To My Baby Going to Kindergarten

Today has come.

I have often thought about this day coming and how good it will be for you. You have continually talked about this day and how excited you are. You are so ready, you are so brave and I know you will do great!

Today is day one of kindergarten.

It really was only yesterday I was cradling you in my arms. You were so fresh and new. That day feels so close to my memory I can almost smell that newborn smell and hear the first sounds you ever made.

It was just yesterday you couldn’t get yourself dressed, put on your own shoes and brush your own teeth.
It was just yesterday I had to lift you out of the van because the jump was too high.
It was just yesterday you learned to call me, “Mama”. The sweetest of words you spoke at such a young age.
It was just yesterday you took your first steps and every step you took you needed my hand to help you along the way.

Now I am walking you into your classroom. Your hand in mine. I am gripping your little hand extra today and just hoping that feeling of you close to me stays for the hours ahead.

I have prayed for this specific day. I have prayed so many details for this day that it would be the beginning of something wonderful in your life and you would find great joy in everything set before you here in this place. May you have such amazing adventures ahead.

You will find yourself frustrated somedays because learning new things can be hard. But I pray you will find confidence in your strengths and willingness to learn in your weaknesses. Never forget how smart you are.

You will come across kids that are unkind. I pray you will choose to stand up for yourself with kindness in spite of how anyone is treating you, because you are amazing! Never forget how loved you are.

There will be moments when you feel sad. It’s okay to have tears and your feelings are always valid, but I pray in your sadness you can find that beautiful smile of yours again and let it shine bright. Never forget to smile.

You will find yourself at crossroads in how to handle something. I pray you always choose to do the right thing no matter what anyone is telling you to do. Never forget how independent you are and remember you always have a choice.

You will have days where you feel afraid. I pray you will feel Gods arms wrapped around you and always feel protected and safe. Never forget how brave you are.

You will have days that you miss me and that’s okay because I will be missing you too. Never forget how much I love you.

I know you won’t always need my help the more you grow, but I am always here to help you in those times when you still don’t know how.

I know you won’t always need to snuggle me the more you grow, but I am always here to wrap you in my arms and be your safe place.

I know you won’t always need to hold my hand the more you grow, but this mamas hand is meant to hold yours and it will always be here when you need it.

I know you won’t feel like you need me the more you grow, but I promise you that I will always need you.

I will miss those quiet mornings together when it was just you and me, but I know this is your chance to spread your little wings and I am ready to be your #1 fan cheering you on as you grow and learn more!

So today you wrapped your arms tight around my neck and planted a big kiss on my cheek. “I love you mommy”, you said to me. I then watched you with your big backpack walking into a classroom full of so much unknown for you. So brave and ready to face the world. You’ve got this, little one.

You then looked back at me and waved goodbye with your little hand that was once holding my hand just moments before.

I want to just live in this moment right now. I want to remember the sweet smile on your face right now. I want to feel the grasp of your little hand holding mine.

This is the moment where I walk away, waving back at you, and trusting Gods hands holding my baby.

I can’t imagine any better hands to be holding you right now.

Spread your wings and fly, little one.

Love, Mommy

 

 

 

Baby Nursery Makeover

I am so excited to share this next room makeover with you! The moment we found out baby #3 was a girl I was immediately inspired to create her nursery!

We moved into our new home when I was about 6 months pregnant and because she slept in our room for the first few months we didn’t rush to finish her room right away. This room was a darker beige color and really was not one of the worst looking rooms in the house.

But, I love gray walls with white trim and my whole house is pretty much painted the same color because you can change out the decor easily in a room anytime you want if the walls are a good neutral color! I knew I wanted to do gray and blush pink in her room. I have always loved blush pink and pairing it with the perfect gray is always so beautiful!

We painted the walls gray and it made such a difference already! The gray was the perfect shade with all that sunlight coming in from that nice big window!Next I went on a search for the perfect curtains! I wanted the color as close to a very blush pink as I could possibly find. I didn’t want pig pink and I certainly didn’t want hot pink. I shopped many stores online trying to find the perfect color, but it can be so hard to trust the color of something online. So I set out on a journey in store and, as usual, started with Target! I should not have been surprised that I found the curtains of my dreams at Target because Target never fails! I have preached this in previous blog posts and I will forever preach it!

