wednesday letter: hey, i'm sorry your pregnancy is hard.

i'll be completely honest, when i first thought of writing this post, i was in a very snarky mood. but then i asked myself if i really want to be the snarky girl who is just always angry. & tbh, i don't want to be that girl. one day, i hope to be the pregnant girl or the mom & i hope that if i'm having a hard day, someone will sympathize & empathize with me. so i hope you read this as genuine sympathy & not in a snarky way. 
(p.s. i shared these pictures of whit & her cute evie girl because she is such a sweet mama & also, i think every mom should have pictures like this of them & their baby/babies)

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hey girl,
i saw your post today about how tough morning sickness (all-day sickness) has been for you. i'm so sorry. being sick is seriously no fun. 

hey mama,
i'm so sorry that your toddler threw a fit in the store today. i heard him screaming & honestly, i didn't know what to do. do you want me to pretend like it isn't happening? offer help? give you a "it's gonna be okay." look? i don't know. i've never been in that situation. but know that it's gonna be okay! your little is still learning how to be a human & honestly, sometimes i feel like sobbing while walking around target too. 

hey friend,
i heard about your miscarriage. my heart is literally broken for you. i cannot even imagine & i wish with my whole heart that miscarriage wasn't a thing. i hope your rainbow baby comes so, so soon. if you need someone to cry with, my tear ducts are basically always flowing & i will listen until you're done talking or just sit with you. you are strong. you are brave. & you are so, so loved. 

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hi sis, 
i'm sorry that you're feeling super uncomfortable lately because your babe is coming so soon. i have no advice, just sincere sympathy because ya homegirl really struggles when she doesn't sleep through the night & i hear sleeping is pretty impossible at this point. plus the discomfort & pain of carrying a human being in your belly. you deserve an award, really, you do. 

hi friend, 
you just reached out to me because you're on the infertility train[wreck] too. i am so, so sorry. i hope a little baby comes into your life soon. i hope you never lose hope. i hope you keep trying & keep walking. i hope you can find joy in the journey.

hey girl,
you just announced your pregnancy & i promise that i'm happy for you. i may not say anything & i might not 'like' any of your photos, but it's seriously not you, it's me. i'll come around again, but i need some time. you're gonna be the best mom (or you already are!) & i hope you know that i love you & i am happy for you.

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hey mama,
you're a champion. i can see the love you have for your babies. i can see that you want what is best for them. i can see that you're putting them first. you are doing fantastic & it is obvious that your babies love you. 

hi sis,
you are awesome. don't forget that. & in fact, i think you should celebrate that! treat yo self to something nice or in some way. you deserve a break every now & again. so don't feel guilty for taking one.

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5 Pieces of Parental Advice from Parents

everyone knows that as soon as you announce... well, anything, you're going to get unsolicited advice. (no, this is NOT an announcement) now, a lot of said unsolicited advice is the kind you nod at, sometimes offer an, "oh thanks, i might try that," and then go on with your day completely forgetting or trying to forget the advice given. HOWEVER, there are often little gems that SHOULD be taken. i asked a few moms what their favorite pieces of parental advice was. these five were their favorite pieces of advice.

1. take a picture instead of getting mad








2. don't worry about messes; let your kids play and play with them







3. read to your kids every day







4. enjoy every stage & look for the good in every stage








my little brother had a really strange stage where he would dress up like this... and my mom would let him go outside and to other places. dressed like this. don't worry, they grow out of it. and then it's sad! so i definitely agree with this one! enjoy every stage!

5. remember they are little & let them be little-- don't make them grow up too fast
















what are YOUR favorite pieces of parental advice? 

i got it from my momma

in my last tribute post to my mom, i talked about all of the strengths she has that i just, well, don't have. i'm trying work on those strengths, and they'll come with time and practice. but in this post, i want to talk about a few things that i got from my momma.

1. my looks.

i can't deny the fact that i look like my momma. when i was younger, i wanted to "just look like myself." but now, there isn't anyone else in the world that i'd rather look like! (by default i also look like my sisters and that too is a great compliment!)

