Saturday, April 11, 2015

Post Partum Depression

It's about to get REAL. I've known this post has been coming for a long time now. I haven't written it, because I think I was searching still for guidance. I have known that God's been trying to teach me something, but I wasn't quite sure what. Well, here it is, as best as I can describe. 

Post Partum Depression. It's real. It's not something new moms like to admit or talk about. Once you have a baby, (especially one that you've longed for, prayed for, waited for) you're supposed to feel nothing but overwhelming love and butterflies. Gratefulness and adoration are the only emotions, it seems, that should be allowed once they place that beautiful crying squishy baby in your arms. The long nights will pass, and the sleep depravation is "so worth it." "You'll look back and miss this." 

Let me tell you. I had it figured out. I had had a "rough baby" before. I knew what to do this go round. Then Myles came along. He was going to test me, try me, worry me, make me crazy. He's still doing that 7 months later, but let me tell ya...those first 3-4 months were awful.

He would wake up in the middle of the night, only to scream. He wouldn't be calmed no matter what I did. He would only sleep on me. All night. I was exhausted... more exhausted than I had ever experienced in my life. I had Levi to take care of as well, and I think the combination of knowing my relationship with Levi HAD to change, and feeling like my baby didn't love me really just made me sad. My life changed. Levi and I couldn't just go to Barnes and Noble whenever he wanted to anymore. We couldn't head out to the Zoo on a nice day (or so I felt). I felt a little trapped. I had so much help at first (first from my parents, then from Curan's mom) and all of the help was SO appreciated, but I also knew that I had to do it on my own eventually. I really felt out of control, and for what felt like too long. People give new moms a small period of "grace" but then they're expected to bounce back. Get back to life as though nothing has changed. EVERYTHING had changed though. 

Fast forward two months: He wasn't gaining weight well...A little bit of a shocker to this mom who nursed her first baby for a little over a year with no formula supplementation. He'd been screaming because he was hungry, but didn't want to wait for the letdowns. He wanted food, but not the way I had been giving him food. I had to adjust my ideas of what was best for him, to what was actually best for him. I had to realize that his health was not based on him only having breastmilk, but having enough nutrition to grow and be happy. It has taken some time to get used to that idea, and he has been a much happier baby overall. I still get to nurse him, but we need a WHOLE lot of help through bottles. I am thankful for bottles. I'm also thankful for a sweet friend who wanted to help us out by donating to us some of her breastmilk. 

Even after our very rough start, once he was happier, I have still battled my sad feelings. I have felt like we haven't connected like Levi I had by this point. I google way too much. I would go searching for reasons why my baby *fill in the blank*. Myles is different than Levi. While I have known this in my head all along, I am really starting to grasp the concept that it's okay that he does things differently than Levi. He is his own person, and while I'm still trying to figure out who that person is, I love that little person so much.

I've also known pretty much from the start that I have had trouble connecting with him. I've thought that he's the reason we haven't connected like I thought we should have. Last night, after feeding him before his bedtime, he was extra snuggly. While rocking him, I just prayed. I realized that I needed forgiveness. I needed to ask for God's help to connect, and not ask for some doctor's help, or google's help, or a friend's help. While I'm not opposed to doctor's help, I wasn't asking God at all.  God really answered my prayer on the spot. Most of the time when I'd rock him he would be wiggling, pushing me away, or fussing until I'd put him in the bed. Last night he laid his sweet little head on my shoulder, cooed and smiled, and fell asleep. I stayed there with him for over 30 min just thanking God for him, and thinking how I'd go through it all again just to feel his sweet little head on my shoulder right now. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Myles Bryan Birth Story

I suppose after a longer-than-a-year break from this blog, I would give a little update on our lives now. My last blog I wrote was very therapeutic in helping me to accept the fact that I needed to trust God in his timing of when or if we would have another child. I think I had to write that in order to actually believe it, and what I wrote down is exactly what I was supposed to learn. I believe that wholeheartedly, because within a matter of weeks God answered our two year prayer and blessed me with my second pregnancy.

Although our prayers were answered, and we were overjoyed to learn that Levi would finally get to be a big brother, this pregnancy didn't pass by quite as easily as it did with Levi. We had multiple ultrasounds and "rechecks" because different things kept coming up as "normal, yet 'high normal.'" All of these ultrasounds seemed to come with a waiting game. They put different things in my head about what could be wrong with my child, so anytime an appointment came up, the worry set in. All eventually turned out normal each time, thankfully.

Fast-forward to delivery day: I woke up around 4 AM with the exact same "labor symptoms" that I had had when I went into labor with Levi. The contractions became a little more painful, but were still not regular enough for me to want to go to the hospital yet. I woke Curan up about 8 AM and let him know what was going on, but told him we didn't need to go yet. We spent the morning hanging out with Levi, making sure the bags were packed and the house was clean. We went to the coffee shop that we frequent. While at the coffee shop, I was having to breathe through the contractions, but they still weren't 5 minutes apart. We went back home and thought that we might either take a trip to Hobby Lobby (we were in search of a lamp ;) ) or head to visit a friend who had just had surgery (we did neither). While on the phone with our good friend, Rena, I finally decided it was probably time we head to the hospital, just to see what they would say (this was around 5 or 6pm). They Admitted me and checked me. I had had an appointment the day before, and they had told me that I was 3 almost 4 cm dilated, so they didn't seem to think it would be too long until D-day. Well I was still 3 almost 4 cm, so unless I progressed within two hours, they were going to send me on home because I wasn't 39 weeks yet. They came back 2 hours later and I was at a 6, so a baby was coming! They started me on my antibiotic (I was group b strep positive) and told me that they wanted me to get the full dose in before delivery, so they would come back to check in 4 hours. I got the epidural. All was well. They had to pump me a few more times with the epidural medicine, but overall my epidural went much smoother than the one I had with Levi (besides the couple of times my blood pressure dropped....I guess I was a little TOO relaxed lol). When they came back to check me after the 4 hours, I was at a 10 and they could feel his head. They set everything up for me to push and 6 minutes later, at 1:23 AM tiny Myles Bryan arrived :) 

He was breathing rapidly, they said because of how quickly he came out, so they laid him on my chest, but had to take him away to monitor him. I wasn't able to hold him again until around 8AM. He was perfect and a perfect addition to our family. 

We had so many friends and family help us out during that time, and for that we are so grateful. It was a beautiful day, one I will never forget. 

I plan on writing another post soon about all that God has taught me through this child, because he's been working on me since the moment we've wanted him. There's so much to say about that, that I believe it deserves its own post :) 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Baby #2

It's inevitable. After your first child, it's only a matter of time when people start asking when baby number two is gonna happen. After my experience with Levi, I would have said that we will be pregnant in no time at all, just give me a little time to get the hang of this whole parenting thing, and Levi will have a sibling. We basically said "Hey, let's have a kid!" And God said "Okay!" I loved every minute of pregnancy. It was so exciting for me, and I didn't have any complications. 

Often times people will say "when are you gonna give that child a sister?" Or "are you going to have another?" Or whatever other innocent conversation maker they can think of relating to the fact that you should be working on the whole sibling thing. People assume you plan children, and if you aren't pregnant then it's because you don't want to be pregnant. While that can often be true for many, it is also not true for many as well.

I never went back on birth control after Levi, and we have done nothing to prevent children. We said "Whatever happens, let it happen." Well, two years later and every month is another confirmation that I need to realize that I am not in control. I didn't "decide" that Levi would come to be, he is God's creation. He decided that the timing was perfect for Levi to enter this world and He will decide when and if our time will come again. He's given us the desire for more, so I have faith that He will bless us with more, but I will also have to be okay if He chooses only to bless us with our sweet, awesome, handsome little Levi.  I mean, who wouldn't be satisfied with this sweet face?

In the end, I can't see the bigger picture, so I trust that God has a perfect plan that we are a part of. I will be happy for you when you get pregnant. I will love on your babies in the meantime, and "like" every adorable picture that I see scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook, as well as every baby bump picture I see. I am excited for you, genuinely. Those pictures take me back to a happy time of pregnancy excitement and the feelings I had when we first met Levi. 

