NOT TODAY

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Life is an oxymoron. It’s rough, tough, crazy, wild, sad, lonely, discouraging. At the same time, it’s easy, fun, chill, happy, full of love, family, friends and laughter, encouraging and hopeful.

However, lately I have been feeling discouraged.  I hate discouragement!

I know that success doesn’t happen over night. It takes time, it takes hard work and it takes perseverance. The perseverance is the part that gets me.

I wrote a post not too long ago entitled “Don’t Be Cheap,” and while the particular example I spoke on was about fitness, it also applies to other areas of my life as well. Over the last few years, I’ve started out on a couple of ventures, only to give up half-way through, out of discouragement and feeling like I wasn’t any good at it; so why keep going?

Regardless of what it is, Sam was and always is in my corner. He told me recently that I keep starting things but never get anywhere with them. He didn’t say it in a mean or discouraging way, rather he wanted to encourage me to really stick to one and go after it. I gave a million excuses as to why I dropped it and moved on to another subject.  That was maybe two or three months ago, yet it has been replaying in my head.

For much of my life, I’ve struggled with insecurity.  Over the years, the insecurities have morphed and changed from one thing to another, and lately I’m insecure in my talents and abilities. One of them is, I fear that I’m not good enough in my writing and that’s why I hardly get any readers, and the book that I’m working on, won’t get picked up because it’ll suck…with thoughts and feelings like that, it’s easy to feel discouraged, right?

Oh, but then, I remember that there is a liar and he goes by the name of devil. The father of lies, and he’s been whispering in my ear telling me all these things. You’ll never be a good writer. Your blog sucks. Your book will suck. No one will read it, etc., etc. But no, not today Satan! NOT TODAY!

When we don’t give our worries/fears/anxieties to the Lord, it leaves room for the devil to stick his nose in our life and release feelings of insecurity, fear and doubt. He loves discouraging us and stopping us from reaching our full potential in whatever it is we’re trying to accomplish.

BUT, God wants us to be successful! He wants to see us flourish and go after our goals. He wants us to use our talents, our voices, our abilities to go out and do whatever it is we have set out to do. Sometimes we will fail, but we get back up and try again. Fail and try again. Fail and try again. Fail and try something new. Fail and change our approach. Fail and then finally succeed. Sometimes we succeed after the first try. The point is no matter how many times we fail or how long the journey takes, we will succeed.

I cannot allow the devil to have any wiggle room, and Jesus tells us that DAILY we must give Him ALL of our worries. I don’t do it daily and that’s when I feel the most discouraged, on the days when my hope and my trust hasn’t been put in the Lord.

So, I guess, what I’m trying to get at is that life truly is like a rollercoaster. BUT when we set our focus on allowing God to take full control, putting our faith and trust that He wants and knows what’s best for us, we will be more encouraged than discouraged to persevere. Honestly, there are always going to be people that are better at what we do than us, but we can’t let that stop us. I can’t let that stop me, because there is always room and time to grow and get better.

My friend, or anyone who is reading this, be encouraged. Persevere and trust that God’s got your back! He’ll always see us through as we keep pressing on, but if we give up we’ll never get anywhere and we’ll always have a cloud of discouragement over our heads.

“Tell the devil NO, NOT TODAY!”

Time

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For the next 18 years, we will have first days of schools; and I can’t wait to capture that smile every time, yes even when she goes off to her first day of college! She just started in Pre-K 3, and although she’s only going three days a week, there’s so much excitement in that little girl, with the big heart, big smile and out of this world personality! I absolutely love her enthusiasm for learning; she started asking about school when she was only two years old, seriously! It reminds me of the excitement I felt every year for my first days of school.

I vividly remember waking up super early, getting dressed and sitting on the couch, waiting for my mom to wake up and bring me to school.  She has that same excitement, maybe even a little more and I love it!

She just finished her first week and today started her second week.  Already, she has made friends and talks my ears off with how much fun she had at school! I want to remember these conversations. I want to engrain them forever in my mind to replay over and over. I want to remember the sound of her voice as she tells me everything she’s learned, because time doesn’t stop.

