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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Goals

The end of one year and the beginning of another!! Time to reflect and time to plan ahead. Time to note mistakes and lessons learned and move forward to do better in another year!

I try hard not to make "new years resolutions" but rather, goals that I can accomplish and a long to do list to check off! Goals are things like, work on paying off debt; move & unpack every box. A long to do list would include organize & name my iTunes music and update my iPods (yes, those things are on my lists!!).

Well, without further adieu , here are my 2014 Goals (2014 To Do List coming soon):
**Note: These are in no particular order-just the way they came to mind.**

  • T-25 Workout (Intense, 25 minute workouts 5-6 days a week)
  • Continued changes to our eating habits (what we eat, when/how we eat it)
  • 52 Week Money Challenge (See HERE for more information)
  • Pay off as much debt as possible (Debt Snowball information HERE)
  • Continue to work a budget every month (More information HERE)
  • Continue to work a Meal Plan every month
  • Practice grocery shopping 1-2 times a month (except for fruits/veggies)
  • Read to my daughter as least once a day
  • Plant a small garden & flowers
  • Buy a bird feeder and enjoy watching the birds
  • Continue to fall in love with the Lord and my D-Group girls/Catalyst family
  • Move into our own place and UNPACK.EVERY.BOX!
  • PURGE! Less is more!
  • Walk daily and spend more time outdoors, when weather permits
  • Take my little girl to the beach 
  • Love life and fall deeper in love with my husband
  • Bring back weekly (or at least monthly) date nights!! 
I'm sure there are many more but those are the ones I can think of right now!! 

What did you accomplish in 2013 and what do you want to accomplish in 2014? 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 Year in Review

2013 has been a very long, very hard year for us! We moved back home in March in with my sister because we just couldn't afford living in Charlotte anymore and couldn't secure a good job up there. We intended to get a job here and get back out on our own within a few months but that didn't happen and we felt pretty depressed. My sister got married in June to the love of her life and they moved away to Oklahoma in July (he is in the military). We thought we were going to move to Greenville with hubby's job, but that did not pan out. He ended up leaving that job and finding another one, which he actually enjoys.

So now at the end of the year we are searching for a rental and due to some credit issues we are having the hardest time finding someone to rent from. Very sad that you are so heavily judged by your past (credit). With the way this economy has been the last few years I wouldn't want to rely on someone's credit but rather references and referrals. But that is just me...I don't believe in credit. I want us to be able to get to a point where we can show the world you don't need credit to survive, just cash/savings.

But this year has not all been bad! We've had the joy of watching our little one grow up (too fast) and learn new things! Our marriage has had its ups and downs but we have grown stronger together. We've made plans and dreams for our future, both near and far. I joined a Bible study group and completely LOVE it!! Catalyst has been amazing and is such a joy to be a part of that little group!

Hubby and I recently committed to and purchased a new workout made by the creator of Insanity. We both need to get back into shape but are not willing to purchase a gym membership nor do we have the time to go to one. We've committed to each other to do this for 10 weeks at a time (on a 10 week cycle) and continue to learn ways to eat better, too. I am really looking forward to the results of this workout, though I know the work to get those results will be hard and I'm gonna want to give up more often than not. But since I look in the mirror and am disgusted most days, I have to do something. I need to do something. I am looking forward to wearing my 'too small' clothes again and maybe having a fairly constant size again! I'm looking forward to hubby feeling better and being able to wear some of his/my favorite shirts/pants (of his).

2014 is going to be a productive year. Health wise, weight loss wise, finance wise....we are going to work on our debt snowball and our savings. We want to continue to work on a budget and menu plan each month. We want to declutter and continue to purge things we don't need..selling or giving it away! I want to organize all my photos and get photobooks started online!

Merry Christmas 2013 and Kensei's 1st Birthday

Merry Christmas (a day late) everyone!! I cannot believe that Christmas 2013 has come (and gone) again!! Another year is drawing to a close and another chapter in our lives is closing.

