our precious ones if we need to or just want to. It is made for them too.
Formula is not a sin. It is a blessing. I am thankful for the stuff.

We each have unique children and lives. And for me, having two and having to function the way I need to in order to support my children at my best meant I had to give them milk outside from me.

I'll be honest and say I didn't try very hard to find outside help. I really didn't want it. I wanted sleep. I wanted pain free. I wanted to eat! I sometimes wish I had tried harder, got help. But I realize what I did was best for me and them. I feel right with my decision. They are two very healthy, beautiful children and very smart.

Point: If you feel like you want to do something that isn't what books are saying is best, it's okay. You're not trying to hurt your child. You're trying to be the best mom.

Whichever choice you make, stick to it. Make the decision and let everyone around you know it and make sure that they support it or that they keep their mouths shut. It's your baby, your choice. Your need support not guilt.
If you decide to breast feed, then push for it. Ask for help, speak to a consultant, work to boost supply or take herbals to help you. Do what it takes. (and always discuss with a doctor)
And if you decide not to, it's not commiting murder. Your baby will still grow, healthy and well. You'll get benefits either way you go. The question is which will benifit you and your child the most and there is your answer on which way to go.

I do remember at one point while I was trying to breast feed and suggesting we go to formula, Daniel didn't exactly support the idea right away, and I told him, "You grow a pair of boobs and you see how it feels!' If only men did....

Monday, August 6, 2012

The business of being a mom

'Ah, the simple luxury of being a stay at home mom. It's easy to just sleep in, lounge on the couch and watch my favorite shows. I catch up with friends on the phone while my children play happily and well with one another' Said no mom ever.

I love going on blogs and reading up on how other moms make a business out of being a mom. They prep, they plan, they are doing as best they can to be on top of it all. I always think, "Yes. I will do this" and then don't. But I do find a more coordinated more thought out and prepped day makes it an easier day for my girls and me.

I work twice a week, and I do love my job. Maybe cause I'm only their twice a week but regardless it's my two days to kind of gain some sanity and talk to other adults. Then the other 5 days a week I am a stay at home mom. And I tell you with all truth, being home for a day with my two girls is harder work than the two days of actual work.

Seeing a mom who has it all planned out and have a routine defiantly has a 1up on me. I have days of no plans and just doing whatever, which can feel like days that I am trying to just stay afloat and survive. And days with play dates planned or a project to do with the girls planned out along with our usual eat, play, nap, routine in place always make my days a little bit easier. So the idea of getting a calendar/notebook to keep track of meals, housecleaning, projects, dates etc., doesn't seem like a bad idea at all.

It makes me feel kind of like I'm in some sort of profession. The business of being a mom....

I'm the boss and my children are my workers.

First off as bad as that can be made out to seem, I like to take a look at what a boss is.

A boss is a servant.
Well, how can that be? They are in charge.
Yes they are! They are the ones who make decisions, exercises authority, manage and direct. But for what purpose?? To better their company. To keep things organized for their company. And who is in their company? Their workers/employees are.
They direct and manage to benefit their workers. Their workers depend on their boss to keep things in an orderly fashion in order to flourish and grow.

I feel a great example of this is a Coxswain.
A coxswain is:
'the member who sits in the stern facing the bow, steers the boat, and coordinates the power and rhythm of the rowers.'

The sport of rowing is in the Olympics. It is a technical sport because the preciseness of each row and stroke is vital to keeping a moving functioning boat. Everyone must be exact and a Coxswain is there to direct, coordinate and create a rhythm... Ooooh now you get what I mean by how a boss is like coxswain AND how a mom is a boss, right?!

Another way coxswain is looked at is simply, 'boat servant'.

So a boss is a servant. And a good boss isn't a good boss by pushing BUT by leading. A good boss gets followed.

Mama = boss. Children = Workers.

Yes, saying my children are my workers sounds mean.
Whatevs. But um, think about it. If your child does good, listens, behaves, follows direction and gets the job done... you usually reward them! A worker goes to work, does their job and follows direction and what do they get? Paid! Nuff said.

