Monday, December 31, 2012

GOTCHA!

I've been ignoring something lately.

You know that feeling when God puts something on your heart, teaches you a lesson, you read or hear something and deep down you know it wasn't meant for just you alone. 

I now know that this is one of the ways Mr. Holy Spirit makes himself known to me. I get an undeniable feeling, and I hate to use the word feeling, but an undeniable sense that I need to write about specific things. That this conviction I feel or truth was meant to be shared. I have not the slightest clue as to who it might also be for, but I know in my heart that I'm called to share it. 

At these times when I get these burning feelings I actually sometimes feel like I need to, well, let's be honest, run for the deodorant! So not kidding here.. and sorry if that's tmi for some of you. But I get that sweaty, nervous feeling and literally have sentences running through my brain of what is supposed to be on paper. Or typed? It's almost like the post is writing itself.. and guess what... lately I've been shutting them off. A few days go by, and phew, that feeling has subsided. On with my life.

I'm too tired.
I just want to relax tonight.
My computer is way too slow to write. (Yes, I've used that one.)
I just need to get this work email sent.
And my favorite of all, Lord, please, this one is quite personal, I don't really want to share THAT one.

But once you feel convicted about failing to share your convictions then where do you turn? lol. That was such a strange sentence. Well, I guess repent and get back in the saddle.

Thank God for his grace once again. 

I have loved the song, "Use Me Here" the moment I heard it during summer camp at Hume Lake back in high school. A whole *cough* 11 years ago. Sheesh. When you write it down it sounds SO long ago!

The chorus by Everybody Duck:

Use me here, where I am.
Not gonna pray anymore that you change your plans.
Despite my fear, I place my life in your hands.
The future can wait, tomorrow might be too late.
Jesus use me here. 

Good one huh?

Funny that I find myself praying these words and then when God gives me the opportunity to be "used" to share something he is teaching me, I say, not right now. Ha. Oh man. I'm so guilty.

I somehow tweak the chorus...

Use me here, when it's super convenient.
When I'm fully rested and my kids have been good.
Preferably after a nap, and my schedule is free.
Jesus use me then. 


I hope you catch my extreme sarcasm, but how often do I do this!? Please someone tell me they can relate! Maybe your conviction isn't writing, but something else. Something that you have been avoiding for a while.

Time to repent of my selfish flesh once again. 
Slow down.
Make time for the Lord when he says GO. 

So all that to say... one of my new years resolutions is to write more. Not just to write, but to write when that burning feeling inside me can't be anything other than the Holy Spirit. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure from time to time I'll share things that God does not give me a burning desire to share {like my new awesome soup recipe!!}, but I think you will be able to pick out the posts in which I do feel called to write.. like this, or this, or this one.

Lastly, I give you all permission now to hold me accountable. That's what I love about blogging! Once it's out here, well, gosh now every little mouse click to this page is another person that can hold me to it. Haven't heard from me in a while, text me, email me. I guarantee it's not because I haven't learned something or felt a conviction. Call me out. I need it. 

My prayer is that although I might be wearing a lot of hats right now, I never want to be too busy to do something that God is pressing on my heart for me to do. I hope you can pray for me too. 

Funny that my toddler got sick over the weekend, my husband had plans to pick up a friend from the airport tonight and I'm left to ring in the new year in such a strange way. Writing? I feel like God is smiling and saying to me, "GOTCHA!"

God - 1, me - 0.

Alright, glad we got that settled.

"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own." Philippians 3:12.

Here's to 2013!

Happy, happy New Year from my little fam to yours!



Worth listening to..

Enjoy! 



Friday, December 14, 2012

Baskets of Laundry

It's the eve of my 30th birthday. 

I knew turning 30 would be something I would always remember, but I didn't know that I would go into it on a night such as this.

Today's tragedy rocked me to the core. My cheeks are raw from wiping the tears. All day trying to hide them from my three little ones.

The overwhelming theme that I can't seem to shake is the stolen innocence.

The stolen innocence of every little child from Sandy Hook that did go home tonight to their families. 
The stolen innocence of every brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister that went home without someone tonight. 
The stolen innocence of that entire community. 

Their childhood memories will never be the same.

I sat on the floor tonight with a giant basket of laundry and cherished the moment. Sounds so strange, but not today. I took out every tiny article of clothing and held it up. So tiny. My mind quickly raced to the parents that lost their children tonight.. how their baskets of laundry would never be the same.

I had to push images out of my brain. Pray them out each time they over took me. The thing that I had to keep reminding myself was that these were not the first parents that have lost a child. And they won't be the last. So many around us have suffered and are suffering and although the circumstances are different, the pain is the same.

Pain is something we will never escape in this world. 

We can't fix a tragedy. No explanation will ever be enough. 

And we all deal with it differently.

Some people respond to tragedy with a need to fix it. 
Some respond to tragedy with a need to just feel the pain. 
Some respond to tragedy as if nothing happened because that's the only way their mind can cope.

I could see all of this in just posts on Facebook alone. I knew each of those people were hurting in their own way. As we continue to see people react in different ways to this tragedy, my prayer is that we can try to take a step back and understand that we all mourn differently. Not spread more hate because someone may not mourn in the same way that we do.

Today I just felt the pain.

I thanked our Lord for another day with my angels and cried out for His mercy to fill the hearts of those in CT. It never seems like enough, but in the moment, it's all we can do.

Tomorrow as I wake up I know the faces behind the 20 children stolen from us will start to surface. My heart will once again be ripped from my chest.

As I look upon their faces, 
I will also remember that they are right now in a place where there are no more tears. 
They are in a place where there is no more pain. 
They are in a place far better than we are now. 

Oh days like today make me long for heaven...and cling to the promises of God.. 

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Isaiah 49:13
Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.


Revelation 21:4
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

God's word will not return void. 

Oh Lord, I know you hear our cries tonight. 

