Motherhood Series: Meet Mandy

Today I have the opportunity to introduce you to Mandy Johnson. Mandy is the wife to Ryan and mom to four beautiful daughters Gracie (10), Ella (9), Lily (6), and Maddie (4). They live in Abbeville, Alabama where Ryan is the pastor of FBC-Abbeville. Mandy keeps her days busy with homeschooling her girls, spending time with family and friends, and using her gift of hospitality to love on anyone and everyone! This family means a great deal to ours and I hope you are encouraged by Mandy’s words today. You can also read more of Mandy’s writings as she is one of the writers at www.anumberofleadingladies.wordpress.com.

Mandy

 

When I think about motherhood, I think about many things: late night feedings, laundry for days, dirty hands and faces, hugs that you wish would last forever, boo-boo’s and band aids, and the busy hectic schedule. The list could go on and on. When people see me out with my four girls, I almost always get the same reaction, “I bet your hands are full!” I usually smile and say,” Why yes they are, but my heart is fuller!”

This got me to thinking one day, “What are my hands filled with?”

In literal terms, this could mean many things. Last year while my family and I were visiting Disney, we were making the most of our last night. It was quite late and the bus was quite full. My oldest daughter, who was struggling with migraine-type headaches, was feeling the effects of riding near the back of the bus and having such a headache. I had recommended to her that she try and go to sleep. Just 5 minutes into our 20 minute ride she told me she felt like she was going to be sick — not something you want to hear! Before I could prepare and grab the bag that contained our souvenirs her mouth opened and my hands went up. In the catalog of my memories I never would have wanted my hands or my lap full of — well, you know — but that was the Lord’s plan at that time. He has such a sense of humor.

I can think of other stories where I have held my precious children in my hands to cuddle them, love on them, kiss them or just hold them close. But, to be honest, there have been many times that I have lifted my hands to the Lord and wrung my hands in frustration.

Whatever our hands may be filled you, whether blessings or difficulties, know that the Bible speaks direct encouragement to each of us. Lamentations 3:22 says,” Great is His faithfulness, his mercies begin anew each day.” I know I am thankful for that. Some days are hard. At the beginning of this school year, I was homeschooling my 3 oldest daughters (9,8,5). Just when I thought we were on a great schedule and getting things down, my mom was diagnosed with leukemia. While I had stayed with my mom in the hospital, my girls had gotten behind in their studies, I had missed dance practices, special holiday events and much more. I felt defeated and at a loss. It was always on those hard days that the Lord would remind me that tomorrow was a new day and that His mercies are new EVERY morning! Not just when I had a good day but EVERY morning.

Being a mother has many responsibilities. I think one of the greatest responsibilities that we have as mothers is defining the love of God for our children with our words and actions. If this is the first time you’ve thought about that, the accuser will begin to make you feel guilty by thinking all the times that you’ve lost your temper, been impatient, or been overbearing. We all fall short of modeling the loving character of God in perfect balance. That’s why it’s also important that I teach my children the truth that there is only one person who loves them more than I do: God Himself. Even though we are imperfect, we teach and model the love of God through sacrifice. We sacrifice our time, our energy (can I get an Amen!), our finances and even our bed spaces. You may struggle with feeling confident that you are pointing your children to Jesus, but know that with each sacrifice, each word of encouragement, each hug, and each time that you have to say you’re sorry, let them know why you’re doing it — because of Jesus. Being a mother is leading our kids to Jesus every day. Teaching them that life is NEVER about them but always about Him.

So how do we as mothers teach our children these great responsibilities??? By surrendering our lives DAILY, did you hear me? DAILY! Not just on Sunday mornings, but EVERY morning! I cannot teach my children about surrender, sacrifice and love without doing so myself each day. Psalm 86:11 says, “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.”

Join me today in declaring that your treasure is in Jesus so that whether it is a good day or a bad day, an easy day or a trying day, He can transform my heart, so that I can continually say, “Yes! My hands are not just full, they are overflowing with blessings!”

