Mom Needs Grace

Musings on the life redeemed & purpose redefined

hello out there July 2, 2011

Filed under: Better life,Blogging,Motherhood,sisters — dayna @ 12:31 pm

Hello? Hello? Had you given up on me? I sure hope not.

I am well aware that this bloggish space has been languishing for a couple of…

…weeks!?  Has it really been that long?

I guess our household has been all caught up in summer-ness. Less structure somehow sometimes feels like more busy-ness.

I’ll admit, there may have been a few rough patches and some aches and pains keeping me away. But mostly, it has been the fun mini road-trips and unexpected transitions.

Not that I haven’t had anything to write about. Trust me. I’ve still got my lists. I just can’t seem to crack the computer open as often as I’d like.

Hopefully in the next week, at least a few of these posts will march themselves on to completion.

For now, I’ll leave you with a shot of our Thursday morning.

It was our first “at-home-all-day” day in way too long. ( Our little family just needs these sorts of days. Does yours?)

Happiness is…

Playdough on the kitchen island. Playdough on the kitchen floor. Playdough on favorite pajamas. (Yup, still in ’em).

If you could only hear the Jack Johnson flowing in the background and enjoy the smells of butter and coffee wafting through the kitchen- then you would truly get a feel for the bliss.

All day the little girls and I were belting out and clapping to  “This is the day! This is the day…”

(In the spirit of disclosure: there may have been a second pot of coffee brewed that morning. I confess that I seem to be a much “funner” mom when adequately caffeinated. How about you?)


No “no”s May 11, 2011

Filed under: Motherhood — dayna @ 11:30 pm

She is seventeen months old.

Her day is filled with “no”s.

Her mother’s: alternately gentle, firm, urgent.

Her big sister’s: frequent, close, often frantic.

Her own: the most emphatic of all. Little head shaking so vigorously she nearly falls over.

And then, eventually…

 she sleeps.

No more “no”s.

Until tomorrow…


why it will probably always take a while… May 4, 2011

Filed under: Motherhood — dayna @ 11:55 pm

…for us to get out of the house.

The tiny one asked for “hep” with her shoes; but, other than that, the accessorizing was all them. No lie.

Look out world. This was just to go play in the backyard.

(And yes, she is still in her pajamas. Some days are like that.)


the stuff of inspiration May 2, 2011

Filed under: Better life,Faith,Motherhood,Stuff — dayna @ 5:00 am

I always enjoy learning about other people’s favorite things. Just in case you were wondering, here is some of the stuff that has been inspiring me lately…

  • This necklace I found on clearance in the hospital gift shop the day before my birthday:

 – It says “she follows her dreams.”  I wear it for me, and pray it for my little ladies as well.

  • This line of journals and stationary that Target is carrying. I am at risk for a serious paper goods habit! (Always have been…)

– It says “We write to taste life twice.” (I picked one up for you too. See below.)

  • My talented cousin’s art. Cara is described as “a visual artist with a writer’s addiction to words.” Is it possible that motherhood has made her even more brilliant and creative? Pretty sure you know what my answer to that question would be …

Time is the Guide

– Check out more of her work over here. I keep wishing she designed blog themes…

  • These little (printable) gratitude journals from Ann Voskamp are quietly (but radically) changing my perspective. Every single thought this lady puts into words seems divinely breathed.

– Print your own here. And here is a link to the slightly tricky folding instructions.

  • Of course, these little ones are a never-ending source of inspiration:

– I just can’t get enough of  ’em.

  • And lately, I’ve been leaning heavily on this word:

– It reassures me that, even when I am failing miserably, I can still be of use.

 What has been inspiring you lately?  Leave me a comment by May 11th, 2011 and I’ll mail one of the pretty writing journals to a randomly-selected contact-able person. 😉 

Congratulations to Stephanie! She will receive the journal. Pretty sure she’ll fill it up quickly:)


@ 34 April 13, 2011

Filed under: Milestones,Motherhood — dayna @ 5:00 am


Thankful for this unexpected life.

Never would have dreamed… that this would be my dream.


golden March 21, 2011

Filed under: Favorites,Motherhood — dayna @ 4:55 pm

Some days with the girls just seem to shine like gold. Not that the entire day is perfect. There are these moments though, that simply glow. Moments when I am consciously trying to burn images of them in this gorgeous golden sunlight as memories so deep I will never forget.

Last weekend our little family attended the Tucson Festival of Books. Yeah- that’s right. A festival… of books! I know you’re jealous. I mean, what more could a nerdy girl ask for? An Arizona spring day, university campus, festival trappings of food and music, and ahhh- the books.

I worked my night shift and then was picked up by my husband and the girls. The little ladies were wearing sunhats(!), sunscreen (!!), and shorts under their dresses (!!!). He is totally getting this “daddy-to-girls” thing down.

We traipse across the mall, reminiscing about our somewhat brief collegiate experiences. We visit wildcat statues, people-watch, dog-visit, and enjoy a delicious outdoor lunch.

We’re drawn in to a performance by a local high school’s band. They’re playing  “Higher Love” on a slew of steel drums. (I didn’t even know I liked that song, but on the steel drums it’s amazing).  And I sway and I bounce the tiny grinning toddler on my hip. I watch as the preschooler gleefully picks her way through the crowd to get closer to the danceable beat.

