Friday, January 31, 2014

A Birth Story

Happy Friday

Hope you all have been enjoying this work week as much as you can. I have truly been enjoying spending time with Baby Layla, and falling more in love with her each day. I'm enjoying maternity leave! Some of you had some interest in learning more about her birth story, so today's Friday post is going to be just that. 

When I was pregnant with baby L, I would see birth stories on other mommy blogger's sites and start to read and then get completely freaked out and immediately close my browser! Eek! As much as I want to give you the play by play, I will make it as sweet as possible (yeah, right)

**Warning, this post is quite lengthy!!**


I planned to work until the baby came. Which probably was not the best decision, but it ended up working out well in my case. Reason being, I wanted to spend the most of my time off with baby. I knew being home before she came would make me stir crazy as I would be anticipating her arrival every second of every day. 

Tuesday afternoon at work I started to feel sort of weird. I noticed I was not being my usual self. I told my sisters and mom that I probably should not be at work anymore, and they told me to leave and take care of myself. The week prior I talked to my boss and told her that I had pregnancy brain x 100. I was forgetting things, and making minor mistakes that I absolutely never do. I was becoming more of a liability than an asset! LOL. Good thing I left that day. I called the nurse line as I was having contractions and timing them and they were pretty consistent for a few hours. They gave me the run down on waiting until they were 5-7 mins apart and lasting 1 minute or so for at least an hour. I heard it before, but when it's your first baby you are always in panic mode. Wondering was that feeling something important that I should be paying attention to? It's really nerve wracking sometimes. All was well the rest of the night and we continued tracking the contractions but they seemed to go and come, so I figured they were just braxton hicks and went to bed. 


Early morning normal rush to the bathroom turned into an exciting moment. I felt a gush, saw fluid, and realized it was my water that either broke or was leaking. I woke A up to tell him I think this is it! Funny, because he wasn't in any rush as I was always telling him I thought something was happening all the time. I then called the nurse line to tell them the deets of my morning and they urged me to make my way to labor and delivery! I remember the excitement of that morning! We were about to meet our baby girl! I still wasn't really having any contractions that were painful - just mild ones that pretty much felt like braxton hicks. 

We got to L&D and they confirmed, yes that was my water that was leaking. They checked me and I was only dialated to 2cm. They moved us from triage into a labor room to begin the process. I remember our cell phones going wild as we were letting everyone know we were at the hospital! I had to soon give mine to A because I was starting to get irritated by all the texts! LOL. They told me I couldn't eat anything, but since I hadn't had breakfast yet I was able to talk them into giving me peanut butter toast. YUM. The rest of the night I would be confined to ice chips and water. 

They decided to give me Pitocin to help get the labor going. My contractions went from non-existent to "I need to punch somebody in the face to feel better." For me the feeling was like the worst cramps I've ever had but also in my back and there's nothing I can do about it. I hated it. A started to do counter pressure in my back, which definitely helped. I yelled at him a few times as he was sending texts while I was mid contraction. 

He got the point. After a few too many of these painful attacks, I urged my nurse to get me an epidural as soon as humanly possible. They checked me and I was dialated to 4cm. It was a go on the epidural. The anesthesiologist came within 10 minutes or so. The process was sort of weird, but I did not care if it was going to rid me of the pain. I didn't feel the needle going into my back, just a slight tingly feeling, and a ringing in my ears at first and then it went away. I soon started to feel numb in my abdomen area down to my knees. No more pain, Yay! After the relief stepped in, I was told to try and rest. They upped the Pitocin to help the labor keep progressing and I tried to take nap. 

My family arrived at the hospital and kept us company for a few hours. My nurse checked me again, still at 4cm. No progression. They noticed that there was a pocket of additional fluid from the amniotic sac near the cervix, and we needed to rupture it. They then decided to insert an internal contaction monitor to see how strong the contractions were as we were unsure why it was not progressing. It was now the evening and I had been laboring for over 8 hours. 

