The Space Between

For the women trying to live life in the space between it all.

Tag Archives: Mom Life

Living in doubt.

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This is going to be extremely candid and not very well rehearsed as I’m writing this from my phone while nursing my 8 month old. I’ve felt the Lord pushing me to write this for a few days now and I’m finally doing it very causally and quickly. I’m praying the Lord paves the way and these words are truly from Him.

I’ve officially been a stay at home mom for two months now. I’ve been struggling big time with only living on one income. I love shopping and spending money and I love serving others and being able to help others out. I like nice things and coffee and smell good things. I’ve been struggling with not being able to willy nilly buy whatever I want. Talk about selfish. We have a beautiful home, beautiful children, beautiful things. Of course there’s things we want to improve or buy new but that’s not a reality for us right now. Why am I so focused on the things I want rather than what I already have? Why do we do this? I want. I want. I want.

I started applying for jobs last week. Brandon and I talked and we came to the conclusion that God was just trying to teach us a lesson about money and being grateful for what we have. Yes, that’s it. We’ll be different this time. No, no we won’t. We’re still spending left and right and haven’t learned anything. I told my mom I was applying for jobs and she told me that it was just a case of the “I wants.” She was right. I had a very eye opening conversation with a friend who is in a similar situation last night. She’s struggling with some of the same things. But she’s trusting the Lord to provide and they’re doing everything they can to make this work for them. She told me we’re always chasing something. We’ll always want more or new or different. I’m currently wondering what I’m going to do come fall and I can’t spend $200 on Bath & Body Works fall candles like I do every year. Is it even fall if your house doesn’t smell like pumpkins or fresh leaves? Maybe not. Just kidding, yes it is. And at the end of the day, I’m staying at home with my kids for my kids. Do you think they’re going to remember what our house smelled like? Will the pumpkin smell be their fondest memory growing up? It might be. But probably not.

I’ve spent the last month doubting God’s plan for our family. One of my dear friends received a text from me at 2am one night because I couldn’t sleep and couldn’t stop crying over this. She encouraged me to pray. I’m truly grieving the life we used to live but I truly believe (and am working on living it out) that the Lord has a great plan for us. I may get a job soon. I also might not. But I’ve had some strong convictions lately and if it does happen, it’ll be for the right reasons. I don’t know what the future holds. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a God crystal ball? I’d love to see the future but that doesn’t leave much room for faith, does it?

Today I’m praying for anyone living in doubt of what the Lord has planned for you. Having faith can be so hard but I’m letting Jeremy 29:11 ring true.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬

Such powerful words. The Lord has great plans for our lives. Maybe you’re in a season where you just don’t feel that. Hold tight. It’s coming. He will always provide and in the midst of the good and the bad – He remains constant and good. Shake that doubt away and hold close to this promise He made to us. He has us. He has me. He has you. He won’t let any of His children slip through the cracks. I know it’s hard but rest assured this is only a season. I’m praying for you, friend.

To my tribe.

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My momma tribe…first, let me say you guys are AMAZING. I never could’ve imagined the bond we’d have and the friendships I’d develop. Right after I had Audrey, my mom told me to search on Facebook for a group for babies born in the same month as Audrey. Sure enough, there it was. It changed my entire life. This group of women has been the most loving, encouraging, supportive and relatable group I ever could’ve imagined. I’ve found some of my very best friends in this group. There are a few I talk to on a daily basis.

I remember when my 2.5 year old was about 7 or 8 months old, she got this awful stomach flu that had her throwing up for WEEKS. We ended up in the ER, we had numerous doctor appointments, different medications, all kinds of things. My mom tribe was there. They helped me, advised me, encouraged me, prayed for me, they were there for me. Some of these women have 4 or 5 kids, some are nurses, some run daycares and all of them helped me without making me feel like a new mom or like I didn’t know what I was doing.

When I was featured on Scary Mommy, they shared it in one of our spinoff groups. The love and support within this group of women is so amazing.


When I got pregnant with my youngest, they were the ones chomping at the bit to find out if she was going to be a boy or a girl. They messaged me, posted on Facebook, Snapchatted me – they did what friends do. They celebrated with me when we found out she was a girl and they helped me decide on her middle name. When I had her, they checked on me constantly and got worried when they didn’t hear from me in a while. I couldn’t ask for better friends.

This is a group of almost 1500 women and I’m telling you, we’re a family. We’ve raised money for women in need, sent meals to new moms, we’ve prayed for each other, some of the moms have met in person, we’ve helped buy groceries or sent formula to moms who needed a little help, we’ve sent each other Christmas cards and birthday gifts. I could go on and on about all the incredible things that have come out of this group.

