While I was at work saving a document, I stumbled on an old folder that I hadn’t opened in years. If this were a literal manilla file tucked in a filing cabinet, I would have had to blow the long-forgotten dust off. But this was a digital folder, that to my absolute delight held hundreds of pictures from 2012.
That year I was offered my first full-time radio gig, got married, and had Liam. The Mayans claimed that it was going to be the end of the world, but for me, it was just the beginning!
As I clicked through all of these wonderful, cherished memories there was a tug in my heart and tears in my eyes. How was this 7 years ago?! I looked at pictures of Liam’s baby feet and could almost feel how soft those little heels were. Patrick and I both looked SO much younger and full of life. Sleep deprivation can really age you. 😉
These were pictures of newlyweds who were adjusting to so many exciting things at once. Our apartment was behind a bakery, and while it wasn’t in the best neighborhood, we couldn’t afford much at the time. >Insert Bon Jovi lyrics about bringing home pay for love<
We both worked hard to provide for our new life together. We both had, and still do, different schedules, so it seems like we are always ships in the night. Morphing from newlywed to new parents happened so quickly, that I went from looking at SO many pictures of our cat to an abundance of baby pictures!
My grandpa always jokes that I have more pictures of my kids in one day than he does in his entire life. (But look at that ONE baby picture of my grandpa!! He is soooo cute!)
As I saw the surroundings, clothes, and snapshots of forgotten memories, the Brad Paisley song Today sang through my mind. “It’s not even over, but I already miss today.” Those days of being a new mom, wife, radio junkie, and young 20-something girl seem so far away, but also feel like yesterday.
Why does it have to go so fast?
Why don’t I remember something so tender as nursing Liam in my snickerdoodle-scented bedroom without the picture to remind me?
Take the picture.
Record the video.
Write down something little EVERY day.
These are the BEST days of our lives and I don’t want to miss or forget any of it.
Remember when Andy Bernard in The Office says:
While Andy was one of my least favorite characters (yeah I said it.), kudos to the writers for making an impression on me that I still think of often.
Funnily enough, as a parent, it’s not uncommon to find things stuck in Jell-O.
I know that it’s only been 7 years, but SO much has happened in our lives since then, and I can only imagine what the next 7 will bring.
The same little eyes in the picture that fell asleep next to the heater reading books while drinking his bottle are the same eyes that see a pile of Legos as his next great invention. The little blue striped jammies I held him in were recently just packed away again because they were a hand-me-down to Nigel, who also outgrew them.
I recently made a pact with myself to only check social media if my kids aren’t around or watching a movie.
The short window where they are MINE and all they want is my attention is fading faster than I ever thought possible.
Every day matters.
So many days NOW I say out loud, “If I don’t take a picture, will I even remember playing Play-Doh with you?”
If I truly could bottle up the soft snores next to me, the random smooches and hugs for no reason, or the way they run around the house full of giggles and messes, there wouldn’t be enough room in all of China to hold them all. I love everything about this stage in my life and it’s not that I dread the future, I just wonder how it could be better?
Liam will always be our first taste of what to expect. He’s new territory with every stage, and I’m beyond blessed to have a such an awesome guy to grow with.
I’m not perfect, and not every day is perfect, but no adventure is easy. Give yourself and your kids grace; allow joy to encompass every part of your life — the good and the bad — and pray often that love will pour out from your family onto every other person in your life who needs it most.
Embrace the time you have with each other and make it point every day to take some sort of record of the day you had so you too can find the map back to Memory Lane.
GraceLaced is an amazing woman on Instagram who posted this along with a picture with her kids:
Some things I would still tell my first-time mama self, as Mancub 1 turns 17 today:
1) Go ahead and stop replaying all the ways you fail in motherhood, but humbly rejoice that God changes a mother just as much as He grows a child. Humility paves the way for change more than guilt ever will.
2) Don’t let anyone tell you your best + most relevant years are in your youth when you’ve got energy or a waist. Our motherhood years aren’t back-burner years; they are becoming years. And they matter more than you know.
3) The kid that you’re fretting about has the potential to bless in unimaginable ways; choose to pray more than you fret since God’s the one who’s writing his/her story.
4) No season of motherhood is easier or harder, better or worse; we simply get to adjust our expectations with experience.
5) When your firstborn is getting ready to graduate high school, you won’t wish you had made more money, spent more time building your platform, bought him more stuff, or kept the house more pristine…
…If I could go back and do anything differently, I’d laugh more, find a mentor, lower my voice, and take more time reading Bible stories at bedtime (for him and for me.)
❤️ So, I’d tell my 17 years-ago self and to you, too: There’s so much joy to be had because God uses the hardest callings to expose His greatest provision.
👉🏼 Mamas, we get to celebrate much more than our kids getting older year by year; we celebrate His faithfulness in us, moment by moment.
I shared this on the radio and honestly had a hard time reading it because there was so much truth in what she shared that I was holding back tears. I knew there was a mom out there who needed that encouragement, and after I turned the mic off a few moms called in to say it was JUST what their heart needed. One mom said, “I would also add that there will be a ‘last time’ for everything. Not in a grim way, but there will be a last time you play peek-a-boo and won’t know it will even be the last time.”
This post was shared on our MomSquad Facebook Group and it was incredible to hear from so many moms out there who needed the support and the love GraceLaced shared.
What do you do on a daily basis to preserve the memories you’ve made with your family? Do you scrapbook, digital scrapbook, put pictures in albums, make yearly calendars? Share your ideas to our B100 Mom Squad Facebook group or e-mail me! I’d love to learn new ideas on how to be better at documenting such special days, moments, and future memories. With modern technology, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were some really fancy ways YOU do that!
Send me a message and add yourself to our Facebook group! We are in this together!