Category Archives: Let’s Chat

An Open Letter: Explained

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Hey guys. I’m back, and I owe you guys a huge apology! We were on vacation last week and I forgot to let you all know there wouldn’t be a post that week. I thought I would have time to write an article but obviously I did not. Now that I am back I wanted to do a quick dive into my last article “An Open Letter to the Dad That Wasn’t There“. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I would pause what you’re doing and go check it out so you understand what the context of this post.

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Before I jump right in, I’d like to say thank you to all the wonderful people who have reached out to me with kind words and open hearts. You make this world a beautiful place.

As you read last week I wrote an open letter to my biological father, and if you still didn’t click the link and go read it, I have linked it again here so you are able to. I’m serious, go.

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So starting off I wanted to say in no way was I trying to look for attention or pitty in the writing of the last article, and I definitely wasn’t trying to get anyone in hot water (I wouldn’t be torn up if that happened though). My main goal writing that article was to reach the people who dread every father’s day. The people who avoid social media on that dad so they don’t have to see all the wonderful fathers in the world and wonder why they were unable to have that. I wanted to reach the people who absolutely hate the day, and I wanted to remind them that they are not alone.

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Since day one I have always said that I am a personal blogger on a mission to make sure you know you are not alone, and that was the main goal in writing it. I wasn’t looking for any attention. I wasn’t looking for pitty. I definitely wasn’t looking to get him in trouble either and actually, unless you are related to me there is a good chance you have no clue who my biological father is. Unfortunately, I realize the pain that a lot of people have on days like “Father’s Day” because I have that pain. I wish I had the dad I deserved but because I didn’t, all that day brings me is the memories I wish I could forget.

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If my letter struck a chord with you then I’m glad I could help you, because you know you aren’t alone in your pain anymore. If you read it and realized for the first time that this pain exists then my job is done. Awareness is the key and I will no longer keep silent and hide someone else’s dirty laundry because it makes everyone else more comfortable.

If I helped you even a little let me know. If you think my last article could help someone you know, share it with your community. Together is how we become stronger.


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Lastly I thought I would address some questions I have gotten towards my letter….

Yes, everything I wrote about actually happened to me. I made 0% of it up, but I wish it was all fake.

No, I have had no contact with him since I was 11. That’s going on 14 years now.

I do refer to my step dad sometimes as my dad, but only because I grew up calling him that.

Yes, I have a different dad then my sisters.

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I hope this post helped you understand the reasoning into the letter and if you have any other questions feel free to reach out. I truly believe it’s pointless to hide your past from people. It hinders you in more ways than you know, and because of that thinking I’m pretty much an open book about everything.

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An Open Letter To The Dad Who Wasn’t There

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To the dad who wasn’t there,

You missed out. You missed out on meeting my first boyfriend, then my second, and third and so on. You missed out on telling me that they all weren’t good enough for me and to be careful. You missed out on being right. You missed out on seeing me get my first job, and my first car. You missed out on seeing me graduate high school, and you missed out on talking me into college. You missed out on giving your blessing to my now husband, and you missed out on our wedding. You missed out on walking me down the aisle, and what haunts me today, is that you missed out on our father daughter dance. You missed out. Not only did you miss out on that, but you missed out on the birth of my daughter. You missed out on being a dad, and now you missed out on being a grandpa.

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But, I forgive you. I forgive you for shutting me in my room all day while you were blacked out on the floor. I forgive you for drinking too much, and selling my toys to pay for more beer. I forgive you for only coming to my games and concerts if you “had” to. I forgive you for being so mean to me. I forgive you for waking me up screaming and slamming pans together, and I forgive for calling me fat. And ugly. And smelly. Constantly. I forgive you for calling me every other name under the sun that I still work everyday to eliminate from my inner voice. I forgive you. I forgive you for yelling at me for what felt like hours because I spilt a drink on the floor and made a mess. I forgive you for throwing things at me from across the room because I made a bigger mess trying to clean it up. I forgive you for making me feel like I couldn’t do anything right and that I was stupid. I forgive you for watching adolescent me bathe even when I expressed I was uncomfortable with it. I forgive you for touching me. I forgive you for all the heartache you’ve caused me, and all the emptiness you’ve made me feel. I forgive you for all the tears I’ve had to cry and all the secrets I’ve had to hide. I forgive you. I forgive you for abandoning me. I forgive you for all the voices in my head that tell me I’m never going to be good enough. I forgive you for leaving a big ole dad shaped hole in my heart. I forgive you for making me feel like I deserved any of it. And I forgive you for not being the dad I deserved.

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I deserved a dad who loved me. I deserved a dad who cared about me. I deserved a dad who remembered my birthday and took me to father daughter dances. I deserved a dad who called me beautiful, so much so that my response would be an eye roll and a sarcastic, “Thanks Dad”. I deserved a dad I could introduce my boyfriends to, and I deserved a dad who told me that boy wasn’t good enough for me. I deserved a dad who got teary eyed when I was going to prom, and one who stayed up every night to make sure I made it home safe. I deserved a dad that made me feel safe. I deserved a dad who helped me move out and one who checked up to make sure I changed the door locks and was getting settled in nicely. I deserved a dad who would give his blessings to my now husband, and one who walked me down the aisle toward the love of my life. I deserved that. I deserved so much more than that.

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You’ll never know what it felt like to meet one of my boyfriends. You’ll never know what it’s like to help me buy my first car or house. You’ll never know the pride of driving me to my first day of my first job. You’ll never know. You’ll never know what it feels like to walk me down the aisle. You’ll never know what it feels like to hold me while we have our father daughter dance, or how it feels to cry when we leave our wedding reception. You’ll never know the pain you felt for me as we walk through infertility, and you’ll never know the joys of holding my little daughter hours after being born, realizing that you are finally a grandpa. You’ll never know how you affected me, because you left.

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You left. You left me. You left me with a stepdad who didn’t like me. You left me with, what my therapist calls, abandonment issues. You left me with a void I have tried to fill over and over again. You left me with memories and you left me with pain. You left me with crippling anxiety, and you left me with my mom. You left me with a fear of men that I still struggle with today. At the same time you left me with a need for men’s attention. You left me with feelings attracting me towards older men, feelings that almost got me raped when I was sixteen by a guy almost double my age. You left me. You left me empty. You left me broken. You left me hurt. You left me alone. And you didn’t care.

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I have spent more of my life without you then with you at this point and I’ve finally been able to come to terms with the fact that it wasn’t my fault. I am enough. I am loved. I am beautiful, and I’m going to be okay. I am okay. I finally found something to fill the void that you left, and it wasn’t drugs, alcohol, or sex. It also wasn’t graduating early so I couldn’t move out. It wasn’t getting married at a young age, and it most definitely wasn’t the birth of my daughter. It was finding Jesus. Jesus led me to my church when I was a young teen. A teen who was broken, confused, and afraid. A teen who already learned that only you were going to look after you. A teen who needed out, but a teen who also didn’t know how to processes everything going on around her. I don’t want to know where I would be if God hadn’t intervened in my life and I never will. The Lord has surrounded me with grace, love, and mercy. The Lord taught me how to trust again. The Lord led me to an amazing man of God. The Lord has seen me through so many things in my life and you are just a drop of water in the ocean that is my life. I am healed. I am loved. And I am enough. Not because of you or anything you did, but because of Him.

Sincerely,

The best thing you ever walked away from.

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To my readers,

This week I wanted to do a piece about how important dads are in a child’s life, in honor of Father’s Day. I thought no better way to showcase that then to write about my own personal experiences with my biological father. I never had a father figure growing up, but I truly believe that fathers play one of, if not thee, most important role in a child’s life. So to all the amazing fathers out there I say thank you and happy belated Father’s Day. You are loved and your work matters.


