My Facebook is Full of Lies.

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I have a few confessions to make about the photos you see on my facebook feed.

In this picture, you see two happy, smiling little boys. What you don’t see is my Husband, not home, because he’s busy working his tail off to provide for our family. You don’t see me on the other side of the camera, running on fumes and counting the minutes until bedtime so that I can do something as simple as pee without someone crying for me. You don’t see that Aiden was showing his stubborn streak and was fighting every request I had of him, all night long. You don’t see that Asher hadn’t napped all day, and this photo was snapped in the thirty seconds of contentedness he experienced while snuggled up to his favorite person.liarIn this photo, you see my babes staring into each others faces, seemingly overwhelmed with love. You don’t see that Aiden is only wearing underwear, because I had given up the fight to get him to keep on any other clothing. And you don’t see that two seconds later, Asher nailed him in the eye with a finger.  liar2 In this one, you see a happy, relaxed baby. What you don’t see is the pile of laundry to the left of the frame that I STILL haven’t finished sorting through days later. I’ve pretty much accepted that I won’t get caught up on laundry until all of my children have moved out. liar3 In this photo, you see my squish gumming the heck out of a pickle. And loving it. What you don’t see is the loud, screaming, and embarrassing meltdown that followed moments later because he was overtired. liar4 In this picture, you see my overachieving 5.5 month old pulling himself up on the leg of my yoga pants. What you don’t see is that I’m wearing yoga pants because I still can’t button my pre-baby shorts, and they are showing no signs of fitting comfortably before this summer ends. You don’t see how much pressure I put on myself to lose the baby weight, and how upset I get when the scale doesn’t budge.liar5 In this one, you see my ham of a five-year-old, grinning from ear-to-ear. You also see the pile of books I’ll never have time to finish reading on the end table. What you don’t see is the aforementioned pile of laundry to his right, the thin layer of dust on the bookshelf behind him, and the reward chart in the background that still says “June.”

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I’m never trying to be something I’m not when I post these pictures to social media. I put our happiest moments on social media to show our friends, family, and acquaintances, and accidentally, it paints a picture about our lives that just isn’t true.

I’m not a perfect housekeeper. My house appears cleaner because I’m good at keeping the toys, and the laundry, and the books, and the mess out of the shot. (Did I mention the toys?)

I’m not a perfect wife. My Husband almost always comes home in one of the two craziest hours of the day. First thing in the morning when I’m trying to get Aiden to school, or during the pre-bedtime witching hour full of baths and books and everyone pulling me in 20 different directions. He usually becomes the focus of my frustration and I snap at him and then I feel like the worst wife because it’s not his fault I’m so frustrated. Luckily, he usually sees that frustration and gives me some grace, but that doesn’t mean he deserves it.

I’m not a perfect mom. My kids are loved. SO loved. Overwhelmingly and unconditionally loved. But sometimes, before bedtime hits, I am just so ready for them to go to sleep, and for a moment of peace and quiet that I find myself counting away the minutes. Aiden’s whiny voice grates my nerves and Asher’s clinginess, instead of feeling like a special bond between us, starts to feel like I really wish he would be a little more independent sooner rather than later. Then they’re finally asleep and I sit in the quiet and try and decide what the heck is wrong with me because I start to miss them. I think about how quickly this season of our lives is passing, and my heart aches for more time.

My photos often portray me as having it all together, but I’m human. I’m exhausted, I’m behind on almost every household chore with zero sign of being caught up anytime soon, and I make it through each day with a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus. But where there is so much chaos and exhaustion, there is also so much love and so much happiness. It’s a beautiful mess. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

I Suck at Being a Mom.

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You know how in the movies, after the woman gives birth, and everyone is smiley and happy and joyous all the time? Yeah? I get it. Ideally, that’s how it should be. Everyone is happy. Everyone is smiling. Spouses don’t fight. Babies don’t cry. Older kids don’t get jealous.

Sometimes it’s not.

Sometimes, the baby cries nonstop for no reason. Sometimes, the spouses are at their wit’s end with exhaustion and take it out on each other. Sometimes, smiling takes too much of the ounce of energy you have left that day, and it’s not worth it to waste it. Sometimes, the older children turn into little jerks thanks to jealousy stemming from no longer being the center of attention.

