[#1] Share a snippet of your story...
My simple story of being a married, stay-at-home mama to a two year-old son took at dramatic turn when I was 32 weeks pregnant with my daughter. I was blindsided with the news that she would be born with achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism. At the sound of the word, I spiraled into a scary place of anxiety--feeling overwhelmed and concerned. I was afraid. I worried about her health, her quality of life, her differences and the worst... whether or not she would survive the birth. That eight weeks before she was born were intense. I knew there was only one thing to do... I turned my worries over to Him and understood that He chose me for this role as this little girl's mama. I needed to reach way down into my soul and address all of the feelings that were rising to the surface... I poured out my heart and the love came rushing in. To say I am such a different person now than I was then would be an understatement. My daughter has taught me so much about life and love... and I am so proud to be her mama.
[#2] What is your favorite part of your day with your little ones?
My children and I are explorers by nature with curious souls and inquisitive minds. Our happy place is getting to feel the grass under our toes and the sun on our shoulders. My favorite part of the day with the three of us is when we get to feed that creative side telling make-believe stories under the shade trees, going on adventures looking for little creatures or diving head first into a topic that jump starts their imagination.
[#3] Name three Instagram moms that inspire you and why.
Instagram is wonderful because it allows you to learn more about people. I love people. Because I am struggling with just three I will do this: My three most influential IG mamas - my mama: @jklongfellow, my best friend: @tinaharris33 and my rock @mellp14.
Three mamas that inspire me: @etst - I was reading Kelle's book, Bloom, when I was pregnant with Lilah and when I received the news about her diagnosis it became my lifeline. @thegiftoftoday a dear friend, she teaches me about myself through His eyes everyday. @theperfectlily13 because I think she is really rad. Mamas I want to meet, like yesterday @jade_audrey_love @happysoulproject @lilcocobea @angdoran79 ... I could go on and on and on...
[#4] What challenges have you faced balancing motherhood and your creativity?
For me, I have found that I can ignore that little voice that is constantly reminding me of my need for a creative outlet and telling me to go after my dreams... or I can actually listen. I decided to listen. Last year I started my dream company selling one-of-a-kind, old home decor pieces that I have found along the way in my many adventures. I am also launching a new company coming up that delivers thematic creative play bins to stay-at-home-mamas each week. I also consider myself a lifelong advocate for dwarfism awareness and I devote at least one night a week to my writing responsibilities. My biggest challenge has been finding the time to make all of this happen. Luckily, my husband and I have a pretty good handle on working together in our "on and off work hours" to put these dreams into action. And I don't get much sleep (wink, wink) It's a full plate for sure... but so rewarding.
[#5] What is a family tradition you enjoy sharing with your kids?
I am very sentimental and we are nerds so we have lots... but one thing that I have to do each year is celebrate the fall season. There is that magic for just a short time when the leaves are so vibrant and colorful and the air is just the perfect temperature with a touch of crispness. Even when my husband and I lived in San Diego, each fall I would make him drive me to the mountains so I could pick apples and hear leaves crunching under my feet. Now that we live in IN, we go on a weekend trip and hike through the forests in awe of God's beauty.
[#6] If you could give us a peek inside your home, what image would you share and why?
I would share our gallery wall... this wall has several pictures taken from a photo shoot we had done in CA five months after Lilah was born. The pictures exude so much joy and it just reminds me how far we came in such a short amount of time. We went from being so sad after the diagnosis, to accepting God's will, to being so in love with this girl. These pictures capture that love perfectly.
[#7] Share a picture that you wouldn't normally share on IG, but shows real life happenings...