Life Lessons

“Life is not meant to be easy” I was told as a little girl, I didn’t believe it then but now I do. I think the reason life isn’t always easy is because if it were we would never be grateful. Life has good times and bad times for a reason. I’m learning to be grateful for the struggles and use them to propel me forward. Im learning that there is always something to be grateful for, even in the most painful or uncomfortable moments; like childbirth. I’m learning to choose contentment and joy over dwelling on my frustration and complaining when that’s what I feel like doing. I’m learning that what I feel like doing isn’t usually what I should be doing. I’m learning that God has a purpose for the pain we face in life. I’m learning to rely on the Holy Spirit every moment of every day. I’m learning to always wear love ❤️ and always forgive no matter how much it hurts. I’m learning to always be patient and always trust God. Like I said, I’m learning….

“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1-2‬ ‭MSG‬‬
http://bible.com/97/1pe.4.1-2.msg

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:2-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬
http://bible.com/111/jas.1.2-5.niv

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All the places I’ve nursed…

I am now a  mother of 3 children. I’ve nursed all 3 of them, as challenging as it can be at times, it is so worth it. I thought I’d write a post about all the places I’ve nursed my children.


I’ve nursed:

During a church service

In a doctor office waiting room while filling out paperwork 

In a doctor office waiting room while walking to stop a toddler from playing with the water cooler

While bathing my toddler

While walking 

While folding laundry

While eating 

While watching tv

While playing cards

While kissing my husband 

While doing my oldest daughter’s hair

While filing my nails

While making cards

In restaurants

At the park 

In the pool 

On a deck

My front porch 

At the mall

In my car 

At work 

In a hotel 

At relative’s houses

On a plane


Breastfeeding is amazing and worth all the effort; it begins a lifetime bond between a mother and her child and keeps them connected through the first days out of the womb and into the uncertainties of toddlerhood. The health benefits are tremendous for both mom and baby; such as preventing breast cancer and loosing baby weight for mom and the mom’s milk gives the baby exactly what he or she needs to grow and fight any sickness he or she has come in contact with. Breastfeeding helps me to stay in tuned with my baby and respond quickly to his needs. Safe cosleeping also helps us to nurse and sleep throughout the night. 

Breathe

Life has moments of joy and moments of sorrow

The bad ones can entangle us but the good ones we seem to borrow

When we face trials, we grow in character with a new hope for tomorrow 

I’m learning that gratitude is oh so powerful 

So breathe when life gets messy with a smile

God has a purpose for every trial

Two years ago


Two years ago, our second child would have been born. This week our miscarried son would be two years old. Instead we remember his existence, an unhappy ending to a pregnancy, and a lost child that is deeply missed. Time has helped heal our hurts but we still feel a sadness and longing for our child in our hearts. We are very grateful that God blessed us with a healthy pregnancy and we now have a 15 month old daughter. Her name is Journey and she truly is a champion! She is healthy, smart, sweet, and developmentally advanced. I cant’t imagine life without her. She brings us such joy every day. However, there are times when my heart still aches for the babies we lost. I wonder what they look like and act like in Heaven. Sometimes, I feel like part of me is missing. Having a tangible child has helped heal our hearts but she is not a replacement child. I know the other two babies have different spirits and I long to hold them close. I still feel like it’s my fault sometimes or I feel ashamed of what happened. I have to remind myself it isn’t my fault. I wish I could’ve done something to save their tiny lives but they were gone before I had a chance. Life in the beginning is so fragile. I am thinking of getting a tattoo in their memory and I’m not “a tattoo person”. I believe that this deep loss must’ve happened for a reason, that God would not waste the pain I experienced. I am thinking about starting a ministry to comfort mom’s who have experienced child loss through miscarriage. Any ideas? I need to find the courage to start something to help others in honor of Jordyn and Faith. My 7 year old daughter asks about Jordyn every week, sometimes we cry together or talk about how old he would be now or what we think he’s doing in Heaven. On a positive note, I am stronger after going through this loss and my heart is open to loving others more, especially other parents experiencing child loss. I’m praying God leads me to helping and comforting others who are going through what I went through two years ago. Remember, every life is a gift from God and every life has a purpose. 
Happy 2nd birthday Jordyn! 🎈 We love and miss you with all our hearts. ❤️

