Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Moms need Grace! And lots of it!

I think everyone that knows me would agree that I'm a really good mom. I am. I'm not being cocky or self absorbed, but that's what I was born to do and I have worked very hard everyday for almost 13 years to be good at my job as mama. Now let me tell you a story, about Mother's Day when my third child was about 18 months old. The week before I had been bragging about how I could "NEVER!" leave one of my precious children in a hot car!!! What kind of mother would do that?! I mean what could be more important?! Some selfish idiot obviously. I mean I was an expert mom at this point ya know, THREE whole kids, a natural birthing, breastfeeding pro, my dear children had never been "harmed" by a SINGLE vaccination, I was a natural/attached parenting guru before it was even cool! I knew it ALL! Co-sleeping, extended breast feeding, growing our own food, we built our own home, had acres and acres of land, planned to homeschool, and after all I was 25 for heavens sakes! I had been a mom for FOUR whole years!! So this Mother's Day I pridefully walked out of church knowing I deserved everything that this amazing day had to offer! The kids started whining to ride to my moms house (only a block away) with my mom and dad and I said sure. I was talking to a friend outside the car when I saw my dad (out of the corner of my eye) walk up, open the door and walk away. In the back of my mind I assumed he had grabbed a booster seat. My friend and I finished talking and I got in, she wished me a happy Mother's Day (which I obviously deserved) and being the perfect mom that I was THEN I drove away glancing into the back of the van. No children. I got to mom's, hopped out, and went in ready to eat! The kids were already in the spare room changing, I could hear them giggling, and they came out in their play clothes and my mom said nervously "Where is Maddie?!" I said "She was with you." My dad's face dropped "No I put her in your car because we didn't have her a seat!" My heart dropped as I ran. How long have I been inside? Why didn't I see her? What was I thinking?! I got to the car and opened the door to a sleepy toddler with sweat beads all over her precious little face. I grabbed her hot little body up and squeezed her to me! Then it hit me, I'm. that. mom. On Mother's Day, I'm that mom. I don't even deserve a Mother's Day! I deserve to die! In a hot car! What kind of monster am I?!?! You see, it was a misunderstanding, my dad didn't know that Maddie's car seat was the middle seat, not the one behind my seat that he had put her in. He didn't know, I didn't know she was there and didn't see her, he thought I saw him, I didn't. I was so afraid, disappointed, upset, angry, sorry, oh so sorry for my baby. What if?! What if?! The fear!! I learned a very valuable lesson that day....I'M HUMAN. An imperfect human. I need grace. I learned another important lesson that day too.... I'm still a good mom. Actually, I'm a better mom, friend, and wife, because now I try to extend the same grace that was extended to me that day by my loving savior! Now I have seven children, four of those precious little souls can't unbuckle themselves. We have a buddy system, we double check, triple check, and then look again when we get out of the car. I do everything I can to be always mindful of where my children are and what they are doing, but I'm human. I still make mistakes. Boy do I make mistakes! And oh the misunderstandings that can come along when there are so many little people needing your attention. My kids get hurt, climb on furniture the minute my back is turned, get choked no matter how small I cut things, fall with me right next to them, even while holding my hand! Now, even more than then, I NEED GRACE!!! I'm a good mom, that needs grace, and guess what....You do too, and so does the mom you just read about in that Facebook article, or the one you saw in the grocery store, or the one at the park. She needs it desperately, she loves her kids just as much as you do, and she's probably a really good mom that needs a bit of grace. Please be kind to her. xo, Sam

 

 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Henna Crown Ministry

I captured her beauty and bravery...she captured my heart.....

