Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Life with Two Girls Week 5

Lilly is getting more aware this week. She is starting to coo and is liking to lay on her play mat now. I've been working on her schedule and getting her on a good schedule. We go by the eat, play, sleep routine with her. Unbelievably she is only waking up once at night, around 4 am. I'm almost scared to write that in case it's a fluke, but she has been pretty consistent the last few nights.

Avery has been wanting to lay down and play with Lilly every time she is on her mat. She climbed into bed with me yesterday morning with her stuffed dinosaur and told me that was her baby. Avery then whispered "I feed her with my boobies" which I found hilarious. She also told me on Mother's Day that if I didn't share the day with her, she wouldn't love me anymore. Sometimes I feel like I have a thirteen year old instead of a three year old. According to her my hair is also blond like a turtles'. The police did a visit at her school today which absolutely thrilled her. She got to see their car, computer and ask questions. She is now sure that she wants to be a policewoman when she grows up. Besides playing with my hair, Avery also loves to decorate our dog. I walked in her bedroom to see Georgia decked out in a headband and necklace.

We have the best dog. There were a couple times this week when I felt like this:

Other than those times, we seem to be adjusting to a family of four pretty well.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Give Yourself Permission to Dream Again

Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourselves in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."

Those of us who have been wounded strongly in our childhoods may have given up on allowing ourselves to have any desires of the heart anymore. We learned at an early age that dreams do not often come true and the harder your heart was, the better. It was the only way to survive being consistently let down. That isn't the life God wants for us. When we delight (take great pleasure) in Him, our hearts become open again and dreams that were once dead are reawakened. We are allowed to dream because our dreams are safe in His arms. He wants to give us those desires that line up with His will. All my life I longed for a family of my own. It wasn't until I learned to trust God with my heart that I opened myself up enough to enjoy them. Trust your heart to God, allow Him to birth new dreams and desires in place of the fears that seek to hold you back. He is the only one who will not let you down.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Close to the Brokenhearted

Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."

If you are anything like me, then you have had your heart broken and your spirit crushed. Looking back on my childhood and growing up in a home with addiction, I never thought God was very close to me. He often seemed distant and aloof. No matter how hard I tried, I felt as though I could never please Him or earn His love. I know now how untrue that was. God never left my side during those hard years. Even though my heart was hardened to the point that I couldn't usually feel Him, it was only His grace, protection, and steadfast love that brought me through those difficult times. He put back together the pieces of my heart that had been broken. Not only did my Heavenly Father pluck me from the pit, but He set me on a path of healthiness that led to restoration and redemption. We have a Savior that delights in rescuing the wounded, broken and those who feel as if they're best days were squandered and can never be reclaimed. God is not only willing to reclaim them, but is able to turn them into our greatest ministry and asset. Don't let the enemy or anyone else convince you otherwise!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ice Cream for Dinner

The weather here has been beautiful and we headed to the park for the third day in a row yesterday evening. As usual Lilly slept through the fun. I was determined to teach Avery to ride her bike so we brought it along. I've yet to see a toddler who gets that frustrated over accidentally hitting her brakes. That girl is too much like me. A little perfectionist who can't stand to not do it right the first time. We are both working on overcoming our perfectionistic tendencies.

Every time we go to the park the ice cream truck has been there and Avery has begged to buy one. I normally say no because I'm a bit hesitant to buy food from some one's truck, but since there were plenty other parents lining up, I caved. And I even got a snow cone which I promptly dropped onto the grass. Not much has changed since childhood. We a good time despite my clumsiness and the epic tantrum Avery threw when it was time to leave and she realized the other half of her ice cream had melted.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Life with Two Girls Week 4

Lilly Bell is four weeks old today. We are finally starting to get a routine down. I even got brave and while Jared was working this weekend, ventured to the park two days in a row with both girls. It only took us about an hour to get packed and loaded into the car, but I felt like supermom by the time we left. Of course I came home and pretty much passed out on the couch. It was like running a marathon. We had such a great time. I got a smile from Lilly today while I was talking to her. It was adorable even if it was just a reflex.
My girl is getting so big. 

Fun at the park.

