Thursday, December 19, 2013

*Three Months Later*

On a rainy September morning just a few days before Beau was born, I sat in the car listening to the wipers go back and forth in front of the hospital and wrote these words:

"In only a few short days I'll be in the hospital that stands before me right now meeting my son for the first time. It's so surreal to even be saying those words right now. So many emotions wash over me from excitement, joy, and anticipation to fear, anxiety, and apprehension. There's so much unknown with what's about to happen and the pain and weeks to come really scare me. I can't even fathom what a love like that will feel like. It's so good to be reminded that it's God's plan for me to be a mom and that He will be present with me along the way. God, thank you for reminding me that you know my shortcomings, yet decided to entrust me with this precious soul of Yours. He is even more Your child than he is mine and I'm so thankful that You the most perfect parent are here to help us along the way. Please come and be the parent to your baby with me and show me how to be what he needs."

It's crazy to think just how different the person is writing right now than the person who was writing then. Nothing in my life has ever changed me like becoming a mother has. I had so much unknown, fear, and uncertainties flowing through me then that have all but disappeared by now. It's hard to imagine what life will be like and how you will handle it when you don't KNOW that child yet.

God REALLY answered my prayer and has been with me every step of the way. The first few weeks weren't that bad because I was on many, many meds, but week 5-8 were extremely hard. That's when the narcotics faded and the help left. God helped me through those weeks and got me through them by His strength alone and it truly brought us closer. I couldn't of done it without Him. Those weeks are important though because it brings the bond between a mother and baby closer. Anything you sacrifice so much for becomes even more important to you.

After that things got so much easier, and now things don't feel hard at all. (Unless his routine is thrown off, then it's all another story! haha Prayers appreciate for Christmas week!!!) I have gotten up every single night for three months now and have survived! I have figured out so much that I didn't think I'd be able to and it's amazing how much more naturally this life fits me than I even thought.

Every time I look at my son and he is just staring at me with loving eyes, I know that there's no other job I'd rather be doing. I am extremely thankful to my husband for understanding and being behind me when I said being a stay at home mom was important to me. I am so thankful that I get to spend every day with my baby because one day he will have a whole new life and dear old mom won't be his number one favorite thing like I am now.

I mean...I am literally his favorite thing of all time. When I'm cheering for him in the stands when he's in fifth grade or waving at him obnoxiously in the school parking lot, it may not be the same. Brian is already telling me I have to tone it down for the poor fella. I love to cheer on people...I'll really have to restrain.

But not Beau loves for me to cheer him on and thinks I'm the coolest person ever. He also thinks I'm one of the only people on this planet. He thinks life is all about ME and I'm okay with that. He doesn't know any different and I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

I think way too far ahead so I find myself being sad over the fact that I won't get to spend all my time with him because one day that would be considered crazy. I can't stalk him at college or make him stay home with me forever. But for now...for now he's here. And mom says by the time I need to let him go, It'll be okay because I'll be tired of parenting anyway.

I hope she's right.

My thoughts on parenting three months in as you all probably know from my insane amount of pictures and chatter is that it is AMAZING. And much, much, MUCH easier than I originally thought. I think I'll probably have my kids far apart so I can keep saying that statement, haha. It's probably like's easy to just throw up and catch one ball but when you add more to the mix, I bet it gets pretty tough. One baby is not bad at all, though. In's a truly wonderful life.

Monday, December 16, 2013

*Let's Talk Body Image*

There's a fancy looking cup in my kitchen that I always thought was extremely valuable.

I keep it in a safe place on the shelf and barely use it because I'm afraid I'll break it. I've held it in such high esteem thinking that it's a costly item that cannot be replaced.

Well, two days ago I went to the grocery store and got a bottle of sparkling red grape juice. (That's about as crazy as we get around here.) I decided to get down the glass just for fun and poured Brian one, too. I went in for an over the top cheesy "clinking" of the cups only to hear a very different sound than I was expecting. "Are these...plastic???" Brian said looking at me with disbelief. We clinked again and then again just to make sure. It WAS plastic. A very thick and good looking plastic in my defense.

I think sometimes we have things on our minds and in our lives that we treat like the cup in my kitchen. We hold it in such high esteem and make it so important when really it should be treated like what it truly is...plastic. And maybe we treat our true valuable things like they are paper cups without even realizing it at times.

For instance...many of us as women focus A LOT on body image. Even super skinny girls that I think would never think of it are constantly thinking about it. We treat this search for beauty as the most expensive glass cup in our kitchen when really it's just a plastic cup. It shouldn't be as important as we make it and I'm NOT talking about a healthy lifestyle. I think it's good to lose weight and try to be healthy and stay away from foods that aren't good for us. I'm talking about when it overtakes our minds and gets to a place it shouldn't. I'm talking about the search for perfection and when body image takes up more of our mind than God does. I'm talking about the moment when we think we are worth more if we weigh less.

I know I've been guilty of treating body image like the fake glass cup in my kitchen, like it's more valuable than it is. I let too many times in my life when boys would pick the skinnier girl than me affect my thinking too deeply. I would see even the good Christian guys only go for the bomb shells and that would really get me down. In those moments when I thought the only way to get attention was to be smaller, my thoughts about God became more like a paper cup.

I have learned a lot by my weight gain during pregnancy believe it or not. I learned that there are more important things in life like self sacrifice and a baby that are truly worth it. I have learned that before I got pregnant I focused entirely too much on how I looked and put it in a place that it shouldn't have been. I am working hard to get back to where I was and I truly believe in a healthy lifestyle and exercise, but it will all be meaningless if I make it TOO important again. It will put me in misery if I believe the lie that the better I look, the more people will accept me. If my reasoning for doing it is's meaningless. If it takes too much of my thought life and overshadows my thoughts about will be in vain.

I guess I just want all of you to stop judging yourselves because it's exhausting. And there's much more important things in life to focus your mind on. Besides, if your mind and heart aren't doing well and you start treating it as more valuable than it amount of weight loss or beauty product will ever be enough.

(BTW..the links in orange are NOT my doing...the internet is just making it a link.)

Monday, December 9, 2013

*My Winter Goal and Putty in Our Hands*

I have a confession to make….

I haven't been out of the house for eight days and it would've stayed that way with or without the snow.

Not only am I incapable of this thing called "Cabin Fever", but I have a goal this year that I plan to meet. My personality is not very motivated by goals according to personality books and well, my own everyday living but this time I'm really serious about it.

My goal is to NEVER get cold this entire winter.

Now, if you know me that well you know that I have not faired well in the frigid weather in the past. I've never been able to escape it because in elementary school I had to go to recess and my brother's football games. In high school the team was extremely good so I was still on the sidelines cheering in December. In college I had to walk to class or be heating up my frigid car in the parking lot at 7:00am after a long and windy hike. When I finally became an "adult" I was braving the elements in my nice clothes for recess and carpool duty. Not to mention, many times along the way I had incredibly scarring moments on the ski slope that I'm not even ready to talk about yet. Let's just use the word desperation to give you a feeling of how "fun" I think skiing is.

But this year…this year is DIFFERENT. This year my job IS at my house and I'm taking the term stay at home wife/mom to the next level! I will literally STAY AT HOME whenever possible!! I no longer have to face my enemy winter like I once did before…I even have a car that heats itself up before I leave which means I can close the door on that old way for now. The future will hold years where I will have to brave the elements again, but the goal for this year is to never get cold. Not once…not even for five minutes. Wish me luck.

I think I'll be able to do this for sure because I never get bored. I don't even know what that means…I may have my mom to thank for that one because when I was little if I would say: "Mom, I'm bored!" she would get this look in her eye and go: "Bored, huh? Ohhhh…I've got PLENTY of laundry for you to fold to cure that!" *Scared face*…I was so afraid of boredom.

