Monday, December 28, 2015

Behind the White Dress Part I: Is This "Normal?"

The door slammed shut as he left angry and hurt and I stood crying and hurt once again. This wasn't the first time.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

"Mom, help!"

My son asks for help a lot....most frequently when I am driving. My answer normally resembles something like "Buddy, mommy can't right now because of......" There are times where I simply tell him no explaining that I know he can do it himself wanting him to have that personal victory (he gets so excited when he does do it himself). But then there are other times where he does need help, I am available, but it is a really non-important task For example, we are in a hurry to get home because the baby is fussy, as I am putting Levi in the car, his flipflop falls off but we are just driving home; he doesn't need it on. But he thinks he NEEDS it on. So "Ah mom!! Help!!" At first I started to say he was fine and it could wait until we got home, then I was convicted. Not that I was sinning in telling him to wait, but that his request was simple and I need to think of the future as well.

Monday, July 13, 2015

But I don't want to go to church

Okay Everyone, maybe I am the only one who feels like this (though I doubt it very much) but Sunday I just was in a plain grouchy mood and did NOT want to go to all. John wasn't feeling well and Jahs has had a cough so John thought it would be best if Jahs stayed home with him.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

What will Thirty See

Ah, thirty years.

Let's start with twenty. Twenty's saw us meet. Twenty's saw us date (though for a while I had no clue). Twenty's saw us marry. Twenty's saw us have not just one child, but three. Twenty's saw you grow as a friend, father, and husband. Twenty's saw mistakes, but more importantly God's grace, love, strength, and sanctification at work.

Twenty's saw us both learn what it means to be married. How love is selfless, hard, active, growing each day, never easy, but oh so worth it. Twenty's saw lots of changes and moves. Twenty saw how awesomely you provide for your family always looking to better our lives even when it isn't easy. Twenty's saw us growing in Christ and Him using marriage to sanctify us (and still sanctifying us each day). Twenty's saw adventures and Mexico's.

But now at thirty you have grown, you love me better than I love you. You help me grow to be a better person. You are an amazing father who is more compassionate and does not assume with your children, giving them and myself the benefit of the doubt, evaluating the situation first before reacting.

You love me even when I make it hard. When I have a poor attitude, when I forget to make you lunches or breakfast, when your laundry doesn't get done, when I want my alone time over filling your love tank. You love me even when I have been too lazy to get out of my gym clothes before you get home. You love me through all of this and are so selfless, always asking how you can help me.

Now at Thirty, you are an example to me of Christ's love for His church. How He loves selflessly, how He sanctifies them. How God loves me. You are an example to our boys of how a father and husband should act, treat their wife and children. You are an example of leadership, striving to be a true leader who doesn't just give orders, but walks along side those he leads.

Thank you for living out such an awesome example for me and the kids.

I love you very much. I cannot wait to see what thirty will see. :)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

When God Works in Your Children's Heart, It is oh So Sweet

Ah nap time. Boy it can be a joyful time, but it can also be a "sanctifying time."

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Momma Told Me There'd Be Days Like This

I post this not as a complaint, but because I sometimes see mom's posts about how good everything is and then feel like I'm doing something wrong when I have normal bad days.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Picking up Sticks Worthy of the Death Sentence?

So I am in the book of Numbers for my morning devotions. I won't lie, I struggle a little bit because it isn't the easiest to just apply to your every day life. But I know that every word is profitable and I should be thankful for even Leviticus and Numbers. :P

Anywho, that is beside the point. In my devotions the story of the guy who picked up sticks on the Sabbath and how everyone wasn't sure what to do about it so they inquired of God. God told them that he should be stoned to death. This really took me by surprise. Check out the passage:

Number 15:32-36

Penalty for Violating the Sabbath

32 Now while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation. 34 They put him under guard, because it had not been explained what should be done to him.
35 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 So, as the Lord commanded Moses, all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones, and he died.
 I mean I know that no work was to be done on the Sabbath but he just picked up sticks. This caused me to really ponder this a lot. It brought up a lot of questions for example, why was he stoned? Was it truly because he disobeyed regardless of his heart (like did he purposely rebel against God or was it an accident?)? Was it because he was purposefully rebelling and disregarding God? Was it do be an example? I don't know and I don't think Numbers tells us. But I think the "moral of the story" is the gravity of the seriousness of sin regardless. Sin is sin against a holy God. It is rebellion. It is spitting in His face saying that what He did on the cross for us didn't matter at all. As Christians we are free from the power of sin, yet we still do sin and will continue to until the day we die. If I learn anything from this confusing passage, it should be that my God is a holy God. A God that takes sin seriously and is a just God.

