Monday, September 5, 2011

for mothers of boys (and mothers of girls)

almost all of the children in our lives that are my son's age are girls. and although he spends a majority of his time with these girls, he is somehow still all "boy." masculine in every way. 

for the first 2 1/2 years of his life i've compared him to all these other little girls, sometimes to the point of driving myself crazy wondering why i can't get him to act or do things a certain way that i see these calm, prim and proper, sweet little darlings acting. it's only recently that i've realized that to compare my son with a girl is like comparing peas to carrots. 

so i've started to do some reading and research on boys, and now i realize that my friends who only have girls and no boys, just cannot understand my world. and for good reason...they have girls! it's just that raising a girl is a whole different ball game. neither is more difficult or more important, they are just different. 

but what i am saying is not PC at all. recently i read an article about parents who are raising a "gender-less" child. they are not telling anyone the gender of their child, and are allowing this child to be completely free in choosing what to wear and what to play with. and i'm sure many are applauding this couple's choice to do so. see there is this idea that is growing in society, that we force a gender-identity into individuals from infancy by doing things like dressing them in blue or pink, by encouraging them to either play with dolls or play with balls and guns. but this idea has done nothing but caused confusion about what the role of a man is, and society is suffering because of it. that's why we have to take seriously our roles of raising boys--raising men. Dr. Michael Gurian said, "Every time you raise a loving, wise, and responsible man, you have created a better world for women. Women today are having to bond to half-men, with boys who were not fully raised to manhood, don't know how to bond, don't know what their responsibilities are to humanity, and don't have a strong sense of service."

mother's (like me) of the 'typical' boy know that there is something just inherently 'boy' about him from a very young age. one time while my husband was away traveling for months at a time, when i was concerned for him always being around only his mama and little girls, he woke up one morning completely and utterly obsessed with trucks. he's aggressive, he doesn't know the meaning of gentle, he is constantly being reprimanded for being too rough with me and hurting me, and he wants nothing but to be just like his daddy. not mama, not baby sister--daddy. i did not instill this into him. (in fact i'll go ahead and admit right here that i did buy him a baby doll because i noticed he liked playing with them. but even when he gets the urge to play with that doll, he's still very masculine about it, if you know what i mean. basically, he pretends she's his baby sister and he takes care of her like he would his real baby sister if she were allowed to be thrown in the air and flipped and dropped and folded and so on...) he's around girly me all day long, and i even must admit that i hug and kiss him and baby him way more than i should. he can certainly be kind and sweet and precious, but he is 100% without a doubt, a boy.

this is what Dr. James Dobson, in his book "Bringing up Boys" says about why raising boys is different than girls, and why the task must be taken so seriously:

"...boys are more likely to get off-course when they are not guided and supervised carefully. They are inherently more volatile and less stable emotionally. They founder in chaotic, unsupervised, and undisciplined circumstances. Boys are like automobiles that need a driver at the steering wheel every moment of the journey, gently turning a half inch here and a quarter inch there. They will need this guidance for at least sixteen or eighteen years, or even longer. When left to their own devices, they tend to drift toward the center divider and into the ditch, toward misbehavior or danger....Your task as a mother, in conjunction with your husband, is to build a man out of the raw materials available in this delightful little boy, stone upon stone upon stone. Never assume for a moment that you can 'do your own thing' without serious consequences for him and his sister. I believe this task must be your highest priority for a period of time. It will not always be required of you. Before you know it, that child at your feet will become a young man who will pack his bags and take his first halting steps into the adult world. Then it will be your turn. By all expectations, you should have decades of health and vigor left to invest in whatever God calls you to do. But for now, there is a higher calling. I feel obligated to tell you this, whether my words are popular or not. Raising children who have been loaned to us for a brief moment outranks every other responsibility. Besides, living by that priority when kids are small will produce the greatest rewards at maturity."

phew, what a daunting task! 
so mothers of girls, you may give me that "why is your son acting that way" look as much as you want, you can judge me, you can judge my son, you can call him wild or even my means of discipline too stern. but you can also thank me later for trying my best to raise a good man for the future of your daughters! 