 When we view ourselves more as bosses and less like the employee as moms we realize that:

1. We are still serving our children. By directing them and creating a functional home (business). We create the rhythm to keep the boat moving forward.

2. If we act as the employee to our children they don't know how to manage and we create chaos for them and insanity for us.

 3. With them as our 'workers' especially for children.... consistency, order, and direction is EXACTLY what they need and thrive on. They look for work, to have a task and to complete it. It helps them to grow in so many ways and it keeps them in line. There wont be an oar out of sync to fumble their boat.

4. Being a boss doesn't have to make you a mean person. You can still be a boss and love your children and have fun with them. They are to me, my little buddies, my friends and will be my adult children one day and I hope that they see all the love I poured into them and still want to be my buddies.

 Being a mom boss is hard, we're self employed, boss of our own company and it's a hard business. It's much more work than just creating a routine for sleeping and eating.

 It's teaching your child to move their hands, to direct a spoon in their hands to their mouth, teaching a person to walk, how to move their mouth to make the right sounds to talk, what right and wrong is, to teach the basics of numbers and letters and then going beyond that. It's constant cleaning, it's constant keeping your eyes on them and ears open to hear. It's being the doctor to their boo boos and surgeon to their dolls that got a hole in them. It's being a chauffeur and endless picking up and putting down. It's the greatest patience tester. It's learning every day something new as a mother. It's maintaining a well balanced diet for a child who refuses food so we make crazy faces and sounds in hopes they eat what we probably wouldn't want to eat either. We are a one man show. It's being their fashion coordinator and hair dresser in one. The nurse who gives a bath and cleans their butts.

We are:
Super hero's
& boss.

We are parents.

It's hard business. But it's good business.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Messy House

My house from 7am to 12pm and then from 2pm to 7pm looks as if a tiny war of toys erupted in my house. Plastic balls scattered through the living room to kitchen, toy shopping carts parked in odd places, stuffed dolls laid out as fallen comrades, and tiny do-dads of miniature animals and blocks are like land mines if stepped on. Of course there are also books pulled from their home on the shelf, beaten pages, bent ends, and tears. Not to mention the cheerios, puffs, pieces of munched on food that was delicious on the first bite but not worth it's flavor in the end, abandoned on my floors. The leaking sippy cups of milk and juice leave their print on my not so new carpet anymore. Then lastly the left behind diapers I had yet to throw away for the day act for a stink bomb if dared to be open again.

A never ending job, of picking up, wiping up, scrubbing down, putting away and throwing out. Through the day I walk through my house like it's an obstacle course. It can be quite a bit of work to keep up with it. But as I look around at my living room, messy or clean, I see the things my daughters have touched, mouthed, squealed at, laughed at, cried at, sat in, and kissed. I see that I am a mother and I am reminded that this is real. I have two little girls.

I am no super mom when it comes to cleaning my house. I do my best to what I feel is best. If my floors aren't glossed over with cleaning chemicals, or if it's not smelling fresh with the scent of lavender, or if it's not an easy house to walk through without stepping or tripping over something, I don't let it bother me.

My messy house reminds me of my sweet children, that play and love on their toys. I am reminded of the joy in their faces and the blessing I have that I can give these things to them. I am reminded that maybe I'm not the cleanest mom or most hippie mom, but I am a mom of two happy girls.

The delight in their faces for whatever reason is like another gleam of light hitting upon my day.

So if you come over and see food opened and tossed about on my table, the sink full of cups, bowls, spoons and highchair trays, or if it looks like a clown threw up in my living room full of toys, you would understand, it's cause I love my girls.

Live on messy house! And let live.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

16 months to eternity

Yesterday we went to Marbles Museum for the second time and got a membership. That place is wonderful and the girls are so happy. I love that it wears the girls out so that when we get home they nap great but it also wears us out and I think I napped the whole time they did.

