Confessions of a New Mom

Life sure is different once you have a baby.  Now that our sweet girl is almost 3 months old (I know… time is FLYING), I feel like we have our new “normal” set for how our life is… at least for now.  I also realized some of the things that worried me before Aubrey was here, weren’t as big of a deal.  I also realized some of the things I seriously overlooked…

  • Showers.  It’s like an ongoing joke with mom’s about showering.  You always hear them say, “Hey at least I got a shower!”.  I really thought they were exaggerating.  They weren’t.  Now, I do get to shower everyday, but they are the fastest showers I’ve ever taken in my life.  I seriously value when I can take my time in the shower and actually shave my legs… which I’m sure my husband appreciates as well.
  • Don’t Google. I have never googled so many things in my entire life!  My husband actually made me stop.  Is she sleeping too long?  Is she eating too much?  Is she eating enough? Why is she so gassy?  Is this diaper rash or a yeast infection?  This much spit up can’t be normal… and so on.  I worked at a daycare.  I have nieces and nephews.  I am NO stranger to kiddos, but having one of your own is a whole new ball game.
  • How many times can you check on your baby while they’re sleeping? I know this isn’t just me, but I seriously freak myself out thinking while Aubrey sleeps.  I know she’s fine, I can see her on the video monitor, but I HAVE to go make sure she is still breathing.  The whole SIDS thing freaks me out, and Aubrey is in the prime age so I don’t think I’ll stop checking on her for a while.
  • Our baby won’t sleep in our bed!  Right?!  WRONG!  There was actually a two week stretch where Aubrey wouldn’t sleep anywhere BUT in our bed.  Co-sleeping makes night feedings SO much easier for breastfeeding mama’s!  Aubrey can eat, and I sleep through it.  More sleep for me.  More sleep for baby.  More sleep for hubs.  It’s a WIN all around right?!  Unless you’re terrified of rolling over her and you sleep in awkward positions like us. 
  • Breastfeeding in public. This never crossed my mind as as issue, because breastfeeding in my family is super normal.  I just assumed some people use formula, some people breastfeed.  No big deal, but apparently it is a big deal.  I cover myself, and I still get awkwardly stared at.  Get over it people.  Stop sexualizing breastfeeding, and realize this is what God actually created breasts for!  My baby is hungry.  You can hear her scream, or you can go about your day.
  • NO time for relaxing. This probably one of the BIGGEST things I overlooked.  I seriously don’t stop.  From the time I wake up, to the time I go to sleep.  Between work, Aubrey, cooking, cleaning, trying to get in some exercise to lose that baby weight, taking care of our dogs, there is NO time left for me.  The time I get to relax is when I feed Aubrey in bed, and I can read a book or watch 15 minutes of HGTV.  I totally understand the whole, “I don’t have time to workout” thing now! I have to squeeze every minute out of my day!
  • I never knew how much I would miss my husband.  THIS is the BIGGEST thing I overlooked.  We live together, we both work at home.  How can you miss him?  Yes I see him everyday.  We talk and laugh and it’s great, but I never knew how much adding a tiny little person to your family would change the dynamic of your marriage.  It’s just not the same, and I miss him!  Date nights are more sparse.   As in we have had 1 in the last 3 months.  We don’t lay in bed and talk anymore.  (Because I pass out the second my head hits the pillow.  There have been many nights that Aubrey and I both fall asleep while I’m nursing her, and Paul takes Aubrey and puts her in her bed, and wakes me up to make me lay down.  Bless him).  We went from being each other’s everything to having to share, and let’s be honest, sharing isn’t always easy.
  • Mama Bear.  People talk about it, but man is it true.  Aubrey is my baby.  Don’t tell me what you think I need/should do for her, because my way of doing something is different than your way.   Don’t get offended when I don’t take your advice.  Our opinions can differ, and we can still both be great moms to our babies.

The last few months have flown by, and there have been a lot of emotions involved as a new mom.  All the unsolicited advice from when I was pregnant I can now see playing out.  Some of it was so far off, and some of it was so spot on.

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The Little Things

Paul has never been one for big romantic gestures.  I’m not saying he isn’t romantic in his own way,  but he just isn’t that guy that’s going to plan a big elaborate surprise or shower me with gifts just because… at least not very often.

