Monday, April 10, 2017

It Takes Three

I hope somehow these post about marriage have helped you or maybe remind you of what you may need to revisit in your own marriage.

It has reminded me of some of the most important things that are needed for a happy and healthy marriage.

I have had four post and this makes my fifth.

The four post covered...


This last post will wrap up the Keys to a Happy and Healthy Marriage... for now 

I really feel like marriage is not promoted in our culture.

Instead we have a "Try it on" mentality. Live with the person first. Then if you don't like them... well it is easy just break up.

But being in a marriage...having that commitment is sacred. It is a life commitment. Until death do you part.

Sometimes...marriages do not work out.

Someone said something to me who did not get that happy ending all us girls dream about.

"God hates divorce. Hates it. Do you know why? Because of all the destruction. It is havoc on relationships. It has lasting effect forever. It is painful. It creates un-forgiveness"

I thought about how true this is. I have seen so many couples have children and break-up/divorce. It is so tough. It is heartbreaking. The pain that goes with divorce can have lifelong devastating effects.

None of these things I've written about are 'fool proof' to making a marriage work. But one thing I know is 100% 'fool proof' is God.

I have seen God take a marriage that was broken, crumbling...and make whole once again.

But it took BOTH husband and wife making God first and allowing him to heal them both.

It took work.

If there is only one post that you really take heed to then please let it be this one.

God has to be number one in your life.

More important than your spouse...and even our children.

Without having a personal relationship with God where you are working on yourself, and being the best you...relationships can become awfully muddled.

Only God can do damage control to heal a marriage of infidelity, lying, abuse...

(Just a side note- I am not saying stay for abuse or infidelity... I am saying if you make a choice to stay there HAS to be God in the middle of it for there to be true healing and change. And other important steps to make sure everyone is safe)

A true commitment to your marriage has to start with a commitment to God. 

My commitment to God enhances my marriage.

Because God enhances our character, he builds our character, gives us lessons on love and forgiveness...to just name a few

All these are extremely important to your marriage.

Pray together. It is so important to pray together. 

Almost every night since Ethan was born we all three pray together. It is apart of our nightly routine. 

Ethan knows to plant his sweet little hand in ours (sometimes along with the monkeys, or giraffes, and maybe a Paw Patrol character or two)

We are teaching Ethan. He is watching us. 


I learned from watching my parents that God has to be apart of your marriage. I've seen my parents marriage come back from a very, very broken place. 


This year they celebrate 33 years of marriage! 

How great is that!? 

But it took God and only God... and some will power to work it out. 

It is not a secret that my love for God is a priority to me. 

God has been so good to me and my family. My son is a living breathing miracle...he is one of many in my family. 

I just don't claim to be a Christian. Following Christ is my life. Its my center, my cornerstone, my core. 

If you want a great relationship... with anyone...start there. With Jesus. 

All my Love,
Aunt LaLa

P.S. Go like my Aunt LaLa Facebook page! I am going to be doing a live feed video this week and would love to chat!


Monday, April 3, 2017

I want it MY way

Hi everyone!

So this is our fourth installment of Keys to a Happy and Healthy Marriage...

I hope you are enjoying these.

Today's topic - compromise.

In my personal opinion the reason we do not compromise is because of pride.

Pride can be our downfall in so many ways. In all of our relationships.

Scripture talks about pride alot.

Recently I taught our youth group and we talked about respect.  Sometimes when we are disrespectful it is because we are holding on to our pride.

James 4:6 says "But he gives us more grace. That is why scripture says: "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble"

Jesus was the ambassador for grace.

God warns us about pride throughout the bible.

It is a dangerous characteristic.

I've touched on it briefly and today I'm going to focus on how pride can snuff out your marriage.

When you are joining two people together it is difficult. You both have your own quirks, pet peeves, habits, hobbies...

The list goes on.

You MUST compromise.

I am not talking about small things (those are definitely important) but the big stuff.

There was a time that I was extremely jealous of Josh's PlayStation. I was getting mad about it ALOT. We had arguments daily about his gaming time. 

I felt ignored. And that machine was more important than I was. 

I grew angrier. I would lash out and make jabs at Josh. 

At this point we had been married for three years. And we had been through quite a bit. 

Job loss. Family problems. Death. Car accidents. 

