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!

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!

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!

So little time

Good morning! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post, and that seems to be the trend of my blog, haha. Whenever I get the chance to read other blogs, I feel an itch and the urge to head on over here, and type away. However, I’m quickly reminded that my time is cut short as I hear my daughter crying for my attention. I absolutely love, love, love every second of being a mother. Every time I look at my baby, I’m reminded of how blessed I am and of God’s incredibly immense love and goodness! Children truly are a heritage from The Lord (Psalm 127:3).  I don’t mind being wanted and needed by her,it’s the best feeling, and when it comes to being a wife and mother, everything else is secondary. I find that the only times I could write are when she’s napping, or if I happen to wake up before she does, like today. Even after my husband comes home, my focus and attention shifts to him as well. I try to make it a point to be attentive to my family and put away my phone, iPad, MacBook etc. Spending time with my family is the most important thing, I don’t want to miss a moment! While I do have “me” time, I’m usually cleaning, planning things, or catching up on my quiet time. It’s crazy how much more busy life gets once you become a mother. I do hope to keep blogging more often, because I find it relaxing and I like being able to share my thoughts, not to mention that there’s so much to catch up on, like I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight!! Woohoo! But that’s for another post! As always, thanks for reading!!

Ava is 3 months!

My little princess is 3 months today! I cannot believe how much she’s grown in such a short time and how she’s reaching milestones. She just brings so much joy to our hearts. In honor of her 3 month birthday, I want to share a letter that I wrote to her when she was 1 month.

My dearest Ava,

Words cannot begin to express just how much I love you. Though we’ve only known each other for a month, I already love you enough for a hundred lifetimes! Every day is a new adventure with you as I learn what each sound is and when you start to get hungry, are about to cry, or you just want to be held. I’m not going to lie, it has been a struggle at times to be patient in learning you and learning how to be a better mom every day. Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing a good job, but I’m quickly reminded that through struggles I grow and we grow together. It is a learning experience, that I would never trade! Not to mention how amazing daddy is at being such a great support and constantly reminding me that I am doing a great job. Also, how amazing God is and how faithful and gracious he has been. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for blessing us with you and bc you’re a healthy, beautiful and sweet baby girl. You have already made such an impact in our lives and I can’t wait to see you grow and impact others. My prayer for you is that you will be a leader and a light to those around you. I know that God already has great plans for you and I can’t wait to see you flourish into an amazing woman of God! I want you to know that no matter what, I will always be here for you, I will always love you, I will listen to you and encourage you. My arms will always be open for hugs, and my heart for sharing. But for now, as you continue to grow and develop your personality and reach your milestones, I will take each moment in because I don’t want to miss a beat! I love you to the moon and back my sweet Ava Berlyn!

With all my love,
Mommy ❤️

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Sleep

I’ve been thinking that the time is coming for Ava to sleep in her crib. At her 2 month check-up, her doctor suggested that we should do it sooner rather than later because it may get harder the longer we wait. I just don’t think I’m ready! I love having her sleep next to us in her bassinet. I’m trying to prepare myself mentally and emotionally… I think I may have separation anxiety… Anyway, I wrote this in my notes the other night when we made our first attempt at having Ava sleep in her room:

I totally failed. Tonight, I thought Ava would be sleeping in her crib, in her nursery that I spent so much time trying to make dainty and beautiful for her. Well, that didn’t happen. I checked on her one more time, and Sam and I were off to bed. The monitors were on, and on full volume so I wouldn’t be able to miss even the littlest peep from her. We prayed and Sam told me not to worry, that she was going to be just fine and that I needed to stop staring and listening intently to the monitor. Slowly, I began to close my eyes but I couldn’t let myself fall asleep. I knew I wasn’t going to sleep if Ava wasn’t in her bassinet next to our bed, so I caved. Sam was already snoring, so I woke him up and told him I couldn’t do it. I asked if it was ok to get her, and like the sweet and understanding hubby he is, he said yes. She was perfectly fine in her crib, sleeping like an angel, but it was me. I couldn’t do it, I wasn’t ready!! I kind of hesitated whether or not I should bring her back to our room, but I decided to get her anyway. Forget what the doctor, parenting books, and other parents say… Haha…Right? She’s my daughter…. I know it probably won’t get any easier, but she is our first. (Who am I kidding?! I’m a wimp!) This mommy business takes a toll on my emotions, and I’m already an over emotional human!  So now it’s almost midnight and here I am sitting in my bed with Ava in my arms. I didn’t think I’d be one of those clingy moms, but I guess I am… Pray for me…