Motherhood Series: Meet Lacey

On day 4 of our #MotherhoodSeries, I would like for you all to get to know Lacey. Lacey is the wife to John and Mom to Easton (6) and Evan (9 months). They live in Jasper, Alabama where Lacey is a RN. Lacey stays busy with a job she loves, running around with her boys, and spending time with her family. 

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What it means to me to be a mom.

My name is Lacey McClain. I first became a mom at 28 to Easton who is now six. I became a mom the second time around at 33, to Evan, who is now 9 months old. Motherhood has been a fantastic journey, and honestly, my one regret in life is not having them sooner! (I’m still not sure what I was so scared of!) The quote “If I had could turn back time, I would have met you sooner, so I could love you longer” definitely has a sweet spot in my heart. I am, by no means, a parenting expert. I really don’t know much about being a mom after the age of six. I honestly learn as I go. But I do know that God (and my husband) have been my constant through this amazing process. People say that children do not come with a set of instructions, but I would have to disagree. So far, the Bible has been my companion and my guide to training my children “in the way they should go.”

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Being a mom definitely starts with loving and putting God first. (But that goes along with everything in life, right?) I also love my husband second. I always have to remember, it started with us, and will end with us.

Lacey 2

Being a mom is exhausting most of the time. It is definitely not a job for the faint of hearts. It is being pushed to the edge of the cliff, and then being brought back with a smile, hug, or an “I love you, Mom”. It’s rocking and patting a crying baby in the middle of the night when you can’t hold your own eyes open. It’s waking up crying until noon because your baby looks slightly different the he did the day before. It’s finding sippy cups in the floorboard of your car. (Who knew milk could ever look like that?!) It’s playing toys in the living room floor. It’s finding peace and contentment in the simplest of moments. It’s being there for them in both their successes and their failures. It’s showing God’s grace and mercy to them as you think back on the times that He has shown the same to you. It’s teaching them about life and God’s love, all the while He is teaching it to you. It’s knowing when to hold on and when to let go as you remember that they were never really yours to begin with. It makes the scripture “to pray without ceasing” come alive. It’s putting their needs above your own, while teaching them to put others first. I believe it the perfect image of the way that God loves us, unconditionally, no matter what. It’s molding and shaping them into the person He wants them to be.

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So no, it is not for the faint of hearts, but it is definitely all worth while.

Motherhood Series: Meet Elexis

For Day 3 of our #MotherhoodSeries, I would like to introduce you to Elexis Robertson. Elexis is the wife to Taylor and mom to her boys, Bentley (4) and Nash (1). They reside in Florida where they are faithfully serving the Lord as Taylor is a pastor and church planter. Elexis stays busy chasing her cute boys around throughout the day as well as doing part time photography. 

Elexis

#imotherbecause
I could tell all the great things about motherhood like how God called me to be a mom, about how much fun it is to stay at home with my boys, and all the joys this “job” brings me.
But I’ve read all those blogs and this is not one of those articles.
Being a mom is hard. Hands down. Period. End of story. Now that we all agree let me be honest….it really doesn’t get easier. “Veterans” may tell you things like “it’s a phase” or “they’ll grow out of it”. Ladies, let me tell you with two boys turning 4 & 1 this month I can assure you that the only thing they grow out of is their clothes! As a mother you will learn from your mistakes and you will learn choose your battles carefully. (Pjs to Target every once in a while is totally acceptable in my book!)
As a mom I yell far too often, lose my patience, and feel like I am going to pull my hair out daily. I feel like the walls are caving in some days and I may just lose my fruit loops if I have to hear the Veggie Tales theme song one more time. Is anyone else there? Can I get an amen?!
What I am trying to say is I fail at motherhood. The one thing I was so ecstatic to become. The thing that I dreamt of most of my life. And the thing God called me to… I fail at daily.
I fail my children when I am more concerned with competing in motherhood than focusing on why I mother. I mother to lead my children to the feet of Jesus. I mother to make sure my children know they are loved. I mother to ensure that they are happy and healthy. And I mother to help them reach their full potential. I have no problem admitting that I struggle in motherhood because God’s Word tells me a promise about my struggles.
In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul speaks about a thorn in his flesh that he begs to be removed. It’s something that keeps him humble, something to make him so self-conscious that he asks 3 times. And each time Jesus said “my grace is all you need my power works best in weakness”. Grace breaks down to God’s evident favor. I just love that! It keeps me grounded even on my worst days that He is for me and He is with me in each and every one of my struggles… Even in motherhood. Because motherhood is my weakness . If you continue on Paul states “I will boast in my weakness so that the power of Christ can work through me”. That is what I desire everyday when I wake up. For Christ’s power to work through my motherhood. Being a mother means I have been chosen to raise the next generation of Christ followers. I have the chance to raise my babies to be mighty men. And sadly it’s taken me 4 years and 2 kids to realize that being a mom has nothing to do with me. But it has everything to do with Him.