Tonight it doesn't matter how many times my baby girl wakes up. 
Tonight I cherished the cuddles with my big girl on the couch and watching her dance to the music of the credits.
Tonight I smile thinking about how many times I helped my boy put his undies back on after successful trips to the potty. 

Tonight I am thankful for another night with these gifts that God has given me. 

Each day we have together truly is a that, a gift. 








Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Real life behind Instagram

I've been wanting to post for a while now about real life. When I say real life, I mean the real life that happens in between the instagram posts and the status updates.

 
I'm talking about real life that happens in all of our homes, but we don't dare post about those times because then someone may think we don't have it all together. I am not saying in the slightest that I am not one of those people, because I am. But I'm here blogging tonight in hopes to get an amen from a lot of mommas out there, and maybe just help a few of you feel a little more sane. 

(Why am I always sitting down to blog with a glass of wine, I'm not sure, but it seems to be a habit of mine.)

Anyways, so here I was having a day of all days last week. 

I woke up and within 15 minutes was already cleaning up Sawyer's spilled bowl of cereal followed by his entire smoothie. How he could spill both items in such a short period of time I'll never know. I'm not sure if I was more irritated by the clean up or the fact that I was watching my organic fruits and veggies that I had just whipped up lay strewn across the floor. For some reason I have become and absolute freak when it comes to wasting food. This is a total tangent, I'll get back to my bad day, I promise, but seriously I hope someone can relate. Since spending the money to buy things organic and since spending the time to actually prepare meals, such as smoothies, I now for some reason feel that this food is like rare gems and not a bite should be wasted. I would save and refeed the kids' almond milk from their cereal if I could! I'm a freak, I know. 
 
Okay, so after cleaning up the spills I proceeded to chase the kids upstairs to throw us all together to get out of the house and get Addy to school on time. It was one of those mornings where I was on repeat. Get dressed, get your shoes on, brush your teeth, brush your teeth, brush your teeth. While trying to feed baby girl on my bed I did what any other mom in my place would do and covered baby's ears with my hands and proceeded to yell, "BRUSH YOUR TEETH!" 
 
Ugh, I feel horrible telling this story, but I'll go on. 

So then I marched into the bathroom where Addy and Sawyer were messing around and I swatted her bottom to get her moving a little harder than I intended. Instant tears. Her big blue eyes just so upset. Instantly I felt so much shame. I acted out of my own frustration and in doing so ruined her morning. Not to mention that it happened to be "water day" at school where all the kids go in bathing suits. I was convinced that the teachers were going to notice a red mark on her bottom and most certainly call CPS on me. These were the same sweet teachers that I had to apologize for a couple weeks prior for picking up Addy from school with mascara flowing down my face. I actually had absolutely no idea I had mascara flowing down my face, but had been cutting onions all morning, threw on my sunglasses and ran out the door to pick her up and didn't realize until I got home the condition that my face was in. I am sure they thought I made up the onion story, I mean, that would be anyone's cover up wouldn't it? lol. 

So I was just humiliated and took Addy in my arms and hugged her and begged her for forgiveness. I told her that I made a mistake. She instantly forgave me and was ready to take on the day. I on the other hand, had not let myself off the hook that easy. I proceeded to call my husband and tell him what a horrible excuse of a mom I was. 
 
 

Funny how easily Addy was to forgive me when I asked, yet I still held myself captive to this mistake and couldn't get past it. I think so many of us do that with the Lord. Although he forgives us when we ask, we still beat ourselves up, sometimes far too long.

As we drove to school we sang songs, but I still couldn't shake the morning. I was so irritable. 

Then on our way back to pick up Addy a few hours later, my desperate attempt to keep Sawyer awake so that he would still nap at home failed and I knew in that moment it was going to be a long afternoon. And it was. Cranky toddlers that only have a 20 min nap in the car, turn into kids that fight about every toy, refuse what I make for dinner, and then cry through the bathtime routine. We all know our kids the best and usually we are pretty good at predicting these things by now. 
 
I knew at the end of the day of course it could have been worse, but I just felt exhausted. The moment my husband walked in the door to help relieve me couldn't come fast enough. 

That day I didn't have cute pictures uploaded on instagram or fun meals I had made. It would have been pictures of whining kids, a quesadilla, and a mom so utterly exhausted, covered in spit up with no make up on and my hair in a messy bun on my head. 
 
That was reality. Yet no one saw it. 
 
 
If it weren't for me posting on Facebook that I had a hard day with 3 kids 4 and under, that day would have gone by and no one would have noticed. Tomorrow I would have a cute picture of us all at the park and a new vegan meal I made and no one would even think that life may not be as hunky dory as it seems. 
 
Crazy huh? Not so much.
 
Looking back at every one of my instagram pictures I post I could tell you a story that you would never believe. 
 
But it's real life. 
 
Like the one of Capri peacefully sleeping on a lawn chair while we were at the pool wearing her Hurley onsie. Little did you all know that I got home and my baby was so badly sun burned that I had to skip church the next morning and rush her to urgent care. Despite being a third time mom, she still got burned, but no one would have known. (I still am mad at myself for this one!)


 How about the picture of me and the three kids. I think this was one photo that got more "likes" than any other I've posted. Little did everyone know that I had not yet showered that day, was wearing sunglasses to hide my tired eyes and was about to lose my mind in the house that day so a walk was my therapy which was when I snapped that pic. I can't even recall if I brushed my teeth that morning. I sure hope so.

 
Or the photo of John and I before our date night. We were actually in a 7-11 parking lot in front of a bush. Romantic huh? That was where we were meeting my parents to swap the kids and figured we better take a picture to actually remember that we did indeed get out for an evening sometime in the first 6 months of Capri's life.
 

