How to Plan a Disney Vacation

Booking a Disney trip was so exciting for our family!! With every move I made I got that much more excited about going. Before I planned the Disney trip I read so much info. Anything and everything on the Disney tips + FAQs + Everything you need to know on Disney.com. I read several Disney blogs and mom blogs on what worked best for them. I was ready!! I complied my list of things I needed and was ready to start planning. I got everything I needed that would make my trip easier like the apps and notifications from Disney said to do and for more what you need to have for Disney read about it here.

I wanted to be well prepared and make sure I didn’t forget anything. But once I started scheduling and planning there wasn’t much out there to help with that. There wasn’t best rides for AM, or things to do before noon. Of course it’s not that easy bc there’s so much to do to keep you busy throughout the day. So ultimately it’s your choice.

However there were things that helped make our trip a breeze and quite simple. So I wanted to share them with you all to help when you plan a Disney trip. Hopefully it can make your scheduling hurdles a little easier. The five things below will help you when you book your trip, schedule your fast passes and help create you’re plan of action, and make your flying travels a little easier.

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1. Do everything through the app.My Disney Experience has everything you need + more. Yes you can go to Disneyworld.disney.go.com and make an account, register, and buy tickets there. Be set to go. But with the app you can do everything!! Book hotel, book reservations, link your hotel so you can see bus schedules, food menus, and even unlock and lock your hotel door. You know for those times you head out for ice and you forget to wear your magic band. All the parks schedules, character showings, times for shows, and maps are available through app. It even has map access to follow step by step to get you to attractions or restaurants you want to find. My favorite is it stores all your photos you take during your trip as well!! Plus you can link your flight times on there so you can get picked up with the Disney Magic Express! {Which I discuss later}

Hear it from me, it’s kind of a pain to do everything on Disneyworld.Disney.go and then have to link everything afterwards on the app. So just do it all there and make it easy for yourself so you don’t have to try and keep up with all the confirmation codes. {Trust me.}These are the times when you need to take advantage of technology. I promise the app came in handy sooo much for us. Plus once you get to the hotel they ask you to book a few reservations for food and spa times through the app anyways so you have to have it.

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2. Book your hotel early and it should be the first thing you book before everything else!!! I booked our Disney tickets first because i wanted to make sure I got those out of the way, then signed up on the app, and then was ready to make reservations and realized I couldnt. I made the mistake of doing it out of order. You may be asking does it matter and yes it does!!!! When you book your hotel first it allows you to make reservations and access to schedule fast passes and food reservations as early as 60 days before your trip! Which I promise you, is very important, taking us to the next point.

3. Get fast passes— these are crucial for maintaining sanity throughout Disney. I seriously cant stress this enough. They make it seem like it’s no big deal everywhere when you read about them, but guys, it’s a fast pass to the rides!! Let me say it again, it’s a fast pass. Meaning you quickly pass all the other people and the line to go ahead and get on the ride of your choice without a wait! You can schedule up to three a day but once you use the three you can schedule two more to use during that day. These made our Disney day a breeze. I can’t imagine waiting in the lines for over an hour for a 2-5 minute ride. The longest time we had to wait for a ride was 12 minutes. That was because there was a hiccup in the ride and they had to fix it putting wait times on both lines.below I discuss two reasons why fast passes are awesome and how to best utilize them:

-Spread out your fast passes – I mean this point in two different ways. Let’s dig in. When using your fast passes to select your adventures don’t cram them back to back. I did at first thinking; well we will use these up and then have access to book more and we can keep having a magical day. On Disney it says after you use the three you can keep booking for more. It sounds great! We were hooked. Then I started looking the following week after I scheduled ours and so many of the fast pass options were gone for several rides, character meetings, and light shows. I was bummed because I thought well we are going to miss out on so many adventures. Especially like the ones on Pandora and animal kingdom. Then something magical happened the next day. There was availability on two of the rides I wanted so I went ahead and canceled previous reservations and made those and decided well everyday I want to use a fast pass in am, then afternoon, and one at night. So I rescheduled everything. I wanted to make sure I utilized the fast pass access throughout the day since the access to reserve was dwindling away. Like I said I didnt book my hotel first so I had to wait until the 30 days before to start reserving with fast pass and a lot was not available. Food reservations had tight windows left, and on the busier parks like Magical Kingsom there was no ability to book fast pass for anything after the 25 day mark. Not to forget to mention we booked our trip during the busiest week at Disney out of the whole year. So we were fighting for access with a lot of people.

-Now my second grand idea that worked out beyond great!! If you have multiple members of your family like we do. Then use it to your advantage. Schedule a ride with the whole family in am. Because you do want to use up your three to get the access to book more. Keep in mind though every other fast pass holder is trying to do the same and a lot of things won’t be available past 12 but most of magical kingdom didn’t have anything available two weeks out so this is why I’m saying do it this way. After you scheduled a ride that is suitable for everyone then use momma and son for one fast pass access and if the ride allows other kids to ride then say “we will swap” or if y’all all can go then say “we are trying to add the other family members on all but it’s not letting us.” If your bands aren’t working but two family members are, they always let you in!!! Everytime! It was awesome!! So I was so happy that I took a chance and scheduled it that way because I was able to reserve up to 6 things prior that way. I booked greetings without waiting, rides for all of us, and while the girls went and napped I had rides reserved just for our big guy. Then when we all gathered back, he shows for us all to enjoy together without any waits. Guys I’m telling you it worked! Then, come to find out, you only get the chance to use fast passes two more times after you use your three so it’s not unlimited like I thought. So I was so glad I did it this way vs the original plan bc we would have had some uncomfortable wait times that no one was ready to have.

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4. Buy the early bird tickets to Toy Story Land. Just do it. We had access to the Hollywood Studios an hour and half early!!!! We got there with an hour to spend but it was still worth it. When you buy the early bird tickets it comes with a complimentary breakfast that is only given to the early birders and it was probably one of the best breakfasts that we had the entire time. You have a choice between several hot meals choices and there is a smorgish board of fruits, pastries, and cereal options. They allow you to eat there all the way until 10 AM. If you really want to you can get there right at 7:30, eat, ride, then eat again. That was our original plan but like I said we didn’t get there until 8. After we ate, we had 30 mins to enjoy Toy Story Land, and it was worth every penny. Not only was it the park we all were really looking forward to because we have watched it on TV every commercial break, but it is an oversized Toy Story Land! Are you kidding me who wouldn’t love it! In all seriousness it was the only park we saw that had workers waiting with a 65 minute wait sign before the park even opened up. They knew that park would have the most visitors, and they were right, within 10 mins of opening the park the Slinky Dog Ride had a 75 minute wait. After we utilized the 30 mins of no waits, we were able to wait a short 10 mins for character experiences and boom we were done with that park just as soon as they opened. It still is one of our favorite experiences because while the bigs rode the Slinky Dog, we rode the Alien Ride. My youngest was able to ride it twice without waits and she had a blast on it. We rode all these and still had our reserved fast passes to use. It was an amazing day!

