I think, just maybe, I’m back. Maybe.

I completely understand the appeal to blogging for moms.  I finnnnally get the whole “mommy blogger” scene.

MOMS NEVER HAVE ANY TIME ALONE.

And yeah, okay, I totally understood that from the very beginning.  I mean, kids are living things that need you’re attention.  And that they take more effort to grow than plants.  And you can’t really just leave them all day long like you can a dog.

But man I just had no idea how much non-existent “me” time I get.  Sometimes, on my way home from work, I take a quick pit stop at Sonic and stay there long enough to finish my drink.  And that 20 seconds (because as soon as I get it, I start missing those tiny people who won’t leave me alone and I guzzle it down) is about all I get. Sometimes.  Because two tiny people means all the Sonic slush money goes to buying them things to keep them alive. Like shoes.  And underwear.  Because someone keeps peeing in all the clean ones…

But the internet sure does make it easier to have space to yourself.  A little tiny corner of the world where you get to decorate it and not have anyone tell you he doesn’t like flowers, or have matchbox car wheels drug through the paint before it’s dried.  A small little place that doesn’t know that you’re currently wearing clothes that have lived on the floor for the last week because all those dirty, tiny underwears take precedence in the washing machine than your shirt.  Even if it does have some sort of smear from one of those petite hands that stay dirty all.day.long even though you haven’t fed it anything in hoursss.

I totally get it.
MOMS.  YOU ROCK.

But that’s not why I’m back.  I’m not back here stringing words together because I just want a little bit of time to call my own.  I’m not sitting at the library once a week while the husband sits at home playing with our children so that I can play around with my very own toy that is kept far, far away from grubby little hands (that apparently stick playdough in the headphone outlet).

NO.

I’m here because in January 2015 I said YES to God.  I told him I wanted him to MOVE me out of the position I was STUCK in and into the position HE wanted me in.  I was finished with making excuses.  I was tired of where I was at mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  I needed some action verbing in my life.

So I said YES to a new job.  I said YES to a new house.  I said YES to scheduling, routines, and hard work.  I bought an actual erasable wall calendar so that we could schedule all our work times–and I hate those things.  The husband and I say YES to financial peace and financial discipline every Thursday night when we sit down to budget our money.  I say YES to my kids every time I say no to social media, tv, or other escapisms.

And God has moved.  He has moved me into an area of life I had no idea I could be a part of.  An area of life in which I thought would never have space for me.

But in this season of saying yes, and doing the hard work, and keeping up with the moving and not getting stuck, I have been prompted to say YES, once again, to this tiny little corner all to myself on the internet.

And I have no idea what it’s going to be

I know what it will not be.  I know it will definitely not be a place for me to get stagnant in.  It will not be a place where I fall into the trap of comparison.  It will not be a place for me to escape to.

This is simply a place I’ve said YES to.  For the time being at least.

And I make no promises about what you might fin

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Due date.

I can’t help but think about this week.  A year ago on August 29th we made the decision to adopt.  Then on September 3 we mailed our papers.  And today, on September 4th, 204, we should have been welcoming Baby Frost.  (Well, give or take a few days.  But I’m pretty sure that my baby would come right on time, since he/she knows I have no patience.)

There’s about fifteen women (no joke) that I either personally know or follow online with due dates around my own.  And while I can’t help but be so happy for them, there was a very long period where I was nothing but envious.

Don’t get me wrong.  I so enjoy being a mother to these two little girls.  They are funny, and smart, and beautiful.  Little is the most perceptive four year old I’ve ever met, a trait that stems from her need for survival, sure, but perceptive none the less.  Littlest learns about four new words everyday, and came to us only bottle fed and slept in a crib and hardly ever walked, and now she’s got this little independent streak that I can’t help but admire and want to squash all at the same time.

But man, do I miss that baby of mine who I never got to meet.

Although I hate that I feel the need to add this disclaimer, but I know if I don’t I’m sure to get about 50 texts or calls wondering about my mental state or asking me to go to coffee, I am not nor have I ever wallowed in self-pity about this baby.  I grieved.  I read an amazing book that helped.  I talked through it.  I prayed through it.  I feel very much whole and complete even with no baby.  And should I never be pregnant again I am amazingly content with that.

