{the house we bought but didn’t move to}


thank you all so much for all the love and kindness over the last post.
i am forever floored by this community of online people.~

i wanted to clarify since a few wrote and asked..
the reason we waited so long to tell about the miscarriage
was simply because it took a month and a half from the time i went to the clinic,
to when i had my tests, and then the doctor’s appointment for the results back.
(that’s national healthcare for ya – if you’re not near dead or dying they don’t
really get in a hurry)
only half kidding! ;)

we feel total peace about the Lord’s decision.
we know the little ones that haven’t been able to stay with us here are not lost to us..
they have only gone on before us home, and we will see them again someday in heaven.

it’s a day that grows only more dear.


but for the pain and hard of these past months
it has carried much joy as well.
which seems so often the case –
the good and bad cradling each other.
both, strangely needed in order to fully appreciate and see the depth of the other.

one of those joys was being able to, for the first time ever, become homeowners!
we bought a house, y’all!!
which i know alot already know since i shared on instagram..
it just feels really good to say.
we bought a house, y’all.

i finally feel all official and grown up or something.
guess a huge amount of debt does that to ya, huh?

but the coolest part there was no packing.
no going around to wal-mart and costco to collect brown boxes.
no u-haul or planning where to put things in a new place.

we bought the house we’d been renting here for the past two and a half years!

i could just leave it at that.

it’s pretty great right there.
but this is one of those stories that means way more if you know the back story!~
so if you’re a back story liking kind of person.. cozy down. here goes.


it was last november –
we had just gotten back from thanksgiving.
a day of 10plus hours in the van and exhaustion and emotion leaving family behind.
pulling onto our street, finally, late in the early hours of the morning.
i thought i could see something in the front yard.. but not sure.
was that our house?
or the one next door?
it looked like a sign. a.. for sale sign?

as we neared and slowed and pulled in,
any doubt was confirmed as the headlights glared the words plain and bright.
i can still remember my heart instantly catching. pounding nervously.
all the questions and what if’s? that came pouring in.
we knew our landlord was thinking of selling.
we just didn’t know it was going to be, now!

those months that followed were strange. and strained, if i’m honest.
to suddenly feel not at home in your home.
to wonder where your home was going to be six months from now. even sooner?

and it wasn’t just the house being for sale.
there were decisions shayne was making with his company..
other possibilities. opportunities. all south of the border! ;)

funny though, it was shayne who was more ready to leave than me.
and i confused even myself with what i wanted.

we talked and prayed and went round with all the options.

we included the kids in everything. especially the older ones.
talking about it at length as a family.
wanting to know their thoughts. their hearts.
every single one certainly with their own opinions.

kate wanted to stay. to finish school.
ben wanted to stay. or move somewhere with snow so he could snowboard.
it was all about the boarding for him!
emma wanted to go back to cincinnati. right next door to mamaw and papaw.
and reese said, “where you go, mommy?” she was just all about being by me.

my heart ran in all directions and it was hard to decipher.
there were too many emotions clouding everything.
and so i learned, what i’ve learned again and again, and seem to always come back to;
just to live where i am for that moment.
to find the joy and remember His faithfulness.

and so each day became that.

taking my eyes off further down the road and looking only to the next step.
bringing it to Him and laying it down.
my prayer becoming, very simply, “open and close doors, Lord. lead us in your way”

and day after day as i looked out the window and saw that for sale sign..
i found my heart catching less and less.
the fear of the unknown never completely gone, only, much quieter.
cushioned against His grace.


then, came the week of the open house.
and here i would say, i take back everything i just wrote in the above two paragraphs.
of living day by day, of trusting His faithfulness.
people began to buzz this place and i freaked!
strangers stopping and looking.
cars sitting in front of the house, pulling in the driveway.
people randomly coming to the door to ask to see inside.

and on saturday, as i cleaned, i thought of how odd it was to be “preparing” the house.
what had been OUR house for two and a half years..
for someone else to come in and like and be impressed with and want to buy!

