Our Most Provocative Super Power…







A recent Facebook post grabbed my attention. It was written by a brand new mommy who was headed back to work after her maternity leave. Referencing leaving her little one she stated something like…”No one prepared me for how hard driving away would be!” The string of comments that followed were peppered with both words of encouragement, polite judgement or at least insinuated disapproval. All responses had an opinion. Oh–friends. This is one of those super sensitive hot buttons that fill women with a great deal of stress and drama. No matter what decision is made and for whatever reason–there are differing opinions on what SHOULD be done. I have had the awesome privilege over the past 12 years to become the mom of 3 beautiful kids AND I have a passion to lead and inspire those around me. I hold a necessary position of helping make ends meet financially for our family…so this has personally plopped me in the middle of several hot button discussions.

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Cause This Day Can Be Hard…

So I see this as a blessing and a curse. And it is probably a combination of nature and nurture generating my hypersensitivity to the feelings of others.  Sometimes I am paralyzed as I don’t want to say something to offend…or do something that might hurt your heart. (I am not perfect at this and am sure I have hurt many–but I can assure you it was not intentional as I have spent the better part of (almost) 40 years doing my best to be very very very sensitive to the hearts of others…especially surrounding delicate topics like this one!) So on a day like today as much as I would like to post a picture of my babies (and there is NOTHING wrong with doing this)…or a picture of my mom (and this is also to be celebrated)…I pause. Because this day can be hard.

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To The Ones Who Should Have Been

Hello Sweet Friends,

Last spring in Uganda, almost like two ships passing in the night, I met Courtney…and then she was gone. When we met I was distracted, single-momming it with 5 kiddos, strung out after 4 long months without Chris. This fresh face was one I was so thankful to meet. Her words have continued to ring true in my life and in the lives of those I love. The chord of pain hits us all in different ways…but the notes of truth reverberates within our soul and we all hum a similar melody.

I found the heart and soul of this blog so very compelling I just had to reblog it. Every time I would go to the computer to write anything this week about motherhood all I could do was hum the refrain of this blog. Why put different words to ones that ring so true? Courtney–grateful for you and your gutsy, honest writing.

I hope that you (the unseen or somehow forgotten) feel celebrated this week. You are seen. You are known. You are loved.

Stories We Tell

Mother’s Day is Sunday. And while I will be celebrating this holiday for the first time with a kiddo in my home, I can’t stop thinking about this time last year. I’ve had several people ask me what I’m doing for my first Mother’s Day. It’s a fine and valid question. Makes sense to ask it. I’ve been so caught off guard though at how much it all still stings a tiny bit. A whole year later. We still talk about him. We still wonder how he is and what he’s doing and if he’s okay. We still pray for him. His pictures are still all throughout our house. I remember so fully this week a year ago. How so physically sad I was. How mad I was that I wasn’t getting to celebrate a holiday that I was supposed to be celebrating. How unfair it all felt. How…

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I Need a Time Out

This weekend I made the intentional (and what many would say extremely selfish) decision to not go away with my family to one of the most magical places on earth. I intentionally decided to hang back, to be alone. Because I simply could not go.

Actually I could go…but I really didn’t want to.

(Insert Jim Gaffigan’s voice here) How can she do that?  How can she be so selfish to miss out on Family Camp at Windy Gap?  She will miss out on the horse rides, ropes course, music, skits and games. Won’t her husband the be Lone Ranger in the hoe down?  (Louder and more high pitched:) Doesn’t she know her kids NEED her? Doesn’t she know her children live for this weekend each year? Shouldn’t she choose another weekend to be so selfish?  Why? Why would you not go with your family to family camp this weekend? Why?

Because I need a time out.

Did you ever put your kid in time out because you needed one? Who knows what might have happened if you hadn’t put him in time out? A few minutes more without the time out and the neighbors would be bringing social services to your front door?

What appeared to be punishment for the child was actually for their protection.

(No? Just me then.)

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Licking Mirrors…

One of my favorite posts ever. It reminds me of the hard preschool years with kids, the way I felt most days as a mom, the messes I made and grace I gained. Happy Friday to my wonderful mom friends!

