The past few weeks have been extremely exciting here!
Isabella got to meet both her Godmother, Sarah, and NICU Bestie For Life, Evelyn (which deserves it’s own post)! I wanted to share some special pictures and moments. We cherish each and every time we can share Bella in person with others.
Before Isabella was born, I asked my two besties, Sarah and Jessica, to be Godmothers to Isabella. For me, that meant that they would support Isabella in her faith journey and always be there for her. To us, it was kind of like asking them to be an auntie.
Since before Bella was here these ladies have loved her and prayed for her. Jessica’s been busy planning a wedding and being a newlywed but has always prayed for Bella and cared for me. Sarah has gone out of her way on so many occasions to bless us with Starbucks, words of encouragement, gifts, and hugs.
Above: Before meeting Bella in person, Sarah got to get a glimpse of her through our glass door in the summer.
So it was super exciting after 7 months that Sarah was able to visit and hold her Goddaughter! Bella loved every second and fell asleep! She immediately felt the love that Sarah had for her. God had hand picked both Jess and Sarah to play a special role in Bella’s life. I’m so thankful for the prayers and support they’ve offered…even without ever setting eyes on Bella in person.
It’s easy to curate a perfect image of your life using social media. Heck, since the beginning of time people have been wearing masks and making their lives look better than they really are. I think of the 50s housewife perfectly coiffed with dinner on the table.
BUT there’s a revolution happening. Freedom from having it all together. Women supporting women. Moms admitting that they’re flying by the seat of their pants. It’s empowering and…helps us feel a little less alone in this life.
So…let me take a moment and a pause from the super cute pictures of Bella (that I go through and delete the blurry ones) and the fun updates that include emojis. These things reflect the real me. They’re the real Bella. But they aren’t always the nitty gritty realness that’s born from confidence and courage. So let me share more into our story, Because YOU reach out to me. You tell me this inspires you.
I’m not sure I ever set out to inspire anyone by our story. To be honest I was just looking for friends…someone else who was up at 3am in a hospital room in a new, unknown city…wincing in pain from a major surgery but wanting to focus energy on a 1 1/2lb baby laying under bilirubin lights. What I know is through this sharing I’ve connected with others in a unique way and I’m so thankful for it. So I’ll always be honest with you. I’ll always be positive and confident in the hope of Christ but I’ll always keep things real. So let me begin…
The last 2 days have sucked. I’ve ugly cried more than I have in weeks. I’ve said hurtful things to Dustin. I’ve been angry at myself. My head hurts and I’m exhausted. I’m also on my period which intensifies all of this and makes me feel like a sack of potatoes.
Numerous things have made me feel this way. We found out we have a larger minimum on a huge bill from my hospitalization that we need to move around finances to afford. Last night we realized we accidentally overrode the pictures from our NICU photo shoot (Update: They Have Been Restored!!!!!)
Due to frustrations and frantically trying to locate the pictures we didn’t get to sleep until 2am…so I did the 3-5 and 7-9 shift so Dustin could rest. Today I got calls from the hospital that I mailed in the wrong part of Bella’s medical device for her ph probe, I was on the phone for over 30min fixing a billing issue with our insurance, and I learned our formula is still needing paperwork done before getting mailed to us.
Bella’s gtube is leaking and she’s teething. After beginning her feed this morning I tried to give her meds and the liquid sprayed all over my face and her. She ended up vomiting her whole feed down my chest and hers. I laid in dried vomit for 2hrs so she could rest on my chest with a blanket between us topless after taking my vomit soaked shirt off. My hair’s greasy and my legs are all kinds of hairy (TMI?).
Bella smells like spit up even though we just gave her a bath and her pump has been malfunctioning, throwing us off schedule. My floors are sticky from dripped formula from the pump/pump bags but I don’t have the time to mop them. I’m caught up on laundry but Dustin and I argued last night and said hurtful things because we were sleep deprived and sad over losing the pictures. All in all I feel like a mess.
Gods been speaking to me in the midst of the crazy. He tells me I’m his and he loves Bella and I and Dustin. He says loves worth fighting for and saying I’m sorry is hard but so worth it. Serving each other. Sharing Oreos and pouring coffee keeps us going. Smiling over Bella’s new way she grabs her toes or tries to giggle warms my heart and helps me know this is all worth it. Money will be tight but Gods got all the money in the world and I just need to be still. I try to be childlike in motherhood. I try to rely on the Spirit to guide me. I try to be playful. I try to take one moment at a time. I throw my hands up a lot. I don’t have many answers. All I know is where I end God begins and He’s caring for us.
So today was hard.
Then I got a text from a friend. We’ve been using honest company diapers. They work the best for Bella. She has sensitive skin and they’re the best fit. But they’re pricey. There’s been 3+ friends who said they have them on sale at TJ Maxx. Last time I ran out after Dustin got off work to watch Bella but size 1s were all gone. Today a friend texted me a picture and told me they were there and they’re thinking of us and love us. How thoughtful! In that moment I felt as if God had created this wonderful village around us..even though 99% haven’t met Bella in person.
But then God took it to another level.
This lovely person texted me there were gifts on our porch for us. I was tethered to Bella and couldn’t stop her feed/hold so I waited until Dustin came up to retrieve the items. He explained excitedly as he brought in lots of honest co diapers all in Bella’s size. There was also a Starbucks coffee for me!!! I have been trying to save money so I do cut back on Starbucks or other items…I drink coffee at home (somehow there’s always room in the budget for ice cream though lol) so this was a real treat!!! We both took turns sipping the chocolatey caffeine goodness.
But before then Dustin read a hand written message on the cup out loud in our living room. I believe strongly in the power of our words. Our words give life. Our words are so important. To hear Dustin deliver this message over our family brought me to tears.
In the midst of a hard day, from the handwriting of a special friend, on a coffee cup, Dustin read over the clanking of the feeding pump
“may God fill this day with wonder, joy, and assurance of his presence.”
Easter and Spring is officially right around the corner! As the weather is warming up and my coffee order turns from hot to iced, my mind is on bright colors and outdoor fun. I don’t think you’re ever too old for gifts and bright colors. For this fun DIY, I decided to mix both. With some of my girlfriends in mind, I made these “Mason Jar Easter Friend Gifts.” Every single thing I purchased was found at the Dollar Tree and they only took a few minutes to put together. The best part in my opinion? The mason jars have glass handles so they’re more like summer mugs – perfect for iced drinks in the warmer weather.
I began with some adorable mason jar mugs I bought. I didn’t bother to remove the sticker on the bottom. I’m not as OCD as some other DIYers.
Next, I thought about what would go in my adorable Easter basket-esque Mason Jars. Along with the traditional candy, I wanted to add some items my friends could use everyday. I also wanted to keep the colors the same to make it look extra cool. My main focus was on a yellow, bright gift. I made sure each item I purchased had a yellow option. I bought:
-Neon mini gel pens
I figured the girls could always use writing utensils, the paper straws would be perfect for the mason jar glasses, and your hair always needs to be put back in the warmer weather so the elastic bands were the perfect touch. I also kept in mind the size of the jars and the size of the bright Easter eggs I purchased.
It was a little bit of a struggle to find yellow candy! I picked M&Ms, Butterfingers, and Juicy Fruit. Other candy not pictured included Sixlets, Taffy, and candy necklaces.
Of course you can’t have a gift that’s inspired by Spring/Easter without this fake grass stuff! I began by stuffing some in the bottom of the glasses.
You may need to take a pencil or longer object to stuff it in.
Once all the fake grass is in, it’s up to you and your creativity to fill the jar up with color coordinated/or not so coordinated items.
I thought a yellow elastic hair tie would work well in the smaller yellow Easter eggs.
I also had a little yellow gel pen ready after placing some paper straws (aren’t they cool) and a neon yellow pencil in.
The candy was ready, too!
Silly kitty, this gift isn’t for you!
If an item doesn’t match the color scheme, like these Sixlets, I placed them in a yellow egg!
Once the jar is filled, it’s ready for giving! After I was done, I realized a little tag that says “For You” would be really nice. I added more fake yellow grass and made sure there was no empty space in the jar. What a cup of sunshine!
I had planned to do three filled with yellow items, but I remembered my one friend loved pink. Since I had a lot of pink items…I went ahead and did a different color theme!
Hot pink rules. I placed the hair tie inside the pink egg. Don’t you love the mini gel pen?
It doesn’t matter if you’re 10 or 30…Disney Princesses rock. So do candy bracelets. My bestie Jess will love this.
I didn’t have pink grass, but you still get the idea of the color scheme. To make this gift more personalized you could write the recipient’s name in sharpie on the cup.
Behind the scenes picture…the kitty loved bedding down on the fake grass.
Since the mason jars didn’t have a ton of room, I had extra supplies. I thought outside of the “Easter basket box” and used little clear plastic punch cups for mini baskets. These will be given to a few of our family members.