(and now, i have to also learn how to raise a woman!  advice, please, mothers of girls?!) 

love you you ladies, and cheers to all of us mothers trying our best! 

and, just for giggles:

oh, just another Biebs post

i just had to give one more props to the Biebs. did you watch the MTV VMA's? well, our family has to watch all those award shows. it is, in fact, our livelihood.

Justin Bieber won Best Male Music Video for "You Smile", and here's his acceptance speech:

"I just want to say thank you so much, not only to God but to Jesus. Because I wouldn't be here without Him. He's really blessed me. He's put me in this position. So I want to say thank you so much."

these days, thanking "God" is so cliche. way to be specific:)

Thursday, September 1, 2011


my.goodness. it has been quite a while since i wrote a post. the move (ahem, the entire summer) turned into quite an odd season, and i only recently got internet hooked up at our new house. 

moving out into our own space brought a huge, unexpected, adjustment for me and my 2 year old. he had friends to play with all day, every day, for 10 months. it didn't even occur to me the problem that it would create for later.....namely, that he now needs someone to play with at all times. he used to be wonderful at playing alone, but he seems to have forgotten that skill. instead, he wants me to sit and play with him all. day. long. and while i do absolutely adore playing with him, teaching him, watching him explore his imagination, i simply cannot  do that every minute of the day. what mother can? not only do i have a house to keep up with, laundry and dishes, but i now also have another child to take care of. and let's not forget that we have to eat meals, which means i do need to spend a few minutes in the kitchen 3 times a day. these are things that little man firmly objects to. he's learned (God knows where) to say things like (imagine the sweetest voice in the world)  "don't you wanna play with me?" and "I thought you wanted to play cars with me?" and just the other day, after saying my name about 29 times without me responding to him, he told me that i was "making him sad." *sigh* melts my heart.

and then there's my adjustment. of going from having a best friend near me all day to talk to whenever i wanted, unable to get lonely even if i wanted being in a house all day alone with two small children. 

so, communal living does come with so many advantages, but there's also many little things that are hard. like saying goodbye. 

and i haven't even gotten to the part about how i just had a baby 4 months ago. i'm going through the time that every mother of multiples goes through--learning to adjust to life with two instead of one. it was easy as pie for about 2 1/2 months. and then it hit me. 
i cried. 
i was ugly to my husband.
 and then i calmed down and we had a team huddle, and discussed how we were going to manage. things have been much better since then, but i still don't feel like i've found that 'normalcy.' and i'm still waiting for my creativity to show back up, and to find time to fit into my week projects, and creating and reading....and blogging.

good gracious, does this get easier?

i think it does, 
i hope it does. 
well, of course it does! after all, i do have friends with 4, 5, 7 children!!....(right?!)
so i am waiting. in the meantime, i'm going to try to be more deliberate about posting. maybe it will help me make some sense of things (so excuse me as i think out loud)

here's what we do a lot of these summer days...
 learning the alphabet letters
 art, art and more art
 his first painting placing the colors in the right spot (notice the yellow sun and the blue airplane?) he's always been a bit behind in the art department, so this was a big deal:)
 sweet pea just works on getting more beautiful every day
pool days--whenever and wherever we are invited!
(otherwise you can find me inside, doing the things shown above. August is no time for a Southerner to be outdoors)

oh, and lots of evening family walks/bike rides through our fabulous new neighborhood in the city! (more on that, to come)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

city mouse

our season living with our friends (a family with 3 kids) has sadly come to an end. i cannot believe what a special time that it was, and we will forever treasure those memories of living in community.
and since we have only lived alone as a couple for 6 months of our entire 4 year marriage, we have agreed that this next season will just be the four of us. just our family. we need this time to be a family.
because my husband and i couldn't seem to figure out exactly what we wanted in our next living situation, we moved all of our belongings out of our house and into a storage unit. i headed to los angeles for a week and then we flew back only to stay in more hotels. one night we stayed in the downtown area of our city, and we walked the city that night, the way we have always loved to do. we walked through an area of downtown that is mostly residential, yet only a few blocks from all the sky scrapers. it is an area filled with trees and parks and adorable porches and balconies and you almost forget where you are. we realized how much we would enjoy, as a family, living in that area, and finally decided on what the 'desire of our hearts' was for our next place. something small and simple, easily manageable with our mobile lifestyle, and completely urban.
so i went to atlanta for a week to stay with family while my man stayed back with the goal of finding our family a home. he did just that, and now we are moving into our new home.
goodbye suburbs, hello center city!

