7 years

Monday, April 27, 2015

Yesterday we celebrated 7 years of marriage. I am feeling like it's a pretty big milestone. SEVEN years. Apparently the seventh year of marriage is supposed to be your hardest? I don't feel like that was the case for us. I mean, don't' get me wrong, marriage is hard sometimes. And some of our years have been so much harder than others, but by no means was this our hardest year. I feel like it was one of our easiest actually.  
I think at the beginning of marriage you have a lot of expectations and dreams of how your life will look, how your marriage will be, how you will just do life in general. And then after that first year you realize some of those are generally crazy. lol You see how life will actually be. You start to get over annoyances you didn't even know existed to begin with. And you start learning to lay some of those expectations down.
Looking back on the past seven years I am beyond thankful for my husband and for our marriage. Some of those really tough times, helped shape our marriage now. It also helped us learn about one another even more. The tough times are so actually very bittersweet, hard but such good sweet lessons. 
Here's to another 7 years!

Our first dance!


Once upon a time: part 2

Monday, April 20, 2015

After Tim left for boot camp, I really struggled with postpartum depression. I mean like intense, dark, need to shower and brush your teeth sort of depression. I really had no desire to get out of bed each day. I spoke with my midwife and she completely blew me off! Looking back I wish I had had the strength to go see a different doctor. 
Tim was at boot camp and was doing great. I received the sweetest letters all the time and also received flowers a couple of times. I seriously didn't even write him back, I sent maybe a total of five letters the whole time. (Y'all this makes me seem horrible, but if you have ever struggled with depression you will understand) But he continued to pursue me. He never knew what I was going through until after boot camp, because I never shared.I felt like it was something I should keep to myself.
Fast forward and it was graduation time! Also it was going to be our baby's very first birthday! I flew with Tim's parents to St. Louis and then we drove the rest of the way to Ft. Leonard Wood. 
Seeing Tim for the first time in months was so incredible. I literally remember feeling so in love with him! We watched him graduate and that night Tim took me to dinner on a date. He was already on orders to Korea for a hardship tour and we were going to be taking him to the airport just the next day to fly out for another year!!!
That night, exactly one year later, Tim proposed to me and this time I said yes! It is such a sweet memory for me.
 I feel like God really used that year to teach me to not be so selfish and also to do some of the growing up we both needed to do. Looking back at how hard that year was, it makes me happy to see how we made it through! 
The next day, we traveled back to St. Louis to send Tim to Korea for an entire year. My heart broke knowing it would be so long, but I was so excited to be planning our wedding this next year.


Once Upon A Time: part one

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I'm feeling very nostalgic with my husband and I's 7th anniversary coming up this next week. I want to remember every single detail of how we got here. The good. The bad. The ugly.  Why? Because it has totally shaped me and and my entire family, ALL for a purpose.
Once upon a time, I was a stupid, 18 year old girl. I was caught up in smoking pot, drinking until I would pass out, partying like crazy and all in all being pretty dang selfish. I really didn't care about anyone other than myself to be honest. I was sorta dating, but mostly I was just busy looking out for myself. Tim (my husband now) hated me doing these things. I hated myself. I was in such a terrible place. Literally throwing my life down the drain. 
That's when God completely interrupted my life. I wasn't happy about it at all, but here I was.
 A pregnant teen. Knowing not one single thing about life yet. Tim was thrilled from day one. I cried and went into a pretty dark depression. I stopped partying immediately. And I pretty much went to class and slept all the time. I was still so.very.selfish. Looking back, it makes me so sad to see how I treated myself and those around me. I was ignoring and ruining friendships. I was hiding this pregnancy from everyone except Tim, I wasn't even seeing a doctor until 6 months pregnant when it couldn't be hidden any longer. I was totally in denial. We were both babies about to have a baby!

