It’s not the house that makes the home!

We were so excited to work with the Atkinson Candy Co. They sent us a big box of goodies that included everything you would ever need to assemble the perfect gingerbread house! I knew Lazar and Mila would love this experience for the obvious reason… candy! Atkinson Candy Co. made it extra special and delicious, providing lots of yummy candy options. I was determined to make the gingerbread house as perfect as possible, but as we got started I realized it isn’t about making it perfect that matters… I quickly realized it’s all about the memories we are sharing and creating through this gingerbread house experience!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I talk about this often, but it’s something that holds a lot of truth; I think as Moms we feel like we need to get everything perfect… We try and provide the best for our families and sometimes our idea of perfect isn’t what our children and husband actually need or even expect, contrary to what we might think.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

As much as I try to keep the house spotless… having the laundry done, folded and put away nicely, floors vacuumed and moped, and dishes washed, dried and put away, I know thats not what makes a house a home.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Having a home is a place that is filled with love and laughter with the occasional tears and arguments that inevitably happen, but ultimately make everyone stronger! Grace and patience are qualities that I am constantly reminding myself to give not only to my children and husband, but to myself as well!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

So as we assembled the gingerbread home, I made sure to let-go and let Lazar and Mila have fun with it! I encouraged them to use whatever pieces of Atkinson candy they wanted, even if that meant a half eaten piece! I wanted them to know that just because something isn’t put together perfectly doesn’t mean that it isn’t.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

The kitchen became more and more messy but the memories being created only got more and more amazing! I truly enjoyed watching them get creative and enjoy their time!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

The finished gingerbread house currently sits on our kitchen table and every time Lazar and Mila pass it by they love to look at it and point it out to me! “LOOK Mama! LOOOOOK!” Just hearing the joy and excitement they still have, made the disaster of a kitchen totally worth it and I already look forward to next year, since this will most definitely become a annual tradition in our home… all thanks to Atkinson Candy Co!

HAVE FAITH MAMA(S)… remember it’s not the house that makes the home! It’s all the little, wonderful moments and experiences that do! Lets make sure we don’t miss out on them!

**ALSO** Use code: HAVEFAITHMAMA to receive 20% off your entire purchase at Atkinson’s online Candy Shop!

Head over to: https://atkinsongingerbreadcontest.com/ if you would like to vote for our gingerbread home!

 

 

Mama Time!

Motherhood and time sure do go hand-in-hand. One second we are wishing away certain (hard) stages and the next, we are devastated to see our babies grow up! Time is a tricky thief that seems to steal years away before my very eyes! Yet, in reality, only three years have passed since becoming a Mother. I truly have found joy in every stage my kiddos have went through in the short amount they have been here. Of course there are times I get frustrated and catch myself thinking about what it will be like when they can finally use the bathroom by themselves and express their feelings without grunts and moans… haha But, honestly I am just so thankful for the time I have been blessed with and I look forward to the many days ahead!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

What better way to keep track of time than in the most stylish, practical way possible… I absolutely love my Jord wood watch! It is a light wood tone in Fieldcrest Maple. This watch is the perfect accent to my wardrobe and as a busy Mom of two plus one on the way, sometimes all it takes is a pretty watch to make my outfit feel complete without putting too much time and thought into it!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I know during this season of Motherhood, I don’t always have the time to shop the isles of the department stores, seeking the perfect gifts. So what better way to prepare for that christmas list than to make it nice and simple. Follow this link to receive 25% off your purchase at Jord and make this Christmas timeless and one to remember! There is an awesome selection of men and women’s watches so everyone is covered!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

With the holidays quickly approaching and the new year in the horizon, I can’t help but feel so thankful for the time God has provided me as a Mommy to Lazar and Mila, with Leo arriving so soon! I plan to cherish the moments I have and not stress over the ones to come. Each moment is an opportunity to help our children grow and learn and that is certainly my goal! I’ll also be able to keep a close eye on that pesky time thief with my Jord watch always close by!

HAVE FAITH MAMA(S)…don’t let time steal your moments or joy! Enjoy it and cherish it!

<!– JORD WOOD WATCHES ARTICLE WIDGET START –>
<a id=”woodwatches_com_widget_article”  ishidden=”1″  title=”Luxury Wooden Watch”>Luxury Wooden Watch</a>
<script src=”//www.woodwatches.com/widget-article/havefaithmama”  type=”text/javascript”></script>
<!– JORD WOOD WATCHES ARTICLE WIDGET END –>

 

A Moment for Mama.

Last weekend some of my favorite ladies and I ventured to Milwaukee for a mini girls trip! To say I was hesitant, would be an understatement… My son is almost 3 and my daughter is almost 2, I have never left them for more than a few hours (most likely getting my hair done), let alone spent the night away from them in a different city! Milwaukee is about an hour and fifteen minutes from where we live so I felt confident if I needed to rush home, it would be a comfortable distance for me. I’m a stay-at-home Mom and I am far from comfortable leaving my kids… Call me overprotective, or crazy or just plain silly! I’m just not used to it and it truly gives me all sorts of feels… and not the happy ones… haha I know my babies were in great hands when I left and I was barely gone for 24 hours, yet I still had a pit in my stomach as I was leaving… My daughter cried in my husbands arms reaching for me saying “MAMA!” as I drove away, talk about swallowing the biggest lump in my throat. I just knew I needed to relax and enjoy this short little time to myself, knowing my sweet Mila would be just fine… without me (for a day at least) hehe!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

The truth is, I was supposed to go on a girls trip shortly after I had my miscarriage. I was extremely sad and down in the dumps, but I had talked with another Mama and friend and thought it would be the perfect time to take a little getaway. It was a plan, until it wasn’t… I really needed to heal through that awful, awful miscarriage and I thought spending a night away to just relax and have some fun girl chats would be perfect! Let’s just say it didn’t work out that way. Sometimes when things are important to you, it doesn’t always mean they are going to be to others, and that’s ok! God designed my healing journey to go a little differently. That girls trip wasn’t meant to be, but This one was for whatever reason… God truly knows what we need when we need it, we just have to trust in that!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

