Mother’s Day throughout the years 2010-current

I’ve been blessed to celebrate Mother’s Day for 9 years! And each year I have a tradition to coordinate outfits with my loves so today I’m sharing my pictures and things I’ve learned as a mom throughout the years.

Year ONE

This was my very first Mother’s Day and although this is the ONLY picture I have captured of us, I remember it like it was yesterday. JoColby was deployed Elle’s first year of life ( sound familiar?!) so it was just the 2 of us. We wore Pink and White. This is the year I learn how strong I truly was and how thankful and blessed it is to become a MOM.

Year TWO

Toddler Elle and I wore black and white this year. This was the year that challenged my relationship with JoColby as well as helped me grow as a woman. I wore a ring on my left hand because I so desperately wanted to be married, however things weren’t perfect and we were still growing. This is the point where we decided to be the best parents for Elle.

Year THREE

Navy and floral was my theme, unfortunately I didn’t capture the floral shoes I was wearing to coordinate with Elle BUT check out the hand!!! Yes newlywed, JoColby and I worked through our differences and grew to love each other more than ever! This is the year I learned that prayer really works and to NEVER settle if it’s meant to be God will work it out.

Year FOUR

Denim was the theme and we welcomed a new family member. Young Maveric Ellis joined us and he was such a joy to our life. Elle’s new best friend and my first son! This is the year that I realized I could love more and step out on faith!

Year FIVE

There’s NO place like HOME! This year I took a road trip with the kiddos solo to visit HOME aka Baltimore and we stayed with my sister. In true Bmore fashion our theme was Orioles gear. This was the year that I learned that I could truly multitask and take on anything! I had the fashion truck at this point and balancing 2 kids and a husband I thought life was perfect as it was… Boy was wrong!

Year SIX

And then there were 3! This was my most trying year. I’ve never been so scared and confused as a mom, until we had Jagger. Many of you know that Jagger was born 2 months early and stayed in the NICU for a month. This year I was too exhausted but very blessed so I decided PJ’s were the best option for us! We pretty much stayed inside until Jagger was older but we had a ball. JoColby cooked dinner and there was love all over because we were so happy that Jagger was Home. This was the year that pushed my faith to the limit and I learned to pray stronger than ever before.

Year SEVEN

One time for the culture! This was the year of many first. We took the kids to Disney World, we celebrated love, we celebrated US and I believe this is when I coined the term #HWTH, Hanging With The Harrells. I truly thought our family was really complete here. But as we know, I was wrong!

Year EIGHT

Now this was the year of completion. We welcomed Axel Roman to the family and we went with a more relaxed theme of Grey tees with different phrases in them. This is the year I truly grew. JoColby was deployed the entire year and I gave birth without him. This year tested every emotion, every ounce of my strength and sanity. But at the end of it all, God showed me how strong I am as a wife, mother and woman! There’s seriously nothing that I can’t do and I learned that last year. I also learned my value, and decided to step out on faith and started my blog. This was the year of absolute GROWTH.

Year NINE

Pastels and pinks! I’m happier than ever and I feel like this is truly OUR year! God has been showing out every step of the way. We are almost settled in our new location, finding the perfect house for our family and I am working in the BEST location with so much support and growth opportunities. I can’t thank God enough for each lesson throughout the years.

Thank you so much Momtourage for sticking around with each and every journey of my life. If it wasn’t for me becoming a Mother the Momtourage would not be here. I started this group after Elle was born and I’m happy to still have you all around. Stay tuned for more events, oppourtunites to grow and celebrate each other together! Until next time……

XO,

Meka

Momtourage Monday: City Girl in a Southern World

1. How would you define Momtourage? I haven’t been to any momtourge events YET but from on the outside looking in, it looks to be an amazing group of woman supporting one another threw this journey of motherhood and daily mommy struggles.

2. How do you balance Motherhood? I wake up everyday and throw on my cape lol…… speaking honestly it’s a daily struggle everyday brings something new nothing like the day before. So I’ll say by waking up with a clear mindset ready for what that day will bring.

3. What is your Mommy must have item?

A sports bottle with WINE!!! just joking…. I must have this thing we call patience it’s not easy to find Lord knows. I search everyday for it, but no matter what with everyday that comes no matter how deep it’s hidden I always seem to find it!