Sometimes, I wish I had the super power to stop it, rewind and replay these tender moments with not just Ava, but with all four of us! Oh, if only I could! I feel like just yesterday, Sam and I were bringing home these two little tiny humans, and just like that, they’re growing into fierce, bubbly, sweet and sometimes sour girls!

Our days go by so fast, some days are tougher and rougher than others, and there are days when I let the frustrations of the day get the best of me. While they’re throwing a tantrum, sometimes I boil up and yell in anger…and I forget that my girls are still little.  They’re still learning and growing. They’re still discovering their emotions, and I need to be there for them. I need to help them work through THEIR frustrations, and not get frustrated at them.

Some days I want to give myself a high five, because I calmly corrected them and successfully disciplined them without being angry. Other days I do it all wrong! However, in those times, I quickly feel conviction and bring myself back down to Earth. I remember:

“…You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.” James 1:19 

My daughters are watching me, observing me, hearing me and copying the things I say and do. I want to set the right example for them and love them tenderly and reflect Jesus on them. They are young, and so are Sam and I in our parenting. We are all growing and learning together and I want to make the most out of the time that we have. Time is fleeting, and they’ll never be this little again. I don’t want to take anymore moments for granted and soak in the things they do and who they are!

My prayer is that we will be the parents that they need us to be. That we would show them how to walk with the Lord and how to love not just each other, but everyone else around them.

I pray that while Ava is in school, she is a light and is showing love to her classmates and my prayer will be the same for Addi when her time comes. As kids, we learn and are molded into the adults we are, by watching our parents and I don’t want to let them down. I know at times I will, because we’re not perfect, however, I’m trying my darn hardest!

Every day, my prayer is: “Jesus, be my portion!” I can only be successful if He is the source of my strength and the focus of my heart and life! I can only be the mother my girls need if He is my number ONE. With that said, I feel so blessed He chose me and has entrusted ME to raise these two beauties! So I want to do it right, and enjoy each and every moment!

The hood called parent

Processed with VSCO with t1 presetThere’s a fine line as parents, that we teeter when it comes to giving our kids the things we wish we had as children. At least, my husband and I have that struggle. Growing up, my parents worked hard just to provide the basic things for my siblings and I, and while we weren’t on government assistance like my husband and his siblings, it was still a struggle for my parents to make sure a meal wasn’t missed.

I still remember the different places we lived, starting when I was five years old, and back then in my innocence, I didn’t know that we were “poor” in US standards. You don’t know you’re “poor” until you’re old enough to understand why you need a job and how money works… at least not back when we were kids. I think kids today know way too much, way too young but that’s a story for another day!

While I wished to have all the Barbie’s and the accessories that come along with them, my parents would simply say, “maybe one day, but not today.” My parents were stern and strict parents, however, I know that they really did wish to give my siblings and me certain things that we’d ask for; be it for our birthdays or holidays, and there were times that we would get one special wish list item and it’d light up our year!

I remember one year my mom told us that we could start a savings jar for a trip to Disney one day, and for years we’d put any and all spare change into that jar. However, every time it filled up, something needed fixing and there went that dream. We’d start over and over and over. In the meantime, we’d go on weekend trips to the beach and that made us so happy, it still does lol. I love the beach and I hold lots of great memories of vacations there as a kid! (I just wish Sam loved it as much as me and we’d be there more than just 2 days a year! lol)

Finally, when I was 15 years old, my parents surprised me with a trip to Disney World (at this point my brother had gone off to the Navy), so it was a special birthday trip for me. I know how much hard work and saving up my parents had to do to take me and for that I am so thankful!

Fast forward  13 years and my husband and I have taken our girls to Disney World since they were infants. We will be there in a month from now and I just can’t help but think that they won’t feel the same excitement that I felt when they’re 15 years old… or maybe they will, who knows? time will tell…When what felt like my whole life, that was one of the things I wanted the most… of course what so many kids dream of, meeting those two cute big-eared mice!

That’s our struggle, we want them to know and appreciate what hard work looks like and that they are blessed to have the life they have. The fact that they won’t know the struggle we knew; I am so thankful for that! I’m thankful that they will not grow up in a house with financial struggle, not very many people get to see that or know that. I’m thankful that God blesses us day after day, year after year and I know that we are only where we are by His grace, love and mercy over us!