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5. Take advantage of the Disney Magic Express + all its perks. The express not only takes you to and from the airport which makes everything so much easier, but it also will take your checked luggage for you! I saw so many people trying to haul their kids, plus their suitcases through the airport, through the express line, and through the hotel and check in. Now if you want to be champs and keep it all with you go right ahead. But our children wonder around and want to see all the cool and magical things before their eyes if they aren’t in the stroller. With three kids theee suitcases, stroller, like 5 carry on bags it just wouldn’t have been easy for us. Plus all that in one small line, no thanks. It was such a breeze going through the line without all the luggage and check in was ice bc we didn’t have to manage all the extra items. Once we got to our hotel we went to eat, look at all the animals and when we got back tinkerbell made the delivery. It was only a 1.5 wait to get out things once we got there so it wasn’t that bad.

I hope these five tips help you in planning your magical trip. There is so much to think about, and things that no one tells you about, so I do hope these help a little. and know the hassle of traveling takes a toll on anyone especially a family with littles. So anything that makes your trip easier and more efficient I want to try and help. That way all you have to worry about, is the magic that awaits for you. If this helped you in your magical adventures then please comment below, thanks for your stopping by and have a magical day.

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How To Fix Your Marriage

Two Steps to Fix Your Marriage

Marriage faces so many different bumps along the way. Some poeple’s are mounds, or hills, while others have to climb through valleys, and overcome mountains. Here’s two easy ways that show you by maintaining self awareness it can help save your marriage.

The faculty of a person that enables them to be self aware of themselves, and others is known as, the mind. You have to be completely conscious at all times and present with yourself to constantly be looking inward. To fully understand what is going on with you. In Re|Engage we focus on ourselves, we draw circles around ourselves and focus on ways to work on our struggles, emotions, and problem areas so we can better serve our spouse. Believe me, it’s not so easy at first, every week I have to remind myself to do just that. I literally have to draw that circle around myself to remind myself what I need to be doing. That alone has helped so much with stopping  little bickering before it has even started. The one thing that we are constantly reminding ourselves with is that “I’m my own marital problem.” It may sound silly, especially if your spouse is lying and cheating. but it’s a helpful reminder to focus on your actions and to see if you’re coming from a place of love. if you’re ready to fix your marriage then take two  steps, just two, that will help you allow your marriage to move freely, and openly. Are you ready to start?

Focusing on yourself by following two easy steps:

1. Be Honest. I think we all have problems being honest with ourselves. Sometimes it can be scary to look inward and see just who you’ve become. Especially if who we are is someone stuck on the bathroom floor, feeding our own addictions. In hard and dark times, it’s very hard to look inward and to hold ourselves accountable for our own actions. I know from experience it just seems so much easier to find a reason to blame it on other people. To hang on to the anger, pride, walk around with hatred, and even hold on to guilt or even fear. The best thing is that Fear is a Liar! Don’t let it destroy you! Overcome the fear and rise above it because life is waiting for you. They always say, you’re the only one holding yourself back. If you are a timid person or the opposite spectrum carrying around anger because of fear listen to Fear is a Liar, by .

We have nothing to be afraid of: God is there for you. There’s is freedom found when we lay our lies down at the cross. We can be who we are meant to be once we let go of all that baggage. Don’t waste your life holding on to all that that shame and darkness when your already been freed. Your freedom is just waiting for YOU!!

2. Self Awareness. Be honest with yourself as well. Combat the fear of being honest, don’t blame the people around. Being aware allows you to be authentic with people, allows real relationships to happen and allow God to move in the real vulnerability of the raw friendships that you have. How can u be real if you don’t know your self? Honestly, repeat that question, how can you be real if you don’t even know your self? Besides being self aware allows you to be your own driver of your own life, not a victim of your past.

Start It, Commit to it, Succeed in it!

Ashly Williams

How to Have a Successful Marriage When Times Get Tough

Steps for Wives and Husbands:

My husband and I go to weekly marriage to get tools we need to fight for our marriage. Atfirst, I thought it was going to be something good for us because of our recent struggles, but honestly it doesn’t matter what phase of marriage you are at, every married couple should go through something to get you closer together. If you so happen to have a Christ -Centered program available, GO! If you are struggling like we were, close to divorce, dealing with addictions, GO!

I’ve mentioned before at Re|Engage we discuss how to focus on ourselves vs. our spouse. We have to face the notion that we are all broken. Now if you understand that you yourself are broken, and so is your spouse and you want to love them anyway, be there for them despite their problems, then take these 2 Easy Steps to Help you Become a Great Spouse. Despite the fact that you are still filled with hurt, and pain, you can move forward. Now if you don’t want to, just remember they love you despite all your struggles, moods and unpleasant sides. They love you and are not you’re enemy. Someone far greater is the enemy. If you decide you are still willing to support your spouse then here are acronyms for each one of you to help the other spouse through their battles, struggles, and addictions. Now if the roles need to be changed depending on  who is currently struggling then do so, but these two acronyms are ways to just show you how to be there for one another.

Men – You are the leaders of your own home, so use LEAD to guide you to lead over your marriage.

L– Let go and let God – Build a team for accountability. Men tend to keep everything bottled up. We all know this, they’re told to be tough, they need to be strong. But in hard times no matter what we need the help of others. Especially if you are the one struggling with addiction, cheating, or lying. Men, need to learn they can’t control everything, can’t fix everything, and can’t do it alone. Reach for God, let him take control. Place it at his feet even if it is just to take the weight off your shoulders.

E– Engage your helpers. Enlist them to be there, call upon them. Only you know when you need help, so don’t be afraid to ask.

A– Accept counsel even when they suggest to do the hard things. When you hear what you don’t want to be told, the last thing you want to do is listen, but just try and remember they are removed from the situation so they are coming from a perspective of love, and truth. Take the words they say, and atleast try it out and see what happens. In the end, it could be the best advice you ever received, and you won’t know unless you try. Doesn’t your marriage deserve the effort?

D– Don’t settle! Ever!! God has something better for your marriage and more for your life. When u better yourself, spears around you reap those benefits WOW!! Amazing! Can you imagine, by fixing myself and constantly drawing that circle around myself, focusing on what I need to change, changes my relationships with my wife, my children, and my friends. My whole life! That can be you! Reach for progression not perfection- perfection is unattainable- again strive for progression and that will take yourself + marriage out of the rut.