Sometimes it sucks.

Please don’t get me wrong. I love both of my boys more than anything. I thank God everyday that I get to be their Mommy. I would not change a single thing.

When Aiden was about 4-5 months old, he didn’t sleep. He started having awful reflux issues that caused him to violently puke 90% of what he ate at each feeding. I was basically caring for him on my own, exhausted, frustrated, and to top it all off, I was in a horrible relationship with an apathetic partner. I constantly felt like I wasn’t good enough. That Aiden wouldn’t love me. That I wasn’t cut out to be a Mommy.

I started eating my feelings and I cried myself to sleep more often than not. I remember thinking, ‘how could something so little, that I love so much, make me so miserable.’

It wasn’t until just before Aiden turned six months old that I realized that I needed to talk to someone. Things were super rough. My ex and I fought endlessly and I felt isolated and overwhelmed 100% of the time.

I was diagnosed with postpartum depression.

Fast forward four years. I’m older and more prepared/less overwhelmed over the needs of an infant. Asher is here and about two months old. Aiden’s almost five and ready to start school. Hubs is working in a different city during the week. Our marriage is great, but we rarely have time together. He’s not home, not because he doesn’t want to be here, but because he’s working his bum off to provide for our family. Totally different dynamic.

But I started feeling those first signs of PPD again almost as soon as the last visiting relative walked out the front door. Crying over nothing. Overwhelmed. Insecure. Started eating my feelings. [I swear I’m the only person in the world who gains more weight AFTER having a baby than she does while pregnant.] Getting frustrated when Drew would come home and mess with our routine on the weekends. Getting even more frustrated when he would leave for work again when the weekend ended.

I began feeling inadequate. Like I wasn’t good enough to be these boys’ mommy. Like I wasn’t good enough to be a decent wife to Drew. Overwhelmed by the neverending dishes and laundry and feedings and laundry and cleaning and did I mention laundry? I tried to hide it from Drew for weeks, thinking that he already had enough on his plate and shouldn’t be worried about me.

A couple of weeks ago, he came home to find me completely disheveled, unshowered and still in my PJs with my hair and face a hot mess, crying, and holding Asher as he nursed. Asher had a long day with no sleep the night before, and Aiden is in this phase right now where he wants to challenge everything I say to him. I’m tired. I’m frustrated. I’m overwhelmed. I looked up and word vomited, “I have PPD again.” at him. He said, ” I know, let’s get you taken care of.”

Turns out, he already suspected I was struggling. I assume he didn’t know how to approach me about it, in case he was wrong and I was actually just crazy. We talked about making sure I had some time to myself more often, and working through it together.

So now, my boys are at home having some QT with Daddy while I sit in this Starbucks and reach out to any other moms who might be struggling with the same.

To the mom who feels overwhelmed, it gets easier.

To the mom who feels inadequate, you are enough.

To the mom who hasn’t showered in 3 or more days, your kids don’t care if you stink.

To the mom who swears she’s failing her kids, I’m willing to bet their world revolves around you.

To the mom who thinks she can’t keep up, the housework will wait. babies don’t keep.

To the mom who doesn’t want to admit she’s struggling, asking for help doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It means you’re strong enough to know when you can’t do it alone.

To the mom who believes she can’t handle being a mom AND a wife, let your Husband love you.

To the mom who feels isolated, you are not alone.

To the mom who knows she sucks at being a mom, don’t let your brain tell you a lie that your heart knows isn’t true.

Being Just Aiden’s Mommy

momIn a few days, my time being a mommy of one will end. Asher will be making his debut, and Aiden will go from being an only child to one of two.

The other night, I came across videos of two-year-old Aiden on the iPad. Naturally, (read: stupidly) I watched them. Then it suddenly hit me that my BABY wouldn’t be THE baby much longer, and then I cried for an hour while eating my pineapple.

For over four and a half years, it’s been all about Aiden. I have spoiled him, praised him, and loved him in every way possible. When it was just Aiden and me, he was the center of my universe. He still is, but now shares that space with my Husband.

