Motherhood Series: Meet Kem

On our last day of the #MotherhoodSeries I would like for you to get to know Kem Jackson. She writes what being a grandmother means to her! Kem is the wife to Al, mother to Josh, Hannah, and Naomi, and Mimi to nine wonderful grandchildren! Her husband Al is the pastor at Lakeview Baptist Church in Auburn, Alabama. Kem spends her time discipling young women, visiting with her children and grandchildren, investing in the intern/seminary wives at Lakeview, and is actively involved with the women’s ministry at Lakeview. She and Brother Al mean a great deal to me and Tim and we are forever thankful for the wisdom they have instilled in us!



Our firstborn was getting married soon. I sat him down to have a serious talk. “I think I know what I want for my 50th birthday (I was about to be 47),” I said. He looked at me strangely and said what?! I paused, then said ‘a grandbaby’! I want a grandbaby for my 50th birthday! “Mama,” he said! I responded, “you’ll be finished with law school and in your first year of practice! It will be perfect!” He was surprised I know! But you ‘have not because you ask not’! My request (my dream) came true as by my 50th birthday I had a precious grandson!

Fast forward 14 years and now my husband and I have 9 grands ages 14-2. They are a delight to my heart! Nothing makes me happier than to spend time with them! I look all year long for special treats to put in their Christmas stockings or special surprises to take when I visit them. I love to cook things they love to eat or maybe they cook with me when they come.

There is a small, pink book I keep by my bedside table. In it I have, with dates, those sweet cute things they say. I didn’t do this for my own children so I am making sure I remember these jewels. Some are rewarding. Like after family vacation when Sam said, “these have been the best days of my life”! Or cute phrases they say that become part of our vocabulary, like the ‘wetter and dryer’ or ‘that’s crazy and amazing’! They love for me to get the book out to hear what they or their cousins said when they were little.

Prayer is very important in grandparenting so I write some of mine in the margin of my bible. I am praying for beautiful feet for them (Romans 10:14-15). And their names are all around the page of Ephesians 2:8-9 for salvation, as each enters the years God calls them to Himself. I love to pray for them! As I get older and so do they, I know I can always be part of their lives through prayer. Their world is changing and they are growing up with many temptations, but this grandmother knows where to turn. The bible relieves my worries and fears for their future. It says, ” Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Ephesians 4:6

To see my own children and their spouses raise my grandchildren to know and walk with our God is joy to my heart. It is my privilege to join them in that, to encourage and pray for them to be wise in parenting.

Oh the fun I have…playing ball, having tea parties, trying to beat them at board games (Sorry is my fav!), reading books and having devotions. Yes, my dream came true. The sweetest words I know are ‘Mimi, I love you’!

Motherhood Series: Meet Jennifer

On our next to last day of this #MotherhoodSeries, I would like for you to get to know my friend Jennifer Meyers. Jennifer is the wife to John and mom to Mackenzie and Noah. Jennifer keeps busy by working, spending time with family, and being actively involved at our church in so many ways. I hope you are encouraged as much I was by Jennifer’s words!

Jennifer 1


When you ask what it means to me to be a mom, a million things go through my mind. There is no way to express every single little thing, nor does MaeLee have that much room available for the blog. But I can tell you this:

It’s hard. Really hard. Being a mom is absolutely positively the most difficult thing I have ever done (and will continue to do, Lord willing) in my entire life. There is not a “how to” class that exists on the face of the earth that can fully prepare anyone for being a mom. There are more days than I care to count when I feel like a complete failure as a mom for one reason or another. There are days when I wonder if God really designed me to be a mom. There are so many things that I struggle with. I don’t do teeth. I am not good with blood. I am not good with vomit. I am not a very patient person. I struggle with the fact that I work full time outside of the home and right now drive about an 1 hr 15-20 min to work and then home again which adds up to almost an extra 3 hours away from my family each Monday through Friday. I struggle with the comparison game. I struggle with ball field dirt on my floor. I struggle with trying to be everything to everybody and it’s not gonna happen. I struggle with the fact that there is not enough time in the day to get everything done that I think needs to get done to take care of my family. I still struggle with selfishness sometimes. In fact, I never knew how selfish I was until I had children. Sad to say it that way, but it’s true. There are so many things that you sacrifice as a mom for your kids. Lots and lots of time. And plenty of sleep deprivation. Lots and lots of sleep deprivation actually (I really like, I mean need my sleep). The list is never ending. But they (children) are worth it. I struggle with sassiness from the almost tween child. I struggle with the child who may not always have a good self-esteem. Being a mom can be heartbreaking. The first time I trimmed my daughters fingernails, I cut too much and made her little baby finger bleed. She cried, I cried. It broke my heart that she was hurting. It still breaks my heart when either of my children are hurting. I want to fix it. When they are sick, I want them to be better. When something is difficult for them, I want it to be easy. Knowing when to step in and help and when to let them learn by trial and error is tough. Being a mom is scary. My son had nosebleeds a lot when he was younger. One morning when I was getting him up (he was about 2-3 yrs old), he was covered in blood. His whole face, sheets, pajamas. Blood was everywhere. Needless to say I freaked out. He was fine though. Are you getting the picture? Being a mom is really really hard and I barely touched the surface of the difficulty list.