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Lately though, I’m noticing these very little seemingly insignificant things that Paul does on a regular basis to show me he loves me.  If you’re not looking or paying attention, you would miss them.  They are the little acts of love that often fly under the radar and go unappreciated.  I’m not sure if I’m paying more attention, or the longer we are together the better we are getting to know each other.  These are the little things I never want to forget, and when I’m paying attention they have me swooning for my husband all over again.

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Love doesn’t have to be full of big romantic gestures all the time.  Sometimes I think love is more beautiful in those brief little moments, where the love is unspoken.  Those regular days, where actions speak louder than words.  When he knows a hug and pep talk is just what I needed.  When hanging a nursery decoration takes priority to the interview he was waiting to see with Jameis Winston to help ease your wife’s anxiety.  When you send your wife in the house to protect her from seeing the snake in the backyard.  Some of these things may not even sound like your stereotypical descriptions of “love”, and maybe that’s why they often go overlooked and under appreciated.

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I encourage everyone to look for the simple moments of love in their marriage, because those little moments are the ones that fill my heart with joy, remind me how lucky I am to have my husband, and make me feel more loved and cherished.  Value the little things in love.

My Husband to the Rescue

The last week or so has been pretty rough for me.  I just feel like there have been a lot of things going on, and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.  I don’t know what God wants me to do, or what direction He’s trying to tell me to go.  Yesterday was just one of those days where it all piled on at once.

I was really frustrated with work.  I kept getting kicked off the server, and it was making simple tasks take forever.  I think that, on top of my other frustrations (and pregnancy hormones) were just enough to send me over the edge.  At one point I went into Paul’s office.  I honestly don’t even remember what we were talking about in his office, but I know I was short.  When I get short, my attitude comes out often times without me meaning to have an attitude.  He hates my attitude (so does everyone else in my family). I turned and walked back into my office thinking to myself that I probably just made him mad.

A few minutes later, Paul walks into my office.  He gives me a big hug and kiss, and he says, “Do you know how much I love you?”.  I just started crying, and apologizing while telling him all the things that have been running through my mind lately.  After some reassuring words, he decides instead of having me make dinner he wants to take me out to get my mind off things.  So after work, we headed out to dinner, and we had a great night together.

I think marriage comes with a learning curve.  I think when Paul saw how short I was being he knew I was getting discouraged and frustrated.  Instead of getting mad at me for being short, which typically would lead to a fight, he came and turned my day around.  He knew exactly what I needed, and he came to my rescue.  I cannot thank him enough for being our rock when I can’t.  The longer we’re married, the more I see us learning about each other, and working together.  I loved the beginning of our relationship where everything is new and exciting, but relationships change and evolve.  Now, almost 2 years into our marriage, our relationship isn’t new, but it’s still exciting in completely different ways.  We know more about each other then we’ve ever known, and we’ve grown together.

People always tell you marriage is hard, but what they don’t tell you is that it is so incredibly worth it.

My First Black Eye

It’s not too abnormal for someone to get a black eye.  They can happen for all sorts of different reasons, it isn’t always brought on by a fight or abuse.  I, however, had never had one, and I never thought my first black eye would come from my husband.  Now before you panic and think we have some terrible marriage, and I’m abused let me explain.  It was a complete accident.  So much so that I couldn’t even be mad… after the hurt wore off I just had to laugh.

Now that my disclaimer is out there, let’s back up to the beginning.  Since Paul and I moved, we’ve been attending the church I grew up in.  It’s great! I love the pastors and the worship is phenomenal, but it is also HUGE.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but after leaving our church in Tallahassee, I think I am looking for something a little more intimate. Since we keep traveling back to Tallahassee for football games, work, and little niece’s birthdays we haven’t had much time to try out new churches.  Last weekend, we decided we were going to try one since we were home.  Now this whole church thing doesn’t seem relevant to a black eye, but I swear it comes into play.

Saturday night, Paul and I get ready for bed and as we are getting in bed the stars perfectly aligned for me to get a black eye.  Paul picked up his arm to put it around me, and at the same time I sat up to readjust myself on my pillow… and that’s when it happened. BOOM.  Elbow to the eye.