Christmas Day dawned a little late in our house! Baby girl slept til almost 930 and we certainly snoozed ourselves! Once she was awake we all went out to the front room to sit on blankets by the tree and open our presents! We got her an activity cube from Target and she loved it! I think she played with that for a good ten minutes or so before moving on to the next item! She also liked trying to unwrap our presents haha!
We had homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast and went down the road to Mom & Dad's to open presents with them! Kensei at this point could've cared less about opening presents! Ah well, it was fun watching her play with the seasoning spice her Daddy got!

I am so thankful that hubby had off for Christmas Eve and Day! We had a great couple days off getting things done and being lazy together! Yay for quiet days off!!

We hosted Christmas dinner for a few people and enjoyed their company! My baby girl got to play with a friends little one and watching them interact and "talk" was sweet!

Kensei turned 1 a few weeks before Christmas and we had her birthday party with a few of her little friends! At first, she wasn't interested in presents but once that paper started to surround her she decided it would be fun to play with! Needless to say, Mama opened most of her presents!

I had made homemade cupcakes and frosting instead of a big cake! We ended up doing the whole "smash" cake a few days later and loved watching her "eat" her cupcake! She had so much fun and the smiles on her face were priceless!

I cannot believe my little girl is growing up so fast and how fast this year went by! Seems it was just beginning yesterday.....

Friday, October 4, 2013

Musings of a Mom....part 1

Today was a busy day for Little One and I!! Even though our day didn't start until after 11:00 am (I went back to bed after Hubby left for work), we unloaded the dishwasher, folded and put away the laundry, cleaned up the bedroom, sorted through Baby's clothes (pulling out too small items and adding in bigger sizes), Baby took a good long nap while I worked out (sorta), and then we took the puppy for a mile walk! I made dinner, gave the Baby a bath, bedtime story, bottle, and bed! Whew!!

All in all, after a very long, rough, discouraging week, today was a great day!! Kensei Faith is such a bright, beautiful baby! I can't believe she is 10 months old and will be having a 1st birthday so soon!! If you ask her, "where is ____?" she can generally pick it up and show you. Specifically her bear, Curious George, a book, and her beads. She has "smelled" flowers and is in love with herself in the mirror! She will laugh and wave at the baby in the mirror forever!! She is trying to walk, but still prefers to crawl everywhere! It won't be long!! Her facial expressions are priceless and she has learned a new "thing"....she puts her hands palms up as if to say, "I don't know!" It is so funny coupled with the look on her face!!!

I am trying to get back on the wagon of working out and getting rid of this baby weight. I dislike very much the woman in the mirror and getting dressed in anything except yoga pants is very depressing!! It seems that many of my friends are on this journey too, so together we are making small changes for the bigger picture---a healthier "me". I want to be comfortable in my own skin and I haven't been there in a very, very long time. Hopefully, with so many people surrounding me on similar paths, I won't falter and fall off so many times!! Water and walking are my first steps, with better eating habits following, and then figuring out some sort of workout routine (in addition to walking). I'd love to find an elliptical to use or a couple of ladies to walk with! (I always walk farther and faster when I have a buddy!)

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted on FB that her Bible study was opening up to new people! I jumped at the chance to join and it has been awesome from the start! Each session is 6 weeks long but from night 1 I have felt like I've known these ladies my entire life!! How beautiful to have nearly instant friendships orchestrated by none other than our great and mighty God!! I am so looking forward to continuing this journey with these sweet ladies and ones that join us in the future!!

Life has been crazy adjusting to hubby's new work schedule, looking for places to rent, catching up on bills, and working at menu planning/budgeting/couponing! I also picked up some work writing for a blog ( so I have been adding that in too! I am still so excited that moving into our own place is within reach now and cannot wait to unpack every single one of these boxes!!

Off to get some sleep before another busy day begins!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Our baby girl is 9 months old!

Our baby girl is 9 months old tomorrow!! I'm sitting here wondering where in the world time could have gone!! Am I really planning her 1st birthday party already? It cannot be possible! Just yesterday I was giving birth to a beautiful, tiny little baby girl and now it's time to plan her 1st party!! Unbelievable!!