#Heiswhyimother

Motherhood Series: Meet Ashley

   Next up in our blog series this week is my friend, Ashley. Ashley is the wife to Cory and mom to Abigail (3) and Issac (almost 2). She and her family live in Jasper, Alabama where she lives a life full on busyness staying at home chasing after her two little ones each day and doing part time photography. You can read more of Ashley’s writings at www.overthesunblog.wordpress.com.

 

Ashley

Motherhood is easy… Until it’s not.
I grew up a mom. Not literally, obviously, but very much so in a sense where I knew I was going to be a mother. Babies and children were just pure delights to me. I would pass a baby in a stroller and melt into a puddle.
I also knew everything. (Ha!) I knew what I was going to do and not going to do when I had my own children. They *will never* disobey in public. They *will* love fruits and veggies. I *will never* let myself go and not take a shower for a week straight.
I got pregnant almost exactly one year after we got married and I was over the moon! Seriously. I was the happiest woman on the planet for those 9 months. Even after an awful labor and delivery experience, plus 3 terrible months of colic and reflux, nothing could take away the pure joy I felt as a mother. Once we got on a good schedule, my sweet Abigail and I could take the world by storm. “Why don’t people have babies already?” “It’s not that hard!” “Look at all the wonderful sacrifices I’m making to be a more awesome mother than you!”
We found out I was pregnant with Isaac just 5 months after Abigail was born. We weren’t planning on another so soon, but it didn’t take us long to get excited once again. We could do this! It wasn’t that hard, right? After a total breeze of a delivery, a magic baby who rarely cried, I still felt like things couldn’t be going more perfectly.
But what I never planned for in all my daydreaming about being a mother was the long days, the tantrums, the meltdowns, the guilt, the night terrors, the sticky floors, the exhaustion, the endless (ENDLESS) dishes, diapers, Disney Junior, and laundry. See, that’s the thing with us “perfect mothers”. We show you all the cute sleeping baby photos on social media. We paint this beautiful picture of babyhood, because babyhood is easy. Loving those beautiful, non-tantrum, non-messy, non-meltdown-in-the-middle-of-Walmart babies is so easy! Really! It is! They’re so sweet and adorable and the hardest part is waking up more than you used to.
But babies grow. They don’t stay easy. They start walking. Then talking. Then pushing boundaries. Then disobeying. Then challenging your disciplining skills in public places. The easy stage has come and gone and you find yourself stuck in this new season of challenges you’ve likely never faced before. And us moms have grossly neglected to share with you this harsh reality. We slowly stop posting on Instagram our adorable angel baby and pass it off as busyness when in reality we sit hunched in a corner questioning to ourselves whether or not we’re really cut out for this thing.
It’s so wonderful, though, how you start to see why God made them so wonderful and adorable in the first place. They came cute for a reason, I’m sure of it, to remind you why you wanted this so much in the first place. You adored them when the worst part of the day was a blowout. But now, on the days when you have to reach deep into the recesses of your momma heart, you force yourself to keep going – to raise those adorable blessings. Your calling has not changed. You’re still called to be their mother. Your love does not change, it only deepens.
I love my two beautiful blessings more now than I did when I saw their faces for the first time. Not because it’s been easy, but because it’s been very hard. I liken it to refined iron; strong before, but after a couple of rounds of being thrown in the fire, hammered and twisted, and thrown in the fire again, it comes out stronger each time.
Your work as a mother is important. Just as those little beings are challenging you, you are to challenge them right back. They are looking to you each day to be the hands and feet of Jesus in their ordinary lives. You cannot leave them where they are. They need correction, they need attention, they need to know (and be shown) how and how not to live, and most importantly, they need to know how all of it relates to Jesus and the Gospel (because all of it does). Jesus does not simply love all over us and lead us to believe life is easy and simple. We know this to be untrue. Life is messy and difficult. Motherhood is messy and difficult. But Jesus has extended us His grace to remain faithful under trials. Even the trials of meltdowns in the canned vegetables aisle of the grocery store.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4

