the practice of being present by baking cakes and playing chase

chocolate faced toddler

[10|52: chocolate face]

Lately, life as mom has been very up and down.

I’m not gonna sugar coat things… I’m exhausted. Truly.

My amazing little sleeper (Judah) is now going on five weeks (or six?) of sleeping like a baby again. (Meaning multiple night wakings. Ugh.)

It’s making me grumpy. Actually, it’s making me want to be grumpy but instead I’m practicing self-control to keep my emotions in check for the sake of everyone else around me. (This also makes me tired.)

But all this sleeplessness and grumpiness (and rising above my own self-ness) is making me very aware of how I prioritize my time, since I literally don’t have the energy to “do it all” the way I’d like.

So “stuff” has been going to the wayside. Filing, projects, reading, emails, and um, even my taxes. (Really must get onto that last one though.)

And as I’m putting “stuff” by the wayside, I’m trying desperately to have more fun with the hours I am awake.

Because they always say that you’ll get to the end of your days and wish you spent more time enjoying the ones you love and less time cleaning the toilet and obsessing over lists.

So there you go.

That’s what I’m trying to do.

We’ve been doing things like baking cakes and building train tracks and playing chase.

And really, I’m still tired. Playing chase makes me tired too…

But it also energizes me.

Because I know that these are the seemingly “fleeting” moments that build themselves into the memory and foundation of a childhood for my boys. And they may not actually remember baking daddy that chocolate cake… but they will remember that their childhood included a mom that was present.

At least, that is my hope.

And I know that for now, this boy certainly had fun. Especially during those fifteen seconds that I turned to rinse my bowl out in the sink.

Chocolate. Everywhere.

(Literally from head to toe.)

toddler covered in chocolate

One great, big, glorious mess.

(Technically, he did nothing wrong… I never did tell him to stay out of the bowl. Cheeky boy.)

Dear friends, have you been “baking cakes” lately? I’m not always getting it right, but I’m doing my best at this whole “being present” thing…


chocolate face: #10 of my 52 fotos project.
Linking in with other Project 52ers: Styleberry Blog and Courtney Kirkland.

About Author

Adriel Booker is an author, speaker, and advocate based in Sydney, Australia who believes storytelling, beauty, and the grace of God will change the world. Adriel has become a trusted voice in areas of motherhood and parenting, Christian spirituality, and global women's issues. She's also known for her work with the Love A Mama Collective—serving under-resourced women in developing nations through safe birth initiatives—as well as her years spent as a Bible teacher and leadership coach. Her latest book is Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss and she's made the companion grief journal available for free. Find Adriel across all social media platforms at @adrielbooker or sign up for LoveNotes, Adriel's 'secret posts' that aren't published anywhere else online. ✌️


  • Rachel
    13 March 2012 at 9:42 pm

    But you also took photos — i think he’ll remember this cake! apparently it just looked too good.
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  • Alicia
    14 March 2012 at 12:24 am

    Oh how I love to bake espechally with my little girl. I have to sadly admit though that I’m one of those slightly ocd Moms with keeping things clean. I really need to practice more self controle in this area and learn how relax and let messes happen more often. These days of young curious babies does go by so fast your right and I want to be a present Mom too not just one they remeber cleaning up after them all the time. 🙂 Love that photo of your little man ..what a great memory!
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    • Adriel @ The Memos
      15 March 2012 at 3:47 pm

      oh, yeah! you definitely can’t get too wrapped up in the mess. it comes with the package, ey?! for the record, i wasn’t thinking it would get this messy… but he was TOO QUICK for me. ha! and it warranted a trip straight to the bath after. but was fun and didn’t harm anything. 😉
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  • Krystle
    14 March 2012 at 3:22 am

    Man, I am desiring this sooo much, and having such a hard time with it. Balancing the one year old twins who are still demanding to be held any time I step foot in the kitchen and the 3 1/2 year old….I keep thinking, “it will get easier and then I can do that sort of stuff”. But if it doesn’t, then I’ve lost all this time!!
    Something I really need to work on!
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    • Adriel @ The Memos
      15 March 2012 at 3:48 pm

      i can’t totally relate to that. i often find myself saying “when it gets easier i will _______” too. but i’m really trying to make an effort to incorporate some of those things into our days now, knowing that… it might not ever feel “easier”. (though i suspect it will when everyone can speak and clean their own bums! 😉 )
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  • Tory
    14 March 2012 at 3:43 am