i asked shayne to come upstairs to the bedroom.
because i didn’t want the kids to see me cry.
you know those times in life when you’re trying to be so strong for your kids?
but you feel nothing more than an abnormally tall 10-year-old yourself?
once upstairs, i told shayne, through tears, that we needed to come to a conclusion.
and it was one i felt he was going to have to make for all of us.
there was no making everyone happy. there was no truly knowing, or guarantee.
and i did one of the hardest things i’ve ever done in our married life – –
i told him i’d trust him completely with whatever answer he gave.

not that i’ve never trusted my husband.
i do. explicitly.
there’s no one in the world i have more confidence in.
but this was one of those times as a wife i could feel how heavy my influence was.
that with just the right turn or tug i could sway him. and it scared me.
that much control. and not knowing if i would control it in the right direction.
so i turned it over to him.

i wondered if i was being cowardly – yielding my right to help make the decision.
but as soon as the words came out of my mouth, i knew just how much courage it actually took.
trusting that an all-wise God can work in and through others for my benefit?

trusting God alone is one thing.
trusting Him through flawed individuals is a completely different kind of trust.

the next morning, sunday, the day of the open house,
shayne said he had prayed about it.

“i think God wants US to buy this house, babe!”

i stared at him blankly for several minutes before saying,
“and.. what’s plan b?”


being self-employed has always been the main deterrent to us owning our own home.
and if you’re self employed, you know what i’m talking about.
not to mention, real estate here in canada is double what we pay in midwest america.
so even if we were in a position to secure a mortgage,
no way we could get approved for the asking price of this house.

shayne said we should look at it like a fleece.
because yes, so much had to happen for that to ever be a reality.
a lot more than just a wet and dry side, i was thinking.
if you don’t know what i’m talking about, look up the story of Gideon in the bible.
bless him! so glad for guy’s like that that make me feel a bit more normal in my doubting.

shayne text our landlord, “we’d be interested in buying the house.”

of course i’m thinking the timing couldn’t be any worse..
hours before the open house.
where i’m pretty sure people were lined around the block like the nanny scene in mary poppins to buy it!

we went to church. out to eat. browsed stores. waiting for the time to pass.
still no word from our landlord.

when we returned later, after we were sure everyone was gone
there was a guy in his car in the driveway.
as soon as we got out, he did too.

“um.. so i understand you guys might buy this place?
and i want you to know that if you don’t, i am!”

shayne and i just looked at each other. then him, “okay..?”

later that evening our landlord came to the door.
he told us he had 3 offers that day, for the full asking price.
my heart fell. and his voice muffled in my head until,
“but, i’d rather see you guys have the place than anyone…”
my eyes shot straight to shayne’s to hear his response.
to see if i had misunderstood.

shayne told him we weren’t sure we could get approved for the loan.
he said, no problem. he would hold the mortgage.
and a few days later as we sat down to more officially go over things
he said he would like to take all the back rent and use as a down payment.
as well as lowered the price considerably than the original asking price.
{let’s just refresh here – that THREE others had been willing to pay!}

who does that kind of stuff?

God does.

the God of mama’s that fret and worry and think we’ll be living in a tent.
the God of people who need fleeces.
that need both sides. wet and dry!
the God who can strengthen a wife’s faith to trust Him through her husband.
to move a landlord’s heart to do what’s out of the ordinary.
a husband’s resolve to lead his family.
and four kids whose eyes lit up when we told them there would be no moving.

we had bought a house.
and we weren’t going anywhere.

to see the relief wash over their faces..
i hadn’t realized how much of a worry it was to them.
wondering where we would end up. what the days ahead held.
and my peace felt more solidified from their response.


i will admit that as exciting as this whole new homeowner thing is –
when i dreamed of buying a house all these years, canada wasn’t exactly the location i had imagined.
especially since it seems to make this “temporary move” even more permanent.
i felt, and still do, this strangeness of emotions of finally being settled, and yet the struggle of
contentment at where it is we have settled, after all. for now anyway.

but the thing is this.
when you’ve walked with the Lord through so much..
look back and see all He’s done. witnessed His faithfulness.
there is comfort in that.
knowing no matter what lies ahead it’s going to be okay.
the same One who walked with me then, walks with me now.

He will lead me safely home.
to my true home.

there’s no fear –
when He’s your travel companion.