Jennifer 2

Being a mom is rewarding. Despite all the difficulties, my kids are forgiving. When I mess up, they love me anyway. They love me in spite of all the selfish imperfections that exist in my mind. They don’t see them. I love the random “I love you mom”. I love the “just one more hug”. I love that my son still wants me to tuck him in bed at night. I love holding hands with my kids. I love that my daughter is my “mini me”. I love the fact that the first time I watched the movie Mom’s Night Out was with my kids cuddling on the couch with me laughing so hard I cried. I love praying with them. I love their hearts. I love the personalities that they have (even if they sometimes drive me crazy). I love that my daughter loves to read like I do. I loved seeing them learn to walk and talk. I loved seeing them start the learning process in preschool. I love seeing the accomplishments that they are making in school. I love seeing them play Upward Basketball, softball, baseball, doing gymnastics. I love being there and being one of their biggest cheerleaders. I love knowing that they need me. It is humbling to know that two little lives that I am pouring into are able to teach me lessons that I never knew I needed to learn. I love seeing them learn about Jesus. I love hearing them say Bible verses from memory. I love singing Jesus music in the car with them.

Jennifer 3

Being a mom is an awesome responsibility. I mean, think about it. God chose me, me of all people, to be the mother of two kids. I was able to experience the miracle of carrying a baby for 9 months and delivering a little human being into this world. I get to share the task of raising two kids with my husband. We are the temporary caretakers of two amazing kids. We bear the responsibility of raising them to know and serve God. To share Jesus with those around them. God is awesome. He doesn’t make mistakes. God knows how I feel each and every day. He knows the struggles I have as a mother. He knows my weaknesses. But somehow, by God’s grace, each day He gives me what I need for that day. And each day, I have to go back to God and seek Him and His wisdom to prepare me to raise the little lives that He has chosen to bless me with. And God was so wonderful and gracious to bless me with a husband who is right there every step of the way and goes above and beyond when I am not able to. God knew what He was doing when He gave me John. For some reading this, a husband may not be in the picture for whatever reason. But God is. God is sufficient. When I am not (which is a lot), He is. I hear Him say to me, “I AM.” End of story. Just as my kids depend on me as a mom, I have to depend on God. There is no other way.

“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a

Motherhood Series: Meet Mandy

Today I have the opportunity to introduce you to Mandy Johnson. Mandy is the wife to Ryan and mom to four beautiful daughters Gracie (10), Ella (9), Lily (6), and Maddie (4). They live in Abbeville, Alabama where Ryan is the pastor of FBC-Abbeville. Mandy keeps her days busy with homeschooling her girls, spending time with family and friends, and using her gift of hospitality to love on anyone and everyone! This family means a great deal to ours and I hope you are encouraged by Mandy’s words today. You can also read more of Mandy’s writings as she is one of the writers at



When I think about motherhood, I think about many things: late night feedings, laundry for days, dirty hands and faces, hugs that you wish would last forever, boo-boo’s and band aids, and the busy hectic schedule. The list could go on and on. When people see me out with my four girls, I almost always get the same reaction, “I bet your hands are full!” I usually smile and say,” Why yes they are, but my heart is fuller!”

This got me to thinking one day, “What are my hands filled with?”

In literal terms, this could mean many things. Last year while my family and I were visiting Disney, we were making the most of our last night. It was quite late and the bus was quite full. My oldest daughter, who was struggling with migraine-type headaches, was feeling the effects of riding near the back of the bus and having such a headache. I had recommended to her that she try and go to sleep. Just 5 minutes into our 20 minute ride she told me she felt like she was going to be sick — not something you want to hear! Before I could prepare and grab the bag that contained our souvenirs her mouth opened and my hands went up. In the catalog of my memories I never would have wanted my hands or my lap full of — well, you know — but that was the Lord’s plan at that time. He has such a sense of humor.

I can think of other stories where I have held my precious children in my hands to cuddle them, love on them, kiss them or just hold them close. But, to be honest, there have been many times that I have lifted my hands to the Lord and wrung my hands in frustration.

Whatever our hands may be filled you, whether blessings or difficulties, know that the Bible speaks direct encouragement to each of us. Lamentations 3:22 says,” Great is His faithfulness, his mercies begin anew each day.” I know I am thankful for that. Some days are hard. At the beginning of this school year, I was homeschooling my 3 oldest daughters (9,8,5). Just when I thought we were on a great schedule and getting things down, my mom was diagnosed with leukemia. While I had stayed with my mom in the hospital, my girls had gotten behind in their studies, I had missed dance practices, special holiday events and much more. I felt defeated and at a loss. It was always on those hard days that the Lord would remind me that tomorrow was a new day and that His mercies are new EVERY morning! Not just when I had a good day but EVERY morning.

