Baby #2 Pregnancy Update – Week 19

Due Date:  December 1st! A little turkey or a Christmas baby!

Size of Baby:  heirloom tomato

Gender: We haven’t had the big ultrasound yet, but we were surprised with the first baby and are going to wait again.

Eating/Craving:  Eating lots of eggs. Lots of fruit. Lots of chicken and beef. Not eating enough veggies or fish.

Mama Physically:
I’m doing great overall. My energy is usually good until about 8 at night. I’m up early each morning going on a 20-40 minute walk with Declan and Mattie. Most of the time I don’t even feel pregnant. I’m reminded there’s a baby growing in there when I move too quickly and get small cramps, which I understand to just be round ligament pains. I also sometimes need a break if I’ve been picking up or carrying Declan too much. A bummer because I love holding my baby boy.

Mama Emotionally:
Doing better now that we took pregnancy photos and made the official announcement. This pregnancy has been overshadowed for a while now, and it made me sad to realize it’s almost half over and we haven’t celebrated this baby yet with our family and friends. Taking pregnancy announcement photos helped my mama heart feel happy.

The second pregnancy is different because…
I keep forgetting that I am pregnant! It slips my mind. Of course, I never completely forget — I’m just not as focused on being pregnant. I’m way more focused on being a mommy. Which is one reason I’m doing these pregnancy updates, I want to enjoy this pregnancy before it’s over.

What’s New With Baby #1?  -Declan – 9 months old 
Baby boy has learned how to clap! I say to him, “Yay!!!”, and he claps away happily, so pleased with himself. Sometimes he gets so excited about his newly learned skill that he starts clapping at 3 AM! Not yay. We are loving the clapping but are working on figuring out the 3 AM wake up party.

With Baby #2, something I’ll do differently is…
Not use as many snap onesies and pajamas, especially for bedtime. Snaps get confusing during a middle of the night diaper change. I’m going for gowns or zippers with this baby.

With Baby #2, something I’ll do the same is…
Let the baby take naps on me. There’s not much as sweet as having a newborn sleep on you. I don’t think it is a bad habit. This new baby will get to sleep on me as much as possible.

A tough mommyhood moment this week:
Our barely-a-year-old glider rocker chair died.

After Declan was born, we were gifted the glider after it had been used by another mommy for about 5 months. To be fair, it probably got some damage done to it in all the moving it had during its little life. The glider has been slowly breaking the past couple weeks and finally got so bad this week it became too dangerous to even sit in.

The arms had swung open, broken apart, and fell to the ground. The back fell backwards and stayed there. When I tried to stick the arms back on to rebuild the structure, the little dowels just broke off. Super frustrating. I rely on that glider to help me put Declan down for his naps, so it was a hot mess of an afternoon when it died. Because, of course, it died on a day where mommy was tired and Declan had already taken two super short naps and really needed a good long one.

The glider is currently in two pieces in our bedroom. Dillon saw how upset I got about it and kicked it in half to make me laugh.

I’m going to have two babies in the house and I could sure use a new one.

A sweet mommyhood moment this week:
Sharing our pregnancy announcement photos on Instagram and Facebook and getting so much love and encouragement sent our way.

#PregnancyGoals for next week: 

  • Eat sardines. They are mega packed with nutrients.
  • Eat a vegetable with every meal.
  • Find a new glider.
  • Make sure Dillon doesn’t get sneaky during the big ultrasound next week(!) and figure out the gender..

Bump Photo at 19 Weeks

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Declan’s Big Promotion!

Declan is going to be a big brother!

And these sweet little babies will be just 14 short months apart.

I found out I was pregnant when Declan was only 6 months old. Definitely a surprise baby to us, but not a surprise baby to God. This pregnancy is led by confidence in knowing God has a plan for my family that’s way better than anything I could come up with.


                          I can just tell this is gonna be good. Hard at times, yes. But hard doesn’t have to mean bad.


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Postpartum Haze Helpers

The postpartum haze months were the sweetest months of my life. Sweetest, not easiest. Postpartum can get rough.

Because of past family history and the caution of a few friends, I wanted to do my best to ward off postpartum depression. I’m in no way saying I felt completely blissful the whole time, but when I started to get lost in overwhelm, I was able to shut it down and absorb every last beautiful drop of goodness from the newborn/postpartum period.

In no particular order, these are a few key things that helped me remain calm, focused, and enjoy the very early days of mommyhood.

1.  An Incredibly Short To-Do List

Declan’s doctor told me on his 3rd day check up, “Your only job is to feed the baby and rest. No cooking. No cleaning. Just feed the baby. And rest.”

And you better bet I took that to heart. I may have added poop (it’s a big accomplishment after giving birth), eat, and drink a lot of water to my list, but I did not let myself get caught up in anything other than figuring out breastfeeding and letting my (champion!) body start to recover from not only birthing a baby, but also growing one. My body did an outstanding job and deserved some much needed rest.

