Bringing Christ Into Your Home

Every day, I see how Christ impacts my life, my husbands life, and my sons life. My son is almost 2 years old now and he is SO impressionable right now. The things that stick out to me is that every night at dinner, he holds out his hand to me or my husband, so we can pray. I sing Jesus loves me to him and he attempts to sing along. One day, I was sitting in the recliner and Connor was playing across the room with his toys. I started praying out loud about some things and he ran to me just so he could hold my hand and pray with me. The Bible talks about the little children. But everyday, in my son, I see Christ. Connor just had such a natural connection with God. Something only a child can have, I am certain. Children never question faith. They never doubt. So this morning, I had this revelation: I HAVE TO DO BETTER. I have to keep bringing God more and more into our home. More than the day before. More than any other time in our lives. I have to keep moving forward in Christ. Why? Because my sons future and salvation depends on it.

As I mentioned, Connor is so impressionable right now. So the more we pray, the more we read, the more we seek God in everyday situations (good or bad), the more Connor grows in Christ. It’s so important to have a strong foundation and God made parents the ultimate foundation builders. You can either raise up or destroy your child so quickly that you don’t even know it. That’s why it’s so important for parents to have a good relationship with God themselves. And of course you shouldn’t just want to better your life with Christ because of our child. You should do it for you. But let’s face it, it’s pretty easy to put your child before yourself sometimes. 

Before I even got married I always said, “I want to raise little warriors.” I still do. But man. Moming is HARD. Some days it’s hard to even brush my teeth let alone raise a warrior! But today I was thinking about this: what if I skip cleaning the kitchen today and read my bible with my son? What do you suppose would happen? I’ll be completely honest here…the thought of not cleaning my kitchen today…it haunts me a little. OCD over here! The dishes need to be done, the floors need to be swept for the umpteenth time, the counter tops have something sticky on them…not entirely sure what. So, leave it…and read. Oofta. But honestly, in a few years is my son going to tell me I should clean the kitchen cause it’s dirty? Or is he going to ask if I can skip the dining room too, so we can read together a little longer? Or say an extra long prayer?

My husband and I enjoyed a sermon one day from Steven Furtick. Him and his wife were talking about the verses in Song of Solomon, describing “little foxes”. They compared these little foxes that were eating up the vineyard to a marriage. Saying that the little stuff needs to be taken care of immediately or it turns into big stuff. If you don’t stop the little foxes now, they grow. And they become big foxes. And big foxes destroy more than little ones do. Jordon and I actually use this reference ALL THE TIME.  People may think it’s silly that Jordon and I have discussions or disagreements over the fact that “I was in a bad mood today” or “he forgot to unload the dishwasher”. (And yes, we do talk about that stuff!) I’m sure people think it’s such a silly thing to bring up. Like, why bother even mentioning it? It’s something so small! But here’s why: because then it doesn’t turn into something bigger, and when it turns into something bigger it doesn’t get brought up in an arguement that isn’t even relevant! (You know the kind, where you’re fighting about finances or kids or marriage and then all of the sudden you bring up that one time 5 years ago that he left his dirty clothes on the floor.)

 I feel the same way about parenting. Some may not agree with how we do things, but I like to nip the small stuff, stand our ground, and not do the typical “just this one time” thing. There ARE times when you need to pick your battles, that’s true. But by creating strong habits now, sticking with them, and working on the “little stuff” then my child will grow up to be strong in Christ. And as far as I know, all any parent wants for their child is for them to do better than they did. I had a pretty good childhood. I stayed out of a LOT of trouble. I never drank, never smoked, never did drugs. But I did occasionally swear and my anger problems were something fierce. By the worlds standards, that’s pretty good! But of course I want my child to do better! And it’s my job to guide him. I want my home to be filled with Christ at all times. Is it a struggle some days? ABSOLUTELY. But I can try to tackle a few of those little foxes each day by caring about what my child watches, reading to him, praying with him, and teaching him to worship. After all, this child is God’s anyways! 

The Holidays

**this post discusses topics involving Santa, the Easter bunny, tooth fairy, etc. Please use caution if you’re reading this around children.**

Well. It’s the day before Halloween. The year 2015 started the first few steps into a world full of holiday misunderstandings and opinions that our “lifestyle” is just down right…wrong. My son was born in 2015 and before that we had no reason to discuss our plans for holidays involving Halloween, Santa Claus, the Easter bunny and other make believe things like the tooth fairy.

Last year, we were able to sneak by without a ton of hoopla. Connor was only 4 months old by Halloween so people understood why he wasn’t going to be dressing up. Let me clarify. My husband and I had discussed and decided (even before we had kids) that we were not going to celebrate Halloween, Santa, the Easter bunny, tooth fairy, etc.

I’d like to take this moment to say that we do not have a problem with other people celebrating these things! In fact, we just loved seeing our niece and nephew dressed up the other night when they wanted to show off their Halloween costumes! Just because someone chose to do something different than us does not mean that they are wrong, this post is just about explainations on our behalf, about what is right or wrong for OUR family. I certainly am not trying to offend.