2. my strong-will.




my momma is very strong-willed. there isn't anything that she hasn't put her mind to and accomplished. for example: my mom decided that before she died she wanted to run a marathon. (why? i'm not really sure) but run a marathon she did. and although i'll never run a marathon on purpose in this life, i have other goals and accomplishments that i will accomplish before i die. just like my momma.

3. my desire to serve a mission.

although both of my parents served missions, the fact that my mom served a mission helped me understand that girls can serve missions out of desire and love for the gospel and not just because they "didn't get married" or "didn't have anything else to do." my mom's mission helped me understand that everyone is a missionary and those that have the desire to serve are called to the work. i'm grateful for my mom's example of missionary service, because i don't know that i would have been brave enough to go on my own mission without being able to follow in the footsteps of my mom. also, i learned from my mom that it's super okay to marry someone from your mission. however, she did also tell me the importance of being a missionary while having the calling of a missionary. and that part of being a missionary was to learn to control my feelings... but that's another story for another time.

4. my cleanliness.

my family will think this is a joke because i was given the lovely nickname, "girl with many stuffs on her bed" when i was younger because my bed/room was always a mess. i distinctly remember my sister crying when she found out she had to share a room with me because i was such a mess maker. ... and well, i still make messes. BUT i have found an odd sense of peace and satisfaction with cleaning as well. i try to make sure my little home is spotless when company comes over-- not because i'm embarrassed to live where i live (i actually adore our apartment. probably more than i should), but because stuff can be overwhelming at times. my mom has always been known for her meticulous cleaning-- well at least to me. i can remember more times than once having to clean my room before going out to play and telling my mom that i was finished; she would then ask, "is it your clean or my clean?" and then i would turn around and go clean it to my mom's standards.

5. my athleticism.

again, both of my parents have this trait, but for the sake of this post.... like i said earlier, my mom ran a marathon. that is not the type of athleticism i am talking about here. (i feel like i should also mention that my mom told me after she ran her marathon that she was ready to die of obesity after that... she didn't have anymore weird health goals left. however, my mom won't die of obesity because she's just too darn active) but anyway, my goal in life is to be able to do what my mom did when i asked her the logistics of how to do a round-off; she took me out back and showed me, by doing one herself. SO i've determined to keep up the important athletic skills in my bag of tricks: round-offs, cart-wheels, back-flips on the trampoline, penguin dives off the side of a pool, 360 on the knee-board, etc. THE IMPORTANT TRICKS. but all jokes aside, i hope that i can just stay as active and fun as my mom has. because i honestly don't think i could ever stop going-- and i definitely got that from my momma.

i've been blessed with a great mom. i've learned so much from her over the years and i'm grateful for her example and love. even though this post was a little silly, there are things that i have learned from my mom that i wouldn't trade for the world. so thanks Momma. and--

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

my superhero mother-in-law

this is my first mother's day with a mother-in-law and i could not be more grateful for this mother than i am for my own mother. 

parker's mom is one of the best moms i know. she's always there with a hello and a goodbye hug. she's a professional dinner maker (i don't think i've ever had the same meal twice for dinner at their house... and in the last 8-9ish months i've had a LOT of dinners over there). she knows who she is and is not afraid to be herself. she is the biggest cheerleader for all of her kids. she always has something nice to say about everyone. 

and last but certainly not least, she raised parker. 

i'm sure this was no easy feat. ;)

just kidding. but parker is stubborn, has an opinion and is not afraid to share it, and he's.. well, he's parker. (which is not a bad thing!! in fact, i love him!)

but along with just dealing with parker's stubborn side, she showed him how to love. she taught him how to do his own laundry (which he actually doesn't do anymore, but he still has that skill, so that's a major bonus), she helped him learn how to apply the Atonement. she cheers him on and is always offering him words of advice or encouragement-- some of the first people he goes to tell happy news are his parents. she always has a listening ear. she allowed him to struggle. she encouraged him to go on a mission. 

and so many other things that i can't even count. 

motherhood is a lifelong job, but it affects so many others than just your own children. i have been so fortunate to marry into such an incredible family. i've learned so much more about love, patience, happiness, friendship, etc. from the banks family. i'm so happy to be a part of this wonderful family. 

so to you moms of boys out there: when your baby boy grows up and gets married, you may not be the number one woman in his life anymore, but i can promise you this: your new daughter-in-law will never replace a boy's mom. we have different roles and responsibilities. and you'll always be his mom.  

photo by Debby Leavitt Photography
Photo by Debby Leavitt Photography
Photo by Debby Leavitt Photography

Happy Mother's Day Jodie!