It amazes me that even when we least expect it, God always has a way of making all things new and right! I never expected to get pregnant so soon after having the miscarriage and I never expected to handle a night away from my kiddos as well as I did. I prayed and asked God leading up to my trip to allow me to relax and just enjoy each moment.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

With everything the girls and I decided to do, I found myself envisioning what it would be like or how it would be different with the kids along (since they always are). I was able to realize that it IS OK to enjoy myself even though they weren’t with me. I noticed I didn’t care if there was a line at the check-out, or if there was a long wait to get seated for dinner, or if there were traffic jams or even the latest of bedtimes (although, lets face it, we were all in bed by 11pm)! I was just able to go with the flow! Typically when I take the kids, well, anywhere… I find myself getting worried from time-to-time about some of the things I listed, because I don’t want Lazar and Mila to get restless or impatient… basically trying to avoid any type of tantrum if possible. I never think about how I personally feel, because when it comes down to it, I don’t mind those small inconveniences. They don’t matter, and what I realized is I put my kiddos ahead of my own needs and that is (in my opinion) how it should be! So having a night away to just let things go was refreshing!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

When I became a Mom it was an adjustment; specifically, a mental one… I typically only thought of myself and what I preferred. I cared what others around me wanted or needed but the reality was, I looked out for myself and took care of my needs. Of course I took care of Paul, as my husband but he didn’t and doesn’t rely on me as a child does. Becoming a Mom was the first time I suddenly had to change that mentality and it didn’t seem like a huge sacrifice or burden, it seemed like a privilege and honor… it still is! I love every minute of being a Mommy! I love my sons raspy voice yelling out to me… “Hey Mommy, whaaaa you doin?!” I love when I see my daughter each morning and the first thing she does is give me the tightest squeeze and kiss! I love each and every flutter and kick happening inside my growing belly and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Lightbulb moment happened when I got home last Sunday afternoon. It’s OK to take a Moment for Mama, healthy even… But it’s also ok to truly enjoy the craziness of everyday Motherhood! It’s not easy, but it really is worth it! If you are a Mom and need a moment for yourself, you are just normal! So many instances can seem overwhelming and crazy, but God created you to be the mother of your children, He created you to take on the responsibility of caring for them and providing for them! He wants you to spread His love and what better way than to put your all into raising your children!?!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

No matter what we go through in life, God always wants us to rely on Him to help us through it… positive or negative. Having that girls trip last weekend was a blast, the hotel and city was beautiful along with the company! I am thankful I was able to experience it! I am thankful for my Mother-in-law that watched the kids while Paul was at work and I’m forever thankful for Paul for allowing me to do basically, anything I ask of him! He is always supportive and cares for myself and our kids in a way I find inspiring! I’ll forever adore him!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Moral of the story… take a moment for yourselves Mama’s! Whether you need it or not; when we take time to better ourselves we are only going to be better for the ones around us! Pray about it and God will always make it clear! Enjoy being a Mama, especially if you have young babies… they grow waaaaay too fast and we will find ourselves wishing those young years back before we know it (I mean I already do it, how am I going to be in 10 years or 20?!)! Embrace the people around you, the ones that love and care for you really do want to love and care for you, so let them! Before the trip, that was something I struggled with and honestly still do. I always thought I needed to take care of myself and my family but God gives us each other to truly be there for one another, to lean on each other and encourage one another! Just embrace it and give it back whenever you’re able!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Have Faith Mama(s)… take a moment and realize what you’ve got, what you need and what you want! Accept the love around you and give it back as often as possible! God will always provide when you seek Him!

XO

When you call + God answers

When I was a young kiddo I hated thunder storms. The loud crashes led me straight to my parents bedroom as fast as I was able. I hated the anticipation of the next house-shaking boom! I just wanted it to end. Then came the mornings… mornings filled with a bright shinning sun and even a rainbow, if you were lucky! Who knew something so terrifying could actually end with something so beautiful?

Going through my miscarriage was certainly a storm that I just wanted to end. It was emotionally and physically painful. Sharing about my miscarriage was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Although the response I received was overwhelming to say the least. I received countless emails, text messages, calls, even gifts… Something I did not anticipate, but so beyond thankful for! Most of the messages brought tears to my eyes, bringing me to the sad realization that so many other women have went through a loss of their own. I didn’t know how I would heal from such a difficult situation, but I am thankful for all who reached out and for everyone that was truly there for me; it stills means more than I could ever put into words! The months following my miscarriage were difficult and it was hard to imagine getting pregnant again without the lingering anticipation of something going wrong… I dreaded the next boom!

IMG_6398

But that’s the thing about God, He wants us to trust Him, rely on Him, and only Him! I prayed and asked God that if it was apart of His will for us to have another baby, that He would bless us with one. Joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5) just like the sun, and in our case a rainbow… our rainbow baby would be a reality! “A rainbow baby is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. In the real world, a rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison (kickscount.org).”

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

My OBGYN advised me to wait one menstrual cycle after the miscarriage before trying to conceive, so that is exactly what we did. Sure enough on Thursday, June 8th I decided I should take a pregnancy test. My heart was racing and I knew if the test was positive I may just pass-out from fear, knowing that  there was always the possibility of things going wrong… again. I had to remind myself of my many conversations with God asking Him for this very blessing… He answered! Baby Wise #3 will be born in late February!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

There are days I still can’t believe it! My OBGYN has been amazing, in that, he has allowed me to have more frequent visits to give me peace of mind. Seeing our sweet babe and hearing his/her strong heartbeat is like picking up a phone, dialing God and having Him answer, “YES!” I prayed and asked God to rest my mind and give me a sense of calm for this pregnancy. Sometimes we ask for things and don’t always expect what we are then given… let me explain, I have been one sick cookie! Haha My pregnancies with Lazar and Mila were very easy going with minimal nausea, that disappeared quickly! I loved being pregnant! Don’t get me wrong, I still love it and I consider it a miracle, but being this nauseous and fatigued has thrown me for a sure LOOP! However, through it all, I thank God because it gives me the peace of mind I so diligently asked Him to provide. Now that I am in my second trimester, I am starting to regain my energy and the nausea is slowly but surely disappearing!

