Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Letters to Isla Rae

Dear Isla,

You’ll be 6 months next week. I know I say this in every letter to you, but I really can’t believe how fast the time is flying by. I think you start to notice how quickly time passes you once you become a parent. You also realize how precious time really is. It’s irreplaceable and you are never given the same day twice. You never see the same sunrise or sunset. I’ve also realized the amount of love my own parents feel for me, become more aware of the risks in the world and how important I really am.

Before I had you… especially before I was married, I wasn’t so cautious, I didn’t realize the stress I put my parents through or the worry my carelessness caused.  I didn’t realize just how much my life affects others. Now that we are a family, I know how important I am to your dad and to you. I take much better care of myself. I’m more cautious in general and I make sure to appreciate every single day the Lord gives us.

My hope for you is that you realize this at a much younger age. I hope you always know how valuable you are and how much your life touches so many others around you. I hope you always know how greatly you are loved and how great God’s love is for you. I hope you always know that you can come to me no matter what you are facing and I will never judge you. I pray that we always have an open, loving relationship. I pray you always keep God at the center of everything. As the time continues to fly by, I know it won’t be long until you are old enough to read this. Know that your dad and I love you more than anything and we are so very proud of you. 

Always remember the three H’s, Heaven, Happiness and Health.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Happy birthday hubby!

Happy birthday to my wonderful husband. You are an amazing dad and hubby and we feel so lucky to have you.

I'm looking forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you. Our birthdays, our loved ones birthdays and our kids birthdays.

I'm so thankful that I get to spend every year with you and look forward to what the next year holds for us.

I hope you have a wonderful day! I love you.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Isla 5 Months

I can really tell Isla is developing and getting ready to be on the move. At 5 months, she rolls over multiple times. She can roll over from back to belly and from belly to back. I can lay her down for just a second and turn back around and she will have already rolled over 3 times! She has to be in the mood though… She definitely does things when SHE wants to.

She is grasping her toys better. She holds on to her pacifier now and sucks on the outside of it. It cracks me up how she bites and sucks on the edges of it, but hardly ever sucks on it like most babies do. She gets frustrated with her toys very easily. If she can’t get the whole toy in her mouth then she gets angry, haha. Everything that she puts in her tiny little hands goes straight to her mouth. When she gets frustrated with her toy, she smacks it and grunts loudly. I can tell she is going to have a temper. 

She is teething. She sucks on her thumb and sometimes tries to get her whole hand in her mouth, sucking on all four fingers at once. Still no signs of any bottom teeth. We are hoping we get to see her gummy smile a little while longer, but we are also hoping her teething is as pain free as possible.
She likes sitting in her high chair for the most part. We haven’t introduced solids yet, but plan to start once she is sitting up on her own better. She is sitting up better, but still needs the extra support of mommy or a pillow. 

She is laughing a lot. I LOVE her little giggles. It’s so easy for me to get her chuckling too. She loves when I make faces at her or make silly noises.  She is also very ticklish. She is ticklish almost everywhere…under her chin and arms, on the top of her chunky thighs and on the back of her legs, on the bottom of her feet and around her tiny toes. It’s so fun to tickle her.
She is very smart. I love talking to her and asking her questions, then pausing and waiting for her little baby talk responses. I can tell already she is going to be a talker. I look forward to starting Baby Signing Time with her in the coming months. 

Isla loves…

She loves grabbing her feet while laying down and trying to get her toes in her mouth.  She loves any toy that talks or sings. My mom has gotten her a baby doll that prays and a bear that sings “Jesus Loves Me” and both make her face light up. She loves bath time now and she loves looking at Bella. She loves to pinch!

Mommy loves…

I love snuggling with Isla. I love cuddling with her and holding onto her sweet legs or feet while we sleep. I love nursing and the irreplaceable time that we have together. I love mornings with Isla. She is always so smiley in the mornings. I love when she reaches for me or squeezes her little arms around my neck. I love making her laugh. I love her smell.

Daddy loves…

Changing diapers. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm thankful for my husband...

