Wife. Mama. Amateur Cook. Pretend Sewer. Novice To All Things Domestic.

Intentional Parenting.

Posted on: Wednesday, September 11, 2013

 

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Parenting has been on my mind constantly. More so, intentional parenting.

It’s what I think about when I close my eyes at night and the first thing I am praying over in the morning.

I think the urgency to “figure it out” heightens as Corbin becomes more and more independent. He isn’t a baby that I can just pick up and carry away from dangers way; he doesn’t just sit contently in the middle of his play mat anymore- he is everywhere and touches demolishes everything.

As Corbin is learning to speak, to wiggle out of my arms and run down the hall giggling as I call his name; the wheels are turning in my head as well. I am learning. I am growing with him.

I am desperate to do right by him. Absolutely desperate.

I understand that I can not be a perfect parent. I can tell you a million ways I feel I have already failed him. Yet, that beautiful little face smiles up at me time and time again with outstretched arms-  palms up- making his signature “I don’t know” gesture waiting for me to wrap his little body around mine.

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People say the love for a child is just a small glimpse of the love God has for us. Incredible.

My love for my son leaves me absolutely incapacitated at times- the fears I walk through for his little life, the excitement that bubbles inside when he is so caught up in the moment with his head thrown back and that laugh, you know it, the toddler laugh that puts all other laughs to shame. The excitement is equivalent to the pride I feel when he walks through something alone- when I stand back and let him figure something out for himself.

Jame’s Dobson’s “Dare to Discipline” was suggested to us. It is proving to be a good read with solid theories and principles. I will write a more detailed review when I finish it.

One thought that the book harps on is a child’s constant questioning as to who is in charge. Though they are not verbalizing this question, it is being asked through their actions. I see this in my son. As I tell him not to throw his food on the floor and he looks down at his plate and back up at me with a smile in his eyes as he launches sweet potato across the room. We are there, folks.

For me, there is still a fine, sometimes indiscernible line between a child being defiant and him being a curious toddler. “What will happen if I do this even though mommy obviously doesn’t approve?” Constantly pushing and testing his environment.

I’ll be the first to admit I have no idea what I am doing. The desire to love and shower my baby with affection comes so natural to me. But the whys behind disciplining, the knowing when and how, these are all foreign concepts to me.

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I want to be the fun mom who allows her children to explore, who doesn’t scold constantly, who is respected but also known to laugh at the little things.

This approach may seem easy to others. I don’t remember the joking over little things as I was growing up- it may have happened, but my brain tends to remember the constant nagging and frustration that followed a mistake or act of defiance on my end.

I don’t want to sweat the little things. (The book is on my bedside table, ha. I am working on it.)

When I made the transition from pondering about my parenting to allowing the fear and anxiety to consume me, God showed up.

We walked into church on Sunday and into a new series on family. It was an introduction on the weeks to come- with a little more emphasis on the role of Christian parents in the rearing of their children. At one point, my pastor became emotional while demonstrating the nightly prayer he says over each of his daughters as he tucks them in.

He was intentional about the importance of blessing your children in this way.

I am lucky to be surrounded by people that have the same desires for their children as we do & want to support us as we walk through this parenting journey.

Be thou my vision.

 

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Posted on: Tuesday, September 10, 2013

So, I was nominated for the Liebster Award. This is my first time doing a linkup like this so I am sure to screw it up royally, but here goes nothing. Thanks for finding & including me, Katie! You can find her fun blog here!

This is what they told me – seems I can be a bit of a follower.

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What is the Liebster Award you ask?
It’s just a fun way of finding new blogs and connecting with other bloggers.
If nominated you need to do a blog post with the following:
1. Accepting the award
2. Answer the questions set by the blogger who nominated you.  (comment on your nominators blog with your blog link)
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers for the award and comment on their blog letting them know they’ve been nominated.
4. Set 11 questions of your own for the nominees to answer.
5. Place the Liebster Award Badge on your post.
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liebster
badge. done.
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now for the fun.
1. Why do you blog?
to share my story. to connect with other people in an effort to learn, grow, help. to fill and be filled.
to feel the void that comes with being a stay at home mom- i want to contribute to society, be apart of the real world.
2. What do you order when going to a coffee shop?
morning- Americano with a splash of cream and one Splenda.
afternoon- 2 shots of espresso on ice with a splash of cream and one Splenda.
(keeps the calories in check and you still get the boost! plus, it makes me feel like a bonafide coffee drinker.)
3. What is your favorite current TV show?
LOST! we just started the series on Netflix and I am loving it.
But am superrrr excited for Greys and New Girl to come back this month.
4. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
wine country.
5. What is one of your biggest dreams?
to use my story to help another.
6. Are you a cold or warm weather person?
warm – with a tall glass of ice water on the side.
7. Introvert or Extrovert?
extrovert.
8. Favorite thing to do on the weekends?
spend full days with both of my boys!
9. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
i have these ridiculously long legs that i hatedddd growing up (think 8th grade dance and boys that barely hit your shoulder). but now that i am a mom and have gained some poundage, they really help give the illusion that im not so big.
10. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
meat and potatoes. oh, not the right answer? granola and greek yogurt for sure. ;)
11. What is your go to outfit for a lazy day?
in the house- robe.
out of the house- cut off high-waisted jean shorts and a Target tee. rainbows or toms.
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Now, off to find 11 other newish bloggers. If I nominate you and you feel like playing, comment on this post so I can read :)
My Questions:
1. First thing you wash in the shower?
2. How are you feeling RIGHT now?
3. Do you own a gun?
4. Why do you blog?
5. What is your favorite restaurant?
6. What is the your signature Thanksgiving dish?
7. Do you struggle with finding a balance between blogging and staying connected with the real world?
8. How many times do you post a week?
9. What song describes you overall?
10. Go-to comfort food?
11. Dream trip?
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Stroke – Part 1.

