Riding up the elevator in the church parking garage Aiden’s eyes started to well up with tears last Sunday. 

“Oh no, please no- my heart cant take it….please don’t cry Aiden” is what I was thinking. 

Not to mention his big blue eyes, when they get red(and heavy) and filled with tears- it’s just about the most heartbreaking  thing ever.
Have you seen these eyes?

I knelt down- “Aiden please don’t be sad…itll be so fun and it’s for such a short time and you know mommy & daddy will be right back. Then you can be with us all day and we will do all sorts of cuddling and fun things.” 

He wasn’t buying it. 

The lump in my throat was forming.

 We got the kids signed in, walked them down to their rooms. In typical Ainsleigh fashion she skipped into her classroom smiling, barely even looked back. Then we walked down to Aiden’s room. 

By the time Chris and I got down to the service and sat in our seat my eyes were completely filled with tears. 
You know those moments where you dont want to blink because the tears will just flow over, you dont want to speak because your biting your lip to keep it from quivering and your doing everything in your power to make the massive lump in your throat go away. 
Yes, that.

Chris looked at me about 5 minutes in and smiled- he knows me well… he said “I’ll go check on him”. 

Im sitting there thinking...okay, Casey- there are little children without parents, children with cancer, there are wars going on….seriously your Aiden will be fine in church for 2 hours without you. 

Well he was fine…. I was fine- all was okay. But it had me thinking about so many things.

Why am I so emotional? 
Why am I so so sensitive?
Do other moms do this?

also, gentleness. One thing I know that our kiddos are given by us is gentleness. That is what they are used to.

It makes me all nervous that not everyone they will come in contact with will be soft with their hearts.
Actually knowing that not everyone they come in contact with will be.

Next up: fear, you know when Aiden was teeny tiny and had just started smiling for the first time, Chris and I would sing Michael Buble’s “everything” to him and he would smile and laugh like crazy. We would put it on full blast at the studio and dance around all silly while our little guy burst out in his very first laughs.

Aiden still sleeps in our room most nights. 
I used to feel all defensive and judged by this. Now I don’t care what anyone says.
Not in a rude way, I just know what is best for us, ya know? I can rest in that now.

At some point in the night he always winds up back right next to me, even if he starts out in his own bed. You can read an old post about all that here– but Friday night Chris and I got back late from a date night and Aiden was up waiting for us. We all went in the master bedroom & somehow wound up putting on Michael Buble’s “everything” at almost midnight and recreated the scene of 3 yrs before- Aiden smiling and laughing and so full of love and joy. Just laughing so hard at us being silly with him.

Here’s the thing. 
That’s what it’s about for me.

For whatever reason I’ve battled fear my whole life. 
Fear of loss, Fear of people, Fear of
Even as a little girl I had major issues with this.
(I wrote another post about that here.)

Why not live this one and only life like this?
We only get one.

It makes me so so happy that at midnight we had our boy in our room- singing to him. He knows he is safe and loved. No fear.

It also had me thinking on God and how much He loves us. Being a mom has helped me realize and somewhat start to understand God’s love for me, how big it really is. 
Amazing really.



May 25, 2012


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  1. ilene @ muchloveilly

    May 25th, 2012 at 4:15 am

    your love for your family is so beautiful, friend! love u!

  2. Julie Marie

    May 25th, 2012 at 4:16 am

    this was so touching. i resonate with this feeling every week. it mostly breaks my heart when another child or adult hurts my kids tender hearts. other moms ARE like this =)

  3. Mallorie Owens

    May 25th, 2012 at 4:22 am

    Love, love, LOVED this post! It's so nice to know I'm not the only one out there…with such a gentle heart. I am so emotional, but I always have been. These days I am starting to see that it's not such a bad thing 🙂 And I totally have the fear thing too…still working on that one.

  4. Sleeping Beauty

    May 25th, 2012 at 4:23 am

    Tears. I so agree. These moments are so precious and we have to treasure each one. You are not alone, my friend. Thank you for sharing your tender heart with us.

  5. Delilah Love

    May 25th, 2012 at 4:26 am

    Oh my heart. You hit me with this one. My 4 year old son still sleeps with us a lot of nights because it makes him feel safe. Waking up with his warm little body curled up next to me is something I am savoring while it lasts. I don't care what anyone thinks or what judgments people might make. This is what is best for him and for us. My kids are almost never away from us and this is the way I want it. They are only little once. Soon they will spread their wings and want their independance. I'm enjoying every second of their youth while they allow me to share it. Beautiful post, Casey.

