Tuesday, September 29, 2015


The thing about you, my 6-year-old boy,
Is that you have taught me the meaning of joy.

You've taught me to rise before the sun shines;
You've taught me of patience among tired whines.

You've taught me forgiveness when there are mistakes;
You've taught me the upmost importance of grace.

You've taught me that kindness never gets old;
You've taught me that friendship is better than gold.

You've taught me of bugs and spiders and snakes;
You've taught me to try, whatever it takes.

You've taught me of bravery when life feels unsure;
You've taught me that love can be simple and pure.

You've taught me to slow down and watch what you do;
You've taught me that faith shines brightest through you.
You've taught me to throw expectations away;
You've taught me new chances come with each day.

You've taught me to laugh while we gallop and run;
You've taught me to recall that life is so fun.

You've taught me such pure and unfiltered love;
You've taught me that you are a gift from above.

And while you learn from me, too, my sweet boy,
You are my best teacher of love, faith, and joy.

Thank you, Banks, for teaching me something new every single day; for being the most loving big brother I've ever seen; for making your daddy's eyes sparkle with pride; for making me a momma, and with that, making my wildest dreams come true the day you were born six years ago. You are my sunshine, and you are adored.

With All My Heart,


Monday, September 28, 2015

Mom-ing Through Faith: Stay Tuned

Hi mommas! 

As we all know, mommahood requires equal parts love, patience, kindness, prayer, discipline, support, partnership, caffeine, wine :), and grace.  

Please offer me these crucial elements, especially the latter, as I work hard to put together the next few weeks posts on Mom-ing Through Faith topics that have me crying out, "Yes!", "Amen to that!", and "I know that's right!" 

Instead of today's typical post, I would just ask that you take a moment to pray for all the mommas out there, those who may be struggling and those who may be thriving; those who long to be mommas and those who are having *one of those days*; those who may need a little more grace, coffee, love, and support as we kick off a new week. 

Thank you! 

Meanwhile, I'll be working hard on the next few Mom-ing Through Faith posts while also taking time away to celebrate the one who made me a momma as he turns 6 years old. <3

Amen and amen. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Five On Friday: Turning Six Edition

Howdy, friends! It's Friday (yeehaw!), which means it's time for my Friday Five, which I (selfishly) write to share what we've up to the last week, as a sort of virtual diary of our day-to-day comings and goings during this season of life. Speaking of this season, whew! Things are busy (aren't they for everyone?! At pretty much all times?! Ha!). I wish I could carve out a little more time to write each week, but right now, I've only been able to manage my Monday "Mom-ing Through Faith" posts and this Friday Five post. However, I'll have a couple extra posts next week as we celebrate my firstborn, my Banks, turning SIX. Ahhhhh!!!! But more on that next week. 

Anywho, here's this week's Five: 

Last Friday night, my hub and I snuck out for a date. We tried this new local tapas place, and the food and bevs were delish! We then headed to a surprise birthday party for one of my dear friends whom I met through our LifeGroup. It was such a fun night, and the kiddos had a blast hanging out at home with their (Great) Uncle Tim and Aunt Bets. A win-win for all!

This was a crazy week, filled with play dates and dance classes and football practices and Room Mom meetings and volunteer duties and party prep and Pure Barre, and, well, life! Despite the craziness that is life, I must say that I am so proud of my hub. He has been going to these hard core F3 workouts (F3, by the way, stands for Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith) several times a week for the past few weeks, which means his alarm goes off at 4:45 am!!! He then comes home and has the coffee ready and often, breakfast made, before I even make it out of our room. He then walks Banks to the bus stop, without fail, before we say our prayer together to officially start our day. How the man is still standing at the end of the day, I have no idea. But. I am so proud of him! Okay--proud wife gushing moment over. 

I started my volunteer duties in Banks' kindergarten class this week, and I absolutely LOVE it! The primary reason I became a pediatric neuropsychologist was to help children--I love nothing more than spending time with, and helping, kiddos of all ages. While I have temporarily taken off my pediatric neuropsychologist hat while I stay home with my own young children, my passion for helping kiddos remains steadfast and strong. So, I am thrilled to be volunteering in the classroom. I spend my first hour one-on-one doing tutorials with students who need a little extra guidance and the last 30 minutes helping out with clerical work. I just love it and will be looking forward to these 90-minute sessions all year. It's just a bonus that I get to see Banks hard at work in his classroom during these times, giving him quick smiles and hugs when I can. :)

Raleigh is the "snack helper" at school today, which meant she got to create and bring in an "All About Me" box. She was so excited to decorate it and fill it with things she loves (her "honeys," her dance shoes, pictures of her family, etc.). 

