Posts filed under Motherhood

Not My Son


It's the first shooting of a black man that has hit the news since we brought our beautiful son home. These instances used to infuriate me, now they terrify & grieve me so very deeply.

Because y'all... Not my son.

I'm not going to let him become a statistic without a fierce fight. And we all pick our battles... And for the record, this will forever be mine because...

Not my son.

And let me start with this... I love our police officers. It doesn't have to be either/or. I can love an organization and still say THIS IS WRONG AND HAS TO STOP. Police friends, those of you who love and serve our communities well and are fighting hard for racial reconciliation within our cities... Thank you. For those of you within who are saying THIS HAS TO STOP... Thank you. You are loved and supported, and we stand with you.

But y'all, as I hold my baby boy, my heart is raw because I know exactly what many of our white friends will say and as I look deep into my son's chocolate eyes I know it falls incredibly short.

I know the justifying of this behavior, the assumption that the fault lies with the dead, the attitude of "well if he wasn't doing _____ he wouldn't be dead," is the VERY belief system that fuels implicit racism. Pretending his blackness wasn't a significant factor in his killing is a belief that can eventually lead my son to death.

And y'all... Not my son.

His life, and all black lives, deserve so much more than that.

It grieves me to know that people will look at my strong black baby boy, and one day will make false assumptions because of his beautiful chocolate skin.

Y'all... Not my son.

It devastates me to think that my baby could be at a gas station, or outside at a park, or walking around our neighborhood and someone yell "he's got a gun!" and despite innocence, he could never come home again.

Not my son.

No more precious Jude smiles around our table. A chair empty. A picture of the twins without their brother.


From now, until Jesus returns, the news of black boys and men being beat up, man-handled, and eventually shot and murdered for a crime they didn't commit will forever be a fear of mine...

And y'all... Not my son.

This mama isn't going down without a fight and I believe it starts here, with all of us average folks.

Can you do me a favor today?

White friends, while you're out and about, when you see a black person today, I want you to do a little self-assessment. How did being around them make you feel? What was the first thought that came to mind? If you're alone in an elevator with a black man, what's your response? If their presence made you uncomfortable or fearful or hesitant in any way, can you work on changing that for me? For my son? But also for you? Because if those initial thoughts weren't what you'd hope for, the filter with which you see the world is off, and I'd hate for you to miss out on the beauty that is real and true about our black brothers and sisters.

And if it helps, you can come hold and snuggle the sweetest, easiest baby I've ever had the privilege to parent & I'd gladly talk with you about this. Because change happens when both sides love each other and fight for each other fiercely...

And I'm desperately fighting for change because well...

Not my son.

Posted on July 6, 2016 and filed under Motherhood, Adoption, My boy!.

Motherhood is not Mundane

It's the week of Mother's Day and the blogosphere is full of thoughts regarding mothers. It's been really beautiful to read others' perspectives on motherhood, the wounds we receive in the pursuit of it, and the holes left behind by the mothers in our lives.

But I've noticed a trend, and it's been going on for a while. When people talk about motherhood, often the word mundane is used to describe it. And hero-lady-boss-mother-friends, let this be our anthem cry...

Motherhood is NOT Mundane.

According to the Google... Mundane is an adjective that means "lacking interest or excitement; dull." And I would just like to clarify something... motherhood is FAR from mundane.

I was an admin assistant during grad school and you know what? That work was mundane. Come to think of it, every job I've ever worked had parts that didn't excite me. That's life. Not everything is going to be GRAND all the time. But you know what,  if you went up to a secretary and called their work mundane, THAT WOULD BE INSULTING. 

Yet somehow, we mothers have allowed society to call our life's work mundane and we're not only agreeing with it, but we're starting to use that language as well... And I'm here to say NO MORE ladies. Let's reclaim motherhood. Because you know what has NEVER been dull? Our motherhood journeys.

I don't know about you, but from day one I was thrown for a loop. Which lets be honest... Surprise twins will do that for you! But I'm pretty sure I've never heard a first time mom talk about her discovery of being pregnant in a mundane way.

And while we're talking about it... you know what else isn't mundane? Pregnancy. Getting ginormous and pushing a human or having one cut out of you IS NOT MUNDANE. I know too many women whose journey to motherhood is so arduous that using the word mundane should be outlawed. Whether it's through mounds of paperwork and meetings with social workers, or through the numerous doctors visits, shots, pills, and procedures... Motherhood isn't mundane.

And I'm not even going to hit on nursing here.. But let me just say this... I fed two babies at the same time WITH MY BODY.

NOT mundane.