I must admit, even with every joyful moment, I still feel the sting of not welcoming a baby late October, early November. My mind likes to bring me to the realization of dates that have already come and gone that would have been monumental in that pregnancy… like finding out the gender, feeling the first kicks, going over my birth plan and even packing a hospital bag. I know these same very situations are approaching quickly, it’s just hard ignoring the facts. The good news and ultimately the solution is that God had a different plan… I find confidence in His plan and I am overjoyed with the blessings He has provided! So, although I may have a sad moment from time-to-time, I know that I need to focus on being the best I can be, not only for my own well-being but for my family! God didn’t promise us a perfect, trial free life… but what He DID promise was salvation from a world that will never satisfy and never be good enough.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

HAVE FAITH MAMA(S)… God has a plan and if we trust it, rather than try and understand it, we will be a lot better off. Remember joy truly does come in the morning… and if we’re patient, maybe even a rainbow!

The baby I carried but never held…

“I noticed though, around the first edges of spring, that I was starting to feel different. Not better- forget better; better is besides the point. Different, that’s reasonable. Because you may never feel better. I don’t. That’s the other thing about having a miscarriagea miscarriage may very well start to have you. It robs you physically and emotionally, ransacking your gut and your heart. Then it sets its sights on your head. It will rummage through all of your drawers. Having taken much of your dignity, some of your dreams, and more tears than you can count, it looks for what else it can steal.” -April Hoss, The Magic of Motherhood. 

Saturday, March 4th 2017- I took a pregnancy test at about 9:30am just before getting into the shower. I assumed it was negative (since it was only the second month we had stopped preventing… like that even matters haha), but I was hopeful for those two pink lines regardless. \\ We are beyond blessed to have two amazing children; Lazar (2) and Mila (1) and we thought it was a good time to try for baby #3. I couldn’t even rinse the shampoo out of my hair, I had to hop out of the shower quick to check the results of the test. TWO LINES! I was over the moon with excitement! I finished showering and ran downstairs with the positive test to show Paul. He was thrilled as well! I proceeded to chug my water bottle and take another test that immediately read, “Pregnant.” I was so grateful to be carrying a baby again and already couldn’t help but start planning things in my head!

I had light spotting around week 4 and 5 but I also had the same spotting with Lazar and Mila so I assumed all was fine. I continued to explain to Paul, that this pregnancy just didn’t seem real, like I just felt as if I wasn’t actually going to have a baby. He would ease my mind and tell me things like, “the positive pregnancy tests say otherwise honey!” I prayed about it and tried to ignore the lingering feelings, that something wasn’t quite right. I swear I just knew deep down I wasn’t going to have a baby come early November. I wanted to with every fiber in me, but I knew something was not right. I had pregnancy symptoms such as: nausea when I wouldn’t have a full stomach, my sense of smell was out of this world; like a dang blood hound, and I was so extremely exhausted! With all the symptoms and positive pregnancy tests I knew there wasn’t much more proof and peace of mind I could have besides my first doctors appointment, which wasn’t until April.

When my appointment date finally came, I was a ball of nerves. I still had the frightening feelings… More and more family and friends had known about my pregnancy and there was apart of me that didn’t want to have to share the awful news of a miscarriage. It’s as if I would be letting everyone down. I knew that wasn’t the truth, its just how I felt. Laying down on that hospital bed as my OBGYN placed the warm jelly on my teeny tiny baby bump to listen to our babies heartbeat was by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to experience; and experience alone. Paul had stayed home with Lazar and Mila so I was solo for this unforgettable visit. He placed the sonogram machine on my belly and just before it hit my skin, I asked God to prepare my heart for whatever the outcome was going to be… S I L E N C E… nothing. Ear-piercing, mind-numbing, heart-breaking… S I L E N C E… I could barely make eye contact with my doctor. He was remaining positive and letting me know, he would like me to stay for an internal ultrasound.

If you have never had an internal ultrasound count it as a blessing. It was awful! I had no idea what was going on, I was scared, nervous and all alone. I just wanted a glimmer of hope or some kind words to help ease the pain of the ultrasound prod/pressure and the pain of knowing something is terribly wrong.  So as I held back tears, I asked the ultrasound tech… “What are ya thinkin (as far as my ultrasound goes)?” the response I got was even colder than the prod ramming around inside me, making me feel violated and more uncomfortable than I ever have before… “I don’t think, I just take the pictures.”-she said, with zero expression on her face. “OOOOOK then, thanks so much (I thought)!” I was mortified and let tears stream down my face onto the crinkly paper lining the hospital bed. More silence. I mean what would’ve been the appropriate response to that? I had a few in mind, but I prayed and asked God to make me numb until it was over, it worked, He was there. I knew He was with me, I knew He was crying along side of me, I just didn’t understand why? Why was this happening….

That’s the thing about our time on this earth, we don’t always get the answers we are looking for, we don’t always get the prayers we are asking for and we won’t always understand the why’s we are wondering… God doesn’t intend for us to understand it all, He just wants us to trust Him. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

After the ultrasound I was sent to an empty room to wait for my doctor to fill me in on everything. I prayed and prayed until he entered the room. I could see it on his face… It’s as if “BAD NEWS” was stamped on his forehead. He sat down close to me and explained the results were confusing… I was supposed to be 10 weeks along and my uterus was basically showing a gestational sac but no baby. At 10 weeks a baby would definitely be visible within the gestational sac. I knew my dates were spot on, this only meant something went wrong and basically a baby never really formed. He explained my body would soon respond to this and expel of the sac and all that follows… He simply told me my body will most-likely go through a miscarriage in the next few days. He sat with me, hugged me and even cried with me. He did his best to assure me everything was going to be ok. It was a Thursday, and my doctor predicted the miscarriage would most likely happen over the weekend. He was right.

