Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hold Your Peace.

Something that is big to me is wedding vows. We didn't write our own (although I love when people write their own, I totally cry every time). For the reasons that, I was so nervous and excited that I knew I would need to just repeat after the pastor and the tradition vows I think say exactly what needs to be said. 

Today, and actually the past few months I've been thinking of wedding vows. And I have been thinking of family. It could be my brothers wedding that is bringing up thoughts and memories or it could just be that I'm hurt from the broken vows on my side of the family. 

When Caleb and I got married, he also married my family and I his family. His parents became my parents and my parents became his parents. We became one in Christ which means we take each other's families as our own. 

I feel very accepted into my new family. I feel like I can be myself and rely and trust my new family. I feel like they would fight for me and that they would fight for my marriage. They would fight for the vow we made in Christ and in front of all our family and friends. 

But why is that not happening in today's culture? Why are we not fighting for marriage? Why when things get hard to people they find a way out? This very much angers me!

My marriage is not perfect. I learn every day what I can do or should do to be better. I feel like I can only do more to be a Proverbs 31 wife, which is my goal. I'm not perfect and I'm very thankful Caleb has patience and accepts my flaws and puts up with my craziness. 

And although my marriage isn't perfect, it is good! It's awesome, it's fun, it's nice, it's real, and it's also hard! But here's the deal..... I won't leave when it's hard. 

Marriage is hard. Of course it's hard! Marriage is of God and what does Satan want? To destroy all of Gods beautiful and holy creations. God made marriage and designed it to be beautiful and a way to draw closer to God. It's at the top of Satans list to tear down, put in temptations and lies and ultimately leave the marriage in devastation. And that's why we need to be rooted in God and learn how to communicate better and be selfless always. 

But just because something's hard... Doesn't mean you get to peace out on your vows. 

Alright... So it's this huge trend now days to peace out on your vows. See ya later through sickness and health. Hasta la vista through tough times and great times. Who cares about richer and poorer, because let's be real if you're going to get divorced you better have some money or you're going to be poor....

But what about our family? The ones that watched us say our vows. The ones that should be championing us in the dark times of marriage. In the hurt and brokenness. In the times we can't stop crying over something. Where is the family to encourage us and take their new daughter or new son and pray for them and still love them. Why do the families peace out also?

I'm actually really hurt by this! Watching my parents has been tough, but watching my extended family has made my blood boil. 

Why are families so quick to take sides and play games off what one person says? Why are families so quick to cheer on the word divorce instead of encourage the words love and marriage? 

I could really go on about this subject and talk your ear off, but instead I'll leave you with my heart. 

If you are a family member of a couple that's having a hard time, please encourage them. Please love them. Please be the bigger person and take each of them individually, and love on them. Don't say spiteful things about the others, and if there is children involved take an extra minute before you speak and remember that it doesn't matter the age of the kids, they don't want to hear negative things about their parents. 

Be awesome family and friends. When you witness those wedding vows, if you didn't speak when the pastor said, "speak now or forever hold your peace", then you FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE. It's not your place to speak, it's your place to pray and encourage and love. 

Together we can prove that 50% of marriages don't end in divorce. We just really need community to come around and speak wisdom and truth into us. Hold us accountable. Celebrate in victories and hold our hands in trials. 

And if you happen to be one of my family and friends that have done this, just be aware for the future. If another marriage you see is falling apart, come along side them and run with them in encouragement and love. Don't consistently push the word divorce and the idea that life is so much better single. From my view it's not. Let's allow God to bring beauty from ashes. I mean, what would Jesus do? 


This was not written for those men and women that are in abusive relationships or a marriage that if you feel scared or unsafe. For anyone in that spot I encourage you talk to your pastor and seek guidance. This was written from my personal story and heart. For those that just "aren't in love anymore". 

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Have you ever felt so Helpless in life? That there is nothing you can do to fix a situation or problem? You can’t lift up a person and make them feel better, you can’t answer your best friends, “why did this happen to me” question, you can’t make the hurt go away, you’re helpless.

The last few weeks I have felt Helpless.