The Value of Time

Time is more valuable than money

You can always earn more dollars while it’s sunny

But time won’t always be around

That’s why we need to make the most of our time now

While it lasts

Because time goes by fast

Once the day is over

It’s gone forever

Spend your time carefully

And live in the present freely

Feeling and enjoying every moment

Because each one comes and goes

Before you know it

Surviving the Mommy Guilt

Surviving the Mommy Guilt

  

Every day I go to work I am faced with guilt; mommy guilt. I hear these words inside my head “you are not a good mother because you are away from them.” “You yelled at Jenny this weekend. Shame on you!” “She only gets so much time with you and instead of pouring into her life you got frustrated and angry with her.” Journey is growing so fast! She’s already 4 months old! I don’t want to miss anything. My heart just aches because I am away from them. I really want to be with my children but working is not harming them. They know I love them. I am providing for them. Jenny can do more activities and have more things because we are both working and can afford things we used to could not. We have a place to call home and we always have food in the fridge. We have clothes to wear on our backs and pampers for our babies bottom. As Pastor Denise said “it’s all in our perspective” How am I perceiving my place? God has given me two beautiful daughters to love and care for and he has given me a selfless husband who loves and provides for us. God has given me a full time job with health insurance and kind and respectful coworkers. God has given me my mother to take care of my children while I am away at work. What more could I ask for? This is a temporary season and I need to be grateful for every good thing. I need to enjoy the Journey because it won’t last forever. One day I will look back at the sleepless days and laugh. But until then I must move forward, I must learn to depend fully on God. Not only will he help me survive but he will help me thrive! 

When I hear those thoughts and feel the mommy guilt coming on, I must remind myself of all the things I am doing right, I must pat myself on the back and say “good job”. I played kitchen with Jenny and I watched her favorite movie with her for the 10th time. I bought her a special bracelet. I bought her a new Barbie and gave her and her sister a bath together. It was so sweet! No, I am not perfect but I am doing more things right than wrong. There is no condemnation in Christ so why I am condemning myself? I must learn to love and lift myself up as Christ wants me to. He will gently lead me as I parent my young. He gathers them like lambs in his arms. His mercy is enough to cover me in my frustrating crazy moments. His love will fill me with joy and renew my strength like an eagle as I rest in his presence. 

    

5 Benefits of Working away from Home

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Being a working mom is far from easy but some benefits are:

1). social interaction for mom

2). baby learns to trust other caregivers from an early age

3). mom enjoys her time with her child or children more because she has limited time with them

4). baby and kid are more likely to be a hard worker when they grow up

5). since both parents are working, the budget is (hopefully) more flexible and parents can afford to pay for extras like activities and toys

I know everyone has different opinions on whether or not mothers should work outside the home. Lots of moms, myself included would like to be stay at home mothers but cannot afford to in this modern society. I’m hoping this encourages all working mommies to keep doing their best to manage responsibilities at both home and work. I believe God will bless our efforts and the quality of time we spend with our families is more important than the quantity.

Motherhood is Messy

mygirls

Motherhood is messy

But it’s a blessing

Questions, your kids are always asking

Duties, you are always multi-tasking

Babies are crying

Kids are whining

You feel like pulling your hair out

But you keep trying

Learning to rely on God

He will lead you and applaud

Your hearts intension

To raise your kids to live for him

If you’ve been in pain

There is healing when you say his name

He gently leads those with young, even when you are feeling frustration

As a mother you are directly impacting the next generation

So beautiful mommies, don’t give up

Even when life gets tuff

God will lead you

As you follow

As our Family Grew

  I’m tired and messy 

She’s sleepy and fussy 

A beautiful little girl 

Has changed my whole world 

The first few weeks, there were many tears 

As we adjusted to having another baby that we would take care of for years 

Much joy resonates within us

As our family grew, so did our love 

Cultures & Colors

diversity

In the world are many cultures and colors

People don’t always accept each other

They may fear someone for being different

And hatred stems from the heart of it

But God has called us to love

When we persecute and make each other enemies, what does he think of us?

Let Love Inspire

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With divine inspiration from above

I’ve experienced joy and sadness, both brought on through love

The deep love of a mother begins but never ends

Even when she is gone

The fruits of her love will carry on

I’ve learned that when you are hurting

God can heal your heart through serving

Serving others is our purpose

Giving to others is a gift

For many blessings are brought on

When we put “love” on

This poem is dedicated to my sweet unborn heaven-bound babies, Jordyn & Faith Andrews

Written on March 17th, 2015 during a picnic at the park near my office.

Jennifer’s Frozen party

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Our daughter, Jennifer turned 6 on December 26th, 2014. We celebrated her birthday last Saturday to separate the occasion from the holidays. Since we are expecting a baby in April, we had a stricter budget this year. But that did not stop us from pulling off just as awesome a party as last year. I borrowed Christmas decorations that went with our winter wonderland theme from my relatives. I also bought decorations on clearance a few weeks after Christmas to decorate for the party and the really cool part is that we can re-purpose them next year to decorate for Christmas.

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I re-purposed a turquoise table cloth from last year’s mermaid theme party and added tule to it. For a party game, we played “Pin the Nose on Olaf”. I drew a poster size picture of Olaf and cut out orange triangle “noses” for the kids to tape on. The kids “built their own snowman” using giant marshmallows, chocolate chips, pretzel sticks, and icing to make them stick together. I gave the kids baggies to take it home so they would not consume too much sugar at once.

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We had the party between meal times, so for snacks we did a veggie tray, chips, and ranch dip. I also had snow covered (whipped cream) bananas for the kids to snack on. We made a “frozen punch” recipe I found at http://www.pinterest.com/pin/339951471847719040/ and we also had water available. 098081077

I learned a valuable lesson this year. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. I was fortunate to receive help from my mom, sisters, neighbor, and a close friend with the party details. The cake above was made by my friend, Autumn and I helped a little bit. It was vanilla and tasted so sweet with a light, airy texture. Jenny got to keep the Elsa doll too!

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The beautiful tutu dress she is wearing in the photo above was made by my neighbor, Destiny. What a thoughtful gift! One of my favorite parts of the party was when we all took turns complimenting Jennifer on how she’s grown up so far and the special little girl she is becoming. I read a poem I wrote when she was a baby. My hubby put together a slideshow of photos from her birth until now that played on the T.V. for guests to enjoy during the part. I made snow princess hair bows for the girl guests to wear during the party and take home as party favors.

"snow princess hair bow"

“snow princess hair bow”

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Overall, we had a fun Frozen themed birthday celebration for Jennifer’s 6th birthday and I know she felt special and loved by all of our friends and family.

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Happy Birthday Jennifer! Mommy loves you so much! You are my fearless, kind, funny, brave, and friendly little 6 year old. Soon to be a big sister too!

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Motherhood is a Journey

24 weeks

24 weeks

Motherhood is an incredible experience! Filled with joy, laughter, stress, sadness, disappointment, lack of sleep, and heart-warming moments. There is nothing I am more grateful for than my children. I love my first daughter, Jennifer so much that I can’t imagine a world without her. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my second, precious, unborn baby girl. We have decided to name her Journey. Her name is unique, beautiful, and signifies what her life means to us. It has been quite a journey to be able to have her in our lives, to have a healthy pregnancy that results with a healthy baby. We love her so much already and are very grateful for her, as well as the babies we lost in Heaven. Loosing them has made me extremely grateful for every life and even more so for Jennifer and Journey. This weekend we will be celebrating Jennifer’s 6th birthday. Wow! I can’t believe my baby girl has reached this milestone.

journeycross

When I was growing up, I only remember my parents throwing 2 or 3 birthday parties for me. I felt like I missed out on what other friends got to do on their birthdays. So, I realize that now as a parent I try to overcompensate by throwing extravagant parties for my child. The problem is that I don’t want to spoil her either. I want her to feel special and still be grateful. Has anyone else experienced this? Any ideas on how to bring balance?

Giving Brings Healing

When you are going through a difficult season and you feel like you are suffering, I want you to know that when you come out of this you will be stronger.

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After experiencing a great deal of loss and enduring much sadness this year, I can see that I have overcome so many obstacles. And even though I felt like giving up hope many times, I never lost my faith. A coworker was diagnosed with cancer about 6 months ago, and this woman inspires me. Do you want to know why? She brought me a Christmas gift and several others in the office. She is enduring a painful, scary season in her life and yet she is serving and giving to others. She inspires me because in spite of her own difficulties, she is grateful for life and she is making it count. I realize as she is inspiring me, that maybe I have inspired someone else through overcoming the tragedies and great sorrow I faced this year. The realization was that God used my husband and I to minister to children at our church as we were suffering through two miscarriages this year. I see now that the opportunity to serve others in spite of my pain was a gift from God. God taught me to trust and rely on him completely through these tragedies. He brought me inward healing as I chose not to focus on myself and my circumstances, and as I served and loved others, the healing came. His peace and joy were with me throughout every tearful moment. And now, the answer to my prayer has come. I am 22 weeks pregnant with our 2nd child. We are so grateful! I will always love and remember our 2 babies in Heaven, Jordyn and Faith. I know I will see and hold them close one day. Another thing I am grateful for through these tragedies is that now I can relate to other mothers suffering loss on a deeper level. God can use me to minister to them because of our shared experience.

Romans 5:3

“We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience.”

I truly feel that God has created all of us to love each other.

When I do something for someone else, I experience the most amazing inward feeling. Giving truly is better than receiving. It is my prayer that I would teach this valuable principal to my children and children’s children, so that they would fulfill God’s purpose for their lives and experience the most fulfilling feeling in the world!

1 Peter 1:3-9

“3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In God’s great mercy he has caused us to be born again into a living hope, because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Now we hope for the blessings God has for his children. These blessings, which cannot be destroyed or be spoiled or lose their beauty, are kept in heaven for you. God’s power protects you through your faith until salvation is shown to you at the end of time. This makes you very happy, even though now for a short time different kinds of troubles may make you sad. These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you. You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be explained, a joy full of glory. And you are receiving the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls.”

5 Things not to do when you’re pregnant

cleaning

1). Vacuuming the inside of your car

It’s exhausting trying to maneuver the hose with your belly and being naturally out of balance!  Doing this activity took all my energy. So, I suggest you have your partner do it or pay to have it done.

2). Scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees

I almost got stuck underneath my dining room table after trying to scrub the floor under there. What would I do if no one was around to help me up?

3). Picking up your 5 year old

This may seem fine when your child falls asleep in the car and all you can think about is going to sleep too so you try to carry her in and not wake her before putting her in her bed. But trust me, it doesn’t work. By the time you get to the door, its impossible to open it with a large child in your arms and in order to avoid dropping her, you must put her on the ground which will wake her up! Your body will still ache from lifting the weight and you will have to put your child back to bed. Next time get your hubby or masculine neighbor to help carry her inside. Then you will at least be able to open the door.

4). Eating beans

Don’t do it! It’s hard enough not to pas gas in public since you have a life growing inside you. “Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart. The more you eat, the more you fart!” Eating beans will make you fart and you will surely embarrass your self!

5). Wearing high heels

Beauty is pain, sister but when you’re pregnant, you should get a pass for this. It’s so easy to fall because you are off balance in pregnancy and wearing heels could likely cause you to fall even more easily. Invest in some cute ballet flats!

HEELS