It has been an amazing journey watching her grow up these past 9 months!! She can now crawl anywhere she wants to go! She is standing all the time, and she even stands for a few seconds by herself at times!! She loves to laugh and play and make silly faces!! She has a total of 8 teeth right now, 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom!! She is quickly outgrowing 9 month size clothes and has been wearing some 12 month sizes for a while now! There were lots of things she either didn't get to wear at all, or only got to wear a couple times! This little girl loves everything you give her to eat!! She loves food!! She is not a fan of the pureed "baby" food anymore, so we have been feeding her more food off our plates than from a jar. I still make her own food a little bit, but she eats like a pro and loves real food!!

Oh how she loves to play in the water! Not just at bath time! She loves the pool and splashing water everywhere! She has played both in the kiddie section of the water park, and in the "big people's" pool at our friends house! I'm so glad she loves the water! We haven't taken her to the beach yet, and I wonder how she will do with the sand and the sound of the waves crashing!

Sleeping is a challenge some nights!! Getting her to sleep at a decent time is the bigger challenge! Some nights she goes right to sleep & some nights it's 2 in the morning before that happens. We are trying to cut out that late afternoon nap, but sometimes it just has to happen!!

We have also been teaching her to sign! She can sign mama, yes, bathroom, "what up", and "puffs" (her own made up sign). We are still working on daddy, milk, food/eat, hungry, and water. She has verbally said "dada" and just last night "mama"...of course it's more like a string of sounds with those mixed in!

Her beautiful blue eyes have stayed and her blonde hair has some curl to it!! Ad this little girl loves music of all kinds! She dances and "sings" with it!

All in all, our tiny baby is growing up into a beautiful little girl!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Took the plunge...

After reading my sister's blog entry regarding shaving with baby oil, I decided to give it a try myself. I first saw this idea on Pinterest, and pinned it, but never got around to trying it for myself. My sister now swears by it, so I grabbed the bottle of baby oil as I stepped into the shower. Other than trying to figure out how to not spill the bottle in the shower, I shaved just as I normally would with beautiful results!! 

It did not clog my razor and my legs were left soft and silky smooth! I'm very pleased with the results and feel that I will continue to use this instead of body wash for shaving!! 

Update 8/21/13: It's been almost a week and I have continued to use the baby oil method for shaving...with great results! I'm loving the super soft feeling afterwards!! Although I feel I need to get a smaller bottle to keep in the shower and refill it as I need. Currently I only have the gigantic bottle and it's a bit challenging to maneuver with wet hands!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Halfway to a Year

We are halfway to a year already!! Kensei turned 6 months last Thursday!!! She is growing up WAY too fast!!! Where is that teeny, tiny baby that slept all the time and was sooo little!?!?!

We started solid foods shortly after the first of May. She has had avocado, banana, apple, sweet potato, carrots, green beans, beets, and yellow squash. The avocado was a hit the first time, not so much the second time around. Bananas, apples, and sweet potatoes are her absolute favorites!! Carrots and green beans are next, and we just introduced beets and squash. I don't think she quite knows what to make of those two yet!! We've got oatmeal, pumpkin, peas, peaches, pears, and possibly some chicken in the near future. Although we get jarred food on WIC, I prefer to make her food on my own so I know exactly what is in it and she is getting fresh food with nothing added!

What has Kensei learned in the last month??
Oh, wow, let's see...

  • She has learned how to "gargle" and loves to make that sound! 
  • She will laugh and laugh at anything silly you do..funny faces, different sounds, acting surprised. 
  • She can sit up by herself now...YES, by herself!!! 
  • She does tip over after a few minutes but she loves to sit and play with her toys! 
  • She has learned how to play "Boo" (peek a boo) and will often play it by herself, covering her face and uncovering it. If you don't say "boo" when she uncovers it she looks at you with this pitiful look as if to say, "did I do it wrong?". 
  • She gets so excited when she sees us in the morning, or after naps that she gets the "shakes" she's jumping up and down but doing it while laying down! We'll have to get it on video! 
  • Oh, and she can scoot on her back upwards (whichever direction her head is pointing)! 
  • She still HATES being on her tummy and will scream until you pick her up if she finds herself in that position. The other night she ROLLED OVER in her sleep, and a few minutes later was screaming hysterically, even after I picked her up! We have never forced her to have tummy time and I know she will enjoy it in time, but I didn't think it was that big of deal! Apparently, it is to her!
  • She has an exersaucer at my mom's that she loves and has discovered how to turn the seat around! 
  • If you hold her up in a standing position she laughs and dances and pretends to walk! 
  • Her auntie got her a sippy cup and she didn't like the handles! I took the handles off and she loves it! 