 

 

My heart has been called to start a new little ministry to help cancer patients feel beautiful. My plan was carried out for the very first time this week and it filled my heart to the brim!! The idea is to let them put on their favorite outfit, help them with their make-up, give them a henna crown, and then do a photoshoot! I was so nervous for my first experience. I prayed, had friends praying, and felt all inadequate, I mean what if I say the wrong thing? What if it bothers them? What if I mess up? What if they hate it? When I saw my new friend Margaret for the first time, all of those fears melted away. And God linked our hearts immediately, and the woman I came to minister to, ministered to me. Isn't that the way He works? Her bravery, faith, and inner beauty were astounding! The next day she got the news she has been waiting on...."remission" from breast cancer! I've already got a few more friends waiting on crowns and I can't wait to see how God can use this ministry!! xo, Sam

PS. Any ideas what I can call this ministry? I'm coming up blank! We need a name.

 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

It's good to be missed!

(Taken by the lovely Melissa Lyon West)

While I was away with baby Lottie on my trip a couple of weeks ago (4 nights!) Ben and the kids sent me this video! Bwahahahaha! Enjoy!! xo, Sam

PS. I can't upload the video to the blog because it was made with a video ap, but you can See the video HERE!

 

 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Vintage Hippie Mama


Yay!! Our first Instagram sale went great!! So we are going to do another!! If you want to join in the fun hop over to Instagram and follow me vintage_hippie_mama! I will also have more handmade bibs available. :)
I'm thinking of selling henna kits that would include everything you need to do countless batches of henna at home! The henna powder, the essential oil, the applicator bottles, and my all natural recipe. Every hippie mama needs henna! *All you would need to have at home is lemon juice and sugar, things most of us keep on hand. :) So talk to me! Would you pay $30 for a henna kit/supplies that would last you countless batches? The one time kit at craft stores costs $12 and the applicator bottle isn't great. It also uses tea tree oil which is super stanky. I use lavender and it's also safe for kids. To buy all of this separately online cost much more because you have to pay for shipping for each item separately.
It's so good to be making again!!! xo, Sam

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I'm. Back.

No really. I'm back!! I've been dealing with some pretty serious depression that peeked after Lottie was born, but I didn't ever realize that I was depressed until very recently. I struggled and struggled to overcome but I just couldn't, I didn't know what I was dealing with, and to be honest, I didn't have time to think about it! There was also a lot going on that I couldn't really discuss which made it worse. I needed a reset. And this past weekend I got it! My beautiful sister and I left 11 of our children (we took the two nursing babies with us) and flew to Baltimore for a crafting weekend with my precious friend Melissa West and 6 other sweet mamas. Our dear sweet husbands!!! Bless them! It's the first time in months (almost a year) that I've been really relaxed. Icame home so refreshed!!! I'm the old me again!! And I miss this place and feel like I can write again!! *sigh*
For months I have been talking about opening a new shop. Realistically I can't design more patterns right now, my littles need me too much, but I do need a creative outlet. My friend Melissa encouraged me to get my feet wet with an Instagram shop! Yes! It will be a handmade/natural mama shop where I will list things as I make/get them. The shop opens tomorrow or Saturday!! I have had so much fun with this, and most importantly, I'm feeling so much better! If you want to check it out follow me on Instagram @ vintage_hippie_mama!
I'm so glad to be me again!!!! Thanks for sticking with me friends!! xo, Sam

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We are Safe

UPDATE: The second round of storms weakened and we were able to have a peaceful night with no tornadoes or scary stuff! Praise God! Thanks so much for the prayers!!

We are safe! Tornadoes ripped through our town last night. Birmingham, AL is now 3rd in the nation for deadly tornadoes. So, we prepare! The best we can anyhow. Last night I was more scared than I ever remember being in my life. Ben as an emergency worker, was at the fire station. I was with my seven babies, soaking wet, in my neighbors basement. Fear gripped me as the "freight train" passed over us. I started telling my kids to pray and that I loved them, I was losing it! Then Maddie lost it and I had to get a handle on myself! I looked at Molly and she said as calm as anything "God's got this." I looked at the others and said "Just pray!" All of you! Pray out loud! And they did! God protected us, it touched down not far from us but didn't stay on the ground, it just skipped through. Praise God!!!!

