Friday Favorites

Five on Friday/Sunday

buster 2 monthone: Buster turned two months old on Monday and I cannot believe how big he is! He’s gained over 4 1/2 pounds and three inches since he was born, and has inherited my large head. He’s very nearly into 3-6 month clothes, and is starting to sleep more predictably which is a dream. He laughs, coos, and smiles constantly, and eats like a horse.

Fitbittwo: Bert got me a new Fitbit for Mother’s Day since my old one (that he got me for Mother’s Day two years ago) was dying and Fitbit gave me a great coupon since it was past warranty. I LOVE IT. They fixed everything that bugged me about my old one (not being able to see active minutes without looking at my phone, not being able to choose my workout, the goofy charging cord, not being able to replace the band since that’s all that was wrong with my old one, etc) and added some really neat new features and made it looks more like a watch, and I LOVE the interchangeable bands so it doesn’t always have to look so fitness tracker-y. I use mine daily so it was really sweet of him to replace it–and with a really pretty one! Now if someone could figure out how to make a tooled leather band…

brothersthree: dressing Buster in Wacey’s little clothes kills me. Upon seeing this picture, one of my friends commented that Buster’s starting to look more like himself, and maybe a little more like me? I agree on the former, and would be tickled if the latter were true, although their daddy’s a pretty darn good-looking guy so I’m not complaining if he favors him too. They definitely look like brothers, though! I think Buster has more of my coloring though, if nothing else–lighter hair with darker eyebrows and lashes. We’ll see–it’s sort of fun to speculate what he might look like but I’m probably wrong on all counts, since I thought Wace would look like me and he looks just like his daddy.

little missfour: I still can’t get enough of Little Miss. Something about baby horses just makes me want to camp out in the bushes with leaves taped to my head so I can watch them all.the.time. “Every breath you take, every move you make, every branch you break, every step you take, I’ll be watching you…” Not creepy at all, right? As it is, I’m going to bust out the big lens next week (Miss has Little Miss holed up in the trees and willows since the weather is so sucky right now so I can’t even see them to spy on them) and I can’t promise I won’t tape leaves to my head.

bean boots
potholes
blizzardfive: the weather outside is weather. By which I mean the weather is currently masquerading as Winter. So while y’all are all over Instastories with pictures of your kids at the splash pad, we’re breaking out the boots and coats again. Although, I don’t completely hate it, because I got to wear the Bean Boots that Bert (say that five time fast)  got me for Christmas for only the second time since I was so darn pregnant at Christmas that I couldn’t bend over to lace them up. It was lovely. The roads are a mess, and Bert had to move cattle in a near-blizzard on Thursday (the pastures they were in are full of oak brush, which can be poisonous to cattle if consumed in large enough quantities, which is more likely when the grass is buried by two feet of snow). But, much of the snow is already melted and you know it’s gonna be green when it warms up next week.

April showers bring more snow, I guess!

Personal

Finding God in the Busy Seasons of Mothering

sunset in the basin

I was nervous to post this, but it’s been on my heart so much lately what with some conversations with friends I’ve been having and eerily timely podcast episodes and devotional verses that I feel compelled to do so. I’ve always been pretty private about being a Christian; I didn’t grow up in a very religious household, and honestly didn’t really start thinking about religion in any meaningful way until college, so it’s not something that most people I grew up with associate with me, but you know what? It’s good stuff, and it’s part of my daily life that make me a better person. Hiding it is ridiculous.

I have always been a believer, but until I met my husband I didn’t really become a Believer, and that’s only intensified since we’ve been married. I just can’t see how we could have met each other without someone planning it–we certainly couldn’t have planned it, but it was so obviously intentional that I couldn’t ignore it. Things fell so perfectly into place and I’m glad we both picked up what Jesus was laying down.

Fast forward seven years, and here we are with two boys. We’ve had some wonderful times, and some hard ones, but it’s so plain to see that our lives have been guided by someone with a program. We’ve learned so much together, and everything is a step forward, even if it’s hard, because it’s teaching us lessons we need to learn to be better people and the best parents we possibly can.