Women – Extend grace, hurt is natural, the feelings will always need time to heal, like everything else, but to extend grace to your husband will fill them with love and comfort, and show them you are their partner not their enemy. They will want to come to you even when they know they bear bad news. It’s okay to have those feelings and emotions I’m not here to tell you not to feel. But now you have the chance to respond to those previous actions and emotions in a loving way and in a helpful way. Therefore, use HELP to allow you to be that helpful companion vs an argumentative and cold partner. When your husband needs you especially when he’s at his weakest because he’s struggling with something, this can help you help him.

H- Hang onto God. Woman we must accept that perfection is unattainable so we need to strive for progression not perfection. We also need to keep in mind that progress doesn’t mean that conflict doesn’t exist. It’s the time of the fight and argument that changes when you have the tools to work through them. Things get better and fights become fair. So trust in God, hang onto him, and let him lead you in your marriage.

E– Enlist others. The same for Men applies to woman.

L– love with grace + Truth. In everything you do love with grace and truth. It also important to set yourself up with friends and the community who are like this too. Yes the friends who you can call upon immediately to vent to, the runs that always talk you down and are on your side is great. But they speak with emotions first. So when your telling them all your problems of course they’re going to take your side. In the hard times you need someone who is willing to tell you the truth that you need to hear. The truth that will align you back to where u want to be. You need to have friends that align with your beliefs it’s crucial!

P– Promote Christ in Him calling out goodness!! Tell him he’s worthy, praise him for his actions. Build him up. It sucks to say, but your husbands are like children, if you’re not there to build them up, then they will seek it other places. I hope these two acronyms will help you if you’re currently trying to overcome battles in your own marriage. Marriage is hard, living with someone else’s mood swings, life stages, and their challenges is a lot of work. But I believe that God sends you your spouse for a reason. You’re meant for one another. He wants your marriage to be full of great things. If you’re not struggling with major issues and you just need help getting through your marriage day to day these will help you too. These will help you to focus on what matters through all the crazy chaos in life- that’s your spouse. They are not the enemy. They are mostly good, so give your marriage the effort it deserves. Put in the work. I hope this motivates you to atleast try to take steps to build up your marriage. I also hope you learn a lot about yourself so you won’t put the whole burden of making your marriage work on your spouse. If you need prayers or help with any of this or want more info on Re|Engage feel free to reach me.

Start It, Commit to it, Succeed in it!

Ashly Williams

Re|Engage

Reconnect with your Spouse

Going to Re|Engage has been an amazing experience for Josh and I. We are half way through the program and I already see the difference in our lives. We look towards one another versus looking for outward help. We seek God together, pray more, and it has even changed the way we argue. No, it won’t stop all arguments, we are human after all, but it has helped get us to the resolution faster, and with an end that is actually progressive.

In Re|Engage we discuss how to focus on ourselves vs. our spouse. We of course want to fix our spouse that’s why we are there. We all enter that room with the same thoughts, “They are the reason for…” or “They did this to me…” or “if only they….” But in reality to love your spouse we have to focus on ourselves and learn how to love like God because unfortunately our spouses will disappoint us, will hurt us, and will occasionally let us down. They’re human, we are too. So we too will do the same. We have to understand in the end we are all broken, marrying someone else who is broken. No one is perfect.

During our first week as we were listening to other people’s testimony they mentioned they had a friend who was married 5 times. During his divorce for his 5th marriage he made the comment, “If I would have known, that the last marriage would have been like the first one, I would have stayed with the first.” In other words, we are all broken married to broken people, trying to figure out how to make our marriage work.  Now if you understand that you yourself are broken, and so is your spouse and you want to love them anyway, be there for them despite their problems, even though your still filled with hurt, and pain. Read How to have a successful marriage when times get tough. It helps us to be better partners despite all our brokenness.

Once we come to this realization that we are all broken then we can then focus on the how. How do I love a broken person? How do I love a broken person with addictions, lies, problems, secrets, and hurts?  I’m sorry but, NO, there’s no fast answer, if you are in a spot where you are facing divorce then I say seek counsel, go to your church, join a small group for married couples. Or perhaps join Re|Engage.

There’s also no way I can share all what I’ve learned so far, it’s something you should go through with your spouse and let God make moves in yalls lives. However, I wanted to share some simple ways to help you and your spouse take steps to making your marriage what God wants for yalls marriage- For it to be great!

The best way to move forward is to start pursuing your spouse. You want to get closer? Then get to know them. We think we know one another but guys, people change, people have new interest you know this by the gifts you buy for them, each year it’s different right? Well you may ask Ashly, I don’t need to do this, I’ve been married for 15 years. Then my question is, do you sit at home, on your phone at night, in bed? Do you watch TV while your eat dinner? Are you making time to talk to one another? Know eachother? The same way you research things on your phone is the same way you should pursue your spouse. Unfortunately, yes it is harder than looking up www dot. Are you willing to follow your vows and do the hard work?

The second thing, is to pursue Christ– run from sin and straight into Christ’s arms. Stop carrying around the weight of your past, your sins, or the hurt of others, you need to know today you are free from all of that!!

You’re free because he died for you.

Isn’t that beautiful?! Amazing?! Can you believe it, we are loved beyond measure. I think once we accept that whole heartedly, and actually believe you are loved, love begins to grow. For yourself, for your spouse, for your life. When I have put my life in God’s hands, I have more good days then bad. My days aren’t full of judgement, hate, and anger. Marriage is hard, so I hope that you find time to do these 2 Easy Steps to ReEngage with your Spouse.

 

Start It, Commit to it, Succeed in it!

Ashly Williams

Motherhood is the Best Hood

Defining Motherhood

M O M • M o t h e r • M o m m y – A person who gives birth, or cares and protects another being as if you gave birth to them. Mom is such a strong word to us mothers but when you look it up the word sounds so basic. It means to give birth OR anyone who can love and care for others in a motherly way.

As I continue to celebrate this amazing weekend full of love and gift showering, and lots of sweets, I was slapped in the face with this Webster reality. I was angry when I read it. That was it. That’s how motherhood is defined? Then I realized that’s not motherhood, that’s simply how the word mom is defined. So what’s motherhood?

Now before, I go on let me explain where My aha moment came from. Here I was yesterday, mad, feeling selfish and proud thinking my husband didn’t praise me enough as a mother during this special weekend. After all it’s one weekend a year, and I deserved it. Especially after everything I do. Then, an amazing gift was received from my husband. I felt so bad the rest of the evening for being bratty and acting the way I did all day long. I had literally secluded myself from my family because I was feeling the way I did and just pretty much pouted as I laid down in bed. I told him at first i just wanted rest because that’s what I wanted to do since it was my weekend. That was really just the self justification I told myself so I could get away with my stand-offish mood. I wasn’t fooling anyone though, not myself, not him and def not God. I felt so bad about my feelings after I opened my gift that I had to spill everything out and share my pride with my husband. As amazing as he is he shrugged it off and simply said, “Well, it is your weekend, and I didn’t even notice what you’re talking about.” Wink wink.

