Aug 29, 2014

dairy free sweet treats

This week has been rough. Really emotionally draining. I suspected J might have a milk protein intolerance rather than reflux. We have been down this path before, but as I wrote on Wednesday, seeing that bloody diaper and then having it confirmed by the pediatrician is just hard.

Although I know most babies outgrow MPSI before they even start solid foods, my experience is with Davy whose reactions have gotten worse over time. Davy's diagnosis was actually changed from a milk protein intolerance to a milk protein allergy (they aren't the same thing). I've been down this path before. And my heart just breaks for my poor Davy. I am in constant fear every time he is in public that he will pick something up. Any play date we go to with goldfish or other snacks leaves me emotionally drained by then because I have to be on such high alert. The idea of going through it all again? Terrifying!

But for now, I need to hand the long term fears over to God. I need to focus on having dairy free breastmilk. I need to focus on what I eat.

So, for Friday Favorites this week, a few favorite dairy free sweet treats.

{---} You can't talk dairy free foods without talking Oreos. Oreo creme? Not really cream. They are dairy free. If you are an Oreo fan you have to go check out this funny comparing Oreos, Double Stuffs, and Regular Stuffs.

{---} A number of dairy free "ice creams" exist. Most fruit gelatos are dairy free. Most sorbets are dairy free. A number of companies make ice cream using coconut milk (which is delicious and creamy). My very favorite? NadaMoo Maple Pecan Ice Cream. Yum. Just yum.

 

{---} Duncan Hines Brownie Mix. My delicious go to for dairy free entertaining! Many of the cake mixes are also dairy free. Good stuff!

{---} Marshmallows and marshmallow cream. Nutter butter sandwiches can still happen! And if I read labels carefully most dark chocolate is dairy free. Combine with graham crackers (which are dairy free) and s'mores are a go.

{---} Trader Joe's Cookie Butter. Yum. Just yum. Spread it on a graham cracker and you have dessert.

Cookie Butter

 

{---} Pop Tarts. I agree it's a stretch to call these a treat but they are dairy free. And we still gave some in out pantry because I craved them in the early stages of this last pregnancy!

{---} Nutter Butter cookies. Another processed dairy free cookie. Doesn't rank as high as a MegaStuff Oreo but still an awesome cookie option.

{---} And the clear dairy free winner? Making it yourself. I can make Dole Whip (sorta tastes right). I can make cookies. I can make cakes. I can make bars. I can really make it all! Vegan ingredients are great to find for dairy free living! Yesterday while I was wallowing, I baked. It's relaxing on a rough day! I made maple-peanut butter-chocolate chip- oatmeal cookies with sea salt {recipe} and they are every bit as amazing as the name sounds!

 

 

Do you have a favorite dairy free treat or recipe? I'd love to hear!

 

 

Be sure to link up this Friday. I'm linking up with A Little Bit of Everything, Grace and Love, and Momfessionals for Friday Favorites as well as with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for oh hey Friday!

Momfessionals

 

 

Aug 28, 2014

{recipe} maple, peanut butter, chocolate chip, oatmeal cookies with sea salt #dairyfree

Say that name 10 times fast! Today at naptime I baked. It relieves stress. It makes me feel better. A homemade little treat makes everything seem okay. And I'm a bit stressed.

I made cookies. And then I ate them. Then the boys woke up from nap and I shared with them (and ate another myself clearly).

So, the recipe...