The weekend had arrived and I started bleeding bright red blood. I thought, this is it, this is how it’s going to go. I was SO mistaken. I honestly had zero idea what a miscarriage would be like. I assumed it would be like having a heavy period. That is what I had read and that is what my doctor had prepared me for. Sunday morning had come and I had really heavy bleeding accompanied with intense cramping… like a heavy period. I figured this was the end of it. It was actually the start of it! The bleeding increased and the cramping turned into contractions. I was trying to get ready for church and a family gathering we had planned to attend, but I could barley stand when a contraction would come. I called my doctor and he explained I was in the middle of the miscarriage. I was hysterical and didn’t think I would take it as hard as I did. I was on my knees on the bathroom floor sobbing to the doctor… He was kind and talked me through. He told me I could come in for a D&C which would ultimately take the pain away and finish the miscarriage for me. I was in excruiating pain and had Paul drive me to the ER, on the drive Paul did his best to encourage me to stay strong, pray and ask God to get me through it. I thought of this verse and recited it over and over… “Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.” -Psalm 4:1 I told Paul to turn the car around, I know God was with me and helping me through it. I had confidence my body would do everything on its own. With every passing contraction my body would tense up and I would sob, but continue to pray. We pulled in our driveway, I walked inside, used the restroom and begged God to finish it… He did.

Sunday, April 16th 2017- I miscarried. It was over. The contractions had stopped and the bleeding had decreased. I felt empty and inadequate. I felt like a failure and as if my body was broken.

The days and weeks that followed were just as that initial quote stated. I was starting to feel different, not better… just different. A miscarriage really does rob you of a lot, more than imaginable. I wanted that baby… whether there was a baby in me or just the sac the baby grows in. I wanted it… I prayed for it, I yearned to hold it in my arms and kiss it one million times over! I journaled the day I found out I was pregnant, just as I did with L and M. I added this verse along with the exciting news… “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.” -1 Samuel 1:27 I re-read that verse about 100 times… I asked God, “Why?” Why didn’t You allow me to have the child I had prayed for? The words TRUST ME flashed in my mind. I would close my eyes to cry and see TRUST ME. I have an app on my phone that shows you what you shared on social media on the day just years prior… so I was looking at my phone and it stated about 5 years ago on April 16th I shared a status that read: “God only has 3 answers to prayers: 1. Yes 2. Not yet 3. I have something better in mind. TRUST HIM!” CHILLS ran up my spine! I then swipped to the next thing I shared 3 years ago on that same day, April 16th… “1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So Glorify God in your body.” It’s as if God was preparing me for that awful day. I wanted to know why, and He answered… years ago!

After everything, my doctor stared me in my eyes and said, “I am confident that your next pregnancy will be great!” I just thought how can he possibly say he is “confident?” I saw TRUST ME flash through my mind! God is telling me to trust Him and that is what I whole-heartedly plan to do! I didn’t want to post this until I knew I would for sure have another baby, I even thought I would wait to write about this until after I have a baby, but once again I had this overwhelming feeling to TRUST! I have faith that we will be able to have another baby, but even if we don’t, I still trust the Lord with all my heart! I knew I needed to share my story because this topic is not talked about enough, especially for  how common it truly is! I pray my story gives all you Mama’s comfort and hope, knowing that you are not alone. God has the very best plan for each and every one of us and although all of our prayers, wants and whys won’t always be a clear answer that doesn’t mean that God has abandoned us. He’s there crying with us, feeling our pain, He just wants us to know Him, rely on Him and TRUST Him even during the hardest of times!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

HAVE FAITH MAMA’S… God is there, He always was and He always will be! All we have to do is TRUST HIM! 

Long Days + Short Years

I know what you must be thinking…”Paulina, that title makes no sense.” But as a Mom, it really couldn’t hold any more truth! Some days I look at the clock and assume it will read, 3 o’clock when it’s not yet noon. Those are the days where your kiddos want your attention at the exact same time, yet they are wanting/needing two very different things. Those are the days your daughter doesn’t want the pink cup or the blue cup, she just want’s her brothers cup! Those are the days you intended to do the laundry then the dishes but instead the kids tore all the cushions off the couch and got a little too rough resulting in meltdowns! Those are most likely the days when you stayed up too late the night before because you just wanted to catch up on the latest recording of the Real Housewives drama; because let’s face it, its the only time you have to yourself to just sit and not think about a thing!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

BUUUUT that is the beauty of being a parent, especially one that stays home all day with your minis. Those are the simple, beautiful, literally breathtaking moments that make all that other stuff more than worth it! Those are the days your daughter walks up to you reaching her arms out with the biggest smile just to give you a hug and kiss for no reason (it’s the kind of affection that brings the happiest tears). Those are the days when your son shares his beloved (insert important toy at the moment) with his sister without being asked to do so. Those are the days where you had such good intentions to do the laundry and dishes but you decided building a fort and playing peek-a-boo was just so much more important and worth it! Those are the days that you could careless what the clock says, you are just thankful you get the time at all! Those are the days that you don’t care ONE BIT about getting some alone time because you are so aware of how fleeting this time with your children truly is!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Raising Lazar and Mila has been the greatest gift God has ever blessed me with! I mean those words whole-heartedly too. When God made me a Mother I felt I truly became me, I feel like I am living out Gods plan He has intended for me and I am honored to be in the position I’m in… My kiddos really are the best part of my day! Raising two kids 13 months apart comes with its challenges but honestly the rewards always outweigh. I once wrote a post about raising 2 under 2… Times have changed, they have grown and developed in new ways. I no longer have a newborn and a 1 year old. I now have a 1 and 2 year old… You may not think it’s that much of a difference but so much change takes place in a year of a child’s life; it’s a beautiful thing! They experience the day-to-day adventures the way (I believe) God intended all of us to experience life. When they are standing on the couch and see the big/loud garbage truck come around the corner they get so excited and filled with joy that they can’t wait to include me, “Mama, look! Biiiiig truck! OOOOOH ((giggles)) Biiiiiiiig truck!” The pureness in their voices and the genuine excitement for the simplest things is how we all should celebrate life. Sure, you may not want to throw a party for cleaning toilets but I can guarantee you, if you go into it with a joyful heart any mundane task can quickly become something to be happy about!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Most of our days raising young children are not always going to have exciting moments, it’s up to us to decide what type of attitude we want to exhibit and put fourth. I believe it’s so important to be mindful of our outlook because in a BLINK our long days are quickly going to feel like short years!

