To my little girls of the prairie,
When you are grown, I hope you remember how rich your childhood was unplugged. I hope you remember long summer days playing in pastures, riding your cowponies, picking paintbrush, and letting your imagination determine afternoon plans.
I hope you remember exploring in the creek, hunting for arrowheads, witnessing new life come into this world as you watched a new calf being born, and fishing at the pond.
I hope when you’re grown, you never forget to look up at night to see the bright stars, the magic of an Oklahoma sunset, or the memories that resurface of riding with your Dad in the tractor when you smell fresh cut hay.
I hope you drive with your windows down and play our favorite songs that were on repeat when you were little. I hope you read the same books we’d get lost in and relive the stories with your own kids.
I hope when you’re grown, you’ll realize that sometimes what we did wasn’t popular, but your childhood wasn’t cut short, wasn’t desensitized, and we hid you away from the things we could control so you could experience what life was intended to be like for a kid.
I hope you look back and are proud of our brand, what it stands for, your family it represents, and the way we try to live different. I hope you loved your childhood so much, you try to mimic it within your own fences for our grandkids one day.
And when you’re grown, I hope you know how much your dad and I loved you. That we did the best we could and fought for you. For your freedom, for your morality, your faith, and your education. We prayed hard, we loved hard, we messed up too, but we tried to give you a childhood that’s becoming unheard of. The things we don’t allow that might seem silly to you now, I hope are your saving grace later in life.
I hope you’re always proud of being raised on the prairie, living different, and that when the world seemed like it was in shambles, our little corner still felt special and wonderful to you.
To my little girls of the prairie,
When I was little girl I dreamed about being a mom and what my little family would someday be like. Would I have all girls, boys, two kids, or three? Would we live in this cookie cutter home with a white picket fence? Would I make large home cooked meals in heels, pearls, and perfectly placed hair, always having it together? All of these childhood pre-conceived notions of what making a house a home and being a mom was like changed when I had Paisley. Motherhood is the toughest job you will ever have. But, by far the most rewarding. It’s messy. Really messy. And I think also an area where we as women are very vulnerable to the enemy. Thoughts of inadequacy often creep in and the visions we had growing up of what motherhood was supposed to be like can get us down. I can count on one hand of all the days I’ve had it completely together in the last four years of being a mom. And that’s ok.My days do not consist of staying home, cleaning house, and having a homemade pie for my husband to come home to. Instead, I work and own a business, we are usually running 5 minutes (or more) late everywhere we go, I’m kissing a lot of boo boos and applying band-aids.
There are many late nights, little sleep, and a lot of tears. I don’t cook as often as I should and our house is messy 90% of the week. I step on a lot of doll house toys and barbie shoes and usually don’t shower in peace. My hair is constantly in a top knot and I wear more dark circles under my eyes than I do makeup.But that’s the beauty of it all. The little moments when your oldest looks at you after she’s spilled her entire bowl of cereal on the floor, waiting for you to lose it but instead you choose to just go with it. You laugh, tell her accidents happen, and make a game out of cleaning it all up. Then she grabs your face, tells you she loves you and says “mommy, you’re beautiful” as she plants a sweet kiss on your cheek. With tears in your eyes you silently thank the Lord for giving you this messy, precious life. Thankful that instead of letting frustration take over, you chose to give grace and have a moment you will hold onto forever. That’s what real motherhood is. The days can be long but the years are short. Life can be overwhelming but I know that I only have so much time and they won’t be little forever. Sometimes I have to change my mindset when I don’t feel like what I’m doing is enough. The messy moments now remind me to keep going because I know one day I will give anything to have this stage of life back.
In the world we live in today, I think there is so much pressure on moms to do all of the things for our kids when what they want most is time and attention. To just spend the small moments with them. To take time to truly enjoy and listen. We don’t have to have this Pinterest worthy home or meal to get the best mom award. Speaking life and showing love to them will go further than you can imagine. I am constantly amazed at how much Paisley loves, how sweet her words and thoughts are.My girls have taught me so much about patience, sacrifice, strength, grace, love, and true happiness.
No, our life isn’t put together. It’s crazy and a lot to handle at times. I’m far from perfect but our girls know that they are loved deeply by their mom. That I’m always there to dry tears, give bear hugs, and play cowgirls on the spot. We have fun together and I delight in every moment playing pretend, going on snow cone dates, cleaning sticky kitchen tables, having heartfelt conversations, and saying prayers before bed. I am blessed and so thankful for this life God has given me.