 

Ingredients:
  • ⅔ cup natural peanut butter (I didn't quite have ⅔ cup left. It still worked.)
  • ⅔ cup real maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons Earth Balance dairy free spread
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I'm heavy handed when I measure vanilla. Because yum.)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder (Apparently I was out if baking powder. How did I not know this? I "made" baking powder with two parts baking soda to one part cream of tartar)
  • ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats, ground for 30 seconds in a food processor or blender
  • 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (Read the label. Only a few brands are dairy free)
  • Coarse grain seal salt (I used Himalayan Pink Salt instead. It's pink. And fun.)
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Combine peanut butter, maple syrup and melted butter into bowl. Whisk until well blended.
  4. Beat in the egg.
  5. Whisk in the vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and fine salt.
  6. Combine in the oats (ground and rolled) and the chocolate chips.
  7. Drop the dough by tablespoon onto the parchment paper.
  8. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
  9. Bake 6 minutes. Then swap the two baking sheets (move the one on top rack down and one on bottom rack up so they cook evenly). Bake an additional 6ish minutes until the edges are golden.
  10. Pour a glass of almond milk and enjoy!

Adapted from this recipe.

Linked up ---

{why} i blog

I haven't been the most consistent blogger on the block. That's old news. I've written about it before. I've also written that I want to be a better blogger. To be a better blogger I need to commit to this. It's time for the blog to become an adult. It needs to get out of this slump, put on its big girl panties and do this. This little space is going to get its own domain, a new look, and a renewed focus. To help me better focus and be more intentional on the blog, I'm going to start working on a blog makeover.

And let's be honest, by working on I mean contemplating. I realize this will be a process and I want to bring you all along for the ride. So welcome to a new multipart series: I Blog.

 

 

Today I'm kicking the series off with WHY. Before I choose a new name and a domain I need to refocus. Before I get a new header and design I need to focus. Why am I blogging? What should y'all expect when you come to this little corner of the Interwebs?

  • I need the "me time" that comes from blogging. I crave the community. I love reading other blogs and interacting with folks through social media. I like that it is something I can do each day that is for me. It isn't for my kids or my husband. This blog is mine. To achieve this I will continue to participate in lineups. I will read and comment on other folks blogs. I will continue to part of this community I so love!
  • I like having a place to document my life. I love looking back and remembering special moments and milestones. I really regret the months of the twins lives I didn't blog. I never documented their first Christmas or birthday party. I missed doing a post when we found out we were expecting our third little dude. I want to have these memories!To do this, I will continue to write weekend updates and Friday Favorite posts that share my Faborites moments and photos from the week. I want to be better about including cute comments and moments from my kiddos and documenting the little things not just the big things. I should get better at writing for the It's The Little Things Linkup to combine this goal with my first goal of community!
  • My transition from college sorority girl, to wife and career woman, to wife and graduate student, to wife and graduate student and mama has forced me to expand my domestic abilities. A frozen pizza is no longer cooking. I have a house that needs decorating. With Davy's dairy allergy comes the need for "from scratch" baking. Someday I aspire to start gardening (clearly I need to). Basically I am working on all if the domestic "ings." So I want to share my adventures in domesticity here. To do this I'll work on documenting what I do. I pretty much fail at taking pictures when I bake and cook. I have been doing a house tour linkup to show my decorating though. I will continue to show what I do. And I will do better at documenting and picture taking.
  • I want this to be a place of inspiration for moms. During our infertility journey, I poured out my heart. I was open. I was honest. I shared my faith. While I am still infertile, I am no longer in the midst of an infertility journey. But, I should still be sharing my heart. I should still be writing open and honest posts. I should be sharing my faith. Since becoming a mom 19 months ago, I've felt isolated. I've felt insecure. I've been in need of support. And other moms came along side me and lifted me up. I've also been utterly in love wit my children and taken inexplicable joy in their joy. Other moms have shared in my heart and understood my joy.To do this I am going to be more convicted in sharing my real moments, the good and bad. I will share the pictures of my half dressed hooligans not my perfectly attired angels. I will share the struggles and insecurities on my heart. I hope that my words can encourage even one mom. My hope is that by sharing my real life moments and struggles I can help other moms see they aren't alone. We are in this journey together! Together we are raising our kids. Together we are creating the next generation of warriors for Christ. We as moms should be raising each other up in Christian love. We should be supporting each other.
 