Motherhood Series: Meet Crystal

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Today I would like for you to meet my friend Crystal. Crystal is wife to Josh and mommy to CHD warrior Jack (4) and baby brother, Harrison. She and her family reside in Sweet Home Alabama where she is a full-time high school teacher, varsity cheer coach, and grad school student. You can read Crystal’s blog at www.facinggoliath.blogspot.com.
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I’d heard the quote before but I never knew exactly what it meant until I watched them wheel my son’s hospital bed down the hallway and around the corner as they went to load him onto an ambulance to take him to a different hospital.

It had only been a couple of hours since we welcomed him into the world. It was all laughter and smiles in the OR that afternoon as the doctor joked that she was glad he was going home with us and not her because his screaming was loud and relentless. He weighed in at a whopping 8 pounds and 8 ounces. Healthy as a horse. Or so it appeared. We were in heaven. Brand new parents with the cutest and sweetest little guy that God had ever made.
The light of the day fell away quickly. It was just supposed to be a 4 hour observation in the NICU. Lots of C-section babies turn blue. It was no big deal. He would be back in my arms in no time. I, of course, was devastated. I wasn’t supposed to have a NICU baby. I had the perfect pregnancy. He was healthy and strong and beautiful. He didn’t belong in the NICU.
Josh went to check on him. He stayed gone too long. Something was wrong. I could feel it in my bones. Fear. He sat on the edge of my bed with tears on his face.
“Something is wrong with his heart.”
That was the moment that my entire life changed.
Sure. It had changed already. I became a mom that day. But this… this was a different kind of different. I was no longer a new mom celebrating the best day of my life. I was a new mom celebrating the worst one.
We sat with him in the NICU until the ambulance got there. I prayed over him and spoke scripture over him and my tears fell on his sweet face. I said goodbye. I didn’t know if I would ever see him again.
They pushed me in my wheelchair to the last possible point that they would let me go. I had already pushed all of the limits that they were comfortable with that day. I had just had a major surgery and I was their patient. They wouldn’t let me go outside with him. They pushed him around the corner and he was gone. And my heart was gone too.
That was it. That was the moment when I understood what it meant, the quote.

