In Daddy’s Arms

Inspired to write the other day while at the beach, I looked out of the tent and watched Becca and Cody building sand castles and flying over the waves, and wrote this. I love you, Cody Hinnant! Thank you for being the best Daddy in the whole world to our children!

In Daddy’s Arms
In Daddy’s arms, there are butterfly wings to fly through the air.
In Daddy’s arms, there are pirate’s swords to swashbuckle with the best of them.
In Daddy’s arms, there are fish fins to brave any crashing waves.
In Daddy’s arms, there is safety.
In Daddy’s arms, there is imagination.
In Daddy’s arns, there are stories and puzzles and “cars on the cool rug” and movies and endless episodes of Super Why and Lil Einsteins.
In Daddy’s arms, there are hugs and snuggles.
In Daddy’s arms, there is love.
In Daddy’s arms, there is a girl, a boy, and the luckiest Mommy in the world.
And there’s nowhere any of us would rather be, than
In Daddy’s Arms.





In Memory…

October is breast cancer awareness month. The reminders are everywhere- and if you watch the NFL, it’s a bright pink reminder nearly all the players are toting around in some form or another. So many people have jumped on the early detection bandwagon (for lack of a better word), and I’m greatful they have!! I know personally several breast cancer survivors, and I appreciate the fact that it’s not taboo to talk about the importance of annual health checks – because early detection can truly save lives. I am so greatful for the lives that have been saved- and have impacted me. From a professor, to a mentor from church, a friend, and countless others- former coworkers, friends, and neighbors.

But October is also awareness month for something that IS still taboo to talk about. It’s a month when we remember the infants whom we have lost. Whether through miscarriage, at birth, just after birth, or through SIDS. People don’t talk about these losses. Like they are somehow taboo. I can talk about my boobs and say that my last breast screening was clear, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief, and says how great it is to have those check-ups. But when I announce that I had two miscarriages between Becca and Grayson, the room goes silent. Noone knows how to respond. I have several friends who have experienced similar losses. Miscarriages are the hidden struggle that MANY couples deal with. Alone. My doctor told me that 1 in 4 pregnancies doesn’t result in a live birth. 1 in 4. Most of them are termed “chemical” pregnancies- because the fertilized egg doesn’t correctly attach to the uterus wall, and therefore can’t receive the nutrients it needs to live. Lots of women who have chemical pregnancies don’t even know they are pregnant. I did. And I grieve that loss. I firmly believe that my little boy is in Heaven, waiting for the day Mommy will come- and he’ll greet me, along with his sibling whom we lost a little bit further in, at about 8 weeks (I’m not certain, but I think a girl), and they’ll have open arms waiting for me. I can’t wait to hold them both and hug them. And tell them how very much their Daddy and I love them. They are up there with three great aunts/uncles, and countless other angels that never saw the light of day until they saw the Light of Heaven.

They are also there with a sweet angel I’ll never forget. Her name is Sophia. She was born just a couple short weeks before Becca, and with every milestone Becca meets, I think of her- and of her family. Sophia was born with some major health problems, and only was here on earth for a very short 4 days. Her loss was catastrophic. She is truly an angel in Jesus’ arms. And I know she’s waiting to see her Mommy and Daddy and big brother again, too.

So for all those I love touched by breast cancer, I light a pink candle and think of you.

And for all those who have experienced the loss of a precious little angel, I light a blue candle (blue because of my first little boy) and think of you.

May God keep all of us near, and may we be encouraged that this world is not our home, and someday, we will see all of our loved ones again. Let’s work to get the word out- and not be afraid to speak up and talk about our losses.

October 6- Leaf

Some days I think – how little I knew about parenting before I became one, and how much less I know in my third year of it than I did in my first.

The first year is really bliss, ya know? There’s no back-talk, no deliberate disobedience, no running away when you want them somewhere, and they don’t weigh a million pounds when you need to haul them somewhere.

Granted, the first year the first time around doesn’t FEEL like bliss, and it’s so easy to say, “It’ll be so nice when she can______.” First time parents, DO NOT miss the ease of the stage you are in! (Refer to my last paragraph.)

I love my daughter. I really, really do. With all my heart. But she is in a stage of life where some days she makes it hard to like her, despite the incredible depth of my love. I am far from patient enough to parent this little girl. And yet, she is mine to parent. Mine and Cody’s. And he’s as much at a loss sometimes as I am. Hey, at least we’re lost together, right? I’m not crazy enough to miss the fact that I have a partner in this battle, and I have a HUGE respect, admiration, and prayer list for those single moms out there who have to deal with the “terrible twos” and “three-teen” years alone. I don’t know how you (and your child) live through each day.

So in all of this, you’re probably wondering at my title, and thinking, “ok, where’s the darn photo challenge leaf for today?” Well, here’s the truth. I sat down in the rocking chair to feed my sweet little cherub who is still (THANK GOD!) in his easy year, and I thought, “one more goal for the day unaccomplished. I guess I’m gonna mess up this photo challenge, too. Will I ever finish any task I start again?” And I raised my eyes to Heaven and prayed, “God, help.” I know this answer was a small one, but my eyes fell on this cloud, lovingly, carefully painted on the nursery ceiling by my dad back in February… And I saw it. It’s a leaf. It’s been there this whole time, just waiting for that moment when God knew I’d need a little cloud, shaped like a leaf, to encourage me that we’re not alone, and God didn’t make any mistakes in giving us these two amazingly wonderful children.

Because we are the parents He wants us to be. And we won’t have all the answers all the time, but when we turn our eyes toward Him, He’ll always have an answer.


Happy Birthday

Well, so yesterday we celebrated 4 months of Grayson being here… and today we celebrate Cody being here ** years!  (Number has been starred to protect the innocent…)  So, I thought I’d take a moment to say Happy Birthday to the man who has thoroughly changed my life, and brightens my world every single day.  He’s the best father I could have ever imagined to dream for my children, and the most amazing husband, partner, and friend that any girl could ever dream to have.  He leaves me speechless in moments of thoughtfulness when he randomly arrives home with flowers, or just knows that I need my shoulders rubbed.  He loves our children and me with a love that is so astounding, and so unfathomable that it often leaves me speechless.  In moments when he smiles with Grayson and helps him stand, in moments when he flies Becca around her room like a butterfly before bed, and in moments when he looks over one or both of them to smile at me, I catch my breath.  He’s the most wonderful man.  I love him so much, and I’m so blessed to be celebrating this birthday with him.

I love you, Baby.


fishin in the living room

Screen Time

Well, the results are in. Study has shown that 100% of moms (who live in our home) were found to be happier and have living children when the toddler is allowed to have approved educational tv “screen time” while mom does the dishes.

This study was conducted the afternoon of September 19th, and despite what some experts might say, it has been proven that said toddler was happily living and breathing after mother was able to clean without interruption! Once again, this mother knew her own limits, knew the limits of her child, and said “screw it” to “experts” who say that children under 5 don’t need screen time.

Granted, not all children who might be test subjects in subsequent studies in other homes, will finish their screen time talking about flutes and using musical terms like “pianissimo” and “forte,” but 100% of the toddlers in this study did show musical knowlege after the completion of screen time, proving that mom knows best when it comes to activity and show selection: not only was said toddler still living and breathing (because mother was able to clean in peace), but said toddler also gained musical knowledge. Imagine that! Living and learning… While watching tv at age two.

This blog post was written for the hundreds of moms out there who rock at being moms, and strive to teach their kids every day:
You are the moms who never give up teaching your kids new skills. You are the moms who read Hop on Pop and Fox in Socks without batting an eye. Green Eggs and Ham’s got nothing on you. No tongue twister Dr Suess can dish out can keep you from snuggling with your kiddos and reading – multiple times a day. You are the moms who read articles about how much screen time your kids get, and you feel guilty that you let them watch four shows (20mins long each) yesterday. You swear you won’t do it again. Lighten your load, Mama. You are FABULOUS at what you do, and that article about screen time is NOT talking about you or your kids. That article is talking about the parents that don’t even know “screen time” is a buzz term these days… And their children who watch full length rated R movies at age 3 and think nothing of it. Your child watching Cars once a week (or heck, even twice a week) is NOT what they are addressing. Why do we as moms put so much emphasis on what the world says we are doing wrong instead of praising ourselves and others for all the things we are doing right? Yup, Becca watched three shows today. And I did the dishes. Clean sink without interruptions= priceless. Esp since it was only clean for about five minutes… Then it was time for dinner!

And let me add… Lest there be ANY confusion: if you aren’t a parent, you don’t know. Even if you think you do. I used to “know”… Then I had kids. Let the parents do the parenting. And “experts,” remember that you can only truly ever be the expert of your own test subject… You’ve never met mine. GOD MADE EVERY PERSON UNIQUE. No kid fits a mold. Except their own. So don’t let ANYONE except God tell you how to parent your child. He is the only one who knows how that child’s brain is wired. Leave the “experts” in the dust- bc they will only make you feel like dust. Or maybe the dust on the underside of a really old cowboy boot sitting in the back of the closet in an old abandoned farm house.

Take heart! Study results are in… You’re a great mom!