Being a mother has many responsibilities. I think one of the greatest responsibilities that we have as mothers is defining the love of God for our children with our words and actions. If this is the first time you’ve thought about that, the accuser will begin to make you feel guilty by thinking all the times that you’ve lost your temper, been impatient, or been overbearing. We all fall short of modeling the loving character of God in perfect balance. That’s why it’s also important that I teach my children the truth that there is only one person who loves them more than I do: God Himself. Even though we are imperfect, we teach and model the love of God through sacrifice. We sacrifice our time, our energy (can I get an Amen!), our finances and even our bed spaces. You may struggle with feeling confident that you are pointing your children to Jesus, but know that with each sacrifice, each word of encouragement, each hug, and each time that you have to say you’re sorry, let them know why you’re doing it — because of Jesus. Being a mother is leading our kids to Jesus every day. Teaching them that life is NEVER about them but always about Him.

So how do we as mothers teach our children these great responsibilities??? By surrendering our lives DAILY, did you hear me? DAILY! Not just on Sunday mornings, but EVERY morning! I cannot teach my children about surrender, sacrifice and love without doing so myself each day. Psalm 86:11 says, “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.”

Join me today in declaring that your treasure is in Jesus so that whether it is a good day or a bad day, an easy day or a trying day, He can transform my heart, so that I can continually say, “Yes! My hands are not just full, they are overflowing with blessings!”

Motherhood Series: Meet Lacey

On day 4 of our #MotherhoodSeries, I would like for you all to get to know Lacey. Lacey is the wife to John and Mom to Easton (6) and Evan (9 months). They live in Jasper, Alabama where Lacey is a RN. Lacey stays busy with a job she loves, running around with her boys, and spending time with her family. 

Lacey 1


What it means to me to be a mom.

My name is Lacey McClain. I first became a mom at 28 to Easton who is now six. I became a mom the second time around at 33, to Evan, who is now 9 months old. Motherhood has been a fantastic journey, and honestly, my one regret in life is not having them sooner! (I’m still not sure what I was so scared of!) The quote “If I had could turn back time, I would have met you sooner, so I could love you longer” definitely has a sweet spot in my heart. I am, by no means, a parenting expert. I really don’t know much about being a mom after the age of six. I honestly learn as I go. But I do know that God (and my husband) have been my constant through this amazing process. People say that children do not come with a set of instructions, but I would have to disagree. So far, the Bible has been my companion and my guide to training my children “in the way they should go.”

Lacey 2

Being a mom definitely starts with loving and putting God first. (But that goes along with everything in life, right?) I also love my husband second. I always have to remember, it started with us, and will end with us.

Lacey 2

Being a mom is exhausting most of the time. It is definitely not a job for the faint of hearts. It is being pushed to the edge of the cliff, and then being brought back with a smile, hug, or an “I love you, Mom”. It’s rocking and patting a crying baby in the middle of the night when you can’t hold your own eyes open. It’s waking up crying until noon because your baby looks slightly different the he did the day before. It’s finding sippy cups in the floorboard of your car. (Who knew milk could ever look like that?!) It’s playing toys in the living room floor. It’s finding peace and contentment in the simplest of moments. It’s being there for them in both their successes and their failures. It’s showing God’s grace and mercy to them as you think back on the times that He has shown the same to you. It’s teaching them about life and God’s love, all the while He is teaching it to you. It’s knowing when to hold on and when to let go as you remember that they were never really yours to begin with. It makes the scripture “to pray without ceasing” come alive. It’s putting their needs above your own, while teaching them to put others first. I believe it the perfect image of the way that God loves us, unconditionally, no matter what. It’s molding and shaping them into the person He wants them to be.

Lacey 3

So no, it is not for the faint of hearts, but it is definitely all worth while.

Motherhood Series: Meet Elexis

For Day 3 of our #MotherhoodSeries, I would like to introduce you to Elexis Robertson. Elexis is the wife to Taylor and mom to her boys, Bentley (4) and Nash (1). They reside in Florida where they are faithfully serving the Lord as Taylor is a pastor and church planter. Elexis stays busy chasing her cute boys around throughout the day as well as doing part time photography. 


I could tell all the great things about motherhood like how God called me to be a mom, about how much fun it is to stay at home with my boys, and all the joys this “job” brings me.
But I’ve read all those blogs and this is not one of those articles.
Being a mom is hard. Hands down. Period. End of story. Now that we all agree let me be honest….it really doesn’t get easier. “Veterans” may tell you things like “it’s a phase” or “they’ll grow out of it”. Ladies, let me tell you with two boys turning 4 & 1 this month I can assure you that the only thing they grow out of is their clothes! As a mother you will learn from your mistakes and you will learn choose your battles carefully. (Pjs to Target every once in a while is totally acceptable in my book!)
As a mom I yell far too often, lose my patience, and feel like I am going to pull my hair out daily. I feel like the walls are caving in some days and I may just lose my fruit loops if I have to hear the Veggie Tales theme song one more time. Is anyone else there? Can I get an amen?!
What I am trying to say is I fail at motherhood. The one thing I was so ecstatic to become. The thing that I dreamt of most of my life. And the thing God called me to… I fail at daily.
I fail my children when I am more concerned with competing in motherhood than focusing on why I mother. I mother to lead my children to the feet of Jesus. I mother to make sure my children know they are loved. I mother to ensure that they are happy and healthy. And I mother to help them reach their full potential. I have no problem admitting that I struggle in motherhood because God’s Word tells me a promise about my struggles.
In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul speaks about a thorn in his flesh that he begs to be removed. It’s something that keeps him humble, something to make him so self-conscious that he asks 3 times. And each time Jesus said “my grace is all you need my power works best in weakness”. Grace breaks down to God’s evident favor. I just love that! It keeps me grounded even on my worst days that He is for me and He is with me in each and every one of my struggles… Even in motherhood. Because motherhood is my weakness . If you continue on Paul states “I will boast in my weakness so that the power of Christ can work through me”. That is what I desire everyday when I wake up. For Christ’s power to work through my motherhood. Being a mother means I have been chosen to raise the next generation of Christ followers. I have the chance to raise my babies to be mighty men. And sadly it’s taken me 4 years and 2 kids to realize that being a mom has nothing to do with me. But it has everything to do with Him.


