"I am a good mom."

I am a good mom.

I keep telling myself that. Over and over. Because there are so many times that I don't feel like a good one. I feel inadequate. Too young. Too goofy. Too unsure. Too irresponsible. I'm plagued with the questions. How the heck do I discipline a kid? Is he eating the right foods? Am I playing with him enough? Is he getting enough time with other people? Is he developing at the "right" pace? Is he happy? And most importantly, does he feel loved?

Deep breath.

This kind of introspection often leads me to feeling less than. It's so silly, because I am desperately trying to do all the things that feel right in my gut. But I still feel overshadowed by all the things I'm not doing. All the causes and effects based on the choices that I believe are the right ones for our family.

For instance, I chose to stay home during Everett's first year of life because I believed that was the best choice for our family. However, I often find myself critiquing all the effects of that choice. Like, is he too clingy to me? (Answer: YES). Is he developing enough social skills? Is he well adjusted? WHY WON'T HE STAY IN THE CHURCH NURSERY??? I feel like I made this great choice to stay home with him because that's what I felt in my gut was the right thing to do, but then I question all the impacts of that particular choice. I'm sure every mom deal with this kind of turmoil. Right? A rousing chorus of "Amen, sister!" would be so appreciated right now. It's so hard to know what is THE BEST CHOICE. That elusive idea of "best" can really create some inner conflict. And focusing on the dilemma that my choices create only stunts my own personal growth. I can see now that it's been holding me up.

Welcome to my brain. It's all crazy up in here. I probably need some chocolate. And a good massage.

So I've started telling myself. Out loud. "I'm a good mom."

I keep saying it until I believe it.

Because I am. I'm a good one.

No, I'm not perfect. I make a million mistakes every day. My kid falls and hurts himself and the first thing I think is, "I'm a terrible mother!" I take him to Target and skip his nap. Ah - terrible mother, party of 1! But in fact, that's not true. Because the truth is, I am a good mom.

I am a good mom.

Can you say it about yourself? Well, that might be kind of weird if you aren't a mom. You might be an architect or a teacher or a rock star (gosh, if you're a rock star and you're reading this, well, I'm a tiny bit jealous of your life, and also, I sing back up), or a dad or a grandma or a snorkeler or a hummingbird specialist or something else. But do you say it? Can you say, "I'm a good (insert choice vocation/stage of life/dream you're currently chasing)".

I think you should say it. Like, right now.

Do it guys. SAY IT OUT LOUD.

I am a good mom. I am good at being myself and I am good at what I do everyday. I'm saying this out loud as I type it.

We are all trying so hard. Look around you. Everyone, they're trying. Even the people that you deem "lazy" are conflicted, figuring themselves out and living in their mind's own nagging narrative. Spinning like little mice on the wheel. I'm tired of feeling comparative and judged and I'm sick of judging (yes, that is one of my mistakes, I admit it) because I feel less than. I'm not less than. I'm tired of acting like I am. The truth is, I am a good mom. And I'm the best mom and the best version of myself as a person when I believe that.

I'm a good mom.

You're a good mom.

You're a good whatever-you-are.

This isn't blind optimism or a mantra in reaction to a mistake-laden pattern of behavior. It's truth. This is the truth. And I bet things start to change in my crazy mind and in my own life with this change in mindset. And I'm ready for it. Aren't you?

Happiest of Mondays to you, friends. XOXO.

Happy Father's Day. Which Means SPORTS!

Happy Father's Day

I hope you all had a happy Father's Day weekend. We celebrated Stevie big time for his first Father's Day, not by doing anything super extravagant, but just doing all the things that make him happy. Which means we did A LOT, and even though I am tired today, it was such a fun weekend!

My husband is a go-go-go kind of person. I've probably become more that way since we've been together, and while he can thoroughly exhaust me with his energizer-bunny routine, it can also be super duper fun! This weekend we biked, swam, played, watched the rain storms roll in, enjoyed lunch out at our favorite Farm, played golf (him, not me!), and even did a bit of car shopping. All good, delicious MAN FUN. It was an absolute joy to celebrate my husband and the gorgeous father-role that he has transitioned into this past year. I believe with absolute certainty that having a present, involved father paints the best kind of future for his family, and I am so glad that Stevie & I are on the same page when it comes to that kind of family involvement. He takes his role as a dad so seriously, and makes it a priority to be around for Everett's bath time, bed time, reading time, feeding time, etc. as much as he possibly can. He never makes me feel like the parenthood experience is just "my thing", and I am so grateful for that. I believe that if me and Stevie are doing well and taking care of our marriage, that same love, appreciation and respect for one another will flow down onto Everett. I may be biased, but he is the best daddy I know!

My boys
American boys

Fathers All Around.
We also celebrated my dad this weekend, which was the sweetest. I am so lucky and blessed to be surrounded by such strong, sensitive and loving men in my life. Everett has so many wonderful people to look up to for leadership, counsel, and sports guidance. Ha, which Stevie thinks is VERY IMPORTANT.