Now we are bracing for round two. It's supposed to get bad again in a few hours. I'm praying for protection and PEACE!! My children are still shook up from last night. It's almost time to hunker down, but I will check back in soon! Thanks for the emails and prayers sweet friends! It means a lot to us! xo, Sam

PS. Because I got quite a few questions on our shop Facebook page....I write in permanent marker on each child's arm their name and Ben's cell number (my logic for the arm is that if something happens emergency workers will start an IV, the arm is a good place), then on their thigh or back I write their name, number, age, "Mom: Samantha", and then any health issues (asthma). During times like this families get separated, in different hospitals or shelters...just having a name is like gold in those situations.

 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Curly Spray

For those babies that wake up with a frizz ball, but have the sweetest curls after it has been wet, combed, and tossed a bit...I keep a bottle of this where I dress the babies for a fast fix. :) And their little heads smell so good after too!! Swap up the oils for different smells. xo, Sam

 

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Babymoon

Oh friends! I survived! She was five weeks old this Wednesday! I would love to paint this beautiful picture of motherhood for you, but it wasn't quite that way. It was real, and hard, and it made me stronger, and it was completely perfect all at once. There were beautiful moments, and I'm so thankful for those, they kept me alive! When my little "Lottie Pop" arrived we were still not in our home. My baby things were in boxes that I couldn't find. Ben was using his time off of work, working constantly to get us back in our house. I was experiencing my worst recovery after any birth so far. Lyric was having a tough time adjusting to sharing her mama with a new baby (which broke my heart). I can't even describe how grateful I felt, only my closest friends and family knew that Lottie's heart was showing signs of distress in the weeks before birth. Ben and I gave it to God, and when my love was born into that room full of waiting professionals, we found that they weren't needed at all!! Her heart was perfect!! And her birth was perfect! I prayed for an easy delivery and that's just what I had. She was the easiest delivery of any of my babies. His grace is such a beautiful thing!!!

Of course my preemie (like all of mine) spent some time on the light bed because of jaundice. Her sisters and brother spent time by her bed waiting for a chance to hold her.

These pictures of them waiting are always some of my favorites. What beautiful little hearts that have!

This guy, my stunt man, broke his foot when Lottie was 6 days old. He is a 10 year old free runner, skateboarder, BMX biker, climber, and he sure can worry his mama!! Even though he was walking on the foot I had a gut feeling that it was broken. Sure enough, it was. The folks at the orthopedic practice now just say when we leave "See ya next time!" Ha! And when we come in they always ask "How many kids do you have this time?" We love them!

This little one started nursing her baby. :)

 

The night before I had Lottie I woke up, excited and feeling like my time was close, made this bonnet and went back to bed. I'm so glad I did! It made me feel good for this little one to be born with something mama made just for her.

That angel!!

 

Lottie had a friend born the same day as her! We managed to snap a picture of them together. They are birthday twins!

When Lottie was 2 weeks old we were able to move back home! It took several days to get things to where we could function here, but it was so good to be home!! We still don't have it all unpacked! Ha! But home feels so good! I was ready for views like this!

And this....


When Lottie was 3-4 weeks old I started to feel normal again! Like my life was settling down some. We started to get a routine and the fog started to lift! Lyric's morning breathing treatments....
The diaper train...
This sweet brother (to soooo many sisters!) made a swing for Claire so that she could "fly" in her fairy suit. Now if that doesn't melt a mama heart!!
I'm seriously one of the most blessed mamas on the planet!!

Yesterday I took the time to take pictures of each baby, because when mama is this busy with 4 babies, 3 years old and under, it's easy to get caught up in the work and forget to stop and really SEE it! It's hard to remember to take pictures too. Just that one thing felt like an accomplishment! My Penny Pie, a 16 month old love bug! She is such a loving little girl!

 

My Lottie Pop! This precious baby is certainly my calm after this little life storm that we've been in. She is such a calm, sweet, patient baby. *love*

My little Lyric Lou Who is now almost 8 months old, and such a happy girl!! Her precious smile can light a whole room! She's such a gift, being her temporary mama has been such a joy!!