So, why do I blog? I blog because I like to pretend my life is interesting enough to write about. I blog to get me time. I blog to share my adventures in hobby debrlopment. I blog to share my faith. I blog because I have a heart for moms. I blog because I have a heart for this online community. I blog because I truly believe we as moms can fill each other up and encourage each other through community building, through our words, through our honesty, and by sharing our love in Christ.





Next up: WHO. A look at blog names (and available domains that go along with it).

 

Aug 27, 2014

again #dairyfree

You can hand me any label for any food and in a few seconds flat, I can scan the allergy warnings, read the ingredients list, and confidently state if it is acceptable for Davy to eat or if that snack is potentially deadly. I am an expert at label-reading. I can scope out ingredient lists and in the midst of the unidentifiable ingredients and chemistry laden symbols, find the key words that tell me if any food has milk protein.

This confidence and assurance in my label reading expertise comes after 9 months of being dairy free while breastfeeding and since then an additional 8 months feeding and worrying about my darling boy who is allergic to milk protein. I've written about this before (see here for diagnosing a milk protein allergy and here for my fears when he switched to solid foods).

To be honest, his food allergy has introduced a level of fear into my life that I don't completely know how to handle. This isn't an irrational fear. It isn't something we can just avoid. How do you avoid food? Now that Davy is a toddler and eating completely on his own, he has potentially-dangerous foods around him all the time: snacks at Sunday school (part of the reason we haven't been regular church attenders lately), the free cookies at the grocery store, the goldfish every mom pulls out at the park, an errant sippy cup on the ground during playgroup. There is a chance that any where we go, someone could inadvertently or unknowingly give him something that will make him sick, very sick. Even the indoor play spaces with posted "no food or drink" signs can be dangerous due to the number of moms who blatantly disregard them.

 

Well, apparently I will get to live this again.

You see, in April of 2013 when Tripp and Davy were three months old, my mom went on a three week cruise. While she was gone, we found blood in Davy's diaper and so began our adventures with MPSI, which became a full blown milk protein allergy. Davy is still allergic to milk protein today.

On Saturday, my mom left for a three week cruise. Last night, poor James had blood in his diaper. We took him to the pediatrician today and she confirmed that James has a milk protein intolerance.

This is James most of the time. We now know it is because he is in pain.
 

Again.

We are on this path again.

Even down to the timing of the diagnosis while my mom is totally unreachable for support.

 

 

I just can't.

But, this is the easy time.

 

This is when I am in complete control. I will stop drinking milk. I will stop snacking on cheese sticks. My beloved Talenti Gelato will probably get freezer burn sitting unloved in the freezer before I have the heart to throw it away. I will go back to reading labels and trying to remember what I can order on menus (not that we eat out much with three kids under two!). I won't eat any chocolate-y delicious Halloween candy. I won't get my very favorite chocolate mint squares at Christmas. I'll only get to eat fruit off the MOPS breakfast spread because I won't know the ingredients in anything else. I won't go to the state fair because all of the fried goodness gets a milk bath. And now, I'm just whining. Back on track Alexis! I can control what I eat. I understand the consequences. I can read the labels. This is the easy time.

 

If James doesn't outgrow this. If, like Davy, he enters into solid foods still unable to digest milk, that's when it gets scary. That's when it gets truly hard. And that fear is why I'm crying this afternoon.

 

 

 

Philippians 4:6 says "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." So, this afternoon I'm trying to pray. I'm trying to hand my fears and concerns and worries over to God. Because my fear is rational. My fear is okay. God doesn't tell me to not have fear. God tells me to hand my fears over to Him. (1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.)



And, when James is 9 months old (April 2, 2015 - I'm already counting the days!) we will do a dairy challenge and see how he reacts to dairy. Until then, I'm leaning into God. And I'm learning that I have to choose, over and over and over again, to lean into God.

 

embrace messy hair

Let's talk hair.

I know you are all wondering whose blog you must be reading.

