Grace, new blog obsessions, and other things.

2:07 PM

 We interrupt these topical Hawaiian messages over here in blogland because I feel the need to share something with you all.   Or rather, share SOMEONE with you.  A National Treasure, if you will.

 My sis-in-law Jessi introduced me to this gem, and I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that my life will never be the same.   The first post of hers I ever read was just completely hysterical, and not in a "Isn't-my-family-so-cute-and-funny" way but rather a "My-kids-simultanously-humor-and-infuriate-me" way, and I was sold.  

Meet Grace, who blogs over at Camp Patton.

   After further checking into her blog, I honestly felt like the mommy-blogging Heavens opened up and the angels sang.  I mean, it's not that her blog is THAT radically different or filled with ground-breaking theories or anything.  It's that it is just so REAL.  I kind of feel like I've been reading all of the wrong blogs lately and it was totally bumming me out.  It truly made me want to give up on blogging.  The doing, the reading, the following, all of it.  I was just done.

And then I found Grace.  

   She's got great style, she writes freely and in detail about her birth stories, (which you know is going to always be an A+ in my book) she doesn't take herself seriously at all, she has a great sense of humor, she has 4 adorable little ones and is still in one piece......and many other admirable traits and qualities that would take up the rest of my girls' nap time to list.

   I'm currently trying to figure out why this blog seems so monumental to I mentioned earlier, I think a big part of it has to do with the small fact of just reading the wrong blogs, and starting to collect all of their individual voices into one big, throbbing echo in my head that was telling me I would never be enough.

The ones that are always trying too hard.
The ones that imitate, instead of inspire.
The ones that are always SO SERIOUS.
The ones that are always making you feel like you can't, and never will, measure up.
The ones that make you feel like a horrible person because you don't have an immaculate craft room.
The ones that make you feel like a horrible mother because you don't document every sneeze.
The ones that make you feel like you wear burlap sacks every day.
The ones that make you feel like you're always missing out life.

   I don't know, I guess I had just gotten to this unhappy, discontent place of comparison and feeling like I'm always falling short.  And then I felt like it wasn't even OK for me to talk about it, or share how I was really feeling in both life AND parenthood because of the thoughts that would always inevitably find me....... "She has like 17 kids and she's happy all the time", or "She has 5 under 4 and her house is amazing" or "She only has one kid but she also has a blog/business/shop/book/magazine/modeling contract/etc/etc/etc"  and it was all starting to weigh me down.

  I just felt so pointless.  Like my voice isn't heard.  Like my struggles don't really matter.  Like I'll never be able to quite find my way in this big world.

   And then Grace.  Literally, reading her blog just feels like grace.  It feels like someone standing up on the mommy-blogging platforms and shouting encouragement for once, instead of condescension.  It feels like someone telling you, "You are enough!  If I can do this, then YOU certainly can!"  It feels like someone laughing with you at the chaos that is your life right now, and then telling you it's going to be OK.  It feels like someone giving you a hug instead of a cold shoulder.  It feels like someone actually reaching out into blogland and offering a helping hand instead of a superior attitude.  It feels like someone is finally using their voice and their soapbox and their words to bring light, laughter and encouragement, instead of the opposite.

And it feels so GOOD.

   And so in honor of Grace, I tried to give my girls a little grace today too.  We were grocery shopping and Jocelyn was bit by the crazy bug the whole time.  Sometimes she was trying to be helpful and throw soy cheese substitute (and other things I would never buy) in my cart and other paraphernalia and sometimes she was just trying to be downright naughty.  And I quote, "Mommy, I'm not going to listen when we go into the store."    ?????!!!!

   But we stumbled/fought/wrestled our way through our stops and I was determined to just dash into JoAnne's for a few tiny, quick things before heading home.  Hilarious, I know.  So I went in there and Jocelyn immediately found a bouncy ball and proceeding to hick/throw it down the aisles.  In a craft store.  With many, many tiny things and breakables all around.  And the craziest part?  I contemplated all of that and then proceeded to LET HER DO IT because at that point the cost of a few broken items was well worth the short span of entertainment for her it was buying me.  That is what it had come to.

   I grabbed my items and stood in line to pay and that was when it all broke loose.  She was standing right there in line with me, but kept "losing" her ball down the aisle and chasing after it and then ending up like, 5 aisles away calling, "Mommy, where are you?"  when I was the one standing in one spot the whole time!  So one time out of desperation I dashed off to grab her and left Charlotte in the cart alone, but when I realized Jocelyn was a lot farther away then I though, felt bad and went back to get Charlotte and take her with me, rounded up Jocelyn and got back in line, and just shriveled under all of the condescending looks from other women in line.

   And that's when Jocelyn started trying on crowns and dancing around saying she had to go potty.  Potty.  In the back of the store.

  I took my chances and tried to wait it out and pay first because I did NOT want to wait in line again with my little scoundrel escaping all of the time and she got more frantic and I got more impatient and the lady at the counter seemed to sense all of this and was NOT impressed.  Finally I had paid and we got the key and we were on our way to go through the circus that is "Take a Toddler to a Public Bathroom With another Toddler trying to Touch Everything".  After that was all done, we managed to get out of the store with only shouting a few times and several looks that could kill.

   At this point, I completely nixed my previous plans of buying discounted bread to feed to the ducks in the park, and eating a Taco Bell picnic.  I was sweating, angry, completely humbled and just DONE.  We were going home.  But then I had a little change of heart and we swung into Dutch Bros. and got them drinks, in spite of them completely undeserving them.  Well to be fair, Charlotte did great and deserved hers.  Even extra whipped cream great.  I think she must sense the drama and chaos her older sister creates and just quietly adjusts to try and keep life in one big sort of cosmic balance or something.  Either that or she just doesn't want a crazy mama.

(Jocelyn enjoying her mama's Dutch Bros. on a different, better, much-less-naughty day at the pool.)

   And while treating them to Dutch Bros. after much naughty naughtiness feels a little bit like caving in, it also feels a lot like grace.  And I have been so inspired by the grace I've felt since finding Camp Patton and I only hope you, dear reader, can find a little grace here as well.  Because real is something I always, always want to be, and condescending is not what I want to be.

Here are some other blogs that offer grace......

The Wiegands
Grace to Be
The Natos
Beautiful Undefined
Tales of Me and the Husband
Skies of Parchment
Firefighter's Fam
Today is My Favorite
Little Rider Babies
Celebrating Life

   I'm sure there's like 1,000 others I didn't mention so don't feel bad if you weren't named, but girlies are waking up and it's time to go!!

Hope your Tuesday is grace-filled.


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  1. I can relate a little too well to the drama in the store, although in my case, it is the second daughter that causes the most drama around here!

  2. I just spent the last couple of hours reading Graces blog. Her love story. amazing! and her style. yeah I am hooked. and this post was also really encouraging and what i needed today. life is just a bit much right now and well maybe i just need to give myself some grace. xo.

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  4. You are too much! This is so sweet and undeserved! But yes!! We moms have to stick together!! Kids be crazy!! :)

  5. What a neat list of blogs! I want to click my way through them whenever I have some time. I'm honored to be included in the list!


  6. Hi there,
    I have been reading your blog for a long time and I just LOVE how honest and real you are.
    I have 2 kiddos myself and can relate to your's encouraging to know there are other moms out there who are in the same shoes as me.
    thanks again and keep it up!

  7. I look forward to reading Grace's blog. I have too often clicked away from blogs that are just, well, TOO MUCH, and I leave feeling insecure and questioning myself. So this one sounds like a breath of fresh air!

    I am so honored to be included in your list of grace-blogs. Yours is a favorite of mine too! xo


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