Fear

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I already had this subject on my mind and was formulating a blog post in my head, when I came across this yesterday on FB. I feel like God is smacking me over the head right now, trying to get the fact that I should not have a spirit of fear regarding anything. ANYTHING.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” -2 Timothy 1:7

So many times in life, I’ve let fear and anxiety stop me from doing things. Things that could have been beneficial to me. Things that could have enhanced my life. Maybe stopped me from going in a direction that God was leading me. So many times. And really.. I’m tired of it. I’m going to work on this and it took a Body Pump class to finally open my eyes. Ermm…God will use whatever he can, right?

I signed up for the gym as soon as I could after Wes was born. I was pumped up and ready to lose this weight that accumulated from Andrew and Wes. I went and mastered the Elliptical. I was using the weight machines. I had my SIL screaming at me to do the classes, but I insisted that I liked what I was doing just fine. Then I got bored. Excuses as to why I was not going to the gym ran off my tongue like it was nothing. I was hardly going anymore. Finally, after the realization that my husband was coming home.. soon-ish… and I was not anywhere near where I wanted to be, I sucked it up and I went to Body Pump. I was so nervous that my stomach felt sick even the day before. But I had already put my mind to it and I went. I imagined all of these buff, totally in shape, hardcore body pump women in there with an instructor that was going to yell at me like I was in Basic Training. (yes, I’m a little dramatic). Instead, I was having personal conversations with women within two minutes of being there. Someone walked me through all the equipment I’d need. The instructor was wonderful, kind and helpful.. and motivating. One woman patted me on the back as she was leaving and gave me a thumbs up. And they were just normal people. All trying to get healthy. I was so foolish for letting irrational fears stop me from doing this earlier. While it kills me to think where I could be NOW if I had started THEN, I’m not focusing on that. I’ve started and I love it and that’s what matters.

“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” – Psalm 118:6

It got me thinking about some other things that fear has kept me from. Just a few examples… Knowing something wasn’t quite right with me in the head. Knowing I had just a little too much anxiety for it to be normal. Knowing deep down how much I’d benefit from a mental evaluation and counseling. Afraid to call the doctor to even make an appointment for that, never mind walking in and telling them all my symptoms or concerns. Fear of being vulnerable in front of someone I didn’t even know. Y’all… after some adjustments to medication and a sitting down to talk to someone a few times.. I feel like a new person. I’m better off than I have ever been in my life. What if I never made that first appointment and lived out my life with constant anxiety, fear and self-consciousness? (For the record, this isn’t for anything extremely traumatic that has happened to me. Just something I have always struggled with and have recently gotten on top of. I think the world would be a better place if every single person had a shrink to talk to!)

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you Nor forsake you”. – Deuteronomy 31:6

Lastly, and most importantly, but backwards and irrational – Fear has stopped me from going to church. Whether it be that I was alone and didn’t want to walk into a church by myself. Or moving to a new town and not wanting to be the new family. Or not wanting to drop my baby off with strangers in the nursery. Or on a deeper level, fear of the change I know going to church on a regular basis would mean for me.

How many times is “fear” talked about in the Bible? I don’t know exactly.. but A TON. Enough to know it was something that God highly stresses. And yet, it’s the one thing that has stopped me from getting closer to Him. How backwards is that? I’m sure I’ll struggle with this more in the future, but I’m getting better. I’ve been to church two weeks in a row and am loving it. It’s changing my heart and my son loves it.

I know I can’t be the only one. How about you? Is there anything that stands out in your life that you put off and put off, only to realize you should have just jumped right in to start with?

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A New, Clean Lifestyle

For probably a little over a year, I’ve been really interested in the whole eating clean fad. I hated the way I was feeling and had been doing a little research.

Disclaimer: I know not all feel as strongly as I do about what goes into the food we eat. Or some people don’t believe it’s as harmful as I do. And that’s okay. I promise I don’t have any sort of holier than thou feelings about what I eat. I’m not clean eating AT YOU. And I double promise that I’m not looking down on you as your licking that delicious ice cream cone or scarfing down those chocolate chip cookies. In fact, at times, I may even be jealous. But I have become passionate about this and I LOVE talking about it. I love discovering new ideas and recipes and it’s just so interesting to me. So if it’s something you’re interested in starting, or you’ve been doing this for years, I’d love to chat about it. If you need advice on where to start or you notice I’m completely off on something.. please.. let me know.

Okay.. now that that’s out of the way, like I said, I started dabbling in all of this about a year or so ago. Nothing serious. I made some taco seasoning (that I loved and still used), ranch seasoning (that I’ve used twice and am still looking for something better), an onion dip mix (that I don’t know why I even made because I never use that stuff anyways), and coffee creamer (that was good, but.. for me.. wasn’t worth the time it took at that point, and now it wouldn’t work for me anyways). That was about the extent of it. I got pregnant and lazy to be honest.

