Growin' Like a Weed!

That's what I say every time someone asks me how Charlotte is doing because, really, she is!

Sweet Charlotte, I can't believe you've been here for 3 months already. I was just telling Daddy the other day that sometimes it doesn't seem possible that we have a baby, let alone a 3 month old! You're doing so many fun things lately... Like smiling, laughing, "talking," trying to sit up {oh, you're trying SO hard!}, and trying to roll onto your tummy.  We love you so much and love watching you grow even though it's a little bittersweet. I know you'll never understand when we say things like "stop growing so much!" But you're just growing so quickly...it's hard to keep up!

My little bean is still just that - little. At her doctor's appointment earlier this month, she weighed 9lbs, 9oz! See? A bean. She's still in size 1 diapers and fitting very well into her 0-3 month clothes, except for pants and skirts. She still fits into NB for those because her waist is so tiny. {No clue where she got that!} I have a feeling that she'll be needing 3 month sleepers before long, though. She's got long legs and big feet like her momma! {Poor girl.}

She's still sleeping through the night - thank you, Babywise! Now we're working on getting her to sleep longer stretches at night. It's a slow, but beneficial process.

She's eating every 3-4 hours during the day, and sometimes every 2 during growth spurts. And let me tell you, those growth spurts are rough!

At her doctor's appointment, the doctor suggested we try putting Charlotte on Zantac. For the few weeks before that, she would scream every time I fed her. She'd start of okay, but then she would pull back, scream, arch her back....and getting her to eat on the other side? Almost pointless. She was also spitting up a lot, but she'd spit up from day 1 so I didn't really think about it. By the time we went to the doctor, I was ready to try anything that might help. I'd already tried gripe water and gas drops to no avail. I was still hesitant about the Zantac, but I figured trying it for a couple weeks wouldn't hurt. One week in and Charlotte was a different kid. She stopped spitting up almost completely, she burped easily, slept a little better, and didn't fuss while eating. Hallelujah! I'm not exactly thrilled that she's on prescription medication this early, but really? I'm thankful she's doing better.

She started "talking" to us at the end of May/beginning of June. On June 3, she laughed - really laughed - for the first time! Then about the 2 or 3rd week in June, she started really talking. She's getting very chatty - and very loud - these days, but I don't have a problem with it. I love hearing her voice. {Feel free to remind me of this when she's 3 and running around the house screaming, ok? =P}

Just a couple weeks ago I noticed that when I held her on my lap, she'd try to sit up a bit. She pulls her legs up and torso forward and if I'm not paying attention she'll slump right over. =P I'll admit that one time she fell over on the couch because I was trying to photograph the moment. Haha! I guess it's a good thing she won't be able to remember this! Anyway, we finally went out and got her a Bumbo so she could really practice sitting up.

And a couple days later I noticed that she's started trying to lift her head while she's laying on her back!!! I swear this girl is trying to do everything at once! I know it'll be a while before she really succeeds at sitting up, but I'm impressed that she's trying so hard. <--- Proud mama here. ;-)

I really can't believe my sweet girl is 3 months old already! She's doing all these fun new things and even though I'm excited about them, I'm a little sad to see her getting bigger. I guess that's just part of motherhood. I suppose I'll just have to try and enjoy it while I can! And I'm pretty sure I can enjoy this sweet smiling face for a while longer. =)

I mean, come on. Who doesn't love that face?! =D


Leading Lady - A Review

A couple weeks ago, I was contacted by Leading Lady to do a review of their lovely bras.*

Leading Lady is a premiere intimate apparel company dedicated to creating comfortably functional, remarkably affordable, stylish and easy-to-wear bras, camis and sleepwear. A family owned and operated business, Leading Lady has been expertly tailoring nursing and full figure bras for top brands and retailers across North America for more than 70 years. Leading Lady’s comprehensive line of nursing and full figure intimates – including sexy stretch lace wire-free and underwire bras, supportive and seamless sport and yoga bras, and cozy sleep and leisure bras – can be purchased directly on LeadingLady.com.

Leading Lady is proud to celebrate “Leading Ladies” everywhere through its products, programs and philanthropic activities. Leading Lady is committed to supporting military families, as well as a variety of organizations and issues relevant to women across the country. Follow Leading Lady on FacebookTwitter and Google+.

