Thursday, July 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Jed!

Happy Birthday to my sweet boy Jed! I can't believe he's one already. This whole year flew by for us. Even though at times the days seemed to drag on. People were right, the days are long but the years are short. So from now on we celebrate years, not months anymore (tear). It's amazing how much they grow, learn, change in a year. I still remember thinking he would never crawl and now he's getting ready to walk. I remember the first time he laughed. The first time he ate people food. When i first gave him cheerios and hoped he wouldn't choke. Now he scarfs down just about everything you give him. He's no longer my tiny little newborn, now he's my energetic toddler. Being a new mom has been an incredible blessing.

The biggest blessing (besides Jed), has been seeing people love Jed. When you allow people to just love you in whatever way they choose it's amazing! Sometimes it looks like advice, from put socks on him, to give him this to not make him gassy. Sometimes it looks like gifts, a lot of gifts. Sometimes it's babysitting. Sometimes it's hugs, or being excited to see him on Sundays. Often it's prayer. And it has been those prayers that have gotten us through the sleepless nights, the 3am feedings, the six (now 7) teeth, the diaper rashes, the I don't know why your crying cries, the oh so embarrassing tantrums, the what can he eat now questions. And it's those prayers that we are most grateful for. This comes at a bittersweet place in our lives, since we will be moving soon. The thought of Jed not knowing all these people, hurts. But I'm reminded through it all, of Gods undying faithfullness. Because He has always sustained us. I have no doubt that in this new season He will continue to do so. So I will continue to enjoy the people who have been so faithful and so loving. You have made all the difference! Thank you! Not only do we celebrate 1 year of life but we also celebrate you. For being right there with us.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Losing our son

I wrote a while back how we we're pregnant with our second baby, Benjamin. He was due June 24th, exactly a month before Jed's birthday. He came a little early on June 19th. We lost him just an hour after he was born. It's been nearly 3 weeks since Ben passed, but it still feels like just yesterday. Never in my life did I imagine this would happened. A part of me still feels like I will wake up tomorrow and still be pregnant.

I have learned that Control is an illusion that we have for ourselves. I replay Bens birth in my mind, over, and over. Thinking that I can change the outcome, wanting things to be different. I wonder if there is anything that we could have done. Then I'm reminded by my husband that there's not. God already knew. He's always in control. I remember him telling me something in the hospital that just pierced my heart. He said that Benjamin never really belonged to us, he was Gods all along. 

It doesn't make the hurt any less real but it gives me hope to know that Ben is with God. I don't say that casually or hoping that it's true. I say it knowing full well, that it's true. I'm still working through the sadness, the anger, the fear. People keep telling me I'm so brave for not curling up in a corner and dying, but the truth is, I don't feel brave. I feel like at any moment I can burst into tears. Like I'm just hanging in there by a thread. My heart feels broken. I keep wanting to feel normal, but I think that this is the new normal. I don't think the pain will ever go away. I think you just learn to live with. The pain I rivaled only by hope, by the full assurance that I will see Ben again in heaven.  

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Yard Sale Tips

One thing I really enjoy is a good yard sale!! I now go to them about 2-3 a month. There's a few things I wanted to share on what I consider to be a good Yard Sale. So here are my best tips. 

1. Remember why you're doing it. This is the most important tip! The purpose of a yard sale is to declutter your home. NOT, to make money, and not to turn it into a business. I hate yard sales that are a business for two reasons. 1. They're overpriced. 2. They're overpriced. I usually skip those houses anyways (we know who you are). 

2. Price accordingly. If you stay true to #1 then you will have no problem with this. Remember that what you're selling are things you no longer want!!! Junk, trash, no longer valuable. If you remember this, you will have an easier time letting go of things. Price for the 2nd cheapest price you are willing to let it go at. Then you will have room for hagglers (they're out there) or a better offer. 

3. Take the time to organize. I am more likely to stop at a well organized yard sale. I don't want to spend 30min looking through all of your family's clothes. Seperate everything into categories. 

4. Good signs. Bigger is better! You can't read an 8x11 sign from a car. Make sure you're signs are big and readable. Don't buy white signs and use yellow marker (it happens). Neon signs and BLACK marker is best. Don't write your address on the sign!! People are driving, they don't have time to process that much information. Arrows!!! 
*advertising on craigslist is great too!!

5. This is not your business time. So you sell Avon? Or something of the like. This is not the time to put it out there. I will skip the yard sales with the sales booth altogether. Even if you're not going to try to sell me something, I don't know that. It makes people move on. 

6. Feel free to sell food. The one thing I would recommend selling is water, doughnuts, snacks. Some people are up very early and get pretty hungry.

7. The early bird.... 
Yard sales are an early mans game. The earlier the better. Don't start putting your things out at 8am. Real yard sales are out before the sun comes up. 

8. You're not a sales man. This is not the time to practice your sale skills. An immediate red flag goes off when people try to sell me things. I go into this panick mode and I'm no longer interested in your things but I'm thinking of ways to get out of there. Just let people browse.

