Posted in Parenting

What I didn’t know…

I knew I would love him.

I knew that, like his sister before him, he would make my heart swell.

I knew that I would do absolutely anything for him.

But what I didn’t know and could have never even imagined, is that one glance at him would make my chest constrict.

I didn’t know that I would one day shudder at the thought that I could have missed out on this love.

I didn’t know that I would spend every single remaining day of my life being grateful that I was gifted with a boy…this boy.

When I was a young girl, my grandmother encouraged me to be careful what I prayed for because often, we can’t possibly know what joys lie beyond of our specific prayers.

And I’m so grateful that all of those prayers for a second girl fell on deaf ears.

Because this boy has brought me joy that I could have never imagined.

My life is ever changed by my sweet Matthew.

Bathtub conversations

Dear Katie,

One day you will probably cringe over what I’m about to write, just please remember that I love you.

This morning, as you and Matthew were in the bathtub, we had a conversation that went like this:

You: Mommy, Matthew has a penis.

Me: Yep, he sure does.

You: When he grows up, will he have a vagina like me?

Me: Nope, he will always have a penis.

You: When he grows up will he be a mommy?

Me: No…he may be a daddy, but only girls are mommies.

You: Oh…okay. When I grow up, I’m going to be a doctor.

Me: I’m so happy to hear that Katie. Will you also be a mommy?

You: You’re not listening to me. I said I’m going to be a doctor.

Me: Well, Katie. You can be both. You don’t have to choose between the two.

You: Really? I can? Perfect! I’ll be a doctor and a mom!

Me: Yes, my sweet girl, you absolutely can be both.

And Katie, I hope you never limit yourself.

You can be anything you dream of being and I’ll be right here to remind you to reach for everything you want in this life.

With a heart bursting with love for you,

Mommy

Finally…the big girl bed

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. –Henry Ellis

Well, I couldn’t fight it any longer.

I fought the good fight…really I did.

But, I finally caved to the big girl bed.

And Katie truly couldn’t be happier.

Today, on Practicing Gratitude, I’m sharing what finally convinced me it was time to make the move.

Come by to see how it is that I found the strength to let Katie grow up just a little bit.

big girl bed, transitioning to big bed, pottery barn bedding, pottery barn kids

big girl bed, transitioning to big bed, pottery barn bedding, pottery barn kids

big girl bed, transitioning to big bed, pottery barn bedding, pottery barn kids

daughter, quotes about daughters

Parenting with grace

I heard it long before I saw it.

Bearing down on me, grumbling and rattling my entire bike.

I felt my body go cold as I glanced over my left shoulder and saw the dump truck growing closer to me as I approached the top of the hill.

In complete panic, I quickly turned of my handlebars and my front tire hit a patch of loose gravel and my seven-year old body was thrown through the air and into a massive, immovable tree trunk.

On a street where I wasn’t supposed to ride my bike in the first place.

And then everything went dark.

When I woke, my mother’s face was the first thing I saw.

The sharp pain in my left wrist and the raw skin on my face contrasted sharply by the soft look of concern in her eyes.

She wrapped me up, whispered loving words, packed me into the car and took me off to the hospital, where my broken wrist was placed in a cast and the cuts and scratches on my face were treated.

And we went home, where my mother, confident that I was safe and would heal, punished me for breaking the rules by riding my bike on an unsafe street.

That she took time to comfort me when I needed it and then held firm to her rules helped shape the mother I am today.

There are times when I see in myself that same ability to be both firm and soft…strict and kind.

And as I look at my children, I am so grateful to my mother for being my everything as a child.

For loving me unconditionally, but also teaching me right from wrong.

This parenting thing isn’t easy, but she handled my childhood with a grace that I can only hope I’m showing to my children.

And this year for Mother’s Day, I can’t think of a better way to thank my mom for all that she has done for me than to show her how much she’s influenced me as a mother.

In addition to a traditional card, I’m sending her an Animoto video that can express my gratitude in a lasting, visual way.

Thank you, Mom! I love you!

Visit Animoto to create your own video slideshow as easily as I did! I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, and all opinions expressed here are my own.

When you visit Animoto, use use coupon code CleverFL to create one free full-length personalized video of your own.

Then, once you’ve seen how easy it is to make a video with Animoto, leave a comment here telling me who you’d make a video for because one commenter will receive a coupon code for a one-year subscription to Animoto Plus. Just think of all the love you can spread in a year!

You may enter to win until May 6th at midnight PST. Good luck and happy Mother’s Day!

 

Right before my eyes

The past sixteen months of my life have been lived in two-week increments.

Infertility does that to you. It robs you of the present and leaves you wishing away weeks of your life, placing all of your hope on something that might never be.

The past several months have been particularly painful. Time is slipping through our fingers and I have felt us running out of time.

But, life has a funny way of handing you something when you truly need it.

I was recently invited to create a Mother’s Day photo book with Snapfish and although I’ve made them for others, I don’t yet have one of my own, so I jumped at the opportunity.

And as I sifted through our nearly 17,000 (!) photos, I could almost feel Katie’s tiny baby hands in my own…

Those toes…oh those toes.

She smelled like sugar and somehow she felt simultaneously light and heavy in my arms.

Though I often think about her infancy, it’s more as a whole. How she nursed, drooled, and wooed me with her smile. As I looked through the photos, the small details came rushing back.

Her skin was so creamy and soft and those rosy cheeks simply required constant kissing.

When I came upon these photos of her first camping trip, I smiled at the thought that, at one year old, this was the first time I let her get dirty and she loved every single filthy second of it.

These beads were her favorite accessory for weeks, yet somehow I forgot about them until I saw this photo.

Katie’s hair now reaches all the way down her back. This picture of her teeny ponytails still melts my heart.

I had forgotten about this day in my bathroom when she came in to show me her tutu and slipper ensemble.

By this time, I was pregnant with Matthew. I remember thinking that Katie was such a big girl then, but when I look at these photos, all I see is baby.

And then, this angel entered our lives, bringing with him a joy beyond my wildest dreams…

There are a handful of photos that transport me back completely. I love this one of Katie running and squealing.

Oh…the snow. And the joy. I loved that the Snapfish layout allowed me to use so many photos from this series that we took on our weekend at the mountains.

These two children have shown me happiness that I could have never imagined.

They are everything…they are what matters.

I was, of course, thrilled at the idea of having a Snapfish photo book of my own. What I didn’t anticipate is the way simply creating my book would bring me so much joy and help me to regain my perspective.

My infertility doesn’t define me. The love that I have for these two miracles of ours does.

The process of making this book was such an incredible gift.

Every mother should have the chance to sit down and get lost in her photos for an afternoon. When you’re asked what you want for Mother’s Day this year, ask for a glass of wine and time to create your own Snapfish photo book.

With two lovely Mother’s Day themes from which to choose and super easy, creative templates, you’ll be thrilled with your final product. Go, make yourself a Snapfish photo book, a gift that you’ll hold close to your heart for always.

This post is sponsored by Snapfish as part of their support of the LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER SHOW 2012 series of Mother’s Day performances. I am reading at the San Francisco show on May 10th.

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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