While at Marbles I took a photo of the girls sitting in a little red car.
I see two 16 month old girls playing in a make believe car, but I also see two 16 year old's preparing for a trip to the mall.
I know time flies and it drives me nuts when people constantly remind me "Enjoy it while it lasts." or "Don't blink."
I know I know, and it is- I don't like to be reminded as I remind myself often enough.

My sweet babies are so big and when I hold them I recall how they once were 15 pounds lighter and curled into perfect balls upon my chest. I know I can't hold them like I do now forever, and there will come a day that I will see them drive off together....
But they will be together.

The way they play with each other, follow each other, chase, laugh at each other, copy and shadow. I feel this guarantee of a unique relationship that will go beyond toddlers, tween, and 16.
I feel this reassurance that when they hit the road of life and I'm not right behind to watch their every move that they have each other and they have each others backs.
I feel comfort.

I have been asked to help do the 'Parent Talk' during FUSION a few times.
Fusion is a time where all the kids from all three hours of church come together on a weeknight with their parents and celebrate together in worship, dancing, skits, games, teaching and family time.
It's a wonderful thing just to be apart of it. But to be asked to help do a part where I speak to the parents about parenting.... that's humbling.
These parents have kids from the ages of 4 to 11 yrs and probably have older children and more children than me. They have much more experience than I do. I am trying to influence parents to participate in their children's spiritual growth for an age group I do not have myself.

It has taught me a lot. It makes me ask myself questions, to look deeper and think harder.
After all if there is one thing I can teach Lilly and Rose - it's God. To show them and reveal God to them. His love His hope His spirit.

There is nothing I can keep in this world.
There is nothing that I can leave to this world that will last, that will not eventual grow old or fade away.
All I have is the legacy of God that I can leave. The only thing that will last. To my girls I want them to know the One thing that will last, the One thing they can turn to. The One thing that will never grow old or fade away.

I can look back in my life, my history and see God everywhere.
Not just a one time event. Not a one time deal.
If I can help my girls build a relationship with Jesus. Then I am leaving them in the Hands that has and still holds the weight of the world (& mine) without strain. Without fail.

Eternity doesn't seem possible but the idea that there is no eternity seems less possible.
The idea of nothing after we die, the thought that my mind, my being becomes nothing is impossible for my mind to wrap around. None existent- seems less believable than living everyday for the rest of days, even in another world like Heaven.
Eternity is real.
God is real.
I want my girls to have that, to know that. To live a life in reverence to that. 

I can talk up and down about it to them, but I honestly think it wont mean a thing if I am not living my life the same way I hope and dream they will.

I really want to reach a higher goal each day than the last of growing my relationship with God. Each day a better building I am building on the Rock.
I just keep praying I can be better, to reach farther and walk greater distances- so I can lead my girls to those distances.

I say I want these things but I know I don't show it.
I am working to fan a flame. My own to help start two new flames.

So someday when my two 16 year old girls go for a trip to the mall, I wont have just the comfort of knowing they have each others back. I know something Greater and Bigger, Lovelier, Stronger, Mightier, and Perfect has their back as well.

This life wont last. Not here anyway. It can be the scariest thought in this world, or most reassuring.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rainbow Party

Sooooo. I decided to randomly blog the girls birthday party 3 months after. 
I really wanted to have something special but inexpensive. In order to do inexpensive then you got to be willing to do extra work and make most everything. In which I did. 
I tried to make a rainbow party with the feeling of being up in the sky with the rainbow. I did clouds, birds 'floating' in the air and a rainbow :)
 First off are the cake pops. Super easy recipe but a little tedious. 
-Cake Mix-
-Ingredients for the Cake Mix-
-Cream Cheese-
-Crisco Oil-
-Candy Melts-
-Candy Sticks-
 I used the rainbow sprinkle Pillsbury cake mix thinking it would make it rainbow inside- it does not. But still good!
Bake the cake as directed or be lazy and cheat like me and microwave it in a microwave safe dish. 8x8 greased for 10-15 minutes. 
Crumble the cake and add one package of cream cheese per cake mix and mix thoroughly together. 
Roll into balls
Put a touch of melted candy to the end of a candy stick and place it half way into each rolled cake ball
Freeze for 20 minutes
Melt candy melts in a double broiler and add some Crisco oil to thin it out
I bought pre-colored candy and mixed some colors to make secondary colors
Dip each cake ball and tap off access candy by taping a knife on the stick.
Added sprinkles before it hardened.
Keep cool and ooooooh sooooooo yummy.