{of loss. and trust. and a God we call, “Abba!”}


it’s been almost two months now.
a little life we didn’t even know was there
until we were already saying goodbye.
and then the complications. the questions. the tests.
the final doctor’s appointment last week.
and though we already knew..
to hear the official word felt tender.
knocking a deeper ache i didn’t even recognize was there.

this would be our 4th miscarriage now through the years.
and though familiar, the pain isn’t lessened.
it still catches me.
perhaps in different ways now.
we would have loved another. have prayed for one since reese.
but yet, at this stage of life my heart also feels content – to a degree.
i find myself thinking maybe more than i thought i would about what an addition would look like for us.
and where to go from here? and when is time to stop “trying?”
another baby would be a game changer.
and yet.. there still seems that small empty spot inside that another would fill.

and i find myself in territory i know far too well.
of learning {once again} that all i need, God already is!

i feel it settling more within me.
the hurts and doubts and dark places of these past weeks.
but it’s been a process.
and there so much more to the story {there is always more to someone’s story}.
and though not at liberty to share those details-
i will say, it has been way more than just babies that needed surrendering in this heart.

so often what i think i fear inside these clenched fists of mine isn’t really the battle..
the battle is opening my hands to begin with.
loosening my grasp of control in exchange for trust in a God that is Soveriegn and cannot make mistakes.

do i pretend to always understand why He does what He does? no.
and i certainly don’t always like it.
but i believe that only the wisest love filters all that touches my life.
and therefore, i don’t need to dread or be afraid of whatever i’m facing. whatever lies ahead.

“for you have not received the spirit of bondage that leads you into fear again ..
but you have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father!” rom.8:15

i think all of life. ALL. is about coming to this place of intimacy with Him.

every heartache. every loss. every dream shattered. every question raised. every trial faced.
every point of surrender. every dark night. every wilderness. every red sea before us..
it is all to bring us to a point of realizing there is a story so much bigger. a home still to come. a Saviour who holds the victory. and a God we can run to called, “Abba!”

this. is what it’s about.
this is what it’s always been about.


“what if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
is a revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?”


so fill me, Lord.

{a safe place}


i sorta ran away home because i needed to get away.
sometimes when life seems closing in i feel i need to do that.
back to familiar.
back to my country.
back to chick-fil-a.
and american target.
they have it in canada but it’s not the same.
lots of things aren’t.
i often feel i’m not.
that i don’t breathe as easy here.
feel my head clear.
so i pack up.
throw the younger ones in.
take a girlfriend along too.
and away we set.
and always, this happy little settling inside when i cross the border.
think i’m home.
and it is.
but home changes.
or maybe it’s me.
and i ran to where i thought would be a safe place.
aren’t we always –
looking for shelter?
where to turn?
our husband.
a friend.
a country.
a place.
and it felt all directions i was coming up lacking.
and then my mom says to me – because moms know the struggles we never really verbalize.
“i know you’re looking for a safe place..
you want it to be your husband. you want it here at home..
but amber
there is only one
and God is your safe place.
the strong tower where you must run to find all you’re looking for.”

and her words were for me.
but i thought maybe they might be for you too.
just from a mom’s heart to another.
a sister in Christ.
a friend.
a slight smile and tap on the arm that reminds you the same.

we DO have a safe place.
and it’s name is,  Jesus.

“show me the path of life
in your presence there is fullness of JOY.” ps.16:11


happy monday all you sweet ones who stop in here~

{a life spilling joy}


i woke today feeling overwhelmed with things beyond my control.

i wanted to stay in bed with the pillows over my head.
sometimes giving in is easier.
darkness inviting.

but it is never the way to joy.

joy comes only as i trust that God is bigger and He IS at work.
that He cares. and all He allows is only His absolute love for me.
because He knows best. because He knows what i need.

“may the God of hope fill you with all joy as you trust in Him, so that you overflow.” rom.15

i want that –  a life spilling joy.
but first, i must come to a place trust.

one is the prerequisite to the other.

the position of joy comes only through a posture of trust.


so i got out of bed.
flung the curtains wide.
embraced the light.
chose joy.

chose trust.

