The Standard of Grace

My motto last year was to live slow and grateful.  I remember so many pregnant summer days spent napping with Emmett in our sunny bedroom.  So many special memories when it was just the two of us and one little growing Gideon in my belly.  It was a quiet season of growth in our family with joy and brokenness all tangled together.

This summer has been so different from any before.  We are learning how to do life with two sweet, busy babies.  We are exploring new dreams for our family and learning that at times we must say no in order that we may live a better yes.  Our patience is being stretched, our hearts grown in love and our faith deepened as we try to fix our attention on things that truly matter.
And after a long year of struggle and painful growth in our family, I have come to realize my motto for this year is holding those around me to a standard of grace and not perfection.  
My husband 
my babies
my parents
my siblings
my friends
even strangers I might not know.  

This has been one of the hardest, most freeing lessons to learn.  It's so easy to selfishly expect perfection from those I do life with, but hope they return me grace in my own humanity.  Ahhhh such a silly frustrating way to go through life.

I want to value each relationship I have been given right now.  I want to hold them close and show them how cherished they are.  
A practical way I love doing this with our little ones is holding them close.  Cuddling at naptime.  Verbally affirming them throughout the day.  Sneaking kisses whenever they come close.  And keeping Gideon close with the soft cotton wrap from ACK wraps has been really special as well.  

I was never a big baby-carrier-mama with Emmett because all the wraps and slings and packs seemed so complicated and bulky.  These wraps seem so unique and different.  They are seriously the softest cotton you will ever feel and they squish down into a tiny matching drawstring pouch that easily fits into my purse.  I have loved carrying Gideon close and can't wait to use it again whenever our next baby comes along.

These little days are passing so quickly, you know?! My hope is to squeeze every ounce of life and joy from them that I possibly can.

Happy Sunday, my friends. 
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// A bit about how ACK Wraps began // 

As a Labor and Delivery and Neonatal Registered Nurse, I am around newborns a lot. The one thing newborn babies need besides sustenance is the warmth and security of their caregivers. These new tiny beings instantly go from being carried 24 hours a day for over nine months to a fraction of that outside of the womb. For centuries, mothers have carried their babies in various forms, many continuously until they are at least 3 months old. This allows the baby to smell and feel the warmth of their mother and learn to adapt to this new world. 
    When our daughter, Charlotte, was born July 4, 2014, I was instantly in love. I stared at her the entire first night, despite over 24 hours without sleep and the exhaustion of labor. She instantly became the center of my world, my whole purpose for being. 
   When Charlotte was just five weeks old, we flew to Nantucket to visit my parents. I had gone to the island every summer for the preceding decade and couldn't wait to take my daughter. I soon realized that the cobblestone streets and uneven brick sidewalks of Nantucket made navigating a stroller nearly impossible. Furthermore, I struggled traveling through the airport with my stroller and finding a good way to breastfeed was frustrating to the point that I was in tears. 
   Dissatisfied by the monotony of other baby carriers on the market, I knew there had to be a better option. I decided to make my own carrier from fabric that matched my style and with that, the first ACK Wrap was born. I soon discovered that my daughter LOVED being in the wrap. She cried less, slept better, and I could even breastfeed her while wearing it. The next time I traveled to Nantucket was so easy replacing the stroller with the wrap. I received so many compliments on it that I began making them for friends which led to friends of friends wanting them. With my husband's flexible schedule as a firefighter, he soon took over the logistics of our blossoming business. As a former US Marine, it was very important to him and to us that we keep our product American made. We operate out of our home in Austin, Texas.
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  1. Beautiful pictures, sweet friend. You look stunning!

  2. <3 Your boys are so fortunate that you are their mama. :-)

  3. Such sweet photos and words! We only have a Boba wrap and we loved it when Ben was brand new, but honestly haven't used it much lately. Will have to get it back out!

  4. My heart did a happy little leap to see you posted! I've so missed reading your words, and I loved reading part of your heart in this post...because it's so what I've been feeing, too. The balancing act of stop-and-go. Stopping to soak in the precious little moments and blessings in each day, and yet going forward into a new life adjustment and embracing all that it entails.

    Easier said than done. But, it's truly freeing. Exciting. It's wild grace.

    Just wanted to let you know how much it made my heart happy to see you posting here today. <3
    Sending you hugs, sweet lady!