My Everyday Featuring ... Naomi Gal

[#1] Share with us a snippet of your story.
I'm a canadian girl who grew up in a creative, close-knit, single parent home. I've always felt God close to me, even during seasons when I tried to run away from him. I'm one who really feeeeels things, like really deeply. I know what it is to experience much joy, and I know what it is to endure loss and heartache. My journey is one of brokenness and redemption, a life truly saved by the relentless grace of Jesus.

While in art college I met my amazing husband. We got married, left the city, and started a new life in a tiny town on the prairies. Fifteen years, four kids, tons of travels, and many wild adventures later - here we are. Ahh, motherhood. I had no idea just how much heart and soul, sweat and tears it would take to raise these little lives. I had always dreamed of being a mom, but my daydreams didn't include so much noise, or mess, or poop. They also didn't include raising a child with Aspergers. Life is far from perfect. Motherhood is hard. But motherhood is also incredible. A high calling, a great honour. And crazy fun. Every day can be beautiful, and my desire is to spend my days celebrating the beauty within the chaos, and finding joy inside the challenges. I'm humbled and grateful to be entrusted with four precious, amazing little people. I'm so thankful I get to be a mom. Thank God for his endless mercies - fresh each morning - and for his massive arms that carry me through each day.

Photos by: Shari + Mike 

[#2] What is your favorite part of the day with your little one[s]?
We're super into snuggling. Our kids' ages range from 10 yrs to 1 yr -- two big ones (Zion and Noah) and two little ones (Maxx and Kaia). In the morning once the older ones are on the school bus, I often snuggle up with the littles on the couch and read stories or watch netflix or just cuddle and be close. Those moments, before the loudness and the busyness of the day kicks in, are so sweet and special. And in the evenings, once the younger kids are in bed, it's time to curl up with my big boys and read or talk. Just be with them and hear them and
actually look into their eyes. Especially if it's been a rather long/hard/crazy day. My mama heart explodes with joy in those peaceful moments.

[#3] Name Three Instagram MOMS who inspire you.
I'm inspired by so many moms out there, I would pick all of them. Do I have to choose just 3?!
3 inspiring moms who who make me laugh // @jaminato / @theandersoncrew / @slabardee
3 moms who encourage + challenge me // @chrystalsmith / @herwelshness / @rebeccacherrymac
3 moms whose creativity and mother-hearts I admire // @jodimockabee / @amyfedeli / @kfrey

[#4] What challenges have you faced in balancing motherhood and your passion for creativity?
I do a bunch of artsy stuff with my kids, but I don't have a lot of extra time or energy for my own work. Four years ago, when I had only two children and no immediate plans for more, I was in the beginning stages of pursuing my passion for the film industry. We had made some big plans. Then suddenly - surprise! - I was pregnant. And everything changed. I dropped out of film school, endured months of bedrest, and had a baby instead. Because I knew where my focus had to be. Many women could easily do both and succeed. But at the time, my heart needed to be committed fully to the awesome task of nurturing a new life. (I ended up enjoying that season of motherhood so much that we decided to have one more!) Maybe one day, maybe not so far away, my artistic dreams will come to pass. There will be lots of spare time, and my house will be nice and quiet. Too quiet. And I can make art and talk about films and wonder what my grown up children ate for breakfast and why haven't they called their mother back. So for now, I find little pockets of time, and I make stuff. And for now, that is enough.

[#5] What is a family tradition that you love sharing with your kids?
We love to celebrate! Every year on their birthday, each child wakes up to a decorated house and a special breakfast. I also love to throw big parties for them, and really celebrate who they are as individuals. These traditions were passed down from my own mother, who always made us feel so honoured on our birthdays, and still does. We also have family movie night every Friday night. I make popcorn and my husband makes floats and we tuck ourselves beside (or on top of) eachother on the big comfy couch. It's glorious.

[#6] If you could give us a peek inside your home - what image would you share and why?
The living room. The 'loving' room. Sometimes it's a wild wrestling ring. Or an airplane runway. A fort construction site. A dance floor. Ironically, they prefer not to play in the playroom. They choose this room. And sometimes there's a whole lot of whining/crying/melting-down/apologizing/forgiving/hugging happening here too. Just a whole lot of real life living. Especially during the long winter months. A million and a half memories.

[#7] Share a photo you wouldn't typically post on Instagram but depicts real life happenings.
Well at first glance it's just a grainy boring pic. With a half-naked baby. And for all those reasons I wouldn't normally post it. But I find it so sweet the way she's nestled between her brothers, the way they're all so chill, just relaxing together. And while these four do fight and argue, they also truly love eachother and moments like this happen Every. Single. Day. Sometimes I'm too busy correcting them for the not-so-great moments, that I forget to notice the awesome ones. I'm gonna work on that.

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