When You’re Making it Up as You Go Along

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In the early stages of my motherhood journey, I was overcome with anxiety, paranoia, and insecurities. I’m not going to lie — it was an emotional time in my life and I struggled with handling it without feeling inadequate. Becoming a mom, no matter what age or stage in life is an intimidating thing. I don’t know who raises the bar to perfection, but there it is always staring you in the face, reminding you how you never quite make it.

When you give into that lie it distorts your capabilities of being a good mother. Whatever level you personally deem good parenting or mothering you should aim for it every day. Don’t compete with other parents but compete with yourself. What I mean is if you were patient with your child yesterday, just aim to be a little more patient with them the next day. Competition with others to make yourself feel on top isn’t really winning and your child loses in the end. Don’t feel the need to meet a status quo invented by others based on their personal experience with their children. That’s not what being a loving parent is all about.

Yes, you should always be inspired by the stories of the woman before us who have done the impossible for their sons and daughters. Embrace the testimonies of the woman who have cried, sobbed and fought for theirs just like you are now. You should invite strength, wisdom, and experience in your soul but don’t disregard your own strength, wisdom, and experience. It’s what you’ve gone through and overcome that’s made you the parent you are today. The most important lesson for me about motherhood is to never second-guess myself when it comes to how I treat my family. Walking in confidence isn’t easy but it helps to understand that even though you have those days when you are just making it up as you go along, each and every day will come together in the end and works out so long as you have faith that your parenting, all your hard work, and efforts will pay off.

 

The Adventures of Elizabeth: I Have SuperParents

Hi!

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My mom and dad are super!

What exactly makes them super?

Well…

Her kisses make the booboo’s go away.

She always gives me the pretty band-aids.

Daddy keeps us safe.

His back rubs help me to go to sleep.

Mommy always picks the best outfits and pretties my hair.

Sometimes daddy does my hair too (but not as nice as mom)

They both have a magical way of keeping a smile on my face.

She can cook and serves me yummy treats.

Dad can eat.

He can tickle me until I snort.

Daddy’s tickling fingers make me laugh like a hyena.

She teaches me cool songs to sing.

And daddy gives me crazy dance moves.

She can see from the back of her head.

No matter how hard I try, I can’t get away with nothing.

And pictures…

Mommy loves taking pictures with me.

I laugh, play, eat, and sleep all because of my super parents.

They love me so much.

I’m their Lily.

And their my mommy & daddy.

 

 

 

 

 

Life Lesson: You Are Diamonds

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My message for mothers and woman today is don’t cheapen yourself on the account of others. I can’t tell you how important it is as a wife and mother to know your self-worth. Having a high standard of self-worth produces high self-esteem, confidence, and self-respect that is too precious to trade in or exchange. A confident woman doesn’t allow abusive relationships to define their self-worth. A self-respecting wife won’t force herself to die in her marriage but find ways to thrive with or without her spouse. A confident mom lives, breathes and nurtures her children with power and strength because she fears nothing.

Living like a diamond forces life to back off and let you shine. Life of an assured woman means not stopping at the no’s and you can’t’s that’s always being thrown in your face. Having confidence in how God created you births tenacity and a persevering spirit that can overcome anything. Having confident isn’t about being puffed up or arrogant but being content with the gifts, strengths, and flaws that God has given each of us to work with. I’m certainly not here to promote bragging or pride but to share with you the freedom in being a strong diamond of a gal.

So I hope after my elaborate introduction you’re asking yourself, “Well, how do I live a diamond?”

  1. By accepting that God loves you.

If you don’t believe God is real, that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again then there isn’t much I can do for you. True confidence doesn’t appear within ourselves but it comes from the almighty Creator. The big G-O-D himself made us his top priority and wanted us to have nothing short of the best. Believing is just the beginning. You have to live, breathe, sleep and eat with the truth that God values us all. Why would you not accept all that love? Realize that God loves you permanently!

2. Living with love in your heart for others.

You want that confidence in your walk, that glow of the holy spirit upon your life you have to live your life through the lenses of love. Everything you go through — He loves me — so it has to work out. Even when friends, family, and strangers try to deter you from believing — act in love. Having a rich, quality lifestyle doesn’t just come from working hard on behalf of yourself but going the extra mile for someone else. Luke 6:31 and 35 say to do to others what you want to be given to you. If you want love in life then love others freely without looking for anything in return.

3. Saying goodbye to insecurities by reading the Word of God.

This is the best way to feed your faith and starve your doubts. If you’ve been dealing with insecurities, baggage from the past and past pain then open a Bible! There are scriptures after scriptures that will boost your soul into the confident, God-fearing woman you are destined to be. Philippians 1:6 will tell you that he started something great inside you and he won’t stop until it’s completed. And if you are reading this with doubt in your heart, just know that you aren’t confident that Proverbs 3:26 says that God will be your confidence and he will keep you.

