Saturday, October 25, 2014

Weekend Fun

We have had such a good week and weekend. We have been without a grill for the last 3 months and finally got our new one in. We really tried to make a smart purchase and even though we had heard Webber's were great, we ended up ordering this Dyna-Glo grill from Wal-Mart. Much more affordable for us. It got great reviews and so far we have really enjoyed grilling on it.
Avery loves to cook with me and has gotten very adept at preparing our vegetables for our meal.  
Here she is snapping asparagus. She has also developed quite an imagination and yesterday when she didn't have a baby blanket handy, she went and wrapped her baby up in a dish towel.
This morning she got sent into time out for pulling our dog Georgia's tail, and Georgia decided to go sit with her in a sign of solidarity.
Quality didn't turn out great, but you can see how these two give me a run for my money.
About an hour later, I walked in Avery's room to see this
I love this dog. She is so amazing with Avery and completely devoted to us.
We also got in some good cuddle time this weekend.
I borrowed this book "The Kitchen House" from my cousin and finished it in one day. It was one of the best novels I have read in a long time.
We finished up our week with movie night and now I am off to get some much needed rest before we start all over again!
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Overcoming the fear of Joy

This is such a sweet season for us. Having a three year old and now being pregnant with our second leaves me feeling overwhelmed with gratitude, hope and lots of joy. There was a time when I never could have sat back and enjoyed this time. For a long time I had such a fear of being happy or joyful.
Growing up in a home with addiction is like walking around on permanent eggshells. There is never time to relax or enjoy moments of peace because you know without a shadow of a doubt the other shoe is going to drop. Promises get broken, blowups come again, someone leaves. There is no consistency. At first I would let myself get hopeful, but I quickly learned the older I got that statements like "I'll never do that again" were absolutely nothing, but empty words. Hope either dies or is buried very deeply for a long time in a home with addiction and abuse.
Those years stole my sense of peace and security. I learned that bad, uncontrollable things were always around the next corner. Therefore I never allowed myself to expect anything else. It led to way too much disappointment. And if it sounds like that is an attitude easy to break, it's not. That fear followed me from home into marriage, even though my life right now is drastically different than it was growing up.
Romans 12:2 says " Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is." That is what God had to do for me. Literally transform my entire mind. He had to root out all those old patterns of self protection and replace them with His truth. I had to learn that God is not waiting to yank the rug out from under me. With Him, I have a good future and He is going to walk with me through it. Neither Him or Jesus are like the addict I grew up with. I had to stop seeing them through my wrong beliefs. It is only by God's grace that my life is what it is now.  The old is gone, the new has come. It took years of working through these old strongholds and I know I still have more to tackle. There are moments now when I let fear overcome me, but those moments are becoming few and far between. And though this is a great season, I also know that hard times will come. They have before and they will again. I've learned to view them differently now. First my hard times are no longer controlled by an uncontrollable addict and that alone brings a sense of relief. Second, God has seen me through the worst and like my past, He has brought good out of every difficult season in my life. I know that He uses the seasons of difficulties to draw me closer to Him and because of my hope in his Son, joy will always come in the morning.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Baby Brown is not very cooperative

I have been counting down the days until I can find out if we are having a boy or girl. I'm too much of a control freak to wait until the end of my pregnancy. I want to start planning right away. I went today to get an ultrasound and the baby would not be still long enough to see whether or not its a boy or girl. It moved the entire time. I'm a little nervous as to what this may mean in the future. I've heard that babies personalities are pretty similar to how they were in the womb. I can see that with Avery. She would have bursts of energy, but would also be quiet and still a lot. Right now though she is never quiet. She is going through a phase where she is all energy. I've never seen anything like it and I wish I could just have half of the energy she puts out.
I also finally got a pair of maternity pants this weekend. I ended up getting the skinny maternity jeans from Old Navy. I really like them. They are flattering, a good color and much more comfortable than wearing a rubber band around my waist. Plus, they only cost around 30 which is 40 less than any of the other stores I looked at. The only downside was they seemed to have a strong smell to them even after I washed them. Hopefully it will go completely away with a few more washings.
This week has been off a to a good start and I'm hoping that by the end of it I will know if Baby Brown is a boy or girl.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's Time to Buy New Pants

This week was great. We had our fall break and spent a lot of time playing. I've been almost obsessive lately with wanting to enjoy my time with Avery before we add another baby to the mix. I'm a firm believer in gratitude and trying to enjoy every season of my life.

Enjoyed the park.
We spent lots of time painting.
Spent time watching Daddy on the soccer field again.
The same goes for this pregnancy. It's not easy for me with all the changes my body makes on what seems to be a daily basis. I've always struggled with constant change and pregnancy seems to amp it up. I'm still adjusting to the limitations carrying a baby puts on my body. I am hungry all the time. I'm trying to eat healthy, but I can only hold out for so long. I normally don't like much meat, but for some reason I absolutely adore it pregnant. Hamburgers, ribs, deli sandwiches...all of those are on the top of my craving list lately. I do need to break down and buy some maternity jeans now. Sixteen weeks seems early to need them, but I can't stand the tightness of my jeans on my belly. And wearing that belly band drives me crazy. It's not comfortable to me. I took Avery shopping with me this weekend hoping I could find just a bigger size of jeans, but those weren't comfortable either. Baggy in the butt and tight in the tummy. I've been looking at Gap and Loft's maternity sections, but are waiting until they have a sale on pants. It's unreal how expensive a good pair of jeans are. Especially ones that I won't wear for very long. Avery was a great helper shopping and even carried my clothes around. I am just thankful we made it out of the mall without needing a potty break.
I can't wait until tomorrow. Not only for church, but also for the nap I get to take after. It's the small things in life. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend as much as me!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Becoming Alive Emotionally

