Blessings Learned

Today, one of my high school friends posted a picture of her and her husband dressed up over the holidays. They looked great, and even more than that she looked beautiful. I commented as such and didn’t really think much else about it until she responded back. “We clean up okay, huh?”

My reply of “absolutely” didn’t really capture what I wanted to say to her though. You see this friend, is one I wish I would have spent more time with in high school.

She’s just a genuinely great person. Kind, intelligent, friendly, supportive – everything you could possibly want in a friend, twelve years ago and now. There are now several hundred miles that separate us and I think we’ve only seen each other once since graduation.

Now-a-days she’s a SAHM to a little cutie (toughest job on the planet, really, I couldn’t do it) and her days are probably spent changing diapers, getting food ready and trying to grow her little one into a great person amongst other things. I enjoy the photos she shares of her little one and of them together.

Beautiful friend, I hope that you know that your love and support are felt hundreds of miles away. Being your friend and watching your life (even through pictures) is a blessing. You’re beautiful inside and out every day, not just on days where you get cleaned up and I will forever cherish our friendship, whatever that may look like.

Blessings Learned

Hello, thirties!

A new year is here and with it a new decade for me – today!

Hello, thirties!

My twenties were incredibly busy – losing a grandpa, getting engaged, buying our home, getting married, starting my career, baby one, graduating from college, nervous breakdown, job change, a little grad school, baby two, job change, almost getting divorced, re-finding God, losing a grandma, babies three and four.

I feel overly blessed and exhausted just from typing that.  I accomplished more in my twenties than I ever imagined, but I’m truly looking forward to this time in my life. When I reach the end of my thirties, we will have a junior in high school – what?!? I know that the next decade will be just as busy as the first, just in different ways and I think I’ve learned a few things over the past ten years that will make it a bit easier. Of course, some of that learning is still in progress.

  • God’s love is really the only thing we can be certain of. He forgives our sins and grants us the mercy and grace to forgive ourselves, even when we feel that we are worthy of being forgiven.
  • Saying “yes” to everything doesn’t make you a better person. It makes you a crazy person and it’s totally okay to say no.
  • You can push yourself too far. The crash is hard and real and not something you want to re-live. Know your limits and stick to them.
  • Marriages work much better when you turn them over to God, learn to communicate, and see how much life can suck without your other half.
  • People can change and do change. They can surprise you in ways you’ve never imagined. People are also forgiving and can love you even when you don’t deserve to be loved. (Jeremy Brent, you my dear husband, are the best. Thanks for waking up every day and choosing to love me.)
  • The best moments in life seem to happen when you relax and live in the moment. Kids don’t wait for your load to become lighter to grow up. Step away from the work and play in the sprinkler, give the piggy back ride, look at the stars, bake the cupcakes.
  • Turn the music up as loud as you want and always order dessert (two things I will never regret doing).
  • Find your people (they are out there looking for you too) and love them with everything that you’ve got.

It’s not everyday that you get to enter a new decade. Some people meet these milestones in life with sadness, but today I woke up excited and thankful to be thirty and nothing will change that today. Not the lack of sleep from a fussy baby, the toddler who fell out of bed in the early hours of the morning (she’s fine), or the lack of sugary syrup in my iced coffee this morning.

So, welcome thirties – I’m thrilled to meet you. We are going to have a great time!

 

Blessings Learned

cookies & chaos

Phew, we made it through 2017 and what a year it was for our family. We were blessed to watch our kiddos grow, added a beautiful new addition to our family, and I was finally brave enough to start a blog. The year also brought along with it seizure scares with both of our littles. The oldest little had only a febrile seizure while our youngest little spent half of her first month of life in and out of intermediate care for a potential seizure disorder. We were so thankful to receive her Sandifer Syndrome diagnosis and bring home a happy, and otherwise healthy baby.

This year will begin a new season of life for our family. For the first time since 2010 (with the exception of 2012), we aren’t expecting or bringing home a new baby. I’m having a difficult time with it, more on that another day, but looking forward to 2018.

I’m not one to make resolutions because life happens and they are hard to keep. However, in 2018 I do have some hopes.