I began to start feeling pain again in my back. Oh no, I thought. The epidural is not strong enough? I cannot do this... My sister mentioned it to my nurse when she returned to the room and to my relief she noticed that the IV that was attached to the epi was not attached all the way. It had been leaking fluid and I was not getting the full dose of medicine! Great. The nurse called for the anesthesiologist to return to administer more medication. Ahhh, relief again. I was told to sleep and try and get rest. My mom and sister had to leave to travel to IL for my aunt's funeral. My other siblings stayed to keep me company, but I remember thinking - OMG my mom is not here!


When they checked me at midnight or so, I had finally progressed to 6cm. Yay, I thought. I didn't know what to expect, but I wanted to get this show on the road. I remember trying to push and not being able to feel anything. I panicked, thinking if I can't feel anything now - how will I push when it's time.. I had to relax and try not to think about it. I'll figure it out when the time comes, I thought. 

Well the time never came. 
The nurse let me know that the contractions were strong enough and close enough and I was in active labor, but for some reason my cervix wasn't opening. The also noticed the cervix was starting to swell and it seemed as if there was something going on with the way the baby was positioned. They gave me a deadline to dialate more or we were going to look at other options. 

At this point. I remember praying. I had been talking to Jesus all along the entire process, but now I knew I really needed Him. I needed peace. I told Him that I knew He was giving me my daughter as a gift and that He would not allow anything bad to happen to us. I asked Him to calm my mind, and give me peace. I called A over and we prayed together. I remembered all the things I had talked about to each of you on this blog, about trusting in God no matter what the situation looks like. I knew it was my turn to put my faith to the test. 

At 4:30am my nurse returned to see if I had progressed any. Not at all. She called the doctor in, who explained that at this point we were going to have to do an emergency C section to get baby girl out. I started crying. I had not ever planned for one and didn't really know what I would be getting myself into. I knew people thought it was just easier to have a child through surgery, but I had never had a major surgery in my entire life and now I was about to go in within 30 minutes. My mom wasn't there to calm me, and A was just as freaked out and excited as I was. I tried to call my mom and no one was answering. The nurse and doctor started explaining everything to me, making me sign papers, and my mind was so clouded with questions and fear of the unknown. I needed to talk to my mom. I finally got a hold of her. The shortest conversation ever, but I finally felt a sense of calm. Funny how moms can just know what to say to make you feel like everything will be alright. 

I felt peace.

5:00am I was transferred to the OR. A would be brought into the room in about 10 mins. I got spinal meds through the same tap as the epidural but they were much more strong. My legs and arms tied to the table, and a vent of hot air blowing heat onto my body to keep me warm. A curtain put up so I could not see any of the surgery. As they started asking me if I could feel any pain, I said no - as I thought where is A!? The anesthesiologist assured me he was on his way in and I looked up and saw his face. I could feel tugging and pulling on me, but no pain. Knowing they were cutting into me and maneuvering things inside made me uneasy. 

"Talk to me about something" - I made A come up with a topic to discuss. I could see the fear in his face. Within 15 minutes I heard the doctor say, "Here she comes!" They held baby L up over the curtain for me and A to see. Covered in slime, I saw her little face and thought, "She is beautiful." They took A to help get her cleaned off and grab her measurements. I heard her little cry, and tears fell from my eyes!

"Aww, I want another one!" I yelled out. 
Obviously very drugged up. They brought her around and placed her on my chest. Aww, mommy's baby girl! The rest of the surgery took about 45 minutes as they finished putting thing back together in there -_- I started to shake and had convulsions and felt like vomiting. I tried to breathe and keep calm, they explained to me and A with all the drugs I was on this was normal. After they finished, we went into recovery for an hour or so. I couldn't feel anything from the abdomen down and was confined to the bed for the first 24 hours. 

Recovery has definitely not been a breeze. But I am on the better side of things now. I think the biggest misconception of having a cesarean is that its easier. The reality is you just had a baby and a major abdominal surgery in one day. And your body isn't naturally supposed to bare children that way. I couldn't use my abdominal muscles for anything and if I did, I definitely paid the price in pain. I couldn't stand up and it was exhausting to take a walk. We ended up staying in the hospital longer than expected. But praise be to God through it all. I have a healthy baby girl, and I am recovering well.  

