Bedtime Routines

I feel like a child standing in front her mom and dad, ears plugged screaming I’M NOT LISTENING!!

I’ve read article after article about getting babies on a schedule, getting them used to falling asleep with out rocking, making sure they don’t sleep too little or too much. I am so tired of trying to do everything the articles say and after weeks of trying I decided not to listen anymore.

I started rocking my son to sleep every night, and well really all day, while I hold him. He sits in swings and vibrating bassinets, he is swaddled every night and sleeps when ever he wants. With my first it was super easy to try and try and try for a schedule until it worked (and he was just a super chill baby), but now with a toddler running around and screaming a schedule is just not all that possible.

Hi, my name is Mackenzie and I’m addicted to schedules. It was so hard for me to just lay the whole schedule thing to rest. To trust that my sweet baby will still be just as perfect if I rock him to sleep every night just like if I didn’t. That he would be just as happy if he was held as much as possible or if I let him cry for 20 minutes in his chair because like I said I have a toddler running around. This was so hard, giving up the “perfect” schedule, letting what-ever happen.

Truth be told I am so beyond lucky and blessed that I chose (or did it choose me?) the unscheduled, rocking to sleep every night path. Now I get peaceful silence with my baby to cuddle, now I get time to read a short devotion on my phone as he falls asleep in my arms, now I get time to pray for his sweet soul and the rest of my beautiful family. All I know is that if the lord had blessed me with the most chill baby who went to sleep on his own, and didn’t need to be held all the time I wouldn’t have those amazing things I just listed.

Believe me, every other day I am tempted to retry a different schedule because its in my bones, but eventually just give up the thought…because right now I’m happy, with every extra cuddle and nap together, and early morning bottle feeding, I’m happy. I believe with out a shadow of a doubt that this is exactly the Lords plan. This sweet baby needing this extra love is just the lord telling me to slow down. Slow down and enjoy every moment, every morning, every smile because he wont be this little for long. My sweet toddler wont be this small for long either , my life will continue to change as does everyone’s. So for now I will be still in the silence of bedtime routines, I will seek the Gods word in my devo, I will pray for my family, I will slow down and enjoy life as it is right now because  we only get to enjoy this day once before we move on to the next.

With Love,

Mackenzie

Terrible Two’s

The terrible two’s, tantrum threes, fiendish fours…. I’m sure there are more but you get the point.

My DS (dear son) is a few months over two now and is creeping into being defiant, stubborn, and on occasion just terrible. Truth be told I have no idea how to handle it. I read articles every once in awhile about how to deal with this age but its easier said than done. I’m the worst at being consistent.

He honestly is so smart, and I know he understands me when I tell him not to do something and even provide good reason not to do it, but in his two year old brain its like he could care less!

In our house we handle this with mostly spankings and time outs but threaten taking away favorite toys occasionally. No specific order or number of warnings involved, and that may be the problem. No hard steps are followed before consequences come. I follow through with what I threaten and even give opportunities to take back the punishment that is given but still a lot of the time get no response from my DS to want to try and change his attitude or recognize his actions were wrong.

I guess its just a phase but how do I know if I’m doing this whole parent and punishment thing waaay wrong? How do I know that I’m not raising some evil person?? I don’t know.

What I do know is that I am doing my best to raise my sons and I Pray every day that God would lead and guide me to raise them. To raise them in the way that they should go, to raise them to bring light to His face. I pray that I will raise them to love everyone and be kind always. I’m not sure if there is one person, even an expert, who know this whole parenting thing or hasn’t made a mistake. I praise God I have his grace to rely on and so will my children. I will do everything I can to raise my sons right but knowing that the Lord has a plan for their life, knowing that my sons will receive his grace, forgiveness and love always makes it a little easier to go day to day because I might make mistakes as a parent but God, He doesn’t make mistakes as their heavenly father.

Love,

Mackenzie

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go;
Even when he is old he will not depart from it. 

Sharing the love

This post is very unplanned. Normally I like to think through what I might share on a weekly basis but this really wont go away… The other day I was laying in bed (not able to sleep as usual) thinking about everything and kinda filled with anxiety about most of it. The thought that my 25th birthday is coming up in September popped into my head and then so did thoughts of all the people in my life and how they are just really amazing people. Suddenly I felt God laying it on my heart for me to find a way to share those thoughts with those people.

