HOW I BALANCE IT ALL AS A MOTHER.

I’m completely laughing even writing that title of this blog post above because… well… I do NOT balance it all. At least gracefully… And if you were hoping to find that answer when you clicked over here, join me in giving permission to ourselves to… not need to balance it all.

This picture of motherhood below may look glamorous, and I DO love this photo of this cute moment between she and I during our Christmas card photos (by Meredith Black), but in reality, I struggle just like any mom to balance it all (in fact, as  I type,  I’m feeding Bara Faith applesauce as I prep this blog entry from the kitchen table!)

KnuthChristmas-57

Back when I redesigned my blog soon after Bara Faith came into the world, I had these grand visions of sharing about my journey here on the blog now about motherhood, after I waited so long to get here with that title “Mom.”  I had these grand visions of being Supermom and had my list of things I would do and not do… only to realize, to keep the balance… and peace… sometimes I need to break those rules… while giving myself permission to let go of trying to juggle so much at once. And as a result of it, this blog took a backseat. But here I am, and I have given myself permission, when I can write, I will write.

Because… whew… I juggle a lot these days… I’m a wife, mom, daughter, granddaughter, photographer, Young Living leader to a team of 13 fabulous women, and, oh yeah, a friend, when everything else allows me to be and I can take a moment away for myself to catch up with a girlfriend. And take a deep breath.

That letting go part… it’s so hard for me because I just want to hold on tight, but I have found there is so much freedom in saying, it’s ok to not do it all.  And thats where the balance comes. Sometimes that means letting Stephen cook dinner so I can sit at my desk longer than 10 minutes at a time to squeeze in the work that didn’t get done earlier in the day because Bara Faith needed extra nurturing.  Sometimes that means the bathroom doesn’t get scrubbed down, or the laundry done.  Sometimes that means, in just keeping it real, I don’t get a shower that day because I choose extra sleep over bathing because I’m so dang exhausted trying to juggle it all. And despite the short comings, I am confident enough in my identity in the Lord to know, He has a special grace for mothers.

I am doing the best I can each day, and I want you to know this… YOU ARE TOO. So let’s all stop being so dang hard on ourselves that we aren’t all Supermom like the Pinterest world around us pressures us into thinking we should be.

But in the midst in the chaos, I do find a weird balance. These are some things that help get me through the day.

  • My quiet time with the Lord. While this doesn’t happen first thing in the morning like it used to pre-motherhood, I try to sneak away during nap times to sit in my War Room, open my bible and my prayer journal, and take a deep breath breathing in His truth to get me through the day.
  • Facetime with my Momma. She keeps me reminded that while motherhood is hard, it is the most rewarding thing I’ll ever do.
  • Text messages with my hubby.  Sometimes the perfect emoticon or Bitmoji sent while he’s at work is the perfect laugh to brighten my day.
  • Morning coffee with Thieves and Peppermint oil (for immune support and mental focus).  I never understood growing up why my mom drank so much coffee. Now I get it.
  • Worship music.  Hubby just bought us the new Alexa thingy from Amazon which I didn’t see the point in getting.  But I admit, Alexa has grown on me and it’s nice to just ask her to play worship music while I’m feeding baby girl in the kitchen, or “Happy” by Pharrell Williams for a dance party if I’m trying to calm a meltdown.
  • Stress Away oil, for obvious reasons… and Joy oil… for obvious reasons.  Both keep me centered in the midst of the swirl around me throughout the day.

I wouldn’t trade any of the crazy for anything in the world, but there are a few things I’ve had to learn to say no to, or at find another way to do it. Such as:

  • Fresh laundry that stares at me and doesn’t get folded for… a week. It can just sit there until I’m ready to deal with it thankyouverymuch.
  • Outsourcing a housekeeper when we can afford to splurge on one.
  • Meal planning and prep for dinner goes to HelloFresh delivered at my door. (Here’s a coupon code if you want to try it out for $40 off your first box. Follow the link to have it automatically applied.)
  • Making my bed, or getting dressed… every single day.  Some days, yes, you’ll find me working in my PJs (like now), because getting dressed with an active almost 8 month old?  #aintnobodygottimeforthat
  • Working out… bawahahahaha… good one.  I’m lucky if I get to walk an acre over to our mailbox on a normal day. But I do try to throw in a few bicep curls with my 15 pounder baby girl throughout the day.
  • TV…. ohhhhh I miss my days of watching hours of TV at a time… now it gets squeezed in in bed before we both fall asleep missing half the episode.
  • Every single photography inquiry I get, I’ve learned that’s it’s so freeing to refer some of them to someone else.  I just simply will never choose to be a high volume photographer because I’m too obsessed with my family take that many hours away from them, so I’ve learned it’s ok to not say yes to every inquiry that comes my way.