I have been having the hardest time finding nursing bras that are pretty, a bit stylish, while also giving me the support I need. After taking a glance at their website, I was eager to do this review! Needless to say I ordered two of their nursing bras and not-so patiently awaited their arrival. Fortunately they arrived quickly (especially for mail coming to Hawaii) and I was able to see them in person. Here are the two I ordered:

First, I ordered this Molded Seamless Wirefree bra:

I chose this one because, honestly, I needed a good bra that gave me good shape. A lot of wirefree nursing bras don't give you much shape - if any. I am happy to say that this one does exactly what I wanted it to do! It makes the girls look good and it still gives me the ability to feed my little one easily. One thing I really love is that the clasp is easy to undo when it's time to nurse. Sometimes when I buy a new nursing bra the clasp is really...sticky...until it's sort of broken in. Not so with this one!

For my second choice, I decided I'd get something pretty - this Lace Wirefree bra:

Isn't it pretty?! I love it. =) Not only is it pretty, but it's also really comfy. It fits really well and it also has this nice, soft material on the inside. If I'd had one of these when Charlotte was first born, I might have worn it all the time. I think it probably would have felt nice when my nipples were super sore. (TMI?)

I'm very happy with both of the bras that I ordered. I did, however, order a different size than their site's calculator suggested. It suggested I order a B cup, but since I was a B pre-pregnancy and grew to a D during pregnancy, I decided to order a C. I was a bit concerned about the fit before I got them, but it worked out perfectly! I figure since my body has changed so much in the last year, I probably shouldn't be surprised that I'm a different size again. The only thing I'm wishing now is that I'd ordered a nursing cami too!

If you'd like to check out Leading Lady's site, they offer more than just nursing bras. Also, starting July 1, Leading Lady is offering Military Family and Friends a 20% discount site wide, using the code MBLOG20 at checkout.

I hope you enjoy their products as much as I am!

*Leading Lady provided me with two bras in exchange for review. These views are my own.


Reading Truth

A couple days ago, I stumbled upon a blog. I still don't even know how I found it. Does that ever happen to you? You're reading a blog, click on a link...then another...and another and suddenly you're on a page and can't remember how you got there? It's happened to me too many times to count in the almost 3 years I've been blogging. Anyway, I'm seriously glad I stumbled upon this blog.


The name of the blog - if you haven't caught it already - is She Reads Truth. Basically, it's a blog that gets women together to read (and discuss) the Bible. Awesome, right!?

Truth be told, I've been severely slacking on reading the Bible and doing any sort of devotional. And I can't even blame birthing a child for that because it went back further than that. I attempted a couple Bible studies/devotionals while I was pregnant, but couldn't stick with one. I've also tried starting reading plans and devotionals on my Bible app (YouVersion), but those haven't stuck either. I've even had the daily reading emailed to myself in an attempt to keep up, but obviously that hasn't worked either. I knew that I needed something but I guess I just hadn't found it yet.

When I found this blog, I knew almost immediately that I should start. I read a little bit about the blog and authors, and then I looked up their newest devotional/reading plan on YouVersion. I was sold! And if that wasn't enough, the online community keeps me wanting to read. They're on Twitter, Instagram, and (obviously) blog land.

I started the new plan just a few days ago and I can already tell a difference in myself. I'm wanting to read, wanting to research and wanting to grow in my faith. It's not a whole bunch of reading to do, which is really my main problem when it comes to reading plans and devotionals. If I have to read several passages I either try to fly through it (and don't get much out of it) or I get really bogged down and can't focus. With this, there's a little bit of scripture reading and a little bit of teaching, the rest (the soul-searching) is up to me.

A snippet of today's reading I posted to Instagram.

I feel like this is something that speaks to my everyday life, especially things I've been struggling with. The readings I've done so far have really encouraged me and helped me figure out what's really behind things I've been dealing with lately. 

I just wanted to share this with you guys - not because anyone asked me to, but because it's helping me and I thought it might help some of you too. Especially if you're like me and struggle to keep up with Bible readings.

Oh, and you don't have to have YouVersion's app to join in on the reading. You can find it online, too - just click here. =)



One year ago today, I was experiencing the amazing thing that happens after a deployment: homecoming.

It's hard to believe that he's been home for a year. Time goes by so much faster when he's home. During the deployment, I felt like time wasn't moving fast enough for me. Now? Now I just want time to slow the heck down!! 