All the Athletics.
I got a lot of comments on instagram about where you can find this bike seat for a baby. We got ours here here and Everett's helmet here. These items have worked out beautifully for our little family! We love love love biking together.

We have spent a lot of Mother's Day lunches at the Serenbe Farmhouse, but this was our first time as a family celebrating Father's Day there. The fried chicken and southern-infused cocktails are second to none. After lunch we wandered around a bit and even played a pick up game of basketball. Though Stevie and my dad were both champion high school basketballers, I was most impressed with myself, my mom and my sis, because we managed to play in heels. #winning


Fathers and Daughters.
Thanks to my dad, for displaying an overwhelming amount of love and support towards his family all the years of my life. In some ways, I feel like I lean on him more these days, in different ways than I did when I was a kid. I am so grateful that he hasn't checked out, thinking that his job as a dad is done just because his kids are all grown now. He is a continuous source of truth, safety, humor and a most sensitive well of love. Thanks for being both a superhero and a real human. A girl really needs both, and you live both so well.

Stare Down
Up High
More Fam

Many Men.
Many many MANY thanks to my sweetheart, who unfailingly supports our family every day with his time, efforts, prayers, love, concentration, passion and devotion. You are the greatest man I know, and I am proud and humbled by the discipline by which you live and love. You are the greatest dad for our little rascal!

Sorry for the mush fest. Welllllll actually, not sorry. We need awesome dads in the world, so I will continue to praise mine and hopefully raise up more amazing little men! XOX

Prom Dresses are Over.

Prom Dresses are Over.

I had a little life realization last week. At a consignment store in town. I was dropping off some clothes, and decided to take a moment to browse. Everett was happily gnawing on a pacifier, all strapped onto me in the Ergo, like my bitty baby kangaroo, and I decided, "why not just flip through the spring clothes?" Because, well, when do I ever go to clothing stores these days? I'll answer that for you. NEVER.

So there I was, flipping through garments, touching all the gently used fabrics and imagining their previous life before they found their way here... then something caught my eye. Across the room. Something glinting in the sunlight that streamed through the dusty windowpane. Prom dresses. Kind of loud ones. I walked toward the section and just took a moment. Took it all in.

Oh, the ridiculously saturated colors, all primary shades of pinks, blues and purples. The sequins and glitter and taffeta and insane cut-outs (is it just me, or are prom dresses much skankier these days? It's probably just me. I've probably become a total prude. Alright alright. I was always a total prude.) But it hit me in that moment, staring at the gowns.

I'm a mom now. I don't go to the prom anymore. It doesn't occur to you the day you buy your last prom dress that it's the day you buy your last prom dress.

When I was in high school and college, there seemed to always be some formal event on the horizon, a reason to keep an eye on the prom dress section of the store. Homecoming, winter formal, prom, graduation, etc. And just a few years ago, I was the wife of a business school student, and again, there seemed to always be a reason to be dress shopping. Dinners, cocktail parties, formal celebrations - I often found myself trading dresses with friends, pulling out old prom and homecoming dresses, and shopping the outlets around prom season. It's been a lot of years of "prom dress shopping". And standing here, in the middle of this dusty consignment store, I was suddenly aware that those days were over. I wouldn't prom dress shop again unless it was going to be with my daughter. Gulp.

If I ever have a daughter.

Okay lets just be real. IF I EVER GIVE BIRTH AGAIN.

You see what I mean. It was kind of a moment.

Everett just kept gnawing on his pacifier. Chewing. He chewed on my face a bit too. He's seriously teething.

Some things in life are stark and weird and silly, all at once. It might seem insane to some of you that I found this particular moment impacting. But I did. Because my role in life has transitioned and I'm not just a teenage dreamer anymore. And I'm not just a single lady anymore. And I'm not even just a married chick who is fun and fancy free. I'm some combination of the old me, fused with being a wife and the newest element of being a mother, and it takes a minute to get the hang of it. It takes a minute to embrace the new while still clinging on to the best parts of the "old" me. But the very craziest part of this whole scenario is that I still feel like a teenager in my head and in my heart. I SWEAR I'M EIGHTEEN IN MY HEAD. Eighteen, excited about the future, sort of nervous about what is to come, armed with that heady rush of "anything is possible!" I am still that teenaged girl, shopping for my "dream prom dress"... aren't I?

The reality is no. I'm literally (and physically, geez) beyond that season. Not only am I past prom dress shopping, but I bought my wedding dress 8 years ago and it hasn't come out to play since it's inaugural wear. I am not eighteen. I'm not.

But I am not over.

I have entered the mom phase of my life. And this phase is here to stay. I will never un-become a mother. But that doesn't mean that I've lost my flavor, my lust for life, my relevancy and my right to party. Prom dresses might be over for me. But the eighteen year old that knew how to get down? I like to think she's still somewhere inside, two-stepping or foxtrotting or Irish dancing to the beat of her own drum. But perhaps in slightly more comfortable shoes.