HAVE FAITH MAMA(S)…the long days are sooo worth it! Celebrate the small things with a joyful heart and let time fall where it may! Because time is really what we want the most, but are we really making the most of it!?!   

 

Before + After Motherhood…

I need to start this blog out by saying sorry for not posting in awhile… Definitely not my intention to wait this long. Honestly, I just haven’t been overly inspired lately and life has been busy, busy, busy with my two littles running around! But, it really felt great to sit down and write again though! Recently I read online, “describe yourself before you became a Mom, then describe yourself after you became a Mom.” I thought it was an interesting topic to think about and utlimatley write about. So here we go Before + After Motherhood!

Who knew becoming a Mom would have such an impact on me. Now that I am a Mom it’s almost hard to type that… Like really? What part of me hasn’t been impacted, sheesh! When I was single, I hated it. I had one serious boyfriend before Paul and I have nothing but nice things to say about him! But, we ultimately had our differences and I also wanted to go into college without a boyfriend so I would be able to meet new people and start a new journey. I really didn’t like not having someone to call at night to talk to about my day. But being single is what led me to Paul, although we always had each other in mind (just wasn’t allowed with the 4 year age gap).

It’s hard to imagine what life was like before having children and a significant other to take care of and just having them around in general. During my single days, where I just had to take care of myself, I would stress about new clothes, hair, makeup, what car I drove, grades, boys, etc. That was pretty. much. it… I was also young, immature and didn’t have many responsibilities yet. I think being single “back then” was a lot less stressful than it is today, with all the online chaos and the changes with dating in general… Mad-props to all you single ladies right now, it may be annoying but God has your husband out there…just waiting for the perfect moment to introduce you two! Have Faith, God’s timing and plan is never wrong.

When Paul and I first started dating it was such a relief that my parents finally allowed it! Yes, there were certainly times (before my parents gave us their blessing to date) that we may have seen each other. But hey, look at us now, it all worked out! But now that I was dating someone I had a whole new responsibility… Paul, my boyfriend, my new love! I wanted nothing but to make him happy. We talked regularly about purposeful dating. Which basically meant, we weren’t just dating to date, we were dating each other because we saw potential for marriage; something I feel may be slightly lost in todays dating.

Being young and in love is something to cherish! I look at these old pictures of us and think we are such babies, but at the time I thought we had it all figured out. Being young also means you are most likely still pretty selfish, so we would have our fights, our break-up and our make-up… but overall it was a time for Paul and I to figure out if we would be a good match for forever together! We focused on one another, we talked all night, we went on trips, we laughed, we cried and we ultimatley decided life wouldn’t be as good without each other!

I thought we would never get engaged. I thought time and time again… “we’ll just date forever, he’s never going to do it!” If you know Paul and I, then you know I am the more impulsive one and he never does anything without thinking it through, making a list and checking it 500 times! haha Just kidding, buuuuut I mean really… I thought it wasn’t going to happen. Then BAM! Down on one knee! I was the happiest girl alive! I also had no idea it was coming, he totally surprised me and I’m so thankful he did it that way! He has always had my best interest in mind and he has taught me about paitience and how having it truly pays off! During life as an engaged couple ALL I thought about was Paul, our love, my new bling and the wedding! My mind was consumed with me and Paul and the journey we were about to embark on!

I would go to sleep with a smile on my face and wake up the same way. Paul and I were dating for a few years before he asked me to marry him and I loved him for even longer than that! He was my DREAM MAN (I still tell him that often)! I kid you not, I still look at him and think God really did give me my soulmate; I adore him beyond measure! I couldn’t help but daydream about what life would be like with Paul after marriage. We were excited to start that chapter!

Married life! It was like this feeling of AHH FINALLY! I knew I wanted to marry this man for so long, so when we did, it was like I won the lottery (can you tell I adore my husband?)! I get to spend the rest of my days with the most amazing man and my best friend! God made Paul for me and me for Paul! I have confidence in that and thank Jesus for blessing us with one another daily! Now, Paul and I have only been married for 3 years and I still feel like a newlywed! He makes me the happiest girl alive (I mean besides the days I want to punch him for not putting his clothes in the hamper) hehe but seriously, he’s a dream! I have heard of girls getting home-sick after getting married and that just wasn’t the case for me. I was home with Paul and I knew I always had my family near for extra support and love, but ultimately it was all about Paul and I now! It wasn’t long after being married that I, especially, had the itch to have a little mini running around! Paul agreed and a year later we became “Mama and Dada!” The biggest most monumental change in our lives!

I LOVED being pregnant! I actually miss it somedays! Seriously, feeling my little loves wiggle and kick around inside my belly was such a miracle to me! I mean it is a true blessing from God! All of a sudden life was starting to get kind of intense for me… Taking care of a little baby wasn’t going to be easy, but I knew I would be able to do it. I was so confident in myself!  I was always good with kids, I loved kids! I went to school and graduated with a bachelors degree is elementary education for crying out loud! I prepared for our son and was beyond organized! But I still only really needed to focus on me and Paul, yes my mind was always thinking about our baby but my life hadn’t changed much yet…

I’ve already blogged about the kids birth stories so you will have to check those out if you want details! Oh the details! Yikes! All I can say, is God is GOOD! We have Lazar and Mila! They are safe, happy and healthy, we became a family of 4, in what seems like overnight!

