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Being Strong

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I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the word “strong” lately. What does that actually mean? How can I use this word to help myself, or others? How can I help myself live a more abundant and meaningful life? Can I, me, one person, ACTUALLY help others along the way, too? These are all big topics, and thoughts, but I know that the answer is yes to every one of these. The only hard part is, it takes work. It takes work to be strong. It takes work to be independent, to give everything you have every day. It takes a lot of work.

So with all these thoughts, I’ve come up with my own answers on what “being strong” means to me.

Being strong isn’t just about going to the gym, and putting in work everyday. Sure, that has something to do with it, but that’s not what it’s all about. Here are some ways in which “being strong” has more meanings.

I got up when I didn’t want to. I might not have felt good, I might have been tired, sore, sleepy, depressed. But I did it. I got up, and I put my clothes on, and I’m conquering the day. That’s being strong.

I stood up for myself. I didn’t let my boss, friend, family, or co-worker speak to me in a manner that I didn’t like. I didn’t feel used or neglected. I stood my ground, said what I believe, and I did it with all the integrity, and grit I could. I wasn’t a pushover today. I stuck to the things I believe in, and I didn’t take no for an answer. That’s being strong.

I remembered what it’s like to not give up. I kept going today. If that means going to the gym when I didn’t want to, or leaving the house, or going to work, or doing whatever it took to make sure I am doing the best I can for me. I did it. I did it when I didn’t want to, and I conquered the shit out of it! That’s being strong.

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I lifted someone else up. I decided that It’s not always all about me. It can be about other people, too. I supported a friend, coworker, spouse. I supported their dreams, wishes, thoughts. I helped motivate someone to do something they didn’t think they could. I am a team player. I set my views aside to help someone else. That’s being strong.

I surround myself with positive, like-minded people. I decided I didn’t want to live in the negative, anymore. I want to be happy, be positive, be inspiring. I want to live MY LIFE to the fullest. Whatever that means to me. I want to give my husband, and my child the best parts of me that I can. No matter what it takes. If that means going “out with the old” and “in with the new” I will do it. That’s being strong.

So you see, my friends. It’s really not about what you look like. What you wear. How your hair is done. How much money you have, the kind of car you drive, or who you are keeping up with or not. It’s about what is truly INSIDE of you that counts. Those are the things that you need to look inside of yourself, dig deep, and find. Sure, it might hurt to come up with the answers, sometimes. It might be scary as hell to do (it was for me) but I can promise it will be worth it in the end.

That’s being strong.

What’s your strong? What does being strong mean to you?

Leave some love!

 

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An Ode to Mom – My first Mother’s Day

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As Mother’s Day is drawing near, I can’t help but think about how lucky I am to be a mom. I’m celebrating my very first Mother’s Day this year, and while I’m so excited, and honored that I can now be a part of this amazing group of women I know, love and respect, I also want to reflect on the many lessons I’ve learned in just this short period of time. So here it is, an Ode to my mom – and all the mom’s out there, on Mother’s Day!

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Mom,

I just want to tell you – I get it now. While I might not get all of it at this point, I do somewhat understand what it’s like to be a mom. I always wondered if I would hear myself say those words, and now I’m excited and honored to be a part of this amazing journey we call Motherhood.

Remember all those sleepless nights? I get it now. I understand the sacrifice that you made for myself, and my siblings, working, providing for, and making sure that we were nurtured in the best way that you could. You did all these things while staying strong, and trying to keep a smile on your face at all times.

Remember all those missed, or cold meals you had? I get it now. There are times when you would have rather been entertaining your friends and family at gatherings, or times when you were hungry, but we needed you more. You went without those meals, or ate them later, because you love us, and you knew that these times would also pass. You smiled, and rolled with the punches, and never let it get the best of you.

Remember being happy that we were growing and developing, but sad at the same time? I get it now. You were so excited that we were growing, and learning new things, but at the same time, your babies, your children were growing up into their own people, creating their own personalities, and becoming the independent people that we are today. You smiled, laughed, and cried with us all. And did it in the most gracious and loving ways.

Remember thinking that this is the hardest, most tiring, most stressful, but most rewarding job of all time? I get it now. Being a Mother is the hardest, most tiring, stressful job I’ve ever had, and ever witnessed you do. You did it the best way that you knew how, and you did it with a smile on your face. You showed up when it seemed everyone else was walking out, and you have always been by our sides.

Remember that word you always used – Balance? I get it now. I know that you had to balance a job, family, home, and all the other tasks that you took on, all while making sure that we were safe and taken care of. You did it, and you were always there for games, practices, and whatever else we were a part of. You did all of these things, and you did them all with the highest level of integrity, and devotion, daily.

So mom, I just want you to know, after all these years. Thank you. Thank you for being one of the best role models that you could be. Thank you for teaching me valuable lessons on how to be the best mom that I can be. Thank you for sticking by my side, and thank you for being so loving, nurturing, and understanding.

Oh, and mom. I get it now.

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Happy Half year Birthday, baby! 

