3 Kids, UNDER 3 Years Old!

175969560Looking back about 6 years ago, I remember being a stay at home mom with my three older kids. With four kids now and being a working mom (who will also be BACK in school for another two years for my Bachelor’s Degree, in less than a week), I sometimes miss being a stay at home mom. It seems that now, as a working mom, I have decided to do all of the things I love even more because I’m inspired by them. Being on both sides of the line, a stay at home mom and a working mom, I have more positives than negatives about both. Seeing all of my friends, stay at home and working moms, I sympathize and I’m encouraged by both. I would like to share with you how I kept/keep my sanity as both a stay at home and a working mom.

When my older three kids were 3 years old, 1 year and 9 months, and 4 months old, I thought I’d never get a break in life, ever! Finally getting my 4 month old to sleep through the night the month before, getting ready to potty train an almost 2 year old and just finished potty training my three year old (during the day, the night time potty time was a nightmare!), I felt frustrated, exhausted, and alone at times. Being at home with the kids all day while my husband worked, trying to keep a clean house, play with the kids and have their one on one time, make sure the kids had their meals, cook dinner, and still try to do the things I wanted to do like read a book, write a song, practice singing, exercise, watch TV or a good movie, go shopping, spend quality time with my husband, friends, etc. seemed like a never ending feat! I felt like no one could understand my days and nights, until I became a working mom.

Now, being a working mom with four kids, it’s an even bigger challenge. When my youngest was born over a year ago, I had to take a leave of absence from work. I had never been a mom who wanted to leave her children with someone else to care for them until they started school. I’m sure a lot of moms out there would love to have the freedom to stay home with their kids. I’m sure there are also those who do enjoy their careers and cannot imagine being stay at home moms too. While being a stay at home mom is a lot of hard work, being a working mom is also. When you are working, you are wondering if your kids are okay while they are away from you, you are constantly thinking of what needs to be done after work and once you get home, and then there seems to never be enough time in your day to get all of those tasks done. For me, working then picking up the baby from my in-laws, the long drive home, cooking dinner, making sure the kids have their showers (thank God I only have to give ONE a bath now!), homework, a clean house, spending time with the kids and my husband, and then time for homework, keeping up my blog, keeping things up at work, writing more songs, practicing singing, and then exercise, all of these things can keep me up late and end up leaving me exhausted the next day. By the end of the work week, I look like a zombie, but thank God I don’t smell like one! Okay, even you moms have to admit that sometimes after all of this running around you might smell like a, well, zombie! LOL!

What did I do in both situations to be keep my sanity? Well, the first thing I do is when I first wake up, I drop to my knees and thank God every day for all of his many blessings on my life and I thank Him for giving me another chance to do it right. I ask Him to be my strength when I am weak. I also constantly praise him during my day and thank Him even when it gets rough. I read my bible app before anyone in the house is awake and put on the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20). Once I do this, I immediately feel strength and the peace to get me through. Another thing I do is constantly remind myself that there are some things that are more important. What HAS to be done and what can wait? So, whatever can wait, I usually keep those long lasting projects due on the weekend or when my husband helps with the kids (which is a lot and I’m especially thankful for him too). I understand not all moms have a husband or significant other to be there to help so the stress may be double. My advice to you is to see what things are important, or see what friends you can rely on to help you with some things. You may be surprised just how many other moms would be willing to help another mom that is stressed out or needs support. I, myself, even try to be one of those friends when I can.

Looking back from then until now, there is definitely a change in me as a person along with the different responsibilities it takes to raise growing children. They need you to nurture them as they grow and teach them right from wrong and hope you will do it right. Remembering how to make time for yourself, or even forcing yourself to at times will help you keep your sanity. Even in the heat of any tough moment, simply walk away from it and come back to it. Take 2 minutes to yourself, or even an hour, but remember, the only person that will be as hard on you about not getting everything done, is usually yourself. Moms (and dads) I encourage you to evaluate your life and change what you can, rearrange some things to see if they work, and if not, try something else altogether. Always remember too, what may work for someone else, may not work for you. Take others advice, but modify it so it works for you and you will be more at peace. It will work and you won’t be looking back on a stressful life, but one where you can laugh at the mistakes you’ve made along the way while doing everything better the next time around!

It’s Hard Losing Someone You Love!

This weekend was really tough for me. I saw that one of my old jr. high/high school friends (who I had not been around since high school) passed away (on my husband’s birthday). Having not been there for many years and just finally reconnecting through Facebook and seeing his condition and then getting word that he had passed brought up a lot of emotions. It may seem weird to some to know that I was extremely emotional, especially because I wasn’t even as close to him as those who have been there for him. But I tell you, death has a way of bringing up some emotions you may have suppressed for many years.

When I was about 11, I remember my Grandpa passing away. Since then, I have put away my feelings of sadness and always tried to cover them up with happy thoughts and put on a smile. It was hard for me then, and even more difficult for me to deal with now. I just lost my other Grandpa last year, August 3, 2012 to be exact. It was also difficult because I never got the chance to say goodbye. So, of course, like I said before, some may feel that I shouldn’t even feel the way I do about someone I hadn’t been around since high school. Sometimes people leave an impression on your heart, even from far away. Seeing how many people were always around him, knowing we had the same mutual friends, seeing the love others had for him, knowing we were both Gemini’s (it’s really a Gemini thing), and the way he was always an uplifting spirit and could tell you like it is at any given moment, definitely left me with something. One thing I can honestly say that I learned from him, even at a distance, was that we need to be strong! Live a fun life and always live to your full potential! I remember one of his last posts saying that although he was sick, he was still the same person!

To any of his family and close friends who are reading this, I would just like to say that I am so sorry for your loss. It has been tough on me from far away and not having had the chance to say goodbye, so for you all, I’m sure it’s even more difficult because you were able to know such a wonderful, strong person. I will continue to pray for you and your loss! One thing I’m leaving you with today is a song. It’s by Mercy Me, called Homesick. It’s about losing our loved ones and being homesick for our next home (heaven) because our loved ones are there! I know my grandparents and Joe are looking down on us and will be there to greet us all when we are also called home!

Mercy Me – Homesick

My Love Story, Married For 10 Years

In honor of mine and my husband’s 10 year wedding anniversary tomorrow, August 23, 2013, I am going to share with you some of the songs that make up a part of the soundtrack of our life! I know I usually share my faith and of course as we have grown over the years, our faith has grown stronger. Here are some of the things I’d like to share! I’m excited to share them with you!

This song by Jagged Edge was a song that my husband dedicated to me when we were dating. I remember being at my good friend Keishana’s house and he called me on my phone just to tell me he loved me and dedicated this song to me. I know it sounds cheesy, but how many of you men did special similar things for the special lady in your life? Okay, not so cheesy now is it? LOL. But seriously, loved it and the words stuck with me forever! I held him to it too!

Jagged Edge – I Gotta Be

Okay, so we had a rough area in our dating relationship, where we were apart for a few months. Most of my friends didn’t know that I was dating Leotis in my senior year of high school, but then broke up a couple of months before prom. Of course, I was devastated and felt so sad that I had lost the one I really loved. I didn’t want him to get away. I ended up going to prom with someone else, and then we ended up having dinner at a place where Leotis had previously worked. To make matters worse, the guy that went with me to prom actually wanted to be in a relationship. That just didn’t sit well with me. Obviously it didn’t because I started ‘Smokin’ Cigarettes at night’ lol.

Tweet – Smokin Cigarettes

So, one day as I was leaving work and locking up, I see a car, similar to Leotis’ and hear music playing. I see a guy get out of the car with a single rose in his hand and this song playing. Of course we were meant to be!

Case – I’m Missing You

We knew we loved each other, so one day, April 1, 2003 to be exact (April Fool’s Day) he asked me to marry him. Funny thing is, we had ordered a pizza at my parent’s house, which is where I lived until the day we said I do, and when I turned around from getting the pizza, he was on one knee proposing. I thought he was joking and then when he pulled the ring out of his pocket, I was jumping up and down (pizza still in my hand) and said YES! Four months later, on August 23, 2003 we were married. We went back to my parent’s house for the wedding reception and had our first dance as a married couple. This was the song we chose and yes, we still listen to this song and remember how awkward we felt as everyone watched us dance! Now we laugh at how silly it was for us to be nervous.

Donnell Jones – I Wanna Luv You

Okay, so I’m going to fast forward quite a few years just because this was when we had our first three kids and started realizing that we just might not be the most “hip” parents after all. And after using the word hip, well, you get what I’m saying right? Anyway, trying to do this dance for me and my husband wasn’t difficult, but it was just funny when we were actually doing the dance. We were telling each other that we need to stay up on the dances so that our kids wont think we’re unhip! There goes that word again, and I’m sure we’ll be pretty unhip to them until they become adults and have some kids of their own.

GS Boyz – Stanky Legg

Now I wonder how many of you were actually doing the Stanky Legg or at least trying it while watching the video!!

Really, I just wanted to share a little bit with you of how we first got together. The rest is history, and if I put every song on here that we loved or that played an important part in our relationship, well, we’d be here for another 10 years! So we’re going to live another 10 years with new music and some new memories!

Can’t wait to share with you our experience on the Hot Air Balloon ride on Saturday! Thanks for listening/reading!

