Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The not so PERFECT life...

"Your life is just so picture perfect..."

These words have replayed in my head for the past few months. A few months ago someone at church was talking to me and said those exact words to me. She then went on to say, "You make parenting look like a breeze." I was speechless when she said that and I didn't quite know what to say because to be completely honest those 2 statements could not be further from the truth!

My life is actually filled with tears daily.  Sometimes they are tears from my 2 girls, other times they are from me. It seems as though someone is always having a melt down and I think I have actually forgotten what silence sounds like. Overwhelmed is a word I seem to use daily...usually when I call John at work freaking out about this or that. Sometimes I think the overwhelming feelings may just be a result of a 2 year sleep deprivation but who knows!  I have said it before, but I am in a very crazy, chaotic, season in my life right now. But as crazy as it is, I can not help but cherish the beautiful moments that are in each day. Sometimes the beautiful moment may only last for a second and then someone is unhappy, tired, hungry or needs a diaper change but I can promise you that I most definitely soak in those priceless times when I look over and both my girls are laughing and playing together on my living room floor, or when they both want to crawl onto my lap and snuggle me tight or when Josselyn wakes up at the crack of down and wants to climb into bed with me and cuddle while watching cartoons on my phone. Those are the sweet, beautiful moments that make the overwhelming times in my day not quite so bad. All of this to say, I couldn't possibly fathom why someone would think my life was "perfect" or think that there is anything "breezy" about parenting. The more I pondered what that sweet, sweet, lady said to me at church I realized that she wasn't making those assumptions because of what she see's at church when we cross paths each Sunday. She was making those assumptions about my life because of what she see's on social media. Her and I are Facebook friends, Instagram friends etc.

Most of us have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love it because it gives me a way to stay connected with family & friends all over the country and even the world! I have aunts & uncles & cousins & friends who live states away yet feel like they have been able to watch my girls grow up through Facebook, Instagram & blogging. I love that it is a place where I can open up my life and share little pieces of my day with the rest of the world. On the flip side social media can become addictive & consume you. It can bring about comparisons and feelings of inadequacy and even envy.

For me social media is a way I can share my life but it is only a "glimpse" of my life. I realize that some people post everything about their day while others only post the highlights of their day. I personally like to post the good in my day and the moments that make me smile. Why would I want to post pictures of Josselyn having a tantrum when I could post her happy, dancing, and playing dress up! Sure Julianna has her good moods and bad moods throughout the day but I love capturing her gummy smile, sweet laugh and beautiful eyes. There are plenty of days when my kids stay in their PJ's all day and I look like a train wreck and most likely haven't showered or even brushed my teeth. I just don't really like to document those particular moments, mostly because I feel pretty defeated those days lol! But just because I post the joyful moments in my day does not mean that my day is all roses. It has its ups and downs and really downs and then those rare but wonderful really ups. Those really ups are what I have to cling to, focus on and remember to just keep me going. So never look at someones life and think it is all perfect because it is not I can promise. Many people like myself, prefer to post those "perfect moments" in a very "un-perfect" yet some how beautiful day.

There has been a movement where people hashtag #rsgetreal. The point is to go against the whole faux perfection in social media & get real and bring about a dose of reality. I am not sure how many people would want a look at the "real" moments in my crazy household but if posting a few of those pictures shows that parenting is not a breeze and my life in not picture perfect then heck I'll join in and bring about a little realness to the social media world!

I do not know where you are in your life or what your days may look like. You may be trying to just survive on no sleep with crying babies at home or you may be stressed out with an unbearable boss and extremely high pressure job. You may deal with feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety, fear and the list goes on but let me remind you that through it all we have a God who has not left our side. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, "It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” I could not make it through a single day with out God's strength. And if you are like me and you feel like you are always falling short then let me encourage you with Lamentations 3:23, "Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning." I am so far from perfect and I feel like I have so much growing to do as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. Never the less I am thankful for new mercies every morning. How can I talk about mercy and not mention the precious gift of grace. Ephesians 2:8 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God". A few other verses I cling to are Hebrews 4:16, "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." 2 Corinthians 12:9,  "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” And then Isaiah 41:10 always seems to bring about some comfort, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." So although my life is quite un-perfect I have a perfect God who has equipped me with everything I need to make it through each day and that friends is what keeps me going day after day.

Here are a few of the "real" moments in my not so perfect life...
Crazy hair, morning snuggles, pj's all day and toys on the floor

The LOVE Month

What is not to love about the "love month"?

Even when I was single I always loved the month of February. If you know me then you know that I have a MAJOR sweet tooth ;) I love chocolate, dessert and well anything sweet! The moment the grocery stores put out the valentine candy I can not help but be happy. I love the vanilla heart shaped marshmallow peeps, sweet-tart heart candy, red & pink M&M's (just because they are cute), heart shaped snickers and all of the other valentine candy. I also love celebrating the people I love. Of course my amazing husband, my 2 girls, my momma, my sister and so many others who mean so much to my family and I. When your "love language" is gifts, like mine (sorry John! lol) then there is no better month to not only receive gifts but GIVE gifts than February. And no matter what age you are it is still fun to get a Valentine card! Speaking of Valentines cards this year I decided to take my 2 little loves to get their pictures taken in hopes of just getting 1 good shot for the V-day cards I wanted to send to our out of town family. To my surprise there were quite a few precious photos that I fell head over heels in love with YAY! It is not easy capturing shots of an energetic 2 year old & an on the go 9 month old but my girls surprised me & I was very pleased with the end result :)

Here are a few of my favorite pictures of my little loves...

Hugs & Kisses,

Josse & Jewel

A picture is worth a thousand words...

Family Pictures

I was about to post my girls Valentines pictures when all of a sudden I realized that I had never even blogged about our family pictures that we had taken in the fall! My sweet friend Emily Moore (Emily Moore Photo) who lives in Lubbock, TX came to Dallas for a few days to do some mini sessions. She so kindly offered to take some family pictures for us in exchange for us letting her stay with us while she was in town. Well, first of all I love this girl to death & I would have let her stay with us regardless of her taking our pictures! However,  I was not about to turn down the offer to have this talented beauty capture some shots of my little ones especially with Christmas (which equals Christmas cards) right around the corner! My girls (well Josse) is not always easy to work yet some how Emily Moore managed to work her magic and capture some beautiful shots. I have posted a few of these photos here and there and they were of course blasted all over our Christmas cards but here is a look at the beuatiful pictures from the shoot.

A picture is worth a thousand words....