What about the photo of Addy & Sawyer on our way to picture day at school. Well, that day I woke up and was about to load the kids to find that our lovely cats had peed all over Capri's carseat. So bad that I couldn't just "throw a towel over it." I actually called my sister who lives in the neighborhood, thank the Lord, and at a moment's notice she actually drove her carseat over to me so I could use it and then she proceeded to walk with her baby and stroller home. It was an absolutely ridiculous morning. 

 
Or this awesome picture of Addy holding a beautiful butterfly.. bet you wouldn't have guessed that this butterfly died only moments later and we had to have a talk about heaven. 

 
It's so crazy to me. I could go through all of my pictures and tell a story. I'm sure we all could. There's so much more than what we all see in tiny frames of each others lives. 
 
And guess what. It's okay. It's okay that we don't have it all together because in these moments are when I feel myself grow. I feel myself turn to my friends and family and most importantly I turn to God. 
 
We are all striving to do our best. We are all striving to have it all together.  
 
And some days we are going to fail. 
 
Real life. 
 
"Let us not grow weary while doing good, in due season we shall reap if we don't lose heart." Galations 6:9
 
It's so true. 
 

So I have a dare for you this week..
 
 I dare you to post a picture like this one on Instagram.

 
My house with not one clean room to be found.
 
I'm sure if nothing else it will give someone else a laugh or a sigh of relief knowing that they aren't alone. 

Real life. 






Wednesday, October 10, 2012

So.. I've gone a little crunchy!

The Urban Dictionary definition:
 
1. earthy-crunchy
 
An adjective describing persons or things relating to any or all of the following: vegetarianism; herbs; all-natural and organic products (such as food, skin and hair care products, etc.); recycling; protecting and preserving the environment; natural medicine; etc. People that are earthy-crunchy are sometimes called tree-huggers or hippies.
 
She loves to go to the health food store, where she buys all that earthy-crunchy stuff.

You are so earthy-crunchy, you make cliff bars look like a slim jim.
 
I like this definition. Especially the way it uses earthy-crunchy in a sentence. The funny thing is that I could tell you a ton of stuff to dissuade you from eating a cliff bar. But that is not my purpose for this post. ☺

I don't even know where to start, but I suppose I could start with my family going vegetarian 12 years ago when I lost my uncle to cancer and he was in his late 30s. It's hard for me to relive that time, and I miss my uncle dearly. I vividly remember my mom researching stuff after this happened and very soon after our diets began to change. She was finding out stuff about the way our food is processed that well, no one really wants to think about. I can't say exactly, but I think that this traumatic event of losing my uncle (my mom's brother) at such a young age sent my mom looking for ways for us all to prevent it, and if diet was a way, well, we were going to change. We cut out all meat except fish.
 
 
I soon after landed a job as a fabulous front desk receptionist at our local 24 Hour Fitness. It wasn't long after I was working there that the question of "so you are vegetarian for the most part, so where do you get your protein?" started coming up. I knew little about protein. I was 18 and had been a gymnast my whole life so never really put much thought behind what I ate. I burned so many calories that my Wild Cherry Pepsi, bear claw and salsa verde Doritos "diet" didn't seem to matter. But as some of the trainers were filling me in on protein, calories, fats, etc. I started to be more aware and soon brought meat back into my diet. I was the only one in my family that did. 
 
Now fast forward just about 12 years and I'm the one doing all the research just like my mom did then. This was actually something that I was not looking for, but it kind of found me. I'll explain. 
 
Capri has been dealing with some major congestion issues. After trying all the "normal" things with humidifiers, nose drops, steamy showers, and sleeping at a tilt I was determined to see if possibly something else could be contributing to her congestion and a friend of mine suggested it might be the dairy in my diet. Huh. I had never thought of that, but was willing to do anything to help my baby girl since she was exclusively breastfeeding. At the same time as I decided to go dairy free, my sister became highly invested in researching health and diet more and was just about to start a 40 day challenge. Another very close friend of mine informed me that she was considering going vegan for many health reasons. She told me about the documentary Forks Over Knives and after our sushi date I raced home to turn on Netflix and watch it. Fascinated, the next night my husband and I watched Food Inc. and we have already been huge fans of Sick, Fat & Nearly Dead.
 
For our health, and our kids future health, I immediately felt on my heart that it was time for our family to make a change and the most amazing part is that my husband did too. 
 
  Since then, we have been on a 40 day "cleanse" if you will that will end on Nov. 2. Why 40 days? Well, it's a biblical number, and after going 40 days you will really notice a difference and have to alter your lifestyle to get through it. It's a plant-based protein, whole food diet. No dairy, no meat, no sugar, all organic, and little to nothing processed. Definitely no GMOs. I didn't go as strict on the kids by any means, but I did eliminate meat and have decreased their dairy and processed food consumption to very very little. It may sound like a very restricting lifestyle, but actually, I feel so free. I am learning to cook with vegetables I never would have tried. I even signed up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) and now get my produce delivered to me weekly! I am getting my protein from vegetables, legumes, and sprouted whole grains. My sweet tooth is cured with raw honey and fresh organic fruit. I'm even making my own almond milk! (It's the easiest thing, I swear!) It's absolutely amazing. I feel like my outlook on cooking has completely changed. It used to be the biggest chore, and now I actually look forward to putting together meals that I know are going to be absolutely fantastic for us. I am teaching my kids what it means to be "plant strong!" I even overheard Addyson this morning talking to Capri telling her all about being plant strong and how Capri will be plant strong someday too. It absolutely melted me. It's amazing how much they understand and buy into at 4 years old. What better time than now to train them up in healthy food choices!?

 
I've still got a lot to learn and to be honest it is hard at times. I have been in the kitchen a lot more than I was when I would throw the frozen lasagna in the oven. (And that means a lot more dishes!) But I truly feel like my family was ready for this change and I'm excited about it. The kids are now trying new vegetables every day (not always easy) but after a few weeks it's already getting easier and now for snacks they are asking for strawberries, apples, carrots and hummus. Sawyer loves tomatoes and Addyson loves broccoli. I realized I love kale. Who knew! lol. And pretty soon I'll be able to make Capri's baby food and it will be beyond easy. Something I never even considered doing with the other two.