Motherhood Series: Meet Ashley

   Next up in our blog series this week is my friend, Ashley. Ashley is the wife to Cory and mom to Abigail (3) and Issac (almost 2). She and her family live in Jasper, Alabama where she lives a life full on busyness staying at home chasing after her two little ones each day and doing part time photography. You can read more of Ashley’s writings at



Motherhood is easy… Until it’s not.
I grew up a mom. Not literally, obviously, but very much so in a sense where I knew I was going to be a mother. Babies and children were just pure delights to me. I would pass a baby in a stroller and melt into a puddle.
I also knew everything. (Ha!) I knew what I was going to do and not going to do when I had my own children. They *will never* disobey in public. They *will* love fruits and veggies. I *will never* let myself go and not take a shower for a week straight.
I got pregnant almost exactly one year after we got married and I was over the moon! Seriously. I was the happiest woman on the planet for those 9 months. Even after an awful labor and delivery experience, plus 3 terrible months of colic and reflux, nothing could take away the pure joy I felt as a mother. Once we got on a good schedule, my sweet Abigail and I could take the world by storm. “Why don’t people have babies already?” “It’s not that hard!” “Look at all the wonderful sacrifices I’m making to be a more awesome mother than you!”
We found out I was pregnant with Isaac just 5 months after Abigail was born. We weren’t planning on another so soon, but it didn’t take us long to get excited once again. We could do this! It wasn’t that hard, right? After a total breeze of a delivery, a magic baby who rarely cried, I still felt like things couldn’t be going more perfectly.
But what I never planned for in all my daydreaming about being a mother was the long days, the tantrums, the meltdowns, the guilt, the night terrors, the sticky floors, the exhaustion, the endless (ENDLESS) dishes, diapers, Disney Junior, and laundry. See, that’s the thing with us “perfect mothers”. We show you all the cute sleeping baby photos on social media. We paint this beautiful picture of babyhood, because babyhood is easy. Loving those beautiful, non-tantrum, non-messy, non-meltdown-in-the-middle-of-Walmart babies is so easy! Really! It is! They’re so sweet and adorable and the hardest part is waking up more than you used to.
But babies grow. They don’t stay easy. They start walking. Then talking. Then pushing boundaries. Then disobeying. Then challenging your disciplining skills in public places. The easy stage has come and gone and you find yourself stuck in this new season of challenges you’ve likely never faced before. And us moms have grossly neglected to share with you this harsh reality. We slowly stop posting on Instagram our adorable angel baby and pass it off as busyness when in reality we sit hunched in a corner questioning to ourselves whether or not we’re really cut out for this thing.
It’s so wonderful, though, how you start to see why God made them so wonderful and adorable in the first place. They came cute for a reason, I’m sure of it, to remind you why you wanted this so much in the first place. You adored them when the worst part of the day was a blowout. But now, on the days when you have to reach deep into the recesses of your momma heart, you force yourself to keep going – to raise those adorable blessings. Your calling has not changed. You’re still called to be their mother. Your love does not change, it only deepens.
I love my two beautiful blessings more now than I did when I saw their faces for the first time. Not because it’s been easy, but because it’s been very hard. I liken it to refined iron; strong before, but after a couple of rounds of being thrown in the fire, hammered and twisted, and thrown in the fire again, it comes out stronger each time.
Your work as a mother is important. Just as those little beings are challenging you, you are to challenge them right back. They are looking to you each day to be the hands and feet of Jesus in their ordinary lives. You cannot leave them where they are. They need correction, they need attention, they need to know (and be shown) how and how not to live, and most importantly, they need to know how all of it relates to Jesus and the Gospel (because all of it does). Jesus does not simply love all over us and lead us to believe life is easy and simple. We know this to be untrue. Life is messy and difficult. Motherhood is messy and difficult. But Jesus has extended us His grace to remain faithful under trials. Even the trials of meltdowns in the canned vegetables aisle of the grocery store.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4

Motherhood Series: Meet Crystal

Crystal 5

Today I would like for you to meet my friend Crystal. Crystal is wife to Josh and mommy to CHD warrior Jack (4) and baby brother, Harrison. She and her family reside in Sweet Home Alabama where she is a full-time high school teacher, varsity cheer coach, and grad school student. You can read Crystal’s blog at
Crystal 1

I’d heard the quote before but I never knew exactly what it meant until I watched them wheel my son’s hospital bed down the hallway and around the corner as they went to load him onto an ambulance to take him to a different hospital.

