Quar·an·time

We are in the epicenter of unprecedented times. Who would’ve thought that months ago the world would be in the predicament it is today. From toilet paper stockpiling, to social distancing and self-quarantine COVID-19 has certainly kept us all on our toes. I remember thinking in February when we started seeing cases pop up in the US, that it’d never become a worldwide pandemic boy was I wrong. If you would’ve told me that we, as one of the most developed countries in the world, would not have the know-how or preparedness plan to keep this virus contained I’d think you were joking. As cases increase and state officials loosen their reign on restrictions it is hard to know when we will return to a new normal.  So, in the meantime how do we continue to quarantine and chill without going crazy?coronavirus-4939242_1920

I for one have been in the house with my now 10-month-old  and husband since March. We are all surviving and thriving! My husband and I have managed not to get on each other’s nerves so much that one of us ends up camping out in the backyard. We’ve also eaten healthy enough that neither one of us have succumbed to the quarantine fifteen. Don’t get me wrong we have totally stuffed our faces while supporting local and eating curbside pickup.  My husband is working from home which is a treat for me and the baby, however, we can be quite distracting. I have to remind myself daily not to walk in on one of his zoom calls in my pumping bra or ask him to examine the baby’s poop because the color is not it’s usual shade. So far so good, his boss hasn’t seen me in my birthday suit, I’d call that a win. I am also grateful that he is still in love with me despite my bushy eyebrows, upper lip stache, and mom bun. Who am I kidding quarantine or not I am still a fine young tenderoni. No, I am actually savage, classy, a bit bougie but no ratchet! Although we have tried to keep positive about the current state of the world, we have days when we are emotional.

One of the biggest upsets is our family hasn’t been able to witness our 10-month-olds major milestones. She’s crawling, almost walking, and is close to her first birthday.  Thankfully, Facetime and Facebook messenger has kept our family in close touch.  My husband and I have also celebrated a few milestones without our families. We celebrated our three-year wedding anniversary in March, my husband celebrated his 27th birthday in April, I had my first Mother’s Day in May, and Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner. While things don’t seem the same there is a lot to be thankful for.

I have summed up this experience in one word: quarantime. What exactly does that mean? It means, finding time to focus on things that matter the most. Prior to this pandemic I know we all complained about how tired we were or how we wish we could spend more time with those we love. This pandemic has taught us to rest, to spend time with those closest to us, and to live life at the moment. This isn’t an easy time, however, you should take time doing what you love while spending it with those you love the most!

Good Grief!

Rarely am I speechless, however, it is hard to conjure up the right words to say. The start of this week has been quite tragic. Sunday reading the news of Kobe Bryant and his daughter’s untimely passing in addition to the others has made me feel sorrowful. Hearing the story sent chills down my spine and flashed me back to October 24, 2015. I remember it like it was yesterday. Receiving a call from a close friend saying there had been a bad accident that claimed the lives of four young women. Who were those young women? They were my friends, classmates, and colleagues. It was abrupt, it was random, it rattled the Omaha community. I remember watching the news, witnessing them put my friends’ faces to the names of those young women whose lives were taken on that country road outside of Beatrice Nebraska, it was heartbreaking. You think to yourself why my friends? Why this way? Any loss of a loved one is tough, but an unexpected loss is agonizing. So, what happens next? Grieve!

woman-918981_1920One thing I wish people would’ve told me when I experienced major losses in my life was to take time to grieve. I get it “weeping may endure for a night and joy will come in the morning”. I also understand that we all live to die. However, amid one’s mourning, you don’t always want to hear Scriptures, people’s personal experience of losing a loved one, or people telling you things like “it was their time”. At least I didn’t. I am a believer in God don’t get me wrong but navigating a tragic loss was one of the most challenging things in my life. I didn’t understand the abruptness of it all and was left feeling betrayed by the “Most High God”. How many can relate? 

Life is the most beautiful yet fragile thing anyone can experience. Some are here today and gone tomorrow. The loss of an NBA legend, his daughter and the others aboard that helicopter has shaken up our world. While deeply tragic I am sure it is bringing people closer together. Tragedies like this remind us to love harder and care deeper. Amid the sadness, I want to encourage us as a community to do a few things. 