The funny thing is that the dairy elimination didn't really help Capri. I have noticed a slight change, but she may have to see an ENT to see if there is anything else going on. But I can honestly say, I think being ready to make a change in my diet for her is what really opened my mind about watching these other documentaries. You really have to be in the right frame of mind to do so because after watching them and reading more online you will feel like a change has to happen and that's scary. I have known for the last 12 years a lot of the information that you will find in Food Inc. and such. It's funny how we can just turn things off and push them far out of our brains. I convinced myself over the years that it was too inconvenient, and I don't eat "that bad." 
 
The truth is, I probably did eat better than the majority, but it could be a lot better. And now I'm responsible for 3 little ones that rely completely on me to make their food choices. That's scary.
 
I've been more worried about the spray tanning solution going on my skin being organic than the food actually going into my body!

So everyone is asking me, well, what are you now? Vegan? Vegetarian? My answer is, well I don't really know yet. I do know that my body has never felt better. I am never bloated and I have energy most days despite a 10 week old, 2 1/2 year old and a 4 year old. And that's without coffee! I think after 40 days I might add free range eggs back into my diet, maybe fish once a week and my husband may add back grass fed beef on occasion. For the most part, I can easily see myself sticking to this way of life. It's funny how after eliminating things from your diet for a little while you realize how much you don't need them. My husband has lost 13 lbs in about 3 weeks. Insane. I'm just about back at my pre-baby weight, although that was not my reason for doing this, just a perk. 

Basically, I want to live by the 80/20 rule. 
 
I've heard this so many times now and I 100% agree with it. If 80% of the time I'm feeding my family amazing meals and introducing and teaching them about how important good food choices are then that 20% of the time when we are at a birthday, out to dinner, or just so busy that a drive-thru is a must, well, we will survive. I won't deprive my kids of Halloween candy or myself of pumpkin pie I can assure you that, but on a typical weeknight you just may come over for dinner and see a fantastic vegan feast before your eyes..


You are so earthy-crunchy, you make cliff bars look like a slim jim.
 
Yup, that's me now... and so far, I love it. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Capri's Birth Story...

 
I just cracked the cork on a bottle of red. My hubby is out with a few buddies, so I figured what a perfect night to sit down and get some thoughts out. 
 
I have had these moments lately that seem so ridiculous that I just sit there and think, I really need to get back to my blog. Like tonight at the dinner table. I was feeding Capri (breastfeeding that is..) and the kids were somewhat boycotting their new vegetarian dinner (another post on that one) lol, and as a seasoned mom, I knew ketchup would help, so I simply got up with Capri still intact, and made my way to the fridge, stepping on cereal from this morning and crayons from this afternoon, then made my way back to the table, filling the ketchup to their liking with one arm, all while glancing up realizing that my front blinds were left wide open and hoping that the neighborhood kids wouldn't be trying to sell me something in that moment. I just thought to myself, it's time to blog. These moments are something to remember. Someone please tell me you have been there. lol. 
 
Anyways, three has been an adjustment, and still is, but I truly am loving it. I will definitely blog more about that later.
 
My goal tonight is to get Capri's birth story out. I've been reliving it when I tell people, but it's never with all the full detail that I really want to say. I would have people held captive for an hour telling my story if that were the case. So after some internal debate on whether I would share the story on my blog or not, I've decided to do so. I think every birth story is so unique. I never wrote down my other 2, but I can tell you they were all so different and they each mean the world to me. Each one was the moment another amazing little blessing entered my world. 
 
I guess my debate on whether or not to share my story was because this time around was so much different than the last two. Not more special, but different.
 
I truly believe that all of our birth stories are miracles. 
 
Regardless of how the baby enters the world. God has a plan and a reason for each and every one of the experiences we go through. 
 
This time around my faith kind of took another leap if you will.
Let me explain. 
 
 
I believe it was around February of this year and I was about 4 or 5 months pregnant and there was a Beth Moore study at my home church that was about to start. I adore Beth Moore and was so excited to sign up for this study. So I did, and little did I know that my family was going to be hit with sickness that lasted almost two months. It was just a terrible time of passing these horrible colds back and forth, I still remember the awful cough that kept me up at night. 
 
So unfortunately, I didn't make it to a lot of the study sessions. Looking back, I now realize there was a completely different reason I was to take that class and that was to put me in touch with a very amazing lady at my church who happened to be my table leader. 
 
It was I think the 1st or 2nd meeting and knowing I was pregnant, she recommended I read a book called, Supernatural Childbirth. She highly recommended it, told me a little bit about her own birth stories, which blew my mind, and even wrote down the name of the book for me so that I could remember the author, Jackie Mize. 
 
I left there telling her I would look into it. And I did. It somewhat peaked my curiosity. Plus she said it was an easy read.. what the heck. So I got the $10 book. 
 
I think it took me a few days to pick it up from my nightstand, and no kidding when I started reading it, I was telling John about it and I thought it just sounded crazy. He agreed. I put it down for about another month. Slowly I kept feeling called to go back to the book and read it more, read it again even. I will not do this book justice on explaining it, so I'm going to post the description right off of Amazon. 
 
