Books, poop, dogs and coffee… and it’s only 11 am.

 

These are the ramblings of this morning. Read on. Life is humorous. Mocking, even.

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This is a good thing. When you have so little time, its good to lie to oneself, to live in a fantasy where hours are spent reading and houses clean themselves. Truly, this is bliss.

 

 

It amazes me the things we do for our kids.

I just scraped out Aquaphor diaper rash cream out of it’s jar and into a Tupperware dish, all because my almost 2-year-old loves taking the lid on and off (too messy, so empty it.)

If you’ve ever messed with this stuff, you know how messy it is. (Though it’s the most amazing stuff in the world. They shouldn’t label it as diaper rash cream bc it’s SO MUCH MORE!)

 

Coffee. Always needed. Always evasive.

Yes! Coffee is done! Go get coffee…

oh Jackson stepped on the plate I left in our room, put in dishwasher. Jackson wants to help, Jackson closes dishwasher.

Oh yeah, coffee!

Fills cup, empties creamer and starts rinsing out, Jackson needs something. Sets creamer-filled-with-water on counter by half-made coffee. Helps Jackson.

Oh yeah, coffee!

Grabs coffee, adds sugar, muses about too much creamer in cup. Oh well. Sees creamer on counter.

“Is this filled with creamer or water?

Did I already dump it?

Is this a new one? How have I already forgotten?!

Dumps creamer-filled-with-water into sink and recycles. Happily goes to read a book and drink luke-warm coffee. Walks into room and instantly smells poop.

Jackson needs a diaper change. Sets down coffee and book and changes diaper.

Oh yeah, coffee!

Grabs cold coffee and book and water and empty Aquaphor jar (backup. Always have a backup. Especially if you (haha) think you’re going to have a chance reading that book…)

Sits down and reads book while drinking cold coffee. Willow (furry husky) comes in the room. Jackson grabs her fur and holds on.

Book, down. Coffee, down.

“Sibling” fight ensues. Mommy intervenes.

Coffee never finished. Short chapter never finished. Long day ahead.

PS: now hiding in the bathroom, no noises to be heard. Bad sign. Bad bad sign. Book already ripped apart today. T-Rex brought his A-game.

Goes into bedroom. Once-full travel bottle of downy wrinkle release now empty. Jackson taking lid on and off.

Should’ve used the backup.

…The Nashville Mom (part II): a blog for Brave Women with Adult Issues

Welcome back!

To those who haven’t been following this series, I am writing about what it’s like in the world of The Nashville Wife (myself) and what it was like coming here without my own purpose. Along with that came The Nashville Mom. I had to find myself within both titles and I wanted to share my experience. I spoke to many other lovely ladies who have been through the basics of my story but in their own versions. 

That is what this series has been about.

Their voices. Our voices. A community of people who share a common thread within our life story, willing to branch out and reach for the lonely or the broken.

These women are wonderful people who have volunteered their time to answer these questions and discuss their life with me. I am so grateful for their willingness to share and I hope this meets someone where they’re at in their story.

Just a quick recap

My last blog in this series, When the Nashville Wife becomes the Nashville Mom (part I), I talked about my story and then I ended with the first question I asked,

“What was the hardest part of moving to Nashville for you?”

Man, there were some great answers and I highly suggest you take a look if you haven’t already! We all came here at a different time in our lives, but what I saw in every story was this:

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So let’s continue… 

Let’s dive back into their stories and hopefully connect with them on some part of their path.

QUESTION #2:

Did you leave a job to become a SAHM?
[stay at home mom]

 

Here’s what they had to say:

“Yes.  I had a career position in accounting.  But I always knew I wanted to be a mom, so I was glad to leave.  I loved my job, but music and family are my passions.” – Martyne Palmer

“I was working a job I loved in Redding, CA and I haven’t been back to work since I had my son. ” – Heather Abbott Burback


“I stayed home for 4 months but went back to work because I needed my own purpose and space. I love my son dearly but felt like if I didn’t have my own career or something I was achieving personally, I’d be envious of my partner. ” – Allison Klein

“No. I am so grateful to work from home.”