  1. Don’t try to understand why. Racking your brain for the reason that caused this freak accident will only leave you feeling more confused. Turn that curiosity into ways you can keep the lives of those lost legacy’s alive. 
  2. Turn off the screens. The story of this untimely accident has been covered on all news channels, print media, and social media. This can be triggering for some who have similarly lost loved ones. So, give yourself time to be in the moment with those who mean the most to you. Shower yourself with love during this time. 
  3. Be gentle with yourself. It is certainly normal to feel heavy-hearted when a tragedy like this occurs even if you don’t directly know the people whose lives were taken. Mourn their loss and know that what you are feeling is okay. If this story has you reminiscing on the loss of loved ones in your life take a moment to remember the good times you shared with them. I know for me this kind of tragedy reminded me of the randomness of my friends’ accident and bought up some awful feelings. Know it is okay to feel your feelings and cry if you need to!
  4. Remember grief is not a sprint it is a marathon. Grief doesn’t turn off as time goes on. When you lose someone you love you will always have an empty place in your heart for them. So, when people tell you to get over it or life goes on take that commentary with a grain of salt. Take all the time you need to heal, accept, and grieve.
  5. If you or anyone you know isn’t coping well with the loss of a loved one seek help. There are several different options including talk therapy, grief support groups, online social groups and more. 

Don’t forget to take life one day at a time. Live without regret and be the best version of yourself you can be. You are still alive and breathing which means there’s more work for you to do, so get to it! 

 

What type of thinker are you?

Mondays start the work week off for many of us making it is easy to go into the week with a negative frame of thinking. We often complain that the weekend wasn’t long enough, traffic on the way to work was backed up, we didn’t pack lunch, need to stop to get gas, etc. What if we changed our frame of thinking and started the week off on a cheerful note. Happy Monday everyone! Let’s reflect on all the positive things happening this week. For starters you woke up today, that’s a major win! Next week is Christmas, which means a short work week (won’t He do it), and New Year’s Day will soon follow. Doesn’t that feel better? Trust me as a new parent it is easy to get bogged down by everything that is going wrong instead of being thankful for everything that is going right. Why is that? I’m not sure the exact answer however, I was once told it’s harder to frown than it is to smile. Isn’t the same thing true for our thoughts? It’s much easier to fill our minds with positive thoughts rather than negative ones. I myself am still not convinced about the previous statement so let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

books-3454392_1920As someone who has a stubborn brain, as I like to call it, thinking positively all the time can be tedious. Then on the flip side thinking negatively is toxic and bad for my mental health. I’d like to think I am in between the two. My main vice is being a worrywart. So, to help me help you figure out why we think the way we do, I broke it down into three different types of thinkers. Let’s identify the type of thinker/thinkers we are and see how we can make some modifications for a better outcome in the future.

Thinker 1: Meet the positive thinker commonly known as the optimist, their thoughts are guided by hoping an outcome will be good even though it may not. If you align with this frame of thinking, no matter what is happening in your life you always hope for the best and never the worse, even when circumstances don’t look the greatest. Examples of positive thinkers that come to mind are Gandhi and Mother Teresa. One might say the only vice to being an optimist is lacking realistic thinking. Is there such a thing as being too positive?

Thinker 2: Meet the over-thinker, this thinker coined the term “worry wart”. The worrywart is driven by fear, the fear of something happening or not happening. They can be indecisive when making decisions for fear of not picking the best answer. These thinkers often have a plan A-Z, thinking of everything that could go wrong or right. The main vice of this thinker is often thinking so much about the future that the forget to bask in the glory of their present. An example of the over-thinker is any man’s girlfriend when he asks her what she wants to eat (as Uncle Jesse would say “Have Mercy!”).

Thinker 3: Meet the negative thinker also known as the pessimist, they are known to be skeptical about everything. Most of their thoughts consist of doubt. They see the worse in everything and lower their expectations to avoid being upset for trying to be optimistic. Who thinks like this you might ask? No comment, you know who you are. 