Or perhaps its the daily grind people are referring to. Sure there are some things that are repetitious and lack glamour, but the majority of mothers I see aren't sitting around doing mundane work.  They're in the trenches, shepherding souls and navigating the hard stuff of life. They're teaching the next generation to read, to use their manners, to become independent contributing members of society. They're teaching tiny humans to be thankful, to hold their heads high after being bullied, and how to navigate their first heartache. They're intentional women reading and strategizing on how to better love their kids and teach them to love others well. Motherhood isn't mundane.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I've fallen prey to using the word mundane to describe the cleaning of dirty diapers too, but even then, I've been shat on one too many times to know that even a routine diaper change can get exciting at the drop of dime. And sure, the cleaning of bottles and the washing of all the clothes isn't my favorite, BUT THAT'S NOT MOTHERHOOD. That's house-cleaning.  My husband helps out with all of those things, and you know what... He's not a mother. And even still, you try getting ALL THE CLOTHES clean for all the people in your house; it's one heck of a challenge! NOT MUNDANE.

Most moms I know haven't slept in a solid decade. Did you know sleep deprivation is used in war time interrogation and torture? So I pretty much equate surviving motherhood like surviving war and many have the battle scars to prove it (ahem grey hair and wrinkles). These women have their sleep interrupted for years on end and get up everyday to shape the lives of our future. Some work inside the home and some work outside the home. Both are tired, hard-working women who get up every day to help provide for their families in their own way. And this role as a sleep deprived mother and functional citizen who balances it all is far from mundane (unless you consider torture mundane).

Have you ever met a mom of a sick kid in a hospital? Or a mom who has babies in the NICU? Or a mom of a kid with special needs? We mama bears are advocates like none other. We navigate the medical field, legal system, insurance policies, school systems, etc. LIKE A BOSS in order to get our kids the care they need. These moms' lives aren't mundane; they're heroic. Let's not insult their motherhood by calling it as such.

And then there's the empty nest mothers... Oi! I'm so far from that point I can't even speak to it. But I'll say this, I have friends who have adult kids and I hear them pray for them. I hear them talk about their jobs, or the bad decisions they're making in college, or how proud they are of them. And although I don't know the in's and out's of that season of motherhood, I can see that even then the role of mom isn't one you ever abandon. And although it looks differently, that fierce love is still far from mundane.

So can I ask you a favor? When you talk about motherhood, let's leave out the word mundane and instead use words like arduous, intense, gratifying, selfless, and important. Because every job has its mundane moments, but motherhood is too valuable of a role to describe it as such.

So to all you mothers out there, I raise my hand to you. Carry on like the hero boss lady you are. Your work is far from mundane!

Happy Mothers Day!

Posted on May 6, 2016 and filed under Motherhood, Family.

Things I want to remember... 2+ years

Because time flies and you blink and all that was big and important becomes small and distant. 

I was looking back through old photos... bless it... I should never do that unless I'm prepared to ugly cry uncontrollably. But alas, I did and I was remembering the things about the girls at that stage and laughed and cried and was like... oh my gosh, how could I forget these things already?! And WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT I DON'T REMEMBER? to which I had a mini panic attack at the thought of me not remembering EVERY LITTLE DETAIL... So here I am. Tired from potty training bootcamp... and I'm making a list of the things that I want to remember. 

It's not gonna be a fancy well written blog post bc I aint got time for that. But if I never jot these things down, I'll regret it later. So here we go...

Noel 2 years 10 months:

  • You are joyful and goofy. You just learned that you are funny and can make us laugh... and you totally use that to your benefit. Keep up the good work. You've gotten out of many spankings that way. 
  • You have a way with words and sentences. Both you and your sister were a little slow to the speaking game and y'all talked in your twin language as long as you possibly could... but you my little one started figuring out syntax and word structure quite quickly once you got started. We DIE laughing at the things you say. Our favorite of your phrases right now is your "I like..." series. We never taught you how to say "I like," but one day out of no where you said, "I yike chocyate," (which is very true) and then you started saying that for everything you see. So now, usually at least once a day you tell me that you "yike candy/cookies/cake/table/games/the y/Daddy/Chikayay (Chick Fil A)/baths/Kiki/Grammy/Papaw/GDaddy/Sissy" and whatever other random food or object that you can currently see. It's the best. The other day, a friend's mom brought in chocolate tomatoes (who know those were a thing? not me!), and she turned and asked you, "Do you like tomatoes?" And you promptly replied, "No, I yike chocolate." Touché my little one. Well played. 
  • You wink and raise your eyebrows to make us laugh... you especially like to do this to Uncle Dub. 
  • You like to kiss boo boo's. 
  • You still sleep with Po (hippo), but you're not quite as attached to him as you used to be. 
  • You are very independent and like to make your own decisions, but it takes you FOREVER to do so. Ie. You have strong opinions on WHAT color of popsicle you want, but you stand there FOREVER trying to decide and if I interrupt that process and just give you one, or coax you towards a color... glory heaven help me. Your independent and stubborn streak flares, because bless it, nobody puts this toddler in a corner. 
  • Speaking of colors, you know your colors, how to count to 10, and your ABC's. Of course, you frequently intermingle the ABC's and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star when singing them... "ABCDEFG, How I wonder what you are..." It's another fav of mine. 
  • And on the lines of singing... you LOVE to sing, and we LOVE to hear you sing. And surprisingly you and your sister have really good pitch for 2 year olds.
  • You're still the laid back one. But don't get too proud, you still have a feisty streak and can throw a mean temper tantrum. Your fuse is just longer, UNLESS you don't get your sleep... and then bless it... bless us all. You need your sleep or we ALL pay. 
  • You've stopped saying "Papi" and now say "Paci." You also usually don't call me "Baba" anymore and either call me "mama" or "Maba." Which... is entirely your dad's fault because he's been working with you on saying things correctly when I'm not looking. 
  • You LOVE people and aren't afraid of strangers AT ALL. You'll wave and talk to just about anyone at the grocery store. You especially love your sister. That makes me OH SO HAPPY to hear you ask for "Wisity."
  • You're very expressive. 