I am so thankful that time in our lives is over {though we don't know if/when he'll be deployed again}. I'll never forget the overwhelming sense of relief I had when I was in his arms again - those 12 long months of stress and worry finally behind us.

And when we were finally able to be together again, amazing things happened. We reconnected (though it wasn't easy), we visited family, and - probably the best thing ever - we found out we were having this precious girl. =)

It's been an amazing year. I just wish it hadn't gone by so quickly! 


Daddy's Day

Happy first Father's Day to an amazing daddy. 

I never had any doubts that Joe would be a great dad.

He's been amazing, sweet and helpful since the moment he laid eyes on our girl.

Just a few days after she was born, he brought her flowers because he wanted to be the first one to do so. =)

He loves to play with her...

Or just hang out with her.

I love watching him hang out and play with our little girl. I can't wait to see their relationship when she gets older. 
(I have a good feeling that she's gonna be a daddy's girl through-and-through. =))

Happy Father's Day to the best husband and daddy two girls could ask for!



I called my dad yesterday. During blow-out with my mom a couple weeks ago, things about my dad's feelings were revealed... To be honest, I'm not really sure why I called him. I didn't feel ready to talk to him about...things, but for some reason I did anyway. I know now that God was telling me to call him. I couldn't have survived that phone call any other way.

I sort of called with the agenda of checking on my mom - she had knee surgery yesterday. But of course, Dad took the opportunity to fill in all the blanks Mom left during our, um, chat. Some of his complaints are understandable, while the rest are just ridiculous and bizarre. 

To start off, he's still upset that we moved to NC right after we got married. It was always Joe's goal/dream to move back after graduating college, and he told me this when we were talking about getting married. At first I completely balked at the idea. Leave my family, my home, everything I've known for the last 20 years?! But after a while, the idea grew on me and I realized that I really did want to get away from the place I grew up. I needed something different. Anyway, I never really communicated that to my family which I guess was - and is - my fault. So they basically see the situation as Joe wanted to move to NC and I went with him because I wanted to be with him, not because I actually wanted to. Dad's actual words were, "he said he was moving to NC and you could come or not." Not exactly the case, but I suppose I can see where they came up with that.

And now, because we moved to NC and I actually like spending time with my in-laws, I have "abandoned" my family. We spend more time with his family, supposedly, and we like them better. Oh, and here's a ridiculous, very 12 year old, complaint: I don't post hardly any pictures of MY family on FB. Seriously, y'all, I can't make this stuff up. He actually said that. And, yeah, it's true. But my family hates to take pictures. It's like pulling teeth. Rest assured that the next time I'll be annoying them with my camera and posting all the bad photos on FB. Just for spite.

The rest of the things he said were really meant to push my buttons. Basically, I'm not the person I used to be. I guess they think people can't/shouldn't change? He thinks that I started changing when I started hanging out with my bestie my senior year of high school/freshmen year of college. Well, maybe the two are just coincidental. Generally speaking, people start changing when they get into college and are introduced to different people and different ways of thinking. But since he never went to college and can't understand that, he's willing to place the blame on my change in personality/thinking on a person I became close friends with. 

He even went so far as to tell me that I have none of my own thoughts because I've changed so much. That because I am a SAHM and want to homeschool my kids, I'm trying to be like my husband's family. "Because Sarah never wanted to do those things." And he's right, I didn't. I never had any desire to be a SAHM before I was married. I planned to send my kids to public school before I got pregnant. But people change. More accurately, God changed MY HEART. My dad won't respond well to me saying such things, so I can't tell him that God revealed to me when I was pregnant that I should teach my children, not someone else. I can't tell him that God changed my heart about staying home with my babies. I can't tell him because I'm not sure he'd understand. And because he can't understand, he says things like I wasted 4 years in college. That I should've gotten married at 18 and not gone to college if I "just wanted to be a barefoot and pregnant housewife." Those were his actual words. 

It wasn't until I was talking to Joe later, that I realized something. My parents want me to be something I'm not. They want me to be exactly like them. They're not bad people, they're just not who I want to be. I can't be like them. I can't go to church and act one way, then come home (or go to work) and act another. I can't talk to people they way they talk to me. (Although it is tempting to talk the same way to them.) I can't take their advice on most things, because the way they live isn't how Joe and I want to live. We don't agree on a lot of things - money, church, homeschooling, careers, you name it. I'm sure they're disappointed. There's nothing wrong with being like/wanting to be like my in-laws. They're just different than my family. Honestly, they're easier to be around and not just because I don't have to field 90 million questions about why I'm not doing things their way. They respect our decisions (or at least they appear to ;-)) and they offer us sound advice.