“A family of 4!” Wow! Its still blows my mind somedays. I look back a handful of years ago and it was just me, sitting alone in my dorm reading my Bible praying God would show me the way. I prayed he would make me the woman I needed to be in order to find my husband, in order to find myself. God answered my prayers, He knew I needed time to grow with Him before I was ready to become a wife and mother. I’m still on my walk with the Lord, that never stops but the journey along the way has been incredible! There are days I swear I’ve dropped the ball completely as a Mom… Both kids are screaming, needing me and I find myself with old makeup on my face, dirty hair, Pauls old gym shorts (because they are the most comfortable over my stretched out belly that is sloooooowly, I repeat, SLOWLY shrinking), a nursing bra under a robe and tears forming in my eyes because I just don’t know where to begin or how to manage. Then, my daughter says “MAMA!” and my son, gives me a big, loud, sloppy kiss and I’m reminded how much they love me (NO MATTER WHAT) and how much they need me… My days are so different after becoming a Mom, more different than any big change in my entire life. Its been the best, hardest, most rewarding, exhausting, lovely and truly WORTH IT, time of my life! Before Motherhood was cool, but After is where I’m truly ME! I know this is what God had planned for me, and man am I thankful for that! I don’t have the perfect house, husband, body, car, clothing, or kids (although they are in my eyes…hehe), I do have a full heart and a heck of a lot of reasons to be thankful!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

It’s actually pretty simple. It always has been and it always will be… All that we really need to focus on is… God and all the blessings He has given us. Whether we are single, dating, engaged, married or Mommy’s. We all have things going on in our lives that are important and relevant to each of us, here and now, in our own way. But it’s our job to keep God the most relevant and enjoy the journey He has set out for us!

HAVE FAITH MAMA(S)…God guides us through the befores so we will be ready for the beautiful afters! 

Honest Motherhood.

So after writing “Unselfish Motherhood” I got a ton of positive feedback and thought I would write about “Honest Motherhood” as a spin-off if you will. When I wrote about being an unselfish Mama I tried to focus on some of the things (I believe) Mommy’s give up during this unselfish season of life, which all those things are ok to give up and it’s justified because our kiddos take priority, and like I stated in that post, I believe that is how God intended raising young children to be. In this post, I am focusing on how Motherhood affects us Mama’s on a deeper level.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Being honest takes bravery sometimes. It’s not always easy putting our pride aside and breaking down to the raw honesty of our lives and days with our minis. Being a Mama isn’t always pretty, it isn’t always picture perfect like it’s almost always portrayed on social media. I myself am certainly guilty of posting the perfect pictures. Of course we want others around us to think we have it all together, but ya know what? That just isn’t reality… No one’s life is perfect; no ONE (on this earth) is perfect for that matter. Of course Jesus is perfect and as Christians we should all try and live our lives to be more like Him and His image. However, we are all sinners and we will never be able to achieve perfection while on this planet and that is ok, that is the sole reason God sent His one and only Son (Jesus) to save us from our sins so we can all be in Heaven with our Grand Creator one day when we die. So with all that truth, I think it’s time to break it down and be honest, give one another some grace and give one another some love! We all need it, and if you don’t think so… you’re just not being honest with yourself.

image

Raising two kiddos under 2 years of age can be incredibly difficult. I often chuckle at myself just thinking about when I just had Lazar and I thought that was the most challenging… and don’t get me wrong it was, I’ve just never known exhaustion like I know it now! Each Mama has her own relevant struggles, whether you have one or twenty-one kiddos… It can be so so challenging and draining that is a fact and that is Motherhood!

image

Whenever I start thinking about writing a new blog post, I always pray and ask God what HE wants me to write about… whether it’s a big or small topic I always have confidence that He is the one giving me the ideas and words! So, I knew I wanted to write about Honest Motherhood when I was planning on having a few of my favorite girlfriends over for a girls night! I wanted to get some tasks done around the house. From the get-go, I set myself up for disaster, attempting unrealistic expectations (this is something I do WAY too often) and I’m sure many of you Mama’s can relate to that! My Husband often reminds me how I set myself up for a disappointment when I assume things I want to happen, then expect it to for sure happen… It’s just not fair and causes unnecessary stress. So before the ladies arrived that night, I was trying to get my daily walk/workout in, get the kiddos fed and down for a nap so I would then be able to clean up the house and get myself ready! Honestly, typing that doesn’t seem like it’s that much to accomplish before 6pm… BUT sheesh, did Lazar and Mila have other plans in mind. I put a movie on to distract Lazar while I put Mila down for a nap (this typically works) but Miss Mila just did not want to fall asleep fast, in fact every time her eyes would get heavy Lazar would yell out for me or quite the opposite, he got really quite and decided he wanted to climb up on the trunk closest to the TV and chuck fragile items from the shelf located above said trunk, to the ground (all just so so nerve-frying)! After setting Mila in her crib I attempted to change Lazar’s now poop filled diaper. He hates the diaper changes so he started crying which ended up waking Mila… As I attempted to put Lazar down in his crib to nap, I ran to Mila to calm her. She finally fell back asleep but Lazar was now screaming in his crib… so back to him I went, it took a good 20 minutes and some snuggles to get him sleeping as well (since I rushed it the first time). At this point I felt so frazzled since that entire nap, screaming, diaper changing battle lasted about 2 hours…

