Take It Easy

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Ouch! Those are my earrings. Said about 1,000 times a day.

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The Happy Wrap in my happy color–yellow. Use the code: LMM to get 20% OFF. You can see me wearing the gray one here.
I’ve tried every wrap out there–this is the one folks.

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Keep them little.
That’s what we try to do.
But as hard as we try, ultimately we learn that time has complete control.
And time moves fast.
Eating up those precious little moments.
Taking away that perfect new baby smell.

My sweet little baby is not so little anymore.
And I thought about that a lot this weekend as I started to introduce slightly chunky food into his diet, as I packed away a tub full of mini clothes he had already outgrown, as I watched his focused little face oh-so-determined to figure out how to crawl across the blanket.

As I watched him inching forward, somewhere between an army crawl and shuffle, it was everything I could do not to push him over…to not to keep him from moving forward…to not try to stop him from his progress.
It was everything I could do to not scoop him up and beg him to stay little forever.
To be mine forever.
To nuzzle into my neck forever.
But I refrained.
And I let him continue his journey, dedicated to the task at hand, without my help.

I wrap him to my chest often these days.
Because when I keep him this close,
he becomes my itty baby again.
And in those moments, I’m beating time.

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I’ve written a lot before, about how Ben and I waited anxiously for the arrival of each of Wesley’s milestones after he was born.
I can’t wait until he can start solids.
I wish he could sit up already.
Hopefully he’ll start crawling this week.
It will be so awesome when he can walk.

I think this is perhaps a folly of many first time parents.
And even though I’m confident we took the time to celebrate all of his accomplishments,
I can’t help but also feel that our eagerness to move forward rather than live in the present overshadowed these celebrations.
Sawyer’s birth taught us this important lesson–to slow down.
To not only live in the moment, but to celebrate it.

I was watching The Today Show the other day with tears flowing down my cheeks as I hung on every word of Ronan’s grieving mother–Emily Rapp.  If you haven’t heard her story yet, you should. (start here).  My husband has an aversion to sad stories, and especially since becoming parents there has been an unspoken understanding between us both that I am never to subject him to material that will pull at his heart strings too much–that will make every parenting bone in his body ache–his tender heart has trouble recovering.  And as I watched this interview, I felt those very bones ache in my own body as I choked back sobs. While the majority of parents in the world have not lived Emily’s heartache, her story is still our story. I knew that when I heard these words:

Excerpt from her article for the Today Show:

Will we be fearless in our pursuit to live a life we consider big and beautiful, no matter what other people might think of our choices and no matter what difficult changes we might have to make? How does this knowledge affect the way we parent? Not knowing what tomorrow will bring, would we be so concerned with our children’s “progress” and perhaps more interested in activities that simply make them happy?

What I’d like to say to the parents of healthy children: A child is a person, not a project. Ease up. Chaos will find all of us eventually, but in the moment, how can you be fully present? How can you love your child purely and simply, with no agenda, without a goal, without a net?

When I was in high school, I had a car with an eight-track player, so my musical choices were locked in the 1970s. I loved the song “Take it Easy” by the Eagles. I think of it often as I drive along Highway 14, sometimes crying for Ronan, always missing him, watching the light moving over the desert mountains. Take it easy, I want to say to those parents with healthy children. Enjoy your time now, rest and relax, try to stay in the moment before it’s gone. Ease up. Take it easy.

This is one wise Momma, who has battled in the trenches of Motherhood.  And even through her wounds, has discovered her own silver lining–passing on her lessons learned.

As Ben and I cozied up under the covers later that night, I grabbed the TV remote and told him…
There’s something I need you to watch.
And it’s going to be sad, and you’re going to try to tell me no.
But just trust me. We need to hear this.

He looked at me reluctantly as I fast forwarded to Emily’s interview and pressed play.

It was even more powerful watching it a second time. And as I stole glances at Ben throughout the interview, I could see him fighting back tears.  The interview ended and I turned off the TV. There was silence. After a moment, Ben leaned over and gave me a kiss.

Ben: Thank you.