Pregnancy and childbirth are often depicted as a time of sickness and mood swings for women followed by twelve to twenty hours of pain and hard labor. Many women have been told they can never conceive. Others have suffered the pain of conceiving and miscarrying. Have you had enough of this picture? Supernatural Childbirth is a practical and realistic look at God's promises for conception, pregnancy and delivery. This is not "pie-in-the-sky"-This is a personal testimony of how one couple overcame defeat and triumphed in God's plan! Jackie Mize had been told she could never have children. However, by unlocking powerful truths and dynamic faith principles she and her husband, Terry found in the Bible, they now have four miracle children! This exciting book shares with you these truths and faith principles. You will learn these things: * How to put faith principles into action for your very own supernatural childbirth * How you can be a living example of God's promises in action * How to deal with fear during pregnancy and delivery * How and when to use your faith for pregnancy and delivery Also included in Supernatural Childbirth: * Faith-inspiring testimonies from women who have followed these principles and experienced their own supernatural childbirth * Confessions and prayers for a supernatural conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and all circumstances surrounding each stage * A powerful teaching section by Terry Mize explanning the curse on Eve in the Garden of Eden

Okay so now you can understand why I couldn't sum that up myself. 
So, basically I told my husband I was reading this book and that was about it. I kept reading parts and thinking that they sounded completely off the wall, would put it down, and then pick it up again a day or so later. I couldn't stop reading it.

I just couldn't wrap my mind around some of the concepts, like experiencing a pain free, natural, childbirth. I mean, we all know it was women's curse to be in pain right? Plus, I'm going off of two previous births, and let me tell you I couldn't get that epidural in me fast enough. 

So here I was now about 2 months out from having my baby and I couldn't put the book down. I read it over and over, especially the prayers in the back and I'm not kidding you, slowly I started to feel my heart change on the subject. I started believing in what I was reading instead of reading something that sounded ridiculous. I mean, there are a ton of testimonies. These women all with different, incredible birth stories. I just knew God had a different plan for me this time around. 

I still kept to myself for the most part and spoke to a few people about my birth plan when they asked, explaining to them that I was going to try to go natural as long as I could, but with no expectations. 

I started praying daily that last month for a birth that I basically had never even considered even just a few months before. I prayed for a quick labor that I would be able to do without meds of any kind. I prayed that it would be pain free. I prayed that I would be without fear. I felt crazy at times. I felt like I was praying for something I could barely fathom. But I kept praying.

Now time was getting closer and closer to my due date. I was early with both of my other two, so I fully expected this to be the case with number three as well. Not so much. I saw my due date come and go and was just utterly confused, but kept praying. 

Monday, July 23rd, I went in for my doc appointment at 9:30 am. I was now four days past my due date with no contractions that morning and feeling quite "over" this whole pregnancy thing. I decided I was going to take my hospital bag with me hoping that I would be so dilated when she checked me that they would just send me right over! So I dropped off my kids at my mom's house and went to the doc to get the wonderful news that I was still 3 cm like I had been the week before. A whole week with no progress. I'm sure many of you can relate to this sinking feeling. 

So my doctor told me I had until Thursday. If I didn't have the baby by then, I would be induced since it was 7 days over my due date. I drove back to my mom's house and just wanted to cry. I had been praying for this supernatural birth, but I just felt strongly that if I was going to be induced, then with pitocin there was no way I was going to be able to have the baby without meds. I was induced with Sawyer, so I know the power of those contractions that it throws your body into rapidly. It's not fun. 


I got to my parents house and told my mom I just wanted to go walk. I mean, what else was there to do? So we did. Addyson, Sawyer, my mom and I went for a walk in the beautiful neighborhood I grew up in. It was stinking hot so we had to keep the walk short, but as we rounded the bend home I started feeling some contractions. I was what you would say cautiously optimistic. Hoping this was it, but knowing I had quite a few false alarms the last few weeks at home, so I really was wishing my water would just break so I would know for sure.

So when I got back to the house I realized the contractions weren't going away so that was good news. My mom was doing great with entertaining the kids, so I plugged my headphones into my iphone and just started walking in circles around the house blasting Hillsong United. I'm fairly certain I played "Awakening" and "Search My Heart" enough times that I will now always remember that moment every time I hear either of those songs. 

It was about 1 pm at this point as I continued walking.


My sister, who was also pregnant at the time, came over with her husband because they had just got back from their doctor appointment. She as well had not made any progress and it was exactly her due date. I will never forget her expression as she was sitting at the counter just as pregnant as me and I was telling her I was having contractions and she just twisted her face up and asked me if they were real. We both had been fed up with the false alarms so she was just as nonchalant about my contractions as I was. I told her I had no idea. I thought they felt a little different, but I honestly could not say I was in labor. I just knew I wanted to keep walking in hopes of keeping them coming. 

So more time passed and I felt like the contractions were a bit stronger so we decided to time them. They were about 4 min apart. Some closer, some a little farther. I still didn't know what to think because although some were uncomfortable, I knew they weren't at the point like they were when I went to the hospital with Addyson so I felt like I had a lot more "laboring" to do if this was in fact the real deal.

I then called my husband at work and calmly let him know about my contractions and he was in turn, not very calm on the other end. lol. He felt that I needed to get to the hospital ASAP with contractions that close together. I was fighting him on it. Not for my pride, but because I felt if I had a lot of laboring left to do, then I would rather do it in my parents backyard then around the L&D floor. Trust me, I had done that with Addyson. I actually was insisting on taking the kids back to my house so I could put them down for a nap and then I would consider going to the hospital.

Well, that plan changed because I did have a few more uncomfortable ones that made me think that it was possible I might be progressing. So my hubby met up with me and my mom took the kids back to my house while I walked around my parents back yard still blasting my worship music and at this point singing out loud. I remember that moment as clear as can be.. I was at so much peace. I had a feeling this was it.

 I just kept smiling.


 I had no fear. 

I finally gave in when I felt a few contractions that I had to stop walking to get through. Hmm. This was definitely different now. John was relieved I think that his stubborn wife was finally going to let him take her to the hospital. ha. So off we went. 

It was about 4:30 pm when we walked in. I had been having contractions for about 3 1/2 hours. Still with headphones on, we made our way through the hospital to the L&D floor and I walked up to the desk to check in. I told the receptionist that I had contractions pretty close together and she slowly got my paper work together and sent me to one of the exam rooms to see my progress and then they would let me know from there if I would be staying or not. I remembered this floor all too well when I labored with Addy for hours and hours walking around in my gown with contractions one on top of the other.