“and if trust must be earned hasn’t God unequivocally earned our trust
with the bark on the raw wounds..
the thorns pressed into the brow. your name on cracked lips?
how will He not also graciously give us all things He deems best and right?
He’s already given the incomprehensible.
Christ our crossbeam.

the radical wonder of it stuns me happy. hushes me still.
it’s all Christ.
every moment. every event. every happening.

it’s all Christ and in Christ we are always safe.” -one thousand gifts


“oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord.” ps.40

{sunday sweetness & giveaway winner}



yesterday was good and full.
starting at 6:30 a.m.
heading north to be with shayne’s family for church and lunch.
then a tour of the town daddy grew up in for the kids.
they’ve seen it before but always like hearing his stories.
a romp through a random field in our bare feet.
driving home in the rain.
trying out the new yogurt shop by the lake.
dipping our feet in the water to feel how chilly it was.
taking a walk.
meeting an old man with two birds on this shoulders.
watching the kids all play together.
the two older. the two younger.
the fascinating dynamics of siblings.
finishing the night at the park.
with poutine’s, sweet potato fries and dollar drinks from mcdonald’s.
shayne pushing the little girls on the tire swing.
the older ones sitting at the picnic table by me.
ben says, “I like our family..
we might not have a lot of money to do stuff but we make our own fun.”

i immediately felt a lump in my throat, “aw, ben!”

“well, it’s true,” he went on.
“we just have a good time no matter what. and we laugh a lot.”
then he got that cute little boy grin
that even though he’s not so little anymore, still comes out.
“we’re a cool family!”

now tears are full on brimming..
you have to know. ben doesn’t just say these kinds of things.

“that’s the best mother’s day present right there, bud. what you just said.”

and he smiled, then turned to watch his sisters playing, while i kept watching him.
a moment i’ll remember for a long, long time to come.



on saturday kate took me to a pottery sale and told me to pick out whatever i wanted.
i choose these adorable tiny pots with succulents.

i’ve never had succulents but i’d been wanting some.
i’ll have to google how to care for them so i don’t kill them.
for now i’m just admiring their daintiness.
they’re my new favorite things!


when i came home. ben had made me this arrow from an old pallet.
i had shown him a picture of some and said i would love one.
and i do. it’s perfect.
i’d like three more so i have a set of four.

“as arrows are in the hand of a warrior so are children of thy youth…” ps.127


and the little girls showered me with homemade notes and cards and flowers.

when i asked reese what her card said she took it and in all seriousness began to read-
“i love you mom. you are my favorite. you are my best friend. and i love you.”
of course that’s what those purple swirls said!


my heart just spills right over in thankfulness that i get to be their mom.
every day that thankfulness grows even more.
no matter what – it is so worthwhile.~

i am your mother
you are my child
i am your quiet place.
you are my wild.
i am your calm face.
you are my giggle.
i am your wait.
you are my wiggle.
i am your dinner.
you are my cake.
i am your bedtime.
you are my wide awake.
i am your lullaby.
you are my peekaboo.
i am your goodnight kiss.
you are my “i love you.” -maryann k cusimano

_MG_6299kiddos_MG_6307these42_MG_6306these four

happy monday moms!


AND… the giveaway winner is: sherri
i’ll be emailing you deets!
thanks to all who entered.
let’s do it again SOON. xo

{we love you, moms}

kat and mama
I love my mom because she has more integrity than anyone else I’ve ever met in my life. She is true to what she believes, through and through, and I respect her so much for it.

holly and mama
I love my mom for the personal sacrifices she made for me, not fully comprehended until I, too, became a mom.

my mom and I
I love my mom for her service to others. Putting other’s needs above her own, time and time again.

michelle and mama
I love my mom for the way that she has loved us without limits. Despite every circumstance, the highs and the lows she has never stopped showing us love.

I love my mom because there has never been a day in my life I have not felt loved! With her having Stage 4 Cancer, I do carry a bit of sadness in my heart for the type of relationship I will never have with her – but a lot of joy in my heart as well that I do still in-fact have her here.

laura and mama
I love my mom because of the example she sets as a godly women who loves The Lord.