The whole time I was resting luxuriously, I kept having a thought in the back of my mind that’s a tad scary… how do mamas rest like this if they already have another kiddo? Better enjoy it to the fullest now!

2.  The County Songs, “You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Adkins and “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” by Darius Rucker

These two songs stuck out in my head after giving birth. It hurt my heart to know how quickly Declan will grow up and how I’ll blink and his baby stage will be over, so I wanted to intentionally soak in as much as I could and not wish time away.  I did not want to miss the newborn smells and newborn snuggles getting caught up with frustrations.

I had heard from every parent ever how quickly the baby stages change. And mamas, it does fly by. So enjoy each part.

Enjoy waking up every hour to nurse your baby. Enjoy every crazy loud newborn fart and messy diaper that follows. Enjoy the newborn cries. Enjoy your baby falling asleep on you. Enjoy the overwhelm. Because it won’t be like this for long. And you’re gonna miss it.

3. My Husband

I get teary eyed just thinking back to how in awe I was of Dillon. He has always been like a rock for me. But this was different. After giving birth I was so physically broken I relied on his support to even stand, to walk, to sit back down.  I had no idea what to expect after giving birth, but I didn’t think I’d need help standing up out of bed. So while I had one baby to take care of, Dillon had two babies that needed constant, delicate, and comforting care.

He did anything and everything possible to help me stay true and focused to my short to-do list. And through it all, he just kept telling me how beautiful I was.

4. A Giant Water Container With A Straw

The hospital knows what’s up because they gifted me with the perfect water bottle. Nursing gets a mama mighty thirsty. The straw was key because when my hands were full, Dillon could just lift the water bottle up for me to sip on. (Yes, I got super spoiled…)

 5. Snacks

Nursing also makes a mama super hungry. I had a ton of salami, cheese, and crackers. Mandarins were also in season so each week we hit up the farmer’s market and I bought two full bags of those yummy little oranges. Snacks should be super easy for mama to prepare and no cooking involved was key for me.

 6. Comfy Clothes

Clothes that were extremely comfortable, breastfeeding friendly, and pretty enough to not feel the need to change when people came by to meet baby.

7. Sister’s Help

My sister stayed with us the second week after Declan was born. Dillon had to go back to work by then, and I was just not ready to be alone. She helped by taking Mattie on walks, driving to get food, doing baby’s laundry, or just by filling my water bottle up while I nursed Declan. Any little task that would help me stay resting she would be willing to do. She helped me take newborn photos and send out birth annoucements. She even helped me with the comfy clothes by going out to Target for me and getting me a few outfits that fit all three requirements.

Something else that really helped having my sister stay was that since she’s my sister, I had no problem breastfeeding in front of her or talking about my postpartum body issues or asking her to do random tasks like get me a stool softener pill. She could so easily read my mood and knew when I needed a nap or a milkshake or to laugh or to cry. She was also aware that sometimes Dillon and I needed to catch up after he got off work and was really respectful of giving us some time.

Once my husband had to return to work, having someone close by that I felt extremely comfortable with was so helpful.

8. Boppy Pillow

I loved my nursing pillow and I still use it. Declan is 8 months old.

9. Bathroom Goodies From The Hospital

I had read some advice from other bloggers about what to do while at the hospital giving birth and a few mentioned stocking up on all the postpartum supplies from the hospital. I made sure to ask the nurses for extra of everything. Everything meaning witch hazel pads, numbing spray, the biggest pads I have ever seen in my life, stretching mesh underwear, and peri bottles.

10. God’s Strength and Peace

I rely day by day on God’s supernatural strength to keep me going. Mine can only take me so far.

11.  Cell Phone

With a newborn attached to me almost constantly, I sometimes only had one hand available and still wanted to check in with the blogs I follow, work e-mail,  regular e-mail, Instagram, or just check The Bump to read about my baby each week. Oh, and of course, text people a ton of Declan photos.

12. Ugly Betty – A Comfort TV Show

Once my husband was back at work and my sister had to go back to her life, I was all alone with a tiny baby. I was still on the couch most of the day feeding or holding the baby while he slept, and it could get lonely. So I rewatched the entire Ugly Betty series. I had already seen that show at least two times so it felt like having familiar people around. Since I knew everything going on in the show, it didn’t matter if I dozed off with Declan in my arms to catch up on much needed sleep.

I would have liked to be a new mommy who reads while she is nursing, but I was super sleepy and not at all in the mood to attempt to read.

13. Paper Plates and Canned Vegetables

I was kind of a food snob for a few years and refused to eat canned vegetables or use paper plates. I don’t think I ate canned vegetables before Declan was born for at least five years. And I always thought paper plates were a waste of money, since it wasn’t that hard to wash a plate.

