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  Take a deep breath, Mama. It's going to be ok. Whatever you did or said today isn't going to ruin your kids. Whatever you bellowed or burned last night doesn't define you. Having a bad day doesn't mean you're a bad mom. I know you feel like you're messing it all up, and I know how you convince yourself that you just don't have what it takes. But you're not, and you do. Being a mama is a sacred calling, and it's also a great sacrifice. Every day, we mamas give up a lot. We sacrifice sleep, clean kitchen counters, hot meals, and the certainty that we're doing things well. Because if there's one thing I know about mothers, it's that we constantly analyze and evaluate ourselves, and we obsess over our mistakes. And goodness knows, we make plenty of them. This week alone, my failures could fill a page. I've fed my kids fast food for dinner, fussed at them for moving too slowly, yelled at them for running in the house, washed the same load of laundry twice because I forgot about it fermenting in the washing machine, gotten irritated when they forgot to pack their lunches for school, rolled my eyes when they yelled my name...


  My baby girl is getting hair in her armpits. Not just peach fuzz, but honest to goodness hair - hair that's getting darker and longer every day. There's a razor in her very near future, and I can't take it. My baby boy is getting wisps of dark hair on his upper lip, and his legs are starting to look like a teenager's. My babies are changing right in front of my eyes, and my mama heart is beating fast. We can't be here already. We can't be at shaving, puberty, bodily changes and hormones. It can't be time. And I'm just not ready. Somebody should have warned me. Somebody should have said how fast they grow up...


  If you've been around here a while, you know I love to read. Seriously. So far in 2017, I've read 17 books, and I wanted to share the best of those with you in case you need some recommendations. Here are the nine I think are worth your money! When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin. (Y'all, if you've never read anything by this man, start now. Love his writing!) Essentialism by Greg McKeown. (If you are a person who feels overwhelmed with all you have going on in life, this book will remind you of the need to simplify, and it will help you with practical steps to do so.) The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi. (Really interesting story about 2 generations of females in Afghanistan who have to disguise themselves as males.) Irena's Children by Tiler J. Mazzeo. (This is the true story of a woman who is best compared to a female Schindler. She saved 2500 Jewish children in Warsaw during WWII.) Water From My Heart by Charles Martin. (I loved this one because it's set in Nicaragua, where I've been twice. Beautiful redemption story.) No More Faking Fine by Esther Fleece. (LOVED this one -...


  Dear Divorced Mom, It sucks, doesn't it? This whole being divorced thing. Whether you wanted to be or not, here you are. A mom who used to be married to her kids' dad and now isn't. The divorce changed everything, didn't it? Your life as you used to know it is gone, and whether that's a good or bad thing, nothing is the same. Holidays are different. Schedules are different. Family dynamics are different. You feel like a failure, sometimes, don't you? You feel like less of a mom because your kids aren't always with you. Secretly, you feel like a fraud and a part-time parent. You think about the time you miss with your kids and are insanely jealous of people who don't have to spend weekends without their babies. You hate using a calendar to keep track of the days they're gone and the vacations they're taking without you. You cringe and feel embarrassed whenever someone asks, "Do you have the kids this weekend?" You know it's not natural. You know they should be under your roof. You walk into their empty rooms and feel an aching sadness that doesn't end until they walk back through your door. You feel sometimes that "divorced" defines who you are. It...