Now I have this third beautiful baby boy joining our little family, and I can’t wait, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t also terrified. How in the heck am I going to love another little boy as much as I love Aiden?

Everyone keeps saying, “your heart just makes room,” or “you have nothing to worry about.”

I can’t help but still worry.

I’m scared that Aiden will think he’s being replaced, or that Mommy doesn’t have time for him anymore. I’m scared that he will resent his brother for getting the attention when it’s been all about him for so long. I remember my “baby blues” turned full blown PPD with Aiden, and I’m terrified it’ll happen again.

But my biggest fear is balancing my time, energy, and love between both of my children. I’ve had a newborn before, and I remember how stressful and exhausting it was. Trying to wrap my head around doing that again with an almost five-year-old in tow seems next to impossible. Until recently, and only because of my lack of comfort, I haven’t really gotten annoyed with being pregnant. Realistically, I know he will eventually be coming out. But honestly, the anxiety about having two children is greater than actually giving birth.

Thank God I have an amazing Husband in my corner this time.

Things we’ve done to try and prepare Aiden for brotherhood:

  • Let him have an active role in getting baby things ready. (I let him go through all of his old baby clothes with me, let him go through the baby toys, let him pick out nursery details, etc.)
  • Talked to him about how he will be such a great helper for Mommy once Dad goes back to work. (He even says he will change peepee dipes, just not the others.)
  • Kept his schedule as consistent as possible, despite snow days trying to ruin it.
  • Taken him on numerous Mommy-Aiden dates and “Mantime” with Dad over the last few weeks, but made sure to talk up how soon we can bring brother on our dates too.

And a few other little details. Hopefully they work.

 

I have loved being just Aiden’s mommy for the last five years. In my heart, I know that once Asher is in my arms instead of in my ribs, I will be so overwhelmed with love and I’ll have what I didn’t even know what was missing in the first place. I can’t wait for that moment.

A Mom’s Thoughts While Grocery Shopping

Yesterday, I took my four-year-old and a one-year-old to the grocery store. I normally save these trips for weekends or evenings when my Husband is home and I can go kid-free. This time, pregnancy cravings forced me to go on a mad hunt for a cocktail shrimp ring and cinnamon toast crunch midday. This despite a max of four hours of sleep the night before due to pelvic pressure and round ligament pain from the apparent dinosaur baby residing in my uterus. This is my story:

Grocery cart

Not a single parking place, this is a great sign. How badly do I want that cereal? Badly enough. OOH THERE’S ONE. BEAT THE OTHER GUY. #WINNING.

MOMMYYYYY WE HAVE TO GO INSIDE AND FIND A BIG BUGGY! 

That’s cool, I’ll just turbo waddle through the parking lot, heavy baby on my hip, maternity pants sliding down awkwardly, and holding the four-year-old’s hand all while simultaneously praying that he doesn’t let go and that this store is out of the Cadillac-esque buggies. YES! THEY ARE OUT! THERE IS A GOD!

Looks like they are out of the big buggies, Bubba. (cue whine commencement.) Oh darn, now how am I going to make my three-display-destruction-per-trip quota.

MOMMY LOOK!

Oh, THANK YOU SO MUCH (other Mom exiting store) for giving us yours. I sincerely hope your kids force you to listen to a Yo Gabba Gabba soundtrack the whole way home.

Okay, get in, get what I came for, get out….OMG CHRISTMAS STUFF IS UP….NO. Focus.

Mommyyyyyyy, can we go look at the Christmas stuff?? Absolutely, after I get a few other things! Well, at least I can blame him now.

Oooh, there are the shrimp rings. Yes! I wonder how many people are judging me? Let me just poke out my belly a little extra, then they will understand. Well, at least the women.

Okay…cereal aisle…cinnamon toast crunch, get in mah belly. No, Bubba we don’t need Lucky Charms…Yes, Mommy is getting cereal…we don’t need more than one kind today…Because, the baby wants it…Fine, just put them in the buggy. Why does he always have such valid points? He’s four.

Ooh, we need milk, and cheese sticks, and yogurt, and why did I come here hungry? Where’s the wine aisle? Oh yeah, pregnant. Grape juice it is.