I’m sure you all know the different variations of thinking, but it doesn’t hurt to have a reminder. I also am super extra and love breaking things down, I create lists for everything. So, seeing the descriptions and examples of thinkers helped me remember the importance of my thoughts. It’s like food, we are what we eat but we also have to remember we are what we think. No matter the type of thinker/thinkers, it’s okay to be a little bit of all of them, you should be conscious of the thoughts you allow to take up space in your mind. Even when life is hard speak life into yourself (when life is tough don’t wallow in self-pity and succumb to being a Debbie Downer). I’ve learned that you can think life into where you want to be and where you want to go. Chin up buttercup 2019 is on its way out and 2020 is on its way in! If 2019 was a hard year for you it’s almost over leave the negative thoughts and feelings there, start 2020 off with a positive bang

Motherhood and The Things No One Tells You

Happy Monday, It has been a minute since I’ve blogged. Life has been hectic. Balancing my new role as a mom while still being present in my marriage, participating in community affairs, and working full-time has been quite the task. Some of you may be thinking that’s nothing while others may say that’s too much to manage. If you are reading this and you are saying to yourself “at least you have a husband, I am a single parent of multiple kids” or if you are saying to yourself ” you should be happy you have a child because some women are dealing infertility” then this excerpt is not for you. I am not here to compare my story with others nor am I here to ask for an award for being the hardest working mother of the year. I am simply using my voice to provoke the thoughts of women everywhere and start a discussion about motherhood and the added societal pressures placed upon women, especially in their postpartum journey. So, if you are down with that then please continue your reading, if not thanks for visiting my blog anyway!

Let’s get to it, shall we? As a new mom of a four-month-old, life as I know it has been a beautiful mess. More recently, my maternity leave has ended and I have returned to work. After three months of bonding and getting to know my baby girl I had to entrust her in the hands of a local childcare center. While it is equipped with all the bells and whistles, it doesn’t make my nine-hour day away from her any easier. On top of the transition back to work, as of late I have been fixated on getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Not to mention I’ve been struggling to find time to be social, I’ve been in no rush to step back out on the social scene. It wasn’t until today, that I had to stop and ask myself why do I feel the pressure to do what is considered the norm?
girl-2480361_1920To all of the new moms, moms-to-be, and moms who have been doing this for a while, it is time to give yourself some grace! Raising children isn’t an easy task. Think about it you have the whole life of another human in your hands, sheesh that sounds intense! It doesn’t matter if you are back to your pre-pregnancy weight or recently stopped breastfeeding and switched to formula. It doesn’t matter if you are married versus being a single mother. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve birthed your children or went through adoption. What you do, what we do as mothers is astounding. We shouldn’t succumb to the pressures of society. Today I am here to tell you it is okay to pace yourself. Being a mother isn’t an easy task, but it is a rewarding one.

I’ve learned that there are so many things we don’t talk about concerning motherhood. We seem to highlight the beautiful moments but what about the ugly ones? What about sharing how exhausting being a new mom can be and encouraging women to not overload their plates especially when returning to work. We often see in the media this portrayal of “super mom” a mom juggling a million and one things but forget to promote her taking care of herself. Working yourself into a frenzy isn’t good, so live life at your own pace not the pace of another mother. There’s also a huge emphasis on the “bounce back body”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen women drinking magic teas and wearing waist trainers to expedite their postpartum weight loss, when we should be encouraged to take our time. Trust me I was obsessing over my post-baby weight loss, too. I was looking into waist trainers, teas, you name it and finally, I reached a point of compassion for myself and so should you.

So, tonight I am going to have a cup of my favorite Ben and Jerry’s milk and cookies ice cream and give in to the new Disney streaming site all while breastfeeding my baby and living my best life. This postpartum body will get back to its former glory days, so what’s the rush? I don’t know what it is that gives you joy but relax a little, take off your bra when you get home and let the girls breathe or snatch that wig and enjoy a glass I mean a bottle of wine and while you are doing that, know I am rooting for you, mama!

One More Minute

Just a couple of weeks ago I was laying on the couch taking a much-needed nap when I heard my phone go off. It was early in the morning so I was wondering who’d be texting me. Unlocking my phone I stared in disbelief as I realized what name popped up on my screen. It read George Hutcherson, for those of you that don’t know that’s my grandpa’s name, he passed away unexpectedly December of last year just days before Christmas. Shaking I opened the message and it read “How are you doing?”. Thinking I was dreaming I fell asleep and woke up to the same message. Looking further into it I realized his Facebook account had been hacked and made the necessary steps to report the fake account.