It’s not the first time I have felt Helpless.
I felt Helpless when I found out about sex trafficking and all the humans in slavery. 
I felt Helpless when I watched the love of my life fly off in an emergency helicopter.
I felt Helpless when he was laying in a hospital bed with a tube in his brain.
I felt Helpless when he wasn't awake yet after having major brain surgery.
I felt Helpless when he realized he was paralyzed on one side of his body.
I felt Helpless when my best friends dad committed suicide.
I felt Helpless when I couldn't take away her pain.
I felt Helpless when I didn’t even have words to comfort her.
I felt Helpless when my dad left my family.
I felt Helpless when my entire family fell apart.
I felt Helpless when Nathan started teething and his painful cry hurt my heart.
I felt Helpless when Nathan got his first fever and I could only give him Tylenol.
I felt Helpless when Nathan got crazy hives.

This season of feeling Helpless is a little different.

I have been reminded that I'm not Helpless.

It might sound super silly and super easy, but its the small reminder that I have Christ Jesus living inside me. Although I may not be able to take away the pain of someone I love and I may not have the correct words and answers, I do have Jesus, and Jesus can do ALL things.

This was a good reminder tonight.

I was thinking of my current situation and what I could do to fix it. Then I came across the verse,

“The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.”
Psalm 34:17 NLT

That got me thinking of how I have been responding to feeling Helpless. I have this routine when I start to feel Helpless. 
First I panic for a hot minute and then go in a little spiral downward because I am not in control of the situation. I can't do anything, so I try to find out if that is true and what I can do. 
So second I pray and give it to Jesus, but more prayers is better than one prayer, so I then need to ask my friends and family to pray for it also. 
Then lastly, I try to find out what God wants me to do in the situation. I want him to use me right away so the problem or situation can be fixed as soon as possible. Lets get back to the normal swing of life and not have a feeling of Helplessness over us. 
(Yes I know my process is not awesome and it is something I am working on personally. Not to panic and worry and instead be calm.) 

But this verse made me sit back.
God works in people when they are at a low. He teaches when people are sad, mad, frustrated, depressed, lonely, unsure, confused, and hurt. He is able to come in and give them a hug and really show his nurturing fatherly heart. 

Who am I to try and rush his process?

I don't know what he wants to teach in these moments of Helplessness. I don't know what my friends and family really need to hear. I don't know when someone should be sick and when someone should be healed. I don't know a lot of things. And lets be real, I like having control and I like knowing things.

So what I learned or was reminded tonight was that life is a journey. We all have a story and we all have hard times. We might not know what the person sitting next to us is feeling, or the man in front of us in the line at Target is going through right now, but God does. And he is in control and he knows all things.
Praying IS enough. And my prayer is heard. My timing of when my answer should arrive is not the same of Gods timing, and I need to remember thats okay. I don't need to be a frazzled stress ball pacing down my hall way. 

“I cried out to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy mountain.”
Psalm 3:4 NLT

Tonight I was feeling very Helpless. I journaled and wrote out prayers and listened to Hillsong United. I want these trails to go away. I want these hours of hurt and heartache to pass quickly. I was reminded that God knows what he's doing. He hears me. He sees me. He knows the desires my heart and what I would like him to do. But I only see this puzzle piece, and I have no idea where this puzzel piece fits into his grand puzzle masterpiece.

Wherever life has you right now, I hope it's on a high with lots of laughter and love, but if it's not and you're feeling Helpless, know you don't have to be. God has you. He has a plan for what is going on. Boy do I wish I had the answers for you, but thankfully our ALL KNOWING GOD does. He hears your prayers friend! He sees you! He won't abandon you! 


Helpless image from ""
Verse image from Bible App,

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Goodbye East Bay!

The season of living in the Bay Area has come to an end. It was a wild twenty-five fast months. 
Caleb graduated college and  accepted an amazing job offer. We waited a long time to find out where we were going to be located. It was a little over a month till he started and we had to move that we found out where his job was located at. We jumped in the car and rented the first apartment that accepted us in the good ol' East Bay. 
That first summer was so busy, we were gone for most of it. At the very end of the summer we found out that God had a miracle on the way for us. 

I didn't transfer jobs, or look for a job when we moved. I don't know if people agreed with that decision, but I found it pointless to get a new job only to leave in nine months when my baby came. 
So I took time to myself that season of pregnancy. Really listening to my body if I needed to rest, really listening to my heart if I needed to journal, really listening to Jesus about this new season of becoming a mom. 

I fell in love with my doctors, and the healthcare around me. I feel so blessed to experience all that I did. 

Caleb and I went on a date night every Friday night because we knew life was changing with a baby coming! I learned to cook more meals and experimented with new foods. We came up with traditions that we wanted for our family and for the first time spent Christmas morning all to ourselves. We were isolated from family, and I really enjoyed getting to have my husband all to myself and not sharing him with family and friends all the time. There wasn't any expectations of us being at a gathering or social event because we lived to far away. We really got to grow closer to each other. 

Nathan came along and within his first three weeks of life we moved to a bigger place. 
I got to set up a nursery while holding him. I got to decorate the walls with family pictures. I got to invite people over to meet our son. 

Nathan took his first bath in a bathtub in that bathroom. He ate his first foods in that kitchen. He threw his first fit in that family room. He rolled over and crawled on that carpet. He took his first steps across that family room floor. 
There's a lot of memories in this little condo. 
A lot of "firsts" happened here.  
Every week we went to Target, and the Park, to Moms Group and random little errands. 

Caleb lived most of his time in the Bay at work, on BART, or in the car going to and from work. But I lived every day in these towns; Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, and Concord. This has been my home for the past 25 months. I learned back roads and short cuts. I learned that it takes a half hour to go 5 miles. I learned there's only one Starbucks with a drive thru in the whole area! I learned that people aren't so nice. I learned that everything cost more. Everything. I learned that to go into the city and leave the Area you have to pay 5$. I learned that drivers are crazy and yell at me for stopping at a yellow light. I learned that after a red light there will be at least three cars to run the red light (so don't go as soon as it turns green). And as my husband says, BMW drivers around here... Well watch out for them!!! 
Not everything here was perfect, and good, but a lot of freedom, love, bonding, growing up, crying, sporting events and walks happened here. 

I was terrified to move here. A handful of days were really hard. But to think of leaving everything that happened in our lives here makes my jaw quiver. I will miss a lot. Especially the perfect weather every day. 
I am excited for a new season. A cheaper area. New memories and new friends. I have no idea what's in store for us! 
But that excitement has been put on hold as I am grieving leaving an area that I really grew in. 
Countless times I was told I wasn't getting pregnant because of my stress level in Redding. We move, and seven weeks later I was pregnant! That excitement and news really tied my heart to this area. 
To my closest friends,
     I have complained and vented about life here and how ridiculously expensive it is to live here, but as I am spending my second to last night here, rocking in the rocking chair that put my baby to sleep every night, I'm in tears. 

East Bay, you will always have a part of my heart. You took such great care of me and my family. You made us grow in so many areas and I am truly grateful and even surprised that I'm feeling this sadness in my heart. We knew this wasn't our home forever. We guessed at least five years, but two is all we had and I'm grateful for every day. 


Sunday, July 19, 2015

.Birthday Time.

It's my last day being 25. A good ol' quarter of a century, my mid-twenties, not having to be in my upper twenties lol. 

I love my birthday. Every year I get so excited and have a countdown. I love my half birthday because it means my birthday is even closer! I love picking where I eat dinner and know that no one will complain about my choice. I love my pink birthday cake. I love getting my free Starbucks. I love being sang "Happy Birthday"!

This year I've had so many thoughts about my birthday that I've never had before. Maybe it's because tomorrow I will be in my "upper twenties" or maybe it's because my life has been radically changed by becoming a mom that I view things differently. 

Every time this year I was asked "what [I] want for my birthday" I would stumble. I feel so rich. I have an incredible life and I am so richly blessed. 

I find myself praying "thank you" more than praying for "please help me with such and such". 
Life is so special. And I love every year getting to celebrate that I am still on earth and get to live another day. 

Growing up birthdays were a selfish day that I knew I would get whatever I wanted, but this year I feel like I have everything I've ever wanted and none of it is materialistic. My dreams have all come true, and now I just get to live in them every day. 

I feel so incredibly thankful this year. So incredibly blessed, rich, and full. 
Thank you Jesus for my life. I pray I continue to have an attitude of appreciation. 


Thursday, April 30, 2015

.Labor Part 2.

We get to the hospital after I call my doctor at 6:00am Friday May 1, 2014. 
I remember the drive and walk up to the hospital. I called Brit because she was in town but she didn't answer. I called my mom when we arrived. 
We signed the papers and I got to go into room 2! My favorite number. 
I got dressed in their robe and a nurse checked me out. I hadn't slept all night from being so excited so I just wanted to lay down. 
They hooked me all up and I was all set. 
Brit and Kyle came in. Caleb wanted to take pictures but when I'm feeling giant, fat, and ready to hold my baby, I do not want to take a picture smiling looking at an angle to show my 58 chins! Let's be honest!
Laying in that bed was so relaxing. Just the comfort of knowing pregnancy was about to be over (I didn't love being pregnant). My parents came in, Caleb's brother and my sister-in-law came in. That was actually the only time I got mad! The three of them thought it was okay to bring in-n-out into my room when I'm not aloud to eat! We all know how much I love my #3 with no onions and a dr. Pepper, and I can't have any... There's a waiting room for you guys to stuff your faces! 
Other than that, I didn't want the TV on, I just wanted to relax. Poor Caleb was probably bored out of his mind! 
Around noon is when my doctor came in. Doctor Senior. She was the dr I had for my very first appointment. She's very good and very nice. 
I've had major anxiety about labor. My doctor new about this anxiety and told me that she saw the baby coming out quickly so I should consider the epidural. The epidural would calm me down so that I didn't freak out from my anxiety. My nurse was so for me and told me that if I don't want to, then I shouldn't. I looked at caleb and he said, "I think you should!" So I ask to talk to the anesthesiologist to find out if I needed to know anything serious. The man came in. I was at five centimeters and we were cracking jokes! He was impressed by my lack of screaming and pain which made me feel very good! 
After talking to the anesthesiologist and picking his brain, caleb and I decided to do the epidural. Well that was the best thing! I almost got to take a nap!! I got to relax the last couple hours of being pregnant. I just felt so at peace and was able to enjoy and soak in the whole experience, and I wasn't drugged or high as I have heard, I was numb on my lower body people! Learn about what you are talking about! 
My doctor kept coming in to check Nathan. She was worried that the cord was around his neck so she had a special team come in just in case. She told me at 4:00pm I would start pushing. Their was a clock on the wall I was staring at. That was about an hour. So I just took that last hour and rested. I would have to flip side to side because the epidural was not working on my left side. So I could feel everything on my left side and minimal on my right side. 
My doctor comes in and tells me what to do and how to push and we start. 
Caleb was on my left side. Poor guy. That was where I felt everything and his touch on my foot seemed to make the pain worse! He was trying to help so much and my nurse I think thought I was a pro because she would walk around and do something then come back when I told her I was having a contraction. 
I had so many nurses and they were all so great! 
My doctor would come in and check here and there but Nathan didn't want to come out. Every contraction was three pushes. Every push was two steps forward one step back with him. I remember feeling like I was going to pass out. I was so tired. 
Then my doctor came in and got all dressed up even more than she already was. I have no idea what time this was, but had to be around 6:00pm. Before I knew it she looked at caleb and told him to go get our camera. Looked at me and told me to push and I did, and there came Nathan. 
7lbs 11ounces 21.5 in
Beautiful cry. 
They cleaned him up, and laid him on my chest where I proceeded to cry. It was the most magical moment of my life! 
Those two and a half hours flew by! I love my labor and the excitement and peace I had! I loved the hospital and everyone that worked there. It was such a wonderful day and I wouldn't change one thing about it!! 

Happy birthday baby boy! Thank you for giving me this incredible story and journey. 


.Labor Part 1.

April 30, 2014

It's Wednesday. 