I do think her tactic was pretty good and I will use many of her techniques for my own kids. It's funny, though…me and Brian talked about our different parenting ideas long before the baby was born and Beau is way more putty in our hands than we even thought. We had all these strong opinions about how not to spoil him etc. until we saw his face. The little prince just pooped on Brian's pillow because that's where he likes to be in the morning and who am I to say no to that face?! I am sooo hoping this whole not spoiling thing will work out when it's old enough to matter cause right now we just want to give him the world. Maybe it gets easier when they are old enough to learn the word NO and aren't just staring at you with chubby cheeks and sparkly eyes and a loving smile.

I remember a conversation when I was pregnant with Brian where he said very firmly a person should work hard for everything they get so when he's sixteen he will work for his car. I got my car from my parents so I'm more on the let's get him a car, but not a new/amazing one road. WELL…not two weeks after the baby was born I caught Brian talking to him saying: "And we're going to get you a lifted truck and a dirt bike and a four wheeler…" So much for that. Hoping we get a backbone by then cause it's important but oh my goooodnesssss that face just melts us.

Good thing you can't spoil a newborn as they say, let's just hope the terrible twos make this putty in our hands become a little more solid. We literally spent most of our snow days just staring at Beau laughing at everything he did. He is our very own play toy and we both talk about how surprised we are that we aren't yearning to get out more or wanting a babysitter. We don't want to give up any time with him!! We thought we'd feel a little trapped having 24/7 duty over a baby, but it's the opposite. It's our PRIVILEGE! There's no hope for us…this little boy has stolen every bit of our hearts!

Monday, November 11, 2013

*New Mom Diaries 4: Getting the Hang of it*

As I type this I can hear the washing machine filling up with water and the constant tick tick tick in the distance of the miracle baby swing. These two sounds often bring me comfort in the middle of the day. They are familiar noises that mean it's just an ordinary day and things are the way they should be.

In my last blog post I was pretty much drowning in the sea of new motherhood and talking about how I knew the time would go by so fast but I had no idea how fast they would really go. Beau already doesn't look like a newborn anymore and is twelve pounds making life a whole lot easier. He can hold his head up and is very easy to carry around because there's a lot more rolls to hold onto. He feels strong instead of a weak newborn and is able to sleep five and six hours at a time at night. He's finally gotten his days and nights figured out, so at night he only wakes up to feed once and then goes right back to sleep. It's made my life SO much easier.

I've been trying to teach him some things for sleep training later, one of which is not to rely on a sleep prop and wow, has he done REALLY well. Granted, I have a baby that likes his space so being in his moses basket when he's tired without being held is up his alley. I doubt it would work for all babies because of differing personalities, but he has been able to put himself to sleep lately and that has been really nice. I even put him in his bed after a night feeding with his eyes wide open and ten minutes later he's snoozing without one single tear or whimper. I'm so proud of him.

All moms have different ways of approaching these early days which I think is great, but what has worked best for me is just following him. I don't have any other babies or agendas so I can watch his cues and go with his flow. He has figured out day and night on his own, it just took a bit. He is only seven weeks old and doing so great in figuring out how this life thing works and it's been nice being able to go with the flow at whatever pace he feels like. A newborn knows what he needs much more than I do and they are built to tell us what they want and need in ways I could never figure out on my own.

My personality is the opposite of type A so a schedule this early in the game would just make me feel like a failure. Flexibility has definitely been my friend. And the odd thing is, even though I don't have a schedule schedule per say...he's starting to make one of his own. Though newborns will always throw you for a loop, so I'm not getting too cozy in our routine this week. You just never know and realizing that has made me a pretty relaxed new mama. That's my motto...just breathe and relax and let my baby's cues take the wheel. I don't want to get caught up in what I think should be happening and stress myself out. Each day I just take it as it comes and it's a very relaxed way of parenting a newborn, and I like that. I'm already too high strung as it is so I don't need to add anything to stress about quite yet. There will plenty of room for that in the future. He's a good little sleeper and pretty happy except for those dreaded few fussy hours at night before his longest sleep.

It's gotten so much easier now that I've taken most of my sleep back. He sleeps five and six hours at a time before waking up which has made all the difference. I feel like I'm becoming myself again and even started thinking about a second baby which I never thought I'd do after all I've been through. But when you're holding your precious baby in your arms and he's being and angel and you were somehow able to do the laundry, you think you just might be able to do it all over again.

So, it DOES get easier for any moms to be out there. I'd say weeks 3-5 are the absolute hardest because you're just so tired and they are still sleeping only two or three hours at a time. You have been tired and continue to be tired on levels you never thought a human could survive on...but then something during week six happens and it suddenly gets easier. At least for me anyway. I thought being a new mom would feel like more of a burden than it actually is. I knew I'd love it, but I thought all day would feel like a super hard job but it's really not when there's only one. I actually don't feel a lot different than I did before I had a baby because I still get my DVR's in and time to relax. I just get to hold a cutie while I'm doing it. And have to lug in a baby when I go tell the cashier I want forty bucks on pump seven.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

*New Mom Diaries 3-What I Didn't Know*

There are so many things in life I learn as I go. I hear what life will be like from other people, but until I experience something for myself there's really no way to truly know. I've also realized that people have very selective memory including myself so the stories people tell that are twenty years later are not exactly lining up with all the people I know experiencing it NOW. Like the people who had a newborn over twenty years old that say: "Oh, it was just so wonderful and easy" make moms in the thick of it go, huh? All phases of life that seem so huge at one point fade over time into a small montage of memories that remind us of once was. The details and emotions are lost somewhere along the way and we are left with whatever stands out.

I find myself trying to hold on to what Beau is like right now because I know it won't last long. I want to remember the memories because they are so special to me and the sweetness that a newborn brings is nothing short of a gift from God. It's truly one of the best things that ever happens to you. I love my baby so much. I can write that down, but it doesn't do nearly the justice that I feel. I would do anything for him and I love being around him so much. I love playing with him and holding him close. I love the sounds he makes when he sleeps, and how his hair sticks up after a bath. I love finding new things about him like when he's super tired and going to sleep a while, he puts his hand in the air. I call it "The hand of surrender to sleep"…it's so, so cute. He's so adorable and he gives me so much joy.

But that's not the only side to this time…there's a whole other side to it as well. It took me about three weeks of sleep deprivation to get there, but I have finally made it to the land of desperation people speak of. I totally thought in my last blog post that I was going to miss out on that, but it just took a few weeks to finally make it to the point of exhaustion I've never felt before. The one way ticket to crazy town.

Like…I thought it was Tuesday when it was really Thursday.
I slept on spit up and didn't even care because I thought "Well, my tshirt can soak it up"
My emotions are literally on the next level.

It's not parenting that's hard…it's the sleep deprivation. Getting eight hours and then taking care of a newborn would be the best and easiest job EVER. I was reading a book for bible study on how to battle depression as a mom and the main thing was to GET SLEEP. Ummmmm….not really an option here! I DO sleep when the baby sleeps, it's just that two hours here and there just doesn't cut it. That advice from people does not really make it any easier, I still feel like I've been to a bad junior high sleep over all the time. Emotions on almost a month of no sleeping is something I never knew was possible. I have literally turned into nothing short of a lunatic.

They say it's the best thing and hardest thing you'll ever do and it's so true. But they forgot to tell me that it would make me absolutely bonkers. It's that selective memory thing, I think. Who is this person?! And when will she ever have her toenails painted and eyebrows less jungleistic?! And for heavens sake when will she think strait ever again?!