We’re in a funky season right now. In addition to some more private things that are constantly on our minds, we have a new baby, the toddler has become a capital T Two Year Old, and we’re in a busy season on the ranch with breeding and branding and springtime, so we’re both doing a little more with a little (sometimes a lot) less. It’s not a bad season by any stretch, but it is one where we’re both feeling the effects of More with Less sprinkled with some uncertainty. In my younger years, this would have really stressed me out. I would have gone into full-on Control Freak mode (just ask my roomie/best friend in college. It’s not pretty), and tried to force change where I could to make the situation more within my command. Now, I’m learning to see the lesson and the grace where the stress used to be, and lean on God to help manage the worry and uncertainty. This has been especially true since becoming a mother–it would be easy to let worry swallow me whole, because there are now tiny humans completely dependent upon me and their daddy to take care of them. Instead of that, I’ve been talking to God. He’s helping me learn to give the worry to Him.

In busy seasons, though, particularly those with young children, it can be hard to find structured, devoted time to lean in, or even make it to church. This is doubly true when you live in a rural area and churches or bible studies may require driving time that is hard when you’re in the season of naptimes, messy babies, and active toddlers. I was listening to the most recent episode of the Coffee + Crumbs podcast on our walk this morning, and it really got me thinking about ways to lean in when everything seems so busy. It helps me so much to do so, because it makes it easier for me to find the blessing in whatever it is that we’re dealing with, and it makes the stress seem so much more manageable. I also don’t want the boys to have a constantly worried mama, and since worry is my default, I have to actively try and give it away.

For me, it’s all about fitting things in with whatever we’re doing. We spend a lot of time in the car or stroller, so having music to listen to when I need an uplift is helpful. I’m not a fan of most modern worship music, but I love gospel and hymns. I have a playlist on my phone that has Randy Travis’ gospel music, some bluegrass renditions of traditional songs like “I’ll Fly Away” (Willie Nelson has a killer live version), some recordings of gospel choirs, and some Hank Williams and Josh Turner, among other things. I also listen to sermons via podcast pretty often (Antioch Waco is my favorite, I really enjoy Carl Gulley’s sermons and his It’s Complicated series), and I love that I can find them based on topics because sometimes I really need a lesson on something specific. I also pray a lot. We pray in the car, I try and pray before bed, and if I get up in the night with Buster, I try and pray a little then, too.

If I get a quiet few minutes–most often while pumping in the evening, moms can’t do just one thing at a time, you know–I devotional it up. I have a few that I rotate depending on which style I’m feeling at the time, and lately I’ve really been into my Lara Casey Write the Word journal. I bought it over a year ago, and at the time the verses that were in there just didn’t speak to me or seem super relevant to that season, so I put it down and didn’t really think about it until this spring, when I randomly picked it up again. And you know what? The verses now are speaking to exactly what I’m struggling with, exactly what we’re going through, and are perfect for this season. It’s not a coincidence, y’all.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve been spending time in the book of Matthew, which is teaching me how not to punch people in the face when they are awful. So far, it’s worked. Pray for me, though, because some days it’s real hard.

In a recent blog post, Ree Drummond of Pioneer Woman fame made mention that many people in agriculture are people of faith, because their whole livelihood is at the mercy of things that are completely out of control. This is so true, and really resonated with me both on a rancher level and a mama level. I feel lucky to have finally found my faith because I don’t know what I would do without it.

Probably punch someone in the face, and you know that’s not good.

 

 

Celebrate · On The Ranch

Miss’ First Mother’s Day

Miss and Little 1
far away
Miss and Little 4
steve
Miss and Little 5
Miss and Little 3
ninja
Miss and Little 2

Guess who got to celebrate her first Mother’s Day yesterday? Our mare, Miss! Her little baby girl was born late last week and I am one proud horse grandma! She’s beautiful. I’m sorry for the poor quality pictures, I took these with my phone but will get out with my big camera this week.

So far, it looks like everything is great–babe’s walking and running around, and Miss is a wonderful mother. It’s so fun to see her be so attentive to her baby. The other horses are a tiny bit jealous of all the attention we’re paying to Miss and Little, though, I think, because Steve was a major camera hog.

We haven’t named her yet, but she looks just like her mama! Welcome to the family, Little Miss!