In what ways are we taking sin lightly today? Are we being deceitful or manipulative? Sin is serious. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit would come and keep our conscience open and ready to help us. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Mundane Monday

I have not written a Mundane Monday post in FOREVER!!! It is way long over due. So as we all know, Monday's have this "stigma" that we have created and just allowed to influence us. But it doesn't have to.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Courageous, What Does it Mean?

As most of you are aware (as even I am and we don't own a TV....thanks Facebook for making sure we know what is going on in the world!), there are a lot of things going on in this world lately. First we have the Duggar "scandal" and I won't go into too much of my opinion on the matter because there are just so many sides to it and there have been many articles written by amazing theologians and pastors that do a way better job at explaining things than I ever could. I will say though that we are all sinners. Of course what he did was horrific and awful and I feel sickened for the poor victims. I do not have a "side" on which I stand.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Another Home in this Temporary HomeAfter

We moved to Pontiac in September 2014, but I never did a post about our temporary home on this temporary home. :) So here are some pictures from our latest place. :)

Our dining room and kitchen area when we just moved in and hadn't decorated yet. I was nervous about the carpet, but it hasn't been too much of an issue and I'd much rather vacuum than sweep actually. lol

Part of our living room.
More of the living room. I love our view of the woods. SO gorgeous!

Because we moved in the fall, here are my skimpy but I think cute fall decorations. :P

An "after" of our bedroom

Blurry picture, but here is the boys room. It looks much different now, but I think I am going to rearrange it to look like this again because I liked this set up. 

I LOVE our large closets!!

I have a laundry room now!!!

After decorating

I hope you enjoyed my virtual tour of our home. I absolutely love looking at pictures of people's homes so I thought I would share some of ours. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

4 FREAKIN YEARS (husband hacked blog)

I wanted a chance to reflect myself…. and since I have no appropriate place to do this…. I hacked this blog.

Today it has been 4 years of marriage…. 4 FREAKIN YEARS! and you know, it doesn't seem like that long at all! Time really flies when you marry your best friend. As I think back and reflect on that, a few thoughts come to mind that I wanted to share.

First and foremost I can almost hear people saying “yeah it’s only been 4 years….” 
but what allows me to write with such confidence and put this out there is this, from the beginning Britt and I saw further than 4 years…we saw until the end of life (which for me happens when I am 103 and Britt and I are both doing something stupid, I am sure I talked her into). We did then we sure as heck do now! 
4 years is nothing compared to our lives, which we merged under complete understanding that there is no turning back…. better (Britt) or worse (me). It is that constant vision of truly knowing that a God based marriage carries through all…  

I would like to pause to say notice above what I have not said is it has been 4 years of marriage bliss…. a continual ongoing odling of each other… It has not been a cakewalk these last 1461 days, 7 hours, 3 minutes and 31 seconds… it has been a marriage, and that’s my understanding of what marriage is… work, for the betterment of the other and beyond that for the others watching and the glory of God.

OK…..Going back to my thoughts,

Another thought I have had is boy how time silences neigh-sayers….
A quick synopsis of our marriage (much broader and open content can be found on this blog site): Britt found out I had a thing for her on Thanksgiving Eve 2010. We had our first date Dec. 4th 2010. And we were married Feb 11th 2011… That’s fast most people would say. Again, 4 years later and I don’t hear them much if at all anymore….
I recall telling Britt wisdom I heard from a leader I look up to Holger Spiewak.
I said “Britt a big speaker told me once that those who care don’t matter… and those who matter don’t care” (This was in reference to an age difference he and his wife Lindsay who are still also happily married). I remember thinking at the time and having a  “yeah we’ll show them” attitude but as stated time passed... I have learned that we didn't have to show anyone anything and we've had nothing to prove yet our love and God's grace has been proved through us which is a blessing (and to be frank can feel like a curse since the most people seem to learn is from the pain we created). I no longer feel that urge to say see told ya and in fact feel a little arrogant and naive that I ever once thought that. There’s no need, in the end we have prevailed through God’s grace, it’s already a foregone conclusion….