Yesterday I posted makeup and today hair? I agree. It makes no sense! I'm not this girl! And a post from me on hair, well, basically you should all stop reading now. My hair: not impressive. I am pretty boring and do the same things every day. I embrace messy hair! I have too much else going on in life to stress about my hair.

 

But, here I am posting on hair.

My daily hair routine consists of... spraying in some dry shampoo, running a brush through, and adding in a soft jersey headband to keep it out of my face. Somedays if I'm leaving the house I will curl or straighten my bangs. Even less frequently I curl or straighten all of my hair. My daily hair routine does not consist of washing and blow drying cause ain't nobody got time for that!

 

The best hair advice I've received is...use dry shampoo. Y'all this stuff is amazing. I did a full post about it here and listed it as a twin mom essential here. Because seriously it's the best stuff ever!

My hair idol is... hair idol? Umm... What? I'm so out go the fashion/celebrity circles I have no idea who has good hair. Remember, I'm not that girl! If I had to say someone I'd go with Reese Withspoon. Girl has a great side part and gorgeous bangs. Or at least she used to. Does she still? No clue!

 

Bronzed: The Oscar winner sported a monochrome mini skirt, which showed off her tanned lean legs







 

 

Join in the fun and "Finish This," by finishing the above prompts and linking up your post with the hosts of this party: Nicole {Three 31} Lisa {Coastlined}, Jen {The Arizona Rossums}, and Becky {The Java Mama}.

FINISHTHIS.linkupbutton

 

Aug 26, 2014

Favorite

It's favorite things day! I love this monthly link up where you spy the inexpensive (under $10) little goodies other folks have their eyes on.

This week I'm cheating a bit. One of the products I'm highlighting is $10. The rest are a bit more but still really great and worth the cost.

 

No makeup. Horrible skin.
 

If you know me at all, you know I'm not a girly girl. I don't read fashion/beauty magazines. I couldn't tell you what the latest trends are. I wear makeup so I don't scare people (hello adult acne and under eye craters) but it's pretty minimal. I'm a concealer, tinted sunblock, powder, mascara, tinted chapstick girl. But sometimes, a bit of eye color is nice. Occasionally a lightweight foundation makes a huge difference

So, when my mascara started running low I took the plunge and ordered new makeup from Younique. Wow am I impressed! I'll let the results speak for themselves.

All done up!
 

Full on shot
 

Pretty pigments on my eye
 

I am wearing my usual concealer (from Target. I'm fancy) with the Younique Mineral Touch Cream Foundation. It really smoothed out my skin and looked great. One drawback - my usual tinted sunscreen has, well, sunscreen. So using this means I need to buy new sunblock and add a step. I also have on Younique Blusher in Sweet which is a great soft pink that looks great and natural with my pale skin. I'm using two different eye shadows. Most of my eye has Younique Pigment in Sexy and then I lined my eye in Feisty. I'm also wearing Younique Lucrative Lip Gloss in Lucky. I actually don't love the color. It's a really nice mauve but it's pretty dark for my skin. In the later photos I added a coral lip crayon overtop (clearly should go under but the gloss was already on) and it helped the color out quite a bit. Finally, the star of the shoe is the 3d Fiber Lashes. Amazing!! My lashes have never looked so full or so long!

 

My face.
 

And, the pigments are only $10! That's less than I normally pay for my "good" makeup and not much more than my Target eyeshadows. For the rest of the prices, you can go check out my friend Lauren's sales page. Y'all I'm not a makeup person but I just can't get over how amazing this stuff is. I've never had a mascara work so well and stay on so long. I didn't take an end of day picture and should have because wow! I still had a full face of makeup on. I don't know how such light, easy, not caked on makeup does that. Magic!

 

Eyes before and after
 

 

Linking up for the Favorite Things Party with Andrea at Momfessionals to share a favorite thing under $10.

 

Aug 22, 2014

Finally Friday

These past two week. They have literally tried to kill me. In fact, here are what conversations between Casey and I have been looking like.

