Thursday, December 31, 2015

new year resolutions | 2016

I'm normally not one to make New Year Resolutions. But this year is different for me. In 2015, my husband got a new job, we moved to a different town, my small business took off, I became pregnant, I had to discontinue my college classes (my last semester), we had many different pregnancy scares, we were blessed with baby L five weeks early, we pushed through (and are still pushing through) her many different health problems, and we have experienced more love, fear, hope, and change than we have any other year. So I feel like it's important for not only me, but for my family, to set some goals for the upcoming year.

My New Year Resolutions:

  • Enhance my relationship with the Lord. This year was the best year for us, but it was also the hardest. I found myself asking "Why?" a lot, and fearing the future more than I should. I used to read my Bible every morning, and I did for a while after L was born. But when her health problems began, I was very hard to pick up my Bible and read when I was trying to calm a pained baby. So I began hurrying my prayers, but then in return, getting upset when I didn't feel as if He were here helping me. It took a deep realization that He wasn't drifting from me, I was drifting from Him. He will never leave, and I had to remember that on a daily basis. It is a resolution for me in this upcoming year to grow closer to him every day of the year.
  • Be the best wife and mother I can be. I will strive every day to be the best wife I can be to K and be the best mother I can be to L. They deserve all of that and more. I am so blessed to be a wife and mother and I will never take it for granted! 
  • Love myself the way I am (and the way I look). It's no secret that pregnancy is hard on your body. You gain weight in places you didn't even know existed, your bone structure changes so you are able to push out a sweet baby, stretch marks become a part of your body, and your body is just different. I have struggled with my body image immensely for as long as I can remember, but I want this year to be different. I want to love my body the way it is because even though it is different, it's beautiful in the ways that it's different. It carried and birthed a sweet baby girl, and I don't want to hate it because it shows that journey. 
  • Stop caring about what other people think. I feel like this is a hard one for a lot of people, and I will be the first to admit that it's extremely hard for me. I always fear that I won't be good enough for those around me, that they won't like me if I'm "me". But who said that I had to be "good enough" for all those around me? The only One I need to be concerned about how He thinks of me is the Lord, and that's it. I'm not living my life for every one else, and it's as simple as that.
  • Enjoy every day. We have had some rough days in 2015. Days that I thought we would never get through. I found myself wishing for the next day, the next Friday, the next weekend. But in that wishing, I was wishing days away that were so special. Days spent with my daughter, days spent with my husband, days that are gifted to us from the Lord. No matter how hard the day is, I will enjoy it, treasure it, and love it because that's one more day I have been blessed with.
  • LOVE. I spent a lot of this year working on love, but I want to continue it into 2016. I will love all of those around me, because that is what our Heavenly Father has commanded us to do. The more I love, the more love I bring into our lives and the lives of those around us.
I will probably come up with a resolution or two after the New Year starts, but these are the ones that I'm going to start the New Year off with. I'm so excited to start this New Year with my family, and I can't wait to see what it brings!

What are your New Year Resolutions?

{If I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. -1 Corinthians 13:2.}

xoxo, Brandi

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

daily thoughts as a mom

My mind set is very extremely different now as a mom compared to before our baby was even though of. It's nothing out of the ordinary to sing about changing a diaper or talking to my husband about baby poop. I laugh out loud to some of the thoughts that go through my head as a momma.
Here are just some of my daily thoughts that run through my head as a mom:

How long has it been since I’ve washed my hair? Dry shampoo = life saver.

What is that? Poop? Spit up? Drool? Let’s be honest. Does it really matter anymore?

Did I grab the diaper bag? Did I grab the pacifier? Let’s grab some extra clothes, too. Oh, probably another burp rag. Some socks, too, just in case. Water bottle is important. Heck, let’s just take the whole fridge. You never know when you might need that.

How many hours of sleep did I get last night? This week? You should probably just not ask that question. The answer gets depressing after a while.

When’s the last time I ate? Probably should just stop asking that one, too.

I wonder what phenomenon that dads having running through their bodies that they can sleep through that crying. I wonder if a nice cold bucket of ice water would wake him up.

I swear we just trimmed your nails. Seriously, how do baby nails get so long so quick? 

I should probably go check on the (sleeping) baby. Even though it's probably only been five minutes.

Maybe I will get ready today! I’ll do my hair and put on a nice outfit! Haha. Hahaha. Hahahahahahahahaha.

Mom bun for the win today everyday!

But my most favorite thought of all....
I never knew my heart could hold so much love.

{Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. -Proverbs 31:30.}

xoxo, Brandi

Sunday, December 20, 2015

moms | stop judging each other

The definition of the word “Mom”, as told by the Urban Dictionary, is as follows:

The woman who loves you unconditionally from birth, the one who puts her kids before herself, and the one you can always count on above everyone else.

