Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I didn’t get anything done today. I didn’t mop the floors, I didn’t clean the bathrooms, I didn’t even make a dent in the ever-growing laundry pile. The house is a mess and the lawn hasn’t been watered.

The day didn’t go at all as I had planned.

I meant to get up first thing and finish doing last night’s dishes. But I was woken up at 5 a.m. by a little boy who wanted to cuddle with his mama. So I spent the first hour of the morning curled up in bed with him, talking and giggling and telling silly stories.

Then I was going to start a load of laundry and scrub the bathtub. But a 1-year-old toddled over to me with a box of crayons and the single-word question, “Color?” So we sat on the floor and made pictures of trees and rainbows and our family. She gave me kisses when she especially liked what I drew.

Later I was going to reorganize the pantry. But it was so nice outside, and my kids were staring wistfully out the windows, so we went for a walk instead. We picked up rocks and imitated birds and smelled dozens of flowers. My toddler learned a new word: pinecone. My 7-year-old learned a new trick on his bike, “Look, Mom, no hands!”

RELATED: To the Mama Who Didn’t Accomplish Anything Today

When we returned from our walk, I was going to prep some meals for the week. But my sister called and asked if we wanted to come play with her and her kids. So we drove over and spent time with them. My kids ran crazy with their cousins. They built a pillow fort and started a basketball league and had a how-high-can-you-jump contest. I sat with my sister and watched them and drank coffee and chatted about our lives.

In the afternoon I was supposed to get the car’s oil changed. But when we got home from my sister’s house, my husband mentioned the new movie we’d all been wanting to see was streaming. So we piled onto the couch with popcorn and candy and watched. My son laid his head in my lap and asked me to rub his back. My daughter danced to the soundtrack, and we laughed and cheered her on. 

After the movie, I decided to clean up the house. But my son brought me a board game, and my daughter clapped in delight. So we played, and talked, and laughed. My daughter made the game pieces race around the board, and my son learned to be a good sport when he drew a bad card.

RELATED: A Mother’s Work is Never Done But Always Worth it

I was going to make a big, complicated dinner. But my kids wanted to help. So we made spaghetti because it’s OK if they dump too much oregano into the sauce. We danced in the kitchen while we waited for the water to boil.

Bedtime was supposed to be quick because I still had so much to do. But my son is really into the book we’re reading and kept asking for one more chapter. So we sat and read for over an hour, working together to solve the book’s mystery and waiting with bated breath to find out the hero’s fate.

When I finally tucked him into bed, my son told me, “This was the best day ever.”

After the kids were both in bed, I was going to do all of the things I hadn’t done today. But my husband wanted to sit with me and watch a show. So we cuddled on the couch, just the two of us, and talked and laughed and held hands. All the way up until I fell asleep on the couch, exhausted from my long day of getting nothing done.

RELATED: But Mommy, You Were Too Busy

I had thousands of things on my to-do list today. The list is still there with no checkmarks showing what’s been accomplished. Looking around the house, I have nothing to show for my day. Instead, I have the sound of my daughter’s laughter and the warmth of my son’s hugs still radiating through me.

My kids don’t care that there are dishes in the sink and crumbs on the tablethey care that today they got to spend all day with mommy. And even though I didn’t get anything done, I got to spend all day making memories with my family.

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

Kayci Villarreal

Kayci is a working mom of two hilarious kids living in Southern California. Her hobbies include reading in two-minute increments and sneaking cookies when her kids aren't looking.

Graduation Means One Last Party

In: Motherhood, Teen
Little boy smiling

My head is about to explode. My youngest, AKA my baby, is about to graduate high school this June. While that is a huge deal, I know what goes into graduation. It isn’t a simple thing. There is no “just a graduation.” Or a simple “end of the year” summation. I have an older son who already graduated high school and college. I’ve done the parties, planned the events, and lived through the end-of-school-year activities. And I’ll be honest—my first thought with my second son’s graduation was this: I don’t want to do it! Please, don’t make me do this....

Keep Reading

My Teen Is Always Changing His Mind—And That’s Okay

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy with neutral smile

My teenage son changes his mind about everything around him. And it’s driving me crazy. My sweet 17-year-old son chooses one thing, only to change his mind about it a second, a minute, or a day later. And he does this all day, every day. At first, I didn’t notice this trend—the swapping of his choices—until it was about things that were more expensive or more serious like careers and cars. And then I began to wonder about his mind. Was there something wrong with him? “I think I want a Mustang,” he would say about the future car he...