Well dang that's all serious n stuff... Here’s some fun facts about something I tell everyone. We've been married for 4 years and Britt's been pregnant the whole time (another sign of a happy and healthy marriage ;).... or after sign…. you get the idea)
Anyway I thought it would be fun to look up and share the following

Out of our 4 years of marriage Britt has been pregnant:

Once During New Year
Once During Valentines Day
Once During Christmas Eve and Christmas
Twice During Halloween
Twice During Veterans Day
Twice During Halloween
Twice During Thanksgiving

And for THREE out of our FOUR Years Together Britt has been Pregnant on:

Mothers Day
Memorial Day
Fathers Day
Independence Day
Labor Day

That’s a lot of being pregnant at parades!

So now on to our wonderful evening! And how are we spending that evening you might ask? 

Unclogging a toilet…. together :) <3 span="">


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Baby Number 3: Titus's Birth Story

I had been having what most call "false labor" signs for a good month or more. I'd have lots of menstrual type cramps that were really bad, my body would start severely cleaning itself out, I'd have braxton hicks, etc. It was actually getting frustrating because I wish it would just make up it's mind! lol But I had to keep telling myself that all of these things were not "false labor" but just really early labor.


I wanted to post at least some pictures to introduce Titus Jackson Orion Brines to my blogging followers. :) He was born on Monday, January 19th at 4:51pm (45 minutes after arriving at the hospital...birth story to follow later). Here he is :)

Right after he was born doing some skin to skin

Being weighed and such. Daddy watching over him. :)

No Excuses!

I will use NO EXCUSES for myself. Not having a jogging stroller--not an excuse. Not having someone to watch the kids and having to work around sporadic and often naps--not an excuse. Feeling more exhausted than I think I have in my whole life--not an excuse. Feeling bloated and fighting nausea--not an excuse. Feeling icky emotionally--not an excuse!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Belly Picture Update

 I have not been really taking updated belly pictures this pregnancy too much. But I have a few. Here are some:
14 Weeks I think

20 Weeks

29 Weeks

Another 29 Week Shot

So that is what I have so far. :) Not much but hey!

Are They All Yours?

So, my whole last post was basically about how people I know will question us having more than 2.5 children AND having them so close. Well it started yesterday.

Third Time 'Round Hospital Bag

As you guys know, I get anxious and excited and do things really early, especially packing. This pregnancy is no different. I am 30 weeks and guess what, my hospital bag is basically packed. I am asking for a few nursing shirts, comfy yoga pants, and some cute and comfy slip on shoes for Christmas, but in case I don't get them, I went ahead and packed what I do have and I will be 37 weeks at Christmas, so just in case I go super early. I have gone almost a week early (5 days to be exact with BOTH previous pregnancies), but each pregnancy is different and I am trying to not get my hopes up. :)  Anywho, so here are pictures I took of my hospital bag stuff. 

So the first thing I did was right out a list. I love lists. I wrote out everything I wanted to pack. Most of it is the same as last time with one big exception, I have been reading a lot about women using Depends or something like them for the first few days of post partum bleeding. Their reason is because with Depends, you do not have to worry about leaking. Sorry for the TMI, but with Jahs my second, my first bathroom trip the mesh underwear fell off and the pad fell out because it wouldn't stick or stay in place. I had to have a nurse come help me clean up. It was humbling and gross to say the least. I love having the mesh undies because I don't have to worry about getting mine gross, but they are always big on me and the pads never stay in place for me. So, I added depends on my list and I won't lie, I am excited to see if they work because then I can sit comfortably and when I get up, I don't have to worry about if my butt is all bloody especially when guest come to visit. I HATE worrying about that! Even with Aunt Flow I get nervous about that. This just puts my mind at ease. We'll see if they work! I'll try to remember to do an update on this post after I deliver to let you know my thoughts. Also, I am not sure how many I should bring to the hospital, how often you change them, etc. I can't find any of that info. online. I can only find women saying to use them. So I'd like to put a "review" afterwards for women like me who want to try them but don't know the "details." lol Now, I did get a different brand that was cheaper. I bought Tena's super absorbency ones. Also, I ordered a free sample of depends off of the Depends website and I am going to compare the fit of the two brands. I just bought a pack of 18 of the Tena's and it sounds like that will be more than enough. If not, I've had two kids without them and I also have pads. 

