Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weekdays...

Tomorrow we start our new routine. Even though it will be a big change and take some time to adjust, we have been blessed in so many ways.

I got to spend sixteen beautiful weeks with Isla. I'm so grateful for my time with her and cherished every minute of it. I know we are very fortunate as a lot of new parents may not have that much time off with their little one.

My mother lives close by and is eager to help. While its not a short drive, 2 hours, she still lives close enough to come watch Isla and loves doing so. She stayed with us for my first week back to work and was so helpful. Plus, Isla loves her Mamaw! We enjoyed having her with us and feel so blessed to have such helpful, loving parents.

Starting tomorrow, my sister-in-law will be watching Isla along with homeschooling her girls. We appreciate her and my brother so much for always lending a helpful hand and loving us so much. It makes things a lot easier knowing Isla is in such good, loving hands. I know Alexas and the girls are going to take such good care of Isla and she is going to be surrounded with love and fun daily.

We are so thankful for our families and all the helping hands!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

TGIF...well almost...

Wow, we almost made it. We're in the home stretch of finishing my first full week back to work. Some say each day gets easier, but I've found each day to be harder this week.

I've held it together pretty well emotionally and done better than I expected for the most part, but I have to say...this week has been harder than labor (well emotionally that is)!

I miss Isla so bad and I feel so awful that she is still refusing the bottle. We've been trying the bottle since month one as well as the paci, but she hasn't been interested in either. We've tried four different brands and have more on their way from Amazon. We continue to be consistent, but Isla is not giving in...she misses her momma!

The only way we can get her to take any milk while I'm away is through a syringe or medicine dropper. Right now, she will only take an ounce or two all day until we reunite.  To make up for not eating during the day, she eats all night...which has created a very tired working mom.

I'm so thankful for my mom being here this week, which allowed me to come home and feed Isla during lunch. Next week will be a little more of a challenge since we probably won't be able to see each other and nurse during lunch. Praying Isla begins to eat more while I'm away soon. The thought of her hungry breaks my heart.

So glad the weekend is almost here!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thank goodness for mommas!

I really don't know what I would do without my momma! She is such a blessing. We talk everyday, sometimes multiple times a day. She is always there to listen, comfort, give advice and talk too.

This week she is watching Isla for the first part of the week, while I go back to work. It's such a comfort to know Isla is in such good, loving hands. I know these next few days and weeks are going to be hard for Isla and me, but her love and support makes everything a little easier.

I'm so thankful to have such a loving and caring mother to help me raise my own little girl.

Scripture for Isla: Isaiah 49:16

Friday, September 21, 2012

Hey Daddy

Letters to Isla Rae

My sweet girl,

You will be 16 weeks on Monday. You have become the happiest girl (except while riding in the car). Its so easy to get you to flash a gummy smile my way. You are much more content now that you can roll over, grasp toys and put things in your mouth.

Everything you hold goes straight to your mouth. You especially love chewing on your hands! Lately, you have been chewing on your thumb and you have even stated sucking on it some too. It's the sweetest thing to see you sleeping and sucking your thumb.

Your hair is starting to come in more now and its really thickening up. The new hair seems to be lighter. You still have the dark patch in the back that swoops to the right.

Lately, you have been a better napper, but you are still waking up 2 to 3 times at night to eat. As I lie beside you now, watching you sleep so peacefully, I pray God will always watch over you and you will always carry him in your heart.  I hope you always know how much I love you and you always feel loved, because you are! You have given me more happiness in these past 16 weeks than I've ever had before.

I am going to miss you so much as I go back to work on Monday.

Love,
Mommy

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hey Daddy

Blessings in disguise

I believe God strategically places people in your life. Some people are placed for just a season. Maybe to help you through a challenging time, as a test or an obstacle you have to over come, but some are weaved into your path for life and are blessings in disguise.

My sister-in-law, or "sister I never had" as I like to call her, is one of these people for me. She is such a blessing to me and our entire family. She is constantly teaching, praying and loving. She has been in my life for over 12 years and in just the past year or two, God has opened my eyes to the blessing He gave me so long ago.

It's amazing how God gives us exactly what we need when we need it, but unfortunate that sometimes it takes us longer than what He intended for us to see it and reap the benefits of His blessings.

Alexas is a best friend, a prayer companion, a Christian mother and a sister to me. I have taken on a lot of roles in the past year. I've become a wife, daughter-in-law, and mother. Alexas's grace in her same roles has helped shape me and keep me focused on God. Thank you Alexas for your continued support and love. I am so grateful for you. Bobby is one lucky guy! ;)

Autumn

I can't believe its Fall already! I feel like we just rung in the new year and now its more than halfway over. As I get older, it seems like the years go by faster.

Well ready or not, the season is changing and Fall is upon us. Fall is one of my favorite times of year. Where the landscape is lit up with color all around us and there is so much natural beauty that it can't be ignored with our daily tasks.

