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Category: Motherhood

Making Mommy-Daughter Time

With the abundance of changes we’ve got going on with this first month of school and some exciting things happening in Hail Marry land (which we teased Monday, too. Information is coming, I promise!), it’s easy to lose time and to forget to carve out specific moments with Little Miss. In order to prevent that, here are my thoughts on making Mommy-Daughter time in your busy week!

1. The Morning Cuddle

I wake her up juuuuuust a few minutes early, have her come to my bed, and we cuddle while talking about her dreams from the night or things she’s looking forward to that day.

2. The “You Plan the Menu”

On a whim, I took Little Miss grocery shopping for dinner one night and had her plan the meal. Then she helped me prepare it. We had ham, green beans, carrots, and salad, if you were wondering, and it was delicious!

3. The Breakfast Date

This is one of my favorites, because it kills two birds with one stone! It helps her move and get ready on time, and we get to spend time together. We set a time goal to be ready and leave the house early, then we go and grab breakfast before school. Sometimes in the fall, it even includes a very tiny PSL for Little Miss. 

Have you tried any of these? How do you mommas make time for your kiddos during the busy school year? 

Frances

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted; A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun-embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; a time for and time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

This is a really hard post for me to write.  It isn’t for lack of words, either.

Joyous News

As everyone knows, we shared here on the blog, as well as on FIAT, and on our social media pages that I was expecting a child. We were overjoyed that God answered our prayers. We started to plan for our little one and were filled with joy and anticipation. God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

What people don’t know about me is that I have a hard time getting and staying pregnant. Our children (in order) are Morgan, Toby, Jo, and Vernon “Tripp” III. We have had four pregnancies in our marriage prior to this pregnancy. The first three were early miscarriages and our fourth baby was stillborn at twenty-one weeks last October. I have had multiple diagnoses as to why I am losing my children: low progesterone, incompetent cervix, hormone imbalance, etc. For the last three years I have been poked, prodded and tested again and again. After the birth of my son, we had a plan in place, which brings me to our fifth pregnancy.

Frances
Baby’s First Picture!

I had to have injections, blood tests, multiple OB/GYN & NaPro doctor visits. Everything was going great this time: the baby was growing and was healthy. I on the other hand was super sick, having HG, and was having a horrible time. Then, on June 2, 2017 we again found ourselves in the hospital, where we gave birth to our fifth child in her twentieth gestational week. Her name is Frances and she was able to be baptized while she was still alive. She was only out of my womb and alive for 20 minutes, and we knew her little lungs wouldn’t be able to take oxygen. Further, the doctors wouldn’t be able to put our baby in a NICU, since she was so young. She is such a beautiful child, a true blessing.

Sorrow, Suffering, and God’s Grace

My husband and I are getting bombarded with questions now and sometimes advice that is not helpful. We keep reminding each other that people are very uncomfortable with the issue of death and loss.  They seem to just to want to help, but they sometimes say things that are hurtful. No one ever likes to lose anything; especially a loved one.

There is a book in the Bible that I always think of when horrific and traumatic things happen to me or my family: the Book of Job. Job lost his family, his land, and all his worldly possessions. Not once did he curse God. Instead he gave praise, respect, and his heart to God. He was sad, even a little upset; he had long conversations with God. His belief was that God is the only one with the plan. Job knew there was a time to mourn but also to rejoice in his faith to God.

Putting your trust and faith into God, and his time, is hard. The typical questions like, “Why this is happening to us?” and “Why must I endure pain, both emotional and physical?” always race through our minds. There are times where we are sad, mourning our loss, and questioning sometimes if there was something else that we could have done.

I think there is a beauty to suffering; one that we really don’t look into a lot.

Like Job, our hearts are fully on God and we would never forsake him because we are hurt. God sent his only son, Jesus, to suffer on the cross and to die for us. Our sacrifices are for the Lord, and they are all beautiful. Every time we go through losing a child, we are at peace knowing that our little ones are with God. Nothing we can do can equal or come close to God’s sacrifice for our souls. 

Yes. There are times where we are hurt, when we go home to our families’ homes and don’t see any pictures or evidence that our children were even there. We see all of our nieces, nephews, cousins, and second cousins in the pictures on the walls, but no sign that our babies were here. That’s okay because my husband and I take time to celebrate the lives we created together and praise the Lord that he gave us the honor to carry them as long as we did.

 

Frances
The Scientist, Rachel, and Frances

 

We have no insight on the future or what we plan to do. We trust the Lord and his plan to grow our family.