It is such a joy to watch this sweet little girl grow up and also breaks my heart that its happening so fast!
We have so many pictures of her and hopefully this summer we will see her sisters and be able to get pictures with all three of our girls together!!

There are two things I do miss from our pre-parenthood life: sleeping and reading. Even when I do have time to read, I only get a few paragraphs read before I find myself dozing off!! And sleeping...well...they say you never get that back! LOL! Oh, well, it is completely worth it to have our sweet bundle of joy in our lives!!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

18 Weeks and Counting

Our little monkey is almost 5 months old!! It is so hard to believe that she is growing so very fast! She has changed my life and I love being a Mommy!!

Kensei will be 5 months on April 29th. She is wearing 6-9 month clothes and moved to size 3 diapers this month!! She cut her first tooth over the last weekend at camp (April 5). Believe it or not she is nearly sitting up by herself and very close to rolling over! Toes are her newest thing and she LOVES to play with your fingers...if she's not chewing on them first! She has more teeth working towards breaking through! This baby girl is all smiles and laughs! We have been blessed with such a good baby!! She has picked up "growling" from somewhere and will lay there for a length of time just listening to herself! Since about 2 1/2 months she has basically been sleeping through the night. Bedtime is usually around 10 or so and she generally sleeps til 7 or 8 with a little bit of fussiness a couple times through the night (generally eased with a paci and/or a diaper change). We have been teaching her sign language and so far she can (mostly) sign "Momma" (much to Daddy's dismay). She probably doesn't have a clue what it means but she will learn and hopefully teaching her to sign will, among other things, help keep our tantrums to a minimum as she grows up!

Kensei even went on her first camping trip to PWYP in the mountains of NC!! It was pretty chilly that week but she did wonderful and had lots of fun meeting her extended family and new friends!!

Within the next month, we will be starting her on solid foods! After reading lots of information, we've decided to make our own baby food as much as possible, starting with avocados and bananas! I cannot wait to see the look on her face when she takes her first bites!!

A few more things I've learned as the journey of Mommy-hood continues:

  • No matter what time in the morning (or night) it is, seeing your baby girl's smile is always worth it.
  • You really do go through more diapers and wipes than you ever thought possible!
  • You do not have your own schedule now. Your schedule is her schedule!
  • Baby-wearing is an art that takes time to perfect for you and your LO, but is so incredibly worth it!
  • Holding your baby as she falls asleep with her head on your chest is one of the sweetest moments!
  • Getting out of the house on time, with everything you need (the first time) is a huge that you don't have very often!! ;) 
  • The actions and expressions you find your baby doing are priceless, cute, and half the time hilarious!
  • Pictures and video are worth a thousand words, and everyone wants a copy! 
:) I love being a Mommy and I (we) have been incredibly blessed with a very sweet, happy baby (except for bedtime!)!! I do NOT wish these early months and years away but I do know that I can't wait to watch her develop and learn new things! She will be rolling, crawling, and into everything before we know it! 

"How Great Thou Art..."

Sitting here tonight listening to Alan Jackson's Youtube channel of good ol' gospel hymns! I am so thankful I was raised to love those songs! They have brought so many memories and so much comfort to me over the years. I can only hope to instill that same love of the old hymns into my children.

This morning at church I was reminded of why I am a part of a small group of people who came together because they loved Jesus and believed that church was more than just a building. A group who have come together in hard times, celebrated in times of joy, and over the last few years, have stood by each other through a million different situations..good and bad. I am so thankful to be welcomed back into this family after being away for a couple years.

