The Most Embarrassing Photo I've Posted

Is this one:

This photo captures everything about my life lately. When I shot it, I was laughing and weeping (maybe sobbing). It's hilarious and wonderful that I have these two children, these two specific, particular, unique and glorious lives in my own humble life, and that they want to be with me wherever I go, whatever I'm doing. It is glorious. It is awe-inspiring. No animal or friend comes close to the glory of these two children. This girl, this boy.

And still.

You can see in the first pic that I have no privacy. They're not just in the room, they're practically in my lap. One wants to read a book. The other wants to play trucks. Gosh, I'm laughing as I write this remembering how ridiculous it was, but at the moment it was taken, I was also very, very broken. Tired. Tapped-out. In need of a sanctuary. I'm glad I had enough sense of humor that I could appreciate how ridiculous it was, but I was still crying.

Which brings me to the topics of sleep and self-sacrifice.

I've since come to understand that the single most influential factor in my peace of mind, in my ability to be a good wife and mother, is sleep. If I am rested, I can tackle anything with joy, patience, self-control, and rational thought. If I have not had rest, I am an emotional wreck. I can't handle the lack of privacy. I can't handle the constant, appropriate needs my children have or the expectations my husband places on his stay-at-home spouse. I act out in ways I am ashamed, and I can't be a proactive, joyful person providing for the needs of the family I love.

The reality of being pregnant and having two very young children means that a lot of my own desires are on hold. Some moms describe this as a compromise, but I see it as a pure and obvious sacrifice. Compromise means everybody is only partially happy, and partially dissatisfied. Sacrifice means letting go and giving in to something more important, a total surrendering and giving away what I want for myself at this time, and the total act of giving it up is more fulfilling than the partial.

And what do I want for myself? I want to have an extremely decluttered and organized house in which EVERYthing has a place and is in its place. I'm sold on that mindset after organizing my pantry and our coat closet; it's the key to peace of mind in the house. Oh, and I want to:

  • blog daily
  • set the new dresser's hardware, add contact paper to the drawers, and fill it with their belongings. Oh, and put it in an actual bedroom instead of the basement.
  • paint Poppy's room and ceiling
  • stamp the hallway ceiling
  • build a wardrobe for Hawk in our MBR
  • install and paint moulding in our MBR
  • sew, sew, sew things like pillow casings, teepees, a-frame tents, maternity dresses, and children's clothes. And curtains.
  • paint numbers on the stairs
  • tear down the upper west shelving in our small galley kitchen, rewire the lights, replaster, and install open shelving
  • install the brand new beautiful lights we purchased for our kitchen and hallway (they're so cool!)
  • switch the cribs
  • reorganize the basement into beautiful storage and particular play spaces, a sewing/craft area, woodworking area, clear laundry area, etc.

And did I tell you I have a little dream on the back burner? Something that could take this blog in a new direction, make it more than a hobby? Well, I bet I haven't told you because I have to put it on hold. And there's a grace there. I haven't been able to paint Poppy's room, and I recently realized that instead of going a cream-gray, I want to do the walls pure cream and paint the ceiling with a Farrow & Ball pink. Yup, you read that correctly. Similarly, I haven't been able to pursue some ventures I've longed to pursue, and this has made me realize that by sacrificing those dreams, I can spend time discerning, praying, and learning about what I really want to do so when I take action, it is for the right end.

So the things I love are severely on hold until this baby arrives and our family starts to settle. I hope that the long view will warrant these short pitfalls. I know they will.

with deep gratitude for your faithfulness, readers,



  1. We're not going anywhere! You have a unique voice and I've always liked that the content I read is genuine and not beefed up. We'll wait until more content comes so get some rest!

  2. I know what you mean about privacy and their need to be near you all the time. When mine were that age, I would leave them playing in the hall and tell them, "Mommy is just going in to the bathroom and if you need me I will come right out." Next thing I knew, the door opened and into the bathroom they came. They brought their toys in and there they were, playing on the floor at my feet. I loved them for that nearness. I think all mothers love being that "someone special" to their children.

  3. You're doing a great job, Mama! It's so hard, grueling, really, but you are doing it. Love you!

    1. Anna, you're always so encouraging. I'm away from them and I confess, I'm sad to be without them for even a day. Isn't that incredible? How much these little people give to us without even trying?

  4. love you. that's pretty much my life too, so thanks for posting my thoughts. I can't even shower or pee by myself. :) LOVE AND HUGS! Do you accept random visitors? I mean really random?

    1. PS: You are all beautiful. My friend had her third in 36 months last fall...you are amazing women!

  5. I had been thinking about this idea of sacrifice recently also. I have always thought about motherhood as more of an investment, but it truly is sacrifice. Oh, and I can so relate to your list of wants!

  6. Jen, I think you are beautiful inside and out. I love following your blog and wish we could get together sometime. What you do is amazing and selfless. Look at the love that you are surrounded by each and every day. Your children are lucky to have such a wonderful mother like you. You are doing a wonderful job.


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