4. What is your Momtourage story?

My story is one that would take years to explain…but to sum it up I’m a mother of 4 wonderful children 3 girls ages 17,15,& 12 and last but most certainly not least my most recent addition my 1year old baby boy! They are my world they are what I live for. I know all mom’s say it but for me it’s what keeps me grounded without them there is no me. I’m a stay at home mom with the struggle of a disability (Psoriatic  Arthritis) it’s a daily struggle all of its own. But my kids would never really know because I push threw for them without hesitation. My children and I recently moved to Charlotte, NC from Maryland something I wanted to do but never had the courage. One day I took a step out on faith and here we are… going from having their Dad active in their daily lives to having to do video calls and phone conversations is a huge struggle. Somehow we manage somehow I still have all my hair my edges still holding on cause Lord knows it’s hard with teenage girls and a toddler (Bless my little heart)! I’m a single Woman with 4 wonderful children. I say Single woman and not single parent because they have an amazing active father in their life, so I always say I’m SINGLE not a single mother to me it has two different meanings.

Thank you so much Esha for sharing your story! As always we hope these stories encourage, or inspire other moms and moms to be!

Until next week….

XO,

Meka

Momtourage Monday: SAHM staying true to herself!

1. How would you define Momtourage? 

To me, a momtourage sounds like a really bomb sisterhood! I love and will forever appreciate moms supporting, uplifting and encouraging one another. Community as a mama is so important and we all go through ups and downs during our parenting journey; a momtourage reminds us that we’re not alone and that we’re all in this together.

2. How do you balance Motherhood? 

Lots of coffee and Jesus (ha!) but in all honesty, I do plan my week out in advance to be able to fit writing, home and family time in. I do my best to not over crowd my schedule and learned the art of saying no nicely. I like to keep it simple, and I’ve accepted that I can’t do everything. Scaling back has allowed me to do more really well. Motherhood is a 24hr, 365 job and when you’re trying to do so many things in a day, less is more.

3. What is your Mommy must have item? 

Hands down, my planner! It kinda has my whole life embedded in those pages. I don’t know what I would do without it. Probably buy a new one I guess, it’s just that important to me!

4. What is your Momtourage story?

My husband Shawn and I are proud parents to our almost four month old son Isaiah who was born in November of 2017. I went into labor Halloween night and he was born via c-section the very next day. I’ve struggled with not being able to breastfeed as well as dealing with a tough recovery from a major operation. I started blogging about motherhood and taking photos of my son since the day he was born but from the very beginning wanted my online presence to be as authentic as possible. I’ve dealt with feelings of inadequacy very heavily when entering the instamom scene, mostly because I would see other women with beautiful homes and expensive clothes on their babies. I love the thrift store and was rockin’ sweat shirts and spit up stained leggings in most of my photos! There was a point where I longed to be exactly like everyone else and wanted to dress up my reality to match what I saw. After thinking about who I was and what kind of writer I wanted to become, I knew doing so wouldn’t capture how much I love my everyday motherhood moments- baby drool and all! Each woman has her own special story to tell, mines just so happens to be in my pajamas. So I write and take photos about all kinds of things things that inspire me, but it’s mostly how much I love being Isaiah’s mommy. I hope that through my content/ feed that message is can inspire someone to be the best version of themselves. You are more than enough!

Be sure to check out more of Najah and her amazing family Here

Thank you so much Najah for sharing your story! As always we hope these stories encourage, or inspire other moms and moms to be!

Until next week….

XO,

Meka

Momtourage Monday: Killing it in Silicon Valley

1. How do you define Momtourage?

Momtourage is my tribe. My village. My circle of support from moms I personally know

and ones in my extended network. They offer affirmations, prayers, cheers, and words of encouragement and help me understand that I am not alone and we are on this journey together.

2. How do you balance Motherhood?

As a first-time mom, it’s about prioritizing and understanding what is important to me and my family. I was in several leadership positions within my church and sorority and decided to take a step back once my son arrived so that I could shift my focus and completely focus on him. Once my son became a bit older and I had a better view on balancing everything, I was able to resume my duties in my roles. My husband is super amazing and has constantly challenged me to take more “me time” and indulge in self – care, so I’m learning to do that more as well so that I can feel energized and renewed for my husband and son. Whether it’s a regular visit to the hair salon, my manicure and pedicure appointments, a coffee or smoothie break, or sleeping in for an extra hour, these little moments allow me to maintain my sanity.

3. What is your Mommy must have item?

My iPhone X for the amazing portrait option + battery chargers! I keep a charger in my bag as well as in my car so that I’m always ready to capture those special moments.

4. What is your Momtourage story?

My husband and I moved to Silicon Valley almost 3 years ago after my husband was recruited to work at a large tech company. It was a huge move for us since we are both from North Carolina and Virginia. Being 3,000 miles away from family was definitely hard (still is) and became even more challenging as we began planning for our family. Since we do not have any close relatives here, we have learned to depend on our church family, friends who are like family, neighbors, coworkers and sorority sisters and fraternity brothers to fill in the gap during this new season of our lives. It can be frustrating at times when we want to have a real date, spend a night away or attend an evening function because our parents aren’t readily available but we always think of creative ways to spend time together.

