Mistakes and Forgiveness

The terrible two’s. I have heard this age described many times by people. And honestly I never thought the 2’s were terrible. The 3’s and 4’s were the worse for my oldest, but with my youngest who is currently 2....well I’m hoping this is the worst it gets.

Now, we’re strict. We have rules. We discipline and we expect our children to listen and follow the rules we have set. But MJ, oh MJ! She’s the rule breaker! And let me tell you... it’s just not easy most days.

A couple of weeks ago the kids were playing and being so good. I was putting laundry up and didn’t think too much about them playing. Well all of a sudden I met MJ in the hallway with black paint all over her hands. And all she says is...Mama, I painted?

Ummmm what did you paint? Come see, she says?

Y’all panic and deep breathing began.

I walk into my bedroom to find my pillows, sheets, and part of my carpet flooring has zebra stripes painted all over them. She’s just smiling and Wade is saying you shouldn’t have done that.

I just pick her up. And Well, I take her to the bathtub and make her sit and I try to clean the mess up...and it just makes it worse. I‘m cleaning and crying and the whole time she is saying I’m sorry mama. I’m sorry! She’s crying and I honestly can’t even speak. And when I finally do... I’m like why did you do that?? You know your not supposed to be paining without asking me or with me. She is crying and just answers, I don’t know!

After that whole ordeal that we went through... timeout right after and her punishment of no iPad, no paint, no crayons, and no markers I thought that she would be a little more aware..... nope! 

This week she has colored on the walls twice. Once with an expo marker and once with a crayon. And each time she has gotten disciplined. Today, I literally about lost it. Why? Because she snickered while saying I’m sorry.

She knows she’s not supposed to be using these things that way, but why? Why does she continue? Why isn’t she listening? 

Well, it’s the same as us. Why do we continue to do things? Why do we gossip? Why do we lie? Why do we think things we shouldn’t? Why do we cuss? Why do we do things that we know are wrong? And sometimes do them over and over again? Because we aren’t perfect and we are still learning.

MJ is learning! I am learning! We are learning. And it’s hard. We are not supposed to be perfect. But! BUT! We are supposed to try our best to be better than we were yesterday and today. We must strive to learn from our mistakes.

I have always heard that our past does not define us but makes us stronger.

Mistakes are apart of life. But we must learn from them. If we don’t we will continue to repeat, repeat, repeat...when we need to be repenting, repenting, repenting.

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Proverbs 28:13 ESV

I totally believe that the Holy Slirit convicts us of our sin. And that conviction leads me to confession and that confession leads me to mercy.

And HE Forgives! 

He already knows what we have done, BUT he wants you to tell him. And there’s beauty in that. Owning up to what you have done and realizing it is wrong.... confession!

8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10 ESV

We must realize that we have sin. We must understand that he will forgive us for it, but we must come to him.

You know, MJ is learning and I’m a tough cookie when it comes to her. I don’t let her or Wade get away with stuff. I’m teaching them, modeling to them on what and how we are supposed to act. It’s hard! And most days I cry with them sometimes. And here’s the thing. I always sit with them after and explain what they could have done and how next time to not get into trouble. We all need someone to do this. 

We’re going to mess up. We are! It’s okay! But like MJ... three times doing the same thing.. I just can’t! I mean really! I know that we all will have times where we fail ....But let’s try our best to live like Jesus. That should be our life goal. To live boldly like him. To serve like him. To love like him. And to ultimately BE him to people.

And don’t worry! We’ve put all the crayons, markers, pens, and paint up. Up really high!!  Because she climbs y’all!

So, let’s do our best to learn from my sweet little diva of a 2 year old...we are going to sin...but let’s learn from it and make sure we realize what we’re doing and change it.

Love and Prayers,

Holly

You do You!

I have been seeing a quote passed around Facebook. And every time I see it, it makes me laugh. And it’s so true!

 

Breastfed

Bootle fed

Stay at home or work

We’ll all hit our kids head on the car trying to get them in their car seat.

 

Y’all I’ve done this too many times to count... lol!

 

Or this one! 

 

I had an epidural I had a c section Then my baby wouldn’t nurse so I feed him/ her from a bottle. And now I’m sitting her at the playground wondering what all the guilt was because my kid is just as weird as yours.

 

I laugh! It’s so funny, but truly this is what we do. We put so my emphasis on “what’s best for babies and kids” that we forget that we all are different and yet the same in some ways.

 

I breastfed both my kids. I enjoyed it! Loved it! Glad I got to do it, but I also gave Wade formula. Is he any different? No! Did I make a huge deal about in the moment thinking I was a horrible mother? Yes!!!!!! And a year after I remember thinking what was the big deal... he’s fine! Great!

 

Why do we do this?

 

I wish I could give you a clear answer and tell you that it will go away, BUT it doesn’t fully go away. Every decision we make for them is a big deal, but what we have to realize is kids are similar and we need to rely on each other. Now, I don’t mean making me feel bad for my choices, but giving alternatives and advice when welcomed, right?

 

Kids are.... going to stick their fingers in their nose. They might even eat them.. gag me! They’re going to eat things they shouldn’t. They’re going to act weird and crazy. Place things in their ears, belly buttons, nose and mouth because hello... it’s a hole. They’re going to think poop noises are hilarious and embarrass you with them.

 

They are experimenting and learning. They are investigating and trying to figure out things. And here we are thinking we’re horrible because we didn’t do something when they were 3 days old or when they turned 1. Geez!!!

 

And also we can have debates all day long and make posts on Facebook to make sure people see where we stand ...vaccinate/ don’t vaccinate. Oils and natural medicines or western medicine. Vegan/ diary free/ no sugar or let them eat meat/ sugar/ carbs. Milk vs other dairy free milks. Dressy clothes versus comfy clothes, long hair/ short hair, bangs... I could go on but you get the point...we can have debates about everything.

 

BUT!!!

 

IT DOESN’T MATTER! You do you and make the choice for your family. It might not be what I would choose or what your friends and family would choose, but who cares!!! Don’t let the opinions and voices of others make you feel any less... you are the mama God chose for that little blessing or blessings. Make the choice that fits YOUR family.

 

We put too much pressure on ourselves. And it’s ridiculous!!! So stop! Stop!! Stop being so hard on yourself and go with your gut and rock it.

 

Raise your family and be smart about it. Make the best choices for your family. Don’t put more stress and worry on yourself. It’s not worth it. Yeah you might get talked about. Yeah you might get pointed at.... but as long as you are happy and your family is too. Then mama you’re doing a great job.

 

I love getting advice from others. But I always align it with what I’m already doing. I learned after having Wade that “we”, my husband and I, needed to make the decisions for our family. Are we going to make the wrong choices sometimes? Yep! Is that okay? Yep! We aren’t perfect even if our kids expect us to be, but It’s good for them to see we make mistakes too.

 

And just like this morning with MJ. She had a spatula and the Nesquik container and was shoveling the powder in her mouth. I came into the kitchen and saw her sitting in the floor saying mmmmm... so good! #momfail I didn’t lock that childproof on the cabinet... oops!

 

And all the moms who don’t give sugar are gasping... Hahahaha! You do you, remember?

 

I’m praying that we can let go of this whole mentality that they way we do things is best. It’s not! It just works for us. So, be open and honest with each other.

 

And remember the the quote... my kid is just as weird as yours! So true!

 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

Be the Parent

I don’t want to. I don’t like that. Not right now. No!

 

These are words I hear from Wade and MJ when they don’t want to do something, eat something, or if they don’t like something that is happening. It’s usually followed by crying, screaming, and unhappiness especially if I am making them do something they don’t want to. But let me say this.... I don’t care.

 

I don’t mean that as bad as it sounds, but honestly I am trying to prepare them for life and sometimes we have to do things we don’t like, eat new food, not play and clean up, go places we don’t want to and even do things that we really don’t want to do.

 

Growing up is hard. We have to learn and be taught. We have to experience things.And the problem with that is...we think we are always right and know best. Oh yes! My 5 year old, Wade, he is never wrong. He knows best. My 2 year old, MJ, same! I can tell them not to do something allllllll dayyyyyyy longgggg and until something happens or they get punished they just don’t get it. They think they know best. They think they KNOW! And truthfully I don’t know what’s best always. I’m 31 and still learning. But I have wisdom and we as parents are the ones in charge. Not the tiny humans.

 

Kids are not the parents. They do not make the rules. One day they will have the opportunity but as for now, my husband and I choose and make the best decisions for our family. Now, that looks different for every family because 1. We are different 2. We have different parenting styles. And 3. Not everything works the same with all kids. We have to do what works best for us and our family. But, we must choose to be a parent and not a friend. Parent first always.

 

The things my kids like to say No to....

 

Trying new foods is the worst for my kids. It took us forever to get Wade to eat meat. He would eat Chick-fil-A chicken and that’s it. It took him till almost 3.5 to try hamburger, BBQ and chicken from other places. He still has a hard time but we make him try.

 

Nap time/bedtime....I think all kids just don’t understand how much they will miss naps when they are older. Haha! We all need rest and when you say the N-A-P word out loud....it’s like you have told them the worst thing in the world. No! I’m not tired. I don’t need a nap. Really? Your attitude and rubbing your eyes would suggest other wise. But, you have to be firm. And even if they don’t nap. We rest and take a break. Our bodies need that. Our body and mind needs a break.

 

Wearing nice clothes is not a necessity always, but we have made a deal with Wade about this. For church on Sundays we wear jeans or nice pants, the other days of the week you can choose. It was a struggle. He hates pants with buttons. And MJ is becoming just like him. We establish a plan and get him to see that sometimes we have to dress up and if we have nice clothes we need to wear them. Some people aren’t blessed with an abundance like my kids are...thanks grandparents and consignment sales, but we have told them that we are thankful for the clothes so we wear them all. Their both getting better, but it’s a struggle still. But we don’t accept them telling us no that they aren’t wearing that.

 

It’s time to go! The words every child fears to hear when they are playing or enjoying themselves. When I’m out alone with the kids I always set a timer and let them know how much time they have. Example: At Chick-fil-A, we eat then play... not play then eat. We then get 10-20 min of play time. I set the timer and then when it dings they know it’s time to go. We haven’t had a melt down since start this... now that’s not to say it won’t happen, but we’ve done good for a year with it... fingers crossed!!

 

So, what can we do to help our kids not be all the time temper tantrums, meltdowns, I don’t want to, and saying no, no, no all the time. Well, we teach them, show them, and model for them how to do things. They are truly sponges and are watching everything. From what they watch, hear, and see they will mimic those things. They are watching us!!! They learn how to respond to things and how to react. I don’t always make the best decisions and some of my reactions have not been good. But here’s the thing... I’m aware of it now and I am working on it. I’m not perfect..no one is except Jesus is, but I’m not going to allow them to go down a path that is only going to lead to more things happening. I am going to say the word No... I’m going to discipline them and I’m going to make sure they understand why and what they are doing. I’m going to set up boundaries and I’m going to make sure that they try things to see if they like it. It’s totally okay if they don’t. But we don’t know till we try.

 

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

 

If we allow our kids to tell us what to do, to decide what is best for them, and allow them to continue to make bad choices we are missing the point. We are responsible for them. We must show them the way they should go. We are in fight against the culture and we must be strong. The culture is enticing! It makes everything look fun and good. But oh is it deceiving. And I’m not saying everything is, but we must be careful. We must be on guard and guard our children.

 

So, believe me when I say I know what’s it like to be told no. Please pick that up... no! Please clean up your toys. Not right now! Please eat one more bite....no, they’ll say I’m full, but 5 minutes later they’ll need a snack. It’s time to go...not yet! No!

 

I get it! I do. And I’m right here with you. However, I’m being persistent. I’m being strong. And I’m praying for my children to understand that it’s love that comes from me when I’m telling them they can’t do something and it’s love when I’m punishing them. It’s love! And I’m doing it so they will choose wisely and best. Will they always? I don’t know. But train them up. Show Jesus. Read the Bible. Quote the Bible. And pray for that relationship with Jesus to come to them.

 

We only get 6,570 days till they are considered an adult. No our job isn’t over at 18, but make the most with those days.

 

Speak and live Jesus.

 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

It ain’t easy!

Anyone got a toddler who is attached like crazy and a needy 5 year old? MJ is super, SUPER attached right now. It’s the 2 year old syndrome of I need my mommy. Wade went through it and I knew it was coming when she turned 2... I thought it would be the same as Wade, but She’s worse! I thought it would get better...it hasn’t. And Wade, not sure about that one, but I’m still holding out hope on the age 5. We’re only about a week in, but change is needed for both. 

 

See MJ has these breakdowns and complete meltdowns and it’s intense. Here’s an example....Wade wanted to sleep with me in his bed one night.He hardly asks to sleep with me. We have a routine in place and even though it’s not ideal...it works for our family right now. So, when he asked I said okay. Well, MJ was not having it. I closed the door and left her with Vaughn. She went CRAZY! I mean crazy. She was hitting,banging on the door, getting out of the bed, and was not having it. I tried to allow her to just throw her fit, but even though the sound machine was turned up loud. We could still here her. Vaughn was doing everything he could. He even had to give her a spanking because she was basically not listening and acting insane. I finally got up and got her and asked wade if she could sleep with us. Yes, I gave in. All was going well until...until MJ woke up.

 

She had only been asleep for 30 mins, she sat straight up and climbed over me and fell out of the bed. Yep! I grabbed her and got her and while I was talking to her she kept hitting me and saying you’re not my momma, you’re not my momma. I was holding her and saying...I am your momma. I am! She was a mess. And just completely delirious and finally realized who I was and grabbed me tight and didn’t want to let go. It broke my heart to see her have that kind of reaction. She has had some Night Terrors before,but this was by far the worse. I woke Vaughn up so I could put her back into the bed she knows and she curled up and fell asleep by herself immediately.

 

I try! I really do to divide time between them equally. To give them each special moments and time, but it’s hard. See mom life, is difficult. Having two babies that want you and need you at the same time is like a balancing act. You need more hands. You need more room on your lap..you just need more. Even if you have more kids or just one in this mom life, we have to divide ourselves up into so many pieces that sometimes we have nothing left for ourself. We give and we give and what’s left? Well, this is when I get the attitude, anger, anxiety, stress, and just hit the bottom of the bucket. I’m scraping what’s left and it ain’t much. And here lately it has been super tense because of all the sickness and Vaughn traveling out of town more, it’s just been interesting.. I’ll put it that way.

 

But, here is what I have learned and how I cope during these moments. Because it can be hard. We are just one person, but I’m telling you we have some real super powers. We mommas are tough!

 

1. I pray! It’s a must. It might not be a long prayer. But it’s me communicating to God that I Need HELP! Haha! I think about the verse in Matthew where Peter is walking on the water and takes his eyes off of Jesus. Peter calls out, “save me, Lord.” It doesn’t have to be an elaborate, big word, long prayer. Remember, it’s not about how you say it... it’s about what you say. Allow it to pour from your heart and speak it out of your mouth. I’m usually upset and trying to fight back blowing up and I simply say, “I need your help. Help me have the words to say and help me not to say what I want to say.” Two little independent kids can test ya like nobody else.

 

2. Have a special time just for you. 5 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 minute... whatever you got. Take a few minutes to recharge and find your happy place. For me that can be cooking, a shower, or an established quiet time during the day. We started a quiet time on the days we are home. Wade looks at books or plays quietly in his room. MJ does the same. She usually draws, but this gives them time and me time. Especially if we are getting on each other’s nerves. Haha! I try to say 15 min for this. It’s enough time to establish for the kids to understand and know what independent learning and playtime looks like.It wasn’t easy at first...it gets better everyday. And is getting enjoyable for all.

 

3. And last but definitely not least...Get yo self Snapchat. Haha! You’re probably like where is she going with this. Follow me for a minute. A filter and a message that disappears after you send it is what you need in this crazy mom life. When I snap chat my people...it helps to relieve some of the build up going on. It’s like a stress reliever. And when they snap chat me I see that I’m not alone in this. Their lives are crazy and not perfect either. It helps! So get the app. Add me! We’ll be real with one another.

 

Mommin ain’t easy! And some days are just plain tough. When they are sick or clingy or needy or just a toddler who thinks they need you all day long, it will get better. This journey is a blessed one and I’m thankful to have two amazing kids who test my patience each day. Haha! In the moment I’m not thankful because I want to run away from the chaos, fighting, and tantrums, but in all honestly I take the bad, the good, and the completely ugly days and it makes the complete picture of parenting. Don’t let anyone tell you being a parent is easy. They are lying! It will be one of the hardest things you will do. But also one of the best things ever.

 

So mommy on friends! Even on the tough days remember you’ve got this and if you don’t got it... it’s okay too! Most days I’m winging it! Just admit it and move on.

 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

Cough, cough, cough!

Anytime you have a sick child your heart just breaks. You want them to feel better and you wish you had a magic wand and presto... they’re better. If only it was that easy!

 

Wade has always been one to spike a fever when his body is reacting to something. A cold! Stomach virus! Stumps his toe...kidding! But really, it doesn’t matter what it is his body just responds that way. He can be fine one minute and I go to kiss his head and he’s hot... hot! And then I see 102 and rising.

 

Today was one of those days.

 

Yesterday I noticed he coughed some, but acted fine. He played basketball, played at home, and acted fine at his grandparents house. Then last night we had to give him some cough medicine when going to bed. I went to sleep thinking... please no fever! Please no fever! Well, he had one. And the highest it got was 102.3 thank goodness, but you could tell he was sick. As I lay beside him right now and listen to him cough...oh how I know how it feels. How you just want to sleep. And how bad you just want to stop coughing. He coughed so hard that his stomach starting hurting and he was gagging. Y’all when he gets sick. He gets sick. It’s pitiful. It’s scary and I just want to help him.

 

As a mom, We try to protect them from danger, harm, and bad things. We try to eliminate and try to protect as much as possible. But the truth is things are going to happen. We don’t always know what to do and don’t always know the best choice to make.

 

I talked with one of my friends about oils to apply. I got the big husband pillow for him to sleep on. I got water beside the bed and the breathing machine. The thermometer and medicine. I got this.... well, it looks like I do. But inside I’m a basket case of nerves and my brain is going a mile a minute. Could it be strep? Is it a bad cold? Flu? Who has he been around? He needs to stop picking his nose. I mean... a million things processing through my brain...

 

Today I had the youth share their favorite verse. As they were sharing some of them said Philippians 4:13... I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I believe this with all of my heart. But sometimes... I feel weak. So I pray for strength. Sometimes I don’t believe I can do what God is telling me to do even though God is saying DO IT! And right now as I’m laying beside my baby... I’m praying for God to give me wisdom to know the best choices to make for his health and the strength to stay up and be alert when he needs me. I can do it! But it’s in him that I’m able to. He is perfected in our weaknesses.

 

See Vaughn leaves again tomorrow for work. He is traveling this week. And when the kids are sick and it’s just me... I mean you can guess what happens. Mama needs a little break. Before she loses her mind. Haha! It gets a little crazy, but I haven’t went completely crazy yet... so there’s that! Haha!

 

It’s hard to see our kids sick. And it’s hard when we are sick, but I am going to say this verse over and over again...