This kid!! Oh my Claire Bell! This is a 3 year old ball of sass and attitude with her very own style and personality! Check out those mismatched boots and the side ponytail that she asked for. :)

 

If I were to describe my days right now it would go something like this....there are moments where I feel like I've got this!! Like I should be wearing a cape even! Super mom! And then the next moment (like the moment after I snapped this picture) someone projectile vomits and chaos is in full force on e again, and mama is humbled. I send up petitions for grace from my Father almost constantly! When asked how we do it Ben always answers with a smile "We have just become good managers of chaos!" Yes we have love. It's a beautiful mess.

I'll be back soon! I'm sorry I'm not around as much these days, I do miss it. I've joined the Instagram crowd! My big kids say it's the "thing" these days. :) Hit me up on there! I'm mama_caffee. xo, Sam

 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Introducing.....

Our precious Charlotte Renee Caffee! Yes it's a girl! She came gently into the world today at 1:44pm after a fast and easy natural labor, weighing 8lbs &1oz and measuring 20" long. We will call her Lottie for short! She is such an angel!!

I'm already playing with those long, lovely, Lottie locks! Can you believe that hair?!

What a terrific day in the middle of this "life storm" we have been in! I officially made it to 36 weeks and 3 days and oh she was so worth the fight!

My doula, Ben, was pretty terrific himself! He has perfected his skills over all of these natural labors, sweet man. The nurse was even super impressed with him. This was our "We are having a baby today selfie!" Ahhhh! I'm so happy friends! What a beautiful day!! Xo, Sam

 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Refugees

Want to hear a crazy story? Buckle up! Alabama had a little ice storm Tuesday (Jan 30) the week before last that SHUT US DOWN. I'm sure you heard something of it on the news, well that was the very night that baby Caffee decided to bust ou eight weeks earlyt! Ben was at the fire station and the roads were completely impassable, and I was home with the kids in labor. There was NO WAY I could get to the hospital. I knew this for a fact because my very pregnant sister was spending the night at the hospital, in our doctors on-call bed, because she was stuck there after her appointment that day. So I waited. By the next morning I was in trouble. Luckily the roads were better and could be driven on in a 4 wheel drive. It was a pretty close call friends! I was 1/2 cm away from what they refer to as "the point of no return". Thank The Lord!! It took them three days to make the preterm labor stop. Well the hospital was also in quite a pickle, they were running out of food because no big trucks could get in or out! Every eating place and grocery store within miles was also out! On the second morning, Thursday, when they sent me powdered eggs I told Ben to just go home and come back with food and snacks!

When Ben got home something wasn't quite right, there was water coming from under the front door. He walked in to see that it was raining in our home. TWO insulated pipes in our attic had burst and flooded our home in every room except the master bedroom. Within an hour a drying company was there with fans and dehumidifiers to save what they could. Not a whole lot could be saved as far as the construction of the house. By the time I got out of the hospital on Friday afternoon it was clear that the place would need to be gutted. From the ceilings to the wood floors 75% of the house is ruined. That night we went "home" to a hotel.

As you can imagine the hotel couldn't last too long with my six rambunctious country kids who are use to getting outside! Ha! We needed a more permanent place that was also closer to home and family. The insurance company said that this will take 4-6 weeks to fix (I think more like 8) so Baby Caffee will likely also be born into this adventure.

Well just as I knew He would, God started working on our behalf! Our home church had a mission house available and offered it to us, no more hotel!!!! Wahooooo! In those first few days I was so confused about what had happened, what we had lost (I'm still not completely sure of that), and still wondering what in the world we would do, but God sent blessings from all sides! We feel so loved!!

The last several days have been a whirlwind. I still can't wrap my head around it all, but now we are mostly moved into the mission house (with internet!), and my kids sure are happy about that. They have a yard to play in again too! I'm back to rocking babies all day, which makes me Happy! God has shown us so much love through family and friends! He is faithful!

I'm praying I carry this baby for three more weeks, but I will check in again before then now that we are settled! xo, Sam