This time of year makes me miss living in the mountains. I miss the art splashed across the mountain sides and endless miles of countless shades of autumn. I miss hearing the sounds of the creek in the still of a cool morning. I miss the smells of a campfire and catching fireflies. I miss high school football games on Friday nights.

I'm hoping we will have a nice long, cool Fall here in Charlotte and we make the trip home to the mountains at least once in time to see the leaves change.

I'm looking forward to carving pumpkins, wearing sweaters and tall boots, turning off the a/c and opening the windows, watching football and enjoying all the beauty God blesses us with during this beautiful season.

Simply irresistible

Isla is getting so many new rolls and folds all the time. I love her chunky thighs and belly rolls. She has become irresistible to tickle, kiss and give raspberries.

Joel jokes that her feet look like mine did when I was pregnant ...so pudgy that ankles are non existent, so puffy that the top of her feet just fold into her toes. Her hands are the same way. I love the little rolls on her wrists and the dimples on the tops of her hands.

From the first time I held her, I didn't think it was possible to love her any more, but each day I fall more in love with her. I'm in awe at how much joy she gives me and how greatly God had blessed us.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Baby Milestones: 3 Months

Letters to Isla Rae

Hello my Lil peanut,

Today, you are 15 weeks old. You are growing so fast! Everyone comments on how big you are. Your daddy and I have really noticed a lot of changes in you in just the last week. Your face had become rounder, you smile A LOT, and your personality is shining!

Our family and friends have started to see mommy in you. You are a perfect combination of us.

You are rolling over back to front now and you favor your left side. When you are on your tummy, you try to get up on your knees and push off with your toes. We know it won't be long before you take off crawling.

You LOVE hanging out outside, riding in the ergo, looking at Bella and being silly with mom. You are chatting with us more and more, and still love screaming, happy or sad.

You have become more content lately and like your toys more. I love watching you learn to grasp and play with your toys. You especially love toys with lots of color or toys that talk or play music.

You're still not a fan of your paci or bottles, but we are continuing to try. You have started to nap better and love sleeping in the ergo. You don't fight sleep as much when you are riding along with me.

We think you are already teething, but are hoping we get to see your sweet gummy smile for a while longer before you get those bottom teeth.

I love you so much. Praying you adjust well as mommy goes back to work. No matter where I am or how far apart we are, my heart is always with you. You are such a God send!

Love,
Mommy

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Whistle while you work...

In one week, my time off with Isla comes to an end and I return to work. My time with her has gone by so fast. I literally feel like it passed in a blink of an eye. Given the opportunity I would gladly do it all over again, even savoring the sleepless nights and fussy days. My time with her has been irreplaceable and I feel so lucky and gracious to have been given these past 16 weeks to spend with her.

Starting Monday, we will start a new chapter. I'm sure she will quickly adapt to the new routine, but its going to be challenging for me at first. I feel separation anxiety just being away from her for two hours...tack on another six and I'm sure there's going to be tears. I know that God will see us through this season as well though. Please pray for sweet Isla and I as we start this new journey.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Baby doll

Growing up, and even sometimes still today, my mom calls me her "baby doll."

She loves this name for me. I, of course, went through a stage where I wasn't as fond of it...high school. Today, its a special pet name and I've grown to expect it in birthday cards, voice mails and hellos and goodbyes from my mom.

Now that I have Isla in my life, I understand why my mom calls me this and thinks of me this way. Isla is such a doll and I can't ever imagine a time when I won't consider her my little baby even as she grows up.

I understand my mother's love for me now. I understand her worries, sleepless nights, multiple phone calls, pet names, concerning voice and unconditional love more than ever now, because I feel the same love for my own "baby doll."

I have many pet names for Isla so far, but haven't settled in on just over quiet yet. Before she was born we called her "peanut"and our "Lil nugget." Today, I call her every sweet name from, "pumpkin" to "sweet pea." I'm sure she well go through the same stages I did where she rejects these names, but I hope one day she will understand. My love for her is endless. I'm so thankful my mother loves me with the same kind of love

Being a mother is such a wonderful gift from above.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The peanut to my butter...

To my hubby,

You are my perfect match. God perfectly designed us for one another. Yes, even when I give you tude about something, roll my eyes or nag at you...you are still perfect for me. As the days get busier and busier, it's easy to gripe about what needs to be done, every day stresses or what you didn't do, but truth is that is NOT how I really feel.

I've learned it's true, unfortunately, I do take things out on the people I am closest to and I often say the wrong things, but let me clarify what I really mean to say. Here is how I really feel...

I appreciate your kindness.
I love your strong will.
I'm grateful for your loving heart.
I'm thankful for your practical way of thinking.
I admire you.
I aspire to be a better woman because of you.
You are a blessing to me.
I would be lost without you.
Thank you for being you.

Thanks for being the peanut to my butter.

Love your wifey

Hey Daddy

Letters to Isla Rae

My sweet girl,

This has been the best summer I have ever had. You have taught me so much and given me a new kind of love. I love you more than words can describe.