image

As I laid there with Lazar snuggled up close to me and watched Mila on the monitor sleeping soundly, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming wave of emotions come over me, which made tears rush down my face. I felt like I wasn’t doing a good job… I had to give Lazar a time-out for throwing a shoe at Mila earlier that morning, after we returned home from our walk. He was initially mad we had to come inside so he proceeded to throw toys (which is a no-no). I told him not to throw his toys, as they will most likely hit his sister… He’s almost 2 years old so he isn’t exactly willing to reason with me. He looked at me and tossed his shoe right at Mila’s face…thats when the time-out happened. After all the tears it was clear they both needed naps (and I explained that 2 hour process above)… I sat in tears, holding Lazar, feeling sorry for myself having had a tough morning. I thought, I have so much to do to get ready for tonight and it was such a draining morning, I would never be able to accomplish that now. I was being over sensitive and not giving myself enough grace. Lazar and Mila are only 13 months apart and they need me for practically everything still, so when they need me at the same time it’s such a defeating feeling because you can’t be and do two things at once… As I cuddled with Lazar feeling all emotional, I realized I am blessed more than I deserve and I need to thank God for these hard, humbling moments (which is also the moment I realized I will write about this honest moment as a Mommy). I stayed with Lazar while he slept on me for extra long that afternoon, kissed him probably 1 million times and loved every breath I felt and heard him take on me. I am so thankful for my family and I never want to get caught up in the devils schemes to try and take that joy away!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

The devil wants us to feel overwhelmed by a messy house. He wants us to feel the pressure from society and social media to try and be as perfect as the pictures we post and see. He wants us to lie and say being a Mama is easy and stress free… But God knows our hearts, He knows our struggles behind closed doors and cell phone screens! He wants us to be honest with Him and ourselves. It is ok to have a messy house with dishes pilling up, finger prints all over our windows, peanut butter crusted in our hair and our couch from two days ago (yes, that’s happened), it is OK and it is going to Be OK! Eventually our sweet babies are going to grow and not need us like they do when they are little and we are going to ache for time to reverse! Our living rooms will be clean again and our stress will just find itself somewhere else.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

So it’s ok to be honest and vulnerable during this season of our lives. Others are in your same boat and I can guarantee it’s refreshing to hear how hard their days have been as well; but if we don’t open up… chances are others won’t feel comfortable opening up either. Be the one to take the lead and show grace and love to one another like Jesus did, still does and always will! I have found that essential oils help in ways I never thought was possible. After my Wednesday morning from crazyville, I put the oil blend balance in our diffuser and it settled my nerves and helped me relax while praying and also typing this blog post.

Reading my Bible always, ALWAYS makes me feel better as well… literally without fail. So diffusing some calming oils and reading/praying (even for just a few minutes) from my Bible is literally the most amazing recipe for taking stressful situations and putting them into a calm and realistic feelings.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I know there are problems in this world and when your kids have a tough day it just doesn’t compare. But in life its all about whats relevant in the moment… When I was planning my wedding I told myself, this is either going to be stressful or it can be enjoyable. I chose to enjoy it, I am doing the same as a Mommy… I can either let comparing myself on social media get the best of me or I can enjoy my babies while they are still babies. At the end of the day, Lazar and Mila aren’t going to remember the car we drove or the clothing we wore, they are going to remember the love and affection and hopefully pass that on to their babies one day too! Everyday my house is messy, the dishes pile up, my makeup isn’t done, my hair is all over the place and my body is slowly… SLOWLY, changing… and it is up to us how relevant we want to make those small things!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Have Faith Mama(s)… Be Honest and Know God is right there with you!

Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

 

 

 

Unselfish Motherhood.

I once read, “Motherhood is the scariest hood there is.” I thought, how witty and funny! But honestly, sometimes when I get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day chaos of raising littles, I can understand the truth to that statement. I find myself worrying when I know Jesus tells me that worry is a sin and when we worry we aren’t trusting that He is in control. But I am human and I am imperfect, so I worry…

  1. I worry that I’m not doing enough as a Mama.
  2.  I worry my post-pregnancy body won’t be appealing to my husband like my pre-pregnancy body once was.
  3. I worry I am not being a good enough friend for my friends.
  4. I worry about silly little things that I don’t even remember anymore, because really they were never worth worrying about in the first place.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Like I said, I know God considers it a sin to worry so when I catch myself getting sucked into those negative worries listed above, I am reminded of God’s truth: Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Seriously, just typing that verse gives me a peaceful, mind-clearing feeling…like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It’s true, the Holy Spirit is with us, guiding our every move and that’s amazing and truly something to be so thankful for!

So I’m going to go through each worry I’ve listed and remind myself, along with all of you, why it’s just not right to worry… It won’t make any of us completely  stop worrying all together, but it will help remind us that we are doing good and it’s so important that we crush our worries with thanksgiving and all the blessings God has given us!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

The other day my Mama and I were driving down some beautiful country roads, headed to one of our favorite boutiques. We were having a conversation about being a Mom and all that it encompasses. We discussed how putting children first, even if that means letting others down, doesn’t mean you are “using your kids as an excuse.” Yes, someone once got frustrated with me for not doing what they expected of me and stated that “kids aren’t an excuse.” I’m telling you, those words, made my blood boil at the time. I didn’t let them know how much their words affected me, because it is their opinion and they have a right to that. So, I just prayed and realized..

1. I am doing enough.

-YOU are doing enough.

I put my kids first, and I don’t use them as “excuses.” Putting children before our needs and the expectations of others is being an Unselfish Mother. That’s my opinion, and I truly believe that is how God designed and intended Mother’s and Father’s to be. After having babies, it became very clear to me that life is no longer about me; quite the contrary. In fact,  in the blink of an eye, it’s all about your baby and their well-being and that is ok…that is how it should be, because life is full of seasons and with each season we face those too will pass. In my personal option, they pass all too quickly! I wish there was a way to slow down this precious time with my minis!

image

Some women have babies and bounce back to their pre-pregnancy bodies in no time, others carry excess weight while nursing or sometimes even longer, if not forever.

2. I know my body has changed, but it is proof that it birthed two beautiful children with only a 4 month grace period between giving birth and getting pregnant again. So yes, my body has changed. Yes, I carry extra weight that lingers while I breastfeed… And YES, I know I still appeal to my husband, because we love one another and when you marry your best friend under God, body image isn’t an end-all factor.

