Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Integrity

Who will be the examples to my child, niece, and nephews in the future? I feel like in our government and sometimes in our daily lives the good men and woman are few and far between.

The men/woman of integrity. Faith. Purpose. Drive. Love.

Integrity to me is so important. It is what I looked for in a husband. A pastor. A friend. 
Integrity
the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
synonyms:honesty, probity, rectitude, honor, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness
Look at those synonyms. How many people do you know that would meet that description? I do not know many.

I often think what would people see me as? Am I making a difference for God? Am I representing Christ in a way that would make someone want to know what I have in my salvation, or am I just convincing them of what some of the world thinks of Christians?

Our witness with people who come in contact with us on a daily basis are seeing what our actions are.

Are we honest? Do we stand by our convictions?

I started to write this post last month, little did I know on May 16th that a man of integrity would leave this earth to be with Jesus. This man was a my cousins husband. B was a great person and loved his family. I did not get to spend much time with him because of us living in a different state. 

However, he touched my life in a major way. When we lost Hope, as you know, we were devastated. B and my cousin had suffered a loss when their precious baby Owen went to Heaven. B wrote my Josh the sweetest message. Telling Josh he understood and that he was praying for us. That meant so much to both of us. I know they both continued to pray for us. 

When I was pregnant with E, my cousin and B drove from GA to my house (Before going to another cousins wedding) and dropped off two totes of baby stuff for me to go through. He unloaded it and was so gracious.  

At the viewing there were so many people who were grieving the loss of this great man. A man of integrity. It was standing room only. His brother shared how he would miss his infectious smile. 

His funeral was so full of loved ones and friends. Everyone touched by his kind heart. He even left a letter to be read at his funeral. His humor shown through in a big way, and he had us laughing at his jokes. 

I just seen him and my cousin a couple months ago, it just does not seem real or fair that a life was taken so young. One of those things we do not have answers to. 

After seeing and hearing of the love he had for others, the great husband-father-son-brother-friend he was... B was a man of integrity. He loved as Jesus loved. He loved God and lived his life to the fullest. 

It makes you think of your own life and what others would say about me. I would hope that people would think I was a person of integrity like B. 
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My heart is broken for my cousin Kristi. She has two boys now to raise with B watching over her. Please keep her in your prayers. She lost the love of her life, and even though she knows he is with Jesus and Owen now... I'm sure she would rather have him here. 

Thank you B for loving my cousin and being a great dad to your little ones. And for being a light for Jesus. 


This is the link to the Go Fund Me page that is set up to help my cousin




Sunday, April 3, 2016

What about baby #2?

Before I even had E I was asked if we wanted another child. I remember looking at these people like they had two heads! I had not even gone through my first birth... my second baby was not on my list.

E's birth was traumatic and made me feel all sorts of fear and anxiousness at the thought of having a second baby.

Even though I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I meant it when I said "We will adopt, I am not going through that again", here I am.

I brought the subject up to J around September. E was about to turn one and I was really feeling baby fever. The year had passed so fast. However we were just really starting to feel comfortable in our new roles as parents and dealing with how that changed our dynamic as a family of 2 to 3.

At first J was extremely apprehensive. For several reasons. Good reasons.

This was kind difficult to deal with. Usually J and I when it comes to big decisions are on the same page. In this instance.... we were not.

So we talked it out for a bit while we were having yet another late dinner because of his schedule and feeding Ethan who needed a night snack because we were eating.

I became a little apprehensive. I was thinking J would be so excited. I was not really sure what to do with my feelings. He loved being a dad.

After a couple days I decided to bring it up again. I was trying to act like it was okay and I understood, but I really needed to talk over it some more.

We talked it out. After some discussion I understood his feelings much better. And I was comfortable to say,"When your ready, I'll be ready"

Fast Forward to the end of October, I had really been praying about our decision to start working toward baby #2. It was on my heart for some reason, so I turned to the person who never fails me, my Lord. I turned the big 30 in October and I know every year I get older it adds more difficulty in getting pregnant.

So the time came for me to start a new pack of my  birth control. I was not really happy with the one I was one and wanted to change. So as I was discussing this with J we started talking about baby #2. He said he had been really thinking about it.

After praying together about it we decided to stop birth control. I have since went for my yearly physical and they gave me the go ahead. Since I had Ethan I have lost 20lbs. I'm working on getting to gym more.

So to those who ask all the time :) yes we are trying for baby #2.

I do not know what the future holds but I do know this, God has it. It is frightening. Maybe baby#2 comes from heart and not my womb. Adoption has always been in our plans, we just do not know what is in God's blue print.