This one thing was tearing us apart. 

But we both were struggling with wanting our own way. Pride was getting in the way. Neither wanted to compromise. 

The deeper issue was I was feeling neglected. Josh was not doing a good job of showing me attention or making me feel special. 

Josh was feeling demanded, he felt he was not being heard just talked at, he thought I was being unreasonable. 

I would always ask,"What I am supposed to do while you play?". I would say I did not care if he played some, but then no time was ever good enough for me. 

What did we do? 

Well after one night of me trying to talk to him about something he was giving me one word answers. I stopped talking and sighing loudly. I may have slammed a cabinet door or two. 

He paid no attention. Well then I lost my temper. 

Remember in "What Did You Say?" I wrote about our rules. 

Well my friends I broke several that night. 

I yelled, took digs, and was very sarcastic. At one point my words were "If you don't get off that stupid PlayStation it is going out the window!" And meant it. 

While we were arguing (And J got mad I called his PlayStation stupid...LOL) we at some point realized we were letting this ridiculous game console divide us. 

I am not sure where the anger ended and the tears came but they did. Then there were apologies. From both of us. 

I was finally communicating how I was feeling and admitting that I had been unreasonable.

Josh admitted to being "slightly" addicted to his game console... and he was not spending quality time with me. 

So, we started a plan. Our compromise which still stands now. 

First we decided that our downtime would be spent after we finished dinner and talked. And did the chores

Second, when he played I would read. I am an avid reader. I escape and block out everything. 

Third, we created a time limit. 

This was our compromise.  And it worked. Unfortunately I think too many couples ignore our addictions to the electronics. Facebook brought a similar addiction, but since we already had established some compromises we were able to navigate J telling me I was spending too much time on Facebook a little easier. 

Maybe these do not seem like a big deal. But if you keep adding more and more pressures to your marriage and just shoving things under the rug you either grow really bitter, divorce, not reach your full potential as a couple. 

I for one am not one who likes to settle. I want God's best. 

I believe marriage was created to be enjoyed. And full of life and joy. 

You have to start with you. 


In Philippians 2:3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility. Value others above yourself" 


I had to let my pride fall and really hear what Josh was saying. 

He had to let his pride fall and really hear the need I had. 

We have compromised on so, so many things. But this one was tough. And one I was willing to share. 

Have to keep some stuff private...smile. 

It is so important to not let pride snuff out your love. 

Apologize. Love. Love. And be humble. 

Is it really worth your marriage? Or your relationship? 

I've had to compromise not only with Josh, but with family and friends. Sometimes you have to just apologize and realize it is not worth it... To have my own way. 

As always I am here if you need me....


All my love, 
Aunt LaLa

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Little Bit

 Just a little update on how we are doing...

I've noticed in this journey of miscarriage and infertility people are generally afraid to ask questions or bring it up.

Afraid it will be awkward or make us sad.

Let me say first, it is okay to ask. We want to talk about Little Bit. The baby was apart of us no matter how short the time.

We loved our sweet Little Bit. We would rather feel sadness and talk about the baby, then feel like people have forgotten.

That to me has been tough.

I know no one is going to grieve the way we do... its tough thinking no one remembers.

J is right here with me. Grieving too. People often forget that the dad grieves too.

J and I have been on a long journey toward growing our family. Having E gave us this false sense of hope that we would not loose a baby because we were successful getting and staying pregnant with E.

We were unfortunately blind sided by the still small image on the screen.

In saying all this we are having more better days. Less crying. When one feels down the other lifts them up.

We are excited and celebrating new life with those around us and are so excited for our loved who are expecting or who now have a newborn baby in their arms!

I even got hold the one month old last week. It was heaven. There is nothing like little baby slobbers and cuddles...and you know what I did not cry or feel a great sense of loss.

And that my friends was a victory!

We desperately want another baby... but just not ready for that journey at the moment.

It is okay to talk about babies with us, its okay to be excited around us, and its okay to talk or ask us about Little Bit.

So my readers... we are well! And we are so thankful for the friends and family that God has blessed us with.

God is still good and still faithful. He is teaching us and molding us even in this time of grief.

All my love, 
Aunt LaLa



Thursday, March 30, 2017

Warning: Rant ahead

My post on here, my personal Facebook, my Instagram account almost never hold a rant. 