I started thinking more seriously about it during my third trimester with Wes. Doing lots of research. Reading about dyes, High Fructose Corn Syrup, GMO’s (seriously… the whole thing pisses me off), Enriched Wheat, what goes on with cows and other animals we eat, and a lot of other processed stuff that goes into our foods. I was intrigued by the testimonials I heard of how great people felt once they cut out the processed crap and sugars. I took a few months to just read. And read and read and read. Two websites that were/are HUGE helpers and motivators are here and here. And PINTEREST. Pinterest is where I hit jackpot. One day I just went for it and I really haven’t looked back.

I will say, the weight isn’t falling off like I thought it would. But I take responsibility for that. I need to be more consistent at the gym. But I have changed for the better and being healthy is what I’m REALLY going after. I don’t crave the stuff I used to eat. Yes, I have a cheat day every now and then, but I usually don’t enjoy it as much as I think I will. I can turn down freshly baked cookies and cake at parties. I’m not forcing myself to… I really don’t want it. And that is a really big deal, y’all. I’ve had fast food once since the beginning of April and it really wasn’t that great (and we’re talking Chick-fil-a), and probably one soda since then as well. I don’t miss any of it. If I want a bowl of ice cream bad enough (today), I’ll get a small one. But I probably won’t do that again for a while.

I just feel good. I’m more energized (minus the nights my child has me up in the middle of the night because something hurts, he has to pee, or he has a hair in his mouth.. wth?!?) My taste buds are changing. I gradually got myself drinking un-flavored coffee with just a little bit of organic half and half. I don’t eat any white breads or pastas. Even while baking I’m using whole wheat flour and enjoying it. I love making things from scratch, but I have always loved being in the kitchen. Putting a meal together is almost like an art form for me. I love seeing things come together, so seeing it come together from scratch.. even better.

So this is good for us. This isn’t something I’m forcing myself to do. I enjoy it. I feel good knowing what I’m putting in my body and what my (gasp) almost 3-year old is eating. And I’m having fun trying new things. I’m convinced that all the things I was ignorant about not too long ago are causing major health problems in our society. Convinced. So I buy all organic dairy to avoid the added hormones and antibiotics, and do the same with meat whenever I can. I’m very seriously considering having a grass-fed, antibiotic-free cow killed for us when we get to Oklahoma. It’s true. I buy organic fruits and veggies as much as possible. Really just the dirty dozen because of what we can afford. I make sure I can pronounce the ingredients on everything I buy if it’s prepackaged at all. If it’s a wheat product, I make sure it’s 100% whole grain. No dyes or “natural” flavors. No refined sugars.

It works for us. It takes planning and preparation, but it works. This will definitely be how we live our life, not just a temporary diet. There’s no turning back from here. (and yes, husband is on board and very happy about it).

I’m sure I’ll be talking about it more. Maybe share some recipes I’ve discovered. I hope some of you out there are interested. I’d love to learn even more!

On Parenting

Being a parent is the strangest phenomenon. I want to share a little bit about my day. I’m going to sound unappreciative of what I have, but I promise it has a happy ending. It’s just a few honest feelings.

Today didn’t full out suck. I’ve had better days with the kids, but I’ve also had worse. Way worse. It started at 5 am (yes, you read that right), but I can’t complain too too much about that. We had a sleepover with my SIL and her daughters, and her youngest one was in the bed with us at that ungodly hour. But she snuggled with me a lot and I won’t get that chance to do this kind of stuff with her as often as I’d like. So I’m only mentioning for reference sake. 5 am. Follow me? 

I load up all of our stuff from said sleepover, get the boys in the car and head to Sam’s. Yes, I’m normally a Costco snob, but ya get what ya get. I traded in Costco for a Trader Joe’s. I’ll take it any day. Wait. Where was I?

Sam’s. Getting the boys out of the car is an ordeal. I’ve found that the easiest way to shop with both of them is to wear Wes and let Andrew run wild. Just kidding. He has this obsession (to put it mildly) with carts that are cars. Now it can be in the form of an actual race car cart (think Lowe’s) or it can be just a little space for him to sit that’s attached to the front of the cart. He lives for these things right now. Anyways, getting the sling ready, getting Wes in the sling, getting Andrew unbuckled and out (No NO NO I can do it myself… 5 minutes later and I’m gently throwing him out of the van), “where the hell did I leave the keys??”, go back around to Wes’ side to get the keys out of the car seat, “Hold my hand we are in a parking lot”, and so on and so on. 15 minutes later and we’re walking through the doors to Sam’s. Flash my card, only to be told that I can’t shop yet. It was only 9am and I’m just a regular member. I can’t shop until 10. I was assured a few times that she was not, in fact, kidding me and had to usher my screaming toddler out and back to the car. He wanted to ride in a car damnit and now his life was ruined. I do all that above in reverse order, only to drive two minutes to Walmart, do it all over again, and get everything I needed in smaller portions.

Is it nap time yet???

It’s been raining for like a year in South Carolina. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and took Andrew outside to play in the rain. Homeboy is not made to stay cooped up all day.

Can I talk about potty training? Just a little bit? I know I said I’d give you lots and lots of warning before I talked about it, but I lied a little. I’ll try and be very vague while still getting my frustration out.

 

 

 

Still here? Good.