Keep us in your prayers.

As always, I'm here if you need me.



Saturday, January 23, 2016

This was hard to write

I wrote this post last month actually... and I felt it needed some editing. Here is the finished post. I didn't change the ending because in the moment of writing this God was working on my heart and turned my pity party into a very humble and personal moment... I hope it touches your heart in some way.

These past couple weeks have been harder for me. Not sure if it's my sweet natured baby is now yelling, pitching fits, hitting when he is mad... Sigh.
Then I was sick. Then hormones are acting up. 

Whatever the cause I've really missed my life being just Josh and I. 
I miss being able to stay on the phone for way too long with my best friend.
I miss being in school.
 I miss the camraderie of my cohort.
I miss being able to enjoy going to work. 

I would not change having Ethan. My BIG little miracle. The gift of being a mommy is one of the greatest gifts. I love him so much.
But being a mommy sometimes is lonely. There is a sacrifice to being a mom. It is hard. 

You are last in the world, or so it feels some days.
 Loneliness is a battle that you fight or at least I have.
I cannot just go to girls nights. 
Dinner and a movie.
 I don't get to just run to the store. 

I'm looked at differently and sometimes it feels I'm forgotten. 

This sounds like an awful pity party. I guess it is in some ways

All I know is some days I do not feel I have much more to give. Or what in the world was I thinking? 

Then 
there are times where my baby says momma, or just cackles at me being silly, or then I hear him call for his daddy. Or when he grabs my finger even though he can walk all by himself he needs the reassurance from me.
I look at his sleeping face and see God's

 grace, faithfulness, and love

These times I'm reminded after a day of chaos
 or when I missed another girls night, 
the laundry is piled high,
 I never got to those phone calls, 
still needing a shower, my house is cluttersville... 

The sacrifices are worth it. 

In the end God entrusted us with his son, Ethan. My actions and character will take part in molding this boy to be a man of God. That is a big job, and one I take very seriously. 

I know this isn't your typical Christmas post but sitting here now after midnight so it's officially Christmas Eve, my baby sleeping in my arms and looking at our beautiful Christmas tree, and getting a good night kiss from the love of my life... I see my very own Christmas treasure. 

As I celebrate the birth of my savior, I'm reminded the God who performed a miracle in a young virgin is the same God today, yesterday, and forever. Even in my lonely times, when tears sting my eyes from exhaustion, and when E giggles and Josh clasp my hand..
Thank you Lord.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Good-bye 2015

January 2015
February 2015
This has been such a different year! Our first year as parents and being a family of three! There have been so many memories and first. There have been some difficult times but there has been a difference in me and J.

I have felt I know God in a different way. My walk with God has a different closeness... I have a better understanding of who God is.

This year has been a personal journey of growth. Maybe not so much of an outward change but a change on the inside.

Fell asleep with Gr-grandma
March 2015
I've learned that I can be stretched more than I ever have emotionally, physically, and mentally as a parent, wife, and woman. 

This year can be summed up as being a learning year. Yeah, a learning year.. learning. Here is just a recap

1. Parenting can be tough
 2. You really can go on very little sleep

3. Nothing is more frustrating then not knowing how to help your baby when they cry and can not tell you why.
4. One of the greatest feelings is a hug from your baby boy
Learning to sit on his own
March 2015



5. Hearing my boy say "Mama" was more special than I imagined

6. When your baby learns "mama" they like to call for you.... alot.

7. Separation anxiety happens to mommy and daddy too
O and I.. she made me a Aunt Lala
April 2015

8. Sometimes it is hard to find quality time with your spouse and that is not a good thing

9. You have to choose to joy

10. Friends fail you and hurt you sometimes

11. So does family

12. You cannot stop time

13. Grief is ugly

14. God is still a God of miracles

15. It is hard to ask the tough questions

Getting hugs
May 2015
16. God is faithful, all the time.

17. I want more kids

18. My husband is truly my best friend

19. Ethan is such a personality and I believe he is going to be a little strong willed... have no idea where he gets the from (wink, wink)
20. I am blessed by great family and friends. I am very,
very rich indeed
All smiles
June 2015
First time swinging April 2015
.





My Momma had a real health scare this year. I was so grateful God healed her body. No cancer. No heart problems. Love you mom!  









This was a bad day for me with my PPD and he made me smile
May 2015


I am proud to say that my PPD is under control and I am able to handle my anxiety without medication. I'm really thankful for God's strength to get through this season. 