Then, I woke up this morning to a studio that was put together, my gift in a large box, was a photo studio with 18 backdrops, two light boxes, umbrellas, and light diffusers. I mean I’ve always wanted all this stuff but never thought I’d own it all. And in one day, it was here and up. I had no idea he was getting this for me and it means the world to me, considering I obviously love taking pictures. I mean with cute kids like mine how can you not. He put a lot of thought in this gift and got me something he knew would enhance my mommy and me moments.

As I stared in awe, thinking that I didn’t deserve this gift, that I have messed up so much. Lost control so many times, that there’s been days I treat everyone in the house with the bare minimum amount of love I have to give just to get us through the day. I was reminded of Gods love, how undeserving we are yet he loves us anyway. Like my husband does I and me him. My love for my children is the same way. They can do wrong. Never. I will always love them.

But that’s coming from a mom who has not gone through teenage years with them yet. I’m human and I’m aware that there will be those feelings of disappointment, anger, and plain fed upness with them. So, then is my motherhood still valid by that unconditional love that I speak of. For in tough times and hard moments that unconditional love could be and will be tested. So, now I ask, is it really that simple, to say a person can be a mom because they gave birth and have that instant feeling of conditional Ooops sorry I mean unconditional love.

This doesn’t sound right to me. I’m human and yes I love my children unconditionally, but there will be moments of weakness. I’m not perfect. So I sit here and ask again, What then defines me as a mother?

I’ve thought very long and hard about this. My motherhood isn’t defined by my husband- he thinks I’m the best mommy ever. It isn’t even defined by my own opinions of how good or how bad I think I’ve messed up. It isn’t defined by Webster either, and it sure in hell isn’t defined by how other mothers see me. I’ve realized one thing defines motherhood for me. One thing that makes a person into a “mother”- and that’s the effort put into leading a child to be people capable of navigating the inevitable bumps of living in this world.

Not raising a child. Grandparents, friends, aunts and uncles can raise your child for you. Just simply “raising” your child is half the battle. Yes. You work hard to feed them and clothe them and to put a roof over their head. Yes, your child never goes without. Well done! I mean it, because in this world that’s hard to do. What I’m saying though is if life is hard for you, then use it. Use it to lead them with grace and a strength that only you can show them. It will prepare them in their life ahead. We try to shelter our kids from pain and hardships because we care, but they need to learn how to manage through those times too and preferably before they ever leave your house.

I was fed, I was clothed, and for almost all of my life, I had a roof over my head. My mother did her best at that. Then I moved to my dads at 15 to be away from my mom. My step mother and father then did their best at raising me and I have them to thank for trying to lead me towards God. I left home two days after graduation and moved into a city with no knowledge on really how to live a life beyond everyday needs and wants. I didn’t know how to balance life, deal with stress, or how to remain strong in hard times. I did however know how to work hard.

In the last 13 years since I’ve graduated, I’ve had so many woman come into my life and give me love and care as a mother would. I’m beyond grateful, even if it was only in a moment, and not a lifetime. I’ve been beyond privileged to have woman pour into me in a way that saved me from myself, from temptation and from harm. I’ve had woman accept me, challenge me, and lead me. I don’t know where or who I would be without them. Yet, I have never called these woman mom but they did commit to influence and lead me in some way or another. Which brings me back to my aha moment.

As I threw my fit thinking I needed praise, because I am a MOM, because I have the title, that I deserve praise, but let’s just face it, we all just want the praise. ‘Motherhood’ is hard, dirty, slimy, and tests us, but we aren’t promised the praise nor do we really deserve it. We all love the praise of course, in the good times we love motherhood and we try to make it through the hard ones, so this one day a year is a nice reminder for everyone in our family to praise us for our efforts. We deserve it! Ya!!!!

In no shape or form am I trying to discount our motherly efforts we all put in day in and day out. I just think though that I’m hit with the reality of pride that I have gained from that word as a title. I carry this entitlement that is not justified.

It may have to do with the fact that at 21 I was a mother for 8 months and then it all was gone. Ripped from my hands. So when I was 23 and my second son came I was relieved that I could be “called” that again. I earned it back. However, that doesn’t justify or give meaning to motherhood. Giving birth to two more beautiful babies afterwards doesn’t somehow give me extra brownie points over other moms either. Spending 7!years covered in puke, poo, and drool doesn’t define motherhood either. All these moments add value to motherhood but does not define it. Before today motherhood to me meant swimming in the poo with a smile. It meant giving my best in this chaotic day to day life we are living meanwhile providing for my children.

Today however I’m hit with a different view. Swimming in poo only lasts for a few years. The stay at home mom eventually is left alone? At some point we will all be empty nesters. So then what? Again, what defines you as a mother? Me as a mother?

Disclaimer—Some, well many, may disagree with me. You may not like what I’m saying. But the harsh reality in my world, is that my mother is not part of who I became. She did not build me up, she did not give me tools, and she did not lead me. Ever. Now don’t bash her, because she was and has always been a woman who worked hard for us. At many points in her life she worked two jobs so we could survive. Yet, there is no significant moment where she helped me in managing through this journey we call life. Now does that mean she’s not my mom, no. It can’t take that away. However, now I know she and a whole lot of people will get offended by this, but the harsh reality is, that she was never present in her journey of motherhood. She was present in her own journey of life. Trying to make ends meet was her main focus.

I’m not here to make you angry. I’m not here to make a million friends either, I started this blog as a place to challenge you to be a better you. So as I share my moment of clarity, or to some my misconstrued opinions, I hope in some way I’m able to make you think outside your own walls of understanding that it will compel you to at least try. For in the end that’s all we can do.

Heck I’m trying now, I will have a many days that I fall short, but like Dr. Laura Markham said in Peaceful Parenting, it’s fine, we just have to take ONE ACTION AT A TIME. If you’re like me don’t focus to much on the things we’ve done wrong. Don’t focus on how we’ve messed up or how we have too many days living in choas to even try. Each day is a new day, and I want to always do my best at this journey called Motherhood. “No matter how many times I go 2 steps forward, and one step back, it still gets my family onto a more positive path + closer to a new landscape.” as said by Dr. Markham. That’s. Relief for me. I know we can’t be perfect, I know there will be difficult days so those set backs don’t mean much in the grande scheme of things.

My eye will stay focused on the never ending goal, to always serve them in a way that helps them grow. That’s the mother I’m called to be. The one that never stayed stagnant or didn’t try. I want to lead my children down a path of positivity and through an overall well balanced life. For that’s the best gift a mother can give. That’s a gift many mothers can, should, and need to give.

So as I focus on MY O W N commitment and the priority to help my babies with self – regulation, connection, and respect so they can manage in a world of turmoil, and hardships. I challenge you to raise up motherhood. Make motherhood more! More then a simple, “Whew- we made it through that.” Make your job of motherhood the most important job you have. Because in the end, you’re raising humans, and not just any humans, but our future generation. Please don’t burden them with your anger, hatred, or victimization, for they did nothing wrong. I ask that you as a mother, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself can you be better? Even if you only see a hair thin chance of room to grow in you, do it! Show your children how to manage life. Show them emotional intelligence. Give them the gift of understanding how to live life physically, morally, and mentally aware.

Motherhood isn’t about refereeing their daily actions, that just puts you in a Godly position. Instead, strive to be their coach, their confidant, and their counselor. Lead them.

I don’t know about you other moms, but as I listen to that word tomorrow in all the happy celebrations my perspective will be forever changed. As my kids yell my name in all the joyful, excited, sad, angry, proud and hard times, I will remember what that word means. I will remember my motherly duty to them- to take every moment and use it in a way to help them be better.

Now to you mom- remain strong in the hard days, stay strong in the midst of chaos, through the tiredness, you can do it!! For you were called by God to be a mother to those sweet babies of yours. So repeat it to yourself, write it down, you are strong! You are strong enough!

She is strong- Proverbs 31:12

I Did Not Lose My Son, He Died.

Having a Miscarriage at 16 Weeks

Yesterday was one month since our sweet Atticus Jaxon passed. The beginning of the year of course had started out like most, well kind of. I was actually very sick with the flu. Yet, I had scheduled post to publish, pics to share, and ideas a brewing about starting out the year with the right mindset, I had wedding anniversary post scheduled to write about all the little details of our wedding. Especially since the pictures and videos came in finally which I had been waiting for what seemed like forever. Instead life threw a curve ball. A huge one- that sent me down a path I never even could have imagined.

I sort of walked around telling myself I did my dues in this life already, and that I have been down my paths of torment and struggles. I literally thought what else would God need from me. I am no one of that much importance or someone who has made that much of an impact. I didn’t think God would want me to speak about all my grief and sorrows all over again. Especially after having three healthy kids in a row with just a simple glance being made in my direction. Seriously, no effort was needed, yet I know people today who struggle to still have their first baby. I never could imagine that I would become a part of this whole other community.

I have known and witnessed many people who have had miscarriages before and I remember thinking how sad, I can’t even imagine, but I will admit, because I lost my first son at 8 and half months I thought losing a child once they were in your arms and time spent with them was worse. How wrong I was.

At 16 weeks pregnant my water broke and I spent three horrible days of traumatic events that we will never be able to forget. I will spare all those details for they have passed. However what still lingers, is the obvious – dealing with all the emotions, sadness, confusion, fear, and grief. I guess I could just simply say, healing is what is left. There are all the same feelings; anger, pain, feeling that life stole something that was supposed to be yours, pity, shame, doubt, and depression. All the feelings that you feel when your child passes no matter how old they are, are all there.

We didn’t get to know Atticus, we will never know the sounds he would have made, the smile he would give, or the smirk if he was anything like his father. The temper he may or may not have gotten, or if he would have been a genius like both his parents. However we know what it was like to hold him…for one night, for as long as we wanted, before we never could hug, coddle, and kiss on him again. We rocked with him out of habit, knowing it wasn’t doing anything but we just wanted to share some moments with him before he was no longer with us. We stared at him wondering what color his eyes were and were fascinated how he looked so much like his siblings. He was a cutie! Although we never shared “life” with him, we will always ache and mourn over his death. I honestly almost feel as if miscarriages are worse only because you never felt their warm breath, literally every little moment that should have been yall’s to share, has become an unknown moment for you. Our lives will always be wrapped up in the unknown somehow, someway.

People say I’m sorry for your loss, but it’s not a loss. I didn’t lose my baby. He died. In my womb! We didn’t walk away without looking at him never knowing anything, I didn’t wake up with him just miraculously gone. I delivered my still born child and we spent time with an angel. There is no “loss”. What we lost was the time that we could have spent with him. That my friends, will never be able to be recovered from.

I always wonder what my first born, Valek would be up to now if he was still with us, he would be in 3rd or 4th grade hopefully doing what every little boy should be doing. Would he still need wires, or would he have a life without them? Would he have recovered from his traumatic injuries and we all could have witnessed a miracle or would he be a vegetable like they predicted? There will always be unknowns with him, I remember when his fifth birthday came and thinking about how he would be learning to tie his shoes and ride bikes. I know 100% all the same thoughts and unknowns will be there with Atticus as well. However, I knew Valek’s sounds, and sweet smiles, and witnessed his bravery. I knew who he was, and he knew me!!! Miscarriage is so hard because every moment is something you never had with your child.

At Atticus’ burial we met our minister, we talked and prayed before we went out and buried him as a family. In that moment God showed up to do his good works. The minister began to share his story with us; just two months earlier his oldest daughter had a miscarriage at 21 weeks. I thought he simply started out sharing because he wanted us to know we weren’t alone but then he continued to tell us about how he called her that morning and checked up on her to see how she was. Her response, “Dad, I lost my baby, he’s as real as you and I. I need to stop thinking I’m supposed to get over it easier than I would anyone else I knew but the reality of it is, my baby is gone. So now, I have to learn to live with that reality.”

For her and I it was a reality moment, I shared with him about my previous son passing away, and that for the past two and half weeks I’ve had every same thought and pain as I did with Valek’s passing. Nothing was different. It did not matter how long you held your angel, or how long you knew them, the cut still was just as deep as before. In that moment we all found comfort in the midst of pain. That minister stayed with our family all the way until we left the site and even helped us bury our son. God had his hands on all of us that day.

And Our son was buried by our own hands by his own family, that day.

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I feel compelled to explain- Joshua has always buried his loved ones and he has taught us all the importance of spending the time to do that. The respect and honor it gives to the deceased is beautiful to me. At first I was taken back by it, but to see the sweat and hard work it takes to cover a grave breaks my heart in a way I never knew it could. Yet, at the same time watching my husband and kids cover our son, was admirable. To see the minister stay, to pray with us in the end, and to remind us of Gods promise, made the worst day ever into quite a beautiful service.

IMG_2630The one constant thing that has hit me after this is the reality that not only am I reminded that nothing is for certain, and I am owed nothing, but all of this brings me down to my knees where I belong, and back to my center. That I am less than God therefore I need him. No matter what, all the time!

Another thing God has shown me, is no ones story means more than others. Shame me for thinking differently. Honestly! Who was I to think so wrongfully. I’m sorry for that, to all I didn’t comfort in those times because I was too prideful thinking your pain didn’t compare to mine. I think people like me, don’t know how to face miscarriages because of the mere fact it was someone you didn’t spend life with. I’m here to tell you, It does not matter! I knew you experienced loss, pain, and sorrow, I just measured my first sons death as if it was more because of his life he lived. Again, it does not matter! I have learned for it’s not the life you live, it’s the impact of your life you’ve lived that matters! I saw Valek bless so many people with his life. One month ago, I experienced a little boy, who never took a breath, change people in the hospital, I saw him impact everyone at the burial service, and I have experienced change because of him, for in his death he already left a legacy behind for the goodness of God!

I can only pray in my death I can accomplish the same as both my boys in heaven did.

Lastly, I may be the only person to say this who’s experienced “baby loss” as they call it. But I highly recommend we stop using that term. I know it cushions the blow, but I feel as if it’s too soft, as if it’s easily to turn away from, to not face it with that term. So as far as I go, please stop saying you’re sorry for me losing my baby, he’s not lost…time was lost….he on the other hand is in heaven.

 

A Gentleman’s Suit

Today marks one month that I have been married!!!! I can’t believe it!!! To think it felt like just yesterday I was running around doing all the last minute planning and picking up all the groomsmen, and my dad’s suits. Speaking of suits, one of those suits was a little five year old ring bearer’s suit.

I never could have imagined a suit holding so much power. Now, as a parent I should have known better, but as a little boys mother, it shouldn’t have come as such a shock to me. After all the kid has an armoire full of “different suits” that make him be anything he wants for the day!! I’ve raised an astronaut, a robot, a fireman, an army ranger, a doctor, a police officer, countless super heroes and have even had to feed my very own burglar while he was in jail. The boys imagination has always ran wild and has always fascinated me. The sounds alone a little boy can make at the age of 2 astonishes me. It’s like they take some hidden class for that at some point!!

In raising a little boy, you try to enhance their imagination, it’s food for their soul, and their little brains. All the meanwhile, trying to make sure that your raising a little gentleman with manners, respect, honesty, compassion, bravery, and back bone to stand up for what he believes in. This literally keeps me up at night sometimes when we experience a day of time outs , fits, and “Mommy, you make me sad!” moments. I worry am I doing the right things, am I too hard on him, should I try something different, should I have taken more/less away from him?

However on our big day, every worry, every fear of what kind of man my son is going to be, every doubt of selflessness, or kindness that he may not show or give…were all gone.

It’s all in the power of a suit, the moment a little boy took his astronaut pajamas off, and put on a mans suit, and became a gentleman. It was a moment I realized, I no longer have a little boy, but a little gentleman.

It all started off when it was time to get ready. I showed him his suit that he has been waiting for for three weeks. He had been asking about it ever since we went for his fittings. He was excited to pick it up, he was overjoyed I think that it was time! He said he wanted to put it all on himself, I asked politely, “well can I just help you?” His response, “I’ve got this Mom”. I watched the boy for ten minutes try to figure out his shirt cuff buttons, looking back at me one time. He tried and tried! Finally he said, “Mom, can you help me please? But with just one button okay?! So that way I can watch you and do the other one.” I laughed inside, smiled at him, and responded, “I’d love to help you, but honey there’s only one button to use.” I went into further explanation of the two cuff buttons per sleeve, did his second sleeve, and continued to his shirt buttons only to get a, “NO MOM! I can do these!!!”

I’ve got this Mom- Ayden

I watched him with pure adoration. It was a beautiful sight to see on a beautiful day. He went on to put his bow tie on by himself and his coat jacket, not tucking his shirt in but it was okay with me. I was proud of all he did. Now to the final touches, his shoes! He couldn’t wait to wear those because he knew they matched daddy’s! He was so handsome! He got dressed and went straight down stairs to line up.

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When we went down the isle, apparently little sister saw too many peeps and froze up, he was a gentleman then, and patiently tried to motivate and coach his little sister in continuing the mission. I missed the whole show because I was waiting with my daddy for my turn. When I finally got down there, the moment I reached the spot where we all rehearsed to be, Ayden says to me, ” Mom, I walked down the isle!! Is there anything else you need me to do?” My son, a five year old, asking me if there’s anything else he can do for me during our ceremony!!! 😩❤❤😂😂 Joshua and I exchanged looks and we both knew we were so proud of him in that moment.

He stood there the whole time, not playing with leaves, sticks, or making noise. Just holding his sign and my ring. He was not going to mess up his duties in any way. Not even when his sister tried to give him a leaf to play with. That’s devotion!! I’ve never seen this kid pass up a rock, stick, or leaf.

Then he just continued being a little gentleman, he did great during photos, always smiled, never complained. When it was finally time to eat, one of my bridesmaids set him up at the end of the table where all the guys were sitting. I look over at him and he grabs his napkin, flops or open, folds it in half, and lays it in his lap like we sometimes practice at home! Son my heart was full of proudness, love, emotion. I called out to him asking if he wanted to sit next to mommy and daddy and he said, “I’m fine down here Mom.” Never asked for anything while he ate, ate all his food, and just remained being this little gentleman that I could not stop watching.

Don’t get me wrong, it was all beautiful, and the day was filled with many beautiful moments. This one however was something that could only make any parent proud. To top it off a pregnant bride who wanted to cry. He was def one of my top five favorite things of the day. I never knew a suit could hold so much power, for it was literally the moment he put it on, he became this person that eased my soul. That calmed my fears. For it was on that day, I knew my little boy was going to have good character, show others he had a kind heart, show selflessness, respect, and above all that he was already Mommy’s little gentleman.

A Mother’s Blessing, a Man’s Miracle

I don’t talk much about my journey or for the fact of matter, our journey’s. When you experience loss, it’s something you rarely want to discuss. However, Joshua and I didn’t just experience losses, we experienced tragedies.

Seven years ago I lost my first born due to nurse’s not listening to me while my son was recovering from a surgery that was supposed to give him a higher chance of survival. He was severely dehydrated and needed a blood transfusion asap and it sent him into cardiac arrest, for 45 minutes, while I sat there and watched my son fight for his life. That put him on life support for three weeks where we believed he was going to make it and was making plans to go to Pittsburg for more medical support. Only to find out he had extensive brain damage with three huge brain hemorrhages that shifted his brain. With much medical advice and opinions, it was damage that meant my son had low chances of ever having a normal life. Pittsburgh got cancelled because they wouldn’t give a baby in his condition a new liver or kidneys knowing he most likely didn’t have a chance to live a “valuable” life. So I had to make a decision. To push through it all and find out if he would be normal only to watch him slowly die due to his bad liver and kidney, or to pull his support then.

