This Season Of Motherhood

Lovely Flower

I’m finding myself extremely fond of this particular season of motherhood. There are many times a day that I try and soak into my memory moments that are so fleeting. My husband and I celebrated this weekend with a couple who are expecting their first child next month. This celebration of new life had me reflecting upon the past 2 1/2 years and how quickly they’ve gone by. The first few months are such a blur of no sleep, feeding the baby, changing their diaper, and keeping your sanity. I remember feeling so guilty for grieving the loss of my old life, my independence, my life with just my husband. We soon settled into a groove that was beautiful, I had dreamed of being a stay at home mom since I was little and I was finally living my dream. Each phase seemed to come and go so quickly, our schedule of life changed as soon as we got used to the previous one. I craved something more consistent, I was am such a planner and scheduled person that the shifting phases of newborn life was a challenge for me.

 

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I remember researching each phase, and how long it would last, getting ready to prepare for the next one. However, if I’m ever blessed with another child I will choose to live in the present season, and soak up every little moment in that season (even the hard ones).

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I am loving the current phase of motherhood I am in right now. I love the wonderful interactions and conversations I have with Charlotte. I would talk to Charlotte constantly when she was a baby but it’s so different having her be able to understand what I say and react to it. She is seriously a sponge, she soaks up everything, watching, listening. I love her sense of humor, she’s truly hilarious. Though we have a solid schedule (she goes to bed at 7:30 and is up at 7am, naps from 1-3) we do have flexibility if our days require it. She rarely has trouble sleeping at night (thank you Jesus) and loves her naps (another thank you Jesus). She has started to remember when I tell her something exciting that is coming up (like a birthday party, and ice cream treat, etc) this is both good and bad.

“Mama, I love you forever” is what my daughter told me one day while I was holding her close to me. I know she doesn’t understand the concept of forever but she does understand love. When I dreamed of our lives together when I was pregnant I dreamed of a life full of joy and love. I wanted my daughter to understand the love that I feel for her, that there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her. In the moment she spoke those words to me I felt like she knew, she could feel what I felt for her. This season of motherhood I am choosing to be present and soak up all that I can knowing that it will pass all too quickly and I won’t be able to get it back.

A Letter To My Newlywed Self

A letter to my newlywed self

There I was in my first period French class of freshman year of high school, I was so nervous/excited/anxious. Our classroom was split in half so one half of the class was facing the other half of the class. There he was…bright blue eyes, rosy cheeks, tall slender body, and gorgeous lips. Each class we would make eye contact, smile, and look away. This interaction lasted a few weeks, I kept waiting for him to ask for my phone number or my AOL screen name. (yes, I realize I’m aging myself. AOL chat was THE thing when I was in high school). Finally, as the class gathered by the door before the bell rang, he asked. I was so giddy the rest of the day and immediately signed into AOL as soon as I got home from school and waited….and waited….then I heard the *ding* and all the butterflies started going crazy in my belly. We instantly hit it off, we both played basketball and enjoyed the same types of things. Our first official date was chaperoned by his mom (we were only 15 at the time) and we went to the movies to see “Shanghai Noon”, what a stupid movie haha! After that day we were inseparable, we wrote notes to each other in class and would pass them in the halls between classes, hung out after school, played basketball together, went to all the school dances, he was my love.

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We dated on and off through college (took some time apart to do our own thing) but were engaged the February before college graduation. We were 22 and in love, excited to start our lives together but had no idea what we were doing. We had the wedding and honeymoon of our dreams.

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When we returned to reality we quickly learned we didn’t really know how to have a successful, thriving marriage because we were both so young and still so selfish. So now after almost 9 years of marriage this is the letter I would write to my newlywed self:

Dear newlywed,

You are about to embark on an amazing, exciting, difficult, beautiful, journey called marriage. There will be great up’s and down’s in this journey but keep these things in mind.

  1. Marriage is designed by God and therefore is good. “God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage…So guard the spirit of marriage within you” (Malachi 2:15). God cares about your marriage and wants it to succeed, however that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Marriage is more about selfless love and refining you into who God designed you to be than it is about butterflies and lovey feelings. It takes great maturity to lay down your life day in and day out for another person, learning to take hold of that maturity will be key. “Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace…But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.” (Matthew 19:11-12).
  2. Your marriage will not always look like a romantic movie. There are countless romance movies that tell the beautiful story of a man and woman falling in love. The kisses that make a woman get swept off her feet, the romantic gestures, and then the movie ends. Most movies don’t touch on what happens in the middle and end of a marital journey. We spend so much time planning the perfect wedding but not enough time preparing for what it takes to keep a marriage thriving. “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!'” (Luke 14:28-30). Create an extraordinary vision for your marriage that includes what you want it to look like in the middle and end.