I know times like these shape us and mold us into even better and stronger people. I know the best place we can be in life is being fully aware of our need for the Lord and strength from Him. I'm not wishing away this time because it's one of the most special times I've ever had…but I am fighting through this time as well. It's something I know I'll look back on and be proud of what I did and also scared of how crazy I was. On Duck Dynasty the other day after his son had his wisdom teeth taken out Willie said: "John Luke is sporting some nice crazy eyes to go with his new personality" I am sporting those crazy eyes…I feel ya, John Luke, I feel ya. Only my drug is sleep deprivation and it doesn't feel nearly as good.

Thanks to my many friends with newborns right now and my moms group at church, I know I'm not alone and it's completely normal to sport crazy eyes. That truly helps. We always need someone going through the same things in life to help us make it through and let us know our feelings are NORMAL.  People outside of this phase treat me like I'm still a regular person like: "Hey, are you going to this or that?" Ummm…no…I'm barely alive here actually, but thanks for asking! And "Can I help?" can only be answered truly by "Yes, come take a night shift!!!" but that's not happening, haha. That's really all I need…ONE NIGHT…just ONE NIGHT!!!! *Crazy scream voice*

One day I want to invest in ministry for new moms just like my bible study leader is doing. I didn't know how deep the need there was. Yesterday it was raining and I had been up since 3 am and it's a 30 minute drive to church but I was going to make it there no matter what. I forced myself up and prayed to God that Beau would have peace in the car because I had to go to my moms group regardless of how hard it was to get there. It's like a cool, refreshing drink with like minded people that helps me get my week started right. I NEED that ministry probably more than I've ever needed a ministry in my whole life.

What I didn't know in my former years of looking enviously on the smiling pictures of people with newborns was how happy they truly were…and how desperate at the same time. Those smiles are very real and there's nothing that can brighten up your life like a baby...but oh, I've never felt so much need for encouragement from people and strength from the Lord. Not in my single years, not in college, not in my job. If I wasn't allowed to sleep those times, it would be just as bad but I was able to get those precious eight hours. Eight hours is all it takes for sanity to reign and there's many out there that are not able to get that. I will never ever take sleeping for granted again! It's truly a gift that we are given everyday to help us meet life the way it should be.

Taking care of a newborn would be the easiest thing in the world if they came out sleeping all night…BUT since they don''s kinda like trying to take a nap out in a hammock on a tropical island…with a fire set underneath your toosh. Fire-no sleep. Hammock on a tropical island- your baby. I'm so thankful I have the most wonderful husband in the world to be there beside me being so understanding and helpful and strong for me when I'm weak. I don't have my family close, but God gave me the right husband to support me and help me through anything. I love him more than ever because of how he has handled all of this. He is my hero in so many ways. When I cry in a loud cry from exhaustion that scares the cat and makes him run…Brian is always there to hold me close and pick me up. He's never afraid of what any man should be. He's truly amazing. :)

I'm holding my sweet baby right now and my heart swells to levels I can't even explain. He's worth it…he's so very, very worth it. I'd do this forever if it meant being with my little Beau. He has my whole heart wrapped around his tiny, chubby finger. I would never, ever go back…I would go back into this knowing everything that I know now over and over again. I love him…with the true meaning of love. Maybe it's the first time I've ever known so deeply what the TRUE meaning of love is. Giving of oneself when the other can't give much back in return. We are just as needy as a newborn and the Lord is the one that takes care of us and sustains us when we can't do much back. But He finds delight in us like we find delight in our babies. He sacrificed so much when we were unable to do anything for ourselves without him. And the bible does say in Psalms "The one who guards you never sleeps." I get a tiny glimpse of what that relationship is like now that I have this baby in my life. Just a tiny one.

I hear the sleep deprivation phase gets better, so stay tuned….this was written in the thick of the trenches so it won't be forever! Keep fighting new moms, keep fighting! :) We can do this!! With God, everything is possible!!!! Enjoy that cuteness of your baby and how sweet they feel in your arms and don't let the tiredness make you miss out on this precious and fleeting time. Find reasons to laugh everyday…it keeps me going. A smile makes greasy hair and crazy eyes look more appealing anyway. :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

*New Mom Diaries 2- The First Days*

It's been two weeks since I met my baby boy and it might as well of been a lifetime ago. I have never had such a short span of time seem so far away. I look at pictures of the day he was born and he already looks SO different. He grows and changes so much each day.

Right now as I type this, I have my sleeping baby in my arms. MY baby…I still can't believe it when I say that. He rocks slightly back and forth with each letter I type and I can tell he finds it comforting. If only you could hear his little soft snore beneath me and see his sweet face. He is truly a gift. My son…I can't say it enough.

It's hard to believe now, but before I had a baby, I was absolutely terrified. I heard horror story after horror story about the first weeks after giving birth and how your life is over and was honestly scared out of my mind. I am really bad on no sleep, so I didn't know how that was going to work out. There were so many doubts in my mind that I had, you know? Will I be a good mother? Will I know how to make him stop crying? What if I get overwhelmed and fall into major anxiety? Newborns seem so breakable, how will I know what to do? I let my realistic personality take away a lot of the joy that I should have been feeling. If there's anything I've learned in the first days it's this….motherhood,  is so much better than I ever thought or imagined. Motherhood comes more naturally than I ever thought possible. Motherhood does not make you lose your life, it breathes life into you like you've never known.

You hear mothers say "It's worth it" and before I was a mother I didn't understand that. There's no way to explain it, but every hard thing truly is worth it and the good far outweighs any of the bad. I have gotten about three hours of sleep a night in the past two weeks and I wouldn't change that for the world. I wake up to my son and although I am sleepy and my bed has suddenly become much more inviting and comfortable than it was before…the face of my baby boy perks me up and I somehow come to life in the night…over and over and over. We spend many minutes of the night together, but it has truly bonded us together as mother and son.

I remember the very first night I spent with my sweet Beau. I was extremely tired from laboring two nights in a row and having him at 6:29am so I sent him to the nursery just for two hours to get a little bit of sleep. I told them to please send him to me if he was upset, because I really wanted to be there for him. Not long after, the nurses brought him back to me crying and in a fit. He was completely upset and the nurse said that she thought he was just missing me. Sure enough, I took him in my arms and he stopped crying immediately and just looked at me with little loving eyes. I cradled him close and we spent the next few hours sleeping as near to the way we had the past ten months as we could. The nurse smiled when she saw how happy he was and said: "I think he thinks he should still be in the womb!" I just couldn't make myself take away the comfort that our closeness brought him on that first night. And honestly…he's been a part of me, too. I needed him as much as he needed me. I pick him up a lot because I'm used to him being near me- a part of me. It's not easy being separated when you are so used to someone hiccuping and wiggling inside you for so long.

I've already become better at being a mom in the first two weeks and there has definitely been a learning curve. When he first got home, I barely knew how to change a diaper but luckily babies are VERY forgiving. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and fumbling around with his diaper trying to figure out how in the world it goes, and he just stared at me like he didn't care that I had no clue what I was doing.

I barely slept the first few nights he got home (literally about forty five minutes) because I was so busy checking if he was still breathing. When a human being that small is sleeping next to your bedside, it's a little bit unnerving for the first few nights! I would put my hand under him to get a reaction just to make sure he was alive and well! That lasted for about four nights and I am proud to say, I now sleep soundly and am comfortable with him there. But…maybe I still check a few times. ;)

These past fourteen days have been absolutely wonderful for me. Even though I have been recovering, it really has not been that hard at all. I once asked a new mom with a one month old if the past month had been hard. She replied with an answer I'll never forget: "We've wanted this baby for so long. If you want something this bad, it's not hard to do what you need to do."

Maybe that's why it hasn't been that hard for me. This is what I have always wanted my entire life. This is what I have been wanting to wake up to do everyday since I can remember. I look at my baby at this very moment and my heart swells with purpose and meaning and the hard parts just fade away. Sure, I haven't showered, I'm in pain, and I look like I have two black eyes from lack of sleep, but that's what I wanted. Nothing truly meaningful in life comes without a sacrifice.