But having a baby changed things, as they say. We weren’t on our cooking game, so we ended up throwing away a ton of fresh vegetables that didn’t get cooked in time and then having no vegetables to eat at meal time. Canned veggies stay good for a scary amount of time, so while they aren’t ideal, canned veggies are better than no veggies. Frozen would be good, too.

Also, the paper plates just became a nice, handy vacation away from dishes. Since my to-do list was really short, Dillon got stuck with all the dishes, normally a job I tend to. Paper plates freed him up to spend more time with mama and baby. Paper plates for the win!

14. Salt Lamp

We ended up bed-sharing with Declan. I had a bassinet next to the bed, that was the plan. But when I brought that tiny baby home, it just felt wrong to have him so far from me. 8 months later however… Anyway, with a newborn so close I felt too nervous to have the room completely dark. I had to feed him at least every two hours, if not every hour, and the salt lamp provided the perfect amount of quiet light. Eventually I got skilled enough to feed him in the dark, but at first I needed some light. It also is a dimmer lamp, so I could easily turn it higher if I needed to and didn’t have to have a bright shock of light from a normal lamp.

15. Quick Visits

I loved having people come over to show off my baby. But quick visits were key. As Declan and I got the hang of it, I got better at breastfeeding discreetly in front of people, but for the first few weeks I just needed privacy when feeding him. And breastfeeding under a blanket was really strange… and hot. And disappearing to feed him to a different room for forty minutes made me feel isolated and put under pressure to hurry the feeding up since everyone came over to see the baby. Quick visits were also key because Dillon and I were exhausted new parents and could only entertain for so long.

16. YouTube Sermons

Church was, and still is, a little more complicated with a baby. So it was really nice to have access to sermons from pastors I like on YouTube whenever I needed some truth talked at me.

17. Letting Bad Advice/Comments Go In One Ear and Out The Other…

Babies get people talking. Talking with advice. Talking with their experiences. Talking talking talking. Some harmful words are bound to slip out. Some unwanted, bad advice is bound to slip out. I know family and friends are well-meaning and wouldn’t purposely say things to upset me or steer me in the wrong direction, but I was really hormonal and running on little to no sleep, so I made sure to be selective with which bits of advice/comments I clung to and which I tossed aside quickly.

A lot of times when people were giving me unwanted advice, I would remind them as kindly as possible that I am a new mom and will need to figure some things out through experience, just like they did when they had a baby.

18. Pro-Breastfeeding Friends

I was also given a ton of terrible breastfeeding advice. When I was experiencing problems breastfeeding (major clogging issues around 2-3 months), people who weren’t really pro-breastfeeding were super quick to tell me things like, “you need to give the baby water and juice” or “you’ll never be able to make enough milk so start supplementing with formula” or “you could just stop breastfeeding, you’ll feel a lot of stress gone when you give it up.”  I believe well-meaning comments, but ones I didn’t agree with and needed to ignore.

Thankfully, I had a few friends I would text weekly about how Declan was eating and how breastfeeding was going. I could ask them for advice knowing they had been through it successfully. They encouraged me, made me laugh, and understood why breastfeeding was important for me to try and stick out.

Trust My Gut — I Needed To Do This More

This is one I didn’t do as much as I would have liked.

I second guessed myself a lot. Example — there were a few times where I could tell Declan was hungry, so I would tell whoever was holding him, “I need to feed him, I think he’s hungry.” And they would tell me, “no, I don’t think he is.” And it got super awkward because I didn’t want to demand my baby back… so I would just say, “Umm…okay…?”

Or the same situation but Declan was tired and needed a nap, but people kept wanting to play with him or make him smile… and then he would get crazy grumpy and it took much longer for Dillon or me to get him to sleep.

I did learn to be more vocal once I gained more confidence as a mom. I learned how to sweetly, but sternly say, “my baby is hungry. I need to feed him right now.” I learned how to read Declan’s mood and insist play time was over because it was now baby’s nap time. Being more assertive from the beginning would have taken away some uncomfortable stress.

Anyway, this list could honestly keep on growing because there are so many different ways to help a new mama make the most of  the beautiful but challenging postpartum days. Sunshine is another key ingredient for a happy postpartum. Baby wearing made me feel like supermom.

Overall, I got so much support and Declan got so much love.

That time was a true gift from God.  It was a very sweet, unlike any other.

Mamas, was there anything that helped you have an easier postpartum period? 

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3 Thoughts That Helped Me Handle Natural, Unmedicated Labor

I super loved giving birth. There were moments during my 26 hour labor where love would not have been my word of choice, but looking back, I can confidently say I loved giving birth. It was one of the best and most challenging experiences.

To sum it up quickly, because this isn’t really a post about the birth, I will give a few stats for need to know. I did most of my laboring at home, about 18 hours. I wanted to avoid the hospital and their “hospital procedures” as long as possible. I arrived at the hospital about 7 cm dilated, and spent the next 8 hours getting to 10 cm. I did not get an epidural or any pain medication. I also opted out of being hooked up to an IV or having constant fetal monitoring.

