A Beautiful Mother's Story: Meet Kelly | Southern Indiana Documentary Photographer
I'm a little late getting this blog post up, but it's definitely a good one! This is the last feature in my "Beautiful Mothers" series... I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have met the wonderful mothers I did and to have learned valuable lessons from the wisdom and knowledge they shared.
"God had a plan to make our family in a unique way in order for us to love Him and each
Meet Kelly. She opens up and talks about home, values, and what "real life" looks like for her and her family. She has a lot of great advice and wisdom to share. Enjoy! :)
What does home mean to you?
Home is where my family is! It’s my safe haven, my place of peace within the chaos of everyday. It does not matter geographically where our house is, what matters is where my family is.
What does real life look like for you and your family?
Real life for us is messy and loud! We work hard, but we play harder which is evident by how my house is in a constant state of disarray. My boys are loud and so quiet time only happens when they are asleep! We are busy people running to work, to school, to swim team and trying to keep the kids fed and loved at the same time. Real life for us is enjoying each minute of their young lives because the dishes will still be there tomorrow, but in the blink of an eye my kids will be grown!
What do you love most about your real life right now, as you know it?
Each stage with my kids is an adventure. Right now I am enjoying watching Aydan be independent and helping him to learn new tasks that will prepare him to be a good father and husband. With Garin I am still enjoying that he is my last baby and I get to cuddle with him and help him a lot more. Our lives are crazy busy and I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon. I honestly love the hectic pace! If I had to slow down I honestly don’t know that I could do it.
What is one of your non-negotiables as a mother?
My non-negotiable has to do with how we became a family. My kids were physically given to us through the blessing of adoption. I will never let them forget what a gift they truly are and how hard that choice was for their birth families. We have a picture of each of their birth families in their rooms as a constant reminder of how we became a family. I will never stop telling them their stories or hide where they came from. God had a plan to make our family in a unique way in order for us to love Him and each other more!
What values do you instill in your children? How do you make sure you are doing that?
Family is always first. This has been a hard lesson to teach them, or maybe just emotional for me. We lost my dad and grandmother in a 6 week time span last fall and that has helped us to show them how much we need to be there for each other. During the last few months of their lives I was gone a lot to spend time with them and help my mom take care of them. My husband never batted an eye at my absence, but just stepped up so that I never worried about the boys. After my dad passed we have had to step up and help my mom. By our actions we are teaching them that family is first! With our love of family, loving Jesus is a natural part of that. My dad was a preacher and my nephew has followed in his footsteps. We pray together as a family and worship together. I sing at church and some of my most treasured moments with my kids happen when I am rehearsing at home. They will join me and this just pulls at my heart strings!
Life can get busy and hectic. How do you create intentional times with the ones you love?
This gets tricky at our house. Some days are better than others for this! We do a good job of getting the kids involved in daily activities even if it is just setting the table or gathering laundry. I have my kids help me. Rich has the kids help with the yard. He might question if they are helping, but they go out and dig in the dirt when he is planting and just being near him creates not just a physical bond but an emotional bond. We all eat dinner together 6 nights a week which is a must! My kids talk about their day at the table and this is where they tell us the most!
How you keep things in perspective?
Honestly I just take everyday in and sometimes it runs me over! I keep to a schedule as far as when we need to be at certain places, but I try really hard to allow the boys to be boys and have time to play. I pray a lot that God will give me patience and ask him why he made me such a planner with all that we juggle. Must be His sense of humor! Although my family is my first priority, my heart longs to be in positive female relationships outside of our family. This is so important for my emotional and mental health. One or two nights a month I meet with an amazing group of ladies and we laugh, cry and are honest with one another. Honest about how our lives are crazy and our kids aren’t perfect and sometimes we think we aren’t going to survive parenthood! It is so refreshing to know that other women have the same struggles. To know that their dinners may not always turn out perfect, how their kid can’t stop arguing every point, how their spouse hurt their feelings, how the laundry will never get washed, folded and put away ever just makes you realize that we all have the same struggles and if we embrace our failures we can actually move to fix the ones we can and learn to accept that sometimes it’s just the stage of life we are in and we need to sit back and enjoy it instead of rushing from one day to the next. I want to remember playing, laughing and just being with my children and in order to do that I need to enjoy the small moments, even the ones with the laundry piled up!
What is your best parenting advice?
The dirty laundry, dishes and house will be there tomorrow, but your kids will be grown in the blink of an eye so enjoy every moment with them that you can.