Jordon and I have decided, long term, that we will not be allowing our children to celebrate Halloween. We will teach them about Santa Claus and the Easter bunny, etc. but instead we will be telling him about it like a story, and Santa Claus should not be believed to be real. He should be viewed as any other story character like Pinocchio, Snow White, etc. Jordon and I believe the the center of all things in our life should be Christ. While most people don’t celebrate the pagan life style that Halloween originated from anymore, it’s the idea that we don’t like. We don’t like the idea of teaching our children to knock on strangers doors let alone accept candy from them. We don’t like where Halloween came from and what it stands for. It originally was a very satanic holiday and while it isn’t necessarily that anymore, we do like to consider where things originated from. Like Christmas. The Christmas holiday originated from the birth of Jesus. So we absolutely celebrate Christmas.

Christmas, I think, is easier for people to understand than Halloween. It’s so easy for Santa to become the reason for the season. Kids are running around talking about what Santa is giving them. But what about what Christ is giving them? Freedom! Salvation! Endless love! Forgiveness! We truly do want to make Christmas 100% about Christ. Like I mentioned before, our children will know who Santa (or st nick) is. We will read them books and tell them all about Santa. But like I mentioned before, we will tell about Santa like the story he is. We will teach our children to be respectful too, of what other families are teaching their children. I certainly don’t want MY child to be the one who ruins Santa for them! I could feel horrible. The same scenario goes for the Easter bunny and tooth fairy. They will be told as stories too.

Easter, once again, originated from Christ. It was the day that He saved us all. He died for us and rose again on the 3rd day! What an amazing event to celebrate! This year was Connors first Easter (at about 10 months old or so). We did give him an Easter basket. Just like he still got presents on Christmas. It was so fun for my mom to “hide” the Easter basket for Connor to find.

I think the thought that most people have when I tell them that we aren’t celebrating these things, are either “that poor child” or “they are missing out”. They think that our child isn’t allowed to have fun. In the years to come, I truly look forward to showing my friends and family how much fun we CAN have, not celebrating these things. I fully EXPECT my children to play dress up. In fact, as Connor gets older, I plan on hitting up the after Halloween sales to find dress up costumes for him. It’s not the dressing up part that we are eliminating. It’s just the holiday. So Connor will be encouraged to play dress up and wear costumes all year long! It’s good for his imagination. I remember growing up with a good friend of mine. Her mom had an old trunk full of old vintage dresses and dress up clothes. We could spend hours getting dressed up and imagining things! I want that for my kids. 

Also, in place of Halloween, when Jordon and I get a home out in the country (hopefully sooner rather than later!) we plan on starting up an annual “fall festival”! We love fall. It’s our favorite time of the year. So we thought, why not celebrate fall! We want to do fun yard games and make a bunch of fall foods like pie and soups and chili. We want to get all our friends and family together and have a big fun fall fest!

We aren’t looking to take away all the fun from our children. We are just simply finding ways to have fun through the holidays while honoring our commitment to God. We are far from perfect, but we strive to be the best servants we can be in Christ. We want to do what’s right by Him. I have to ask, would Christ celebrate Halloween? Would Christ want Christmas and Easter to be celebrated around something make believe or something real? I’m just a mama trying to be the best I can be. I had pretty good parents. (For the most part ;) ) but I think any parents goal for their child, is for that child to be a better parent than they were. I know I make mistakes. I know that I don’t do everything right all the time. But I am doing my best to teach Connor to live a life full of Christ while I still have him under my roof. Someday he will be grown and moving out or going away to college or something. He might not want to do it our way then. (Lord knows my momma knows much about that!) And if he turns 18 and moves out and wants to celebrate those things, or even celebrate Halloween or Santa or whatever with his own children someday, it’s my job to be there for him and to love him. I need to be okay with him making his own choices. But for now, while he’s still little, still under our roof, just a little boy…our first born…we are choosing to make these choices for him. He might not like it when he gets older. You, reading this, might not like it now. But isn’t that the beauty of freedom in this country and freedom through Christ? That we are all free to make our own choices, whether viewed as good or bad? I support your right to live the way you choose. I can only hope that others can give me the same courtesy.

Happy Holidays!

Teenagers


15 years old. FIFTEEN! As I sit here, now 25 years old, it seems so young. They are just little girls still! Then I remember that I, too, was 15 years old when I lost my virginity. I don’t know how guys feel about losing their virginity. On the outside it’s all rough and tough. Like they’d been doing it forever. I can’t really say how they truly feel about losing their virginity. But I can tell you how I felt. And how a lot of girl feel, probably.

It was scary. For me, it was so scary. I felt like I didn’t have a choice. I spent my whole life being this strong, independent person and in the amount of a single moment, that person went away. I spent 6 months fighting off my boyfriend. Saying no to him time and time again. I was ashamed that I even let him touch me the way he did, let alone let him have sex with me. After 6 months, I felt exhausted. I was so tired of the pressure. Every time we were together he tried to convince me that it was a good idea. Every single time, I said, “no, I am waiting until I am married.” Until finally I said, “Fine. Whatever.” We rushed to the store to buy what we needed. I sat in the passenger side of his vehicle while he went in to get it. I was freaking out inside. My heart pounded, my hands were shaking. But what else could I do? This one boy managed to take my level of self worth and crush it into the ground to the point where I felt like I had no choice. Like I wasn’t allowed to say no. We went back to his house, and I went through with it. I lost my virginity that day. The same day that I started to hate myself.