…I think as we age we gain a lot of knowledge about who we are as people, even when we are constantly changing but never really get to hear how other people might see us. This thought led to another and next thing I know I am wanting to challenge myself and answer Gods call to share the love and step out of my comfort zone.

I want to challenge myself to start writing letters ( yes snail mail) to people in my life to let them know just how amazing they really are, I want to encourage them, I want them to be able to see themselves as others see them. Now, yes this sounds simple enough but as someone who is not keen on sharing feelings I felt like this was big deal and am pretty excited about it.

So for the next year (I will probably start before my birthday) I will be sending out these letters to friends, family, and even acquaintances so they know how truly loved and valued they are, not just in my eyes but in Gods eyes.

I challenge you, woman and men, of all ages to challenge yourself in one way or another every year for the entire year. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture but set out to do something that takes you out of your comfort zone, something that would mean a lot to your heart. I think this challenge will help me get feelings out that I’ve had for a long time that I just want people to know because I simply want to share the love. I hope you can challenge yourself to do the same, share the love.

Love,

Mackenzie

Hormones.

UGH. Postpartum Hormones. Can’t live with them can’t live without… no, just can’t live with them.

It’s been almost a month (WHAT?!?) since my second sweet blessing entered this world and if my normal emotions weren’t enough to give someone whip lash, the post partum hormone swings could have made someone fear for their life. I can’t help but laugh now but man I’m not kidding. Hormones are no joke and I’m not afraid to admit mine get pretty bad after having a baby.

The first two weeks were brutal. Between the irrational tears I struggled hard with guilt and shame. I went back and forth four times (no lie) with whether I would breastfeed, formula feed, or exclusively pump and that decision making made the guilt even worse.

The guilt of  being able to provide my son with the breastmilk but what if I chose not to (for personal reasons)? The shame because if I were to stop breastfeeding even though I was fully capable and others found out? I even lied to my lactation consultant at one point when I was going back and forth because I just didn’t want to be judged one more time. More guilt, more shame…. it just went on and on, back and forth for 3 weeks. My mind was in a constant whirl wind of choices and decisions. More than feeding options, I felt guilt and shame because of the time I wasn’t spending with my first born because of the attention my newborn needed. I got some nosey opinions from some, a lot of support from others, and some good intentioned but judgey comments from others because when you have a baby EVERYONE knows something. Thankfully at a month out my hormones have mostly evened out, and I no longer give a rats ass what others think of the decisions I made or how I came to make them because both my kids are fed, happy, thriving and tremendously loved.

While I have good days I still have bad days where the tears don’t come till late at night when everyone is asleep. I know it wont last forever so I spend a lot of my time praying. Thanking God for the blessings that surround me and praying for him to take the worries and fears that cloud my mind and cause my tears.

Remember whose you are when hard emotional times sweep over you. You are the daughters and sons of a King who goes before you and is with you always. Surround yourself with those who love you, seek God first in everything and you can’t go wrong. OH… and don’t make choices based on others opinions, do what’s best for you and yours.

Love,

Mackenzie

P.S.- Shout out to all my family and friends who listened to me vent and cry during these emotional few weeks, supported me, and helped feed our family and clean my house. You guys are the real MVP’s!

 

 

 

 

Solitude.

Peace and solitude. To me they go hand in hand. To know peace you must find it in solitude.

Weeks ago after waking up earlier than the rest of the house I snuck out for coffee and headed towards the beach with my devotion and prayer journal in hand. No specific hopes of finding peace in those moments of solitude sitting on the beach just wanted a chance to be alone, to read Gods word and to pray.

Clearly not knowing what God had in store I found my self reading a devotion that was literally written for me on that exact day. It was written about peace and finding it when you seek solitude. Often we don’t realize how vital it is for us to seek peace, or solitude or how ever you want to word it. Whether in devotional time, self reflection, or prayer we always should make time to find that solitude. To reach for that peace. I did that day and also came to the realization that it may not happen again for a while.

I was pregnant with a baby boy ( delivered 7/13/17) so I knew ahead of time I would find myself in a bustling life with two kids and no time for myself. I am blessed more than words can describe, being fully aware of that I owe it to myself, no to those who I am blessed by to always seek peace. For my patience and theirs, I have to make time for those moments of solitude. In prayer, devotion, or self reflection I am worth finding that peace and so are you.