    I believe that every Momma that has 2 young kids is SUPERWOMAN!!! No matter your struggles and concerns, I have no doubt that your boys know their Mommy is present. They will remember all the cute little fun things you do with them when they are older. They won’t remember the hard days you have had. Keep snapping those pictures, and someday soon, you won’t remember the hard days either! Chin up sweetie. You’re doing GREAT!
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    • Adriel @ The Memos
      15 March 2012 at 3:51 pm

      oh, you are so sweet. 🙂

      honestly, some days i DO feel like superwoman. really! 😉 and then other days….. not. at. all. those days i feel like i’m barely treading water!

      i do believe that about not “remembering” the hard days later… it helps that i have SO many happy photos!!
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  • Jessica
    14 March 2012 at 4:01 am

    Oh, I’m where you are, too. My once almost perfect sleeper is now waking 4-5 times a night. To compensate, I sleep earlier and wake later which means I have ZERO time to do much of anything else for just “me.” But, I’m finding that even without any official me time, I’m learning how to make “me” fit in more with us, if that makes sense. I’m hoping that Annah does begin sleeping better at night, but until then I’m learning through adjusting. Hang in there! We really are in the same boat right now! 🙂

  • Stephanie
    14 March 2012 at 6:53 am

    This is a huge goal of mine right now. I am not the most patient person in the world but I am trying. In fact I now have a 10:00 bedtime so that I know I am well rested for the next day. It helps, truly. Although my online time is severely limited now 😛
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    • Adriel @ The Memos
      15 March 2012 at 3:54 pm

      yeah, i’ve been aiming for a 10:30 bedtime this year. (one of my 2012 goals.) lately i haven’t been very consistent with it since my days are so full and i can’t get anything done unless i stay up late… but then that makes me more tired and makes my days less productive and less NICE overall… it really is a vicious cycle! i’ve been earlier to bed again this week. it really does help!!
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  • casey martinez
    14 March 2012 at 10:35 am

    After not sleeping for nearly 2 years of my life due to a child I think I can safely conclude that exhaustion is by far one of the hardest things to power through as a mom. We can accomplish just about anything but, when we are tired day after day it takes an incredible toll on our drive for life. I just got to start experiencing life with more energy and more drive again and WOW what a difference this is!! lol. That being said, I feel for you momma. Hope the zzzz’s return soon and meanwhile props to you for making a cake with your little man. I have yet to tackle such a messy activity:)
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    • Adriel @ The Memos
      15 March 2012 at 3:54 pm


      And yes, go for the mess! As long as you’re mentally prepared for it, the mess is actually FUN. 🙂 Doooooo it! x

  • Ruth
    14 March 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Thank you so much for this Adriel. My girls are now 20 months old and the one is going through the clingy stage and the other is really trying to exert her independence while being very frustrated at her minimal vocab with is tending to results in lots of time outs… which just means lots of effort for me in being consistent with that. Ugh, anyways… I feel permanently exhausted right now and am having to force myself to, like you described, let go of the ‘oh so important task before me’ and focus on my child who needs me- to hug her or read to her or teach her boundaries or whatever. It’s why I chose to stay at home with them, so I could be PRESENT… but OMG is it tiring! Anyways… thanks again for articulating this so well.

    • Adriel @ The Memos
      15 March 2012 at 3:57 pm

      oh, i feel for you ruth!! it’s a hard age. SO fun in SO many ways… but also SO tiring!!! like you, that’s why i’m home with the kids too. i sometimes fantasize about being at work, but it’s not actually because i miss work, it’s because i think it’s “easier” than being home in some ways. BUT when i do think about it, i always know that i would be miserable a week into it and want to be home again. anyway, we are all trying our best to be present as much as we’re able. surely our littles will sense that as they grow. SURELY. right? 😉

  • Courtney Kirkland
    15 March 2012 at 5:44 am

    I am so happy that, despite not having time to do everything you want to do, that you are finding time to be in the moment. I’m finding myself on the borderline of too much/too little right now and I’m working hard to hold onto that balance. I make SURE to leave work alone on the weekends and for some time in the afternoon when my husband gets home. It’s impossible for me to spend all day, every day just being in the moment, but I do try to do it everyday. because these sweet babies won’t be babies long. 🙂 Sweet photos! That last one made me giggle.
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    • Adriel @ The Memos
      15 March 2012 at 4:11 pm

      oh, good for you courtney. i think it would be SO hard to manage it all like you do. i’m a part-time wah mom, but the nature of my work is so different than yours. can’t even imagine trying to run a business!!

      of course i can’t be “present” every moment either. can anyone? but i do think it’s important to try and have blocks of time each day where you’re deliberate about it. and to try and recognize those moments in between where you really can adjust your thinking a little to be “there” if you know what i mean.

      and yeah, he was loving the chocolate. he even had it on his legs and around his back. seriously? how??! 😉
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