Let’s just go look at the Christmas things now. Oooh the crafty things! Don’t even go there, Taylor. You’ll never get out of here. Okay, how do I get there without passing the toy aisle…

TOYSSSSSS MOMMY WE HAVE TO LOOK SO I CAN WRITE MY LETTER TO SANTA TODAY. 

Crap.

I want that one. Okay. And that one. Okay. And this one too. We’ll see. I’ll just ask Santa. You go right ahead.

I just want to get to the Christmas section already. 

Okay, Mommy. Let’s just go look at Christmas stuff now! Did he just hear me think that?

Push that button, Mommy! (cue obnoxiously loud version of a moose singing Jingle Bells.) People are starting to stare. One-year-old is starting to fidget. Even she’s embarrassed at how loud that dang moose is.

Push that button too, Mommy! Pleaseeee!! Last one, Bubba. (cue obnoxiously loud snowman version of Winter Wonderland.) Seriously? Now I remember why I don’t buy these things. 

Okay, Bubba. Let’s go. BUT WHY? Because the baby is crushing Mommy’s pelvis when she walks. WHAT’S A PELVIS? Mommy’s buttbone. He’s crushing Mommy’s buttbone. I’ll regret that one later. 

Okay, find a check out line. We’re almost out. Can I have skittles? No, you don’t need skittles. Can I have tic-tacs? No, you don’t need tic-tacs. Remind me to thank Nini again for getting him hooked on those. Why are you so mean, Mommy? I know, mean, mean Mommy trying to keep your teeth from rotting out. What was I thinking? Crap, now who is he talking to now? Why doesn’t he understand stranger-danger?

…and my name is Batman and I’m four years old. My mommy has a baby in her tummy and he’s a boy and his name will be ‘Ass-er Charies.’ He will come out of Mommy’s bellybutton but right now he’s crushing her buttbone. She told me so. That’s why we’re leaving. Oh, and because I probably have to go poop soon because my farts smell like tacos.

Oh. My. God.

Okay, Bubba. Now that you’ve told the man way more than he ever needs to know, let’s go.

Okay! You can call my Mommy and talk about it some more! Her number is 9…OKAY, AIDEN. LET’S GO.

BUT MOMMY HOW IS MY NEW FRIEND GOING TO CALL ME…..(cue Mommy waving goodbye at the poor, unsuspecting man who just wanted to buy his trashbags and beer in peace and running out the door.)

I am never coming here again. Ever. Husband is doing all the grocery shopping from now on. I’m done. All I have to do is get these kiddos buckled in and it’s home for naptime. 

No, we’re not going to McDonald’s. No, we’re not going to Chick-fil-a. No, we’re not going to Subway.

WELL WHAT AM I GOING TO EAT?

Lucky Charms. PB&J when we get home.

THAT DOES NOT SOUND YUMMY! Everyone comfy and ready? 

Aaaaaand, I forgot the milk.

Click here to follow me on instagram for daily posts on life with Aiden & his soon arriving brother, “Ass-er.” 🙂

A Letter to my Pre-Mom Self

letterIt’s okay.

I know you’re terrified. It’s okay to be scared. Your life is about to change more than you can imagine.

I know you’re in the midst of trying to decipher the difference between all of those diapers, and the bottles, and the pacifiers, and I won’t even mention the pumps. But, guess what?

They don’t matter.

I know that you think you don’t know a single thing about raising children. But who really does? Relax. You, like all other mommies, are going to figure it out as you go along. You’ll be fine.

Don’t worry so much about your birth plan. Things in childbirth rarely go as planned. Just plan to do whatever it takes to bring that sweet boy (yes, it’s a boy!) into the world safely.

Recovering from your cesarean is going to suck. Physically and emotionally. Take it easy while you recover physically, and accept help when it’s offered. Emotionally will take longer. Just know that you are not a failure. You made the safest choice for your little boy, and that matters so much more than the method he used to enter this world.

Your boobs are going to hurt. Like, imagine the pain comparisons you’ve read in one of the ten baby books you own, and then multiply it tenfold. Breastfeeding is hard. Again, accept the help when it’s offered and ask for help when you need it instead of trying to figure it out yourself.