  6. Mandy

    May 25th, 2012 at 5:00 am

    I know those feelings well. Especially the ones about gentleness. I do everything I can to be emotionally gentle with my kids, not to smother them but to give them a safe place for their hearts and confidence to grow. I always worry because I know others won't be as gentle. But I try to be okay with that because the world isn't gentle, and they need to learn that. But not from their parents. Their parents are the refuge from the roughness outside.

    You sound like a great mama!

  7. JanM ♥

    May 25th, 2012 at 5:05 am

    This is such a touching post. So beautiful.

    I'm currently having a giveaway on my blog if you're interested!

  8. Julianna

    May 25th, 2012 at 5:19 am

    I too could never let my kiddos "cry it out". Fear is such a part of this parenting gig, no? I was paralyzed by it for the first month of my daughter's life. Then I got a card from someone in my family that just sort of changed everything for me. It wasn't a good card, in fact it was from someone who has hurt me very deeply and lived in fear his entire life. All of a sudden I understood.
    My children don't need a fearful neurotic mess of a mother who feels like her heart is on her sleeve. They just need a mom who loves and laughs and LIVES with them.

    Honey, I hope you find that peace. I still can get worked up if I let myself (I don't watch the news) but I do my best… and that is all we are called to do.

    You are a great mom, but your four year old self needs to heal too. 🙂 xo
    P.S. Zoe loves her ballerina print.

  9. Melissa

    May 25th, 2012 at 5:38 am

    hey girl! in church on sunday, the same thing happened here…dropped off Grace, she runs and never looks back. But Lucy, ugh. She cries. She sleeps with us. My husband and I sat there, I had some tears, and he just smiled. "Shes okay". Actually, he said, "shes probably crying right now, going to grow up thinking we dont love her and never talk to us again". Then he smiled, grabbed my hand and said, ridiculous huh? 😉 Just today, a woman at our church and I were talking about sending our kiddos to public school next year for kindergarden. ugh. the thought of people i dont know spending so much time with my children, being out of control, not knowing whats someone is saying or doing to our precious babies…it got us thinking… and here is what we thought. God loves our children way more than we could ever love them. And we know how much we love them! Rest in that dear friend…let His love cover the places you cant. I could say so much more on this, I feel every single thing you feel. And sometimes its enough for me to just know Im not the only one. It took me a whole year to even send my 4 year old to two days a week at church. Fear and guilt. We cosleep, I cry when I am away from my children for an hour…your not alone friend. That gentle soul you have, is from God. Rest in that. 😉

  10. Nikki Olmstead

    May 25th, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Your blog is so inspirational. I love it.
    Maybe you are so emotional because you are pregnant? BUT I have 14 month old twins and I get emotional like that too. I think it's just pure love.

  11. Sadie Dear

    May 25th, 2012 at 6:51 am

    Yes! I am with you. My boy just cannot seem to get adjusted to being away from me during church. For the longest time, it kept me from going to church. But more and more I've been trying to give him that nudge to get out there and learn to handle it. It does hurt me, but I make myself stoic for it… he needs it as much as I need the freedom to enjoy the worship that takes place in the auditorium. Our church has a system where they can page me by an assigned number if he needs me. It happened once two weeks ago… I darted back to the nursery area as fast as I could. By the time I got there, he was fine and enjoying himself… the nursery attendant skillfully diverted his attention while I crept away to head back for the rest of the church service. When we picked him up at the end, he said to me: "I cried and cried for you today. I wanted you bad, but then we got cookies!" Kids.

  12. The F Girl

    May 25th, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Dear friend, I so know how you feel. I have the same thoughts, the same fears. We also shower our little ones with gentleness and warm love and the thought of them meeting people who will be harsh to them, or even hurt them, breaks my heart. But it will happen. We can't prevent it. All we can do is create a home for them to return to, to rest and heal, knowing that they are loved there always and that in the end everything will be alright. Because they are loved. Because they are beautiful and wonderful and perfect for who they are and they will know that. Because of our love.


  13. Lauren

    May 25th, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Casey, your love and "gentleness" is so inspiring. You are a wonderful person and posts like this remind me to be the best mother i can be. You give me confidence that just because everyone else doesn't approve, doesn't mean that it's not best for "us".

  14. Mommy Lauren

    May 25th, 2012 at 11:23 am

    It's amazing to get a glimpse of the difference between your 2 children. I'm sure you nuture them both the same, but they each have a different nature, it really makes me believe that there is not one "parenting method" that is the best way, moms just use what works for each child, because every child is truly unique.