-YOU are beautiful Mama’s!  No matter what your post-pregnancy body may look like. It’s important to remember, that it took 9 months to grow that beautiful, tiny little masterpiece! It’s only natural to give our bodies grace and at least… LEAST 9 months to get back to any type of “normal.” Being an Unselfish Mother also means not obsessing over our body image and weight. God only gives us what we can handle and it is important to treat everything we have been given in life as a blessing from Him, that we need to learn to embrace, even when it seems impossible. Of course, living an active healthy lifestyle is always a good option and the best way to feel good and able to run around with our energenic kiddos; but it is, by no means, something to stress and worry about.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Being a new Mama and maintaining friendships can be particularly hard… I was having a conversation with an amazing Mommy friend the other day and her words were so enlightening and exactly what I have always thought,  just didn’t really know how to express it in words. She said, “I think sometimes people think we’re being selfish (as moms) but it’s the exact opposite. Like we are giving up A LOT. Like A LOT. Basically the most selfless gig on this planet is being a SAHM (stay at home mom). Not to mention the physical and emotional exhaustion it can take.” -Anonymous Kick-Butt Mama 😉

Again, that is just an agreed upon opinion between friends, not trying to offend anyone; especially not all you working Mama’s out there, because God’s knows how hard you are working for your families as well, and it goes without saying how unselfish that is!

3. I know I am being a good friend to my friends. I know where my heart is at, and I know my intentions are pure. What I can control is how I behave and interact with friends. What I can’t control is how they may preserve it and maybe not even accept it. But, it’s so important to not worry about it… True friends are there and love you through each and every stage of life. I’ve always thought (even before kiddos) that friends are a true blessing and even if you don’t talk or see each other often, that doesn’t mean the bond created is tarnished or destroyed… That’s the true beauty of friendships! I am truly thankful for all the amazing friends in my life, whether we’ve known one another forever or have recently created a relationship… You are all so special to me and I’m beyond thankful for the light you bring to my life! I thank you for supporting me during this journey of Motherhood (you all know who you are)!

-YOU are a good friend, even if you don’t text back right away because you were nursing your baby to sleep for an afternoon nap and you decided you wanted to linger while she sleeps so peacefully in your arms. YOU are a good friend even if you can’t be there (presently)… You want to be, but that’s not always reality with little ones who ultimately need YOU… more. YOU are a good friend and they love you and will understand… Unselfish Motherhood.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

It’s time to stop the worry and be BRAVE! Be brave in day-to-day tasks that may seem oh-so-small… Replace that worry with bravery! I want to teach my kiddos by example. I want them to see how courageous and brave their Mama is and was. I want all of you, whether you are a Mother, Father, Wife, Husband or Friend to simply put God first and remember He has us exactly where He wants us for an amazing reason. Let’s be brave and trust in that truth and kick worry to the curb! I plan to work on this and make it my goal to achieve daily!

Have Faith Mama(s)… Remember, there’s no need to worry because “if God is for us, who can be against us!?” -Romans 8:31

XO

BE KIND.

“I have told you these things, so that in ME you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33

This verse has been on my mind more than ever lately. The world seems to be SO sad and angry as of late. Most likely it is because of the Presidential Election taking place and tensions are high and maybe I am just more aware as I age and pay closer attention than I ever used to. It’s not that I’ve never cared about our world in the past, it’s just now I have young children that are relying on me and my husband to be their example and guide as they grow. The pressure of that sometimes seems overwhelming!

It can seem overwhelming because as I watch the news and see all the controversy and hate going around it sickens me to have to raise up little, innocent children into a world that is truly corrupt. Now, don’t get me wrong… I absolutely believe there are plenty of amazing Godly people on this earth, but I am also well aware that this world is not my final destination. God is waiting for me to one day enter into the gates of Heaven and be with Him for eternity! That is such an exciting reality and truth to live by and look forward to. But it isn’t a free pass to stay shut-in behind doors and not stand up for what is right. God put each and every one of us on this earth for a divine purpose, so IT IS our responsibility to spread His love and kindness when others try and destroy and ruin His name!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I want my kiddos to grow up in a household filled with love, laughter and kindness. Knowing that in this home, their home, they are safe, cherished and loved… even if the world tries to tell them anything different about themselves. As parents, Paul and I want to instill certain values into Lazar and Mila (just as our parents instilled in us), to put God first and #1 in every aspect of their lives. Before they will be able to understand that concept, it is our goal to teach them to BE KIND in a world that isn’t always so kind.

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in ME should stay in darkness.” -John 12:46

BE KIND, even when being kind isn’t the “cool” thing to do. This one is never going to be easy…as a young person or an adult! I have never felt guilty or bad about choosing kindness. It is the way God intended us to act, so it needs to feel natural rather than tried.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

BE KIND, when it would be easier to just walk away and not deal with it at all. Sometimes we may not be directly faced with the dilemma we are witnessing, but its important to step in if we see a situation that needs it! I believe God has us exactly where He wants us for a very specific reason each and every second of every day, so if you feel it in your heart to step up in a situation do it!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

BE KIND, always! The term, “kill em with kindness” really does work! SIMPLE.AS.THAT! Rather than reacting to someone, show them the act of kindness instead! It is incredibly hard to put pride aside, especially with heavy issues, but keeping cool and collected is always a better route that you won’t regret later on when everyone cools off.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I realize that life isn’t a Disney musical where everyone sings a little song and suddenly we all get over our differences and get along. It is ok to have differences… It is ok to have conflicting opinions… But it is NOT ok to treat people as if they are less than you because of those differing mindsets. Social media plays such a pivotal role in this issue, people love being able to spew hate while hiding behind their computer screens… So sad. I believe that if we would just use tools like social media to spread kindness rather than hatred our children just might follow in those same footsteps and have a better shot at making this world a better place after all!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Seriously BE KIND to one another! ALL lives really do matter and showing love to ALL goes a long way!

Have Faith Mama(s)…

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

XO