And the amazing part of this…there is so much more. Unlock all that God is waiting to give in your life. Live with assurance that God desires you, he wants the best for and he hates to see his diamond get scuffed up or damaged. Celebrate your one-of-a-kind design and witness God accomplish great things in your life. Don’t shy away from all that God is calling for you to have.

 

Month of Motherhood: You Are A Masterpiece

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Yay! It’s finally here….almost here I should say: Mother’s Day! The coveted day where all things mom and motherhood gets it’s deserved recognition. Even though moms should automatically get the breakfast in bed and the bouquet of flowers every day we understand that trying to wine and dine us for our mothering feats will take forever.

I’m so happy to be one of the millions of woman known for being fearless, loving and strong. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom always packing lunches for the kids or the hard-working mother that slays in the boardroom — I want this month to be filled with posts encouraging you, strengthing you, and reminding you how amazing it is to be a mom!  And not to exclude all the amazing woman — those aunties, sisters, cousins, babysitters, singles.. you have kids or none at all this is your month to shine too! So for all my mothers, it’s the month of Motherhood and for all non-moms, it’s the Month of Womanhood!

I’m devoting a blog post every week to reminding mothers and woman in general that no matter what, no matter who….you are an original masterpiece! That’s right, Ephesians 2:10 says,

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Whether you agree or not, all of our stories began with the Word of God, with God thinking about us and creating us. He didn’t just create us, he envisioned us a life for us filled with opportunities, victories, hardship, and His love. God didn’t hastily throw us and all our uniqueness at the last minute. He didn’t rush and guess at our potential, strength, weaknesses, and capabilities. He took the time, energy and commitment to creating a work of art that’s more valuable than any amount of bad days, horrible relationships or dead-end end jobs that try to take away the treasure he placed within us.

I am valuable because he made my life worth it when He died on the cross. He refused to give up one me and you when he rose from the grave three days later. He went above and beyond because we are His masterpiece. Live like a masterpiece, carry with you that passion and drive he gave you. Don’t ever let life diminish your resolve to rise up. God knows who we really are and who we can truly become. Embrace it!

 

MarriedLife: Does It Matter If I Look Good?

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Who doesn’t want to look their best?

You’d be surprised!

Whenever you first begin something in life you put your good foot forward. Whether it’s a job interview or picture day at school or the first date. But after you landed the job, got the girl or boy of your dreams is it required for you to continually keep your best foot forward? Is the same requirement for women to look their best enforced for men?

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Yes, it matters!  When my wife looks good it lets me know that she has class, that she cares about her self-worth and she is mature. Before I got married, I desired to be with a woman that was mature, beautiful and respectful in her appearance and behavior. When my wife doesn’t look good it makes me believe she doesn’t care and that she essentially gave up on life. I find it very unattractive whenever my wife doesn’t have her hair done and isn’t put together and glamoured up. I believe in spending time and money on my wife so she could look her best and feel her best. Whenever my wife is smelling good and looking good it lets me know how she feels on the inside. I believe our outward appearances reflect our inner selves. Maintaining our appearance gives us a glimpse of your character, beliefs, and morals in life. When you respect yourself you can respect others.

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Even if you can’t afford designer clothes and brand name labels, you should take effort into making yourself look good and feel good. I love to dress up not for the sake of pleasing others or my husband but so I can be comfortable in my skin and who I am. So if I’m wearing a dress and heels one day and then ripped jeans and a pair of wedges another it doesn’t mean I have less confidence. I want to see men and woman dressing like the confident person they are and can be. If I wasn’t married, I wouldn’t pay any attention to a guy who didn’t have is pants pulled up, a nice haircut and some nice shoes. That doesn’t make me a “goal digger” but a person with standards. Sometimes my husband doesn’t dress up like I want him to. I nudge and nudge but when he does I revel in how handsome my husband is. I love seeing him in a nice suit and a tie or even nice jeans and tee, it lets me know he is happy with his family and life.

MarriedLife: Apology Accepted?

How hard is it to just say, “I’m sorry”?  Apparently, those two words can sometimes make or break your marriage. In a marriage, conflict arises and usually if not kept in check it can escalate to where things can go from bad to worse. No matter how  deep in love you are with your spouse, how close, or how long you’ve been married, somewhere along the line, someone has to say, “I’m sorry.”