I think I’m most thankful for the friendships and the community that has been created. Through my darkest of days, my mom tribe has been there. They’ve celebrated the highs and walked me through the lows. They continue to encourage, love and support me. They love my children and ask about my husband. I’d be lost without them. The friendships I’ve found in this group will last me a lifetime. This group of women has been the most incredible blessing to me and my family.

Thank you, dear friends. My life would not be the same without you. I need you. I love you.

Cloth Diapering Tutorial

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When I started researching to begin cloth diapering I was super overwhelmed with all the info that was out there and with the estimated starter cost being $500-750, I thought there was no way I’d ever be able to do it! I talked to a couple friends who encouraged me and helped me figure out what to get. Everything I read suggests getting 30-45 cloth diapers to start your collection. (WHAT?!) Now, this is very much dependent on how often you want to do laundry. I ordered 19 diapers and I do a load every day or every other day. I also got 24 additional inserts that are ruched because they hug the body better than the flat inserts. I use cloth wipes so I also ordered 45 reusable wipes. I got 19 cloth diapers with inserts, 24 ruched inserts, a wet bag and 45 cloth wipes for $211.86. That’s AMAZING and so much cheaper than I originally thought. I did the math and between the cost of disposable diapers and wipes, the cloth diapers and wipes pay for themselves in 8 months. That’s CRAZY! We’re 6 months away from our investment paying itself off. So cool!

Cloth Diaper Dos –

  • Wash all diapers and inserts at least three times before using them. This helps them become more absorbent so you have less leaks.
  • Change them every two hours (with the exception of nighttime) or they’ll start to leak and smell.
  • Double up inserts at night to avoid leaking.
  • Buy a wet bag. This is vital for going out and about.
  • Rinse them out after each use.
  • Use a free and clear detergent.
  • Use dryer balls to help with static. I even put a couple drops of lavender on them to help them smell good AND help sooth baby’s bottom.

Cloth Diaper Don’ts –

  • DON’T use fabric softener or dryer sheets. This starches them and they become less absorbent.
  • DON’T use detergent with fragrances.
  • DON’T use bleach. This breaks them down more and they won’t last as long.
  • DON’T leave used ones laying around the house all day during the summer. They’ll smell. I speak from experience.
  • DON’T wash them with hot water every time, this will wear them out faster.
  • DON’T dry them on high heat. This also wears them out faster.

Helpful Tips –

  • I wash them in cold the majority of the time with an extra rinse. Every once in a while I wash them on hot just so they can get really good and clean and kill any bacteria.
  • I dry them on low/medium. Never on high as that wears them out faster.
  • I rinse my diapers and inserts after each use and soak them in water mixed with ½ scoop of OxiClean all day.
  • I put ½ scoop of OxiClean in each load of cloth diapers and add an extra rinse cycle.
  • Some people wash the diapers alone, some people wash them with everything. I only wash them with small items like the girls’ clothing. I don’t wash them with blankets or sheets or anything big. I generally try to wash them by themselves but sometimes will throw some of the girls’ clothes in if it’s not a full load.
  • I’ve tried three different brands – Nora’s Nursery, SimplyLife, and Mama Koala. Mama Koala is my favorite. I really do like them all though. They’re all great quality and pretty affordable. Nora’s Nursery sends 7 diapers with inserts and a wet bag which is awesome. Mama Koala’s are super soft and so easy to stuff. They seem the most comfy because they’re so soft! Plus, Mama Koala has a Facebook page and they do giveaways all the time and they let you vote on what patterns you want for their next bundle! Such a cool, fun company.

Cloth diapering can seem really overwhelming, expensive and difficult when you’re researching it. Hopefully this helped some moms feel a little more at ease if they were considering making the switch. We’ve really enjoyed it. It’s SO good for the environment. Plus, their little baby booties look so cute in the adorable patterns. I hope this was helpful to someone! Happy diapering!

The power of essential oils.

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Before you roll your eyes and think this is another promotion post. Let me preface by saying that I don’t sell essential oils and I never have. I probably never will. I just really, REALLY believe in the magic within them.

At 6 months old, my oldest started suffering from terrible night terrors. We tried EVERYTHING. Putting her to bed later, putting her to bed earlier, white noise, night light, we tried baths, we tried waking her up, we tried taking her outside, etc. NOTHING worked. Her night terrors still came every night and she would scream and be incoherent for at least an hour, most of the time longer. I had a friend recommend diffusing lavender. I kindly thanked her and went on my way not thinking it’d actually work. You guys. IT WORKED. She stopped having night terrors. She did have one when we were on vacation a few weeks after the lavender but I blame that on the time change and sleep deprivation. She hasn’t had a night terror since! That was two years ago.