 

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

 

This is my prayer for Wade. And he hasn’t coughed in 30 min... small victories! In all things... he gives me strength.

 

And also... just FYI!

 

If you or your children are sick... please do your best to stay home! I know we have jobs and they have school, but stay home. Don’t get them out and take them places and spread the germs. Let me be real REAL for a minute. If you post on Facebook that you are sick and then I see you out at a restaurant eating or at Target. That ain’t right! Stay home! Take care of you and then babies.

 

**Except for Wal-Mart Or Target Pickup.... those are priceless!!!!😊

 

Praying for all the sick families.

 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

That Mommy Life

It’s amazing how you think you got it together and life completely smacks you in the face with a hahahahaha! Yeah! That’s where I have been here lately. Especially with the kids and living this mom life. It ain’t easy! It’s a hard day to day journey and anyone who paints the picture that it is easy or makes you think differently is lying. Yep! Just plain lying.

 

See mom life is cleaning up all the toys and then 3 minutes later coming in and the kids have dumped everything out.

 

It’s turning the dryer on to “fluff” the clothes for the 5th time because your trying to find motivation to fold them or time in the day. It’s finding milk sippy cups under the bed from who knows when and just trashing them.

 

It’s bribing your kids to clean up or eat something healthy with something sugary. #parentfail

 

It’s not having time on school days to make breakfast so you toss a pack of muffins their way...But if they eat a yogurt it cancels it out, right?

 

Mom life is taking a 3 minute shower with a child or having them look at you while in the shower...well, hello there! Haha! Or when you sit down to eat and they realize they are hungry too, even though you made their food first, and they decide to eat your food or want something else. “I didn’t want my food anyways.”

 

It’s listening to your children fight, not share, pick on one another and then get along 10 minutes later. What?

 

Mom life is questioning decisions that you make because you want to do your best, but you are totally winging this thing. So heads or tails? It is feeding them a 3 course meal supper to only find out that they hate the food and want a sandwich or lunch-able. Or my favorite...bedtime!! I’m hungry!

I can’t go to bed hungry.

 

Mom life is finally sitting down and you must have an alarm on you because the kids know it and they NEED you. Mom life is wiping butts... all day long! Because toddlers find that gross. Really? Geez!

 

It’s stepping on legos or tiny pieces. It’s finding putty or slime in the carpet. And asking them who had it on the carpet.....crickets! Oh it must have been me and your dad.

 

Yep! Mom Life! Overall, we are in survival mode and wanting to do what is best for our families. It’s chaos, crazy, amazing, beautiful, messy, emotional, tiring, and completely and 100% one of my favorite things about life.

 

Being a mom is such a blessing and no matter how you are a mom whether it is through giving birth, adoption, fostering, or being a guardian.. we all have the mom life moments of... is this what I signed up for??? Especially on those interesting days when you just need a break, want to eat a meal without a child on your lap, or not drink your drink with food particles in it, because you know kids don’t ever have drinks they have to drink out of mom’s cup.

 

Listen, we need to be completely honest with another and share our stories. Because we have all been there or we are in this stage of life right now. There are days that I think I am on my A game. And then I’m quickly reminded..nope! Haha!

 

I watched a video of a celebrity, Blake Lively, talking about looking at this Instagram account of the woman who made mommy hood look beautiful. She said she loved to watch her stories and look at her pictures. She said everything looked clean. It looked white and sparkly and she always had a hot blueberry pie steaming and in her mind that was what it was going to be like. And then she had a child and was in the midst of parenthood and she makes this statement, “I wanted to find that woman and kidnap her so she couldn’t torture me anymore. Lol!

 

Truth!

 

It’s not like this!!! The internet and technology paint a picture that we are always happy, the house is always clean, and our kids eat everything on their plate. No! Not real! Not even close!

 

Be real with each other. We need each other and we need realness. Be honest! Talk to other moms. And know that you are rocking this mom life to the best of your ability. Even if someone is doing it better than you or you think they are.... they aren’t. They are just doing a better job of hiding and keeping all the chaos from bursting out.

 

Be real!

 

Be You!

 

Enjoy your 3 minute shower, coffee that is cold that you forget about all day, and sit in the middle of the laundry and make a laundry angel.

 

 You got this! I promise, you do!

 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

I panic, I stress, I worry

No one likes to be sick. Even a cold can drag you down and just make you feel horrible. And unless you just hibernate and stay indoors...you’re going to get germs. Like the staying goes, “Wash your hands and say your prayers cause Jesus and Germs are everywhere.” Yep! Yep! Yep!

 

We do elderberry. We use oils sometimes. We take vitamins. We wash our hands and we try to keep the fingers out of our kids noses...I mean! What is so appealing about the nose when you’re a toddler??Haha! When you figure out why they love that hole so much, please let me know!! Shew! 

 

Wade had the stomach virus a couple of weeks ago and was a very sick little boy. It took him over a week to recover and it was scary at times. And the weird thing was none of us ever got it. So, we were concerned thinking maybe it wasn’t a virus and had he him examined to make sure. Turns out that viruses can sometimes take that long, but it was horrible. He was pitiful and it was just a hard week.

 

And this week.... On Christmas Day Vaughn had a headache which we didn’t think much of because, who don’t have one. We’re always crazy busy and usually out late the night before, but it actually turned out to be a virus or something. I got it the next day and Wade ended up throwing up again that night but seemed better the next day. So, who knows what it was...and MJ is still in the clear. Germs, germs are everywhere.

 

Now I’m saying all this about sickness to say...I wish I was strong and didn’t break down when my kids are sick or anyone is, but I do. I just can’t stand to see them sick. I mean, I know no one does, but it just rocks my world. Everything becomes effected. Our schedule, routine, and I’m an on the go type momma...ahhhhh! It just makes my anxiety and all my emotions come out and it’s just horrible. Horrible! I just become a version of myself I really don’t like.

 

Do you get like that?

 

It’s hard for me. Not sure why, but all I know is... I panic and want them all better right then. I want to take it from them and make them better.

 

They have this book that MJ got for Christmas about boo boos. And I wish it was that easy when they were sick to clean it, kiss it and bandage it... all better! It’s not! And that never changes. Even when they get older you still want to hold them and doctor them. Make it better!

 

I am reminded during this season of Mary, Jesus’ mother. Knowing that she had found favor with God and would be with child, and not just any child...God’s son! Talk about anxiety. I can’t even imagine.

 

I know for me while pregnant, I was terrified that anything I did would cause something to happen. And then when Wade got here...it was even scarier. I was/am responsible for him. To raise him, teach him, correct him, help him,etc. Pressure. Tons of pressure! And MJ’s pregnancy was the same. It didn’t change!

 

And just like our job of being a parent, Mary’s had begun at birth too. She would watch him grow up, make no mistakes (no sin),and one day watch him go to the cross for all people.

 

I still remember watching The Passion of The Christ and where she is watching him be beaten and go to the cross, but it flashbacks to him as a little boy falling down and her running to help. She watched it all take place. I’m sure she felt broken. I’m sure she felt helpless. I’m sure she wanted to take his place. I’m sure when the people were yelling at Jesus, she wanted to yell back. I’m sure she felt a piece of her was gone when he took his last breath and they pierced his side. She was human. She was a mother and I’m sure she had or experienced the same feelings as us.

 

We are human. We’re going to have emotions and feel certain ways. But we can’t let these over take us and control us and allow them to win. That’s the enemy and he loves to stir up trouble. And when we allow him to invade that’s when we become the person we don’t know or like.

 

Panic, fear, anxiety, sadness, happiness, being proud, excited, worried...all words we feel as a parent! And it never changes, no matter how old they get.

 

God tells us in his word these things.

 

Let us say these words given to us and proclaim this in our lives when we feel weak, stressed, and panicked.

 

cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

 

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3

 

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 28

 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

 

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps you." Isaiah 41:13

 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

 

My heart and mind to be reminded that peace comes from God and I must pray for it. That help comes from him and I must pray for it. That I need to give all my worry, fear, anxiety to him. He cares and hears me. And he wants us to cast all this on him.

 

So, if you’re like me and you lose who you are when your family is sick and just get lost in it. Remember the one who heals, protects, loves, and holds you through it all, Jesus!

 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

Believe

Santa! Do you tell your kids about him? Do they believe? Well, some of my friends have carried the tradition down to their kids and some have not. And honestly I was one that didn’t want to pass the tradition down...you’re probably sitting there thinking, what? Why?

 

Well, as a fourth or fifth grader (i can’t remember) I still believed. Yes! Get a good chuckle..vaughn does. But honestly, I believed in something I had not truly seen and wanted it to be real so bad. I heard the kids say he’s not real. It’s your parents and yet I would tell them... As long as you believe there will always be a present understand the tree...which to my parents defense is not a lie, but my mom would always say this. But, I believed.

 

I still remember asking my parents if Santa was real. I told them to tell me the truth. I was getting made fun of...surprise! They sat me down downstairs in our den and told me the truth...crushed, tears, and completely naive. I said something to the effect of..I guess the next thing you’re going to tell me is the tooth fairy isn’t real. Hahahaha! Well, they did! I know! I know! I really believed. Wanted to believe in that magic.

 

So, when it came time for us to decide about Santa I was hesitant. I really didn’t want to lie to Wade and now MJ. And I didn’t want him to believe like I did with so much trust and then be crushed when finding out.

 

But after talking together we decided to do Santa.

 

I see the magic in his eyes. And now we have added that elf. The elf I said I wouldn’t do. But he asked and made me feel so bad..we now have Clyde, the Elf. And he believes that he goes to the North Pole each night. And he believes in Santa and the magic of Christmas. And I want him to believe as long as he possibly can. But I want him to know Christmas is so much more. That there is someone that we can believe in fully and that is actually who gave us the ultimate gift. Jesus! I want him to hear Jesus more than Santa. I want him to see the heart of Christmas.

 

My friends, whoever you are reading this I want you to know that CHRISTmas is so much more than Santa, presents, yummy food, and family time. It’s more than playing elf on the shelf and taking your kids to sit on Santa’s lap. That’s all good stuff. And precious!! But tell them the story about Jesus. Tell them about what God did and what happened.

 

And listen, it ain’t easy. We have been reading a chapter of Luke each night with two kids who are like, are you done yet? What does that mean? Oh, I remember that from church. My prayer is that the words that we are reading will be heard and will show who Jesus was and is. And I hope this is a tradition we can do nightly and not just during this season.

 

Santa is a great tradition, but he shouldn’t replace or take over the one true gift, Jesus.

 

See, I believed in Santa. I did! But was let down, because he truly wasn’t real. And as a child I was looking for something. Searching for truth. And found that in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ at the age of 12. I truly believe we long to believe in something and want to know truth and see truth.

 

Jesus tells us, I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me. John 14:6

 

The joy of Santa didn’t last and won’t. But the joy that Jesus gives lasts forever.

 

Share Jesus with someone this season. If you have the opportunity, be Jesus to someone! Have fun being Santa while it lasts and remember to tell about the one who was, and is, and is to come.

 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

My Idea Was Wrong!

You know? I always try to have a positive outlook when I have to bring my kids to work or to a meeting for work. Now, my work is a little different. It’s ministry! So, a lot of my stuff can be done at home, but some requires me to meet with people....hence the meeting I had at 9:30 yesterday morning at Chick-Fil-A regarding our church website. Did it go as planned? Nope! Yeah!! It was not fun.

 

I really did hope that the kids would play and eat. I really did hope that the kids would play nice together. I really thought, I got this! And you know what, I didn’t. I really tried to have a good outlook and think they are going to be different. No! No! No!

 

It started good with everyone eating. Well, not me. Thanks low carb diet! I ate at home. Anyways, they asked to play. Yeah! Of course. This would give me time to focus. Well, MJ needed to go to the bathroom. Then Wade needed to go to the bathroom. MJ decided she needed to go back to the bathroom. Then she got stuck up at the top of the climbing thing in the playground. I had to climb up...yes! No pictures were documented. Then Wade needed to go back to the bathroom. Then they fought and MJ was yelling at Wade. Then Wade wanted some water because he drank all his milk. I told him to wait till we left and I would get him some. MJ at this point was crawling all over me. They went back to play and came back and Wade started whining again for water and I again told him we were almost done. The lady at the other table must have heard him and bought him a water. I’m mom of the year and felt horrible. Thank you whoever you are. My son loves you. And then we have to go to the bathroom again. I mean 4 times wasn’t enough. Might as well make it 5. And all this occurred while we were trying to talk about the church website and him instruct me on what to do and how to do it. Geez! I felt like I had completed a bathroom marathon, an obstacle course, and referred a match between two opponents. But, did I learn what I needed to? Hahahahahaha! Let’s hope so.

 

Listen, I left Chick-fil-A with a child who was wanting a chocolate milkshake at 10:30 and was told no. Another one who repeats whatever her brother says and we needed to go to Target. Ahhhhhh!!

 

I mean as soon as we closed the doors to the van I took a deep breathe and said you know what we need.....to pray. We need to pray for our day. We need to pray for each other. And we need to pray for mommy to not lose her mind, her cool, and to remain a peacemaker. After praying, I felt better and relaxed. I did! I’m telling you.

 

I was so embarrassed even though the person I met with has two small kids and understands, but still. And I totally get that kids are going to act like kids. And this is what life is like now, but Lord give me strength, patience, love, and an understanding. Fill me with these things. Shew! Because I’m going down!!!!!!

 

I want to say the day got better. They did nap. Woke up happy and I thought, okay I need to order Christmas cards so let’s take your all’s pictures in your pjs and with the two dogs. WHY????? Why did I think this would be another good idea? I think my judgement meter was leading me wrong yesterday. Haha! I took 50 pictures and I have ONE. ONE!!!! One picture that turned out where they are all in the picture kinda smiling,kinda happy. I had to threaten, give the dogs treat, rub Jackson with my foot, and keep MJ from laying on them. This was a great idea, Holly! Great!

 

Everyone has days like this. Well maybe not exactly, but we have days where we wish we could do over. Where we wish we would have thought about it a little more. We learn! We learn a lot from these times. And it prepares us. But goodness they are hard.

 

In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him. Ecclesiastes 7:14

 

God makes each day. Each day we wake up he has given us the day. We’re going to have challenges in everything. But there will be good and bad days. Embrace the good days and enjoy them. The bad days... learn from them and use them. Don’t get wrapped up in them. Allow yourself to know that a new day starts tomorrow. It will be different and what we make of it. Each day is a gift.

 

See, I know...I know..and now I really know that my kids aren’t ready to be with me in meetings even at a fun place with a playground. It’s just a no. At least I now know for sure and if someone ever asks to do it again I can tell them nope. I’m only available on these days without my kids. Haha!

 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

Water Bottle Mishap

It seems like every time we go to the movies it is always an eventful time. And it always starts off great and ends with a bang or with a wet seat and soaked pants. Are you intrigued? Let me share.

 

We went to see the new, The Grinch, movie on Saturday. And let me say this about the movie, super cute and so funny. The kids did great. The movie was adorable. Wade laughed and MJ actually sat most of the movie with her popcorn and m&ms, but went back and forth between me and her seat.

 

Now remember, she’s using the potty now. And she’s doing great, but there are times I wished she still had a diaper on ...ya know? She drank so much water during the movie I knew it was coming. And she made it till around half the movie until she said she needed to pee pee. So off we went to the potty. On our way back to our seat she wanted to sit in her seat, so I put her there. However, she ended up back on my lap and that’s when it happened.

 

I’m watching the movie and she’s drinking her water and she decides that she’ll turn it upside down on us. Now, my reaction was nothing out of my mouth. But I was screaming in my head. The entire bottle of water, well what was left was in my seat. As I try to get up I’m sitting in a pool of water trying to raise her up and take her back to the bathroom, because she needed to go again, I am pulling my shirt over my pants and trying to hide the fact that I’m soaked down to my panties. Y’all! Sheesh! At least it was dark and everyone was watching something.

 

We get to the bathroom and she does her thing and ends up hitting her head on the toilet paper holder. We’re wet and she’s crying..Tears, wet bottoms, and I’m having to calm her down plus explain that we can’t pour our water out. It will go everywhere and we will get wet. She nods and says okay mommy. There’s nothing I can do. MJ isn’t that wet, but I’m drenched. I decide we need to go back into the theater and I sit her on Vaughn’s lap and he looks at me and says, she’s wet. He must have missed that whole thing..typical male. Haha! I then explain quietly..”I’m drenched”..” I look like I peed myself and Her water spilled everywhere.”

 

The puddle of water is now in the floor and as the movie finishes i just keep thinking I have walk out of here, in the light, in the mall. Yay! The movie ends and we exit. I could have rang water out of my jeans. Oh it was terrible. Vaughn then says, my pants are a little wet where MJ sat on me. I know my eyes rolled back in my head when he said that. I’m so sorry you have a tiny wet spot. I’m wearing jeans and my whole butt and crouch area are drenched. Tell me your problems?? Haha! As we walk out Vaughn says, umm it does look like you peed yourself! Thanks babe! Thanks! And don’t worry we went to eat and to Walmart after this where I’m sure I fit right in.

 

So, FYI The Grinch movie is adorable! You need to take your kids. And remember no toddlers need a bottle of water. Just sneak their water cup in and note to self... Keep a pair of spare clothes in the car. And not just for the kids...haha! For yourself!

 

Love and Prayers!

Holly

Traditions

Do you all have traditions? Traditions that happen around the holidays or traditions that you do on certain days. I love traditions and enjoy being with my family and friends.

 

Traditions are needed and wanted. But let’s not get caught it in them that we lose the whole point of why they were created. Traditions were meant to bring people closer together and not to cause conflicts. But in today’s world we get competitive and want ownership of things that we completely lose what tradition really is.

 

Traditions are something we remember and cherish and that we want to pass on. Everyone has them. Just like us, we have traditions in mine family and vaughn’s family, but we haven’t really had the chance to make a lot with our own little family and it’s something I so desire to do. Now don’t get me wrong we have them, but we value the traditions before us also.

 

I love spending time with each of our families but I also want to focus on my little family and create memories and traditions that they can pass down to their children..that’s crazy to even think about, but it will happen someday. But I want there to be something that my kids look forward to and desire to be a part of with us. Something we do, together!

 

Christmas Traditions that we have started with the kids are of course the usual: buying for a child in need, Gingerbread house, making cookies, making ornaments, the giving manger, decorating the house, trees, and their trees. Going to Grammy’s and Pops on Christmas Eve, waking up and having Christmas at home and then going to Nanny and Papaws for breakfast and Christmas there and then to Mamaw Berta’s House. And usually before or after we celebrate with Aunt Barbara and Uncle Mickey and my grandparents.

 

Some of these traditions have been passed down and I have been thinking about adding some for our family this year and not just traditions that benefit us, but benefit others. I want to create a traditions where we give back and our giving manger is perfect for this. If you don’t have one I will copy a link below. We started it last year and it was precious and humbling to see it become filled.

 

Here are some examples, and no we might not get to all of them, of what I want to start this year or try to start: Giving to the food bank (canned goods, etc), buying gifts for kids who are in need/ families, drive around and just look at Christmas lights, but an ornament that represents our family for that year, make decorations for the house, have a Christmas tree campout night complete with s’mores and hot chocolate, and read the scriptures about Jesus’ birth and celebrate by making a birthday cake.