 

This season of life is one without much sleep. James is clearly going through a growth spurt and eating CONSTANTLY. And the twins. Well. Tripp and Davy are going through something. It's been a string of really bad nights and short naps. I'm 99% sure they are both getting molars (lots of mouth holding, ear tugging, nose running, and mucus) but I can't see that anything has broken through. And it's been two weeks of not sleeping through the night. Not impressed.

But, this is just a season and before I know it they will all be older and bigger and I will miss these days. Actually, I doubt I ever miss this week. But I will miss my tiny baby. And the toddlers are just so fun right now! So, for Friday Favorites this week I am highlighting some favorite moments from the week. Actually, from the past two weeks. Because I haven't posted much lately! I need to remember that even in the exhaustion and even with all the toddler tears and the hourly nursing sessions, things are good and I am so dang blessed! I am where I belong (Read this post. Seriously. Read.) and things are good.

 

{---} James tried out his newborn cloth diapers this week. We are out of newborn disposables and back into cloth diapering. Moving beyond the (adorable) diaper, I am just in love with that squishy little face. I'm not in love with adding in cloth diaper laundry to my routine. I know that it wasn't that hard with the twins and we will find a rhythm and get back into it, but at the moment I'm not excited. (Our bank account is though! Our cloth stash is completely paid for!) The twins are also back in cloth and I'm not sure they like them. Davy seemed concerned by the bulk of a nighttime diaper. We're hoping the twins get used to it again!

 

{---} James is getting so much more interactive and so much more fun! Lots of good times around here!

Tripp stealing J's playmat.
Playtime!
6w5d - transitioned out of his newborn clothes
My very demanding boss! #squishyboss
 

{---} Awesome play dates. I'm trying to get the big boys out of the house somewhat regularly. They really like getting in the car (and some mornings ask for it! "car car car") so we're going places. But, going places where I can keep up with both toddlers and keep James safe isn't easy. We have to be careful about time becau their aren't many places I can safely nurse while watching them. We also need to choose fairly enclosed locations so the boys can't run off. We met up with a few neighborhood moms last week at JumpStreet which was great. The boys LOVED the trampolines and the bounce house and just had so much fun! I can't wait to take them back! We also did a twin mom play date at one of the moms houses. I get so much out of meeting with other twin moms. At this age play dates can be hard and I sometimes feel ostracized/shunned/judged by the moms with their perfectly behaved singleton. Being around other moms with rough and tumble twins is refreshing! Also - they have the same need for enclosed locations so any twin mama play date is safe for them!

Photo from June. But this is the group we played with!
 

{---} This week we met with my sister and her kids and played in the mall playspace. The boys loved seeing their cousins and I loved having other people chase them! The mall we went to (Collin Creek for all y'all locals) has a great play area but it's a pretty much abandoned mall. Stores are leaving and being replaced by things I've never heard of. Even the Dillard's went out of business recently. But. But. One of those abandoned stores opened up as a place called Those Animals. I've never heard of it before, but I'm impressed. They are (fake) animals you rent and drive around the mall. I paid for the kids to ride for a bit and it was so much fun! Confession: I'm a bit jealous I didn't rent one for myself!

 

{---} Casey and I went on a date. Sort of. We brought along a third wheel. But it was nice getting out of the house and meeting up with friends to celebrate Christine's 30th on Saturday! The twins stayed home with their Nano, Papa, and cousins and had a blast!

 

{---} I'm not sure my heart will ever be ever to handle my rough and tumble boys! Davy is climbing onto and out of everything. Sometimes it gets him in trouble.

 

{---} We found an amazing deal on a PBK Carolina table on Craigslist and the boys are loving it. And loving the Oreos I let them eat at the table. They've never had cookies for snack time before! And Oreos are dairy free!

 

{---} It's almost football season!! Our tickets arrived last week!!

 

{---} And just because it's cute...