It had only been a couple of hours since we welcomed him into the world. It was all laughter and smiles in the OR that afternoon as the doctor joked that she was glad he was going home with us and not her because his screaming was loud and relentless. He weighed in at a whopping 8 pounds and 8 ounces. Healthy as a horse. Or so it appeared. We were in heaven. Brand new parents with the cutest and sweetest little guy that God had ever made.
The light of the day fell away quickly. It was just supposed to be a 4 hour observation in the NICU. Lots of C-section babies turn blue. It was no big deal. He would be back in my arms in no time. I, of course, was devastated. I wasn’t supposed to have a NICU baby. I had the perfect pregnancy. He was healthy and strong and beautiful. He didn’t belong in the NICU.
Josh went to check on him. He stayed gone too long. Something was wrong. I could feel it in my bones. Fear. He sat on the edge of my bed with tears on his face.
“Something is wrong with his heart.”
That was the moment that my entire life changed.
Sure. It had changed already. I became a mom that day. But this… this was a different kind of different. I was no longer a new mom celebrating the best day of my life. I was a new mom celebrating the worst one.
We sat with him in the NICU until the ambulance got there. I prayed over him and spoke scripture over him and my tears fell on his sweet face. I said goodbye. I didn’t know if I would ever see him again.
They pushed me in my wheelchair to the last possible point that they would let me go. I had already pushed all of the limits that they were comfortable with that day. I had just had a major surgery and I was their patient. They wouldn’t let me go outside with him. They pushed him around the corner and he was gone. And my heart was gone too.
That was it. That was the moment when I understood what it meant, the quote.

Crystal 4——————————————————————————————————————————————
Four years later I am a mom to two of the cutest sweetest little guys on the planet. Over time I adapted to the life of being a CHD mom. My son has CHD. I say it all the time. It’s usually met with “I’m so sorry,” to which I respond, “That’s ok. God’s big.”
It’s my normal. I don’t know any other life but mine.
On May 16th we’ll celebrate 4 years since Jack’s last OHS and 17 days until his next one.
My little family has survived the extraordinary. Those moments that define your life. We’ve had more than our fair share already and we certainly have some more coming our way. I learned who I was in those moments. I learned what it means to be a mom in that hospital room.
Crystal 2——————————————————————————————————————————————
Being a mom means loving someone else more than you ever knew you could. It means giving more even when you have nothing left to give. It means crying. A lot. And it means JOY. So much joy.
Crystal 6——————————————————————————————————————————————
My story isn’t all about hospital beds and tears. Let me tell you about my joy.
Jack is now four years old and he is a thriving, wild, t-ball playing, outside-loving little boy who loves fiercely and brings light and joy to every room he enters. Last year Jack took on his biggest role yet when he became a big brother to Harrison who is a chunky little sweetie pie who smiles all the time and loves to play and laugh.
Being a mom to them means that I have joy every single day. I have fear and doubt and uncertainty but, hear me friend, I have JOY.
Jack uses this little silly voice when he talks to Harrison. He voices both sides of the conversation since Harrison can’t talk yet. It makes Harrison laugh and it makes my heart explode with happy hearts and butterflies because they love each other so much and I love them so much. JOY.
Harrison sleeps like a rock (something Jack has never done) and when he’s asleep for the night and Jack is getting ready for bed we sit down and read a Bible story and Jack looks at the pictures and tells me all about the story that we are learning about. He prays for our family and tells Jesus thank you and that he LOVES him. Joy.
Harrison smells like heaven. When he’s been a sleep for a while at night I go in and check on him. Recently he’s started sleeping on his tummy with his chubby little legs tucked up under him and his cute little bottom sticking up in the air. His curly hair will be wild all over his head and his face will be squished against his whale sheets and his breaths will be so quiet that they’re barely audible and I’ll just sit there and stare at him and thank God for him. Joy.
I was driving down the road last week and both boys were being super quiet so I turned my head to see what they were up to and they were just sitting in their car seats with their sweet little arms stretched out holding hands. Joy.
Crystal 7
Being a mom means I don’t ever sleep. I always have to share my food. My to-do list is 4 miles long and always growing. My laundry mountain is forever daunting. My floors are always dirty, even after I just cleaned them. My phone is always covered in a strange combination of chocolate, snot, and some other unknown substances. My mind is always worried. My heart is always full.
I look at my boys and my heart is overwhelmed with love for them. To think that the God of the universe loves me with the same ferocity that I love them. More even. And to know that He loves them even more than I do. There are no words.
God pours His grace out onto us mothers. We need it, believe me. But He blesses us with the ability to juggle the crazy and handle the fear. And He allows us the opportunity to love in the same capacity that He loves us. It’s exceptional to watch your heart walk around outside of your body. It truly is.

Crystal 3

{Cam- Two Months}

Hello you kind folks, Cam Mathis here. I am officially 2 months old and that means my parents have survived two months of parenting.