Don’t expect to sleep for a while. Even if he does, you’ll be too busy staring at him, in amazement at this life you created, and you’ll constantly be checking to make sure he’s breathing. Showers will also be few and far between. Don’t fret, you’ll be too exhausted to go out into public anyway.

When you bring him home, don’t be alarmed when you become so overwhelmed with love that you just cry. This doesn’t go away. Before you know it, you’ll be preparing yourself to send him off to kindergarten. So enjoy the seasons as they come.

Know that you will be different. Your mind, YOUR BODY, your everything. You will transform from selfish to selfless, constantly putting this other life before yours, before you even realize what happens. Your body will never be the same. Your stretch marks will fade eventually, your boobs will go back down to their “normal” size, but you will notice that your feet and fingers are a little fatter than they were before. And your behind will stay a little more round than you remember. Embrace your new body. It did the job God intended for it to do.

Your relationships will be different. Some friends will stick by you. Some will fade into the background. You’ll probably feel alone from time-to-time. Get out and make some friends who are at the same stage in life as you. You can’t expect those not in your shoes to understand what your life is like now.

Your house will never be clean. Well, it might for the first five minutes after you finish tidying and then sit down. Then your boy will wake up from his nap, your Husband will come home from work, dinner will need to be made, and someone will spill something, somewhere. Don’t let it drive you crazy. Life happens.

You will quickly realize that you don’t know why in the world you ever stressed over bottles and diapers. This mom-thing will come so naturally to you that you’ll wonder why you ever worried. You’ll quickly realize that before you had your sweet baby, there was always some piece of the puzzle that was missing and you just had no idea. Now, your heart and home will feel complete.

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Oh, Hello June!

I love June! Summer is finally here, and I have about a month before I get fed up with the North Carolina heat and begin the countdown to Fall.

I normally do an update on my “lifestyle change” at the start of the month, BUT I am waiting until NEXT week because I have a big goal that I hope to hit by our anniversary next weekend. I will tell you that I have lost over 40 pounds since March 1st, and that I’m more confident than I’ve been in a long time! IMG_2275

Photos left to right: End of February, Mid April, this morning. 

Those shorts I’m wearing? Two sizes smaller than I was wearing at the start of March. Probably more actually, because I was in denial that the size I was “in” was actually too small. But, if I get brave, I’ll reveal all of my numbers either next week or at the start of July. That’s TBD 🙂

Also, my BABY finished his year of preschool and heads to Pre-K this fall! WAAAAAAHHHHH. It’s just not okay.

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He has a super busy summer ahead, full of soccer, swimming, multiple weeks of VBS, and TURNING FOUR. WHAT?!

Also, my series of guest posts kicks off tonight and runs through Friday. I have some phenomenal posts from some phenomenal women to fill your feeds with this week. I’m so excited. We start tonight with a post from Lauren at Working Mom Magic!

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PS, if you’ve been following my 100 Happy Days posts, I haven’t kept up very well with posting them on here but Days 1-45ish are on my instagram… which you should really be following by now!

http://www.instagram.com/taydellac or @taydellac

15 Things to Never Say to a Young Mom.

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It’s no secret that I’m a young mom.

I’m always the youngest mom in the playgroup, youngest mom at the preschool, and the youngest of pretty much all of the mom-friends I’ve made since moving here. Now that I have a ring on my finger most assume that I’m older, and many are shocked when I tell them I’m just twenty-three. I can see them doing the mental math looking between my almost four year old and myself, and when they finish that math I can see the “ohhhhh” look spread across their faces as they realize how young I am now and how young I was when I had Aiden. Usually, they just brush it off or rapidly change the subject. Every once in a while, they say what they really think and it’s often pretty dang hurtful.

I’ve made a list of my “favorite” things that people have said to me in the over four years since I got pregnant with Aiden. Yes, these were actually said by REAL PEOPLE to ME!

1) Was he PLANNED? (Yes. By God.)