There is this stigma that really gets under my skin. 

I lost my baby at six weeks and one day. And I am grieving. It is hard.

No that does not make my love any less for E. 

No his everyday smiles does not some how magically erase my broken heart. (It sure helps me smile though)

No I am not reveling in the past but mourning a child... that I already had dreamed of. Made plans for. Decided on a name if it was a girl. 

No I am not being dramatic. 

If you know me at all the desire to be a mother has been strong in my heart since childhood. 

So to loose something you so desperately want is heartbreaking. 

It does not take away from my faith, or mean I don't trust in God. 

It does mean I am questioning and asking why? 

It does mean that I get angry. And feel I have been dealt an unfair hand. 

It does mean that when I walk into Kroger and see a new born baby sometimes I try with all my might not sob as I shop for my family. 

There are times when I take out my ultrasound and just weep. 

And ALL of this is okay. Grief is a journey. 

Guess what?

I have a therapist. And I value my time going to spend talking to her. 

I embrace personal growth

No, that does not mean I am crazy. 

It means that I need a non-judgmental and unbiased person to listen and help me work through what ever I am going through. 

There is nothing wrong with that. 

Dealing with my emotions and experiences has made me a better wife, mother, and a better person in general.

Why do you think we have so many unhealthy relationships, bad parenting, generational abuse, generational addiction, and so on... 

Because as a whole our society is not mentally healthy... or even have to the tools to cope with life. 

We still live in a world that has the stigma of mental health and counseling. 

We are considered dramatic? Crazy? Weak? Faithless?

I am just so frustrated by this mindset. 

It hurts my heart to see people take their lives instead of reaching out. 

Last week alone I heard of three..THREE... young people that succeeded in taking their own lives and one who attempted and is now in ICU. 

When you bury your emotions and feelings... they will come out somehow. And not in a positive way. 

I am not saying that you have to get professional help. Just talk to someone. Get it out. Have a good cry. 

Sometimes in life we faced with a crises, we are faced with big decisions...embracing personal growth is a great thing. 

To anyone who has scoffed, rolled your eyes, passed judgment on some one who has had a miscarriage or is grieving and wants to talk about it ... 

Or

To anyone who passes judgment on someone who getting help for their mental well being... 

I say to you...evaluate your heart.

When I started this post I was writing in anger and now my heart is sad at the small mindedness that our society has when it comes to this. 

I guess my rant is over... Smile

I hope everyone is having a great week! 

Look out for another post on Monday on Keys to a Happy and Healthy Marriage 

All My Love,
Aunt LaLa

Monday, March 27, 2017

One of the Most Important Decisions of My Life

This post is straight from heart and is painful to share... this is not only for my married readers but for my single readers as well. 

I remember when I was 14 and starting writing in a journal to my future husband.

I guess I've always been a romantic and my love for Disney probably didn't help.

To me the person I was going to marry was one of the most important people I would ever meet.

Marriage to me was/is something sacred, important, it would effect my life forever.

It was also something God had created. To join a man and a women together to form a team to work for him. To be companions for each other.

What God had and has planned for me has been important to me...A priority.

I knew what I wanted. I made a list. I petitioned God for about 9 years for my husband. I prayed for him.

My list:
Had to have a one on one relationship with God. Had to be a lifestyle.
Treated his family with respect and love
Filled with the Holy Spirit and believe in the gifts of the spirit
Had to be employed
Either in college or graduated from college
Be ambitious

That is about all I can remember at the moment... which was a tall list. 

But I was determined. 

I made up my mind to date with purpose and not just be with someone to fill time

I made a commitment to keep my body only for my husband which included kissing, hand holding, ect. 

I was ridiculed by friends, scoffed at by family. 

Insulted. Bullied. 

My beliefs and conviction were not taken seriously, and I could see the eye rolls when I would talk passionately about them. 

It shaped many of my insecurities as child, teen, and now an adult. 

It was a lonely time in my life to be set apart from what culture has deemed acceptable. 

Movies told me to follow my heart. Family told me have fun now before I am tied down. "Friends" left me out and found me peculiar. 

There was a time in my life where there was someone I had feelings for. And I followed my heart and allowed my self to become emotionally involved with. Letting my self be treated as second best and I deserved better. My heart ended up being broken.

