while she slept

They were up to their usual antics. Nana thought pom poms that play music was a good idea. In a house with little boys, toys that make added noise should be banned.
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In all the loudness, she slept. In my arms.
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I dared not move. My phone was nearby. I wanted to capture us…together.

It is a rare and wonderful moment when she falls asleep in my arms.
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It is a rare and wonderful moment that they are quiet…actually still waiting for that for to happen.
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I asked one of the boys to take a picture of my and my girl.

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I had so much to do. Blog sponsors to email. Christmas decorations to pack. Design*Sponge post to write. Laundry to fold. Dishes to wash. Cheerios to sweep. There was a battle going on at first. I should lay her down. I should get my work done. But I didn’t.

I sat still on the couch for an hour. Just holding her while she slept. I twirled her hair in my fingers. I kissed her forehead. I breathed in her sweet smell. I closed my eyes and felt her chest rise and fall. I remembered her first few months…the days when she only napped in my arms and I treasured it then like I do now. I’ll never get that hour back. That’s okay ~ because on that day, I choose to soak it in. On that day, I didn’t miss it ~ like I often do. I lived fully in that glorious hour. Time passed, she woke. The other stuff eventually got done….it always eventually does.
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  • Liz - Beautiful.

  • Andy - perfect. my husband and i were just talking about that the other day. holding our baby (now 19 months) he liked watching football when she was asleep in his arms.

  • Kristin Taylor - YAY!!! you lived ‘in the moment’…there are few times I am actually able to ‘live in the moment’ because I feel the need to get everything done NOW..haha but it truly is a blessing to just sit there and let life happen sometimes, Im so glad that you had that experience with your little girl!! :D

  • Emily Morrice - so sweet. my daughter is like yours – always on the go and super feisty! she has slept in my arms exactly two times since becoming a toddler and I have cherished it!

  • MG Atwood - Special times. So lucky your phone was close by. Thanks for my morning smile.

  • Colleen C - I think baby toes are the sweetest things on the planet, but yet adult feet are grosssss! What a great moment you captured here. I just went back to work this week and my 4.5 month old son to day care – I have been doing so much snuggling in the early mornings and evenings because you’re right – they won’t always want to snuggle with mom.

  • Lisa Johnson - Beautiful. So beautiful. Thank you for the reminder to live in the moment. My girls are all so big now (4 out of 5 taller than me!) so my moments aren’t with sweet little ones in my lap. But I still have to choose to relish the moments I have- the chatty mood, “mom, will you help me with my hair,” the stop and savor moments that pass so quickly.

  • katie - love this & love your house it looks like a fun place to live

  • Lisa Johnson - Beautiful. Simply beautiful.
    My girls are all so grown up- 4 out of 5 taller than me! But I still need the reminder to slow down and savor the moments. The chatty mood, the “mom will you help me with my hair,” the sit and drink a latte together- those fleeting moments when I can soak up motherhood.

  • Midwest Magnolia - Melissa Lewis - Ashley, you made me cry… again! It’s okay though. I am so with ya on this. My little guy is almost the same age as your little girl, and I can’t remember the last time he actually fell asleep in my arms. I do miss it… it’s hard not to. But I live in and enjoy every single day with him and savor it as best as I can. It was a hard road to get here, one I wasn’t sure I would get to be on. I am grateful I get to experience this in my life. And thankful to you for being a reminder.

  • Sarah Pratt - Very Precious!

  • Molly - so sweet! great reminder to live those moments and so true it all eventually gets done!

  • lindsey - I did this the other night. I usually lay her down and she goes to sleep on her own, but I chose to rock her until she fell asleep in my arms the other night. Her little arms wrapped around me, soft breathing, sweet cheek smushed against my chest – i miss it, too. When she was a baby she only slept in my arms as well. And I loved it. I never felt burdened that she wanted to be in my arms. I felt grateful. And I feel grateful for it now, too.

    I sometimes worry I will be like that crazy mother that I once made fun of from that book “i’ll love you always” – remember when she crawled in the window of her sons house when he was married to rock him to sleep?!

  • victoria g - Ug, teared up to this! I have an 18 month old and she’ll sleep in my arms late at night if she’s been really worked up. I always treasure it! Such a gift.