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I don’t always apologize like I should. Whenever we come to a fork in the road, my instincts are to prove him wrong instead of seeking peace. When my husband and I disagree, I try my hardest to justify my opinions or actions. I put all my energy into seeing that I’m right and he is wrong. Sometimes I feel that the person responsible for the problem should dish out the apology. When I know I’m completely at fault, it’s easy to say, “I’m sorry.”

 

1I believe my apologies to my wife show that I am truly sorry. I don’t believe my wife sees my apologies are sincere. When I’m at fault, my wife always wants more. Saying, “I’m sorry” isn’t enough for my wife. She wants to know the specifics of my apology, the reason and a grand gesture to seal the deal. In my mind, my apologies seem adequate. When I say, “I’m sorry” it typically means for it to cover everything that’s been said or done. As a man, I prefer to get straight to the point. My goal is to avoid stopping at every intricate detail and get right down to making up.

The Adventures of Elizabeth: The WayZoo Coloring Book

Hi!

What do I love to do more than anything?

COLOR!

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I like coloring so much I can’t seem to keep my drawings on the page.

I color on the couch,

the dining room table,

the walls,

the floors,

the ceiling if I could reach it!

But today, my mommy found me this amazing coloring book.

And it was totally free!

I got to color The WayZoo Coloring Book!

A free coloring book featuring cute animals!

It was so fun coloring with my mommy today.

Here are two of my drawings:

 

Nothing makes me happy than when I’m coloring.

Especially when I’m coloring with mommy.

Try it for yourself, you’ll love it.

Bye!

 

Life Lesson: Trust Your Instincts

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When I was younger I always believed when I became a mother I would do all the right things for my baby. I would love him/her, cuddle, play, and make sure he/she is a healthy, strong baby. Like most little girls I had tons of practice with adorable, almost life-like baby dolls. I prided myself on how none of my baby dolls had a missing arm or leg. My  beliefs about motherhood were very black and white. If you didn’t dress your baby well then you was a bad mother. If you didn’t give your baby medicine when they got sick then you was a bad mother. If you didn’t feed your baby right then you were a bad mother. If your baby wasn’t happy or smiled a lot then you was a bad mother.

Since then, my views on motherhood have drastically changed. Now that I’m grown and a mother myself, I realize that there are many ways to provide for your child. For one, I didn’t always buy my baby designer clothes like I thought. After the first couple weeks of onesies soaked with throw up, milk stains, and messy diapers I decided to shop frugally. I set out budgets where my baby could have affordable outfits that lasted longer than a month without breaking the bank. I learned that giving baby medicine can actually harm the baby rather than help. As painful as it is, it’s sometimes better to have your child endure that cold or fever so their body can get stronger and fight off more infections. My child-like beliefs were filled with hope but no sense of reality. I remember when our daughter caught her first high-temperature fever all I wanted to do was make her pain go away. But, with regular feeding times, an outfit change and patience, I saw how quickly her body was fighting off the virus all on its own.

One thing I learned from being a wife and mother is to trust my instincts. When I was pregnant those nine months I tried my best to plan, prepare, and equip myself for motherhood. I gained knowledge, facts, and techniques so when my child arrives I will be prepared. I downloaded apps, watched videos, and podcasts to familiarize myself with being a good parent. I wanted to be the type of mother that nurtured every aspect of my child’s life so they can pretty much be perfect. I quickly learned that all the parenting books, pamphlets, and articles can only do so much.

With motherhood comes many struggles. You have to decide what cleaning products to use, what baby formula, and the type of doctor you want your child to have. Being a mom requires a lot of big decision-making. I remember after those hours in labor when they finally handed her to me I was overwhelmed with so much peace. It didn’t really occur to me what being her mother would require. It wasn’t until she got hungry that I realized I had to make a decision.

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With all my preparation, I still hesitated. All that prepping went out the hospital window. I was suddenly a blank canvas holding a blank canvas. I felt like an artist with colors of all shades and hues with no clue to do. I honestly thought about feeding my daughter formula from birth to better suit my needs. I didn’t want to be inconvenienced with pumps and engorged breasts but holding her in her fragile state made me realize how I so badly wanted to give her the best.

The nurse smiled and proceeded to help our daughter latch. It was awkward at first, but a couple of tries later she was eating like she was starving. I was amazed that my breast even had milk. It’s a miracle what the body can do. I felt like a mother bird feeding her little birds. I felt so accomplishment and complete. It wasn’t until it was time for me to come home that the feeling of pride slowly washed away.

My biggest struggle with breastfeeding was as she continued to grow so did her appetite and my breast didn’t always accommodate her feeding needs. The first couple of weeks were nice and breezy. She would eat almost 6 to 8 times a day. Her feeding times started off short and sweet. I would usually pump milk in the morning and at night just in case if I had to go somewhere or I was really tired. I would always pump after I feed her too so my milk production could increase. For nearly six months all I did was pump and let her suck.

