Tactics of infancy {two steps forward, twenty steps back}

My hand rests on the gingerbread man. This blanket, that I’ve had since I was a child, now rests on the back of my son. My hand rises with his breath…a gentle rise and fall.

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This blanket was my favorite because of its weight. It went with me to camps and college. When I was a teen, I tucked both arms underneath it, my hands clasping a little New Testament – fearing the demons that I believed were inhabiting my home.

I prayed a lot under that blanket.

Now, here I am. Knees knelt on the hardwood floor. Hands resting on his back. This child who seems to be fighting proverbial demons all the time.

I bow my head on top of the hand upon his back. It’s a prayerful position, but I can’t seem to compose my thoughts into a prayer. That is the story of my life these days. But I know God is here in this moment. My silence an offering, a request to the All Powerful One.

When I was away camping this past weekend, I shared a room with my son. That being the case, our night-time routine of rock-for-ten-minutes-then-leave-the-room-listen-to-him-cry-put-him-back-in-bed-five-million-times-over-the-course-of-an-hour-and-a-half was impossible to carry out. So I resorted back to the tactics of infancy: patting and rubbing the back until the child falls asleep.

Each time his breathing slowed rapidly, and he was asleep within twenty minutes. Continue reading

Camping and Calm Baby {a little update and about my weekend}

The rain patters on the tin roof. I’m wrapped up in a quilt in an Adirondack chair, my second cup of coffee at my feet. The morning air is cool but pleasant.

Camping and Calm Baby {a little update and about my weekend}

camping and calm baby 4

camping and calm baby 5

The child next to me keeps crying about everything. How he doesn’t want to sleep, how he wants to go next door, how he wants my blanket instead of his…and now it’s just an exasperated “HEYYYYY!!!!” every time the app he’s playing doesn’t do what he thinks it should.

He finishes his first puzzle. I take a sip of coffee and choose another for him.

I stood there in the principal’s office on Friday, and she said the words. “I think you know what I’m about to say.” Continue reading

On forgiving my ever-changing body

Have you been following along over at Wonderfully Made for Faithful Fitness Fridays? This series has ended up being so much more than I expected it to be. Katie and I have both poured our frustrated mommy hearts out on more than one occasion, and I think that we have totally succeeded in our goal of encouraging moms to love and care for the bodies God gave us.

This Friday’s post falls to me, and while I don’t normally do this, I thought I would share a teaser over here. No matter where you are as a mom in regard to fitness or healthy eating, I feel that this post will resonate with you.

We moms are constantly bombarded with the images and pressure to get back our pre-baby bodies, are we not?

But in this post, I question that logic. For, if motherhood has changed me (emotionally, spiritually, psychologically), does not my body also have the right to be changed by motherhood?

Head on over to Wonderfully Made today and read my post, Faithful Fitness: A Love Letter To My Body.

Faithful Fitness: A Love Letter To My Body

Hope

Normally, I don’t have trouble finding words.

Tonight, I’m feeling a lot of feelings…but I’ve written and deleted a few times now because the words just don’t seem to fit the feelings.

I want to tell you that I really love my kiddo, in spite of how hard it’s been lately.

I want to tell you that I might have figured out how to get him to sleep later in the mornings and that the earliest he’s woken up in the past week is 6:15. {But I don’t want to tell you how, in case it’s a fluke.}

I want to tell you how he is most-likely getting into a behavioral program that will help him.

I want to tell you how he is advocating for himself by using more descriptive words, telling us what’s upsetting him, and putting himself in a special spot at school to “get a break” or “get in control.”

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I want to tell you how we’ve made it through two whole days with no phonecalls home from school and how that feels like a miracle.

I want to tell you how I got to go to therapy, clean my office, and even watch a little TV for leisure.

I suppose if I could put it all into one word, it would be hope. Continue reading

Tour Around Blogland {Q&A About Blogging}

Elizabeth from All Kinds of Things has invited me to join her in a tour around blog land. She has challenged me to answer a few questions and then nominate three other bloggers to do the same in their space and then continue the challenge!

Let the Q & A Begin…

1) What am I working on?

My blog: Mostly, I’m very focused on preparing posts for my 31 Days series. This means writing ahead, compiling posts by guest posters, creating graphics, updating the schedule, and then sharing via social media and email. There’s a lot involved. I am not normally one to work ahead as a blogger, but for this, I want to make sure that the content I am going to offer my readers is stellar and well thought-out.