It was a long labor. There were moments where I nearly gave up. Ha, except we don’t really have that choice? There were a lot of things that kept me going, but I had three very intentional thoughts going into labor that I know greatly helped me cope and achieve the natural birth I wanted.

Thought #1:  The Pain Is a Privilege  

I never really had a fear of the pain of childbirth. Women are really strong. Sometimes period pain is bad and there’s no reward at the end of the pain. I was pretty sure I could handle the pain. Turns out, labor is as crazy painful as they say, just needing to put that out there. Crazy painful. But a thought that really helped me handle the pain was remembering how this pain is a privilege.

I really wanted to give birth naturally. No pain meds, no epidural, just my body doing what it was created to do.

I know there are women who can’t get pregnant. Women who can’t stay pregnant. I know there are women who must have unwanted c-sections to deliver their babies. So I knew going into labor, if I was fortunate enough to be experiencing the pain of childbirth that it was a good thing and there was no way I was going to complain about the pain.

I don’t know the pain of infertility or the pain of miscarriage but I imagine they must be drastically worse.

This pain had a purpose. This pain meant my baby was on his way. And that is a privilege.

Thought #2 – It’ll Be Over So Quick, So Enjoy It 

My labor was 26 hours. So at the time it didn’t feel quick. But it was just one day on a calendar.

This pain is temporary. This experience will be over quickly. I didn’t want to miss it, you know? I wanted to feel it all and experience it all. I wanted to smile and laugh and keep my sense of humor as long as possible.

I wanted to make God and Dillon proud of how I handled birthing this baby.

I knew the pain wouldn’t last forever, and I wanted to fully experience childbirth while it was happening. This helped keep my head in the right mindset. To keep me calm and know that babies all come out eventually.

Thought #3 – I’m Not Alone

My pregnancy was a huge walk of faith with God. So from day one of this pregnancy, I felt God with me every step. So I knew He would be right with me during labor. Once contractions started really picking up, I told Dillon to start playing Pandora. Worship music, I requested. He chose the Lauren Daigle station. Worship music delivers the Holy Spirit so well.

I also had Dillon with me. I needed his strength. I had my birth doula with me. I needed her support. I depended on their words of encouragement. I depended on their faces. I depended on eye contact. I depended on their touch.

Towards the end of the labor, when things were getting really crazy, I could listen, look around, and feel that I was not alone. My own strength alone would have only taken me so far.

My thoughts have an annoying habit of running away from me, and I knew the devil might try and sneak a few discouraging thoughts in my head, so I am really glad I decided to pregame what intentional thoughts I would cling to during childbirth.

I used those three thoughts to handle labor.  And, of course, I used the thought of finally getting to meet my baby and find out if baby was a boy or girl!

Did you have any specific thoughts that helped you bring your baby into this world? 
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Church Learnin’ – Take Jesus With You

Two weeks ago my learnin’ about the King happened on my king size bed. We did not attend church. Instead, I watched a live feed of it on my cell phone. Going to church with a baby has been complicated. I have been utilizing the online live feed option for church on Sunday. I don’t love it, but it’s what is working for us right now.

The pastor preached on the idea of inviting Jesus into every part of our lives. Take Jesus with us to the grocery store, to work, to the couch, take him everywhere we go. The pastor asked us something along the lines of, if Jesus were to knock on your door, what would you need to change before he could come inside? 

Then he gave suggestions of what we might feel the need to change. Possibly changing what was being watched on TV. Maybe hiding a few magazines or posters. Cleaning up a big mess in the kitchen. Cleaning up what kind of language gets used. Stop gossiping.

This really got me thinking about what I would do differently throughout the day if I knew, at any moment, Jesus would knock on my door and want to spend time with my family. Would I be ready?

I quickly came to the conclusion, no. I would not be ready. Because I’m not even ready to open the door when the mailman rings the doorbell and drops off a package. And I almost always need a five minute heads up from Dillon if anyone is coming over to the house.

Why do I need a heads up? To get dressed.

I need a five minute warning to get dressed in presentable clothes. So if Jesus were to knock on my front door, I’d have to make him wait while I ran back to my closet to get dressed beyond my pajamas. Yikes.

I got a strong clear conviction to start putting more work into my mommy wardrobe. I have been very slack with getting dressed into real clothes since I’ve been staying home on maternity leave with Declan. He is now 3 months old so I am past the grace postpartum period where it didn’t matter what I was wearing because I just had a baby. 

Thank God, one of the blogs I follow, had recently posted about her Mom Uniform and she helped get my fashion sense inspired. I am not great with fashion but knew I could at least get dressed with comfy leggings and a button up. It’s comfy and it’s easy to breastfeed or pump in.