Jamie, Jamie, Jamie… where has the last 6 months gone? It was yesterday that your dad and I went to the hospital on a whim (Link to that story Here) and a few hours later you were born. You know, I really wasn’t sure how life was going to play out before you arrived. I was nervous, excited, hesitant, happy, sad, scared. Any emotion you can think of, they all ran through me, but the minute you arrived, all those feelings subsided. You blessed our family in a way I never thought possible, and I don’t even remember what life was like before you arrived. In this short period of time you have taught me how to love, in a way I didn’t think was possible. 


Seeing you grow and learn, the way you smile at your daddy, when you laugh, all of those things touch my heart. I can’t wait for the next six months, and at the same time I want time to stand still! 


I hope that you know how much we love you, and I hope as you grow, develop, and learn, you continue to spread the love and joy to others that you do now. But most of all, I want you to shine. I want you to walk with confidence, and never settle to be anything less than the person that God wants you to be.


Here’s to the next 6 months and beyond- my sweet baby girl! 💜💜

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Girls and Bows

Before my daughter was born, I swore I wouldn’t be one of those parents that put all those crazy bows on my child.  I don’t know, I’m just not into that fashion trend. We tend to keep things a little more light and airy around our house, and in our wardrobe. So, this sweet friend of mine, who happens to own a bow boutique sent me 2 of her handmade bows. Ya’ll, I’m here to tell you they are GREAT!

First of all, Jamie has been blessed with my small head. That’s a blessing and a curse. The trouble is that no headband really seems to fit her. I have a few that work, but most of them are too big. But the bows from 2ndavenueboutique work great. The elastic on these headbands are PERFECT! They aren’t too snug, nor are they too big. When she moves, they seem to move right with her.

Melissa-the owner of 2ndavenue boutique can do pretty much anything too! As you know, our family is a Clemson Tiger family. (National Champs… WHAT, WHAT!!) Knowing that, Melissa made the CUTEST headband for Jamie! It’s a little bigger than I would have picked out for her, but OH MY GOODNESS, it’s still perfect!


Obviously Jamie loves this bow too. Can’t you tell from her expression?!

There are so many other options that Melissa can do. She’s made bow ties for the men, even a tutu for a wedding! Whatever you can dream of, I’m sure that she can do it. The sky’s the limit with this boutique!


Are these not perfect?! And if you really still don’t believe that she can do anything and everything, look at this cute puppy!


So do me a favor, my family and friends. Go Here and check out her etsy shop! You won’t be sorry that you did. I promise you, I’m not!

Happy shopping, friends! 🙂

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Alcohol at Wholesale Stores

Are you one of the many people that shop at Costco? If you are like me, and the 1,897,650,432 people in the world, you probably shop at Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s, or some other wholesale warehouse type place. I love going to Costco, but truthfully, you really have to plan your trips there. Timing is everything in these places, and if you want to know my personal opinion, they need to serve alcohol. This is why-

First of all, you all know I have a child. I love my child. I honestly never knew that motherhood could be such an amazing gift from God. HOWEVER, I – probably like the rest of us parents – HATES when my child screams in a store. It’s so embarrassing, and there isn’t much you can do about it unless you want to get 0 things accomplished during the day. So serving alcohol to the nice members, with or without children, might make the fact that ALL the children in these stores are screaming at the top of their lungs a little less noticeable.

Second. Bumper baskets. Come on. You can’t even tell me that you haven’t thought about ramming one of those big shopping carts right into another one. Especially when the person is in the middle of the aisle, stopped. Taking up ALL the space. Move it Susan, I’m busy here! Having a glass of cabernet while strolling the aisles might make the fact that I’m wasting my life away in a wholesale shopping center, while my child screams, a little less terrifying. Also, who wants to spill your wine or beer?

Third. THOSE SAMPLE PEOPLE! What else goes best with pretzel bread than a nice red blend, cabernet, or pinot grigio? Maybe even a IPA or hefeweizen for you non wine drinkers out there! But seriously, there isn’t enough drinks for all the samples I can have. I’m honestly feeling like I don’t even get to clean my pallet from the last sample and I’m off to test something else. We don’t get to sample enough drinks, so maybe, if there were wine and beer available- I would be more apt to try ALL the samples!

Costco Profits Rise In Weak Economy

Last, but definitely not least – If I have a glass of wine, or a beer,  I would probably stroll the aisles a little longer, filling my basket with more than the things that I had on my list. I would be happier, and more relaxed. I might even stop and grab a bite to eat from the concession stand.

So if you, or someone you know works at one of these wholesale chains. Please do us all a favor and tell them that they are missing out on a big thing here!

Thank you, and you’re welcome! 🙂

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I’M BREASTFEEDING MY BABY!!