Always remember what is important in life and when you do you’ll understand how important finding that peace is. You are worthy of the peace found in Christ, don’t forget that and don’t ignore it. Make time for you, always.

 

With love,

Mackenzie

 

**Stay tuned next week for the raw emotional struggles that come with having a sweet baby.

 

 

The sunflower effect

How often do you get a glimpse of something or a clear sign just reminding you how good God is? Oh all the time? yea me too…

Not that I need reminders of how good He is (because I do know), often times I’m too caught up in just the norm of everyday to bring it tot the front of my mind. The other day in the garden I was looking at the sunflowers I accidently planted (not an exciting story) and was just marveling over how bright and beautiful they are. Just thinking how God created these flowers and made them bright like the sun and full of things other creatures (like bees) need to keep this big world spinning.

…Fast forward to after my lunch when I returned to work…  I’m a full time student at Mount Olive and am coming up on graduation in December (PRAISE). I was emailing my advisor for some information about an upcoming class because I am about 2 weeks away from having a new born added to my already crazy busy life. She shortly emailed back mentioning that I could change the upcoming class from a seated class ( which I would have to take the baby to) to an online class which I could take from the comfort of my couch.

To say I was THRILLED is an understatement. I mean obviously this option was so much of a better choice given the place I was about to be in and I am so blessed! Guys this was obviously a God thing. With out a doubt. He always has his eye on us and knows what we need. I had no idea that option was even available and yet he still made it possible.

I’m super excited about what the next chapter holds. While continuing with school will be hard with a newborn, I have worked extremely hard to get where I am at and in two weeks I will fully be living the mom of two , full time worker and student life. I will most likely want to pull my hair out but I will be loving every single moment of it.

Always look for the sunflowers guys. Look for the bright in everything. Find God in what ever life is throwing at you even if nothing crazy is going on. Because He is there and it always provides great peace when you focus on Him and see his presence in all things, even in a flower.

With Love,

Mackenzie

Update: I recently mentioned some thing’s we were waiting on answers for. I know we reported a praise when baby Grayson went form being breech to head down on his own we also were monitoring my fluid levels which rose to a high level in a short amount of time. Mom and baby are both healthy but for fear of preterm labor or other complications we will be induced before the due date. This wasn’t the answer I hoped for but I have come to terms with this plan God has set out for us. We are expecting our blessing sooner than we thought and really who can complain about that??

 

Hurry Up And Wait…

Oh that never ending life cycle of “hurry up and wait”. When you are waiting for a scenario to play out but it could take a matter of days weeks or even months.

Being pregnant I have kind of been in that cycle for almost 9 months but now that we are officially in countdown mode with 4 SHORT weeks left its more intense than ever waiting for this little baby to join this family.

More than just pregnancy the past month or so have been a string of doctors telling me different things while having to wait for the next appointment to find out the results. Thank GOD I can breath on one result. Sweet stubborn Grayson was breech for a couple of weeks and the doctors were looking towards ECV (physically turning the baby) while not guaranteeing it could work. Praise the Lord because as of yesterday Baby G is no longer breech! WOO!

While we still have some more waiting to do for other things we know the Lords plan is the right plan and so we will wait…semi patiently.

…Hurry up and wait comes in the form of good scenarios too though so don’t worry. After being promoted in April I was given a series of tasks to take care of and have been given the great opportunity to be mentored by our company president. BUT now I have to hurry up and wait. I will train, I will go on maternity leave, and then finally return to work for more training and the potential for more mentoring and more growth in my career. Waiting for that is pretty difficult because it will be a series of months and years  but its all very exciting.

Guys, God is so good. We sit by worry about his plans instead of watching them play out. And seriously if you just watch, its amazing. Months and Months ago, for months, I would pray and pray for God to open doors for a new job if it was his plan. Some doors were closed, some I peeked through, some I didn’t even get the chance to open. Look what happened because I prayed and waited? God knows. He knows your desires, hears your prayers and always knows what is best. Just pray, believe and be patient.

 

With Love,

Mackenzie

 

P.S.- Check out these amazing Maternity Photos shot by the very talented Casey Lauren. Check out her Facebook page HERE

 

21 bw fb