At that point in time, I had been a Christian for about 5 years. That’s what made this worse. I knew what the Bible said. I knew what God wanted of me. But somehow I felt worthless. I was so disgusted with myself for going through with it. The worst part is that shortly after I lost my virginity to that boy, he cheated on me. Talk about bringing a low point even lower. At that point I became a zombie. I shut down. I quit being involved in life. Depression wasn’t even a word for this, I don’t think. I think it was worse. I just stopped feeling. I was his own personal sex machine and that was all I was good for. I just walked through life. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t feel. I just breathed. And that was it.

I finally realized, if I am not feeling anything and I’m just surviving, why am I still with him? So 10 months after the cheating incident, I left him. I didn’t love him while I was with him, so it was easy to move on. I started dating someone else only 2 months later. Thus started the crazy worthless sex cycle. I had already lost my virginity. I had already felt badly about myself. So who cares if I just had sex with this new boyfriend too? I tried to put up my walls. But frankly, there wasn’t much persuasion necessary this time. I once again said, “I’m waiting until marriage.” But I didn’t. Same went with my 3rd boyfriend. And my 4th. 

Something pretty major happened with boyfriend number 3. I got pregnant. He sat with me on the couch and we prayed together. Only our prayers sounded much different. Mine was along the lines of “God please help us.” His was more like “God, I don’t want this.” The next day, I had a miscarriage. His response was, “Maybe it’s better this way.” That was the day that I left him.

After I broke up with my 4th boyfriend, I started over. I started fresh. I recommitted to God. I wasn’t even going to LOOK at another man. I needed God and I didn’t need anyone else. My best friend and I started planning a road trip to Colorado. At this time, I had been single for about 3 months. God started giving me dreams about my future husband. He was a man of God who wore his love for me all over his face. I remember waking up from those dreams and just feeling such love. We went on the road trip and the dreams continued. God put it on my heart that my husbands name would start with a J. Every man that I met whose name started with J, I instantly got excited. James? Josh? Jason? Who could it be?! We came home and I missed the most obvious “J” ever. I met Jordon. I completely looked past the fact that his name started with a J and set him up on a date with a friend of mine. The date didn’t go well. Mainly because Jordon had a little thing for me. ;) 

I had now been single for 4 months and Jordon had started hanging around a lot. He started coming to our Bible study and hanging out with my group of friends. He got my phone number and called me one night and asked me out on a date. We talked for 3 hours. I said “hold on a second. Before we talk dating…” Then I laid my whole life on the line. I talked to him about how I had been used, pressured, and degrated. How one boyfriend hurt me physically and how I had a miscarriage with another. How my entire dating life had been nothing but a mess. He still asked me out.

After 5 months of being single we started dating. I’m sorry to say that once again, I had sex before marriage. However, this time was different. For once in my life I, emotionally, held back. I didn’t want to get to close to Jordon. I was a little scared and honestly I didn’t think this time would be different from the rest. Jordon actually sat me down and had a talk with me about how he wanted to know if I was in this or out. He wanted something serious and he didn’t want to waste his time if I wasn’t serious too. I decided to take a leap of faith. I told him I was all in. I think I fell in love with him that night. I tried very hard not to have sex again until I was married. And Jordon was a gentleman about it. I never felt pressured from him. But we did have sex before we were married. I felt a gravitational pull in my soul when it came to Jordon. It’s like my heart and soul knew that we would be together forever. I needed him like a wife needs her husband. For the first time in my life I said “I am GOING to marry him someday.” And I did. Jordon accepted Christ into his heart 3 months after our first date. That changed everything.

Jordon and I have talked about the past together. We both agree. Sex is different when you’re married, and we both would’ve gone back and have waited to do it if we could. If we could have saved ourselves for each other, we would of. Jordon even admitted that as a man that’s a hard thing to admit, that he would wait for me if he could do it again. But he said that his love for me is so much more than sex is. Jordon has seen me in forms that I would never wish upon anyone to see. He’s seen me sick, he’s seen me sad, he’s seen me depressed, he’s seen me stressed and overwhelmed. He saw me pregnant, uncomfortable, and cranky. He watched me give birth to our son and he saw me when my lady parts weren’t “up to code”. He watched me throw up once and held the garbage can for me. And through it all, he told me I was beautiful and that he loved me more than he’s ever loved anything.

If there is one thing I could tell these 15 year old girls…it’s that he’s worth the wait. The man that God has planned for each and every one of you…he’s worth it! The connection that you have with him will be one that you will never forget. He will become a PART of you. And you will become a part of him. And God is with you through it all. If you’ve already lost your virginity, it’s NOT too late. You can choose to be different at any point in time. You just have to choose. And I believe in you.

When is being good, good enough?

When is being good, good enough? I was thinking about this today. Recently my brother and his fiancé came over to our house to visit. I had been cleaning all morning, not because I knew they were coming but simply because it was part of my routine. By the time they arrived, I was feeling pretty good about how the house looked. (With the exception of snacks on the table and floor and toys everywhere, I mean come on, a toddler DOES live here.) My brothers fiancé came in and sat down and said, “Wow! You’re house looks so clean Sam!” What a boost, am I right?

Wrong.

Instead, I replied, “Oh my gosh, for Petes sake, don’t look down into the granola bar you’re stepping in then!” How about a “gee, thanks Allysha! I’m so glad you noticed, I DID work my tail off today!”

🙄 Come on.