  15. Denise Lopatka

    May 25th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Beautiful post! Your honesty is stunning and inspiring! Thank you


  16. Anonymous

    May 25th, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Loved this post Casey! I love how you love your family : )

  17. Ali Rockwell

    May 25th, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I love this so much. Your family is so precious… Our daughter is 5 months old and I am TERRIFIED to leave her alone with anyone other than family because I know that they don't know her like I do… and they don't know what to do for her when she's sad, or how to make her giggle the way we can… It breaks my heart to think that if we left her alone in the church nursery that she'd just scream because we weren't there. I know she'd be ok… We'd go get her after an hour or so and shortly after that she wouldn't even remember being left there. But it kills us. So we haven't been that brave yet 🙂 But I totally get what you mean. She's ours and we get to decide how we are going to live our lives and how we're going to enjoy her. People think we're nuts for being so guarded with her already, but it's tough! You are doing such an amazing job with your family. You and your husband are such great loving parents. It makes me so happy to see the way you all love each other and the ways you choose to show that love. Like dancing to Michael Buble at midnight. Adorable.

  18. Morellocherry

    May 25th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I know you get lots of comments on your posts, but i just wanted to say my little piece! I used to think I was alone in my sensitivity. I would literally take everything said to me, to heart. Any friendship I made, it was a true "moment" in my life that I would keep forever (even with my ex's!…i'm still friends with them). When I had my little girl, I used to worry that I was too sensitive about her. I would sit and watch her at night and cry at how much I loved her and I'm so so scared something bad will happen. She will start school in semptember, and I'm terrified that she will meet people that are not gentle or sensitive or they will be unkind. I am also due another little one in november, and im scared of that too! I'm worried my emotions will overtake me! What I wanted to say is, I love your blog because you put it all out there, you don't hide your feelings and for this i'm grateful, because I don't feel alone in my feelings anymore! If I feel this way, and you do…and most of your readers…then that gives me hope that others are the same too 🙂

  19. Faith

    May 25th, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Wow, this post just gave me real chills.

    You are an incredible mom!

  20. {annie_loo}

    May 25th, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    beautifully said Casey! As always! So perfect! You have a very loving family dynamic. It shows in every picture!

  21. Sharlene

    May 25th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    My dad always told us the story of how, as a little boy, he used to wake up in the middle of the night and just feel scared for no reason. He would walk into his parents room and they would take him to get a drink of water, and then tuck him back into his bed. Bit I guess it just wasn't enough to quell the fear and from then he always said that when he had kids, he would never turn them away, that they would always be welcome in his room.
    Amd we were, mum and dad had an open-bed policy 🙂 But me and my second sister, we never REALLY co-slept with them. Maybe we didn't need it as much coz we had each other. Our youngest sister though (10 year gap), she co-slept with mum and dad right from the start and even after moving to her own room would somehow end up back in their bed. As she got older she would still occasionally sneak in of she was sick or had a rough time with something.
    She is turning 20 this year (and no longer sleeps in my parents room, I'm glad to say), and she is one of the MOST secure girls that I have ever met. Completely unphased by the cattiness that she encountered continually throughout primary school amd high school, despite the fact that she is so soft-hearted and sensitive.

    A long story to say that, you know what, just follow your heart. You know best what he needs and in doing that, and he will grow up having the security that he needs to protect his gentle heart 🙂

  22. Susan

    May 25th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    You are a great mama Casey, that is why you are so sensitive.
    And boys, I find are much more needy. My Julian was like this at daycare and I cried myself to work many a day.
    It does get better but letting go is so so hard.
    Have a wonderful long weekend friend.

  23. ♥ Shar

    May 25th, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Casey, you are an awesome mom! You INSPIRE me! I have a little Aiden too. :p

    xoxo -S


    May 25th, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    You have opened my mind to think in different and wonderful ways. Thank you.


  25. Heather Sullivan

    May 25th, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I can feel your pain palpably as you left him with tears in his eyes. I know that pain. I know it several mornings a week and it hurts all day, even if you KNOW it will all be okay. I cannot stand the thought of someone not being gentle with my daughter's sensitive and precious little soul. Even though I leave her with our own mothers, I still worry for her all day. Letting your littles sleep in bed with you can make you feel judged, too. But us mamas know what is the BEST for our littles and everyone else's opinions have to stay out of our minds.

    This post really lifted my spirit. I had a really rough day yesterday with missing my baby while I was at work. She wasn't even sad when I left yesterday, but I sure was. It is always nice to know you're not alone in this emotional rollercoaster that is motherhood. That other people feel your pains and your trials and your judgements.

