Let’s Have a Coffee Date

December 30, 2015

It’s 9 pm on a Tuesday night and I’m sitting in a very quiet salon, under the blowdryer, having my hair done. Usually I’m not one to enjoy being out and about on a weeknight relatively late (yes, 9 pm on a weeknight is late, thankyouverymuch) but tonight it feels pretty darn nice to savor a little peace and quiet.

I’m not sure I have a cohesive post in my head right now, so I thought I would share a little bit of this and that, perhaps the same way I might talk if we were having a real life coffee date?

If we were sitting at my new favorite little local coffee shop in our small town, I would probably tell you about our home renovation and how difficult it’s been living in the basement. It seems more than a little silly and spoiled to complain about living in a basement while we are renovating our home, a luxury. But being a work-at-home mom means my home is my office, too, and living in a basement most of the time is a real zap on creativity and energy. And I’m super sick of lugging laundry all over the place while our washer and dryer is out of commission.

I’ve been praying a lot for real, honest and meaningful friendships in Iowa. There were things I wish I had done differently in Minneapolis – relationships I wish we had fostered more and others I wish I had spent less time on, and I hope not to make those same mistakes here. I’m really not great at small talk – I say the most awkward things sometimes! But I feel encouraged by some of the relationships that have already started to develop here and I’m hoping that they continue to grow over time. New towns and new lives take lots and lots of time before things start to feel comfortable.

When Ainsley turned 9 months old we suddenly started getting asked questions about when we were going to have another baby. Really? I still refer to myself as a “new mom” for crying out loud. There are days when I tell Joe we should have 5 kids and days when I think 1 is just great. I hope, someday, to land somewhere in between. But the truth is, my struggle to stay pregnant and Ainsley’s medical scare during the first couple months of life really scared me silly.

I’ve been growing my hair out for almost two years. It’s finally gotten to the pre-determined length that I decided would be legitimately “long” hair and yet it feels like it needs to be 2 or 3 inches longer. I write about this because I’m realizing that enough is never enough, you know? Jesus is the only thing that is ever enough, and I’m constantly realizing that I need to point my needy, hungry, broken heart back to him. Long hair will never be long enough, skinny and fit will never be skinny or fit enough. The list goes on and on.

The only workouts I manage these days are 30 minute Beachbody workouts on my laptop during nap time or before Ainsley wakes up. They’re enough to keep me fit and feeling good, but I do miss long runs and good sweat sessions at the gym. Hoping that 2016 ushers in more of those type of workouts and a few races, too.

Having a baby has gotten significantly easier. The other night Joe and I put Ainsley to bed. We gave her a bottle, read her a book and said a prayer over her after brushing her teeth. Then we laid her down in her crib, shut the door and that was that. She went to sleep for 10 straight hours, ate a bottle, and then slept 2 more. If you would have told me that it would be this like this when Ainsley was a couple months old I wouldn’t have believed it myself. All those hours of rocking and bouncing and going back into her room time after time? Exhausting and completely overwhelming. I knew that it was a passing phase but I don’t think I really believed it.

I might also mention that lately I’m struggling with social media and my phone. It’s my job to connect and share and create content online – through my blog and recipes and the company I work for – and at the same time I feel so conflicted about my relationship with social media. Like, maybe it’s unhealthy? I’m looking for a way to better create boundaries around it without throwing it all away. If you have tips or things that have been good for you and your family, I would love to hear them!

And for now, that’s it. If you’ve made it this far, kudos to you! Looking forward to connecting and sharing and chatting more in the year to come.


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  • Reply maci van veldhuizen December 30, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    This is one of my favorite posts you have done! Its real and really felt like a coffee date conversation. You do beautiful things.

  • Reply Rachelle December 30, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I love this! It’s just the type of conversation I would have when catching up with friends. Thanks for being real with us! I’ve been in a “new” city for six years now and am finally feeling good about the friendships I have here. Hang in there, I know how tough it is!

  • Reply ali grace | cookies and grace December 30, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    I love this too! And although I’m not a mommy (yet!) I can relate to so much of what you said. The hubs and I are preparing to move towns this spring, to a much smaller place, and it’s been so good for me to read about your journey. Thanks for that! And you’re so so so right about the “never enough”. It’s a struggle with everything. Hair, style, success, money, body, home, blog… you name it. Thankful for Jesus who really IS enough. Happy New Year to you!

  • Reply Katherine Kelly December 30, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    I love these type of blog posts. It is like a little letter from you to all of us, in the best way possible. 🙂 I really liked your thoughts about your hair – and how when you get to the goal length, it is often not what you thought it would be. Like everything else, as you so wonderfully pointed out, enough is a tricky concept. I also find myself struggling to understand how to interact with social media. How do I enjoy it yet not overdo it? I don’t have any easy answers, but just wanted to let you know you’re not alone. Happy 2016 to you!

  • Reply Bridget Black December 30, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    I, too, love this post! Relatable and so honest.

  • Reply Valerie December 30, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Love this post! But here’s my main question– how in the world did you write this while you were getting your hair done?! Impressive! Wish I could multitask like that 🙂

    I too feel the same way about my friendships– really need to devote time to the ones that matter and not spend time on ones that don’t just for the sake of it. And what Beachbody workouts do you do? I’ve been doing T25…short, sweet and works up a good sweat!

  • Reply Shanna December 30, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    This post made me think you and I would have a fab time getting coffee together. Someday!

  • Reply Katie @ Live Half Full December 31, 2015 at 1:33 am

    It’s nice to hear your perspective on having a 9 month old. I have a 9 week old and I’m still in that overwhelming phase. It’s nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

  • Reply Abby December 31, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Love this post! We have been in our city for 6.5 years and I still feel like I’m lacking in a good group of girlfriends – it is tough! You will know when you are ready for another baby, don’t let anyone tell you that you should be ready – it is definitely a very personal decision!

  • Reply Amanda December 31, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    I love this post, Madison! Friendships are oddly hard for me; Matt and I have lived in Gainesville since we’ve been in college and now we’re in a weird place where we are married without kids. As you know, GV is a hard place to find non-college people and most of our friends here are young families. Just feels like we are always in limbo with life stage! Makes it harder to find girlfriends. Praying the Lord guides me to some wonderful women in 2016 (I clearly should not be left to my own accord)! Also–thanks for the reminder that only Jesus is enough. Went to bed last night repeating “comparison is the thief of joy, comparison is the thief of joy” over and over! Bless. Love to you and yours for the new year!

  • Reply Kjersti December 31, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    I read this at work while drinking my coffee, so it definitely felt like a coffee date! I agree that enough (be it fit, sleep, hair length etc..) is never enough and I’m trying to keep in mind that I am truly blessed and lucky to have a healthy and happy family. I really like how Amanda wrote “comparison is the thief of joy” that is spot on! We have a 17 month old and I’ve seen some of my friendships dwindle since having a baby. Our friends without kids lead a very different lifestyle (spur of the moment activities, late night -as in 7pm after our baby’s bed time- get togethers etc…) and it’s been a tough adjustment for us, however I am so darn thankful for the “mom/dad-friends” we do have. I wish we lived in the same city (we are in Santa Barbara, CA) because I’d meet you for coffee anytime! Thanks for always keeping it real on your blog, it’s truly appreciated

  • Reply Savannah Thaler January 5, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    YES! Loved these words! Thank you for sharing. I’m about to make a big move to a totally new place where we know zero people and your words on relocating and developing new relationships were just what I needed to hear.

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