I hope this mother’s day you take time to slow down and enjoy the messy, embrace the crazy, and squeeze your babies a little tighter.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been three weeks tomorrow since Sawyer Scout joined our family. Time has been so precious and we have been soaking up all of our moments as a tribe of four. I am excited to finally share her birth story. It was such a hard but beautiful day that I will forever have embedded into my memory. I love that I have this space to record these sweet moments for us to look back on. Pregnancy and childbirth is truly a miracle. I am constantly in awe of how amazing our God is. What a privilege it is for us to be able to give life.We had our 39 week appointment and I was at a 3 and contracting. I really wanted to go into labor on my own because I was induced with Paisley and it was a long 26 hour labor. However, we went ahead and chose a date just in case she didn’t want to come on her own. It just so happens I’m a champ at carrying children that would love to be in the womb forever-so June 16th came-the night before our induction and my nerves were going crazy. I kept thinking about our last night as a family of three, how nervous I was to do this again, and how much our life was about to change. We got everything ready to go for the next morning and of course I couldn’t get any rest because I was so excited to meet her. We left our house at 5 AM so we could get there for our 6 AM induction, dropped Paisley off with my parents, shed a few tears as I kissed her bye, and went on our way.When we arrived the staff checked us into a room, I changed into a gown, and the nurses started to hook me up to the fetal monitor. Once they took my blood work and got the IV going, the RN started me on pitocin at 6:00 AM. Labor had begun. My midwife came in to break my water about an hour later and the contractions began to get more intense. My mom brought Paisley to the hospital around 9:00 and we had a “big sister Bag” waiting for her when she walked into the room. She was so excited to meet her sister but worried about mommy’s “owies.” You can see the post about her bag here.
She was such a good girl while she was with us. She kept saying that she need her “listening heart” (stethoscope) so she could check mommy out and make sure I was ok. Around noon, the contractions were really strong and started to make me anxious. I was at a 5 but felt like I had a long way to go. I got an epidural with Paisley but it didn’t help when I needed it. I was going to try to go through labor this round without it but the pain was getting a little unbearable. The nurse came in and gave me some pain medication through IV and that was some of the craziest stuff ever. I felt like the room was spinning and it made me really drousy but helped take the edge off of the contractions a little bit. I decided that I would go ahead and try the epidural but wanted to wait until I progressed a little more. I can’t imagine going through childbirth without my husband. He was so kind and encouraging and never left my side. He prayed over me constantly and I know that prayers and going to the Lord is what got me through this labor. I am so blessed to have him. I got the epidural around 2:00 when I was at a 7 and it was more painful than I remember. I was hoping that it would take away the excruciating pain but it didn’t much at all. I don’t react to medication well and honestly believe I got it too late because after it was in we progressed fast. I could still roll over, move my legs, and everything. It wasn’t until after I delivered that I started going numb. Before I knew it I was at a 10 and it was time to push. I don’t remember how long I pushed but it seemed like an eternity. I tried to focus more on the count down than the pain but it started to be too much. I literally felt like my pelvis was breaking and then both Scout and I’s oxygen started to drop. They put my mask on and I just remember feeling like I was going into shock. I saw Zack’s face come over me and hearing him say that we were so close-just two more pushes and we could meet her. I will always remember the feeling of that last push. The instantaneous relief and adrenaline of meeting your child makes the pain literally cease. Tears started to flow as I heard her first cry and Zack whisper that I had done it-our baby girl was with us.June 17th, 2015 at 5:02 in the afternoon, our lives changed forever. God blessed us with another daughter-a beautiful 9 pound 20 inch baby girl with a head full of hair. After 39 weeks and 3 days of pregnancy, Sawyer Scout Ashcraft had finally arrived. And, she was so worth the wait. Immediately after delivery, we had an hour of skin to skin before the family came in. I loved this time of just us getting to know our sweet girl. Her daddy is pretty smitten by his girls. I am so glad that other than us and our parents, we didn’t let anyone come in until Paisley got to meet Scout and have her special time. I will never forget the look on her face when she walked into the room and Zack placed Scout on her lap. The face of pure joy and love for her sister brought me to tears. One of the sweetest moments I’ve experienced. Then after a long 11 hour day of patiently waiting, we opened the flood gates and let the family come in. Paisley had us all laughing with her “shooshing” everyone for them to be quite. She was all about making sure baby sis stayed asleep. I am so thankful for this little miracle. Zack and I are still in shock that we have two girls. She has been the best baby and we couldn’t ask for better. Thank you to all of our friends and family that were praying for us. We are loving life as a family of four and are so excited to watch her grow alongside her sister. God is good.