I truly believe that these days where my baby needs me for everything and I sacrifice even the ability to go to the bathroom or get a drink when I want are the times that will keep us close and bonded forever. We care about the things that we put our heart and souls into. We care about the things we sacrifice for more than anything that is just given to us easily.

Even though it IS full of sacrifices, it has been much easier than I thought. MUCH easier. I think it's because before I couldn't imagine how much I'd love him and how much I'd want to do things for him. Plus, those motherly instincts the Lord gives us are such amazing things and help us new mothers get it done! I feel like I have these new traits inside me that are super powers that I never hard before. I see myself doing these things and wonder who on earth I am. But I really like who I am.

My heart has overflowed with happiness time and time again and I have yet to get too overwhelmed simply because I've made it. I've finally started this journey that I've been waiting to start since I can remember.

So with tired eyes and a pleasant heart….I say goodnight to you. My little love is about to wake up and right now it's my job to put everything else aside for my baby. The one who is entrusted to me for these precious moments that will end far too soon.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

*New Mom Diaries 1- The Birth Story*

These past few days of my life have changed who I am forever.

I tried my whole life to figure out what becoming a mom would feel like and I wasn't even close to getting it right. My heart feels a million times better than I ever dreamed and it's much less scary/overwhelming than I thought it would be. It's like God puts something in your body and mind to help you, so imagining being a mom before I was one was a lot harder than it actually is. It's true that you never sleep and you are in pain afterwards…but oh, the joy you feel and the love that washes over you takes control and you feel something in your heart you never have before. Something so great that only the Creator of this world could put it there. I'm a better person for knowing my little Beau already and I never want to go back to who I was.

To get to that moment of pure joy and bliss, it took many trials in the days before. The bible says: "A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her hour has come, but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into this world." That verse couldn't be more true.

Tuesday morning around 4am my contractions started coming and my "hour" or many hours of pain were about to come.  We had a C section scheduled that Friday for health reasons and I never even had one Braxton Hick so I thought I'd get out of the whole labor without meds thing. I am so not granola,  so I was relying on the fact that I would probably be numb when most of the hard work happened, but that 4am wake-up call ruined that dream.

I called my doctor and told him what was going on and he said to go in to see if we needed to go ahead and get him out that day. They hurt, but weren't terribly painful but I wanted to go in for sure because I had high hopes in the pain relief hospitals readily offer and was ready to get on that train ASAP! When we got there I had the terrible realization that I had to actually dilate through contractions to a certain point if the baby wasn't 39 weeks along yet. He was three days away, so I was basically sent home to tough it out for a bit because it was only early labor and it could last a few days.

Fast forward to 11:30pm the next night after having contractions throughout the day and they steadily got worse and worse until they become VERY painful and five minutes apart. That's when they said to come in, so we rushed to the hospital and they put me on the monitor immediately. We were there from 12:00am-4:00am with me just laboring there and having contractions that made me bawl my eyes out only to be told I was still not dilated at all and had to go back home! Talk about disappointing!! Luckily they put me out of my misery for a little bit with a shot that stopped the contractions for a few hours and a pain killer as well.

The whole next day I contracted on and off and by that night it was to the point where I was begging the dear Lord to take me to my maker!!!  I have never known pain on that scale and what I once thought was agony in my former life is a walk in the park. Recovering from a C section is rough, but I'm just thankful I'm not in labor because woaaaa…it is not playing around! It makes the recovery process pretty doable because it's like "At least I'm not having THAT happening anymore!" My insides all blended up feels MUCH better.

Since they had sent me home so much, I tried to tough it out because I didn't want to be sent home again and this time the contractions were fifteen minutes apart instead of five and that was too far apart so I thought. I finally got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore and just wanted one of those miracle shots, so we rushed to the hospital where I was like: "You'll probably just send me home again" crying and the nurse was like: "OH wow, you're staying here!! The baby's head is right there!!"

FOR REAL?! You have GOT to be kidding me! I NEVER wanted to be the hero!!!!! I was so okay, ready, and willing to be judged by the la leche league for my love of doctors and medicine!

Anyway, we got to to hospital at 5:45am and the baby came out at 6:29am if that tells you how fast they got me in there. I got my spinal on the OR table so I got a good look at how many people this was going to take and all the tools that were about to dig into my gut. Talk about unfortunate moment in life. They didn't let Brian come in for all that so I was forced to put my head in the bosom of a woman I don't know while I got something shoved in my back. It should've been an awkward moment but since I was still contracting and I was in such desperation bawling my eyes out, I held onto her like she was my own mother! I remember thinking her clothes smelled extremely good…I kept commenting on that later that day even. Out of all that went on, her smell still stuck with me. I REALLY want to know what laundry detergent she uses.

I talked during my entire wedding ceremony so why wouldn't I talk during my entire C section, too? I kept saying things like "I think I can't breathe!!!" and "My arms!!! My arms! My arms are free!" Apparently they never were free but I swear I remember waving my arms in the air. The worst part was probably when they opened me up and air ran up to my shoulders causing a terrible pain that the spinal didn't get rid of. That's when I thought I moved my arms in the air but I think when they knew I was in pain they added a little somethin somethin because things got a little hazier from there.

Things went pretty downhill not long after that. We had no idea there was something wrong with our baby until I heard the doctor very calmly say to the NICU nurses…"We have some meconium here." I remember my heart sinking and my world started to spin. I didn't know much, but I knew that wasn't good. I then felt like I was going to throw up so I started yelling: "I think I'm going to throw up, no really, I'm going to throw up!!" So I got this bag put by my face but I had no idea what help that would do since I was stuck facing upwards.

I remember trying not to throw up and feeling a tug at my stomach then people rushing over to the baby on my right. I heard the quietest sound I have ever heard in my life and started saying over and over: "Why isn't he crying? Why isn't he crying? Isn't he supposed to cry by now?" The doctor just calmly and gently said: "Don't worry, we are just needing to jump start him."

I could see Brian looking at him and I told him to move, but he wouldn't no matter how much I begged. He didn't want me to see what he thought at the time was our dying child. I saw a little blue foot from around him, but that's all I could get a glimpse of and the feeling of throwing up rushed over me even worse. I waited and waited for what seemed like forever…right when I heard a faint baby wail and looked Brian in his teary eyes, I went blank and don't remember much from there. Maybe since I was panicking they put something else in to help calm me down…I really have no idea, I just know I went blank. But if that was the case, thank you whoever you are! I needed that relief…it was too much to handle and I was definitely in a panic which probably doesn't make sowing me up easy.

Beau came out with a score of one which was barely alive. He was not breathing and his heart rate was below 80. The cord had gotten wrapped around his arms and squeezed him so tight the blood flow was messed with is what I gather from what I heard. The miracle from God is that they revived him and in ten minutes he scored a 9! YES…a NINE! Talk about turn around!!! I am so thankful to Jesus for that miracle!!!!! Even though I had to go through those moments of shear panic, my baby was saved and the jump start the doctor spoke of worked. I can't thank the NICU nurses enough for what they did for my baby.

