I refuse to stop using my cell phone around my kids

Yes, I use my cell phone when I’m spending time with my children. #sorrynotsorry

I have read lots of articles and anecdotes about smart phone addictions: how our phones have become an extension of ourselves, how we are ignoring our kids because of it, how “mommy loves her phone more than me.”

My children know how much I love them, and that they are not second rate to a device.  Yes, sometimes they have to wait a few seconds for me to look at their 12th new Lego design (learning a little patience is never a bad thing). But, I will not stop using my phone around them; this is what I will continue to do:

I will continue to take photos of my children doing whatever they are doing, because tomorrow when I’m at work and my heart is longing for their hugs, I will browse through the photos and my heart will feel full again.

I will continue to check my email, because like it or not, sometimes work does come home. Even a quick email back of “I see your email, and I’ll get you the answer in the morning” can help someone enjoy their family that night.

I will continue to watch for updates on a friend’s recovery as I cheer along him and his family.  Learning about his specific prayer requests that day can help guide my children’s prayers that night.

I will keep checking instagram to see how an internet stranger’s daughter is doing through her chemo treatments, because although I cannot help directly, I can send love through a like.

I will continue to text a family member who is looking for help with a new baby.  I can send answers, support, and love to someone struggling.

I will watch for photos of my sweet niece who lives much too far away.  As much as a photo of my own children fills my heart, so does her pudgy smiley face.

I will continue to read a blog related to a stage of my child’s life, because sometimes people who have been through it before, just know more that I do now.

I will continue to use my phone when I’m with my children to keep in touch with my village. That village provides the foundation on which I stand, and I want to teach my children to grow, love on and support their own villages.  This is one way I can show them how to do that.

Happy birthday to my fierce one

Today Eloise is 2!  I cannot believe how fast it has gone.  I know people always say that, but it is so true.  Fortunately, I haven’t felt like I’ve missed much this time around.  It has been a completely different and wonderful experience raising this child to two than it was raising her brother to two.

When Link turned two, he’d been planning to be a big brother for months, and in exactly 1 month from his birthday his sister would arrive.  He was made to grow up quickly because he would no longer be the only.

We’ve had the pleasure of letting Eloise be the baby for as long as she needed to.  She still rocks to sleep in my arms once in awhile and enjoys being scooped up and snuggled.

But my oh my, she is not even close to a baby any longer, and this toddler is fierce in everything.

Eloise loves her brother fiercely.  She loves everything he is and how he plays with her.  She wants to mimic him and do what he does, including every time he’s a stinker or defiant – turn around and she’ll have her pouty, stinker face on too.

Eloise is fiercely independent.  She will make certain you know what she can and wants to do.  She dresses herself, brushes her own teeth, peels her own banana- anything you’d like to help her with: “no help!”

Eloise has fierce emotions.  She loves not only her brother, but her family and friends with an intensity you can feel.  When someone leaves her presence, her heart gets broken faster than you can blink.

Eloise has changed me in a fierce way, she has made an incredible impact on her family, and she is a joy at school.  I am humbled and in awe that she was given to me, and I have loved every second of her two years in a way I never knew possible.

I love you baby girl.  Happy birthday to my fierce one.