DB13EC0F-2485-4691-8DE9-C817FA3647A0.pngSeeing that message made me feel the hurt of losing him all over again. He was a great husband, father, grandfather, mentor, and preacher that only one could dream of knowing. There are days that I listen to his voicemails and read our last text conversations hoping his nonexistence is just a dream. Sadly, it is not. That’s the hard part about humanity we live to die, which is why we have to make the most of every moment. It’s easier said than done. Ever since that morning a few weeks ago I pondered what I’d say to those I lost if only I had one more minute with them. If you had the chance what would you say?

If I had one more minute with my grandpa I’d thank him for always being a listening ear. We talked about everything. I’d also want him to know how much I loved and appreciated him. Sometimes I feel we don’t tell people those things enough when they are here on earth. While sixty seconds isn’t a long time to have a lengthy conversation it’s enough to get your main points across. So, why don’t we devote sixty seconds every day to tell those that we love how much they mean to us why they are still here on earth? I challenge you to check on your loved ones, show support, tell them what makes them important because you never know how long they got! Who will you devote sixty seconds to today?

Sticks and Stones

“How many of you have personally been victimized by Regina George?”. The movie Mean Girls was onto something, Regina George’s character was simply a caricature of the modern-day bully. Just a few weeks ago I witnessed the “back to school” bliss on my timeline as I scrolled through my Instagram feed seeing kids iconic first day of school photos. While looking at those pics I couldn’t help but wonder out of those kids which ones would deal with bullying this school year. Being a new mom it’s frightening to know that one day my daughter will partake in the back to school festivities and will be in a classroom that may be susceptible to a bully. According to stopbullying.gov 49% of students in 4-12 grade reported being bullied with the most common form of bullying being verbal. To take it a step further 70% of students witness bullying while only 57% intervene. What can we do as a community to raise awareness of bullying and its negative emotional impact on students?

For starters, I believe it starts in the home. Children are impressionable beings and can emulate behaviors they see at home, on television, and on social media. An example is the viral fighting videos that circulate on social media. You often see bystanders recording those fights amongst students, but instead of speaking up they simply record while laughing in the background. Those same videos become viral memes that sweep the internet creating comedy at someone else’s dispense.

IMG_2101Back before social media became a phenomenon I dealt with public humiliation at school by way of a note. There was a time when I was a chubby little girl that went to a small private middle school and was subjected to bullying. I’ll never forget the bully that drew a picture of me with a t-shirt that said “I love BBQ” and passed it around the whole classroom for everyone to see. By the time the note got passed to me, I slumped down in my chair bright red and was embarrassed. I was the topic of many kids discussion being that I was heavier than other girls in my class. As a result of the constant insults, my grades dropped and my self-esteem took a dip. The taunting didn’t stop at school either. I was made a mockery at church during youth group by immature boys. There were even instances during family functions that some of my cousins would make fun of how much I ate. There wasn’t a time in the day that I wasn’t being made fun of. It got to the point where I’d come home in tears while my mom did the best she could to make me feel better. She’d often encourage me by saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.

In fact, words do hurt, they sting and can make you feel as if you don’t belong. In middle school, no one should contemplate their place on earth, but I did. I was so tired of being bullied and shamed for being chubby that I took matters into my own hands. At 12 years old I started dieting, working out, and wearing all black to appear thinner. I’d even wear two sports bras to disguise my bust. When I started to slim down I’d talk about other students to avoid any negative attention being on me. Being bullied created a bully in me. It’s a nasty cycle, those that are made fun of make fun of others. Thankfully my catholic all-girls high school experience renewed my confidence, but years later I still remember the mean words of my middle school peers. I’m just thankful things got better. Sadly, for some students, the constant scrutiny can be so much of a burden that they take their own lives. It’s disheartening to know that things can get to that point.

IMG_2095I said all that to say the cycle has to be broken. Recently, a family member started a new school and has been being made fun of for their weight. Their story reminded me of my own personal experience of childhood bullying. This is what has reignited my passion for creating awareness of bullying and its effects on a student’s mental health. Compared to my middle school days students now have to worry about cyberbullying as well. So, the next time you see a video or meme circulating the web of a child being fought or made fun of don’t repost it. Remember sticks and stones may break their bones but words do have the power to hurt them. Words that our negative have the power to haunt you, so speak life to one another. In doing so you could save a life.

