Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Naked Truth about Parenthood

We are now 5 months in to this whole parenting thing and it is still the craziest thing we've ever done.  I asked my husband what had been the most surprising thing that he has learned being a parent and he said it was how little productivity happens in between Aiden's naps. It's no longer easy to go out and mow the lawn or cook dinner. Everything takes longer and has to be more planned out. Then he quickly stated, but on the up side, I have never looked forward to coming home more. I always look forward to getting home to see Bubba.

No matter who you are or what you think about parenting, you will change when your little bundle arrives. You will change A LOT. Things will constantly surprise you. If you weren't flexible before becoming a parent well say goodbye to that. In my opinion parenting is all about going with the flow of things and giving your baby over to God. The two things you absolutely don't want to get caught up in are worrying and comparing. That can drown you.
Becoming a parent has changed me in so many ways. It has changed our marriage in so many ways.

When you are a parent a trip to the grocery store alone is like a vacation and a trip to a Target that has a Starbucks is like winning the lottery. When you do go grocery shopping as a family it becomes a team sport. 2 carts for the win.

When you are a parent your priorities shift. While your friends are still important to you, you don't care about missing out on things like you imagined you would. My happy place is at home with my baby in my arms and my husband sitting next to me (most likely with a cat on his lap.)
When you are a parent your house will be a hot mess. If you don't think you have time to clean now, just wait. Baby toys will explode out of every corner, you will find spit up on your couch cushions and there will always be bottle parts for someone to clean. You will call your day productive if you were able to feed yourself, shower and maybe throw in a load of laundry (which will then sit in the wash for another 3 days until you have to wash it again).

When you are a parent with a baby who doesn't nap often, but who decides to fall asleep on your 5 minute car rides, Drive-thrus become your best friend. Your poor oven will feel neglected unless you are heating up a freezer meal you made during your pregnancy.

You will miss sleep so much it hurts. When you do sleep you will dream of more sleep.
When you are a parent you have to be brave and choose to leave the house sometimes those first few weeks even though it can be more work than it's worth. You will gain confidence in yourself and your parenting the more you get out!

When you are a parent you finally, finally understand what your parents meant when they said it goes by too fast and you will begin to appreciate your parents in a whole new way.

When you are a parent you will always be late and you will start to not care because taking care of your baby is more important and no matter what a poopy diaper just can't wait.
When you are a parent you will begin to understand a tiny bit more how much God really loves you and it will bring you to tears. Parenthood will change you. It will make you cry, it will make you laugh, it will be the best thing that has ever happened to you and that's the naked truth.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Butterbeer {A Recipe}

How to make butter beer
I know, I know...I'm late to the Harry Potter party. Like way late, but it's okay because my husband and I are both sharing in all the joys of Harry Potter together. I read all the Harry Potter books while I was pregnant {read about that here} and my husband decided to start reading them shortly after Aiden came along. We were both new to the Harry Potter craze.

As Drew finishes each book, we watch the movie together and then talk about what they left out from the book. Haha. He just finished the 5th book and I decided we needed to make our Harry Potter movie nights a little more exciting by trying out a Butterbeer recipe. {Thanks Lauren for the inspiration and website!} I used this website and tested out recipe #5. We made the alcoholic version, but there are plenty of recipes on this site that are alcohol free. I haven't had the real stuff via Universal, but I enjoyed this drink immensely and so did my husband!
how to make butter beer
Ingredients: {Makes enough for 1 drink}
1 oz. Butterscotch Schnopps
1 oz. Vanilla Vodka
6 oz. Cream Soda {We used Jones}
Large Spoonful of Marshmallow Fluff

Instructions:
1.) In a tumbler mix ice, Butterscotch Schnopps, Vanilla Vodka and Cream soda
2.) Shake and Pour into a frozen mug
3.) Whisk together marshmallow fluff and a little splash of Butterscotch Schnopps
4.) Top drink with Marshmallow fluff concoction
5.) Cheers!
How to make your own Butterbeer
I'm so excited to compare this version to the REAL THING this summer. That's right...we have plans to take a day trip to Universal while we are in Florida this summer! Ah!

And did you know that Starbucks has a "secret" menu? I'm dying to try their Butterbeer Frappuccino!