 

Traditions are special and meant to be passed down. And it’s time we create our own traditions and not just live in what has been passed down to us.

 

Find the traditions that you want to pass down and focus on those. Spend time with your family and enjoy the holidays. Just Enjoy it! It goes by way to fast and then what? Exactly! Just be together and thank God for the blessings you have been given. And if you don’t check something off your list..oh well! No biggie!

 

Tomorrow as we celebrate the holiday Thanksgiving remember to be thankful, be joyful, be open to new things. When a family comes together all their traditions come. And it can be a beautiful, crazy, messy ride. Embrace it and be thankful for it.

 

Traditions are important! But when we just focus on the tradition we miss the point. Christmas isn’t just on the 25th. It can happen any day. Thanksgiving just doesn’t happen on a Thursday. It can happen any day. Families being together and coming together in one place. That’s the tradition that needs to be carried on. So, don’t focus so much on what the day is or what has always been. Create a new tradition and enjoy it. Live it and Love it! And cherish the time we have been given.

 

Thank you God for this time of year! Thank you for traditions old and new.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy the old and new traditions!

 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

 

https://www.thegivingmanger.com/

Be Filled!

Do you ever have days where your kid is literally a leech? Oh wait! Haha! That’s everyday. No really, Some days are just worse and other days they realize they can do stuff by themselves and they let go.

 

I literally feel like I have a growth sometimes because MJ won’t leave my side or wants me to carry her everywhere or hold her. Now listen, I love it...but I love MY space too. Feel me? I have two leeches. I love them. I cherish my time with them. And love for them to love me so much. But on some days they drain me dry. I am useless and just done. And I had a couple of days like that this week...Yesterday especially!!

 

All day MJ had wanted me to hold her, sit by her, and just be with her. If I had a kangaroo pouch she would have been in it. Age 2 is the year of attachment issues. They cry a lot when you drop them off places. If you walk out of the room they freak out. And they just NEED you. Well, for my kids it has been that way at age 2. But today was just one of those days. Even at dinner at the restaurant MJ literally touched my hair, played with my face and kept sitting on my lap saying, mommy hold me. Did I mention I felt drained and I am also eating a low carb diet so I’m a little cranky?? Haha! Yeah!

 

I love my kids to want me, need me, and be with me. But, a little space is needed. Do you like your own space? Do you have to have it?

 

Nap time is usually my space time. The kids are asleep. I can chill, watch something, read, shower, or sleep. Even that hour that I got yesterday to chill wasn’t enough space. Oh boy! It was just one of those days. Those days are going to happen. And unfortunately we don’t let just our kids do this to us..we let others too!

 

This week has been one of those weeks that I have been super busy. I have said yes to everything and not yes to my needs. I have put others before me. Which is the right thing to do..but now I’m suffering.

 

Mom life is draining, work life is draining, and you know what life in general can just be draining.We can’t allow our circumstances, people, our activities, or our routines to drain us. We must remove and let go of what’s dragging us down. If it’s saying no to some things, then say no! If it’s giving yourself a break or a nap then do it. If it’s focusing on something else, Try it! Give yourself that moment, that time. You deserve it!

 

If you have leeches in your life and I hope you don’t actually have real ones...haha! But if you have people, your job, family, etc and they are draining you...speak up! Tell them and share what is going on. It’s okay to be honest and say hey....I need a few minutes or tell people what they are doing. Believe me! I’ve been there many times and I’m thankful to have a husband that understands and allows me to regroup. Take that time. 

 

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

 

This flesh can’t take everything and is going to fail. But thank goodness that my strength comes from God and he is with me through it all. That I can call out to him in those moments when I feel drained and say fill me back up with your strength and renew me so I can be who my kids, work, people, friends, or whatever needs me to be. Fill me with you Jesus! And give me the strength to continue when I feel depleted. Help the situation to not be as tense and be my words and actions. Prepare me for these times!

 

Don’t be drained! Be filled!

 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

Ashley Baker Photography...my little leeches 🤪

School Decisions!

Once your child reaches the age of 4 you begin to think about them going to school. Learning, growing, making friends, and developing even more. It’s hard to let go.

 

I’m struggling thinking about next year and what is the best decision for my child. I have tons of sadness thinking about my first baby growing up and getting big, but I also have tons of joy because I am so proud of the person he is growing into. But, I want to make the best decision and best choices for him and MJ. What are they? I’m still praying, thinking, and talking with others. And I’m praying for wisdom to know.

 

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5 ESV

 

Are there other parents that struggle with letting go? I’m sure there are and I know it’s not easy. I enjoy my time with my kids. I mean don’t get me wrong I love time to myself also and time with just my hubby, but I enjoy doing things with them and just being with them. So, next year will be a lot different. And I’m not sure how I will handle it.

 

See, I’ve been on the other side of this. I was teacher in a public school and saw parents trust me with their child. I created an environment that was loving, fun, and of course full of learning. So, I know the perspective of the teacher and how they feel. But now I’m on the other side of this equation trying to decide which school to choose or if I should homeschool Wade. I honestly go back and forth and don’t want to make a wrong choice. It makes me sick when I start to think about making this decision. I know! There are bigger problems in this world, but this is my baby. Y’all understand...right?

 

I have researched and read about both and have tons of information. I have compared school systems and read about private schools. I have read articles and talked with people about homeschool and have exhausted google and Facebook. What is the right decision? I don’t know yet. But what I do know is you make the decision that is best for your child and your family. You can’t go by what another family does. And what works for one child might not work for the other.

 

Having a teaching background has helped. I’m not going to lie. School systems can be rough sometimes. You think about what your child will be exposed to. What they will hear, see and the good and bad they will experience. You think about all that has went on in schools with shootings and bomb threats and you get worried, scared, and then don’t ever want to leave the house or be away from your child. No joke! We can scare ourselves. But if we live scared..is that living?

 

Sometimes it is good for our child to learn away from us. To experience another person being their leader and teaching them. To have people around them that are different from them and have different backgrounds. We live in a world where we all are different. We look, smell, act, and are not the same. And that’s okay! We can learn from one another. Parenting comes with lots and lots of moments of questioning yourself and asking if you have made the right decisions. We must do our research and feel comfortable with the decisions we make. And if we need to change the good news is, we can change at anytime. We are the parents! We are responsible for these little people and we must do everything we can to help them grow, learn, and become the person God wants them to be.

 

I’m not sure what we will do for next year for school, but we are getting closer to making a decision. I am praying for God to reveal what is best for Wade...not me! I am praying for God to speak and use people to help and encourage me through this process and I am praying for God to help us feel confident in our decision and for a peace. We can’t make this decision without him.

 

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9 ESV

 

God, I pray for your guidance during this process and for us to know what is the best choice for our children. I pray for wisdom in getting information and to use it to make our decision. I pray that you guide our steps as we tour different places and that you will allow us to know what choice is the best to make. I pray for Satan to flee in these decisions! I pray for Wade to learn and become smarter each day and to enjoy the program he is in or will be in.

In Jesus Name,

Amen!

 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

Potty Training

Raise your hand if you have potty trained a child!!! If you’re a parent then you have been there, done that, or you are in the midst of it currently.

 

Well, I’m potty training my second child. And we began a couple of days ago. And things are going amazingly, strangely well. I’m shocked! And in complete amazement that my daughter has only had a couple of accidents and that she is doing so well. But not all potty training goes this way, right? Shew! I have heard bad stories, scary stories, good stories, and stories that literally make me snort...yes I snort when I laugh really hard. It’s not attractive, but it’s me. Haha! But, there’s not something magical you can do. There’s not one way to do it. And EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT!

 

Potty training my son was not the same so far as my daughter. He wasn’t fully trained till after age 3, probably a month after turning 3. He wasn’t difficult to train, but would not go number 2 on the potty at all. He had a spot in our house where he would hide and I would even put the potty there and he would not! I finally told him that if he pooped on the potty then he could have the pirate Imaginex thing that he had wanted at Walmart. It took some time and a lot of patience and coaching, but he finally got there. I still remember the day I didn’t have to change his diapers. It like a choir in the background singing hallelujah!

 

Changing diapers can be an all day job if you have more than one child. But thank goodness it only lasted 7 months with two! I might have lost my mind. Haha!

 

I wanted to share with you MJ’s strategy. Now, I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but modify it, research, or do your own thing. You got this!

 

A couple of months ago she started sitting on the potty and I encouraged her to. She would do stuff sometimes, but it was random. I wanted her to feel comfortable and excited so since she was always in the bathroom with me, yeah mama’s I feel ya, we just started talking about the potty. We bought her a Minnie Mouse potty seat for the big toilet and we have a little potty for her also. Now, I didn’t want to start really training till after we finished our vacations because, well we go to Florida. So, you see my point there. So, I got everything I needed last week and we started this week.

 

We have a Potty Chart that she puts stickers on and we also have a potty bag that she gets to get something out of when she goes potty. The potty bag has suckers, gummies, beauty and beast things, Elsa, stickers, and little barbies. Dollar Tree for the win!! We want to reward her because think about, she’s been in the habit of using a diaper. It’s hard to adjust so small rewards and encouragement goes a long ways. We will begin to stop with the rewards once she fills up her potty chart. Which she almost has. And then we will start a new potty chart in the next couple of weeks and when she doesn’t have accidents she’ll get a sticker and when she fills that one up she’ll get her big prize... a Barbie clubhouse! She’s obsessed with Barbies and the little Chelsie clubhouse...It’s adorable!

 

We are doing pull ups, potty training panties, and also regular panties. We are doing the pull ups at night, if we go out somewhere, and to school on Tuesday and Thursday. We ask her every 20-30 minutes if she needs to use the bathroom and sometimes she just goes by herself. We did the same process for Wade, except more pulls ups, but it is working for us.

 

Now, potty training is stressful and intense. You want them to learn and you don’t want to lose your mind. Each day we pray that God will help us with the things we are doing. This week we have prayed for MJ to tell us when she needs to potty and for her to be willing to go. We have prayed for us to be encouraging and to have patience. And I have prayed for Wade to help his sister and not get upset about the potty bag. The first day he was questioning why, but after I explained he has been right there with her cheering her on, dancing with her when we do the pee pee dance, and telling her good job sissy. It’s been fun seeing them get excited together over this. Haha!

 

So, pray for your children if they are going through this. Talk to them and explain exactly what they are doing. Reward if you want to. Do a potty chart if you want to. Do pull ups or underwater if you want to. Here’s the thing, it’s your child. Do what you feel is best!! And don’t feel pressure to start potty training till your child does. Do what’s best for your family!

I have read these scriptures this week and want to share them with you.

 

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

 

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

 

Let’s hope, be patient, and be in a constant state of prayer! And let’s use our words, actions, to build each other up. And if you see MJ..tell her good job! Love and Prayer, Holly

Don’t leave my side!

Raise your hand if you’re on edge being at a place with water with young kids!! Raise it high if you’re on alert going to a store or going out in public. Raise it even higher if you think people are crazy and they will do anything this day in time.

 

Parenting is hard! And all these real life stories you hear on tv or Facebook about abductions, drownings, choking, abuse.. etc it just straight up frightening. I mean I have had to unfollow people on social media because of the things they post. I know we need to be aware of things that happen, but if all we do is focus on the negative and sadness in this world... ummmm we will be a big ball of negative and sadness. Right?

 

As parents, we need to be aware of what our children are doing, where they are going, who they are with. We need to be aware of our surroundings when out and know about places we are taking them. We need to teach them at a young age not to talk to people they don’t know and to scream, bite, kick... whatever they can do if someone tries to take them. Teaching them information about their family...names, phone number, address. We need to teach them about water safety and know that water is dangerous when we can’t swim. We need them to understand why they have to hold our hand or be in a stroller or in a carrier. We HAVE to teach them and SHOW them.

 

This is such a hard subject to talk about because it happens each day...out of the blue, when we don’t expect it, when we are distracted, or right before our eyes. It’s scary! But it happens!

 

Take precautions, be alert, teach your kids about strangers, and give them the tools that they will need. Are bad things going to happen? Yes! But, we can prepare and be ready! Accidents are still going to occur and problems might arise, but we can make sure we have done all we can do to prepare our children. Swim lessons, self rescue lessons, stranger danger talks, hand holding, strollers and carriers if needed and age appropriate boundaries set and information given. We can never be too careful! Always be over prepared and aware!

 

Karate was an awesome thing for Wade. I wish he would have thought so, but he decided it wasn’t for him. But boy did they teach about strangers, defense, and about learning their information. Last year during this time was when he first started. He only stayed 7 months, but during that time he learned my phone number, actions to take toward strangers, and our address. It was a step in the right direction for sure. And it allowed me to see how important these things were at an early age.

 

So, to the mama feeling tense as her kid walks closer to river, pool, or body of water or is playing close to the road. To the mama who is pushing a buggy trying to grocery shop and the kids want down... but you know they’ll run away. I know! I know! To the mama who is at a big function and is trying to keep her eye on her kid at all times, but it’s crowded. I know and I’m right there with you. I’m flustered! I’m nervous! And I’m paranoid! But you know what?? You’re being an excellent parent. Yes! You’re stressing, but that shows your love for that little human or humans even more.

 

Praying for all the parents!

Love and Prayers,

Holly

Are we there yet?

Traveling in a car with young kids should be classified as an Olympic sport. Seriously! No one prepares you for the torture you will endure during a trip to the beach or for a mini vacay. They don’t explain that you will have to unbuckle your seat belt 50 times to get the toy that was dropped, to get snacks, or to break up a fight. No one tells you that your seat will be continuously hit by feet because your child’s legs are long enough and he thinks it’s funny.  No one tells you that you will hear...how much longer? Are we there yet? The endless talking and no naps. I mean come on. The sound of the car against the road and the motion puts me to sleep and it should them too! Haha! 

I mean in all honesty it wasn’t terrible and could have been much, much worse. I mean I braided my hair and looked like Coolio...but ya know. It was fine! The kids were restless and so was I apparently...Haha! I had to do something to pass the time and they had 30 toys and movies, but were bored. Geez! 

So, I want to prepare those parents who haven’t ventured out yet or the ones like me who are still struggling.  Here’s what to prepare for because it will happen:

Prepare to stop a lot. Let’s say your destination is 10 hours away. Plan to make it there in 12-13 hours. By the time you stop to eat, use the bathroom, change diapers, walk...believe me! Just plan to stop! Also, if you can and are able...break the trip up by doing half one day and half the next. Much easier on the tiny humans screaming in the back. Better idea! Just leave at night. Yep! Drive while they sleep. 

Prepare to have snacks. At any moment your tiny human will begin screaming because they want food or need water. Be prepared! I always bring peanut butter crackers, fruit, gummies, trial mix, muffins, candy, and applesauce. Something easy to grab and enough to make them feel like they have ate something without having to stop a bazillion times. 

Prepare to have a trash bag. A small grocery bag or a trash bag to collect the items. You can only imagine how fast things get messy. 

If you have a vehicle with a dvd system... bring movies! Lots of movies! Different kinds and keep them rolling. Or any device! Just have something!

Prepare to have wipes or wet wipes or something to clean the kids up. They will be covered in food or marker. Who knows! 

I want to say bring ear plugs, but that wouldn’t be great parenting advice. We want to be responsible right..hahaha! But, it can get loud, whiny, and just overwhelming crazy. But you can take them...no judgement here! 

People always say enjoy your babies while they are young and believe me I know time goes fast and they are growing up before my eyes. I truly cherish these days and wouldn’t take anything for them, but the next person that says it gets to take my kids on a trip. Haha! And they can ride in the back with them or better yet in their car. I’ll put my ear plugs in and cuddle with my pillow, blanket, and book and say peace out till we get there. Yeah right! I could never do that, but it would be nice. One can dream! 

Prepare and learn from each trip. And for those that can fly to their destination.....do it! Seriously! 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

 

 

 

I have to pack!!

Who likes to pack? No let me rephrase that...who likes to go on a trip? That’s sounds so much better, right? Haha! I have never enjoyed packing or unpacking, but I tell you what. I have gained even more respect for my mom and mother in law and every other mom out there. I now understand how a mom feels before a trip. Insert—stress, more loss of brain cells, and the need for organization tips. 

You no longer just have to pack for just you. Oh no, it’s you, your kids and sometimes your husbands. You have to pack food, toys, clothes (extra clothes) etc. Your list is a mile long and your brain is completely gone. Just gone!  Poof! Haha! And while you pack you have mom guilt because you place your kids in front of the tv, toys, or whatever else..play doh while you get stuff done. Winning or mom fail? I’m going to go with winning! 

And let’s not forget, the house has to be cleaned too. And while you pack what are the kids doing??? Making a mess, of course. It’s what they do. And you don’t want to come home to a messy house. You’re already going to be coming home with laundry. Loads! So, you clean and pack! Repeat and continue this. Until you think you’re done and then you realize and see something that has to go. I mean you just have to have it. So you repack or stuff and stuff until you get it in there. 

Now, having kids and going on trips makes it very interesting. The amount of stuff that you feel like you need to take is insane. What we need to realize is, honestly, we don’t need that much. 

In my opinion you need the essentials:

Hygiene items-let’s smell good while we’re gone. 

Snacks- I mean you have to survive the trip. Your kids are going to ask every 5 min. And so will your husband. Haha! 

Some toys- they don’t need much. You will be busy. The basics: legos put together, a few cars, and coloring books, a board game. 

Clothes- plan for your kids to wear two outfits a day...and remember there’s probably a laundry room. 

Clothes for you-I know this is a hard one. We imagine something happening so we pack an abundance so we have plenty. There’s a place to shop everywhere. You’ll be fine if you don’t have something. 

Medicine bag/first aid kit- This is huge! I always carry this with me. In the car or in the diaper bag. It’s needed because you never know. 

Going on a trip is fun. You get to get away and enjoy time together, but when you get home and have to unpack and wash clothes it makes you wish you didn’t go. I know for us especially when we were first got married the bag of luggage would just sit there and sit there. We would wash what we needed, but we never got everything out and didn’t put up the luggage. Hahahaha! Yep! We were those married people. Now, Vaughn would still do this today. Well, actually he still does. Each week because he travels. Haha! 

So let’s not freak out about packing and unpacking. And packing the car is another story for another time. It’s like playing Tetris. Do people still play that?? Haha! If not, just pack your car and it’s basically the same. Don’t stress mama’s! It’s okay if you forget something or if you can’t pack a toy. It will be fine! So don’t lose your mind packing those bags or unpacking when you get home. Make memories and try not to sweat the pre trip stuff. There’s always something that can or will go wrong, but count it all joy and make the most of it. 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mama’s Nervous!

Leaving for a trip is never easy when you have kids. I mean, ever since having Wade I have struggled to leave him. And now with both of them it’s not any easier.

Now, I have left them and went out of town before, but Vaughn and I have actually never been out of town together just the two of us since having the kids. So, when I say I’m nervous...I am! We leave soon for a small getaway. And I ‘m nervous and so excited!!! Eeeekkk! 

I know my kids will be in good hands. I don’t doubt that for a minute. But, my mommy heart is ready, but then not ready. Understand? It’s that feeling of, I’m so ready for a little break, but feel guilty. 