I can't remember meeting my son, but my mom told me as they wheeled me out I just kept saying: "I haven't seen my baby, they didn't let me see my baby!" Then when we finally got to the room Brian said I had my eyes closed shut saying: "I can't see him, I can't see him!" I vaguely have an image in my mind of someone putting him propped up on my arm since I couldn't really hold him normally since I just had surgery. Other than that…it's all a blur and I'm not even sure when my mind came back. I don't exactly have a first memory, but I DO have a first picture of the moment. Everyone says I looked like I was "glowing" but that was actually yellow from nausea. Bright as the shining sun yellow, I guess. ha

I may not remember details for the first hour or so, but I do remember over time coming to and falling in love instantly. Beau was cuter than I even imagined and he was MINE. I still can't really fathom that when I look at him. He had a really hard time with his blood sugar because of his hard birth so the nurses had me put him skin to skin for a couple of hours to help him get better. Nourishment only brought his blood sugar levels up 2 points, but being close to his mama and hearing my heartbeat brought it up 22 points. My body was able to help my baby and that seriously was one of the best feelings ever. It was sad that he needed it, but it was such an intimate way to get our relationship started. To have a baby rely on me and for me to be his place of comfort is a moment that will change me forever. To have such a cute little one so tiny looking with those little eyes like he knows me so well makes my heart swell with thankfulness. I love him so much more than I ever thought possible and my sweet baby gives me all that love right back. He's mine, and he knows he's mine…praise the Lord this precious baby is mine.

Monday, July 15, 2013

*Changing My Thoughts*

Yesterday was the first time I drove back to Oklahoma and felt like I was going HOME. This is a huge monumental step for me because until now it's felt like I've been dragged from my home every time I leave Arkansas and I'd feel upset for about three days after. I would like to give props to my incredible husband who has held me close during my many dramatic moments and sacrificed many tshirts to my tears while I wrestled with the new life change. He never made me feel crazy even if I was bawling about missing my favorite restaurants. It's taken nine months to get to this moment, but it feels really good. Yesterday was the first time I really let go and embraced that this is the place God has for me.

The nine month timeline is very interesting because it's close to the same timeline as pregnancy. Maybe it takes that many months to finally come to grips with a major life change? Just a thought I've had.

I think part of the reason I finally feel at home here is that the Lord has been really convicting me about my thought processes lately. It's so easy to imagine what my life would be like if my kids would grow up around my family and have all that access to grandparents and the lake house, the pool, and fun all the time. It's so easy to feel left out and look too far ahead and wonder what it will be like when my parents can't make it to all my kid's games or the time in life when my babies grow up and traveling won't be so easy. It takes no effort to get upset about the change in dynamics with friendships because I just don't have time in Arkansas to spend with the ones I used to spend all my time with. It's way too simple to picture something different than what God has clearly directed for my life and feel sad. And lately the Lord has shown me that entertaining thoughts of what could be is sin and brings no positive outcomes. He's shown me that the enemy uses these thoughts to direct my attention away from all the blessings God is showering on me.

Because God IS showering me with SO many blessings. He has given me a husband that has been better than I've ever dreamed and I am getting to become a mother earlier than I thought I would which is SUCH a relief. I seriously thought I would be the last person on earth to have a baby or just be a crazy cat lady, but that shows what I know. That shows how my thought processes can take me down roads I never even needed to go. OOOHHH if only you knew of the dramatic nights of my (what felt like) long, utterly dateless, single life. Some of y'all went through it with me on this blog, so maybe you do remember, haha. Our mind can be our worst enemy sometimes and Satan loves to use that!

So now that I've realized what a detriment to myself it is whenever I get upset over what COULD be, I stop myself and start to think about all the blessings that I have and of the hope of what will be in the future when I have made more of a home here. It has made my life a whole lot better and I wish I would've started thinking like this sooner!  If we aren't on guard, the enemy will try to get us down even when our situation is as good as this life allows. He does not want us to be happy even if our dreams come true and will fight SO hard to get our minds on the wrong track.

Single years? Instead of embracing it and having fun and growing closer to God, Satan wants us to think we are not worthy of love and there is something wrong with us and that God clearly has a better plan for others than he does for us. He wants loneliness and comparison to eat us alive.

Finally found that one true love? Satan loves to use the wedding planning to bite you in the rear end and bring a little reality to the bliss. Oh…and he loves to make transition to a life together super complicated so that you get irritated about the strangest things. Like…where to put this certain picture on the wall suddenly becomes life or death. It's very weird.

Finally found that dream home? He loves to get you focused on the creatures that are after you in it or how long it takes for your family to get there.

Finally pregnant with your first baby? He will do whatever it takes to make you insecure and feel like a blimp/mack truck (*BEEP BEEP* she's backin up) and focus on that more than the miracle that is happening. And he tries to get you to focus on the fact that your body has never been more uncomfortable in it's entire life…anything to get your mind away from the blessing that pregnancy truly is. Though some people LOVE pregnancy, so congratulations. But I'm sure there's SOMETHING that gets those unicorns down, too. I don't know what because I can't relate but we are all human and our minds wander so easily. Comparison is another…it's so easy to get jealous of people who "Just feel carsick" or "Only grow a bump and not Michelin man it up" or "Just think pregnancy is SO beautiful and the BEST time in their life" while I'm sitting over here with a twitch from the toll. Comparison is KILLER.

Basically…I have been opened to the fact that whatever it is that God is doing for me that is GOOD, the enemy wants to focus my attention on something negative and allowing him to do that is a sin. I want to actively realize when my mind is being used against me to get me down and focus on the amazing things that God is doing. Nothing in this life comes without bumps in the road and that's just life, but we are not supposed to focus on those things and blow them up to be much bigger than the good. Because God is ALWAYS doing something good no matter what. It's in His nature. The bible says He works everything together for the good of those who love Him. Everyday, our lives and situations are working together for our benefit. Even when I'll be up all night with a newborn…God will be working. (Remind me of that, okay?! I'm thinking clearly now, but no promises then!)

When I stop myself from thinking negatively I am opened to a better relationship with Christ because I am looking at life in a better perspective and thankful for what God has done for me. I don't deserve any of the things He has given me over the years and still wonder how He could be on my team after my focus continually being taken off Him. I waver so easily, but He stays so strong.

It's time to take control over this battle of my thoughts and start thinking in the right direction that is constructive and brings me closer to the Lord. Even if it takes some trial and error, He is there to listen to me even if my thoughts and emotions make no sense at all. He's there to help me sort it out no matter how long it takes and His patience never ceases to amaze me.

And the fact that He chose ME to be Brian's wife and the mom to Beau still leaves me in awe. It shows that He is going to use His power to work through me because I know I can't do it alone. These boys deserve so much more than anything I can give on my own. It's good to know how perfect God's love is for them, because that's what I want for my family and they already have it no matter how many times I fail.

How can I not just stand in thankfulness? How can I even let me mind go anywhere else?? God has been SO good to me and He is with my baby loving him and taking care of him already. As a mom it is such a relief to know the creator of the universe is overseeing every little hair that grows and little fat roll that forms. He knows my child more intimately than I ever will and for that I am so thankful. My hope for Beau is that above all else he finds his worth and acceptance in Jesus Christ. That he finds that relationship with God early in life and can hear his voice above anything else. That he finds a girl who loves him as much as I love Brian and that we will be the kind of parents that raise him to love his wife like my husband loves me. Parents play such a HUGE role in who that person will be to their future family. A HUGE one. Thankfully, the Lord is here to help us. :)

What a good, good God I have who is here with me right now as I type this. What a perfect plan He has for me and my children here in Oklahoma….an even better one than I could ever come up with. And I can't wait to see how it all unfolds.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

*Our Uninvited Guest*

It wasn't until two weeks ago that I realized there were more than two people living in the house.

I had seen little black things on the floor everyday for a while now, but I thought they were part of the turf that Brian often drags into the house after a soccer game. Whenever I'd see them, I'd get the dust buster and vacuum them up without a second thought. I just KNEW it had to be from Brian's soccer shoes so I didn't worry one bit. Until I found them in my pots and pans.

I was wanting chicken salad really bad one day so I decided to go get all the ingredients to make some. When it was time to grab a pan to cook the chicken, I opened the drawer and noticed about 50 pieces of little oozing nasty black things that looked very similar to what I thought was the turf. I think these had more time to sit there since they weren't in the open, so they were much nastier. It finally hit me that Brian would not step into the pan drawer and that something else was leaving it's trail.