  1. Finish two Bible studies I started.
  2. Find and create experiences for our family. Whether it be a picnic, trip to a museum or mini-vacation.
  3. Practice my baking skills and make a whole lot of cookies and desserts.
  4. Live a more minimilastic life. Bye-bye clutter.
  5. Embrace the chaos!

With that said, my theme for 2018 is cookies & chaos. I’ll be baking, experiencing life and finding blessings in the mess and sharing.

Sending you wishes for a cookie and chaos (the good kind) filled 2018!

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Quick Lunch #1

I’m sure there are others out there, who love stir-fry like I do. So here’s a quick and budget friendly lunch idea for you.

We are big meat eaters and usually try to cook enough to have leftovers, which was the case today.

All you need is in this picture.

Just combine the following in a skillet lightly coated with olive oil and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.

– 1 package, frozen Stir-fry Starters*

– leftover meat (That would be a grilled pork chop for me today.)

– Stir-fry Sauce, to taste.

*If going home for lunch isn’t an option grab a steamable bag of Stir-fry starter and use these awesome Pyrex Simply Store 14 Piece Round Food Storage Set with Colored Lids, Multi“>Pyrex bowls to heat it up in the microwave.

I’m nursing the baby, so my appetite is ravenous and I devour the whole thing, but it could definitely be split into two meals.

Enjoy!

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I’m human.

I was working on a blog about time management, and how I really stink at it, but that’s not really what is on my heart.

I’m sharing today because I think as a mom and as a person, it’s important to know you aren’t alone and that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.

About forty-five minutes ago, after some strong encouragement from family and one hard swallow of my pride and a pill, I took the anti-anxiety medicine prescribed to me a few weeks ago. Right now, I’m hovering between feeling like Super Man encountering Kryptonite because taking this pill means I dont have it all together (I HATE admitting this) and Super Woman because I’m acknowledging and taking control of my emotions. There is no middle ground right now and well, that has to be okay.

We’ve had a lot of stress in our lives over the past twelve weeks, and it is nothing compared to what many other people are going through. I’m really thankful for the stress. It’s such a blessing to have a beautiful baby to worry about and I’m not happy that our Suburban caught on fire but everyone is okay and it can be replaced. However, I’ve reached my limit and ability to cope without some help.

I’m a self-proclaimed perfectionist, and over doer and that makes acknowledging the above (that I need help) so hard. To top off all of the stress, post-partum anxiety is serious. I have battled post-partum anxiety after every pregnancy and with the exception of the complete breakdown I had back in 2012, I’ve never asked for help, and even then I didn’t ask.

I’m not one to talk, or make recommendations because I obviously don’t listen very well, but it’s okay to need help and it’s okay to not be able to handle it all. (Keep reminding me of this, if you see me.)

I’m not Super Woman.

Life is real.

My emotions are raw.

I’m vulnerable.

I’m overwhelmed.

I’m some kind of messy.

I’m human.

And I’m not in control, but…

God is in control.

I can pray.

I can accept His grace and mercy.

I can ask for help.

I can take medicine.

I can be human.

It will all be okay.

Know the signs of anxiety. It’s okay to ask for help, for yourself or someone else you love, from a medical professional, and you should. Because you aren’t alone, and the battle isn’t just yours. You are human and you are loved.

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Our People

I’ve always heard other people talk about “their people”, and wondered what it was like to have people. And by people I don’t mean family, I mean a core group of friends who are there no matter what you are going through in life. I’ve always had a few great friends, but have come to realize lately that we’ve developed a group of people who are a HUGE part of our lives, whether near or far.

These are the people who send support through 800+ text message conversations, who bring coffee to the hospital and dinner to the house. They let you stop by when it’s bedtime to reassure you that your baby is okay, and jump out of bed late at night to come over when your car catches on fire.

These people…they are wonderful and amazing.

Our people help guide us spiritually and encourage us as we grow. They understand our flaws and make us feel accepted. They love and care for us deeply which is expressed verbally but even more so by their actions.

Our people make life a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable.

Find your people! They are out there and they need you to be their people too.

And if you are wondering, our car did in fact catch on fire and the baby did need x-rays (results coming tomorrow) in the last twenty-four hours. And our people, they are really, really awesome.