See, we are so focused on being parents that we sometimes forget that the family started with two people, hubby and you. It’s important to spend time, date, talk, and go out of town together. Is it hard? Yes!! Goodness, just to talk at dinner is difficult. Haha! We will always have excuses. The kids are too young. I don't want to miss something. Work is busy! The kids need me. Differnt activities and did I mention not wanting to miss something.  Oh geez!

We set up in our head that we can’t. Our life, this mom life, should be one of the most important things we do, but we can’t be become so wrapped up in our kids that we lose who we are and we lose our relationships. We change! We become different the moment that bundle is placed in our arms. But, we are not just a mom. We are still wife, daughter, friend, etc. We just gained a new title. 

So, it’s okay to be nervous about going or leaving your kid for the first time. It’s okay to want and need to spend time with your hubby, family, and  friends. It’s okay to call and check. It’s okay to talk about them.  It’s okay to cry and it’s okay to not cry! Will you miss them?..yes! Will it be different? Yep! But there’s the beauty. It’s something different.  We will be back to reality quickly. Make your relationships  priority. Not just being a mommy, but a wife and friend. 

Now, go plan something! Right now!! Set an example for your child or children on how to create strong, healthy relationships. It’s okay to be nervous, but don’t let that stop you. Pray for a peace to feel comfortable to venture out. We got this mamas! 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

Our Job

We, as parents, have a HUGE job. And it’s a not so easy job. Some days are great and other are just down right hard. We are teachers, chefs, maids, boo boo fixers, car drivers, game cheerleaders, a safe place and so much more. We have been given an opportunity to watch and help our children grow up and become strong, loving, willing, compassionate people. But what happens when they choose their own path? And it’s a path you didn’t want for them. What do we do and How do we respond? It’s the hardest thing to think about and no one wants to think of their children making wrong choices. 

Let’s face it, our kids are human. They will face the same temptations as we did and do. Unfortunately the world just keeps getting worse and there are even more temptations now and we can’t place them in a bubble. It would be great if we could, but that would look pretty silly if they all were in bubbles walking around haha! So, what can we do to help our children?  

  1. Pray!!!! Pray for everything! School, relationships, homework, sports, teachers, jobs, salvation, attitude, and health. They are going to face stuff everyday. There will be a decision to be made so pray for God to guide them in making the decision that resembles him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24 ESV
  2. Get your children in the word! Daily! Put it in them and encourage them to know and live it. Pslam 119:11 I have stored up your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you. They are watching! What you do and say. I still remember one day last week and I was sitting at the table reading a chapter in Genesis and Wade said, read that to me please. He didn’t stay long, but long enough to hear a verse. The Bible just isn’t for church....you heard me. We associate Bible and church together, but they are both key in our children’s lives. Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
  3. Make church not just a place of habit, but a place of gathering together with other believers to learn and talk about Jesus while encouraging one another. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.1Thessalonians 5:11 We should enjoy going and not think...well I have to go this Sunday and Wednesday. We should be excited to come together to hear God’s word, worship, and pray as the body of Christ. 
  4. Share with your child your testimony. Share with them when you feel they can understand and know what you’re telling them.  They need to hear your bad choices. They need to see we are ALL sinners. Be completely transparent with them. Let them know they’re not alone.  We all make mistakes! For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
  5. Watch them! Keep an eye on them. Monitor what they watch and what they hear, what they do, who they go with...etc. Be in the know! Because kids...are sponges and older kids just want to be loved so we must be ready for anything. So, let’s be on guard. 13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.14 Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13 We are responsible for them. And like I said it’s not easy and when they get older you will still have a say. It will be hard because remember the world and the enemy is trying to get them. But stand firm mommas and daddy’s! Be their safe place and their reminder of God’s love. 

Now, we are sinners saved by grace. I would love to tell you that your child, who is perfect and will never do anything wrong in your eyes, will live a life to the fullest for God and will make amazing choices that build them up and not tear them down. The honest answer.... I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know who holds it and that’s why I pray. That’s why I have a relationship with him and that’s why each day I’m pouring this into my kids. Praying with them. Teaching them scripture. Disciplining them when they make wrong choices. Taking them to church and letting them be the church outside the walls. I’m preparing them. Yes, they are in charge of their life and will one day make all their decisions, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop praying and it doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying. Our job as a parent never quits. It’s all day everyday. Love on your babies no matter how big they are and never give up on them. 

 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructions

So, let’s talk kids toys. I’m not sure who came up with the idea that all children’s things need to be built, have batteries, and come with a million pieces. They come with instructions and tons of materials, but am I the only one that’s just like...ummmm I don’t get it.  I would totally pay extra for someone to build it and send it to me. Tada! It’s done. That would be amazing. However, not real life. 

I have put together tons of things for my kids and have done it wrong...yes I followed the directions a little. Haha! But, it always takes forever. It’s soooooo stressful and makes me question my sanity. Yep! It’s been one of those days. Feel me! 

MJ got an art desk for her birthday and well, today I thought I’m going to put that thing together with two kids in the same room. Big mistake! Huge! I got all the pieces out and began to look at the directions and as I started I looked and MJ had the screws and was hiding them, she was playing with the pieces and Wade was going in and out saying I’m going to help and was banging on the pieces like he was hammering. Ahhhhhh! It wasn’t my finest moment. I totally stood up and just left it all there. Hidden screws and all. Not even 10 minutes in and I was done and not even one nail had been put in. 

I told Wade to go back outside and help his dad with the deck and I put MJ down for a nap. It had been a busy morning and I was ready for a moment to myself.

I began to think about how we want to complete things and start off with full speed ahead and then we hit bumps and we just want to stop. We get distracted or it gets hard and we quit. It’s a lot like our walk with Christ. When things are going great we’re good. We think we don’t need help, that we don’t need to look at our instruction guide (the Bible), and we just got it. Hello?? We don’t. Then when things start going wrong and we are in trouble we go and look at the Bible, we talk with God, and we get our life back on track. Why? I’m assuming it’s our nature and that we will always think we can do stuff ourselves. Wrong! Just like these toys. I have to look at the instructions and use the parts given.  If not it will be wonky, strange, and will probably not be useful. It just won’t work.  So, we as Christians if we aren’t studying and reading the Bible, talking with Jesus, and not listening to him then how do we expect to truly function. It’s a relationship and he wants us all in. 

So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. Revelations 3:16

We can’t live in the middle. We can’t live with one foot in. Just like that desk...I didn’t want to give up on the desk and I ended up going back and finishing it. I found all the pieces and completed it. Yay! Haha! In the same way God wants us!! And He is building us. We are learning each day. But we have to take the time to read, speak, and listen. To not give up and stay strong at all times. It’s not always easy. But, with God all things are possible. 

So, I wish you the best of luck in putting together toys for your kids. The struggle is real my friends. Don’t call me for help on that. Haha!

I want to pray for our relationships with God to stay strong and for us to remain strong through the good and bad. Start your day with him, pray continually, and end your night him. 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

Smile, please!

Toddlers! Need I say more....honestly they can be happy as can be one minute and flip the switch the next. The struggle is real! Attitude, tantrums, the ability to know what they are doing is not good, but they don’t care  haha! And when you want them to do something, they won’t. Please! Please! Pretty please? Shew! 

Yesterday we took the grandkids to have pictures....and you guessed it mine didn’t cooperate, well Wade did a little, but it was rough. And MJ was crying, screaming, and not wanting anything to do with the lady taking the pictures or for me to leave her. I was not happy with her and struggled to understand why she was doing this? I brided with cookies and ice cream. Just take one picture and smile???? Ahhhhhhhh! Finally I just left her with her grammy and walked out of the room. I wasn't upset. I knew I was a part of the problem. So, I took myself out of the room and went into another. Took some deep breathes and basically said God, why? Haha! 

We ALL have weak moments. Moments we want to make break down and cry, moments we want to scream, moments we want to tell people how we feel, moments where we struggle, and moments where we completely lose it. I’ve been there and done it to many times. Mj’s 2! I’m 31. Big difference there. Lol! She’s still learning and watching. And I’m still learning and watching too. We ALL need guidance and help. But, we must be showing our kids that there our times when we have to do stuff we might not want to do. We have to instill in them willingness and obedience. Is it easy? NO! But we must be firm and try not to give up and say, okay you don’t have too. It might not be fun, it might be out of our comfort zone to do this because it’s much easier to just GIVE UP! But don’t! 

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11 ESV

It was hard to listen and have MJ act like that. But I knew I was causing her to have a moment. She did calm down a little. Had her picture with her Grammy...maybe a partial smile. Haha! It was challenging and upsetting, but I have to remember that she’s still learning and looking to me for guidance. So, be firm! Be consistent! And love! There will be bad days, but the good will out way the bad. Toddlers will be toddlers, but they need rules just like us. 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

 

Hold on one minute!

I say the phrase, hold on one minute I think allllllll dayyyyy longggg. To my kids, the thing they are wanting me to do can’t wait and must be done right then. It’s important and must be observed, but what I’m doing is usually important or needing to be done also. But they don’t see that. All they know is mommy isn’t paying attention to them and then they begin the, hey mommy look, hey mommy did you see, hey mommy look, over and over and over again until I say, what?? Do they not understand that what I’m doing has a purpose or is needed? Well, no! No, they don’t! Haha! They are in their little world where mommy can fix and solve problems, fix boo boos, and watch them do and create things. They want to know they are important and loved! And boy was I convicted yesterday while reading a devotional book I got for my birthday.

It’s called Pressing Pause 100 quiet moments for moms to meet with Jesus. Well touché, God. You got me! Haha! Yesterday’s topic was about love. God’s love and how he loves us. There was a line that I read and it cut through me...deep!

“We need to be willing to set aside the distractions and the next task because reaching our children’s hearts requires our attention. Love slows down and listens.”

When I read this during nap time I just paused and thought about the day before how I was more focused on cleaning and getting things accomplished in the house than focusing on my kids. Now they were right there with me cleaning and playing, but I rememeber Wade asking me to do something and I said, after we finish cleaning. And then I forgot. I’m assuming he did too, but I missed the opportunity. Now, we’ve all been there. But, because I was too concerned about cleaning and finishing my check list in my head I missed out. Mom Fail!  And last night he kept asking me to wheel barrow him through the downstairs (he walks on his hands while I hold his legs) and I was trying to sort the stuff from the consignment sale and told him, one more minute multiple times.  It wasn’t till I was wheel barrowing him through the downstairs that I remembered the words from the devotional. And felt the guilt. 

I love my children. Very, very, very much! And they are my main focus on most days. But, when we say those words or repeat them over and over again, hold on one more minute or just a minute. It’s not bad, but is what I’m doing important? Why is our list so much more important? It definitely can be, but most of the time it isn’t.  They are only little once. The house is always going to be dirty. ALWAYS! The clothes are always going to need to be washed. Something is always needing to be done, but it doesn’t have to be done right then. They are more important and need YOU more. 

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. 5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Pslams 127:3-5

Our children are rewards and need to be treated with care. And need us to raise them to be like arrows. They need us to dedicate ourselves to them. See...I’m a Martha. Look up the story in a Luke 10! I’m rushing around like crazy trying to get everything done. Once I get something in my head I have to finish it. Not sure why, but that’s just the way that I am. But, my focus needs to be shown and given to my littles. True Focus! Not I’m looking... and really you’re still doing what you were doing, but you glanced. Am I the only one? I’m already feeling convicted so please tell me I’m not the only one. Haha! But I need to be more like Mary. She was dedicated to Jesus in that moment and full attention was on him. Her place was with him and her attention was FULLY on him. 

Now, believe me there are times that we literally can’t drop everything, but most of the time it’s small stuff and we make it BIG stuff in our mind. So, really we should cherish the annoying yells of mom look at this or hey mom come here? We should be thankful for these moments because they go too fast and one day there will be no one in our house saying, hey mommy! Yes, through tear filled eyes I’m writing this. Because it’s truth and it’s hard to hear. 

Remember in these moments when you have heard your kids all day ask something or ask for you to look or do something....give yourself to them fully. Listen, watch, love, and allow them to see that they are a reward, a prize, and they deserve full attention. 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

 

 

 

 

Changes

We all notice changes or when something changes. A persons hair color, new clothes, new car, a new relationship, etc. Most of the time these are new or new to us things, but change has to come. Some people like it and others hate it, but it happens sometimes regardless of what we want.

I have had to make some changes this year and hard decisions and it stinks!!! Haha! Being an adult has it’s perks, but you don’t  get a manual. When those changes or hard choices come...shew! I had to decide about preschool for my children around the first of the year. I had to make a decision of whether or not to leave them where they currently were or find a new place. There were “changes” taking place and I wasn’t fond of them and didn’t agree with them. So, we left the preschool and started last week at a new place....and it’s amazing! But was it hard! Yes! I honestly second guessed myself all the way up to the door and as I entered God gave me a peace and then I knew that my choice, my decision was the right one when the pastor of the church came out and prayed over the parents...God told me then. This change is for the best!

Another change happened this week and my mama heart is saddened and happy. MJ has always called me mama. Wade calls me mommy, mama, mom...whatever he is feeling. So, I knew change was coming. Around age 2 Wade started calling me mommy. It was sad, but also sweet. I sat working on a puzzle during nap time on Tuesday and  from the bedroom I had a cry and mom-me....I knew it wasn’t Wade!!!! I listened again, Mom-Me... I walk in the room and there she is. My heart just sunk. It made me think about “the lasts” and of course I cried. But was also excited for her.  I got her back asleep and thought about how I had been expecting this, but still had my little moment.

My changes aren’t devastating. I do have things in my life that are harder to deal with, but I try not to place my focus there all the time. I want change to come in some areas and I’m praying for it, but I also tell myself that change is not easy! I think about Abraham. He had to leave the country that he knew and go somewhere unknown. Leave behind everything and just move on like it was nothing. What about Mary? One day she is going about her life like normal and the next Gabriel is explaining the life that is inside her....talk about a change. But they still had questions and wondered why? What would happen? And how it would effect their life? 

Have you ever wondered why you are going through something? Why a change took place or why a hard decision had to be made? Meeeeee toooooo! I look at Job in the Bible and I’m reminded that God allows these things to happen and wants us to remain in him and put all our trust in him. Just like in the book of Job, go read it if you haven’t, Satan takes and hurts Job. He leaves him suffering on this earth. God allows it...he knows that Job is his. BUT even through all the changes, sadness, and complete loss, Job still trusts in God. Through everything that happened, he knows who is in control and through all the changes he remained thankful and hopeful. Was he happy? NO! He was hurt, sad, and I’m sure upset, but he knew that God allowed the sufferings and the changes to his life for a reason. Did he understand right then? Nope! But, he knew God and God knew Job. 

God wants us to know that even though we go through changes, he remains the same! 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

So, no matter if it’s small changes, big changes, or whole world changes. God hasn’t changed. Trust in him to get you through and draw closer to him in those moments and times. He is honeslty the only way I have gotten through this year and I’m not letting go. 

Don’t let go of him either! 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

Hold you, please!

Have you ever wanted to be held? Just a tight embrace where you feel protected, cared for, and loved. Ummm of course you have or I hope you have.  We all need or have needed someone to grab us and just hold us. Sometimes in good times and also in bad times. We are all different and some people just aren’t huggers, but sometimes, I think, we all could use a hug of some sort.

Babies are different. They know they are going to be held. They expect the feeling of closeness and warmth. They can get a little spoiled and want to be wrapped tight and held. Oh! The snuggle of a newborn....I’m going to give myself baby fever! Maybe my husband won’t read this one! So he won’t know. Haha! But babies just need that. My daughter MJ is no longer technically considered a “baby”... but a toddler. But let me tell you something. When she looks up at me and says, “hold you, please”. Oh my heart!!!! Not hold me! Hold you! It’s the sweetest thing! Now what isn’t so sweet  is whenever I don’t pick her up right away......Very upset toddler tantrum! Yep! She needs me in that moment or thinks mama can solve whatever it is. And if my response is not what she wants...yikes!!!! God reminded me that we are all like MJ and sometimes we just need somebody. 

When we get into a tough spot, a hard situation, when we have a fear or anxiety, maybe even when life is just tough. What can help us? Give us relief? Provide us with a sense of love and protection? Well, I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but honestly it should be similar. In these moments we should cling to God, his word, his people that are in our life, and take some time for yourself. God tells us in his word, 

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one." John 10:27-30

What reassurance we have as children of God that even though we will walk through different seasons of life, God has us, because of Jesus’ scarfice, and we can’t be snatched out of his hand. This is such great news and provides us with the hope of never going through anything alone. God has given us so much and he gives us his people to call on in times of trouble and need. So, we must find people who are followers who are going to help us, build us, and go on this journey with us. We must have a core group! Jesus did! He had 12 men, called his disciples, his friends. Yeah, they had their problems... but don’t we all! Haha! But find your people and keep them close.

As moms, we give so much of ourselves up. So much of our time is spent focusing, worrying, taking care of everyone, that ultimately we forget that we must take care of ourselves too. I’m not saying we’re screaming hold you please like my daughter haha! I mean maybe we are sometimes...lol. But, most of the time we are silent!! I’m not sure why, but I do know it will only get worse if we always do that. 

So, on those days when we feel like MJ and you just need someone there for you. Remember, your people, read the Bible and find encouragement, and know there is a God who loves you more than anything. He has us in the palm of his hand. He’s never letting go!!

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

The Toddler Meltdown

 

Cue the dramatic music as you walk into a store, restaurant, or anything outside your house. We all have been there, probably more than once. The meltdown... and there are different degrees—the whiny toddler (just enough to make you want to give them mom eyes), the unconsolable toddler(an insane amount of crying, screaming, and loudness is coming out of their little body), the get in the floor toddler (don’t matter what the floor looks like, I’m going to throw my body all over it), the complete and total out of control toddler (the one who hits, throws, yells, and jumps, basically totally loses it.) We all, if you’re a parent, have experienced one or more of these. Nothing makes you want to crawl into a hole and cry like being out in public and your child decides things aren’t going their way soooo....BOOM! And then everyone’s eyes are drawn to you and the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Ugh!!!! 

Today, while eating after church there was a toddler who was whiny...to me it wasn’t nothing, but I told Wade not to look and not to point and just stare because that’s what he was doing while MJ is saying, what wrong baby?? He just screamed and cried. He did so for maybe 5-10 min...honeslty I wasn’t  paying attention because I was focused on my own two to worry about what was happening around  me. While in line to get MJ dessert the dad of the little toddler was standing there and he looked at me and said, I’m so sorry he’s been crying and being loud. I’m sorry if he has ruined your lunch. I said, he hadn’t ruined anything for us. We have two of our own who could turn any minute. I told him we were pretty much immuned and that he was not bothering us all. I looked at him and said we’ve ALL been there. He looked reveled! And said thank you! 

We’ve all been there! Wade one time laid down in the floor in Best Buy because we wouldn’t get him a Darth Vader Potato Head. He screamed, kicked, and took form of something else. I was shocked!!!!I was embarrassed! Total meltdown of tiny human.as I was talking about this my dad told me a story about me doing the same thing with Barney. Sorry Dad! I totally get it now! Haha! But honestly how can we deal with the these moments. 