100 Cups of Coffee

 One of my simple pleasures is finding a good deal.  My mom on her fridge for years had a bumper sticker that said “I”d rather be shopping!”  She shopped me out as I kid so as an adult I am not a shopper in the sense of “sport” but I DO love a good deal.  A few weekends ago there was a big “stuff and save” type sale and summer items like shorts and shirts were deeply discounted.  Red flags went flying up.  Chris was in desperate need of a few things, so we decided to turn the trip into a family affair.   We needed to go to the Farmers Market that morning and Chris suggested we  “pop in” to Old Navy for a pair of shorts and a few shirts.  Of course on Saturday morning during “stuff and save,” it was packed.  We ran into neighbors, long lost friends…

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Imperfect Fall Family Photos

Crisp cool air, vibrant red, yellow, and orange leaves call to me.  They signal something is different…there is an end to the hot summer and a reprieve before the cold winter rushes in.  North Carolina is especially kind as her cool fall temperatures typically stay moderate well in to December.  The pumpkins and crunchy leaves on the ground beg for families to come together and take the traditional fall photos.  Fall photos create the perfect backdrop, promise of a fresh new season and a reminder of memories made.  I am a sucker for a good Christmas card photo.  I love seeing the year unfold.  Sometimes there is a beach photo, a big event captured, but if there is no beach trip or big event to share…there is undoubtedly a beautiful fall photo.

Yesterday a friend dropped by with his wife and baby and they delivered some delicious produce from their garden along with a very unique pumpkin.  Since our life in Uganda encompasses all things unique AND we do not have a fall season; I wrangled the children and asked if we could please take a “unique fall pumpkin photo?!?!”  So simple…right?  This was the result of my best efforts.

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My Child Will Never

100 Cups of Coffee

 This was my first mommy blog post…thought it would be worth revisiting.  My children have aged since this blog…but the Cockerham chaos continues.  My friend Nicole says in her super cute southern voice she has eaten a lot of crow over the past few years.  A southern expression for all those that have said, “My Child Will Never”…and then they did indeed do x, y or z–you just bellied up to a big plate of plate of crow.  I daily pull out my fork…and for those of you who have eaten your fair share of crow…OR make mental statements about what your future children will or won’t do…this is for you!
As I am sitting down to write…I realized that my boys are outside.  (I mean I knew it…I sent them out on the back porch to eat their snack.)  They are eating outside partly because it is a BEAUTIFUL…

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Yoga for the New Mom’s Soul

FLEXIBILITY.   The best laid parenting plans will not go exactly as you had hoped or envisioned.  Your baby may insist on sucking his thumb when you hoped to introduce a pacifier.  Your may have serious mastitis or your milk may not come in as you had hoped and you may not be able to breast feed.  Your sleeping plans for the child may fail and you will have them sleeping beside your bed for much longer than you originally planned. Your perfect “birth plan” may end in an emergency C-section, but remember your world will not end–instead a precious new life WILL begin.

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Mommy Confessions: You Can’t Make this Stuff Up!

On our last trip to the grocery store my eldest son announced he had to poop...immediately.  We pulled to the side of the road and Chris ran to a secluded area and proceeded to hold the boy like a chair to allow him to relive himself.  Minutes later Kylee pleaded for us to stop as she felt carsick.  (Knowing this is never a threat but always followed by vomiting, we practically threw on the e-brake.)  She and I rushed out of the van barefoot in an attempt to not defile the car.  The youngest had complained about a stomach ache for the most of the trip and though I thought it was nothing–I crawled lovingly back in the backseat to rub his tummy.  Moments later I was quickly awakened to the fact that he was not fully aware of his body’s signals as he yelled, “Stop the car NOW I have to go to the bathroom!” He too was ushered out of the car to take care of business.  3 children 3 stops…and copious amounts of hand sanitizer and wipes later we arrived at our destination.  (I guess I should mention it takes 5 hours to get to the grocery store–there are NO sanitary bathroom stops and there certainly was no option at the moment of their emergencies!)   We were quite the spectacle as many folks have never seen a white person “bare all” in the middle of the town or village in the attempt to not mess their pants and keep the car clean.  Bless!   After the 3rd stop, and hundreds of eyes staring wide at the crazy white bottoms flashed and the panicked parents wiping and washing and sanitizing…Chris and I both looked at one another and all we could do was laugh.  We even felt like we might have a new perspective on public restrooms in the US.   We thought the bathroom with the huge wooden key, a stall that doesn’t lock and the cloth hand dryer would be a dream compared to all of the options with no sinks, no toilet paper, squatty potties, and bathroom debacles we have encountered over the past year!

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