Do you wear your emotions on the outside or keep them buttoned up? It’s not hard to detect what kind of mood I am in on any given day. If I am stressed, happy or sad, I have the tendency to show it in my expressions, tone of voice and mannerisms. My husband on the other hand can be stressed to the gills, but no one would ever know. He is so calm and cool. I doubt he even knows it, but I admire that about him. 

If I am happy, I am usually on cloud nine. If I am sad, then my whole demeanor is droopy. I wish I could be more like my husband, but I am a highly emotional being. I pour myself into feelings. When I love, I love deeply. When I am saddened, my heart aches.  I am also extremely sensitive. I’m sensitive in my feelings, but also to others. I get my feelings hurt easily and often take things the wrong way. As you can imagine, this can cause some hurdles in a marriage and well, in life.

My husband has really been helping me to work through these challenges and helping me to see things differently. He helps me to be more light hearted, less sensitive and take things with a grain of salt. I’m so thankful to have someone in my life that is encouraging, reassuring and patient. I’m thankful to have someone who helps me work on being a better me without insulting me, but by lifting me up. I’m thankful to have a spouse that does not judge me, but loves me unconditionally. I’m thankful that my husband’s personality is the opposite of mine, or else we would be living in a high strung household! I’m thankful my husband makes me remember to slow down, breath and let the little things go. I’m thankful that my husband is slow to anger and forgives easily. I’m thankful for God’s plan for my husband’s heart, my heart and our little family of three!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Requesting prayers for Isla

I knew this day would come eventually, but I didn’t expect it to come so soon. My poor little baby has been sick since last Friday.  It’s so pitiful to watch your baby struggle with illness. My heart breaks for parents whose children suffer from serious diseases and sickness. I cannot even imagine.

Isla has had a bad cold. While it seems mild, it’s rough on a baby. She doesn’t understand why her throat hurts, why she can’t stop coughing and what that yucky stuff is that is causing her to struggle to breathe through her nose. It’s also hard for me to know what’s hurting her at any given time. We took a trip to the doctor this week, and for the time being we just have to watch her closely to make sure it doesn’t turn into the RSV virus as she is starting to wheeze a little bit.

She is dealing with everything well even though she is not herself. She continues to smile through the sneezes and coughs. Please remember my sweet girl in your prayers. Praying for healing to her little body and we can be healthy and happy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Love like in the movies...

It's funny to me how things fall into place and how God knows what's going to happen before it ever happens. I look back at all my past heart aches, tears and failed relationships and think how drastically different my life would be if all those tears had not happened. Yes, my husband and I both endured pain and heart breaks before we found one another...and even after we met, things did not magically fall into place.

My husband  jokes that I have a movie playing in my head and I want our life to be a romantic comedy. We're conditioned to believe that real life is like the movies. Waiting for that fairytale prince to come and whisk us off our feet. Waiting for the perfect first kiss, proposal and honeymoon. But I've learned that when I set these expectations, it isn't fair, it isn't real, it isn't right and it isn't as fun!

Our awkward first kiss is forever a favorite memory etched in our minds. It didn't happen after a candlelight dinner, under a waterfall or while walking on the beach. We laugh when we look back at our first date that was at the not so perfect place, Ed's Tavern... We laugh at how awkward we both were, trying to impress one another. I had a nice big pimple on my face (I was definitely not airbrushed like in the movies!) and I kept trying to hide it by pulling my hair over it all night. This wasn't exactly ideal since it was smack dab in the middle of my forehead! I thought I was doing a good job concealing it until one of my guy friends called me out. Joel loves this story today. And the truth is, I didn't need to hide it. I didn't need to be perfect. He already liked me, for me. We shared our first kiss in the parking lot that night with headlights in our eyes. Makes me laugh to think about how unromantic it was, but it didn't need to be glamorous, it didn't need to be like the movies. We didn't know it then, but it was the beginning of our love story. The beginning to a crazy, messy, not so perfect love that is our life.

