Behind the Scenes: On Messes, Hot Cocoa, and a New Bed

MaehotcocoaI admit it: I’m not always that mom. You know, that mom.

The one who will let her daughter create messes with abandon and then dance around the room, cleaning them up after her.

Oh, we have fun…just not the pudding-on-the-walls, glue-all-over-the-table kind.

I try to be messy-fun, I do…sometimes. I even offered to let her finger paint last week and she turned me down.

No joke. 😉

But lately…well, I’ve tried to be better about the mess factor.

She’ll help me make her peanut butter and jelly (or Nutella or fluff) sandwiches or bake cookies.

She’ll spread her play-doh mess all over the dining room table, and I just smile. (And play along because play-doh really IS fun.) 😉

We set up a whole camping scene in the living room last week with lots of blankets and had a total blast.

And, lately…she loves hot cocoa. LOVES it.

And I sometimes-cringe because the chocolate doesn’t just streak her face…it streaks her clothes, the table, and everything within ten feet. This picture shows a little of the mess, though I didn’t get a really good shot. Trust me…she’s chocolatey. 😉

But the funny thing is that, this past Saturday when she was having her daily dose of cocoa-goodness, I didn’t even think about the mess this time.

Instead, I thought about the fact that she sat at the table, drinking out of a REAL MUG, looking like such a big girl.

She’s growing up.

And then, to crack this mama’s heart just a bit more…at that very moment, Tobin was upstairs putting this together.

MaenewbedYes, my friends, you are actually seeing this.

Cutie patootie toddler, adorable purple butterfly bedding, and big girl bed. BIG. GIRL. BED.

I am not sure I even know what to do with this, and we’re on night #3. (With couch cushions propped on the floor in case she falls out.)

I so badly…SO badly…wish for a pause button. In fact, I kind of just want to stomp my feet in protest, wrap her in my arms, and never let her go.

Because, you know, THAT will stop the passage of time. 😉

And then I take a deep breath and remember (for the millionth time) that time doesn’t stop, and the best thing to do is just enjoy the ride and live the dreams of today.

Embrace every moment, every mess, every bed jump, every hot cocoa stain…because every single one of them are gifts.

Good, messy, wonderful gifts.

And maybe that’s just a good motto for life…take what comes and embrace it fully, no matter what it looks like and no matter what we wish it could be.

Take every season as beautiful…even the ones that include big girl beds and mama tears that spill over just a tad. Remembering to give thanks to the Giver, too…because the gifts He gives sometimes come wrapped in a bit of heartache mixed with joy, but they’re still good gifts.

Let’s dance through it all, sweet girl…and let’s make a few more messes.

Because there’s no one I’d rather dance with…or mess up the house with…than you. :)


Linking up with two of my favorites today!

On Tuesdays, I hang out with some of my favorite friends at Crystal’s place, where she hosts Behind the Scenes.

Behind the Scenes” is a fun link up where we show those photos – but tell the real story behind them. The sneak peek behind the scenes, a look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it.
And I’m also linking up at God-Sized Dreams, with my favorite dreaming sisters!

I hope you’ll join us for the sweet, sentimental, and silly stories that make up our days. :)




  1. From an empty-nest mom–Mel, create the memories. Those babies of ours grow up so fast. I have two grown men now, and I’m missing them today. The local school district has called off school because of the threat of severe weather–snow! And my boys are living in their own apartments. I’m not a fan of snow, but I am going to miss the snowball fights, the slides down the hill (while I close my eyes and pray they don’t slide right into the pond), the romps with Pup and Cindy (the dogs). So, now I wait for the snow . . . a little sad, but oh, so proud of my men.

    • Thank you for sharing those memories, my friend. Another reminder to cherish every day, soak up the moments, and make the messes. :) You are a blessing…happy Tuesday to you!

  2. I remember each time my kiddos transitioned from the crib to the “big bed”. It was joy and sorrow combined. I like messes to an extent and am grateful my kids are old enough to help clean! Each growing pain comes with a mixture of emotions. And you are right, take every season as beautiful because they never come around twice.

    • Thank you, friend. :) I try to tell myself that every stage has been fun, too. Every season is different, and there’s always something to love about it. That’s such a gift. :) Have a wonderful day!

  3. I just love your heart for your girl, Mel. You’re so right. It can be frustrating, but it it’s all a gift. Say hi to Mae for me! Love you, friend.

    • She says hi back…and pretty sure she squeaked a hello in there during prayer time, too! (Complete with foot stomping…) 😉 Thanks for being here, sweet friend. You are a gift.