I have a VERY exciting announcement to make, although I'm not quite ready to share it yet (No, I'm not pregnant). Stay tuned...

We will be celebrating our birthday boy with eight of his good buddies at his party tomorrow, and I can't wait to share all the details of his fun celebration next week! With that, I'm off to finish decorating cupcakes and finalizing details. Have a great weekend, and keep it cool. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Mom-ing Through Faith: On Throwing Our Stones

Recently, Kathie Lee Gifford, morning co-anchor of the fourth hour of the the Today show, returned to work after grieving the sudden loss of her husband, Frank Gifford, the acclaimed football player and sports commentator.

While I am not one who regularly tunes into the morning news, much less the fourth hour of the Today show thanks to tasks, activities, errands, chores, and playtime related to the three little Lus who reside in my home, I was moved to tears by a segment that aired during that hour, after one of my closest friends sent it to me. 

It was so powerful that we spent an entire evening of our LifeGroup talking about it and it's repercussions (shout out to Jenna and Jon, who did an amazing job introducing and leading the discussion). If you have yet to see this segment, I highly encourage you to watch it. It's about 8 minutes, and you will not regret it, I promise. 

Rarely is the church, is Christianity, spoken about on the news in such a meaningful, touching way. Whether or not you are a fan of Kathie Lee, her eloquent words, her heart-felt and faith-filled tribute, is one that is not only a beautiful testament of her faith but also a very thought-provoking and potentially life-changing conversation worth watching. 

Part of the tribute involves the brief retelling of the Biblical story of David and Goliath, in which David, a small boy, slays the great giant, whom all others had feared, using a single stone, all because he had faith in God.

After retelling the story, Kathie Lee then asked viewers to consider the following question:

What is my stone?  

In other words, 

What is the gift that only I can do in this world to make it a better place?  

You may remember a couple months ago I wrote about a similar topic: On being restless. On the critical importance of using our own, specific gifts. As Jennie Allen, author of Restless, says,

We need to quit apologizing for using our gifts and start apologizing for not using them. 

We are uniquely and wonderfully made, with our own individual gifts, with our own individual purposes. And you know who else is? Our children. Each of them. 

As mommas, I believe that, not only is it our job to identify our own unique gifts and use them to make the world a better place, in whatever big or small way that may be, but also to help our children identify their own gifts and to use them the best way they can. 

Maybe you're an eloquent speaker. Maybe you're an observant listener. Maybe you're a talented writer. Maybe you're a skilled chef. Maybe you're a patient teacher. Maybe you're a reliable friend. Maybe you're a faith-filled leader. Maybe you're a steadfast worker. Whatever you are, whatever your gifts may be, use them. And help your children do the same. 

And then, as Kathie Lee urged, take your gift, take your stone, and 

spend the rest of your life trying to throw it well. Throw it hard and well and transform this hurting world that needs God so much. 

P.S. As part of the LifeGroup discussion our group had on this topic, we concluded by heading to our local greenway, where we each selected a stone for ourselves and then a stone for our family. We were asked to think about what our "stone" is and how we were going to "throw" it to make this world a better, faith-filled place. We were asked the same of our family stone: How is our family going to use our life together to change the world? Currently, my hub's stone resides safely in his bedside table, mine goes everywhere with me in my wallet, and our family's sits prominently on our mantle, each serving as a daily reminder to throw our stones hard and well and far. <3

For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Five On Friday: Yaaaawn Edition

Yaaaaaaaawn. Oh man. I have really been struggling with my sleep the last couple months. I'll have a few good nights and then several poor sleeping nights in a row. I have NO trouble falling asleep, and it is a rare occasion that I am still awake at 10:00 pm. BUT. I have been waking up multiple times a night. And while I am usually able to get back to sleep within 10-15 minutes, I am not getting full, consistent sleep. Ugh. Here's hoping for some good rest this weekend. 


It's Fri-YAY!!! Which means, the Friday Five:

Last Saturday was Banks' first flag football game. And ohmygoodness. Y'all. He LOVES it. I have always been opposed to my child playing football (hello, former pediatric neuropsychologist speaking here, one who used to perform concussion evaluations). But. I am also in full support of my kiddos following their dreams. And right now, for Banks, it's football. He had so much fun, made several amazing defensive plays, and even scored one of the two touchdowns. I can't wait to watch him in his next game tomorrow afternoon. Go Yellow Jackets!

