Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

“Love, you might want to get a picture of this. It could be the last time.” What is my six-foot-four husband feeling so sentimental about? I follow him into the kitchen to see our 2-year-old daughter sound asleep in her high chair.

On close inspection, I spy the speck of white yogurt hiding in her hair and the soggy crackers slowly absorbing strawberry juice on her tray. Stepping back though, I gaze at our beautiful fifth child, her head resting on her left shoulder and uncut blonde hair circling her face. When she’s asleep, she still looks more like a baby and less like a toddler.

I see and I know.

I see exactly what my husband wants me to see and I know his precise meaning. The bittersweetness of the moment fills me, and flashbacks of our older children dance in my head . . . 

The one who fell asleep in his spaghetti.

The bowl worn like a hat as messy oatmeal spilled down the sides of his face.

All five shared the same first food—homemade applesauce.

Those questions of boundaries—what do we do when he throws his food on the floor? When she refuses to try it?

Our toddler whose blueberries made truck noises.

These and so many more memories catch me in the current of time while I beg time to stand still—just for a moment—just long enough for me to see so that I can remember.

I know the days were long, but where did they go?

And will this be the last time she falls asleep in her high chair? Is this the last time I gingerly lift her out and try to transfer her to her crib without waking her?

We never know the last time a child will climb in bed in the middle of the night because of a bad dream. No one warns us that this is the last time we’ll be called “Mommy” or “Mama” before our name changes to “Mom”.

Maybe we look forward to the last diaper change and the day we get to leave behind the diaper bag. We’re eager to reclaim the kitchen counter space after the bottles are put away, and we anticipate setting a vase full of flowers on the coffee table again without worrying that a child will break it.

But we usually don’t get to choose when the last will be and we often don’t see it coming. We only view it in hindsight.

RELATED: Let Me Love You a Little More, Before You’re Not Little Anymore – 5 Ways to Cherish Your Child Right Now

When I was a girl, I’d pause, study a scene in front of me, and close my eyes. I’d try to imagine everything I’d just seen and create a mental picture.

Now, I grab my phone and take a picture. Actually, I take seven pictures—from all different angles—and I don’t plan to delete any of them. I don’t care if we’re being sentimental . . . because we don’t know. It could be the last time.

But I don’t just take pictures. I do the same thing I did as a girl, only I do it with words. I pause, close my eyes, and try to recreate these life moments unfolding in the lives of my family around me. I stop and write what I see because I want to remember.

And because I don’t trust my memory and I don’t know the future, I leave my words along with the photos, because I don’t know. It could be the last time.

You may also like:

The Nights Are So Long

This Mama Didn’t Know It Would Be The Last Time

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

Katie Faris

Katie Faris is married to Scott, and her greatest works in progress are their five children ages 2 to 13. She is the author of Loving My Children: Embracing Biblical Motherhood. You can read more of Katie’s words on her blog.

Being a Hands-on Dad Matters

In: Kids, Living
Dad playing with little girl on floor

I am a hands-on dad. I take pride in spending time with my kids. Last week I took my toddler to the park. He’s two and has recently outgrown peek-a-boo, but nothing gets him laughing like him seeing me pop into the slide to scare him as he goes down. He grew to like this so much that he actually would not go down the slide unless he saw me in his range of vision going down. When it’s time to walk in the parking lot he knows to hold my hand, and he grabs my hand instinctively when he needs help...

Keep Reading

5 Kids in the Bible Who Will Inspire Yours

In: Faith, Kids
Little girl reading from Bible

Gathering my kids for morning Bible study has become our family’s cornerstone, a time not just for spiritual growth but for real, hearty conversations about life, courage, and making a difference. It’s not perfect, but it’s ours. My oldest, who’s 11, is at that age where he’s just beginning to understand the weight of his actions and decisions. He’s eager, yet unsure, about his ability to influence his world. It’s a big deal for him, and frankly, for me too. I want him to know, deeply know, that his choices matter, that he can be a force for good, just...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Love is the Best Medicine

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child lying on couch under blankets, color photo

When my kids are sick, I watch them sleep and see every age they have ever been at once. The sleepless nights with a fussy toddler, the too-hot cheeks of a baby against my own skin, the clean-up duty with my husband at 3 a.m., every restless moment floods my thoughts. I can almost feel the rocking—so much rocking—and hear myself singing the same lullaby until my voice became nothing but a whisper. I can still smell the pink antibiotics in a tiny syringe. Although my babies are now six and nine years old, the minute that fever spikes, they...