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Four years later I am a mom to two of the cutest sweetest little guys on the planet. Over time I adapted to the life of being a CHD mom. My son has CHD. I say it all the time. It’s usually met with “I’m so sorry,” to which I respond, “That’s ok. God’s big.”
It’s my normal. I don’t know any other life but mine.
On May 16th we’ll celebrate 4 years since Jack’s last OHS and 17 days until his next one.
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My little family has survived the extraordinary. Those moments that define your life. We’ve had more than our fair share already and we certainly have some more coming our way. I learned who I was in those moments. I learned what it means to be a mom in that hospital room.
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Being a mom means loving someone else more than you ever knew you could. It means giving more even when you have nothing left to give. It means crying. A lot. And it means JOY. So much joy.
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My story isn’t all about hospital beds and tears. Let me tell you about my joy.
Jack is now four years old and he is a thriving, wild, t-ball playing, outside-loving little boy who loves fiercely and brings light and joy to every room he enters. Last year Jack took on his biggest role yet when he became a big brother to Harrison who is a chunky little sweetie pie who smiles all the time and loves to play and laugh.
Being a mom to them means that I have joy every single day. I have fear and doubt and uncertainty but, hear me friend, I have JOY.
Jack uses this little silly voice when he talks to Harrison. He voices both sides of the conversation since Harrison can’t talk yet. It makes Harrison laugh and it makes my heart explode with happy hearts and butterflies because they love each other so much and I love them so much. JOY.
Harrison sleeps like a rock (something Jack has never done) and when he’s asleep for the night and Jack is getting ready for bed we sit down and read a Bible story and Jack looks at the pictures and tells me all about the story that we are learning about. He prays for our family and tells Jesus thank you and that he LOVES him. Joy.
Harrison smells like heaven. When he’s been a sleep for a while at night I go in and check on him. Recently he’s started sleeping on his tummy with his chubby little legs tucked up under him and his cute little bottom sticking up in the air. His curly hair will be wild all over his head and his face will be squished against his whale sheets and his breaths will be so quiet that they’re barely audible and I’ll just sit there and stare at him and thank God for him. Joy.
I was driving down the road last week and both boys were being super quiet so I turned my head to see what they were up to and they were just sitting in their car seats with their sweet little arms stretched out holding hands. Joy.
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Being a mom means I don’t ever sleep. I always have to share my food. My to-do list is 4 miles long and always growing. My laundry mountain is forever daunting. My floors are always dirty, even after I just cleaned them. My phone is always covered in a strange combination of chocolate, snot, and some other unknown substances. My mind is always worried. My heart is always full.
I look at my boys and my heart is overwhelmed with love for them. To think that the God of the universe loves me with the same ferocity that I love them. More even. And to know that He loves them even more than I do. There are no words.
God pours His grace out onto us mothers. We need it, believe me. But He blesses us with the ability to juggle the crazy and handle the fear. And He allows us the opportunity to love in the same capacity that He loves us. It’s exceptional to watch your heart walk around outside of your body. It truly is.

Crystal 3

Motherhood Series

I am so excited to share with you all a new post each day this week from one of my friends! I have asked some ladies to share their heart with you about their experience with motherhood.

With Mother’s Day approaching at the end of this week, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do a #MotherhoodSeries. Each day you get the opportunity to read about what being a Mom means to each of these wonderful ladies! So, tune in each day this week to get a glimpse of their stories!

Children are not a distraction

Blessed with Blessings

Earlier this week I was driving down the road with my littles in the backseat and started thinking about how truly blessed I am. This train of thought started as I replaying in my mind how Cam has started with all kinds of imaginative play throughout his days. He makes Buzz Lightyear fly around our living room, drives cars all down our hallway/entryway and over any wall near him, and likes to pretend he is a bear and scare people with his loud roar! It seriously is one of the best things to watch your child learn and grow and just wonder what is going through their precious mind. It is a true and complete blessing to be able to mother such wonderful children!

Then, I went further down that train of thought and became overwhelmed with just how wonderful it is to be a mother and get to experience life in a completely different way than I would if I wasn’t a mother. My second little, EmmaLee-Tyler, is just starting out in this world at 7 weeks old and I get to watch hit all the milestones Cam has already reached. I get to experience her rolling over, babbling, talking, crawling, and walking within this next year. It is always so fun and exciting to see my littles grow developmentally!

Life is so much more fun to me as a mom. Life is also more tiring and scary as I think about what my children will face in their lifetime. As a mother you wonder what type of personalities your children will have..will they be quiet and reserved or loud and outgoing? Will they be interested in science and math or take an interest in working with their hands? Will they want to be a preacher and a teacher or a doctor and a lawyer? Who knows except for the Lord! Also as a mother you don’t want your littles to have to face heartache or any danger. I pray that as long as they are in mine and my husband’s care that they will look to the Lord and us in times of uncertainty as that one of the blessings of being their parent.

I love being a mom and getting to watch my “blessings” grow and learn each day. I love getting to hear Cam learn new words, how to count, and how to color. I love getting to watch EmmaLee-Tyler smile, laugh, and roll over. I love having this feeling of being truly blessed my what the Lord has given me and two of my greatest blessings are most definitely my children!

Children are a blessing

 

EmmaLee-Tyler’s Birth Story

After the majority of my morning sickness subsided in the last trimester, the only complaint I had was not being able to sleep due to restless legs and just not being comfortable. Most nights I would only get about 3 hours of sleep at the max. My blood pressure was being managed pretty well with medicine. Then when I hit 36 weeks I started feeling bad just generally and my blood pressure was still high (really high) with my normal amount of medicine. I let my wonderful OB know and we ran some tests and then by the end of the week I was in the hospital being induced and anticipating the arrival of EmmaLee-Tyler.
We arrived to the hospital around 10:00 PM on Sunday, March 6th at 37 weeks 2 days to start the induction process. But before we left the house I had the honor of rocking my 19 month old son to sleep for the last time as an only child at home. It was truly a bittersweet moment and as I rocked him I was fighting back tears because as excited as I was for our family to become 4 people, I was nervous to how Cam would react to this big change in his life, how he would be spending the night away from us for the first time, and how I would handle taking care of 2 children. So, we get settled into our room and the nurses enter in all of my information and give me the meds to help start the laboring process and a mild sedative to help me rest. The plan was to give me meds every 3 hours and by the second dose I started having contractions, but thankfully the sedative did it’s job and allowed me to sleep more than I had been doing at home..even with multiple interruptions of sleep from the nurses. The third dose of meds really had me contracting at the time.
After I received the third dose they started my IV of pitocin to really make me contract and set on my labor of EmmaLee-Tyler. A couple of hours later my lovely and wonderful doctor came by and checked on me and broke my water. (When I had my water broke with Cam I didn’t feel anything or any sensations of the water because I already had my epidural so this was an interesting feeling.)
My pitocin was most definitely working and I contracted ALL DAY LONG! Another couple of hours after having my water broke I asked for my epidural. My epidural this time around compared to Cam’s was a completely different story. It was administered differently and I was able to feel and move my legs this time. I was re-dosed several times because of this. The medicine would work for about a good 15-30 minutes and then I would start feeling the contractions hardcore again. (It was weird and I don’t know what exactly happened like if I just metabolized it fast or something was wrong with how it was placed or what?)
I was progressing in my labor just a whole lot slower than anticipated by everyone, especially me. I went in with the goal of having her my lunch time. Boy was I wrong!!
My awesome nurse tried moving me in different positions to speed things along but to no avail. Miss EmmaLee-Tyler was quite comfortable where she was! Also, she had her head turned to the side so they tried turning her head several times, but she was a little stubborn like her big brother was and would turn it right back where she wanted it to be!
Speaking of Cam, he was in and out of the room throughout the day and each time he came in he asked, “Where’s baby?” Poor baby had been told several times that his sister was coming that day and he kept expecting to see her! He was champ and only had one meltdown when he had to leave that night to go home to eat, take a bath, and go to bed. It was really sad for this Mommy’s heart.
I stalled for a while around 8-9 cm dilated and we tried pushing a couple of times to see if I could get to where I needed to be to deliver. When it was 11:00 PM that day it looked like I wasn’t going to be having on her the 7th liked we thought she would be. (This was a running joke with us because of how long my labor was Cam and went into the next day, so every time someone told us that Em would be born on the 7th, Tim was quick to say to them to not guarantee us that because of our previous experience. Haha!!)
It was around 11:30 or after when I started feeling a lot of pressure and felt like I needed to start pushing. Tim went out to get the nurses and doctor to let them know what I was feeling. Sure enough it was •finally• time to get the show on the road. Like I mentioned earlier about my epidural not exactly working, it definitely wasn’t working at this point. Let’s just say that I felt everything and that’s the most pain I’ve ever had and want to ever experience in my life. I pushed for about 10-15 minutes. (I’m not exactly sure how long because everything was a blur.) It was all a blur of emotions, tears, pain, and joy!
At 11:58 PM EmmaLee-Tyler Jean Mathis made her grand appearance weighing 6 lb 10 oz and was 19.5 inches long! She was immediately placed on my chest and covered with blankets. What a wonderful and long-awaited moment to have with our baby girl! Tim was so happy and full of joy of meeting his daughter for the first time as tears streamed down his face.
Sidenote: Can I just say how thankful I am to have had my friend, Talia, who is a wonderful doctor deliver our baby girl?! We were so impressed with the nursing staff and how wonderful they were to me and EmmaLee-Tyler during our stay there.
I was able to do skin-to-skin with Em for about a hour before they had to take her to the nursery to check out her lungs and warm her up. We didn’t exactly know what was wrong with her until a few hours later when the pediatrician had to come and check on her and then explain everything.
Em had fluid in her lungs and wasn’t able to hold her body temperature where it needed to be. They said her lungs just needed some more time to mature and they needed to make sure she didn’t have pneumonia. She was placed under the oxy hood for a couple of days and to us the worst part of it all was that she wouldn’t get to eat anything during that time.
On Wednesday morning we were able to hold her for the first time since she was born that Monday night. It did our hearts so good to be able to wrap our arms around her little body. She started making improvements as soon as we were able to hold her. Her oxygen sats came up and stayed where they needed to be for the most part after that. That night I was able to nurse her!
Thursday was a day of all around improvement and she was moved out of the nursery to the room they were allowing me to stay in while she was a patient. Cam was able to meet his little sister for the first time that morning and able to hug and kiss her! It was so sweet to watch them interact. And on Friday morning we were finally able to come home as a family of four!! We were all so happy to get to do that and just settle into a routine and I was glad to be back in my own bed!
We want to thank everyone again for all of your prayers you prayed during that week for us and our girl! They were much felt by us and appreciated, too!

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Disney Trip 2016

We recently took a trip to Disney World and we had a blast! When we went last year, it was Tim’s very first time to go and experience all of the magic that Disney has! Ever since we left Disney World in 2015 he has been wanting to go back and so we quickly started planning when we would go again and saving all of our Disney Rewards. Tim’s mom, stepdad, and sister were able to go with us this time and it was his stepdad and sister’s first time to go to Disney World.

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Although Cam is still too young to remember his first 2 trips to Disney World we will remember his trips and how his face lit up seeing all of his favorite characters and watching the wonderful parades. During our last trip we didn’t get to watch the parades due to riding rides or not being in the park while they were going on, but this time we were able to catch a daytime and nighttime parade and Cam absolutely LOVED them! He got so excited to see the characters he knew!

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Cam also rode a few rides last time but this time he rode a lot of rides that he was big enough for in Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. We would walk by a ride and he would start saying, “Ride! Ride! Ride!” We rode the tea cups, carousel, Dumbo, Magic Carpets, and It’s a Small World with him. I think there might have been a few more he rode but some of the ones he rode multiple times due to no waiting times and fast passes!

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During our day in Magic Kingdom we obviously wore Cam out before lunch because as we were waiting to order our food at Be Our Guest he fell asleep and slept through our entire lunch in my arms. Speaking of Be Our Guest…this was something that was on my bucket list. 🙂 I tried and tried to get us reservations to eat there last time but wasn’t able to get them. BUT this time as soon as I could make reservations for restaurants I made them for Be Our Guest. Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my all-time favorite Disney movies and I wanted to eat in the castle! It was a great experience and great food! It was a definitely a dream come true/wish fulfilled!

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Another wish fulfilled for me was getting to satisfy my pregnancy cravings with multiple Dole whips! You guys…Dole whips are heavenly! I haven’t met anyone that has had one that hasn’t liked them!