Late Spring, my hub planted a little garden in our backyard, which included squash, green beans, okra, tomatoes, etc. Earlier this week, we were able to enjoy the fruits (errr...vegetables) of his labor when he made some DELICIOUS fried green tomatoes and fried okra. So, so good! And straight from our backyard!

I am so proud of my Raleigh Jane. Last year, when she started preschool, she would cry every time I dropped her off for at least the first month. This year, I get a big smile and wave as she exits the car, without even a hint of a tear. She is just loving school this year, and I love seeing her so excited each morning. 

Back to school for Raleigh (three mornings a week, that is) means I have gotten lots of solo time with my baby boy. Harrison and I have gotten in so much amazing playtime already. We read, we build towers, we play with sidewalk chalk, we swing, and just have so much fun together. And this little buster, well, my hub and I are convinced he is going to be an entertainer one day. Not only does he love to make people laugh, but he loves to sing--and he does it in tune! He is just captivated by music and it is the sweetest thing to hear his little voice belting out little tunes, babbling most of the way through and then throwing in key words where he sees fit. Oh my heart!


I am SO excited that a pretty low-key weekend lies ahead for our Lu Crew. Aside from a date night/party tonight, a flag football game tomorrow, and a birthday party for one of Banks' best buddies on Sunday, we are plan-free and happy as can be! Woohoo! 

I hope you've had a great week as well! Be sure to check back here on Monday. I have a few Mom-ing Through Faith posts coming up that I am so excited and so passionate about. So, stop on by! See you then. :) 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Mom-ing Through Faith: On Time

The days are long but the years are short...

Time flies...

Where did the time go?...

Time. We mommas have quite the relationship with time. When we are pregnant, the first trimester draaaaags by as we wait to hear our little one's heartbeat and try to make it to second trimester, when we'll (hopefully!) begin to feel better. 

Those newborn nights can seem unending, when our babes need to fill their tummies and struggle with day/night confusion, bringing us along for the exhausting ride. 

Teething seems to last a lifetime, as we wait for those little white pearls to push through and finally end the drooling, fussy, sleepless days

For the momma who returns to work after maternity leave, the weeks often pass as if in slow motion while the weekends fly by at lightning speed.

For the stay-at-home momma, the days often seem unending while trying to fill the hours with just the right mix of education, downtime, playtime, independent time, and naptime for ever-moving, stimulation-hungry toddlers. 

Winter lingers a little too long, while summer days pass all too quickly. 

We blink and the newborn we were just cradling yesterday is suddenly walking through the doors of elementary school. And I can imagine the same can be said for the day our babies finally leave our little nest.

Yes, we have quite the relationship with time, us mommas. 

But, here's an important, timely (pun intended) question: How are we mommas spending our time here on earth?

Sometimes, I think we (I) take time for granted. It's when I need verses like this most: 

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is. Psalm 39:4. 

That being said, I want to issue a challenge for this week: For the next seven days, keep a general log of how you spend your time each day. Be honest and be specific. Each of us will have different ways in which our time is broken down each day. At the end of the week, be prepared to honestly answer these questions for yourself:
  • How much time is spent in prayer and/or devotional and/or church?  
  • How much time is spent working?  
  • How much time is devoted to family time? Friend time? Self time?  
  • How much time is spent on social media?  
  • How much time involves a personal hobby or something you choose to do for enjoyment? 
  • How much time is spent keeping yourself healthy, including hours of sleep and hours of exercise/activity?  
  • How much of your time each week feels fulfilling?

And, if we mommas want to be really honest with ourselves, let's look at the breakdown in how our children's time is spent, too, since we (especially those of us with young children), basically determine how their time is spent. And then, be prepared to honestly answer these questions:
  • How much of their time is being spent in prayer and/or devotional and/or church? 
  • How much of their time includes quality time with you? With their dad? With siblings? With friends? By themselves? 
  • How much screen time do they have each day (including television viewing, movie watching, computer playing, personal game playing, etc.)?
  • How much of their time is spent keeping them healthy, including hours of sleep and hours of exercise/activity? 
  • How much time are they given to pursue their own interests (e.g., sports, hobbies, etc.)?  
  • How much of a say do they have in how they spend their time?

Mission accepted? Let's do it! 