Ethan and his cousin Eli watching their favorite Yo Gabba Gabba




Gr-grandpa holding Ethan
September 2015









 




 


 

 



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Marriage After Kids

Before I get into my muse what do you think of the new look??  

My mind is more confused now as to why people sometimes have children to "fix" or enhance their relationship.

If you know J and I personally or have been around Aunt LaLa for a while you know how much we love one another and how hard we work at having a healthy marriage.

Marriage is one of the greatest and scariest commitments you can make.

Josh and I celebrated our eight year anniversary today. Eight years! And in year three we decided we were ready to start trying to get pregnant. We had no idea what a journey we would be taking in trying to grow our family.

In year seven it happened! We had a baby! What a miracle, our baby boy.

I thought I was prepared for everything... as much as I could be. But what I was not prepared for was how having our miracle took a toll on my marriage. Wow. 

I was felt so disconnected to J. It literally broke my heart. 

First we went through a traumatic birth, unexpected move, living with family, then trying to find our bearings as new parents. Stress much? Whew. 

We were on different sleeping schedules, I was struggling with depression and being overwhelmed, we had not alone time AT ALL... Dates? yeah, no, I'm not leaving my baby... that was just too difficult. Talking did not happen because we were afraid of stressing the other or hurting eachother. 

Did I mention in all this Josh started a new job?  (Smile)

No one told me about this part. I knew there would be change, but I just did not think it would be a negative one in my marriage. 

But here is the good stuff. Josh and I love each other so much and we have strived to have a healthy marriage keeping God at the center. So when we faced all the difficulties we prayed and asked God for help. 

There were conversations of "Okay, we are really feeling disconnected... what do we do?" We prayed. Asked God to show us and help be what the other person needed. 

It got better after we moved into our place. It was easier to find our groove or routine as a family of 3. We started to reconnect and it felt so great. 

We know now that we have to work more diligently to stay connected and MAKE time for one another. 

Just as in our relationship with God, we go through seasons of life. Sometimes your at the mountain tops and then your deep in the valley's. It is there growth happens. When we are in these valley's we need to remind ourselves of God's goodness... in marriage remind ourselves of why we chose this person to spend life with. 

This past year God has shown me the deepest parts of myself and I have really been stretched. In these difficult times I grew stronger in my faith AND my marriage!

This post is not to scare you away from having kids, but just to be aware. The enemy has clearly made point to destroy our family structures starting with marriage, we must be vigilant and be aware of his devices. 

As always if you need prayer or have questions I'm here. auntlala25 at gmail. 

Happy 8 year Anniversary my beloved! 



Thursday, November 19, 2015

I am the mom not you

Through out my life there have been many times where unsolicited advice has been overwhelming, frustrating,and hurtful.

There has been three times that it was all the three above.

1. When I got married
2. When I had a miscarriage
3. When I had Ethan

A few months ago I asked mothers to send me things that pertained to mothering their children.

Some responses were heartbreaking and made me mad to be honest. Some were your typical insensitive things that people say.

I started writing this post to give examples, but I could not continue because honestly I was getting too angry. Some of the moms I have talked to have really suffered in silence by what some others have called "help" or just saying their opinions because they "care". My heart hurts so bad for these women. 

I am a pretty bold person. I have had my moments where I have had to kindly put some one in their place. I also have had to be firm. Mothers need to feel empowered! These are our babies! Whether our children are born from the heart or the womb they are ours. 

So instead I am going to give my advice on how to handle these situations where you are feeling judged as a parent.


I'm not encouraging you to get rude or hateful because that does not solve anything, but, I am encouraging boldness. 

One: Understand that this is your child. You have every right as the parent to choose what you feel is best. Feel empowered as their mother. They are your responsibility not some one else’s. Your there when they are sick or not sleeping at night. Not the "Know-it-alls"