I love my mom because of her deep passion for God, her sense of humor, and her always perfect skin! We can laugh about the stupidest things that no one else would understand. I’ll count myself lucky if i can ever turn out to be half the Mom that she is.

Mom and I 12-08 copy
I love my mom for how she has taught me to trust the Lord, even in the worst of
circumstances. How to love those who continue to hurt us. How to work hard and laugh
harder (especially at myself!)

sarah and susie
I love my mom {in law} for the way she lavishes Scripture, love, presence, and wisdom upon my life. Christ is clearly her hope of glory. {And for our 1 a.m. Taco Bell feasts!}

I love my mother for the way that she has always believed in me, prayed for me, and spoken blessings over me. I am richly blessed in so many ways because of her.

I love my Mother because she’s the only one who loves my children like I do. she patiently listens. she’s a Godly woman with a tremendous amount of wisdom. she’s scrappy. she is what I strive to be.~selfless~compassionate~bold~faithful~

amber and mama
I love my mom for being grace personified in my life. For being my best friend.

grace and mama
I love my mom for her unwavering commitment to loving and serving her husband and family.

I love my mom because her love for Jesus pours out into my life, and everyone she meets.

I love my mom for teaching me through years of example what it means to PRAY. I love her for allowing my brothers and I to grow up in a family that’s not torn up by unfaithfulness and deceit. I love her for her heart of compassion and kindness for those in need.

cindy and mama
I love my mom for her gentleness.

eastlyn and mama
I love my mom for being undaunted and tender.

mom and sisters
I love my mom for how she taught us four girls by example to honor and respect our husbands because she lives that out, and she taught me to love being a mother because of the way I saw her delight in it.

Mom and I
I love my Mom for being the amazing woman she is. Her laughter from the heart warms every room she enters!

I love my mom for being consistent, for being content & for choosing an attitude of grace. For being faithful & loving Jesus.

jenn and mama
I love my mom because she is the most selfless and caring person I know. We have the best laughs together and she knows what I am thinking without me having to say a word.

robin and mama
I love my mom for being everything that I am not and showing me that differences make the world a better place. I love her smell, the feel of her hands, her smile, her accent, her soft cheeks and the way she makes me feel loved.

I love my mom because she is always there to listen to me and help me through
problems. She is gracious and always tells me everything will be okay.

shannon and mama
I love my Mom for always being there for me.

jenny and mama
I love how my life overlaps with my mom’s on a daily basis. Not in an intrusive, smothering way, but on a way where we don’t need to get “all caught up” each time we see each other.

anna and mama
I love my mom for teaching me what it means to love God and love others.

maddy and mama2
I love my mom because she is always showing me what it looks like to be a woman of Christ. She is always there to care, love and support me in everything.

I love my mom because she’s just as wacky as I am; because she dances and sings to Taylor Swift with me; because she sits with me when there are tornado warnings and I’m terrified.

I love my Mom for always being willing and happy to help others. Her selfless example of service is an inspiration to me and so many others.

emily and mama
I love my mom because when I look at her, I see what the best version of myself would look like. My dream is to be just like her!



{a village that smiles & a mom’s day giveaway}


i love moms!

love mine.
love being one.
love being part of this community.
the craziness.
the comfort.
the comradery.

whoever said it takes a village, sure got it right!
how we need each other.

and our lives spin non-stop most days..
we don’t always have the time we’d like to sit and talk over tea.
but i’ll never forget what an older lady said to me once.
“let your smile say what your words often can’t.”

and i think of that in regards to motherhood.

when i see a mom in the check out lane with her screaming toddler.
that chance i have to just smile an, “i’ve been there,” kind of smile.

or the mom yesterday, sitting in her car next to me in the school parking lot..
holding her coffee cup up in the air and i nodded and smiled back big.
i knew what she was saying.

the mom who’s balancing a baby on her hip, another by the hand,
and one strolling behind.
the mom whose girl is getting married a week from saturday.
the mom who’s heartbroken her son’s turned his back on the Lord.
the mom whose daughter lives 800 miles away.
the mom who just tragically lost her 3-year-old last friday.
the new mom full of nervous excitement.
the old mom with an empty nest.
the moms in heart only.
the moms who wait for us in heaven.

