Sarah Rieke » Living. Loving. Pressing on.

Ah, that phrase.  Is there any one of us with small children who doesn’t hear it from time to time?  Usually delivered with a wistful look in the eye of the speaker and followed by some cookie-cutter phrase about how these years go by so fast.  True, kids are only kids for a short while, but why does everyone seem to concerned with telling us to enjoy them?  Of course I enjoy him.  I don’t not enjoy him.  What exactly does that mean?  And what about the following circumstances:

If you are beyond exhausted because your nightly REM cycles have been repeatedly interrupted by a hungry newborn or a one-year-old cutting molars and you sort of move through the rest of your day in a  robotic form of auto-pilot, does that mean you are not enjoying your child? 

If you just have to make dinner and you turn Curious George on Netflix in hopes that it will distract your baby just long enough for you to get things started, does that mean you are not enjoying that baby?

What if you just need to be introverted for a while and let your child play in his or her room, all the while hoping they aren’t digging the diapers out of the trash can.  Does that mean you aren’t enjoying that child? 

Or what about grocery shopping, laundry folding, toilet scrubbing?  Those things are really important for a household to function well.  How are you to “enjoy your child” amidst those necessities?  

Obviously from time to time we have to accomplish things.  And while I would love to ignore the laundry, dishes, etc. and play with Micah for hours at a time sometimes the demands of living life don’t allow me to do that. 

So what then?  

I have determined 4 things:

1. I never want my child to feel like he is bothering me,
2. I want to evaluate my day according to what I have accomplished, not what remains undone, 
3. While it might feel good to get a jump start on tomorrow’s to-do list, I aspire to instead spend that time with my baby and husband, and 
4. Some things will be left untended.  I promise I will regularly rake my yard once we are empty-nesters πŸ™‚

So if by saying, “enjoy your kids” people are basically telling you to slow down sometimes and soak up all the love nuggets you can, then I can honestly say I do enjoy my sweet little man.

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  • Clay in the Potter's Hand - Sweet post, Sarah! And an especially sweet picture of your little man!

    I think most of us say it because, when reflecting back, it really does seem to go by in a blink.ReplyCancel

  • Darla - Love it! I have found that most household chores can be accomplished with lightening speed during naps…or can also involve the kids. THEY enjoy it! at this age anyway, cleaning etc is fun! We always cook together (they dump and stir), dust together, etc, and that way you do get a little done while still enjoying that quality time with the child. But I have been known to turn on the tv for crying children and run and shut myself in the bathroom b/c I *have* to take this call from the insurance company. You do what you need to do in life…and they'll thank us for it. Hopefully our balancing act of life won't scar them up too bad. I sort of assume I am ok, so I sort of assume they will be too, one day. This could be a wrong assumption on both counts:-DReplyCancel

  • Darla - Micah's too young to cook, but at that age, I'd sit them up on the counter (bad mommy?! They've never fallen, but I did make them stay still:-)and we'd sing songs while I mixed. They still love to sit on the counter, legs dangling off:-)ReplyCancel

  • Teresa - You are so very thoughtful! This was a very sweet post. Can you imagine if we had to go to the well and draw our water, and make a fire in our stove to cook, knead the dough and bake the bread, and hang out the clothes?We must have more time with our kids than past generations. I really like your #2 on your determined list. It is such a great way to live! I know how much you enjoy Micah!ReplyCancel

I am loving my adobe photoshop elements!  Inspired by pinterest, yet again, here is another of my creations:

Places that are special to us.  I can’t wait to display it in my home!

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  • Darla - I love mine too! It's a perfect art piece for sure…I wasn't inspired by pinterest though, I was inspired by the huge sign Ben made for Lori a few years ago. They are such trendsetters:-)ReplyCancel

  • srieke - oh! me too … this is just a much easier way for me to accomplish that awesome project … I don't personally think I could even lift theirs haha!ReplyCancel

Mom style.  Must be functional, must be comfortable, and it helps if it’s cute.  And one of the most typical mom outfit accompaniments: the ponytail.  

Recently I was searching for new ways to pump up the regulation mom style hairdo.  I came across this easy and adorable casual updo:

I was also looking for a way to accessorize this hairstyle.  I have never been able to wear standard headbands because they end up giving me a headache.  I did, however, find an amazing alternative made out of pantyhose:

I just did the band part … don’t have any cute bling on mine, but I love it just the same.  

Pairing the cute updo with the handmade hairband just make my typical everyday mom outfit feel a little bit more special.  The combo kind of makes me feel like a Rosie the Riveter type … 

Kind of inspirational.  But I might add … We can do it – only through Christ.  Amen.

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  • Whitney - love it. totally will be stealing this for me and my girls….valentines gift, perhaps??ReplyCancel

  • EverydayMomStyle - I'm going to try this up-do. I wear my hair in a pony tail every single day, so this is a nice change up!ReplyCancel

Lately I have felt so crafty because of Pinterest.  There are so many adorable DIY ideas that inspire me to create, especially the adorable digital prints.  I recently bought (with a gift card, thank you very much!) Adobe Elements so I could try and create my own digital art.  This is my first try:

Hopefully the more I practice the better I’ll get.  There is still a lot to learn, but until then, I’m having fun clicking around and discovering a new creative outlet.  

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My son Micah is very familiar with praying.  He hears daddy pray before dinner and mommy pray with him before naps and bedtime.  He even has his own amen word, which he pronounces, “ah-jah!” 

A couple of nights ago I was rocking him before bed.  I snuggled him for a while, sniffing his whispy, white-blonde hair scented with johnson and johnson’s shampoo and pressing my mommy cheek against his soft pillowy one.  During these times, I always pray to myself.  Mostly prayers of tearful thanksgiving for an undeserved gift and pleas for divine wisdom, patience, and love as I try my best to raise the tender little soul God has entrusted to me.  Sweet moments that I will treasure forever.

When it was time to actually lay him down, I whispered a prayer with him like I always do.  I usually pray for sweet peaceful sleep, thankfulness for a good day, requests for a good day tomorrow, and add a little something about sleeping through the night (that one is mostly for me!).  

This particular night I was covering him with a warm fuzzy blue fleece blanket when I heard him whispering some baby babble.  I didn’t really know what was going on until I heard the familiar, “ah-jah.”  My heart totally skipped a beat and I could not help but smile.  My one-year old baby boy just said his first prayer!  

That experience was important for a couple of reasons.  First of all, how adorable was that?  Micah has no idea at this point why we pray, he just copied what he has heard mom and dad do so many times before.  It was just so cute to see his little brain working in that way.

The second reason that was important is that it solidified in my mind the immense importance of parental spiritual guidance.  The ultimate goal of Josh and I as parents is to raise our children to fear God and live for Him.  We need to be good examples of how a Christian should live and behave so that our children will be motivated to do the same.  Our job as parents is to be the earthly personification of God’s perfect love for His children.  While we most certainly will fall short at times, God will give us what we need if we only ask.  

Micah’s little prayer was so special to me and I felt like the Lord gave me a little encouragement to keep going on the path we’ve started.  I will hopefully always remember how I felt in that moment and how it  touched my heart.  

And you know what?  I think it touched the Father’s heart as well.  

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  • Teresa - Very well said, Sarah. You are a wonderful mommy. You seek God's wisdom in every part of your life. I am very blessed to have you in my life! Micah is our little jewel.
    Love, Mom R.ReplyCancel

  • Catina - Goosebumps! What a treasured memory.ReplyCancel

  • pj7 - Precious! What a sweet story to tell him when he's older!ReplyCancel