    Have a beautiful long weekend!

  26. deirdre

    May 25th, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Casey… SOOOOOOO inspire me to be a more tender mom….both me and hubby had a really harsh childhood and bring that to the table…..I sooooooooo want to have a more tender heart!!!! you inspre me a mentor me sooo much every week!!! LOVE who you are!

  27. Cassie @ Live.Laugh.L0ve.

    May 25th, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Beautiful post Casey!

  28. Mandi Durborough

    May 25th, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I totally feeling this way often. My Chloe rarely gets sad, but when she does it's heart breaking. Her big brown eyes are like magnets for getting her way. lol. Though lately she is getting smart. She has been fake crying…. She did it to my husband the other day and he was floored and terrified. He said she was a pro and so has him wrapped. lol

  29. Leah

    May 25th, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    So sweet! 🙂 We love sleeping with our kiddos who are 7 and 2 even when we're packed in tight! 🙂 I'm a very emotional Momma when it comes to my kids (babies), too. So happy to know that there are kindred spirits out there!

  30. Bridget

    May 25th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Oh, this is beautiful! I feel like you wrote what was in my heart. I go through that same thing with my 3 year old son at church right now, and we wake up with our 3 and 6 year olds in our bed nearly every morning. These little ones and their daddy are my everything!
    I love your beautiful blog Casey!

  31. Cara

    May 25th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    This is SO beautiful and heart-melting. I love the way you put that, about this being the only life we get to live, so why not live it like this? Staying up late singing to your beautiful baby (3 year old) boy? Love this. Thanks Case!

  32. Buttons in a cup mama

    May 25th, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Oh, wow I so understand you ! Feeling the same ways, fears and everything !

  33. Mrs. Baker

    May 25th, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    so sweet. i know how you feel-it took me 4 months to put my baby boy in the nursery. i still wish we could take him into the service with us.

  34. Tiffany Martha

    May 25th, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    You are so normal. Every child is different and you have to listen to what they are telling you. You are doing that. I put my first two kids in nursery at church from the time they were 8 weeks old. My first cried every sunday for three years. My second… skipped into class too. When we had our third I had this overwhelming feeling that I was not putting him in nursery. We are just now (he is 16 months) introducing him back to nursery. We had to step out for awhile because that is what worked for us. We are starting back slowly. Trust what God is telling you…. He made you with emotions for a reason! Good job mama.

  35. astr!d

    May 25th, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    oh honey! you are emotional bc you are preggers and those silly tears are extra hard to hold back then! do not worry!!!! i think we all feel like this, to see our little babies growing up. it breaks our hearts. and yes they can survive a little while without us, but we still worry. childcare is avaiable at church so that you can have a break and listen to the message w/o distractions. to let you be close to god so you can continue to be a great momma. bless your heart!! you really are just so stinkin cute and such an inspiration!!!! and good for you for making him stay, im a total pushover even when i shouldnt be!!! lol

  36. Elizabeth

    May 25th, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    i'm the same way in EVERY way. and i love it about us both. you are a precious soul!

    ((this actually links to my old blog. don't know how to change it.

  37. Camille Griffiths

    May 25th, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I am the same way and I don't think it's being overprotective or overemotional. I think that it's normal. Everyone is different and no one should have to feel defensive of who they are. 🙂

  38. How I Roll

    May 25th, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I'm not a mom yet but I imagine one of the best feelings is having your baby sleep by your side. I know it's not the same but our dogs sleep with us and we miss them dearly if one decides to sleep on the floor.

    I always slept in my parents' bed whenever I felt sad or sick or scared. Even when I was in high school, when my dad would go away on business trips, my sister and I would both sleep in my parents' bed with my mom. I'd like to think I'm an incredibly secure person and I think it's because I always knew I could crawl into bed with my mom when I was alone.

    I know exactly how you feel about Aiden crying. I'm an outreach librarian and I work with kids who don't have all the advantages in this world. When kids whine because they want something, I'm perfectly fine telling them to deal with it but there's this one little boy. He hugs me every time I see him. He never wants to let go. One day he grabbed me and cried into my shirt for a good five minutes. I felt his sadness and just let him let it out. He told me he missed his mom. She was/is in jail. He has a wonderful father who is always there for him and is so strong for him but he's not the boy's mother. Neither am I. But I would have done anything to take away his pain in that moment. I cried my whole way home that day.