Thank you everyone who has prayed for us. We are grateful for the prayers.

I’m sorry this post is a little sad, but it’s real life. It’s our life. 

Love,

Rachel and the Scientist

***On behalf of Rachel and The Scientist, Kristi and Bridgette would like to ask that you continue to keep Rachel & The Scientist and their sweet babies in your prayers, especially as they heal physically & spiritually and discern God’s plan for their family. In Christ, the Hail Marry team.***

Moving and Homemaking

I’ve moved so many times I don’t even know where to start. When I was just a few months old my family moved to Germany and since then every year or so meant people came to put our things into boxes and transport them near or far. We’d do a purge of things we hadn’t used since the last time we moved before the movers came and then hope that nothing was broken or damaged when it arrived. Moving always meant leaving behind friends and our comfort zone for foreign places and people. Eventually we’d get settled into a new comfort zone just to leave it behind for another. 

As an adult I continued the tradition, transferring to a new college my junior year when my dad was stationed to a new post, taking a job in a new state after graduation, then marrying a man who decided to answer the call of the military. 

But moving was different as an adult than as a child, even if it was the Army still calling the shots. As a child I had no say what house we lived in or how our furniture was set up. I was only responsible for my room and my toys and my clothes. As an adult, the entire house was my room and my toys and my clothes. Or rather, our room, toys, and clothes. I had to set up house not only for myself, but my husband as well. I had become a homemaker. That was a crazy transition, and one I did not make gracefully I’m ashamed to admit.

It’s also a role that has become even more difficult now that I have kids, a smart phone, and social media. Moving has changed. It isn’t just set up the house, get rid of the boxes, and find the new comfort zone. Moving onto this new community where I know no one and finding my place isn’t quite so easy as it was in the Army, I find myself clinging to the online friendships I’ve made and the groups where I have found so much support. My comfort zone had travelled with me. However, this has left me neglecting my duties to my family and setting up the house and getting rid of boxes doesn’t feel as urgent as it would otherwise.

Once I was on a retreat and I had a private conversation with the priest who was our speaker for the weekend. I don’t remember quite what I said about being a housewife but it wasn’t very positive. I’ll never forget the way he responded, the way he said, “You’re a housewife” with such joy and admiration in his voice and face as if it were the greatest vocation anyone could have. Later that weekend someone offered the term “homemaker” and again stressed the importance of this role in the family, in the military, in society. It completely challenged the way I viewed this life.

I sometimes forget that weekend and the profound ways in which it challenged me, turning instead to social media and the people I’ve never met in real life, that comfort zone in my pocket. But then something will happen to remind me of who I am – a daughter of the King, His beloved, chosen to be Captain’s wife and the mother of Sweet Boy and Angel Face, their Homemaker. Sure, eventually I will find other titles and tasks to fill my days and I will find my place here where God has led us, but my first obligation will always be to my vocation. And that is the vocation of Homemaker. 


Guess What We’re Doing?! A Community Announcement

We have an announcement to make!!!!

After asking our subscribers to complete a survey, we found that there was great interest in creating an online community where we can dialogue. We’re psyched to tell you that it’s happened!

We’ve launched the Hail Marry Hangout, a closed Facebook group today where we can do just that (you have to be a Facebook member). We can’t wait to see you there!

Bridgette, Kristi, & Rachel

How Easy It’d Be to Become the Mom I Swore I’d Never Be

A mundane (routine, even) task that escalated quickly showed me how close we all can be to becoming the mom we swore we’d never be.

Allow me to set the scene.

Little Miss was in need of a dose of children’s ibuprofen. Superman attempted to administer it. This was met by shrill comments of, “Wait, wait, wait!” and tears. Inexplicably, tears. My turn. I attempted to administer the thick, grapey, purple solution and was met with the same reaction. She actually likes the taste of this. I couldn’t wrap my head around it, but I was growing in frustration. I *calmly* told her to open her mouth, I placed the cup to her mouth, and she pushed it away with her hands, sending the purple goo flying in slow motion out of my hand, into the air, onto her hair and jacket, and all over the tile in the kitchen.

There. Right there.

I felt it welling up inside. The complete surprise from this turn of events. The frustration at now being forced to change clothes, rinse hair, and clean up a sticky floor. Frustration gave way to irritation. Irritation gave way to anger. I started spouting sentences that I can’t even fully recall right now, removed from it, about the mess and the waste of time and the sheer nonsense that this entire episode was.

