Monday, October 26, 2015

Baby

I cannot believe how fast time is flying by. I know I always say that but it seems to be traveling at light speed lately.

I am 22 weeks along and this baby is growing bigger and bigger as the days pass by! #loreleigrace is kicking and dancing around! It's one thing when I get to feel her and have been for a while now, but it's another thing when the hubby and the girls get to feel her! so amazing! We are all so excited it is hard to wait!

The baby shower plan are coming together and though January is far away, it will be here before we know it! I'm officially registered at Babies R Us, Target, and Amazon (i know... i didn't know you could have a baby registry at amazon?! but it's cool for all those Prime shoppers!).


The things they tell you that just aren't true.... 
- you will have more energy... what? did they know you were expending energy taking care of yourself, your family and growing that baby?!
- so happy and glowing ... i think not! more like crying for no reason because of hormones and crazy pimples
- eating for two... do not fall for that crap - they tell you an extra 300 calories a day ... did you know that's how many calories are in a piece of toast...

The things they don't tell you about being pregnant....
- registries are stressful and hard to put together (nothing like a wedding registry)
- baby will kick you and it will hurt
- you have more anxiety between appointments than joy because you are worried something could go wrong until you hear that heart beat again or see that smile
- you want to clean everything all the time but can't even bend over to load/unload the washer/dryer

The things they tell you that are absolutely true....
- it's worth it

Enough said right?! Before I was pregnant I would always get angry at all the moms who were pregnant or had babies that would complain all the time. They were uncomfortable, annoyed, tired, their kids were being unruly, etc. I couldn't believe that a woman could not just appreciate every minute of this miraculous adventure. Why would they be complaining?! It was so hard for me to make this baby... I would never complain - not at all...

Well... that was before I got pregnant.
Now... I understand.

It's not so much complaining as it is sharing the experience. I have to tell someone how I am feeling and why. I want to share every minute of it. No, it's not always rainbows and butterflies. Yes, most of the time you will be uncomfortable, tired, swollen, achy, etc. But that's all a part of the process. It's so frustrating wanting to try to do life as I always have and not being able to. I cannot do laundry, dishes, host parties, sleep, walk, drink, eat the same as I once did. Everything has changed.

I'm pretty sure my nose has widened more than my hips... lol

But.. it's all worth it!

No, my body will never be the same, but it will bear the marks of the adventure I took with this baby. I will have a daily reminder of the miracle of being a mother as I hold her in my arms. And sometimes we might have to cry it out together, I am sure I will mess things up, but... it's worth it!

I was always mad at people when they would tell me "You'll understand when you're a mom" ... I have been a mom for a long time - a second mom to my siblings, a second mom to my girls, a mother figure to many - and it would always make me so angry when people would say that to me because they did not know my circumstances and understand that I didn't have to be pregnant to be a mom...

It's true. You don't have to be pregnant to be a mom. Many women adopt, use a surrogate, have a blended family or parent other ways. I have been there and will never discount that. There are obviously different ways for people to get their point across.

IE - you will never understand or know pregnancy until you're pregnant, you will never understand or know newborn months until you are the on-call parent 24/7, you will never know or understand parenting a teen until you are in the war zone of teenage years... etc. Because you cannot know it until you have really lived it. This is what they should say. Because it is true.

I never knew until now what pregnancy was like, growing a baby or everything involved. There is still so much that I will encounter and experience and I cannot even understand it until I am there, but I am excited for it all! Is that weird?

Anyways... she is kicking/punching the crap out of me, dancing or something right now and I just cannot help but smile. It's all just so amazing. So very worth it!

Fall

It's that time of the year again... 

Pumpkin loving (#yum #foody #beer #PSL #candles and everything else I missed)
Birthdays and girly sleepovers
Trick or treating #yum #candyexplosion #halloween
Costume wearing #crazycatlady
Decorating #ugh #ihatecleaningupdecorations #imascrooge

... season is in full swing. Fall and the changing colors of the leaves is also a great reminder of the day I married the love of my life. Amazing! #lovehim #marriedlife

Holidays are around the corner - we are hosting this year!! So excited! This year we will be hosting 26 people in our new home! We just completed a birthday sleepover and a family gathering this weekend and I couldn't help but feel at home for the first time in a long time. 

Home is where the heart is... A home is also where you live, laugh and love! This weekend we absolutely had a house full of people, laughter, and fun! I couldn't feel more blessed, thankful, excited for the opportunity to share that with everyone I love. I am also a party planner... I don't know if you know that about me, but I love hosting every event, every opportunity, etc. Yes it can get a little overwhelming being pregnant and feet swollen all the time, but it's so much fun!! #buyingcompressionsocks ... #ugh ... 

This time next year we will be a family of 5 and posting absolutely adorable photos of an 8 month old baby and pumpkins to add to the collection of thousands of photos I am sure we will have by then.

She is kicking! #loreleigrace is moving and dancing so much lately that Eric finally felt her! #precious I’m hoping that next week she will finally cooperate enough to give me a smile and a face shot! We will see.

So much to say but so much more to do so this one will be short…

Thanksgiving and November always bring on this rush of “I’m thankful for…” but I try to do that all the time. I’m just overwhelmed by the love and blessings I have… I cannot even begin to imagine how I will be feeling this time next year. Life is not perfect, it never will be, but it’s as close as it ever could be for me!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Hold your head high

Hold your head high and .... you middle finger higher?!

Okay - So normally I do not condone such an attitude, but there does come a time in your life when you can either cant the "sticks and stone can break my bones, but words can never hurt me" or you can stick it to the man and say "buzz off"...


Sometimes people don't understand that the things they say can really leave a mark on you. At times those words are positive and encouraging and we hold those near and dear to our hearts. Pulling them out when we really need them and reminiscing on them when we need them again. Other times the things people say can be really negative, depressing, and drag you down. Those words are the ones that stain your heart and harden your outlook toward them, toward the issue, toward life.

Do you think before you speak or do you just think whatever you have to say is necessary no matter how it will impact the other person or people in your life?

Verbal abuse is described as a negative defining statement told to the person or about the person, or by withholding any response, thereby defining the target as non-existent

Verbal Praise is statements communicating the value of a person's work or behavior by expressing approval.


Think about what you are saying and how often the things you say fall into either category. Just for the record... continually beating someone down verbally does not gain a positive outcome.

We struggle with how to react to our kids, how to pass on the appropriate verbal discipline without it being demeaning and how to praise the correct aspect (ie - the child not the act). We struggle with how to react to our parents, siblings, and coworkers in a positive way instead of a negative way. Often times our sarcasm seeps out and we do not renege it - leaving the words we have slain out to slowly but surely cut deeper and deeper into that person.

Most frequently the side jabs or comments made include comparisons with others, income/job inadequacies, weight loss or weight gain, discounting efforts, judging, criticizing, trivializing, undermining, name calling - I could go on, but we all know what I am talking about.

Do you think before you speak?

Consider this...
Is what you are saying true?
Is it necessary to share?
Is it kind?

A while back I blogged about The Help ...



you can chant the "sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me" until you are blue in the face... all the while those words are breaking you on the inside just as the sticks and stones would break you on the outside. The difference is - people cant see in unless you let them and often times you will never let the bully in.

Before you speak - question whether what you are saying is actually going to have a positive outcome - or whether you are just saying it to beat someone down into submission. You may not even realize the impact of your own words or the canyon that is forming in your loved ones heart because of the things you are saying.

I'm just saying ... consider it.

And to all those that are fighting off the words - the ones that are taking the beating...

Hold you head high. You are bigger and better. You are prettier and smarter. You are worth it. You have something to live for and your future will be brighter. You are perfect just the way you are! You are appreciated, your hard work has not gone unnoticed.

Stick it to the man - give em the finger. Tell em to buzz off.


Hold your head high - because you deserve it! You don't have to prove your worth - if they don't see it then they are the ones missing out!

Don't get me wrong - there are times when this happens in a parent/child relationship or a marriage and you cannot exactly tell the other person to buzz off because you are eternally linked to them. You still do not need that kind of negativity in your life. You need to voice that. If something offends you, say it. If something digs deep, say it. This doesn't make you a wuss, it makes you courageous. It makes you stronger. It makes you feel better about yourself. And hopefully, it makes the other person realize what they are saying - they shouldn't be...

The only reason someone wants to make you feel little is so they can feel bigger! Remember that. Often times they are the ones feeling little and their incessant need to break you down makes them feel better about themselves.

Growing up my dad would always say "be careful what you say because there is a bit of truth in every word you speak."

Those words have carried through life with me and I have grown wiser from them. I have been able to check myself - being quick to renege on something I say when it doesn't come out just right or apologize to someone when I hurt them. I have also been able to understand what people really mean and how there is truth in everything they say. You can say you are "just kidding", but unless you actually recognize that you have offended/hurt someone and apologize - we all know you weren't just kidding.

Dwell on the good things and leave behind the bad things. When you realize you have said something negative and you don't think you can undo it - say 5 positive things. Make a conscious decision to lift that person up and show them that you actually do care.

Obviously we never know what someone else is thinking... but I can bet it looks a lot like this...
 
 
 

Just consider it.... 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Hurdles, Baby, Houses, Blessings and more…


Many hurdles have come and we have either jumped over them, knocked through them or just fell and got back up again. Now we are finally at a free point and this next phase of rest is going to be glorious!


We found out we are having a baby girl! We could not be more excited and so very grateful for this little growing blessing. Halfway through the pregnancy and getting more and more excited to meet our little gal. 

We finally moved into our new house! Ahhhhhh!! (hear singing choir – lol)


My hubby captured this picture last night and it couldn’t capture this beauty any better. We are so very blessed and I couldn’t even express how grateful we are to have this home and be able to raise our family here. A little further west, but that feels good to both of us since we enjoy being further out. You can see some stars – the sky is so clear. We are loving the friendly neighborhood and the girls are meeting new friends :) 

There are often times when we are faced with the hurdles and we are struggling. We cannot run fast enough, jump high enough or clear through the hurdles at all – it’s difficult. The unknown is like a black hole and we never have a clue where we are going or where we are coming from. Often times it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now that we are here and basking in the blessings, it’s hard to question why we were ever stressed or unsure.

Now... to get everything unpacked and settled in. We have the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms basically done. We still have to paint/decorate to our liking and we have a few upgrades we want to make over time (a deck for summer!!) - but that all can come with time. I just lay in bed and thank God for what he has given us. 

Do you think I would appreciate it as much if it weren't a struggle to get it? I would hope so but I cannot say for sure. It is definitely the little things in life that we take for granted, but also the little things in life that bring us such joy. 

Today I am dwelling in the joy. I know that life will not always seem so sure and concrete. It will not always feel like blessings are showering down. I am a realist after all. I know how the world works. But in the meantime... I'm soaking it all up.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Men vs Women

So there is this ongoing conversation about how women would like to be treated the same as men, have the same rights, be viewed the same, etc. But, the problem with that is that men and women are so very different. Not just in the way we act, but in the way we need.

Recently I have been faced with an overwhelming earful of this. I love listening and giving my perspective as I feel it is actually different than most women's perspective. I have a few things going for me: 1. I have six brothers, 2. I have sought out answers/opinions from men, 3. I have read many books (see a few below), 4. I see things differently.

Men and women are not the same. They don't have the same needs or desires. They will never have the same reactions to life, situations, or people. A lot of women out there think they know men and try to give you advise among gossip, but often times they give the wrong advise... A long time ago I realized that if I wanted to know what a man was thinking, needing, wanting then I would go straight to the source and just ask. I know this is crazy for some women and they would never do this. But, I have always had a lot of guy friends (and brothers) and we have always been frank with each other.

For instance... Here are some things from my personal arsenal...

1. I learned about the "fade away" from a brother. Instead of a guy just coming out and saying he's not interested, he will just slowly stop responding and then disappear... ridiculous.

2. Also, I learned that sometimes it has nothing to do with who you are and everything to do with the way you look from behind (from a friend) - oh and they might not realize until a few months in and they see you from a certain angle that they just don't like that... ugh!

3. Sometimes guys do exactly the opposite of what you want them to do... ie: "I love facial hair" she says - in response - he always shaves ... he doesn't want to be who she wants him to be, he wants her to like/love him for who he is...

4. A guy will take what is given... So, if you are out on a date and he is actually interested in a relationship with you, but you slut it up - he will see you that way and forever treat you as a side peace while he continues his pursuit for the one ... all the while you will get emotionally attached and he will never ever see you that way.

We will just leave all that where it is and continue forward with ... A  man is driven by who they are, what they do, and what they make. At the core of every man they are a provider and that is what pushes them forward.

1. When a man breaks his back working long hours, sacrificing his time with his family, giving up personal space/time and guy time... This is him showing you love!

2. When a man calls you his, gives you a title, announces you as something other than your name... This is him showing you love!

3. When a man has holes in his shoes and yet he hands you hundreds to buy clothes for yourself, pays for the kids school tips, or buys everything they need for sports and yet he continues to suffer with a hole even when he spends all day on his feet... This is him showing he loves you.

4. When a man tries to solve all your problems instead of just listening... This is him showing he loves you!

Ladies.... We get all in a mood because we want our man around more, we don't want to be a "possession", we want our man to look good and stop walking around with holes in his shoes/clothes, we want him to just listen... We harp on him all the time because what he is doing is not enough, we need more... But, he is already giving you everything he knows to give - everything he has to give.

Men think, feel and act differently than we do. It is this long lasting bitch fest about how men can't give us women what we need and want - they don't understand... yet, when you tell a man you want something one day - he does it the next and you at him with crazy eyes and ask what he is doing because that's not what you wanted today... Ummm... isn't that a little confusing?!

You try to talk to him, cuddle with him and write him love notes because that shows you love him... that doesn't show you love him - that shows him how you like to be loved... Men don't need or want those kinds of things. Men are pretty basic (no offense).

1. Support him - tell him how you appreciate him, all he does and how you couldn't do it without him
2. Be loyal - stay with him through everything. thick and thin. for better or worse.
3. Be physical - obviously if you know me, then you know where I stand on this subject and I am a firm believer that there is a place and time for all this in a relationship - that aside... This is ultimately how men connect.

The problem is, when we try to give a man what we need - he misses out on everything that he needs. We are oblivious because we think we are loving him the way he needs to be loved, but we never ask and he fades away. Then we wonder what was wrong with us - what we did wrong - we commiserate for hours/days/weeks. Are we not pretty enough? funny enough? sexy enough? Then we get angry and pick out all the awful things about him that make us grateful that we aren't with him anymore...

All along - we missed the boat. We didn't give him what he ultimately needed. We didn't appreciate him, we didn't thank him, we didn't offer him any sort of physical attention (again appropriate based on relationship stages), we didn't seem loyal - there was something that made him go looking elsewhere.

And yes, ladies, that is your fault. Please hear me on this. A man has basic needs that are very different from a woman's. Women can last a long time without getting their needs met. They will fill that with girlfriends, babies, etc. But a man cannot fill his needs with guy friends, babies, or anything else.

I am not perfect. I am far from perfect. I miss the boat on this a lot! But, hear me when I say - my husband and I have this relationship thing down to a science (almost). We know what love means to each other, how to meet the others needs, how to actual act that love out each day. Love is not just a mushy feeling you have in your heart or tummy (that's indigestion!). Love is action. Love is actually putting life, energy, desire, will power into making sure that the person in your life that is your partner knows that you are there for them no matter what (even in their worst state), that you love them more than anything else in the world (infinity and beyond), that you will be physical with them when they need it (endorphins help with headaches).

Take a step back and just think about all this. Stop harassing him that he's not giving enough - he will feel unloved and defeated. Stop asking for more - he has nothing more to give and is giving you all he knows how. Actually sit with him and tell him what you need:

Flowers make you feel loved because it tells you that he was thinking of you when you weren't there.
Love notes mean the world because that means he can put into words how precious you are to him.
Snuggles are necessary because that helps you feel connected the way intimacy helps him.
You need a date every week/month (whatever) because that shows you he cares enough to plan for you and is still interested in showing you off/getting to know you more and more.
He takes the baby when he walks in the door because that shows you he loves his family and nothing else matters more. 
He cooks dinner after working a long day because he recognizes that you have been working hard as well and need a break.

I'm not saying that you can expect these things all the time. But, if you actually vocalize what makes you feel loved - he will do this for you because he loves you and wants to provide you with everything that makes you feel more loved and satisfied.

But... if you don't tell him and leave him guessing - he will always put a lot of time, energy and effort into other things and they will never be good enough for you - at some point you will both be so far away from each other that there will be no fixing this...

So, lets be proactive. Don't be scared. Don't be timid. Don't just keep guessing or keep him guessing. Tell him what you need/want and don't send him on a goose chase, don't give him unattainable goals, you will appreciate his love more when he can offer you love more often and not just once a year because you are being selfish and asking for something he cannot give you often.

Also - keep in mind... if you want what he has to give... you have to give too! This is what I like to call the 60/40 rule. Know that if you give 60 and expect 40 then you will always get back more than you expect too! The more you give, the more you will get.

 

It's inevitable... If you keep filling someone up and never stop - eventually they will overflow. Obviously if they are empty when you start pouring into them it will take longer for you to see that overflow - but it will eventually happen. The more you give, the more you will get back. It's simple and easy. 


Resources!!!
Books you should check out:
Men are like waffles - Women are like spaghetti 
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

Must watch movie: 
Fireproof