I got into the room and told the nurse I didn't want to lay down until I had to. So I walked around the room and when she was done prepping everything I took off the chain with my much too small wedding band around my neck and handed it to my husband. Got into my lovely gown and we just looked at each other with that, "here goes nothing" look. I walked through another contraction and then let the nurse check me and quickly her expression changed. 

"Oh honey, you are 7 cm! We need to get you in a room NOW!" 

I started laughing. My husband and I just looked at each other in complete amazement. I had only been in labor for a little over 3 hours.. and I was already 7 cm? I got epidurals around 4 cm with both Addyson and Sawyer. I knew the pain. I wasn't in it. 

So now the nurses were in high speed which was so funny because it was such a contrast from just moments before.They checked me in a room and I remember the nurse coming in to go over all the paperwork with me. I was able to answer all her questions and then would tell her, "hold on just a second" as I put my headphones back on and got through a contraction and then took them off again to talk to her. It was just insane. I gave them a 5 on the pain scale.

I got hooked up to my IV and I told them I didn't want to lay down. I wanted to keep my headphones on and I wanted to be able to stand. They had no problem with that as long as I kept the baby's heart rate monitor in place. So I had about a 2 foot space next to the monitor where I could stand while I faced more contractions over the next hour. My husband let my mom and sisters know that it was happening, and it was going quick. They were all racing down to the hospital hoping to make it in time. It was about 5:30 when they arrived. None of them could believe how far I had progressed since seeing me just a few hours before at the house.

The contractions were getting stronger and I remember grabbing my husbands hands and leaning on him to get through some of them. I still didn't want to lay down. I kept my headphones on and felt calm. The next time they checked me I was at 9 cm. I only had one more to go. I remember my mom just looking at me baffled at how calm I was and then she would help me through my next contraction letting me squeeze her hand as she reminded me to breathe.

30 minutes later it was go time. I remember the nurse telling me that once I got to 10 cm there would be no more pain because you actually are pushing through each contraction and it in a way dulls the pain. I was encouraged. And she was right.

I started pushing around 6 pm and 36 minutes later my sweet Capri was born.


6 lbs. 14 oz and 20 inches long. 

Complete with an angel kiss birthmark on her forehead.
 (This frightened me at first until I found out what it was!)

 I was in love all over again. 


In love with this beautiful baby and in love with my God that just showed himself to me in such an amazing way. He answered a prayer I didn't even know was possible for me. I have had friends go through childbirth without meds and although I admired them, I never dreamed of even attempting it myself. Funny how God has different plans.. so much greater than our own.

My husband looked into my eyes and told me how proud of me he was. My mom and my sisters did too. I praised God. I knew it was all His doing. It was one of the most surreal moments in my life. I could still feel my legs! lol!

Not one nurse ever even asked me if I wanted an epidural or any type of pain med.

My labor was just under 6 hours with tolerable pain.

I was not afraid. 

I was and still am blown away when I recap this day.

Since Capri's birth I have recommended Supernatural Childbirth to several people. It not only deals with birth, but with conception, miscarriages, and more. 

Like I mentioned before, I truly believe that all of our birth stories are miracles. Regardless how the baby enters the world. God has a plan with each and every one of them. 

This just happened to be mine. 

If you do feel a nudge at your heart to read this book though, I encourage you to do so. God just might be using it to reach you as he did me.


Through Capri's birth, the Lord has taught me that His plan for us far exceeds our own expectations if we allow Him to take control. 


Friday, June 22, 2012

Baby Name Change...


Well it has been an eternity since I have last been in blogland. I have missed catching up on everyone's pages... getting inspired... etc. I guess God has a funny way of letting you know where you are needed.. or should I say, letting you know where you should be spending your time and over the last few months I haven't felt like it was something I was called to do to keep up in the blogging world. No reason really other than my family has needed even more of me, work got even busier, oh ya and that fact that I'm growing a little miracle in me and getting ready for another little one has taken precedent over most things. I have loved seeing pictures and keeping up a little bit with people on Instagram. I learned just yesterday that Little Miss Momma is naming her little boy on the way Sawyer and I was so excited! My little Sawyer is now 27 months and I have still only heard of his name one other time! So fun.

I'm now 36 weeks along and out of nowhere me and hubby are now second guessing our name choice. Rose is for sure staying as her middle name, but we are now thinking we love the name...

Capri Rose Hawthorne

Thoughts?! 

We have never decided so late in the game to even consider choosing a different name, but we both feel like Zoey just wasn't the right fit. I still love the name Zoey, but every time I went to tell someone her name I found myself saying, "we are pretty sure..." or "I think it's going to be..." And then my hubby was talking about how unsure he was and when we both talked about Capri we just fell in love with it. I don't know a single little girl by this name. I first heard it 5 years ago in the Colbie Caillat song.. I figured for sure the name would gain popularity like crazy and now 5 years later I still have not known one baby Capri!

Anyways, so we are pretty set that this is going to be her name. I suppose we will truly decide when she comes, which could easily only be a few weeks away! I had both Addyson and Sawyer at 38 weeks, so I'm getting ready! 

Here's the song for those that have not heard.. get your tissues ready. Especially if you are carrying a tiny one inside like me. 



So much more to update you all on, but I now I'm off to take Sawyer to his 2 year old well check up!

I'll leave you with a few recent pictures though!

Addy turned 4 on June 1. Sawyer turned 2 back in March and they are just the best of friends. I absolutely love their relationship. They are both beyond excited to meet the new little one.

The biggest thing that gets mentioned now when ever I am out are Sawyer's CURLS!! This kid has some serious curls going on. I can't believe it! He gets it from my mom actually. My hair is wavy, but nothing like his. I honestly can't go anywhere without someone commenting on his hair. And when it's wet, oh gosh, it's like complete ringlets! Addy's hair is getting SUPER long too.. I'm practicing new hairstyles on her.. it's a blast. She won't let us cut her "Rapunzel hair."  She's only had one trim since she was born. Crazy? Maybe. Soon enough we will have to take some off.. or she will be sitting on it. lol.