But I just can’t help but think what the last nine months could have been.  I can’t help but think about the experience I didn’t get to have.  I can’t help but wonder about if Baby was a he or she, and what it would have looked like, what it would have become.

But then I think, Baby has become something.  Baby Frost has become one of the biggest blessings I’ve ever had in life.  Baby Frost taught me there are better things to cry about than losing a job or not finding the right shade of foundation.  Baby Frost taught me that there are real struggles in the world that people go through on a daily basis.  Struggles my own children have endured.  Baby Frost gave me a profound sense of loss that only better helps me to understand the loss my children have gone through.  And though this baby will never have a face or a name or a gender, this baby has transformed my life body, mind, and soul.

So here’s to you, Baby Frost.  You’ll never be a could’ve-been, a should’ve-been, a would’ve-been.  In my heart, you’ll always be a highly valued and amazingly cherished piece of my heart that I will never, ever forget.

Here’s my letter to the baby I’ll never meet.

 

Weekending — A very intense craving for Fall

In an effort to practice more writing and less blogging (and to try to work up to that 1000 words a day goal that I wrote about and subsequently ignored) I’m going to start posting a writer’s style weekend recap on Mondays.  A post where I talk about my weekend at great length with lots of details on specific feelings and such, and less of a bulleted run-down with pictures in-between.  So, you’ll either love it or hate it.  But at the very least, I hope you appreciate it.

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Walking along the hot sand yesterday, a bag of beach toys in one hand, the hand of a daughter in the other, I couldn’t help but wish so suddenly for fall.  Perhaps it was the fact that it was just 80 degrees–which up here could mean a hot, summer’s day or a cool, crisp fall afternoon–and I just wanted to be out of shorts and into jeans with a soft scarf wrapped around my neck. 

I’ve never craved fall before.  I anxiously await the heat.  I sit around enjoying the throes of summer.  I relish each bead of sweat the falls down my forehead.

But now?
Now I want fall. 

We drove an hour north to Wingaersheek beach yesterday, the only beach we’ve found with white sand, tidepools, and miles of cool water that’s barely waist deep.  The only beach with sand that will make a proper castle because of its lack of rocks.  We climbed all over the big rocks close to the shoreline.  We waded with the minnows.  We packed our buckets full of sand and turned them upside down.  Littlest just kept pouring sand from one bucket into another.  Little clutched Daddy’s hand and waded out in the waters for hours.

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I would be lying if I said that I’m enjoying this season to the fullest.  I would be lying if I said that each time I look into my daughters’ faces I feel this quick tug on my heart.  I would be lying if I said that I was prepared to be right where I am.

I can truthfully say that I’m so glad I have these exact two daughters.  And that it makes me so happy to see them smile, to say a kind “Hello!” to strangers we pass, to hear them call me “Mom” or “Mama” or “Mommy.”  It makes me content to know they’re not leaving and that we’re done with this one part of the journey (even if legal guardianship is still to come). 

But I think I’m beginning to crave that moment all moms say they have of looking at their child for the first time and becoming instantly overwhelmed with joy and love.  I still have to practice that one.  In the midst of being angry or impatient I often have to remind myself that these are actually my children, no one is coming through that door to relieve me of my babysitting duties, and that if I want the rest of the afternoon to go well perhaps it’s my attitude I should change.

I’m beginning to crave that next season in motherhood when my brain automatically realizes that I am a mom and sees these two as my own children, instead of me having to work to get there.  I’m beginning to crave that next season in our marriage when we become more of a team rather than two people that live together.  I’m beginning to crave new beginnings–new move, new home, new family, new friendships. 

I’m craving an almost fresh start, where people stop asking me How’s it going? because they’ve assumed that I was the one who birthed these children 4 and 2 years ago, and why would they want to know how I’m doing?

I need that crisp air to dig itself in and encircle all of us and carry us away into a new season of parenting, marriage, and living.

Perhaps I’m giving too much credit to fall.  After all, it’s done little for me before except bring a work week.  I don’t like pumpkin flavored anything, I don’t care for hot chocolate or hot coffee, and I don’t routine pop in to Starbucks to see a changing menu.  But there’s something different about this fall.  I smell cooler air and new promises on the horizon.  Things I’m going to soak in as much as I would a beating hot sun.