#mysuperheromom part 2

{this is part 2 my to #mysuperheromom series, My Superhero Mom can be found here.}

i've grown up a bit, and learned the solid facts: my mom IS a superhero.

on the outside she looks like a regular mom that's transitioning into a grandma--she wears her laugh wrinkles with pride. but on the inside, my mom is a true hero.

like i said in my story, my mom didn't ever stop. she worked from before the sun came up until her body made her stop at the end of the day. i always had a lunch pre-made before I left for school, which may not seem like much BUT during my senior year of high school my first class was at 6:20 IN THE MORNING. my mom was always awake, had made my lunch and finished a load of laundry all before i even woke up. i've also come to learn that my mom doesn't ever take breaks. some people may think she's taking a "late nap" when they see her zonked out on the living room floor at 7:30pm, but no. she's usually out for the night. she wakes up before the sun and gets a head start on all of her mom and wife duties and then works tirelessly through the rest of the day. she is the real deal and the mom version of the Energizer Bunny. 

my mom is great at playing. something i think she learned from her own mother. i had the opportunity to live with my grandmother and grandpa in the fall of 2014. one day, i was downstairs helping my grandmother with something when she walked by a train set that a few of the great-grandkids had left out. she began to kneel down and i quickly said, "oh grandma, i can pick that up!" to which she responded, "i'm not going to pick them up, i'm going to play with them!" you're never too old to play.

my mom is a literal jack-of-all-trades. she's a high school math teacher by profession. but she also has acquired these skills and titles: 
  • rebar cutter. when my dad built my childhood home, my mom was working right along side him. She learned how to cut rebar and (i believe) install it throughout the building process. 
  • master cleaner - she can clean ANYTHING with vinegar, I'm sure of it.
  • grandma of three spunky little girls, two of which live out of state. however, my mom and dad make regular visits.
  • trash picker-upper & shopping cart putter-awayer. If my mom had a dollar for every piece of trash she picked up, she would have a LOT of dollars. and if i had a dollar for every cart my mom has made me "just go grab" i would have even more dollars. there's no arguing with mom about picking up trash or putting away carts. "people get paid to do this," isn't a valid argument either because, "well you have two good legs and arms, so you can pick it up or put it away!" OR "but you're a junior ranger! be a junior ranger!" are always her reply. 
  • professional sweeper. my mom sweeps harder than anyone i know. she passed her secret on to me at the young age of nine, "if you're not sweating, you're not doing it right."
  • furniture mover. my mom moves our furniture more than any other person i've ever met-- probably more than actual furniture movers move furniture. if you won't help her move it, she'll figure out a way to do it herself. i can count less than a handful of times when my mom said, "we'll just wait for more help." 
  • waterski champion. my mom gives my dad a run for his money on the slalom. she hardly ever passes up the glass at lake mead, and then she makes us all look bad when she "didn't want to get her hair wet" yet she went on a five minute run, while using the wake as a ramp to get air, and then finishes by just letting go.

i know my mom is a superhero because i've tried to implement some of her practices into my life and i can't do it. she has really mastered this mom/wife thing. however, she HAS been married for over 30 years and she's almost been a mom for the same amount of time. my momma has grown so much as a mother, just in my 23 years of living. and it hasn't gone unnoticed. i'm so grateful for my mom and her wonderful example of love and trying again tomorrow if today wasn't that awesome.

i think all too often moms beat themselves up and compare themselves to "seasoned mothers." but if you're loving your babies and trying your best-- then you're doing it right. give snuggles and kisses. read stories over and over again. play trains and dollies. unplug EVERYTHING for a week & just enjoy one another's company. love on your babies and then love on them again!

here's something i've learned in my life that applies to everyone, but moms especially: you can never spoil someone by loving them too much. show your love in copious amounts! 

and then remember: you are a superhero in your children's eyes. 

today i want to share this song: she put the music in me by calee reed