Hope everyone is well.. Miss you all! I'll have to catch up on all your blogs during late night feedings or something.  Soon enough!









Friday, March 2, 2012

Zoey Rose

Hubby is out with the guys tonight and I convinced myself that this little alone time would be the perfect time to blog. I don't know what has happened, but I think once you get out of the habit of doing something, even if it is something that you love, it just takes an effort to get back into the swing of things again! Even though my initial little blogging break was due to morning sickness and now I'm feeling like a whole new preggo {I'm even doing YOGA!!!!} but I still have gotten out of the habit of checking in, writing my thoughts down..  My brain doesn't think in blog posts anymore! haha! I know you know what I mean if you are a regular blogger... you almost go through your day and when something happens you think to yourself that this could SO be a blog post!

Anyways! So here I am and I have big news to share...

I'm officially 20 weeks now and on Wednesday my sister and I both had our scheduled ultra sounds to find out first and foremost if the babies were all healthy as can be and secondly to find out the gender!!


If you have been reading my blog for a while, you probably remember my post about confessing that I wanted to be pregnant again... and I also confessed that we already had names picked out and that we would wait until the baby was born to find out what we were having this time. Well, that all went out the window. Funny how things change huh?

I was so eager to find out if this was another little princess or another little man I could barely stand it! My sister was the same way. Especially being her first.

Well at 9:30 am I was called back to do my ultra sound first. Everything checked out perfectly, something to be honest I was quite nervous about this time around. And then the tech announced that we would be adding another baby GIRL to our little fam!! It was such a fun moment... I actually had been convinced I was having a girl for the last month or so. I have no idea why. It was just my gut. I'm thrilled to bring on the headbands and princess stuff again... I feel like it was so long ago that we had a baby girl around!

 

So then my sister and I switched places and the ultra sound tech announced to them that they had a healthy baby BOY on the way!! She came out and we just kinda started making a scene in the waiting room! All the receptionists and nurses were cheering.. it was so funny!  I mean come on, how often do two sisters get preggo at the same time and find out on the same day what they are having!? It was just an insane moment and I will never forget it. Our hubby's just laughed and John joked about needing a few more shot guns now that we had 2 girls. lol. Sometimes I just honestly can't believe that we are both pregnant and going through this right now together. I feel so incredibly blessed to share this with someone I am so incredibly close with to begin with. And praise God for 2 healthy babies... a BOY and a GIRL. Couldn't be better.

I really don't know if I was more excited to find out what I was having or what she was having! I got home and during naptime jumped on Pinterest and started pinning tons of stuff for her BOY baby shower. It was too funny. This will be my first nephew on my side of the family. I was the first to have kids out of my sisters so this is huge for me. I never saw any of John's in-laws pregnant or with babies so this is just a little different kind of special for me. If that makes sense. I can't wait to be called Auntie by one of my sister's babies...melts me just thinking about it!

So John and I had been throwing around a few different name ideas for if it was a girl. We loved Eden and Charolette, but I just wasn't sold on them. We knew the middle name was going to be Rose, after his grandma that passed last year. Then while I was in the shower Wednesday night, I thought of the name Zoey. I absolutely fell in love with it and loved how it sounded with Rose. I told John and he is very visual so he wanted to see how it looked written out. So he did. lol. Don't you love that font btw?!



He ended up loving it and we pretty much are now set on it being her name. We are crazy like that. When we come up with something we love it doesn't take us long to come to a decision. I also loved the fact that the Z reminds me of my maiden name, Zeman. So I felt like that kind of had a special meaning as well. We looked up Zoey and the name means: life. I really liked that. She is such a little gift of life to us... and she is definitely full of life! I have been feeling that little girl since I was 13 weeks!

And of course I like how all the kids names sound together... Haden, Addyson, Sawyer & Zoey. I like all the Y's too! I'm silly like that. 

Anyways, my sister is still tossing around names with her husband. I can't wait to hear what they decide. 

So that is my little baby update as of today. 

I have so much more I need to share about... what God has been teaching me... I'm hoping to get back into the swing of writing more. I miss it. I miss reading all the blogs I love... I hope you all are doing well..even though I'm not on here all the time and reading, I think about everyone often. 

Oh and if you have instagram, follow me! That has been a fun way for me to stay in touch. I love seeing all the pictures... Okay this preggo mamma is off to bed... 

Here are some Instagram pics from the last month! ♥ 

Instagram: @hmhawthorne



A little bling that hubby got me for our 5 year anniversary!

Sawyer woke up with this curly Q! I had to document it. lol.

My little lunch date. Dang those baby blues!

My other little lunch date. Look at that eyebrow!! haha.


Belle blowing bubbles.

Spontaneous trip to the beach in the evening!

Visiting Uncle Ian at his fire station!

All dressed in his Sunday best! lol.




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Friday, February 17, 2012

Five years and counting.. ♥

Five years ago today I was anxiously getting ready to walk down the aisle and say "I do" to a man I fell head over heels for back in 2005. When he got on one knee and asked me to marry him on October 30th of 2006 I never knew how much my life would change in five short years.


We had a whirlwind engagement. I'm not sure if I have ever blogged about it before. If I have, excuse my baby brain and just read on and nod as if you have never heard it. For my sake ok? lol. Anyways, we were engaged the end of October of 2006 and got married Feb. 17th of the following year. Let's do the math... we had exactly 3 months and 18 days before we were saying "i do." That's exactly 110 days to plan an entire wedding where we had a guest list of 205 and ended up with 176 guests in attendance. I'm sure some of you are thinking we were crazy, and some of you were thinking I must have been knocked up. I was not pregnant and although we might have been a little crazy I love it because it is OUR story! 