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Quarantine Entertainment: How I’ve Been Occupying a One Year Old

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So we’ve all been stuck at home for a really long time now, and for those of you who don’t know by now, I am a stay at home mom. I feel weird saying that, because I have never actually “stayed home” all day for an entire week before all this started. I’m the type of person who has to do something every day, even if it’s just going to Target to walk around. I have to keep busy and I have to keep out of the house. So to make a long story short social distancing has been hard, but there has been a couple things I’ve been doing to make it a little easier on me as a mom and on Juniper who is obviously getting just as bored as I am.

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Obviously I’ve already talked to you about what I’ve been doing personally to cope and keep busy during this pandemic (Self Care In A Crisis), but it’s just not us we have to think about. Our kids are just as bored and frustrated with this whole situation as we are, and in many cases they don’t totally understand what’s going on or why everything’s closed up. In just an instant their whole world changed, and it’s our job as parents to help them get through this too.

I said all that to say this, the main thing I’ve been doing to help not only myself but Juniper as well is finding something “new” to do everyday. It doesn’t matter if it’s something big like water day or something small like coloring, every single day I’m doing something different with Juniper. By doing this it gives us something to look forward to and something to break up the monotony of social distancing. So today I’m going to be sharing some of Juniper and I’s favorite activities thus far.

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Outside Activities

Let’s start with the obvious, outside activities. I don’t know a single parent who doesn’t love the summer so you can let your kids run around and burn off all that pent up energy from being trapped inside during the winter months. If you live in a warmer environment you may not understand what I mean by this, but I live in Iowa, and it gets cold. When I say cold I mean -20’s cold, and sometimes even colder. When you have a baby or young children your options for entertainment are super limited in small town Iowa, USA. Normally I’d take her to a park and let her run around, but unfortunately in my town they have closed all the parks too, so now it’s time to get creative.

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Walks

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DUH. Right? This one is obviously a classic but I wanted to mention it because it is something we try to do as often as possible. It’s also something I try to let HER do as often as possible. Sure, I could load her up in a stroller and cruise our neighborhood or a local nature trail. Lord knows it’d be faster and we’d be able to cover more ground. How does that benefit her any, though? In that case if she sits there for an hour or so she will then still have all this energy but now I’m the one ready for a nap. I will mention real quick that I do take her on stroller walks too but not very often. The majority of the time when I take her for a walk I set her down on the sidewalk and let her run. She chases birds, picks up rocks/leaves/pine cones, and sometimes plays with her shadow. I also let her lead as long as she’s not going into the street. Sometimes that means walking back and forth a lot, but that’s okay. The main idea is she’s having fun being a kid and burning some energy.

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Backyard Play

I know some people don’t have the luxury of a backyard but for those of you who do take advantage of it! You don’t need to go buy a playset worth hundreds of dollars. You just need to let them explore. The backyard allows her to burn energy just like walking, but she gets a whole new area to explore.

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If you don’t have a lot of room in your yard, I understand how frustrating that can be, but there are still things you can do to utilize that space. There have been multiple occasions where all we do is sit down on a blanket or in the grass to read books and sing songs outside. This takes very little room to accomplish and gives you something new to do together.

Pool Day

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This most recent Monday was the first day I deemed it warm enough to pull out the swimming pool, the water table, and the mini sprinkler to have a party. So after she ate lunch I bathed her in sunscreen, loaded her all up, and spent the day in the driveway playing with water. She had a blast. We were outside for the majority of the afternoon/evening besides for nap times and at no point did she ever act bored. She’s always loved playing in water so this was a no brainer for me. One thing I will say though, is to remember to put sunscreen on yourself too, not just your kids. I forgot and all I have to say is. Ouch.

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Inside Activities

Incase you didn’t catch it up above, I live in a very cold climate. As a result, even as we approach May there are some days we just can’t go outside for one reason or another. Whether it be winds, rains, or low temperatures we have to have back up plans on the extremely high chance that the weather doesn’t cooperate. So here are some of our favorite indoor ideas!

Bag Painting

This one is super simple set up. All you need is a sandwich bag that seals and some paint to get started. After you have materials, just squeeze some paint into the bag and seal it so it’s mostly airtight. I like to use different colors of paint so she can see how they mix together, but if you only have one color it also acts as a fun and clean sensory activity.

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This is a super affordable way to entertain your kids for a little while and like I said my one year old does this but in all honesty even older kids can have fun with this idea.

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Golf Ball Painting

This idea I stole from my days working at daycares. All you need is a semi large tupperware container, a piece of paper, a golf ball, and some paint. You don’t have to worry either, at least in my experience, all the paint washes off everything easily. First you are going to lay the piece of paper in the tupperware container, then put some drops of paint on the paper, throw the golf ball in, seal the lid and let them shake it as much as their heart desires.

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I was really skeptical of this activity, because when I’ve done this in the past a good amount of the children weren’t interested in this activity. I kid you not though, this activity entertained her for a good forty-five minutes to an hour. She shook it. She danced with it. She slid it down her slide. She slammed it on the ground. She got the biggest kick out of this activity. I would highly recommend trying this out. Also, don’t worry if you don’t have any golf balls, we didn’t either, just any ball that size will work!

Water Table

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Wait. Did she just say water table? Yes I did. A water table inside? Yes, just without any water in it. We bought this water table for Juniper’s first birthday from Target for only $40. We’re almost three weeks out and we’ve already gotten our money’s worth out of it.

Let’s state the obvious, you can put water in them. If you think I was going to let my crazy one year old splash a watery mess inside my home though, you’re wrong. I’m not about that life. Messes are good but I wasn’t about to spend all day cleaning up the watery mess she made in my living room.

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So I’ve been able to come up with a couple ideas that are just as fun for her. The first idea is ice. Yes, ice. Ice actually doesn’t get as mess as water and is great for another sensory activity. Also if you have a teething baby, it’s great for numbing that mouth too. The second idea is rice. This is another great sensory activity for little ones and if you have a bigger child you can dye the rice and make a color sorting game out of it! Don’t be limited by the name, water tables can be used for so much more!

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I have so many other ideas I could share with you but these are just some of my families favorites. I hope these are helpful to occupy your little one until things get back to normal. If you have some favorite activities for your family, please feel free to share them below or send me an email in the “Connect” tab. We all can help each other get through this together.

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Also my newsletter is coming out tomorrow, so make sure to get on my email list. You do not want to miss this one. This months email will including a mom’s must have coffee recipe, a budget friendly Mother’s Day craft, and if I have room one additional activity you can try with you kids! I look forward to connecting with you all! See you next time.

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She’s Got Her Daddy’s Taste And Her Mama’s Sass

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If you haven’t been following me for awhile you probably don’t know that I have a baby girl named Juniper. You also might not know that we tried for three years to conceive our little baby girl (you can read more about that here). After we got pregnant she grew in my uterus for forty and a half wonderful weeks and I endured thirty hours of horrendous labor that ended in one cesarean. I’m not bitter ha ha… At the end of it all, we were left with our beautiful seven pound fifteen ounce daughter. How is that relevant, you ask? Today, we get to celebrate, with you, the fact we’ve taken one full trip around the sun since that day. For those of you who don’t speak nerd, I’m trying to say that Miss Juniper turned one year old this weekend and we’re talking about it!

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From the minute she was born she’s always been bright eyed and curious.

From the beginning of March I knew I wanted to write about her first birthday party. I wanted to document everything. My plan was to tell you what we did, how we did it, and how much everything cost us. I was going to showcase how to throw a fabulous birthday on a budget and I was super excited to do so. I also wanted to tell you how she enjoyed her big day and document it so maybe she could look back on it one day. Sadly we were unable to have the pickle themed birthday party I had been planning/looking forward to for months. Yes, I said pickle themed. It’s her favorite food and she would have loved what I had planned for her, but I digress.