Review This (Part 9 of Many)! *I Bet You Don’t Curse God*

Christina Grimmie, someone I have been subscribed to on YouTube for quite a few years now! I have seen her grow from doing covers on YouTube, to performing with Selena Gomez, and now an album! She is simply amazing! A great singer/songwriter/musician! She is simply amazing and hearing this song “I Bet You Don’t Curse God”, has inspired me even more! I love this song from beginning to end. If you are into vocals, you have to listen to the end. It’s simple, but she throws out something that shows you she is a complete genius when it comes to arranging her own vocals! Love this girl, and the lyrics are posted below the video!

The message in her song reminds me of how much we take God for granted until we are really in a desperate situation. We should always remember to call on God, even when times are easy instead of only when they’re tough. It’s like asking someone to do you a favor when you haven’t even talked to them in a while or only when you need something… We should remember how it feels to be on that end and get to know God more closely. When He is there in the good times, He will make it easier and you won’t even have to ask Him to be there in the bad times! He’ll simply carry you through them!

Christina Grimmie – I Bet You Don’t Curse God

Lyrics:

I bet You don’t curse god.
When the Doctor calls with a stern voice
and test results
and he asks You to come in right away.
I bet You don’t curse God.
When you’re on a plane in a turbulance, pourin’ rain
And you’re hoping that you’ll make it out okay.

Everybody cries, We’ve all faked a smile.
When your back’s against the wall
and your hands are tied.

There’s pain, Life hurts,
There’s a thousand things You think You don’t deserve.
All hope is lost
When You spend it all and You just can’t beat the odds.
I bet You don’t curse God.
I bet You don’t curse God.

I bet You don’t curse God when your child is gone
And he ain’t picking up the phone
And it’s 2am on a Saturday in July.
I bet you don’t curse God at your bottom ine
and your credit cards are all declined,
And you don’t know where you’re gonna sleep tonight.

Everybody cries, We’ve all faked a smile.
When your back’s against the wall
and your hands are tied.

There’s pain, Life hurts,
There’s a thousand things You think You don’t deserve.
All hope is lost
When You spend it all and You just can’t beat the odds.
I bet You don’t curse God.
Oh, I bet You don’t curse God.

I bet you don’t curse god when you’re dying in bed
About to take your one last breath
and you’re holding on before you say goodnight.

There’s pain, Life hurts,
There’s a thousand things You think you don’t deserve.
When All hope is lost
When You spend it all
and You just can’t beat the odds.
I bet You don’t curse… GOD.
I bet You don’t curse… GOD.
I bet you don’t curse God.

Review This (Part 8 of Many)! **This is for you today**

With so much hurt, pain, and sadness going on in the world today, it can bring your current situation to a more depressing level. You hear it all the time, people ending their own lives because the pressure is too much or the pain is unbearable. With the problems I am currently facing, it can take it’s toll on even the most encouraging, uplifting person (not saying that I’m the most encouraging or uplifting), but I definitely have been struggling this past week with some deep feelings. Feelings that involve something that has never been resolved completely. As a result, there have been times when I feel like I’m harboring resentment and anger, when I always talk about not harboring those feelings. I have not acted out towards those who have hurt me, but instead, I have fallen into a place where I still let things suppress who I am and how I really feel. Sometimes, the pain and memories are too much to bear and bringing up the issues to resolve them feels like it will take too much out of me and I end up walking away, leaving the things unresolved. Even though I KNOW those things are NOT my fault in any way, I still seem to feel the responsibility of exposing the truth and lies that have been told for many years. But I must leave that all up to God!

By feeling this way, I have been asking God to remove this pain and hurt from me and to draw me closer to Him. Then I remembered this song. It’s a song that I have listened to for years and it always seemed to get me through my toughest of times. I am not alone in this and I know that this song is for me today, as well as you! This song lets me know that all I have to do is keep praying and God will get me through even the toughest times. I remember a few times that I thought I was at my worst and things would never end, but I can look back now and see that it really wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be and I made it through!