During this time I did not listen to wise counsel. I did not see the "red flags" that should have been clear to me. I abandoned my commitment to standards that I and everyone woman deserves. 

Honestly, my young heart wanted to be accepted. and Loved. 

One day I woke up and realized that I needed to LIVE. To have a life that was not about everyone else. 

A life that was about loving me and allowing God to show me how he seen me, his daughter. 

I decided to go to college. 

I started to research and call... finding out how I was going to even begin this new adventure. 

I rid my life of people that were having a negative impact on my life. 

I am proud of my journey during that time. Really proud. God moved mountains for me. 

God began to heal my heart.

Loneliness my friends can really lead you down a path of destruction. So does not being patient. 

My heart was not ready to accept the love of my life until I was ready to love myself. 

So, the one of the most important decision of my life was... to love myself. 

Not in a selfish way. But in a way God loves me. I deserve to be treated with kindness, love, and respect. 

I needed friends who were true friends that stood with me and encouraged me. 


So, a really important key to a happy and healthy marriage: Love yourself. Have a standard. Don't settle.

By the way when I met Josh... he met EVERY single thing on my list. And if any of those naysayers read this post. He is the only man I have ever held hands with, kissed, and or have slept with. I did it. I don't regret one thing. I have had plenty of fun 😜😜


I hope you are enjoying these tidbits. But I am not a marriage or relationship counselor and if your finding yourself hopeless, or your relationship in trouble. Get help. Go talk to some one. 

I will continue this series. But there are other things I want to write about as well.  So I may publish these Keys to a Happy and Healthy Marriage post on Mondays. 

Remember I am always here... message me on my Aunt Lala Facebook page, or email me (auntlala25) at Gmail.

All my love, 
Aunt LaLa



Monday, March 13, 2017

What did you say?

What did you just say??

I remember the look my mom gave me countless times when she would ask me that question...

It gave me a few seconds to rethink what I could say from here...I could repeat what I had said which would of resulted in a punishment...Or I could say something totally different...

Usually I chose the latter...I changed what I said or gave a pouty "nothing"

My mom would say, "that's what I thought" I can still hear her tone. LOL

Our words have power, as a child the negative repercussions we not pleasant but they were not life altering.

As an adult our words hold more weight. We have bigger more complicated relationships. We are in leadership. We have our own children.

I talked about in my last post that I wanted to just put some keys to a happy marriage and a healthy marriage.

I talked about Quality vs Quantity .... The important of investing in your spouse

Today I want to talk about our words.

Josh and I established a set of rules for our marriage with the help of our premarital counselors.

I'm so thankful we did.

We wrote out how we would handle our conflict.

One major aspects of that involved controlling our tongue.

We do not insult, take digs at each other, we don't use sarcasm, we do not call names, we do not yell

Now, in the course of our marriage all of the rules have been broken by one of us.

But it is NOT a practice. When we get heated and tempers are flaring we take a time out. To calm down.

Marriage is a team. A team needs to be united. How can we fight together/for each other...when we are wounding each other?

Words can not be taken back.  They cause wounds in our heart. And without talking it out and apologies being said... That wound becomes infected. Then bitterness is there.

I know couples who have 30+ years of marriage... And they can't stand one another. They are disconnected. They are bitter.

IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!!

Marriage is a gift. You get a best friend, a companion, a team mate, someone to share the load.

Why would you disrespect them? Talk about them? Hurt them?

If you are a new couple or newly married... Please take heed to what I'm saying. Don't fight dirty.

Treasure your spouse. If you have no clue as to where to start,  ask for help.

Surround your self with couples who have a healthy and Godly marriage

Start apologizing

Swallow your pride

Talk it out

Communication

As always if you need me I'm only an email, text, call away

All my love,
Aunt Lala


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Making it Happen

After being married almost ten years I feel like I have some insight to this whole married thing. And let's face it we are always learning.

There some key points that I think are an absolute necessity to a healthy happy marriage.

I'm going to talk about those key things. Not in any particular order of importance just some info I'm going to pass along...

I'm an advocate for healthy and happy marriages. 

I believe they are possible and attainable.

I am an analytical thinker.

To me there is a formula to have a successful marriage.

Before I go into these key points or formula... Be warned... Being in a marriage is work. It's a commitment that is not to be taken lightly. You are a team. 

It's going to take you 100%  to do this. 

This post is talking about a key point: Quality VS Quantity

I'm sure the majority of people have heard that taking date nights are important.

Don't lose the romance

Always date your spouse


These are important.

But I've found its not the "date night" 

It's the quality of time. 

Really a "date night" is just that I guess. But I feel when we encourage a couple to have date night the first things come to mind - money, idea, elaborate, planned...

Sometimes money stops a husband from planning because to him it's not good enough

Ladies, here is a tip... Find an article about cheap/ no money dates. Send it to your husband. Or talk together about some things you could do together

Josh and I have found fun things to do that are free. 

We loved it

We could talk
Hold hands
Dream

Sometimes our quality time has been playing a game for an hour while Ethan napped. 

No interruptions. Has any one noticed how many times a toddler needs you? Or how much they long for your attention? 

Mom's this is for you... Your husband needs to feel needed and heard just like you. Step away from those life sucking kiddos and go greet with a passionate kiss at the door.

Newsflash ladies, our husband's need to be pursued too. Just usually not in the same way. 

So if you want your husband to invest in Quality time into you, try investing in him.

Take out the guess work. Guys don't do hints. No crystal ball in their back pockets. Open your mouth and express in a non -confrontational judgy way what your needs are.

Here are some cheap/free ideas
1. Dinner at home (get those grandparents on speed dial)
2. Local art museum
3. Walk downtown
4. There are usually discounted tickets to symphony or the like during the weekday
5. History museum
6. Play a game at home add in a sexy twist
7. Picnic
8. Go out for ice cream
9. Hike (heard that was fun 😉)
10. Miniature golf

Whatever floats your boat.... Just make the time for each other. Invest in your relationship

Check out the vlog I did with Josh over on his YouTube channel. We went on a date and invited all of you with us! 


All my love,
Aunt Lala





Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Nitty Gritty Mom

I have have been a mommy for a little over 2 years

That's 28 months

Which is 876 days

Or you could say 21,024 hours

When broken down like that it doesnt seem all that long.

But I feel like it was a lifetime ago that it was the two of us. Before Ethan.

Now to warn you I'm about to go all mom on you... So if you are a guy this may not be entertaining... If you have no interest to face the reality of being a mom...Or if you don't want to read my mom confessions....

Then this post is not for you ::smile::

I'm laughing here... Oh boy...

So I was doing laundry...I noticed my underwear.

They are quite... Eh worn

I told J I really needed to get some underwear.

He asked when was the last time I had gotten any new ones...

I had to literally sit down and think. Think. And think.

Oh moms...I really hope I'm not alone here.

I have not bought new undies since I was pregnant with E.

What in the world is wrong with me?

I started to think... When did I by last bra?

Two years ago!?

When did I buy my last pair of decent shoes?

May 2014... And they were a present.

When was the last time I had a professional hair cut?

Summer... Over 9 months ago


J was all, "that is going to change" "you need to take care of yourself" ....

All I could think of was the book party coming up and how I was going to budget for Ethan to these great alphabet cards... And he needs bigger shirts... J needs some more t-shirts

You see the pattern here?

I know I'm not alone. I seen my mom do these same things.

She would wear her Ked's until they were sporting  holes.


This is a picture of  my family (minus my older sister) circa 1993-94.

This is one of favorite pictures.

Guys, I had a great mom. I wrote a whole post about her in my post I am determined

We as moms are born with this drive to do the best for our kids

When I see my mom in this picture I see a mom who made sure everyone got their matching outfits
Perfect hair
Fanny pack

Then there was no desire to make herself look perfect or there wasn't enough time. If I remember correctly we probably had new clothes on for the vacation and my mom is wearing one of my dad's older shirts.

My mom is beautiful isn't she? She still is.

But as I've been working on this blog post a scripture keeps coming to my heart

Mark 12:30-31
Love the Lord with all your heart
Love your neighbor as yourself

When Jesus says this I don't think he means be haughty or prideful.

But to realize your worth in Christ.

Your made in his image... He loves you.

You are a priority to him!

Listen, I get it...I am one of those moms that my kid is my life. Josh and I enjoy him so much. We adore him.