Then he got out of bed and left the room.
A minute passed and he still hadn’t returned so I crept out of the covers to see what he was up to. As I stepped into the hallway, I could see that the door to Sawyer’s room was open and he wasn’t in his crib. Standing there, just to the left was Ben, cradling our sleeping baby and whispering words of love and devotion into his tiny little ear. He slowly placed him back in his crib, walked past me and headed for Wesley’s room.  I tiptoed behind him and watched as he tucked the blankets tightly around our little boy and softly kissed his cheek and then his forehead.

I was overwhelmed with gratitude watching him.
It was one of those rare moments in life where it suddenly becomes so easy to see your hardships for what they really are…blessings.

But these moments pass, and I knew that as I stood there and watched Ben with our boys.
Tomorrow, when the house is a disaster, the emails are piling up, I have no plan for dinner and kiddos are whining…
Well, let’s just say that tomorrow I may not remember this moment, or how it felt.
And I hate that.
I hate forgetting what matters.
I hate being distracted with the hustle and bustle.
So I’m working on it.
Sometimes I write these moments down, like right now.
Sometimes I take a picture, to capture these moments forever.
And sometimes, like that night I stood watching Ben with our littles,
I prayed with every ounce of my being that this moment would be etched in my heart for eternity. And I believe prayer is powerful.

Happy 34th birthday weekend to the man who reminds me what matters most.
You are the best father and husband that I know. And you make me happy every day. love, Lee

We spent Ben’s birthday weekend celebrating and living these simple, precious moments with our boys.
Enjoying cake,
playing airplane under a large oak tree,
feeling the grass between our fingers for the very first time ever,
swinging higher than daddy on the swings
enjoying picnics from the comfort of our own backyard,
and taking long, deep breaths during the tantrums and meltdowns that are an inevitable part of our parenting journey.

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Celebrate Cake Topper c/o: Lisa Leonard

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Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

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Ashley Stock

Comments

  1. This was perfect, and something I needed to read this morning. I have an 18 month old daughter and I’m still amazed at how much she has grown since she’s been born. And I find myself always clinging onto the small things, I’m clinging onto the moments that keep her itty bitty. I follow you on Instagram as well as your blog and you inspire me. Being a mommy is one of the greatest feelings, and after reading this I will hold onto these memories I make with my daughter even more. Xoxo
    Nicole

  2. Ah! Slowing down time–wouldn’t that be wonderful?!
    My little guy is 7 months old, ( I have a 5 and 3 year old) and we’re pretty sure he is the last babe for us, and I totally get what you’re saying! You want to soak up every single tiny baby moment. With my other two I was always wondering when they’d sit, crawl, eat regular food. When would their teeth come in already?! But with my new little one he wants to be moving ALL the time. And I want to hold him in my arms all day long smelling his sweet baby hair! You’re post are awesome and always spot on with what most of us momma’s are feeling. I concur with Nicole – you are definitely inspiring! :)

  3. I have to tell you, just looking at those pictures, looking at the smiles, I know that you are doing something right mama! Because children don’t lie, their faces is the canvas of their little life, and those precious smile shows, love, the love he got.

    Sure life isn’t always easy, and certain season harder then other, but in the end those smiles tells it all :-)

  4. Thank you so much for sharing. It’s so true, our kids are the same ages and I love to read about your experiences because I feel as though I go through the same things. I try to remind myself to stop and cherish memories. I will have to go look up that story now. Thank you for being so inspirational

  5. This was a great post, just what I needed this morning. Your boys are the cutest little boys.

  6. love those happy happy pics of Wes!

  7. Haleigh Barrett says:

    Ashley, you speak to my heart over and over again. I love your words. Thank you so much <3
    P.S. where did you get your leggings?!? I love them!

  8. Stephanie says:

    Ashley,
    Where are your adorable black & white pants from!?

    Thanks!

  9. Oh this is beautiful. I love the part where he goes in to snuggle the sleeping babies. Can’t wait to watch that interview! Also, your patterned leggings/pants are the bomb….and with the gray chucks? I love it.

  10. I love your blog and watching the boys grow. They are so handsome. Also a late wish to Ben for his BD. You are a beautiful family.

    • I love this post! It gives me the chills and bring tears to my eyes. I have two little boys as well – 3 years old and 10 months. It’s easy to forget those little moments. Thanks for the great reminder!