in the busyness of our lives, no matter what..
may we always have time for that understanding smile.
as we pass, whether face to face, or here across this screen.
may we not allow preconceived ideas to cause us to stand back.
assumptions to cloud. or differing opinions divide.
may comparison not steal what we have to offer.
and may jealousy not blind our eyes to who someone really is.
may we simply see moms. just like us. doing the best they can.
clinging hard. carrying on. needing encouragement. needing support.
fellow travelers on this journey, same as us.
and may we take the time, if even ever so briefly,
and if only every now and again, to stop.
to notice that one across the path.

may we be a village known for its smiles.
and may it be contagious!



_MG_1425give away

i’m so happy to be able to do a giveaway in honor of MOMS!
i chose one of my favorite quotes on parenting by beth woolsey~
jana from the chalk shop so beautifully designed it..
and i think she said within a half hour sitting at starbucks! {crazy talented girl}


to enter::

please leave a comment here on the blog
{facebook comments will not be counted, sorry!}
telling me why you love being a mom, or what you love most about yours!

multiples entries accepted for sharing this giveaway on facebook or instagram
{please link to blog on fb or tag me on instagram @ _amberhutchins}

this giveaway is open to all who would like to enter
and will close sunday, the 11th, at 6 p.m.
winner announced monday, may 12th, and will be notified by email.
{please make sure to leave a valid email with your entry}



happy entering and …


{the parts you can}


a few weeks back one of the young moms in my bible study group was
saying how she was no martha stewart…

“homemade playdough – fail.”
“homemade bread – fail.”
“cute craft – fail.”

and haven’t we all so been there!

when the doubts creep in and we feel we’re not measuring up.
that somehow we’re not enough or doing well.

and i’m not sure who actually makes up the list of expectations we feel.
some from within, i’m sure.
a lot from without.

every mom generation has had its struggles, no doubt
but maybe not to the intensity we can feel these things now.
the highlight of everyone’s life right at our finger tips.

being a mom is exhausting enough.
however when our souls run exhausted from feelings of inadequacy
that’s an exhaustion that goes right through and we never feel rested.

and though it might appear from some of our social media feed that we’re the
only woman in the world not home educating. raising gap model looking kids.
keeping chickens. or making anthropologie envy clothes. trust me..
even those have their struggles, because everyone does, and there’s no such thing as “doing it all.”

i’m not sure God intended us to do every.single.part of womanhood.
not all of us can sew and decorate and craft and bake.
not everyone is a great teacher or has a green thumb.
but there ARE parts we can do and those are the ones we must discover and embrace.

we spend far too much worrying over all we DON’T DO-
we need to start seeing all we DO.
the parts we’re getting right!

i used to feel so guilty that i wasn’t more of a playing mom.
i’ve never been one who could sit for mind-blowing minutes pushing match box
cars around the floor or dressing polly pockets fifty million times.

but design a resort for polly and her friends. i’m all over it!
or a cool dirt track outside for match box cars, i’m there!

when the girls wanted to build a dollhouse, we turned the closet in the basement
into one instead. and on sunday when emma wanted me to play with her after i’d
just gotten home from a late morning meeting and i was tired and hungry, we came
up with playing restaurant where i was the customer who sat at the table while she
made my food.

she thought it was great she had free reign in the kitchen and she beamed over
the 5 dollar tip!!

so i do play with my kids.
only i’ve learned to play with them in the ways i enjoy..
the part i do well.
they love it and a huge reason being they can tell i’m loving it too.
truly engaged and into it, not just punching a clock.

there’s something about knowing who we are and being okay with that that brings
a calm and peace – not only into our hearts but our homes as well.

i don’t do the crafting mom well either. or the baking mom.
and i wasn’t the greatest homeschooling mom..
which was hard for me to admit for awhile.
that somehow i wasn’t supermom enough or strong enough spiritually.
but that’s been one of the best decision for our family.
such a weight lifted of carrying a conviction not our own.