So that's my story and I'm sticking to it! 
If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me and I'd be happy to answer! It's quite scary going through your first pregnancy and labor, but one thing is certain - It is all worth it! 

So cliche, yet so true!

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Everything is 'Peachy Keen'

Happy Hump Day!
(or "Bump" day to all you mommas to be...)

Can you believe January is already coming to an end?

I have had such a busy start to a great new year. With the addition to our little family, I have been consumed in baby babble, dirty diapers, quick naps, nursing, and recovery.

Which leaves very little time for ME
But, I am becoming really good at using the little bit of spare time I do have, when I am not staring into her gorgeous big brownish grey eyes, to cross a lot of things off my to do list! 

It's so rewarding when that happens.

One thing that was on my to do list was a vision board. 

Have you ever made a vision board?
God told my sister we needed to make one for this year. So my sisters all came over the other night to help me around the house and to work on our boards.

These are to help us with a vision for our year, and truly ask Him for what we desire and know that we can receive and accomplish it all!
 It helps you to think BIG! 

I am such an advocate for thinking BIG! When I was little I used to sing this song with those words in it. It was definitely my motto through life. I've never believed anything was too hard or too high for me to reach. I thank God for that mentality, because He is such a BIG and AWESOME God. 

Nothing is too BIG for Him!

Now that I think about it - it makes sense why Jesus brought me to those scriptures in John this past weekend! I know that whatsoever I ask in His name He will do for me because it is pleasing to Him! 

What an awesome God I serve!

Teal Bubble Necklace - c/o PersunMall - Find it Here
White/Gold Bracelet - Snagged from my Momma :)
Peach/Pink Chiffon Blouse - c/o PersunMall  - Find it Here
Dark Denim Jeans - Silver Jeans - Similar Here
Brown Booties - Steve Madden - Find it Here

BTW, I am loving this blouse from PersunMall.
I'm calling it peachy keen. And although its the perfect color for spring, a nice pair of skinny jeans and boots help to bring it into the current weather scenario. I love how the teal necklace makes the look pop! :)

What I am also going to make pop is my vision board!
 Take a look at the start of it... 

So, what do you think? Have you ever made a vision board? 

Do you find it helpful? 

What other ways do you document your goals for the future? 

Pinterest? ;)

Hope you have a great day!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

In Love.

Happy Sunday!

This has been my view everytime I plan to log on and blog. 
I love it. 
In fact, I'm in love. 

I love being a mommy. 
I love looking at her and trying to figure out who she looks like more.
I love spending time cuddling her. 
I love knowing that this awesome gift from God was given to me to protect and care for. 
I love how close me and A are becoming because of it. 
I love how she is motivation to conquer the world. 

I love how I snap a new photo of her each day and pick out the differences from the day before. 
I love how I can hold her to my chest, and she just knows I'm Mama. 

The other night Jesus led me into John  chapters 15 & 16. I believe He led me there for a few different reasons. He continued to let it ring in my heart, whatsoever I shall ask in my Father's name He will give it to me. It brought me back to before baby L was born, and how I really did want a family. It was something that was hidden in my heart that I had asked for, and God allowed it to become a reality for us. Oh, how He is faithful!

He also showed me another verse that resonated with me, based on the recent events. Jesus was explaining to His disciples that He was going to leave, and that they would experience sorrow when He died, but their sorrow would turn to joy when He rose and lived! 

He compares it to a woman who goes into labor and has sorrow, but as soon as the baby is delivered she forgets about the suffering and is filled with joy for the new life that has come into the world! This seems to be the norm for most mommies, as it always seems like no one really tells you how things will be - perhaps we truly forget the pain we endured because we are filled with joy and love as soon as we see the new baby!!

Baby L's birth story was no simple task, but it could have been worse. I was unsure about sharing the story, but after hearing a few of you ask for it - it seems you are interested enough for me to share! So, look forward to seeing that sometime this week :)

So, what do you think?
Any mommies out there relate to this scripture? 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

She's Here...