This month has been an exciting one to say the least. Mom and Dad took me on a couple of trips this past month and I decided to switch things up a bit on this whole car seat situation. Our first trip was to Auburn for Dad’s intern reunion. What the parents thought was going to be a 3.5 hour trip turned into a 5 hour trip there.

I don’t know what it is about my car seat sometimes, but it just makes me sweat like crazy sometimes and I decide to let Mom and Dad know by screaming, turning red all over, kicking my legs, flailing my arms, and soaking my onesie in sweat. (You know..your basic temper tantrum.) Mom starts freaking out when this happens and makes Dad pull the car over and as soon as she pulls me out I stop crying…to let them know that the car seat is the problem, of course.


Our time in Auburn was great, though! I was able to meet a lot of Mom and Dad’s friends and people who prayed for me and Mom during her pregnancy. We stayed with the Hill’s and I got to meet them and my new friend, Promise. I was also able to meet the “Pope” AKA Bro. Al, Mrs. Kem, Craig, Kelly, and many other people.

The next trip we took was my first time to Gram and Pap’s house. Mom and Dad decided to sneak this trip up on me. We left around 9 PM when I was asleep to travel this time. Since I was so sleepy I didn’t have the energy to put a fight with the car seat. J We had a good time playing together and I got to meet a lot of Mom’s family for the first time like my great aunts, great-grandmother, and a lot of cousins. I was especially excited to meet my little cousin by 5 weeks, Huckabee. I have a lot to share with Huck come Thanksgiving about this ole’ world we are living in. 🙂



Me and Gram with Huck and Aunt E


Just me and Huck here. 🙂

We also had some visitors last weekend for a few days. It was great to see and spend time with the Butler’s, especially Lenora and Emery. Mom and Dad told me that they are a couple of my choices for a future wife…I don’t know why they are trying to marry me off so soon!


I am eating and gaining weight like a champ these days. I’m still in size one diapers (update: I’m in size 2 diapers as of yesterday) for a little while longer and wearing some 3-6 month clothes and 6 month clothes. My 3 month clothes are getting quite snug and my sleepers in this size seem to be shrinking in the length department.


At my 2 month check-up I weighed 13 lbs and 4 oz and 23 ¼ inches long. My head circumference is what stood out the most to Dr. Hyland, which was 41 cm! I’m average height, above average weight, and WAY above average head much so that Doc decided to double-check my head. What can I say..I have a lot of brains like my Mom. 🙂 Oh, and I got those dreadful shots I told you about last time. The first 5-10 minutes after the shots were the worst, but after that I was back to acting like the champ that I am again.


When I’m old enough I might hurt Mom for this picture after I had my shots..just kidding, Mom 🙂



Some of my favorite things are taking baths (I took 3 baths before 1:30 PM one day because I had some MAJOR blowout diapers), looking out windows, finding lights and ceiling fans, and swinging in my swing. I sometimes let Mom put me in my swing and I go sleep on my own without having to be rocked. (I do this a lot at nighttime.)

IMG_0027 Looking like a stud in my bow tie and suspenders for church. 🙂

Speaking of sleep, Mom is afraid for me share this news due to jinxing myself..but the past couple of nights they have put me down to sleep and I have slept to 4:45 AM. I’ve done this to help my parents out some because I see that they’ve been struggling some due to my growth spurt I went through last week and they’ve been pretty good to me, especially Mom since she’s my source of food. 🙂

DSC_0337 IMG_4308


I have also been doing a lot more smiling, talking (cooing), and showing my personality (the good and the bad). I’m loving spending my days with Mom and seeing Dad at lunch and hanging out when he gets home from work. The youth group from church all seem to really take to me and I especially like those youth girls. (I’m looking at you Taylor, Kylee, Macie, Josie, Karlee, Karoline, Reanna, Pav, and Laycee. 🙂

I can’t wait to see what this next month holds for me. Until then..grace and peace to ya!

{Cam- One Month}


Like Mom told you in her last post each month I (Cam) will be updating you each month about what has been going on in my life. I am excited to finally get to use some technology in this big ole’ world.

Mom already told you how I made my grand appearance, but a lot has happened in my life since then. The day we left the hospital we made a long trip to our new home. Mom and Dad were concerned about me riding in a car seat for the first time for a long period of time, but I conquered that road trip like a champ and didn’t make a peep! We did make one stop along the way because it was time for me to eat. Guess where the first place mom fed me besides the hospital was…the back of a McDonald’s parking lot.

Since I mentioned eating I might as well tell you that I like to eat a LOT! I’m thankful Mom and Dad opted for Mom to give me the “liquid gold” as the way of feeding me. I am also glad that Mom and I figured things out in that area rather quickly.

We made it to Jasper and spent our first night in our new house as a family of 3. We had some nice new friends bring us dinner that night and every other night for our first 2 weeks here. It was really nice of our church family to do that for Mom and Dad.

I have gotten used to our new home and love it. My daily routine typically consists of eating, playing on the floor with Mom, sleeping, and repeat. I play with Dad when he comes home for lunch and at night.