2) Do you know who the Father is? (Apparently being a young mom makes me a slut by default. I usually respond with, “well I have it narrowed down to three.” -Sorry Mom-)

3) Wow, your life ended before it really began. (Yeah, it’s hard sometimes, but I get to play with toys, go to playgrounds, and have an excuse to eat ice cream everyday. Not to mention, when he’s eighteen, I’ll be thirty-seven. Boom.)

4) There are much easier ways to “play house.” (So, first it was so hard, and now I’m just “playing house?”)

5) You’re just another statistic. (Don’t even have words for this one.)

6) Why didn’t you just get an abortion? (Why don’t you just get a hysterectomy BEFORE you accidentally reproduce. Thanks.)

7) Should have kept your knees together. (And you should keep your lips together.)

8) You’re such a great big sister to take your little brother everywhere! (I still get this one now, at 23. This week actually! Thanks to that lady for inspiring this post!)

9) Of course you’re stressed, you deserve it after the choices you’ve made. (……)

10) No one will ever marry a girl with this much BAGGAGE. (Whoops, guess Andrew missed that memo.)

11) It must be nice to just live off of child support. (HAHAHAHA!)

12) Guess you can audition for Teen Mom now. (No thanks.)

13) I’m sure your Mom will do most of the work for you. (She’s always been there for me, if that’s what you mean…let’s pretend it is.)

14) Girls like you are why our economy is failing. (I can see the headlines now: TEEN MOMS SINGLEHANDEDLY BRING DOWN THE U.S. ECONOMY.)

 

and last but not least…

 

15) You’re just setting your child up for a lifetime full of failure. There is no way you can provide everything he needs by yourself. You’re just a kid.

 

Why is it that in a country where teen pregnancy is so common, people tear these girls down instead of building them up? The odds and statistics are already stacked against them, so why make them feel worse? For me, my biggest motivation was when someone would tell me that I couldn’t do it. Not everyone reacts that way though.

Yes, some of them “brought it on themselves” because they wanted to “make him stay,” or audition for 16 & Pregnant. But more often than not, pregnancies at this age are an accident. Caused by failing birth control, breaking condoms, or a lack of KNOWLEDGE about birth control options. I don’t see anyone personally attacking the schools for not providing sex ed courses, or the parents of the girl for not having open communication with their daughter, or maybe the father of the child for being too embarrassed to buy condoms. My point is…

 

THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK. 

That girl that you are about to share your opinion with? She’s going to have it hard enough without you sharing your two cents with her, so if you don’t have something nice to say, do everyone a favor and just keep your mouth shut.

 

 

My PSA moment: TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT SEX AND BIRTH CONTROL. Chances are, they’re going to “do it” whether YOU are ready or not. But make sure that THEY are. Check out http://thenationalcampaign.org/ for some information about talking to your kids. The National Day to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies is May 7th!

 

 

Are you or were you a young mom? What was the most unbelievable comment you received from a friend, family member, or a stranger?

 

A Letter to My Little Boy.

April 14, 2014

Dear Aiden,

You’re only three. You can neither read nor understand this letter at this point, but one day you will.

The night that I learned you would be coming into my life was the single most amazing, yet terrifying night of my life. I would be lying to you if I said it has been easy since then. But every moment has been 100% worth it.

The minute I first saw you growing inside my belly, and saw your heart beating, I fell head over heels in love. I loved you more than anyone or anything else in this entire world, and I hadn’t even looked into your eyes yet. You were my son, and I was your Mommy.

1The moment you were born, I held my own breath as I waited to hear your first. You let out that cry, and I cried with you. Tears of joy because you were mine.

Fast forward a few months, and you were growing into this beautiful little human being. I still couldn’t believe that you came from me. You were already so handsome, and so incredibly smart. I loved you with my whole heart.

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When you were almost six months old, my life was turned upside down when your father and I separated, he moved out, and it became just you and me. I was twenty years old and scared to death that I would never be able to provide everything you needed. I wanted to give you the world, but could barely afford your diapers. How we made it to this point, I’ll never know. I believe that everything that happens, happens for a reason, and I make sure to tell you this all the time.

