“You won’t be perfect.” Advice for a first-time mom

I forget things. Frequently. I forget to turn the oven on. I forget to switch out the laundry so I rewash it only to forget again.When people ask how old my daughter is, I just say, “She’ll be two in March.” (I’m too fuzzy for math). I’m pregnant with my fourth child and the forgetfulness has amplified to a whole new level (I chronicled such pregnancy madness over on Des Moines Moms Blog).

While I cannot remember where I left my keys, I do remember the first time I failed as a mom.

It was almost seven years ago, and I hadn’t been a mom for even 24 hours. My husband had gone down to get our son’s carseat. There I sat, in the hospital room, anxiously awaiting to take my baby home. I picked him up, talked to him, and walked out the door to look at the other babies in the window. Not two seconds later I made eye contact with a nurse and she came running towards me. “You can’t leave your room with your baby!” Another nurse came over, checked my arm band, checked my son’s band and told us to get back to our room. I appreciated the concern for not wanting anyone to steal my child, but can you say AWKWARD?! I was so embarrassed, and then had to explain to my husband how I already screwed up. “Shouldn’t a mom know better?” I thought.

After it was evident that I was the mom to this sweet little baby, we took about thirty minutes figuring out how to fit him in his carseat. A nurse escorted us out to the parking ramp. Halfway down I realized I didn’t have my phone. I threw it away. Yes, I threw my phone out with my tray of breakfast. AWESOME. While the nurse ran back to the maternity floor to track down my phone (a pink flip phone, by the way!), there we stood, my husband, new baby and I in a cold and lonely skywalk waiting for a nurse, a stranger, to rescue me from my second mom fail. “How am I going to survive this motherhood thing?!” Before my first son was two days old, I broke an important safety rule and failed to be prepared. I was already an imperfect mother.

first time parents

We look so young…

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Up all night

She’s my third baby. I’m pregnant with number four. So when I’m awaken by that cry. You know the one. The, “I’m awake there is nothing wrong with me I just don’t want to sleep here anymore and I will get louder and louder until you come and get me!” cry.

I love my sleep. I can sleep anywhere, anytime… except when the stupid smoke detector goes off at 3 am. Beep. Beep. BEEP!

My husband, who is more of the light sleeper, usually wakes up, grabs the Little Ladybug and brings her to our bed. To which she will crawl on me, push me off my pillow, and kick me repeatedly in my stomach… back… face.


It was clear, my husband was KO’d, so as with an extremely unwelcome smoke detector, I was up, blindly making my way to the crib where the Little Ladybug awaits. Arms up, “It’s about time!” She smiles.

baby in bed co-sleeping

That is a VERY fake smile!

Back in bed. A twenty pound snuggle bear now resting on my chest. Sleep. Let’s go back to sleep. Continue reading

Where are you running?

The words. The music. Instantly, they take me back to that moment. That moment sitting in the front pew surrounded by flowers and faces, hundreds of faces  to which i failed to make eye contact. I sat there, seven months pregnant, in a black dress and purple shoes, gripping the hand of my husband. My dad’s shiny casket sitting directly to the left of me. As the words were so beautifully sung, I soaked them in that afternoon.

So I will I will run. Forever I will run. Run to You oh God. Where else can I go? Forever I will run.

road running feet

So many times I wish I could run to him. Or call him. Or grab a slice for lunch with him. I’m a daddy’s girl. When in doubt, call dad. Continue reading

A few of my favorite things; Fall 2014

After the incredibly wet summer we’ve had “Raindrops on roses” did not make my list of favorite things! Rather, here are a few things I am totally digging right now:

  1. Big Brother 16.

    Big Brother 16Are you watching? BB is the one show my husband and I must watch! We are totally #TeamDerrick. But #Dadgum Caleb is hilarious. The winner will be announced soon on CBS… and then we will have to find a new show. Any suggestions? 

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Happy Heavenly Birthday, Dad

“What year is it?” was always the question I would get when I asked you how old you were. The year is 2014. Today you would be celebrating your 63rd birthday.  

dads birthday 2011

Teeg helping celebrate Papa’s birthday in 2011

I’m sure you’re getting a kick out of all of us living under one roof again. While they have yet to admit it, Mom and Scott have moments where they miss peace and quiet (hard to blame them) but it’s nice to get to see each other every day. I know you’d love all of the kids’ stories, and their active lifestyle. Teeg talks about you daily, and yes, he still asks a million questions! Moo still likes to help out in the yard picking up sticks and whatever tasks we can give him, just like he did with you. Brooklynn is little miss independent, (which I’ve been told is a lot like me) so I know you’d love her. She sees your picture and says, “Papa!” (She also sees Steve Harvey on TV and thinks it’s her other papa!). They miss you, but it makes me proud that we all have so many happy memories with you that they will know you through those stories.

Birthdays are meant to be celebratory occasions, and today we do celebrate you. I love to see others post on your Facebook timeline and share a happy memory of you. It makes me smile and cry all at the same time. You had said after the loss of your job that the transition wouldn’t be easy. Little did you know your words would be advice for us now. 

“I’d be lying if I would say it was easy. I don’t dwell on it, so they don’t dwell on it either,” Lynn said. “We’ll go forward from here.” (6/28/07 in the Iowa State Daily).

We promise not to dwell. But we do miss you and always will. We are moving forward but will never forget.

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12: 9-10

That was my daily Bible verse, first thing I read this morning and it made me think of you, Dad. A true and honest man!

Happy Birthday, Dad! Wish you were here.

XOXO- Erica

In honor of my dad, Coach Steve Lynn, my family and I have started the Steve Lynn Scholarship Fund in which we will provide a one-time financial donation to an Iowa high school track and field athlete who will be competing at the next level. We continually hear, “Coach took a chance on me. I wouldn’t be here without him.” We want to honor Coach Lynn and continue his legacy of providing opportunity. “Success Starts With A Chance.” 

coach lynn runA memorial race will be held in Ames this September 28th. You can run/walk or just donate as all funds go towards the scholarship. Register of Donate HERE.  Thank you for your continued love, prayers and support!

The Quirks I Love In My Daughter

Like most girls today, my daughter can flawlessly sing Frozen’s “Let it Go!” My daughter is 18 months old. She loves that song, and “Twinkle Twinkle” is her new favorite. My Little Ladybug, as I like to call her, sings all day long. I love that about her. I love the joy and innocence that flows out of her. It’s one of the many things that make me proud to be her mom.

In fact, there are many quirks that make her uniquely her.

  • She is obsessed with toothpaste and toothbrushes. “Teet!” (AKA “teeth!). If allowed, she’d eat toothpaste all day.baby and toothpaste
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Teachers, Please Keep Jumping

To all the teachers, this post is for you. In fact, I have sat here with my fingers motionless on the keypad stuck in writers block because I want to make this perfect for you. I want to tell you, “Thank you!” Or wish you, “Good luck!” Or I even thought of “You are a difference maker!” While those sentiments are true, they are all too cliché.

Teacher jobs word cloud

As a former teacher, I hated how FLUFFY the world made my job out to be. When I told someone, “I am a teacher,” they’d tilt their head, smile, and say “Awe, that’s great!” It was as though they pictured me in a plaid wool skirt, apple sweater, pencil above my ear, and a pull-string out of my back with the words, “Great job,” “Way to go,” and “You’re a star” repeating out of my mouth. If they only knew! Continue reading