Speaking of night, I was really glad when my umbilical cord came off so I could try out my cool bathtub. Mom had been washing my head and I really liked that, so getting all the way down to my birthday suit with water over me sounded exciting!

I like to just sit in the tub, look around, and let Mom scrub me down.

One particular night I got so relaxed in the tub that after Dad wrapped me up in my towel I decided to relax my bowels all the way and leave him a nice surprise. Haha! He didn’t think it was as funny Mom and I found it. 🙂


(3 seconds after this picture was taken is when I let it all go..surprise!)

We have had a lot of visitors over to our new place. We have had friends from church, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and a couple of friends from Mom and Dad’s old home, Auburn, come see me. Apparently I’m a big deal and people like to hold me a lot. I was fine with all the holding of me for a few days, but when I got passed around too much I decided to let Mom and Dad know in a new way. They thought I was forming colic because of how I carried on, but there is this thing called “being over stimulated” and I do not like it. Because of how I acted it brought Mom to tears a few times because she couldn’t console me. My doctor reassured her that I do not have colic but that I just didn’t need to be passed around so much.


(Mom caught me in the act and has decided to give me a paci instead now)

Mom and I have been venturing out into town more and more between my feedings during the day. I’m a big fan of my stroller..just call Mom my chauffeur. She has taken me on a few Wal-Mart and mall trips. People always stop her to get a look of me.

I do get the hiccups and sneeze quite a bit. The picture below shows how I feel about hiccups..


Mom and Dad took me to Birmingham last weekend because they wanted to learn how to become a better parent from Paul Tripp. (I’m glad they went because they really needed to hear what he had to say!) On that trip I got to meet some of their friends from Lakeview. I got to meet two of my friends, Haddon and Eden, too. Next weekend we are going to the Lakeview reunion in Auburn and I get to meet a lot more of their friends that have been waiting to see me. They talk about their time at Lakeview a lot, so it must be a real special place.

I had my one month check up today and I weighed 9 lbs 10 oz and measured 22 inches long. The doc was impressed with my growth and everything was going well during the appointment until something awful happened. It affected Mom as much as it affected me.

I was minding my own business and just looking around the room and all of the sudden the worst pain of my life thus far hit me…that mean ole’ nurse stuck me with a needle. Can you believe she would want to cause me that much pain as cute as I am?? I will be a man and tell you that I did cry and Mom almost cried too. (Rumor has it that I will get 4 of those stinkin’ things next month..don’t tell Mom though because she will not be able to handle it.)DSC_0292

I’ve grown so much that mom had to start putting 3 month clothes only on me this past week. So no more newborn clothes for me, which I’m glad because it was getting tiresome covering up my belly all the time.



We celebrated Mom and Dad’s birthdays this month and I decided to do something special for my main woman. Check out what I got her for her birthday below.. 🙂 I would have done the same for Dad but he was with the youth at the beach for his birthday. You can call his gift from me a full night’s sleep for a few days. 😉


(Didn’t I do good??)

Lastly, the million-dollar question must be answered for all of you: How am I sleeping at night? For a while Mom was waking me up every 3 hours to eat to get back up to my birth weight. After I passed my birth weight mark she finally let me start waking up on my own to eat at night. She has appreciated the extra sleep as much as I have. I now wake up anywhere between every 3.5-5 hours at night. I heard that I should start sleeping longer at night in the coming months. Mom and Dad hope I keep more towards the waking every 5 hours way of things.

I like to sleep on my side or at an incline mostly. Dad likes to sneak me onto his chest if I am “having trouble going to sleep”. He can call it whatever he wants but we just like to cuddle together.

IMG_4203(Like father, like son)

Well, that’s all for now folks..catch you up on life next month!

Cam’s Birth Story

As most of you know my pregnancy was high-risk due to my heart condition and hypertension. My doctor throughout the past nine months watched me closely. That means that I had doctor appointments more often than a normal pregnant woman and the last trimester my appointments lasted a long time due to having non-stress tests done to check on our sweet baby boy. Also, I had extra ultrasounds done to check on Cam’s weight, which is due to my stomach measuring a few weeks behind where it should be. I knew before I got pregnant what pregnancy “might” look like for me and I was told I would more than likely have to have a c-section. My pregnancy started off really rough with being sick 6-8 times per day until about week 27 and then it got better and the last few weeks I really struggled with insomnia, back pain, and getting sick again.

The last two weeks of my pregnancy I landed in labor and delivery 3 times and the saying is true for me that the third time is the charm. The first time was due to having really high blood pressure for a few days in a row, the second was due to me becoming sick again and showing signs of pre-eclampsia, and the last time was to “possibly induce” after checking my blood pressure and blood work.

My last time in labor and delivery is where Cam’s birth story begins. Two days before being induced I could not get my blood pressure to come down for anything. I was taking extra doses of medicine on top of my medicine already being increased. I also started having this burning sensation in my upper right abdomen a few weeks before but it was getting worse and worse. All of these things were taken into consideration when my doctor was trying to decide on whether to induce me or not. Dr. Golden had my best interest in mind when making the decision and truly did not want to do it unless it was medically necessary and he didn’t think it would end in a c-section. He didn’t want me to have a c-section and I definitely didn’t want to have a c-section. (Not that there is anything wrong with that way of delivery, I just know the recovery process is longer and more extensive.) My blood work came back and my platelet count was extremely low. When Dr. Golden found that out he sent me from triage to a delivery room. Tim and I started making phone calls and sending texts to family and friends that I would be induced that day.