Fast forward a few more years. Now you’re three years old. Almost four. I thank God every single day for giving you to me. You make my heart so happy. You are still so incredibly brilliant. You are so independent too, which secretly breaks my heart because you never want my help with anything. You’re stubborn and rock-headed and getting you to listen is often the most frustrating part of my day.

But I wouldn’t trade a second of it.

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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the things I hope to teach you.

1) Life can be unfair. There will be bullies that will tease you because you are different from them. People will be mean and sometimes they will hurt your feelings. There’s not much you can about it other than just ignore them. Choose your friends wisely, and if you choose the right ones, they will stand beside you through anything. Cherish those friends, stand up for them, and love them. Things will rarely go the way you plan and there will be days when you will question what the heck God is doing. Instead of letting these things break you, push through it. Accept that disappointment happens sometimes, and still chase after your dreams despite what “might” happen.

2) Love life anyway. You have one life, and just because it doesn’t go the way YOU plan, doesn’t mean it’s not going the way HE planned. Don’t hide from life because you’re scared something will go wrong. LIVE. Be open to new things, fall in love once or ten times. Get your heart broken and then fall in love again. Get married if you want to. Have children of your own if you want to. Do whatever you want to do with your life. 

3) Love Jesus. This one isn’t always easy. It’s easy to love Jesus in private, but not so much in public. You don’t have to strap on an “I love Jesus” flashing button, but just show it in your actions. This is something I’m still working on teaching you now, as well as learning myself. I don’t think either of us will ever stop learning how to do this.

4) Just LOVE. If you have to live by one word, make it “love.” Love your family. Love your friends. Love your future spouse. Love your future children. Love your neighbors. Give every person you meet a smile, you never know how it could change their day. Love people even when they don’t deserve it. Love your enemies because usually it’s they who need it most. Aiden, just LOVE. That’s the best advice I can ever give you. 

Aiden, I want you to always be the best YOU that you can be. Always be proud of yourself. Even if you’re different. You were created with a purpose that requires you to be unique. Be confident, but not arrogant, and be okay with failure. Failure is where you’ll learn some of the greatest lessons in life. Admit when you’re wrong, and be humble when you’re right. Be compassionate, be forgiving, be faithful, and always believe there is something so much bigger than yourself and a purpose for everything that happens. Be courageous and strong, because life is hard work but worth the effort. Be thankful for the blessings in your life, and be content with what you have. Be honest and loyal, and stand firm in your faith. Be what God intended you to be.

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I am so proud of the amazing little boy you are, and cannot wait to see the wonderful man that you become. I will be here beside you, supporting you and holding your hand. I will always be your biggest fan. Know that I love you SO MUCH, and I always will. You are my sunshine, and I love you to the moon and back.

Love always,

Mommy

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Getting to Know Me.

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Since I’ve recently gained so many followers (YAY!), I figured it was time for a “getting to know you” type of post. Here are thirteen things you may or may not know about me:

1) I believe in God. I have a great relationship with Him, but didn’t really establish that relationship until after Aiden was born. I don’t, however, attend a church regularly. I wouldn’t be opposed to it if I found the right fit.

2) Aiden saved my life. I was partying hard and making stupid choices when I learned I was pregnant. I stopped doing everything that I shouldn’t have been doing the moment that pee-stick said “positive” and never looked back.

3) I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Yeah, I know what I said. I’m almost 24 years old, and I still waver between two career options. Right now, my plans are to go back to school and get my CNA/Doula certifications, and then go back to work doing that once Aiden starts kindergarten a little over a year from now. I’ve also considered both teaching and writing.

4) I’m writing a book. But I’ve changed the subject three times, and will probably change it at least once more.

5) I’m extremely indecisive. Whether it’s a blog topic, career choices, or just what to eat for dinner, chances are that I changed my mind multiple times before making a decision.

6) Moving to Cary was the most difficult decision I’ve ever made. And despite things rarely going as I plan, I would make the same choice again if given the chance.

7) I am addicted to espresso. It’s hard not to be after working in a cafe for almost five years.

8) My heart lies with working close to special needs children/adults. Spending three summers volunteering at Camp Barnabas taught me so much about life, and things about my relationship with God that I can’t even find the right words for.