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Top 5 Tuesday- June {Baby Edition}

Happy Top 5 Tuesday, friends! It is officially that time again when I share my Top 5 Favorites of the month! Last month I shared all about my top 5 favorite moments in May. It was so neat to think back on special or funny moments in the month and reflect on some beautiful memories that were made!

This month I am sharing 5 of my favorite baby products I have found this month for my 10 month old! I am amazed by all the amazing products that continue to be created to make baby life easier and convenient! I have fallen in love with these 5 products for our littlest little and I’m excited to share them with you!

1/ Playtex Baby Non-Slip Bath Mat- 

My daughter is 10 months old now and is definitely at the point of sitting by herself in the big bathtub. Even though I sit there next to the tub at all times, it still makes me nervous that she could slip easily and I may not be quick enough to catch her. I found this slip free bath mat by Playtex and I absolutely love it! It has suction cups all along the bottom of it and it grips perfectly to the bathtub for a slip free bath time!

Continue reading “Top 5 Tuesday- June {Baby Edition}”

What to Wear Wednesday- StevieJ’s Head Wraps

I like big bows and I cannot lie!

Seriously, there is nothing much cuter than a sweet little girl with a big bow on her head! When I was pregnant with my first daughter I dreamed of bows and dresses! Thankfully I was blessed with a little girl who dreams the same dream that I do! Now we are raising up baby girl right and teaching her all about big bows!

I have been searching for the best big bow head wraps out there for my girls and often find myself disappointed in them. The quality is never impressive to me and they are always so expensive! Not to mention they are sent to me untied and I am completely lost on how to tie them properly!

Never fear! All your big bow searching days have come to an end! Introducing StevieJs! These bows are just the right kind of big and perfect in every way! I was skeptical at first because I have lucked out so many times, but I am beyond pleased with StevieJ’s quality in their head wraps, variety in styles and the price cannot be beat! One of the most exciting parts is that they come pre-tied! I have yet to untie them and my girls have worn them many times now! If they do become un-tied, StevieJ’s has a tutorial video on their website to help you learn how to tie them yourself in multiple different ways!

I could have honestly bought 50 of these head wraps and it was very hard to narrow down to the ones I decided on. StevieJ’s offers a few different styles in their shop, which made my decision even harder! My first choice was the Skye Butter Stretch Wrap. I knew the moment I saw this color my blue-eyed baby girl needed it in her life! They don’t call it butter for no reason! This fabric is SO soft and has a perfect stretch to it!

The butter stretch wraps come in lots of different colors and a few are done in a ribbed fabric for a more textured look! All of StevieJ’s head wraps can fit up to girls age 10+ years old, which means both my girls can wear the same one! I consider that even more worth my money when I get double the use out of it!

I was intrigued by a textured fabric option for the head wraps so I checked out the Chandler head wraps! I began swooning over all the options and then fell in love with this pale pink color! I knew both my girls would have lots of clothing to match this color! The Chandler head wrap has more of a raw edge to it and I wasn’t sure if I would like it as much as the clean edges on the butter stretch wraps, but I love them both equally the same! This wrap also has a great stretch to it and is made with a very comfortable fabric!

I knew once I picked out these dreamy solid wraps that I needed to wrap things up (see what I did there *wink) with a floral pattern! Shopping is never complete until there is a floral pattern in your cart! I spotted this floral wrap and knew it was meant to be when I realized my daughter just happened to have a kimono in the same print! I am obsessed with this floral and it makes for the perfect outfit! StevieJ’s has many floral prints to choose from and they are all equally as beautiful as this print!

I will definitely be going back to StevieJ’s to shop for some more bows! I am a true believer that little girls can never have too many bows! You can get any of the head wraps for $14 each, which is by far the best price I have found for this great of quality!

Luck for you, if you use the code 4THELOVEOFUS you get 10% off your purchase! YAY!

You can shop StevieJ’s online by clicking  HERE or you can shop any of the individual bows I talked about by clicking their images above!

Happy shopping and may big bows forever live on!

**I received free product from this company and I ONLY recommend services and products that I have used before, continue to use and that I LOVE. I would NEVER recommend a product/service that didn’t work for me or that I didn’t LOVE. As always thanks for trusting in me and supporting me.**

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Dear Mama, There is Hope in Postpartum Depression

THE STORY

In August 2017 we welcomed a new baby girl into our family. It was 3 long years of 2 babies in Heaven and a lot of patience that lead us to finally holding our new baby in our arms. My pregnancy was not a graceful journey. I was told at 6 weeks that there was no heart beat found. I remember going home and feeling frustrated, defeated, but also a part of me was in total denial that this could be happening to us again. I returned to the office a few days later to find a little baby growing inside me with a heart beat. The first 12 weeks were a battle to keep her healthy and growing. I was on progesterone, which was constantly being adjusted based off of my levels that were taken each week. The journey to our baby girl was never easy, but the day she arrived healthy and strong made every step of my pregnancy worth it. 

A few weeks after bringing her home, I was lying in bed staring at her tiny little face. I felt as if I hadn’t slept in years and was praying she would close her eyes so I could take a nap as well. For over an hour she fought sleep. She would close her eyes for a minute and then be wide awake again.

I just wanted to sleep. I needed to sleep because that was the only time I was numb to how I was feeling.

I tried to hold in the tears I felt coming. I felt this rush of emotion come over me that I felt I was not going to be able to control. Then it happened. All control was lost and I cried hysterical tears that came from a place so deep that I had never been before.

I don’t want to be here anymore.
I just want to run away.
Everyone is better off with out me.
This baby is better off with out me.
I hate myself.
How could anyone love me?

I couldn’t understand how I could look at that sweet little face and be thinking these things. I had waited so long for this baby. I had begged God to place another baby into my arms and He did. I felt like the most ungrateful and terrible person for feeling so unhappy.

In that moment I realized I wasn’t okay. I knew that I was starting a war with my body that I had no control over.

As the days continued I started to become not only more emotional, but I was also obsessive. I had this terrible fear that my baby was going to die. I did everything in my power to make sure that it wouldn’t happen. I would go as far as adjusting her pajamas 10 times before leaving her in her bed because I was afraid they would choke her. I wouldn’t sleep at night because I would wake up constantly to check if she was breathing. I would get anxious when other people would hand her around because I was afraid it would “wear her out” too much and she would die.

When I think about these fears now they sound so silly to me, but they really are not. These were only a couple of the deep fears I carried daily. I was always in fear and even when I had a smile on my face I was aching inside.

MY TRIBE

I was at a crossroads.

I could either take the path where I walked alone or I could walk the path with those I love most. My feet were aimed for the path alone because I felt so ashamed for carrying any kind of unhappiness in this time where I should be so thankful and full of joy. I felt scared to share the voices in my head with someone else afraid they would take my baby away from me because they would think I was unfit to care for her. I knew deep inside how much I loved that baby girl, but I was continually blinded by my emotions that it held me back from truly showing and feeling it.

My heart was aimed for the path where I would walk with others by my side during my journey. My heart didn’t want to be alone, my heart knew that being alone was the worst thing I could be and deep inside my heart longed for others.

But what if they think I just want attention. 

I’m here to tell you now that if anyone ever thought that for one moment then they weren’t the right person to walk on my path with me in the first place. This was still a fear of mine, though. It breaks my heart that our world has put depression and anxiety into an attention seeking category. Because of this so many women choose the path to walk alone and it leads to destruction and more pain.

It’s hard to reach a point of allowing someone else into your battle. It’s hard to be vulnerable and honest about the thoughts overtaking your mind. I told myself that I would not be able to overcome this alone and I knew I needed a tribe to fight with me or I would lose precious time with my babies caught up in this uncontrollable imbalance.

I created a very small tribe of people, including my husband, who showed me nothing but kindness, understanding and love. They supported me and never made me feel like any thought I was having was irrational. Every feeling and thought I had was completely valid.

