Why the name change?

I've been thinking for awhile now what my new blog name could be.  One that also matched my IG name.  I decided to change both.  My old blog name of lovetherichardsonlife is a little long and I created it on a whim one evening.  Its not that its bad, its just not really what I had in mind. My IG name of brooketx0916 was another name I also came up quickly without much thought. It is a lot harder than you think to find a new blog name that also matches a new IG name when so many of them are already taken.  None the less, after I stopped over thinking it so much, it came to me. Embrace and Grace.  Two words I love so much and I'll elaborate more on that a little further down.

My word for 2017 is PRESENCE.  Just being 100% present in what I'm trying to do.  Mainly with my people...the ones I cherish most.  Not 1/2 in or with distractions such as my phone or working on the computer.  I'm honored that I can be a Stay at home mom, I really am.  But we know that job doesn't mean all this "extra" time to play and just be totally present with our kids.  Two of my kids are in school so by the time they come home, eat a snack, decompress, do some homework, play outside for a little (if the weather is nice) eat dinner, shower, etc.  There is very little time to just be present with them doing something they enjoy.  So that is a huge goal for me! Not only with my kids but with my husband too.  My husband and I just returned from a cruise that I'm going to do a whole separate post on that but one thing the pastor said that totally convicted me was that our kids are being raised by looking at the top of their parents heads. Because while our heads are down staring at our phones, we don't even look up sometimes to speak to each other.  So all they see is the top of our heads....Ouch!

Starting January 11th, I decided to give up facebook for 21 days.  People can still message me if they need to and I will also keep checking on my photography page because I can't just neglect my business for that long. But no more scrolling, no more browsing just to browse. I found myself doing it more out of just habit.  I still pick up my phone frequently to click on that facebook app, but now that it is deleted I quickly divert my attention to something else and move on. This is just an additional side goal to help me be more present and after 21 days, I will have broken that habit and can visit it occassionally and not so frequently.

Dinnertime. It's another goal for our family.  To sit around the table and eat together more often. It doesn't always work out depending on when Tyler gets home but if we can sit around the table at least 3 times a week, then I call that a win.  No tv on, no phones, just us! Even if we have to remind the kids to stay seated about 3 million times, its worth it! While I'm on the subject of dinner, I got this new scrabble art decor with all of our names.  Not only do I love it but every time we are all sitting at the dining room table, I get to enjoy it. I've never seen anything like it before.  Here is the link to the etsy shop if you are interested in getting one for your home.

About a week ago, Cooper and Libby were in my bed about 7:00 pm because they both love snuggle time.  So I turned on a movie and got sweet cuddles from both sides of me.  My arm wrapped closely around each one as we watched a movie together.  In the past, I might have been tempted to sit there with them but also mess with my phone at the same time.  After giving up that temptation, I just soaked them in like sponges and met both their love languages for physical touch and it was grand. I can't miss moments like this or be 1/2 present anymore.  It's those little things that really fill your hearts with an unexplainable joy.

While thinking of presence and what steps I'm going to take to be more present, the word embrace came to mind.  To embrace means to hold closely (whether the person or the moment) to accept, to support, to receive gladly or eagerly whether its an idea or a new season of change.  It might be easy to embrace a moment with your kids, but its not so easy to embrace a season in life where you lost a loved one.  There are many reasons why it could be hard to embrace what you are currently going through.  But its in those difficult times, that draw you nearer to God.  Those experiences shape you, they pull you way out of your comfort zone.  And sometimes they just suck to be honest.  My goal is to embrace life more and all that it offers.  I'm thankful I don't know in advance what is to come but God knows my story and while it might be a surprise to me, it's no surprise to him.

The second part of my blog name is Grace.  I love the word Grace.  So much so that my daughter Libby has Grace has her middle name. Elisabeth Grace Richardson.  Grace means Gift and my she was a gift and God knew exactly what our family needed when he gave us Libby.  Grace is sometimes not so easy to give.  God gives us grace every single day.  So why should it be so hard to give grace to those around us?  Whether its a stranger, a friend or your husband even.  Why do we hold on to stuff as if they have to earn the Grace first?  God sure doesn't do that to us and we definitely don't deserve his Grace day after day after day.

I found this shirt last year from Crazy Cool threads.  Surviving Motherhood on Grace and Coffee. Perfect huh? I thought so.  I want to be better about giving grace to others but also to myself. I find that giving Grace to myself even though my heavenly father does that already, is so much harder to do. As a mom,  we are so critical.  We tend to compare and always feel like we could be doing more. It's just not healthy and its pulls you away from the things you love most. You miss out on all those sweet fleeting moments because your stuck on the fact that you lost your cool with your kids...yet again.  I often find myself apologizing to my them because I want them to see that we as adults make mistakes too.  I want them to know their mommy's heart and that I'm sorry for what I did or said either to them or in front of them.  I know my example as their mommy is so important, and I'm sure I take it for granted sometimes. But those little eyes are always watching.  They replicate what they see at home.  Ouch! That is a tough pill to swallow. Yes, some of our kids challenge us in more ways than others.  All three of my kiddos are very different.  We celebrate those attributes that make them unique and special and we have to work consistently on areas that are challenging for them. That is why so much Grace is needed in life not only for loved ones, but for strangers too.   And its dire we give Grace and forgive ourselves as well.

We are never going to have it all together.  Never! We are going to keep slipping up.  Hopefully a lot less as we learn and grow from our past but none of us are perfect. So I will embrace deeply, give grace more and keep writing our families stories in the blog.  That is how the new name was born and I'm excited to see exactly where and what God leads me to write as we get further into 2017.  XOXO.

Stay tuned for an update on Willow and the adoption process as well as a post on our recent Cruise.


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