My automatic response to compliments are, “no way!” Even if it’s true. It’s true, my house WAS clean that day. I DID work hard! I know so many people who do this exact same thing, including my mother. Who, (no offense mom!) is even worse than I am when it comes to compliments! I think all women struggle with this a little bit, to some degree. I remember when I was younger, eating at my grandmas house and saying to her, “This food is so good grandma! Thank you!” Her response was usually, “Oh, it’s nothing.” Or “Oh, well I’m glad you like it.” As if it would KILL her to say “You’re welcome! Thanks for the compliment!”

As women, we do this ALL THE TIME. Our husbands get the worst of it too.

“You look so beautiful today!”

“I obviously can’t get my hair right.” (Or sometimes in my case, “thanks” in a monotone voice that pretty much screams, “I don’t believe you even for a second.”)

“Dinner tastes great! Thanks for making it!”

“It could be better. It’s missing something.” (Yeah it is, it’s missing a thank you!)

“Thanks for cleaning today! The house looks great.”

“Are you kidding? I literally got nothing done today.”

Ladies, can we give ourselves a STINKIN break?!?! Someone once said to me that women don’t look for the approval of men, women look for the approval of other women. It’s true. But that’s so dumb! I bet every mom reading this can relate to the feeling of being judged as a new parent. You feel like you’re failing and that you don’t know what you’re doing. You feel like people are judging you. Well, they are judging you. But you know who is judging you the most? OTHER MOMS! Really? Where is the support? Where is the love between sisters?

The bible says in Proverbs 14:1

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”

Are we not tearing our house down with our own two hands when we say that the work we do isn’t good enough? A woman who builds her house is proud, strong, she stands up for herself. She MADE this home. She cares for the children, keeps an orderly house for her family, she loves her husband and honors him. She serves a glorious God who “raised her better than this!”

Look at the Proverbs 31 woman.

Proverbs 31:10-31

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

Can someone please tell me what this woman is lacking?!?! I think this woman is someone to look up to. Someone to set an example of what a good woman looks like. I didn’t see a single thing in there about her not being good enough, or about her house having dishes on the counter or children’s toys on the floor. Instead she is spoken of as wise, strong, and intelligent. Her husband is so grateful for her and her children consider her a blessing! 

BE THAT WOMAN!

I’m going to say it again because I’ve been reading the Old Testament lately and they repeat literally EVERYTHING…so there must be something to it. I said…

BE…THAT…WOMAN.

Time and time again the bible tells us who we should be as women.

Titus 2:3-5 says

“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

So in my opinion, us women should stop “competing” with whatever idea we made up in our heads as the perfect woman, and start loving each other and unite, showing grace and mercy to one another! Let’s lay down our pride and just be happy with who God intended us to be. 

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11-13

Who I Am…

Who am I?

I am a…

-chauffeur

-singer

-cleaning lady (no, I am not a maid!)

-superhero 

-boo boo kisser

-librarian

-follower of Christ

-personal chef

-swing pusher

-professional butt wiper

-teacher

-wagon puller

-dancer

-mail sorter

-financial planner

-personal assistant

-wiper of tears

-baker of the best sweets

-milk machine

-dry cleaner

-interior decorator

-gardener

-window washer

-event planner

-professional dish washer

-meal planner

-bubble bath maker (& taker!)

-vomit cleaner upper

-Bible story reader

-happy maker

-changer of toilet paper rolls

-coffee maker

-personal shopper

-photographer

-fixer of toys

-date night planner

-dresser of tiny people (and sometimes a big person 😉)

I am a wife, a mother, a child of God. Sounds exhausting doesn’t it? I remember telling my mom shortly after I had Connor that I had a new found respect for her now that I’m a mom. I have a feeling I will continue to find new ways to respect my mom as I continue on my own mommy journey.

Today has been one of “THOSE” days. Those trying days that leaves you saying “Okay, is it tomorrow yet? Can I have a do over?” Everything that could go wrong today, went wrong. The day started off fine, Connor woke up like usual and I fed him breakfast. I put jam on his pancakes which was my first mistake.😳 so I gave him a bath. My brother came over for a short visit, then I had to lay Connor down for a nap around mid morning. When he woke up from his nap, things went sour. My grandma had called just as Connor was waking up. She was wondering if she could come over and go for a walk with Connor and I. I said sure. I got Connor out of his crib and got his lunch ready. 

30 minutes. 30 minutes is what it took to turn this day sour. 

He ate lunch and threw a good majority of it on the floor as per usual. Connor is such a great kid. Almost 90% of the time he listens so well. I say no, sometimes a couple times, and he listens after a little while. I’m happy with that because he’s learning! I can’t expect him to get everything right away. Knowing that I can say no 3 or 4 times and he will listen is fine by me! This past week he has certainly been testing me. He gets his own ideas and has decided that after 3 or 4 times maybe he won’t listen. At this point you may be wondering how this list of all the things that “I am” ties into my unsuccessful day/week. I’m getting there.

This week Connor has discovered how to unlock the child proof locks on our kitchen cabinets. In the process, he broke my blender and my pop corn popper. I decided that I would rearrange my cabinets so it was more child friendly since he seemed to be interested in only that one cabinet. So I switched some plastic bowls, Tupperware, and empty ice cream pails in there. He can’t hurt those! But…then he found the other cabinets. Cabinets that hold all sorts of dangerous things like matches, tape measures, etc. Thankfully I caught him in time with those cabinets. We also had to pull our dining room chairs away from the table because he is constantly trying to climb on the table! But we can’t put them too close to the hutch or he will get stuff that’s up on there. Then I had a chair too close to his highchair and he decided to climb up onto the dining room chair, onto his highchair, and he plopped right down into it.