We can’t stop the people from staring and we can’t stop our toddlers from throwing fits...If you have call me. We need to talk!! But, we can pray for these moments and encourage through scripture.

Proverbs 19:20

Listen to advice and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise.

Colossians  3:20

Children obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord. 

Hello???? This applies to us too, but pray this over your kids each day. Pray for them to listen and have ears that truly hear instruction and that they accept it and can become filled with wisdom. Pray for them to obey you! Pray for obedience and for them to have the will to want to listen and obey their parents. We must pray! We must model! And we must love on them and show them that we all make mistakes, but there are consequences.

See Wade didn’t get the Potato Head that night. He did get it a month later from his uncle, but I couldn’t reward him that night. Behaviors like that need consequences. And even though I was not happy with him I was still wanting to teach him that we must obey and listen. As I watched the family after talking with the dad I saw the little boy calm down and eat his lunch. Then he got dessert. Yay!!! It’s so hard, but we must teach them. We must be willing to encourage, discipline, and love continuously on them. Our God does the same to us.

Meltdowns, tantrums, breakdowns are totally going to happen at the worst possible time ...and prepare yourself for what comes with it. But, be firm! Be encouraging! Smile and know you’re not alone. And each time is a lesson. Ask yourself...What lesson needs to be learned? Teach them! Take time to pray for that little tiny human or humans. Guidance and love plus suckers, candy, and sugar to make it through the day...no judgement from me...I totally get it! Haha! 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

 

Do you Discipline?

Anyone else feel like they say the word No almost alllllll dayyyyy longggg! If you are the parent, I‘m sure there have been those days. Those rough days!! And it’s like they don’t even hear you talk or say the horrible, terrible word...NO!!!!! Are you with me? I know I’m not alone on this, but why, why do kids do it?

Wade is at the age to where he knows better, but will do stuff to get a response or to test us. We should never have to repeat ourselves,  but usually 2-3 times is what it takes to get his attention. And even then it results in some type of punishment. The worst thing to him is being put in his room for timeouts. He hates it!! But it’s necessary to teach him! 

Punsihments, Discipline! Do you have a routine? Are you consistent? Do you believe in it? Well, I believe we HAVE to have discipline and the lack of parents who aren’t disciplining is the reason kids are not well behaved, not listening, and well just terrible. I’m not saying all kids are this way. But coming from my teaching background and working with children and youth...I  just know and see a lot.  So what is discipline? It’s consistentcy with a plan. Now, do you have to switch it up every once in awhile??..YEP! And that’s okay! We want our kids to obey us and more importantly listen and have manners when they are not with us. And speaking honestly most of the kids are better away from their parents, but not always. A quote  I have always heard is, “this is going to hurt me more than you”. I used to think yeah right....ummm it’s true! 

For the moment all discipline seems so painful rather than pleasant, but It yields the peaceful fruit of righteous to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11 ESV

It hurts the person disciplining AND the one getting the discipline. But did you read the last part...the fruit that will come and be produced...that’s the WHY in why we must discipline!! So we can train up our children in the way they should go!! So they understand and know, they can’t have every toy, they just smack or hit others, they can’t always have Ice cream, they can’t tackle their sister when she does something they don’t like..just to name a few. Haha! Life is full of things that we need to be told no to. And it’s okay to tell them no and why! 

To me using discipline is using wisdom and practicing wisdom. We must do it. We have been given blessings and each day is a chance for us to train them, instill in them, pray over them, yell at them and tell them no a million times(haha)! It happens! But really, what is your discipline plan and does it work? If not, reevaluate and think of what you and your family can do to make sure we are raising our children to not be rebots, but to be filled with kindness, goodness, compassion, love, patience, self control, gentleness and faithfulness... yes I named some of the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5... go read about them today. But we all need these in our life and we need to demonstrate them and through discipline these come about. 

At our house we love hard, but we discipline harder out of love. We do timeouts, spankings, and take away toy priveleges and definitely can’t forget iPad and tv. We do it all. It depends on what they did for us to decide what discipline we choose, but we stay firm and consistent because they know if they get away with it once...they can and will do it again. They’re smart little boogers.

Let’s join together and raise the best little people ever, because one day these little people will be big people out in the world. They will be told no. They will get their feelings hurt. Things will happen...will they be able to handle it??.. let’s train these babies up in the word and discipline through love. They deserve it! 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

 

 

The Sports Mom Life

I never thought I ‘d be that mom. The one that yells, cheers loudly, or makes a total fool of herself. I mean, I knew that I would support and occasionally yell, GO Wade! But my support is full on and fanactic. I get so excited watching him play. And also get very stressed out. So far, he has played T-ball, done karate, and now is involved in soccer. He loves it! And I am so proud of him. I get overly excited and yell my emotions. Vaughn usually shakes his head or just ignores me. Haha! But, I want him to know that I am proud of him and that I’m watching. This weekend was his first soccer game and he also ran the Little 8’s race. He did so well in both. As I watched him and the determination he had, it was all over his face, I thought about how Wade’s accomplishments make me so proud and that I want to scream and shout for him. I want to be that sports mom...even if I sound like a hillbilly when I do it.. haha!

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

Sporting events can be terrible, for kids, parents, coaches, and refs. The attitude and words used by parents and fans can go anywhere from G to R rated very quickly. We are there to support and build these players up and sometimes we do just the opposite. We tear people down. Make them feel small, to make our kids or others look better. This is the sports mom I don’t want to be. The one that is yelling at the ref, a player who is playing against my kids, or a coach. It’s hard to keep our mouth shut and I’m not saying...keep it shut completely.  You know the people I’m talking about. I even saw a video a couple of weeks ago from our area that even made the big time news. It showed parents fighting over calls, play time...etc! It wasn’t pitiful! Embarrassing! And just uncalled for. I felt so sorry for the players who we’re having to watch their parents fight. And then I was mad at the people recording it. 

If you have a child you have a very important job. And it’s not to train them up to be a sports star....sorry, it’s not. 

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 ESV

Now I’m not saying not to train them in sports, but in that training time put God’s word in them. Include prayer time before and after games. Have a time where you talk about sportsmanship and the right attitude. And for goodness sakes teach your children the importance of being at church....don’t miss church for a ballgame. There will plenty of ballgames. But the opportunites to be in the word and with fellow believers is a beautiful picture and is needed more. 

Now, will all parents do this...no! But, as followers we should model.  And yes other people are watching, always watching for us to slip. Guess what??? We’re going too!  It’s who we are. But, that’s how we explain Grace and that we have a forgiving God! Praise Jesus! 

It’s hard! Being a parent with kids who will want to be involved in sports, dance, etc. I know I will be driving my mini van a lot and will be on the go a lot. But, remember we are only given this one chance. WE are responsible for training them for everything. We have been given this opportunity. We have 6,570 days....birth to age 18! That’s it!! It seems so long when you’re doing life, but looking at that number, it seems small. Make the most with your kids...be a sports parent, be a dance parent, be a band parent. But most of all be a parent who supports, loves, encourages, and pours God’s words and love into your children. Make everyday count! 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

I hit my limit!

Let’s be honest. There are days that your kids test you. Over and over and over again. It happens! Some days are worse and we all have breaking points... well this morning! Let’s just say I hit mine. 

We have had a very busy week at VBS! We’re tired, but life continues and we still have stuff to do. MJ’s Birthday is coming up and I’m in planning mode and trying to get things accomplished early because I also leave for camp that same time so I’m on a mission and didn’t expect my day to start like this.

Waking up this morning was like any other morning...the dogs barking and wanting out. Well, I continued to sleep until MJ woke up around 8:30. I went and got her breakfast and then took the the dogs out. Now, usually Phoebe needs to go out a billion times. I took her out twice and thought, okay she’s good. Nope! She must be sick because she threw up twice and continued to poop in the House. Gross! Gag! I know! I was so mad and not happy with her, but after cleaning all this up and telling her bad dog a million times Wade got up and my morning continued on a downward spiral.  

I was trying to get invites addressed for the birthday party. I told the kids to play and got things out for them and at first they were playing and finishing breakfast, but then it was on. Wade was testing my patience by not listening and aggravating MJ and MJ just kept wanting food and was mad that I wasn’t catering to her. I knew what she wanted...a popsicle. Ugh! It was 10:00! She loves popsicles so guess what, I gave in. She ate her popsicle and when she was as finished she rubbed her hands and the popsicle, what was left, all over her. Mama see? Mama see? I left what I was doing to clean her up and while doing this Wade thought it would be a good idea to tease her with the iPad. He was watching it and she was sitting beside him, but of course that didn’t last long. He didn’t want to share and took it away from her and left her crying and heartbroken. Do you know how many times I messed up on the envelopes for the invitations? A LOT!!!! Haha! I should have gave up, but I wanted to finish. But boy was I upset. 

Now, MJ is mad. So she decides to grab ber rubber band hair bow bag that is sitting on the table from last night. She decides that it needs to be dumped. And then some of those rubber bands would look good on her thumb. Thank goodness she showed me her thumb....that could have been bad. But, literally this happened in 30 minutes. And then....there’s always something to add. 

The IPad needed charging so Wade decides he will play with her now. Do they play? No, they fight over silly stuff and don’t listen when I say share, stop that, please stop fighting, and of course BE NICE! Well I lose my cool and turn into everything I dont want to be. Everything I tell my kids not to do and to not act like. I feel so bad after and of course I apologIize and explain why mama acted like that. 

I thought of this scripture today,  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 ESV

Satan was attacking hard this morning. My kids are not my enemy!!! We had a great week learning, singing, and speaking about Jesus. And this morning I allowed THE ENEMY into my house and to flow out of my mouth. BUT, as soon as it came out I knew that I was not being an example. 

So we prayed! Well I prayed. Haha! I prayed for my mouth. For me to think before I speak. To pause and understand things are going to be chaos somedays. For me to Understand who the real enemy is and not let him ruin a minute, my day, or the time I have with my kids. I asked Satan to flee and for me to understand who the real enemy is and not let him ruin the minute, the day, or the time I have with my kids.  I asked God to allow me to be an example for my children. For my speech to exemplify who he is and be filled with encouragement and as much love as possible. For the anger to leave!!! That when I discipline them they will know it is out of love and that I will be showing them the true love. I want the anger that I felt to flee from my body, mind, and heart. I don’t want to speak through anger or allow it to control me. 

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20 ESV

Now listen, I know I’m not perfect and never will be. But, I can strive to be my best and not allow the enemy to invade my home and cause trouble. I want to be better for my kids, but more importantly better for my God and myself.  Pray for the enemy to flee and tell him NOT Today! 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

 

I forgot something!

Anytime you plan a trip, even for the weekend, it’s stressful!! Especially for the mom. I’m not trying to hate on the dads, but you even have to admit that most of the packing is done by the moms. And most of everything planning wise is done by the moms too! It’s crazy how much you have to pack with kids. But I always tell myself...there’s a target, Walmart, or Walgreens on every corner and if we forget something it’s okay. Well, not when you forget an important bag. The bag that has the essentials to make you smell good and your personal needs...the makeup bag. 

Ugh! I was so worried about the kids medicine bag that I didn’t put my bag in there. Have you ever done it? It contained my makeup, face wash, mositurizers, deodorant, hairbows, and hairbrush, etc. And here’s the funny part.... I had it on my list I made and checked it off. Yep! I got it ready I just didn’t put it out to be put in the car. So, hopefully there is a place close by so I can get some essentials. But if there isn’t one I will be okay. I’ll make it! I might smell like a man if I have to use vaughn’s deodorant..haha! And look really tired because no makeup, but you know what...oh well! Things happen and we have to learn to roll with it and make the best out of it.

Why is that so hard? And I’m not just talking about a makeup bag here. I’m talking about when we don’t get the job, when the kids aren’t listening and just fighting, when we burn dinner, when we can’t get something to work, when you ask someone to do something, but they never show up. When your kids draw on themselves with a permanent marker and you can’t  get it off or when your day just keeps getting worse and you just want to go to bed. Yep! I’m sure we’ve all been there. It’s not fun. It can be hard to just keep going. But, for those who are followers of God, we can not be shaken.

I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Pslams 16:8

When things don’t go our way it ruins our day and causes a domino effect to come about. However, we allow it to turn in to that. Our own little pity party. I don’t know why things happen, but I do believe we learn from them and usually we are better because of them. Believe me, I have little pity parties all the time. And nothing is really resolved after them. It’s the times that I am proactive and choose to learn from it, work on it, and honestly just move on from it. Don’t dwell in the things you can’t change or do anything about. 

I can’t change the fact I forgot my stuff. And as I type I’m reminded of other stuff I forgot...haha! It’s okay! Life happens and I’m just going to go with it. It’s a new day tomorrow. So, today whatever you are facing big or small.. please know that our God is bigger than anything you have going on. Set God before you and pray for those moments. We all have them! 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

Water Balloon Fight!

It’s HOT!!! So hot! And today while out doing errands Wade wanted some balloons. He picked out water balloons. He asked what they were and I explained and he got excited. I told him after dinner we would play together outside with the water balloons. And I kept my promise! 

The anticipation was killing him through dinner. He actually finished everything on his plate and took it to the sink and told me, “hey mommy I made a happy plate. Can we go outside now?” Haha! The eagerness, the excitement, the overall joy that was written all over his face. I mean, don’t get me wrong he was annoying me to death and I was trying to  eat and put water in the balloons. But, his excitement reminded me of the eagnerness we should feel when we pray, worship, or just sit and be still in God. In Pslams 5:3 it says, “In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.” We eagerly wait to see what God is doing. We have excitement and are in awe of him. When we pray he wants us to pray expecting. Just like Wade, he expected when he was done with his food that we would do water balloons. Even though he had to wait 30 minutes his anticipation grew and he eagerly waited.  God wants us to pray and worship with this kind of eagerness.  

Prayer requests! When people tell you their request or they ask you to pray for them, do you pray? Do you eagerly watch and wait on God to see how he will answer the prayer or show you his will? I have been keeping track of my prayers and others prayers lately because #mombrain. I can’t remember anything. Lol! So, I have started writing them down. It’s amazing how God answers, shows you what you need, allows you to see his plan, and sometimes we have to wait.But we wait with eagerness and excitement to see God. It’s hard!! I remember praying for a brother or sister every night when I was young. I’m an only child! I waited and waited...so excited because I wanted a little sister or brother, but God didn’t provide an actual brother and sister for me, but amazing cousins and friends who are like sisters. And he gave me a sister and brother through my husbands family. He provided! 

Does anyone like to wait? No!!! If you said yes, then help me understand how you do it. But we must Wait on God...Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!  Pslams 27:14

So, tonight or tomorrow as you pray, pray with eagerness and anticipation knowing God will provide. Be excited like Wade. Pray for others and wait on God!

 

And have a water balloon fight...it was the perfect day for it. Enjoy those moments! 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

 

 

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Drive that Mini Van, Mama!

When you’re a teenager and you think about what you’ll drive when you’re older and have kids..no one ever wants to say, oh I want a mini van. I mean I know I never did. I wanted a Land Rover or an SVU. I remember clearly telling my husband, I will never own a mini van. And I ate my words...haha! 

When we first got married I had a little white Mazda 3 and it was great, but not an ideal vehicle for a family car. So, we bought a Honda Pilot. I loved it. It was such a good vehicle and was ideal for me. I still looked kinda cool and it wasn’t a van. Haha! It had a tv for Wade and had a 3rd row, but wasn’t functional for us especially with car seats. But it was great for one kid, but two small kids....ummmm a little different. 

We started talking about a van after MJ was born. I still had a hard time with the whole idea of a van, but I was warming up to it. I began noticing all the moms with their vans and how the doors would open without you opening them and the kids could crawl in and the third row was functional. Oh and another wonderful thing is the doors when open...the kids, and you, won’t damage the car parked beside you when they open the door. Glorious! We began our search and looked for many months and finally in May we found THE VAN! After the first week I was sold. It made life easier when I was by myself. It was perfect for the kids and there was soooooo much room. My mind was saying, why did you wait to get one? 

Now, flash forward to the last couple of weeks. Me and kids were involved in a small wreck. We were rear ended. No one was hurt, praise God, just a lot of tears and confusion from Wade. But overall, we were good. We had to get a rental car while ours was in the shop getting fixed. Now, you would think since we had a van they would give us a van...nope! We got a Ford Escape. I’m spoiled by my van!!! The Ford Escape is nice, but it’s no mini van. We had the vehicle for two weeks and I can honestly say we made the best choice getting our van. Two kids with car seats in a small SVU...it’s doable, but goodness it was different. It was hard for Wade to open the door and get in and they were so close that they could fight with each other. Yeah! That’s always fun. We were so happy to pick up our van today. And believe me I never thought those words would come out of my mouth. But I LOVE MY VAN!!! And I don't care what people think.... I will rock the van for as long as I want. I have embraced it!!! 

So, if you are a mom...consider a van. I’m telling you, it might not look cool but you won’t regret it. And who cares about being cool at 20, 30, and 40 that ship has sailed. Embrace the mini van mama’s! 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

Co-Sleeping

For anyone that has ever co slept with their children you will agree with me that it gives you a peace of mind, memories, and all the snuggles. But what people don’t tell you is you’ll wake up with feet in your back, face, the child wrapped around your head, oh and you might even fall off the bed. Haha! Good times!  We have co slept with both kids...well, let me start at the beginning.

I always knew putting Wade in his crib,in another room, would be hard. That’s why we had a bassinet beside our bed and also the pack n play. He never did sleep in the bassinet because he had bad acid reflux, but the pack n play had a sleeper with it and he loved it, but it didn’t last long. So, what did I do?? I held him and slept. Yep! Now, it became just a regular routine and the kid would not lay flat. Honestly! I mean the minute you laid him down it was like a sensor going off. He was so spoiled. Once I went back to work he began to take naps without people holding him, but he still slept with us at night.  To this day,  vaughn sleeps with him in his bed. It was never intended to be this way. It has just become natural and a habit. Now to MJ! MJ slept in a rock n play next to my bed for many months. She would nap some in the baby bed but wouldn’t sleep in her crib. She knows that’s her bed, but she will say mama bed, cmon night night! Yep! She’s spoiled too. 

It can be hard sometimes. Very hard! But I keep reminding myself they are only little once. And we won’t get these days back and they won’t sleep in ours beds forever, right???? Haha! But honestly for my mama heart it has been the best thing to give me the peace of mind to know my babies are okay.

Now, everybody is different and I applaud those mama’s and daddy’s who have babies in their OWN beds. Good job! Every parent has a different style of parenting and howver you do it, just do it! Whatever works for you! Do it! Raising kids is not easy and most days you just want to survive...so just do you! 

When Vaughn travels, the kids sleep with me in our queen size bed. You would think that two tiny humans would not take up that much room, but boy do they. Shew! I’m telling you. I’m hanging on the bed most of the time or on my side up against the nightstand..haha! But one of my favorite things to do while my kids are in my bed is to hear my kids pray. It’s precious and as we pray together in bed it lets me know I’m doing what is best for my family. 