That got me hooked. I started researching a little more and asking people about them. I have horrible anxiety (I suffered awful postpartum anxiety after my first was born) so my mother in law gave me a grounding blend and a joyful blend to diffuse and wear together. I can’t tell you how much it helped me. Skeptics will cry placebo affect and maybe that’s the case but I honestly don’t care. The point is, I felt better. Now I’m not saying my anxiety went away completely or that I didn’t have bad days – the oils aren’t a cure all but they helped tremendously. During my second pregnancy I was SO nauseas. It was terrible. I carried peppermint with me and anytime I felt pukey, I inhaled my peppermint deeply twice with 10 seconds in between each inhale. Did my nausea go away completely? No. But it kept it at bay and tolerable! This past year was the first time I used a protective (a germ be gone) blend constantly and none of us got the flu!!! We don’t do flu shots and we all stayed relatively healthy this year with the exception of a mild cold. AND we had a newborn during cold and flu season and she stayed healthy other than a runny nose here and there. We wore it, diffused it, sprayed it, we did everything. This stuff WORKS. Maybe you still don’t believe me, that’s fine. I have plenty more stories to share but I’m only going to tell this last one. My 7 month old started the beginning stages of night terrors a month ago. Dread and anxiety set in because I know how awful they are. She wasn’t completely unresponsive or incoherent like my oldest was but just screaming and still asleep so I started diffusing lavender. Guess what. They stopped! She was still whimpering in her sleep every once in a while so I start diffusing a stronger restful blend and now she sleeps so great! It’s AMAZING.

I know essential oils don’t work for everyone and that’s okay! They’ve worked wonders for our family. Maybe you’ve been considering trying them out and this was the push you needed. I don’t really think one brand is better than another – I obviously have my specific brand I use but I think any brand – DoTERRA, Young Living, Eden’s Garden, Plant Therapy, etc. is fine. Just please don’t buy them from a grocery store. Only buy 100% pure essential oils. Do your research before you buy. Enjoy the oily life! It’s completely changed my entire world.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a medical professional. I do not claim that essential oils are to be used in place of medicine or medical treatment. I do not ingest them and I do not suggest that you do. I am not affiliated with any company aside from purchasing them. Please consult your physician and/or do in depth, research from a reliable source before diving into the world of essential oils. They are wonderful and helpful but can be dangerous when used incorrectly especially with young children. Most oils need to be used with a carrier oil when applied topically. Again, please do in depth research before using essential oils.

Below are linked pictures of my favorite oily items from Amazon! Just click the pictures and it’ll take you there. (Affiliated links.)

For the exhausted momma.

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You are super mom. You run around all day, cleaning up after little hands and little mouths and you don’t ever have time to care for yourself. The mornings go so fast then all of a sudden it’s lunch time and you’re making lunch and feeding the baby then it’s everyone down for naps and when you finally collapse onto the couch and you feel your body relax for a split second you realize you didn’t eat lunch. You look around and realize everything you worked so hard for the last 6 hours was undone just as quickly as you did it. I’ve heard the analogy cleaning up with kids is like trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos. While a very gross analogy, it’s accurate and it makes me laugh just thinking about that thought put into action.

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Actual photo evidence of my messy kitchen that I swear was JUST SPOTLESS. How does it get SO messy SO fast? 

You spend your days cleaning and organizing toys and books and unloading the dishwasher just to load it again and then you do it all again the next day. Sometimes you wonder why you even bother. You sweep and mop the floor just for a tiny helper to spill applesauce everywhere. You change your sheets just for the baby to spit up on them within 5 minutes. You dust and you vacuum and you do it again. You finally get all the laundry done! It really happened, all the baskets are empty! For about 5 seconds then someone tosses something in and you start the pile all over again. You change a diaper just for it to be pooped in immediately. All. Day. Long.

Everything you do all day just keeps getting undone. It’s exhausting. Why do you keep doing it? Because you are momma. You are a superstar. You are amazing. You are exhausted but you wouldn’t have it any other way. You do it all for everyone and you keep redoing it just as soon as it’s undone. You go, super mom. You keep redoing the undone things. You were made for this. Nobody else can do this like you can. You may be exhausted but you’re still rocking it. At the end of the day, your kiddos may remember that momma was exhausted but above everything, they’ll remember that momma did it all. She was exhausted, but she did it all. And she did it all for them.

25 things you NEED to do before summer is over!

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It’s sure felt like summer already here in Ohio even though we still have three more weeks of “spring.” I have so much I want to do with the kiddos this summer! Here are some ideas to ensure you have lots of fun this summer. 😉 I’ll provide a couple linked pictures at the bottom to our favorite summer items in case you need some ideas – just click on the pictures at the very bottom of the post and it’ll take you to the website.

1. Go to the zoo! Make it a day trip. Pack lunches in a cooler if you want to make it a little cheaper.
2. Play in the water table – I added shovels, pales and figurines to ours for added fun! I’ve also seen some people add bubbles.
3. Play with water beads in a sensory table or sensory bin. I underestimated how popular these would be! My toddler BEGS me to play with these multiple times everyday.
4. Catch lightning bugs.
5. Go to the beach.
6. Can’t go to the beach? Then go to the “beach.” I made a beach sensory bin using rice, white beans, rocks and seashells. It totally looks like the beach and Audrey has really enjoyed playing in it! I got everything from the dollar store so it was a super cheap project and I scrounged around the house to find the beach animals.
7. Make popsicles. This is on my list to do next week so when I perfect my recipe, I’ll post it!
8. Have a water balloon fight. Because sometimes it’s just fun to throw things at your kids.
9. Pool time. Whether it be a blow up pool in your backyard or traipsing off to the public pool – time spent at the pool is so fun!
10. Walk a trail. We’ve been trying to get out and walk a lot – it’s been so fun and relaxing!
11. Grill out. Burgers, dogs, chicken, just enjoy the outdoors with yummy grilled food.
12. Go to a farmer’s market. Summer time is the best time for fresh produce. Find a local farmer’s market and enjoy some yummy local produce. Plus supporting local farmers is just better anyway 😉
13. Have a picnic. Pack up some PB&Js and carrot sticks and head off to the park!

14. Too hot to go outside? Beat the heat and check out your local library for story time options.
15. Go on a road trip. Take a day and drive somewhere fun! Enjoy the sunshine and jamming out to music in the car. It doesn’t matter where you go. Sometimes the journey is the most fun.
16. Go camping. You can do this relatively cheap most places.
17. Get some cheap summer toys and make a day of it! We ventured to the dollar store yesterday and picked out some random summer time toys. Here are some ideas: Scoosh balls (I have no idea what they’re really called – I’ve just always called them this), a giant bubble wand, squirt guns, water balloons, shovel and pale, even just measuring cups can be fun in a water table, etc. There are so many options and random things you can get.
18. Go for ice cream, with sprinkles of course!
19. Fill up a birdfeeder and watch all the birds come flocking.
20. Eat watermelon and corn on the cob and all of that good summer food.
21. Watch fireworks.
22. Go to the park – swing, go down slides, test your strength on the handlebars, etc.
23. Walk in cool grass barefoot. I promise, it’s therapeutic.
24. Plant flowers or a garden.
25. Just enjoy family time. Embrace time with your sweet kids and soak up every ounce of sunshine you can.

To the momma of the strong-willed child.

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Strong-willed. Stubborn. Spirited. Wild child. Fiery. Free Spirit. Marches to their own beat. There’s so many other words and phrases I could use to describe the incredible nature that is the strong-willed child. You will love them, admire them, get frustrated with them, underestimate them, fight with them, appreciate them, respect them, and so much more. And yet, you have to keep feeding that flame, you can’t squander it. You have to allow that fire to grow. The fire that makes them who they are. The fire that will get them so far in life. How do you think all of the great leaders achieved all they have? They’re the go getters. The wild ones. The ones who don’t follow each rule and who push back when they don’t agree. The ones who question everything and pave their own way. The ones who don’t conform to “normal.” They change the world. They make a difference.

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I know it’s hard – trust me, I really do. I know some days you want to rip your hair out because you’re so frustrated and discouraged. I know some days you question if you’re doing what you’re supposed to in parenting them. I know some days you contemplate tossing them out the window – don’t lie, you know you have. I know some days you hide in the bathroom just for a break from the bossiness. But I also know that you have all the equipment you need to raise that amazing child. I know you sometimes lay awake at night wondering who they’ll be when they get older. I know sometimes you wonder if you’re a strong enough mom for them. I know sometimes you just sit and watch them because you’re in awe of the person they are at such a young age. I know you get defensive when the person at the grocery store makes the “Oh you’re in trouble” or “They’re a troublemaker” comment, because you know you’re not in trouble. You know that even in the midst of the toughest and most challenging days that your sweet baby while yes, very strong-willed is so wonderful and capable and is going to turn into the most incredible adult. (Once you survive the teen years, that is.)

At the end of the day, all you can do is embrace the persistence and determination within your child. It will serve them extremely well in the future. Perseverance. Willpower. Tenacity. Drive. These are all words that could be used to describe great leaders, the world changers, and our strong-willed child. The world needs people like this. The world needs children like this. The strong-willed ones are the ones capable of changing the world. Let them.

I’m going to leave you with this quote from the late Steve Jobs.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.