My prayer is that we teach our girls to be thankful for everything. To not be spoiled, though I want to spoil them. I put into practice telling them “no” already when they ask for things. I tell them that they can’t always get what they want, but will always have what they need…even at their little ages of 3 and 1. I don’t want to give them everything just because we can spare the extra expense, it’s a struggle, but important.

One of the things that God constantly reminds me of is being a good steward. A good steward financially, spiritually, physically and a good steward of the two most precious little lives He’s entrusted us with! Oh, they are my heart and even through the ups and downs of parenting, I know that God’s purpose and plan for their lives is something out of this world! I know that they will be world changers and a light. They’re forces to be reckoned with and He’s given us the task to make sure that they’re led through the right path.

I’m constantly praying for God to give me the wisdom and knowledge to be the mother  that they need me to be and I don’t want to let Him down and I don’t want to let them down. I know that at times I will, however, through God and with God we can move mountains!

Daily, I pray for Him to be my portion, to give me patience, to give me wisdom in disciplining them, in teaching them and loving them. Parenting isn’t easy, it isn’t always fun, but in teaching them we also learn and grow along with them. Hopefully, that line becomes easier to balance as we continue in the journey of parenthood!

Don’t Be Cheap

F3364ADC-F000-4854-9E87-3F2C91C6752A.jpgI’m sure we’ve all heard the expression, “talk is cheap.”  And it’s so true! Talk really is cheap, we can say a lot of things  but never really follow through with our actions.

I’ll be the first to say that there are times when I say I’ll do something and I don’t actually do it. I pull out every excuse in the book as to why.

I’ll use my kids as an excuse. “I’m tired.” “I don’t have time.” “I already made plans.” “I won’t do well at it, so why bother?”  And the list can go on and on.

Am I the only one? Yes… no… maybe?

Anyway, this year both my husband and I have really tried to be more intentional with what we say we want to do. Since we’ve been married, every December we sit down and write out our goals for the following year and talk about the goals we had for the ending year. What did/didn’t we accomplish and if we didn’t let’s add it to next year’s list and get it done…or at least try to.

For the first few years, we would check off somethings but others would be left unchecked and added again to next year in hopes that maybe this time we would actually do it! We’d say: “ok, well let’s keep that in our goals to accomplish, but let’s really do it this time!”

One of the goals that we’d talk about every year but could never seem to check off, had to do with getting in shape. We would start the year off right, but one or two months into it, we’d give up, kind of eat healthy-ish and go to the gym or work out like twice a week, then complain come summer that we’re unhappy with our physique. This happened for about two years straight!

Finally, in September/October of 2014, we mustered up courage, put on our game faces, found motivation and really started doing the thing! We both hit our fitness goals hard and about 6 months later, we did it! We accomplished our fitness goals and we did a hypothetical happy dance.

About a month into me being at my goal, I found out I was pregnant with our second daughter. *So, for most of us, being pregnant = turning into little miss piggy! haha I swore to myself I wouldn’t let myself get too crazy, and for the most part I did really well, but it’s the last month of pregnancy that gets me! That’s where I gained 30 more pounds!!*         -Oh my gosh, actually typing that out is crazy!-

Also, for most men, it’s hard to stay motivated and fit when your wife’s pregnant and wants poboys, donuts, beignets and ice cream all the time, so I kind of brought him down with me! (I’M SORRY, I’M TERRIBLE)! We entered into a schlump again (is that how you spell schlump)? Is it even a word? oh well… Anyway, we ended 2015 and had to hit the reset button and we’d been on and off all of 2016 with getting fit again.

So, here we are halfway through 2017 and one of our goals again, is our health and fitness. (which by the way, we are sticking to it and getting it done again, yay)! We found motivation through famous fitness bloggers/youtubers, motivational speakers, successful and well known entrepreneurs and a couple of our friends, to really put our best foot forward and change not just our physical selves but our way of thinking as well.

Sam and I have always wanted to be successful and excel at the things we put our minds and hearts to, whether those things work out or not, we could at least say “hey, we gave it our best shot and TRIED. We didn’t just talk the talk, but we walked the walk.”