Birthday Blues

Traveling back in time I want to invite you to a moment that forever altered the course of my life. Let me set the scene. It was an ordinary Saturday, October 24, 2015, to be exact. It was my senior year of college. I had just arrived in Omaha finishing up my fall break trip in Arizona. I was preparing for work when I gave my best friend a ring. She didn’t have the chance to answer because she was finishing work before she hit the road to Kansas for her birthday trip. We typically traveled a lot together but this particular trip I declined due to a work commitment. Nevertheless, she texted me while I was helping a customer. In my mind, I knew I’d respond later.

Fast forward to that evening. I had just gotten off work and joined a few coworkers for dinner. From there I went to my aunt’s house where I was house sitting and began to prepare for bed. That’s when my phone rang. It was 11 o’clock at night and I wondered who’d call so late. It was another close friend and she asked if I heard from my best friend. I told her I would try to call her. Dialing her number I’m saying prayers in my head because something didn’t seem right. It was late in the night and she should’ve arrived in Kansas. Optimistically thinking I figured she was out celebrating her birthday with our friends that she took on the trip. A few calls later, I called back my close friend and she said there’d been a bad accident with four young women but they had yet to be identified. Searching aimlessly on the internet I tried to see if I could find anything about a traffic accident. My close friend began getting emotional and I reassured her that everything would be okay. That’s when we called another friend and she confirmed that my best friend was in the accident and it was fatal. The four young women in the vehicle were my friends and there they laid on the side of the road lifeless in a vehicle ripped to shreds. Hysterical I couldn’t believe it. It was the day before my best friend’s birthday and who knew it’d be her last. Never in a million years did I think I’d experience such a tragedy in my lifetime. Lying in bed that night shaking I felt guilty. Why didn’t I go on the trip? Was work really that important? If I had went would the outcome have been different?

Fast forward to the present day. It’s September 2, 2019, the day before my birthday. Friends and family are calling asking if I have plans, but I change the conversation and distract them with small talk. Ever since October 24, 2015, my birthday doesn’t seem the same. After all, my best friend will never see another birthday which makes it hard to celebrate mine. When we were in college we celebrated every birthday together and things haven’t been the same since. For the past four years, I have had extreme anxiety the day before my birthday. I feared something happening to me or someone I loved . Every birthday since the accident hasn’t been celebrated. Every year I am grateful to make it to another birthday, but it’s as if I’m holding out for her to come back and join the party. However, we all know that’s not how life works.

Image-1It is now September 3, 2019, and I made it. In spite of all the fears, I concocted in my head no one I loved was hurt or harmed the day before my birthday. Unlike all of my other birthdays since the accident, this one was different. I woke up to the small brown eyes of my daughter staring back at me. With a smile on my face, I felt gratitude. Alive another year I have a gift in front of me to live for. Never forgetting my best friend I know she’d be baffled by my guilt and want me to move forward. So, this year at twenty-five my main vow in honor of my best friend and the new life I created (my daughter) is to celebrate every year I get with extreme gratitude for those that didn’t get the chance. Life is a beautiful, fragile, masterpiece waiting for each of us to make our mark. I will continue building my legacy while making sure the legacy of my four friends lives on. No more birthday blues allowed!

Not According to Plan: My Labor and Delivery Story

Imagine this you meet the perfect mate and it’s time for your first date. You have everything planned perfectly. You’ve arranged for a meal at their favorite restaurant, have an after-dinner activity scheduled and you are so eager you already start planning the next date. What if things didn’t go according to plan. Maybe their palette changed and the restaurant you chose no longer suited their needs. Better yet maybe they just weren’t that into you. Life never goes according to plan which means we have to learn to adapt. Adapt to change, and be open for things to be rearranged. That is exactly what my labor and delivery day was like. Let me tell you it was definitely not as easy as planning a date.

IMG_0754I had a very healthy pregnancy with no major complications. The only complaint I had was severe morning sickness that lasted until my fifth month, but once that concluded I was over the miserable hump. Besides that, my pregnancy was also filled with a whirlwind of emotions. Partially due to hormones and grief after losing my grandparents. I compartmentalized my emotions until I reached my second trimester. Bottling up all my emotions inside led to the start of perinatal anxiety in my second trimester.  I began having negative intrusive thoughts about delivering my baby. I was so paralyzed with fear about everything that could go wrong during labor and delivery. With that in mind, I worked with my OB and a counselor to deal with my anxiety before my delivery date. Moving towards my third trimester I was more and more excited to be a mother. I no longer feared the idea of delivering my baby, I just wanted to meet her.

