I’m excited to introduce mom and author, Katie Pawlak, to you today!
Hello! This picture was from last night when our 4 year old fell asleep on my chest after a bad dream. I had *so* much to do, but chose to soak in the moment because she’s growing waaay to fast and I know this won’t happen much longer.
So sweet. I actually just had the same experience last week. I struggle sometimes with letting go of productivity and soaking in the moment and it’s a huge win when I do.
Do you wear any other hats in addition to your [big, gigantic, hugely significant] Mom Hat?
Yep! In addition to momming, I’m a room mom for my daughter’s class, volunteer with our church’s ministry to families with special needs, and manage two home businesses with my husband. We have an Etsy shop – http://reddotthreads.etsy.com that’s a go-to spot for Advent resources for families, and we lead a team of distributors with Young Living to promote health and wellness through toxin-free living (IG @honestlifeessentials). We are also a foster family which adds extra appointments and trainings to our schedule. I’m tired just re-reading this!
Ha! Yes, you have a full plate! Tell us about your kids…
We have three awesomely unique kiddos…as in, you’d never believe they’ve all been raised in the same house. Annie, 7, is our deep thinking, quiet, sensitive, and artistic oldest daughter. Her middle name is Grace and she embodies this to her siblings and to us daily. Karis is 4 and is the polar opposite of her sister- loud, outgoing, loves siiiiiiiinging all the tiiiiiime, and always on the move. Her middle name is Joy and she brings that (and the party) with her wherever she goes. Our littlest one is 18 months old and all boy. He joined our family through the glorious mess of foster care when he was 2 weeks old and has been with us since then. He loves vehicles, playing in the dog’s water dish, running, and “nuggles.” We are in the process of adopting him – not necessarily our goal when we decided to become a foster family, but we can’t imagine it any other way!
I love those descriptions! And I have loved getting to know you and your heart for foster care. So amazing. ?
What is a recent mom win you experienced that took time and perseverance to accomplish?
It’s taken us a few years to figure out a good approach to celebrating Advent with our kids. I’m an avid Pinterest-er and had pinned hundreds of ideas for crafts, devotionals, scripture reading plans, etc. for our family to tackle, but it all felt so overwhelming. ?So…I compiled my favorite ideas and developed our own approach. Following the Jesse Tree tradition, I sewed a set of ornaments by hand, wrote an accompanying devotional, and designed a few other things to go along that I thought our kids would relate to. I shared this with a few friends who encouraged me to publish the devotional as a book and make the ornaments, sticker charts, and other items available online.
I have a background in child development, so it was a fun challenge to come up with something that would grow with our kids and be relevant for all three of them. Fast forward a bit, and we now have a thriving Etsy shop and have shipped books and ornaments to all 50 states and several countries. (!!! Whaaaat???) It’s been so neat to see our girls especially recall truths from our devotional throughout the year and quickly associate symbols with their stories (“Hey Mom! That yadder (ladder) weminds me of Jacob!”), and receive emails saying how it’s become a treasured tradition for their family, or encouraged them to read Old Testament stories in a new light.
That is so incredible. I know our family has personally benefitted from your book and my oldest loves to color the picture while I read the story. I feel like it helps cement the story into her head and I love that touch! And let’s be honest, there are days she’s coloring multiple pages because we are a few days behind. ? But it keeps her interest and I appreciate that the reading each day is just the right length for kids.
What is a mom win that you would text your best friend?
I had dinner ready when my husband came home from work! For the first time in…I can’t remember. December is a busy season for us with our Etsy shop, meanings strings of late nights packing orders and assembling ornaments. By late afternoon I’m often feeling tired and frazzled, with dinner not even on the radar. Dinner time is an important anchor in our day, so over the weekend I shed some perfectionism and picked up a bunch of easy to prepare and premade meals to get us through this season. Popped 5 frozen chicken pot pies in the oven an hour before he came home and voila! Magic was ready when he walked through the door and we avoided the hangry meltdown.
Oh the hangry meltdown during the witching hour. That is a very tough combo. ?Yay for giving grace to yourself! I am constantly on a journey of that too.
What else are you learning as a mom right now?
I’m taking a cue from our toddler and learning to say no. I have a hard time turning down an ask or role that I feel I can fill (even if I know I don’t have time), which leads to feeling overwhelmed with various obligations when I’ve said “yes” too often. I’m learning that wise and intentional “no’s” open the doors to better “yes’s”. I spend more time praying when I’m asked to do something, often consulting my husband as well before responding. “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No,'” Matthew 5:37…I want my Yes (to my kids, to my husband, to a volunteer role) to be a wholehearted Yes and not one of obligation.
YES. So good. I have also been praying a lot about being present for my hubby and my girls and so sometimes that means saying no to good things in order to do that. Thank you so much for sharing what you’re learning with us today!