It hurt.  I may have started to cry… at the same time Paul started freaking out.  He felt so bad and he kept trying to talk to me, and I couldn’t say anything.  He then asks, “Should I get some ice?” and I nodded my head very slightly.   So he runs to the freezer, and doesn’t bring me ice, but brings me a bag of frozen peas.  While I’m holding the peas on my face, he just keeps apologizing over and over.  To which I keep telling him, it’s okay.  I couldn’t really be mad at him, he truly did not mean to.  It was just a series of bad timing.

When I took the peas off, I asked him if I was going to get a bruise.  He looked at it, made a face and said, “Put the ice back on… and we aren’t going to a new church tomorrow.  They’re going to think I beat you.” In reality I did have a lump on my eye, but by the morning, it was barely noticeable and once I put makeup on you couldn’t see it.  That didn’t matter though, Paul still wouldn’t let us go to church for fear that someone would think he wasn’t treating me right.

I didn’t take a picture of it, but I should have.  The whole situation was just funny, and now we get to look back and laugh.  I’m so thankful for a husband who treats me so well, and feels awful for hurting me even if it is an accident.  I think I take that for granted, some women do not have that luxury and live in fear everyday.

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One year ago today, I married my best friend.  I have loved you almost as long as I’ve known you you, but I love you more today than I did the day I married you.  

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 The last year has had it’s challenges, but I can’t thank you enough for being my rock.  Thank you for the nights we spend at home laughing and cuddling with each other.  I will never get enough of your smile when your laughing.  Thank you for forcing me to get out of the house and experience life.  You help me get out of my comfort zone.  Thank you for working so incredibly hard for us.  You have no idea how proud of you I am.  Thank you for the days when you clean the entire house for me by the time I get home.  Thank you for never asking me why I’m crying when I’m PMSing, and just knowing when I need a hug. 

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You have been the biggest blessing in my life.  You give me more grace than I deserve. You have strengthened my relationship with God more than you may ever know, and for that I cannot thank you enough.   

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You are the man I prayed for, and God brought you into my life when I least expected it. I love you so much and I am so glad I have forever to spend with you.  You have my whole heart for my whole life.   Happy Anniversary my love!

Paper Anniversary – FSU Season Tickets! GO NOLES!

Wedding Memories

I cannot believe that this weekend is Paul and I’s first anniversary!! This year has flown by, and I cannot help but reminisce on our wedding day.

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I remember waking up to pouring rain, and unable to fall back asleep so I left the hotel to go buy breakfast for my amazing bridesmaids.  I remember thinking all morning that the rain wouldn’t stop in time, and trying to tell myself that it didn’t matter.  I remember being completely bummed when the florist brought pink bouquets for our purple and gray wedding.  I kept telling myself that regardless of what happened, I would be Mrs. Millard at the end of the day and that is all that really mattered.  I remember my family and friends going above and beyond to make my dream wedding come through.  Rain or shine they would make it perfect.

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I remember being so nervous to see Paul, and as soon as I saw him my nerves went away and the excitement came.  I remember thinking I was crazy for planning a wedding in July, in Florida… AKA rainy, humid, hot season.  I remember taking pictures all over the plantation, and being surrounded by little gnats.  Paul kept ruining pictures by swatting them away, and when I was trying to be sweet and let Paul know I would keep the bugs out of his face I made a comment along the lines of, “Stop babe, I’ll blow you”, it came off completely inappropriate sounding and Paul and I died laughing with our photographers which resulted in this picture that I love.

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I remember the clouds clearing just in time for pictures.  I remember getting overwhelmed with emotions when I saw my daddy through the window.  I remember the chaos of starting the ceremony about 15 minutes early to beat the huge storm rolling in, and briefly turning into a bridezilla hoping we would beat the rain! I remember walking down the aisle linked arm and arm to my daddy as he gave me away to the man of my dreams.

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I remember taking communion during our wedding, at which point my dad said, “Now would be a good time to put Paul’s ring on the right finger”, and I almost spit out my drink everywhere.  I remember being comforted by Pastor David marrying us.  I remember getting to kiss my husband for the very first time, and celebrating late into the night with family and friends.

Now Paul in just a moment, I’m going to invite you to kiss the bride. This is not an ordinary kiss, Paul. This is the first time that you’ll ever kiss your wife… Make it count. Paul you may kiss the bride.

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It was the most chaotic day, and so incredibly perfect at the same time.  I am so glad Paul and I decided to hire the videographers, because it is by far one of the best ways we have to remember our wedding!

Money Makes the World Go Around

When I graduated from college I got really good at saving money (why I waited so long to start beats me) then Paul and I got engaged and my savings account rapidly began to dwindle.  Apparently a wedding will do that to your savings account.

After we got married, Paul and I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course through our church. To say I loved it would be an understatement. In Dave’s words, I am a full blown nerd. I’ve always loved numbers (my mom is an accountant and my sister worked in finance before becoming a SAHM so I guess it runs in the family), so it was really easy for me to latch on to his basic concepts and hit the ground running! Immediately after Paul and I got married I became obsessed with paying down debt. My biggest fear is the lack of money to provide for our family. I want to give my kids an amazing childhood and be able to let them partake in activities the way my parents did. I want to be able to give them a great house, in a great neighborhood in a great school zone. I want to be able to pay for their college so they can graduate debt free the way I did. I want Paul and I to be able to retire and enjoy our time together instead of working forever.  This course provided solutions for all of my financial fears.  Sacrifice now and I won’t have to worry later! Well, Paul is more of the free spirit and has a much more faith based concept with money.  Completely rational, unless you’re his crazy money obsessed wife.  Our goals are the same, but we have slightly different ways of getting to the end result. Mine is complete sacrifice, working two jobs until we have kids, and followowing Dave Ramsey’s 7 baby steps entirely.  Paul’s is to be conscious and smart, but still have a life and splurge occasionally.

After Paul and I paid off all the credit card debt we decided it would be best for our family to save to buy a new house and then focus on paying off student loans. So we started saving, and the harder Paul and I worked to save the faster money left our accounts. I’ve said before, that 2014 has not been an easy one financially, and we are only half way through! The faster money left our account, the more obsessed I became.  My obsession with money became an issue. Money became an idol for me, and this realization smacked me straight across the face on February 20, 2014.

Paul has a herniated disc in his back. Long story short, he threw out his back and after a week of being in pain he became physically unable to walk. He texted me at work and told me he could not put weight on his legs. I had a little panic, and after calling around to a few doctors we were told we needed to go to the emergency room. Paul is by no means overweight, but he is much bigger than me and there was no way I could get him down the steps and into the car to get him to the hospital. I called my brother-in-law and he came over and we could not get Paul to the car. I finally asked Paul if we should just call an ambulance, and his words were “we can’t afford that”… My stomach literally flipped over. Here is my husband, in excruciating pain and unable to walk and his concern is MONEY. His concern was money because he was thinking of me and what I would think.

While I followed the ambulance to the hospital I just started crying and praying. I was crying because I felt so awful that my husband thought money was more important to me than his health. I was crying because I was scared that 6 months into our marriage my husband may be paralyzed from nerve damage. I was crying because it finally hit me, God has been trying to tell me all along that HE will provide for Paul and I. That I need to let go of financial control and obsessing over savings and running numbers to figure out when we can have things paid off, and when we will financially be stable enough to have children. God was telling me to put my trust and my faith in Him that everything will work out, and I needed to stop worrying.  Dave’s teachings are based on Godly principles, but I was not incorporating God into our plan.

God has been testing Paul and I this year, probably more so me than Paul.  We continue to have huge unexpected expenses each month, and I truly feel this is God giving me this lesson over and over to make sure I’ve learned where to put my focus now.  I have come a LONG way in the last 6 months, and I still have more work to do.  I stopped logging into our bank account every hour of the day.  I am not using money as the determining factor to decide when Paul and I will be ready to start trying to have a baby.  I am not running numbers everyday to figure out what we can save and when we may be able to move.  I am not so crazy about our budget, but I do still try to follow it.  Everytime I get anxious about money, I have learned to pray.  I am letting go of control.  I am letting God’s plan unfold and trusting that we will be fine.  I am so grateful that I can rely on Paul for his strength and his faith when I feel discouraged.  This is just the beginning of our journey, but I am so thankful that Paul is the one next to me to go through it. He gives me more grace than I deserve, and he has helped me more than he probably realizes.  Just another reason why God brought Paul into my life.  He always knows just what I need.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26