I went to Target and bought a few tops. I already have two pairs of leggings I love from when I was pregnant and pants just stopped being practical. On the war about whether or not leggings are pants, for me I can only wear them as pants if the shirt is long enough to cover my bottom. Otherwise I feel naked and on display. I also grabbed a nursing tank-top to wear underneath.

Easy and simple. And I have loved how uncomplicated getting dressed is now for around the house. I get to underthink getting dressed in the morning.

My clothes are not of huge importance, but I would hate to face Jesus at 2 in the afternoon and not have even bothered to get dressed for the day. Getting dressed also jump starts my day and is helping me get more done around the house and with Declan.

If Jesus knocked on your door, could you invite him in confidently to stay a while? Or is there something you’d feel the need to change or hide or stop doing completely? 


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4 Reasons I’m Choosing Grace Over Guilt


Guilt: the state or feeling of one who has committed an offense

Grace: God’s free and unmerited favor toward sinful humanity

I’ve been writing and rewriting this post. Because I know it can help somebody who is stuck in flashbacks from one bad choice, one bad day, one bad moment, but I’m having difficulty finding the right words to express how much grace has saved my life. I’m not a pastor and I’m not a very wise woman, but I do know where I was before and I know where I am now. And all the glory goes to God. Everything good in my life is because I decided to once and for all say goodbye to guilt and hello to grace.

I’m not pretending the sin I committed didn’t happen. But living guilty won’t accomplish anything good.

The Four Reasons I’m Choosing Grace Over Guilt 

#1. The People Around Me

My husband. My family. My friends. People who depend on me. I’ve been entrusted with people in my life and I need to honor that.  I was no good for anyone when I was conversing nonstop with the enemy about how horribly I messed up.

#2. Other Women

I need to help warn other women. There are other naive women who are ready to believe the lies abortion presents. I need to be a truth speaker so I can save other women the heartbreak.

#3 Future Generations

If I ever have any more babies, their lives matter and I need to be strong for them. I wasn’t strong before but I can be strong now. I’ve heard many pastors preach on the message of what isn’t healed is handed down. I do not want to hand this down to future generations.  God willing, I will have more babies. God willing, I’m going to raise my babies to know Jesus. In fact, the baby in the picture is my newly born son, Declan. And he’s a direct result of me accepting God’s grace.

#4 Jesus Died For It

This is the main reason I need to accept God’s grace. At times, I used to think that yes, Jesus died for our sins, but not this sin. Thank God, what I think does not matter. I can’t live based on what I think and call myself a Christian. I have to live based on what I know. And the Bible tells me Jesus died for our sins. Our sins have been washed away. Our sins are as far from us as the east is from the west. If I don’t accept God’s grace completely, it’s like saying Jesus’s sacrifice wasn’t great enough.

We can either choose to let guilt win or choose to accept God’s grace. There’s a right and a wrong choice. And I intend to spend the rest of my life chasing after the right choice this time.  My prayer is for any others suffering from the guilt or pain of a past event to seek out God. 


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Orange Room Progress – Goodbye Stuff

Two weeks ago I decided to finally tackle my craft room after hearing at church how God won’t give responsibility to irresponsible people.

Super irresponsible to have a mess this big.

After working on it for two weeks I can finally start to see the original vision I had for this space.

One major part of getting the room organized was getting rid of stuff. Again. I have gotten rid of stuff so many times. Dillon has helped me take so many full trash bags to Goodwill. I’ve watched Clean House for inspiration. I’ve read and tried the KonMari method twice. I tried to join Elsa in letting it go. I’ve told myself, I’ve got God so I don’t need this junk anymore. I’ve given away an insane amount of quality books, dvds, TV on dvds, CDs, clothes, shoes, etc. So cleaning this room frustrated me so much because I didn’t know how I was still drowning in stuff

Being a teacher makes it harder to just trash things because maybe I could use that in the classroom. Maybe I could give that away as a prize. Maybe…maybe…maybe I’ll use it someday… 

That thought kept me holding on to a lot. Which is a heavy burden.

But this time, I have hope, will be the final time for major purging of stuff. 

Here are a few of the things I said goodbye to…

Leftover Fabric Scraps

I have toted bags full of fabric scraps around for years. I always thought to myself, I can make a ton of cute blankets and give them away to the pregnancy center downtown. One summer a few years back I did just that – I made a lot of blankets and donated them. The pregnancy center has a great program and I wanted to support the work they do. But that was when I had a lot of free time — I was a teacher on summer break. 

I just don’t have the time or energy in this season. And I don’t want to be tripping over that bag any longer.