My follow up question: That is wonderful! You worked from home before you had a child, correct? Did you have a kid before moving here or after? Where do you work, if you don’t mind me asking?

I have worked from home for 3 1/2 years. I have 4 kids! Ages 4, 6, 9, and 11. Our older 2 are biological and our younger 2 are adopted. We had all of them before moving to Nash. I work for Plexus Worldwide! After failing miserably at 6 other MLM companies, I finally found the RIGHT one. Through Plexus, I was able to pay for our son’s adoption and I am able to pay all of the bills for our family of 6.” – Vicki Mason Brown

“I feel that once I became a stay at home mom it was so rewarding, at first, but I’m so grateful once I started working part-time from home.  I got lucky finding a bookkeeping job that was very flexible and understanding of being a new mom.  I advertised my resume and job skills on Craigslist and I was lucky enough to be contacted by a small business that has now become like a family to us. I love having my own work on the side to keep me busy and engaged with adult issues during naptime and after bedtime.”  – Jamie Angsten

 

Ha. Let me repeat that, Jamie:

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I love love love this! So perfect. I have to say, I LOVE that the answers are so different and that no one was ashamed to admit they were glad to go back to work. I hear a lot in mom’s voices the guilt over leaving their kids. Well, no, not just leaving them, but wanting to “leave them” to go to work. And that’s not it at all. There’s always more to it than that. I love what Allison had to say about it:

I needed my own purpose and space. I love my son dearly but felt like if I didn’t have my own career or something I was achieving personally, I’d be envious of my partner – Allison Klein

I completely, 100%, understand this. I personally had no desire to go back to work physically (as in leaving my house, leaving my kid to go work) but I DID have this same feeling of needing my own purpose and space. I needed to achieve something personally. I didn’t want to live in my husband’s shadow. Wow. Just so well said, Allison. Something I think a lot of women feel – NOT just in Nashville, but every mom that is a SAHM.

I could go on and on with this blog but I’ll leave it for now. Again, I look forward to next Monday, The Nashville Mom (Part III), where I will continue with more questions and more answers from these women who want you to know you’re never alone. As always, feel free to comment or to send me a message through my Contact page. I would love to hear your thoughts and your stories!

Take care, lovelies.

 

If I were to be honest…

I am hurting. I am watching the repercussions of sin take root in the simplest things…. and in the biggest. I am watching what it means to live in a life of imperfections, yearning to live with the God that loves us and can’t wait for a time of perfection and peace with us. A God that hurts with us. A God that begs for me to lean on him and cry when I face the realization that my son doesn’t talk like all the other toddlers. That my son is incredibly intelligent but can’t verbally express it. Not yet.

He’s not mute and he’s not deaf. He will talk in time, through therapy and with the love and endless support of his “momma” and “da-da” and all the loving friends and relatives that surround us. He’s not a serious case and I tend to judge myself over this.

“There are others that are going through far worse.”

Ugh. No. S-T-O-P with the judging of yourself. Why do we do that? Why do we compare our pains, our hurts and sufferings to someone else’s? Why can’t we just allow ourselves to grieve how we need to grieve, over WHAT we need to grieve over? There are parents who have been blessed with remarkable children, children that have been asked to live in a world of autism, where there’s possibly no hope of speaking outside the flapping of their hands and screeches in order to tell you something. That crushes me. I cannot imagine. I pray for these families, pray for courage and strength. You are heroes… I cannot imagine. And that is just it. I cannot imagine. I am not living that life. I am living my life.

Have we ever thought about the fact that maybe that family that has it worse (and honestly? They may not even feel that way… I am not one to judge. That is not my place..), but had they not lived their life and instead lived yours, maybe they would grieve what you grieve as well? 

So let’s stop selling ourselves short and let’s grieve what we are currently grieving, no matter what someone else is going through. This is YOUR GRIEF. This is YOUR STORY. It is okay for you to feel the way you feel. The family that “has it worse than you” would most likely be the first to tell you – or rather, me – that they don’t mind if you grieve that your son isn’t yet talking. Even when they know their’s never will.