That's until, 8 1/2 weeks early, an amazingly precious gift was delivered into my life.  Alijah Evan, 5 lbs 2.5 oz, was born into the world. He made a statement. He was premature, on a breathing tube and feeding tube. And I didn't even get to hold him for two days. I was told, he would be developmentally delayed, and also might have some other serious health conditions to go along with that. But let me just say, God redeemed that situation and Alijah is a healthy, amazing. 9 year old boy. 

Brand NEW!!

Off of the breathing tube and just on oxygen

That night, as I was trying to rest, after an epidural gone wrong. Tim sat with me. I can seriously remember the way he looked at me. I could see sincere love in his eyes. We were both so happy. That moment was when he proposed to me. I looked and him and told him my answer. No. 
I explained that I didn't want us rushing into marriage just because we had a baby. We had been backwards with several things in our relationship and honestly I just couldn't let myself make a mistake that couldn't easily be undone.
For the first time, in a very long time, I can say I wasn't thinking about just myself. I was thinking about a precious baby. I remember how crushed he was and he left the hospital room very shortly after and I slept. It was so hard. All of it. Becoming a mommy and also turning down a marriage proposal in the same day!
Alijah got to come home a few weeks later and Tim and I decided it would be best to parent not as a couple but just as friends. I was living at home and I was going through intense postpartum depression. My life was utterly a mess. Tim was so faithful. He always came by, and always made sure I had money and enough things for the baby.
We fought a lot during this time, but over really stupid things. Things I can't really even remember what the fight was for!
Three months later Tim joined the army and left for boot camp.


It's all the Good days

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I wish there was a way to know, "hey, this season of your life is about to end, and you better soak these moments up" but in real life that doesn't always happen or pretty much never happens. That's  where I have been, having babies and life and craziness in between all of those things. My kids have literally been growing up in front of my eyes. It happens so fast that you don't even realize it until it's done.
When I started blogging, I seriously had a three year old and a newbie. Now I have literally doubled in size and it's crazy around my house at all times. And blogging pretty much stopped all together. I continued to read my favorites, but I never wrote for myself.
I'm hoping that since we have kinda moved passed the "baby" stage, since my youngest is 16 months old- I know he is still so little, but now my life doesn't stop every three hours to nurse a teeny babe. I can start to get me back a little.
Writing! That's where this little ole blog comes in. 
Working out. umm I hate this one, working out is not fun for me, but afterwards I am always so proud.
Soaking up time with my kiddos. This is kinda a no brainer. But I would love to set a time aside for each one of them separately. They are starting to get such amazing personalities and spending time with them, is fun. And  as they grow bigger this will be such an awesome advantage for me! They might actually want to talk to me about things!
So overall, this is just so important to getting back to myself and also being the mama I want to be. 
Because we all know if Mama aint happy aint nobody happy. :)

Also, remember to soak in this season.  I won't have little ones forever. My husband won't always be working and finishing his degree. Sleep won't always trump showering... or maybe it will.
I want to cherish these days now and not look back to what I used to have.