(and so because i have been essentially "homeless" for 2 weeks, i have had no internet and have not been able to blog. i aim to get back in the swing of things in a couple of weeks, after some much needed time at the beach! ahhhhhh...)

the last time that we moved, 5 birds came to our porch to sleep at night for the entire last week of our living there. they would cuddle close together up in the corner and it was the strangest thing i had ever seen. since the meaning of 5 is 'grace', we took it as a sign that we were entering into a new season of grace.
and did we ever.

amazingly, the last month in our house this time, some birds built a nest behind the light on our porch. it was the  most beautiful nest i have ever seen, made from such unique objects. very anthropologie-esq :)

when we looked in the nest we found 5 eggs. and the week before we moved those 5 eggs hatched. i climbed a small ladder almost every day to look at those cute little babies, as the mama and daddy sat perched close by, watching me. and so we are grateful to be entering into yet another new season of grace. thanks to our Father! i SO love joel osteen, and just started getting his "word of the day" emails. i woke up this morning (moving day) and the title of the email was "Get Excited About Your Future!"
:) love that

tiny little eggs in their anthro pad


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

am i crazy?

clearly i am. we traveled from the east coast to los angeles. and no, "we" does not include my husband.
that's right. i toted my 2 1/2 year old and my 2 month old on two flights and one layover, both ways, by myself. and although my kids were well behaved (and i'm a proud mama), i am not going to lie, it is hard work...and not fun at all.
not to mention the fact that there's a time change and a bit of jet lag that's involved with traveling to the other side of the country.

but, it was all worth it in the end, because we got to be with our music man for a week. he worked the entire time, but waking up beside hm is all i really needed.

a post to come about our time in los angeles...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

family night at the rock show

last night the band did a hometown show, and it was earlier in the evening so i got to take the kids to watch. it was my little girl's first show (and i forgot to take pictures!) and my first time taking two kids. i wore her in my moby and still got in some dance moves with my little Indie Rocker:)  before the show our drummer put him on his lap and played drums with him and the crowd cheered--the proud look on his face was priceless. he told me a few months ago that he wanted to play drums first.
but lately he's been getting his mama's guitar out. because his little hands don't fit around the fret board, and our mini-Taylor is right handed and he's left handed, i think we are going to have to buy him a real one soon and let him get to work.
(besides, guitar is a lot quieter than drums. maybe drums can be his christmas present...)

i {heart} JB

so....i have the latest celebrity gossip on our family's favorite teen pop star
here it is:
Justin Bieber has gotten a new tattoo on his ribcage...the word "Yeshua" (Jesus) in Hebrew letters!
that's my boy JB! one of the many reasons i love that (in the words of Tina Fey) "dreamy Christmas elf"

Thursday, May 26, 2011

good day sunshine

oh happy day--the pool is open!
so glad to be able to wear out my little tan man, while my beauty sleeps...
he has a good floatie swimsuit that he can swim by himself in, so it eliminates my anxiety about 'what if he jumps in the water while i'm nursing?' he'll have a nasty tan-line, but it's worth it.

it's far too hot in the south to be outside with no water near. that's why southern folk love them some water--beach, pool, lake, pond, garden hose...anything will do in this heat!
here's a perfect explanation, for your enjoyment:)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

new addition, new season

ok, so here's where this blog actually begins. all previous posts were some that i pulled in from my other blog, which is most pictures and all names have been removed. i wanted to have all the highlights of our family life of traveling over the past 2 years. this past year, however, has been the hardest. because of a miscarriage and a pregnancy following that, plus a few months when the band did radio promotions and traveled by plane instead of bus (meaning we couldn't go--too expensive), i have been not touring for an entire year! (besides a one week tour in florida last december) this is very unusual for us, and not in a good way. i learned back in feb 2010 that  it was too hard to be apart from my music man for more than 10 days...but the circumstances of this past year just made it impossible to travel. and so we have looooong awaited the birth of our daughter, our second child, because it meant that we could get back to normalcy---traveling together as a family.