So…I am hurting. My son is 23 months old (as of yesterday). Two years old in June. I can’t wait to hear him say “I love you”. I can’t wait to hear my son say “milk” or “dog” or “car” or “please”. But you know what I learned today? I was reading Love, Anthony by Lisa Genova, a book about a boy with autism (and oh my goodness please buy that book right now! Click the link and buy it and read it. You’ll THANK ME!! Anyways…). I learned something valuable.

I don’t need him to speak to me. He doesn’t need to speak to me. I’ve already known for some time that his speech was possibly behind and I’ve known that this was okay. I’ve learned that I can find a precious gift inside the lack of speech – the gift God has given me to help me live through this life of imperfection – and that is I can learn my son even better than I would through speech because I know what every body movement, every influx of his tone, every eye movement means. I know him inside and out. I know what he wants, when he wants it. I know his internal clock, I know his needs and his desires.

Without speech, I have learned his heart.

I want to share with you a passage from the book Love, Anthony that can help you better connect to what I just wrote. To better understand me. Lisa Genova wrote this so beautifully. This is the voice of Anthony, the little boy who was autistic:

“I came here to simply be, and autism was the vehicle of my being. Although my short life was difficult at times, I found great joy in being Anthony. Autism made it difficult to connect with you and Dad and other people through things like eye contact and conversation and your activities. But I wasn’t interested in connecting in those ways, so I felt no deprivation in this. I connected in other ways, through the song of your voices, the energy of your emotions, the comfort in being near you, and sometimes, in moments I treasured, through sharing the experience of something I loved…”

My son will have a voice in time. But for now? He doesn’t need it and neither do I.

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It’s all Messy; the hair. the bed. the words. the heart. Life.

(quote by William Leal)

 

Well, isn’t that the truth. I wouldn’t have my life any other way. Sometimes it’s neat and orderly. Sometime’s it’s a chaotic disaster. Funny days and lots of laughter. Tears and sadness and pain. All of that makes it grand, makes it epic and full of life. There is little joy without sorrow. This won’t be a wordy post. Nor will it be a thought-provoking one. This is just a fun recap of my story for the week. My life, my mess, my adventures. Enjoy.

 

 

*PS: hover over the pics to see captions or click on them for better viewing*

 

  1. I enjoyed some serious blogging and some Instagram posting!

 

2. I enjoyed this glorious sunset while eating at Culver’s with my family. This day every month, this particular Culver’s sponsors the local Hendersonville, TN American Legion Post #290 by donating a portion of each purchase in order to help local veterans. Great cause and we were honored to be served our food buy local veterans. Thank you for your service. ♥

 

 

 

3. I enjoyed an amazing 3-day trip with my husband, sans baby!!! Thanks to my amazing mother for driving to Nashville from Missouri in order to watch him (AND our two Siberian Huskies, Willow and Coda!)

 

 

4. And…I so thoroughly enjoyed coming home to my little boy. So So much. My messy haired, messy little-man life, messy tantrums and messy faces. I missed this.

 

I hope you enjoyed! I’d love to know what you all did this week. Any trips? Any exciting events? Please feel free to leave a comment! Thanks so much and have a great week!

 

When the Nashville Wife becomes the Nashville Mom (Part I)

As you all know, I moved to Nashville because I made the choice to follow my husband’s dreams. I quickly found my dream job and started working at an animal shelter, to which I eventually became the Assistant Director there. I had my purpose and I was happy. I hadn’t planned on ever quitting my job, not even when I had my son. Truthfully, I didn’t give it much thought (who would? It’s your dream job. No giving up on that!) But then it happened. 

 

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I passionately, deeply loved that little boy. A love that grew so quickly that it took my heart by storm and my work was no longer my driving force. It was still my passion but it wasn’t enough for me anymore. It was harder and harder to swallow the thought of leaving him behind and then one day, the decision was made, and I would no longer work at the shelter.