Guest posting: I’m working on a guest post for Simple Beautiful Life. I’m going to be “going local” and sharing some specific things I love about the town and region I live in. And then, of course, writing every other week over at Wonderfully Made for Faithful Fitness Fridays. You can view all of the posts so far on the Faithful Fitness landing page – and the post going up this coming Friday is by far my favorite. So make sure to check back!

Admin and VA work: I’m so privileged to help out two friends with their monthly newsletters! It’s a great hobby and it helps them out. I love the partnership that I have with them.

2) How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Continue reading

#stuffEzrasays: the 3-year-old edition

I have not posted a #stuffEzrasays post in ages, but, in honor of his 4th birthday, I thought it apropos to share the highlights from this year. This is long. #sorry #notsorry Enjoy!

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Sept 15
“If I was a ‘lil boy, I would NOT eat toast.”

Sept 15
Tonight, I was rocking Ezra and singing Forever Reign to him, and when I got to the part that goes “You are God, You are God” he says “I’m not God! I’m EZRA!!!!”

Sept 16
Went to the Greensboro Science Center today.
Naming the penguins: “Dat’s Shem and Ham and Shem and Ham and Shem and Ham and Ham and Japheth!”

Sept 17
After the gym, Ezra ran up to my car, gave it a hug and said, “MOMMY CAR! I’ve been looking for you ALL DAY LONG!!!”

Sept 21
Ezra, reading a nativity story book: “MOMMY LOOK! A baby born popped out of the NEST!!!!”

Sept 21
Ezra: I need a band aid for my boo boo
Aprille: No, you only need a band aid when there is blood. You are ok.
Ezra: But…but…you need to put blood on my arm so I can have a band aid.

Sept 26
Ezra: Hi Empty Pitcher! We’re the Super-Ree-ers, and we want to talk to you!
Me: Are you being the Super-Readers?
Ezra: Well, not edsactly. We’re being da BE-TEND Super-Ree-ers!

Sept 27
“Thanks for getting my butt cleaned, Mommy.” Continue reading

Ezra’s 3rd Year: The Highlights (and a few bloopers)

Crunching down a year’s worth of video footage into 17 minutes has to pretty much be a world record.

Here’s a few things I learned about my son (and his parents) in the process:

1) All. The. Dancing. I knew we liked dancing, but I didn’t realize quite the extent of the dancing love.

2) Singing is a talent. It needs developed, but so precious all the same.

3) Mommy is probably a little too obsessed with “Lion Song” (aka Forever Reign) – but for good reason. (and isn’t it the cutest?)

4) Little boys and poop. Nuff said.

5) We really are doing a great job of making sure God is involved in his life, getting him playtime, and spending time with him as parents – even when it doesn’t seem like it.

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Related posts:

Ezra’s First Birthday Party

Ezra’s Second Birthday Party

I had a birthday

Mine: because sometimes you need to fall in love with your baby all over again

Ezra turns three!

Ezra’s Little Blue Truck 3rd Birthday Party

When the camel’s back just keeps breaking

I’d like to say that the last straw was the banana getting thrown at me.

But before that, it was the banana peel getting thrown at me.

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And before that, it was the 20 minutes of his screaming upon being told I wouldn’t dress him because he knows how to do it himself.

And yesterday, it was when they told me he was throwing furniture in the nursery at MOMS.

And the day before that when they told me he couldn’t come back to school while the principal was out of town – after he physically assaulted four other children over the course of two days.

I wish I could quit. Just lay down and say, “That’s the last straw. My back is broken. I give up.” Continue reading

20 things I learned this summer

1. You can’t really keep an early riser from being an early riser. That being said, 5am is still brutal no matter how you cut it.

2. Never give up on advocating for your child. You are the mom, you can sense when something is wrong. Eventually, someone will listen no matter how many times you get sent away.

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3. Bucket lists and high idealistic summer plans are for the birds. Trips will not get taken, new parks will not get visited, passes will not be used. Instead, ChickFilA and your two or three favorite parks will probably be the extent of your summer adventures. Also, playdates will not happen as much as you think they will. Continue reading

Announcing 31 Days of Supporting the Special Needs Family {starts October 1st}

Each year during the month of October, “The Nester” hosts 31 Days, an online writing challenge where we all link up on day one and then write about a topic of our choice every day in October. You can find out a little bit more about 31 Days by checking out the introduction to 31 Days 2013.

I have never participated in 31 Days before, but this year I feel compelled to write on a topic that I am incredibly passionate about and that I feel could benefit my readers.

Announcing 31 Days of Supporting the Special Needs Family {starts October 1st}

^ Pin It! ^

While posting every day for a solid month may seem to contradict my yearly vision of Whitespace, I can assure you that this is not a choice I have made lightly. I have been discussing this topic among my closest friends since January and have been logistically planning for 31 Days since July. The bulk of the writing will actually be completed by some fabulous guest posters, leaving me to simply plan, collaborate, facilitate, and donate my blog space for their stories.

I am posting about this now because I believe this topic to be so beneficial that I want to give you all a chance to spread the word ahead of time so that its impact can be widespread. Please share with anyone you know who you believe could benefit from the series.

I have created a sign-up form for anyone interested in receiving all of the posts from the series in their inbox. This will be a separate list from my other email campaigns, so you can rest assured that those who sign up will only be receiving content relating to the topic of special needs.

On Pinterest, you can follow a Pinterest board just for the series: http://www.pinterest.com/beautyinhistime/31-days-of-supporting-the-special-needs-family/

Anyone interested can also of course follow Beautiful In His Time on Facebook or any of my other social media channels.

Dangly pink earrings and a million regenerations {a lesson in identity from Doctor Who}

I tilted my head to put the dangly pink earrings in my earlobes. They matched the pink shirt I had chosen to wear with my favorite jeans. I topped the look off with a spritz of my favorite glittery perfume.

doctor who premiere

It was a special night and I had spent hours looking for a special tshirt to wear, but had come up empty. I had wanted something that signified just how much this TV show has come to mean to me, without seeming well… crazy fangirl.

TV shows have a way of wrecking me.

Movies, I could take or leave. But with a show, the characters and the way they develop speak to my life, my humanity, my existence. I see myself in them and learn from them and grow from them. It happened with One Tree Hill and Stargate, but it’s this show…Doctor Who…that has touched me in a very deep way.

The Doctor Who fanpage asks, “Why should people watch #DoctorWho?” Continue reading

Parenting styles, individual people, individual needs

It was nearly two years ago now when I came out on my blog denouncing attachment parenting, saying simply, “Attachment parenting didn’t work for me. And, probably more importantly, attachment parenting didn’t work for Ezra.”

That post – by far my most controversial – has been viewed over 7,000 times and has garnered a lot of discussion, both positive and negative.

Gabby over at MamaGab asked me if I could elaborate more on the subject in a guest post for her. My post for her went a different direction than I had originally planned, but I feel that the result will be beneficial for EVERY mom.

What I learned from my experience with attachment parenting (and my experience as a mom, in general) has been far more complex than to simply denounce a style of parenting. Rather, the experience has taught me to embrace personhood and individuality and to balance both my needs and the needs of my child. That, above all, is the most important.

Join me over at MamaGab today as I share in this post: “A person’s a person” – two lessons I learned about parenting from Dr. Suess

A person's a person

Guilt-inducing hymns, the try-hard life, and recovery

A dear newly-married friend messaged me last night, asking my to hear my opinions and thoughts about a certain matter. She has known me for a long time and watched me as my blogging has taken the direction more and more of writing through my struggles of not being so hard on myself, embracing my limitations, and doing the best with what I have.

But she wanted to know: Is there a place for more positive encouragement? For wives and moms to be encouraged to set goals high, to be inspired and push themselves, and to know that hard things can be done?

Her words went straight to my heart, and I laid awake pondering her message in the late night hours. Sleep evaded me for a while as I turned her questions over and over in my head.

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Somewhere between the tossing and turning, old hymns started coming to my mind:

By and by when I look on His face, I’ll wish I had given Him more…

I wonder have I done my best for Jesus, I know my Lord expects the best from me…

I thought back over 27 years of life and asked myself those questions again. Could I, should I be doing more? Should I be trying harder? Setting more goals? Pushing myself? Continue reading

About that three-letter-word…

Yes…I’m going there. I have some close friends and a few weeks ago we found ourselves talking about it. You know…sex. We gleaned some great advice from each other and we all agreed that more dialogue about sex needs to happen in Christian circles. Join me as I open up the conversation in this post over at Singing Through the Rain, 6 Things I Wish I Had Known About Sex (Before I Got Married).

6 things I wish I had known about sex

EASY 4-Ingredient Protein-Packed Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I have always loved the taste of chicken cordon bleu since my mom made it for us on special occasions when I was a girl. But if there’s one thing else I remember about it, it seemed like an awful lot of work.

Sometime last year, it was dinner time and I had no dinner plans, and I looked in the fridge to realize I had all of the ingredients. So I mixed them up in a pan and threw it in the oven and it turned out amazing…AND was a huge hit with my husband {he’s hard to wow in the culinary department}. I made it again a few weeks ago and again, he raved about it and told me I needed to blog about it. So, here it is.

4-Ingredient Protein-Packed Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole Continue reading