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Back to School 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I'm LONG overdue for an update, but I can't miss posting today because these precious faces are off to change the world in 5th, 2nd, and 1st! And I'm off to cry in my mimosas. What an incredible summer we have had! My favorite to date. 
  





 





 Praying protection over all of our babes, our teachers, staff, and buildings. Believing for a great year! ✏️✂️

Friday Favorites: 6 years old

Friday, January 20, 2017

It's Fri-yay and I'm back at it again with one of my favorites, Friday Favorites with Andrea, Erika, & Narci



At the top of my list is this girl...

My favorite 6 year old, Alli G!

To not even be promised minutes with her and to have the last 6 years is such an incredible gift.  They have been the hardest years of my life, but the precious gift of life, time, and that laugh of hers trumps any bad days.


We woke her up and threw on a boa and tiara!  She may not speak, but she LOVES to be girly.  She woke up, she had a great day at school, and then we celebrated together and with John's parents and brother last night.  She still doesn't like cake, but she had a great time touching it and wiping the red icing allllllll over her {that will be fun to get out}.

 

We're so, so thankful for time.  6 years, y'all.  I wasn't able to see her the day she was born so on this very morning, 6 years ago today I was wheeled behind the scary doors of a NICU to find the smallest baby in the entire unit.  She weighed just over 14 ounces.  All she knows is to fight.  Fighting for life and fighting to do things that come so easy for others.  She continues to fight so hard today!  But oh how she loves.  And laughs.  And gives the best hugs.
I'm proud to be her Mama.



In other Friday fun, I was looking for Ava a tank to wear for an upcoming dance convention and found this.  

I think I need this in multiple colors and on a coffee cup.  This about sums me up.





I caught my Bigs reading chicka chicka boom boom to the little last night before bed.  Gosh, I love this.  So my favorite.


All the pacifiers are gone and I wrote this post on Wednesday.  It's one of my favorites I've written written in a long, long time.

http://www.jackiebelin.com/2017/01/when-all-pacifiers-are-gonethe-second.html


This weekend we have dance and more dance, volleyball, and a few birthday parties to attend!  I hope there is time in there for a nap, but it's not looking too promising.  Regardless, weekends are my absolute favorite (can I get an Amen?!).  



I hope your weekend is the best!

 Jackie
 

Happy Birthday, Alli Grace

Thursday, January 19, 2017


We weren't even promised minutes. We got so much more. 

6 years. 

HOW can it be 6 years later?! 

Happiest Birthday to our baby girl! I have loved watching you crush statistics and predictions. And most importantly, I have loved watching you grow into your own person. You've been our butterfly from day 1....all the way back to butterfly cove.

You are the STRONGEST person I know. You give the BEST hugs. And you have the BEST laugh. You have taught me far more than I will ever be able to teach you. And it's because of you, I spend each day knowing just how fragile life is. 

I am honored to be your Mama. You are so, so loved!





"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living." Psalm 27:13



When all the pacifiers are gone....the second season of parenting

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I won't lie, that baby stage was hard.  Those sleepless nights, the colic, trying to breastfeed, unsuccessfully, so you pump and pump for months and months and then you feed the baby, and wash the bottles and pump again to feed the baby.  And wash the bottles.  Those diaper blowouts at the most opportune times.  I had the added advantage of a medically fragile NICU baby as my third {to you know, shake things up}.  All the mommy guilt.  Mommy wars.  Lack of confidence in parenting.  The falling asleep in the middle of a sentence.  In the middle of the day.  The wishing for just 5 minutes alone in the shower to wash your hair (wait, I'm still experiencing that).  The having a toddler and a newborn phase.  The having a preschooler, a toddler, and a premature baby in the NICU phase.  The longing for the easy years ahead.      

The baby stage is hard….Really hard.  

Feed. Burp. Clean. Rock.  Repeat.

Those days seemed to drag on forever.  And I loved every minute.  I did.  

Everyone told me to enjoy those days.  Enjoy their babyhood, the toddler years...it goes by so fast.

And it did.  

I stood in my kitchen last night, 10 years after parenting first began for me, going through a bowl full of pacifiers and pacy clips.  A professional pacy hoarder OR a product of having 3 pacy loving littles we had a ton.  I'd be telling a lie if I said I didn't have to pour myself a glass of wine and have an ugly cry over a bunch of pacifiers.  With a 10 year old, 7 year old, and a 6 year old {tomorrow} it's been a month of Sundays since anyone had a pacy in their mouth.  And as my husband leaned in and said, "our babies are growing up,"  I felt the clash of two worlds colliding.  When you're in the thick of it, you might not always realize it's over...until it's over.  I mean I have known our baby days are over since oh, say 6 years ago tomorrow, but it sometimes takes me a little bit to catch on. As I stood between longing for the baby phase, but desiring to see who God will make them all I could do was pick up a pacy or two or three and sweep the rest into the trash.  



