This girl brings so much sunshine and smiles to our life!

We spent a few hours recently renewing our CPR certification for foster care.

I’ve been finding lots of marked down bananas recently, so we freeze them and then make green smoothies with them (frozen banana, milk, greens, and peanut butter). So good!

She’s such a little mama to Baby D.

One of my single mom friends had appendicitis and I found out that she was at the hospital all by herself, so I dropped everything to spend the day at the hospital with her when she had her surgery. Single moms are incredible… and they often are not good at asking for help, but they can often feel really alone. If you know a single mom in your life, how can you show up and let her know she is loved and not alone today?

I wrote this on Instagram recently: I sat next to her at a Christmas brunch a year and a half ago. We laughed about our kids and funny motherhood stories. She updated me on her current cancer treatments. I shared where we were at in our foster care journey.

We said goodbye at the end of the brunch… and I had no idea that would be the last time I would ever see her on this earth (she passed away shortly after that brunch).

I’ve thought a lot about what I would have said had I known it would be my last time to ever talk with her. And it’s made me change the way I’ve approached life from here on out.

In fact, I often think now: If this were my last conversation with this person, what would I want to make sure that I told them? And then I try to actually speak those words regularly to tell them I love them, to tell them how much I appreciate them, to tell them how their life is impacting mine. It costs zero dollars; but it just might completely change someone’s world for us to speak life and love out loud to them!

She’s so proud of the fact that she’s learning how to walk in her new shoes (it took her a number of tries and falls, but she finally got it!)

This is a perfect picture of what a lot of my evenings look like right now. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

I’m in this weird season of having both teenagers and a toddler. (Plus a pre-teen and a baby!) We’re still remembering how to navigate diapers, nursing, teething, naps, baby-led weaning, and learning to walk and talk while also forging into the whole new world of a teen who is driving all over now, just got a new job, and is talking about college prep, ACT prep, college scholarships, and dual credit.

The mail came and in it was a flier “for your new baby” (Baby D), a copy of The Little Engine That Could (from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library), and more college brochures. I just had to laugh! This is our life — toggling from car seats and poopy diapers to job applications and late night talks about college, friends, boys, and the future.

It’s exhausting and exhilarating all at once. And when I see these two together and the sweet relationship they have despite a 15+ year age difference, my heart is so full! ❤️

Guess who got to come for a visit?? Our sweet little Champ. Oh how we love this boy! (If you’re new here, we fostered him for 8 months last year and then he reunified with his mama.)

These two always get SO excited to see one another. We brought both of them home from the hospital within 4 weeks of each other, so they have a sort of twin-like relationship and it’s the cutest!

They worked on organizing the kitchen drawers for me. 😉

“I love having teenagers!” I said this to a young mom recently who told me how she gets so discouraged with people telling her, “Just enjoy these years when they are young because it’s not going to be fun when they are teens.” She sighed and said to me, “I wish people would stop declaring such negativity over my kids’ futures!”

I couldn’t “Amen” her statement fast enough! And I loved getting to share with her how much I love having teens. Sure, we have hard moments and days. Sure, there are hormones and disagreements. But overall, I just love having teenagers!

I love our deep discussions and our silly inside jokes. I love watching them spread their wings and stick their necks out. I love learning from their perspectives and having them teach me how to use electronics and play video games (I’m working on learning to play Rocket League right now and I’m terrible at it, but I’m having a blast trying to figure it out!)

One of the best parts of having teens is that our home has a constant influx of other teens coming over to hang out. I want to claim all of them as my own — and I love hearing their boisterous laughter filling our home, can’t get enough of our late-night discussions, and my heart is so happy watching friendships develop and deepen as they consume way too much junk food together. (What’s with all teens seeming to love Spicy Doritos, Takis, Sour Candy, and Oreos?? I see the combos of food they will have laid out and be plowing through and I just cringe at thinking of how I would feel to have all of that combined in my own stomach!)

Young moms: don’t let anyone tell you that the teen years are going to be this awful, horrific time! Yes, you will need Jesus like never before, but instead of dreading it, I encourage you to look forward to it! Practice staying up late, get used to lots of opening up your hands and letting go and trusting God, and maybe stock up on Spicy Doritos… and then get ready for a wild and wonderful ride of stepping back and watching your kids walk into adulthood! It’s an amazing journey with lots of beauty and laughter on the way, if you have eyes to see the gifts and goodness that is there!

I got to see my friend, Erin (from The Humbled Homemaker), while she and her family were in town this past week.

Things I never thought would be part of my normal, every day life — syringing meds and juice through a feeding tube!

Kaitlynn is loving being back to hardcore skating again! (She’s currently going to the rink five days a week and working with three different coaches. It’s so fun to see her passion come out in this!)

Did you see my post on how I prep lettuce for a week of salads?

Baby D is doing so well in therapy! We are so incredibly proud of him and the progress he is making!

Her smile is infectious!

I’m all about keeping it real here, so instead of trying to pretend I’ve got it all together, I’ll just be honest and say I had some rough patches this past week. Yes, there were a lot of extra stretching things and I was up a lot more than usual with a fussy baby and toddler.

But instead of practicing what I preach about leaning into the Holy Spirit and looking to Him for strength — especially on the exhausting and overwhelming days — I tried to power through on my own… and that did not work well. In fact, I had to go back and apologize to every member of my family one night this past week because I had snapped at them or gotten frustrated in front of them.

I’m putting this out here publicly as a reminder for myself this Monday: I need Jesus. I can’t do this life I have been called to live on my own. I’m not adequate in and of myself. But in Christ, I can do all things.

I don’t have to try to muddle through this life on my own; as a Christian, I have God’s Spirit in me! When I feel tired, I can look to Him for energy. When I feel overwhelmed, I can ask Him for peace and clarity. When I feel frustrated, I can shoot up a flare prayer for patience.

“Lord, help me to remember to rely upon You and rest in You today. In the moments that feel stretching, may that push me to lean on You. Let me rest in Your love for me and in the knowledge that You are sufficient when I feel inadequate, that You are Enough when I feel like I don’t have what it takes. And may I wholeheartedly trust in Your supernatural power instead of trying to power through today on my own. You have everything I need to do everything you have called me to today. I rest in that and eagerly anticipate how I’m going to see Your faithfulness and goodness show up in the mundane and magical moments of today.”

Getting to be an in-between mama has been one of the greatest blessings and gifts of my life. To love as my own on the behalf of another mama… it has profoundly changed me at my core.

I don’t know what the future holds for this little boy. But I have been given today to love deeply and with abandon. To attach hard. To advocate fiercely for. To speak words of life and love over him. To pray wholeheartedly for his future. To snuggle and hug and rock and sing to and read to and say, “I love you” over and over again.

If we’re being honest, none of us know the future for anyone or anything. But we have today. Let’s not miss the moments to speak love and life to those around us. To say with our actions and how we show up, “You have value and worth. You are loved. You are worth advocating for and fighting for.”

Originally posted on