I guess this has also taught me to be careful how I ask questions. I don't get offended when people ask me questions about baby #2, but it does sort of make me sad, and the answer sort of makes me uncomfortable: "Well anytime would be good. We want more whenever God chooses." At that point people sort of feel guilty for asking, because most of the time they assumed you had it planned out: some kind of "life plan" of how many years there will be between your children, what their names will be, and their genders. Life doesn't work that way, I'm learning. Sometimes it does, but not always, or even often.

 So, in case you're wondering what our "life plan" is, it consists of trust. Trusting He knows what we need when we need it. He knows how to shape and mold me into His image, and how to teach me patience. I'm listening. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013


I don't really have much of a goal in this post but I am more or less just trying to write my thoughts down. This last month or so has been very awesome on one hand, but extremely difficult on the other. It's been a very difficult month of parenting (I guess I now know why they call it the terrible twos), and also just a difficult month for me emotionally. I won't elaborate on all of it, but more or less just say what I think God is trying to teach me, and what I am trying to change about myself.

Parenting is hard work. Before I had Levi I was the best parent in the world. I know I've heard that before, but its very true. Especially coming from working in a daycare for 6 years, I had it all figured out. I knew exactly how I would handle each situation differently than this parent or that parent. I could pin-point the mistakes I saw everyday and told myself "I will do that differently." Well, here I am with a child the same age as those children, and I have no idea what I'm doing. This is not a job, this is my life. I don't come in at 8 and leave at 5:30 anymore. I am on the clock always, and required to give 100% all the time. A lot of days its very easy to try to take the easy way out so as to avoid actually having to deal with things, or even worse, take on too much of the burden and let it affect me and feel defeated when things don't work out the way I had planned. I do the latter a lot, and it effects my parenting.

I think God has been trying to teach me that I am not in control as much as I think I am. I am responsible for, but not in control of the little life He has entrusted to me. I need to be more focused on loving Christ first, and then showing Christ's love to my little guy. He is only 2, so I need to expect that he will act like a 2 year old. The problem starts and ends with me, and I need to put the time into nurturing his life, and figuring him out. I need to study him, figure out his quirks, love him unconditionally through them, and encourage him to want to do right. I do not want to react, but be proactive. I want to expect that he will mess up, and know how I should handle it when it happens. I don't think I will always know exactly how to handle every situation, but the main thing I want to focus on is that even during the times of frustration, that he feels loved.

It is very hard to be a parent, and not see how your relationship with your child is like that of God's relationship with us. We are disobedient, have bad attitudes, complain, whine and exhibit probably every other "immature" trait that you would see in a 2 year old, only on a different scale. I don't think God sees it differently like we do. We see our complaining as "venting" and think how we just "need to get it out." God sees it as (in your most annoying whining voice) "But whyyyy can't I have a ponyyyyy????" God is very patient with me, and I need to be a reflection of how patient God is with me to my two year old, who doesn't have the capability to think things through yet, whereas I do. I am worse than he is, because I fully understand consequences, yet I  still do what I want a lot of times.

I learn way more from parenting than I'm sure I will ever be able to teach Levi. I don't think you fully can grasp these things unless you are a parent. I thank God every day for blessing me with the opportunity to be Levi's mommy, and I need to focus my prayers on being the mommy that God wants me to be for Levi specifically. Every child is different, and parenting should be tweaked to match that certain child's needs.

Now for potty training! Whose with me? :)

Our Newest Adventures

These past two months have been a wild ride for our family. We have successfully packed up our belongings, loaded them onto a truck, and driven them another 11 hours away. We also were able to take a crazy exhausting, but fun family trip to Disney with my parents, Kristi and Mike, and my little brother Nat. We visited Magic Kindom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Sea World in a week! Talk about tiring for a two year old, but we made memories that will last.

We also were able to visit NC for a few weeks (Levi and I) while Curan took all of our things to our new house in IL. He so sweetly unloaded the car, and got things mostly settled for us while we were visiting. 

We definitely miss NC still, but we are very much enjoying our new life we are starting here in IL. The people in the Midwest are very friendly, and have welcomed us so far. We have found a church that we will probably be joining in the next couple of weeks. Our neighborhood is adorable, and everything is close by. We love it! If you would want to pray for us though, please pray we get an offer soon on our house in NC. It is a huge financial burden right now, and we would love to be able to put the money that we have invested into that home, into our new home.

Well, thats all for an update, stay tuned for a more insightful (hopefully) post :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Marriage Institution

I suppose I am old enough now that I've been married for four years, to start knowing people my own age going through very difficult times in their marriage. Of course that's not to say that my own marriage is perfect by any means, but it just saddens me to hear of so many christian marriages that fail. Our culture is definitely to blame. It's more than just the fact that divorce is so widely advised, but it's the message that society sends as a whole. "Do what makes you happy." "If your partner treats you one way, you have grounds to make demands and be selfish." "Get out if you don't feel it anymore." Marriage is NOT about feelings. It's actually not about you at all. It's really only there so that we as Christians can emulate the relationship that Christ has with the church.

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ alsodoes the church, because we are members of His body. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. (Epesians 5:22-33)

This passage is not at all saying "wives do everything your husbands say." I read that passage and think that husbands have the harder of the two jobs. I read that as "Husbands, bend over backwards for your wife, love her sacrificially, and naturally, she will want to submit to you because she will respect you and feel safe. Christ died for the church because of his love for it. Therefore, be willing to sacrifice." 

"Well what if my husband isn't loving me like Christ loved the church?" I don't think the Bible ever gives commands with exceptions. Wives, show respect to your husband, even if he is not respectable. You have such an opportunity to minister to him by not being demanding. Communicate your needs, while also considering his needs from you. Most of the time there is an impasse because one is not willing to give, and it becomes a vicious cycle. "I dont respect you because you don't love me" "Well I don't love you because you don't respect me." Someone's got to give, and it has to start somewhere. If you want things to change, maybe change yourself first and see if it makes a difference. Chances are you aren't perfect and you could make those changes even if the other never does. You are not responsible for your partners actions, but you can help them by emulating how you would like to be treated. 

It is EXTREMELY difficult to put these things into practice. I know because I am STUBBORN. I didn't even know I was stubborn until I got married. I'm also always right  0:-) just kidding :). When you're mad or hurt though, most of the times those are the only things we see. We see how the other person needs to come to the end of their self, and apologize, so we kick and scream and throw a little temper tantrum until they realize this isn't going away until they apologize. Sometimes, we just have to realize though that we're not called to love ourselves, but to worry more about how we are loving the other. Our own needs should pale in comparison to the others'. If we are constantly asking ourselves "How can I show love better?" the chances are we won't be as concerned with how we are being treated, but loving more like Christ. When we are loving like Christ loved his church, the chances are that the other will also want to love you sacrificially. I wish this were an easier thing to do, but it can sometimes be the hardest thing in the world to put off selfishness and realize that even if your spouse is not perfect, you are still called to love them. 

The marriage kind of love should not be conditional. If Christ's love for us was conditional, then we would ALL be in trouble. Im thankful for His unconditional love, and I'm also thankful for a husband who does his best to love me like Christ loved the church. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Selling our Home

It is bittersweet, but we very much would like to sell our first home. We have been renting it out for the past year, but ideally, we would love for it to be out of our hair. It is not the easiest to be a landlord from 700 miles away, and the time has come for us to move again, and this time we will be buying again. If you know of anyone who is moving in the Winston Salem, NC area please consider showing them this post! Im mainly posting this on here so that I can pin the pictures on pinterest, and get even more exposure that way. We have made so many wonderful memories here, as it was our first home, and a lot of hard work has gone into making it our little dream home. We also started our little family here, and watched our son take his first steps in this home. We loved it, but it is time to say goodbye for good!

This is a 3 bed 2 1/2 bath 1700 ft2 located in Saponi Village in Winston Salem, NC and we are asking 139,500. New windows downstairs and in the master bedroom, new gutters and drain system, New HVAC as of 2012, completely remodeled. Thank you to Joey Benedict for her awesome photography!

large open kitchen

split level (this is coming in from the front door)

guest room/nursery/office


guest bath

master suite with HUGE walk-in closet

gorgeous master bathroom

new landscaping