I blame it on the pregnancy, but this week all I have wanted to talk about is emotions (my poor husband). For years I lived in such emotional deadness, that you couldn't get me to feel anything if you tried. And I was a Christian during those years too. I just had learned to shut down my emotions and numb them because of all the pain and trauma I had experienced. Of course God was working in that too and I spent many years gathering amazing knowledge and learning to apply godly principles to my life. I would have brief moments of feeling like when I was working through certain events from my past, but I just didn't know how to walk through life with a tender and open heart. I literally had no clue.

For so long I had kept my heart closed. It was my way to protect myself. I didn't realize until later that by trying to keep the bad out I was also keeping out the good. I may not have been able to be hurt horribly anymore, but I also had numbed the part of me that felt intense joy and hope. I learned that being emotionally dead isn't living, it is just surviving.
Change didn't come easy for me or all at once. At first I didn't even realize that God was starting to awaken my heart relationally again. It started with me reading the book "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. That book was beautifully written and something about it started stirring places in my heart. Many times during the course of that book I would find myself sobbing without knowing why. I see now that God was slowly working to bring my heart and emotions back to life. I started keeping a gratitude list and spending more time in the Word and prayer. Very slowly did I start feeling myself open up again. I began to want something more than the existence I had been stuck in for the last years.
For so long I had felt like there was nobody looking out for me or accepting me unconditionally where I was at. The more understanding I received of God's heart for me, the safer I began to feel. Yes people still hurt me and bad things happened, but I began to believe that God was good. That He had a hope for me and nothing could separate me from His love. I found myself opening up to others and experiencing more joy and pain than I ever had in my life. Even the pain was sweet because it kept drawing me into Jesus. I started loving more. My relationships grew deeper and stronger. I found myself crying and laughing more. It has been such a beautiful season for me emotionally. I still struggle with wanting to put walls up the second I feel any type of uncomfortable feeling coming (like rejection or hurt), but I never want to go back to just surviving. I want to live and live abundantly.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Emotions tell me where I'm at

I spent a long time in the land of emotional deadness. The only emotion I was really ever aware of was anger. I learned at an early age that to survive I had to deaden my heart. The reversal process can take quite awhile.
After healing and becoming more alive emotionally, I've learned something about emotions. Contrary to my knee jerk reactions in my younger years, emotions don't actually tell me what to do. They tell me where I'm at. I believe God gave me emotions for a reason. They are normally good indicators of what is going on with me internally. And like everything in my life I have to take them to God to process them.
What I'm feeling isn't always truth. I can overreact to a situation or person. And there are even times my feelings lie to me about God. Instead of listening to them solely I now try to look at what's going on with me in the heart, especially if I'm angry. Normally behind my anger is another feeling like frustration (especially if my goals are blocked), rejection, hurt, and fear.
When I listen to my emotions and process them before acting them out, my relationships and life runs much smoother. There are times when I've been unable to pinpoint exactly what I was feeling and this is why I'm such a firm believer in discipleship. It's always great to be able to have someone you trust help you work through what you are feeling.
All of this becomes especially helpful in parenting, like this morning when my toddler pooped in her pants right after taking her off of the potty. I flipped out and spent about 20 minutes lecturing a 3 year old. Such a waste of time and most of it was pointless. After my tantrum (because I am so far from perfect) I thought about why I had gotten so angry. She's only three so its not like this was done in an act of rebellion. I was mad because my expectations of the morning were ruined. I also had not planned our time wisely this morning and was already rushed so when that happened it pushed me even farther behind. If I had laid out two outfits the night before and gotten in the shower earlier I wouldn't have been so frustrated.  Fortunately I have learned the art of apologizing (I've had a lot of practice) and after extra hugs and kisses all was right again. What should have been a 15 minute annoyance turned into a 45 minute ordeal and all because I didn't process my junk first. So as you can see this is just one of the many reasons why it is better to be proactive than reactive with emotions because you don't get to erase the times you act out like a child.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Week 14- The week I didn't take a bump picture

So no baby bump picture for me this week. I totally missed the boat because I have been sick for the third or fourth weekend in a row. I seriously get a cold every week lately. This can be attributed to the fact that I spend part of my week working in a room with two year olds and they share everything with me: hugs, toys, and even colds. And unfortunately since the medical field hasn't caught up with the natural field I am left treating my colds with Tylenol and saline drops. Those two don't knock it out very quickly. That is one of the most frustrating things for me being pregnant, that I can't take the supplements and natural remedies (like oil of oregano)  that I am used to taking on a daily basis. I've been using Thieves oil on my feet and I think this week I am going to break down and order the Young Living essential oils kit. I have heard so many good things about it and am eager to try it.
I tried taking Avery to the park today, but we only made it about 30 minutes. Georgia hasn't gotten the memo that it's fall yet, so it was hot and my head felt like it was going to explode. Jared and I did however manage to teach her to swing on the big girl swing.
Lucky for me Avery was really good at playing by herself today which allowed me to just veg out on the couch and read. I am praying that I start feeling better tomorrow and that the good feelings of the second trimester will start to kick in.