and now i’ve been able to spend the money i was putting away in that jar for therapy i knew they’d need someday from me being their teacher on other things!! ;))

and that’s not to say God is never going to call us to do things we don’t want.
or that we feel ill-equipped in.
He kinda does that all the time.
but that’s why the most important part of all is to make sure we’re walking in obedience to Him.

i believe He calls us to different paths on purpose..
mostly to teach us to rely on Him above those around us.
to look and listen to His voice first and foremost despite what others are saying or doing.

we need to remember He’s the one that’s given us these kiddos.
and when He created us He created us with them in mind.
we are the moms they need.

so stop focusing on all you CAN’T DO.
focus on all you ARE. the parts you can.

besides.. homemade bread is over rated and store bought playdough works just fine.
and from what i hear our kids wouldn’t want martha stewart as their mom anyway.



we’re in this together.


you know you’re a mom when..


the other night when i was out at a fancy place..
desperately needing some lipstick and realizing i had forgotten mine at home.
i began digging in my bottomless, mary poppins bag. sure i’d find something that could work!
baby powder. crayons {that was a possibility}. candy wrappers. little drawings on church bulletins.
then, finally.. there in the furthest corner under piles of dirty kleenex and starbucks napkins-
a tiny bright blue tube of dora the explorer lip gloss! perfect.

so in the crowded bathroom of about half a dozen other women waiting or already primping in front of the mirror
i tried to act as nonchalant and natural about it as i could..
leaning in close and smearing the blueberry tasting stickiness on my lips.
the lady next to me, putting the lid back on her shiny gold tube of expensive looking fire engine red, looked over and laughed.

“you know you’re a mom when…”

and i laughed back.
oh, so true.


you know you’re a mom when lancome has been replaced with dora the explorer!
and when you have more kids stuff in your purse than grown up stuff.
or that time the training underwear fell out with your wallet in american eagle.
the young college age guy just looking up at you with this weird look

and you know you’re a mom when college age kids look like they’re only about 10.

when your coffee’s always cold {i have a cup next to me now!}
when you forget what sleep is.
and yoga pants replace designer jeans.

when buying new soccer cleats take precedent over touching up your dark roots.
and listening to new readers sound out endless chapters finds you humming holy holy holy over in your mind.
when you drive a mini van.
that you never seem to get out of.
and somehow it always smells like mcdonald’s fries.
and there’s sweet and sour sauce spilled and hardened on the floor, but no one knows how it happened. {hmmmm….}


you know you’re a mom when going to the grocery store alone is exciting to you.
when watching them take their foul shots at the basketball game makes your heart stop.
when you find yourself staring at them across the room wondering when they got so big.
when old pictures make you teary eyed.
and teenagers make you feel old.

when sleepless nights of pacing with a fussy baby turn to sleepless nights of praying for a wayward heart.
when you forgo a shower just to lay in bed and snuggle with them a bit longer.
when you hear someone in the store call out, “mom?” and you look around to answer.
when a baby makes your heart burst.
and a teenage son makes you crazy.

when you think that little one will never learn to walk.
and when you watch them walk into high school and wonder when exactly they did.

when the days can seem so long.
but suddenly, the years left are so short.
18 summers.
and here we are at 2 maybe 3 only left with the first ones.


when you feel so proud one minute.
so humbled the next.
when you carry their hurts as if they were your own.
when cleaning up throw up and poop no longer bothers you.
and you’re forever baffled by how in the world pee got THERE!!

when you sit at the dinner table just smiling as you listen.
when you watch them sleep at night.
when you see them struggling. know you can’t rescue.
when you realize there’s no such thing as a super mom –
only one great big super God.

yeah. you know you’re a mom when …
you forever have your heart walking around outside your body!
and it’s tragic and triumphant. and messy and magical. and sacred and spectacular.
and always – so very fiercely worthwhile!



this coming weekend is mother’s day –
so we’re going to make it all about mom’s this week on the blog!

i love moms.
love mine.
love being one.
love this community.
the comradery.

so join me in the celebration.

yay moms!!
yay YOU!!

happy monday, friends.



what would you add to the list.
you know you’re a mom when……
would love to hear.


p.s. stay tuned for a fun giveaway from the vintage chalk shop this week ~ gonna be good!!!