When we moved home, I really didn't feel like I belonged anywhere. This morning I was reminded that I do belong somewhere and to Someone. I belong to the King. I am His princess and He loves me! He has put people in my life who are able to remind me of that when I've lost sight of it. Like today. Life has been pretty depressing and overwhelming for quite a while now, but I was reminded and encouraged more than once today that God has a plan, He works miracles, He provides, and He has not forgotten about my family.

My hubby has been desperately seeking work since we moved back home. I have even been looking some, too. We are down to our last dime with bills way overdue and debtors knocking at our door. Somehow we have managed to keep food in our house--enough to sustain us. This is not the first time this has happened. Each time we say it will never happen again, but unfortunately, it does. We are trying to get back on our feet and they keep getting kicked out from under us. At almost thirty years old, with three children to support, oodles of dollars in debt to pay, it really does seem like a hopeless situation.

I know two very sweet ladies in particular who have taken the time to listen and pray; and offered encouragement and suggestions. They have never failed to remind me Whose I am and that all things are possible. While many people have or would just say, "pray about it"/"God has a plan"/"you'll get through this" etc, etc...these two sweet ladies have taken my concerns and my fears to heart, and truly ministered to my very downtrodden being.

Sometimes its not the words that are said, but the sincerity behind them that makes all the difference.

You know who you are.....thank you for being YOU. Thank you for being strong for me when I can't do it for myself; Thank you for reminding me often that God really does have a purpose for all this heartache and stress. Thank you for reminding me that I have a place to belong. Thank you for loving my family and I no matter what and across the miles. I am always forever grateful to you for everything you have done...which may be more than you will ever know.

With Love.....

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Gods works with Pinterest & Facebook

Isaiah 40:31
"But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint."

This is a verse that has come to mind a lot this last week. There is so much going on and as far as the Hello Morning challenge...I haven't really done much towards it to be completely honest. I did walk and I have been in the Word but haven't made it a point to get up early or such.

Here is what God has opened my heart to this last week....

Hubby and I have basically been in a rough patch for the last 2 years. We made a move that looked like, sounded like, and felt like the best thing for us and our future. As it often happens, we quickly discovered it was not. And we have been trying to get out of that hole ever since. 

We've been married a year in April and we are both stubborn and independent people. This week, on Pinterest, I found a couple websites that list "100+ things to do with your husband" lists. And it doesn't include watching TV. I posted those to Facebook and asked my husband to list his top six favorites off both lists. He then turned around and asked me to list my top five. We listed different ones so together we have 22 different things we can do together and in our marriage. 

Something changed that night between us. Suddenly, I realized that I had not been letting him or encouraging him to be the head of our home. I said I was, but I really wasn't. Suddenly, it was more important to ultimately let him make the final decision on matters and for me to support that decision. We agreed that it is important for us to discuss my opinion/thoughts on the matter, but for the big things in our life (such as a move), he had the final say. We agreed that little things, (such as how to organize the closet) are more my ultimate decision. Again, we agreed that we can lay each of our opinions on the matter out on the table. 

I don't know exactly what it was, or how it came about, but this week I feel like my marriage became stronger, our love became deeper, and our bond became stronger. 

What does this have to do with the verse at the beginning? I think it is because I have begun to get back into the Word that God is allowing that to strengthen our marriage/relationship. 

God works in mysterious ways....but apparently, He also works through Pinterest and Facebook! ;) 


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Baby Talk

My baby girl is almost 9.5 weeks old!! 
How did that happen?!?

We have completely grown out of newborn size clothes and diapers. It makes me a little sad to accept that fact! She sleeps in her crib for most of her naps and at night. Recently, she has begun to reach for and grab toys!! I have been trying to get her to do this for weeks so for me this is so exciting!! She loves, loves, loves music!! In the mornings, when we cuddle in my bed, I will play a few of the music videos (sofia the first, winnie the pooh, etc) for her and she is entranced! Many times she will "dance" to the music! She is a very happy baby...almost always smiling, unless she's hungry or needs to be changed! She smiles at us when we come in to view and/or talk to her! We recently had to move the straps up on her car seat, too...another sign she is growing up too fast!

She still loves car rides, stroller rides, and baby-wearing! I am learning new ways of baby-wearing and can't wait to try out a few new ones! And of course she loves to just be held! We're up to between 5 & 6 ounces of formula (which means a can goes by very fast) !! Doctor appointment this coming Friday will tell us how long she is and how much weight she has gained! 

She loves going for walks with me or running errands. Of course, she sleeps the entire time, but I love watching her sleep so that's fine with me! I know one day soon she's going to be awake and potentially not enjoy those trips as much, so I cherish every minute!

A friend of ours gave us a Bumbo seat but she isn't quite to the point where she is able to hold her head up completely on her own without bobbing! She's sat in it a couple times with me right beside her...I don't think she's real sure about what to do! She never has adjusted to liking her swing...we haven't tried it in a while but maybe now that she is older she would enjoy it more. She's not a fan of tummy time except when she's laying on my chest. She can hold her head up very well when she's on my chest but when I put her on her tummy she just fusses and burrows her face into the blanket. Now, I'm not trying to rush her--she's "advance" when she's ready--but I have to give her the option from time to time!

I absolutely LOVE being a Mommy!! It's changed my life in more ways than I ever though possible!! I strive to choose to spend time with her versus the laundry, the dishes, etc. Some days it's hard, especially with my personality, but it is always worth it! Especially since she is growing up way too fast!!

It does sadden me that her sisters haven't met her yet and vice versa. (For those who are husband has two daughters from his 1st marriage. They are 4 & 5 and live in VA with their mom). We have not been financially able to make the 12-14 hour drive (round trip) to pick them up since before she was born. I'm praying that this year is a better year all around and that we will be able to see them more often!

I love hearing my baby girl "talk" and make such soft noises as she's laying in her crib staring at all there is to see. I love it when she snuggles into my arms or chest and sleeps peacefully. I love watching her eyes light up when her daddy comes into her sight or when she hears him speak. I love her smiles and silliness! I love everything about my baby girl!! We have been so blessed!!

A Side Trip through Psalms

It has been a very long and low week and I have not succeeded very many days of reading, praying, planning, or exercising. This is a very low place in our lives right now and each day seems to be more hopeless without any answers.

I, however, this week have been drawn back into the Psalms. Psalm 23 has stood out to me the last couple of days. A particular part of P23: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me..." (Psalm 23: 4a).

*I actually prefer it out of the KJV but NIV is easier for some to understand.*

A psalm of David.
"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,  he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk  through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil,  for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil;     my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me  all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

I was gently reminded this week by a very sweet lady that even in the hard times, I am to worship and praise God and spend time with Him and pray. Oh, I know all this  *head knowledge*, but putting it into action *heart knowledge* takes time and dedication and discipline, and to be quite honest I have fallen by the wayside more times than I can count. Even though I know firsthand the power of prayer, power of God, and the rewards of being faithful, it is hard to put it into action when you are in the valley. But that is where we desperately need to remember to be faithful in our walks. I am striving to return to my walk with God. To make the necessary changes in my life to find the discipline of digging, not just reading, but DIGGING into the Word again! To talk to my God as my best Friend; my Father; Everlasting Love; Giver of PEACE; Healer of broken hearts; Giver of grace & forgiveness.

"Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5) (See YouTube video of song, "Yes Lord, Yes Lord" aka "Trading my Sorrows" here).

As we journey on together, and learn or relearn how to get out of bed with a purpose, spend time with our God, exercise for better health (to be better women), and learn how to prioritize and plan our days, let's remember and remind each other that our God is an awesome, fearless God! There will be joy out of all of our sorrows, because He is a God who is able!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Journey to Healthy Habits

I am not proud of the way I ate yesterday or today! Ugh! Too much junk and not enough water or healthy foods!! I do really want to lose the 20 pounds left from baby and then an additional 15-20 to be back where I felt like I looked really good!! Not only do I want the pounds to come off, but I do want to tone up along the journey too. I lack discipline & self control. Two things that I need to work on.

I did manage to get a walk in today though..almost a mile and a half. That makes almost 5 miles in the last week and a half. It's not a lot, but it's a start and I'm getting out of the house. As said, I didn't eat real well today..the healthiest thing I had was some cottage cheese. I know it's not an overnight, immediate change but it sure is frustrating!!