 

 

 

Aug 21, 2014

where I belong

 

In this life, it is sometimes hard to find contentment and peace. We are surrounded by images of someone's perfectly dressed children on Instagram. We look on Facebook and see someone just checked in at a fabulous resort in the Caribbean. We get on Twitter and read a tweet that someone else just achieved our dream. Everywhere we look, someone else seems to have more and do it better. Even "in real life" the competition is fierce. We are inundated by advertising saying we aren't enough unless we have better skin or longer eyelashes or the right boots for fall. It makes it easy to feel on hold. We can't enjoy life and be truly at peace because we are striving for that next thing. We are rushing towards the next phase of life instead of appreciating where we are.

I know that I struggle with this. I have had many seasons that I spent looking to the next stage and hoping for the next thing. The big glaring example is our years of infertility that I spent feeling on hold as we waited for a child. I wasn't content. I wasn't at peace. I wasn't happy. I was in a desert. I have done the same thing in my graduate program as I checked the boxes of my required classes and focused on the goal of the PhD so e days at the expense of the process. I'm going to rat out poor Casey on the blog here too. I have seen him struggle with this in terms of his job and have watched him waste away Monday through Friday as he waited for the weekend, the time he could be content.

But wouldn't it be nice to be content on a Monday? To feel at peace in your darkest desert? To be present for the process instead of checking off the boxes towards the goal?

I've prayed so many times and so many ways for God to work in my heart for this. And I can honestly say that lately I have been lingering in every moment. I don't want them to end. My heart is full. Things are good. I am full of love for my husband who is my partner and my rock. He selflessly does more than his share for our family, going to work everyday and helping with dinner and bedtime and dishes every night. My heart is full of love for the twins who are at the most adorable, infuriating, fun, frustrating, loving stage. Even in the midst of a tantrum, their joy and love of life shines through. I am full of love for BabyJ who fits so perfectly into our family, like the missing piece of a puzzle we didn't know we were solving.

My cup runneth over.
I haven't felt well rested in nearly three years and don't remember the last time I slept all night (maybe Novemberish?). I want to pull my hair out as I witness yet another twin tantrum. (You haven't seen a tantrum until you've seen simultaneous falling to the ground with feet kicking and floor punching.) I am beyond stressed about finishing my dissertation this semester and what (fingers crossed!) being Dr. Cass means for my future and our family.

And yet.

And yet, these are the best times of my life. I have wanted to be a mom for years. I dreamed of staying home with our babies. I feel that I am answering God's call in my life by being home with my three boys. I feel content. I feel at peace. I feel happy. I am so close to achieving a lifelong goal of having my PhD. I am nearing the finish line. I feel content. I feel happy. I'm working on the at peace.

My Father in Heaven has so blessed me with these people and these circumstances and this time. I am so humbled that God chose me to raise Tripp. He is my spirited firecracker. He knows exactly what he wants and exactly how things should be. He is always ready to be held and snuggled and loved on. God chose me to be Davis' mom. He is my tender hearted boy. He is quick to give hugs and hand over favorite toys. He is also determined and stubborn (he had to have some of his mama right?). And God blessed me with a third little surprise who needs nothing more in the world to be held close (and never put down!). God chose this timing for us. God placed me in this timing to finish my PhD and has plans beyond what I can imagine for me.

God listened to the cries of my heart and made me mama. Even in my darkest times, He knew where my story was going. And I am so thankful because HIS STORY, this story that has me raising these three perfect creations alongside my best friend is the RIGHT STORY. God knew it was the right story for me even when I couldn't see the path. THIS is where I belong. I belong here with these boys who don't dress like Instagram models and who wear hand me down clothes (for which our budget says hallelujah!). I belong here with these boys and not jet setting on fabulous vacations. I don't need more things. I don't need more money. I don't need better skin. I don't need longer eyelashes (although I did order Younique mascara to try. I'm a sucker for marketing!). I don't need any of that.

I just need to linger. I need to linger in these moments. I need to linger in this season.

 

Because here is where I belong.

My boys.
 

Aug 20, 2014

return

I posted this already. But it applies again this week!
 