But I want him to see me love myself so that he has a healthy view of what a mother and wife look like.

Moms... It's okay to buy ourselves underwear or get a new bra. Stop feeling guilty.

Invest in yourself.

If that means needing a morning away so you can spend some time in the Bible or in prayer

If that means going to counseling ... Having a mental wellness day

Sometimes that means saying no to all the "stuff" your kids do not need

It's important that we see our value... Our sons, daughters, niece's, and nephews are watching.

So this Valentine's day love yourself single, married, in a relationship... Love yourself... Than do as Christ says go shower love on someone else.

My love to everyone!

Aunt LaLa

PS Check out J's YouTube channel "Sometimes I Say Things" .... Video below is a collaboration with us talking about one of our favorite things....food! Top 5 burgers and sandwiches with special guest Aunt Lala


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Moving Forward

I admire my cousin. She lost her husband last year. His birthday was this last month.

In a post she wrote that she wasn't moving on but she was moving forward.

Life continues, it doesn't stop for your crisis, grief, problems, delays... It just goes.

It is really inconsiderate like that.

I think one of the most difficult things to process for me this last season of my life was that very thing- moving forward.

I dug my heels and refused to move until I was ready.

Which trying to do that with a toddler that is one of my greatest joys in life is almost impossible.

I felt guilt for not thinking of Little Bit...Or being happy.

Then there are times when guilt comes because I have not "moved on" or "counted my blessings"

This journey has been more difficult in some ways than losing Hope... And in someways it's been easier

It hurts my heart that I have two babies in Heaven. Not just hurt... Its broken... But it's held together with love.

Wow that does sound cheesy... But it's true.

Love.
Being loved.
Loving others.

Love has been my lifeline.

It's been difficult at times when no one seems to remember Little Bit. Which I know they do... But it's not the same for parents who lost.

Everyone around us is in love with our E.

He just shines so brightly! His personality keeps us laughing.

But there are times when I miss our two little angels.

Times when grief snuffs the laughter I had just moments before

Times when tears pour down my face

I recently took out Little Bit's ultrasound. Held it close.

It is the only tangible thing I have of Little Bit.


Over this last month I've been working on coming to terms with moving forward.

It is tough.

There has been so many emotions to work through.

But last Sunday at the alter I really feel like I was able to heal a little...

Then at Monday night prayer someone shared with me that as I hold and protect Ethan is what my heavenly Father does for me. As I love Ethan is how God loves me...I needed that more than anyone knows.

God loves us more than we can imagine...

There are other things that are moving forward but more on that in another blog.

My love to everyone!

If there is something that I could pray for or stand in agreement please message me!

Xoxo



Friday, January 27, 2017

Reprieve

Happy Friday!!

For the last 21 days I've been apart of a fast... 

What is a fast? 

Glad you asked...

To me personally it means to set aside something that I enjoy. A sacrifice. In place of this thing replace it with prayer and time with God. 

I feel it is like an extra "umph" to my prayers and petition with God. Like shooting a flare gun to Heaven...

I am not a scholar and that my friend is the best I way I can explain it in layman's terms.

It's not something to treat lightly...Or to get attention ( Jesus teaches against that in Matthew 6:5) 

It's a personal thing between you and God. 

At the first of every year of church does this fast together. And we see God move in such a mighty way.

He honors our sacrifices. 

But it's been painful too... At least for me. 

As I replaced my idol time with time in the Bible and praying there were things in my spirit that were not pleasing to God. Certain things that had to be dealt with

In John 3:30 it says "more of him less of me"

That can hurt. I'm not done by any means... There are several things I'm working through. 

It has been so refreshing. Not dealing with the pettiness and self absorbed world of social media. 

Let's just say it was perfect timing with the transition of Presidents...

I want more sustenance in my life... And be present for my family. 

If you want to know more about fasting this was an interesting post:

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/fasting-for-beginners


Here are some scripture reading:
1 Corinthians 7:5
Acts 14:23
Esther 4:16
Luke 2:37
Psalm 69:10
Luke 4 (Jesus fasting)

Just a tip read these scriptures in context... Read the before and after. 

If you have questions or want to know more feel free to contact me

If I can help pray for anything I'm here

Xoxo
LALA