And then, for the real kicker: 

At the end of the challenge, try to honestly answer the following questions:
  • What do I want to do with my time here? 
  • How do I want to invest my time so that I am maximizing the life God gave me? 
  • How do I want to use my time to best impact others? 
  • In what ways, if any, do I need to alter my time breakdown each day/week to do the above?  
  • Am I happy with how my time is spent? If so, why? If not, why? And what can I do about it?
  • In what ways do I need to alter how my children's time is spent each week to help them lead happy, fulfilling, faith-filled lives? 

Let's try it. Let's see what happens. We have one life. Our days are numbered. And there's no better time than now. 

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand. Psalm 31:14-15

Friday, September 11, 2015

Five On Friday: Recap Edition

Hellooooo! Even though this was a short week due to the Labor Day holiday, it was a very busy one, and I am definitely excited to see the weekend arrive. I had so many momma friends warn me about how tired I would be once elementary school started and were they ever right! So, I am PUMPED it is Friday and am definitely ready for a pretty low key weekend. Before that, though, my Friday Five. A little something different this week: A 5-day recap:

[ONE]. Monday.
Labor Day. Woot! Woot! We started off our Labor Day by cheering on our Daddy in a neighborhood 5K benefiting an amazing program by our church aimed at ending sex trafficking in Charlotte. After a visit to Pure Barre for a quick Momma workout, I took my trio to the pool for the Labor Day pool party while my hub played golf with friends. Finally, it was time to wind down and get back in school mode. 

[TWO]. Tuesday.
Tuesday was recovery from the weekend day. Whew! And also a day to reflect back on an awesome trip to Death Valley over the weekend to watch our Tigers bring home the W! WooHoo!

[THREE]. Wednesday.
Now THIS was a crazy day! After getting Banks on the bus in the morning, it was time to get Raleigh ready for her first day of school in the 3s classroom! Although she attended preschool two mornings a week last year, she is now going three days a week, and we just adore her teachers. Raleigh can be quite shy and slow to warm up in new situations, but she did great, with no tears! And then she talked about how much she loved school and her teachers the rest of the day. 

Anywho, after dropping her off, I then dropped Harrison off at Mother's Morning Out. This year, he is going to be doing MMO in our neighborhood every other Wednesday for two hours. Not only will this allow him a little more exposure to other toddlers, but I will also be volunteering in Banks' kindergarten classrooms those two hours every other week. I am so excited to start! This week, though, I met with Banks' teacher during that time to discuss my...duhduhduh....Room Mom duties. I am co-room-parenting with another momma, and while I am a little intimidated by all the responsibility, I am hoping to help make this an awesome year for the teachers and students. :) 

So, after meeting with Mrs. M, I picked up Harrison and then picked up Raleigh. We headed home for lunch and naps and then I got Banks off the bus and drove him straight to the dentist. Whew! We got home just in time for dinner and then I headed out to a Pure Barre class. I swear I didn't sit down from the time I woke up until 8:30 pm, when everyone was finally in bed, lunches were made, etc. 

[FOUR]. Thursday.
We were up and at 'em bright and early yesterday morning, as all five of our little fam headed to the elementary school for the Boosterthon Fun Run. I volunteered during the event and got to mark off laps as the smiling, sweating, sweet kindergarteners ran their hearts out. It was so, so fun! Meanwhile, Banks had his little cheering section yelling loudly and proudly for him as he completed his 35 (actually, 40!) laps. Go Banks! Go FMES!

Shortly after, I dropped off Raleigh at her weekly tap/ballet class while Harrison and I enjoyed a special Cupcake Momma Date. :) 

[FIVE]. Friday.
And now, Friday. Glorious Friday. We have nothing planned for today, aside from me getting a LOOOOONG overdue cut and color at a hair salon later this evening. Other than that, we'll be in full relaxation mode as we head into a weekend full of football playing (Banks' first game!) and football watching (Go Tigers!).

Wowzers. What.A.Week.! I hope yours was great as well. Be back soon!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

So Long, Summer

Dear Summer 2015,

Thank you for filling my home with sunlight and laughter and love. Thank you for the extra time I got to snuggle my children. Thank you for action-packed days and lazy, pajama days. Thank you for endless pool splashes and family movie nights. Thank you for beach trips with family and visits with friends. Thank you for hot backyard playing and cool playroom downtime. Thank you for dates with my hub and with each of my babies. Thank you for first dance classes and first football teams. Thank you for healthy, growing toddlers and amazing sibling relationships.

I guess what I'm trying to say is...

Thank you for the memories:


Momma Lu