On July 14th at 3:30 am I popped out of my sleep frantically waking my husband up because my water had finally broken. We were prepared, bags were packed and we were on our way to the hospital. We were one step closer to meeting our bundle of joy. Once, we were in our room, I got settled and was ready to really experience the gift of motherhood. Given my history with anxiety, I wanted my room to be filled with positive energy. That said I had essential oils near my bed, the support of my husband and doula. We wanted to labor privately before inviting loved ones in. After five hours of natural labor, I began having coupling contractions. Unlike normal contractions, coupling contractions continued with little to no breaks in between. Desperate for relief I opted for an epidural which was not in my birth plan. As mentioned earlier sometimes plans change. Although I got an epidural I still knew I’d get to deliver my baby vaginally.  It was at nine hours of labor that things started to take a turn.

Let’s just say fear set in and I started to panic. Doctors and nurses ran into my calm, serene room changing the atmosphere to one that was filled with uncertainty. My baby was in distress and not responding well to labor. Eyes filled with tears the thought of walking out of the hospital empty-handed was gut-wrenching. In the midst of all the commotion, it was as if time stood still, everything I worried about was happening. The doctors looked at my husband and had him suit up because we were headed to the OR. Oxygen mask on my face, husband by my side we headed into what I thought was the impossible. As the baby’s heart rate began to drop they prepped me for my c section. Trying to remain calm I stared into the reassuring eyes of my husband and felt peace. Even though I was thinking the worse, feeling the unconditional love he had for me made it feel like everything would be okay. Everything after that moment was a blur until I heard the cries of Adele, my dear daughter. She was here safe and sound. The first thing my husband proclaimed was “she’s gorgeous”. He was the first to lay eyes on her. Seeing his bliss made my heart happy, our dream finally came true. Taking his gaze off her, he watched as they stitched me up. All I could think was I did it!

IMG_1196 (1).jpgMy labor and delivery were not at all according to my plan. It was a traumatic experience, but in the midst of all the panic, I learned to trust the process. For the last three years, my optimistic outlook was overshadowed by fear. Fear to live, fear to move forward, fear of what was next. However, at that moment I had to learn how to trust in the beauty of life all over again. I’m glad I did because in the midst of life’s uncertainty lied my tranquility. So, at times it’s okay if your first plan goes awry. Just remind yourself there are 26 letters in the alphabet so just know you have 26 chances for your next plan to go right.

Mom Life Chose Me

I remember it like it was yesterday. My husband and I had just come home from my great grandmothers birthday celebration at my grandpa’s church. I remember having a panic attack during service that caused my whole body to go stiff. No one noticed which is the peculiar part of anxiety. As we were sitting at home we made dinner and scrolled through Netflix looking for our next series to binge. After picking some random show about a group of artists my husband glanced over at me with a raised brow. He had a way of knowing when something was off with me. I remember staring back at his eyes filled with tears expressing to him how I was baffled by the feelings of numbness and void I had in my heart. Weirdly enough although there was void I felt like I had everything in life I needed. I had a good husband, a nice home, a decent job, family and friends that loved and cared for me, but something was missing. My husband, being the inquisitive man he is, asked me why I felt that way and what could we do to change it. I simply shrugged my shoulders and gave him a look that read I don’t know.

After a bit of silence, I looked at him and said sometimes I wonder if being a mother would change my perspective on things and give my life meaning. I just remember speaking to women that had children and was in awe of the true love they experienced being a mother. It was something that I desired but at the same token didn’t feel ready for. Once I said that my husband looked at me cheerfully and asked if that’s what I really wanted. Looking back at his reflection I told him it was a desire of mine but not until I was mentally ready. He knew my struggles with anxiety and had been on the tumultuous journey with me. One thing that I told him was that I didn’t want to become a mother until my anxiety went away completely because I was scared of what parenthood would look like for me.