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Getting last cuddles in after we took Valek off life support

How did he end up there? He was born with a birth defect called gastroschesis, a term that means your intestines are on the outside of your body when your born. My son at just one week endured three surgeries, a total of 7 major surgeries and several mini procedures, and he passed away at just 8 months. We lived in the NICU the first three and a half months of his life. Not ever knowing what was outside of a hallway, a tree or even what grass was. Not knowing the feeling of fresh air, Sun rays, or what dirt was. My son lived a tough life but you would have never known it because he had a very beautiful spirit and a great smile. Sick kids always seem to have that gift don’t they?!

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Valek right before his last surgery. ALL SMILES!

Joshua had a tough upbringing and didn’t see a flash of light until he met his first wife. They spent seven beautiful years together where she showered him with love, compassion, and gave him meaning and purpose to his life. She was tragically ripped away from him one ordinary morning, spent like every other day, when a young girl ran a red light and had a head on collision with his wife just one light away from the where they worked. It killed her on impact. Just imagine you are blindly in love, and you have so much love being poured on you and you’re pouring all of that same kind of love back onto them and then, BAM! You not only stop receiving it, but you also no longer have anyone to shower.

Nothing can, nor nothing will ever take away the pain, anger, or holes we have from our tragedies. People tend to think you can get over things, but you don’t ever get over losses, no one does. You only learn to live with it. You learn to manage, you learn all over again who you are going to be with half of you gone. Time does indeed heal you only because in time you heal yourself. It’s a constant battle, it’s not an easy one, it’s a struggle of your life.

God has a funny way however of making miracles happen, even to the most unfortunate, and undeserving. Our past had sent me to being a single mother at 23, struggling to be on my own, working in nightclubs downtown and him moving to Austin to run away from the pain and drink his sorrows away. We weren’t proud of who we were. How could we be? We were still very angry with the world. I questioned God everyday and for Josh, he had no desire to make it to his forties. The thing that people don’t realize, is when you have significant losses like this, meaningful people taken from you, life and people lose all flavor and all your patience. When I say meaningful, I’m not talking about a mother, a father, or grandparent. Now, let me say, yes those are hard, they ache the heart body and soul. Statistically speaking though, losing your spouse is the highest ranking life changing event that sends you to depression. When you take stress test they ask you questions and then they rank them by points, losing your spouse is the highest amount of points. A child is right below. Losing your parent or a grandparent allows you to keep doing the same daily things in your personal life, losing your wife or a child alters your daily events immediately. You are hit with a harsh reality very fast. Your purpose…no longer exists. You wake up in the morning and go to bed constantly being reminded your alone.

Our lives changed when we met one another. We saw something amazing the first night we met, we talked for hours about our losses and we knew we understood each other. For the first time, we met someone who thought like ourselves. This world around us was meaningless, yet somehow with each other we had meaning. Then we discussed further and found out we had experienced some same things in our upbringing. To top it all off I fell in love with Josh that night because I asked him if he had children, his answer,  was, “Nope, no trophies.”

My heart just skipped a beat.

Did he just call kids trophies, and he never even had one!?!?!

My soulmate had been found! Within four months he met my son, and fell in love with him. He treated him like his little friend from the moment he saw him. Their friendship blossomed into something I thoroughly enjoyed watching. Ayden learned to trust Josh, rely on him, and love him. It was truly beautiful, even if that meant he picked him occasionally over me for rides, cuddles and bedtime stories.

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Ayden and Josh on his Second Birthday

In the four years we have been together we have had two more trophies added to our trophy shelf and we currently have one in the making. We got married on 11-11 of this year and enjoyed a happily ever after themed wedding.

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We had Mickey and Minnie and gang come from Anamaria’s mascots for a visit  on our special day! It was amazing for all guests and was so special for our little trophies

It seems like the perfect ending to a horrible story, well two horrible stories, but honestly it took work. It took both of us a many of days of reminding ourselves to count our blessings, to remind us that we aren’t just lucky, but that what we have are little lessons living around us everyday. The main lesson I think we both can agree on, is that it’s natural to want to shut everything and everyone out after you lose your world. We both pushed God away at times, and both had moments of giving up. It sounds cliche but you really never know what God has in store for you when you finally push through and finally fight through the darkness. For me, I honestly felt like I had God pulling me out of the darkness. My image I have always had is me laying face down on the ground and God literally dragging me by my arm, telling me I’m not done with you yet.

When I was at my lowest, I went to go see my pastor, I needed help. This was at a time I got tired of everyone telling me how I should be feeling and what I should be doing. He was different. He looked at me and said I have one question for you, “Are you still hurting?” I laughed sarcastically, how could he ask such a question?! Of course I am! Angrily I answered, “Yes!” His response is one I hold dear to this day, “Then hurt, let it hurt, I know you feel like you’re in mud and you can’t move. Stay stuck in the mud. Feel sad, trudge through all that pain and let it weigh you down. Remember every feeling of it. Just know though, you can’t always stay there. At some point you eventually have to get out of the mud.”

I told Josh that same thing in our second month of dating when he didn’t answer my phone calls for two days. He finally called me and explained it was rough for him. He couldn’t stop thinking of his wife and knew we were growing together fast in our relationship and he didn’t know how to handle it. The response I gave was one he wasn’t expecting, but it was one he needed to hear. It was a moment that we built our friendship upon. Again, our relationship was one that was not always easy, healing is hard! We just want you to know don’t give up!

Don’t ever give up!

Life is hard, it sucks! Royally! You never know though when it’s time to step out of the mud and watch miracles happen in your life. You never know when God is wanting you to step up and speak your story.

“And we know that in all things God works for the Good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

That verse was read coincidently twice at my sons funeral, I knew it meant something then. Five years later I found a sign while Josh and I were house decorating and I knew it was perfect for our home. It’s perfect now for this blog. Good faithful servants, times may suck now, but even in the darkest of stories when you are at the rock bottom, God has not forgotten you, nor forsaken you, he has plans for you. Don’t give up! You never know, you may end up with a story like ours, one we both never expected for ourselves, one full of many, many, many, little blessings…and lots of trophies!

Push on and believe in miracles.- The Williams family

Seek Knowledge

Photo Cred: Lysander Yuen

I absolutely love to read! I can remember always loving it, always wanting a book in my hand at a very early age. They say it’s a girl thing, but I’ve met many people with books from the list below that they have cherished and mentioned have impacted their lives in a beneficial way.

I love old school books. WHAT BOOKS!?!

I know right, why read books, when we have audiobooks, phones, and nooks? I actually love everything about the whole hands on reading process. I love turning the pages, the feel of anticipation to get to the next page. The sound the pages make as you turn them, the smell of a fresh book, and the good old motivational bookmarks. One of my recent bosses actually told me once, that he read this study. This study is one I can’t recall verbatim, but I remember him saying that it had mentioned we are losing the chemical relationship our brains have with books due to cell phones. The brain retains more information as you physically turn pages, and touch the book. Now, it’s as if we are skimming books because reading them on the phone is just a swiping motion and we tend to hurry through the words vs retain them. Just something else to keep in mind as you are reading something you want to remember for a latter date.

Back to my reading habits- I have to write all over my books. I write notes in the margin, I highlight, I underline, I write keywords that remind me of other points from other books to tie things together for me, I even write the main points on the title page of each chapter so I can go back and briefly review. Call me a nerd, or I guess I would qualify as a book worm, but I like to believe that I am constantly growing, and seeking knowledge so I can remain mentally awake. I never want to stop learning.

Right now on my night stand I literally have 6 books, other than my bible, that I have been reading here and there through, for about 6 months. I have read already and we have chose to reread together, Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, a book to help remind us that we are speak different love languages therefore need to be conscious of it so we can properly give one another the love we each desire. Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman, obviously the same as before but for children, each child needs love in their own ways. The Power of a Positive Mom by Karol Ladd, is a christian motivational book that helps me to try to be better everyday and to remain as calm as possible when raising three kids and things go wrong to still see the positive in things and be that positive role model for them. 31 Prayers for my Future Husband by Jennifer and Aaron Smith, is a devotional for my hubster and he reads the 30 Prayers for my Future Wife, With just 17 days away from our wedding date it’s a great read to keep our minds, hearts, and intentions for one another in the right place, to focus on building that foundation set on God, and nothing else. Lastly, a book Joshua laughs at because he says why do I read it when I have the bible but Believe by Randy Frazee, a book that helps with living out a life in a story that resembles Jesus. All these books are spiritual at the moment, and none are for business or leadership, however it’s what I need to get better in at the moment. The list below however  are books that have impacted me in a way that has stuck throughout my life. So to all my fellow knowledge seekers, book worms, business men/ women, philosophers, all the way to students. I’ve compiled a list of books that I absolutely love that have helped me throughout my  journey, I hope they help you in your mental growth.

Remember sharpen your ax, strive to stay open-minded, it makes things easier. Seek knowledge and see where it takes you. Part of balance is sometimes taking a step back, reanalyzing a situation, belief, or notion, and getting a new perspective so you can come out a better person.

Top 5 List to remain Mentally Awake:

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The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C Maxwell

Outliers
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

 

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Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

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The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

Blink
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

 

I hope you take time to read one of these books on this list. Even if it is an audible, do it, rethink your way, reanalyze the way you do things, see if they are working. If they’re not read up on it, get ideas, add on to your life to help make things better. You have one life to live, so live it well, make it easy, and make it fun.

~Start it, Commit it, Succeed!

ATEAM MOM

A TIME OUT

 

So life has become very busy for us this fall. Our son is four now and just started school for the first time since he was 1. We also have a 20-month-old and our newest edition to our family currently being three months old. I am currently a stay at home mom and a full-time business student who is cramming 18 credit hours in one semester so I can graduate this fall. On top of it all, I must have been high on caffeine when I decided to sign up the oldest for T-ball this year.

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Ayden celebrating how he “caught” the ball at his first game.

OH, did I mention that I’m also the coach for his team? So every Thursday night and Saturday morning for the past eight weeks, Dad has been on duty watching the girls while I patiently direct four year olds. I have to direct them on where to stand, what to do, and to get the ball. I even have to remind them to ignore the airplanes, the butterflies and the pretty little flowers growing in front of them. It’s a fun experience, yet it has to be said, it is a little trying. I didn’t think about my load being full to the brim already, when I volunteered for this obligation. From keeping up with his cleats, clothes, and gloves early in the morning on a Saturday, while rushing to get his sisters, dressed, fed, and all out the door by 8:30 after waking up just one hour before. It definitely has been a hectic chore to tack on with everything else.

So after six weeks of this new era in our lives, we are hit with colds, fevers, and ear infections. One child had a fever after vaccinations, then oldest woke up in middle of night with fever. A few days later, after both of us having minimal amount of sleep, our 20-month-old is screaming for three and half hours straight because she has an ear infection.

Then two days of peace, our smallest one has a fever again for no apparent reason, and of course, it is during the weekend. So we toughen it out over the weekend and call nurse’s line first thing in the morning. After waiting the average wait time on the phone for 20 minutes, I finally talk to someone all about her symptoms and get the advice, to take our 2-month-old to the ER. She didn’t have a fever anymore, but we are told to take our daughter to endure God knows how many tests to find out she is okay. So we went to DR. office instead to see if we needed to go or not. After taking all the children, packing them up, etc. Her checkup is fine. To parents: always trust your intuition first and foremost.

So we walk outside to go home and I look over on the way to elevator and decide to take kids outside on balcony for a minute. I’m so used to running, and I can’t even tell you how many times I have told my kids let’s go! We are in a hurry, or no I’m sorry there’s no time. Well since, I’ve started this blog, I’ve tried to remind myself to do what I am talking about. To actually do what I used to do before all the kids. That is to stop every once in a while and soak up all the beautiful things that are around us. Today I was tired, I was exhausted because it seems like for two weeks, we haven’t gotten a full night’s rest. I wanted to go home so I could start dinner, give baths, and go to bed. At that moment Dad and I looked at each other and we decided to practice what Dad does on a daily basis, meditation, with the kids.

Breathing with Kids: Fitness4AllBlog
Our Time Out

To sit down, close our eyes, and listen to all the sounds around us. Afterwards we looked around at how beautiful this site was. I was so proud of our littles, because they sat down, closed their eyes, and participated. The oldest told us what he heard as it happened, and if he didn’t hear what I heard he asked where it was. It made my heart happy to see them “turn off” all their wiggles, and open their listening ears to the wind blowing in the trees. We focused on the leaves tumbling along the sidewalk, cars driving occasionally by, and to finding things that aren’t right in front of us. This is a must do from now on:

Number 1: Stop and Relish in the moment.

Number 2: Turn off everything and allow mother earth in.

Now GO and ENJOY your time out.

~Start tomorrow, commit to it, and do it~