The true reason behind us getting married as quickly as we did was a very good friend of ours was going to be deploying to Iraq in March. We desperately wanted him to be part of our special day and didn't want to have a long engagement, so that left us only one option.. Get this wedding done! It actually came together smoother than most weddings I have heard about. It helps when you don't have time to really linger making certain decisions. I had some of the most amazing people helping me plan and my parents did wonders as well. Considering I was the first wedding out of us three sisters and I only gave my parents 3 months notice, I give them a ton of credit. If Addy even thinks of doing that to me... LOL... I suppose I will have to smile and take it on just my parents and John's parents did!


Anyways, all that to say it was an amazing day. Not perfect, but that's what makes it perfect later on in life. Looking back, sure I would have changed a few things, but the important thing is that I vowed to love my husband for the rest of my life that day. 

I looked him in the eye, and in front of 176 guests and under God proclaimed my love for him.


Since then I have learned how much more the word "husband" really means. I remember calling him my husband during the whole reception and thinking it was the most amazing thing in the world! It was so fun to look over and say, "that's my husband..." 

Now I know that "husband" actually means "blessing" because he has been one of the greatest gifts God has ever given to me. 

 

I've watched us grow from 23 & 24 year old "kids" that just left the partying stage of our lives into best friends, parents, partners in this journey, striving to give our marriage and our lives to God each day. By no means are we perfect, or do we have the perfect marriage, but I know that we are perfect for each other and I cherish living each day of this imperfect life together with him.


We've held each other through the pain, and rejoiced together in the absolute blessings over the past five years.. I've learned that a man can be strong and also have an amazing heart for God. That is who my husband is.

And now as we celebrate our 5th anniversary, and I have now been pregnant for 3 out of the 5, I smile and know that the best is still yet to come.. 

Today I'm not getting dolled up and going out to a fancy dinner to celebrate. I'm actually sitting in my pjs with no make up on at 1 pm taking care of two sick babies and drinking a root beer to satisfy a little craving brought on by my bun in the oven... 

I smile because this is life. 

I never could have imagined being at this point 5 years ago and now I can't imagine it any other way.

We are going to spend a few nights away in March to celebrate our anniversary, but today, I'm more than content.

Thank you Lord for the incredible blessing you have given me in my husband.

And to my John, I love you more than these words can express. 

Happy Anniversary love.. ♥






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Monday, January 23, 2012

Welcome Home Simon!

 I'm writing today with such a happy heart! 

If you have been following the story of little Simon, well, God has answered prayers... 

Simon is HOME! 


If you haven't followed the story, you can check out the last two posts I have done. 



Simon's mommy, Rena, is a friend of mine and we know her family through our auto shop and my spray tanning business! She is an amazing woman of God. Prayers for this family have been coming in for the last month from all over the country and beyond after 17 month old Simon slipped after taking a bath, suffered a severe brain injury, including emergency surgery at Children's Hospital San Diego.

He was just released yesterday to go home. Absolutely amazing progress only described as miraculous. He was doing so great in therapy and the doctors went ahead with the bone flap surgery at the end of last week. The surgery went perfect. Not even 4 weeks after having his first brain surgery, this little trooper is on the mend and home with mommy, daddy, and big brother, Liam {3}.

The poor family has had a tough go, with all of them suffering the horrible stomach flu that has gone through most of San Diego county. Simon most recently got the flu which kept him in the hospital a few days longer.

Like I did in my previous post, I'm going to post some updates right from Rena's {mommy of Simon} Facebook page in order to give you the best, most accurate information!

I can't thank you all enough that have been praying for this little dude... Now they are just asking for prayers as they make the transition home. I melt seeing this smiling face... God is so good.


♥     ♥     ♥

Excerpts from  Rena, Simon's mommy {newest to old}:
  
The doctor signed the papers for us to be discharged today. Please pray for us as we return to normal and yet are still fighting this yucky stomach bug. Pray that we are not fearful of Simon walking around and that his brother can learn to be gentle with him for a time. Thank the Lord!!!!

They are taking Simon's IV out and they said if he shows that he is eating and drinking, we can be discharged by 4pm today. Unfortunately, he is refusing to eat or drink anything. PLEASE PRAY that he gets an appetite and starts eating and that Jesse has patience with him as Simon is pretty grumpy.

Simon seems to be doing better today, but is refusing to eat anything. Please pray that he gets his appetite back tonight and eats/drinks, so that we are approved to go home tomorrow morning. We want to bring him home sooooo badly. It is true though that God does not give us more than we can handle and we are hanging in there and so thankful to be fighting this flu because it means that Simon is alive and able to fight. Praise Him!!!!

Going back to rehab. One step closer to home. :)


Surgery was perfect and he is already extubated. He is on his way to intensive care to recover overnight. Please pray for him as he is sick and his immunities are down. So thankful for everyone at Rady's and their amazing work.

Simon is going in for surgery this morning to get his bone flap put back in. He has been sick with what I have, so please pray that he is able to heal and it doesn't affect his recovery. He will go to intensive care to recover and won't be able to move around. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors & nurses, patience and peace for Jesse & I and strength for Simon to get through this.

♥      ♥      ♥

Lastly, I'm sure some of you have been curious to know how it has been being back on Facebook. I went the full 365 days without it and then just started adding back some of my friends and family.

I've loved catching up with some old friends, finding out about some engagements, babies on the way, etc. 

I've only added back a little over 100 friends and family at this point and I love it. 

I don't think I'll ever go back to having 900 "friends."

I see the people I truly want to be in touch with in my newsfeed. It's awesome.

I did remove notifications from my phone.

But like I had mentioned in my Facebook aha! Moment, it is not something that consumes me anymore. I truly did deal with the root of my problem, my lack of self control, and it has given me a completely different outlook. 

God is good.

Facebook is fun again.


And a belly pic to end on....  ☺






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