The night after our day at Magic Kingdom was quite eventful and resulted with about 2 hours of sleep for me. We had a family suite that had multiple rooms for all of us to sleep. We put Cam to bed as normal in our room and about 2 hours later I hear “Momma, Momma! Momma, Momma!” coming from our room. I walk in the bedroom to Cam laying in the middle of the bed with vomit covering and surrounding my sweet little boy! {Sidenote: Cam has only thrown up one other time and it was in the car as I was driving down the road.}

Tim was in the shower and Cam was still half asleep and not crying about the situation at all. As Tim’s mom started stripping the bed, I take Cam to the bathroom and strip him and put him in the shower with Tim to wash him off and wash his hair. (This was quite an experience!)

We get new sheets on the bed and pillows and Cam continues to throw up every 30 minutes to 1 hour throughout the night until 5 AM. It was a rough night to say the least, but we made the best of it.

The next day was our Animal Kingdom day. We had already paid for tickets and had reservations for meals so I sent everyone else to Animal Kingdom until I knew for sure Cam could hold down food and wasn’t feeling too bad to ride in the stroller. We (Cam and I) joined everyone else around 10 AM that day after he had another bath, ate some breakfast, and had some gatorade to rehydrate him.

Cam was a little puny that day as he later had other stomach issues happen to him in the middle of meeting Mickey Mouse. (Yikes!)

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Our (Cam & I)  favorite part of that day was our safari ride and seeing all of the animals! Tim really enjoyed the roller coaster, Expedition Everest, from Animal Kingdom. We ate at Rainforest Cafe that night, which was one of our favorites from our last trip and Cam liked seeing all the “ah-ah”s (monkeys) when the rain would come in the restaurant.

Well, that about sums up our trip..other than the fact that everyone else got the stomach bug Cam had except Tim and his mom as we traveled home. (Lucky them!) Even with sickness going on we had an awesome time!

Until next time…

The Blessing of Our Baby Girl

It has been quite a while since I have last blogged, but life has gotten the best of me and I have a busy TODDLER to attend to during my days. There is a lot to catch up on since last June.

We now have an 18 month old little fella who is a ball of energy and so smart! It amazes me of what all he is learning right now. He tries to repeat back pretty much any word or phrase we ask him to. Most of the time though he still has his own little language going on. On of his favorite phrases to say is, “Let’s go!!” He is putting together three word phrases more and more and I know he will be speaking in full sentences before I know it! He loves to run and play outside, swing on the swings at the park, watch Toy Story (all 3 of them) and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, throw balls, look at any kind of pictures, watch videos of himself, throw things away for us in the trash can, and ride on things.

Cam has done so much growing since he turned one and I can’t believe his 2nd birthday is already closer than his 1st birthday!

Speaking of his 1st birthday, we found out we were expecting baby #2 the day before his birthday party! We are SO excited to welcome this new baby into our little family in March! Children are a BLESSING from the Lord and deserve to be celebrated like the blessing that they are!

We told all of our family and friends at Cam’s birthday party and let him be the one to share the news with everyone by him wearing a Big Brother shirt under his Woody western shirt.

The first trimester was rougher than it was with Cam as far as sickness goes. Cam made me super sick but EmmaLee-Tyler made me even more sick! Since I entered the second trimester in September of last year things have gotten much better. Tim was the real MVP during our first trimester as far as cleaning the house and helping even more with Cam, especially at night when I was utterly exhausted!

In October we found out that EmmaLee-Tyler was EmmaLee-Tyler! We both thought for sure we were having another boy because of my pregnancies being so similar to each other, but we were gloriously surprised to find out that there was a sweet little girl inside of me!

We have made sure to include Cam into everything during this pregnancy and want him to be as involved as he can be. He loves to kiss and pat my belly and talk to the baby. He likes to go into her room and go through Em’s things. He has been dying to open up her giraffe Wubanub (paci). Also, recently Cam thinks its so funny to walk around sticking his tummy out as far as he can as a way to be like me. 🙂

We are now anxiously awaiting her arrival next month and she truly is an added blessing to our family! We cannot wait to get to know her and see her personality shine. Her room is practically finished and I have her clothes washed and ready to go. Now, we just need a little girl to add to the fun in our house!

Here a few pictures to recap the past few months:

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