Our honeymoon is another favorite memory. Anyone that knows me, knows I love romantic comedies and I had watched enough to get a high expectation of what to expect on our honeymoon. When we arrived, I was expecting a non stop romantic love fest with rose petals, champagne bubbles and non stop adoration from my new hubby. Every where we looked there was signs on the doors that read "honeymooners" but when we got to our door, it was bare. No sign. Why did I need a sign on the door to confirm we were on our honeymoon? I don't know, I ask myself this question still today. We called down to the front desk multiple times and requested one...still no sign came. A few days later, Joel walked down to the front desk and requested again...still no sign. A couple days before we left, we got our sign. It was placed on our door upside down and read "Happy Anniversary!"  We both laughed at how funny the situation had become. Now on our anniversary each year, we put the sign up on our front door. It wasn't the perfect romantic getaway like in the movies, but we made perfect, long-lasting memories with one another.

I love our real life love.

Scripture for Isla: Psalms 46:5

Bible verses to teach your children. Psalm 46:5

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Appreciating my husband...

My husband's birthday is coming up on Saturday, so I've decided to dedicate my blog posts to appreciating him this week.

I appreciate so many things about my husband, but a lot of times I either forget to tell him, or get so focused on the little things that I don't see the big picture...of how truly awesome he is!

My husband is a great listener. He always actively listens to me and gives me good advice. I'm thankful to have such a great supporter.

My husband is funny. He cracks me up just when I need it the most. He even sacrifices his own pride to get a giggle out of me.

My husband is humble. He is so grateful at all times. I'm floored with how consistently humble he continues to be. He's never boastful and I love that about him.

My husband is patient. He is steadily calm and cool. He is patient in life and he is patient with me. I admire that about him.

My husband is loving. He shows me he cares for me and tells me he loves me often.

My husband is a great helper. I appreciate how much he does around the house. He picks up after himself, helps cook dinner and always helps with the laundry. I'm so thankful to have such a helpful spouse.

My husband is a loving father. Nothing is more attractive than seeing how much he loves and cares for our baby.

My husband puts God first. We are continuing to grow as a family and in our walk with Christ. I appreciate how he always leads us in prayer. I love his motivation for church on Sundays. I am so thankful to have married such a good Christian man.

I appreciate many more things, big and small, and I vow to show my husband my appreciation more often. I love you Joel! Happy birthday week!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

TODAY ONLY - Get 10 FREE holiday cards!

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Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

God doesn't give you more than you can handle...

I am a strong believer that God will not give me more than I can handle and often times I can handle more than I think. I have the tendency to cave after a bump in the road when really, God is trying to work wonders in my life through a little hardship. It's easy to have faith when everything is going good... but I grow the most through trials and tribulations.

With pregnancy, labor and now the every day to day, it seems nothing has come easy.  I was sick a good 80% of my pregnancy.  The doctor kept adjusting the timeline as to when the "morning" sickness would be over. Finally, he said some people are just sick the whole time.

Labor...well it was hard for me. Probably the hardest thing I've ever done. Thirty-six hours of pain, high emotions, endurance and strong will. The hardest and BEST thing I have ever done!

After the rush and shock of delivery, motherhood kicks in... it doesn't automatically get easier at this point. Everyday brings its own set of challenges and hurdles to overcome. Especially, if your baby is colicky or if you are trying to balance work and home life.  Some days, going to the bathroom or cooking a meal and keeping the baby from crying at the same time is a major accomplishment...

But still with everything we've been through and all the new challenges we face daily, I wouldn't change a thing.  I've learned so much about myself, family, my own mother and my baby along the way. I know God is working in my life through motherhood... teaching me to be patient (ie., Isla was 9 days late and labor was 36+ hours, lol), teaching me to sacrifice gracefully and give of myself in abundance.

I've been shown a love like I've never known and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I look forward to seeing what tomorrow holds for my journey through motherhood.

Here are some Bible verses on Strength and Perseverance that really help me when I feel overwhelmed.