9. Do strike up conversation. Not to make a sale but just to talk. I am more likely to buy from someone who is friendly.

10. Have fun! Have friends and family help, have food, be friendly! Don't take it too seriously and you won't be disappointed if you don't make a ton of $$. Always remember that you want to get rid of this stuff. 

Happy Yardsale-ing! 

What are some of your best tips?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pregnancies close together

As many of you know, we're due to have our second baby in June. Our due date is exactly 11 months from Jed's birthday. We're having what some people call Irish twins! Although I can't tell you what it's like having two babies close in age, I can tell you what two close pregnancies feel like. Here are 10 things about having close pregnancies.
1. You feel like you've been pregnant forever! It seems like I have been pregnant for two years!! Which I suppose is kind of true, with a little break in between. I'm kind of excited to not be pregnant for a while and to be able to paint my own toes. 

2. You're so tired. Not only does being pregnant make you tired, but you have a newborn to take care of. I can't tell you what it's like to breastfeed and be pregnant but imagine it's even more exhausting. The good news is you can nap when you're baby naps and for me that was often :)

3. People are rude. I can't tell you how many comments I have received from people saying it's sad that I'm pregnant again. They feel the need to let me know that I'm going to neglect my first child. At first you're really hurt but then you learn to get over it. Most of those people had their kids 20 years apart (haha) and can't imagine doing it differently. 

4. You can't move as quickly. Not sure this applies to everyone but it definitely applies to me. People don't wonder if I'm pregnant when they see me, they know. I'm huge! So once I start to show it's harder for me to move. Everything takes longer! But if you're babys not crawling or walking yet, it's not so bad. 

5. People are nice. Although some people can be rude, there's also people who are really nice. People hold the door, carry things for me, help me with things. It's all the good things about being pregnant times two! 

6. You're not as excited. Although I'm excited to have a baby, I'm not as excited about pregnancy. When I was first pregnant I would journal everything, take pictures, read about the baby's development. With this pregnancy I'm not even sure how far along I am. 

7. Your husband is not as excited. He doesn't want to feel your stomach every time the baby kicks or go with you to every appointment. He knows the drill, and he just wants that baby out as much as you do. 

8. Everyone else is not as excited. People would ask me how I was feeling all the time, with Jed. Now I get: "when are you due again?" You have graduated to pregnancy pro and people aren't as excited as they were. I think it's mostly because they have already told you all their pregnancy stories. 

9. Life is not as demanding. After you have a baby you get what I call a "grace period" where people don't expect much from you. They bring you food, help with chores, and hold your baby while you sleep. Although you're exhausted, I imagine it's easier to be pregnant with a baby than it would be with a toddler. 

10. It helps to ask for help. You're going to be exhausted! Don't be afraid to ask people for help. As a new mom you want to get things right and do everything yourself. I promise that your baby won't be permenatly damaged if dad watches him while you take a nap. 

That's all! I'm sure every pregnancy is different. What are some things you found in your second pregnancy? 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Words hurt

There are times in our lives that it seems painfully obvious that words hurt. Mostly this happens when we or someone we care about is hurt by them. After you become a mom you are especially sensitive to comments people say. I can't speak for all moms but I know that for me becoming a mom was a huge change (shock is more like it). I was and still can be super emotional and critical. So it doesn't really help when people make thoughtless comments. There are things that have stuck with me from when Jed was born. I remember someone jokingly saying, "didn't you have the baby already?" A few days after I gave birth. I remember every comment people say when Jed is not wearing socks, or a hat, or isn't bundled up to his forehead in eighty degree weather. When people comment on how he wasn't breasted and how they breasted all of their children. And just the other day someone mentioned how unfortunate it is that I'm having a baby so soon after because Jed will be neglected. Yeah! Those are all things that stick with me and I don't tend to forget. Not because I'm still mad at the person but because they're hurtful reminders that you're just not getting it right.

Something I have always admired in my mom is how easily she is able to let go of negative things. She doesn't give rude comments a second thought, she just assumes that the person doesn't know any better. That is something that I so desperately desire to have! Something that I pray for. I remind myself that my worth is not in what people think of me but in God. Sometimes that's not so easy but going through all of this I am reminded of two things.

The first is to be careful with my words. I'm so guilty of gossip! Just a few weeks ago I confessed to my husband how easily it comes out! I can be getting in the car and the first thing I say is guess what this person said. This whole experience has shown me how much words can tear a person down. You can also change how someone sees a person based on the things you say. A verse that my husband often quotes to me is Ephesians 4:29 :)

The other is to show grace! Sometimes people don't know any better. Sometimes they think they're trying to help. Most of the time they don't know how hurtful what they're saying actually is. Just remember that there have been times when you have also said hurtful things. It's easier to show grace to ourselves and to be judgmental towards others, because we can rationalize why we do things (we're our best defense).

Just remember that our words should give grace to those who hear.