I had to say goodbye to ribbon. For the second time…there used to be more…

Oh, my goodness. Why does anybody have this much ribbon? I bought it when I made and sold chocolate and it was used to decorate the chocolate boxes.  I way overbought ribbon because it’s so cute. Ugh. And I’ve held onto it because maybe I’ll use it for something. Thankfully, a friend who teaches the sixth grade took the ribbon off my hands. I know sixth graders can put it to good use. Or even if it’s not put to good use, at least it is out of my space and getting used! What is the point of a ton of unused crafting supplies?

Storage Containers

Previously all full.

When something is tucked away in a storage container, I forget about it. Storage containers are bulky and ugly but are sometimes helpful so I am keeping two of them. One is for Christmas stuff. I previously used two for Christmas but I am downsizing. Anything that doesn’t fit gets a sleigh ride to Goodwill. And I’m keeping a second storage container for all the clothes Declan is super quickly growing out of.

Christmas Wrapping Paper

Also my second time getting rid of Christmas paper. I know there are super savvy ways to store wrapping paper, but I don’t want to see it anymore. It takes up a lot of space and only gets used once a year. Plus, I was stashing enough Christmas wrapping paper to last until Declan moves out of the house! And that thought does not bring me joy. 

Random Items

So many random items. Here are some water bottle holders I made when I was in high school. Ten years ago. Never used. I also gave these to the sixth teacher to use as prizes. Why did I never use them as prizes in my own classroom? They were lost in a storage container. (And I’m still on maternity leave!)

Bulk Unused Fabric

A few years ago, my older sister and I went to JoAnns Fabrics on Black Friday. It was so so so fun. People were grabbing fabric and yelling, “I’ll take the whole bolt!” or “I’ll take 10 yards!” And the fabric was so cheap! I got in on the action big time. The fun memories will stay, but the fabric I never should have purchased will go.

Looking at these pictures makes me realize how silly it was to hold on to things for so long. I got way more happiness from not having them than I got while having them.

I am so happy with the progress I have made so far. The room is walkable! The floor is visible! I can breathe. I feel peace and excitement instead of frustration. I have learned my lesson and will no longer buy extra fabric just incase. I will no longer overbuy stuff because it is cute or on sale. I will carefully watch what stuff enters my house. Including gifts. Christmas comes with gifts and gifts are more stuff.  Some stuff will be kept, and some stuff will be enjoyed for a while and then donated to be enjoyed by others.

And… I get to move onto decorating my room and making it a workable space. Good thing I just finished reading Chip and Joanna’s Magnolia Story! Although I’m not sure they’d think my orange walls are the way to go…


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My Word For 2017

Yay! I have a blog this year and can write about my word of the year!

Last year for 2016,  my word was faith. But I didn’t get to write a blog post about it because I kept overthinking whether or not I should start a blog. I debated and debated. And thought. And thought. Should I? Shouldn’t I? Here’s reasons why. Here’s reasons why not.

And then about five months went by where I didn’t move on it. Obviously, since you’re reading this, I eventually started a blog. I eventually had faith. After I thought and thought and thought and thought about it.

My mind overthinks too much and I waste a lot of time just thinking instead of doing. I make a decision and feel great about it, but then I start to rethink it. And keep rethinking it.

I believe the devil uses overthinking as a tool of distraction. There’s no movement from me when I’m overthinking. And there’s no fun. Overthinking is like driving someplace but instead of reaching the destination, all the time is spent driving back and forth on the highway. It’s so pointless. Especially because eventually the car will stop. Probably in the place it was headed the whole time.

No movement is definitely something the devil must love. And I don’t want anymore part of it.

I don’t want to waste my life away overthinking.

So this year, for 2017, my word of the year is…


Ok, it’s not even a word. I started to think of what other word I could use instead, trust? spontaneous? pray? but quickly realized — yikes! I’m already doing it! I’m thinking too much instead of just going with it.

So for 2016, I did execute faith in some ways. But it was a double-triple-check-really-think-about-it-first faith. Which isn’t the kind of faith I want to lead my life with. What usually prevents me from moving forward is overthinking.

My head hurts from overthinking. 2017 is the year for quick action and less second guessing myself.

It will be tough but I am so excited. I’ve already come up against a few moments where I started to get lost in my thoughts and the word underthink! popped into my head and freed me from myself. It helps me let go of the what-ifs and replace it with trust. Trust God. Trust myself.

Continue to have faith and start underthinking.

Do you have a word for 2017? You can always borrow mine if you feel your mind halting you from movement. 

Also, I’m drinking way more hot chocolate in 2017. I don’t know what I was thinking last year.

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Church Learnin’ – Responsibility to Maintain

At church last Sunday, somewhere between breastfeeding Declan and sneaking peeks of him falling asleep in Daddy’s arms, I heard the pastor say, “God won’t give responsibility to irresponsible people.”  Most of the sermon I was distracted by the baby, but as soon as I heard that I wrote it down in the back of my Bible.