    1 year anniversary

    Our 1st Wedding Anniversary

  3. There will be hard times, sometimes seemingly impossible times. Since marriage is the joining of two selfish, sinful, people it is bound to come across difficult times. “Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.” (1 Peter 4:12-13). Know this, you will hurt your spouse, and your spouse will hurt you, but there is room for forgiveness and reconciliation and even a stronger bond on the other side of the difficulty. You and your spouse are a team and should work for a common goal in all good times and more so in challenging times.
  4. You should always seek your spouse’s best interest and put their needs above your own. This was a hard concept for me to grasp at the beginning of our marriage. However, once I changed the terminology to me ‘serving’ him it changed my attitude toward it. Serve your spouse with encouragement, helping them fulfill their goals and desires, and giving them freedom to pursue their interests.
  5. Comparison really is the thief of joy. In today’s society filled with Facebook and Instagram it can be easy to compare your life with other’s highlighted life. Don’t! Remember that ALL couples argue, and go through ups and downs. Focus on the good in your spouse even on days when the good is hard to find. Know that your marriage is YOUR journey, each marriage is different and will take a different path in different seasons. The grass will grow where you water it….meaning put the effort you would normally use into comparing into your marriage and it will do you a lot more good.
  6. You will love your spouse more than you thought possible when they become a parent. The day Brent became a dad will go down in history as one of the most beautiful and sacred moments of our marriage. The look on his face when Charlotte was brought into this world was full of love, pride, and joy. Watching him interact with her, love on her, discipline her, has changed the way I look at him. I never knew how much my love would grow for him once he became the father of my daughter until it happened.
new dad

Proud new Daddy

Marriage takes work but it’s so extremely worth it. These past nine years have been the best of my life and I’m really looking forward to the adventures coming our way.

If you could write a letter to your newlywed self what tips would you have??

 

 

A Letter to My Daughter About Her Self-Worth

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Dear Charlotte,

Right now you lay up in your bed sleeping peacefully as I think about the past two and a half years you’ve blessed me with. I still remember the day I found out I was pregnant with you, I cried and cried so thankful and excited for the life we would have together. Each morning as you grew in my belly I prayed over you, for your protection, but mostly for your future and who you would become. The moment you entered this world I remember saying how beautiful you were, I couldn’t take my eyes off you, I was instantly and overwhelmingly in love with you. As you physically grew so did your personality, your emotions, and your mind. I am daily taken back by how insanely smart, kind, loving, joyful, hilarious, beautiful, and sweet. I know that as you grow older you will become more aware, aware of yourself, the world, the people in the world and how they look at you. What I wish I could give you is the gift of being able to see yourself through my eyes everyday. I don’t want you to ever think less of what I described you as, but I know someday you will. When those days come there are some things I want you to forever remember…

Newborn

  1. You are fearfully and wonderfully made-When you were created in my womb, God had a specific design and plan for your life. A life that is full of joy, fulfillment, and beauty. You are here on purpose, for a purpose. Know that the plans God has for your life are way more than what you could ever think for yourself, be ready for an amazing journey! “The Lord directs the steps of the Godly. He delights in every detail of their lives” Psalm 37:23
  2. You are loved by so many people that all want to support you and see you reach your greatest potential. Know that you are never alone, even if life can sometimes seem lonely.
  3. You are beautiful on the inside and out. This world will want you to believe that outward beauty is what women should strive for. I don’t agree, I think beauty comes from within. Caring for people, having a gentle spirit, being respectful, possessing confidence, and loving well are all things that make you beautiful. Even though you are outwardly beautiful focus on the inside more and that brings outward beauty. IMG_1851
  4. You are strong and much stronger than you may believe. Don’t give up and don’t give in! You truly can do whatever you set your mind to accomplish, so dream big baby girl.
  5. You are so smart-You amaze me by the things you say and do. Continue to stick with your love for reading and learning, this will bring great things your way.
  6. Be willing to give yourself grace and plenty of it at times. You will stumble, you will fall, but always get back up. Know that mistakes and wrong turns can bring a beautiful outcome when looked at with grace. I wish I had been nicer to myself through the mistakes of my life, but you have the chance to do well in this from the beginning. Be loving towards yourself.
Charlie girl, if there are days when you feel “less than” remember these things I’ve told you, for they are all true. I pray you find your self-worth through these things and not what society thinks is worthy.
Thank you for making me a mama and allowing me to (hopefully) teach you how to navigate this sometimes scary world.

Weekly Meal Plan/Workouts + Weekend Recap

Happy Monday Everyone!! How was your weekend?! Have a Valentine hangover? 😉 Here are a few highlights from mine…

Friday was so ridiculously gorgeous here we decided to have a picnic on our driveway, our friends bear, elephant, stitch, snoopy, and olaf joined us 😉

Like mother like daughter

Like mother like daughter

Can she be any more beautiful?!

Can she be any more beautiful?!

Pretzel and blueberry picnic

Pretzel and blueberry picnic

I’ve been looking forward to Saturday for awhile, my husband’s two sisters invited me to an event at Upstairs Circus. You pay an entry fee which includes unlimited mimosa’s (yes, please) and the supplies to the craft of your choice. I was actually really surprised by the craft options you could choose from.

I made this piece that I’ll be putting in our bedroom

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These girls make me happy

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Saturday night we went to my in-laws house to meet the new additions to the family!

Meet Bella

Meet Bella

Meet Rosa

Meet Rosa

These pups are 4 year old rescue dogs and fit into the family really well. They are sweet cuddle bugs 🙂

Sunday was Valentine’s Day and we started the day with heart shaped breakfast, because it’s cute and why not?

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Weekly Meal Plan and Workout Plan

Monday-Avocado Chicken Enchiladas-21 Day Fix Plyo workout

Tuesday- Chicken Curry Rice Bowls-Muscle Max class at the gym

Wednesday-Leftovers-Run 5 miles

Thursday-Sausage and Veggie bake (let me know if you guys want the recipe for this one)-HIIT class at the gym

Friday-Chipotle (Friday’s are Chipotle days 🙂 )-Body pump

 

Tell me a highlight from you weekend…

Any awesome workouts planned this week?