Two: Get rid of negativie/judgemental comments and/or people. I know sometimes these people are our family. But the truth is if they would like to be apart of you and your child's life they need to respect your choices. That goes for friends too. Especially on Facebook. Good grief people have some nerve when they are behind a keyboard. If they are not kind, helpful, or they are not making a positive impact in your life then I have found these steps helpful on dealing with Facebook:
  1. First delete offensive comment if it is hurtful or insulting. 
  2. Write a private message explaining that you do not appreciate the comment and that you really appreciate only positive  and encouraging comments not those that question my parenting. 
  3. If it happens again write this person and tell them how they made you feel and then warn them next you will have to remove them from Facebook.
  4. Next time... click the unfriend button.
When you are dealing with people face to face is more difficult because usually they are the ones that hurt most. Unfortunately it can be those closest to us.
  1.  Immediately or shortly after a comment or conversation happens that is offensive about your parenting simply tell this person "I am glad that worked for you, but I feel like this is a better fit for us" or "I feel this is the right things for our family" 
  2. If it happens again be a little firmer, "I know your trying to help, but I would really appreciate if you would respect my choices" 
  3. If these previous steps do not work and the person is not hearing you then I go to my short and to the point answer "My kid, my choice"  and I have had to repeat this statement a few times and sometimes to the same person (Smile) 
  4. If you continue to be disrespected or questioned, there is no change...then I would suggest limiting your time with this person or maybe start re-evaluating if you need this person to be apart of your life. 
Not everyone is going to like or approve of our choices but they are not the parents. We are. I hope I am not coming across mean, but I think we have too much negative in life without other poeple judging the others parenting. You may let one person have several chances to change but that is up to you and your family and is definitely  per situation.

Unless the child is neglected or being abused than we need to be accepting and LOVE each other. I know several mom's that I probably would not make the same choices they have but I love them and I KNOW they love their children. 

If your still reading this book (smile) know that I encourage you to surround your self with encouraging people, and maybe find a seasoned parent that will help you if you have a question without judgement. It is OKAY to ask questions! 

Also, know your facts. Make sure you are educated in what choices you make. Do the best you can. Our children deserve it. 

There may be a part two to this... I do not know. We will see! 


Signed a formula feeding, disposable diaper using, store bought baby food feeding, co-sleeping, vaccinating, non-crying it out, loving, awesome momma!



Monday, November 2, 2015

It was not supposed to be this way

I am one of the 15% of women that has been diagnosed with postpartum depression.

Over the last few years there have been  some very hard seasons of life.

One of those hard seasons was infertility which was a hot topic here on the blog.

We lost our baby, Hope.

After four years of trying to get pregnant it happened! We conceived without any help of medicine... our miracle baby.

The pregnancy was pretty uneventful. Worked hard on keeping my sugar levels down.

I just thought finally, I get my hearts desire. Ethan had been growing very fast. At my 36 week ultrasound they were saying he was close to 11lbs. On September 14th in the evening Ethan wasn't moving much. It had me very  worried. The next morning I was scheduled to be checked again because of his rapid growth. At the ultrasound Ethan was not moving but his heartbeat was strong. Long story short emergency cesarean, Ethan went to NICU for 3 weeks. I did not get to hold him until he was a week old. I had to leave him every night. I felt so robbed, this was not supposed to happen this way.


Fist time I held Ethan
Hands down the most awful time in my life.

After Ethan was 8 weeks old I returned to work. It was so difficult. We had just finished moving unexpectedly. One of my dear friend passed away right before Ethan was born, it was just starting to settle in.

I started having anxiety attacks, I was not happy. I was only happy with Ethan. I felt so down. I could not function in my job adequately. I really only had energy to take care of Ethan and that was all I could handle.

When Ethan was born I had stopped counseling with my therapist simply because there was so much going on I was not able to find a good time.

After talking to Josh we decided I needed to talk to my Doctor and contact my therapist.

After talking to my doctor and therapist I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression.

I was so frustrated with myself. When you become a mom its like as a women you put so much pressure on yourself.

Honestly I felt like a failure.

It was decided it was best for me to take some time off work and concentrate on getting better and be a good mommy to E. (Just a side note I was also put on two different medications to combat this)

After a few therapy sessions and much prayer I started to get stronger. I realized I do not have to explain myself if I cannot, I do not have to be super women. My job was only to be the best mommy I could be, by working on myself I was doing that. I learned to be kind to myself. I had went through something traumatic, it was okay to feel the way I felt.

I have not really shared my struggle. Or how depressed I was. It has been a very personal time of growth. Emotionally and spiritually.

But I am not ashamed or embarrassed. God has used these trails to further my testimony and hopefully help someone else.

God is faithful, I have never felt more strong and free from the past then I do now.
On my 30th birthday 
Listen, do not let the enemy keep you isolated. You are not alone. Even if your dealing with depression or anxiety...do not be ashamed. Talk to some one. Don't fight it alone.

Sorry this post is so long, but I wanted to share my story.

And continue to keep things real. As always I'm here if you need prayer or to talk. Shoot me an email auntlala25 at Gmail.

For more information on postpartum depression go to http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/postpartum-depression-facts/index.shtml