OUT OF EDEN – Draw You Near

*lyrics are posted below the video*

Lyrics:

I woke up on this morning
And misery surrounds me
And I am forced to face a day
I didn’t even want to begin

God knows I’m going through it
And it’s hard to imagine I can take it this time
As my sadness mounts I pray that this day would end
Cry myself to sleep and then start again

When the world loses its luster
And you’re feeling sad and lonely
And you need someone to be there
In your time of need, time of need

You can turn your eyes to the Heavens
And their creator’s watching on you
With arms of love to hold you
And draw you near

You’re in the midst of heartache
Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one
Lost all your faith can barely pray
For the strength you need to go on

Well darling don’t give up now
I know that inevitably this too shall pass
Trouble doesn’t last always hold on through the pain
I believe the sun will outlast your rain

When the world loses it’s luster
And you’re feeling sad and lonely
And you need someone to be there
In your time of need, time of need

You can turn your eyes to the Heavens
And their creator’s watching on you
With arms of love to hold you
And draw you near

Draw you near

Ooh, just to take the pain away
Ooh, so you can see a brighter day
Oh, I know you can find the strength
That you need to get you through what you’re going through
So when the world seems to crash down on you

Don’t worry, no matter
He hears you, keep praying
Don’t worry, no matter
He hears you, keep praying

When, no, no, no
All you gotta do is call
And my God, He will be there
When you’re down and out
When you’re feeling lonely
Keep praying

Draw you closer yeah
Draw you closer

Ooh, all you gotta do is call
Oh yeah
And He will be there for you
Turn your eyes
Oh
With arms of love
Ooh

Don’t worry, no matter
He hears you, keep praying
Don’t worry, no matter
He hears you, keep praying

Review This (Part 7 of Many)!

Let’s just begin with this today! I know I talk a lot about God and sometimes for others it can be overwhelming. Some people look at me and say that I think I’m better than someone who doesn’t believe in God or is, I guess, in between. Or they look at me and say that I’m too overpowering with what I believe. Some may even say that I put on a front and a show for others, and that no one can truly be happy living the way I live my life. Some people look at me, not always in a negative way, but give me encouragement and tell me to continue to be who I am. Sometimes it’s not easy, but I must be true to what I love and how I choose to live my life.

If you haven’t been reading my posts, I’m going to briefly give you history as to why I love sharing my life and how God has been an awesome inspiration and guide in my life. When I was 8 I knew I wanted to give my life to God. I believed everything I heard in church about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and being raised from the dead. I still do. I know it sounds crazy to people, but when you have the faith and see things that happen in your life that are completely unexplained, I cannot deny that God is real! Anyway, I went up to the altar when asked if anyone wanted to give their life to God. I was crying and felt like I was home. Shortly after, I asked to be baptized and I was. I knew that God had something for me in life, even at 8 years old. So, of course, like any child, you go through different stages, you fall away from what your parents teach you and I even fell away from my faith and didn’t live for God for quite some time. There were good times and bad times, but overall, I still felt like something was missing. So to keep a long story short (I know it’s hard for me to do!) I ended up coming back to my faith and started living for God.

Publicly I struggled living for God fearing that others would judge me for my beliefs, until just recently when I decided that I can either keep God’s greatness to myself (which is selfish) or share His love and greatness with others as He would have me do. So I said, “It’s time to start caring about others the way God cares for me.” I won’t stop and I won’t look back. I know that I’m not perfect and have a lot of growing to do, but I feel that if I let my light shine and live a life according to God’s word, then I just might be able to encourage others to do the same thing! And after hearing this song by Britt Nicole and reading the lyrics, I became even more inspired to let my light shine to the world, whether they are ready or not!

“Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:15-16)

Britt Nicole – Ready or Not ft Lecrae (one of my fave Christian rappers!)

Review This (Part 6 of Many)!

Sometimes all hope is lost. We struggle in our relationships with friends and family along with the bad things that seem to be never ending. All of these issues that we can’t agree on, plus dealing with a constant question in our minds “Is it ever going to get better?”. Friends, I’m here to tell you that it does get better. The hurt and pain only lasts for a time and a season, and God will move you out of it!

As a Christian, it has never gotten to the point where I don’t face any battles and things are perfectly peachy. In fact, the struggle is still the same, only you have God to put your trust in and He always makes everything right! I cannot speak for everyone, but for me personally, the things I thought that God would never do, He has done. Even through the most devastating of situations, I would ask God why and often wonder why he didn’t just change my circumstances so that I could be happy. As a Christian, I do not have the answer to everything. I don’t think anyone can. If God is as great as He is (or that we claim Him to be), then we wouldn’t understand everything or why He lets things happen. If we all understood and knew everything He did and had the answers to everything, there would be no reason to believe in God. We, ourselves would be great and would have the cure or answers to everything.

My hope is not in knowing that we have to struggle in this life, my hope is in knowing that there is a God that has given me the free will to choose to live for Him (or not) even in the midst of all of my pain and suffering and in the end I will have a place to live free from all of those things. By the way, how will we ever appreciate a life where we no longer suffer and are forever happy if we didn’t go through a life of pain and suffering first?

With all of that said, listen to this song by Andy Mineo. I know I have been showing you all of the songs from that album, but this one (along with many others) speaks to me in a few different ways.

Andy Mineo – Death Has Died