I put the pan out on the counter for Brian to look at when he got home because that's the kind of thing a man of the house has to look forward to after a long day of work. When he got back and looked at it he said immediately: "Yep, that's mouse poop. I wasn't going to tell you, but we've had mice for a while now. I saw one while I was watching tv the other day by the fireplace."

Ummm…excuse ME?!?! 

It spooked me out, but it didn't get absolutely personal until the thing started eating all my avocados. I haven't had any major pregnancy cravings except for avocados so the mouse was starting to walk in dangerous territories. I started trying to move the avocados to where he couldn't get them, but bionic mouse finds them NO MATTER WHAT. No matter how high…no matter how much it seems like he couldn't ever get there…he makes it. And eats it. About a quarter size chunk shell and all.

"Should we just put out a food bowl so it doesn't eat my avocados?" 

My plans are sadly trying to work around the mouse. We are getting traps but part of me is so scared of being the one to stumble across it first. 

The mouse has been EVERYWHERE in the house. There's poop on the couch, in the cabinets, on the counters, in the bathrooms, in the closets…no place left unexplored. When we go to sleep at night it really seems like he gets a nice meal, takes a bath, watches the DVRed "Healing in the Heartland" and then just poops in every room for fun. It's out of control.

Mice are really illusive and don't want to be seen so they are very hard to catch. This is good in the fact that we usually don't come face to face, but I hear his rumblings in the pantry or on my counter every once in a while. I start banging on walls and stomping on the floor before I go into any room so he knows to get out of the way.

The other night, we did come into contact with our problem, though. We stayed up late because we hadn't had a chance to be together because the night had been so busy so we were up at 11:30. That's around the time when the mice come out to start their day. Brian walked into the kitchen and saw it run down behind the oven from the counter which showed us how he was making it to my precious avocados.

Brian took out the bottom drawer and asked me to run get a broom and started poking under the oven. He had no idea the mouse was in the drawer, so while he thought he was getting the mouse, the mouse jumped out right in front of his face and scampered on back. 

We could tell it was hiding about halfway up the oven back wall, so he moved the entire thing trying to get the mouse to come out. I had the idea to use the swiffer to poke behind from the top so it had no place to go but to where Brian was. Me and Beau got up on the counter and were poking like crazy while Brian waited sprawled out on the floor with a broom at the bottom. 

The mouse finally ran out and made a big scene while Brian whacked at it but it quickly got up into a hole UNDERNEATH our cabinets! I mean these things know of places we don't even know of. We thought of plugging the hole, but where would we be if there was a dead mouse stuck under our cabinets where we couldn't get to it? We had to leave it alone and wait until we had a trap.

So now I'm just plugging the bottom of my bedroom door as best as I can and making lots of noise whenever I leave my room while we wait to win this war. There was poop right beside my bed, so I know he comes in and looks at us and laughs at night.

But we will have the last laugh. He might have won the battle, but WE will win the war.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

*A Most Important Lesson*

I can't sleep. My mind has been racing in the dark with all the visions and adrenaline that has been pumping through my body ever since the weather started coming through Oklahoma a few days ago. I think it's just now hitting me how bad things got in the City and my mind won't shut down.

I don't ask myself why this happened because I'm not surprised by tragedy. It's part of life and a part I really hate. We like to forget about it in our everyday lives by focusing on doing things fun and having a good time with people, trying to block out the fact that we are stuck here in this world that holds many disappointments.

I haven't been through much the public eye has seen in my life that looks like tragedy, but I have had tragedy in my heart many times. I think lots of us have gone through so much more than anyone could ever know because it happens in a place they can't see. Part of me is thankful for the pain because it taught me one of the most important lessons I'll ever learn. A lesson that will stick with me forever.

I will never be fully satisfied until I am reunited with Christ.

I know we are told that ALL the time, but as humans we try SO hard to fight that statement. We think that if we get our prayers answers, then everything will just be better. If I find a man, if I have a baby, if I get the right job, if I have plenty of friends, if I am beautiful…we chase all these things in hopes that the deep void we feel in the silence will go away. But it never does…maybe it's silenced for a little while, but then something happens to make us realize that we were very wrong. It's still there.

In a children's bible it describes this feeling as "Missing God"…it's like we miss Him even if we don't realize that's why we feel that way. Nothing on this earth will take that away. The time that the void will be completely wiped away for good is when things are made RIGHT. Chasing things of this world and holding the false notion that prayers answered for my life dreams would make me completely content was the wrong way to go. Only one thing can make me feel fully content and satisfied and that's never going to happen here. The roses will always have thorns this side of Heaven.

It's actually a pretty neat thing how the timing of this realization came about. I was in a really hopeless place for a while before I met Brian, but the Lord was wanting me to learn something very important before he gave my husband to me. Through a series of events, the Lord helped me realize that no matter what, even if I was given EVERYTHING I ever asked for on this earth, I would still have a void. I would still feel unsatisfied. I would still MISS God and the life I knew I was supposed to have. I took the road of thinking that nagging feeling would go away if I was married or got my other dreams and that if all my prayers were answered life would finally feel complete. Life would finally be EASIER.

But that's not true.

I remember one night it really clicked with me. I said to God:"I realize now that no matter what happens, I'll never feel satisfied until I am with YOU on the other side of this life. No dreams coming true or person will ever make me feel the way I would feel if I were finally with YOU. I am going to stop chasing all these things and chase You instead."

The next week I met the love of my life.

The next year many things I had been praying for my entire life started coming to pass.

It was like He wanted to make sure my priorities and mindset were in the right place before He gave me my family. I hold tightly to the belief that Jesus is always my First love….He was there with me in the beginning and He will be there with me in the end. It was so important for me to realize this before I could be truly happy in a marriage. Going into it knowing that THIS is not what completes me…Heaven and life with God will be what completes me. And one day I will feel a wholeness that I have never experienced before.

These times when so much tragedy and destruction happen point me to Heaven and the reality that I am only here for a little while and one day going to be freed of any negative situation. But these times are also a time to focus and reflect on what good things this life has to offer and how blessed I am to get to experience joys when I least deserve them. It's a time to hold my family and friends close and be thankful for the time we have together.

I am relishing in this happy phase in my life, but also soberly realizing that we all have a day of tragedy to come. But I don't blame God. He isn't the one who brought sin and destruction in the did. He weeps at the thought of all we have to go through as well and went through worse than any of us will ever have to. He had to die on the cross and be completely separated from God to save us from ourselves. At least we have the Holy Spirit and the presence of God everywhere we are. We are never fully separated from Him…He has come to US. But even though He is already here, we still know that things aren't right yet. That feeling inside on tragic days like today reminds us all too well.

I am thankful for The Cross because it eliminates tragedy once this life is over and this world is gone.

I am very ready for that day….but until then, I am thankful for what I have here on earth and all the blessings that are given to me. I am thankful for the void because it reminds me who is MOST important. I'll hold my family closely realizing they don't complete me or fill me, but enjoying the happiness that they bring. This world is a bad place, but oh…the good it has for us is something to celebrate! The good that points us to God and gives us just a little glimpse of what's to come.

It's an amazing feeling to realize that the happiest I feel on earth doesn't even compare to the joy that's coming.

Monday, May 6, 2013

*My Slow Journey to Being Outdoorsy*

I finally took a walk alone down my street and I feel like I've really taken a large step forward in my quest to be outdoorsy. I have wanted to take a walk on these pretty days for a while now,  but it's really scary for me when I look out my bedroom window and see a bobcat smiling at me, and that snake in the middle of the road still fills my mind with questions. Even the insects here are enlarged and seem to be eating something to make them grow twice the size they were in Arkansas. But then again…maybe I didn't get close enough to look.