Because I want God to give me responsibility. I want to make a difference. I want to be trustworthy. But I know there are some areas in my life that I’ve been neglectful. Thankfully, I didn’t have to think over which one I’m supposed to tackle first because one of them immediately popped into my mind.

My craft room.

I have been so irresponsible with maintaining that area of our house. It’s an embarrassment for Dillon and me. When people take a tour of our house I’ve stopped making excuses for the mess. “There’s no excuse,” I say. “It’s messy and it’s my fault.” It’s the room where all my hobbies go to die. I dread walking into it and try not to look in it when I’m walking past it in the hallway. It almost has it’s own dreary theme song.

As I write, I’m sitting in here now and my desk is so cluttered I can hardly find a safe place to put my drink. I bought a new pair of scissors from Wal*Mart yesterday because I can’t find any except my fabric scissors. And fabric scissors ain’t for nothin’ but fabric.

My craft room started out as this great dream project of mine. When we bought the house, Dillon got the garage to play with and I got one room in the house to play with. He painted his blue and that inspired me to paint mine orange. Then I picked out sheer white curtains and Dillon hung them up for me.  War Room had come out fairly recently, so I was excited to put up huge framings of some of my favorite worship lyrics. It was going to be the ultimate prayer, sewing, reading, and writing space. I was going to have craft parties in it.

Instead I have a cluttered, depressingly messy room. Walking in that room is a hazard. My scissors might be on the floor somewhere. Every once in a while I’ll hear Dillon call out from that room in frustration, “where’s your scotch tape?” And I have to answer back, “uhh….I don’t know. Good question.” That room is definitely not baby friendly. I can barely find space on the floor for Delcan’s bouncy chair. And all the hobbies I love — sewing, scrapbooking, writing, etc… just don’t happen very often in a space that is so uninviting.

Well. It’s time to clean it out. Once and for all.

I really don’t want my only assignment from God to be clean your room. 

Stayed tuned for updates and a makeover reveal!

Is there something in your life that you have been irresponsible about?  Start tackling it today to make room for greater assignments! 

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Speak Out – My Abortion Story

Before I became a Christian, I would have listed Dirty Dancing as one my favorite movies. What was not to love? Romance. Hungry Eyes. Watermelon.  This movie had it all. Or so I thought. I was blind to how the entire plot existed so that a young woman in crisis could have an abortion.

I was twenty-three when I had a pregnancy that ended in abortion.  Except, there was no dancing romance happening in the background. Just two panicked people, rushing into what would be the most devastating choice of their lives.

Dillon and I, newly dating at the time, convinced ourselves it was the smart choice. I was already battling an autoimmune disease, and he had just started his dream job out of state. We told ourselves my body wasn’t strong enough to have a baby. Except, we didn’t call it a baby. I repeated to myself that it wasn’t a baby yet. It was just tissues forming. Abortion is just another form of birth control. I read on the abortion clinic’s website how abortion is safer than childbirth.

Did you know you can get a same day appointment for an abortion? It takes five hours to get inside an ER but at an abortion clinic they don’t want you to have any time to think.

On the day of the abortion, when I walked into the procedure room, I started to cry. Immediately, as if routine, the nurse handed me a tissue and then spoke. “You’d better stop that,” she warned me. “If the doctor sees you crying, he won’t do the procedure.”

Instead of compassion, she fed me more fear. Had she let me cry out, had I refused to hide my emotions, would my baby and I have left together? It makes me angry me to imagine how many other women were handed a tissue. Abortion is a carefully crafted assembly line.

I had wiped away the visible tears and I tried to look fine, to look as though I was confident in my choice. The doctor came into the room and told me to count backwards from ten. Oh, how the enemy must have cheered at his victory. He was going to have my life after this

I woke up from the anesthesia screaming, crying out and grabbing my abdomen. I looked around in the recovery room filled with at least ten other women. What did I just do? It became oh, so clear the moment it was over. I wanted my baby back. This was a huge mistake. Why was I such a coward? But it was too late. Abortion is permanent. The promise of relief did not come. I didn’t feel relief to no longer be pregnant. I felt a deep, deep heartache.

My whole body shook so a nurse came over to ask what was wrong. What was wrong? I felt like yelling at her. What kind of place is this? What kind of people are you? What kind of person am I? What kind of stupid question is, what was wrong, wasn’t it obvious? Didn’t she know what I had just done?

I used to replay that day and imagine myself bolding walking out of the abortion clinic and grabbing the hands of the other women there. There were so many other women there. So many little lives taken.

For three years I silently suffered. I couldn’t talk about it to anybody, including Dillon. Occasionally I would get really sad, and he could tell something was wrong, but I kept my mouth shut and continued to let fear silence me. It was my own fault and suffering was a punishment I deserved.  I went on with my life, got a teaching job, got an apartment. But the abortion never for a day didn’t come into my mind. Flashbacks controlled my thoughts and I spent so much time wishing I could go back and fix it.

