If I were forced to categorize myself...I'd say I'm a "live in the future" type of person. I'm not quite sentimental enough to say that I'm always longing for the past, and I tend to struggle with living in the moment...because sometimes the moment, in the moment, isn't that fun (you mamas of toddlers get it, amiright?). So I'm a futurist. I'm a planner. I'm looking forward to the next thing, and getting a plan together to get us there.

I related so much to Kristi's post about "letting them be little", because I'm sometimes so excited about the next stage (and maybe also exhausted by our current one) that I rush through the present in order to get to the future. And as many times as people have reminded me -- "The days are long, the years are short", and "savor every moment, it goes so fast" (trust me...I have been reminded that a lot...maybe every time an old lady at the grocery store sees my crew + baby belly), it's still can hard for me to stop, be still, and soak up the now.

The exception? Well...right now. I'm at the end of my pregnancy (I'm actually writing this in advance, so likely this baby will have been evicted by the time this is posted) which is always a bit of a strange time for me. Mostly I love the planning part of pregnancy. The preparation and anticipation of everything. I love counting the weeks, getting closer and closer to actually meeting this little person who's been growing (and kicking and squirming) inside. And in the tougher moments of pregnancy, I especially like counting the weeks, knowing I'm one step closer to being done. But with each of my kids, I've gotten to the end stages, and felt the intense desire for time to STOP. Part of it is utter panic...pregnancy isn't always a picnic, but caring for a newborn, and you know, actually raising a human, is a pretty tough gig too. But beyond the fear-mantra of "Nothing's ready, we're not ready, I'M NOT READY!" there's actually another reason to want to freeze time: I'm so happy in this moment.

Right now my kids are in awesome stages. They're fun, and funny, and they play together (and fight like wild animals...but I'll have that...). We're in a rhythm. A groove that took us quite a long time to find. We worked hard to get to this point and we're finally at a point where the good is starting to consistently outweigh the hard. My oldest is blowing my mind with the things she learns every day. And my youngest is just impossibly cute. My belly is big, for sure, but some of the pain and discomfort is lifting so I occasionally feel that "walking miracle" thing they say pregnant women are. (not sure I'm glowing, can't win 'em all). Point is, I just love right now. And if I could extend it, or bottle it, or preserve it, or freeze it...I would.

But, I know it doesn't work like that. And truthfully, I don't want to live in any one stage out of fear of the others. I don't want to rush towards the future or long desperately for the past because the present just seems too hard. But I also don't want to cling too tightly to the present because I'm scared what's next. It's a challenging task to remain flexible, and fluid in focus. But when times are tough, I want to take comfort in the adage that this too will pass, and when times are great, I want that same sentiment to encourage me to soak it up before it's gone.

What about you? Do you tend to live in one particular stage? Did you have a present that you were scared to leave? And how do you find the beauty in all three: past, present, and future?

Courtney is the mom to two girls, with a baby boy on the way. Her life is wild, and noisy, and tiring, and good. You can connect with Courtney on her blog, Bowdenisms, or on Instagram.

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