  • Lennie - Thank you for this. Definatly got my tears flowing…I have really been struggling lately with not having enough hours in the day. I need to slow down and enjoy the passing moments.

    Thanks again,
    Lennie

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - Oh- sweet, sweet moment! I soak those moments up too. I remember writing in my son’s journal when he was a baby “I know the books say to put you down when you fall asleep, but I can’t. I just have to hold you and sit”. And I would still do the same with their big kid selves. Love those times. You did the right thing, for sure!

  • kelly - Such a beautiful moment. Time goes by too fast. Kids grow up too fast. Thanks for the reminder! :) (I love your photo display.)

  • Ann Voskamp@A Holy Experience - “Life isn’t an emergency… Life is *gift*” — you received it! Slowed and unwrapped it and it’s one of the thousand, countless ones.

    And I needed these words: “And it always eventually does.”

    Thank you, friend… living the dare.

  • Steph - so beautiful and touching!
    that’s my motto for this coming here.
    living in the here and now.
    soaking in the moments… those little special ones.
    thanks for sharing… and inspiring!
    xo

  • Seriously Sassy Mama - I did just that last night with my three year old. It is jut too wonderful to pass up. It makes my heart full!

  • Carrie Willink - This is truly Precious.. Thank-you for taking the time to share this

  • Molly @ mixedmolly - This is a great reminder. Thanks.

    On another note, it is also always noisy here with our four kids. I just said to my husband last night “you know those older couples who sit quietly at restaurants not talking? I’ll bet they had at least four kids…. I understand those couples so much better now.”

  • Darla O'Rourke - Wow. I needed this. I have these battles quite often. I never really gave it much thought until I read this post, but you are right those things always eventually get done. Thank you for sharing. It brought tears to my eyes, but more importantly it opened them.

  • Jennifer - My daughter will be four in March, and she still comes to be from time to time and wants me to hold her. There are times when I have to tell her to wait a bit, and those hurt, so I try to make them very rare. There is nothing like stopping the wild world around you to cherish the great treasure in your child for those moments! You made a special memory in that time that would have just been another hour if you have done any of the other list of things.

  • Tammy - Oh gosh, thank you for this. I was actually brought to tears last night because I was overly tired and had too much going on and my little one wanted mommy to lay down with her to go to bed like I have been for the past couple of weeks while we train on a big girl bed. This is a gentle reminder that sometimes, being still with her (and God) is exactly where I should be.

  • Kelly - Love this. I’m glad you captured it!

  • Lisa - Slowing down and soaking in is so important. I try to do it at least once a day. Your kids won’t remember that your house was dust free, they’ll remember you spent time with them. Glad you got some good snuggles in!

  • Kelli Blinn - Beautiful and so sweet, definitely something for The Best of My Days calendar. I’m like you, the to-do list swirls in my head all the time, but sweet moments with our little girls like this are absolutely priceless. I’m glad you posted these thoughts and photos.

  • Jennifer - I am a longtime reader but first time to comment. Your words are as lovely as your photos and this post moved me to tears. That you snuggled her and breathed in her delicious “baby” smell is so moving. What a gift to both of you to spend that hour in each other’s arms. The urge to do otherwise is what we all fight and try to balance all day. Everyday, right? Always inspirational. Thanks so much for what you write – it is a joy to read and see!

  • Caroline - Oh good for you!!! That is exactly where you needed and should be. So hard somethings though. I always have to remind myself that they kids will not always want me around, they will have other things to do and I will miss this time – as crazy as it is! A friend of mine has the best saying… “The days are long but the years are short” Oh I so want to go home and hold my girl!

  • Kristy - Thank you so much for this post! I’m reading it with my three-year old sleeping on my lap, something he usually doesn’t do, and I was just about to get up and go lay him down so I could get some things done. Thank you for the much needed reminder to just sit and snuggle him and soak up every moment! My other children are playing happily, the baby is sleeping, and the housework will eventually get done, so for now I’ll sit and soak up this cuddle time with him. Thank you again for this wonderful post!

  • Melissa - So sweet! and such precious times! Pom poms that have music! wow! …that’s pretty cool :)

  • Jenni - My daily reminder of what’s important:) I am going to go snuggle asap:)

  • kelly - so sweet…you comments brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for reminding to slow down.