After much consideration, I decided that I’m still going to tell you about the fabulous day we had, even if it wasn’t what I had first planned. I won’t be going into any prices on anything, though. We didn’t get any decorations or any food to feed a crowd. It was just the three of us at home so the amount we spent on everything was drastically smaller than we first thought her birthday was going to cost. This definitely isn’t what I had in mind for this post but I’m confident you all will enjoy seeing pictures of my girl nevertheless.

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Breakfast

So just by chance her birthday landed on a Saturday this year, so we all slept in a little. When we woke up, Juniper was greeted with both Jordan and I singing her “Happy Birthday”, and let me tell you, she got such a kick out of it! This girl loves mornings and she loves singing so she was thrilled to see both of us greeting her in this way.

Once we got everyone down stairs Daddy made her a special birthday breakfast which consisted of eggs, sausage, and jellied toast. She exclusively gets the same oatmeal breakfast every morning so this breakfast was a real treat.

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This was my favorite picture taken that day. It’s so simple, but I cannot get over how cute she looks. Also, we did give her toast it just isn’t featured in the picture.

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Presents

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Once everyone was fed and dressed for the day, we started to open gifts. This process took forever, and it always does. I think going into a little ones birthday party or any other gift opening event, a mom knows one of two things are going to happen. You are either going to end up opening every single present for your child or you are going to spend the whole day opening gifts. Well I opted for spending all day opening gifts because, I don’t like to rush her or open gifts for her. What usually happens when she unwraps things is that she will unwrap it and then proceed to play with that one gift for awhile before we move on. It’s a whole deal, but it was so much fun to watch her play with everything. Towards the end I was so done though. I think we started unwrapping around 7:30, 8 o’clock-ish in the morning and ended at around noon. She did loved all the presents she was given, and had so much fun playing with everything.

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Does a birthday without pickles even count? We had to stop opening gifts for a pickle break.

After presents, snack, and lunch she went down for a nap which gave us the opportunity to prepare for the afternoon activities.

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Photoshoot

From the moment I found out I was pregnant with Juniper, I knew I wanted to hire a photographer to do newborn and one year old photos. Creating permanent memories of these moments meant a lot to me, but the pictures also needed to be pretty as well. So obviously since I’m not a professional nor do I ever want to be one, taking them myself was not an option at this point. As I’m sure you all have figured out, that opinion quickly changed after things started shutting down. Before the COVID-19 hit I found a photographer that could do all the things, from recreating photographs to smash cake sessions. I wanted it all. Lucky for me I know a few exceptionally talented people in this field. What wasn’t lucky was the fact that my daughters first birthday happened to be smack dab in the middle of a global pandemic. We made do though, and while it was kind of frustrating trying to figure out where the best lighting in the house was, overall Juniper was a good sport and we got some great shots.

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Look at that smile! In every single picture of her she is beaming. Be still my heart…

Smash Cake

As I mentioned above a smash cake photo sessions was a must. Smash cakes are almost a right of passage anymore, right? You turn one? You have a smash cake no questions asked. So we threw down an old table cloth and let her go to town. She started off kind of slow, but by the time she was done she was shoveling it in fist fulls at a time. She even had a cute tutu that matched her cake.

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We don’t usually give her sugar so she went absolutely crazy with the first bite of this thing. I have never seen sugar affect a person as fast as it did her, and in case anyone is wondering, after she was finished eating she ran from one side of the house to the other laughing to herself over and over again. She’s great.

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Dinner

So we already know that my daughters favorite food is pickles but I bet you didn’t know that refried beans are a super close second for her. Knowing this information means we naturally had to have tacos for dinner that night, right? Right. So that’s what we did. I made taco meat and refried beans for us and she clean every inch of that plate. She’s definitely her father’s child.

Obviously in between all these planned activities she was able to play with her new toys and we were able to play with her. I’m just not including those parts in this article because they would be kind of boring to read.

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The week before her birthday I really struggled with the thought of not having the party she deserved. Going into this day though, I tried hard to have a good frame of mind and make the best of a less preferable situation. Overall this was a great day and was still just as special as I imagined a party being, maybe even a little more special actually. I will always get to remember her very first birthday being celebrated with just our little family and with no stress of a party or cranky baby schedule since we were able to adapt everything to fit with what she needed. It was also cheaper to do it this way too.

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In the end, I truly believe this was the day she deserved. She had the two people that love her the most trying so hard to make her day as special as possible. She got two parents who weren’t stressed out about hosting a bunch of people and were able to actually make the day all about her instead of all about the guests or anything else that may have gotten in the way. Also, you know what happened? People still dropped by to give her gifts. Don’t worry all social distancing practices were used, but that was something that really warmed my heart. No one had to do that. They weren’t going to see her or see her open the gifts. Everyone had legitimate reasons to not spend money on her but some still did. Seeing how many people still wanted to show they cared meant the world.

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A Year In Review.

So in my final thoughts to you I think I’d say, this time is hard. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself and others. It’s a time no one has ever seen before and it’s okay to grieve and it’s okay to be sad that things aren’t going to be the exact way you planned them. As long as you have a good mind set in this time, you are going to be okay. Always look for hope, and always choose joy. We are in this together and I’m so ready to see all of you again. We got this.

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To Miss Juniper Ezra,

You are such a smart, silly, sassy little girl and I love every moment of you. I love your personality and I love seeing you grow. I wish time would slow down just a little bit but I’m so happy I get to be your mom. Every single thing I went through to bring you into existence was worth it, and I’d do it again in an instant. You matter. You are important and you always will be. These words I write don’t do you justice and don’t do my feelings towards you justice either, but for now they will have to do. I love you Juniper.

-Mom

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Six Years: Four Lessons: One Marriage

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On April 6th it will be my six year wedding anniversary. I had originally planned on us taking a day trip to our favorite out of town restaurant but, we obviously can’t do that anymore. So I thought since we can’t celebrate the way I wanted, maybe I could write a tribute post for us. This way I’m at least honoring our day a little bit. So while this is a tribute write, I also wanted to make it interesting for you all to read as well. Saying that, I really hope you enjoy reading about what I have learned in the short six years of marriage I have “under my belt”.

A quick summary of how our relationship began before we get started on what I’ve learned from it.

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I met my husband seven years ago. I was 17 and had just finished high school. After we put titles on our relationship, we actually only dated for seven months before we got engaged. A lot of people thought we only got married because we were pregnant, but that isn’t accurate. What we were, was young, dumb, and in love though. Also God told us to get married, and who argues with God, right? For those of you who don’t have the same beliefs as me, this part might sound crazy, but hang with me a little more. Anyways, there was only 103 days from proposal to “I do” (yes I did count just for this article).

I know what you’re thinking, “Did you just elope?” “Courthouse wedding?” No, no we did not. That might have been the smart thing to do, but we planned an entire wedding for over 200 invited guests from ceremony to reception to honeymoon in just under three and a half months. It was stressful, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, but I also wouldn’t change it for the world.

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We were babies.

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Obviously going into marriage I felt like I knew nothing. We had such a short relationship that I didn’t fully know the man I started a life with and being only 18, I honestly didn’t even know who the person looking back at me in the mirror was yet. I was lost. I knew I loved this man. I knew this was the life I was suppose to start, but I didn’t grow up with good examples of what a healthy marriage was suppose to look like. I didn’t know what it meant to be a wife and I sure didn’t know what a good husband was suppose to look like either. To say we were a hot mess would be the understatement of the year.