Back to today’s events. As I was cleaning up his highchair and the floor from his throwing frenzy, Connor was in the living room. I came in to find that he had gotten ahold of the baby monitor, all the remotes, and had SOMEHOW (I don’t know how!) gotten the lid off my water bottle and spilled the entire thing all over the carpet. I was trying to clean it up as my grandma got to our front door. I hollered for her to come in. She came in to a disaster. I’m trying to clean up, Connor is relentlessly pursuing all the things I told him not to touch, he’s hanging on me while I’m trying to wipe up a sopping mess. Grandma is trying to ask me what’s going on and all I can mutter is “HOLD ON A MINUTE! Please!” Connors crying and hanging all over me and I’m just a mess. There’s still food everywhere…I don’t know what’s going on. The rest of the day Connor continued to get into everything he possibly could including dipping his hand in the scentsy pot in our bedroom. (Thank you scentsy for creating a wax that smells good and doesn’t burn your skin! 😳)

Oh and did I mention that it rained last night and my grandma so kindly pointed out that we have two wet spots on our dining room ceiling that my husband just HAPPENED to replace a year ago? The ceiling in our upstairs bathroom was leaking, it flooded our bathroom floor, and started leaking through to the dining room. Oh yeah, our roof is probably going to have to be replaced. My husband came home from work and I looked around. I’ve been striving to be the best I can be lately. Reading my Bible more, keeping the housework done, keeping food on the table and making sure that everyone living here is happy. I made a list a few weeks ago, one that involves me cleaning a different room every day of the week so I can keep up on cleaning. Looking around, you wouldn’t know I did anything today. In fact, it looks like a tornado went through here.

During all these struggles of the day, and even the week really, I find myself questioning myself. I’m failing. I have all these goals in my head. Keep the house clean, have dinner made, play with Connor as much as possible and watch less tv, make time for my hubby at the end of the day, exercise, etc. the list goes on. And I’m failing at it. I feel like I’m failing at it all. I just want a clean house. No one else cares about the house being clean but I do! I care. I want to keep my child happy, but how can he be happy if I’m always telling him no? My husband isn’t happy because I’m not happy. How can I be happy? If my housework is done, the cooking is done, and my family is happy. It’s a vicious cycle.

I sat in my sons room in the rocking chair tonight while my hubby gave him a bath. (Thank God for a helpful hubby who knows when I’ve hit my limit!) I sat in silence and closed my eyes. At the end of each day, God is still God. He’s there with me. He feels what I feel. He knows what I’m going through. And sometimes I have to throw my hands up in surrender and say “Okay. God, you can have this. Take it from me.” Go to bed and start fresh. I’m not a failure. I have an amazing son who while he can be testy, is so smart and kind and he amazes me everyday. I have a husband who, if there was a word for the look he gives me, I’d put it here. His love for me is endless. And I have a God who is bigger and greater than ALL of it. All the good stuff. All the bad stuff. All the little moments in between. I’m doing the best I can. And I’m not failing.

I have a one year old?!

It’s been so long since I’ve written! So much to catch up on. So my son will be 14 months old on August 13th! That’s happening! We had his first birthday party on June 12th (one day before his actual birthday). Which actually is the anniversary of me and Jordons first date! We have been together for 5 years already! Holy smokes. Connors birthday party was so amazing. Of course I put tons of effort into it. He’s my first kid, remember? It was a Winnie the Pooh themed party. It turned out so great!

Check out that kid with his cake. I think it’s safe to say he loved the cake. Totally man handled it! The food and cupcakes turned out delicious and so many family members and friends joined us. It was the perfect day. The weather cooperated nicely too, thankfully! The day before the party, I checked the weather and it said it was supposed to rain. I am so glad it didn’t because it was the perfect “outdoor” party on our giant deck.

Of course we had to sneak in a few family pictures!

And I feel so blessed to have been able to get a picture of Connor with all the grandparents! (From the left, my dad (papa Mark), my mom (grandma Missy), my grandpa (great grandpa Greg), my great grandma (great great grandma Helen), my grandma (great grandma JoAnn, holding Connor), and my grandma (great grandma Joy).

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Which leads me to more things happening in my life lately. May was an extremely difficult, yet extremely blessed month for me. On May 30th, my great grandpa John passed away after having a stroke and brain surgery. It was such a trying time on everyone, but especially my mom. My mom practically grew up with my great grandparents. Now all of the sudden, grandpa is gone, and there was no one to take care of grandma. My great grandma has been through so much. He had breast cancer many years ago, and ended up having her breast removed on one side. She also is diabetic and ended up losing her leg to that. It’s hard for her to take care of herself, especially at the beautifully  seasoned age of 90. (Grandma celebrated her 90th birthday in early May.) My great grandpa always took care of her and now he’s gone. My mom immediately stepped in to help, as did my grandma JoAnn (great grandma Helen’s oldest child). My mom is still taking care of grandma to this day. I am so thankful for my mom and that she’s been able to be there for my great gram. I pray for them all daily.