 Here is us with the girls in front of their Happy Birthday Sign. This was much easier than I thought it would be to make.
-Scrap Book Paper-
-Letter Pop Outs-
-Rotary Cutter-
-Glue Stick-
-Hole Puncher-
I bought a large book of Scrap Paper. It was the cheapest and easiest to me as the book all matched in color scheme and similar patterns.
I measured out the sizes for the solid colors and patterns. I wanted the solid on top so it wasn't too busy and I could actually see the letters. I matched the solid and pattern papers to match and in order of a rainbow.
I cut my circles with the rotary cutter and glued them together.
I bought the letter punch outs at Micheal's and glued those on.
Hole punched the tops and strung ribbon I happened to have.
I really like how it turned out and I can use it every year!!

 I love this picture! I feel like I can see all the work I've done in one!
I bought tulle with my sister in law at Hobby Lobby and hung it with just tape.
I bought white poster board paper and drew clouds with faces on them and cut them out. Hole punched them and strung them with string and tape from the ceiling.
The cranes.... ugh the cranes. I LOVED them but it was lots of work, I started on those months before the party. Every night after the girls went to bed I pulled out the origami paper I bought at Micheal's and folded and folded till I got tired. By the time the party came I had a tone of cranes! I used tape and string to hang them from the ceiling.

 I made smash cakes for the girls. Heart pan, cake mix, icing... that's it. They did not smash them. They were uncomfortable with everyone watching them and nervous. So they cried instead hahah

 Rainbow Cupcakes!
OOOOOH they always turn out perfect and so pretty!
-White Cake Mix-
-Ingredients for the Cake Mix-
-Food Coloring-
- Six Zip Lock Bags-
-Cupcake Liners-
Mix the cake mix and ingredients
Divide the batter up between the 6 bags. 
Drop in a few drops of food coloring in each bag, red, orange, yellow... etc.
I like neon food coloring it's much brighter and kind of pastel.
Zip the bags and then knead the bags till they completely mixed with the color.
Line the cupcake liners in the cupcake pan 
Snip a small hole at the bottom corner of the red color cake mix bag
Squeeze a little mix into the bottom of each liner. 
Then do the orange
Then Yellow and so on
I had to use a knife to kind of swirl over and make sure each layer completely covered the last. Either way the top doesn't have to be completely purple cause the icing will cover it.
I do red as the color at the bottom because the purple is so dark it blends into the browned baked part at the bottom of the cupcake. I wanted it to stand out so red first does the trick!

 The girls tutu's! My sister Brenda made, I have no idea how.... You'll have to ask her.
 The shirts I bought at Hobby Lobby. I had some scrap material. I just sewed it up to look like flowers and I sewed everything onto the shirts, including a number 1. It was super easy and simple!

 These are the party favors I forgot to hand out to half the kids LOL
-Zip Lock Snack Size Bags-
-Fruit Loops-
The simplest and cheapest party favor. The idea came from my sister. This really doesn't need to be explained... it's all right there!
The only thing I did was draw the cloud and rainbow on my computer with my tablet. I used to print the picture and cut it out then stapled it.

 Just a few pictures of the party stuff

& here are my baby girls! SO beautiful!!!
 Amanda Ivey took their photo's. 
I attempted to do the 'O N E' idea but trying to get two girls happy in one photo is tough. But at least we got a small N.
Love these angels! 
1 year down! a lifetime to go.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Better Mother Than You

It has been a year since my baby girls were born and a year since I have been considered a mom.
Still I don't feel like I am.