Felicity Hope 2 years 10 months

  • You are curious and sweet spirited. You are our little engineer wanting to know how everything works and what goes where. You love to figure stuff out and are SO proud when you accomplish a task. I can see it now, you will be the one most likely to color coordinate your school notes and have a planner... It's pretty adorable. 
  • Like I mentioned above, you're sweet spirited and it melts our hearts. You love to snuggle at night and if I'm not giving you enough attention you come up and put both hands on my face and turn my face towards yours and gently say, "Baba look" and smile.
  • You still say "papi" and "Baba" and I love you for it. Hold on to that baby talk as long as you'd like... (unless we get to middle school and you still have a papi... then we'll have other issues to resolve... but you get the idea). 
  •  You still sleep with doggy, but mainly because I keep putting him back in your bed at night (I have issues... i know). You go through phases when you want him, but right now, you like him but aren't too attached. 
  • But you know what you are REALLY attached to? Papis. We tried to take them all away and after 2 days of constant screaming... we finally caved and gave you back one. I mean you screamed for HOURS and wouldn't sleep. It was really quite impressive. I've read a ton of things on toddlers sleeping and almost all of it says that eventually you'll cry yourself to sleep. Nope. You proved them all wrong. On night #2 after HOURS of screaming (I think we were pushing hour #4...) we shoved a papi in your mouth and your eyes closed instantly. I wanted to scream and kiss you all at the same time. 
  • Speaking of tenacity. You are a fiery little one. Both of you were born red headed, but y'all quickly turned blonde. Yet I'm pretty sure that fiery red head is still in you. You have spunk, and sass, and when you set your mind to something, you're going to see it through. And as a result, you can throw some pretty legit temper tantrums, but in time that passion and tenacity will serve you well if you learn how to control and outlet it correctly. 
  • You're strong baby girl. You will move mountains. 
  • You are tender hearted and also love to kiss boo boo's. 
  • You love to clean and organize things. 
  • You love Mr. Hanks, a lot. Like a whole bunch. You love to give him treats and climb on him and pull his tail and roll around on him and hug him and feed him and... you get the idea. You like him a lot... and he's really good to you too. 
  • You're hesitant to people in the store, but you warm up quickly. Usually with people at the grocery store, you watch and observe them for a few seconds before you start talking to them. You're outgoing, but you usually have to assess the situation first before you just jump in. It's actually really fascinating to watch because you'll watch Noel, and sometimes you'll go along with her, but then other times you assess the situation and are like... nope. Not for me. Not gonna do that. And other times you're all in. I wouldn't classify the hesitancy as fear, rather it's more of an assessment. It'll be interesting to see this part of your personality develop. 
  • You love your friends big. You ask for "Hawee" (Holly) and for the grandparents often. I love that about you and Noel both. You also love your sister so well. When you ask for a cookie or snack, you almost always ask for two so you can give one to sissy. I can't tell you much my heart explodes whenever you do that. 
  • You love car rides and Target, and almost EVERY MORNING you say, "Baba, caw wide? Tawget?" Yes baby yes. Almost always... yes. 
  • You just discovered Mickey Mouse and are borderline obsessed. I'm not mad about it. 

You both are such a joy. People ask me all the time if I have a favorite... which COME ON PEOPLE... dumbest question ever (and we get a lot of dumb q's about having twins). And I always answer the same... Of course I do. But it changes every day and USUALLY the deciding factor is who is screaming less and let me sleep the longest. And that changes daily. So just for the record I love you both a lot and equally and... I like you both a lot and equally too. I absolutely LOVE that I can see clearly how God has gifted both of you uniquely and how He formed you both as twins, but individuals. He's given you a gift in each other, but I love that He has given you each different giftings to bless each other and the people around you. 

You won't remember these days, but I want to. I want to remember everything (thus the post). But I pray that what you do remember is the feeling that you have always been loved, adored, and cared for. You have two parents who think the world about you, who pray for you, who kiss your boo boo's and light up at your smile. And you have one parent who has serious issues and boohoos at milestones, and a sane parent who has to find the crazy parent ugly crying while digging out the papis out of the trash can and putting them in a keepsake box. Lucky for you... you have at least one normal parent. I apologize in advance for how my BIG LOVE for you will embarrass the snot out of you when your teenagers. But for real... you're loved oh so much.