It's not only the wild beasts that make me fearful of walking on my street as much as the VERY large dogs. Every time I drive through the neighborhood, I see enormous dogs running loose that I'm sure are VERY loyal to their masters, but not to outsiders. We all got a note in our mailbox to tie up the dogs in the area, but out in the country…folks don't really listen to that. I hear gunshots often…people just do what they want. That's what the country is for, right?

I really do WANT to experience the beauty of nature, but it has really scary things that come with it. I feel like every time I go outside, I end up having to face some fear or put myself in the path of potential pain. When we were little, punishment didn't feel good so we learned not to do something because of it. That's EXACTLY how I learned to run from nature. It punished me in full many times. It might've punished me with a bee sting, or falling into the rocks at Pinnacle, or seeing a snake out in the yard, or getting torn up by a sticker bush. It just seemed to come with a lot of pain…and aren't we supposed to learn to get AWAY from something if it's painful? Why am I so judged for my lack of love for the outdoors?! It only makes logical sense that I would feel this way. I DO NOT like to feel pain, so I run from things that bring it.

Knowing where my problem with the outdoors comes from helps me understand and take baby steps in the right direction. My lack of willingness to run to the trees is not just some random accident. It was from very clear and direct punishments from nature.

But I'm still trying…even though it's hard to see the positives that outweigh the negatives, I'm still TRYING to be more outdoorsy. I'm TRYING to be less fearful of the hornets nest right outside the door. I'm TRYING to imagine myself tanning in the backyard without panicking about a snake or bobcat or turkey ruining the experience. I'm TRYING to imagine myself at the top of the food chain with nothing to fear,  but my brain is telling me that being outside is where the danger could come. Inside…looking from the window…it's just beauty without consequence. 

If all the wildlife was taken away, I really would enjoy nature more. I love the beauty of the trees and the smell of being outside. I like to be on the lake in the boat where I can experience all the joy of creation with all the dangers underneath and out of my mind. I WANT to be outdoorsy, because I like the outside, I really do. I just hate the feeling you have when you spot a snake…even if it doesn't hurt you. I don't like putting myself in places to get spooked, because I scare myself enough in my own mind and don't need any reality to help. 

But I do want to be braver and less fearful when it comes to going outside regardless of the fact that wildlife will always be there.  I've already figured out how to be outside on the beach pretty well and I can also do the lake like a champ…but I guess the next thing on my list is being okay with the woods. 

My baby step one towards that goal is officially completed. I took a walk alone down my street and I made it. And I'm okay. It was actually very nice and nothing bad happened. It was worth putting myself in snakes way…because the feeling I got was far greater than the fear.

Monday, April 22, 2013

*A Big Responsibility*

It's a known fact that baby mammals learn by what they see. I recently came across this quote on a kids research site that really got me thinking:

"Baby mammals learn from their mothers. Most of the mothers don’t really try to teach their babies, but the babies watch their mother and do the things they see her do. Through copying their mothers, baby mammals learn everything they need to survive."

That quote alone is enough to make me feel so inadequate to embark on this thing called motherhood. We have so much responsibility as mothers and such an impact on how our child turns out. I have really started to watch and notice the things people do and I started to realize just how much a person's family impacts who they become. Obviously it's not always the same for everyone so I may not be right about all of this, but the main person I've noticed that was completely shaped by her family is..ME. And that fact brings me enough confidence to think there's a little truth to these thoughts I've had. A lot of times…families DO pass down many things to their children that they don't even think about.

If a family hunts, they usually pass that down and the boys can't wait to make it to the tree stand. If a family has ventured out to try to camp once like mine and it was an ultimate fail, the kids usually don't yearn for the outdoors. If a family had a dog and it was a positive experience, that person usually wants a dog. If a family is into exercising, the child usually is as well. I rarely find a person that is running everyday that comes from a family who never did. Granted, in our new granola culture there may be more people, but I feel like the ones that truly pull it off have seen it done before. If a family like mine says dessert is a great thing, we never fear it…but if your family has always made it the bad guy, maybe the cake chewing doesn't go down so easily.

Everyone talks about how friendly my family is, but we were taught to be that way. My mom was super friendly and instilled in us that being rude to another person was not an option even if we felt like it. And by "instilled" I mean we got a little visit from Mr. Wooden Spoon every time we thought we could get away with doing whatever we 'felt like'. Suddenly we had smiles everywhere we went! I love bright colors in my house because it's what my mom always had and makes me feel at home. I expected to be a stay at home mom, because that's the culture of my extended family and was a priority to them all. Lots of women whose moms worked, expect to continue to work when their babies are born because that was how their family did things. Both my parents and Brian's parents never drank…and we never did, either. We followed in their footsteps and mimicked what they did. We learn by what we see!

Church and God were always major priorities in my family and it was passed down to be a major priority to me. Granted, my own relationship with Christ had to come out of it when I was a little older, but I had a very easy ramp up to find Jesus. There's never been a day that I doubted there is a Creator…because the people I trusted the most never doubted. I am so thankful that I have known since I was very young that I AM saved and there IS hope. I have never held a hopeless thought.

Private school was a big part of my parent's life growing up and then it was a big part of mine. I will keep that torch going and send my children to a private school as well and I don't think that's just out of left field…I think that was instilled. I haven't even had a second thought about anything different and I know it has to do with how I was raised and all the positive memories and experiences I hold close. I absolutely LOVED my schools.

My family says "I'm sorry" and so do I.  Being taught that I'm not always right and to apologize and forgive is one of the greatest gifts I've received.  Families that stay truly close use the word "I'm sorry" very easily. My parents have always been open and honest and talk about everything and therefore I can be the same way with Brian. My parents play and laugh together, and it was important for me to find someone that was the same way with me.

I like to dance because my mom, my aunts, and my grandmother all love to dance. I choose to do jazzercise because that's what my family does together and it holds so many good memories for me. I like to read because I saw my mom read. I've never even considered buying a bikini or wearing a low cut dress because my mom never did (and I was never given an even close opportunity) haha. I like to eat…because my family likes to eat. I have just recently found out that a salad is actually a MEAL to some people and am still a little dumbfounded, haha. I always have this WANT to be a super skinny girl, but then I realize just how much I like to eat and kind of give that up by lunch time.

I guess I just feel this huge responsibility come over me when I realize the things I don't even think about are going to really effect the way my child turns out. I am starting to try to think about what I want our priorities to be and what will be instilled in our baby without us even thinking about it. I'm trying to think about what I don't want to pass down like my fear of the highway or thinking there's a tragic event coming down my path any day now…I don't want my child to jump at every eighteen wheeler like I do. It's scary to think that a life will be watching ME to help shape who they are and how they see the world. I want to be a good mother so bad but I know that I am imperfect and will fail many times. 

My greatest prayer right now is that I will be able to make the decisions my baby needs and at least be a mother that my kids always want to come back to, no matter how many mistakes I make along the way.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

*Thank you, Adulthood!*

There are some things in life that you can get away with as an adult that would have never gone well as a teenager. One of those moments happened to me this week and I was thanking my lucky stars that I have passed into adulthood. Growing up can be super scary, but I'd say it was A LOT scarier before I married Brian. Now he makes me feel safe and I am not panicking over trying to figure out my life. He does most of it for me and I am definitely okay with that. :) Even though being older comes with more responsibility, it also comes with less punishment at times….like this week for instance..

As most of you know we have recently moved into a brand new house. Everything is shiny and perfect and nothing has been tainted by people living life in it. It smells like fresh carpet and paint every time I open the door and it's an absolute wonderful feeling to be in such an amazing place. I reallllly wanted to keep it untarnished as long as possible, but knowing me…that couldn't happen for long.