I can't believe it has been a week since I posted! No Friday Faborites even though I had some really great pictures and beautiful moments to share. No weekend update to share our fabulous craigslist find. No thoughts from my heart and I've had a lot recently, including some about the direction I want his blog to go. I have started a few posts, but before anything gets finished the boys wake up from their nap or the baby needs nursed. Life is once again not being kind to the blog. And that is the season I am in. I don't blog or have the iPad out when the toddlers are awake. I focus on them. (Confession: If they are happily playing independently I will scroll through Instagram or Facebook on my phone but I can't write a blog post on the little phone screen.) So, bear with me. I'll get the hang of this mom of three thing. I'll find my rhythm. And I'll start blogging more regularly again.




Two reasons the blog has suffered. Cute aren't they?
 

Until the time I can write a full blog post, I need to share what is on my heart in condensed "quick before the boys wake up" form:

  • I am registered graduate student again! I haven't registered for class hours or been an "official" student in a few semesters. I don't need any classes or hours to graduate so paying tuition to be a student while I worked at home on my dissertation seemed silly. But, this semester I registered. I have to be a student to defend my dissertation and by paying that big tuition check, I have committed. I am finishing this semester. I am going to graduate. Soon. I'm nervous. I'm overwhelmed. I'm excited. I'm feeling the pressure!
  • To help towards that goal, I believe we have found a nanny. She is going to do a trial run for us on Monday and we will see if she is a good fit for our family. Fingers crossed! I have a few other people to contact, but finding a part time nanny has truly been a challenge. I can't believe how much they get paid! Most of the nannies I have spoken to want $18-20/hr to care for my brood!
  • I poured my heart out this morning during my quiet time and plan to turn it into a blog post. I want my blog to go back to being a faith based place of inspiration. Funny that I wrote more encouraging Godly posts during our infertility journey when I felt so far from God than I do now. I want that to change. I want to get back to sharing my soul with y'all and I think sharing my quiet time musings is a good start. Be on the lookout tomorrow for a post on "where I belong" (which might just make an awesome post title!).
  • I have an abundance of great pictures and cute moments I want to share from the last week and a half. Some of them are on Instagram (follow me @lexyjill if you aren't already!) but most of them are still living on my phone. I might need to stop doing the Friday Favorites linkup and start doing Photo Friday so I can document it all!
It's a bit before the boys should start stirring, so I am going to keep writing and link up with some sweet girls and "finish this." I love this linkup and these prompts because they really allow me to share my heart with other bloggers and connect in a more meaningful way.

I feel stupid when... I am around new people. I don't do well in new social settings. I second guess and replay in my head the silly things I say. I feel stupid for the comments I make and wish I had stayed quite. In new situations, quiet is the safe move! Sadly, my problems with new people aren't because I'm shy, but because I feel insecure. It's that time of year when MOPS and bible study will be starting up again so I will have to face new folks. Nervous doesn't even begin to describe how I'm feeling!

I hope I never... pass on my insecurities to my boys. I want them to be confident and self assured. I want them to be well spoken and feel they can thrive in any situation. I don't want my social insecurities to rub off on them. I also hope I never contribute to anyone else's insecurities in a social situation. I want to be welcoming and affirming to others. I want to be a warm smile and a kind word when someone needs it.

My one piece of advice to the world... is to just be you. I am in love with the MOPS theme for this year: Be you, bravely. I think that sums up what I need to work on! Leave the insecurities behind. Don't worry about others. If I am true to myself and who I am and put God first, the rest will follow. A full post on MOPS and what it has meant to me is on my heart right now and I hope to find time soon to put it all into words and hopefully encourage other mamas to find a group near them. The time of fellowship and encouragement and prayer and community uplift my soul and make this mama heart happy.l

 

Join in the fun and "Finish This," by finishing the above prompts and linking up your post with the hosts of this party: Nicole {Three 31} Lisa {Coastlined}, and Becky {The Java Mama}.