now that my sweet baby girl is here safely, we hope to get back on the road as soon as the band is back on tour.

right now they are songwriting for a second album, and trying to write a radio single to follow up their last one for pop radio. songwriting season is a fav of mine--every time he brings home a new song for me to hear i get super excited and we dream about all it's potential....i can't explain how insanely talented my hubs is. songwriting season also means that music man gets to be home more often. he took a month off for the birth of our daughter (2 weeks before, 2 weeks after) and i am spoiled now to the max. he just left for 3 days to do some shows up north, and so i am alone with my two kids for the first time. maybe God is just being super gracious to me, but it is going so well that i am actually having fun!
now he'll be traveling to NY, LA, etc to song-write with other artists....and i am oh-so-hoping to get to travel a bit too! first he'll go to NYC next week, during our 4 year anniversary, and so we are going to see if i can get up there too. ahhh, to dream. i will try not to get my hopes up too high. 
now that i'm 2 1/2 weeks in to life with 2 kids, i feel confident that i am capable of traveling with them. she is a dream and he is being so good (of course, he has his toddler moments, but for the most part, he's my angel). 
maybe that seems ambitious of  me, but that is the life that i am used to, and the life that we are committed to as a family.

another change that is coming to our family is that we have to move in the next month. we have had the joy of living with our friends for the past 9 months. 4 adults + 5 kids under 6 in the house. it was such a special season that we will all cherish forever. the other family is most likely moving to europe (oh the tears) and we will be living alone again. if you can believe it, we have only lived alone for the first 6 months of our marriage. plus, when we are on tour we live in a bus with 12 people packed in....needless to say, we are looking forward to this coming season of family time. i am anxious to find out what house God has in store for us. He always blesses us immensely! 

out at the park--just the 3 of us

happy summer!

Monday, May 9, 2011

peace like a river

my sweet baby girl has just entered our lives, and i am the happiest woman in this world. 
every time that i have a child i become the happiest that i've ever been in my life
my joy has just doubled

the birth was nothing short of miraculous and amazing. i am blessed and highly thankful. i had a water birth at a birthing center. i am still working on writing my birth story, so that will be coming soon.

this is my angel

Sunday, March 27, 2011

my baby girl shower

last weekend journee and beth threw me a baby shower. they made every detail a secret, so when i arrived home after church in time for the party, our house was transformed into a sweet "green" themed shower for me. the invitations were even hand-made with recycled materials (so cute!) here's some other details...

"garden" cupcakes! peas, carrots, lettuce and radishes
we have a juicer at home and we make fresh juice every day (can't get much healthier than juicing!), and so all the drinks were fresh juiced-- apple/carrot/cucumber, watermelon/pineapple/blueberry, and watermelon juice. so delicious!
fresh, homemade vegetable Borsh--YUM!
homemade whole wheat rolls
lovely flowers
a garland i will most surely use for all of this baby girl's birthdays (made with the left-over fabric scraps that were used for the invitations)

it was a blessing, and and i am thankful for the sweet women that i have in my life here. someone commented after the shower that i just have the nicest group of friends:)
and i feel like i have just about everything that i need for this baby now. i even had my first dream about birthing her the other night and she was so beautiful, so now, i just can't wait to hold her for real!

plastic yuckiness

the sneaking suspicion that plastic might not be very good for us has only just begun. we all try to buy BPA free now, right? well now they are saying you should also search for EPA free. and now studies are confirming that ALL plastics (including our beloved BPA-free plastics) leak hormones that mimic estrogen. the list of harmful chemicals in this substance that we've sadly grown far too dependent on, probably goes on and on....
so in our household we've thrown away ALL of our plastic kids plates, bowls and cups and replaced them with stainless steel (glass and ceramic are too fragile to trust with little hands). we bought every kid this set

and so, i'm the first to admit, this is only the first, tiniest step. i would love to make our lives as plastic free as possible. and yes, i'm still guzzling my 80-100 oz of water a day from my plastic Camelbak. but i do plan to purchase Camelbak's stainless steel version as soon as i can! (yes, for all you Camelbak fans out there, i saw one at the store the other day!)
but the first steps i wanted to take where with my precious little love. the mother in me wants to protect my children as best as i can....i feel much better already:)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