Have you ever had Butterbeer?
Have you visited the Wizarding World of HP at Universal? {Give me tips!}
Did you know Starbucks had a secret menu?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hold on to Jesus Little One

You're a little piece of heaven. You're a golden ray of light. And I wish I could protect you from the worries of this life, but if there's one thing I could tell you, it's not matter what you do,
Hold to Jesus, He's holding on to you.
The world will try to tell you that might is more than right, that beauty's on the outside and being good's a losing fight, but remember what I've told you because the world will make you choose...
Hold to Jesus, He's holding on to you
Hold on to Jesus, cling to His love. Rest deep in His mercy whenever things get rough.
Don't lose sight of His goodness and don't ever doubt this truth that when you hold on to Jesus, He's holding on to you.
Hear me dear Jesus, rock this little one to sleep. Keep him close when he's scared, and give him grace when he's weak. I know he'll stumble, but I know he'll make it through if you hold on to him just like You said You'd do.
Hold him Jesus so he'll hold on tight to you.
It's like she wrote the words that my heart wanted so badly to say. 
"Hold on to Jesus" by Erin O'Donnell

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Aiden {4 Months}

My little man is officially 4 months old. Where oh where did my squishy little newborn go? I can't even quite remember what my life was like before he came around. He continues to be a content little guy. This month he has started grabbing at our faces, rubbing his eyes when he's sleepy and laughing all the time!
He has great neck control and is now sitting in his Bumbo seat and loving his new Baby Einstein jumper! I swear buying this guy new toys is Drew and I's new favorite thing. We frequent Buy Buy Baby even on our date nights when Aiden is not with us.
Aiden is so, so expressive. When he is unsure of something or encounters something new, he furrows his little brow (he gets it from his mama). His Daddy is still the source of most of his giggles. Aiden lights up when Daddy gets home. It is the cutest thing ever. They have an adorable little bond already.
This month was special because we had Aiden dedicated at church. I was an emotional mess talking about my hopes for my sweet boy and then listening to people pray over him. Bring on the water works for this already sentimental mama. It was such a special day.
More and more I am hearing "Aiden is a perfect blend of you and Drew." That makes me happy. I love seeing his features come out more and more. And can I just tell you how happy I am that this little guy is a brown eyed boy? My Dad has brown eyes and I grew up telling him I loved his "chocolate eyes." 
A few stats about Aiden at four months:

Weight: 14.4 pounds with a tummy to prove it!

Height: He is in the 10-25th percentile in height at 24 inches long

Size clothes: He is officially out of 0-3 month clothes. He still has a few 3 month outfits that fit, but we have moved on to 3-6 month clothes. To console myself I splurged at Baby Gap. 

Sleeping: He is still sleeping well minus a few nights when I overdid it with some Nutella brownies, and gave the poor guy gas pains. Ooops. He goes to bed around 9 and sleeps until 4:30 or 5. We have Aiden sleeping in his Rock N Play Sleeper right next to me in our bedroom. I'm just not ready for him to be in his big boy crib. I love waking up and seeing his sweet face, buuuuut I know I need to bite the bullet and put him in his crib. This will be happening this month. Dun dun duh.

Random stuff only parents want to know:

Nicknames: He has so many nicknames we can't keep track of them all. The nickname that has stuck this month is Bubba Honey. Haha. On Aiden's Valentine card from his Grandma she put To: Honey Honey, Sweetie Sweetie, Sugar Sugar, Stinky Stinky. Haha. Poor kid will never know his real name.

Likes: Being upside down, spitting up on Mom's clean outfits, his new Baby Einstein Jumper, Wubbanubs, swimming, bath time, Giving people "the look." (See the 4th picture down)

Dislikes: Shots. I hate them even more than he does though I think. Other than that, there's not much this kid doesn't like. He is such a trooper when I file his nails, use the bulb syringe to suck out boogers, give him his Vitamin D drops...etc. He's a content little guy and he's not phased by much.


He is just perfect and we are so in love.
         One Month Update          Two Month Update         Three Month Update

Monday, March 2, 2015

You Are Not Alone {My story of loss and hope}

There are a few couples I have been praying for consistently this past year. They all have one thing in common...they want a child so badly and for one reason or another, can't make that happen right now. For any of you out there who are trying to get pregnant or have dealt with loss during a pregnancy, this post is for you. Not every pregnancy comes easily.

I really wasn't sure I would ever blog about my journey, but I'd rather share than hold it in because one thing that helped ease the pain was knowing I wasn't alone in what I was going through.

Drew and I started "trying" in July of 2013 so I was ecstatic when I took a pregnancy test that October and it was positive. I sank to my knees and cried. I was so incredibly happy. I told my husband by presenting him with a "family" of pumpkins the next day and soon our minds turned to our future as a family of 3.

After our first appointment we just had to sit back and wait a few weeks until we could hear our baby's heartbeat. I was literally counting down the days. I started making lists of potential baby names, made a secret board on Pinterest and started looking at fun ways to tell our families. Then at 8 weeks things went terribly wrong. I started bleeding and I knew immediately that was not a good sign and that something was not right. I googled possible causes and was left terrified. That was on a Friday and I continued spotting the rest of the weekend. On Monday I had to leave in the middle of the school day. I was a mess. Drew left work right away and met me at the doctor's office. We went in for an ultra sound to see if they could find a heartbeat.

Sitting there waiting for what seemed like an eternity for the nurse to tell you something, anything was painful. Then the nurse said aloud the dreaded words "I need to go get the doctor now." Sitting next to your husband at your first ultra sound should be thrilling, but for us it was terrifying. From the moment the nurse said those words I just knew in my heart that things were not going to go the way we had been dreaming.

The doctor came in and told us that there was no heartbeat. That the gestational sac where the embryo develops was empty. It was anembryonic pregnancy, which I found out more about later. She said it was nothing that I had done and then everything else blurred into the background. I felt so incredibly empty on so many levels after hearing those words. Everything I had been planning in my head about our baby was stripped away from me in one instant. 

The next few weeks were some of the hardest days I have ever experienced. My mind wanted to dwell on questions like  Is something wrong with me? And Will this happen to me again? But I knew I couldn't stay in that place. We told our families what had happened and love was poured out on me in so many ways that week. I am so thankful to be surrounded with such an amazing family and a husband who would do anything to see me smile. Then this is what I read in my daily devotional as I was desperately seeking comfort.

November 19th, 2013 (Jesus Calling)

Leave outcomes up to me. Follow Me wherever I lead without worrying about how it will all turn out...You already know the ultimate destination of your journey: your entrance into heaven. So keep your focus on the path just before you, leaving outcomes up to Me.

The reference verse was Psalms 27:13-14, which again directly spoke to my heart:
"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

Looking back on my story, this is a part of my journey, a part of who I am today. Would I choose to go through it again? Probably not. But did it make me a stronger person. Yes.

If you are going through a hard time (pregnancy related or not) I would recommend reading the books below to help you gain perspective. Regardless of what you are going through God loves you and hates seeing you hurting and whether or not you want to hear it you are blessed, but we live in a broken world and we aren't promised a life without trials.  God loves you more than you can imagine. He is always faithful even if things don't turn out the way we plan.

Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist
(Thank you Katie for recommending this one to me. I am forever thankful.)
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson

The October after my miscarriage (almost exactly a year later) my sweet Aiden was born. My pregnancy with Aiden was amazing. At times I was nervous and extremely scared, but I could only trust and wait. I was so thankful for every kick, every hiccup, every doctor's appointment where I got a good report. Aiden has been a bright light in our lives in a dark time. His birth could not have come at a more perfect time.

God knows what He is doing. Leave the outcomes up to Him.

I also found so much comfort in reading many of your stories. If any of you need to share a story that is on your heart I am here to talk to you or pray for you. You are not alone in this.

There is always hope.

Friday, February 27, 2015

February Snapshots

First of all, I can't believe it is the end of February. Where is the time going?! February was a full month for us. Drew and I were able to squeeze in a few date nights and Aiden had lots of firsts. He went to IKEA for the first time, had his first swim class and we have been going to weekly baby classes at a local sports center. It has been fun to go with a few of my girlfriends and their sweet little ones. Aiden also attended his first of many wine tastings at Whole Foods. Best cheap date night ever.

Aiden continues to be spoiled by his Grandmas each week. I have been so blessed to have both my Mom and Mother in law coming over to watch Aiden on the days I work. He is one lucky little man.

One of my favorite parts of this month was the Valentine's day outreach at our church. We took Aiden out and served together as a family of 3. I hope to make this a Valentine's day tradition. Small things...great love.
Looking forward to warmer weather (fingers crossed) and more family adventures in March!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Most Eligible {Baby} Bachelor

I promise I really did try to narrow down these images from my little at home photo shoot with Aiden, but they were all too darn cute. I mean...that hat and those rolls. I melt. So you're welcome. XO