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It didn’t take long before she would drink from both breasts at a time. Her appetite increased and I had to make the hard decision that breastfeeding until she was 10 months wasn’t the life for me. I wasn’t going to give up so easily. I started to stop feeding her from the breast, just pump and put baby cereal in the bottle. It gave her satisfaction until she hit the another growth curve. I eventually decided to start her on baby formula indefinitely. I slowly started to wean her off of breast milk. I would breastfeed at night, pump out the  extra milk and give her formula with cereal during the day. I would cry sometimes with frustration when my breasts didn’t give her enough milk. But, I saw how satisfied she was with baby formula and got over my personal feelings.

Breastfeeding can sometimes be tricky. There are thousands of different reasons why your child doesn’t respond positively to your breasts. But be reassured that there are a thousand different solutions. Whether you breastfeed your child or provide them with formula alternatives don’t ever second-guess your instincts. There were so days where I struggled with her latching and other days I couldn’t get her off. But have peace of mind whenever you see your baby happy and laughing that you are doing a great job.

So hesitate to deviate from the plan especially if it could help you and your baby better. Always be willing to ask your doctor for help in any area for your child and take the time to reach out to other mothers for support.

Learn about the breastfeeding and formula options from The Honest Company.

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What I Love About Our Daughter

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Being a wife and mother has given me so many joyous moments and some grievous ones too. Through the good and bad days, I never stop enjoying being her mom. Especially when the bad days seemingly last longer than the good. Watching her grow up has been sensational. I still can’t believe I carried her for nine months! When bad days come and tantrums never end, I remind myself why I love being her mom.

All children are precious but none can compare to mine. When I found out I was pregnant, I didn’t believe that I would have a baby. Those nine months were filled with expectation and anxiety. We had absolute no idea what kind of child we were getting. When it was time for our child to arrive, I was calm even in the midst of the pain. Out of all the babies in the world, I got to keep this one. When the doctors gave her to me, everything was complete. From the start, she belonged to us and it makes being her mother so sweet.

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Every day she shines with energy and kindness just like her father and me. She is loud, funny, silly, sweet, loving, caring, protective and friendly. Inside of her is all the qualities that showed me why I can’t resist her even on a bad day. I’m never ashamed of being her mother because she is worth it. The more time I spend with her, the more I realize a young woman is developing right in front of us. Whenever she makes me laugh, it gives me strength to stand taller, smile bigger, and love harder. Our daughter always reminds me to keep the fire alive in my life. She knows how to get my attention and isn’t afraid to give me wet sloppy kisses and warm hugs.elizabeth we love you.pngI sometimes can’t believe how blessed I am that I get to mother, love, nurture and care for this ball of cuteness. Though all children are special and precious, it’s an added scoop of sprinkles because she came from my husband and me. She is the product of God’s love. It makes me smile knowing that God thought that our lives could get so much better so he gave us her. I thank God that he gives me enough strength, patience, wisdom, and love to guide this little girl. I can’t imagine mothering any other child but her.

Today is My Third Anniversary

 

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For my love,

Happy third year anniversary to my best friend. Three years is nothing compared to the rest of our lives.  Since I was 15, I’ve done so much growing and learning, and you’ve only made my life so much more meaningful. We went from two separate individuals to being and living as one. Though our wedding day was far from perfect, leaving, cleaving and becoming has been nothing short of amazing. Despite all the things we didn’t have, I cherish every day that we have with each other.IMG_1356

I remember all the times you brought a smile to my face, made me laugh and even cry. I smile when I think about all the times we comforted each other, encouraged each other, and loved. I look forward to days to come when you let your love shine on me. You’ve been a gentleman, so caring, loving, and upstanding. I am proud that you call me your wife. This journey hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worthwhile. The past 1,080 days have been filled with good, bad, ugly, joy, pain, grief, disappointment and happiness. You’ve given me headaches and peace, joy and sorrow. And three years is just the beginning of the rest of our lives.

You’ve given me the best of both and I don’t take our life for granted. I believe God connected us long before we got married. We never could stay apart from each other long, try as we might. The amazing part of our love and relationship  is that it never felt forced or rushed but right on time. That’s how I knew you were sent from God because I felt content, with you. You’ve always been by my side and you managed to give me goosebumps every single time. I’m just grateful we both were obedient to what God planned for us.

Three years later and all I want to do with you is to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”(2 Peter 3:18) I definitely don’t want to waste another second apart and I can’t wait for you to return back to me. Reflecting back on the yesterday’s brings hope for more to come. I love you and I miss you.