I was so blissfully happy, but as most of you can imagine, the fullness of love couldn’t always fill the emptiness of solitude.

The constant stretch of days with no other human interaction, no getting out of the house, no me-time, was starting to wear me down. There were days where I felt like I was suffocating. Clawing my way out, I knew I needed something; I needed an outlet. That is when The Nashville Wife was born and so was the flame that ignited the kindling and set my world on fire.

I knew I wasn’t alone in this. I knew I couldn’t be the only mama that felt that way. Starting life in Nashville with no real purpose, finding your own and then letting it be taken away. Every road is traveled differently from person to person whether our stories are similar or not.

 

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We can let our different stories separate us or we can let them build us up. So I started this quest to share the stories and the voices of so many beautiful women who came here, to Nashville, either as a mom or not yet one. Women who came here with a purpose and those without one. Some that have struggled and some that have had the greatest adventure. These ladies wanted to let their words and experiences be available to those that may need to hear them. I needed to know I wasn’t alone. I needed to know there was a community out there where I belonged. So I might not be the only one.

I’ll end this with the first question I asked:

 What was the hardest part of moving to Nashville for you?

Here’s what they had to say:

“Probably leaving family, because everything I knew and loved still lived in Georgia.  I was lucky that my sister decided to move here too about the same time- she was (and is) a lifesaver.” – Martyne Palmer

“Moving to Nashville has been hard only because we moved with very little. We sold everything we owned to move here and it’s been a harder transition for my husband. We are very excited to be here and to see what this city has to offer for us. I think once we get settled it will make everything more of a smooth transition.” – Heather Abbott Burback


“Leaving California & the ocean. I grew up surfing on the beach my entire life…..And yeah, working for me is important. Also childcare is so affordable that moms can have careers and not hand over 85% of their paycheck to their childcare. It’s important! Many other countries have childcare priced similarly to Nashville (vs. let’s say, california) and there is a very high rate of happy moms with less post partum. I found staying home all day and breastfeeding made me sad and getting out for a few hours made me happy!” Allison Klein

“Leaving the only state I’ve ever lived in. Texas….I was leaving my sister which was really hard, but I knew Nashville was what God was calling us to do!” – Vicki Mason Brown

“I had a similar experience as you did with regards to working.  I found a job that I liked and was happy with the friends I met there, but once I became a stay at home mom I lost those friends as we were in different chapters of our lives.  My one piece of advice would be to save money.  We had moved here and had originally saved a good amount of money, but as we were both unemployed for a couple months, and moving into a new home, it was more expensive than we originally intended.  However, once we both started working, it evened back out but it was something we were not expecting as we were always so stable financially and neither of us wanted to rush into a job we were unhappy with. It all worked out but it does take time to get working, settled in a new home and making new friends. ”  – Jamie Angsten

I look forward to next Monday, The Nashville Mom (Part II), where I will continue with more questions and more answers from these women who want you to know you’re never alone. As always, feel free to comment or to send me a message through my Contact page. I would love to hear your thoughts and your stories!

Take care, lovelies.

 

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The Nashville Life through the eyes of The Nashville Wife

A lonely beginning

 

Nashville, in a lot of ways, is a community like no other. Imagine as a professional blogger (or whatever your current field is in), moving to a specific city where everyone you meet seems to blog professionally. Every store, every cafe, every park you visit, someone you talk to is either already a pro or is aspiring to become a pro in your field. 

That is how it feels for me, The Nashville Wife, to move from the midwest state of Missouri (Go, Cards!) – where the work is ALWAYS different from person to person – to a state where you can’t go 10 feet without running into someone employed in the music industry. 

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.”
– Howard Shultz 

To me, that was very isolating. Everyone here seemed to have a purpose and a direction. This town is full of people who are from all over the world. Just about everyone I’ve met has moved to Nashville for a purpose (usually for the music industry).  So where does that leave me? 

→ Where do I fit in? 