On 1/16/14 at 5:33am - Layla Grace was born.

Thanks for understanding my absence from the blog during this bonding and recovery time. 
I will be back (with pics) before you know it :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I must confess...

True Life: I have become a fan of "The Bachelor."

What started as a fun contest at work with Emily's Bachelorette season, turned into a curiosity to see what ridiculousness would unfold with future casts. 

Last night, I started thinking a bit about current season... 
I mean why do we get so obsessed with watching this?
Juan Pablo Galavis

 Is it because of hunky, Juan Pablo? 
Well, I'm sure that helps.. His fatherly love for his little girl Camila, Latin accent, dance moves, and lightheartedness can only make most women swoon. But there is something that us women do on a daily basis to ourselves and other women that I noticed by watching a little closer on last night's show. 

Victoria showed her true colors last night. This 24 year old got a bit intoxicated and her feelings of rejection of not having 1 on 1 time with Juan left her drunk and sobbing. The ladies in the house, and myself included, began immediately judging her actions. Confusing their own snarky comments and whispering conversations with true concern for her well being.

Why do we do this?

 One gal, Renee, surprised me. She seems to be the mother of the group, running after Victoria and trying to calm her and help her to no avail. Then Juan pops on the scene and shows such concern for Victoria's feelings, and although he lets her know she isn't the one for him, his reasoning is based on the love for what he wants for him and his daughter. 

What I saw while all of this 'drama' was unfolding on the show is how the ladies were each reacting, and how I have seen similar qualities in myself and other women that I know when it pertains to other women.

We compare ourselves to these women and we judge them. 

We sit and watch the intro of each contestant, and try to compare our current life's situation to what they are doing with theirs. How are we better than them? Have we made it? Have we failed?  Where do we need to adjust or make improvements? 

We have to focus on showing love instead of judgment. We too have things we are working on, so how can we point the finger? Most of us can relate. We find similarities in ourselves through some of these women in the show. For those of us who are in our 20's or 30's, single and wanting to "find love," we relate to these ladies in their stories of broken hearts and their longing for something that is missing in their lives. Looking for someone who lives up to their dream image of the perfect man, who will sweep them off their feet and carry them into the sunset. 

Looking for love in all of the wrong places. In reality, nothing on this earth will ever fulfill us. 

Only Jesus will. 

Some of us can relate to Victoria, burying our emotions in those extra glasses of wine you know you shouldn't have had, to try and make the pain go away. But let me tell you sweetie, that pain will come right back once you've sobered up. 

I've been there. I thought a relationship would help me become happy, and you know what it brought a lot of happiness. But at the end of the day, I still had a sense of emptiness. 
I still had a lack of confidence in who I was, and I still felt unsure about my future. 

Last year I gave my life to Jesus, and He changed that. 

He allowed me to see my true identity in who He is. I can trust in His plan for my life and know that it will get me to the best destination ever imagined. In times of trouble, I can stand on His word and take my eyes off the situation - because He is in control. I can see others good, as He sees ours. Taking my judgmental thoughts and turning them into prayers and helpful words and actions. Becoming one with other believers, just as He wants us to be. Knowing that I have a true purpose in my life, and living it for Him. 

It's so important we show love to one another. We show love to those "Victoria"s in the world, that have felt rejection and didn't handle it well. One thing about Jesus is He was rejected, but He will not reject you. There is no person or thing on this earth that I can promise that will treat you the same as Him. 

He is always there, He always understands, and always comes through. 

So, what do you think? 
Have you ever felt relationship = happiness?
Who are you Bachelor picks?
P.S. My picks are Renee, Andi, Cassandra, & Clare... 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Small Teachings: Being ARMed

Happy Sunday!

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend :) 

This weekend me and A decided it was due time for us to kick it into high gear and get to a few things we needed to finish for the baby arrives! We were running errands, cooking, getting rid of some old, and following up on things we may not have time to address right away once the baby is here. It helped to keep my mind off of her not coming yet -_-

One thing that was an absolute must for me to get this weekend was a planner! I feel like I can't keep it all together unless I've got one of these babies. AND no, I can't use my iPhone - its just not the same. 
So I went to Target and picked this baby up for $7.99! 