This definition does not read:

The woman who loves you unconditionally from birth, the one who puts her kids before herself, and the one you can always count on above everyone else…but only if she gave birth naturally/had an epidural, breastfed/formula fed, used disposable diapers/used cloth diapers, and so on and so forth.

Why are we, as mothers, judging other mothers so harshly? You, as a mother, understand first and foremost how difficult being a mother can be. Why are we making it even harder by throwing our opinions like blades at other mothers?

If you had a natural labor, good for you.
If you had an epidural, good for you.
If you had a cesarean, good for you.

We all gave birth to a beautiful baby. You are no less of a mother no matter how it happened.

If you breastfeed, good for you.
If you pump and feed your baby breastmilk, good for you.
If you formula feed, good for you.
If you do a mix of all three, good for you.

You are feeding your baby and that means you are being a good mother.

If you breastfeed in public, good for you.
If you don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding in public, good for you.
If you breastfeed covered up in public, good for you.
If you pump before you go out and bottle feed your baby in public, good for you.
If you give your baby formula in a bottle in public, good for you.

You are feeding your baby and that means you are being a good mother.

If you use disposable diapers, good for you.
If you use cloth diapers, good for you.

If you have something covering up that baby’s bottom, then you are doing just fine.

If you co-sleep with your baby, good for you.
If your baby sleeps in your room in their own space, good for you.
If your baby sleeps in their crib in their own room, good for you.

You are doing what is right for your family, and that’s okay.

This list could seriously go on and on... and on and on.
Some mothers are physically not able to breastfeed, for one reason or another. Some babies don’t sleep if they are in the same bed as their parents; some babies don’t sleep if they aren’t in the same bed as their parents. Some moms have to go back to work and pump to feed their baby. Some parents can’t afford disposable diapers. Some mothers had to get an epidural for medical reasons; some mothers had to get a cesearen for medical reasons; some mothers just simply wanted an epidural.

And it’s none of your darn business. 
You are no better or no less than a mother for any of these reasons (and more).

It really is just as simple as this:

Moms, stop judging each other. Your family = your decision. Not your family = not your decision.

Every time you feel a judgment coming on, take a deep breath, and transform that judgment into love because we all could use a little more love as we do the most difficult and beautiful job in the world.

{Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgement you pronounce, you will be judged, and with the measure you use it, will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. -Matthew 7:1-5.}

xoxo, Brandi

Friday, December 18, 2015

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Christmas is by far my favorite holiday to decorate for. Our entire attic is filled with Christmas decorations (which hubby loves to take down every year).

I didn't decorate as much as a usually do because it proved quite hard to do with a new baby. But I still love it, nonetheless.


I'm obsessed with this red glitter wreath hanger. I found it on clearance for $1 last year!

Frosty the Steelman....

I found this gorgeous gold snowflake at Hobby Lobby last year on clearance for 75 cents. #win.

Living room:

I'm so excited to use this plate (Target $1 section) with L when she gets older. I think it's just so cute and fun. Right now it's just setting out because if it doesn't have to do with milk or cuddles, L isn't interested.

Is it a mug, or a candy holder? We will never know.

I'm obsessed with these glitter ornaments. Again, The Holy Grail Store, Target, $1. 

{When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. -Matthew 2:10}

xoxo, Brandi

Thursday, December 10, 2015

why I ask for prayers on facebook

Whenever we have had a trying or difficult situation, I have been know to post a status, asking for prayers. I have often times wondered if people have gotten annoyed when I ask for prayers on Facebook. Maybe they think I’m doing it for attention or that I’m being needy.
But I can assure that this is far from the truth. I do not ask for prayers on Facebook to get attention; I ask for prayers on Facebook for one simple reason: Prayer is powerful. As mere human beings, prayer is one of the strongest tools we have to connect to our Heavenly Father, as He listens to every word we say and watches over every part of our lives.
There are many verses and passages in the Bible that state that prayer is powerful and much needed in our lives:

Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath. -Psalm 116:2.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. -Matthew 7:7.

This is what the Lord says: I have heard your prayer and I will heal you. -2 Kings 20:5.

There are also many verses and passages in the Bible that state that we must pray for each other:

Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you many be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. -James 5:16.

I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding. -Philippians 1:9.

When I post a status asking for a prayer, even if only one person responds, I know that that is one more person that is calling out to God for our sake and praying for us in their own way. That is one more prayer, one more powerful prayer. 
When I am scrolling through social media and I see that someone is going through a hard time or asking for a prayer, I immediately stop and pray for them and their situation because that is one more prayer, one more powerful prayer.