Now we’ve been married for six years, and in those six years I feel like we’ve learned and grown a lot. In honor of our 6th wedding anniversary I thought I’d share the most impactful things I’ve learned along the way. By no means is this advice, God knows I am not qualified to give that, this is just the key things my marriage has taught me thus far.

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How To Fight

This already sounds like we’re off on a bad note, I know. It sounds like we’re in the basement doing fight club every night, but let’s be honest, arguing is an important part of marriage. Yes, I said IMPORTANT. If you are planning on spending the rest of your life or even a significant part of life with your spouse, it’s inevitable that you guys are going to have disagreements. If you don’t disagree I’d be concerned actually. The key is though, to make sure when those moments happen, you are able handle them in the best possible way. In a way you won’t regret later.

To give you a little bit of background, I grew up in a household where fighting was the norm. I’m not talking about dumb little disagreements here and there. I’m not talking about just coming from a “loud” family, even though we were a very loud family. I am talking frequent full on screaming in your face, threats being thrown, names being called, things getting shot across the room, and straight up being hit, kind of fights. If anyone had any doubts, I thought I’d inform you, that is what a toxic environment looks like.

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To go straight from a toxic environment to a healthy one was earth shattering. I literally could not comprehend what life was like not walking on eggshells all the time, because in my family of origin when you loved someone, you fought, and when you fought, it was explosive and if it wasn’t explosive, was it even a fight? I brought all that energy and baggage into our marriage. To be honest, how could I not? It was all I ever knew, but it made the transition into married life HARD. It was hard on me. It was hard on Jordan. It was hard on our marriage. Well, it was probably hard on our neighbors we shared a wall with too. If you guys are out there and ever get a chance to read this… I’m really sorry, I was learning how to be a productive, high functioning adult.

It took a long time, a lot of work, a little bit of medication, and an all powerful God for me to be able to control my anger and my need to constantly be fighting. At that point, I was able to discover that I didn’t need to fight with someone to show that I loved them and I learned that frequent explosive fights weren’t normal in a healthy relationship.

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The cake was a tombstone, made by one of my best friends for my 20th birthday party. It was delicious.

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Today we hardly argue, but when we do it’s usually a calm conversation and a respectful one at that. If we identify that we are getting heated about something, we just drop the conversation until we are able to separate the our emotions from the situation.

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Guard Your Peace

This lesson is really an ongoing lesson for me, and something I’ve always struggled with even recently. Over the years though, I have learned how to guard my peace in several different ways and from several different influences. I have learned to guard my peace at work when I sliced my finger and had to deal with a workmans comp “investigation” and at a different job when I was working my absolute hardest but being talked down to at the same time. I learned to guard my peace with my friends when they became easily offendable and when some would low key insult my husband to my face. Lastly… for now, I had to learn to guard my peace when it came to my family of origin, like when I didn’t invite certain people to my wedding or when someone wanted to create unnecessary drama around the birth of my daughter.

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It’s been a wild ride, and I bet some of you are asking yourselves what this has to do with marriage, right? Even if you aren’t, I’m going to tell you. Guarding your peace is key to setting the dynamic in your relationship. If you allow the cares and stresses of the world to penetrate your heart and influence your peace, you will carry that home with you. You know who is at home? Your spouse, and in the end it will affect how you communicate with the them. So, before you go biting their head off for cutting the lettuce the “wrong” way (been there done that) protect your peace with everything you got. They deserve more than that and so do you.

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Something that helps me is journaling every single morning. I will continuously write, “I am at peace with the world” every day, because the more I confess it, the easier my subconscious is able to grasp on to the concept, resulting in it becoming my truth.

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Always Push Him To Want More

My husband is a very unmotivated person by nature, and I mean that with all the love in the world. He knows he should/needs to do something but unless he has an outside source holding him accountable and pushing him for to reach for more, the probability of him getting it done is slim. He definitely enjoys being comfortable, but then God was like “okay, well here you go. *insert permanent accountability*” I’m of course referring to myself.

One of my fundamental beliefs is that anyone and everyone can do anything as long as they are willing to put in the necessary effort. You have to work hard but your dreams can and will happen if you go after them full force. Another thing I also believe is that if you are not growing then you are dying. I believe these two things with every fiber of my being. So from very early on in our relationship I always subconsciously pushed him to reach for more than just being comfortable. Let me tell you, the times he has actually gotten out of his own way and gone after something has always created the most beautiful rewards in our lives.

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“You really need to move out of your dads basement” “Yeah, I know I do.” After months and months of having the same conversation, I finally tell him “Okay great, here is a list of rentals, let’s take a look at them right now and fill out some applications”

OR

“You should just start your own construction business. Everyone tells you that your work is great and you could be really successful with it.” “Yeah I would love that but what if I can’t find work.” “You’ll never know if you don’t try. God will provide.” “Yeah I know.” After a few years of this conversation, I sat him down and said, “You’re doing this. You have to. I made you a Facebook page, so you can’t back out. It’s official.”

OR

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The most recent, “What’s your dream job?” and for the millionth time he says, “Professional video gamer, but I know you don’t like that answer.” “It’s not that I don’t like it, you just need to freaking do it instead of just talking about it. Just do it already.”

Through all these experiences I have learned that I need to believe in him when he doesn’t. I need to cheer him on when he doubts. I need to remind him to stop talking about it and take action. I need to push him for more. I’m his number one hype-man/cheerleader, and I love seeing how much he can accomplish when someone is rooting him on.

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You Are A Team

I’m actually going to break this “team” concept down a little further, specifically into two different sections. It is very important for me to explain these two completely different ideas properly, so you get the big picture of what I mean when I was “You are a team”. Hopefully while addressing a couple different aspects of this concept you are able to see why and how the topics are relevant.

He is for you

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Last February I was at a MOPS meeting and they had a panel of more experienced couples speaking to us and answering some questions about marriage, family, and kids. It was actually a really cool meeting. As I was listening to all the wisdom they were sharing I caught on to something that was said. This has really stuck with me too, but to this day I cannot, for the life of me, remember what the original question was that prompted this, but she said, “He is for you. Your husband is for you. He isn’t against you at all. He is on your side.” I may not have quoted that perfectly but you get the idea.

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Feat. Our Juniper journey

At the time I didn’t think much of it. I actually remember thinking, “Well duh he’s for me, he’s my husband.” but there was something in her voice. There was something about those words. There was something I just couldn’t get out of my head, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. I thought about that specific moment in time frequently in the weeks to follow, and the more I thought about it the clearer it became. Yes, my husband is for me and I realize that now, but how long have I felt that way? I haven’t always felt like he was on my side. When we were first married and I was picking fights about anything and everything I could, I definitely didn’t think he was for me. Remember now, I was still in “walk on eggshells” mode, so in my young baby Mallory head my husband WAS enemy number one.

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It actually took me a few years to fully understand that my husband didn’t want any harm done against me. My husband was for me not against me. He was suppose to be (and is) my number one cheerleader. He had no hidden agenda. He had no sinister plot against me. He wasn’t sitting in a back room keeping track of all my wrongdoings just to use them against me in the future. He wanted to love me. He wanted to care for me. He wanted to do life with ME, and that’s exactly how it should be.

You matter

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If you’re like me you grew up going to a local Lutheran church in your little hometown. You didn’t understand everything being taught and you especially didn’t understand everything the adults were saying, though I do have my suspicions that some of the adults didn’t understand what they were saying either. If you did grow up that way I’m sure you are familiar with the saying, “Wives submit yourselves to your husbands.” If you have never heard of that saying I probably just shook your world.