After our conversation, the week went on but little did I know I’d be in for a surprise of a lifetime. It was a Monday evening after I met with my mentor that I realized something was off. I checked the calendar and realized I was “late”. Not late to an important meeting or engagement but “late”. After my realization, I quickly called my husband he met me at Walmart and we grabbed a few boxes of pregnancy tests. I anxiously glanced at him thinking we were out of our minds. We couldn’t possibly be expecting, it wasn’t apart of our five-year plan. We scurried over to the register checked out and went home. We glanced at the bag and I jokingly said I’ll take the test because it’s not like it’ll be positive. A few minutes passed and I went into the dining room laughing hysterically. I grabbed my husband took him to the room where the test was displayed staring back at us was a positive test. Being the jokester that I am he was skeptical so he said to take another one. The same result showed up “positive”. We were filled with emotions. I was shocked, nervous and excited. My husband was in utter bliss and began looking at our finances as if our child would be born the next day.

It was at that moment that we knew our life plan didn’t matter to God. He sent our daughter in the perfect season of our lives. Fast forward to the present day we now know we were chosen. Chosen to raise a pertinent piece of the next generation, our daughter. One of the things I learned in my life is that our plans don’t always pan out the way we want them to and sometimes that’s for the better. If your plan has changed and rattled up just know it’s for the better. Even when those changed plans consist of heartache, grief, pain, and guilt just know it’s for a bigger picture. We may not be able to see what our Creator has in store, but it’s always for the betterment of our lives. Looking back on my fear of motherhood and my hesitance I now know I was being groomed for this moment all along.  I want to encourage you to push past your fear because the very thing you are afraid of is the very thing you were prepared for.  So, apply for that job, start that business, ask that question in doing so it could yield awesome results!

 

A Letter to Adele Marie

Since my last post, there have been a few major changes in my life. As you know toward the end of last year I lost my grandfather and the beginning of this year I lost my great grandmother. When I began this blog I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and used this platform as an avenue to share my story with the hope of helping others. Little did I know this blog would open doors for me to help others dealing with mental illness. I said all that to say that after my last excerpt  “The Essence of Time” I have some exciting news to announce to my readers.

_MG_6046 (2)On July 14th my husband and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world. She came at the perfect time in my life, just when I was beginning to wonder what exactly my purpose in life was. For the past three years, since being diagnosed with anxiety, I’ve had my share of lows. When I found out I was expecting I was mixed with emotions, it came so unexpectedly that I didn’t think with all the trauma I went through that I’d be fit to be a mother.

In short, October 2015 started an emotional spiral for me after burying four friends from a tragic car accident, then months later burying a close aunt, from there a grandfather and shortly after that a friend that took her life by suicide. Going through all those things I wasn’t sure how I’d cope. In addition to all the loss, there were other casualties I experienced. My faith was tested and after months of panic, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety. There were days I’d lie in hospital beds ridden with fear from panic attacks wondering why I existed. I turned away from my relationship with Christ and turned to other remedies to cope with my pain. Remedies that consisted of trying to find answers to my anxiety via Google, shopping and excessive spending, not going to church and wallowing in misery.

For those of you that are new to my blog please check out my first post to get more detail on the last few years of my experience with anxiety. Fast forward back to the birth of my daughter and I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. For the past few years, I’ve experienced so much pain and now I know it was apart of my purpose. Being a mother has given me something else to live for and for my daughter I am forever grateful.  While there is so much to catch you all up on, which I will do in future posts, I want to take the time to share a letter I wrote to my daughter.

Dear Adele Marie, 

As I write this letter I am in awe of your presence. I couldn’t have timed your arrival in your dad and I’s lives for a better time. Since you’ve been born being your mother has been one of the best roles I’ve ever had in my life. I want you to know that you have given my life so much more meaning. Not only am I overwhelming filled with joy, I also have so much peace in my heart. For years there was a void in my heart waiting to be filled and your life has filled every crack and crevice that needed repair. Part of my life’s purpose is being a mother to you. I can’t wait to watch you grow and blossom into a beautiful young woman. Meeting you showed me God’s unconditional love for me. He saw fit to bless me with you. More importantly He placed you in my life in His timing and as always the timing was perfect. You are everything I’ve been praying for. You’ve reminded me to trust God in ways that I forgot how to and now I can rest assure His promises for me are coming to pass. I love everything that you are and want you to know you mean so much to me!

I just want to thank you all for your continued support and for reading my writing. I can’t wait to share with you all more about my pregnancy experience and my journey as a new mom so, stay tuned!