Tuesday, May 28, 2013

12 Months of Macy

Just when I thought an age couldn't get any better, Macy turned one. She has really grown and matured from months 11 to 12 and this month was full of ups and downs. The only real down was when Macy was really sick for the first time ever. As bad as it was, it was a learning experience and we all made it through together.  I have to say it was my favorite month to date though!

12 Month Stats:

May 24, 2012
Weight: 23 lbs (according to our home scale)
Height: 30 1/2 inches (per my own measurement)
Diaper Size: 3 or a 4
Clothing Size: 12-18 months
Feeding/sleeping: Not much change here. Sleeps 12-13 hours at night and still takes 2 naps during the day, ranging anywhere from 1-2 hours each. Still won't be fed to so she eats a lot of the same food every day (Eggs, turkey meat, cheese, avocado, shredded chicken and strawberries are her main staples). She isn't really interested in a bottle AT ALL anymore, and we pretty much waste around 12 oz of formula a day. Just a sign that she is ready to be done with it.
Milestones: Turning one! Wow oh wow! And I am pretty sure she is saying more words too. She asks for me by name now (heart swoon) and will say No too. Oh man. She will say dada and a few other words too but not consistently. We had an amazing birthday weekend for her full of friends and family (I'll post the deets of her party in a different post). Another milestone we had this month was getting sick for the first time. It was pretty terrible. She ran a really high fever, had an ear infection, a viral rash, and was miserable for about 5 days. The longest 5 days of my life!

How Macy felt about being sick.
Loves: So many things to add this month! She is always exploring new things and one of her favorite things to do now is to turn the lights off on the light switches, press the garage door button to close the door as we are walking in to the house, and turn on her sound machine when it is time for bed. Basically, she loves pressing buttons. She also likes to shut any doors that are open, and flush the toilet (well at least attempt to, she is not quite strong enough to do that yet). She has also started dancing when music comes on which is quite possibly the cutest thing EVER. Another favorite- diving in to laundry baskets and climbing in general. She seems proud of herself once she has made it in.

Caught in the act! (Yes, those are clean clothes)
Dislikes: Doesn't like to be fed to or have her nose wiped -the stuff most babies don't like. There is not much to put on this list.
Adventures: Big birthday weekend!

What we couldn't live without: Good  walking shoes and baby gates. Baby proofing was an absolute must this month!

First Chick fil A experience. She loved it. (duh)
Always taking off exploring her surroundings.

As her hair grows it becomes more and more curly. Presh.

Matching hot pink skinny jeans. Guilty.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day

For the first time in over 3 years, Mother's Day was not spent in time of mourning, but rather of happiness.

It was so nice to feel a joyful heart this year, and to feel celebrated. I definitely feel that I have earned the right to enjoy the day- being that I have been doing this motherhood thing for almost a year now. Last year I was a few weeks away and even though I was already a mommy to a baby in my tummy, this year it felt much more "real".

My first day as a mom!
Mommy and baby girl
Because I had to work on the actual day, we celebrated the day before, on Saturday. It was the perfect day. We went to breakfast at a yummy cafe down the street from our house then came back and all took a nap. 2 hours to be exact. It was amazing. Afterwards we lounged and played and eventually went out shopping. What more would a girl want than to have her hubby take her shopping? We went to a couple of places, and we all found something. (It is physically impossible to not buy something for sweet pea). After we were tuckered out shopping we headed to McAllister's for a yummy light dinner. Being that I am currently in the midst of the Advocare 10 Day Cleanse, I didn't  want to go somewhere that would be too tempting to cheat. After we laid Macy down Kyle and I snuggled up on the couch and watched This is 40 (review: equally funny and depressing). I loved every single minute of that day.

Yummy dinner at McAllister's Deli
Sunday morning I had to head in to work, but I was not bitter at all because Saturday was perfect. I got home around 5 Sunday night and we went for a family walk. The perfect end to a perfect weekend. My hubby definitely made me feel special, and the best gift of all was that Macy was finally feeling like herself after about 2 weeks of being sick. She was happy, funny, laughing and kept walking up to give me hugs. My heart almost exploded multiple times over the weekend.

Fun at the park
I have to say that motherhood is ultimately a gift, and a job I try not to take for granted. I have been so blessed with my mom and my step mom in my life. I strive everyday to be the perfect balance of love and structure for my sweet little one. I am so thankful God chose me to mommy to Macy Jane!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Irrational Fears of a New Mom

For me, motherhood has brought on a sense of anxiety I have never known or experienced before. Previous to motherhood, I would say I was a pretty easy going person so these new waves of fear have really been disturbing me lately. I think dealing with her being sick for several days last week really accelerated these feelings I have been having.

For example, sometimes when I'm looking at Macy I will stroke her hair and think to myself, "I will probably never get to see her hair grown out long" because something is going to happen to her before she is old enough. Or when her and Kyle leave in the mornings to head to the sitter I get this awful pit in my stomach as I worry they will get in a car accident on the way there. When she woke up for the 4th day in a row with a fever last week I was convinced she had leukemia.

Part of me understands that this is common with motherhood. After asking other moms I know, they have all told me that they experience the same fears and worries too. But for me, I was feeling extremely anxious and then would feel guilty for being so fearful. So I knew it was something that I really  needed to work through.

In my discipleship group we are working through a study called Proverbs 31: A Woman that Fears the Lord. It just so happens that this past week's chapter was titled "She is Not Afraid". The main focus was having a peace of mind with God and the section titled "fear" really resonated with me and my current new mom struggles.

It says, "We fear losing those things that contribute to our safety, health, jobs, material possessions and loved ones. These are our 'security blankets' and any real or imagined  threat to them will rob us of our peace of mind. This tormenting kind of fear is a result of failing to trust God. To take Him at His Word, or to claim His promises."

That's my answer. I don't trust God with Macy. Is it because I have not been obedient in my time with God lately? Am I letting my worldly self take over? It was a real convicting realization, but a relieving one as well. I knew that peace could be found. I am tormenting myself by imagining these threats.

I brought these fears/anxiety to my friends in our group and got great feedback. First and foremost, that YES, it is completely normal to feel anxiety and fear for our child. We only wants what is best for them and their safety. But also these 2 sweet reminders as well:

-Macy is a gift from God. She is His child.
-God loves Macy even more than I love her.
Reminding myself of these promises has really helped me alleviate these moments of anxiety. I will never stop worrying, hoping and wishing for her. But I will learn to trust God with her life. I will pray for her every single day. I will do my best not to waste time thinking of all of these "what ifs", but rather enjoy the moment with her. Even these past couple days have been already been better and I am so grateful for those 2 sweet reminders!

"Every good and perfect gift comes from above" James 1:17

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Blessings Through Cancer

Blessing through cancer. Seems like an odd title, but I'll tell you why it is true in my life.

When I was a senior in high school my mom, Michele, was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 47. It was life changing for me. In more ways than I could ever explain, but ultimately brought me closer to her and through the grieving process I found peace with myself and ultimately with God.

In 2008 my mom had just finished her third round of chemo and radiation on tumors that had spread to her brain. Life was somewhat normal, I had graduated college and working as a nurse. My mom was still working full time and was just still my "normal mom". That spring I met Kyle whom I had seen out and about before due to us having mutual friends. We all went out one night and after talking to him for a little bit he mentioned that he couldn't stay out long because he was doing Race for the Cure early the next morning with his mom, who too had breast cancer. We had an instant connection talking about our mothers and it was from that moment on that we were inseparable.

Fast forward one blissful year of dating to May 2009 when we got engaged. My mom was increasingly getting ill and the cancer was really taking a toll on her body. I desperately wanted to get married as soon as possible so she could be in good spirits for it, never imagining or accepting that she would not be in attendance. That July of 2009 she lost her 7 year battle with cancer. A few months later Kyle's mom got word that cancer was back, and she would not be going forward with treatment. That December, only 4 short months later, Kyle's mom lost her battle with cancer as well.

It was a pretty devastating time in our life. I was only 24, a kid, and couldn't imagine life with out my mommy. Kyle, even younger than me, had to deal with same heart breaking issues. We couldn't help but wonder where God was in this time of darkness. How He could not let our mom's be a part of our marriage, our future together. Grieving was extremely difficult for me during the wedding planning process was so many family dynamics were changing.

After we got married Kyle and I settled in to a new church, Christ Community Midtown, and were quickly taken in as family there. We were discipled and led by loving friends who embraced us instantly. We no longer felt like "orphans" in our city and had a loving family, body of believers, to rally around us. Not only that but they truly became our friends. During that time Kyle and I, in our own time, came to trust this loving God and knew that everything He had planned in our lives was all good. We submitted to Christ, letting go of ourselves as being our own leaders. God was now the center of our marriage, and we took comfort in the arms of our Father.

Fast forward now to this past weekend, the Race for the Cure. Each year now Kyle and I, along with our close family and friends, take the time to celebrate the memories of our mothers and the lives they left behind. As the race was approaching I sat down and reflected on how cancer has affected me. Cancer has brought many blessings in to my life even though it is such a nasty disease that also brings so much heart break.

My blessings through cancer:

-Cancer brought me my husband. Had we not had that instant connection of our mother's cancer diagnosis who knows if we would have ever talked all night long the first night we met. Who knows if we would have fallen in love, gotten married and had a sweet baby girl together.
-Cancer showed me my mom was a hero. Even with stage 4 cancer, with 20+ tumors in her brain, my mom, a VP of private banking, still went to work every single day. Still did yard work, still made amazing meals every night. I think part of my shock with her death is because she never let us know how bad things really were. She was fully there as a mom, wife, worker.
-Cancer taught me that ANYTHING is possible. After watching the way my mom handled life, despite her cancer diagnosis, showed that I can do anything I put my mind to. I CAN be a nurse, pursue my dream career of being an nurse practitioner, have a family, take care of myself. I can do it all! If she could do it all with cancer, I can certainly do it all healthy.
-Cancer taught me that life is but a breath (Job 7:7). Life on earth is short. I can't take any moment for granted. Even my health. Every moment I have here with my loved ones is a blessing. 
-Cancer taught me that the ultimate sweetness is ahead of me. My mom sat me down before she died and told me to reevaluate my relationship with Jesus. She said she wanted to make sure that all her children would make it to heaven one day, so that she could see them again. Ultimately, this life is short, but heaven is sweet. If I want to live eternally, I must die to myself (Luke 9:24). 
-Cancer is why I am here, this exact spot in my life. I decided to go to school in Indianapolis because I did not want to be far from my mom after her diagnosis. If I had not done that I wouldn't have met my best friends, my husband, I wouldn't have the job I have now. It has shaped almost every decision I have made about my life since her diagnosis in 2002. And I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Here in Indy, as a nurse, with my loving husband and baby girl, with my amazing friends, and my awesome church I get to call home.

Ultimately, I know that God is good. Even through heartbreak and sadness, God is good. All the time. And I like to remember that as much as possible. The recent Race for the Cure was no better time to sit down and remember my blessings through cancer.

And here are some pics from our awesome race!

Some of the girls! Cassy, Hadley, Macy, Carol and Amy
A group shot of our team, "Thanks for the Mammeries"
Kyle with his brother, Alan. He and his wife, Hadley, came in town for the celebration!

Sweet Macy girl. It was a cold morning this year!

2 of my most precious blessings!

About 2.5 miles in to the race. I saw this view and couldn't help but capture it! Loved sharing this moment with my family.

We did it!