One of the first keys to being prosperous is writing things down. 

So, what shall you do? 
Make a to do list.

So that you will make sure you know exactly what you need to do for the day, month, upcoming event, etc. I worked in such a fast paced, ever changing environment when I worked in merchandising/buying that this was almost as important as having my bible. Priorities changed so quickly and you would need to re-prioritize and start over so often! Also grocery lists - its so frustrating and a waste of time when you are aimlessly walking through the store because you can't remember what you even came for. Last week I went to the store 3 times and forgot to get toilet paper because I didn't add it to my list!

Use a planner/calendar.

This often comes in handy for me. Mark down pay days, appointments, birthdays so that you can stay accountable to remembering what is coming up. Don't play catch up in life, be ahead of the game! This is a life saver to those in college and it translates into the real world, too. Mark down important deadlines so that you do not let them slip by.

Become ARMed.

Early last year God gave my mom a word that she shared with our church. It was about making sure we were armed in Jesus. God told her that each letter stood for the following:

A- Accountability
R- Responsibility
M- Management

God told her that we are to be accountable, responsible, and manage things in every area of our lives in order to please God. This is also a key to prosperity. 

The definition of armed is: furnished with something that provides strength, efficacy. 

Sometimes we are often at fault for the circumstances of our situations. We quickly want to point the finger to God or others for upsets in our finances, our jobs, our relationships, and so on - when the source trickles back to a choice we made in the past. 

We need to make sure we are wise in managing our personal lives as well as the house of God! God wants us to be owners and rulers, not struggling to get to there. He doesn't want us to worry about anything so that we can spend our time with Him! Obeying God will always get us there.

Remember, we make the choices that affect our futures, because God gave us our own free will! 
We can choose to live in light or dark, but ultimately it is our job to understand accountability, responsibility, and management accordingly to come out on top!

So, What do you think?
What other ways do you stay ARMed?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me..

Happy Thursday, Loves!

Hope everyone is having a great week. I am ready for labor the weekend. Today, I got to thinking about a lot I have learned over the years and thought I would share a few of them with you. I am not a pro in any of these categories, nor will I ever be - as we always grow and develop!

But man, I wish someone would have told me these things.. Or let me be honest, 
I wish I would have listened!

Over the years and into my early 20's...

one. Life's a journey not a race.
We leave high school in a rush and race to get to our dream jobs, to start our dream lives, with our dream husbands and family! Little did we know life would hit us one way or the other. I immediately got knocked off my horse faced with problems bigger than tomorrow's math test, and based more on my physical health. Also, I was putting myself through school - so I went to the workforce early. I realized right away I wasn't graduating college in 4 years. I had to become comfortable with the fact that the important piece was to finish, not when you finished. I've applied it to everything now. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else, we were each perfectly made to be our unique selves. 

two. You will grow apart from some of your friends.
It won't be anyone's fault. Priorities will shift, whether that's taking on a big girl job, a relationship, a baby, etc. You will hold on to the relationships that are more in line with where your life is heading and will cherish them more. I'm happy to say I've held on to a lot of great friends, but our relationships have each progressed differently. And that's okay. 

three. Attitude is 90% of everything.
Being upset at the world for not reaching your dreams or desires will hurt no one but you. In this time of life, we start to understand you may have to think out of the box to get what you want. You may have to get up off your butt and quit waiting for things to fall into your lap. You may have to try a different route to get to where you want to go. But keeping a positive attitude will allow this time to be more rewarding than a fiery trial. There were a lot of opportunities that didn't happen for me, but as I look at where I am now I see that it was all according to God's plan and where I am is better than where I could have imagined to be.

four. You'll be confused, but its okay.
You think you know everything, so when you can't figure out what your next step will be or should be you will be confused. You will think you have failed, comparing yourself to others that look more sure about where they are or where they are going. But the truth is, we've all felt it. The uncertainty of tomorrow or our futures. And at the right time, you will figure it out. You may realize what you dreamed of, wasn't really as bright as the dream portrayed (As I did). However, if you love and trust God, you will figure it out even sooner as you follow His lead. Wish I would have known that.

five. You do not know everything.

Displaying photo.JPG

About relationships...

one. Protect your heart.
It's so important. At times you'll experience heart break, it will hurt. Time will heal. Know your self-worth, God says a virtuous woman is worth more than rubies (Proverbs 31:10). You are the prize.

two. Red flags are there for a reason. 
If something doesn't seem right, it's probably not. Trust your instincts. Not saying my instincts were always right, but if you are picking up on a man being a 'dog'; there's a reason you feel like that. If you are not feeling respected or like your opinion matters than it's time to move around. If you are really looking for a relationship, you will want to be 'the one' not another one. You make the choice. 

three. Sometimes you have to jump.
Past hurts will make being vulnerable difficult. But when you truly know that this is different, you will walk to ledge and jump. If you protect your heart, your partner will understand the importance of keeping that trust. Trusting is stepping out on faith that this person will protect your heart as much as you have. 

four. You will want to give up.
After you've tried a few heartbreaks and disappointment, it won't be easy to believe there is truly anything better. You will want to throw in the towel. Your heart may need a break, during this time focus on YOU. Not the "I just want to have a good time" but truly what can you do to empower yourself and your future. I wish I would have taken my own advice. 

five. You will find happiness.
Whether that be in singleness or in a relationship. It will happen, but again it goes back to attitude being 90%. 

About pregnancy...

one. You will become more curious about life's mysteries.
You will marvel at how the body knows just what to do and how it can go from growing this little microorganism into this full blown child, that will grow into an adult one day like you. It will amaze you. You will ponder other mysteries of life. For me it reinforced my belief in God, who else could have created such a marvelous process so perfectly?

two. Your perspective on the definition of love will begin to alter.
She's not even here, and I love her already. I would do anything for her, in the capacity where I might be lazy to get up and do something for myself - but if I say it's for her I'll do it. I want to be the best role model and mother to her and I haven't even met her. I thought I knew love, I am beginning to find a deeper meaning. Just like God's love for us as His children.

three. You will appreciate your parents more.
Especially your mother. You will understand just exactly what she went through to bring you into this world, and you will appreciate it. My mom birthed and raised 7 of us. How? I can't seem to take care of me, A and a new baby on the way. I know I'll learn to balance - but 7! Wow, she really is superwoman. I tell her this often now. :) 

four. Your mood will slither, swing and attack.
You will have to try your hardest to stay level headed. You will be emotional. You will not be in control, this is the hardest part of it. You will get mad that you are not in control of your own emotions. You will cry and scream about it. You will eat ice cream, you will feel better. :)

five. You will question your partner's ability to be a father.
Everything he does you will criticize and think, "Will this be my child's role model?" You will become closer through the process and realize you are still the same people, but are changing at the same time. Moments on the couch will be magical. You'll still worry about him being alone with a child, but you know he can do it!

About God...

one. He is real. 
I questioned for years, it wasn't until He touched my life personally and I understood He was always there. I just wasn't listening or willing to truly accept and believe in Him. 

two. It's a journey, but He has the plan written for you.
You can stop searching for the answers, He has them all. It will be a journey of faith and trust, but what's so great is your blue print is written and you don't have to be confused any longer. Keep Him first and all things will work out. Remember attitude is 90% :)

three. You don't know anything.
Ha. Throw your college teachings and concepts out the door. God works on His precepts. He's already figured this life out, empty yourself and take Him in.

four. Seeing is not always believing.
You realize very quickly that there is a spiritual realm in this life. His spirit lives in you, and although this world teaches you - you must see to believe. When you truly encounter God and follow Him you understand this is a lie you must overcome. You will believe in the naturally impossible and trust in things you cannot see and you will see positive results from it. You will be overwhelmed by Him. 

five. It's rewarding.
It's empowering to know you have everything you need in Him. It will make you a better person through Him. You will experience a true love given to you for nothing more than it being pleasing to Him. He will be part of everything in your life. Life will become fulfilling. You will find what you have been missing for so long. It will seem foolish not to live for Him. 

