Tender Warrior: Angela Ervin

May 04, 2016

“Daniel, if you could bottle your wife up into one word what would it be?” I asked him and without a second of hesitation whatsoever he says effortlessly and confidently, “That easy… Selfless.”

photography by: Danielle Brewer Photography

Selfless… The perfect word I would have picked to describe Angela Ervin, at home and at her job.

Angela, 32 years old, wife to Daniel, Mom to 3 beautiful kids and a Behavioral Analyst (B.A.). As a BA, Angela works with children that have special needs. She gives selflessly of her time, energy and expertise to children birth to three years old and their families. I can imagine this is grueling physically and emotionally, but when Angela told me about her work she lit up from ear to ear telling me how the kids she works with have changed her life. Even though this line of work does has challenges and heartbreaking cases she loves seeing improvement in the child and helping the parents as well.  

“Having a child with special needs can be emotionally overwhelming and hard to navigate at first when you are a parent,” said Angela “So I love to be able to help these parents find the positives and strengths in their children so they can learn to cope and thrive and to remind them that their children are babies first and special needs second,” she finished.

Her selfless nature and love for children isn’t just at work. At home she is momma to 3 adorable children and when I say adorable, they are so adorable you might want to put them in your pocket and eat them up adorable! When Angela greeted me at the door Olivia, 4 years old, was hanging from her leg, Austin, a proud “I’m 6!” year old was doing his homework and Charlie, who is 1 and some change, standing in the hall grinning at me mischievously and let me tell you- you could eat this kid with a spoon.  

photography by: Danielle Brewer Photography

When you are around Angela, even if you have only just met, you are at ease. She is so easy to be around and that is exactly what it feels like in her home. Pictures and drawings, her kids have done proudly cover desks, walls and burst out of drawers.

photography by: Danielle Brewer Photography

You are so comfortable and at home before you realize it you are lounging on the carpet playing with her 1 year old, forgetting this isn’t your own house.

photography by: Danielle Brewer Photography

Angela is your best friend, she’s someone you have felt you have known for years and if you haven’t, you want to. She is more humble than I could write in words and she makes you feel safe to be yourself flaws and all.  She is someone I have always wanted to seek out for advice on being a mom because she always seems at peace.

photography by: Danielle Brewer Photography

When I asked if she could wrap up being a mom into one word, she replied:

“Rewarding. You put so much into the beginning of their lives working with them on every little skill, word or discipline. So the feeling you get when you finally see them start to learn different things is more rewarding than anything I have ever felt.”

photography by: Danielle Brewer Photography

With her Charlie-Man climbing in her lap she multi-tasks talking to me while playing with him and it never ruffles her one bit. “Through being a mom, I have learned how much I can endure. There are days when you are in ‘the thick of it’ with multiple small kids and you think you just can’t do it and then you do,” she said.

 photography by: Danielle Brewer Photography

“It’s crazy how you can and no matter what happens that day, even if it was one of those days you wanted to quit, the very next day you are still excited to see their faces,” she continued.  “It is a bizarre feeling how you realize when you become a mom what selfless really means, but that you actually enjoy it AND enjoy giving to your kids even if it means you have less and sleep less,” she finished with a laugh.

photography by: Danielle Brewer Photography

As Angela said this I absolutely knew what she meant. She reminded me how important it is to learn to depend on others and accept their help especially from your spouse.

“As hard as it is sometimes asking for help, it is crucial. Then actually accepting that help exactly as it is, even if it isn’t how you would do it, is even more crucial,” Angela said.

“When I had my first child, Austin, I thought I had it all figured out,” she said. “I struggled asking for help because I had this picture perfect idea of how I was going to do certain things to the point that I wouldn’t let others help me. As I began to drown in first time mom whoahs, new responsibilities and the 'picture perfect plans', I finally opened up to Daniel and let him help and found his way was actually better and I began learning from him,” she said.

“Angela is very good about taking a step back and doing what is right,” boasted her husband, Daniel. “It might not be the easiest thing or the most convenient, but she will make sure that is the best thing for our children and our family.”

photography by: Danielle Brewer Photography

In the beginning she told me she would be plagued with worries I think all Moms struggle with, “Am I with them enough,” or “Am I good enough” or “They are growing up too fast, don’t miss anything.” But she learned how discern the worry from reality.  

“Some of the biggest things I have learned is that sometimes you just survive and that is ok, sometimes you may not make a Pinterest worthy meal from scratch and that is ok, sometimes you may not get a shower and even that is ok,” she said stroking Charlie’s hair while he played with green fuzzy creations in a muffin tin.

photography by: Danielle Brewer Photography

“Why?” she continued. “Because your kids don’t care. They don’t remember those moments. They don’t remember that meal you made from scratch that one time they were 3 years old. They don’t remember that solar system you lost sleep over for weeks when they were 5. They DO remember when you played on the floor all day with them. They remember when you laid in bed altogether and did nothing. They remember when you sat outside while they played,” she finished.

photography by: Danielle Brewer Photography 

She reminded me that as women we beat ourselves up for what we THINK matters and our kids remember what actually does matter.

photography by: Danielle Brewer Photography

“My favorite thing about my mom is that she plays chess with me,” said Austin and before I could walk away he added excitedly, in the way a kid who doesn’t want you to miss the best part of a movie, “EVEN if she is working or busy and I ask her to stop and play with me- she will...right then! And that is my favorite thing,” he finished with a big grin.

photography by: Danielle Brewer Photography

Olivia piped in with blonde curls dangling down her face and with the sweetest tone, “My favorite thing about Mommy is that she wrestles with me,” she said smiling shyly before hiding herself back under a blanket.

photography by: Danielle Brewer Photography

She and Daniel laugh together saying that even on days you think are too exhausting handle and crazy that they know they will look back on these days as the best days of their lives. With that in mind, they try to allow themselves to just be in each moment and take one day at a time and to stop thinking constantly ahead to years and years at a time.

photography by: Danielle Brewer Photography 

Angela clings to Psalm 46:10 in those tough momma moments, “Be Still and Know that I am God,” to remind herself she is never alone and God is always bigger and stronger.

Angela, you wondered how you could be an inspiration to other moms. Which I respond with, "How could you not!?" It is because you are real, honest, selfless and like every single one of us out there just desperate to do it right so your kids feel the absolute love you have for them. You are inspiring because you care THAT much about loving children that you became a behavior analyst to help others with their children. You are inspiring because you love others without judgement. You are inspiring because you are humble. You are inspiring because you put yourself last so your family can get all the love and care you have and you have genuine joy in that. You are inspiring because you are you, Angela. You are a tender warrior for your children, your spouse and to those who know you and that now know of you.

 

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Special thanks to Danielle Brewer Photography for donating her time and photography! 





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