And even if this fall brings more of the same pain, struggles, frustrations, and long-suffering as the rest of the year has, I’m going to trust that it’s for my own good.

I met my kids and I haven’t blogged about it.

Good thing I’m not a real blogger, because I think meeting my children and not immediately blogging about it would be quite the #blogfail.

But, hey, good news!  I met my children.

I haven’t blogged about it because I don’t quite know how to put the whole experience into words.  I think you (adoptive) mamas would understand.  There’s just something so surreal about meeting your children for the first time that makes your emotions and your feelings intermingle with all your senses so you don’t know how to compartmentalize and separate the two so that you can actually tell people about the experience.  There’s too much to say.  There’s nowhere and everywhere to begin.

There’s this phrase in the English language–that I cannot for the life of me remember–whose definition says that there are things so secretive and special that the moment we put it into words it loses all purpose and heaviness.  It’s like, the second we share the secret, it just becomes so plain and ordinary.  (Anyone know what I’m talking about?)  And that’s how I feel about meeting my kids.    I haven’t been able to write anything at all because this is the only thing I’ve been wanting to write about.  I’ve filled pages on paper and pages in my head and have multiple posts sitting in my drafts box. Try as I might I just couldn’t put the whole thing into words,  and then I decided that I didn’t want to, because the whole experience would just be lost.  So I’ll keep it with me.  For now at least.

But I met my children.  My daughters.  And they are amazing.   They have smiles that light up the whole room.  They have tiny hands that grasp my fingers in a way that makes my heart melt.  They have laughs that penetrate my core.  They have a presence that I feel the second they’re in the car and when they’re not around my whole being searches for what’s missing.

These children are ours.  They talk like us.  They act like us.  They look like us.  They were completely and wholly made for us.

And I am so, so, so grateful.

The countdown is official.  Nine days and they’re ours forever.  And most likely, I’ll never write about what it’s like to bring them home. But I sure can’t wait for it to happen.

Foster Mom-ing

So, we were foster parents after all.  I told you.  Life is great, and then it’s not, and then it is again.

foster parentingfollow me on instagram!  @caitlinmfrost

I won’t lie.  This was such a fun week.  So very fun.  I love waking up to them talking (sometimes screaming or singing) in the mornings, and I’ll miss that when they’re gone.  I love watching them get really excited about little things, like a Dora movie or dead leaves in the backyard, or cheese and crackers for a snack.  I love having conversations with them.  I love their laughs.  I love their childishness.

But this was also such a weird week.  I mean, we’re not their parents, so a lot of behavior we knew we wouldn’t be able to successfully correct in a week’s time.  A lot of things we just gave into, because we didn’t feel like making a war out of tiny battles that would disappear in a week’s time.  Having to be a parent while really just being a babysitter.  And there were a lot of times I wanted to call it quits.

The hardest challenge was to listen them call us Mama and Daddy when we’re not their Mama and Daddy.  And to have that conversation with them about how that’s not who we are.  This was the complete opposite conversation I wanted to have in this process.

Soon we’ll have our children in our homes.  (This week will (surely) be the week!)  And we’ll have conversations about how we’ll never leave and always be there.  We’ll probably have to beg to be called Mama and Daddy because with our luck it won’t be as easy with ours.

I’ll never forget these children.  Never ever.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for Starburst Studio!  I’m extending the deadline through this Friday at midnight. 

Mom Jeans

I’ve been reading blogs forever, and the one thing I can’t get over is how mom bloggers are constantly talking about fashion.  There are so many posts about how just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you need to buy mom jeans.  You’re a person, too!  Be hip and trendy, stop wearing yoga pants, buy a fedora, rock your braids, etc. etc.  There’s a lot of talk in blogdom about “putting yourself first” and “a happy mom means happy kids” and this whole genre of “mom-guilt” about leaving your kids to go do something for you.  It’s giving off the impression that some moms would rather not be moms.  Or would rather have two separate identities–mom, and {insert your first name here}.