All I can say is that I know God was behind that conversation. I know things were aired that needed to be and, thankfully, Dad was pretty calm and respectful... Well, other than those things about me just being a barefoot and pregnant housewife. The real miracle is that I was able to pretty much let things slide. I barely got agitated, which is rare when Dad and I have a heated discussion. I barely got a word in, which is very normal and also why I can't even try correct his incorrect assumptions, but at least he got out what he needed to say.

So I'm not sure I can do anything to resolve this situation with my parents. I can't convince them of, well, anything. I can't apologize for things I didn't do wrong. I did tell him a couple times that I was sorry he felt that way, and I think that's all I can really do. I can't apologize for wanting to spend time with pleasant people. I can't apologize for changing when that change is from God and for the best. My MIL emailed me a few days ago about all this and said there are some people with whom you just can't make things right. I have a feeling my parents are these people. 

I don't really know where we go from here, but here is where we are. When I really think about the relationship I have with my parents, it makes me a little sad. It also makes me envious of people who have fantastic relationships with their parents. This morning I read a post by someone who has a great relationship with her dad. It was his birthday and she wrote some beautiful things she learned from him.  Things I wish I could say I learned from my dad...about God and life as a Christian. Sure, my parents took me to church, but I don't remember ever having very in-depth discussions about following and living in God's will. It hurts my heart to think about all the opportunities we missed (and still are missing, I suppose) to share our faith. My grandparents and I share this, but not my parents. I don't understand why, but that's the way it is.

Anyway. Nothing has been solved and I'm not sure it will ever be solved. Maybe it's not supposed to be. All I know is that I'm going to keep living the way I am and I can't apologize for it.


Pray Together, Stay Together

If you've been in church longer than 5 minutes, I'm sure you've heard this common phrase. It also happens to be something Joe and I believe.

With all the junk going on in our lives lately, Joe and I have really been wanting to do a Bible study. Not just any study, and not just picking up the Bible and reading something. We both do better if we have a little bit of "homework" to do for a study, kind of like we did when we had premarital counseling. The problem is, we have no idea what study to do.

I've searched for studies on Amazon and a few other places, but we just can't seem to find anything worthwhile. That may be because we can't actually pick it up and thumb through it or it could be because we just don't know what we need. Either way, we could use a little help.

Source: google.com via Sarah on Pinterest

We'd really like to get into a good habit of reading the Bible and praying together. Not only will it be great for our marriage, it'll be good for Charlotte too. Since she's come into the world, we're realizing more and more how important it is that we have a good marriage and good relationship with God (not really in that order, though). If we're modeling good behavior for her now, when she's an itty bitty baby, it's going to be easier for us to do it when she's older. And when she gets to an age where she's able to understand and question, we're planning to do a family devotion time. =)

So have any of you done a bible/book study with your hubbies? If you have and you loved it, please share!

P.S. Thanks for all of your sweet comments on my last post about Mom drama. I hope you'll continue to say prayers for me in that area....I need it!


Save the Drama for Your Mama

Or in my case, Leave the Drama to Your Mama.

It's been a while since I mentioned my mom coming to visit. She was here for 4 days last week. Yup, 4. And somehow during that short time, she managed to push all my buttons and things in our already-tense relationship just exploded.

For a few weeks before she flew out here, she told me of some things she wanted to do while she was visiting. Things like going to the beach, Pearl Harbor and a couple other touristy things. These things are not bad, but in fact expected when anyone comes to Hawaii. However, she was not just coming to Hawaii. She was {supposedly} coming to see Charlotte and I and spend time with us. About a week ago, she informed me that she wasn't going to be able to rent a car when she was visiting because she didn't have the money - even though my dad just bought her a brand spankin' new car and a Vegas trip after she left Hawaii. She asked if we would have the money to rent a car and I flat-out told her no. So the result was that we'd have to do things while Joe was home in the mornings {remember the silly swing shift he's on? PT at 1430, work from 1730-0130}.