 

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6 ESV

 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

These two amazing kids are precious gifts from God and we’re responsible to train them and prepare them for this world. They feel protected with me and their dad and we are teaching them that God is always near and with us.  In these moments at night before sleep I hear giggles, fights (over blankets and pillows), and I get the sweetest love and snuggles. Sometimes I’m in the middle between them and don’t get to move at all, but it’s in that moment laying there that I realize how blessed I am. How much one day I will look back and wish I had these snuggles.  Believe me, there are times that I wish they were sleeping by themselves, but right now that’s not the right choice for us. Maybe one day..soon!

So, co sleeping parents...I feel ya! I understand the struggle of wanting your bedroom to be back to normal and the kids rooms to be their rooms. But, I also understand how is hard it is to let go and make the switch. Wade says he’ll sleep by himself if we get him a bunk bed. Ha! I honestly don’t think that will work, but we are looking at bunk beds. Who knows! My next sleeping post might be about Vaughn sleeping on bunk beds with Wade...lol! Babies don’t keep! Enjoy all the moments! And if you co sleep...buy a bed rail so you can stay on..haha! 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

 

 

When Mama’s Sick

Yesterday was not a good day for me. I had a Migraine plus my abdomen pain most of the day and still had to be a mom, youth leader, and wife. Yeah sometimes mommin isn’t easy, glamorous, or appealing to the eye. However, what happens when mama is sick? 

 

Well at my house we crawl in bed and bacially watch Netflix and the iPad. I even let them bring their toys in to play with on the bed. We make a picinic with food and spread out a towel or blanket over the bed. The kids love it, but usually I’m back and forth to the bed and shower trying to get relief. Most of the time I can take something or get some relief by changing positions, but I just feel puny. Wade is such a littler helper. If I wake

up not feeling good which happens quite often he always tells me, “mama we’ll be good, promise! You just rest.” Haha! It’s the sweetest thing, but it also breaks my heart. 

 

I get sick a lot unfortunately. Especially the past year. I’ve now seen 6 different doctors not counting the one who actually took out something during my surgery in March. Fun times, right! But something that I have learned through this battle is when mama’s sick the world keeps turning, you persevere, and you put you’re hair up in a bun and get things done. Am I right? Mama’s are strong! 

I ‘m so thankful for my husband and our families who help us, but most of the time it’s just me. And honestly if I’m not feeling well....it’s hard! It can be hard even when I am feeling well. And when I’m sick I really just want alone time, which doesn’t happen with two kids till daddy gets home. So, most of the time we are chilling in the bed or I make myself get up and go. And even though I might still be in pain, my kids are happy and having fun. That’s all I need in that moment. 

 

Mom’s have this thing about them. Even when they’re sick they don’t lose their instinct and don’t have the ability to just let go. I’m not sure if this is a great trait or something we need to work on...who knows? But in God’s word it tells us, when I’m feeling overwhelmed, you alone know which way I should turn.” Pslams 142:3 

Such beautiful truth! I really have no idea how I make it some days. Especially on the days when I’m struggling in pain. I turn to him. I can’t do this alone. And honestly  I don’t know why I’m facing this trial,  but I’m growing closer to him. Depending on him more and more. Putting my faith and trust in him everyday. So, I’m building my relationship with him and that’s what he wants.  

 

 Listen, He is the great physician. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Pslams 147:3. I know he could physically heal me right now, but there is beauty to be found in this journey. It doesn’t look amazing right now and no it doesn’t feel great either, but have you ever known a trial people face to be sunshine and rainbows? Yeah, me either! But, we get stronger, better, and more equipped from those big or little bumps in the road. I have to find the JOY that he gives and use it during this season of life. 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13

 

So, I have a procedure coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m on a new medicine. And yes I feel like an old lady with all the problems I’m having, but mama ain’t giving up and I’m still mommin the best I can. Some days are okay, some days are horrible. And some days I feel good. But, I can’t wait to feel back to normal one day. And I know with God all things are possible so... I’m going to believe it and claim it in the name of Jesus! 

 

So, if you’re a mom that has a pain or something going on in your day to day life. It’s okay! Let God overwhelm you, not what you’re going through. We can make it through this journey, battle, or trial. We might have some scars or battle wounds. But what a story we will have to share. 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

 

The Dogs

Our dogs! Oh our dogs! They’re  one of my greatest struggles. They honestly are good dogs, but it seems like something always happens and it’s always when it’s just me and the kids. Here are the stories! Prepare to laugh and maybe cry...

Phoebe was our first dog. We got her from the Kingsport Animal Shelter one day during the Christmas season while they were at PetsMart. She was this fluffy little puppy who was so quiet and was just sitting. Let’s just say she was on her best behavior. She has never been a terrible dog or bad, but she is hyper, uncontrollable, and stubborn. Y’all she’s the most stubborn dog!!! We have leash laws where we live so our dogs have to be taken out on a leash, put on a chain, or we could have a fence or underground fence (this would be the best option, right), but instead we take our dogs out. Every time Phoebe has ever pulled away off her leash she runs away of course. Now, she’ll come back, but she won’t come in. She will stand at the door and bark for hours. We will go to the door and ask her to come and place treats everywhere up the steps and outside. However, she knows! She knows what we are trying to do. Everyone in our neighborhood knows our dogs. I don’t think that’s a a great thing...haha! But, at first Phoebe would let some of the neighbors grab her and they would pet her, but now she knows what they are doing. Of course, that’s not all she does. The worse thing is when the kids leave a cup or food out. It’s like she knows there is food and she will do whatever to get that food. She takes it out of MJ’s hands, eats bags of muffins, applesauce packets, and really whatever the kids have. Oh and she eats toys: game pieces, baby bottles, anything in the floor is game. I mean really she eats anything! But, she’s not the one I worry about...let’s talk about Jackson! 

Oh Jackson! The dog we got a year and a half after Phoebe. He was found on the side of the road and was taken to a foster and we chose to adopt him. Now, we thought two dogs would be a good option for us. And at first it wasn’t bad, but then we realized we adopted Houdini Dog. There’s not a cage he can’t get out of. There’s not a chain he can’t chew through (well metal), but he tries, haha! And he even chews through doors and walls. Have you ever seen a dog trapped in a wall? I have! He chewed through his cage and behind the cage was a Sheetrock Wall. He started  stratching and chewing..I’m assuming?? And the end result? A huge hole in the wall with a dog trapped inside. We put him in our bathroom one time when we had company and he tried to escape and chewed the back of the door off. So, we try not to lock in him small places. We keep them both in cages at night, because hello???? We can’t trust them! Haha! We had to zip tie his cage because he broke through it so much. Oh and he got out of his cage one day while we were gone and when Vaughn walked in he saw the door knob chewed and the inside of the door and Sheetrock destroyed. I believe he has anxiety problems. You think? But the thing about Jackson is if he gets loose or chews through a leash he will come back. He’s gotten loose so many times that last year the cops made a visit to my house to tell me that someone in the neighborhood called about it and that we would be given a citation if it continued to happen. Yeah! Fun times. 

Shew! They add to my daily chaos. They add to my stress. But, they’re our dogs. I have said many times that it’s time to give them to someone who has land so they can run and get all their energy out. But overall, we made the comittment to be their parents and raise them. I never thought I would have two dogs(bigger dogs) living in my house, but I do. They are extra work. Extra stress! But the love my kids have for them is crazy. And the dogs love them too! Honestly Jackson would crawl inside of you if you let him. He wants to be that close to you. It can be overwhelming. Really! But they are good dogs, sometimes! Haha! I’m glad we adopted them and definitely think people should adopt and not shop, but just know they are like children and sometimes worse. Haha! 

I know the last leash hasn’t been chewed and I know they will get loose again, but they call this place home. And it’s their home! 

Doggie Love and Prayers for all those with anxiety dogs and stubborn ones to,

Holly

 

 

No!

As a parent you look forward to your child’s first word. You wait for it and the moment you hear it your heart melts into a puddle and you’re so excited. You document it down! You video it and you cherish the memories. 

Well, then they get bigger and learn more words, develop personalities, learn phrases and start using sentences, but you know what their favorite word is, NO! Oh! The word no. I hear it probably as much as I hear mama and mommy. However, it’s always in a different tone. Sometimes it’s showed because they are sad or mad. And sometimes they look at you with happiness in their eyes and say, no! And as much as they like to say it, they don’t like to be told no...expect a fit, tantrum, breakdown when that word no is told to them. Am I right? 

You want an example...I got tons, but I will pick one. Haha!  A couple of days ago Wade and MJ were playing together and of course MJ wanted something Wade had. As he told her no over and over again. She began to scream and then hit him. I mean she’s almost 2 so she doesn’t hit hard, but you would have thought she punched him and knocked him out. He’s screaming and crying, she’s screaming. And I look at them both and say, well raised my voice, Stop!  MJ then decided she would take the toys and run. I tell her no and she turns to me and says, no no mama! She smiles and runs away. Wade is still sitting there crying and toyless...I run after her and grab the toys and put them on the top of the closet. I put her in time out and the whole time what did i hear... no, no, no, no! No mama! Please! No mama! It only lasted a minute because I follow age rule for time-out, but it felt like hours. Haha! Wade even said, is she going to stop saying no! Haha! 

No is a hard word. It’s easy to say for some people and definitely needs to be in our vocabulary, but it’s hard to hear from your kids when you’re asking them to do something or wanting them to listen and all they say is no. No, i don’t want to eat that! No, I don’t want to clean my room now! No, I don’t want to share. No, I don’t want to do that! And of course, No MY mama! No! No! No! Why do they feel the urge to say it so much? Well, because they’re testing and learning. They’re seeing what buttons they can push and how far they can push you. I mean, I’m telling you they know what they’re doing most of the time. Even MJ...she knows! 

So, for all the mamas out there who feel like the word no is like a nagging person who won’t go away..lol! I’m right there with you. I know my kids are learning and they are watching me. They hear me say no to them so of course it’s natural for them to say no to me. I’m praying that I can compose myself during those hard times, model for my children on how to respond and why no is not always appropriate, and remind myself that every parent has went through this or is going through it. So, know you’re not alone! And remember that we have been given the greatest opportunity and it is also one of the hardest things we will do...parenthood!!  So, remember this scripture: Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6

 

 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

 

 

 

Oh MJ!

Let me start off by saying, I love my kids! I love them so much, but there is no one that can test me, make me question my sanity, make me cry, make me happy, make me laugh, make me want to pull my hair out, and of course make me feel scared quite like them. Ugh!!!! I’m telling you it is an adventure everyday. I love it, but boy it is hard. 

MJ, my daughter, is very adventurous. She loves to climb, get into stuff she shouldn’t, and she puts everything in her mouth. She’s a typical toddler, but she keeps me on my toes. Today was difficult because she refused to take a nap. I don’t know how some parents make it without nap time. She napped in the car for maybe 20 min and when we got home she ate and then we laid down. She wouldn’t!! She kept saying, “no no nap”...she kept telling me no and then smacked me which I spanked her for. Not hard, so please no judgement! But enough to get her attention. I then took her to her room to rock her and she started to drift to sleep. I continue to rock and then rock my body as I get up to move her. I’m rocking while standing moving into my bedroom to lay her down and as I lay her down she looks at me and says no! No! And then cries. I continue to pat her booty and then I just start to pray. 5 minutes later she’s alseep! Yeah!!!! My persistant efforts paid off. Maybe I spoke to soon or should have never laid her down but she woke up 10 minutes later. Oh well! Wade woke up soon after and we began to play and clean. I had been paying medical bills, y’all they keep coming...make them stop!! Haha! But, I left my wallet and my sharpie pen laying on the other side of the table. I truly didn’t think about it because the kids were on the other side. So,  as I straightened up the kitchen the kids played with kinetic sand and Play-Doh at the table. They do this all the time. They use cookie cutters, rollers, make shapes etc. They love it. They were getting along too! Bonus! It wasn’t until dinner time,about an hour later, that I noticed MJ’s ear, my wallet, and all my credit cards. 

As I went to help the kids clean up the mess they made, I saw the credit cards, paper, and wallet with the orange permanent marker laying beside. Oh MJ! Luckily expo markers take off permanent marker so the cards are good, but the wallet and the important medical paper I needed for my appointment..well let’s just say they’re colorful. It could have been worse. So I’m thankful she didn’t venture to the walls, table, or floor. Haha! But honestly what happened next was by far the icing on the cake for this day.

As I was putting MJ in her high chair and giving everyone their food I noticed something purple sticking out of MJ’s ear. I of course get closer and then realized she had stuck Play-Doh in her ear. I look at her with my eyes huge and I’m sure my face full of panic and she says, Play-Doh ear. Yep! You do have a Play—Doh ear. Haha! I run to go get  our otoscope, safety pin, and q-tip. And while I’m running around trying to get all these things Wade is saying, Mommy talk to me so I know you’re still here...he’s still having a hard time with being left alone so as I was talking to him I was thinking when did she do this, why did she do this, how far is it in her ear, oh no we’re going to have more medical bills haha..Thankfully I was able to get all of it out without her crying or saying it hurts or stop. 

Whew! After this we got to eat, but remember I’m tying to eat better and after the day we have had I still ate my zoodles, with grass fed beef, and organic spaghetti sauce. Yummy! And, no zoodles are not as good as noddles and don’t taste as good. Anyone that says that is lying haha! They’re okay, but different. So, after dinner as I was sitting there I just said thank you God! Simply thank you! 

giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Ephesians 5:20

I am thankful I get to be their mom.  I’m thankful that MJ wasn’t hurt and that she didn’t stick the Play-Doh in both ears. I’m thankful she didn’t use the marker on everything. I’m thankful for her 30 min total nap. I’m thankful that Vaughn got home soon after and I could vent and get a shower. Thank you Jesus for all my blessings. I’m thankful even on the tough, hard days when I want to just get some ice cream and go hide..haha! I love my babies and love that I’m their mom. I’m thankful! 

So, if you are having a stressful moment, day, or month. Just be thankful! Find the beauty in the mess and praise him for it. 

Now, I’m putting the markers up high, hiding the Play-Doh, and going to bed early. Because mama tired! 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

The Movies

So, last night we took both kids to the movies to see the new Incredibles movie. Taking a 4 year an almost 2 year is always interesting and very entertaining. You never know what they might do, say, or how they will act. And honestly they actually did okay. 

I mean they got restless and wanted to sit on our laps. They almost ate two boxes of m&m’s and a lot of popcorn...they had water to drink so at least something healthy right?! Haha! 

MJ of course just wanted to see the baby. She has seen it on the previews and wanted to see the baby with “eyes” because the baby had super powers. She probably said the word baby over fifty times. No, maybe 100! Haha! And I’m sure everyone in the theater heard the word baby over and over again. And as much as I tried to say shhh! It just encouraged her even more to talk about the baby. 

I wish this is the way we were about Jesus. I wish that when people told us to be quiet or stop talking that we would just say his name or talk about him even more. Sometimes people just totally shut down and don’t want to hear it. I wish that we wouldn’t give up. I wish that we would endure and push through those times. I want to instill this in my kids. That we can always share and talk about Jesus. We have the freedom to do so. We have the opportunity actually everyday to share, where as people in other countries are sharing and being persecuted. They are sharing and having to hide. They are sharing and dying for their faith.

Hearing MJ not afraid to talk during the movie, which is a total no no in movie theater land,but it allowed me to see and ask what is holding us back? What is making us not share with everyone we meet? I want my kids to understand the importance of knowing and sharing about Jesus. And more importantly to not be afraid to say what he has done and share who he is. When is the last time you have shared your faith with someone? Your testimony? Have you ever led someone to Jesus? If you haven’t... don’t panic and think you’re horrible, but we have a purpose and that purpose is to share, speak, and Go! 

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Matthew 28:19-20

My Prayers for me and my family when I start the day are usually asking God to help us to be aware. 

Ask God to help you recognize opportunities he is giving you. Ask him to equip you with scripture and wisdom. Ask him to be your helper and guide you. Ask him to be the words that are coming from your mouth. Because honestly it’s him, not us! 

So speak freely in the name of Jesus! Just like MJ at the movies. Speak the name of Jesus! 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

Fear!

Have you ever been scared? Terrified? I know I have and it’s not a good feeling. We all have fears or things that we are afraid of, but have you ever been so scared that you become all out of sorts and can’t even function. Well, this is Wade currently at the moment. And it’s been a struggle. 

I’ve been on the struggle bus the last couple of weeks with him. He is to the point that we can’t even walk around the car to get in without him screaming “don’t leave me” or “I’m scared”. When I have take the dogs out he stands beside me which then MJ does also. When he screams and is scared it scares MJ and then she gets upset. Ahhh!! It’s been so hard. 

I have been praying for him and praying his life verse over him which is Joshua 1:9. I know Satan is attacking us and causing us to want to lose our minds. But, God is with us. Trying to explain that to a 4 year old is so hard. He knows that God loves him, but he said, “I can’t see God when I’m scared”. He said that if he could see him he wouldn’t be scared. 

Wade telling me he couldn’t see God allowed me to tell him.... Yes, we can! I explained to him that God is the creator of all things. The sky, rocks, us, the ocean, mountains, trees, etc. and we can see God in all these things. His creation shows who he is.  I told him that we feel the wind, but we can’t see it. God is like the wind. We feel him move and work, but we can’t physically see “Him”. 

He’s 4 so honestly it’s hard for him and really it’s hard for adults too. When we’re scared we want something to hold on to and protection. We want to feel comfort and a peace anytime we are scared. So here’s what I have been telling Wade every time we have a moment. 

Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous, do not be frightened or dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you may go. Joshua 1:9

Jesus told them, “Don’t  be afraid, just believe”.

Mark 5:36

When I’m afraid, I put my trust in you.

Pslam 56:3

I have been saying these to Wade every time he panics or has a breakdown. We try to pray multiple times a day about fear and knowing he is safe and mommy won’t leave him and that God is with him. We will get there. My patience will continue to be tested. Y’all whoever is praying for that...STOP!! Haha! Of course, I let it overwhelm me sometimes and just get upset. I don’t know why we are going through this little trial, but you know what..we both will grow and become closer to God as long as we continue to rely on him during this time. I am modeling for my son how to cope through life’s hard times. Yes, he has seen me get upset about him freaking out, but he has also saw me pray and quote scripture over him. He knows that we pray! He knows that God is with him. He knows God hears us. So, I ask for you all to say a prayer for my baby. He is struggling with fear. Let’s pray together that God will replace this fear and allow Wade to trust and know that he is safe and protected. I pray he will feel comforted when he is scared and know God has him.

Love and Prayers,

Holly

 

Mommy!!!

Mom! Mommy! Mama! Mother! If you’re a mom then you hear your name a billion times a day.  Right?!? Sometimes to the point that you want to scream. I mean there are days when I hear it so much that I’m like, well my name is now not mommy or mama anymore call me_________. Totally kidding! But it has crossed my mind. Haha! I love the fact that my children love me and need me, but there are times that hearing the endless song of mommy can drive me bananas.

When Vaughn is working out of town it is even harder and even sometimes challenging. We make it, but my patience is definitely tested, the mommy/mama is full force, dark circles get even darker, and sleeping with two kids in the bed is like the best workout ever because I am hanging onto the side of the bed trying to stay on the bed..sigh! It’s an adventure that I definitely wouldn’t trade for anything, but it is hard some days. 