And what woman doesn’t want to wear pajama pants all day long?  I cannot even tell you how much I look forward to the hour when I get to come home and pull those puppies on.  Most of the time I don’t even change out of my shirt, just the pants.  And then my hair immediately goes up.  This whole yoga-pants-wearing thing is not a mom-only attribute, and it doesn’t make me less of a person so it won’t make me less of a mom.  What it will do is make me a whole lot more comfortable and will enable me to enjoy my husband and future children knowing that a giant piece of denim elastic won’t cut off my circulation everytime I sit down or bend over.  And I won’t have to be constantly pulling down my dress to I don’t flash the neighbors.

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Before the wedding and immediately following the wedding. Honestly, the bride and groom are probably grateful I just put on clothes.

I’m an just so grateful and so humble that I even get to be a mom. So I’m kind of looking forward to the day I get to buy a pair of straight-legged high-waisted jeans that I can tuck my oversize t-shirt into and slip on my white Keds for a quick jaunt around the neighborhood with the kids loaded in the stroller.  I’m in love with the idea of wearing clothes that shout, “I’M A MOM” to the world because I certainly don’t have a baby belly to prove it.  I just really don’t see why I can’t let my kids be my everything (after Jesus, of course) and why I can’t sit around and complain about how I don’t get to spend enough time with my kids everyday, and how I sometimes I wish I could put them to bed later so I could talk to them more or how I wish I could wake them up early just so we can sneak down to Dunkin’ Donuts before Dad wakes up.  Because I’ve already missed more of their lives than I wanted to in the first place.  And I’m really okay with spending every waking moment with them if only to try to make up for not being there before.  And all you moms reading this who are shaking their heads and muttering, “Just give it a couple months, weeks even, and she’ll be singing a different tune,” well, I just really don’t think so.

So while I can’t really dress a bump, and I don’t really have a reason to jet off to the mall and buy all new clothes, I certainly can accessorize what I already have.  And I absolutely love this necklace from Starburst Studio.  It’s cute, and its chunky beads are in line with what (I hear) is trendy right now.  It also seems durable, since foster daughter loved it so much she insisted on wearing it most of the day yesterday, and it withstood little girl wanderings.   And honestly, if my little girl loves it, then I call that a win in my book.  (She’s pretty fashion forward, so I think she knows what she’s talking about.)

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Katie from Starburst Studio has graciously offered up a necklace for one of you to wear!  The rules for entry are below.  And be sure to check out her shop or Instagram–she has flash sales ALL the time, so you won’t want to miss that.

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To enter Slightly Overrated and Starburst Studio Giveaway:

1.  Like Slightly Overrated on Facebook
2.  Like Starburst Studio on Facebook
3.  Follow @caitlinmfrost on Instagaram
4.  Follow @starburststudio on Instagram
5.  Visit Starburst Studio and leave a comment about which necklace or earrings are your favorite
6.  Share this giveaway with your friends on Insta/Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest

One entry for each thing done.
Please comment below with the numbers you’ve done.
Giveaway ends Friday at midnight.

Good luck!

On becoming a foster mom.

Yesterday I woke up at 5:30, got out of bed, went down to start breakfast, and just knew that we were going to get an email about some kids and we were going to say Yes to them.

How crazy is that?  It was just the oddest feeling in the world.  I knew it was going to happen, and I knew we were going to say yes.  It was more than just wishful thinking or hopeful optimism.  It was very clear, and very direct.

So when I left school at 2:15, finally checking my phone for the first time in a few hours, there it was, the email was sitting in my inbox, waiting to be read.

But we weren’t being asked to adopt.  We were asked to provide a short-term placement for two children, siblings, that needed an emergency placement.  The stories of their lives in the email scared the living daylight out of me, and for the first time in this journey of saying that my children will see more destruction in their short little lifetimes than I will ever know finally became me knowing this to be true.  And my newly acquired mama-bear instinct kicked in and reared out me, prayerfully drawing them close to my heart, while I set out home determined to convince the husband that we would be saying yes to this.  Of course we would.  Didn’t I already know that this morning?

Of course he said yes. And two and a half days from now we’ll be picking up our temporary children and taking them to their temporary home and I get to spend my entire April vacation being a temporary mom.

I am ever so humbled that God has asked us to parent these children for this time.  Because let’s face it, why else did I know what I knew that morning?  To think that for even a brief span of time these kids will encounter the Almighty Jesus in our homes is such a grand idea.  And I feel so very honored to play a part of His story in their lives.

Now, the real question remains.

Who wants to have a playdate?