Shared something that was on my heart today over on Instagram and didn’t want you to miss out on it so am going to repost here too:

A sneaky little reminder as we head into the holidays this week: You are enough and you are doing enough.

Once upon a time I was a single mom, raising Ozzie solo, working several jobs and going to school. One of our fist Christmas’ together I could barely afford to keep the lights on let alone buy Ozzie any gifts. I felt like the worst mom ever but luckily my own mom suggested I make him something and then helped me sew a nativity scene  to wrap up and give him.At the time it hardly felt like enough but to this day that Christmas is one of my favorite and that gift is one of the best I’ve ever given simply because I showed up and did my best.

One hunky husband, four adorable kids and a lot more finances later, it’s stilly easy for me to get caught up in the things that matter the least this time of year. To walk through Target, flip through an Anthropologie catalogue or scroll through Pinterest and see all the things I wish I could buy or do and while all of that is good and cute, none of it would actually add any value to this season more than being my best and giving my best to the people I love. 

I hope my story resonates or encourages you! It might take faith and some grace but all the good stuff does. 

A few pics of me and my man-child that make me laugh and burst with gratitude at the same time.

Just like the good ol’ days, lol.

A quick tangent… I used to daydream about what he would be like as he got older and what our life and relationship would be like too. And then I would worry about my ability to give him everything he needed and deserved. Most of my worries were based off of lies, statistics and insecurities. Most of them had zero merit. None of them have actually come true.

I’m not saying it hasn’t been hard. We’ve been through a lot. Even in our family now as we navigate life as a blended family, there are hiccups and things we have to work though.

But this kid, our relationship and our life is better than I ever imagined.

And I owe a lot of that to Oz for inspiring me to be better and require better for myself all because I’ve always wanted the best for him.


10 tidbits from my pregnancy + newborn stage with Oz:

  1. I was 20 but looked 15.
  2. I lived on spoonfuls of Jiffy peanut butter and bowls of Cherrios during my first trimester.
  3. After crying during two soccer practices from frustration and fatigue (I don’t cry) I thought I had mono so went to student health (lovingly called “student death” at the time) for tests and discovered I was fatigued and having weird cravings for other reasons.
  4. At my 20 week ultrasound the Dr. thought Oz was a girl… I was going to name him Riley.
  5. When changing OB’s at 7 months pregnant the ultrasound tech said, “Looks like you have a healthy boy!” not knowing I had been told it was a girl :)
  6. I went 10 days past my due date and thought I was gonna die.
  7. Oz was a miracle baby! Long story short, he wasn’t breathing when he was born. I watched doctors give him CPR just a few feet away from me. His first apgar test was a 2. Nurses talked to me about possible brain damage and a very long hospital stay. 10 minutes later he scored a 9. Two days later we were released on my 21st bday. MIRACLE. I also never doubted how much I loved him after that.
  8. After leaving the hospital, we went out to eat a giant meal and then to my health class to take an exam.
  9. Oz spent his first 7 months attending college classes with me. He was a dream baby but spit up lots and often — nothing could have prepared me for it!
  10. He slept through the night at 6 weeks and has always been a heavy sleeper. (The earliest my other kids slept through the night was 7 months, lol.)

So fun thinking of 10 things… thanks for humoring me!

Love you guys. Happy Thanksgiving week!

OX, Rae

PS – here’s another link to my Instagram post in case you want to say hi or forward to a friend (hint, hint)!!!


  1. dad November 20, 2018 at #

    Dear Sweet Rae……
    I’m so proud of you. Love you deeply and am so thankful for Austin.
    The FriisFam is AMAZING!
    Full of thanksgiving to be your dad and a papa to your tribe.
    Oh and…….did I mention how much I love your husband?

    • rae November 21, 2018 at #

      you always mention how much you love my husband, lol. love you too. thanks for being my dad! xoxo

  2. Lauren November 20, 2018 at #

    Thanks so much for sharing! What a beautiful post! It made me tear up! And then, reading the comment from your dad made me well up again! Great reminders of what’s truly important in this crazy season! ❤️

  3. Lisa November 20, 2018 at #

    Great story! Where did Oz get that gorgeous curly hair??

  4. Vanessa November 20, 2018 at #

    I teared up reading this. Such a touching story, especially those last 10 tidbits.
    You go, Momma! <3

  5. Lisa Marris November 21, 2018 at #

    Your story brought back so many memories. I am a forty something with 3 kiddos. Ages 28,22, and …..9. Same baby daddy, just different decades. I was also a 20 year old college student when I found out I was pregnant with my DD. Went to the ER cuz I just KNEW I had mono….When “mono” was born her initial Apgar was a 1. I also watched the NICU resuscitate my very blue, lifeless baby. It is def is one of the scariest moments a new mama can face. I went through 4 years of nursing school with this beautiful child of mine. She used to sit next to me and highlight pages in her “school books”. She would also go to bed at 9 and sleep till 9. I was a better woman, student, and mom because of, not in spite of, the child that God blessed me with. She has grown into a talented, beautiful young lady, and I am so ever grateful that I didn’t listen to so.many.naysayers. The ones that told me I had “options’ and that my life would be forever changed. It was changed forever, in the most amazing way. It wasn’t always easy, for sure, but I was, and still am, carried by His grace. Thank you for sharing your journey.



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