I was thinking about about my relationship with God and how he wants me to call upon him like my kids do. He wants our attention. He wants us to talk, share...have a relationship with him. And honestly sometimes we barely call upon his name. In times of trouble we are right there. We are in his word, we are praying a lot, and are focused on our relationship with him. Why? We need HIM. But here’s the truth. We NEED HIM ALL THE TIME. We just don’t need him when things get rough. We need him in the easy times.. the times we think are going great. We must have a solid relationship with him and work on it daily. We must seek him and find him. 

 

27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,

28 for "'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, "'For we are indeed his offspring.'  

Acts 17:27-28

 

We are his. He never leaves us! He is never far  from us. We are HIS!! 

 

It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." 

Deuteronomy 31:8

 

Here’s the thing.... He is always with us. Even when we are asking, God are you here? Maybe we need to ask ourselves where we are in the relationship. Maybe we are the kid screaming daddy, dad, papa...to get his attention, but the thing is he is attentive to us. It’s a US problem. So, what can we do??We can strive to have a close walk with him and to make ourselves stronger. We can build ourselves up in the word and talk to him throughout our days. Have you ever been in a relationship where you don’t talk to the person?!?!  Yeah! That would be weird so, your relationship with God needs to be treated with respect, care, love, and most of all you need to give it time!!! Our time is precious I know, but he is the giver of time. The reason we have the breath in our lungs. Our relationship with him is what matters most. So, honestly sometimes I think he is yelling down at me like my kids do... Holly!! Holly!! Holly!!!!!

We aren’t perfect. He doesn’t expect us to be. Thank you, God! However, he wants us to work for him, with him, and be close to him. He wants us!!! So, the next time your kids have said your name a billion times remember that they only want your attention and for you to see them... God wants us just like that! 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

 

 

Contentment

The splash pad is a wonderful place where kids can get wet and not actually have to swim. It’s glorious! We are in the between stages with Wade where he wants to swim and understands a little, but doesn’t want to completly close his mouth every time. Fun times, right! So, going to the splash pad is great...well if there wasn’t a playground right beside that keeps calling to your son and daughter. It was supposed to be mommy gets a little break while you all play in the water... oh but no!!!! It was watch me run back and forth between the two and then want to sit down and then want to go back to the water, back to the playground... you get the picture. 

As I watched Wade and MJ run back and forth or not want to choose one over the other I started thinking about our lives. This is honestly like our lives. Contentment is hard. It’s hard to be completely content in what we are doing. Something usually catches our eye, gets our attention, or makes us question what we are doing. It’s a total struggle, but contentment is required of us. 

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Phillipians 4:11

Contentment comes from God! It comes from our relationship with him. I have to believe the more we work on our relationship with him through prayer, reading of his word, and through serving that we come to a place on contentment that truly only comes from him. 

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain,7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 1 Timothy 6:6-7

We must have contentment. We can’t be caught running back and forth between things or never being happy because of things in our life. These material things will not be taken with us. Even though we think they are wonderful, the best, amazing now...believe me, our mind can’t even comprehend what Heaven will truly be like. However, while we are here and we are waiting on Jesus.. contentment!! Be content in what you have and what you have been given. We must learn contentment and sometimes that means we suffer or struggle, but we will be better off and learn what he has for us. 

So, if you’re like my kids and you aren’t content, let’s pray for God to help us model our life after Jesus because he lived a life of contentment. Let’s pray for us to be satisfied with what we have been given and not always want more and remember that our experiences are going to teach us to be content, but we must pray for God to help us and prepare us for these times.

Let’s put our faith in him and allow him to place contentment in our hearts. 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

I bribed them, again!

Bribery! It’s a parent’s tool. We pull it out in times of desperation. Have you bribed your child before?? Oh, who am I kidding! Everyone has! It’s the thing that keeps us going some days. If you finish your food you’ll get a cookie. If you take one more bite you’ll get a pack of gummies. If you help me pick up your toys you can watch a movie. If you take a nap we will go outside. If you be nice to your sister you can paint! I think I have the bribery technique down pat. Haha! I wish I didn’t have to do it, but it has become a part of our routine, unfortunately. 

Wade has never been a good eater. He still to this day hasn’t tried a lot of food. We started the, if you try 5 bites of this you’ll get_______. And it was working. But now, he’s back to his no I don’t like it and I don’t want to try it phase. I know when’s he ready he will try, but some days it’s a struggle. Also, to get wade to take a nap most days I have to come up with something fun we will do if he takes a nap....there’s a lot more too, but it would probably be a long post. Haha!

I don’t want to have to bribe my kids all the time. So, what do we do?? Well, believe me I totally believe that bribery is okay,but we shouldn’t always turn to it first thing. Which is a habit I have gotten into. Like I said, it’s not a bad thing, but when used a lot I have to believe it can cause them to think they will get something if they do this or that they need that extra something. We must set rules and must follow them. And the important thing is here..everyone must follow the rules and boy is that hard.

We are the parents! We set the rules. And kids need rules, discipline, and love. Not in that order, but you get my point. It’s okay if I have to bride him to try a cucumber, take a nap, or clean up.. you know why? Because I am shaping him into the man he will be one day in his house. Hopefully his wife won’t have to bribe him...well, I’m sure she will..haha! But, seriously I am training my kids to know what is important and sometimes I have to throw a little bribery in... I’m surviving!!! And this applies to MJ too! She isn’t inconcent in this either. Lol! 

So, bribery! It’s not terrible when used the right way. If you are trying to help your child grow, mature, or learn from something then be my guest. But, let’s not take it out of control. Because it definitely can happen and it can hinder the child instead of bettering them. 

Well, if you see me at a restaurant asking my child to sit down and if she sits down she can have my phone.. don’t judge! We all have to eat and we’ll all be happier people. And if you ever see me out with both of my kids and they have donuts, cookies, or ice cream...yep, I bribed them and I’m okay with that! 

Love and Prayers! 

Holly

Oh the toys!!

Have you ever wanted to start taking toys away and hiding them or giving them away??? Haha! I am not a hoarder. I declutter all the time, but my kids toys kill me. And the problem is they just keep getting toys and holding on to all the rest. Wade will say, I just need one more. He has a hard time letting go..he’s like his daddy. And MJ plays with anything because she’s still learning what toys are. But, believe me she knows they are in stores and we must see them before we leave. 

They are blessed! They have wonderful grandparents who spoil them and family members who spoil them, and then we spoil them....you get the picture. We could open a toy store. I try to organize...key word “TRY”, but it turns into a mess a couple days later again. We have bought organizer bins, totes, and huge toy storage bags and the toys seems to just multiple and take over the house. And honestly we have toys in every room of the house. Oh yes! Toys, toys, toys! 

I mean,how much do our kids really need? How much do they really play with? I ask Wade that question every time we pick up. Do you need this toy? Is this something you still play with? His answer is always...yes mommy! I know that he doesn’t play with them all and honestly doesn’t need 100 Legos or 25 matchbox cars... so what do we do when we live in society that shows we need more, more, more and more??

Don’t take this post the wrong way. I want my children to have toys, games, books etc. But I want to teach them about giving and that not everyone is as foruntate as them. 

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16

give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." Luke 6:38

It’s one of the hardest thing for a kid to do is share or give something that they adore so much. It pains them, but we must instill this in them so we teach them to give. Now, I’m not saying that they have to give up their favorite toy, but we teach them to give when they receive. In the book of Acts it tells us that it is better to give than receive. I mean this a lesson for adults too... if God has blessed you how can you bless others and share your blessings. 

We have two Compassion kids. Wade has began to ask more about them and where they are and why we have pictures of them etc. We love them and are so thankful to have them as a part of our family. He knows we help them have clean water, food,be able to go to the doctor and whatever else is needed for them. He doesn’t understand fully about this, but he knows we help them. He knows they are important to us. He knows we love them! We wanted our kids to each have a compassion child to one day write to and help. And one day they will be able too, but we will do it together until they get old enough to do so. 

So, please get your kids toys, but let’s teach them that we must think of others and give to those less fortunate. Let’s put God’s word in them so they will speak it and share it. And rememeber this is not just for kids, but us too! 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

 

 

First Day

Today was a first for MJ. She began a Parents Day Out Program. Now, anyone that knows her knows she is the BIGGEST mommy’s girl. I was worried! I was skeptical about how she would do because she has been by my side for so long... I mean, y’all I worked with her at my church  with her most of the time sitting on my lap. Yep!! So, you can see why I might be skeptical...but you know, she had a great first day.... she did GREAT! 

My mommy heart was so excited and proud of her. We both did good!!! Yes, I cried last night, but this was a huge hurdle for us. I sent Wade to PDO around the same age and he did so well and learned so much. I knew I would send her, but wasn’t sure when, but today confirmed this was good for us both. She gets interaction, more activities, play time with friends, she learns how to nap by herself (this is huge), and she eats at a table with other kids. And I get get all my work done and eat lunch... an actual lunch, plus it’s a little break for me. It truly is a blessing. 

I love my babies so much, but like Wade said this morning, “mom, you’re going to get so much done with us being at school”. I just looked at him and said,  “I am”.. but I’m going to miss you all and he said we will miss you too. But we’re going to have fun.

I enjoy what I do at my church and love the fact that they allowed me to bring my babies with me. I am so thankful.. But it was crazy how much I got done today and how much I was able to accomplish. I missed my little companions, but God placed a peace over me to know that we made the right decision for this time in our life. Hearing about their day and what they did excited me and I’m excited for them to share each day from here on out.

MJ painted a pinecone like a pineapple and she was so excited to show me and wade had all kinds of art today. Even though I would love to have them with me all the time.. this mommy is excited to see all I can accomplish this summer and upcoming year. So, remember to take a little time for you, time for God, and don’t stretch yourself too thin. 

A rubber band that has been used too many will snap and will never be used again... so don’t stretch yourself and take time for you when you need it. 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

 

Clean that house!?

So, who loves to clean and is on top of it? Well, unfortunately that isn’t me. I’m not a terrible house keeper, but I’m definitely not the best. I mean my house isn’t perfect and will never be. Between the kids, the dogs, and Vaughn and I... sometimes there just seems no point at all. 

Have you ever been cleaning, especially with kids, and when you finish cleaning the room you were on they have messed up a room that you have to clean it up and then they do it again?? Ugh! Literally there have been times that I just want to be like... I give up!!! But honestly, I do enjoy cleaning. I love the clean smell. I love making everything look nice again. But cleaning with kids...it’s like mission impossible! 

Last year for my birthday Vaughn said that I could hire a maid. I truly considered it, but then I thought to myself...I will have to clean before they clean and really what is the point in hiring somebody then. I went through this whole process in my head. Started panicking and was just acting ridiculous...Really!!! When company is coming over I believe we all are like this video? And if you aren’t like this, I need You in my life.

https://www.facebook.com/howlers.tv/videos/363066457508164/

We stress about the house, the laundry, the dishes, etc. and if someone is coming over .. start panic mode! Why do we do this? Are we afraid that we will be judged ? Are we afraid that they will talk about us? Or they won’t come back? I’m telling you, if someone is going to judge you on your house and the toys that are a mess and the clothes that haven’t been folded then maybe you just don’t need them in your life. Honestly! We aren’t perfect. We can’t be expected to always have a clean house. I mean, if you always do.. I want your secret!!!! But, honestly life happens. Kids make messes. And one day they will be gone and your house will be back to boring, clean, and well exactly what you thought you wanted....you will miss the messes. 

So, a little mess isn’t going to hurt anybody. Unless you’re OCD then it might..haha! But really, here is my advice:

1. There will always be something to clean up, so enjoy the moments while it’s messy. 

2. If you want to hire a maid, do it! If it will help you and make your life easier.. no judgement here. Don’t feel like you need to “clean” before they come...that’s their job. That’s what they’re good at! 

3. The house stuff can wait. Play with those babies. Snuggle more, play more, and enjoy time with them more.

4. On your cleaning days.. ask your kids to help. My kids love to use their mops while I mop and they love to “wipe” stuff. Make cleaning fun for all. 

So, happy cleaning!! And if you don’t like it and don’t enjoy it... hire someone to do it. Just not me! Haha! 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

 

Oops a Daisy!

The day started off just like any other... we were running around trying to get the kids ready and trying to get Wade ready for T-Ball pictures. Typical morning..I mean, it’s always stressful and eventful trying to get two kids ready, but they both looked cute and we headed out to start our day. We had a pretty busy day planned. T-Ball pictures, lunch, and then a birthday party.... the weekend is a blur most of the time. Why can’t the week go as fast as the weekend?? Everything was going good.  Except MJ was tired and very upset in her car seat. This is typical for her around 12:00-1:00... she’s ready for a nap. We decided to stop and shop at Ross for a bit since she hadn’t went to sleep and because we had time to spare until the birthday party. I paid no attention to MJ went I got her out of the truck. The only thing I knew was she smelled.

Okay! As parents we know what that usually means. I walked into Ross and made a bee line for the bathroom. I’m so thankful I did because once getting to the bathroom I would realize the horrible truth....a blowout!!! 

Not just a little one, I’m talking all over her and me. It was TERRIBLE!!! If you have never experienced this... be thankful! I never in my life seen one this bad. I was shocked! As I tried to compose myself I realized I’m going to have to get her clean. So, I striped her down and began to wipe her with her “water wipes” because she has sensitive skin. I used soooooo many wipes. I was going to take her to the sink, but no paper towels. Of all times!! A dryer ain’t going to help!! And don’t forget it’s still on my dress. I’m using wipes on myself. I’m changing MJ’s clothes and trying to clean me. I’m trying to remain calm. I’m in a clothing store... I can buy something else. I keep telling myself, no one will notice. I put MJ’s second outfit on her and begin to clean up the diaper changing area. Gosh! It was terrible. And I leave the bathroom still smelling like..poop! Yep! The joys of parenting.

So, I put MJ on that side of my dress and carried her around not thinking that it will stain her new outfit, but it did and it ruined it too. So, after finding me a dress for $10... great deal Ross! I went to find MJ an outfit. $7!! Wouldn’t you know... there was an outfit and on the outfit it read, oops a daisy! Which one of my friends told me was a great saying for what happened. Haha! So true! While standing in line to purchase the outfits, I can smell us. I’m sure the people in line were thinking that she had a dirty diaper...nope! We smell. So, we check out as quick as we can and leave. I was so thankful to be able to leave Ross with new clothes and be able to smell better. Once getting to the truck we both got changed and looked and smelled much, much better.

It’s so hard when something goes wrong. It’s not apart of our plan. We all have OUR plans in life. However, things don’t always go our way. We sometimes respond with emotions and allow it to take over us. I was not happy about what happened, but I realized something... MJ was dirty! She knew it! She kept saying shew! Shew! Haha! As someone who loves her.. I cleaned her. Our God does the same thing. When we realize how “dirty” we are and we call on him... he cleans us. We are spotless. Only Jesus can do that. Forgiveness! Thankful for it!!

Even though MJ doesn’t understand what happened she did say.. “tank you”when I was done. She knew she was dirty and needed to be cleaned. If you are dirty from your sins and you need a savior... call out to him and ask for forgiveness. 

This song by Natalie Grant called, I am clean, pure and honest. Allow God to wash you in his mercy! 

There's nothing too dirty  
That You can't make worthy 
You wash me in mercy 
I am clean

Love and Prayers,

Holly

My First Baby!

My first baby! My how time flies. People always told me that time would go by faster with a child. Honestly, it does. It flies by. Babies don’t keep. Oh, how I wish they did. I still remember hearing wade say mama for the first time or seeing him walk. Those firsts are amazing, but what about the lasts.

I have this book, “Let Me Hold You Longer”. Have you read it? I mean, I can’t read it a lot....I bawl like a baby. It’s honest and absolutely beautiful. Karen’s words in this book are so true. The “lasts”? Do we realize it’s the last time he or she will jump in your lap? This last time they call you mama or dada. The last time they give you a weed from the yard. The lasts.. 

Today was Wade’s last day of preschool for this year. He has learned so much, grown, and we are so proud of him. But, I can’t help to think about the lasts today. Wade says, I can’t wait to marry you mommy”. I wonder when the last time will be that he will say that. When he will realize that he can’t marry me because I’m his mommy. Today hit me like a ton of bricks because when I looked up on that stage at him in his program I realized he didn’t look like a baby or toddler anymore. He looks like a little boy. Like, when did this happen?  How is possible that my baby will be going to kindergarten in a year? The lasts! I pray I recognize them and cherish them. I pray that I can hold on to them just like the firsts. Those “lasts” are a lot harder. But there is so much beauty in the firsts and lasts. 

I want to bottle Wade up right now and keep him this age. He’s precious! He’s challenging(don’t get me wrong),but he’s precious. I know I can’t! I would miss out on all the amazing things he’s going to do. And honestly I can’t wait to see it. So, what am I going to do? Cherish each and every moment. Be present as much as I can. Play with him, make memories with him, watch him, and hopefully recognize the “lasts”. I don’t want the lasts to come.. I know he will get to the point where he don’t want to hug me, tell me he loves me in front of his friends, go out with me, or even sit in my lap. But, I pray I cherish each moment and realize how special it is.  “Let me hold on longer, God, to every precious last”.

So, I pray we realize how special time is. How each day is a gift from God and that we celebrate the firsts and the lasts. What a special gift we have been given. 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1414389876/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1526670978&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=let+me+hold+you+longer&dpPl=1&dpID=51qq%2BYjo1dL&ref=plSrch

Pray for those babies!!

This world we live in is crazy most of the time and chaos. If you turn on the news you get scared to death hearing all the dangers and things happening around the world and even in our area. It makes me feel nervous, scared, and fear for my kids to grow up in a world where identity is becoming whatever the person chooses, where kids are committing suicide because of bullying, where it’s all about self and not about others. Then you have girls who need love so they let every guy “love” them. Boys who have never been taught how to respect a women so we have sexual charges and assault charges happening.  And don’t forget about feeling “normal”.. it’s all about the high! What can I take to make me feel numb? What can I put in my body today? The rudeness, the disrespect, the kids being raised by grandparents because their parents weren’t or aren’t mature enough and let’s not forget that we can’t even pray or mention God in schools. So, what can we do? 

Pray for our children!!!! 

Put scripture in our children!! 

Give them love, nurturing, rules, discipline, and most of all structure!!

Place people in their life who are role models and that will build them up not tear them down. 

This world is going to be negative enough. They don’t need that in their home too! 

So, Prayers! First of all if you aren’t praying for your children... please do!! And have your parents pray, uncles, aunts, great grandparents. Generational praying! God hears his people! Pray. These are some of the scriptures I pray over my children. I turn them into a prayer. His words and I get to speak them over my children..

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, Ephesians 6:10-17

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."  Psalms 91:1-2

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  Psalms 119:105

God, I pray for my children to know right from wrong.  To not follow the ways of this world and for you to speak to their heart and allow them to seek you. I pray that they will flee when Satan begins to plant things in their head. That they will recognize and be able to discern the lies that he will tell and that they will speak the truth that you have provided us with. I pray they use the armour of God and put it on every morning. I pray for salvation to come and I pray for their hearts and minds to understand the depths of who you are.I pray they know where their strength comes from and they understand that they can do all things through you. I pray they are strong and courageous and that they will not frightened because you are with them wherever they go. I pray for them to have compassion and be kind. To speak with love and to forgive as you have forgiven us. I pray God for you to give them wisdom and make wise choices and decisions for their life. I pray for protection over their bodies, minds, and hearts. I pray God for you to protect them from harm and weaknesses. God, I pray that they realize that they can’t do this alone and that they need you. I pray that they will build trust in you. I pray for the friends they make to build them up and not tear them down and for them to be encouraging people to be around. 