Throughout our marriage, there have been lots of things that I personally have started and stopped, be it because of lack of motivation, self-doubt, or just plain excuses. I don’t want my words to be cheap… I want to follow through and get stuff done. We both have lots of exciting projects going on with our music and with my writing and we are walking in obedience to the Lord with the songs and words He’s placed in our hearts. We’ll see where they land us and keep striving to be the best version of ourselves and teach our daughters how to work hard and follow through with goals, talents and dreams.

I hope that you’ve found encouragement and go for those goals you’ve been putting off. Don’t be “cheap…” get them done and in the words of Nike, “JUST DO IT!” Surround yourself with people that encourage you and motivate you to accomplish your goals.

Lost Baggage

“Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love…”

Micah 7:19-20

Does anyone besides me have a suitcase filled with things that may look like: anxiety, depression, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, hatred, anger, jealousy, etc.?

Despite knowing that Jesus paid the ultimate price, forgave our sins and even blots them out of his mind, never to be remembered again (Is. 43:25), why do we still carry around our baggage?

Inside of my suitcase, you’ll find anxiety, not feeling “good enough” and uncared for.  Those are the main things in my life that are a constant struggle to let go of. I carry them around like a purse, and honestly, I didn’t start to feel the weight of them until recently.

I want to say that it all started one or two weeks ago while working out at the gym.  When I go into the gym, the only thing I take with me is my water bottle, keys and my phone for the music. I jump on the treadmill, elliptical or the stair master and I begin my workout. Now, I’m a wife and a mom, so I’m always busy cleaning up, cooking, and running after the girls and I rarely get time to myself, and the gym is one of the few times where I am alone and can de-stress and rid my mind of whatever.

On my recent trips to the gym, I have started to feel like there is a bag at the foot of whatever machine I’m on. It may sound weird or crazy, but I literally look behind me and check to see if maybe I did bring my purse with me, somehow, and just dropped it on the floor. Obviously, nothing is there and it bothers me, because the whole time I’m working out I feel the weight of it. I get the urge to pick up this invisible bag and throw it across the gym… like leave me alone!

I don’t know if it’s just me, but a lot of times, the gym is where I can let out frustration and any stresses of the day. The last thing I need or want is the feeling of a lingering bag full of stress that is right behind me!

Finally, last night I was like “Ok, God. What is this? What’s going on? What are you trying to tell me?” I said this all in my head because I didn’t want to look like a crazy person talking to myself in a gym packed with people… don’t judge me! Then I clearly felt Him shine a light on the fact that it was my baggage… my anxiety, my feeling of unworthiness and feeling of being uncared for.

This week has been kind of a rough one on me. There have been many things that have caused a great deal of anxiety in me.

Philippians 4:6 says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

and

1 Peter 5:7 says: “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.” 

And, I haven’t done either of those things… I’ve been carrying the weight of my own sins, struggles and strongholds and once again, have not gone to Him. I haven’t laid down my burdens before Jesus, because I sometimes feel like I might burden Him with my silly little issues… isn’t that funny?

Yet, time and time again, He reminds me who He is and just how much He L O V E S me! He does not want me to walk around with a bag full of stress and burdens, he wants to take it from me and I have not allowed him to. Instead, they’ve been sitting at my feet, weighing me down. And boy, the devil loves that! He wants me to be weighed down by sins and make me forget that Jesus already won that battle, he already forgot them and he indeed DOES care about me, love me, cherish me… and YOU!

I… you… we need to stop carrying around that baggage and allow God to take it from us every day! He wants nothing more than to see us live in the freedom of knowing that we don’t have to walk through life being weighed down by our sins and strongholds. He’s already tossed them into the deepest parts of the ocean where they will never be found again… like lost baggage at the airport!

Just. Give. It. All. To. Him!

Gotta be intentional

future-richWhen I was in middle school, I had already decided that I wanted to go into a career in medicine.

At first, I thought I wanted to be a doctor, but when I found out that I’d have to sell my soul to years and years of school, I settled on becoming a nurse (don’t judge me ha).

Finally, graduation day came and I had that, “I’m finally an adult!” excitement in my head… that was 10 years ago!! What?! I still can’t believe I’ve been out of high school for a decade now… I still feel so young at heart! Where does the time go?!

Anyway, to make a long story short, four universities later, I ended up graduating with a degree in American Studies (to become a history teacher later on). I got pregnant with my first daughter during my last semester in college and my husband and I decided that I should be a stay at home mom and postpone continuing education.

So, how did I go from nursing to teaching? And why on earth did I go to FOUR different universities?! What the heck?! Who does that?! I guess I do… I did that.

After I completed all the required courses before applying into the nursing programs, I applied three times, at three different schools and they all rejected me. That was a pretty big blow to my self esteem, because it immediately made me feel like I wasn’t good enough or smart enough (which obviously wasn’t true). I cried A LOT.  My husband kept encouraging me and after praying for the next steps for me to take, I ended up going to a counselor at the fourth school, to talk about what I could do next and with all of the credits I accumulated at the three previous schools I went to.

Before going in, I had decided long before, that if nursing hadn’t worked out, I’d want to be a teacher.  So after speaking with the counselor and going through all of my options, I took a fast track to a degree that would help me become a teacher through continuing education post undergrad.  At this point in my life, I had already been in college for 5 years and was ready to get the heck out! It was one of the best decisions I had made and actually enjoyed my last two semesters at UNO. It really is such a great school and I kicked myself in the butt for not going there from the very beginning, it would’ve saved me two years and heartache.

However, every experience I’ve gone through in life has taught me so much and has helped me grow into the person I am today.  Rejection is such a tough pill for me to  swallow. I grew up feeling rejected, which is why after the third rejection, I felt like my life was over.  As I’ve grown up, I have realized that you cannot outgrow hurts in your life.  You’ve got to face them, work through them, and then move passed them. Grow from them and learn how to better deal with the obstacles that come your way.

Since I became a mom and my daughters are growing up, they watch me, and look up to me, I am more intentional with the things I say/don’t say.

Lately, my eldest says “but mom, I can’t!” I really loathe the word “can’t.”  I make sure to tell her that she can. I encourage her, explain to her how to work through her problem and when she succeeds, I tell her “see, I told you you could do it! great job!” When she doesn’t, I make sure to still encourage her and tell her to keep trying, I help her and make sure she knows that as long as she perseveres she will succeed.

My prayer for them is that they never have to feel rejected, or like they aren’t good enough.  They really do push me passed my limits and push me to be the best version of myself. I want them to be strong, compassionate, loving girls and women who don’t let fear or negative words affect who they are.  God’s plan for them is big, I know it. The same way that I know God’s plans for me and my family together, are big.

I’m excited to continue blogging and seeing where writing takes me.  I’ve stopped myself in the two years of not blogging out of fear of what people would think of me, but I guess there ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it!

To Be or Not to be… a freelance writer

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You figure that if you start a blog it’s because you like to write, right?  Well, at least that’s why I started my blog.  I like to write and also, because life as a wife and mom can give one some pretty great anecdotes to share with the world.  I started off this year with blogging about what God spoke into my heart and that I wanted to start blogging more this year.  So, it’s May and this is only my second blog post of 2017 and in the last, I believe TWO years.  I really have been trying (though not nearly as hard enough as I could/should) to keep up with the blog.  The reasons why I want to blog, are because I felt that it’s a good platform to share my heart with people and to be open and transparent about the things I go through in every area of my life. My hope is that through this blog, I can inspire and encourage.

Anyway, here’s the reason for this post and to try to find an answer for the title of this post.  At the beginning of the year, I got an itch to help our household out financially.  Not because I need or have to, but because I want to.  I want to have a side hustle that generates a good bit of extra income to help accomplish our goals as a family. I started thinking creatively, thought about starting an etsy shop, or picking back up on my photography, began selling things on varagesale (though it tends to aggravate me with people who end up backing out on a sale), so I’ve taken a break from that.  Then, a few days ago, as I was perusing pinterest on stay at home mom jobs, I came across freelance writing.  Sounds like a piece of cake, right? At least I thought so, but as I’ve been researching more about it, it’s kind of overwhelming.  I just signed up on a content mill, to get started and see what niche I can narrow down on.  There are so many helpful bloggers out there willing to share their experiences and how they’ve become successful.

I tend to doubt myself and my abilities a lot, but my husband is such a great encourager to me.  His words of encouragement resound in my mind as I continue to research more on sample writing, narrowing in on a niche, building a website, etc.  I’ve got a good bit of work ahead of me to get this thing going, but I’m going to try my hardest and push myself to give this a shot.  It inspired me to write this post, so that’s always a good thing!

If you’re a freelance writer who just so happened to stumble upon my blog, please message me with some helpful tips and suggestions! They will be greatly appreciated!

Expectant and Accepted

WORSHIP, MUSIC, CHRISTIAN ARTIST, CHRISTIAN MUSIC, FAITH, CHRISTIANITY, INSPIRATION,

So, I will start my first blog post of 2017 by sharing with you what God placed in my heart for this new year. It ties into what he placed on my heart last year, which was the word “Grace.” Grace because I found myself not wanting to let people off the hook for their “offenses” against me, especially those closest to me. Also, because I needed to give myself more grace. I truly am my own worst enemy and critic!

A few days ago I was in my car and just began talking/thinking/praying out loud about what God wanted this year to be about in regards to my heart and growth in Him. Then, the word expectant popped in my head… I thought, well that can’t be right, weird… mmm no. So, I just kept talking to God and asking Him to let me know what it is that I need to implement this year.

Over the course of the next few days, expectant continued to pop up in my head. I then just started saying, how can that be right? It sounds so selfish and weird and kind of mean, right God? Is that really you telling me to be expectant of YOU?!  Like, yeah, I EXPECT him to do this for me because he better… what?! (at least that’s what it sounds like in my head).  The second word is… you guessed it, accepted. That one came tonight during our worship night at church.

Expectant because He wants me to be expectant in a humble way. It now makes sense because throughout the course of my life, there have been many times when I’ve felt unworthy of God and all that He has and does or wants to do for me. Present day, this is what it looks like: If I know that I lost my cool with the girls one too many times, or had a huge disagreement with Sam and refused to apologize, I reasoned that, because of those shortcomings, God wouldn’t/couldn’t bless me and it’d be ok; because I didn’t “deserve” to be blessed or forgiven or I didn’t deserve to be given grace.

I could feel a sense of unworthiness and almost be too proud to accept forgiveness, etc. from God. Yet, God wants to bless me (and you) regardless of our shortcomings and in spite of who we are… “duh,” we’re only human right? He actually expects that of us!  He says that I should humbly expect Him to bless me because He loves me and I am worthy of His love, blessings, mercy, love, forgiveness, grace!

It’s ok for me to pray and ask for forgiveness in spite of my  lack thereof in a moment, for His grace, for His favor…expectant even when I am simply praying over my day… it’s ok. (Hebrews 4:16; John 15:7).  And even if he doesn’t (Daniel 3:16-18)… because sometimes the answers to our prayers may be “no.”

Accepted because I’ve always felt forgotten, unloved, not cared about… the list really can go on. I know where these roots come from and last year while at a women’s conference, I had a breakthrough, from a complete stranger,  after so many years.

At church, I had never felt a sense of belonging among my peers. I came from another church, therefore, I was an “outsider” and the devil used that to make me feel like an outsider for the next 7 years!! This would look like being at a gathering with friends and everyone else is engaged in conversation except me…the devil would use that to feed the lie that no one cared to come talk to me. It would be like “see, no one really cares about you or how you’re doing, no one likes you.” Ouch! When by nature,  unless I am in a group of people that I know, I am kept to myself and even around friends, sometimes I just keep to myself out plain old introvertedness (mmm… probably not a word).

I bought that lie for so long, because even in my childhood, there were times that I felt  unwanted. These were the results of deep-rooted issues that to this day I’m still working on and have worked on, and will probably still be working on for a while. I’m an adult… why do I still struggle with this? The answer seems to be that you can’t outgrow hurts, you have to face them and kill the root… I tried to outgrow them and cover them and ignore them and deal with them on my own… pride!

Since the conference, I’ve worked on shooting down the lies and the negative thoughts from the enemy and I’ve gotten a lot better of not reading into situations and knowing that these things don’t define me or my worth. Jesus already accepted me a long time ago and I’ve forgotten over the course of day to day life, motherhood, wifehood… and the enemy loves when we forget who God has already called us. I am accepted, loved, worthy, wanted, cared for… we all are.

Hidden veggie pancakes

When I first started giving Ava food, I would make her veggies, and she loved them. The only ones that she gave me the hardest time with, were carrots, but eventually she’d eat them right up! Around the 10 month mark, however, she started rejecting her veggies! It made me so sad. Now that she’s 13 months, the struggle has been real haha I’ve tried so many tricks, I feel like I’ve tried them all. One day she loves mashed potatoes, the next she’ll only eat a few bites. Anyway, pancakes are her favorite and she’ll eat them every time! So, without further ado, here’s a recipe I found on Pinterest: http://www.mamasaywhat.com/carrot-zucchini-pancakes/

I was a bit hesitant at first because I wasn’t sure I wanted to give my daughter something I didn’t really want to eat, but then I thought, why not? I did do somethings a little different, I didn’t have zucchini, so I used yellow squash and instead of 2 eggs, I only used one. I tried this recipe last week, and didn’t want to share it until I knew it worked, the first time, Ava didn’t want them (it’s like she knew that there was carrot and squash)! I tried again, and she loved them!! So here is my slightly altered version that I DID try and they are YUMMY!

  • 1 carrot, peeled & finely grated
  • 1 small yellow squash or if you have zucchini then by all means use that if you want, finely grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (I prefer whole milk, but 1% or 2% will work)
  • 2 cups Bisquick Heart Smart pancake mix
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Cook them as you would normal pancakes and serve how you like. I use coconut butter on mine and Ava eats hers plain since they are slightly sweet with the sugar I like to add. Hope you and/or your picky eater enjoy!

Happy FIRST Birthday my princess!

When I found out I was pregnant, I was in shock. We weren’t planning on trying to get pregnant for another year. I wasn’t so sure how Sam would react, because he wanted to wait as long as possible, but I’ve always been a “mom” and have always been nurturing, so I wanted a baby as soon as we got married, ha! I began googling/pinterest-ing cute ideas to tell your husband you’re expecting. That day he just so happened to stop by the house to pick something up, and I freaked out and he looked at me as if I had done something wrong, which I probably had a guilty look on my face. He was also on the phone, so he couldn’t really talk to me, but I showed him the positive test and he thought I was joking, but he still hugged me and smiled. Shortly after, he called me asking if that was for real, I said yes, and he was so happy ( I didn’t doubt he would be)! That was not the ideal way I wanted it to go, but that’s how it happened! So many emotions went through our minds, but at the same time, nothing else mattered but this new little life that was growing inside of me. My heart was so overwhelmed with joy, and all I could do was praise God for this miracle. A few days after finding out, I had gone to the bathroom and noticed I was bleeding. I got so scared and I went to the ER. The whole time I was praying that I wasn’t having a miscarriage. The worst feeling was not knowing, because after being examined, they told me only time could tell if it indeed was a miscarriage, because it was still so early. That was a Friday, and I had to wait until Monday to go to my doctor and get more blood work done to determine whether my numbers increased or decreased. We were so uneasy, and we decided to let our family know what was going on and for them to keep us in prayer. It felt like the longest weekend! Sam, met me at the doctor and thankfully, the numbers had doubled!! To make a long story longer… just kidding… short, fast forward TEN, NOT NINE, (women, someone lied to us because pregnancy lasts 10 looong months just so you know) months later, on November 5, 2013 at 8:52 AM, I gave birth to my absolutely beautiful little girl, Ava! Oh the joy, the unexplainable joy that we felt when we laid eyes on you… Tears stream down my face as I type this, because you changed our world for the better. I knew the love of God in a completely different way. The way we see you is the way he sees us, but even more HIS love for us can’t compare! As I reflect on our life this past year, you have taught us so much, we’ve grown as adults, you’ve taught us patience, selflessness, to love better… and YOU have grown! You are so smart, sweet, and silly. Every day you make us laugh with something new that you do. Your laugh and smile is contagious, we could be sick or having a crummy day, and you put the biggest smile on our face! God has huge plans for your life, and daddy and I pray for wisdom to lead you and guide you in HIS path. That you grow to be a strong woman, not swayed by the things of this world and fulfill God’s will and purpose for your life! We are excited to keep watching you grow and pray to be the best parents we can be! We love you princess!! HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL!!IMG_0564IMG_0832