So yes, I may annoy a couple people by asking for prayers, but I also reach out in a humble manner to those who are willing, and ask for that one more powerful prayer because every prayer matters.

{For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. -Matthew 18:20.}

xoxo, Brandi

Saturday, December 5, 2015

favorite lactation recipes | (so far)

I absolutely love breastfeeding, but it hasn’t been without its challenges. You can read some inspiration about struggles with breastfeeding here.

One challenge of mine was been suffering from low milk supply when L had a medical condition that prevented her from breastfeeding for a little while. I was trying to pump while in the hospital with her, but that was much easier said than done.

When we got home, I noticed that I had a dip in my milk supply and I was desperate to get it back up since we started breastfeeding again. I started researching online ways to boost my milk, and I was a little skeptical when I saw the recipes to help boost milk supply. But I was desperate, and what’ll you know: it worked.

So to any mommas suffering from low milk supply, you should really try out these recipes and see if they help you as much as they helped me!

Lactation Brownies: You can’t taste anything but the brownie and I love that! I found out that they stick really bad, even with spraying the pan. So you might want to use foil on your pan to prevent sticking!
I found the recipe on this blog.

Energy bites: I made these bites both for energy + for breastfeeding. You could throw a little bit of brewer's yeast in these, or just leave them how they are. The oats and flax seed are very beneficial for lactation. You can find that recipe here.

Overnight oats: Oatmeal does wonders to boost supply, but the real kind works much better than instant. I’m not a huge fan of plain homemade oatmeal, so I tried overnight oats for breakfast and looooved them! Just pop them in the fridge the night before and boom, breakfast and boob milk all in one.
This blog has seven different kinds that are all yummy! 

Brewer’s yeast: I started just throwing this stuff in everything that I could mix it in. Most of the time I can barely taste it! I bought my brewer’s yeast here.

Water: Don’t forget to drink water momma’s! Don’t drink past your thirst level but be vigilant to drink when you are thirsty. It makes a big difference!

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more lactation recipes in the comments below!

xoxo, Brandi

Thursday, December 3, 2015

L | two months!

Happy Thursday, loves!
We are almost to the weekend! This week has been dragging by for me. Has it for you?! Maybe it’s just me. Haha.

As of Thanksgiving (I’ll get on track with these someday. Maybe.) L turned 2 months! My oh my where does time go?!

Weight: 8 pounds 4 ounces. She’s such a little peanut! (She was a preemie, by the way. I feed her. A lot. I promise.)

Height: 21.5 inches. She’s going to be a shortie just like her momma & daddy!

Loves: water noises, car rides, bath time, being worn on momma (as in baby wearing), listening to mommy and daddy talk to her, her swing, playing with her hair, listening to The Piano Guys (future musician, maybe?), eating, and when momma and daddy tickle and play with her.

Hates: diaper changes, getting dressed, hiccups (seriously though, she yells at them. Cutest thing ever.), being put down, and naps (who hates naps?! Silly girl.).

Is able to: hold her head up for a really long time, roll to her side, grasp onto anything & everything, smile, coo, giggle, & squeal.

{You are so precious to me, sweet as can be, baby of mine.}

xoxo, Brandi

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

five reasons | why I got married young

There is definitely a new "normal" in today's society about how young is too young to get married. When I got engaged at 19 and married at 20, I heard just as many negative comments as I heard positive.

“Are you pregnant?” “You have your whole life to get married.” “Are you sure he’s the one?” “You’re too young to know what love is.”
and so on and so forth.

So, to all you negative Nancy’s who shame couples about getting married young, this is why I got married so young:

1.) We felt led by the Lord to do so. And I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t question His direction.

2.) Because even though we were only in our early 20’s, that didn’t mean we didn’t know what love was and that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.

3.) We found our “soul mate” early in life, and there’s no shame in that.

4.) Despite what everyone said, we knew what we were doing to the best of our ability. We didn’t “jump” into anything and we prepared ourselves as best we could to be a married couple. We prayed and talked long and hard before tying the knot. We didn’t just hop in the car, drive to Vegas, and say “I do” in front of Elvis (although I do not judge those who chose to do that). 

5.) Marriage still has the same definition at 20 as it does at 40. Whether you get married at 20 or 40, marriage is still something new to those who have never been married. Those who get married at 40 still get hit with the hardships of marriage, just as those who get married at 20. We just found out earlier in our lives.

Getting married young isn’t for everyone, and we’ve endured hardships, just the same as everyone, but there hasn't been one day that has gone by that I have regretted getting married as young as I did. Couples who marry at 50 may divorce, and those who get married at 20 may not. It’s not your age that defines your marriage, it’s the effort that you put into it, no matter what your age. 

{So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. -Matthew 19:6}

xoxo, Brandi