dad makes fun happen

that's what a picture frame in our household says, and boy is it true! our music man came home last weekend and this weekend as well, and when he is home, we cherish our time together as a family!
last friday we took him to the movie theatre for the first time. and what movie would it be besides Justin Bieber: Never Say Never!!? yes, this little family does in fact have Bieber Fever. i have to admit i was the last one to catch on--music man gave it to little man when he gave him a Justin Bieber doll for Christmas and started watching youtube videos of him before he was famous. and eventually, little man gave it to me. and now, even at my age, if i met him in person i might go into a screaming/crying fit and pass out....haha, but seriously this kid is SO incredibly talented, and comes from a very strong Christian background (his mom goes to church with some friends of ours in Atlanta and she requested a meeting with music man, so he got to sit down and talk with her one time), and so i am totally rooting for this kid--for him to succeed and for him to succeed with all his morals and values in tact. i used to think he might just be famous for a minute, but after seeing the movie and reading a vanity fair article on him, i decided he might just surprise us, like justin timberlake and usher both did....
so our son is totally obsessed with him. i have to listen to his music (ok so yes i sortof enjoy it) all day while he dances and sings, and he'll even start pretending he IS Justin Bieber....he'll fall down and say "Justin Bieber fell down!" or he'll talk about the 'Justin Bieber coat' that he's wearing or the 'justin bieber shoes' that he's's a hoot.

the next night we all went to eat sushi-our favorite meal. they kid-rigged his chopsticks for him, and it worked--he ate with chopsticks for the first time

after that, we made a last-minute decision to go to a professional hockey game! i figured there wouldn't be anyone there, but it was packed! who knew?!

this has rained the entire time, plus mama is sooooo tired! we managed to get him to an indoor play place yesterday.

today we went to church and then lounged at home all day (ahhhh). and we get one more day with daddy tomorrow, so who knows what kind of fun we'll get into!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

boys and their trucks...

one day, at a very young age, little man woke up obsessed with trucks. obsessed. i had done nothing at all to spark his interest in them, and i had never talked to him about them before. i am, after all, a girl, and i didn't care to 'make' him love trucks. is there something that is just instilled into the dna of boys that causes this? i mean, to watch gender differences at such an early age, is astounding. sure, he loves to put on the girls' pink shoes in the house, and if he had it his way his rainboots would have been pink instead of camo. he doesn't know the gender 'rules' about colors yet. i'm not talking about those gender differences. i'm talking about the fact that he is obsessed with cars and trucks and dinosaurs, not with dressing up, dolls or strawberry shortcake or ballerinas.
this is him just yesterday at our favorite park, working the "excavator"...

today i took him to a parking lot where a company parks their huge work trucks, walking distance from my house. this was seriously a big deal.

before we left, he hugged the bucket of the excavator and said, "bye bye excavator! i love you!"
yes, really.

Friday, February 18, 2011


today is the kind of day that i skipped class for in college. in honor of the warm weather, and the early spring that is soon-to-come, here are some little musical wonderfuls that just make me feel like spring

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

the other half of my heart wasn't with me physically on valentine's day, but i did come home to this display of roses and a-ma-zing chocolates....
a rose for my nightstand

it will take me months to eat the amount of gourmet chocolate in this box...

of course my ideal valentine's day would be spent with him, but we got to go on a date last week before he left. and this was incredibly sweet and thoughtful of him. i felt loved:)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

my drummer boy

where does he get all his 'cool' moves? well, maybe i do know the answer to that question...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

meeting my 3rd niece

i just had the joy of spending 5 wonderful days in charleston with my two darling nieces. most of my time was spent playing in a wonderful world of 2 year olds--little man and his cousin had so much fun together and i bonded with her even more. she's my little buddy! and of course i caught a snuggle from the sweet little baby miss whenever i could. my sister is doing so well and just trying to get some much needed sleep. on sunday it must have been 65 degrees! the warmth was welcomed with a bicycle ride on the beach with my brother, our kiddos behind us in baby seats. it was terribly sad to leave such a scene of sweetness, but i'm hoping to make one last trip there in the spring before baby girl gets here.