9) I desperately want to travel to Africa. I was going to go in Summer 2010 to intern at an orphanage in Uganda, but those plans changed when I learned I was pregnant.

10) I want to be a foster parent/adopt older children…eventually. It doesn’t matter their background, ethnicity, or age. It’s just something I’ve always felt led to do. But that’s wayyyyy in the future, at least in my plans.

11) Some of my favorites are…Color: Teal, Food: Popcorn, Book: Harry Potter Series, Movie: TOO MANY, TV Show: Grey’s Anatomy..since 2004, Holiday: Christmas.

12) I’m an Alpha Delta Pi… til the day I die <> ❤

13) I’m mildly very obsessive. I have two color-coded calendars, one planner and one dry erase, and compulsively make lists for everything from spring cleaning to groceries. My closet is also (usually) arranged by color. No shame. 

 

So, there are thirteen things about me! Any questions? Comment below!

 

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This Little Line of Mine: What my Cesarean Taught Me.

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I have this little line that runs across my belly. It looks a little bit like a hockey stick, and kind of like a smile.

I resented this line for a long time. To me, it was a symbol of failure. A symbol that my body wasn’t strong enough or capable of doing what it was made to do.

It was a constant and painful reminder of one of the most vulnerable, terrifying moments in my life.

But I was wrong.

This little line saved Aiden’s life.

I had gestational diabetes, and after the first twenty-four hours of labor, my blood sugar began to spike and Aiden’s heart rate began to drop.

Cutting me open saved his life.

I had read all of the blogs and articles debating c-sections. I read opinions about how they are the WORST thing that could happen, and I read how they could be the best. I read stories from women who were traumatized and scared to ever even consider another pregnancy, and I read stories from women who were practically scheduling their next one when they were just two weeks postpartum.

I had read enough to know that I didn’t want one.

I had been pushing for what seemed like days. My OB came in to check how things were progressing and told me that Aiden’s head basically wasn’t descending the way it should be.

She said I could keep pushing, or they could go ahead and perform the emergency c-section.

27 hours into labor, and I was exhausted. I felt defeated, frustrated and I wanted nothing more than to hold my sweet boy in my arms.

I consented to the surgery and thirty minutes later, I was strapped to a gurney, scared to death something would go wrong, and anxiously awaiting that sound that every Mom wants to hear.

I could feel my OB pushing around on/in my stomach. I heard her say, “not long now!” And after an eternity of pressure, pulling, and prodding I heard those first few glorious screams from Aiden.

My OB held him over the curtain and he was the most beautiful, bloody, purple, squishy looking baby I had ever seen.

The nurses wrapped him up and brought him over to my head. My arms were still strapped, but I kissed him like crazy, tears streaming down my face.

His bio-dad was able to hold him and left me alone to take him to our families and the nursery.

As she stitched me up, I became overwhelmed with emotion. I cried and cried, and just wanted to hold my baby. I felt like a complete failure because I didn’t get to hold him instantly, I didn’t get to try and nurse him right away, and I didn’t get that instant bond that I so desperately wanted throughout those nine ten months.

I remember lying in the recovery room bed, exhausted, angry, and anxious to hold Aiden. “Get some rest,” they said. Yeah. Okay. I just have a giant hole in my stomach and haven’t seen my child since he was born, but sure. I’ll just take a quick little cat-nap.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, they rolled me to the room I would stay in for the rest of the week.

The nurse brought Aiden to me and I was overwhelmed with love for this tiny little human. I held him to my chest, he relaxed against my skin, and let out this little sigh. That bond I so desperately coveted was instant. All of the anger was gone. All of the frustration was gone. And all of my feelings of being a failure disappeared. I was a Mommy.

This little line IS a symbol, not of my failure, but of my courage.

This little line is a reminder of the sacrifice that I made and the bravery that I had that night.

This little line is there to help me remember all of the emotions that I felt as I looked into my sweet boy’s eyes for the first time.

This little line is there because I created an entire human being within my body.

This little line is there to remind me of the unconditional love I have for that little human being, who is now a brilliant, independent, and beautiful little boy.

This little line is so much more than just a scar.

Like what I have to say?If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers