Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A lesson in hope.

There was a homeless man today on the side of the road as I was leaving Target. He carried with him a sign that read something to the extent of " Traveling, Homeless, any little thing helps.". I saw him and immediately my heart went out. Alot of people don't believe in giving money to the homeless for many different reasons, and that's fine. I've been in big cities before where homeless people pester you. I've had a man in Chicago try to sell me out of date newspapers, and a man in New York City ask me for food, but there was something about this man today that made me feel something.

Jon was in the back seat with Izzy, so I asked him if it was ok that I give the man a couple dollars. He said that was fine, so I rolled my window down and the man walked over to the car as if he just knew. I handed him the two dollars I had in my wallet, and before I could say anything the man said "Thank you so much, I appreciate it, and God bless you." all I could say was you're welcome.

I learned two things from this moment. One, you should always take the time to say what you feel you should say, and two, that sometimes there are people in this world who just need to be given a little hope in their lives. Before he walked up, I had wanted to say God bless, because I meant it. But when he got to the window I couldn't get the words out. Why? I have no idea, maybe it was the devil holding my tongue, or maybe I was just surprised by his kindness. But I still want to find that man and let him know I want God to bless him, and help him reach his full potential in life. I wanted to tell that man to hold his head high and never loose his faith in God. I wanted to say that God could help him thru anything, and keep him out of the devils hands.

In all honesty would I have told him all of that? No. But the least I could have done would have been to return a simple God bless. The whole situation made me think, how many times a day do we think about what we want to say to others, and we still don't say it for one reason or another? How many missed opportunities have I had to say something nice to my husband or my daughter? Tell the people you love, that you love them, give encouraging words of kindness, and don't put others down thru your words... that's just a few things that man taught me today. And I wish I could tell him thank you.

The other thing I couldn't help but think of was hope. How many times have I felt down in my life because I didn't feel like I had any hope? How awful must that man have felt begging for money, completely homeless with just the few items he could carry to his name? Now I know there are alot of people out there who look at this situation and say " He put himself where he is! He doesn't deserve help because he didn't work hard enough!". Well I'm sorry, but I know there are honest people out there who run on hard times. How many times have I been knocked to my knees and only by the grace of God and the love and help of those around me gotten thru?

Sure, the man could have used my money to go buy beer or drugs, or whatever. But I pray I helped him see for just a minute, that there are still people out here in this crazy world who believe in helping others. Did I need to give away those two dollars, no not really, my family (just like alot of families) is struggling to get by. But my family has a home, and each other. If I ever get too stingy to give two dollars to someone who is in that desperate of a situation, God be with me. I just wanted to give that man hope for a better tomorrow, or just a better night. Who knows where he is now, or what his life will become... but he helped me learn things about myself today. He helped me think about life lessons I want to teach my daughter, and lessons I need to remind myself of each and every day. If all that just cost me two dollars... I think I did ok.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Most nights before I go to bed, once the little one is down, and Jon has fallen asleep, I try to pick up the house a bit. The only problem with this is that it frustrates me to no end that my house is always a mess. I get flustered picking up clothes that couldn't make it to the hamper, and dishes that didn't get put into the dishwasher.

Tonight, however, was different. Tonight I realized just how truly blessed I am, and how easy it is to get caught up in life and forget to thank God for it all.

As I picked up Jons work clothes that he left in the floor, instead of getting angry, I thanked God for giving Jon a way to provide for our family. When I put the days dishes in the dishwasher, I thanked God for giving us food, and most importantly food for our daughter. Putting away the blanket and toys that always make their way to the middle of the living room floor, I thanked God for giving me a beautiful daughter who has the ability to play and laugh. Instead of feeling anxious about the mountain of laundry needing to be done, I just smiled because my family has nice things to wear. And as I was locking the doors, I realized I have everything I ever dreamed of having. I have a loving husband, a sweet baby girl, a house to call home, a huge family that loves me, and most importantly a God who loved me enough to lead me down the path to it all.

I know I'm counting my blessings when I go to bed tonight... don't we all have something to thank God for?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

To Mom, with love.

It wasn't until I had Izzy that I finally understood all the things my Mother tried to tell me over the years. The whole phrase "You'll understand one day when you have kids..." is so very true. So before I begin I want to say to my Mom, first thank you, and second, I'm sorry that sometimes I was difficult. We all look back wishing we only knew then what we know now. And as parents (like my Mom did) we want to be able to use our life experiences to try and teach our children what works and what doesn't. I understand now that she was only trying to make life easier on me, when at times, I just thought she was trying to run it. In some aspects, I probably should have let her :)

I see Izzy getting so big so fast, and I'm terrified. I look at my life and I see alot of good, but there has definitely been some bad choices. How in the world am I going to be able to let my little girl go out and make decisions on her own? Why can't I hold her hand all through life? Hopefully I will raise her to be strong, intelligent, kind, humorous, and most of all I hope she has the gumption to take on life. Everyone always wants what's best for their children, or atleast they should, but what happens when our best might not be what they think is? One day Izzy might make a choice that will break my heart... but that's part of it. Because while she is half me, and she did grow from me, she is her own person. Why wouldn't I want that? Years down the road when this time in our lives hits, it will be a whole lot harder for me to remember those last words. But I hope I can.

One thing my Mom always taught me was to be myself. And I have been a very independent person, I thank her for that. But I know now how hard that was for her, and how strong of a mother and woman she is for letting me make my own choices and live my life. I only hope that she knows that I love her dearly for letting me spread my wings and make something of my life in my own way. To alot of people my life may not add up to much... but it's more than I could have ever ask for. Sure sometimes there are rough spots and bumps, but another thing she also taught me was that she is always there. And I pray to God each night that Izzy will feel the same safe love that my Mother gave to me. There have been times when it felt like the whole world was out to get me, my beliefs, my wants, but I knew I could turn to Mom. And yes, we have had rough spots. But it has only glued us stronger.

When Isabella smiles at me, and her eyes get that shiny look of happiness and recognition I pray that it's because I'm creating that bond with her. Nothing matters more to me in the world then giving my child, hopefully one day children, the best. And I want them to feel so much love around them that their hearts are full each night when they say their prayers. I may never be anything more then what I am now. But I hope that one day when Izzy thinks about me, she sees what I have always seen in my Mother. A wonderful Mom.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Remembering who we are, and accepting who we will become.

Just a couple nights ago, I handed Izzy to Jon (my husband) and said "I'm taking a bath"

This is my escape and always has been. Whenever I have a rough day, need to just forget for a little while, or want to read a good book, I take a bath. In that hot water surrounded by bubbles, I do my best thinking. And a couple days ago, I was soaking in the tub, feeling sorry for myself. Isn't that the worst?

You momentarily forget about all that God has been so kind to bless you with, and you wallow in your own self pity. How disgusting.

I became sad at the thought that I will never be my old self. In having a baby you choose to give up alot of freedoms. And for some reason, that night, I felt a big knot in the pit of my stomach when I contemplated these things. I was having a hard time letting my old self go. I'm not that girl anymore. She's still a part of me... but I'm a Mom now. I'm (what I consider) one of the strongest individuals on this planet.

And I have my baby girl.

I cried at how selfish I was being, how self-consumed I had allowed myself to be in that moment. Out in the world there are women who cannot have babies, or are only allowed by the government to have a chosen number, and here I am with a beautiful, intelligent, precious baby girl feeling sorry for myself because I don't feel "young" anymore. I felt ashamed. But don't we all have low moments?

I crawled back up out of the whole I had dug for myself, and prayed to God to forgive me. Why is it that we always focus on the negative, and forget to remember who we are in the Lord? And who He can help us to become if we would only let go, and let Him do His work?

So I finished my bath, put on my pj's, and gave my little IzzyBit a huge smile and kiss. Never had I felt better about me, and the woman I was on the path to becoming. I know God has plans for me. They may not be what everyone else considers "normal". But if it's good enough for God, then it's most certainly good enough for me :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The good, and the bad.

So I came to realize that babies, just like big people :) have good and bad days. Yesterday was one of those days where you want to pull your hair out and cry. Trust me, I love my daughter more then anything on this planet, she is my life, my all. But all day yesterday, no matter what I did she cried and cried. I bounced, I walked, I fed, I made the mandatory funny faces and silly sounds, there was different toys, and different blankets... it was just one of those days.

And today? She's a complete angel. As I type this she is in her bouncy seat, chewing on her Mindy (a mini blanket with a little stuffed monkey attached), smiling ear to ear, making the sweetest little squeals and giggles. These are the days I pray for as a Mother. Today will hopefully continue to be a day where I realize that yes, I can be a good Mom. Because no matter what any Mother says, we all have days like yesterday where we cry and tell our husbands that we feel like awful mothers and that no matter how hard we try we cannot make our own children happy. Luckily, I have the best husband in the world and he explained that I was doing nothing wrong, Iz was just simply having a bad day.

How many times have I used that line? People ask me, "What's wrong with you?" and I reply as if it's the cure all answer... "Nothing, I'm just simply having a bad day." Why can't I give my own daughter the same liberty, to just simply say, "Mom, I'm just having a bad day, and it's nothing you've done. In all honesty, just leave me be."? Because yes, my three month old would speak that eloquently :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Good morning to you.

Isn't it funny how important sleep becomes once you are a parent? Before Isabella I could sleep for three hours one night, get up, and function like a normal human being. But now, oh Lord, it isn't that simple. Is she getting enough sleep? Is she sleeping in the right position? Is the room the right temperature? Is she getting too much sleep? Did I feed her before I put her down? Did I change her diaper? Is her swaddle too tight? Is she falling asleep at the right times? Am I waking her up at the right time? Isn't that what being a parent feels like? It's a constant never ending list of questions that we keep asking ourselves all day long.

Last night Isabella slept from a little after ten, till a little before eight this morning. You think I would be jumping for the stars (and with that much sleep, I certainly feel like I could) but instead I woke up it seems like fifty times during the night to check to make sure she was still breathing. I would place my hand on her chest, I would lower my head down to her little face to listen, or I would place my finger beneath her nose to feel for air. And once I did wake up this morning, and so did she, I got so worried that she had slept for too long. Is that even possible? Can a baby sleep for too long of a period and not wake themselves up?

So instead of being filled with joy at the fact that my daughter has now slept thru two nights, I'm scared that she has slept for too long. Welcome to being a parent I suppose... never will I ever have a moment when I'm not worrying.

When I went to wake her up, I peeked over the crib, and there was an angelic smile to welcome me. Isn't that just the best way to start your day? Their little smiles warm your heart and make you realize that there isn't a thing in the world worth being mad about, or taking the time to fret over. It's something about seeing yourself in them, and knowing that they are that happy just to see your face. It's true love in its purest form. And that makes all those sleepless long nights ok. Even those nights when nothing works, and they scream and scream. Once they smile at you or giggle, it's all suddenly ok, and you remember why you wanted to do all of this in the first place.

Monday, February 28, 2011

And so it begins...

On November 29th, 2010 I started the hardest job I've ever known... becoming a Mother. You can say that you're ready, and you can tell yourself over and over that you are prepared for what is about to happen. But once you see that sweet little face, and their eyes meet yours, you realize for the first time, one, that you are completely in love, and two, that you have absolutely no idea what you are doing. And trust me, if you've never experienced it, that feeling is the most overwhelming and scariest place you will ever be. Suddenly here is this little person you've been dying to meet for (in my case) the last ten months, and it's your responsibility to make sure that they can make it out here in this big world. Wow.

I wanted to start this blog so new moms have a place to come to, and they know that they aren't alone. Because trust me, in those first few weeks there are times when you feel like you and your baby are the last two survivors of a nuclear holocaust. And yes, having help from your spouse, a loved one, or your family member can help tremendously... but they aren't there all the time, you are. And that little one looks to you for survival. And that ladies, is our new lives. Everyday, loving and caring for this little person who you never knew you could love so much your heart doesn't feel big enough.

But I want you to know that you are not alone. What I have to keep telling myself is that every second of everyday, there are women out in the world dealing with exactly what I'm going through. The body changes, the horomonal roller coaster ride, the raising of a child, and the struggle to figure out how to live in a world I used to navigate so well with a baby. And in most cases these women are copeing without electricity, without water, a home or the money to buy food, or the ability to get food. How blessed am I? I must remember to always count my blessings, and remember what a truly wonderful life I live in a free country.

Each day I learn and grow in this experience, and that's what I want to share. How everday has a moment when you realize you are strong enough, physically and emotionally, to do this. To be a good Mom.