Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

“Mommy I’m hungry.”

It was 5:25 a.m.

It was dark.

I thought it was the middle of the night but, even worse, it was a mere 20 minutes before my alarm would ring to allegedly start the day.

Instead of my phone’s digital disquiet waking me, I had the most delicious three-year-old standing next to my bed. So patient. So sweet. So hungry.

So early.

Squinting from early morning blindness because I had neither contacts nor glasses at that predawn hour, “Come in our bed for 10 minutes and when my alarm goes off, I’ll make you something to eat.”

“Ok, Mommy.”

Fumbling for my eyeglasses, barely able to see while this monkey climbed across and over me to make a nest between Mommy and Daddy that would be just right for the next few minutes, I reset my alarm to have it ring 10 minutes earlier even though I still had 20 minutes to go. I wanted, needed, was desperate for, a few more minutes of even pretend sleep, yet I literally reversed the snooze button. An ultimate definition of mommyhood.

Snuggling became squirming. It was still dark but this kid needed to get his day going. He was antsy. There was no point to wait eight more minutes.

I inhaled my boy as I picked him up and he became precious cargo. With his arms hugging my neck and his legs wrapped around my waist, we tiptoed downstairs so not to wake the rest of our family. They were lucky to still be sleeping, but I had an even better prize.

He wanted eggy weggies, please. Of course he did. Not the easy handful of dry cereal I had been hoping he’d say he was craving so we could crawl back upstairs and maybe get a minute of shut-eye before the sun woke up. At least he said please.

I say please, too—for more times like this one. I had no idea that the next few minutes would become so meaningful. Looking back on the simplicity of the morning makes my mommy heart go pitter patter.

He pulled a chair up to the kitchen counter, so excited as he carefully took the eggs out of the carton.

We cracked the first egg together and, then, “Look! Mommy, I did it!” He cracked the second one by himself and was so proud. And happy. I think I forgot to be tired at this point.

Together, we beat the eggs. I taught him adding a drop of milk makes them fluffier because my dad had taught me that at some point. I don’t know if it makes a difference with almond milk, but we did it anyway.

He poured the eggs into the pan.

In the hush of the quiet house, we talked about what it means to be patient as we waited for the eggs to scramble on the low heat, him insisting on holding the spoon and scrambling them by himself. “Mommy, I’m big now! I can do it. Let go!”

With a little help from Mommy that he finally, reluctantly permitted, the eggs scrambled. He got his bowl and fork from the cabinet. We sat at the kids’ soon-to-be outgrown little table. He happily ate the eggs all up while I happily took it all in. “Mommy, my tummy says it’s not hungry anymore!”

I didn’t realize the sun had come up while we cooked in those few minutes. The sky had become that orangey pink that only the people who wake up very early get to see. What I did realize was we were upon one of those thresholds life presents when moments of realtime become memories of the past.

This morning was one of those moments and is now one of those memories I’ll look back on with a smile that is bittersweet. How grateful I am that—somehow, someway at this crack of dawn hour—I had been present. I had soaked up the seconds of what easily could have been a miserable, too early start to my day. Instead, it became a most meaningful memory I made with my boy.

He gave me a gift that morning: one of pause and presence. Priceless. Especially when shared moments are often fleeting . . . running on fast-forward. Since the poor guy still doesn’t have a baby book, hopefully this written reminder will one day spark the memory of this moment. As much as I want us to remember it forever, I know he never will and my own superpower to remember detail has diminished with motherhood.

Maybe one day, he’ll make me breakfast, and it will remind me of this particular morning: his sweet three-year-old voice, his small hands, his big heart, and how that early morning darkness brought so much light to my life.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Ilana Lipson Cohen

Ilana Lipson Cohen counts her blessings as a beyond-full-time working wife and mom who has the romantic notion that she can cook for her family like Ina but the reality that PB&J is usually what’s for dinner. Find her on Facebook at Holding Hands Forever and on Twitter.

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading