Shop my mantel:
More favorite Valentine’s Day decor…
Garlands c/o Hooray Everyday
This post may contain affiliate links.
Shop my mantel:
More favorite Valentine’s Day decor…
Garlands c/o Hooray Everyday
This post may contain affiliate links.
Last night I got back home about 5 hours later than expected. My flight was super delayed and well, I was running on four hours of sleep from the night before and exhausted from a busy day planning Momday. However, I was sitting in the airport, exhausted, a little grumpy and sad missing my baby, but overall I was grateful. I was grateful my flight had been delayed. Our previous plane had mechanical problems and they got us a new plane, which meant that we were safe. Who knows what would have happened, but I was just so grateful that they caught the problem and were able to get us on a different plane within the same night. How incredible? Life is just too short to hold grudges and get worked up about little things. And this year, I’m trying really hard to look at the positives, the blessings, rather than the negatives.
So when I woke up this morning, you know all crusty eyed and groggy, I was happy. My sweet baby girl’s smiling face was right in my bubble and it was the best feeling in the world. God is good. Don’t get me wrong, life is filled with tons of trials. Marcus and I are literally facing a huge one right now, but it’s those little things that make it all worth it.
Photos by Chantel Cherie Photography
So today will be good and today I’m grateful, to be a Mom, to be alive and for Hello Fresh. Yep, I just said that and I’m jumping to it because it honestly made something just a little easier, a little smoother on this especially stressful and exhausting day. I’ve been working so hard all day, have mega deadlines, had to host a church activity, my house is a mess and well, Mom duties don’t stop between any of that. So to be able to be able to just pull out a box with every little thing needed for dinner in it was well, a pretty good friggin’ feeling. All you have to do is follow the instructions, prep it really quick and then cook it. It took me 20 minutes to make a really good and healthy 😉 meal! Plus, could you die over these pictures? I mean, don’t get me wrong this sweet girl of mine is sassier than sassy, but she was just the sweetest little helper when we were cooking. She held my hand almost the entire time, kept giving me hugs and would just sit there chowing down on her cookie while I prepped everything. She’s kind of my favorite and speaking of all the things I’m grateful for–her, I’m SO grateful for her.
I want everyone to have Hello Fresh, literally–ALL THE HELLO FRESH FOR EVERYONE! So use the code “POSITIVELY35” and you’ll get $35 off your first box. BOOM!
A big thanks to Hello Fresh for sponsoring this post!
You know that one product that you’re like, gosh dang it why didn’t I have that with my baby!? I feel like I honestly say that every, single, day of my life because there are just so many good products coming out that well, I need them all 😉 Anyways, I am highlighting a product today that well I love now and wish I had, had for Blake when she was a tiny new baby. However, her cute dolls get to play in it for now, she sleeps in it every once it awhile because well, why not and maybe one day I’ll be able to use it with a newborn!
The product is Moba! Moba is a modern and hygienic take on the traditional “Moses basket”. It has a modern, slick design with safety in mind and tons (over 300 to be exact) of air holes to keep your little one safe! I think what I love most about this is the fact that your babe can fall asleep in it and you can use the (super sturdy) handle to just pick the basket up, move them in the other room and all without disturbing them. I seriously could have used this so much when Blake was a newborn, she loved being close to me, but obviously I couldn’t be right next to her all the time while sleeping! This would have made a world of differences. It’s made from TPE (a medical-grade rubber/polymer blend) and is microbial and hypoallergenic. It’s totally durable, but soft because no baby wants to lay in something uncomfortable ;). Plus, you can literally wash every part about it and what Mom doesn’t love that?!
It’s available in tons of colors, great for travel and honestly I could tell you all the perks all day long, but I’ll leave it at that and let you go grab one, here now!
Now tell me, besides this gorgeous Moba basket, what product do you wish you had, had with your first?!
My favorite version of the Moba…
Here’s a few more of my must have items for baby:
Thanks to Moba for sponsoring this post!
This post may contain affiliate links.
Be content with what you do have.
As a teenager you longed to fit in, to click with the girls around you, to be popular and have all the friends. You wanted time to go faster, to be 18 and move out of the house so you could do the things you wanted to do. You fought with your parents often, disobeyed just about every rule and pushed all the limits. You did stupid things, things you would regret, but then learn from. Love was something you longed for, you wanted that fairytale love, the one you saw in movies. First you had to learn trust though, that was something you had struggled with since you were a little girl, since that moment that the man who was supposed to be your “Father” walked out. That one decision, that one action of another person destroyed you. You went to all the parties, fought non-stop with the “fairytale boyfriend” you had and pushed down all the bad emotions with reckless behavior.
Then you graduated, you took all the classes and graduated early in fact. People weren’t nice to you in high school. You stopped eating, didn’t trust yourself around food and some people called you fat. You weren’t fat, not even close, but those words got to you. Your life felt like it was spiraling out of control, you had never had control. People that were supposed to love you left, girls who were supposed to be friends were mean, you felt lost. So you turned to food, you could control that, you could control your weight by not eating and by throwing up.
It spiraled out of control, before you knew it you couldn’t stop. You weren’t happy, you were sad. Eventually after many health problems, a long road and a lot of complications you got help, you got better. You conquered that trial. That was the first moment you realized that you were strong, that you could do hard things.
Fast forward a couple of years and you met the man of your dreams, the real life fairytale. He would be your husband, things weren’t perfect–but he taught you how to trust, how to love God again, he saved you. Things were good with Mom and Dad, they were proud of you. You got married, moved away and started your journey as a young married couple. You were broke, you were both in college and had well, nothing; two old cars, a tiny basement apartment at $500/month and you could barely afford those things. You wanted time to fast forward, to be done with school, to start your life. You sped everything up, rushed three years of your life. In that three years, two of them were spent trying for a baby–you longed for a baby. Finances weren’t perfect, but you knew that’s what the plan was. But it ended up being just as much of a trial as everything else in your life. You were diagnosed with infertility. The pain you felt was indescribable, you begged for happiness, prayed often and cried on your husband’s shoulder daily.
Life was hard.
School was finished, you moved back home and this was supposed to be the big moment. Life was supposed to get easy, jobs would roll in and we would begin the next chapter. It didn’t happen, you were negative. You couldn’t get pregnant, you got angry and ultimately you were just sad, so sad. You couldn’t even focus on the positives, you were so wrapped up in everything going wrong that you went to a pretty dark place. I think God knew it was time…
You were pregnant! It FINALLY happened. That next chapter seemed to be starting, but then it happened again. You found the negatives. You brought this beautiful baby girl into the world, she was PERFECT, you found happiness, light in her. She made the bad days good and pushed you through the negativity. But finances were still hard, you would say “I just want to buy a home, can’t we just start that chapter of our lives?” You always wanted the next thing, life to go, go, go. You rushed another year.
Now here we are, real life, today. You have a baby who is closer to two than one. You have that house, the one you longed for, but guess what? Finances still aren’t perfect, the dream job still isn’t here for your husband, you don’t get to do everything you want so badly to do and you’re still focusing on the negatives. You’re rushing time, rushing to get to the next thing, rushing to find the happiness you so badly want when it’s literally sitting right in front of you.
So S T O P.
Be okay with the now, be okay with the struggles. You have the most perfect angel baby, yeah she’s a little sassy 😉 but she’s a miracle! She’s an answer to your prayers. You have a home, you know the thing you wanted so badly, the thing that you felt would bring you to the next chapter. Yeah, life isn’t fair–I get it, you’re struggling with infertility yet again, waiting for the perfect job to come to Marcus and longing to be able to be at home more with your baby. BUT, you can make the best of it. You can CHOOSE to enjoy the now. You don’t need a bigger house, you don’t need new cars, you’re lucky to be able to work and you’re lucky to have one baby! God is good, God is right here with you, he has your back, he has a plan for you. You have blessings in your life, miracles happening everyday before your eyes, you just need to realize them, focus on those. Focus on that miracle baby you have, spend every chance you can with her and be a Mom when you get to be a full time Mom. It’s about choices, it’s about finding the happiness in the now, not focusing on what you don’t have, but focusing on what you DO have.
Life is good, it’s hard, there’s trials but it’s GOOD. You are blessed and you can be happy, just make it happen.
Your current self
I’m not even going to sugarcoat it with a clever title or positive words, today has sucked. It’s been a hard day. I try really hard to keep on a happy face and a positive attitude, but being told things aren’t working for the 758357349 time is not the best feeling in the world. Especially for the second time. For some reason this “journey” feels so much harder than the first time. I mean, don’t get me wrong–it sucked when we were trying to get pregnant with Blake too, but I feel almost rushed this time. I think I feel rushed because I don’t want there to be a huge age gap between Blake and a sibling. Obviously I have zero control over this, but it’s making the “it’s not working” and the big fat negatives on these tests even harder.
Today I left the doctor’s office feeling totally crushed, defeated and well pretty darn frustrated. We’ve spent all this money in literally the two weeks we’ve been with a specialist and my stupid body still can’t pull it together. I went in for an ultrasound, paid for it out of pocket (because well, newsflash insurance doesn’t cover it), just to be told that the treatment I was on, that I’ve put my body through hell for isn’t working. So today I get to take triple the amount of that same treatment, in one day, in hopes that it will somehow work as a “hail Mary” treatment. I know, I’m being totally cynical and negative and sarcastic, but that’s just my attitude today. I can’t help it. I mean, how frustrating is it to one fork out all this money for the months and months before the specialist, but now to pay even more just for my body to continue to now work?
I’m frustrated, I’m feeling pretty discouraged and my faith is honestly not here at all today. It’s so wrong of me, but I’m angry with God. I’m so angry. Why do I have to face this same challenge twice? Why do I have to put my body through all of this twice, put everything else on hold to come up with the funds for it, why? Once was plenty, oh my gosh, once was more than enough. So, we will take these pills, Marcus will pick them up after work and pay the full amount of them because, again, insurance doesn’t cover them and then I will schedule another ultrasound next week, pay for that and maybe gain a little bit more hope that somehow it’s going to work this time in the next week. At least I have a week to turn this negative attitude around, to try and get my crap semi together.
And then there’s this, I just got a phone call and it’s my saving grace, that little bit of hope that I needed through all of these tears and all of this heartache. The pharmacy, to let me know that they did some digging, that they took time out of their busy day to help ME, me of all people. They made some calls, researched online and found a coupon for the medication making it $11.00. ELEVEN DOLLARS, it was literally 20X that. WHAT?! It’s like he knows, God knows when I need him most, when I need that small little pick me up. Something as simple as a friggin’ coupon to help with the medication costs. Something to remind me that he’s here, he’s not letting me fight this battle alone, even though in some moments in might feel like it, he’s here.
I don’t know why this is our challenge, our trial in life, why we have to constantly face this over and over again, but I can say that I know God is there. Even when I don’t think he is and I feel totally defeated tiny miracles come in. I’ll tell you what though, those two in the picture above–they’re the ones pushing me through this. This isn’t going to be easy, nothing about this is easy, but hopefully one day it will be worth it.
We will do a video tonight and get it up tomorrow on my YouTube, where we’ve been really keeping track of the journey and behind the scenes, but for now here’s some thoughts and all the emotions from today.
Having my sister here this week has inspired me to be well, Chef Jess. Kidding–Party extraordinaire Jess. 😉 No but really, I did throw a super great family brunch and it was the best. It’s not often that we are all together, under the same roof, at the same time, so it caused for a celebration. I ran around like a crazy person, hit the store at 10PM the night before and did my best to make delicious food for all of us. Thankfully we had fairlife ultra-filtered chocolate milk to wash down any of the bad tastes because well, I might know how to put the best tablescape together, but I’m definitely not the greatest cook around.
I kept it fairly simple though and thankfully, things didn’t get too messed up. I did buy the wrong potatoes, but hey, it ended up being a good thing and the egg casserole tasted even better 😉 I kept with waffles, delicious fruit toppings, bacon and egg/egg casserole. For drinks I went all out with the best of fairlife ultra-filtered milk; whole, low fat and chocolate. Seriously, have you had their chocolate milk? It’s a like a delicious (healthy) fudgesicle! My entire family talked about it for a good 10 minutes, finished one of the bottles and then I had to pull out the second. I’m a big fan of their milk for several reasons, but two main ones; their filtration system and the fact that they keep such key nutrients in the milk and the taste–I mean you’re literally getting real food nutrients in something that tastes well! You can’t argue with that.
Now, for all my brunch loving, party throwing, tablescape obsessed friends, let’s talk a few of my best tips and tricks of the trade.
Oh and I have one more thing for you because well, breakfast casserole people and I actually made a really good one! Here’s the recipe:
What’s your favorite thing to pair with fairlife ultra-filtered milk for a party, a brunch, a celebration!?