Keep Reading

Right Now I’m a Mom Who’s Not Ready to Let Go

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter hugging, color photo

We’re doing it. We’re applying, touring, and submitting pre-school applications. It feels a lot like my college application days, and there’s this image in my mind of how fast that day will come with my sweet girl once she enters the school doors. It’s a bizarre place to be because if I’m honest, I know it’s time to let her go, but my heart is screaming, “I’m not ready yet!” She’s four now though. Four years have flown by, and I don’t know how it happened. She can put her own clothes on and take herself to the bathroom. She...

Keep Reading

Each Child You Raise is Unique

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three little boys under a blanket, black-and-white photo

The hardest part about raising children? Well, there’s a lot, but to me, one major thing is that they are all completely different than one another. Nothing is the same. Like anything. Ever. Your first comes and you basically grow up with them, you learn through your mistakes as well as your triumphs. They go to all the parties with you, restaurants, sporting events, traveling—they just fit into your life. You learn the dos and don’ts, but your life doesn’t change as much as you thought. You start to think Wow! This was easy, let’s have another. RELATED: Isn’t Parenting...

Keep Reading

Our Kids Need Us as Much as We Need Them

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy sitting on bench with dog nearby, color photo

During a moment of sadness last week, my lively and joyful toddler voluntarily sat with me on the couch, holding hands and snuggling for a good hour. This brought comfort and happiness to the situation. At that moment, I realized sometimes our kids need us, sometimes we need them, and sometimes we need each other at the same time. Kids need us. From the moment they enter the world, infants express their needs through tiny (or loud) cries. Toddlers need lots of cuddling as their brains try to comprehend black, white, and all the colors of the expanding world around...

Keep Reading

Your Kids Don’t Need More Things, They Need More You

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young girl smiling together at home

He reached for my hand and then looked up. His sweet smile and lingering gaze flooded my weary heart with much-needed peace. “Thank you for taking me to the library, Mommy! It’s like we’re on a date! I like it when it’s just the two of us.” We entered the library, hand in hand, and headed toward the LEGO table. As I began gathering books nearby, I was surprised to feel my son’s arms around me. He gave me a quick squeeze and a kiss with an “I love you, Mommy” before returning to his LEGO—three separate times. My typically...

Keep Reading

This Time In the Passenger Seat is Precious

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Teen driver with parent in passenger seat

When you’re parenting preteens and teens, it sometimes feels like you are an unpaid Uber driver. It can be a thankless job. During busy seasons, I spend 80 percent of my evenings driving, parking, dropping off, picking up, sitting in traffic, running errands, waiting in drive-thru lines. I say things like buckle your seat belt, turn that music down a little bit, take your trash inside, stop yelling—we are in the car, keep your hands to yourself, don’t make me turn this car around, get your feet off the back of the seat, this car is not a trash can,...

Keep Reading

So God Made My Daughter a Wrestler

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young female wrestler wearing mouth guard and wrestling singlet

God made my girl a wrestler. Gosh, those are words I would never have thought I would say or be so insanely proud to share with you. But I am. I know with 100 percent certainty and overwhelming pride that God made my girl a wrestler. But it’s been a journey. Probably one that started in the spring of 2010 when I was pregnant with my first baby and having the 20-week anatomy ultrasound. I remember hearing the word “girl” and squealing. I was over the moon excited—all I could think about were hair bows and cute outfits. And so...

Keep Reading

A Big Family Can Mean Big Feelings

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Family with many kids holding hands on beach

I’m a mother of six. Some are biological, and some are adopted. I homeschool most of them. I’m a “trauma momma” with my own mental health struggles. My husband and I together are raising children who have their own mental illnesses and special needs. Not all of them, but many of them. I battle thoughts of anxiety and OCD daily. I exercise, eat decently, take meds and supplements, yet I still have to go to battle. The new year has started slow and steady. Our younger kids who are going to public school are doing great in their classes and...

Keep Reading