 And suddenly I am overcome. 

Goosebumps in the morning sun. I’m not sure if it is the sleep deprivation, the sweetly metallic music, or the Americano that I downed after work, but I have tears of  joy at seeing my girls experience these sights and sounds. 

The band starts in on the requisite but always chill Bob Marley, and after a few minutes, we move on. We have important literary figures to meet (Curious George, Madeline, Pigs with Pancakes- you know the type).

And Irish step dancing to watch. Song after song of it. The big sis just can’t get enough of Irish step dancing. Who can blame her?

When I remember this day, I am thankful that I ambled camera-less. I was there. With my mind’s eye and all my senses snapping images faster and more indelible than any fancy camera could.

They lead the way. These little girls, already with their opinions about fashion, food, and (apparently) festivals. I follow behind their sweet sun-hat clad heads. Watching smiles warm the faces of the people who notice them. Watching their trailing ribbons and bouncing girlishness as they explore their world with complete wonder. Watching their strong, confident legs striding, almost skipping.

And I am in awe.

In awe of these precious ones who, not too long ago, were as close as a heartbeat; growing inside my very core.

And somehow they will always be in there… and yet, they are out here.

This aching joy.

This drawing close. This letting go.

This is motherhood.

It is the purest gold.

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran


Sisters, friends, readers March 9, 2011

Filed under: Motherhood — dayna @ 2:00 pm

Semi “wordless wednesday.”




The not-so-rough riders February 23, 2011

Filed under: Motherhood — dayna @ 12:56 am

The other morning I walked past the little one’s room, and this is what I saw…

I’m not quite sure where they were headed, but I’m glad they waited while I got the camera 🙂


Poppins, I presume February 21, 2011

Filed under: Motherhood — dayna @ 11:59 pm

I’m answering to a different name these days.  Can you guess what it is? Yeah, so we’re kind of crazy for Mary Poppins around here right now.

I guess it all started near Thanksgiving when the Disney movie came on T.V. I thought our three-year old might enjoy bits of it, but I had no idea the rapture that would ensue.  Then, about a month ago, we reserved the 45th anniversary edition from our local library

We all just plain love this movie. The plot, characters, and casting are magical. The songs are fantastic, and the messages are sweet and timeless.

I have to admit that it sort of took me by surprise that the girls liked it so much. I guess I’m learning that we often sell kids short by assuming they want “cartoony” movies. In my experience though, a lot of them seem to prefer shows with real “live” people. Mary actually has both. There are some little vintage animated bonuses sprinkled in to keep things interesting.

So anyway, the big girl has assigned roles.

Mommy=Mary Poppins.

Big sister= Jane Banks (uh, the big sister).

Little sister=Michael Banks. (Shh… don’t tell the tiny that she is playing a boy in this show).  

Our little director has done this before. About six months ago she was emphatically Dora. As in “The Explorer”. I was addressed exclusively as Boots, her Daddy was Swiper, and her helpless, but always willing, baby sister was… well, “The Map.” 

My husband and I found this part so hysterical that we even started referring to the baby as “The Map.” Like “Do you have diapers for The Map?” “Does The Map need to eat sometime soon?”  The 6 month old (at the time) seriously seemed to crawl in time to her theme song. “She’s the map. She’s the map…” We were pretty sure the nickname would hang around until college at least.

During the Dora casting, I was a little conflicted. Do I let her insist on this?  Is it disrespectful? Thankfully, I chose more of a wait-and-see approach and, after a few months (and many a fantastic expedition), it just sort of fizzled out.  Very occasionally it would enter into a conversation as a control tactic.  As in…

Me: ______, please don’t do that.

Her: No! Dora please don’t do that!

Me: (Sigh). Ok. Dora.

There might have even been a few exasperated “Whatever your name is, please don’t do that!” Just trying to be real here 🙂

But overall, it seemed pretty harmless.

This time however, I’m taking a different approach. I’m all in. I’m desperately trying to fill Mary’s adorable ankle boots by affecting my best British governess accent and using cheery phrases like “Spit spot!”

The big girl is totally thrilled by it. Her eyes widen and sparkle when I refer to her as Jane. And I’m here to tell you- that “Spoonful of Sugar” song? Gold. Pure gold!  The kid runs around the house in a toy-picking-up frenzy as soon as we launch into the chorus. Hmm, wonder how long this will last…

We recently had to return the movie to the library, but it is sure to be on our list again. Sorry if you were waiting on it. We kept this one the maximum time. It’s just that good.  She was also clamoring for a book about the Poppster. (Am I pushing the bounds of propriety with that familiarity? Mary would probably not approve). So we checked out the original book by P.L. Travers. It is thoroughly delightful, but still a touch over her head (and attention span), so we’ll probably try it again in six months or so.

For now, I’ll just be blissfully basking in the strong glow of a three-year old’s imagination, and hoping that the magic lasts a lifetime.

“Alright then! Carry on children!” 🙂

Who do your kids pretend to be? Are they totally insistent? Do you correct, remain neutral, or play along?

P.S. Anybody seen the Broadway show version? Anyone read the books?


“Almost” again… February 9, 2011

Filed under: Motherhood — dayna @ 4:42 pm

Another almost “wordless Wednesday.”

This morning…

…when early morning snuggles turn into back-to-sleep bliss 🙂