This morning while I was sitting on my bed rocking my baby back to sleep, I did something I haven't done in months. I pulled out my Bible and read through a few passages. Parts of Psalm 62 & Psalm 18 & Romans 8 were all portions that were on my mind and it felt so good to read them again. This is another part of the dive back into the Word and God's will and re-learn to rely on him not only in the good but also in the hard times.

This is a journey....hopefully a life changing journey. Not a diet, but a lifestyle change. I do not want to be the mom that cannot keep up with her kids because she is so out of shape or overweight (or has other health issues from not taking care of herself). I want my children to grow up in the faith. I want my children to learn how to be godly by us being parents of example. I want them to yearn to dive into their Bibles, sing praises, and trust in our awesome God!

But this is a journey I am not alone on. I have several friends on the same or similar journey and we are supporting each other through texts, emails, even Bible studies, and becoming better Mom's (those of us who are).

Certainly this will not be an overnight change to our lives but rather a life long journey we will walk down together and celebrate our triumphs, evaluate our failures, and learn to praise our God every step of the way.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Link Two Blogs

I just found a way to combine my old blog (different gmail account) with this current blog!! Woot!!!
Please visit : Linking Two Blogs for SUPER EASY directions!!!


While my Monday wasn't terrible but it could have been started earlier. I didn't end up getting out of bed for good until almost NOON!! That means that I was dragging all day and not a whole lot got done. My husband and I have never been early morning people, but on a good day I'm normally up and moving no later than 9am. As a first time mom to a 9 week old, lack of sleep has become a part of the daily drill. Apparently, my lack of sleep caught up with me this morning. Sigh.

Over the next few months, I hope to find a routine that begins earlier than today! I hope to find myself lost in the Word again and trusting more in the power of God that I know is true. It has, to be completely honest, been a very long time since I truly studied the Word and even longer since I was involved in a church group. I have seen the power of prayer, the power of faith and yet, I still find myself  "too busy" at the end of the day to read and be fed. It's a bit embarrassing to admit, but it's the truth.

The last couple years have been extremely tough on my husband and I. Financially, we have made some big mistakes and have found ourselves struggling with no end in sight. I am determined for 2013 to be a better year: spiritually, financially, in our marriage, in our parenting, in organizing our house, our family, and in our (currently non-existent) church life. I'd really like for us to find a good, solid church to be involved in around here.

This will be the year of change. Starting now.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My baby is 2 months old!

Today my baby girl is 2 months old!! 2 months old!! Where have the last 8 weeks gone?? They have flown by so fast!! At 2 months she is outgrowing newborn size diapers and newborn size clothes. Many things that fit just a couple weeks ago, are now too small. It makes me sad, but I know it means she's happy and healthy and growing like she should!

She is holding her head up more when she's on your shoulder and her sleeping pattern is a little bit better now too. It's so sweet to listen to her coo and "talk"!  She's eating close to 6 ounces now and we have started laying her down in her crib at night to sleep. How's that going? Well, let's just say it's going to take a while to make that a smooth transition. 

We've been signing simple signs with her and even though she is too young to be coordinated enough, we like to believe she tries to mimic us! We've focused on "mama", "daddy", "food", and of course, "I love you". 

She doesn't seem to be a fan of "tummy time" although I am trying to give her a bit more of it every day. She loves her monkey mobile that plays music and lights up! She loves music and sometimes she will "dance" to whatever is playing! 

Her 2 month check up is next week and I'm eager to find out how long she is and how much she weighs!

My baby girl is absolutely the most precious, sweet baby! Of course, I'm quite partial! :)

Here's to celebrating all the milestones month 3 will bring to us!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Snippet of my Life Map from 2010

Originally written in 2010.....

".......Nothing extraordinary happened in my childhood. Became a Christian when I was a child but it wasn't until Look Up as a teen that I began to understand what it meant to really live for Christ.  I was always highly involved in all aspects of church so I knew all the right answers etc.

So I grew up in church (Nanny made sure of it); was home schooled until high school; graduated in 2004 from SHS; went through two major church splits. Got married (first time) in 2005 at twenty and completed that divorce by 25. And I've been in 4 churches in my lifetime.