I took my own newborn photos this time and all I can say is I now have a new appreciation for photographers. It was impossible to get a good one of Avery and Lilly together. I had all these photo ideas from Pinterest and it was humorous trying to get those girls to do them. These were my best two and I'll try again with Avery when Lilly gets a little older.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Rocking the Post Baby Body

I started back exercising this week and couldn't believe how good it felt to be working on getting fit again. I was obsessed with loosing my baby weight after Avery, but this time I am taking it slowly and spending more time enjoying my girls than I am counting calories. I feel completely different now when I see my post baby body in the mirror. Instead of critiquing and hating it, I am loving it!! It looks about the same as it did with my first: thirty extra pounds, flabby belly, and bigger hips and thighs. Yet I am completely in awe over what it was able to accomplish. Maybe it is from getting older or finding more of my confidence in Christ rather than external means, but I am more aware of how precious this season is and I don't want to waste it moaning over why I can't fit back into my size 4 jeans yet. Not to mention I have two girls and my toddler copies absolutely everything I do. If she sees me talking or acting negatively towards my body, she is sure to do the same. All I have to do is look at those beautiful girls that I carried and birthed to confirm that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made.

God has been so incredibly gracious to me. Not only did I have healthy pregnancies, but also healthy babies. I am finding it very difficult to complain about not wearing a size small in shirts. I feel like that is such a slap in the face to God's generous gifts. Of course I want to get toned and lose my baby weight, but it's not in a maniac, my happiness depends on my size mentality anymore. It's amazing the balance and confidence that God has brought to my life. I am extremely grateful that I get to savor this time and appreciate myself without feeling an incredible amount of pressure.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Making the leap from one child to two

I was incredibly excited to welcome another girl to our family. And I felt an instant bond with Lillian from the time I saw her. However, I was completely unprepared for how big of a change and adjustment it would be for our entire family adding another child. I'm not sure if Lilly Bell is actually a fussier baby than Avery was, but I do know it seems that way because this time around I can't sleep when the baby's sleeping. If I have a night with no sleep, it doesn't change the fact that I have to be up again the next morning by 7:30 at the latest with my three year old. There have been nights where Lilly has cried for hours and I have joined in right with her from being utterly exhausted. Most things worth having in life do not come easy and I think family is no different. It takes work, effort and a whole lot of God's grace to have a healthy, stable family. A few things I keep reminding myself through this new and challenging season are:

Give myself and family grace. Since I grew up in constant chaos, I make a huge effort to make sure my family has structure and routine. Guess what? Newborns don't adhere to that. Or at least this one doesn't. Avery was doing Babywise by week four, but Lilly seems to have other ideas. She also suffers from some stomach issues which make sleep extra difficult for us. I'm seeing that I have to relax and go with the flow right now instead of freaking out that she isn't getting a certain amount of naps in a day. Of course I want her on a schedule eventually (we do feed, play and nap), but right now I'm doing the best I can and that is okay. I'm counting on God meeting me and my children's needs right here in the moment we are in.

Remember that my husband and I are a team. Since we actually got into fight about who was the most exhausted, we are needing to check ourselves on a daily basis and make sure that we are working with and not against each other. I know that the enemy would love nothing more than to take this wonderful, blessed time in our lives and bring strife and division to our marriage. Remembering to be honest and open with each other is crucial. Equally important is making the time to cover our marriage and family in prayer. I for one have to work to find prayer time right now since I seem to be either playing with a toddler, rocking a newborn, or nodding off on the couch. I know it is worth the extra effort to take even 5 minutes at the end of the day for those specific prayers.

Allow God to meet me where I am at. I struggle with being vulnerable and needing help. It can be hard for me to admit that I'm getting frustrated with my kids and need someone to step in for a few minutes. I can be too hard on myself instead of admitting what I'm feeling in the moment. This only leads to more frustration. On my best days I can't be all that God requires me to be. You can imagine what it's like when I'm running on empty. I need the Holy Spirit desperately, to work in me and empower me with traits like patience, kindness, gentleness.. If I don't have the Spirit's help, I am a train wreck. 

Every day with kids is a new adventure and I am really happy that my life is filled with belly laughs, Frozen songs, snuggles and even crying.