My Everyday Featuring ... Shaena Crespo

[#1] Share with us a snippet of your story.
I never felt called to be a mom. Some friends of mine felt called. But I am pretty sure I just volunteered. 

Our (I’ll say “our” to include my husband because that is what married people do) first pregnancy ended in a painful miscarriage, forever knitting my heart to women who walk the lonely road of infertility and pregnancy loss. Our second pregnancy ended early, exposing us to the miracle of premature birth, a depth of gratitude for neonatologist, and the wonders of the NICU. Our third pregnancy ended with a return to the NICU, and a month of wondering if our child would be “normal”…whatever that is.

I still never felt the call.

Somewhere along the way, I guess I learned to embrace motherhood as a gift rather than a calling. A gift that challenges me to the very core of my being, and a gift that sometimes leads me to question my mental stability. A gift that, through it all, the good and the bad, is making my heart look a little more like Christ’s every day.

In the midst of tender mommy moments and mental breakdowns, I started to write, and found comfort in the freedom of words. Often times, when my kids would drive me crazy and my mind would torture me with all sorts of lies about my inadequacies, I would sit down and write, and things just became clear. Truth I held in my heart would find its way to my fingertips, and burdens that had seemed heavy suddenly felt light. And with my thoughts held captive and challenged by truth, I was free to laugh, love, and just enjoy this crazy journey of life and motherhood.

I guess that’s why I started blogging. I realized there is power in real life, and it’s worth sharing.

[#2] What is your favorite part of the day with your little one[s]?
Honestly that depends on the day. Mornings are my ultimate favorite but when my kids are in school, mornings are more structured than relaxing. On those days, right after school are the sweetest moments of the day. That is the time where park trips and other fun happens. But there is nothing better than Saturday morning snuggles!

[#3] Name Three Instagram MOMS who inspire you.
Just three? Honestly, you have featured some of the most amazing moms, some that I personally know and love, but I can always find more amazing women. Moms are awesome that way. 

1. @latishalynphoto - She and I have been friends for years and she is a beautiful photographer. My family has really grown up in front of her lens and it’s been fun to watch her craft grow aswell! I love the way she captures her kids. Sometimes with messy hair and mismatched clothes, but always looking beautiful, imaginative, and free. Just the way kids should be, right? (She also captured these great shots!) 

2. @michelleschroff  - Michelle is one of the most inspiring women I know. She gives until it hurts and then keeps giving. Her passion to see the world transformed by the love of Jesus is contagious and her fun and loving personality is magnetic. She is the mother of 100 I think, although the actual number is somewhere closer to 10. When she isn’t parenting her own children she is loving on others as the founder of Project Zoé, an organization designed to help at-risk youth. (@projectzoé). 

3. @lenyaheitzig - She is creative, strong, passionate, and a spiritual mother to the multitude.

[#4] What challenges have you faced in balancing motherhood and your passion for creativity?
The most challenging thing is figuring out how to balance my wants and their needs. They aren’t always the same. It’s easy to say the kids are just being demanding when I have something else to do. I can easily forget that my kids don’t just want my attention, they need it. The other day while I was cooking dinner my son was doing the whole, “Look at me mommy, look at me”. Without looking, I started nodding my head, “Oh that’s great son”. He continued, “look at me mommy, mommy, look at me”. I stopped, frustrated and turned my attention to him and thought, “Look at you, I never take my eyes off you. And when my eyes are closed, you are in the center of my mind”. But when I stopped what I was doing and turned my eyes to my 6 year old making a silly face, I couldn’t help but agree it was well worth the interruption. Sometimes, all he really needs is me, that’s the burden and the blessing of motherhood.
[#5] What is a family tradition that you love sharing with your kids?
Last year I started a “Just Dance Challenge”. I received an Xbox Kinect for Christmas and it had me at hello. I love things that bring people together and get them moving! The goal was just to open our home more and encourage our friends to laugh, smile, and dance! Ironically it turned out to be a challenging year for our family, but it is marked by so much laughter and funny moments with friends in part thanks to the crazy goal to dance with each new person who came into our home. It’s sort of our thing now, the kids are so good, and even my husband gets into it. I know it sounds silly, but I am really for most things that let you laugh together as a family.

[#6] If you could give us a peek inside your home - what image would you share and why?
The rules. It’s a great reminder that kindness rules in our home. My son will often remind me to “mind the rules”.

[#7] Share a photo you wouldn't typically post on Instagram but depicts real life happenings.
I took a pic of the most neglected room in my house… the laundry room. I don’t know what it is about laundry but it is a bottomless well in my house. What you can’t see in this pic is that this room is not only a mess, it actually smells bad… like sweaty socks and pee. It needs attention… maybe posting it here will inspire me. Maybe.

Be sure and follow @shaenacrespo on Instagram! You can also keep up with the series by following @kelliandvanessa or #myeverydaymoms