So starting today, let us moms agree to be easier on ourselves.  Let’s agree that while motherhood requires us to juggle a lot of plates in the air, it’s ok to take away a few plates so we aren’t so overwhelmed. Let’s agree that in the midst of what feels like crazy town some days, we can trust that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. Let’s agree that the Proverbs 31 woman WAS Supermom, but the rest of us are just human doing the best we can.

Because what it all comes down to are the smiles like below that make it all worth it. Because even what feels like the imperfect juggle is actually disguised as quite perfect moments we’ll look back on and wish we could have back again.

KnuthChristmas-59

From our crazy town to yours, we hope you have a joyous Merry Christmas!

2016-front

 

THE ADAMS FAMILY

This little man is just 2 weeks younger than my sweet girl, and his momma has one of the most giving hearts I know.  We’ve enjoyed bonding over our little ones as they have grown this year, sharing stories of all the different changes and milestones, and I loved photographing this sweet family and their pup Copper too for their Christmas photos!  Here are some of the favorites from their family session!

MOUTH-WATERING PEPPERMINT BROWNIES

IMG_7670

We started a Thanksgiving tradition last year that we carried on this year too, hosting a brunch for the friends who are like family. Here at our farmhouse (pictures and a tour coming in the new year, I promise!), the day was filled with so much joy and laughter and fellowship and all the things we prayed this farmhouse would foster… doing life together as a community and loving on people as Jesus would.

For Thanksgiving, I was determined to make some things from scratch this year.  “I’m going to make my first turkey!” I boldly told my husband in the weeks leading up… then we saw Fresh Market was having a special deal on a pre-cooked turkey and side trimmings. It just seemed too easy, so we caved and bought that for our evening meal hosting family. Then a few weeks ago, as I was reading Joanna Gaines’ new magazine filled with all kinds of festive recipes, I boldly told my husband again, “Since I’m not going to make my own turkey, I’m going to make an apple pie from scratch!”  “Like, make the crust and all?” he questioned.  “Yes, absolutely, from scratch.” IMG_3844Then the reality of trying to juggle that with a busy bee 7-month old, I caved and let my Aunt bring the homemade pies.  But I was still determined to make SOMETHING from scratch.

So a few nights before Thanksgiving, I was flipping through the latest Essential Oils magazine by Young Living,
and found this yummy Peppermint Brownies recipe.  “Brownies… like from scratch?  Not from a box?  Yes, I can manage that!” And the night before Thanksgiving, I put baby girl to sleep, and into the kitchen I went.

And not to fluff my own feathers, but I was quite proud that ONE thing in my kitchen was going to be made from scratch for the tummy’s of my next day guests.  It was also fun to experiment with using my new essential oils in baking, not just rubbing it on or diffusing.  I was intrigued to try that out, and after how awesome these brownies turned out, I’m excited now moving forward to try using oils more in cooking.

Here’s the recipe!  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!  My Thanksgiving guests gobbled them up! (And if you are free tomorrow night at 8pm, I would love for you to join me in a FB class I’m hosting called “The 12 Oils Of Christmas!RSVP here!)

IMG_3811

PEPPERMINT FUDGE BROWNIES

Gooey fudge brownies are a fall favorite, but adding a touch of peppermint oil to the batch provides a cool, fresh taste to this decadent dessert.

  • 12 OUNCES SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE, CHOPPED
  • 3/4 BUTTER
  • 1 1/4 CUPS SUGAR
  • 1 TBSP VANILLA
  • 4 LARGE EGGS
  • 4 DROPS PEPPERMINT VITALITY OIL
  • 1 TSP SALT
  • 1 CUPE ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  • 1 CUP MILK CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIPS
  • A FEW CANDY CANES, CRUSHED

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease  13×9-inch baking dish and flour lightly.

Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a bowl and stir until smooth.  Let cool for a about 10 minutes.

Add sugar, vanilla, eggs and four drops of Peppermint Vitality, and stir thoroughly.

Slowly stir in the salt and flour until combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and pour into pan.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool and top with crushed candy canes.

IMG_3883