In the midst of all this going on, I receive the “heartbreaking” news that I would not be able to have an epidural due to my platelet count being low and the risk of paralysis. I say that this was “heartbreaking” because any time that I imagined my delivery it was never without pain medication. After the doctors and nurses left the room, I turned to Tim and said, “ I cannot do this without an epidural. Tell them I want a c-section.” Tim kindly reminded me that I could deliver this baby without an epidural and he told me of my words of how bad I didn’t want a c-section.

The nurse started me on pitocin about 11:30 AM and I started feeling major contractions 1 ½ minutes apart right away. Also, Dr. Golden inserted a foley bulb to help dilate me more and progress labor along. This went on for about four hours before I asked the nurse for some type of pain medicine. I tried to go as long as I could without anything in my system. She asked what amount of dosage I wanted and I asked for the lowest dose to start with and I would go up as needed. She came back and started it in my IV line and the room started spinning right away. Tim asked me if I was okay due to looking around like I was crazy and the nurse told me “just go with it”. (Later Tim told me that I looked stoned and completely out of it and was laughing and saying crazy things to him.) The medicine definitely helped take the edge off of things while I still felt the contractions every minute by this point.


After receiving the pain medicine, my second set of blood work came back and they had made a mistake with my first set and my platelet count was in the normal range, which means I can have “the juice” AKA an epidural!

When I progressed to 4 cm the foley bulb was taken out and Dr. Golden suggested that if I was to get an epidural I should do it then before he broke my water. I received the epidural gladly around 7:00 PM that night and Dr. Golden broke my water at 7:30.

Family and friends were taking turns in and out of the delivery room from about 2:00 PM and on throughout the night. I progressed to 6 cm and got stuck there for a while. It was long enough that Dr. Golden mentioned that if I didn’t progress within the next 2 hours that I would unfortunately have to have a c-section. He and the nurse knew that is not what I wanted. Along with finding that out, we were told that Cam’s head wasn’t turned in the best way to have to him. Due to his being the “wrong” way I started experiencing intense back labor and my epidural began to wear off at this point of labor as well. The anastheologist came back in to give me more “juice” to help that go away. My nurse began positioning me in various positions in 30 minute intervals to get his head to turn around and progress my labor.

After everyone left the room I turned to Tim with tear-filled eyes and told him that I really didn’t want a c-section and I had labored for so long for it to end like this. We prayed and two hours later (4:00 AM) I had progressed from 6 cm to 9 cm. Once again, praise the Lord!! He answered our prayers each time. About one hour later I started feeling a lot of pressure that got progressively worse. I mentioned it to the nurse when it first started and she didn’t make much of it, which is understandable since I was in labor. Around 5:30 AM the pressure and back labor really set in and so did my tears. At 6:00 AM Tim knew I had reached my limit and hit my call button for our nurse. When they asked what I needed, Tim responded with “We need to have a nurse in here now”. This was during shift change so Dr. Golden came in with his cup of coffee and made a joke about there being no help around during shift change and then quickly put down his cup of coffee when he saw me crying and in pain. He checked me and said, “Oh, there’s his is pushing time.” Tim sent a text to our family and friends waiting at 6:03 AM. The nurses started coming in and told me to push while Dr. Golden got on his scrubs. I pushed 5 times and at 6:08 AM the most precious and sweetest baby boy was born and laid in my arms! Tim and I just looked at each other and at Cam. What a special and incredible moment/experience!! He was/is the most handsome baby boy I have ever laid my eyes on!


Cam whimpered a little bit and then the next thing I know the nurses pick him up and call the doctor over to where they were with him because he wasn’t breathing. Tim had gotten the camera out by this time and was with him taking pictures. I couldn’t see what was going on, but I knew by the look on Tim’s face that he was scared and I was too. I could hear the nurses and doctor encouraging Cam to breathe and I just prayed for him. He finally decided to start breathing on his own, praise the Lord! Apparently he was exhausted from a long labor, which played into us having to stay in the delivery room a few extra hours before sending us to recovery. The nurses and doctors kept coming in monitoring his breathing and my blood pressure took a major spike during that time as well, which also kept us in that room. The plus side of all that was the fact that Cam and I were able to do skin to skin for a few hours instead of just one. So, we had some extra bonding time. 🙂 Cam and I both started recovering better from a long 24 hours by this point and were moved to another room.



Tim was great at encouraging me through the whole process of labor and delivery. There were several times where I started wondering if I could actually deliver a baby and he urged me onward. I definitely couldn’t have done it without him by my side. 🙂


Cam’s stats were: born at 6:08 AM, 8lbs 1oz, 21 inches long

Cam has decided to follow in the footsteps of his friends, Haddon and Judson, and update you monthly on his life and experiences through his view. So be on the lookout later this month for a blog from Mr. Cam Mathis and what all he has been up to since July 22nd.