God please prepare their hearts for what they can’t see and allow them to lean on you. I pray for the minutes, days, years I can’t see right now. The days when they will go to school, drive, date, marry, and have babies of their own. I pray you shield them, protect them, and guide their feet. I pray they always use the light. Bless them and keep them for they were yours before they were mine and one day I pray they will choose you.  

I’m usually in tears after praying for my babies. Most of the time we pray together and I hear giggles and laughs, but at night I pray a prayer similar to this one. I wish I did every night but life happens and sometimes I fall asleep praying, but I pray! 

God has entrusted us with a special gift. Pray for them!! I encoruage you to start today. Dig into the word!! Pull out scripture and apply it to your life and use it. It will change you! It will create in you something new! Allow God to begin a work in you through prayer and his word. 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

 

 

Me Time!!!

Oh goodness!!! Me time!!! What does it look like for you?? I rarely get a lot of it, but when I do, I know exactly what that is going to look like...

Shower or bath!!! I’m talking a long hot shower or bath. I’m not much a bath person unless it’s a jetted tub or claw foot tub, but a long shower is like Ahhhhhhmazing!! Do you feel the same? A long shower doesn’t happen very often so I take full advantage and use up a lot... maybe all the hot water...shhhh! 

I love me some Netflix. It’s so amazing. Whoever invented it... thank you!  I know some people don’t have it, but that and Hulu are great. I love to binge watch. I can re-watch stuff over and over again and still like it just as much. I love to sit in bed with my husband pillow and blanket.. maybe some snacks and just binge watch whatever. How many episodes have you watched in a day? I plead the 5th...lol! 

Pedicures and massages... It’s my love language.....as I look at my toes right now... ha! I need some me time! I love me a great pedicure. There is nothing better than letting your feet soak in hot water and then getting all the old taken off and the new put on with some polish. And don’t get me started on massages🙌🏻. Thank you Jesus for the gifting of people. I’m telling you.... anytime I get to have these things done I’m so giddy, happy and excited. They renew me. I feel like a new woman... or as the song says.... I feel like a woman...thanks Shania Twain!

Baking is another form of me time that just relaxes me. For some people this is stressful, but I have always felt that baking is a huge stress reliever and allows me to be creative. I love to make sweets! Not good for my hips, but oh goodness I love to bake. I find myself doing something weekly... and it’s not because I want to eat it. It’s because I need to clear my head and create something. 

Exercise... oh yes! I love to workout. It makes me happy. I might be crazy, but I think a sweat fest for an hour is great. I love it. I love to run! It clears my mind.. I listen to Lecrae as I run.. that’s about as gangsta as I get..lol! But, his lyrics speak to me and I hear his songswhich contain tons of scripture and I’m able to apply it to my life as I run and while not running.. it’s a win win! 

Me plus Jesus time! It happens daily. Whether I’m in my car talking to him, during nap time reading about him, or at night when I read, pray, and try to spend more time with him while my family is sleeping. This me time is needed more than anything, but sometimes it’s the hardest to fit in. Why???

Me time is important! Very, very important! Most of my me time is spur of the moment. I don’t get much me time but I try to squeeze it in when I can. I mean, nap time is usually 2 hours. I try to get as much as I can done with the house (laundry, dishes, etc), scripture reading, blogging, and I try to fit some me time in there but it usually ends up resulting in my brain thinking about all the things that need to be done. 

What happens when we don’t have time to recharge, reflect, refocus, and allow our brain to just chill??? We SNAP! If this hasn’t happened to you I really want to meet you and know your secret.... please share. But seriously, we snap and then we have to pick up all pieces, apologize to whoever we snapped on and then we truly don’t feel any better. Ugh! 

“When I am overwehlmed You alone know the way I should turn.” Psalm 142:3 (NLT) 

Another version says, “when my spirit faints within me, you know my way”(ESV)

I know when I’m in need of some me time and it’s up to us to know and voice this. It’s hard, right? Sometimes it’s just easier to keep the routine and press through, but that’s not what our bodies need. We were created to be with people, but also to be by ourselves. In God’s word it tells us this...Matthew 6:6

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Jesus knew we would have distractions, routines, chaos, etc. So he told us to go into our room shut the door and pray! Focus! Reflect! Renew! That’s me time! That’s Jesus time.

Yes, all the me time things I listed above are needed. But, my mind, heart, body is craving God’s word. The relationship I have with him is just that... it’s a relationship. My me time must consist of building that relationship stronger each day. 

I pray we can reflect, refocus, renew ourselves with me time.. but I pray that we give Jesus some of that me time. Because he is the only one that can truly renew us. 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

Mom Guilt

Mom guilt...it's a real thing. It's occuring right now in my head as I type. I know that I'm not alone on this one. I experienced the most mom guilt while I was teaching. I worked a full time job for 5 1/2 years. Working never phased me until...Wade! He came into this world and my life changed. I went back to work 3 months after having him and was blessed to take that much time off. However, the last month of school was the most difficult time ever. Every time I would go on break to pump breastmilk for him, what do you think would happen? Tears, emotion, anger...I was sad that I couldn't be with him. I was angry because I couldn't be with him and I made myself feel terrible. It didn't get better. Really! It didn't. I had mom guilt bad. I wanted to be the one to feed him, dress him, be outside with him, hear him say words...I was afraid I would miss something. I did! I'm sure. However, the first time he did it for me was the first time I saw. I ended up realizing that I shouldn't be making myself upset about what I was doing, because I was doing it for him. 

Vaughn ended up getting a promotion at work which allowed me to be a part time stay at home mom. Now, this is what I wanted and I had it pictured in my head a little differently.I had imagined it would be easy....Well, it's hard!!! Especially now with two! And I totally thought the mom guilt would just go away since I was home, but it hasn't. I struggle! Am I doing enough with Wade to make sure that he is on target for his age? Was sending him to preschool the right idea? MJ isn't speaking full sentences yet...I need to spend more time with her working on that. I want to workout, but they have to go child watch and be without me, that's time I could be spending with them. Or what about date night!! Vaughn doesn't get to spend as much time with the kids as I do so I feel guilty going on a date. There’s dishes and laundry to be done, but the kids want to go somewhere or play outside. Last one that comes to mind is, when I'm sick or not feeling good and allow them to watch endless amounts of tv and the ipad. I'm telling you...MOM GUILT!

We all have it! It comes with the package of being a mom. But, what I have come to realize is that there is 24 hours in a day. Yes the days go by quickly, but if I'm not taking care of me how in the world can I be a good mom and take care of them. Literally, there have been days I haven't ate a meal or drank anything because I am so focused on my kids..wanting to do as much as I can, wanting the best for them. And of course I can't forget the comparison factor. I compare myself to other moms. I know! I know... I shouldn't! Hence, one of the reasons for starting this blog. I needed this! Just for me, but wanted to share with others. As people, we can't pour from an empty cup. We can try but nothing will come out. We stretch ourselves so thin and sometimes we end up snapping. I have to remind myself that it's okay for the kids to not be beside me playing or me playing in the floor with them all the time. It's okay for me to take a 2 minute shower by myself..haha! Yeah! 2 minutes or less. It's okay if they watch tv. And that date night...It's a must!! 

I need to give this to God. It's a battle that I face and it causes me to doubt I'm a good mom. I question what I do, how I act, how I spend my time..etc. Mom is just one of the names and one of my many hats that I have. Yes, it's important and yes it's the best job ever, but I need to allow this guilt to flee.

So what do we do... we must take these thoughts captive!

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

His power is made perfect in our weakness. I'm claiming my weakness here! I'm sharing my weakness...because I know there are more moms out there that feel this way. And we need to allow Christ's power to rest upon us. Shew! I'm speaking to my own heart right now. 

The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; Psalm 34:19

Let's believe that God can take this and use it to better us. We don't need to live in this state of MOM GUILT! I mean, I know I don't and I want God to deliever me from it. 

It might take some time and I know it won't be gone over night...but in the words of frozen...LET IT GO!

Now that song is stuck in your head..haha!

But really, let it go! You're a great mom, parent, grandparent..whoever you are. Don't let that guilt define you or bring you down.  

Read 2 Timothy 2:1-26...He will sustain us through every season of life. 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

 

 

 

Mom Life

Well, if you’re a mom you know that life is hard and not easy. It’s difficult and a blessing at the same time. It’s a whirlwind of emotions and from one day to the next it changes. You’re smiling one minute because your sweet little one did something amazing or said something you are so proud of and then the next minute you turn into a referee or HULK because well you know....life! I have this shirt that I wear a lot, that says mom life, it’s my fav. I got it right after I had MJ. I knew nothing about having two kids, I had Just gotten the hang of having one, so, this shirt was my proclamation in life.....I Got This!!! Can we all just share a laugh together right now???? Haha!

I want to to be honest with whoever is reading this. I don’t got this. Oh boy! I struggle most days and think I could have done this better, I shouldn't have said that, why am I feeding them chicken nuggets again, how did they get that boo boo, where did all these toys come from, I just washed all the clothes where did these come from, and of course when is the last time I showered. This MOM LIFE is not for the faint of heart, but you know what I have learned since being a mom. Your kids don’t care what you look like. They don’t care if the toys are a mess because they are just going to dump more out. They LOVE chicken nuggets! And laundry.... it will NEVER end!!! But, you got this!!!! You are the mom God chose for your Child or children. You are exactly what they needed for 9 months and just because they are on the outside now doesn’t mean they don’t need us, they might think they don’t, but they always will for something. 

In Proverbs 31:26 it tells us, “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue”. Most of the time this isn’t me,but  I aspire to be a Proverbs 31 woman, where strength and dignity are my clothing and my children rise up and call me blessed, however,  it’s like that meme, “Somewhere between Proverbs 31 and Gangster Rap there’s me”. Well, I’m not into gangster rap, but I’m still somewhere in the middle fighting my way to be the best wife, mother, daughter, etc.  I can be on this earth. 

So, truthfully I got this! Because God tells me in his word that he has me. Even though we go through trials, problems, bad days, fights, etc.... I can go and on, but God is still in control and as it says in James1:2-3, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness”. We are going to go through stuff. But we are going to be stronger because of it. 

So today as you are sitting there and you’re listening to kids fight or looking at your laundry or just telling your child NO for the billionth time, remember when you open your mouth to speak wisdom and kindness and God is using these times to make you stronger and prepared. Our faith is tested everyday, but we have the opportunity to make it grow and stronger! Open the Bible and read Proverbs 31 and James 1. Put God’s word in your heart. I promise It will flow out if you put it there. 

 

Love and prayers,

Holly

The sickies

Who hates being sick?? I don’t think anyone enjoys it or likes it. It’s something that this world gives us, unfortunately. Sickness is always around us and happens everyday. I mean, you truly can’t avoid it unless you live in a sanitized bubble. Ain’t nobody got that!!

Last weekend Wade spiked a very high fever... let’s just say over 105.  I was scared! I was in a panic! And of course, I was worried! I took him to the ER where he was diagnosed with flu A, flu B, and I ain't done.... strep throat. My poor little guy was sick... and still is. It breaks my heart to see him sick and to see him in pain. I wish I could take it and make it all better. Unfortunately, all I can do is give him medicine when needed, hold him, love him, make sure he is drinking etc. 

God is a good, good Father. And during this whole time while I have laid in bed with Wade he has given me words and scriptures about how faithful he is. 

Psalms 23:1-4

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 

3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  

Proverbs 18:24

24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. 

Just like I have stayed by Wade’s side, God stays by ours. Even in the darkest, saddest, toughest, craziest, jaw dropping, scariest moments of our life. He’s there’s! He walks on this journey with us. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. 

So, if your feeling like I have been (emotionally drained, extremely tired, not understanding why, worried, scared, and tired...did I say tired) pray! Talk to him, read his word, praise him, ask him why, whatever you got to do, do it! But just know that he has never left your side. Seek him and you will find him! 

Be Strong and courageous, do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you may go. 

Joshus 1:9

This is Wade and MJ’s life verse. He has memorized it and knows God is with him. I pray you do too! 

 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly

This LOVE

Since I became a mom I have understood my mom’s words that she would say when she was happy, punishing me, just looking at me with this strange look on her face, or just rubbing my head. She would say, “you’ll understand one day”... I never doubted that my mom loved me, I knew she did, but I truly didn't know how much she did until I had my children. This love... shew! It’s like nothing I can describe. Wade will say, “love you to the moon and back or he’ll ask how much do you love me?” The answer to that question is, I love him as much as every star that is in the sky, to the moon and back a million times and if my arms could hold him and MJ forever, that’s how much I love them. 

A mother’s love begins the moment she knows she pregnant or at least it did for me. God gives us a miracle. I mean think about it... it’s crazy! This little person begins to form inside of you and begins his or her life. This child has genes from you and from their father. They are a combination of who you are and who their dad is (or just their dad in some cases..haha!). This love begins when you hear their heartbeat, when you feel them move, when you see them on the ultrasound, to the moment they take their first breath earthside and it takes your breath because you are so in love. 

No one can prepare you for that moment. No one can tell you how you’re going to feel or what that love will feel like.. but truthfully your heart.. I’m surprised it stays in your chest because it is overwhelming, exciting, scary, an emotional roller coaster of all your emotions and in that moment you know that you will love that little person for the rest of their life. 

Have you ever thought about how God felt after he created the heavens and the earth, darkness and light,the plants and animals, and then man and woman? As he looked upon everything. How did he feel? In Genesis 1:31 it tells us God looked down on everything he had made and it was good. He was pleased! He thought it was good. He began at day 1 and by the time day 6 came, his work, his creation was completed. He created it from nothing and it began to flourish. He was excited! He looked upon his creation and his love flowed out. 

Just like us moms and dads look upon our child with love and adoration, God did the same and does that to this day with us. The love he has for his creation hasn’t changed and won’t. He LOVES his creation even though it disappoints him and hurts him. And just like our children will do this to us and him, we will still love them and so will he. God gave us love and allows us to love. It’s such a beautiful thing. It takes my breath thinking about how much my God loves me. I think about how much I love my children and it sometimes brings me to tears because I know deep down my Father’s love is even stronger, bigger, and greater. I can’t quite comprehend that because of this earthly mind, but having children has allowed me to see a glimpse of God’s love for me. 

I think about the song reckless love.. listen to it NOW if you haven’t heard it and if you have, well, just go ahead and listen to it again. 

The chorus of this song is powerful, but the entire song is beautiful. 

Here is the chorus:

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

 

This love! I’m telling you. It’s overwhelming, wonderful,and powerful and will knock your socks off ....If you don’t know the love I’m talking about I pray you open your heart to the true lover of your soul and you see that he gave everything for YOU!!! Because his love is Agape Love, an unconditional, scarficing love. Because truthfully we can’t earn it and definitely don’t deserve it, but he willingly gives it to us all if we accept him. 

I’m thankful for the love he gave me so I can love others and I’m thankful to be a mom and experience this type of love. It has allowed me to see a glimpse of how much my Father loves me.

Love God and Love People! 

Happy Mother’s Day! 

Love and Prayers,

Holly

 

 

She said, what???

Chick-Fil-A! You know it! You like it! And it’s your child’s favorite place. They ask to go there once, twice, or maybe three times a week. I mean it’s good food and has a playground... what more could you want? And there’s even windows so you can watch your child play. I mean, if you haven’t been, go one day before lunch time or after. Don’t go during lunch time!!! Shew! It’s insanely crowded and well just insane. 

Today, after Wade’s T-Ball game he wanted to go to a Cracker Barrel, he always wants Cracker Barrel, but of course we told him we couldn’t go. He then said Chick-fil-a? Why not??! Right?! We pulled in and both kids were estactic. It’s chicken nuggets and a playground. Every kids dream.. haha! MJ was very sleepy and hungry... umm bad combination. So I knew that this could be a bad idea or a good idea. Well, let me just stop right here and insert a word.... toddlers! You never know what they are going to do, say, how they might act, if they will eat, or if they will act like they have lost total control and It’s always a guessing game... and today oh my goodness! It was all of the above! 

Vaughn went to order the food and I stayed with kids. All was going good until Wade starting picking on MJ. It’s normal, happens all the time. Remember, she’s tired and hungry! So, she is flopping down on the ground, chair, everywhere and crying while saying play, play, play over and over again. Yeah, I’m tense! Yes, I’m trying to get my child to sit down and yes people are staring and one lady is eyeing me down. Not in a bad way, but a weird way. I continue to keep telling MJ no, because we have rules.. at least 3 chicken nuggets must be ate to play. So, I continue and Vaughn still isn’t back. It felt like hours..... I mean, it was really only 5-7 minutes I’m sure, but it felt like eternity. 

I finally gave up and let her down and let her go into the play ground. Now, Wade went with her and as soon as I let her the lady that was giving me the weird look came over. She got really close to me and looked me in the eyes and said, “ I just wanted you to know that Jesus has you. And your little girl is wild and that’s okay. Because Jesus has you. I have a little girl too and she’s wild and it won’t get any better. I also have a son and They act just like what I saw with your children”. She continued on and on.. and I listened. I tried! But the whole time I wanted to tell her...You know, instead of telling me Jesus has me, which I know, why don’t you be Jesus and help me? Come over and tell me, you know what momma we all have these days and it’s okay. Why don’t people be honest with themselves and realize we have all been there and in that moment where you are trying to handle the situation, we might be losing the battle, but we are trying. We are trying to stay firm and teach our children rules etc. Speak Jesus, Share Jesus, but you know what, BE JESUS!!!! 

MJ ended up coming back quickly from the playground because she didn’t want her Bubba to let her in... I’m telling you #toddlers. And as this lady was leaving she said, “awww she looks like she has a fever.” I’m sure at this point I was not friendly, but I told her we just left the ball field and it’s 80 plus degrees outside and she’s been screaming since we have been here so... she said, “that must be it”. I know this lady didn’t mean to be the thorn in my side today or something that I would write about..LOL! But, God told me Holly... BE JESUS! 

When Jesus was here on this earth he didn’t just go up to people and say, I’m with you. He showed them what to do. He modeled how to be like God. He instructed them, loved them, and cared for them. It’s really not that hard, but we have this problem big time. We can talk a big game, but when it comes down to it... we take a step back and don’t follow through. We are missing huge opportunities. I thought about the lady afterwards and how she told me about Jesus, but truly didn’t show me him. Our actions speak more than words! 

1 John 3:18

Dear Children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth. 

I have to admit I’m preaching to the choir on this one. I need to work on it too!! Overall, I pray God can allow me to see this woman again and thank her for at least coming up to me in my moment of chaos, but that I can share with her my heart and allow her to see that we need to be Jesus just not speak his name. 

So, today I pray we can BE JESUS! 

Love and Prayers, 

Holly