→ Am I always going to be “the musician’s wife”?

→ Will I always live in someone else’s shadow? 

Three and a half years later, I’ve come to realize that this is only the beginning for me. I came here with a purpose: to support my husband and help him reach his goals; to help him become someone that inspires greatness in others. However, I never intended for that to mean I couldn’t be somebody, too. And so “The Nashville Wife” was born.

“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than you are capable of living.”
– Nelson Mandela 

You see, it took a while for me to see that this town is not just a town for musicians. It seems to be coming alive with young entrepreneurs. The town itself might seem like a music city, and it is, but there’s also a sense of a greater purpose here. This town has a heart and a passion for working together – no matter what your expertise is in – and building a community based on that. (I touched on this a ways back when I wrote The Nashville Wife (or Husband)).

I was immersed into the field of music because my husband lead us there. We chose to eat, breathe, sleep music and it was suffocating me. 

 

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So… it was time to set MY soul on fire. And THAT is what I believe this city ultimately wants to be known for. A place where Hearts Bloom and souls come alive. Nashville won’t hand this to you on a silver platter. If you come here? You need to want it. You have to push and work and fight for what you want. But above all, and this is what is most inspiring to me… you have to believe in yourself. 

 

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My hope is to shine a light on all the places and all the people here that I can find that have helped shape this town, that have helped build this community into what it is…

a family.

 

My first starting point is a place that hits very close to home and that is with all the Nashville Moms. These women are the driving forces in this town that most of the time, remain hidden. There is so much knowledge, so much beauty and expertise in the voices of these women and I am so excited to share the experiences I have had with them. Get ready for my blog next Monday, When the Nashville Wife becomes the Nashville Mom (part 1). This series is going to be fantastic!

PS: One thing I want to point out is how important it is for those of us in the artist genre of the workforce to remember that we are not the backbone of this great city. It is the workers with (as one of them put it) the “normal jobs” that make this city stay alive. And you are absolutely correct. Without the police, firefighters, electricians, plumbers, roofers, those in the public office, animal shelters, garden/lawn industry, homeless shelters (I could go on and on) – Nashville wouldn’t exist.

I see you and I don’t forget you. I don’t know you, but I thank you.

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So let me ask you, have you or has anyone you know had this same experience? Does Nashville feel this way to you or is there a side of Nashville you think I still have yet to see? I’d love to hear your voices. Feel free to comment or go to my Contact page and send me a message. 

For my Mom on this Mother’s Day.

It is no secret that my mom and I haven’t always had the easiest relationship. Our personalities are so intense, so similar but with just enough differences that made for some challenges over the years. I always loved her, always admired her but we certainly had our share of fights. You might say, “well that’s typical of a mother/daughter relationship.” No, not us. Ours was a little beyond that. 

There is a point to why I’m bringing this up on Mother’s Day. You see, she and I are very close now. We text each other almost daily and multiple times a day at that. She comes from Missouri to visit quite ofter and we love having her here. I couldn’t imagine my life without her and it has been a lifelong journey getting us to this point. 

But we are here. And we are better. 

My mom is a bold woman. She is a confident, hard working, an intense person. She loves so deeply that your pain becomes hers. She never forgets you, never puts you last, never stops looking out for the needs of others.

She endlessly searches for the best parts of herself, never allowing for the worst to shine.

She’ll fight your battles if you need her to. She’ll be your warrior, she’ll be your friend.

She allows her heart to be breakable but her soul is fierce. 

She is the woman who pushes me, trailblazing the path of the person I want to become

She made herself to become the person I admire. 

She endures, ever hoping, always searching, never quitting. 

She is amazing and she is my mom. And I love her.

Happy Mother’s Day.

This is me.

This is my life, and I love it…

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Chillin with the pups
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Watching Daddy mow the yard
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Loves this lawnmower toy
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Bubbles for days!
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He climbed up but couldn’t figure out how to get down. Isn’t that life?
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My two favorite people.
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Me and my little man.
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Happy boy right here.
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Run, Run, Run.