  • Michelle - My 5 1/2 year old did the exact same thing yesterday! Didn’t quite fall asleep, but was so relaxed, calm and nearly sleeping. We were the only ones home and I was wishing I had some type of camera nearby. Each time a moment like this happens I wonder if it will be the last (she is our youngest). I enjoyed every single second of it! Thanks for sharing!

  • amanda torres - For goodness sake! Look at those eyelashes. What a precious time…aside from the noisy pom-poms. Those must rank right up there with a drum set. I have threatened my family members with their lives just in case they get the inclination to buy my kids one of those.

  • Jamie - I LUV this reminder. Being 9 weeks away from adding a new baby to our family, I really want to make a point to spend these kinds of special moments with each of my kids. We’ll never be just a family of 4 again and I want to savor it while it lasts.

  • SarahJoy - You brought me to tears. I love your words, they are so true and speak to my heart. I love holding my four year when he falls asleep, I would still hold the others at 12 and 9 if they would let me! On Christmas day we were in church and my youngest was falling asleep as the Pastor spoke, I scooped him up and held him close… his weight became heavy the deeper into his dream land he fell. It was priceless!

  • Celia - I’m crying…. but it’s a “good” cry. :)

  • Amy - Thank you for this post. I love it when my 10 month old falls asleep in my arms. It’s been awhile since this has happened, but it is a feeling I’ve never had before and cherish so much. I don’t know what I did before him! This is a beautiful post and one of the reasons I make sure to read your blog every day-no matter what the subject!

  • Katie Sellers - That was my Tuesday. My sweet 18 month old girl, who is always on the move, dozed in my arms for 45 minutes, without squirming once. It was a precious time and I am glad, like you, that I treasured it!

  • Nycole Lobe - What an amazing moment. I can’t wait for moments like this when I have babies of my own. <3

  • Kimberly - What a beautiful reminder to all of us who are trying to do it all! Thanks for reminding me that all those “other” things will eventually get done.

  • Georgia - wise choice

  • amber - So sweet. Why is it so hard to do what seems so right sometimes? Glad you soaked in such a sweet moment. You were totally right.

  • Dana - Oh, if I could only get the chance to hold my 21 yr old, 17 yr old, and 14 yr old again like that again…I’d give anything to have that chance! Your experience moved me to tears.

  • Mara - I just finished One Thousand Gifts! Thank you for your sharing the book with your readers and showing us how you live life fully.

  • Jen from insideways - It just makes me so happy that you took the time to do that :)

  • Mindy Harris - love that you had this in the moment experience. i found myself not spending as much time tucking the kids in at night. but for the past 2-3 months i have been sleeping with wilder til he falls asleep, and holding story “like a newborn” (cradled) while singing worship. she rarely falls asleep in my arms but she puts her finger in my ear and we name facial features. i love these times with my babies. the best part of being a SAHM.

  • Elise D - LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! Thank you for sharing your moment with us.

  • Rachel - so sweet!

  • Jen - Every single one of your posts makes me feel happier about life. You have the gift of spreading hope. This one was SO beautiful.

  • Pamela - I also love it when my daughter falls asleep in my arms. I love looking at her and holding her. it is a precious time.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Perfect Sweetness.

  • able mabel - It is so worth it, the time you spent holding your daughter while she slept! An hour well spent!

  • Tania - I love this. My girl is 5 1/2 months old now. I had to hold her for all her naps until she was 4 months old. I loved this time to snuggle my baby. Sometimes I slept with her (especially during those newborn days when I was sleep-deprived!), but I usually would have my phone on hand for a distraction. But because I had my phone, I also had the opportunity to take lots of photos of that sweet sleeping face. I miss it so much! She still wakes up in the middle of the night and I snuggle her for a while before putting her down in her crib. Ahh that baby smell is the best!

  • leighann - i’m so proud of you for embracing moments like that. too many moms will never know that pure, simple joy. my eldest child left for college last year and i’d give anything to have him in my lap again…just to be.

    i was a stay-at-home for 20 years and just started my own design business. i enjoy my work, but it will never fulfill me like those days of drawing pictures in the rice that spilled all over the kitchen floor or “cooking” with flour and water…

    i just discovered your blog and i’m hooked. thank you for giving a voice to christian moms like me.

  • kate b - I love moments like that, reading this made me want to go pick up my little on out of bed and snuggle him…

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