I mentioned that May has also been a blessed month. Believe it or not, my great grandpas passing was a blessing to me in many ways. I put aside harsh feelings for astraned family members and focused on loving every single one of them. I feel that it brought me closer to my family and I also had a chance to let them see Christs love in me. On top of that, my very very best friend in the whole wide world had a baby! My friend Sam had a baby boy on May 7th. He’s so perfect. I am so blessed to be a sister in Christ with this girl. We’ve been through so much over the past nearly 7 years of friendship. *insert cheesy romantic movie quote here* “it’s always been her.” Ha! I am so thankful we have an open relationship, a Christ based one. I’m thankful that we can encourage each other to be better followers of Christ, better wives to our husbands, better friends to each other, and now…better moms! It’s so funny to see how God has intertwined our lives to be so similar yet so different. I love that we both have boys, who oddly enough had some of the same issues as newborns! We get to share a special bond now. Not that we didn’t before. ;)

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Best friend little families ;)

I’m so excited about this stage of life I’m in now. and I’m excited for things to come. God has been so good to us. ❤️

Crazy Stuff Mom’s Do

My baby boy is now 4 months old! Can you believe it? I can’t. It’s so weird to think that 4 months ago he was in my belly, we had no idea who he was, what he looked like, or even officially had given him a name! Needless to say, its been a journey! This kid is huge. Not in like a fat, pudgy ugly baby, way. But he is in the 75th percentile for his weight and he flew right past the 100th percentile for his length! He has already outgrown his 6 month footie jammies and is in size 3 diapers now! Wow.

So its pretty much a given that babies are pretty entertaining on their own. Everyone has a story about boogers, poop, and their son peeing all over themselves…and us.

Speaking of poop….Blowouts. There’s really no words.

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Also, funny baby things…when I take a shower, I usually put Connor into his bouncer and bring him into the bathroom with me. I peek around the corner to check on him and talk to him. Well he has discovered his feet recently…

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And he decided it would be a fantastic idea to pull his sock off and shove it into his mouth. Seems like a good idea.

Everyone knows the funny baby stuff. But what about the funny MOM stuff? I figured I share some “funny” things that I have done/experienced with my little one.

-Making up songs with no rhyme or rhythm.
(Example: “I don’t know why you are crying right now…..so I will just sing about how I don’t know what to do with you…”)

-Having a complete meltdown while your baby does too.
(Example: He cries…so you cry too…which makes him cry harder. Its a never ending cycle.)

-Talking down on poopies because it makes baby stuggle and causes him pain.
(Example: “Those naughty poopies! They are so mean to you Connor, aren’t they?”)

-Rocking the baby in the car seat while you poop. (Hey don’t judge me. You know you’ve done it too.)
(Example: You just get home from the store and you gotta go BAD. The baby is asleep (because thats what cars do to babies.) So you think YES! Your own personal poop time! You get to the bathroom door and the baby wakes up and starts crying. What do you do? Bring him in there with you! You have to actually WIPE his stinky bottom. I think he can smell yours for a few minutes. So you do your business while rocking him in the carseat. Hey! Don’t knock it til you try it. It works. But I WILL say that this was while he was a newborn and I hadn’t mastered the art of letting him cry for a couple minutes until I am done. You know…new moms are afraid to try things that seem “scary”.)

-Talking nonstop because its the only thing that calms him down.
(Example: I was going somewhere, it was about a 30 minute drive. Connor started crying after about 5 minutes of leaving home. So naturally, I started talking to him to try to calm him down. “Hey buddy! Whats the matter?” He would ONLY calm down when I talked to him. This is how our conversation went to keep him calm: (Keep in mind I did this LITERALLY for 30 minutes!) “Buddy, whats wrong? I don’t even know what to say to you…how do you have a conversation with a baby? I don’t even know. Oh hey! Look, thats Advanced Auto parts. Daddy likes to go there. And its next to the lubrication station! Mama use to get her oil changed there a long time ago before daddy did it for her. Oh and now we are at the stop lights! Red means stop! And now we are moving again. OH Goodwill is coming up! They have a cute little trail behind their store. Maybe we can go for a walk down there sometime. And we can bring daddy and the puppy dog! Oh and now we are going over the river. Pretty huh? And there is the Harley Davidson shop! Ooh! More stop lights! Now we are going to get on the highway. Maybe it will calm you down if we speed up. Link Ford! They have shiny vehicles. You will drive someday but not for a long long time….” Yes, I literally did this outloud the whole way.

-Humming whatever song comes into your mind in the moment.
(Including such hits as “Here comes Santa Claus”)

-Breastfeeding dilemnas
(Example: Trying to eat while you breastfeed. Bad idea. Connor got his elbow in some of my ketchup. So I just licked it off of him. haha.)

-The importance of naptime!
(Example: Sitting in the van to eat your fast food because the baby FINALLY fell asleep. You don’t dare move.)

And finally, my favorite.

-Being “diaper-specific”
(Example: I swore I would never use Pampers diapers. (Mainly because I knew someone who used them and their kids CONSTANTLY leaked through them. I now know that their kids just had some really nasty poops haha.) Now I will ONLY use Pampers. Jordon and I literally searched every nook and cranny of Walmart in search for “Pampers Swaddlers, size 3”. I didn’t want Pampers Cruisers or Pampers Baby Dry. I wanted Pampers SWADDLERS. Lucky us, we found one of the last boxes on a bottom shelf in some random middle aisle display. Go team!)

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Being a mom is the hardest job and its not always very fun! But I’m learning to focus on the positive parts and embrace the beauty! And sometimes a good laugh doesn’t hurt ;) I love my little man!

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Welcome To Parenthood

As a new mom I am learning things very quickly. The first and biggest thing I am learning is how much love I can have for someone so new and tiny and small, who I just met only 4 short weeks ago. The second biggest thing I am learning is that I am very sympathetic and appreciative of all the moms out there. As I enter into this new world, only to find out that my sweet sweet boy has colic and possibly acid reflux, I hear SO often, “welcome to parenthood!” I have learned rather quickly that people are NOT sympathetic with new moms. They are far more interested in expressing how hard it was for THEM. And how they just had to learn to deal with it. Welcome to parenthood! I am not asking for sympathy, however I know that in the future I will not be one of those people. This is a hard job on its own let alone throwing in colic and acid reflux. In the future I will be sympathetic and choose to help these new moms in anyway that I can. Because I can say I HAVE been there and I HAVE done that. I want to make this hard time easier for other new moms in anyway that I can. It is true, welcome to parenthood. But we can still be loving caring people and help a new mom out by being sympathetic.

Then there are people who go to the extreme. I want any of my future mommy friends to know that I am there for them WHENEVER they need me. But I also want to leave it up to them to decide when that is. My boy is one month old now and I still can’t catch a break with people. I guess you could say that I have been suffering in silence for a while because I never really told anyone how many issues I was having with my needy baby. I spent 4 days last week up with Connor every single hour, round the clock, 24-7, straight. That meant I slept at 30 minute intervals IF that. I finally broke down and my husband took me to my parents for a few days so I could catch up on sleep. (New mommy note: DONT feel ashamed to get help. You bragging (or complaining) about how you did it on your own and suffered through it and came out of it all as super mom because you didn’t have help is NOT going to impress anyone. We all need help. Set your pride aside.) I spent about 3-4 days at my parents and then came home. Since no one really knew what I was going through, I got bombarded with calls still. Soon after Connor was born (within a matter of days actually) I got bombarded by people calling and checking in and stopping by. It overwhelmed me, which overwhelmed my husband, which in turn ended up with us taking a lot of sleepy emotions out on people who didn’t deserve it. Eventually, I quit taking calls and posted a sign on the door saying “no visitors today please”. Now we have come back to that feeling.

Since no one knows what was going on with Connor and our lack of sleep and sometimes sanity, I am still getting anxious calls from family and friends who are “just checking in”. Don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful that people care. But I will take into kind consideration in the future that a new mom is just that, a new mom. For those of you who ARE moms, you remember what it was like. Fussy baby or not, you remember how hard it was. Sleepless nights, endless feedings making you feel like a milk machine, feeling like the poopy diapers would never end. And for those of you who are not moms yet, you will know someday. It is so overwhelming and exhausting to deal with people when you are trying to take care of a tiny human, make time for your husband, AND trying to remember to take care of yourself. You have to sleep when the baby sleeps (which can feel like a never ending tunnel because you are literally sleeping ALL THE TIME.) and then somehow find time to shower and eat some food. There are so many things to juggle. So please, don’t get upset or impatient with new moms who don’t answer their phones, forget to call you back, or deliberately ignore texts or knocks at the door. Right now, we have bigger fish to fry. And our priority right now is our family. It won’t last forever but for Pete’s sake, please, give us time for some peace and quiet. You may think you are being helpful by checking in all the time but I promise you, if you let me come to you, you will be far more appreciated and respected in my eyes.

Motherhood is a wonderful and beautiful thing, no matter how hard it gets. And praise God for getting me through all this so far. My son is one of the best things I have ever done and I still look at him in amazement everyday wondering how my husband and I could have created something so perfect. (Just another thanks to God!) but it can be very hard especially for new moms. Try to remember that we’ve never done this before and we have so much to learn. But let us figure this out on our own. We can’t always rely on everyone else to be our crutch. If we don’t step out of the boat ourselves, we will never learn to walk on water. We will drown. So if we need help, let us ask, and for now give us some space. Soon enough we will get the hang of this and with any luck a little more sleep and patience. And just remember that bragging about how hard you had it as a mom, isn’t going to impress anyone. It’s going to push you farther away. We are looking for help and compassion, not prideful comments that are very unhelpful. Hang in there moms! We are in this together. Let’s all be supportive.

One Of The Best Days Of My Life

Exactly one week ago, I became a mother! I am beyond excited to have reached this point. I was 38 weeks and 4 days pregnant when I delivered, 10 days early. Connor Isaac Komarek was born on Saturday, June 13th 2015 at 9:16pm. He weighed 8LBS and 10.8OZ and was 20 1/2 inches long. He has the most beautiful head of full dark hair.