I am loving our new garage because I FINALLY have a parking spot! At our last house, the car Brian is building and all it's parts had the number one spot. Now I feel happy and free because I get to open a garage door and actually drive in now that he has a huge shop to himself. Usually it wouldn't be very tight, but right now the crib and a few other things are still in the garage to be painted or moved. Because of this my driving has to be absolutely PERFECT to get my car out right. Too bad I've never been a perfect driver which should have been taken into account.

So, this is where my thankfulness for adulthood comes into play. The other day I drove into the garage and took a strong turn once I got in trying to avoid the crib. It was all fine and great and I totally forgot about it that night. Well, the next day I got into my car and confidently put it in reverse and put on the gas quickly only to hear a VERY strange "SCREEEECH" as my car started feeling like it was coming off the ground. Turns out, I had completely scraped the side of the garage and was stuck with one wheel off the ground. "OHHHHH no…." is all I could think, "That didn't sound good."

I moved forward and tried to reverse again hoping to be able to get out this time just to hear another "CRACK…SCREEECH….BANG" the moment I put on the gas.

Well, that didn't work.

So I tried to make a major turn to get my car away from the side but I just kept getting stuck for a while. Finally after a few good scratches and bangs, I made it out. I realized pretty quickly that the construction men across the street were watching the entire thing. "Hey, guys…just trying to back out of my garage…can be tricky, ya know!" I didn't really talk to them, but I'm sure they understood.

I was just happy to be out so I went on my merry way without looking at anything. Later that day after Brian got home I was getting ready for bed when I suddenly remembered what happened. "Hey, Brian!" I yelled from my room out to where he was watching tv, "I have to tell you something.."

"Oh no…" was his reply as he started laughing. He knew THAT wasn't good. "Well, I was backing out of the garage today and it was a bit tight and well…I kinda ran into the garage wall a few times and got stuck with one wheel off the ground."

He took it well. REALLY well…and that's when I was glad to be an adult. Cause…the garage is MINE…the car is mine…and everything is okay. I'm not in trouble! It's the greatest thing ever. My car unfortunately took a bigger hit than the garage wall though which is sad. But to me…the scrape across the side just looks like mud from far away. It's not too bad. That car has been faithful for almost ten years now and has heard many scrape sounds in it's day.

Only this time…it was okay and didn't come with a major consequence. Granted, Brian said we should never buy me a new car, but I'm okay with that. Because I know that I am not number one behind the wheel and it's not like I MEANT to scrape everything up. Old faithfuls are what I need and nothing more.

I think this little ole situation was a good reminder of one of the benefits of growing up. And a benefit of marrying Brian and someone that really likes you even though you accidentally without ever meaning to break in the new house.

Thank you, adulthood…thank you.

Monday, April 8, 2013

*The Moment of Truth…Cooking Edition*

Now that I am back on my feet and feeling pretty good again, I got this wave of energy to get back to working on my cooking and baking skills. I looked through pinterest to find exactly what I wanted to try and excitedly waited for today where my wonderful susie homemaking skills would be put to the test! I think I had more confidence in myself than I probably should have.

I have spent the last five hours of my life trying to bake/cook and it has been full of frustrations and failures. It took two hours in the grocery store because I have no idea where or what anything is.  Then I had to re due a cake gone absolutely wrong that was called: "The EASIEST dessert recipe ever". Then I had to run to the store again only to realize when I get back that I'm STILL missing one ingredient. Not to mention I FINALLY got something right but could not open the salsa jar to save my life. Soooo…figuring THAT out took another 15 minutes of pain and suffering when I thought I had about reached the end.

What should have taken me 20 minutes to prepare, ended up taking me many hours.

My kitchen is a wreck.

I did figure out how to make a cake and was so excited about it…until I put the icing on and the entire top layer of the cake PEELED off. What's up with that?! Do you HAVE to do the icing fresh out of the oven? I was ADD and forgot so by the time I came back it was already ruined. It still tastes good, though. Infact…I'm licking icing off a plate now trying to comfort myself.

After all that and having to sit down to take a breather and regroup...I found some deep burst of energy that kept me going. I tried one last time and FINALLY put together the Cowboy Dinner that I had been trying to do. It's kind of like Shepherd's Pie, but not exactly. I'm not sure of the difference in it, but it's meat, beans, cheese, onions, and corn underneath a cornbread topping. Sounds really good to me…I'm waiting for it to come out right now to see if I have had at least one success today. I'm really hoping so.

I am realizing that I need lots more time devoted to this because it's a serious thing of trial and error when you have NO history of cooking or baking at all. It takes three times longer than the recipe says when you take into account having to clean up all my messes and mistakes and going BACK to the grocery store to get things I botched up the first time. I won't have time to do all this when the baby comes, so I guess I need to do it now? That thought made me push through.

Hopefully this  concoction in the oven right now will work out. If I don't have something to keep me going other than this pre-made icing, I don't know if I'll find the strength to go on with this. But I know I need to….let's hope that I am amazing one day and look back on this and laugh. And maybe..just maybe tonight will be a success. It's about to be the moment of truth.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Reading the word "YES" has never meant more to me than it did the day I found out I was going to have a baby. Those three letters meant that my life was going to change forever and that things would never be the same. Even now..when I've only known about my baby for a short time, I still wouldn't go back to the day that I didn't know. I already feel an overwhelming love and thankfulness that I am going to have the opportunity to have a child of my OWN. I've deeply loved many children in my life so far…but this time it will be different. This time I won't have to say goodbye at the end of the summer, semester, or year. This time…the child is going to belong with us.

That three letter word was a word I've wanted since I can remember. I promise you there has never been a baby on earth wanted more than our baby is wanted right now. Both Brian and I have had nothing but excitement and joy over our baby and maybe that's why God blessed us so early. The only career ladder I ever really wanted to climb in life was to be a stay at home mom and I'm finally getting to do that.

God is already teaching me a lot through my child and I can only imagine how much more I'll grow because of it. I think any new mom in this very early phase begins to worry about what might go wrong. Women are experts at worrying and it's heightened when a baby or child is involved.

So of course the other night I woke up and kept having these anxious thoughts and feelings about what might happen. I started praying about it and the Lord taught me a great lesson in the middle of the night. He showed me that my baby is not "MY" baby…it's HIS baby. That He has a special plan for this person and that it's not my job to worry, but it's my job to give the baby up to God even now. God made me realize that He is with that child right now just like He will be everyday of the baby's life even when I can't be. As hard as it is…I have to force myself not to worry about the worst. I have to make myself realize even this early that I do not have full ownership over this baby, but I am blessed to be able to keep God's own child in my home and help raise him or her to be what God has planned long ago. I have to trust God with whatever may happen and realize that His will is best and that my worrying won't change anything. I have to cling to the promise that God works everything together for the good of those who love Him.

I know that having a baby will be one of the hardest and most rewarding things I've ever been through and I'm so thankful I have so many people to go to for advice!! I have been surrounded by wonderful mothers and great examples for many years and I'm so thankful for all the good I've gotten to see. It's also a mini baby boom these days, so tons of my friends are having babies, too! We're in this together!

It's such a fun and exciting time and I am enjoying every minute before the sickness hits. Because well….I am too much of a realist to not realize what I'm in for. I kinda feel like I'm on the slow up hill of a roller coaster before it flings you around. Trust me, I am making sure to write this heartfelt post before the grievances come. But even so….I am SO ready for this baby. Even if it will take my sleep and time and be very hard work. I will take the negative any day because the positive in having a child far outweighs it all. (And you are probably forced to be the Proverbs 31 woman at least a little because you HAVE to get up before dawn. I could use the push.)

I say it all the time and I'll say it again….I know that my kids are going to be the most important people in my life next to Brian, so I never wanted to wait. Life is short and I'm ready to meet a person who is going to matter to me more than I could ever imagine.