Going to my 40 week checkup at 39 weeks, 6 days. 
Caleb always texts me when he's on his way home to make it to the doctors office. 
I haven't heard from him in over an hour which is not a good sign. He's never late and hasn't missed an appointment. 
Something must have come up at work so I need to just go alone. 
I'm nervous, this could be the last doctors appointment before I meet my son! They can give me great news or they can tell me it's not looking like labor will happen for me this weekend. 
I show up to the office and have five missed calls and two texts from caleb saying he forgot and is on his way. He wants me to ask if they can push my appointment back so he can make it. 
So I ask. 
The nurse is so nice and says she will talk to the doctor. 
They end up making me the last appointment. So I wait for almost an hour but Caleb ends up making it! 
We have Dr. V, which out of the four doctors that I have she is my favorite. 
She checks the baby and checks me. Tells me tips on how to start labor, like pushing on certain pressure points on my shoulders, back, and feet. Then she tells me she can swipe my membrane and there is a 50% chance it will start labor. So I ask her more questions about it and agree to have it done. I'm so ready to not be pregnant any more and my due date is tomorrow!!!
I lay down and she tells me it's okay if I cry most women do. Well I don't. I don't know if I was so focused on starting labor or if I have a higher pain tolerance than I thought! 
She tells me she sees me going into labor and to rest when I get home. 

We go home and Brit and Kyle are waiting for us. I had some cramps from the doctors so I was on the phone telling my mom about it. Brit and Kyle were staying in town for the weekend just in case my baby came around his due date. They also might help us move into our new place if we get bored just sitting around. 
I get off the phone with my mom and we head inside with Kyle and Brit. Brit passed her test today, so she is now a certified Esthetician!!! She got her license with her picture on it! 
Britnie is one of the strongest people I know. It must have been all that gymnastics in her. So she sits on the couch and I on the floor and pushes on the pressure points that my doctor told me about. I don't remember what we were all talking about but it was a good afternoon. 
Kyle and Brit leave around 11, Caleb goes to bed because he had work in the morning and I am a night owl that cannot get comfortable so I just hung out for a little bit. Around midnight I go lay down. 
12:59 - strong cramp. Is that a contraction? I get really bad cramps so I don't have anything to compare what a contraction is. So I open my notes app and write the time. 
All cramps but very consistent in their timing. I start texting Sarah during all this because she has a newborn and is up all night. Which for me was nice to have someone to talk to!! 
3:08 - that's a contraction! You just know!
(All the times from 12:59 till 6a are written on a piece of paper in my memory book)
Contractions weren't super painful. I had them at least every five min if not closer for over three hours. I wasn't on the floor in pain and my water didn't break so I didn't think I needed to wake up caleb. I laid on the couch and watched tv
5:00am!- people are awake!! I called my mom and told her all my times. She said I'm in labor and to go to the hospital. But I didn't want to be sent home so I told her I'll wait till caleb gets up at 5:30. She told me to take a nice shower and get ready to leave. 
Caleb's alarm goes off and I'm so excited!! He opens the bedroom door and I run up to him, "You're not going to work today! You're having a baby!!" He is taken back and ask if we need to leave. I told him to take a shower and we have to take my 40 week weekly picture and I want to put mascara on. 


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What I Have Learned As A Mom. Pt. 3

.Six More Things I've Learned. 

1. I've learned so much more about Mary. 

Mary is the virgin who gave birth to a King. I know the story in the Bible, I have thought how I would feel being in her shoes as a pregnant virgin. What I never had until I became a mom was the connection with Mary of being a mother.
There is a passion that comes when you deliver your baby. This overwhelming love and protective instinct. 
Although the Bible does not talk about the details in Mary's pregnancy, I've just imagined what life was like for her. 
Mary carried Jesus in her tummy, felt his kicks and maybe some hiccups, and gave birth to him. She had that overwhelming love for him. She watched as he rolled over and held him as his first tooth came in. He was her baby and she knew she would have to give him up. 
Her son died. She watched him grow up and never sin and then watched others be so hurtful and cruel to him. That had to have broke her heart. 
I have learned so much about Mary and what type of woman she was. I would hate to see a cut knee on Nathan and she had to see her son be tortured. How absolutely terrible! 
I have a new perspective on how strong, loyal, fierce, obedient, loving, and caring Mary was. 