I will miss our daily morning and evening walks together, our silly morning photo shoots, our cuddle bug naps and just being with you all day every day. You have given me the best job I have ever had, being a mommy.

You are 14 weeks this week. You are laughing more and happier. You are sitting up in your bumbo. You are grasping toys better and have more interest in playing. Your favorite playtime is social interaction though. You like that more than any toy. We read books, sing silly songs and make goofy faces daily. You love riding in the sling or ergo with me. You still hate your car seat, so we rarely go any where...that's ok though, because there is no place I would rather be then right here at home with you.

I love you to pieces sweet pea!

Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Being a better you...

Okay, let's face it...marriage and motherhood aren't always easy. Us wives and mothers need encouragement, patience and prayer and with each day we get a little bit better. Being a wife and mother has strengthened my personal relationship with God. These new roles have made me draw close to Him for guidance, strength and comfort.

We don't come into this world knowing how to be a good wife or a good mother. Yes, some of us are nurturing individuals at heart, but that doesn't mean we know how to handle conflict, sleepless nights and stress with grace. It is something that is given by God.

Luckily, we aren't in these challenging roles alone. Lately, I've been following two Christian blogs that I have grown to love and that help me immensely in my roles. Unveiled Wife and The Better Mom.

Marriage can be challenging by itself, add in a baby and you have a whole new list of marital challenges. My goal is to handle these challenges with grace, and the only way I can do that is through God. Unveiled Wife has been helping me achieve this in my marriage with daily prayers and articles on how to be a better help meet for my husband. I always strive to pray everyday... a thankful prayer, a prayer before meals and a prayer for forgiveness. It never dawned on me to pray specifically for my husband and our marriage every single day until now. Yes, I would pray for these things in times of need, but I would easily forget to do this every day when things were going good. Unveiled Wife helps me to remember to do this every day, as well as pray for other marriages. We don't have to be in turmoil to need prayer and I've learned by praying for my husband every day, I become a better wife. Through these prayers, God has given me more patience, a better attitude, positivity and grace.

Being a new mom is extremely rewarding, but it too has its challenges. The Better Mom has helped me to gain more patience, take more things to God (no matter how small) and rely more on His word for strength. Its a forum where I can learn and grow by the learnings of other Christian moms.

I encourage you to check these ladies out and see if their words can help make a difference in your life like they have for mine!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Isla's 3 months!

Can't believe our sweet girl is 3 months already and I'll be returning to work in 2 short weeks. My time with Isla has been so precious and irreplaceable. I would do it all again in a blink of an eye given the opportunity. My days and nights have been baby focused and I wouldn't have it any other way. She is such a little light. Love my little baby so much!

Hey Daddy

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tickle, tickle, tickle...

Isla is laughing more and more now. I love it. Her laughter is contagious. Its hard for me to stop tickling her once I start because selfishly, I don't want her giggling to stop. Then I remember what it feels like to be the one in the other end getting tickled.

I know how it feels to be held down and tickled. My brother did this to me a lot growing up and given the chance he would do it again today. He loves tickling me and cutting up. I remember his boney fingers digging in my ribs and laughing uncontrollably, but at the same time just wanting it to stop so I could get ahold of myself.

I know Isla loves to be tickled and she loves to hear herself giggle just as much as I do, but I have to remember, after a minute or two, to give her a rest from the tickle monster. :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Rock-a-bye baby

I love to watch Isla sleep. She always looks so peaceful, like a little angel.

I watch her as we lay side by side, studying her face, movements and every breath. Her chubby little cheeks fold over her chin in layers. Her long eyelashes lay softly on her cheeks. Her little mouth continues to suck in and out, in and out. Her arms gently folded across one another and her feet resting up on my legs.

She loves to nestle right up against me and I love it just as much. Although she isn't the most sound or the longest sleeper...she is always my little cuddle bug and I love these precious moments God blesses me with.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Letters to Isla Rae

Happy 3 month birthday my sweet girl! Every day I spend with you is such a blessing and you are teaching me so much. I have really started to notice some big changes with you lately. You are growing so quickly and changing every day.

I love to hear you laugh and see your sweet smile. I love to see you figuring out new things. I love the way your eyes light up when you see me. I love the way you look at yourself in the mirror. I love your voice. I love the way you have started wrapping your sweet chubby little arms around my neck when I pick you up. I love the way you look at me when I hold you up in the air. I love how happy you are in the mornings and I love watching your personality grow.

You are learning and developing so fast. You love for me to read to you, sing songs and make silly faces. You love looking at my crazy hair and love when it is falling down all around you. You love looking at Bella and if you are ever upset, going outside for a walk calms you down.

You just went through another growth spurt and finally slept better last night. You are an excellent eater, but have little patience. :)

I can't believe its been 3 months since I first held you in my arms. You gave me a greater purpose in life and changed me for the better on that day and every day that I am blessed with being your mommy. I see a beautiful light in you and I know God has big plans for your life. Your daddy and I think you are the most beautiful thing in the world and you are 100% the best thing we have ever made.

We love you,
Mommy

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