I did have one occasion when Daniel and I went out of town to celebrate our anniversary, I stood up and cheerios fell out my shirt. That was a moment that I felt like a mother.

Truly the first few weeks of my girls lives were the hardest I had ever endured.
Being a mother is giving up basic life.
Slowly though things fall into place and a rhythm is established and there is a sense of normal again. I can shower, clean, eat as well as other several things I didn't have time for when they first came.

I feel like a proud hen puffed up in triumph when I am out and about with my girls. They truly are my pride and joy.

My love for them grows daily even when it seems impossible. But that's what love is I suppose. A growing flourishing life in itself. It constantly is in growth.

Being a mother has placed me in what I thought was a special league and though it certainly is a special league of amazing women I also see it's a place of uncertainty.
A place of comparisons. Which I guess is just a woman thing anyway- a girl thing.

Why do women do this to themselves? I'm sure a lot of it is just the society we live in, everywhere we go, every magazine we read and every television show has a picture of what is considered beautiful even tho all and I do mean ALL these women are altered in someway, either through botox, surgery, makeup, editing and alterations through photoshop. The picture we are given is false yet it's the standard. & men see this too and are constantly thinking that is the norm for beauty.
There are very beautiful natural women out there.
But beauty has pieces that make it whole, outward appearance is only a part.
As we all know our vision of a person can be altered sharply and quickly by who they are. A rude, cruel, negative and hurtful person can shrink in beauty quickly while someone not considered pretty can have immense beauty in an instant with their love and grace for others.
It is like given a small glimpse of what God must see in us. The vision we have that alters as we get to know a person is the vision and perspective that God has all the time. Instead of looking out to in, He looks in to out. He sees our hearts and that is the person we are. We can be pretty ugly or pretty marvelous.

That is truly how people should be looked at, not on proper placement of facial features but the proper place of a persons heart.

But moving on... as we as women find ourselves comparing ourselves to our thinner friends, or sizing up to a larger friend. We do the same as mothers.

But instead of measuring our bodies we measure our children against others.

We can become consumed with the thought that if a child is better behaved that their mother must have it right. Or that they are just 'Lucky' to have gotten a well behaved child.
OR we puff up thinking we are the better mom and there must be a problem with another persons child.

This mind set is wrong.


I may have not studied the bible forward, back and upside down but I do know God never intended for us to be comparing ourselves against another, let alone measure ourselves with our children.

There is a lot of talk about judging and that is not our place.
Matt 7:1-6
Luke 6:37
James 4 God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge.

Comparing ourselves as mothers is passing judgment either on ourselves or on someone else. How do we know what a perfect mother is? Or children?
Even Eve the very first mother didn't have perfect children- one killed the other.
And God our prefect father had and still has children that are very imperfect.

To think someone is better as a mother by the standards of our children isn't what God intended. As well as thinking we are better as mothers.

What is bar we are reaching for then?
I would have to say God's bar- not for everyone ' bar' but the individually and uniquely made bar that God has for you & for me. He intends for us all to reach the same mighty goal but none the same path. As we seek and ask for wisdom and pray for our children He will certainly give us what we need to be the best mother for our individual and unique children.

It would be nice to live in a world where people were not sizing up to one another and instead striving to live a life worthy of His grace and love that He has shown us. Measuring ourselves to His standards.
We are far from perfect, but not so far to what perfect could be in our lives if we seek God.

I am very proud of my children and I love them more than anything- but they are my own children and I am their mother. I will not compare myself to other mothers, but I will compare myself to the mother God intends me to be. I will seek advice from Him and other mothers I respect and see a presence of God's handy work- we are all in this together, struggling or not.
We should be supporters to other mothers and seekers of God's wisdom in our lives.

& it shouldn't stop there, it should exceed in all aspects of our lives as women to support one another in their individual and unique growth.

I want my girls to see me as a woman who looks up instead of around. So they too someday can pursue their own path in life the right way instead of looking at everyone else's path.