With one solid swoop into the trash and the listing of the Kate Spade and Petunia Pickle Bottom {the diaper bags that saw me through the baby and toddler years} on ebay our baby and toddler days are over.  I feel like that white flag can officially be raised. It's a new season.

Everyone always told me the baby and toddler years would be the easy years.  

And I laughed.  I mean those people couldn't possibly know what it felt like raising my children.

But they did because they had had their own.

And while experts probably group parenting into more seasons than I have, for me this is the beginning of the second.  For OVER 10 years I've had a baby, a toddler, or a preschooler.  

But now they're growing into big kids. Into people.  


I am LOVING seeing our girls grow in knowledge, friendships, faith and in what they love, but I do miss the easy days of childhood.  And it's only going to get harder from here.

This next season...They say it's the toughest.  

With acne, braces, periods, body image, boys, girl drama, grades, that awkard stage in adolesence where you're not yet a teenager, but you're not a little kid.  And then those teenage years.  First dates, broken hearts, prom dates, first cars, obsession with hair and clothes, and complexions and weight.  Praying they make good choices, good grades, and good friends.  Graduation.  

College.


I'll probably lose my mind 10,000 times over but I know I'm going to find it.  I mean out of the last 90,000 hours I had to lose at least half of them and I've still been able to put two feet on the ground {most days}.  

But here's the difference.  We've been the first generation to raise children online.  We built community and relationships in that manner, in real life too, but we have entire communities and circles online now as well.  And during our early parenting days we were able to overshare, overgram, and blog about the poop in the bathtub, the poop on the walls, the 3 year old tantrums, the ferocious 4's {because we ALL know those are what take the cake}, how cute she was in her first dance costume, her first volleyball practice, and the refrigerator art you swore would never be there, all of it.  And oh how I thought it was so isolating during those years.  But there were play groups and MOPS, and Mother's Day Out, and play dates, and trips to the park.  And so much more.  And we were always given a 👍 or a pep talk on our pages or a pep talk in real life from friends in those Mommy groups because those were our people.  Our community and we lived out loud a little more when we had littles.

But this next phase.... 



When all the pacifiers are gone.  When kids are growing up and growing into who they are designed to be, it's probably going to get dirty.

It's going to get tough.

It's going to get isolating.

It might get a little quiet. 

The poop in the bathtub is going to be replaced by a friend who pooped on their friendship.

The fights over clothes {because it's too itchy or not twirly enough or pink enough} will be replaced with fights because she has nothing to weeeeaaaarrrrrrr.

The 6 year old knock knock jokes will be replaced with fart jokes {we all know it's true}.  

The baby dolls and hairbows will be tucked away for nail polish, makeup, and fashion.

The unknowns of parenting a child with special needs through adolescence.  The unknowns and new territory to parenting my typical kids through adolescence.   

The first crush in middle school will be replaced with a first date when she's 18 {Daddy's rules 😜}.

There will be late night runs to Walgreens for girl items and concealer.  

They stop riding bikes and get behind the wheel of a car. 

There will be late night talks about friends and boys.

There will be heartbreak and tears.

Disappointment.   

And all of that beautiful refrigerator art will all be gone.
They will fail at something.  They will have broken hearts.  They will make the basketball team and lose the first game for the team.  They will stop showing that gorgeous smile you've loved for years because they are embarrassed by their braces.  They will think they are fat. 
  
They will fall.  The will soar.

There will be great joy. 

And we'll parent this season a little quieter.  A little more behind the scenes.  

As I lay in the dark last night pondering this changing season of my life, I couldn't help but cry.  I mean ugly cry.  But God’s sweet comfort and His reminder that although life is ever-changing, He is my constant. I know He is leading me to treasure the current season.   

Parenting changes as our kids grow and real life evolves.  Our blogs and social media accounts may start looking a little different.  We may only be sharing recipes or memes 😂 or we may just not be sharing anything period and just facestalking everyone else {you know you do}.  We'll eventually stop sharing every time our kids get together with friends and their amazing artwork they created at the kitchen table or at preschool or in the 3rd grade.  

We might even get back to knowing who we are and what we like to do {at least most of them time}.

And we'll be more than ok by doing so. 

Because we'll also realize our babies, our kids, are people.  People with real feelings and emotions and we can't go around sharing on facebook that their best friend was mean or they flunked a math test.  

We'll parent in private or within our own tribes {like they did in the olden days 😉}.  Encouraging them (and each other) as they go from dependence to independence.   

Commander in chief to counselor.  And a safe place for those emotions.  That spirit.  Those babies.  

So much of this next season in parenting will be spent silent.  Rocking hearts and raising arrows, instead of rocking babies and washing bottles.  

I always hope my children know just how BIG my love is for them.  

I hope I do this next season well.

 Jackie



Lord, 
thank You for the privilege of parenting these littles You've entrusted into our care. Help us to enjoy every day of every season and lean on You when our hearts ache for seasons gone by or longs for what we think are easier seasons ahead.  Help us to stay in the moment raising these arrows to be brave, bold, to love you and love others.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

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