I had hoped that once she got here, she'd realize that getting Charlotte out and about was/is difficult and she'd want to just hang out at home with us. Well, I really shouldn't have gotten my hopes up. It turns out, she came to see Hawaii and then she wanted to spend time with us. Every day she was here it was, "I want to do x, y, and z. Do you think we'll be able to go see 'y' today? I really want to see 'y'. Can we do 'z' too? You only get to see Hawaii once!"

By Tuesday night (she arrived on Sunday), I about had all I could take. Joe lovingly stepped in for me during one of her "Can we see 'x' tomorrow?" rants and told her we could if it fit into our schedule. He had to go back in for a PT test the next morning, and the day before there was some sort of change of command ceremony we didn't hear about until the night before. You know how it is with the military, things change daily and sometimes hourly. Anyway. Apparently, this upset her because when I came back in the living room after getting Charlotte, Mom was outside all upset.

She came back in after about 10 minutes or so and started in on how she just wanted to see Hawaii. I told her - in a very nice, calm manner - that I would really just rather she want to stay home and hang out with us. {Because, really, that's when Charlotte is the happiest.} I told her I understood her want/need to see the island, but it's just hard for me because all I do is worry about Charlotte when we're out - is she hungry/sleepy/wet/dirty/why won't she eat?! After several minutes of us going back and forth - and her expressing concerns about Joe's feelings toward her - she went back outside. I asked Joe to go out and talk to her {he'd been in our room, trying to sleep} because I was in the middle of feeding Charlotte.

I don't know what was said out there, but Mom came back inside all fired up. It was unbelievably awful. If you follow me on Twitter, you might have caught a couple of my tweets from that night. We argued about everything from why she came to visit {and why my dad didn't} to things that happened before Joe and I were even married. I was accused of not loving my family, abandoning them when I got married, and basically being a bad daughter. Oh, and I'm pretty sure she resents the fact that I'm so close to my in-laws. I'm guessing she wanted me to not like them so much? I don't know. Nothing was really resolved that night... I gave up trying to talk to her around midnight. I was exhausted mentally and physically and I knew that Charlotte would be up in 5 or 6 hours.

When Charlotte woke up around 6:00, Mom was sort of up but didn't really say much to me. I went back to bed right after I fed her because I was so tired. Joe had gotten up at 5:00 for his PT test, so he was long gone. And when I got up for the day around 8:00, Mom had left a note saying she went for a walk. She came back a few minutes into Charlotte's feeding and I was honestly expecting some sort of talk about the previous night. Instead, I got the exact opposite. She acted like nothing had happened. She was overly chipper and talked about how great her walk was... It was bizarre. And not a word was mentioned about it for the rest of her stay. None. What. So. Ever.

I feel so confused and a tad bit guilty for everything blowing up while she was here. And also that we weren't able to do much in the way of tourism. But then I realize that she had 2 years to come here and play the tourist. When Joe was deployed, my parents took a trip to Vegas. I mentioned a few times that it wouldn't be that much more costly for them to come visit me. Hawaii is only a 6 hour plane ride from Vegas. I know, I've done it. I would've loved for them to be here while I was going through deployment. It would've been nice to have company. But, no, they didn't come. And I also realize that most family members would have 1) stayed for more than 4 days and 2) realized that we just can't pick up everything at the drop of a hat and do everything we/they want to do.

So now I just don't know what to do. Do I push the issue and try to solve things? Do I do as my parents are clearly doing and ignore it? I love my family, but sometimes I honestly wonder if I should even bother. I feel drained emotionally and spiritually. I'm searching for the answers only God can give, but I haven't found any yet. So if you've made it this far please say some many prayers for Joe and I. We so need it. The only way I'm getting through this is prayer, talking to my sweet hubby and watching my sweet little girl laugh and smile.

I love Instagram. =)



{This was supposed to post yesterday. On our actual anniversary. Sigh.}

Four years ago today, I was doing this:

Marrying the man of my dreams. =)

Sometimes it's hard to believe it's been four years. On the other hand, it feels like we've been together forever - in a good way.

We've been through a lot in four years...

We moved to our first home.

One year later, Joe enlisted, went to Basic and graduated.

6 months later, we moved to Hawaii.

And just two months later, I said "see you later" and set him off to Iraq.

{I still hate the sight of these buses.}

Then there was R&R.

And FINALLY, there was homecoming last year.

And 10 months later, we became parents this precious little girl.

It's been a wild ride, but I wouldn't trade any of it for the world!

Happy Anniversary to my sweet husband! I love you so much!