So, if you didn’t know by now- I’m one of “those” people who takes it upon themselves to tell everyone that I possibly can that I chose to breastfeed my child. Do I knock the people who don’t, can’t, won’t? NO! I’m VERY convinced that as a parent, and spouse, you need to do whatever is best for your family- no matter what that decision is. I also believe that you stink to your guns, and don’t worry about what others think. HOWEVER, since this is MY diary  blog, I get to choose what the topic is. I’m going to tell you something about this. It’s nurturing, invigorating, and fulfilling. It’s also a great way to lose that post baby weight! I’ve lost about 32lbs so far, and only gained about 27! Above all of those great things-what I would like to tell you more about, makes me so hungry all the time!

I think this is the part that no one really talks about. When people say “eating for 2” I’m not sure they take into consideration breastfeeding. Let us take a stroll down this path. Shall we?

Eating enough calories, drinking enough water. You know if you don’t have anything in your body, you can’t produce enough milk. Eating enough calories and drinking enough water is so important. Here’s the thing. You’re hungry and thirsty pretty much all the time. Oh- and those growth spurts that your child goes through? Yeah- just know you will be  acting as a human garbage disposal during those periods.

Watch what you eat. Yeah- I found this one out the hard way. Broccoli, onion, beer? If I would like to stay up all night with a SUPER gassy infant, then I’ll eat all the of those things. This one is tricky, but you kind of have to do trial and error here. I know there are certain things that my child doesn’t agree with, so I stay away from them. It’s hard, but I do it. I’ve also realized the more “bland” of a diet I have, the better off we will be. Do you know how boring that is for someone who likes to eat spicy foods?! CRAZY, RIGHT?!

Food Cravings. You thought that went away when you delivered? HA! Joke’s on you! I think I crave more different foods now then when I was pregnant. I think this has to do with getting enough calories and eating the right foods. Thai food, wings, Juicy Hamburgers? You name it, I’ve probably had a craving for it at one time or another.

Did you crave anything, or have any strange things happen while you were breastfeeding?

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Seriously, RSV?!

4 months old. My daughter is 4 months old! I can’t believe it happened all right before my eyes. I swear I blink too fast and she is another month older. How can this happen so quickly? I can tell you I’m thankful for being able to spend time with her, and watch her grow. I’m thankful for the late nights, early mornings, diaper changes, nursing sessions, I even don’t really mind the 123,456,789,087,654,321 times that she’s spit up on me already. I did a lot of research before getting pregnant, during my pregnancy, and even some after she was born. In NONE of those books, blogs, and research documents that I read, did ANYONE mention the way I would feel the first time she got sick.

It all started on a Tuesday. I took Jamie to her doctor for a 4 month checkup, and shots. They checked her out, I mentioned she had an onset of a cold, and the doctor checked her for that as well. Everything was fine. We went home, continued on with our schedule, and kept moving ahead. Wednesday she started getting a terrible cough, but I still didn’t think a lot about it. No fever, just a cough. By Thursday she was so bad with the cough I was getting concerned. See- we were leaving on Sunday to go on a trip, and I knew I needed to make sure that everything was in order before going on a plane with a 4 month old. So, after talking with my sister in law, I made an appointment for the doctor.

Friday morning. We go to the doctor. They run the tests. They check her lungs. And then they give me the scariest news. RSV. For real? My child, who is at home with me primarily, has RSV? How in the world? I wanted her out of the daycare life for these purposes. What does this mean? Is she going to be ok? Oh, no, I’m going to cry again, aren’t I? -(Cue all the mom emotions starting to flair up!)

Here’s what they don’t really tell you about this RSV business. What it stands for is “really scary virus,” (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) but that’s for parents only. In all my research on this topic,  I’m almost certain that this is just a really bad cold. The issue for most is that it’s not caught early enough because the child doesn’t have symptoms other than a cough and possibly a runny/stuffy nose. What happens is that all the mucus gets blocked and they don’t have any way to pass it because they are so little and can’t blow their noses, etc. Yes I’ve heard of cases where children have been hospitalized, and even worse. I’m thankful that this wasn’t the case for my child, but because of this “scare” on sickness, I watch her like a hawk, especially now!

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We were awarded with this cute little Pink Panda looking nebulizer and a prescription, and off we went. Honestly, I know I am lucky that it wasn’t any worse, but Jamie has been handling this treatment like a champ and I could see a difference in her within the first 2-3 days. It’s now been a week, and we have a couple more days left of her medicine, but there is no more cough, everything has seemed to pass the way it’s needed too, and my child is still laughing and smiling like she should be! Seeing my daughter with this oxygen mask on, it breaks my heart. I know that it’s for the best though. Really, she doesn’t seem to mind it either!

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My caution to everyone else out there is to do your research. I know from my own experience in just the 4 months Jamie has been on the “outside” that this shit is scary. It’s freaking scary being a parent. Especially when these cute little babies can’t communicate with words to tell you what’s going on. Also, take your children to the doctor. I am glad that I didn’t wait, and that I acted as soon as I could to talk Jamie to the doctor. My last piece of advice. Trust your instincts, whatever they are. We have a crazy sense as parents. Don’t be afraid of it. Just keep on doing what you’re doing. WE ALL are doing great. WE ALL will make it!

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