My child WILL NOT… ummm.. hmmmm.. is there a way to put this that won’t gross out my childless or not-yet-potty-training friends? I have to rely on the old phrase, #2. He straight up refuses to go. For days. He’ll do any kind of dance he can conjure up to not let it out. To the point where he’s sweating from pain/exertion? I actually took him to urgent care the other day, (because he wouldn’t have gone to the bathroom for a month if we waited for an actual appointment) and am having to rely on suppositories. Y’all… the only way he will go to the bathroom is if I violate him with that. This can’t be normal and I cannot do that for him for the rest of his life. Think he’ll find a wife that will continue that? Not one I want as a daughter-in-law…

HELLLLLLPPPPP!!!

It’s really just heartbreaking. All day, all I hear is, “I hurt”. By day two (today) he will hardly even play or sit on a hard chair. I’ve tried just about everything under the sun, but if you’ve ever been in this unfortunate boat, I’m all ears. Give me any tips ya got!

Naps didn’t align at all today. On the day that started at 5am. ‘Nuf said.

But then I had that moment. That moment in parenthood that makes it all worth it. That erases every struggle you’ve had during the day. It was time to put Wes to bed and Andrew wanted to come with me. I usually don’t let him, but I did today. After telling him not to be yelling about his but hurting (sorry.. told you I’d be honest). I get in the rocker with Wes and Andrew is looking at me like he’s just dying to be a part of this. So I wave him over.

I have little 15(ish) pound Wes on one side of my lap with his head resting on my shoulder while sucking his thumb, and 32 pound Andrew on the other side resting his head as well. They are looking at each other and I’m singing, You Are My Sunshine(s). I usually sing it once then put Wes down, but I just wanted to freeze that moment forever and ever in my memory. So I sang it 4 times. Both of their eyes were closed and all I could hear was their deep breathing.

It was the best moment of the day.

I hope you made it through the bathroom talk to get to that point. There are not two little people on earth that can drive me so crazy, but make my heart swell 10 times as big at the same time. I hope I can always find little moments like these.

I will focus on the good

Today was, overall, a good day. There are things I could choose to nitpick, but when I’m looking back over my day, the bad isn’t what stands out. 

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Side note: The boys and I have been staying the weekend at my in-laws while they are out of town. It’s nice for me to be with just them, and I’m sure my family must be enjoying some time to themselves as well. 

This morning, my good friend, Emily, came over with her two kiddos for a play date. My in-laws have a really fun back yard with a sweet playground and little play house. The kids love it. So they came over, the kids played, we had a picnic, and Emily and I got to do a lot of chatting. There’s just something about an old friend, ya know? Nothing to hide because over the past 10 years, they’ve seen you at your highest and lowest. No explaining things, it just is. And I love that. I love her. It was a relaxing and refreshing morning. 

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The boys went down for a nap and after straightening up, I got about 15 minutes of quiet time to myself before the baby was up and at it again. Babies.. always wanting to be fed. Humpph.. 

By the time Drewski had woken up, I decided we were going to have a fun afternoon. I threw my cautious eating rules out the window and we went out for ice cream. We sat outside and while Skyping with Daddy, we sat outside of the ice cream shop, chatted, and indulged. I didn’t even squirm when his ice cream melted all over himself and the bench. From there we crossed the street and took a ride on this little train that is always set up for the kids. Andrew LOVES it and I love seeing that smile of pure joy on his face. It’s the little things. 

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We continued our simple pleasure themed afternoon (aka.. Mama needed to get out of the house, but didn’t want to do something quite as daunting as the zoo) by playing in the grass   and jumping from this little bench into the grass over and over while I prayed he didn’t wet his pants! 

Fun was had by all. And by the time we got home it was time for dinner, getting the baby fed (again!) and to bed, and quiet time with Drew. Now I have the hockey game on for some background noise and another hour before I force myself to go to bed. 

Is it July yet? I’m ready to start using my very pretty Erin Condren planner!

My First Post!!

See those exclamations? That means I’m excited to write. Which was exactly what I was missing. Blog break and new forum successful!

Not that my official break was all too long, but I wasn’t writing very often before that. So, what have we been up to? Nothing too exciting, but…

  • Andrew is going to “school” for the first time. It’s really just a summer camp, but it’s all day long, two days a week. I was terrified at first, but I LOVE IT. I love that child, but I won’t lie. Those are my favorite two days of the week!
  • Potty training hell. That’s all I’ll say about that now, but there may be a more detailed post soon. Don’t click the unfollow button just yet (all 4 of you!)… I’ll give you plenty of warning!
  • We are closer and closer to being donzo with this deployment. Thank the angels above, we are 2/3rd of the way done!
  • I jumped all the way in to Clean Eating. I love it and am borderline obsessive. Brace yourself for lots of posts about this.

That’s about it! Just sending one off to school and watching the other one come alive while his big brother is gone. Working out and changing my eating habits, therefore feeling lots of changes in my energy level, but not my clothing size or overall flabbiness and trying not to be discouraged over it. And counting down the days until we can, for the first time, be together as a family of four.

I hope whoever hasn’t given up on me has successfully followed me over here. If you don’t mind, drop me a line and let me know I’ve done something right!

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Wes says, “you betta read my Mama’s blog, fool”