Keep Reading

Friendship in Motherhood is Beautifully Unique

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Three mothers sitting on lawn watching kids on trampoline, color photo

Friendships in motherhood hold a unique and treasured place, distinctly different from any we’ve experienced before. The ones we meet in the trenches of parenting, as we nurture our kids and rediscover ourselves after becoming mothers—these are the relationships forged amidst the chaos of early morning T-ball practices, the joy of trampoline birthday parties, and the occasional playground meltdown. Motherhood friendships have a distinct depth that sets them apart from the rest. Of course, the friends from our youth are treasures—steadfast companions through the awkwardness of adolescence, through every scraped knee and heartache. Then there are the friends of our...

Keep Reading

Dear Graduate, I Love You Forever

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Kindergarten grad

I never imagined these days of preparing for graduation, senior prom, senior photos, and you actually moving out would come. A few weeks into your life, friends gifted you a 6-month sleeper. I remember the cuddly white footie pajamas well. But I swore you’d never get big enough to wear it. How could this 8-pound human grow to fit into 6-month clothes? Impossible. And then somehow they did fit, and then they didn’t anymore. Just like that. Everyone says the days are long but the years are short. Everyone, that is, who has had a lot of years. When I...

Keep Reading

The Baby I Prayed for Became the Daughter I Needed

In: Motherhood, Teen
Mother and teenage daughter, color photo

It started with pain, doubt, and prayers just moments before they laid you in my waiting arms. The cumulation of months of planning, anticipation, and excitement all ended in a small, brown-haired little doll who we could dress in pink. I quickly handed you over my head to the eager hands of your older sister, who promptly took her spot in the rocking chair, welcoming you into our family. Many nights, I would hear your tiny sounds as you rooted around, waiting for me to pick you up, carry you to that same rocking chair, fill your tummy, and pat...

Keep Reading

When You Wonder, “Why Do I Even Try?”

In: Motherhood
Weary woman on couch at home

I have thought these words to myself countless times in the past year. With a fresh teenager in seventh grade and a pre-teen in fifth, it has been a year of trial and tribulation I can only imagine compares to the biblical character Job. Okay, so maybe I am a bit dramatic. However, as a hard-working single mother, this year has truly tested me to the point of near torture. And here I am, still standing, in need of copious amounts of caffeine and some serious self-care but still standing nonetheless. I am admittedly (and my sons would agree) not...

Keep Reading

I Prayed for These Moments I’m Living with You

In: Motherhood
Little girl smiling on couch

There’s a half-eaten, yellow Dum-Dum sucker stuck in the console of my dashboard, right in front of my gear shift. Every day when I pick my daughter up from daycare, she gets a Dum-Dum sucker from the director as we leave. Once in the car, she usually eats some of it and either puts it upside down in the cup holder of her car seat, or she hands it to me, and I place it in the console until we get home when I can toss it in the trash. This is nothing new. This has been part of our...

Keep Reading

Love Beyond Words

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugging daughter

My daughter Lexi lost her words and some of her motor functioning when she was two years old. She was three when the silent intruder of Rett Syndrome made itself known through seizures. But here’s the heart of our story: even without words, Lexi and I have created our own language—a symphony of unspoken love. She may not call me “Mom” in the traditional sense, but her eyes, her laughter, and the unique sounds she makes speak volumes to my heart. Each day with Lexi is a dance—one where the steps aren’t always clear, and the rhythm can change in...

Keep Reading

Always Choose Adventure

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Two children looking at aquarium exhibit, color photo

Here’s the thing about traveling with little kids. Is it hard? Sometimes. Sometimes it looks like a whole carry-on dedicated solely to snacks, activities, and emergency treats. Sometimes it looks like buying a drink for the passenger next to you as a way of saying sorry and thank you all at the same time for the airplane kid chaos they endured. Sometimes it looks like altering your picture-perfect itinerary that you meticulously planned on account of missed naps finally catching up. Sometimes it looks like washing a car seat off in a hotel shower because your toddler got carsick, then...

Keep Reading

These Family Recipes Feed My Soul

In: Living, Motherhood
Old, messy, recipe book, color photo

There’s a recipe in my cookbook so caked with flour and cinnamon that my mother’s handwriting struggles to be seen. It’s for sweet roll dough, a recipe both my maternal and paternal grandmothers used and passed down. There’s just a difference in how many eggs and flour you choose to use. From this dough, meals that memories are made of take the shape of pizza, cinnamon rolls, Runzas (for us Midwesterners), or simple dinner rolls. For our family, it’s a Sunday night tradition of homemade pizza and a movie and Monday morning cinnamon rolls to start the week. Not much...

Keep Reading