So, what do you think? 
What do you wish people would have shared with you over the years?

Linking up: What I'm Loving Fridays, Lovely Thursdays, Proverbs 31 Thurs, Thoughtful Thursday

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Happy Tuesday!
Like most of the US, we have been having beyond extreme cold weather lately... 
Lets try a windchill of down to -40 degrees!

So shooting outfit posts inside have become the norm for me lately. 

I am officially 38 weeks and 1 day today :) Can't you tell I'm counting down the minutes...? I had a doc appt yesterday and I'm still not dilated any. Go figure. She wants to come on HER time. 
And it may just be too cold for her right now! LOL

Still putting God's principals into work, and working on keeping calm while waiting!
I asked Him to give me a list of things to do while waiting, and you know what it's quite long. :)
I still have quite a few things I want to get going before she is here...
Flower Print Dress - Urban Outfitters - $9.99! Similar Here, Here, Here
Tan Cardigan - 'Borrowed' from my baby sis... Similar here or here
Tights - TJ Maxx, Similar Here
Brown Booties - Steve Madden  
Gold Bracelet - I 'stole' this from my mom :) Similar here or here

So, until the moment happens, I'll be... 

- repacking my hospital bag
-tidying up her new bedroom
-reorganizing my office area
-cleaning my house from top to bottom
-meal planning/freezing meals
-working on a huge 2014 project (Can't wait to share what's brewing!)

Hey, I think I feel this nesting phase starting to kick in!

Hope you have a blessed day!

P.S. The winner of the Giveaway was Diana T. Diana please respond to my e-mail sent by 1/10 to redeem :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Small Teachings: The Details

Happy Sunday!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Mine was nice and laid back. Sometimes the quiet weekends are the best! And as of tomorrow morning, I am officially 38 weeks! Oh yes, I am counting down the minutes until my baby girl is finally here. Today at church my sister took a photo of my belly.

It truly looks like a basketball is under my dress.

Sometimes its so hard to be patient and wait on my little bundle to arrive. 
I explained it to a gal at work this week as this: You have planned a super exciting vacation to the island of your dreams, and you know its coming up within the next month but don't know the exact date. Your bags are packed, bathing suit on and you are just waiting! 

It's one of those things in life that you just can't do anything about and you must patiently wait!

Oh how I wish God would just tell me what day and time my little girl is going to be here, so I can put it on my calendar. 
It's funny because in life we always want the details. We want to know where our next step will take us, when we will land the job, who we will fall in love with, when bad times will pass...

But God doesn't work that way. 

God teaches us to have faith in Him and faith in His word. He gives us His word to make us realize we have to trust Him, follow Him, obey and be faithful to Him - No matter what things looks like. 
He doesn't always provide us with the details. 
And you know what, if we had all the details, we might just disagree with God's plan.
 If he told me the details of my upcoming labor before I got pregnant, I might have told Him - "Well, you know what, nevermind. I'd rather not go through that!" But He knows the perfect timing, and us interfering with His plan just puts our blessings on hold.

Trusting in His word without seeing the blueprint, helps us to realize that He is in control, NOT US.

It's funny, because we know that He always comes right on time, and faith is pleasing to Him. Faith gives us power to believe in all things, strengthens our relationship with Him, and keeps our focus on Him. We grow stronger in Him, knowing that we can do nothing without Him!
A Personal Example:
Last year God led me to changing my career path, although the route he took me didn't make complete sense to me. I was so focused on my career title that I would be giving up and afraid of moving into an unknown territory. He told me He was going to put me in a better place with more flexibility, visibility, and opportunity and it would help me to do a greater thing for Him in the end. Despite my thoughts, I followed His word leaving doubt behind me. Knowing that I had to believe His word.