2. The fear in love. 

I feel like I should have already known this from having my husband be told he shouldn't be alive at 21. When you love someone, the idea of them being gone is such a painful thought. I remember nights of crying when Caleb was in the hospital. I would give anything to trade places with him, or I would do anything just to have him better. There was fear there. 
Now I'm a mom. 
This fear has hit me so hard. 
What if I lost Nathan?
When Nathan was 5 days old I freaked out that he had a cold sore (which he didn't) and an article on Google told me a baby died at 11 days old from a cold sore. 
I became a hot mess and hysterical. 
Caleb told me to go take a nap and calm down because I was so tired and not thinking correctly, and my mom told me it was going to be fine because it was just a sore from breastfeeding. 
Well they should have told me about that sore!!
I just remember holding Nathan and praying that God would give me more than 11 days with him. I had this fear that he would be taken from me to soon and I couldn't imagine my life without him. 
As months went by, Ebola became a topic in our country. We were no where near anyone that could have had Ebola but I took Nathan's temperature every day to make sure he didn't have a fever, which was the first sign of Ebola, or at least that's what GMA told me. 
I had to do everything in my power to make sure he didn't get sick or hurt. 
So much fear. 
Philippians 4:6-7
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for what He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus" (NLT). 
Fear is not of Jesus. It's not welcome in my home, in my mind, or in my heart. But what I have learned is fear is the devils strongest weapon against me since I have become a mom. 
I fight fear daily. 

3. I will never be enough for my kids

I am only human. 
I am not physically strong, I mean I need help opening a pickle jar. 
I am not invincible. 
I cannot protect myself from everything, therefore I cannot protect my baby from everything. 
I have learned that I am not enough. 
If I have this pressure on myself to be all that my child needs then I will fail every time. 
God knows what Nathan needs right now and what he will need in the future. God can protect Nathan, heal him, keep him safe, and never fail. I have to give up that control that I am all my child needs. 

4. I know my child the best

Although I will never be enough, I do know my child the best. 
Doctors can tell me something, friends and family can tell me something else, but in the end I know what's best and know him the best. 
The gut feeling of a maternal instinct is amazing. 
Becoming a mom I was so nervous where to put the baby when I had to go to the restroom, then my baby born and I knew what to do. 
I still have questions and I don't admit I know everything, but when it comes to my child, I know what he needs when he makes a certain face, and when he needs a nap by a certain sound. I know him the best and I take that confidence when others come in and want to tell me something different. 

Along with knowing your child the best comes another thing I've really learned, 

5. EVERY kid is different. Every kid. 

Comparing is the thief of joy. 
When every kid is different then why are you comparing them? We are unique individuals from the second we are created. Some babies move like crazy in the womb. Others are more relaxed. Some have major hiccups, others like to stretch out on one side.
We are different from the moment we are created. 
It's so hard when you are a new mom with lots of other new moms. Especially on social media. 
You see their kid doing something and wonder why yours isn't. You look at the age or the size or what they are learning or what they are eating. You are a new mom so you are trying your best to be the best for your precious baby, and comparing can take over like wild fire. 
Put that fire out right away. 
You cannot compare. 
Each child develops on his or her own time line. I think it is great that we now have doctors and researchers to give us a timeline of when your baby should start to eat solids or wave good-bye, but it is okay if your baby is at a different speed. Do not compare to other babies. 
Comparing steals joy, and in this short time you want to keep all the joy that babies bring. 

Which leads me to another topic, 

6. Time flies

Remember sitting in first period waiting for the final bell to ring and go home? Man how time moved so slowly. 
Well now I am a mom and, BAM! Just in a blink of an eye I have an 11 month old. 
Wasn't he just born?
Wasn't I just crying because I heard him cry for the first time?
Didn't I just walk in the room to find him in a different spot and had missed him rolling over for the first time? 
Didn't he just crawl?
Now he's running and saying words. 
How did time go so quickly? 
I have learned how fast a day goes. And some days I take it minute by minute (those meltdown days where I count to ten, a lot). But in general time flies. 
Thank goodness for my handy phone that I can record and capture Nathan at any point of any day. Then I have those memories stored. 
Those first giggles and sounds
Those first steps and first foods. 

Time flies.