A vision of success

Thursday, April 9, 2015

I had recently been having this overwhelming feeling of being "just a mama" or "just a wife" It's silly I know, but I had really been letting those thoughts get into my brain and also letting it really get me down. But then after chatting with my hubby, my attitude began to change some.
Who's standard of success am I holding myself too? The world's? Eternal success? I am just living this life seemingly doing nothing?
The answer in short is absolutely not. I am RAISING four little humans. I am the one who will teach them manners, behavior, pretty much everything that they will be when they grow up will have been a culmination of everything I have poured into their tiny little hearts and brains. Talk about a huge impact for the glory of God.
We were chosen to be our husband's wife and our children were place specifically with us. It almost blows my mind how intricate the Lord designs things.
I am coming up on my ten year high school reunion. I think that's why some of these things had really been entering into my mind. For the past ten years, I have given birth to four babies, and followed and supported my husband in his career. I haven't graduated college. I have no special training. I haven't started any business's or pursued any other career besides that of raising, supporting and sacrificing for my family.
The world likes us to believe that's not enough. That if we don't have those titles or degrees we have done nothing.
Oh man, let's not let ourselves  believe that lie. Let's remind ourselves what a huge impact we have. Let's cheer other mama's/wives/stay at home spouses/working mama's/women struggling with infertility, that you have an incredibly important job.
You are exactly where God wants you to be.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Yall. Seriously I can't even tell you how much goodness came out of my weekend spent at HOPESPOKEN. God was totally moving and you could feel it. You could almost reach out and touch it. If you have a chance to attend, I can not recommend it enough.
First, I was totally pushed out of my comfort zone. I found a girl off of social media to room with. Her name was Katie and she was amazing. Exactly who I needed to spend the weekend with. We had so much in common and we just were really able to connect. I felt like we had been friends for forever. 
Then came the weekend. All the speakers Jen Hatmaker, music by Jason Castro, and my small group who met four separate times throughout the three days. All amazing and wonderful. I LOVE hearing peoples stories of how God has moved in their lives.
By Saturday night, I was feeling so emotionally exhausted. Just so worn out from all that had been spoken to my heart. I had heard four breakout speakers: Ruth Simons @gracelaced.com , Lindsey Kramer @ yonderwayfarm.blogspot.com, Joy Prouty @wildflowersphotos.com and also Jodi Mockabee @www.jodimockabee.com. Seriously all of them were so wonderful in their own deifferent ways. I AM AMAZED by how God shows up and shows himself through the telling of these women's seemingly ordinary lives. I think that may have been what I was supposed to get out the speaker sessions. God is in your story. Literally every piece, He has woven together. The mundane moments of laundry and sick babes, angry moments and happy moments, babies being born, the wanting of more children, moves, dirty dishes, Every moment sweet friends. 
He even continues to show up for me even when I am not showing up for him, He is so faithful.
The weekend ended with a punch to my heart. Stephanie Holden @ honeyholden.blogspot.com. This was what I had been waiting for, when she spoke about Grace upon Grace... literally the ugly cry happened. Like I said before God continues to show up for me even when I'm so unfaithful. But this was just a moment of knowing that God writes our story. He was there from the moment I became a teen mama, to now- four babies and a crazy unknown future. I have followed Stephanie for a while and it all happened by me stumbling across her letter to her 16 year old self, which I adored. So if you get a minute to read it, do it!
I can't even put into words all the awesomeness that came from the weekend so I'm just going to share a few pictures.

 Ruth told about finding your identity in Christ
 Lovely group of women! My small group <3 p="">
 Jen Hatmaker and Jason Castro
 Delicious gluten free treats!!
 My SWEET Roomie <3 p="">

 Stephanie Holden!
She was pretty much the.sweetest.ever.

Seriously a deployment?

Life is crazy isn't. Like seriously crazy. NOthing is ever turning out really how I would imagine or have planned for it to turn out, but I think that's what makes it awesome.
 Just a few days after I got home from HOPESPOKEN (which is a post in itself), we were notified my husband would be deploying! I mean... whaaaa? I was not expecting that. 
Hubs is currently not able to deploy because he was active duty switching to the reserves. So for two years he was put on stabilization. 
So literally my brain could not even process this info. It still really can't to be honest, a 14 month deployment to Cuba. Seriously who would have thought. 
Our plans are definitely not God's plans.  Originally he got off active duty to finish his degree and then hopefully go back as an officer. He is still planning to put his packet in as soon as his graduation is final. JUNE 8th! Wooop! But, this is just a huge hiccup in the process. 
I keep praying that God would just show us his plans. Make this path so unbelievably clear, that we wouldn't be able to screw it up. I'm sure all will be revealed in His time. Until then, I'm going to soak up this precious family time. Sneak away for plenty of dates. Spend lots of one on one time with our little babes, and also prepare our hearts for what God has in store for this next year.
Also, I'm planning to not just leave my little space of the web so neglected. Ya'll I'm expecting big things this year and I'm so hopeful for things to come! 

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