  11. Ashley,
    I read this post in the middle of the night (or was it this morning?) while nursing Asher, and I just have to tell you that it made me cry. You have such great perspective. I’ve been feeling incredibly overwhelmed lately, but posts like this really help me to see the silver lining and love and appreciate motherhood. Thank you!!

  12. p.s. I’m so ordering this wrap! I think I’m going to be a copycat and get the yellow, too! :)
    p.p.s. You are so stunning in all these pictures.

  13. I am curious if you have noticed how happy Wesley’s pictures are since Sawyer was born??? You may have hit on the reason with this lightbulb moment you are experiencing about slowing down and being in the moment. His smiles involve his eyes as well as his “smile”. Thank you for sharing. Happy Birthday to your husband.

  14. So, SO beautiful.

    I don’t have a second child {yet}, so I could apply your post to how I have been living life with my boy these last few years. I so regret the rush of the first few.

  15. I can’t tell you how much I love reading your tender and very insightful words as you recount precious personal and family times. You are so right that moments that mean so much are fleeting. My kids are grown, and though I haven’t figured out how to recapture moments in our lives that made an impact, reading some of your accounts brings back LOTS of happy memories. I’ve also collected “sayings” for years and years (written SO much better than I ever could!), and I keep them in a booklet that I review from time to time. Hopefully, one day, they’ll be etched in my brain so I can reflect on them whenever and wherever I am!!! Thank you so much for your excellent blog!

  16. Such a gorgeous memory to have. He seems like such a great man and together you are an amazing couple. I have to tell you though PLEASE keep going with your love story. I need to next one. I started my own thanks to you :)
    I also have a blog post up for new moms and would love for you to read it…
    http://momoftwosalums.com/2013/03/16/some-new-mom-life-lessons-that-only-a-mom-will-tell-you/

  17. my feelings are so identical to what you wrote that it is crazy! i try to daily be in the moment and celebrate each second for what it is, but at the end of most days i feel like i failed to do that 99% of the time. always something distracting us. it is amazing and comforting to know that other moms feel the same way and it makes us great moms in the end bc we are trying our best. thanks for the reminder!
    xo- brandi

  18. What a wonderful post. I feel the same way. With our first son, Benjamin, we were so excited about each milestone he mastered. When our second came along 2 years later, Henry, we was smarter. We didn’t encourage each milestone because we knew how fast time would pass and how he wouldn’t be little for very long. Then, a year later, our third son came along…Joseph. I felt like I needed to pin that child down to slow things down!! They’ve all grown so fast right before my eyes – they’re 12, 10 and 9 now!! I have no idea where the time has gone. {However, I have millions of precious memories from these past 12+ years.} I’ve tried to slow time down – unsuccessfully – but have learned to savor and enjoy every moment we have together. It’s hard – times are busy {lots of times chaotic} – but treasuring our time together is a priority and I work at it every day. All us mommies are blessed to have stumbled across your blog to read your heartfelt thoughts. You hit the nail on the head!! We’re all in this together – trying to be the best mommies possible to the precious people God has entrusted us with. Blessings to you and your family! :)

  19. This just made me cry! You are such a gifted writer and I love your perspective on parenthood. :)

  20. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for your words. I needed them this moment in my life. Thank you.

  21. It makes me want to have another, so I can do all again. So touching, thanks for the reminder, it was exactly what I needed to hear today.

    xoxo,

    Misty

  22. A little bird sent me this link. I am blown away by your writing, your sincerity and your story. You amaze me and I am officially a huge fan!! By the way, I think your segment made me cry as much as Emily’s did. No words…..

  23. Ash-

    Thank you. I needed to read that this morning.
    Emily Rapp was doing a book signing at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena last Friday. My husband and I caught the tail end of her reading and I was so amazed by how strong she was despite everything that has happened to her.
    You’re a trooper, Ashley. You are kind, sweet, thoughtful, and so so blessed to have the beautiful family that you have. Cherish them and the time that you have.

    xo

  24. It’s your noble effort to share all these with us. Lots of mothers will be inspired from this post. You are performing a best mother’s role in real life. I like it really.

  25. I just found your blog and I’m in tears over this. My daughter just turned 10 months and I feel time is stealing away my baby. Thank you for this. It reminds me in the hustle of everyday life to enjoy the little things.

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