A big thanks to fairlife for sponsoring this post!
Learn more about fairlife and why we love it so much, here.
Lately I have being feel a little well… bleh. That’s about the best word I can come up with to explain to you my feelings, my emotions and well just about everything in my head. The little one no longer sleeps, it’s almost tax time, business is busy, the house is a disaster and well, my kid has eaten m&ms for breakfast for the last week and a half. I haven’t found time to brush my hair, let alone actually shower or shave my legs in what feels like forever and here I am sitting in a giant gray knitted cardigan, hiding behind my computer with bags under my eyes, a few new stress pimples and well, you heard me before–that hair, the hair of I went to bed with it wet five days ago, am trying to grow my bangs out and have yet to even come close to actually brushing it.
So do you get where I’m coming from with my title?
Most days I just blankly stare at the computer screen, attempt to get my work done while trying really hard to interact with my child at the same time. The dishes are piling higher and higher before me in the sink and well, toys–they’re everywhere because something has to keep my kid occupied while I attempt to just keep my eyes open. Then about 9:30 at night rolls around, she’s crying in her bed (because well, that’s her new trick #toddlerlife) and then I start to get mega anxiety as I look around me.
Holy cow, I literally live like this.
OH MY GOSH, there’s a bottle under the couch behind a toy, it’s full of milk. EW. Yep, that’s just going straight in the garbage–ain’t nothin’ saving that bad boy.
I try to ignore it so I can get some work done because well, that didn’t happen today with everything else in between, but I can’t ignore it. I mean literally, that stupid Elmo doll over on the floor is basically staring at me. Did it just talk? I think it just said something. That or maybe I’m literally losing my mind from exhaustion. Nope, I’m not, it literally just said my toddler’s name and is now singing the ABC’s. Honey? HONEY! Where are you?
Then this happens:
“WELL IF YOU WOULD HELP ME CLEAN UP A LITTLE BIT I WOULDN’T BE SO STRESSED OUT.” “HOW ARE YOU OKAY LIVING LIKE THIS?!”
tears, so many tears..
My poor husband, he takes the grunt of my hormonal, exhausted, anxious freak outs. I mean, he really didn’t do anything wrong. He’s working just as hard, getting up with our toddler in the middle of the night and well, he’s just as tired.
BUT WHY DOESN’T ANYONE UNDERSTAND HOW I FEEL!?
That’s the thought that’s constantly running in my friggin’ head. I mean no one gets it. I am the only one in this position ever, no one understands that I can’t just go and take a shower without worrying about the cereal being dumped out everywhere, the drawers broken or heaven forbid–her getting hurt! The other day I literally forgot to wash the conditioner out of my hair. Then, I just left it in there.
I LEFT THE EFFING CONDITIONER IN MY HAIR PEOPLE.
For hours, legitimately for five hours until she went down for a “nap”. Then, I rinsed it out quickly, ran my fingers threw it a couple of times and jumped on the conference call that I was already really late to. I just had to look at it as a really good conditioning treatment because you know–the oils from two week old hair wasn’t already doing that for me. I just had to double it up.
Is it okay to be too tired to Mom somedays? Eh, I don’t really know the answer to that. BUT I do know that it’s okay to take time for myself. You know–before I get to this point. Somethings are out of our control, like an 18 month old who is nocturnal, however there are some things that we can control, that we can do to make it better. Want to know what that thing is for me?
Yep, I said it. It’s fine. I mean, if she’s allowed to yell no at me 337 times in one day, request the same dang Elmo song 221 times IN A ROW and throw food on my white curtains, I’m allowed to take approximately one hour for myself, sometimes even longer if I’m really feelin’ selfish. 😉 Husband home? Great, honey–I’m out and off to take a bath or maybe I’m going to get my nails done, eh–I don’t know, but I’m doing something for me. The thing is, you’re right, I’m exhausted, physically, mentally, exhausted. But, it’s not just because the lack of sleep, it’s because of the constant going all day long. I mean, I literally don’t stop at all. It’s because of the worrying, the anxiety and my brain going 200 MPH up until it hits the pillow at 2AM. So taking sometime for myself each day recharges that overly worked brain of mine. It helps me breathe, collect myself and come back being a fun Mom (cough, I mean cool Mom, I’m not like a regular Mom, I’m a cool Mom dang it).
We’re really just all doing our best, so why not reward ourselves for the hard work we put in everyday with a really great bubble bath or a trip to the store UNINTERRUPTED. I mean, you can literally smell all the candle smells, walk down every aisle and look at all the cute clothes. You get the point, you’re allowed to be tired, I’m allowed to be tired. Somedays I might just be a little too tired to “Mom”, there’s nothing wrong with me. In fact, we can stay in our PJs all day, watch Elmo and lay on the couch–in fact, my toddler thinks I’m really cool when I do that, so we’re winning in their books and that’s all that matters.
Take you time, breathe and remember: we’re doing the best we can.
I’m not going to lie, driving in the snow causes this Mama a lot of anxiety and well, as we know from this post I already have enough anxiety in my life. 😉 HA! Well, with the literally two and a half feet of snow on the ground you could say I’ve pretty much stayed inside for the last couple of weeks. However, cabin fever is real and it’s starting to hit hardcore over here in the Oakes’ house. Let me tell you, trying to entertain an 18 month old in the house, for several days straight and never leaving is a CHALLENGE. I mean, I can’t blame the girl for wanting to just out for a minute, anywhere. So finally, Saturday evening–we did. We left the house, only for a few minutes, but it was glorious. We drove over to the horses, played in the snow and well, I felt so much safer driving the entire time.
Here’s why, SNOW TIRES. Say it with me, S-N-O-W tires. I kid you not, the difference is incredible. Luckily a couple of weeks ago I got the chance to team up with Discount Tire and get a new set of wheels/tires for winter. I usually just get all season tires on my car, but was really excited to try out winter ones. Well, I’ll tell you what, I’m never going back, winter tires forever! In fact, my Mom, Dad, everyone has us drive everyone here because of how well these tires hold up on the snow/ice. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m still the lady driving 15 MPH down the road, but hey–I feel better and that’s what matters. 😉 The reason they’re so safe is for two reasons, one, they are made with a special rubber that stays flexible in the cold, icy weather and two, they have a lot more cuts in the tread that bite the slippery surface and help you go, stop and turn!
As a Mom, safety is seriously my number one concern with my sweet babe. I just want to do everything I can to keep my family safe, so I don’t know why I haven’t considered winter tires before. Trust me, they’re worth the money, I mean I hate to say it–but you can’t put a price on safety. Plus, the Discount Tire team was super nice, explained everything and I would recommend them to anyone and everyone!
Enough about my safety rant though–moral of the story, Discount Tire + winter tires, do it. Now, let me just get back to this whole cabin fever thing. The struggle has been real y’all, but our little snow dance and “hors-ee” visit definitely brightened up our day a little bit and brought the biggest smile to my sweet girl. She loves those “hors-ees”, even if we could barely see them through the snow. I mean, y’all it has seriously been coming down like crazy. Just look at those pictures!! It wouldn’t even lighten up enough for pictures without crazy snow everywhere. I love myself snow, it’s beautiful, but I’m secretly counting down the days to spring this year because well, the snow monster has really outdone himself this year.
Wish us luck, snow is in the forecast all week long again and stay tuned, we are going to take these bad boys (tires) on a pretty fun trip to the mountains in a few weeks, so more to come!
A big thanks to Discount Tire for sponsoring this post!
My tire/wheel details:
Since we’ve been trapped indoors because of this snow for what feels like weeks, I’ve been watching a lot more TV than I care to admit. If I’m being totally honest, I legit don’t ever have time to watch TV, but when I do it’s generally in the evening with the hubbs, after little miss has gone down for the night. Other than that let’s be real, Blake controls the TV and she prefers Daniel Tiger and Doc McStuffins…
Well, since I haven’t been able to leave the house this weekend, we’ve found some new favorite shows (meaning the husband and I, don’t worry I’m not about to list a bunch of kid’s shows–no matter how many times I catch myself watching Sophia the First) and I figured I would list em’ out for you! Because well, whether (I almost wrote weather just to be punny) we like it or not I have a feeling we are going to be inside a lot more this winter. Plus, snuggle time at night is what I look forward to most with the husband! So grab some popcorn, a cuddly blanket and let’s do this. A majority of these shows are on TV now or available on Netflix!
In no particular order (and I won’t go too much in detail on each at risk of ruining the show).
What did we miss? Seriously, tell me in the comments because well–we all know I need more shows. 😉 HA!
This post may contain affiliate links.