This Page

has been moved to new address

the mommyhood memos

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
the mommyhood memos: April 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

going at it alone

Since becoming a mom, I have never had more respect or admiration for single moms and military wives. How these women manage to parent their children, run their households, earn a reasonable income (especially in the case of single moms), and maintain their sanity and well-being without the support of a loving husband is beyond me.

I'm completely baffled.

Obviously, the grace is there. Obviously there is a strength in women that lurks below the sometimes seemingly vulnerable surface. And obviously we are capable of far more than we often give ourselves credit for.

That being said--as much as I admire and respect these women who are going at it alone (all or most of the time)--I never want to join their ranks.

Being a mom on your own is hard. H.A.R.D.

despite missing ryan, levi and i had a
lovely easter together with friends

I've just passed the half-way mark of Ryan being away for nearly a month. I was glad to see him board a plane to Papua New Guinea where he would join teams of volunteer medical and aid workers on our organization's Medical Ship. Knowing that he's helping bring services and education to those who need it most is wonderful and satisfying. I whole-heartedly believe that it's a privilege to be able to serve others in this way, and if it weren't for the malaria risks associated with pregnancy (potential miscarriage or stillbirth to unborn babies), Levi and I would be right there along with him.

So yes, we are glad--and proud--to have Ryan away representing our family like this.

But I'd be joking if I said that having my husband sail up rivers into remote areas and villages of PNG is all fun and games. It's not.

Not for him... or for me.

To serve is always a sacrifice which must be weighed. It looks different for those who are going as well as those who are left behind. And for us, the sacrifices associated with this outreach are worth it.

photo source: ywam medical ship

But the fact remains that it's hard going at it alone.

Levi and I are doing fine. Of course we miss Ryan terribly--our incredibly kind-hearted husband and hands-on dad--but we will see him soon enough.

In the meantime, I'm seeing how tough I am and how resourceful I can be. I'm having a small taste of a new kind of perseverance and learning a tiny bit about life for the women who are my heros:

Single moms and military wives.

Seriously, these women should all be given medals.

Being a mom is an incredible joy and honor that I would wish for anyone who desires to be one. But it's also a tough gig in the best of times. And it's even tougher when your support system is stripped back to the minimum.

Recently a friend of mine asked me why I thought it was such a big deal to have my husband gone for a month. "What's so hard about it?" she earnestly asked me.

I almost fell off my chair. (Especially considering she is a mom herself.)

I guess we each have different standards and measuring sticks to determine what is difficult and what is not... and I'm ok with that. No need to get into comparisons. But let's just say I have a million answers to that question. In fact, I'd be tempted to ask the question in return: "What's not hard about having my husband away for so long?!"

But I knew she meant well and was just trying to lend a listening ear.

Like I said, Levi and I (and bubs) are doing well. (I can certainly feel the grace factor!) But that doesn't mean we aren't counting down the days until our family is reunited.

In the meantime, single moms and military wives - I salute you! You are amazing and your children should be so proud of you. (Same goes for single dads and military husbands.)

Dear friends, have you ever had a time where you've been a mom going at it alone? Maybe for a long time or maybe just for a "short" time like me? What did you find the hardest and how did you cope?

glad to usually not be alone,

P.S. Do you have any friends who are single moms or military wives? When is the last time you offered some form of support to them or told them how much you admire all they do for their families?

Are you an expecting mom? Have you linked-up yet?

{"Easter" with Casey}
One Day At A Time

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2011
do not reproduce without written permission

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, April 29, 2011

prim, proper, and lovely

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog about motherhood and parenting to bring you... a gush about the Royal Wedding and all things prim and proper and lovely. (I can't help myself!)

As this posts I'll be preparing to pile into our living room with several girlfriends where we will "oooo" and "ahhh" over Kate Middleton's dress, the flowers, the choir, the kiss... and all other things royal and weddingish.

Most likely we'll be sipping tea, eating chocolate, and lighting up like school girls as we watch all the pageantry unfold in a land far, far away... imaginations running wild with thoughts of princes and princesses, castles and coaches.

So for now, I'll leave you with a couple more beautiful photos (all taken by the lovely and talented Joanna) from a High Tea birthday party given in honor of my friend Sara earlier this week.

It was divine... The garden setting, the lavish spread (a potluck never looked so good!), the pretty dresses, the sparkling eyes of dear friends, the bounty of freshly-snipped garden flowers decorating tables and headpieces, the personalized party favors (antique tea spoons that Sara has been gathering), and the warm afternoon sun providing the perfect setting for girl talk and laughter and celebrating. Oh, and let's not forget the glowing mama-to-be birthday girl.

Yes, it was divine.

the happy birthday girl is on the left and i'm under the big sunhat on the right. my face didn't actually make it into any photos. :)

since ryan is away i got special permission to bring a man to the party.

Sara's garden party High Tea was the closest thing most of us will get to anything resembling royal treatment anytime soon. (And she totally deserves the royal treatment herself!) But I'll tell you what... prim, proper, and lovely has never been so appealing or so much fun. (Not to mention so exquisitely beautiful.)

Dear friends, when is the last time you did something as fun as attending a grown-up tea party? And, what I'm really getting at here is... will you be watching the wedding of the decade* along with the other (estimated) two billion of us?? :)

giddy with anticipation,

P.S. A few hot tips for you today: Ergo Carriers are on sale today on starting at $57.75! Amazing!! Also, Phil & Teds strollers on sale today on Wow!

* They are saying "the wedding of the century"... but I'm just gonna keep it "the wedding of the decade" for now. A century is a long time to speculate about!

Are you an expecting mom? Have you linked-up yet?

{"freebie" with Casey}
One Day At A Time

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2011
do not reproduce without written permission

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, April 28, 2011

top 10 spring/summer fashion must haves for kids

By Brandy from Baby Blackbird

Spring is in full swing (for most of us), and summer is creeping up. I wanted to share with you ten must-have fashion items for your little ones this Spring/Summer.

The Summer Shoe

1. Native Shoes : These are not quite a sneaker and not quite a Croc. They are perfect for summer days when they need a little more then sandals but it's just too hot for socks.
2. Toms : You just can't go wrong with a pair of Toms. Not only are they uber comfy, versatile and cute, but with every pair you buy, a pair is given to a child in need.

Colored Bottoms

Color is HUGE this Spring/Summer, for us the colored bottom trend is back (but better then ever). For our kids it's hot fresh and new. Either way it’s super fun!

Straw Hats

baby blackbird, straw hats, spring must haves 

A summer hat is a necessity to shade those cute faces from the sun. Straw hats are the hot thing for both boys and girls.


BABY BLACKBIRD, roompers, spring must haves

The easiest all in one outfit. Your little girl can romp around in style this spring and summer.

Denim Shirt or Shirtdress

baby blackbird, denim shirt, spring must haves

This Spring/Summer all you need to do is flip their little outfit, denim on top color on the bottom (the easiest way to wear the denim shirt). Or go all denim, just make sure the pants are a dark denim if the top is light, matching is not really a must have.

Mini Trenches

baby blackbird, mini trench, spring must haves

How cute would your little girl look wearing a shrunken version of your spring must have?

Bloomer Shorts

baby blackbird, bloomer shorts, spring must have

The hot new short style for girls. Very vintage inspired, very cute.

Overalls and Suspenders

baby blackbird, overalls and suspenders, sping must haves

Overalls are always cool with kids, this spring there are so many options, all with a modern twist. Add a pair of suspenders to any pair of shorts or pants for a little geek chic must have.

Cargo Shorts

baby blackbird, cargos, spring must haves

Comfy, cool, and super hip this spring/summer, which is great as I'm sure every little boy has at least one pair of cargo pants or shorts already!

Nautical Everything!

baby blackbird, nautical, spring must haves

Nautical is everywhere. Jump on the ship and grab your little one something made for sailing.

1.Zara sailor stripe tee 2.Crew Cuts windbreaker 3.Crew Cuts sailor stripe flats 4.Zara sailor stripe dress

Saltwater Sandals

baby blackbird, saltwater sandals, spring must havesThey are cute, comfy, and can literally be worn anywhere! Also they come in a rainbow of colors!

Now get shopping! :) And come by Baby Blackbird sometime, check out some cute kids street style and the hottest kids fashion trends.


Bio: Brandy from Baby Blackbird | The Kids's Fashion Destination, is a fashion designer by trait and a mommy too two little kids. Baby Blackbird is about all things fashionable for kids, fashion trends, kids street style, and so much more.

Dear friends, how great is Brandy's fashion sense?! I've already told her she's welcome to give me fashion advice any time... I will certainly listen. And on that note, please be sure to check out her blog and have a look around for yourself. She does not disappoint! Some of the things I'm loving most from this post are the Toms Shoes, the straw hats, the jumpers, and the overalls (especially that dressall!). Oh, and how can I forget the saltwater sandals that I wore as a kid?! What are your favorites?

eyeing those mini-toms,

Are you an expecting mom? Have you linked-up yet?

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2011
do not reproduce without written permission

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

enough is enough

How do you make room in your life for baby number two?

As much as I feel my heart is big enough for another child, I sometimes feel as if my head is not. (Not to mention my energy supply.)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about our new baby and how carrying her* is so much different to carrying our first.

{24 weeks pregnant with baby #1}

When I was pregnant with Levi, so much of my little internal world revolved around thoughts of him, thoughts of impending motherhood, thoughts of how our world was turning upside-down.

And yet with the new baby it is so different. So much of my headspace is already taken up with thoughts of how to care for Levi: How can I get him to eat his veggies? Is it possible to make him sleep in a little longer in the mornings? (9:00am would be good *wink*.) When should I start potty training him or moving him from a crib to a bed? How do I discipline well and how do I keep my cool when he’s having a tantrum? How will I take care of him while meeting the demands of a newborn?

So many thoughts and questions… and so often pointing back to him.

And then I feel guilty. Guilty that I think of him far more than I think of my new baby. Or, more accurately, that I don't think of my new baby the same way I thought of Levi throughout my first pregnancy.

I feel like perhaps I should be more aware of my pregnancy… more in tune with my growing baby… more something.

And yet I know that baby is tucked up in my womb receiving everything from me that he* needs, and at the same time God is forming and fashioning him to be the person who he is and will be. It’s all happening just right, just perfectly, despite where my headspace is during the whole process.

I know there will come a time when she* is my arms and I will struggle with guilt in the same way related to Levi. I will be breastfeeding her around the clock, changing her diapers a thousand times more than Levi’s, ooo-ing over her little infant milestones like her first smile, holding her head up, and rolling over… while Levi, no doubt, will be vying for some of his old attention back.

It will be a tension to work out then, but it is not one to worry about now.

And I guess parenting is like that. Being a mom is like that.

There will always be a tension between all that I desire to do and the reality of what I actually can do.

I will never think of my babies enough, pray for them enough, nurture them enough, train and teach and coach them enough, listen to them enough, spend time with them enough.

But this I know – I will always love them enough. My love will be as deep and as wide as is humanly possible from a dedicated—yet imperfect—parent. And where I fall short there will be others there to fill in the gaps: their daddy, extended family, dear friends, even God himself.

And that is what gives me comfort when I have those “I will never be enough” thoughts.

Because the amount of my headspace taken up by thoughts of my new baby is no indication of how I feel about him*. As simplistic as it sounds, it really is just a casualty of a very busy, very emotionally and physically draining, and very intense (yet still precious and fun!) season of life that I'm already in as a new(ish) mom of a toddler.

My new baby is loved, incredibly loved, and that—combined with my commitment to parent to the best of my ability—is enough.

Dear friends, do you ever feel like your ‘enough’ isn’t enough? If so, what do you do to tame the negative, guilt-ridden thoughts running through your mind?

loving my babies, parenting as best i can, and believing it's enough,

*Since I don't yet know the gender of baby #2 (and since I don't like to call him/her "it") I have alternated between masculine and feminine pronouns by paragraph. Hopefully it's not too confusing.

Are you an expecting mom? Have you linked-up yet?

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2011
do not reproduce without written permission

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, April 24, 2011

rejoice a little louder, feast a little slower, love a little stronger

Dear friends, count your blessings, savor the moment, hug a little tighter, rejoice a little louder, feast a little slower, pray a little deeper, love a little stronger. Enjoy your holiday.

Adriel xx

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2011
do not reproduce without written permission

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, April 22, 2011

10 tips for hosting an awesome easter egg hunt (without blowing the budget)

Celebrating holidays is one of those things in life that makes my little heart sing. I LOVE holidays. And I love them even more now that I'm married with a growing family of my own. Ryan and I have had so much fun creating our own family traditions... but our Easter traditions are still in their infancy.

Our first Easter together was the week before our wedding. Our second was while we were doing a short training course in Spain. Our third was spent on different continents while I took newborn Levi to America to meet my family. And now we have our fourth...

This year we decided to host an Easter egg hunt and morning tea for several of our friends and their children. We did it the week before Easter (on a Saturday so as not to conflict with church) since several of the families we wanted to invite were headed out of town for the holiday weekend (and so was my husband - boo-hoo).

It was a beautiful morning... Kids running and giggling, parents lounging and chatting, everyone happy and having fun. And we pulled it off on a fairly tight budget. Here's how:

1. Send the parents instructions for the older kids ahead of time. Ask them to prep the the kids so that they won't burst from their cars to scoop up all the obvious eggs (set out for the littlies) before they're supposed to.

2. Ask the kids (parents) to bring their own Easter baskets, but have a couple of spares on hand just in case anyone forgets.

3. Get your group photo of all the children together before the hunt begins. This way the older ones won't be too hyped up on sugar to sit still and the younger ones won't be pining for nap-time. (I learned this one the hard way.) If you're lucky like me you'll get two of the twelve kids actually looking at the camera... only one of which is looking and smiling. Bonus tip: Include nose-picking toddlers (can you spot him?) and sleepy newborns for added interest. Bonus tip #2: Get your husband to put Easter grass on his head and do a little jig... it will at least get you a few genuine smiles from those not ready for nap time (ie: my son).

the "after" group shot. next year i will definitely be getting the "before" shot!

4. Go over the instructions again with the kids once you're ready to start. Keep it short and encourage the big kids to help the littlies.

5. Release the kids in "heats" according to age. Let the littlest kids go first to find all the obvious eggs and then release the bigger kids 10-15 minutes later to storm the yard and collect their bounty. Alternately, if your property is big enough, send the big kids to the front yard and the little ones to the back yard.

6. In addition to a few "real" eggs, use plastic eggs with candy and prizes inside of them. When the hunt is over, the kids can open their eggs, keep all their treasures, and then return the plastic eggs for next year's hunt. (Give them the heads-up during instruction time so they won't be too disappointed to hand back the shells.)

my favorite little hunter. (i'm a tad biased.)

7. Have a spread of yummy treats and make sure there are a few healthy choices to balance out the chocolate overload. We did a potluck-style morning tea, with all of the parents bringing a little something to share.

8. Set out an Easter basket with some candy for the parents just in case the kids don't want to share... and to keep the oversized kids (husbands) from hunting the eggs themselves. (Although I admit, by the end of the morning it was mostly chubby little hands digging into the parents' basket to supplement their own baskets. Clever kids.)

9. Make sure to get lots of photos. Try to get mid-hunt-action shots, showing-off-the-basket shots, detail shots, smiley posed shots, parent shots, chocolate-faced shots, and sweet-girls-in-pretty-dresses shots.

10. Remember the reasons why you celebrate in the first place. Every family is different, but for ours, we celebrate because of our faith. We love the party, we love the chocolate, we love the bunnies, we love the tasty treats... but more importantly, we love what God has done for us. And that is our real reason for celebrating. You may or may not share our faith, but no doubt you celebrate because holidays are a great reason to gather the family together. Whatever your reasons are, remember them and prioritize them!

Dear friends, will you be hosting an Easter egg hunt this year? Or have you hosted one in the past? Please add your tips and tricks to my list or tell me about your own plans.

glad to have so many reasons to celebrate,

Are you an expecting mom? Have you linked-up yet?
Join the Bloggin' Babes and Babies of 2011.

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2011
do not reproduce without written permission

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

making the moments count

It was going to be our last weekend together for a month.

How would I make it count? How would I slow down enough to savor it when there were bills to be paid, banking to be done, paperwork to wade through, suitcases to be packed, and a million things to be checked off The List?

But we did. Make it count, that is.

a day off on magnetic island.

We are still reclaiming Sundays.

Last weekend, our Sunday was on Friday.

Knowing that my boys would soon be separated for far too long, I relished the moments they played together in the sand, sat together in the shade of our beach tent, walked along the shoreline, swam in the shallow, and whispered nonsense under their breath.

I sat in amazement watching my littlest drink milk from a box - such a small thing and yet such a marker of toddlerhood.

{Sippy no longer required.}

pretty impressed with himself... and life in general.

I watched as my husband teased him and tickled him, trying to distract him from one of his favorite times of the day - snack time.

Little moments, regular moments... precious moments.

i can't get enough of watching these two together.

It's good to have good-byes every now and then. They help bring your priorities into alignment and gently pressure you to make your moments count.

Our "Sunday" gave way to Saturday - a bustling day filled with an early Easter egg hunt and a backyard full of friends, lots of to-do's and packing completed, and then a nice night out with my beloved before I (temporarily) lost him to an airplane headed to another nation.

first father-son easter egg hunt. presh.

I'm grateful for the time we have. It never feels like enough... but it is. It's enough. What we're given is always enough... as long as we make it count.

the closest thing we're going to get to a family easter picture this year... and as you can tell,
levi is a far cry from being a poser. camera on = instantly disinterested... but still as gorgeous as always.

Dear friends, how have you made your precious time count this week?

making the moments count,

Are you pregnant? Link up with the Bloggin' Babes and Babies of 2011.
Share your creativity and Easter inspiration by submitting your Easter card to our Easter card linky (closing April 21).

This post is part of my Reclaiming Sundays project - an intentional effort to carve out family time every week to rest, refresh, breathe, laugh, relax, enjoy... Please feel free to join me if you'd like.

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2011
do not reproduce without written permission

Labels: , , , , , , , ,