A month after I returned from maternity leave, I was given the opportunity to craft my role and was promoted. Around the same time, my husband was tasked with taking on additional responsibilities at work. While we’ve excelled in our careers, it’s also required us to make sacrifices and balance more effectively. I had a huge meeting planned with one of my new board members at a large tech company along with my local and national presidents. My son was not feeling well, so my husband and I had to make an executive decision that he would stay home and cancel one of his meetings as it was important that I attend this meeting and enjoy my moment with our national president. It’s a blessing to be able to able to be a super hero at work as well as a mommy hero at home. Motherhood is a huge balancing act, but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

Thank you so much Candrice for sharing your story! As always we hope these stories encourage, or inspire other moms and moms to be!

Until next week….

XO,

Meka

All eyes on me…

*The following post is sponsored, all opinions are my own!* 

Recently we were given the opportunity to test out the new Lollipop smart baby camera. Now as we all know I am a mom of 4, and to be quite honest I have NEVER purchased a baby monitoring system, for some reason I have always felt like it was not on my priority list.  When I was pregnant with Elle I had the basic monitor that you could only hear the baby crying.  With the boys I never wanted to spend money on a camera because I knew that I would want a camera that was in color, with amazing video quality and awesome sound.  Most monitors of this nature were close to $200 and I just couldn’t bring myself to splurge on it.  Thankfully the Lollipop cam meets all of my needs plus bonus features for less than I ever imagined,  snag one here and this is why you will absolutely love it:

  1. Everything is  available via the app! Seriously I can view live footage, speak to anyone in the room where the monitor is located, play classical music to soothe my baby, review stats from the day all and so much more with this amazing app!image1 (6)
  2. The camera’s live feed is so amazingly clear! I seriously look at the feed when I’m at work and I’m amazed by the quality and the delay is only 3 seconds.   FullSizeRender (19)
  3. Automatic event recording.  So quick story… one night I heard Jagger crying , normally he wakes up wanting something to drink at 4 am which is cool with me because I am usually nursing Axel.  Well I got up and didn’t see him, when I walked to the hallway I saw him sitting on the steps, mind you it’s completely dark in our house.  Well later that day I was looking at the crying stats on my app and it had a log of Axel crying at 4am.  When I clicked on the video it showed Jagger crying in the living room on the floor holding his cup! This totally freaked me out, I could not believe he was downstairs crying all this time I thought he was just in the hallway, which doesn’t make it any better b/c he could have fallen down the steps but this video was an eyeopener for me! Check out the video on my instagram page
  4. The camera is so sleek and the set up is so easy!  I currently have the camera in our living room because that’s the main place the kids are playing when I am not home so I like to check in from time to time while I’m at work.  It keeps me at ease and helps with the baby blues.  IMG_2396

I have seriously fallen in love with this camera, not only does it make for a great babycam, but it’s an awesome nanny cam as well!  The flexibility of the camera makes it easy to move throughout your home.  I am totally satisfied with the new innovative product and I’m sure you will love it as well.  Until next time….

XO,

Meka

Memories

* The following post is a sponsored post for Milestone,  all opinions are my own*

Life has been extremely hectic in our house, trying to adjust to 4 kids, a new baby, nursing , and just mom life in general.  While most of you are gearing up for Easter, I’m trying to remember what day it is…. I almost forgot that Axel turned 2 weeks old on Thursday and this was the perfect time to grab hold of our amazing memory cards from Milestone!  IMG_1035

We were gifted the new Over the Moon collection for Axel’s first year of memories.  This set contains a total of 30 memory cards.  I really love the color scheme in this packet; the black, white, beige, blue and yellow really compliment the graphics.  The memory cards range from 1 week to 1 year as well as sweet memories such as babies first smile, first words and blank cards to document your own special memory.

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I love that each card has a date line so that parents are able to scribe the exact day each memory was captured.  With Axel being the last of our crew I am soaking up each and every memory.  These card will make it easy for me going forward!  I wish I had learned about these sooner to share with my other kiddo’s.  Be sure to grab a pack there are several themes to choose from here even a wedding pack!  And don’t worry mom’s if you missed the first year you can snag a pack for the toddler years or even activities from going to the movies,  visits to the zoo or to your child’s first visit to a museum.

IMG_1028I’m just thankful my life has gotten some what easier when it comes to capturing memories with the family!!! Which pack is your favorite?  I’m excited to know and tag me in pictures with your family memories. And make sure you check out the freebies, especially the My first Easter printable!  Until next time….

XO,

Meka