  4. Loved this Mel – I can get so overwhelmed by the messes that I stop seeing how much fun it can be. When Dominic and I were gone in DC my parents let the kids build forts one afternoon….they had so much fun! I need to allow more fort building I think! :)

  5. Make messes! Make lots of messes! My boys are now 12 & 13 and that is one thing I regret about when they were little. We didn’t do messes…we didn’t do play-doh…we didn’t do finger-painting…we just didn’t do messy messes. And I do regret it terribly. Thanks for sharing.

  6. “Embrace every moment, every mess, every bed jump, every hot cocoa stain…because every single one of them are gifts.” I know I can do lots of wishing that I knew this better when my kids were little, but ever so grateful that I know this now. Even as young adults… I know I want to embrace every moment with them, even the ones when they are still able to drive me a little nuts. :)
    So grateful to be stopping in today from the Godsizeddreams link up.

    • Thank you, Beth. :) Sometimes I let myself feel guilty for the things we didn’t do or haven’t done…and I just have to remind myself to make the memories now. Today and every day after that. :) Blessings to you!

  7. Mel, I love this! I struggle with this too, with my step son. I like clean & organized so I struggle finding a balance in this area… Loved your post & the reminders to enjoy each moment because all too soon, they’ll be grown up & we’ll be wishing for more messes! ?

    • Thank you for your sweet words, Satin. I walk some kind of line (not sure exactly where it is!) 😉 between not loving messes and not being super organized. (But I’m not sure there’s a lot of balance, either!) I’m just reminded over and over to make the memories. We can always clean up the messes. :) Happy Tuesday to you, friend!

  8. I’ve always been ok with the messes, my husband…not so much :) I would try to have everything cleaned up before he would get home, some days I did this better than others :) My “baby” is nine and I’m finding myself holding on so tightly. I just don’t want him to grow up and I have to constantly remind myself he isn’t mine He’s God’s and to start loosening the grip or else one day I will be “that MIL” :) It’s hard and scary to let go and I’m trying to embrace every moment and keep picture stills in my head.

    • Oh, the letting go…so hard. And she’s three… Here’s to mess-and-memory making, however it looks…and embracing those moments. Hugs to you, sweet friend! :)

  9. Oh be still my heart 😉 Our youngest, my sweet baby girl, turned 10 today! The last of our children has now reached the double-digits – what a milestone that feels like. I can appreciate the mixed emotions of joy and tears, it’s something we were meant to experience. Thank you for sharing your heart words today.

    • Oh, what a milestone…happy birthday to her!!! It seems like every stage brings those mixed emotions…I’m slowly learning to embrace each one. Thank you, friend…hugs! :)

  10. That bed is adorable. And that sweet girl of yours even more so. I get this. I shy away from messes, too, but God is reminding that sometimes real life is messy. And that’s OK. Love your words and your heart here, Mel.

  11. I was never really a free spirit messy mom with my kiddos but we did have fun. As I talk to my grown kids it is funny the memories they have that I never thought of as being a big event.
    Do treasure each minute, day and stage. There are memories to be had every day.

    • So true…memories every day. And I decided we’re going to make a mess tomorrow. I have no idea what kind, but there will be one! :) Thanks for being here…you are always such a sweet encouragement to me. So grateful for you, friend!

  12. Haha..this had me smiling…we have regular cocoa tea parties..with chocolate puddles encircling the baby tea cups and a trail of chocolate dribble on chins…and lots of sticky all over the table..sound like we are similar…i’m becoming more okay with the messes..enjoying them…as long as i’m not cooped up within the walls for too long…:) wish we could have a cocoa tea party with all our girls together!

    • Oh, how fun would that be?! I’m adding that to my list…it would be so fun to have a sweet, (in)RL day with you, friend! :) (((hugs)))

  13. We are what I like to call “paper pregnant” (adopting) so I have no idea yet what kind of mom I’ll be. Maybe a little of “that” mom but certainly no pudding on the walls! This made me laugh. I hate scrubbing walls. I do hope I remember cherish every single moment, as you have so sweetly reminded all of us. xoxo

    • You will cherish those moments, I know you will. Some will remembered with a smile or laughter and others with a half-grumble or even tears, but really, they’re all precious. I’ll never forget the day I came out of the bathroom and walked into my girl’s room. She had somehow found a pencil and scribbled ALL over her wall. I was all ready to yell…and she looked at me. “Isn’t it so beaufitul, mommy?” And I melted. Maybe the erasing and scrubbing wasn’t so fun, but I still smile so big when I think of her face at that moment. 😉 Many blessings on your adoption journey…you will be a wonderful mama! :) (((hugs)))

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