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I started having contractions on Friday, June 12th around 2AM. They were pretty irregular until the 13th around 2AM. On Saturday the 13th, at 2AM my contractions were about 10 minutes apart and by about 7-8AM they were around 8 minutes apart. Jordon had gone to work that morning but was only there for an hour or so before he came home. He loaded everything into the car and we were on our way. We checked into the hospital around 9:30AM. My contractions immediately picked up and started going a lot faster once we got there. I was between 4-5CM dilated when we first arrived. Labor was a lot more painful than I expected it to be, so I got an epidural around 12-1PM and I was around 7-8CM dilated at that point. That is about the time my parents got to the hospital. I am so thankful that I got the epidural. It helped a lot, especially since my labor lasted so long. By about 8-8:30PM, I was 10 CM dilated. My water hadn’t broken yet so they gave me some Petocin to induce my labor more and then asked me to start pushing to hopefully break my water naturally. My water still hadn’t broken so the doctor had to break it. Dr. Ester was unavailable so the doctor on call, Dr. Gilbert, is the one who delivered the baby. I started pushing around 8:30PM and Connor was born at 9:16PM. While I was pushing, I had his head about half way out, and Dr. Gilbert told Jordon to look down. He looked and saw a full head of hair coming out and just completely broke down and cried. That gave me so much motivation to keep going. The moment that the doctor laid my son on me for the first time was a moment that I will never forget. My heart just overflowed with love for him. Jordon and I just couldn’t help but cry.

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Connor had some trouble nursing right off the bat but we found out later on that he had swallowed a lot of amniotic fluid when he was born. They had to pump his stomach twice and got a total of 9ML of fluid out. After that he latched on much better. Now he eats about every 3 hours and it usually lasts between 10-20 minutes long or occasionally longer. We were discharged on Monday, June 15th. He had a little bit of jaundice when he was born so we had to bring him back to the hospital to be checked on Tuesday, June 16th. The doctor said his jaundice levels went up again but that he wasn’t worried since he was eating and pooping good. We also had a lactation appointment on Thursday the 18th and at that appointment, they said his jaundice levels were all the way back down to normal now.

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The first night home was a long one. Actually, the first two nights were. Connor decided that he needed to be up once per hour to eat. ALL NIGHT LONG. He did not like to stay in his crib. Jordon called the nurse in the middle of the night because it just didn’t seem right for him to eat that much. She said a lot of newborns will eat a lot during the first few nights home because they miss the closeness of mommy. They like to feel mommy’s warmth and hear her heartbeat. So the first two nights, Jordon and I basically took shifts staying awake with him while the other one of us slept. It was exhausting to say the least. My mom answered my distress calls and came down to stay with us on Wednesday (June 17th) and stayed two nights. She helped us catch up on some sleep, helped with some cooking and cleaning. She’s awesome. I don’t know what we would have done without her help. After that, Connor started to establish a little bit of a routine. We are slowly learning how this little man works! He likes to sleep on his side, so now we make sure he sleeps on his side in the crib, and praise Jesus, its been working! We have also learned that we will be going through a tremendous amount of diaper with this little stinky. He poops every single time he nurses, and when we change his diaper, he poops again. Cause who wants to poop in an already dirty diaper right? I am starting to feel somewhat of a routine getting established which is such a weight lifted off of my shoulders.

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Jordon and I have always been a team but now we are learning to be a team of three. It has been difficult sometimes for us to be on the same page but in the end, its nothing that a long talk and some good prayer can’t fix. Jordon has been my absolute best supporter in all of this. He can’t seem to grasp how much he has meant to me this past week with all he has done. And maybe I just need to be better about telling him more often. He has taken on dishes and laundry, he helps with dinner (Thank goodness I was able to get some freezer meals done before hand!) I wish there were words for how I feel about him. To see him hold our son and rock him and sing and talk to him…it melts my whole heart. My heart feels so full of love for those two. I am so excited and thankful (and unprepared!) to share Jordon’s first father’s day with him tomorrow. Since everything is so new, his gift won’t be here on time, I have to go get a father’s day card today actually, and we really didn’t make plans. Did I mention I gave birth 7 days ago? I am so thankful for an understanding husband. I hope tomorrow holds a special new meaning in his heart. I know it does for me!

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Tomorrow will be our first big adventure (as long as Connor sleeps good tonight.) We are going to attempt going to church. I am hoping that it goes well! I think as long as I feed Connor well before hand, it should be fine. I know there will be a lot of people who are anxious to meet him. Connor also gets to meet his GREAT-GREAT Grandma and Grandpa tomorrow. I feel so blessed for my great grandma to meet her fifth generation grandson. (This will be her second great great grandchild. How blessed is she!?)

IMG_6048 My parents, the new papa and grandma :)

There are so many emotions to sift through as a new mom. I spent the first few nights and days crying my eyes out because I had no clue what I was doing or how to make things easier. I was tired, emotional, exhausted, hungry and sleepy all at the same time (along with a mixture of about a thousand other emotions) and now I finally have some encouragement to keep pushing on. I have spent many times already clinging to God on this. I pray prayers from “Please let him sleep the full 4 hours tonight” to “Please give me the strength to make it through another day.” and so many in between. One thing that amazed me and that, quite honestly I didn’t expect from myself, is that through all of this I have been able to stick with God more than ever. Even in the delivery room, while every ounce of me wanted to shout profanity at all the pain I was feeling, I somehow managed to mutter out “Please God.” That was basically the extent of what I could get out of my mouth but thankfully God knew exactly what I needed. I love that in the midst of the crazy and hectic, I was seeking Him without knowing it. It really made me proud of where my walk with God has taken me. I have also been trying to pass along this encouragement to my new-daddy husband. I think it really helps him when he needs it.

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Anyways, I am so thankful to share all this exciting news with you all. I am hoping to keep you all posted best I can.