As I grew up without a healthy relationship to model, well anything after, I started to hear this saying being tossed around more and more, and I wanted to know what it meant. It became especially important to me as my wedding day drew closer. I don’t know why but six years ago baby Mallory decided that understanding this one part of scripture would make me a good wife. It took a little time but I eventually decided that it must mean that Jordan gets to make all the decision about everything for the rest of our lives and essentially, my opinion wasn’t needed. God bless my little heart and naive thoughts. In case anyone is wondering that idea was only played out once and didn’t even make it to the wedding day.

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My opinion matters in our marriage, in our household, in our finances, in our everything. I matter. God gave me to Jordan to help him and God gave Jordan to me to help me. We are equal and both of our opinions count, because you know what? He’s going to think things I never would have considered. Just like, I’m going to look at things from an angle he wouldn’t have thought was possible. To me, marriage is about helping each other be the best possible versions of yourselves. If Jordan was the only one who got a choice on anything and I was just along for the ride, why would God want us to get married? Wouldn’t Jordan be able to do everything he wanted a whole lot easier if he was single? And vice versa? We are equal partners made to build each other up and challenge each other to go to heights we never dreamed of.

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I think this might help some of you right now too, so here you go…‬

“The same goes for you husbands: Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them, delight in them. As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God’s grace, you’re equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don’t run aground.”

1 Peter 3:7 MSG
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Final Thoughts

Like I said at the beginning, this article is definitely not intended to be advice. What you’ve read here is just what I’ve learned along our short six year journey together. Either way I hope you enjoyed reading this tribute to my husband and the six wonderful years we’ve been married.


I love you, Jordan, with all my heart and I’m so proud of the person you’ve become and the life we have formed. God really knew what he was doing when he gave me you. The patience you have shown me thus far and the grace you’ve extended to me is an incredible thing that not many people get the opportunity to experience. I cherish you, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of our story has to hold.

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“…But forever you and I will be the ones who found out what forever means…” 04.06.14

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Self Care In A Crisis

The time we are in right now is so uncertain, and it’s something we’ve never seen before. People are becoming sick. Some are dying. Countries are being quarantined. Restaurants, bars, theaters, and much more have been shut down. Work has stopped. Bills have not. The media is going crazy. Things become stocked and emptied within minutes. Stores don’t have basic essentials on hand. It’s a lot for anyone to take in.

The life we had is literally on pause right now, in almost every aspect. It’s so easy to fall into this slump right now, and for some of us it’s our first instincts. When things get difficult it’s easy to become complacent. I’m also NOT one of those people who thrive under stress. I wish I was.

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If you’re anything like me, you have a lot of thoughts swirling around in your head right now.

“What’s going to happen if there is a mandatory quarantine?” “What’s going to happen if Jordan can’t go to work?” “What if Jordan can’t GET any work?” (Jordan is mostly self employed for those of you who don’t know) “What if we run out of food/toilet paper/diapers/wipes/etc.” “Gosh, should we have hoarded like everyone else?” “When is this going to be over?”

The fact that we are given new, important information to digest on a daily basis, doesn’t help either. Sometimes, it can feel like we’re drowning but, I also feel I need to keep up on current happenings so I can be better prepared for my daughter.

Some of you are going to stop here and think, “What the heck does she mean, ‘be better prepared for her daughter?'” If you are confused by what I meant, I would ask you to go look at the diaper or baby food aisle at your local Walmart or Target.

I know some of you are going to point out that this is the bread aisle but I forgot to get some of the baby section. It all looks the same honestly.

I guess I sort of feel like I’m being pulled in two different directions with this. In the past when I got overwhelmed with information, i.e. the 2016 election, I just shut it all off. I stopped allowing it into my life. This is so much different. I have to face this head on but I also have to handle the stress and anxiety that comes with this in a healthy way, as to make sure I don’t take it out on my loved ones who don’t deserve it.

I should probably mention that this was definitely not the article I had originally planned on writing this week. Actually, the article I planned is sitting half written as you read this. I figured that I’m probably not the only one who is dealing with these feelings though, so I thought I’d share what has been helping me cope. I hope these can help you.

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Routine

This is one of the main things I’ve been pushing to still do. I think one of the most important things you can do when everything around you is chaotic, is to keep your routine as normal as possible. I get it, you can’t go to work or do much but that’s something you can’t really control right now. Let’s focus on things you can control. Can you wake up at normal time? Can you still make yourself breakfast and coffee? Can you still take a shower and get ready for the day? Perfect then do that. This will keep you in the right headspace so you are able to take in information in a less overwhelming, more effective manner.

Don’t get me wrong though, I struggle with it too. I think it’s our learned instinct to be lazy in times like these, but we have to fight those feelings so we can be more effective in the days we’re in.

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I’ll be honest, yesterday I had a bummer of a day. It was just one of those days that I did not want to do anything. I felt overwhelmed and I spent the majority of the day watching movies with my almost one year old. It was definitely a wash of a day for both of us. As a result, when I was going to bed I almost intentionally didn’t set my alarms for the next morning. I wanted to sleep in and do nothing, again. In that split moment in time it occured to me, I could let that day’s feelings transfer over and ruin another perfectly good day or I could change my attitude and tackle the next day head on. I made the very conscious decision to not allow those feelings into my tomorrow. Every day starts anew and I am going to make the best of it.

So that means I set my alarms. I wake up at 5:30, work out, shower, do some journaling, eat breakfast, and read a little all before Juniper wakes up. That is my routine and I need to stick.

I promise you, if you find a routine and stay with it as close as possible, not only will you feel better, you’ll have more energy for the day, you’ll be able to be more present for your life. If you can’t control what is going on around you, control what you can. Don’t let this time go to waste. Be effective.

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I’m going to take a bunny trail real quick. It has very little to do with what this article was intended for but it might help someone so I’m going to address it anyways. Very frequently people ask me why I get up so early when I don’t have to.

I am not a morning person and I don’t like waking up before the sun. What I do enjoy is a little time I to myself though, and I rather it be in the morning so I’m not giving myself the leftovers of the day. I deserve more than that. Juniper deserves more than that, and that’s very important to me. I need to put myself first so I can be a better mom to Juniper and that means I get up at 5:30 and focus on myself and myself only.

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No caption needed.

Some of you are thinking that this is absolutely not for you, and that’s okay. I use to think that too. Bottom line, you need to do what’s best for you and your family and this is what’s best for mine.

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Distract

So apparently some of you have the ability to just shut off your brain and stop thinking? I literally can not compute the idea that people don’t have an endless string of thoughts going through their heads at all times. It’s mind blowing. I don’t understand how one is able to do that nonetheless understand how to implement that into my life.

Since my brain is always on and always rolling through some kind of thought, I can unintentionally get off on a bunny trail that give me anxiety. Once I’m on those kind of ideas it’s hard for me to get them out of my head. It’s almost like my head becomes fixated on them at that point. This is where distracting my mind comes into play. I can’t force the thoughts out but I can show my head a “shinier” option to let it focus on.

So to start you off, here are some of my favorite ways to distract myself.

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Reading

First off reading. I love reading so this one wasn’t a far leap for me, but I know a lot of people don’t enjoy it, and to that I say… You just haven’t found the right book yet.

In all seriousness I began to notice that when I read, my mind I was able to let go of any anxiety I was feeling and focus on the story at hand. Sometimes it’s hard to read or to find time to read, especially when you have a toddler running around, but if you can I would highly suggest it!

If you need a good place to start I here are some books I have recently really enjoyed. To start off, I’ve always found solace in reading my Bible. I don’t know what religion you cling to but reading my Bible gives me great peace.

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If you are looking for some non-religious suggestions; Rachel Hollis’ non-fiction books “Girl, Wash Your Face” and “Girl, Stop Apologizing.” These books are fantastic books if you are wanting to do some self development. Honestly though these are just good reads all around and I would suggest these to anyone, really.

Stanley Gordon West’s fiction book “Until They Bring the Streetcars Back.” This one reads like a true story, and it really highlights the good in humanity. I will warn you though, it also shines a light on the bad in the world as well. This was a book had me in tears on my couch, but I would still recommend.

If you are into adventure books I would 100% check out, Megan Jessie’s fiction book “A Lady’s Odyssey.” I know by the sounds of it some of you are going to think it is a womans read only. You are wrong. This book was written for men and women alike, and if you like action and adventure you’ll love this book. It’s also written in such a way that you can get lost for hours reading, it’s just that good.

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Tik Tok

Okay I know how this sounds BUT, HEAR. ME. OUT. Aren’t most of you endlessly scrolling through social media already? Isn’t that where we are getting bombarded with information the most? I don’t know about you but I’ve had to cut down my social media intake right now because it is just too much information. So periodically I will take a break and scroll through some meaningless videos instead.

At first, I was one of those people who thought Tik Tok was dumb and only for teenagers. I really only downloaded it as a joke and to see what it was all about. Now, I am hooked. It is definitely not for everyone, just like reading, but watching those videos allows my mind to shut off for a little while and forget what’s going on around me. Honestly, these videos don’t do much for me other than that, but that’s the whole point of this article, right?

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Here is where I give you two warnings about TikTok. There are a lot of different people from all sorts of different backgrounds making videos, and some people enjoy a good cuss word… or fifty. I’m not one of those people. I will shut things off if the words being said are making me uncomfortable. That’s just me though. You do you. Saying that, I have also noticed the more time I spend on the app the less videos on the “For You” page contain cussing. This probably has something to do with some kind of science-y algorithm but I don’t know. I don’t science. That’s just what I’ve noticed.

Secondly, I would recommend setting a timer. Just like any app you can get lost in an endless scroll. I feel like this one is just a hair worse, though, because, it is more entertaining than your average social media site. You also can’t see the time on your phone when you’re on Tik Tok. I will give them credit though, they do have random videos that pop up and recommend you take a break if you’ve been on for an extended amount of time. Don’t let it get to that point, though. Don’t be a Mallory. Set a timer and when it goes off, be done.

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Date Night

I don’t know about you but I love being able to set aside time to connect with my partner. There is something about it that just lets the steam out. It helps me forget about the day.

Don’t sit there and talk about the same things that are giving you those overwhelming feeling, though. It’s so easy to do since that’s what is being put in front of us constantly right now, but doing that will probably have the exact opposite effect you want for a date night. Do an activity! Have “safe” topics set aside just in case you need some ideas to draw from.

Side note, the original article I had planned for this week was more date night ideas. I think I’m going to finish that article and post it as an extra so you guys have some more ideas to pull from. Jordan planned this date and he did SO good. I’m super excited to share it with you all!

This was us on our most recent date night.

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Relax

Admittedly this concept sounds easier said than done, especially right now. As we get pounded with “breaking news” everyday, as we slowly lose sight of the “normal” we once had, as we experience a different kind of stir crazy then ever before, we need to be able to stay calm and stay centered. So what does that mean for us? It means we have to take some time for ourselves to regroup, relax and recenter yourself. Selfcare. That way you will be able to navigate the days we’re in properly and more effectively.

I already talked to you about how I spend “me time” in the morning, which is essential to starting off my day on the right note. Sometimes you have a rough day, though. Sometimes you need some purposeful relaxation time throughout the day to let go of all the tension and worry you are holding on to. So let’s push through. Let’s make time for ourselves. Let’s intentionally try to be the best versions of ourselves possible. That way we can show up better for everyone in our lives.

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Take a bath

I feel the need to clarify here. When I say “take a bath” I do not mean sitting in one’s own filth and trying to become clean. I find bathing in my own dirtiness disgusting, so I’m always clean when I do take a bath. When I talk about taking a bath, I mean I turn the water to near boiling, I throw a bath bomb in there, light a candle, shut the lights off, turn on some soothing music, and just lay there. I sometimes bring a movie in on my laptop, but lately I’ve just been soaking.

This is something I use to do all the time. I would say it stopped a few years back when we bought our house. Unfortunately, our downstairs bath tub is really narrow. Every single time I tried to take a bath I felt like the tub version of Tommy Boy. You know, when Chris Farley playing Tommy puts on Richards coat, who is played by David Spade. If you have not seen this movie you should. I mean we’re all pretty much quarantined anyways so, put it on your list of things to watch this week. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to link the scene here, because you NEED this visual.

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Have you watched the video? No!? Well stop reading and click that link. I really need you to have this reference before you continue reading. Don’t worry I’ll be here when you get back.

You did it? You watched the clip? WASN’T IT FUNNY??? No? Well okay then, at least you’ll have the reference now, I guess. Moving on.

Now imagine me in my swimming suit. No, I don’t take a bath in my swimming suit but I really don’t want you picturing me naked either. Anywho, I’m in my swimsuit, I’m getting in the tub, I have big hips and I can hardly sit down. I feel like I’m spilling over and I can’t help but sing to myself. “Fat Girl in a Little Tub.”

Let’s stop, again. If you did not find that funny, my talents are wasted on you, because I’m dying remembering/writing it.

What about the other tub, You ask. I’m glad you asked. The other one is just plain creepy. I can get my butt into it just fine, with room to spare, I just hate being in that bathroom. It always looks dirty even when I’ve just cleaned it, and it also looks straight out of a horror movie. It’s bad. We lovingly refer to that bathroom as the “murder room” because of how creepy the whole room is.

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The murder room.

With recent events in our personal lives and in the world, I have decided to start taking baths again. So I cleaned out the “murder room” tub and I got my swimsuit covered tush into it and enjoyed a nice relaxing soak. I forgot about the world, and it felt absolutely heavenly.

If you’ve never experienced a candle lit soak, definitely at least try it. It won’t hurt anything and you might actually find you enjoy it too. Tonight after you put the kids to bed, light a candle, get some nice warm tea, and forget the world for awhile. It will give your mind a some time to do some rehab.

Cuddles

If any of you know me personally I’m sure you already know this, but I LOATH, with my every fiber, being touched unnecessarily. Even if you are trying to show me some kind of affection and are just being nice. I internally die inside when I am touched. This has a lot to do with some trauma I’ve experienced as a child, but this isn’t one of those kind of articles. If you want to read one of those kind of articles you can read last week’s, “#NotYourUterus” If not let’s continue.

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As a weird twist of fate, my love language is physical touch… I’M NOT EVEN KIDDING RIGHT NOW. So I receive love by physical contact but I don’t like being touched. I’m all sorts of messed up y’all.

I do love cuddling, though. It feeds my soul and makes the outside world melt away in an instant. I actually think there is some science behind cuddling/hugging improving mental health but don’t quote me on that. Jordan knows how I interpret love so he goes out of his way, especially when I’m stressed, to make sure I get my cuddle time in. In return, I think my daughter has caught on because she’s been a lot more affectionate lately. I am one happy mama.

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She might be cuddling the cracker box more than me to be honest, but I don’t care. I’ll take it.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say love language, I would suggest taking Gary Chapman’s quiz and finding out yours and your partners. This will allow you to effectively show affection to each other in a way that is easily accepted.

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Therapy

I grew up thinking that therapy was for the broken. For the mentally ill. For the psychotic. I know how offensive that sounds but that was the climate I grew up in. I can’t be the only one that was taught you did not go to therapy because you wanted someone to talk to. You did not go to therapy to get an objective view on your life. You did not go to therapy as a step in your self-development journey. You went to therapy because you were damaged.

If that’s how you think, you are wrong. If you put those feelings of yours on others, shame on you. With the suicide rates as high as they are, therapy needs to be talked about. Not just talked about but, talked about in a positive light. We need to make sure that everyone knows that it is a valid option and if you choose to go you are no less of a human for it.

Okay rant over.

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I started going to therapy as part of my self-development journey. When I attended my regularly scheduled therapy session last Friday, we talked about my anxieties and fears about the coronavirus. Do you know what my therapist did? Ha. Of course you don’t. You weren’t there and she can’t tell you. This lady VALIDATED my feelings, but at the same time talked me through them. Can you believe it? I was shook. The end result was that I walked away feeling so much better. Sometimes it just takes that objective eye into your life to put your problems into perspective.

In closing, I would just like to say that these are the things that work for me. Selfcare looks so different for everyone though, so you might find my suggestions hideous. That’s okay! Intentionally set aside time to focus on yourself and only yourself. I’m not talking an hour here or there either. Schedule yourself into your day. Fill your cup up instead of trying to fill everyone else’s up first. If you can focus on yourself for a little bit you will be able to overflow into everyone else’s instead. Once you found your time then find the things that, in a healthy way, feed your soul. You can do it! This chaos will pass, but as we go through it let’s become better, more effective humans along the way.

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Tell me what you do for selfcare. Scroll all the way to the bottom and leave me a comment or send me a message by clicking on the “Connect” tab. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram.

I hope that through my words, you receive encouragement and that you discover you are not alone in this mess we call adulthood. I’m rooting for you.

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#NotYourUterus

When Jordan and I were dating we had the “if we wanted kids” talk. Looking back at that conversation it makes me laugh, because I did NOT want to birth kids of my own at all. I had zero interest in it. All I ever wanted to do was adopt kids. I just didn’t see the point of birthing children into this world when there were so many already here that didn’t have loving families.

Jordan on the other hand, never really thought about adoption being an option, but he was adamant that he wanted to make kids of his own. This is usually where I roll my eyes when I tell this story because, come on, he has the easy/fun part of “making” kids.

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Two Years later.

I now agree that I want to make kids, and I want that now. Like, RIGHT. NOW. Isn’t it amazing how much can change in such a short amount of time?

I was 19. We were renting a very small duplex. We weren’t in the greatest place financially. We had only been married for a relatively short time and we were still trying to figure out what a healthy marriage is supposed to looks like. So, obviously it’s the perfect time to add a little human in the mix, right? No? Well 2015 Mallory didn’t want to hear any different.

Here is where I could tell you, in great detail, all the psychological reasons of why I needed a baby and why I needed one ASAP. I’ll just let that stay between me and my therapist…. For now.

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As I started to talk to Jordan about this, he kept trying to brush the conversation off. At the time I found it really frustrating, but now I can appreciate that he just wasn’t ready to start having kids. 2015 Mallory did not care though. She was on a mission and she was a little crazy. He did eventually agree to start having kids once we bought our first home. This was great! All I had to do was find us a house to buy and then, my dream of starting a family would be complete.

I was on a mission to make this happen. We started looking for a house immediately. We went to four different banks until one of them said they would loan us money. We looked at absolutely every single house in our price range. Which, side note, was sooo incredibly low I’m shocked we got a house honestly. At first there was nothing we could agree on, until, our house was put on the market. I recall this all happening so so fast. We looked at the house on the fourth day it was up for sale and we had an accepted offer after a whole five days of it being on the market. From starting to look to moving in date, we had to wait a whole three months.

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We moved in August 5, 2015.

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Now was the fun part… at least I thought…

I had been off hormonal birth control for about a year when, at the end of July 2015, we stopped preventing all together. At first we had the attitude of this whole “baby” thing just being casual but we slowly worked up to actively and purposely trying and then we tried and we tried… and we tried some more with no luck.

I was beyond frustrated. I started to see everyone get pregnant, I swear. I watched people who were together less time then we had been trying to get pregnant become pregnant, I saw people who didn’t want kids get pregnant, and I saw fifteen year olds get pregnant while we were trying. I can’t express how absolutely GUT WRENCHING it was to watch people everywhere get pregnant and find so much happiness in it besides you.

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Month after month. Negative test after negative test. It never got easier. On top of feeling like complete and utter failures, everyone knew we were trying to have a family very unsuccessfully. When I say everyone, I mean E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E. I don’t know what other peoples experiences are but the minute we got married we were hounded, and I mean HOUNDED with “When are you going to have kids?” as if the only possible reason you married your spouse was to make babies. We’d just reply “We are trying” thinking they would leave us alone if they knew we were at least trying. Yeah, we were wrong, it actually made things much worse. Looking back though I wish I would have had the guts to say “You know what? It’s not your uterus so it doesn’t matter” Hindsight is always 20/20 though, right?

We started getting unprompted comments like “God is in control” “His timing is perfect timing” “It’ll happen when it happens” “I hate(d) being pregnant” “Trying is the fun part” “ArE yOu PrEgNaNt YeT!?” And the one that tops them all. The one that makes my blood boil to this day “At this point your sister is going to get pregnant before you do”

I feel like I need a dramatic mic drop here to efficise how incredibly terrible that comment is.

Incase you are one of those humans that will read this and think “There’s nothing wrong with some of those, and actually some of those are very true.” I would then challenge you by asking, if they’re helpful. Sometimes you telling someone the truth doesn’t make things better. It actually brings more unnecessary pain.

So everyone knew that for three years we had been trying to make human life with absolutely no success. What did we get in return for the mental and emotional pain of not feeling good enough? Horrible. Insensitive. Rude. Inappropriate Comments.

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We tried everything we could think of to become pregnant, including losing 40lbs.

At this point we are a few years older (three to be exact), own our home, are financially stable, and have a handle on this whole healthy relationship thing. Do you think that mattered? Nope. For some reason it seemed like everyone else could sneeze on each other and get pregnant but after several years of intentional trying we still had nothing to show for it.

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That’s when we decided to go to the doctor.

So in January 2018 we went and had a consult with our local OBGYN who handles infertility problems for our small town. The first appointment was overwhelming. After talking for a bit about weight issues, ages, menstrual cycles and theories of what was going on, I got a PAP and we were sent away with homework. I had to get a list of blood work done and a vaginal ultrasound. Jordan made out easy with only an at home specimen collector kit and that’s it.

We got all the things in, and after I got my period we showed up for the next appointment and we went over the results. Long story short we discover that Jordan literally has super sperm on crack times ten and I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).

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The day we found out Jordan’s sperm counts. To put it simply, he was very happy.

For those of you who don’t know, PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that affects every part of you. From your mental health, to your weight, to your hair, your menstrual cycles, and much, MUCH more. There is no cure and most women unfortunately find out when they have trouble becoming pregnant. I suppose you could say, on the bright side, most infertility problems from this can be resolved with oral medication only, according to my doctor.

So began the interesting journey of fertility medication, the side effects, and the sex schedules. For anyone who is wondering, yes we did receive a quite literal sex schedule from our doctor that we kept hanging on our fridge.

The doctor started me on 50 mg of Clomid at first. This medication has a terrible side effect of making women incredibly emotional, or incredibly crazy as my doc put it. (Remember that for later) She explained that she could give me up to 150 mg but she had to go in increments of 50. We didn’t know how my body would react and it could cause me a heck of a lot of pain if we went to maximum strength right away.

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The first month of treatment, I was so unbelievably PUMPED. I just KNEW this was it. I just KNEW that the long three years of crying, pain, heart-break, and isolation were coming to an end, right here and right now. I knew with my doctors help, we would finally make the little person Jordan and I craved so much. It sounds so ridiculous now but, you guys, I was absolutely confident in the fact that it would happen our first round of treatment. It was the only possible outcome in my mind.

Every appointment going forward is in the middle of, what is suppose to be, your ovulation window. They do another vaginal ultrasound to see how your ovaries are reacting to the medication. I remember this all so vividly. I was wearing a teal flowery dress with pretty little sandals. My hair was straight, my makeup was done because THIS was THEE DAY I found out I was going to be a MOM.

So I check in and they eventually called me back. They got my weight and showed me to the room where I had to lay down to be examined. The doctor came in. She was super excited as always and we got started. She was asking me some questions and looking at this ultrasound machine and all of a sudden she stops everything abruptly and goes.

“You are going to be one of those, aren’t you?”

Silence… Complete silence…

I finally said, “What do you mean?”

“Your body didn’t have any reaction to the medication. It is highly unlikely that you will get pregnant this month”

Que heart shattering all over again. I didn’t have any words. I couldn’t do anything. I went into full on survival mode and I freaking kept it all together like a champ.

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She sent me out with a highest dosage of Clomid, skipping the gradual steps she previously mentioned, and another appointment was added to the calendar.

I am SO proud of myself. I held it together all the way out to the car. I remember thinking “Okay, I’m going to lose it here soon and I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop once I start. So I need to call into work before I get super emotional and can’t talk.”

PAUSE. Here is where I’m sure some of you are going to stop and say, “What? You missed work because of that? That is terrible!” This is where I say, once you have tried to have a baby for three years, and gotten three years of negative tests. Once you have felt the pain and absolute defeat of not being able to do the one thing all women should be able to do. Once you have had a bajillion different hurtful comments pierce your soul. Once you get your hopes up just once more because, you had a glimmer of hope again, finally, just to be told that it’s not happening again. Once you can go through all that, only then can you judge me for calling in that day.

I called my boss who happened to be in a meeting with my office manager. I started to tell them that it wasn’t great news and I needed to take a personal day.

My boss then asked, “What’s going on? What happened?”

Mind you I did inform her what this appointment was about and that we were seeking medical help in this area prior to this phone call so she at least had some idea of what was going on. I don’t know what it was about that comment, but this is where my emotions came FLOODING in. I lost it. I was a blubbering mess. All the three years of heartache came flooding back in that moment, on the phone with my boss and my manager, on speaker, in a tiny office. I probably sounded crazy and I don’t really remember how the conversation ended but it ended. Then I went home, changed into sweatpants, put my hair up in the messiest bun, grabbed a carton of ice cream and cried and cried and cried.

The next appointment went about the same except we added more medication to my intake and I was far less emotional.

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Colorado

Amongst all this we decided it would be a good idea to plan our first vacation together. We were scheduled to go to Colorado in July 2018.

The day we left for Colorado I had another ultrasound appointment. This time I was with an ultrasound technician rather then my doctor because she was out of the office during my “window.” This tech didn’t give me any information and I wasn’t asking. I really just expected it to be like all the other times and I didn’t want to ruin the trip by getting bad news the day we left.

Fast forward, we’re back from Colorado. I finally got curious enough to call and see what the results were. That’s when I found out that the odds were good for us this go-around, but remember, this was just telling me I had a normal probability of ovulating. It did not tell me if my ovary released an egg or if said egg was fertilized. Man, I make the process sound oh so romantic, don’t I? Anyways, I hung up the phone and made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t take a single pregnancy test until the day the doctor said to.

Spoiler Alert. I didn’t make it.

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I did so good with this promise, until I didn’t. I went out on a coffee date with one of my sweetest friends and we were talking about what was going on and the process we were going through.

That’s when she brought up this dream she had. She dreamt that I and two other women we knew were pregnant at the same time.

It might sound silly to some but I just couldn’t get that out of my head. Maybe it was because one of those women had just announced she was pregnant. Maybe I just needed something to hold on to. I don’t know, but it made me curious enough to break the promise to myself and……

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My beautiful Colorado baby.

That is the story of my daughter. That is how her sweet life began. I am so blessed.

I am one of the lucky ones out there and I don’t take that for granted. I know people who have to wait so much longer than I, people who had to do way more invasive treatments that I, people who have lost unborn children, and people who eventually came to the realization that maybe birthing children wasn’t in their story. I am so incredibly blessed that I only had to wait 3 years and do 7 months of appointments/treatments.

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I told you this today because if you are struggling with infertility, I want you to know I am with you. I am here for you. If you know someone who is struggling with infertility. Use my words to connect with them, don’t make comments, just listen, love and cry with them. When you share in someone else’s pain it lightens the load for them if only for awhile. If you know a woman and you are wondering when she’s going to have kids, keep that crap to yourself. Women were made for more than just making babies.

I hope that through my words, you receive encouragement and that you discover you are not alone in this mess we call adulthood. I’m rooting for you.

Thanks for reading! To see updates and exclusive content be sure to join my email list below. I look forward to seeing you!

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My Intentions and Motivations. . .

I will try to make this as clear as possible because I have a lot of thoughts whirling around in my head on this topic so hold on tight, this may get a little rocky at times.

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to make an impact that would be worth remembering. I’ve always wanted to speak to peoples hearts and make them feel like they weren’t alone, and I’ve always wanted to use my life and story to connect with people and encourage them. As I grew, I began to realize how this dream was going to come to fruition (…pause for dramatic effect…) With a blog.

If you won’t bet on yourself no one

will

Some may say that blogs are dead. Some may say no one reads them anymore and it’s a waste of my time, but you know what? I. Don’t. Care. Let me say it again, I just do not care if people say blogs are dead. I just do not care if some say I won’t get a following. Do you know why I don’t care about all the negative things people might have to say about what I am doing? It’s because I know in my heart that I was made for more. I know in my heart that my words can encourage people. I know deep down in the darkest places of my heart that if I set my mind on something and I put in the work I can and WILL be able to accomplish it. This, my friend, is why I was put on this great planet.

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To quote one of my greatest inspirations and motivators,

“You can’t fail a job you were created to do”

-Rachel Hollis

Since my daughter was born I have been staying home with her, and I treasure all the time I get with her, I really do! I also realize, a lot of people wish they could have the time I get to have, to spend with their children. So believe me when I say, I am not taking any of it for granted. I’ll repeat that little louder for the people in the back who didn’t hear me first time, I DO NOT TAKE ANY OF THIS TIME FOR GRANTED.

But. You guys, let’s be real. It’s HARD. Life in general is hard but this SAHM thing is so isolating and boring and at times I have felt like I was losing myself. All of this has been wearing on me and I needed an escape. I needed something that’s all mine. Something I can focus on, other than keeping a little human alive all day everyday. I needed something that fed my soul.

And I know what you are thinking, “What? A blog feeds your soul?” And the short answer would be. Yes, yes it does. But I suppose I’ll explain a little more. I have never been the most eloquent speaker and truth be told I find making new friends as an adult difficult and awkward, but I’ve always been able to write and I’ve always LOVED writing. I can’t think of anything more therapeutic then taking all the pent up energy and feelings I have throughout the week and using my passion for writing to express it all.

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So for a recap, we know why I want this, why I’ve picked now to begin, and what I hope to accomplish. This is a place where I can write about my thoughts, feelings, and just everyday life in general. But at the same time I still want to write about things that are relevant to you so please go to the “Connect” tab and shoot me a message of what you’d like to see. Your topic may get featured!

I really do hope that through my words, you receive encouragement and that you discover you are not alone in this mess we call adulthood. I’m rooting for you.

I am going to be adding this post to the “About Me” section of my website because I always want to keep my intentions in front of me as a reminder of what I’m working towards.

Follow me for exclusive updates and content. I look forward to seeing you!

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