It was a terrible and unsustainable way to be living. I didn’t know God at all. I didn’t grow up going to church or hearing God’s word. All I knew was what the world offered me. Which I was learning was not so great. I thought there was no way out of this grief I carried. I was convinced I’d have to live the rest of my life haunted by my past.

But then one day, a day I will forever be thankful for, I accepted an offer to go to church. I was living a very superficially happy life, but like many people, I had hidden hurts buried inside me.

I showed up at God’s house and God showed up. I got saved in church that day. I heard real truth preached for the first time and it shocked my body and soul. My heart changed that day. I knew God was with me in that church. I felt a special love wash over me and a strong peace fill me from inside. I knew I had been living life all wrong.

I was hooked and craved more. I started going to church. I starting reading the Bible. I listened to Joyce Meyer on my daily walks. I listened to Elevation Church’s podcast on the way home from work. Anything that encouraged and strengthen my faith. Anything that spoke hope.

Through all of that, God slowly starting working with me in areas of my life that needed fixing. I didn’t want to be a fake Christian so I knew I had to step out in faith and do what God was telling me to do. God immediately told me to stop sleeping with Dillon, still my boyfriend at the time, and to also tell him he was no longer allowed to stay over at my apartment.

I had honestly always wanted those two things. But in today’s world, we are told to test each other out, make sure it’ll last. We have to make sure we’re sexually compatible. What nonsense to hear now. So much of my life I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut about my feelings and God was reteaching me how to express them in a way that is good.

As I’m sure you can imagine, telling Dillon those two things was not an easy discussion. But I didn’t approach that conversation alone. I brought God with me and Bible verses to back me up. Although with some hesitation, Dillon finally agreed. Or God spoke to Dillon and changed his heart just as He had done mine.

The next big thing God told me to confront was my true feelings about Dillon occasionally watching porn. I was never okay with it, but I’d figured all guys watch it, even nice guys. But that’s not true. Not all guys watch it. I told him how I really felt about porn, including movies or TV shows with graphic nudity. But way more importantly than what I feel, I told Dillon what the Bible says about lust.  I was obedient to what God had told me to say to Dillon and I understood that the rest was out of my control. I spoke out about something I had been silent and accepting over in the past. God was teaching me how to voice my true opinion when the topic got complicated or unpopular.

God stayed with me as He worked with Dillon. I learned that I can trust God to help me win the battles He tells me to fight. After seeing God’s victory numerous times, I felt God telling me it was time to confront my darkest secret sin. The secret sin I didn’t dare mention.  I had already confessed and repented of my abortion, but I could hear Him telling me to be fully healed, I needed to voice my hurts and share my story.

I had to first voice the pain of the abortion to Dillon. We had talked about it on and off over the years, but I never really said what I had needed to say. This came at an inconvenient time though because we had just gotten married. Happily ever after and abortion talk don’t mix.

I put it off. And put it off. And when I finally did start talking, it didn’t all come out great. It took us on an emotion driven rollercoaster for the first few months of our marriage. When the rollercoaster slowed down, we were happy and in love. I could accept God’s forgiveness, I could forgive myself, I could forgive Dillon… but then something would trigger my memory and instantly I went back to that day. Instantly I felt lifeless as I’d yell at Dillon, “Of all the things we could have done, we did the most absolute worst thing imaginable! How could we have been so stupid?”

And in my mind, I’d be glaring at him and thinking, How did you convince me to kill my baby? Why weren’t you a supportive man who owned up to his responsibility? If you would have told me to keep the baby, I would have. You never feel the pain I feel about it. I hate you and I hate myself. We don’t deserve to be living. Sex with you has caused me nothing but grief. 

It seemed like a pointless battle. The flashbacks got worse and the yelling got louder. I couldn’t see a way out.

But God told me to trust and to keep going.

Once I had been vocal in the wrong way, it became easier to find the right words. I had to voice my true truth and not the truth I thought Dillon wanted to hear. We did an abortion Bible study together called Forgiven and Set Free. It was slow and painful.

Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of joy. – James 4:9

But God stayed faithful as we walked with Him. I had to let go of the anger. I had to let go of the what if. I made a decision to choose grace over guilt.  I no longer have nightmares or flashbacks. My days and nights are not drenched with shame. I do not blame Dillon and our relationship is good. I have hope for the future.

He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. – Pslam 103:12

For a long time I felt like less of a woman for having an abortion. Liked I had an A etched onto my forehead. So while it is scary to share my story, God had promised to use it for good. I share my story because I know there are other girls and women who are just as naive as I was about abortion.

I’ve learned no amount of tears will allow me to go back in time and make the right choice. I can’t go back and save my baby. I can’t go back and be brave, but I can be brave now. I can help prevent other women from believing abortion’s lies. I can help save innocent lives. I can help point other women to true healing through God and His word.

I can speak out instead of staying silent.


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