Because I chose to have a very small tribe that helped keep me stay focused and encouraged, it caused me to be quiet in other relationships. As I look back I find it very interesting which relationships grasped tightly even in the silence and those who just disappeared because they weren’t part of a tribe they didn’t even understand. I had to keep reminding myself that I was making decisions for myself and my health and how my decisions made others feel was not valid at that time. Unfortunately this was an extra and unnecessary part that came with this journey, but it has ultimately showed me the beautiful people in my life who stuck with me through it all!

GET HELP

As the obsessive compulsive part of my battle continued, I decided to get professional help as well. My midwife recommended I seek a therapist at Pine Rest to help me through this on a more professional level. This was a very difficult step for me to take because I was concerned of what other people would think if they found out I needed therapy.

It was the best decision I ever made.

I remember walking into the building for the first time feeling sick to my stomach and just praying I didn’t see anyone I knew. I felt ashamed by it for a while, but still today I am seeing this therapist and it has been so good for me not only in my journey with postpartum depression, but also in dealing with other parts of my life I didn’t even realize I needed to work through.

If your therapist or doctor recommends medication to help control the hormonal imbalance that is behind your depression then accept that help and don’t be ashamed for one minute! This is what these professionals and tools are there for!

If you find yourself in any place where you are fighting a battle whether it is depression, anxiety, grief or abuse please get help! Don’t be ashamed for one moment over needing help! I truly believe that everyone could use a little therapy!

There is nothing wrong with needing help. Ever.

IF YOU ARE THERE NOW

Dear mama,

If you are finding yourself lying in your bed crying uncontrollable tears over every emotion possible, don’t be afraid to cry.
If you are finding yourself wishing you were not here anymore and thinking no-one really needs you, you are needed and wanted.
If you are looking at that tiny little face and feeling nothing but an emptiness, you are not a bad mother.
If you think your feelings should be ignored because they won’t make sense to anyone, acknowledge your feelings because they are valid.
If you are ashamed to tell anyone know how you are feeling, give someone the chance to listen and love you.
If you feel guilty for not feeling thankful for what God has given you, He hears your cries and knows your true heart. Rest in that.
If you are stuck in this battle of depression and think no-one will hear you, you are not alone.
If you are afraid to make your tribe small in fear of hurting people, do exactly what YOU need, not what others need right now.
If you are afraid of what people will think about you seeking help, what others think is not important, YOU is what is important.

You’ve got this, you are not alone, find your tribe and hold on tight.

IF YOUR FRIEND IS THERE NOW

Dear friend,

If your friend lets you into their small tribe, listen more and say less.
If your friend does NOT let you into their small tribe, be only what they need specifically from YOU. Nothing more and nothing less.
If you haven’t heard from your friend in a while, reach out and never take it personally because anything you think you know is typically something you have created on your own.
If your friend is afraid to get further help, encourage, but never force.
If your friend is fighting a battle of any kind of depression or anxiety, it is not yours to decide if they are looking for attention.
If you feel at a loss of what to say to your friend, don’t be afraid to seek counsel for yourself.

Be present, be what they need and hold on tight.

THERE IS HOPE

My sweet girl is 9 months old now and I have come a long way in my journey. I can say I feel like myself again and I could have never reached this point without the amazing people in my life. Looking back at it I am so thankful I did not try walking through this alone. I have become a better mom and a stronger woman after overcoming this battle, but I could have never done it alone. Not only did I have a tribe, but I also had a tight grip on my Heavenly Father who carried me through a war taking bullets for me as He wrapped his arms around me and protected me with His strength and undying love for his daughter. 

If you are sitting in this battle right now, hear me please. You are not alone even if you are choosing to be. You are valued, loved and are worth fighting for and God will fight for you. Rest in that today and don’t let fear, shame or guilt get in the way of walking out on the other side and feeling that hope that is waiting for you!

My prayer for all of us women is that we can see my story and others stories out there as a great example of who we need be to each other. We don’t always know what others are going through and honestly, we don’t need to know the details in order to show love to them. Choose to love someone even when you are not in the know and even when you don’t understand. We have an amazing opportunity as women to support one another and so many of us tarnish that because we are so focused on how WE feel.

Put yourself aside today and love someone who needs it and if you are the one who needs to feel loved I pray someone chooses to put them self aside for you.

 PIN IT FOR LATER