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Oct 23

battle in the trenches

battle in the trenchesI am not even really sure where to begin this post. I was just telling Ian that I wanted to share a bit of my struggle with all the crazy hormones that came with having a baby and maybe encourage someone who is in the same battle. There are few resources out there that come at this from a Biblical perspective and while I have not “arrived” by any means, I am right in the midst of this battle and know what it’s like in those dark valleys.

If you would have asked me three years ago what I thought about depression and postpartum blues, my answer would be very different from the one I would give you today. I don’t want to get to into a debate, but rather encourage you. It’s strange how the Lord is giving us new and unexpected trials to over come. With my first child, Job, my struggles came hard and fast right after he was born. I had never felt such deep sorrow in such a “happy” time of life. I remember going to bed when he was just 5 days old and hoping I didn’t wake up. It was a hard 6 weeks for me. But by the time 6 weeks rolled around, I was feeling much more like myself and enjoying my little blessing so much.

With number two, Ruthie, I was prepared for the worst right after she her birth. I even had my mom come for extra time to help me through the first 6 weeks. Much to my surprise, I was great those first 6 weeks. I loved every moment of it. My struggle came in much later this time around. Every time I dropped a feeding in her nursing schedule I would feel much like I did after having Job. I wasn’t sure what was wrong and why I was feeling so sad and overwhelmed. Life was good and I had much to be thankful for, and I knew that. Yet, I couldn’t seem to kick my feelings to the curb. The next few months were rough. But knowing that things would get tough with each feeding I dropped made it all a little more bearable. We knew it was coming and we could prepare (at least a little) for what was to come.

I am still in the midst of the slight fog, but things are looking bright. These emotions God has given us are good. They are apart of what make us human. They are apart of this struggle in life. So, keep asking for faith to keep giving yourself to your family, even when you feel like you have nothing left to give, because just like the woman with the oil (2 Kings 4:1-7), the Lord will keep giving you more to give. So keep pouring and lavishing it on.

I want to encourage you to keep fighting. Confess sin where there is sin. Ask Christ for the faith and strength to make it through another moment, hour, or day, even if you don’t feel like you can make it another second. Ask your husband for grace, prayer, help, and hugs. And look to Him who is able to keep you from falling. This is a fight worth fighting and winning!

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Oct 17

the temper tantrum

Yesterday our little Roo-Roo decided to only take an hour nap from her usual 2-3 hour nap. When she woke up, she was less than pleasant. I had made cupcakes earlier in the day and decided to let her have one. Who isn’t happy eating a cup cake, right? Well, my not-so-evil plan worked. She loved it to say the least.cupcakes That is until she finished it.temper-4 temper temper-2 temper-3 temper-5It was the temper tantrum to end all temper tantrums. Total depravity was very evident here. Much laughter was needed on my part to get through the craziness happily. We all survived. temper-7Job has even learned how to tell sissy to “SHHHHH!!!” It’s very cute.temper-8 He has even learned how to laugh at her in her crazy crying! We all have. And not in a “that is so cute and funny” kind of way. More in the “that is so ugly and silly (foolish)” kind of way. Because if we can’t learn to laugh at things that would otherwise drive us to anger, well, we will likely be angry. And at the rate of fussiness that we can generate in one afternoon, I would be angry way too often.

Hopefully these pictures give you a good laugh too. We love our little Ruthie and hope to teach her one day to laugh when anger or freaking out seem like the only two options. So, bring it on, tomorrow. We may not always have perfect joy, but we can always laugh. And laughter is war.

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Oct 15

pumpkin patch fun

This weekend we hit up our local pumpkin patch. We had a great time checking out all the pumpkins and getting muddy. It was a perfect fall day and it really felt like the perfect time to be pumpkin hunting.pumpkin patch pumpkin-patch-2 pumpkin-patch-3 Job loved walking around checking everything out. He was having fun trying to pick up the GIANT pumpkins and conquering all that mud, or at least stomping in it.pumpkin-patch-4 pumpkin-patch-5 pumpkin-patch-6 pumpkin-patch-7 pumpkin-patch-8 pumpkin-patch-9 The kids seemed so small standing in the ginormous field of pumpkins. It seemed like the orange speckled field went for miles.pumpkin-patch-10 pumpkin-patchThe crisp fall weather mixed with the array of green and orange brings the full weight of autumn goodness to bear on you. So thankful for the fun that each season brings. I hope y’all are having a great fall and have been able to go to the pumpkin patch, or at least have some fun in the mud.

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Oct 14

meal planning

I feel as though I have tried every sort of meal plan out there. I have always hated meal planning until I came up with what I am about to share with you. I love LOOSE structure. I am laid-back but somehow a go-getter at the same time. This meal plan seems to work well with my personality and for my family. I hope it will help some of y’all and maybe save you a little time and money too. And I know this may not be for everyone, but what plan is.

So here’s what I do. Every Friday I write down 7 meals on my chalkboard. I try and take into account if we are planning on having company over that week and find something that can easily be made for a larger number of people. I also try to consider what I already have in my refrigerator and pantry.chalk boardI then make my grocery list of the items I don’t have on hand already. As I run out of baking things and staple items, I add them to my list throughout the week. I keep a running list on my iPhone (I use the app “reminders”). I love that I can check things off my list as I put them in my cart and the item disappears from my list. It makes it feel like I am really accomplishing something (because I am :).trader joesThen each day, I pick something off my list of meals and then cross it off the board. If there are any meals on the board that don’t get used for whatever reason, I just move it to the following week, and that’s one less meal I have to shop for.meal planningI get tired of writing down a meal for each specific day of the week, but I found myself rewriting my calendar every other night because plans change, or kids were fussing and I didn’t have time to make the lasagna from scratch with homemade bread sticks and mozzarella cheese I made from the cow I milked.  Okay, that was an exaggeration, but you get the idea.meal-planningI know life happens and I have to be flexible and I feel like this meal plan really works well for our family. It’s structured with wiggle room. It’s rules with lots of grace. It’s my kind of meal plan.

As shared on Frugally Sustainable.

 

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Oct 10

operation workout

Okay, I am just going to say it. Since I have stopped nursing Ruthie, I have put 8 of the 53lbs I lost since giving birth to her. And while that is only 8lbs, it has continued. I am a little discouraged because since I have been working out consistently (for the last 10 days) I have gained 2 of those pounds. But I know life happens, and it’s about a life style, so I am here to say, I am getting back on the workout train. Operation workout is in full swing. operation-workoutTo help, I have made this very nifty sticker chart that looks like it’s for my two year old, but it’s not. It’s for ME! :) Every day I work out, I get to put a sticker on the chart. I will share my progress with you at the end of the month.

To help the weight loss train, I am also cutting back on my dessert intake. I have been trying to eat only around three desserts a week. For many people that’s not really a big deal, but for me, it’s a ginormous deal. I don’t just have a sweet tooth, I AM a sweet tooth. It’s my weakness. I am hoping this will help me eat better and feel better.

I am tired of complaining to my dear husband about how fat I feel. It’s time for me to do something. I feel like sharing it here, with you guys, makes it real. Here’s to loosing those 8lbs again. :)

PS- the picture makes it look like I haven’t worked out since Sunday, but that’s just when I took the picture :) I guess I should have posted this earlier.

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