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

2 Chronicles 15:7
But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. 

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

Psalm 73:26
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

1 Corinthians 16:13
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. 

A First Time For Everything

This past weekend Isla had a lot of firsts!
  • She walked in the walker for the first time. It was so cute to see her pushing herself around in the walker. She didn't even realize she was moving most of the time. She was so focused on her toys and playing. Then, she would look up with curiosity wondering how she got all the way over here. 
  • She swung in the swing outside at Gigi and Papa's for the first time. It only lasted a few minutes because once again, she hated being strapped in, but none the less it was a first!
  • She pet Bella. She loves watching Bella. Lately, she has started to reach for her and yell at her. She gets so excited anytime Bella comes near her. Bella sits patiently and lets Isla look at her. This weekend we let her pet her for the first time. She was so excited. She just kept reaching for her over and over again.
  • She sucked her big toe! That's right, lol. I laid her on the bed to change her diaper. Next thing I know, the toe was in her mouth and she was working hard to get the rest of the toes in the too. I laughed at her and pulled it out. She looked up and smiled at me. I could tell she was proud of the new body part she had just discovered. She instantly went back to pulling her foot back up to her mouth. Good thing those toes aren't spending much time on the ground yet!
  • She played the piano for the first time. Well, sort of. Papa played it for her and she got to hit the keys a time or two.
  • On Tuesday morning, she sat up in the bed all by herself! It wasn't long before she toppled over, but she sat there for a minute or two all by herself! I was so excited to see her sitting up. My little baby is growing up too fast!
She is developing so fast. She holds on to me so tight now. She gives squeezes and hugs. She reaches for everything. She grabs her toys and holds on to things well. She pulls hair! She loves jumping. She loves chewing on her fingers and sucking her thumb some. She started taking the paci a little more, but her fingers are her go to for soothing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Eskimo kisses...

I love waking up beside my baby. In the mornings when she wakes up, I scoot my head off my pillow and lie face to face beside her. She usually plays with my face for a while, smiles at me and coos. I take my nose and rub it against her and tell her I love her. I've been giving her these Eskimo kisses since she was about six weeks old.

This morning, I woke up to her sweet face again. I scooted down to her. She leaned in and rubbed her nose against mine. It was the sweetest thing ever. I love getting Eskimo kisses!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Scripture for Isla: Matthew 22

Have a good day...

What's your idea of a good weekday? For me, the definition has changed drastically since we had Isla.

A good weekday to me is as follows:
  • It starts with a night of sound sleep.
  • Waking up to Isla smiling and my husbands kiss.
  • Enough time for breakfast and coffee.
  • Getting dressed and out the door with no blowouts.
  • Isla falling asleep in the car seat, or riding without screaming.
  • Having a good work day with no surprises and happy clients.
  • Another peaceful commute with Isla being happy.
  • Dinner with the family.
  • A relaxing bath and then snuggling in with the ones I love.

A PERFECT day, is getting to spend the whole day with Isla and Joel.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Letters to Isla Rae

Baby girl,

You are 5 Month's old today. Happy birthday sweet girl! My oh my how fast you are growing! You are changing so much every day...getting more hair, making new facial expressions, developing new rolls, having new interests.

You recently started giving squeezes and holding on to me. This is my new favorite! I love that you squeeze me back when I hold and love on you. It's like you are giving me a little baby hug. It's the sweetest feeling in the world. You are reaching for everything. Every time I open the refrigerator, you reach out and try to grab the ketchup bottle or anything you can get your tiny hands around. You love helping me brush my teeth. I have an electric toothbrush and you like how the vibrations feel on your hands. You look up at me in amazement. Pretty soon you will be getting your first tooth and brushing your own teeth!

You are still very vocal. You yell, scream and coo loudly. You love hearing your voice. You love jumping, riding in the ergo, watching Bella and playing with your cousins. You are a very smiley baby. I love seeing your big smile beam everyday when I pick you up. Lately, you've really started to enjoy bath time. You have more interest in your toys and splashing around in the water. I love it too because you smell so good when we are all done. Your skin is so soft and perfect.

You and daddy recently had a daddy/daughter day and you were on your best behavior! You were so good all day. It made me so happy to know that the two of you were spending special time together. Your daddy got you to sleep for all your naps in the ergo (he looked so good in it too!). I can tell already you are going to be a daddy's girl.

I'm still the only one that can get you to bed at night... you are very attached to your mommy and I don't mind a bit! I cannot believe how fast time flies and how quickly you are growing up. I love you to the moon and back.