I really didn't pay attention to watching God work in my life until the last two years. I've watched Him bring amazing goodness out of a heart-wrenching and devastating church split which became this amazing group of people called Catalyst. I've watched Him bring me from the pit of despair with my divorce to life after. To finding joy and hope again. I've watched Him provide for me over and over when it seemed like nothing was going to work. I've watched him do amazing things in all our lives over and over. And I truly believe that in the early stages of my divorce that if it hadn't been for Catalyst, I may have seriously fallen into depression. That’s how devastated I was. But looking back and knowing what I know now I am eternally grateful God pulled me out of that relationship when He did and I’m so glad I chose to cling to Him through all of it. I wouldn't be who I am today if it hadn't been for that. The love and the encouragement and hope that Catalyst has poured out on me has been amazing. ......"

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lessons from a Month of Mommy-hood

Our baby girl is five weeks old already! I cannot believe how fast time has passed! Seems like just yesterday I was trying to determine if the cramps I felt were real contractions or not!!

Even though I've only been a mom for a little over a month, there are already many lessons I've learned that I want to write down so I remember them for the next baby we have!

In a month of Mommy-hood I've learned:

  • To breastfeed a LOT while in the hospital! I don't think I fed her near as much as I could have, which would have helped establish my supply I believe. 
  • To pump starting immediately to build up a "freezer supply" of breastmilk. I wish, wish, wish I had done this from the beginning!!
  • To use the "natural ways" to increase breastmilk right away & have those items on hand before the baby is born. 
  • To get involved with a La Leche group before birth!!
  • To take a "natural birthing" class and a breastfeeding class (and/or meet with a lactation consultant).
  • To eat better (starting during pregnancy) and drink a LOT more than normal!
  • To use cocoa/shea butter from the beginning of pregnancy. To note, I am not ashamed or embarrassed by my stretch marks--they are a symbol of the child I carried and grew to love even before she was born!
  • To have more than one or two newborn size outfits. Our little girl was (and still is) tiny, and while this might not be everyone's case, I only had a couple onesies that fit her when she came home. 
  • To have a can of formula and a couple bottles with slow-flow nipples on hand just in case breastfeeding doesn't work out before you're ready to introduce bottles.
  • To have a couple different brands/types of pacifiers on hand. Baby didn't like the ones we'd been given, so we had to buy a different type for her. 
  • That, while it may cause nipple confusion in some babies, sometimes a pacifier can calm not only the baby, but the parents as well. 
  • To have witch hazel, pads, liners, and "adult" wipes on hand for the aftermath of birth!
  • That the pads and mesh panties the hospital has are lifesavers those first few days!
  • That Motrin and stool softeners are your best friends in the days after birth!
  • To linger in that first shower after feels soooo amazingly good!!
  • To not end up on your back during labor. The pressure and pain increased significantly when laying down. I believe if I had been able to get up and walk around a bit more towards the end, that I would not have been in so much pain.
  • To not let the doctors and nurses insist on the "purple pushing" way...(pushing while holding your breath and they count to decreases oxygen to you and baby).
  • To make sure that the doctor on call has a chance to view our birth plan before delivery takes place. The doctor on call was great, but wasn't aware of our birth plan (I don't believe) and a few things I wanted didn't happen.
  • That you can never have too many burp cloths, diapers, or wipes!
  • That doubles of everything are a-okay...especially if you have a 2 story house!!
  • That a sound machine or soft music can be your best friend at nap and bedtime!
  • SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS!! (I still have not mastered this!!)
  • To act like its no big deal when people flip out because you went through all of labor and delivery with NO pain meds!
  • To not allow your household to be deathly quiet when baby is sleeping. We have made sure that baby has been exposed to all sorts of sounds when awake and asleep. This child will sleep through most anything once she's truly asleep...or asleep in our arms!! 
  • That my baby girl is worth everything bit of pain I went through!

I'm certain there are so many more things that I will find to add to this list as life with baby rolls on!! I am so excited to be a Mom and am loving everything about it...except for the sleepless nights!! There is nothing like it in the world!!