If I would have had the details of what exactly I would have to endure to get to this new place, I may have told Him - it's not worth it. I may have thrown in the towel before I began. I may have there is no way I can do this. Faith makes us trust in God as all knowing, and not our own beliefs.
Having faith and trusting in Him no matter what has proven to me that God knows what He is doing and He is always right on time. I am growing and learning in my new position and it is teaching me a lot about where my future is going! This new position has proven to do all of the things He told me it would do! In fact, I will have some exciting news in a couple months :)

So, give up on having to always know the details. 
Having the details can be distractions to the bigger picture of what is being achieved. I will wait patiently for baby girl to arrive. I will have faith that God knows what He is doing. I know with Him, she will come right on time!

Hope this empowers you to have faith in everything!

Have a good week!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Living in Grace

Grace will be the middle name of my baby girl. 

Its a beautiful name, and it has such a purposeful meaning behind it. It is a perfect time to write about it with the New Year here. Each year, we all encompass a new outlook on what is to come and realize no matter what we've done in the past, that we are capable of changing the future; this a form of grace that we are feeling at this time of year. 

Through Christ we can access His grace each and every day, not just January 1st!
Most of us define grace as God's undeserved favor. 
When we are not good enough, or fail at something - it covers us. 
It allows us to be perfect in His eyes through our belief in Christ living in us. 
But there is more to His grace!

Grace is not an excuse for a sloppy life, but it is the power to overcome it.

It's the power of the holy spirit that is freely given to us, undeserved, that enables us to do with ease, things that we could never do without that power (no matter how much we struggled or tried).
Often as we journey on this walk of faith, we are found convicting ourselves and trying to change things we fail at within ourselves. This becomes difficult to bear. 

We feel it's impossible to be perfected, and at times we even give up and throw in the towel. But that is just the point that Jesus wants us all to get to. 

The point where we understand that we cannot do anything without Him. 
Grace allows us to overcome things that are impossible to us without Christ. 
It allows us to overcome our failures and our shortcomings. 
It allows us to walk boldly in God and empowers us to change and be more like Christ each day. 
 Instead of trying to do it ourselves, we have to ask God to change it for us and work through His word to overcome it each day through His power.
Grace allows us to understand that perfection is only achieved through Jesus.
We cannot get there on our own. 

And we access this grace, through our faith in God.
Leaning completely on Him. 
Understanding that we are nothing without Him.
That we can do nothing without Him.
That we need Him for everything. 
That only through Him can we achieve anything.
We can use His grace to give us power in all things - when we are struggling in a relationship, we can access His grace to give us strength and happiness during the process to hold on. 

His grace will give us peace and understanding during hard times, because we cannot get this on our own. We do not have to go through tough times being miserable until we receive our breakthrough.

God has all the power that we need to do anything that we need to do. 

The power to smile, to have joy, to have peace at all times. The power to overcome all things! 

Cheers to a positive outlook on the New Year and on your life! 
Through Christ we can access this each and everyday! Understanding that it is not in our own doing, but because He is such a great God that he gives this to us freely because it is pleasing to Him!

How amazing is that?

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year with $100 Lululemon Gift Card!

Happy New Year!

Hope you are all enjoying the time spent with friends and family this season, and really soaking in the fact that we all are able to see another year! 
2014 is bound to be great! 

Last night me and A had a great New Years at home. We made crab legs and scallops which were delicious! We then had an ice cream desert, of course we had to have something sweet! I found this delicious caramel ice cream with pecans, chocolate and praline. I could not resist. We then watched the ball drop in Times Square on TV and I had a sparkling drink to bring in the New Year!

One thing I can't wait to get back to after the baby comes, is getting my bod back! I am excited to see her pretty little face but I am focused to hit the gym hard to fit into my dress in July (eek!).

For all of you like me who have fitness goals like me, I've teamed up with some lovely ladies to bring you an awesome giveaway to jump-start the New Year!

How about $100 to Lululemon?

Visit these ladies:
 AishaRenee & Barbie 

It's always fun to look good while working out, right? It totally motivates me when I have new workout gear! Here's your chance to win some of your own picks from a great brand!

Here are a few of my personal picks from Lululemon:
So, what are you waiting for?

Enter using the rafflecopter below! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway