Why I’ve Taken A Social Media and Blogging Break

I’ve stayed off of social media for quite a bit. I may have poked my head in and out sometimes to see what some of my friends are up to but I have to say it was really nice to step out for the time that I did.

Since I took my break, I’ve really been able to appreciate my surroundings. Instagram can really suck the life out of you and when they changed the algorithm, it was just the perfect indicator for me to reevaluate.

The time we spend scrutinizing our lives, planning pictures, planning insincere content, playing the influencer game just became so fake. Because, that is what it is…it’s fake. We don’t live our lives in these perfectly planned scenarios with perfect lighting everywhere we go in these perfect squares. I probably won’t gain much popularity for saying any of these things, but maybe that’s a good thing. When you start chasing the number of followers and likes on your pictures that it just sucks up your life, maybe you need to reevaluate why your are doing what you are doing. At least, I knew I did.

I started blogging because I enjoyed writing. Not that I am the best at it, but I enjoyed it. Then you see that everyone else is jumping in and you have to up your game a bit and take on sponsored content, some of which is product you know you would never use. Nonetheless, you take it on so that you can stay in the game of an overly saturated niche – that’s when you realize that you just lied to your audience.

In order not to let that company down, when you’re content is sinking, you join a comment pod in order to get your engagement up.

The more you play the game, the further you sink and it just sucks up your life. You have to constantly like, post, comment. I took a break and noticed a significant amount of followers unfollow me and my pictures get less than half the likes I used to. But damn does it feel good.

It’s a liberating feeling to have given up the facade and the game of keeping up with so and so blogger. So I will gladly take plummeting post likes, and I will cheer at the amount of followers to unfollow me – because that means they weren’t really here for the content but instead where just following for a follow back. I want to live an honest and authentic life, and the numbers will no longer rule me. In order to be a creative member of society, you cannot be a slave to these things. Hitler had hundreds of followers, but Jesus only had 12. And no, I’m not comparing myself to Jesus. But as a follower of Christ, it should be my goal to live a more Christ like lifestyle and that is something that I’m definitely going to work harder at doing.

Eating Fresh with Freshly

If you’re like me, you’re constantly rushed for time. In between prepping and preparing food for your kids and cleaning up the messes left over; let’s be honest – making yourself a healthy, well balanced meal is just a far fetched fantasy.

That is why I am so glad that I can count on Freshly. Freshly delivers well balanced meals with both healthy and vegetarian options right to your door.

They’re not like most food prep companies who will deliver ingredients to your door. No, they did all the hard work for you! All you have to do is pop it in the microwave, set the directed time and BOOM! Delicious, fresh, healthy meal at your fingertips! So easy right?


Are you a busy mom who can’t find time to make a well balanced meal in between the cleaning and wrestling? Are you a working mom who can’t always find the time to cook after a long days shift? Are you a college student with a tight budget? Honestly, Freshly is for everyone. It’s affordable and delivers great options. And I’m here to help it be just a little more affordable for you. Just use my code DLVR639 and get $20 off your first 6 meals. What do you have to loose? Try it out, let Freshly make your life just a little bit easier!

To The Mom Who Is Constantly Denying Herself

It never really seems to slow down. Whether it be the constant sleep interruptions in the middle of the night from a hungry baby or a kick in the face from your toddler who never learned to sleep in his own bed. The day constantly goes, and momma doesn’t seem to get to lay down and breathe in.

The morning starts for most, but for you it’s not much different from when you try to get the kids to go back to sleep constantly in the middle of the night.

Then the chocolate milk and Lucky Charms demands start as your toddler whines for you to get up and turn the TV on! You get up, running on 4.5 hours of interrupted sleep, pick up the baby who’s trying to climb off the bed and head towards the living room.

After you have turned on The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, you head towards the kitchen and pour a bowl of cereal for your whining toddler. Or rush to whip up some pancakes at his request. Of course, always rushing because he must have them NOW! Thankfully, the baby is much more understanding and entertains himself. When he’s finally bored, he will crawl into the kitchen with the most adorable face you have ever seen. Then you remember to prepare his baby cereal. Once they are both fed, then the fun starts!

I don’t know if it’s because I have two boys, but there always seems to be wrestling and smashing of toys. But my favorite is the jumping on the couch and body slamming mom. Yes, pure joy. Playtime continues throughout the day and in between time, I’m picking up toys, putting baby down for nap time, preparing toddler’s lunch, washing the piled up dishes, picking up baby who has awoken, feeding newly awoken baby, preparing bath time, vacuuming crumbs off the floor, washing and or folding laundry, etc.

Nap time can not come sooner but both of their nap times do not always overlap which can be frustrating because I could really use that hour to just sit down and breathe. I’m constantly going, constantly doing and by the time my husband comes home, there’s never any visible proof that I’ve really done anything. New dishes will pile up, more dirty clothes will add up and make new piles of laundry meanwhile I think I’ve worn this tshirt and pajamas for two days now and my hair remains in what seems to be a permanent messy bun. And it’s not one of those cute messy buns you see on the tv shows.

It’s been months and I haven’t had a day to myself, my husband works so many hours that he can’t really alleviate any of my “mommy shifts.” And when I finally do get the opportunity to branch off and do something on my own, I don’t end up doing so because my kids start crying out for me as soon as I walk towards that door. I mean, I can’t jump in the shower without my toddler having a panic attack- later I realize that he just jumped in fully clothed. Either that, or I’ll go to the store and see someone else’s kids and immediately miss the crap out of my children. Sometimes I feel like I’m the cause to a lot of the stresses of my motherhood journey. I’m either always wishing to get away on my own for a little bit, but then I end up glued to them in fear that something may go wrong or end up hurting their feelings because they rather me stay home with them.

And don’t get me wrong, loving up my babies is probably the best feeling in the world. Nothing could ever compare to the silent giggles I see when my toddler giggles at his favorite cartoons, or the joy I feel when they are finally getting along and playing together. Or when I get mad at one and they defend each other. When my toddler is feeling cranky and only my mommy kisses make him feel better, or when the baby is tired and only my arms will bring him the soothing comfort until he drifts off to sleep. It is the most rewarding and exhausting job I have ever had. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But some days, I feel dizzy. Dizzy because I haven’t slept in months, haven’t stopped going in circles. Haven’t gone out to have any kind of adult time, whether it is a date night with my husband or just to go shopping at Target by myself without a screaming child. You see, I want to do so much but I don’t have the time or capacity to do so. And like most mom’s, I struggle with my identity outside of being a parent.

The world makes you strive to be more than “just a mom.” Oh, you’re just a mom? It’s probably the most gut wrenching part of a conversation for me because not only does it downplay all the hard work I put in into being a mother but it suggests that I am unfulfilled and need to be striving to be more. I feel like I will always struggle with this as I have so many goals and aspirations that are outside of motherhood for me. But for now, they have to be on hold. Yes, for now I am “just a mom.” But for now being “just a mom” is more than enough for me. Because my babies need me now, and everything else can wait because I promised to put them first when I chose to become a mother. And as long as the Lord will allow me, I will do just that. For God promised me that if I put my trust in Him, He will supply all my needs. (Psalm 84:12) (Proverbs 3: 5-6) (Philippians 4:19) (Matthew 6:31 -32)

So, for you momma’s who are struggling with getting time for yourselves, just to feel like a person again. Remember that your sacrifices are accounted for and one day you will have all the time in the world. Because babies become adolescents, and adolescents become young adults, and young adults venture off to college and leave mommy all alone. In this moment, you are tired and it’s hard but this too shall pass. So hang in there and don’t loose hope. It’s something I have to constantly remind myself as I’m running on fumes constantly and refilling my coffee cup. But their sweet little faces are worth it. I find my worth in them and in what Jesus has called me to be for them. A selfless, devoted (and sometimes very cranky) mother. (2 Kings 4:30) (John 3:30)

What you do is more than enough. Who you see in the mirror might not look like the person you used to be, but to your children you are everything. And that is more important than how the world may see you now.

The Struggles of an Ambitious Stay At Home Mother

I feel like I am at a crossroad in my life where I will soon have to make a decision of whether I want to continue to be a stay at home parent or go back in to the working field.

Because I have worked most of my life, the transition of becoming a stay at home parent was a lot more difficult than I anticipated. I always dreamed of being able to stay home with my children, I fantasized about how wonderful it would be while playing my own version of Mary Poppins in my head. But the reality is, that being a stay at home parent is difficult. Although it is rewarding and beautiful, it is a tough journey – sometimes even thankless with long, never ending hours. To top it off, it can be financially nerve wrecking especially since you are no longer contributing with a paycheck. The months of penny pinching become stressful and as a mother, you naturally put yourself last to make sure everyone else gets what they need first. Momma bear always makes sure her cubs get fed so luxuries such as shopping, salon visits, manicures…well, they are a thing of the past.

It can be incredibly taxing to go day after day of just doing without and putting yourself last. It can definitely take a toll on you emotionally. You look in the mirror to see a stranger with funky looking hair and deep eye circles starring back at you. Someone you just don’t recognize anymore. You start to question where the old “you” went; the go getter, the sharp looker, the woman who was always on top of things. Now you’ve become the lady with “mom brain,” wearing long shirts and leggings, covered in baby spit up.

But it’s all worth it right? I mean, children are everything?

Yes, they are. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children more than anything in this world. I can’t physically be away from my children for too long without completely freaking out. Watching them grow up to be these amazing tiny humans is a gift that I will forever be grateful for. But, there are times where I feel that my potential as a career driven individual is going to waste. I want to be able to contribute to my family in a way where my children will be able to have more opportunities when they are older, and in order for me to be able to give them that – I would have to go back into the working field. But the longer I stay home, the less work experience I am able to attain.

Sometimes, I see some of my past colleagues and their career accomplishments and I feel like I need to be out there. I mean, there are working moms out there who do it all…why can’t I? As a woman of faith, I am called to manage my home. And can I really do that while working outside the home? I believe that is one of my hardest struggles. I know there are women of faith who do work due to financial circumstances so then why am I struggling with such mom guilt?

I think when it comes down to it, we are called to be selfless, to give ourselves to our families and put their needs first. I know this is how God has designed the home to be. Do I see the blessings that have come forth due to me following this example? Yes, I definitely have. I believe I struggle with the definition of success. Most people feel they need to succeed financially and in career driven environments in order to feel successful in life. But, we forget how important it is to raise happy, healthy humans so we write it off.

The truth is that, one will always suffer. If you go back to work, yes your family will get less of you. You may have to hire a babysitter and a housekeeper. One day, I may have to do that and I am trying my best not to guilt trip myself for it because it’s just a process of life that doesn’t mean I love my family any less. I know I can’t have it all. But I want to be able to provide a bigger space that my children may one day enjoy. So until that day comes, I will try to enjoy every snuggle, every boo boo that needs to be kissed, every bed time swinging where my arms feel like they are going to give out on me. The truth is that I am just another over protective mother who is probably overthinking this whole thing. A mother that is just trying to make the best decisions for her family. I just want to do what is right for them, and make the best decisions in order to provide a better future for them.

 

Life With 2 Under 2: First Month

It’s definitely been a while since I’ve gotten the chance to sit down and actually write a blog post. Every day is different and I definitely have my hands full so writing or posting has become less of a priority. To say that I get busy is an understatement because, I can add more busy to my currently extremely busy…if that makes sense?

My first month of having two under two has definitely been memorable. Your emotions range from happiness, to sleep deprived, and spiral into guilt really quickly.  One of the things I have struggled with the most is mom guilt. When I had my first son, I was able to devote all my attention to him. All my love was freely poured into him and now that I have added to my family, it is very easy to see where I start to fall short.

My second son does not get all my attention, he sparingly gets mommy snuggles and smiles. Aside from nursing him, he doesn’t get much mommy cuddles because his older brother needs me too – which constantly makes me feel very sad. My older son is getting close to turning two (ah yes, the terrible two’s are coming) and he seems to be requiring everything “right now” and all my attention  at all times – which can become very exhausting. Some days, when the baby is colicky and needs more of my attention, my toddler – even though he hides it very well – starts getting a little jealous. He starts acting out, jumps on me while I’m holding the baby, and can just be very difficult to be around. As soon as I put the baby down for a nap, there he is, waiting for me with his hands up in the air asking for me to pick him up. And how could I refuse him with his cute little face and big brown eyes as he looks up at me? Even though I may be exhausted and have to pee, I hold it in and just pick him up for a little bit. He’s still a baby. My baby.

It gets tougher when he starts to act up and I have to scold him or put him in time out because he doesn’t understand why things have changed and why I can’t tend to him right away. “Mommy has to pick up the baby because the baby is crying” as he cries while holding on to my neck, screaming “no momma, no!” It can truly be heartbreaking. If I get lucky enough to have them take a nap at the same time, momma finally gets to take a nap after only getting possibly four hours of sleep that night! Ah yes, the night time feedings of the newborn stage – cant say that was something I missed.

To sum it up – life with two under two kind of feels like a tag team match. Once you put one down, the other one tags you right back in. It’s a constant push and pull, a never ending guilt trip but at the same time, there are so many touching moments. Like when your oldest stops running around while the baby wakes up and gasps “ah, baby…cute!” Or when he comes up to the baby and gives him a big hug and kiss. Lights up my heart. Just knowing that one day, these two will be the best of friends is what gives me the fuel to not bash my head in at 3 in the morning while the baby wakes up the toddler and they are both crying for me to come get them. Sheesh! But most importantly, how they have helped me grow as a person, helped me see my strengths and weaknesses – and even with those, I have maintained being able to keep them alive? Thank you sweet Jesus for not only the heartwarming times, but also for the ongoing struggles that help make me stronger. A stronger mother, a better mother, a hot mess – but even with my weaknesses, they still love me, they still need me. Amen to that!

Jord Wooden Watches – For The Modern, On The Go Mom

I am not one to over accessorize. I usually just have one to two bracelets and a hair tie wrapped around my wrist at all times. That is the extent of my mom accessory style. To me, watches either look too sporty or too fancy on my wrist so searching for the perfect combination was either a hit or miss.

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Being that I am always on Instagram, I had come across the company Jord Wooden Watches and got to look at their selection of watches. I had never owned a wooden watch, and the idea seemed so innovative and eco friendly to me which made me very intrigued. As I looked through their gorgeous selection, I was drawn to the Frankie and the Fieldcrest the most – but ultimately decided that the Fieldcrest in the tone of dark sandalwood was for me.

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What I love about Jord watches is that I can wear mine with a fancy outfit, or just my usual mom uniform of a t-shirt and jeans – and it just works! It looks great paired with any outfit, for any occasion. I love that it is versatile in that way and I don’t have to over think it. With other watches, I’m limited to what outfit I can wear each with and I’m so glad that I don’t have that problem anymore. As mom that is always on the go, I’m glad that I’ve eliminated that process.

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Just opening my Jord package, not only does it come in a very well thought out wooden box – but it is so modern in its design. Just looking at the watch and its fine craftsmanship makes me proud to own and wear one on my wrist. If you have not checked this company out, I encourage you check them out here. You will not regret the purchase, and they make perfect gifts!

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Don’t just take my word for it, but enter HERE for a chance to win a

$75 e-voucher to a watch of your choice!!!!

on the JORD site.

Even those that don’t win will still get a $20 e-gift card to use on the site!!

What do you have to loose??

This post was sponsored by Jord Wood Watches

 

Date Night with The Husband

It has been just about 2 years since my husband and I have been able to indulge in a date night together. For the past 2 years, it has been all about baby and we rarely get to have any alone time for one another. With our soon to be addition of baby number two, a kind soul at the church we go to offered to watch our little one so we could get some alone time and although hesitant – I knew it was very much needed for us.

Before having my first son, my husband and I would always have a date night. Enjoying each others company and allowing for romance to sweep us off our feet was the norm. Then our son came along and our priorities shifted – our love did not stop for one another but I do think it left us with a feeling of longing for one another. I know I missed having all of my husband’s attention and I know he felt the same way in some instances.

I was finally able to wear a purse that was not a diaper bag or that had any sippy cups and diapers in it. It’s the little things that make you feel so free. My husband opened the car door for me, which is something I completely forgot he used to do, but made me feel so very special. We went to dinner at a wonderful sushi restaurant and were able to actually enjoy a meal without having to pick up food pieces off the floor and asking my toddler to calm down and stop screaming. It was liberating, yet something was missing.

The loud noise in the backseat yelling for cookies and car ride snacks was missing. My husband from time to time would jokingly say, “Hmm, is he knocked out back there, did he fall asleep or something?” We brushed off the feeling and continued on about our plans.

All the while enjoying ourselves, we realized how much we missed our son. He had become such a prominent part of our lives, although sometimes very disruptive and stressful – he was the little light that was missing. Because we became a family when he was born, and although my husband and I miss having each other’s full attention at times – we have morphed into something so much greater.

I think it’s still very important to have a date night with your spouse, not ONLY to keep your marriage healthy, full of love, and to keep the romance going. But also, so you can realize the blessings in your life. Having children is not easy, some days you want to rip your hair out and just run away and lock yourself in the bathroom. But the joy and love that comes with them is so irreplaceable.

God calls us to keep our marriages strong. To love your spouse before ourselves and it felt good to do that. I guess I am just so grateful to be doing marriage with someone that is on the same page as me. Someone I don’t have to convince to love our children and be a part of their every day moments. Someone who is equally yoked as myself, shares the same desire to love Jesus and be a servant of God.  We are not perfect, but our love for each other feels perfect. I feel I have so much to be grateful to God for, so undeserving of all this love and all the blessings he sends our way.

When it was finally time to pick our son back up, I think we both raced each other out of the car to see who got to the door faster. I left the car door open with my purse hanging out! As we saw his beautiful little face through the house mirror, as he threw his hands up in the air and gave his welcome “HI” – I think my heart melted. I live for those moments. Those moments where finally seeing you is the best thing in the world to them. My 35 weeks pregnant and hurting butt picked his heavy little self up and could not stop kissing his face. Like the first day he was born, always showered in kisses.

A Letter to My First Son

My brave little AJ,

Ever since you entered this world, you were a force to be reckoned with. You let yourself be known, told everyone who was boss, with your little Chewbacca rrr’s.

You’ve been strong willed since you were in my belly, never letting me eat anything you didn’t approve of. Heck, I couldn’t eat until around 6 months! You and I have always had a journey – it was just us two for two months or so while your daddy made a way for us in our new home in Washington.

You see, you have always been in my heart and on my mind. It was you I held on to when I was lonely, and I still do. I rely on your gentle hugs and kisses, you seem to understand me in a way I can’t describe.

You were the one I was hoping for, the one who healed my broken heart when I lost your first sibling…who now rests in heaven with Jesus. The hope of you got me through it all, and when you came into this world – you changed me more than I would ever know.

I held on to you, every step of the way. Impatiently waiting for your arrival. The bond that we share is beyond my simple understanding as I would shield you with my body, with my very own life I would anything to protect you little man. I love you with all my heart, soul, and very existence.

And now here we are, mommy expecting another little and you are soon to be a big brother! Mommy never expected in her wildest dreams that she could have another and although I am beyond excited for this wonderful addition, my heart breaks for the days that you will miss just having all of me – because now you will have to share me.

Although I know you are going to make an amazing older brother, I know some days will be hard for you. It breaks my heart that you will have days where you might feel alone, or left to the side. But know that you are irreplaceable to me. Having another baby will never change the love that I have for you. While watching you be a loving brother, I know my love for you will only grow.

So please remember, on the days where you feel sad because mommy couldn’t get to you as soon as you needed, know that it’s not because I love you less. Don’t believe that, find comfort in the fact that mommy knows you are an independent little guy and mommy relies on you now through this journey. You are becoming a big boy now, and as hard as that is for mommy to accept – I know you are only going to excel and do great things.

You will always be my baby, my first baby, the one I prayed for the most. The one that I shed countless tears for, the one that I was the most cautious with. God blessed me with you and I know He knew what He was doing when he brought you into my life.

Thank you for helping me realize who I truly am during all these trying times, thank you for bringing so much love and joy in to my life. Thank you for forgiving me when I loose my patience with you, you are so forgiving and loving with mommy – I honestly don’t deserve you.

I love you more than words could ever describe.

Love,

Mommy

 

Make Friends While You Drive with CarMoji by MotorMood

Being on the road could be very stressful sometimes, especially when you are driving by angry drivers full of road rage. When I used to get cut off by other drivers, lets just say I would have my choice of colorful metaphors to exchange with them. Now that I’m a parent, I try to just keep it as calm as possible so that I prevent any accidents because I have my kiddos to keep safe.

That is why I think the CarMoji is such a unique product. MotorMood has come up with such a fun product that any driver can use! The CarMoji is a light up “emoji” face that you attach to the rear mirror. You simply touch the remote button that is placed on your window visor (much like a garage door opener) and your CarMoji lights up its pretty little emoji face.

The CarMoji has interchangeable color faces, I have the blue and the red face – which works best at night for me since my car windows are tinted. There are also other emoji faces available, as well as a “thumbs up” icon. The remote is battery operated but the neat thing is that you only have to replace the AA batteries about twice a year.

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https://youtu.be/3XlFHF9grNM

Honestly, it makes driving something to look forward to and my son loves seeing the CarMoji face light up! I got a few friendly waves from using it, making friends on the road – now that’s something new for me!

So”kill them with kindness” if you will. Or use it as another way to give a friendly thank you to that driver who let you in the lane the very last second. Check MotorMood here out and get yourself a CarMoji! Make sure to use coupon code “THANKSGISELLA” to get $5.00 off your purchase!!

 

Printed and Proper

I always try to stay true to myself and my personal style. I love rocking graphic tee’s that express more than just a trend, but that just personally get me and exude my personality. Now to find both of those things in a brand and on top of it, add faith to its purpose – I’m sold!

Printed and Proper not only offers pieces with a purpose but some of the shirts have some of the most funny slogans for us foodies who just love to laugh and a good eat. When scrolling through the brand’s site, it was really hard to just narrow it down to just two pieces to pick out because her line is so adorable and has a broad range of cute tees to fit any personality. Whether you are strong in your faith, need a rocking mom power tee, or are just looking for a shirt to express how much tacos mean to you – this is the shop to buy from!

One of the first pieces that stood out to me was the “Be You Bravely” tee. One of the reasons this piece resonated with me was the Bible verse that it represented – which is:

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2

This is one of my favorite Bible verses, mostly because as a young girl and throughout me growing as a Christian – I felt the tug and pull of being a Christian in this modern world. Being of the flesh but trying to live in Christ is a huge challenge, especially for young girls. It is important to “not conform” to what this world expects of young women, many things that are not godly – such as premarital sex, promiscuity, vanity, etc. I have always struggled to be myself, sometimes not so bravely – so I feel this shirt is an awesome message for not only young women, but all women. Because even when you grow up and become mothers and wives, we still have to hold true to the will of God and the examples we have to uphold in Christ.

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I also fell in love with the t-shirt “Taco’s Are My Love Language” because, well who doesn’t love tacos? I know I do, I especially gravitated towards this graphic tee because tacos has been my number one craving this pregnancy. So, it was only natural to pick this baby up!

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Audrey Deprenbok is the shop owner, and she is seriously the sweetest person you will ever meet! Her packaging is adorable, well thought out and personalized to make you feel extra special. Great customer service always has me wanting to come back for more – which I definitely will be back for more! Not to mention, the fabric of both the shirts I received were so soft and the cuts are very trendy! So I encourage every one of you to check out her shop, here – and she is also on Etsy. Make sure to use coupon code “GKNOWSBEST” to get a special discount! Make sure to shop small business ya’ll!

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Until next time!

~G