Posted on: Wednesday, September 4, 2013

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 circa ’97 – my memory pretends my parents house was decorated a lot cooler than pictures show.

 

I have been blessed in my adult life with two women who I call “mom”.

I know what it is like to have a healthy relationship with a parent and an unhealthy one.

One entered my life for the second time when I was 19. Even after I resisted her attempts, she refused to leave. She saw through my walls and knew that under my rough exterior was a girl who needed love and family. This post isn’t about her.

This post is about the woman who brought me into this world.

My mom has never been a constant in my life for more than a few years at a time.

She has struggled with addiction longer than she hasn’t.

I remember when I was young looking up at my mom while she got ready and thinking she was the most beautiful woman in the world… don’t all little girls do this? I wanted so badly to look just like her when I grew up.

When I try to remember my early childhood, my memories are usually a haze of chaos.

My maternal grandmother played a large role in raising my sisters and me.

Child services got involved during my early elementary years and life was really scary and hard for a first grader.

But then from second grade to sixth grade, life was good.

My mom was sober. Our days were full of laughs and our nights were calm.

Sometimes I think those few years of happiness makes it that much harder to accept the realities of today.

When I became a teenager, things got bad again.

My mom lost all parental rights when I was in the seventh grade.

At 15, I left my grandma’s home for good. I moved in with a guy that quickly became my closest friend and only real family for a good five years of my life.

At 17, my grandma took her life. My little sister, Brooke, moved in with us. The three of us grieved together, struggled together, survived together.

My mom wasn’t there.

She isn’t a bad person. I believe that she loves me the best way she knows how.

My husband met my mom three times before November 2012. Corbin met her once.

She was sober for one of those visits.

Two weeks before Thanksgiving, on a Sunday, my sister called and said she thought our mom had a stroke. Mike, my youngest sister’s father and the man I knew as dad growing up, had found my mom unresponsive.

Corbin was sick and hadn’t broken his fever yet. I had planned on cuddling him all day long.

My mom was taken to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.  She remained unresponsive.

I have a friend who is a neurologist and happened to work at Mayo at the time. She was able to look at the CT scans for me in order to relay whether or not it was a true stroke and if we should come up.

I can still hear the tone of her voice as she said it was bad and that we needed to be there.

My two younger sisters and I were on the road within an hour.

She was three days post laparoscopic ACLS repair – a simple in and out knee surgery.

She had thrown a clot that was still lodged in the left hemisphere of her brain.

When we got there, she still hadn’t woken up.

 

land of the free.

Posted on: Wednesday, September 4, 2013


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I found this fun, festive cake tutorial here.

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Sometimes I complain. About really insignificant things.

It’s embarrassing to admit.

Often in the middle of a rant, I catch myself.. and immediately I am overcome with shame as I feel my face grow hot.

What a life I live as an American woman.

I don’t pretend to comprehend all of the heart aches of this world.

I don’t understand why people make some of the choices they do- in our country and in others.

We live in scary times. Are they scarier than the times before us? Or is the media just more readily able to publicize the evils of this world?

I have been asked (and often wondered myself) by many friends if I feel it is wrong to want to bring children into such a cruel world?

I desperately want to grow my family and believe that is what God wants for my life.

I cant allow myself to live in fear of what could potentially come. I can only be aware and hand my fear over to Him as I walk through it. This is easier said than done- this is a continuing process in my daily life. I hand something over and then catch myself thinking obsessing about it a little while later only to stop and hand it over again- luckily, I have a God who knows my heart and loves me even when I don’t understand.

 

 

Couples Wedding Shower.

Posted on: Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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My little sister, Brooke, just got married. She had the most beautiful, DIY, outdoors wedding. I cant wait to share pictures!

These are pictures from the couples shower we threw for them a few months ago.

It was a lot of fun crafting and cooking for and the day couldn’t have been better.

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Brooke and our mom, Leslie

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Some of my beautiful family

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A more realistic depiction of us

My family is made up of very little blood relation. We are mostly hand picked. We came together during different seasons in our lives and have blended so perfectly. These people are my greatest friends and I can not imagine my life without each of them.

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 My little brother, Alexander, was granted a weekend visit home from the Airforce Academy and our like sister and one of Brooke’s bridesmaids, Ashley, was able to fly home for the weekend, too!

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Corbin’s Poppy & Grandma Denise

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my new brother in law, Tyler

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The day I locked my baby in the car.

Posted on: Saturday, August 24, 2013

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that time was this past wednesday.

it has to be every drivers worst nightmare.

and it not only happened to one parent, but both craig and i, in the exact same moment.

ten minutes prior i had been pulling out ingredients for supper and staring at the defrosted chicken in the sink thinking “i reallyyyyyy don’t want to cook tonight”- which led to an impromptu trip up the road to our favorite family owned fish & chips restaurant.

we pulled into the parking lot, i pushed off the ignition button & we climbed out of the vehicle.

i can still hear both of our car doors slamming shut simultaneously as i stepped towards corbin’s door to let him out. that’s when i heard it- a noise that has now topped my list of worst noises- the locks engaging on the vehicle.

i tried to open corbins door. “it’s locked!” again i jerked at the handle. again. again.

you see, our car has a push button start so i almost never physically have my keys in hand. i knew exactly where they were; in the side pocket of corbin’s diaper bag, in the floor board of the backseat.

panic set in immediately. i like to imagine that the urgency i feel with everything concerning my baby is all just a part of first time mom syndrome and that this is not really my forever reaction to life events.

craig rushed into the jewelry store that our friends own and had someone zipping him out of the parking lot in less than a minute in search of a spare key and/or hammer.

i called 911- while waiting for them, i made silly faces and sang ‘if youre happy and you know it’ 547384x while i watched the beads of sweat continue to build on his little face.

my constant thought throughout the entire event was “how long is TOO long?” how do you know how much time in a hot, locked vehicle is too much for a baby?

two police cars arrived fairly quickly. a fire truck showed up.

fifteen minutes in, corbin started crying. when you are walking through a fearful situation that has to do with your childs safety and happiness, this all encompassing mom guilt sets in.

i walk through mom guilt a lot. some warranted and some stemming from my own insecurities and self doubt.

this wasn’t one of those times. my baby needed me. he needed out of that car. now.

“break the window! just break it. it’s been too long!” i could feel the hot tears sliding down my cheeks underneath the rims of my sunglasses.

it didn’t take long for them to break the window after they realized that mom and baby were now hysterical. i can still feel myself wrapping his little body in my arms and squeezing. his blonde curls were dripping sweat. the firefighters wanted to look at him to make sure he was ok- letting go of his wet, hot little body for just a second was almost unbearable.

“he is perfect, mam. cute little boy.”

within a few minutes, my little family and i were left standing alone in the parking lot as if none of it had ever happened.

this is a fairly common story.  a lot of parents accidentally lock their kids in the car. but it is just so paralyzing when it happens to you.

there’s something to be said about the anxiety you experience when you feel that helpless- even in a controlled situation, where we knew that push come to shove, we could have our baby in our arms in seconds.

those seemingly simple moments that rock us to our core when no one else is phased.. those are the reality checks that cause gratitude to overwhelm you as you catch yourself checking the baby monitor a few extra times in the middle of the night.

thankful for health and life.

 

 

c’s last year as a twenty-something.

Posted on: Friday, August 23, 2013

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photo by www.beccaborge.com

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the man of the blog turns 29 today!

this guy deserves the moon- he is such a great dad and husband.

he works so hard for us and does so willingly.

he is genuinely funny and his personality is the thing that i fell in love with first.

he loves me when i am un-lovable, he carries me when i need to be carried, and he celebrates his family daily.

if you are a parent, you have experienced wanting the people in your life to love your child as you do. to cherish them. this man cherishes his son so intensely. the way he looks at corbin with absolute adoration brings me to my knees in gratitude.

happy birthday, c. we love you so.

why i blog.

Posted on: Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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I have a story to share.

It is long. It is a rollercoaster of emotions. It will take time.

It is sad and happy; but most importantly, hopeful.

If I didn’t live the life I do today (one that most would liken to a fairytale) then I don’t know how willing I would have been to share the rest.

It is hard to be vulnerable- to open yourself up to judgment and criticism.

I believe everyone has a story to tell. Whether that story is big or small, everyone has an impact on this world.

I am choosing to share mine via this small space.

I hope this space will one day prove to be the best documented story of our lives to my children and husband- so that they can look back and see how insanely in love with them I am.

I also hope this space is a place that provides hope and inspiration to those who need it… because I have also been in need- many times.

My story is a bit different than most blogs that I have been drawn to.

Mine starts from much further below what most would consider their rock bottom. I could never have imagined being blessed the way I am today and hopefully there is inspiration in my story to the people out there that cant seem to envision a way out.

I started reading wife and mom blogs around the time I started nursing school- the fall of 2010.

As I was walking through my first year of marriage, I became engrossed with other wives stories.

When I became pregnant the semester before the hardest courses of my training, mom blogs became a crucial crutch in my mental stability.

After I chose to leave my career as a cardiac nurse three months in to stay with my sick baby, I realized that I needed a place to be a part of.

I found myself here.

 

 

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