More tears. Followed by a plaintive “I’m sorry, Mama.”

I realized that not even Little Miss realized the why of that situation, but here in its aftermath with me, she, too was looking to pick up the pieces and make it right.

The Mom I Swore I'd Never Be
Have y’all seen this meme? It’s so true! That Snow White is so wise…

The Mom I Swore I’d Never Be

You know the one I’m talking about. You’ve met the one I’m talking about. Likely, you’ve also judged the one to whom I’m referring. Chances are, you’ve been the one I’m talking about.

The mom who loses her temper. The one who allows her child to be openly defiant.

I swore that I’d never use my vocabulary to loose vicious and cruel statements upon her children (so far, so good). That I’d never not make time to play with my children (have you seen Monday’s post about my breaking point?). I thought that I’d read stories to my children every. single. night, without fail, rain or shine (this one’s hit and miss).

For sure, I didn’t want my children looking back on their childhood years from now saying “Mom did it all wrong.” or “I’m nothing like my mother.” Thinking that I just didn’t get it or I was too angry.

The Mom I Swore I'd Never Be
I am so far from Mary Poppins’ practical perfection, but at least I consider myself a better mom than Miss Hannigan.

How Easy It Would Be…

It’s too easy to get close to that point, though.

We’d all like to think that we’re the fun Mary Poppins moms, with endless energy and ideas for games, time for making toys and homemade science experiments on the regular. But let’s face it. The chores have to get done, and responsibility is a good thing. Miss Hannigan begins to look like she had a few things right.

In all seriousness, though, wouldn’t it be easy to slip into being “that mom?” Our generation of mommies are more stressed out than any of our previous ones, according to studies, opinion pieces, and social media satire memes, Tweets, and posts. We have this obsession (at least in America) with making our children Renaissance Children (with a competetive edge): be fluent in three languages, be disciplined in the martial arts, be a viola virtuoso, a budding sports star, and a performer. On top of school. Add work, PTA, church, a marriage, and more children, moms are practically wired these days to snap.

It is too easy to become overtaken by it all. Haven’t we all been there?

The Mom I Swore I'd Never Be
Who’s with this Meme Mama?

The Mom I Know I’ll Never Be

It’s the Pinterest Perfect mom. Obviously. This is actually a phrase I thought I was clever enough to coin, but upon Google searching…well…I’m not. Not even close. I saw a few blog posts about it, but this one is spot-on.

I know that I am never going to be the mom who makes my own yogurt in the Crock-Pot or the pressure cooker. No matter how easy you tell me it is. I know that about myself. Homemade bubbles? I got that, but yogurt…pass.

You know what else?

I’m not a Supermom. God knows that I have tried to be, but I just can’t. Neither can you, lady. Our friend and #CoolCatholicWomen list-maker Ginny Kochis at Not So Formulaic just wrote about this. Check it out here.

A phrase that has been coming back to me in various forms for two weeks now is this: “You can’t be all things to all people.”I’m not going to be the PTA president, class room mom, backstage mom at dance, team mom at soccer, the leader of a new ministry for my children, a June Cleaver-esque housewife, a doting wife to my husband, and a successful working mom. I’m not going to be that because that isn’t real.

It’s a myth.

The Mom I Swore I'd Never Be

The Mom I Am…

I am a human woman. Flawed, talented, hilarious, and limited in how much/what I can actually do. It’s perfectly acceptable to acknowledge that.

I am the mom who is a little lame. The room mom (since pre-K). I’m the mom that has impromtu dance parties in the living room. One of the co-founders of Park in the Dark (an event that takes place after sundown in a park with glow sticks). I know how to stroke her back when she’s worried and how to fix the waist of her leggings or tights so they’re comfortable.

…Is the Mom She Needs

I’m also the best mom for my daughter (and any subsequent children that come my way). Together, we craft some truly crazy Barbie/Shopkins/Trolls/My Little Pony storylines. They’re pretty awesome and also involve Mother Gothel, Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty, some DC Superhero Girls and some Project Mc² dolls.

She and I are really perfect for one another. On most days, her silly is energizing and my silly is just what she needs. Her hugs are therapeutic and mine reassure her that everything’s gonna be okay.

You’re the mom your kiddos need, too.

So be gentle with yourself. You aren’t always going to get it right. Sometimes, you’ll come close to being the mom you swore you’d never be. But motherhood is hard. And I’d suspect that mostly, you’re doing a great job.