  39. MoonRae

    May 26th, 2012 at 3:10 am

    you are truly blessed

  40. gina

    May 26th, 2012 at 4:23 am

    i am a big fan of your blog. i always take away something from your words when i read them. things that make me feel happy and often thoughtful. i love the gentle and kind way you parent and your kiddos are obviously happy, healthy & thriving (and incredibly beautiful).
    i love that you do what you know is best for your family and not what society say is best. I know that's not easy but it worked really well for my family and I am sure it will be great for yours as well. My girls, Cebastian & Kial, are 19 and 16 and they are two of the sweetest, most self-confident & funniest people I have ever meet. They CHOOSE to be good and strong and refuse to give in to peer pressure and still mange to have lots of friends who love them for who they are. I believe it's because we have always talked to them and valued their feeling and opinions and just tried to always be their biggest fan. Add to that the amazing people they came to us as and it equaled a family perfect for all of us. and since our girls still like to spend a lot of time at home with mom & dad i'd say we are the luckiest people on earth.

  41. Anna W.

    May 26th, 2012 at 7:49 am

    i'm so tender hearted too. especially when it comes to my babies. it's relatively normal 😉 i'm a 3-5 year old teacher at our church, and the kids cry for 30 seconds at times and then they are fine. but it still breaks the mama's hearts…. that's natural. Aiden is so precious. I love his little bandana and those big sweet eyes. What a cutie!
    Much love!!!

  42. Who is G?

    May 26th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I understand the fear…and also the beauty in overcoming it to enjoy the precious sweet moments with your family. You inspire me to be a better mom.

  43. Janelle

    May 26th, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    I too am a sensitive momma. I hate leaving my little guy. He is such a precious gift. I have managed to now let him go in the nursery for church. He cries every time. After five minutes my hubby goes to check on im and he is so happy and smiling. I know he is really ok:) i wanted to share this with you. I have lived my life full of fear. Being fearful about everything. I had a hard childhood so most of it stems from that. However, at church my pastor shared a sermon on fear. Some of the questions he asked were. What are your greatest fears? God whats to use your fears. Is your life driven by your fears? Are there things in your life you won't do because of fear? Have you surrendered your fears to God? Have you given him control? Do you take back those fears because they are comfortable? I realized that I have so much fear. I doubt God and his goodness and ability to watch over my Levi when I can't. I fear people. I fear loss. I fear what I don't know. I recently surrendered all my fears to God. I have to daily especially Levi. My surrender pray for Levi goes something like this…. God, everything I have is yours especially Levi. You gave him to me. Help me not fear what I don't know. Help me trust that you will watch over Levi. That you will guard his heart. That you have all the love he ever needs because one day he will grow to be a man. He will not be dependent on me. I give him to you because I want Levi to learn to trust in you and call on you when he is fearful.. When I am not there. God, help me to live fearlessly for Levi. To build in him trust in you. Lord, I give you Levi because you gave him to me. For that I am thankful. Everyday I have to pray this otherwise fear takes over. Casey, I don't know you personally and the things you've faced… But don't let fear run your life, live fearlessly for your children. This is meant to be encouragement from another momma who loves her little guy to pieces but fears. It's daily surrendering all my fears to god. But slowly I am learning to trust god with my EVERYTHING:) I love who you are and your blog so much:)

  44. Me

    May 28th, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I just wanted to say, today I stumbled upon your blog after reading thedaybook blog & this post really touched my heart. I'm expecting my first baby in October & your comments on fear spoke right to me! I worry every day about the scary things my baby will encounter in life & I worry about the times I may not be there to protect them. Your post really made the tears roll, not necessarily because it made me sad, but because you beautifully put in to words the feelings that I'm encountering as I become a mother. I have so much love & hope for my baby. I hope that I can be as beautiful of a mother inside and out as you seem to be from the hour I just spent sipping coffee & reading your blog. Thank you!

  45. brittany

    May 30th, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    love this. i needed this at the very moment i read it. thanks 🙂

  46. Abby (Diligent Joy)

    May 31st, 2012 at 6:25 am

    Oh Casey. This post is my favorite. Aiden sounds like such a sweet and sensitive kid and I'm so happy that you embrace it. Our little Harper winds up in our bed most nights (with a sippy cup, a blanket, and as many stuffed animals as she can carry) and I love it. I can't even think of the day when I won't wake up next to her.

  47. Kacie

    June 1st, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    The nursery has been soooo hard for me. My little one has only once lasted through a service without them calling me to come get him. Thing is, I don't WANT to leave him there in tears. I hate it. They keep telling me I need to keep trying if he's ever going to learn to be okay with it, but sometimes I wonder if I really should be putting him through it. Both of us hate it, and he's the ONLY kid that is that inconsolable on a very consistant basis.

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