This is parking instructions or reminders. Last time there was some issues with parking and I don't think there will be at all this time. In fact, I am very confident my hubby has it handled, but I like writing stuff out. Again...I get anxious and excited. This is my way of keeping myself busy I guess. One thing was that he parked the car right outside the door, took me up, then had to go back down to park. It worked out fine, but we wait until the last minute to go to the hospital (On purpose) so if this labor happens faster, it is nice to know the details of Valet and such just in case we choose to use that instead. 

I went out and got some travel size toiletries AND I had lost my blue water bottle and found it. I was so thrilled! The reason I like it so much is because I just suck the water out instead of having to tip it up. This is so nice for labor and for nursing. Just so much easier! John makes fun of me because he says straw cups are for kids, but I don't care, I LOVE it. I was devastated when I lost it (I had it i the kids' stroller and since it has gotten colder, I haven't used it in a while....I just so happened to be cleaning and had to move their stroller and found it! Yay!!)

 So this picture is of my "Shower bag" as the note clearly states. I didn't put labels on stuff last time and I don't know if they are necessary, but I put them on there so that if I need John or someone else to get something for me, I can just tell them what bag it is in or whatever. It is clearly labeled with what it is and what it contains. This one has my toiletries bag, my makeup bag, a nursing bra, nursing pads, 2 pairs of Tena's, 1 pair of socks, frizz creme for my hair, and dry shampoo. This is basically the bag I will take into the shower with me to freshen up and has anything I might need so I don't have to walk around or come back out and get something.

 Just a picture of everything out. On the far left is the Tena's, a pair of cloth nursing pads, a sample pack of disposable nursing pads, a nursing bra, my frizz creme, my dry shampoo (I saw travel sizes, but they were just as expensive if not more expensive. This was under $3. So it is bigger, but it will last longer. Then the pink bag is my makeup bag, the zebra bag is all my toiletries.

 So this is what is in my toiletry bag. Nothing exciting, but again I wanted to label it just in case.
 Okay, so inside I have travel size mouthwash, body wash (a yummy scent that will be refreshing! my first and second baths after I had Jahs were soooo wonderful! I felt so amazing afterwards!), travel size shampoo and conditioner (again something yummy smelling so I "feel" clean lol). At home we normally use a salt rock for deodorant, but I keep this brand in my purse for times when I have forgotten to put it on or when I just notice I need to freshen up. I got one for the hospital as well as post partum sweating is no joke! The colorful bag is facial wipes I got at the dollar store. I don't normally use these and actually I don't really wash my face I just rinse it with water, but at the hospital I want something I can just freshen up with when guest come. I bought travel size toothpaste (again, we don't normally use this type we use Tom's, but for this it will work perfect), a razor just in case (I am a "I-would-rather-have-it-and-not-use-it-than-want-it-and-regret-not-bringing-it" type girl lol) and of course extra tooth brushes for hubby and myself.

 Here is the contents of my makeup bag. Nothing excessive but I do like to feel frefreshed. I am a firm believer that when you get dressed and "fix" your hair or do whatever, then you mentally just feel better. For some this may or may not include makeup. For me, it includes a tiny bit. I simply have foundation, a pressed powder, concealer just in case I have breakouts, a lipstick/lip gloss, travel size perfume and lotion (again, remember me and wanting to smell clean lol I always freak out that the "lochia smell" will be smelled by others and I do NOT want that!) a dollar store mascara, eye liner, eye shadow (I really doubt I will use this, but just in case), blush, and a headband with bobby pins. ETA: Again, loved having this stuff too. I did very minimal makeup, but it made me feel fresh and like myself. Took like 5 minutes (Like I said, I did the bare minimum) and I felt sooo much better and smelled better too. lol

 This is what I am calling my bedside bag or nursing bag. It has extra breast pads, a pad of paper and pen for any notes or for writing down nurses' names, lanolin cream, gum, chapstick, and an extra headband. This will just stay on the table next to the bed so I can get to it easy. ETA: I LOVED having this. Kept everything I needed or would want right at my bedside without me having to really get up and get anything..

Now for the clothes! So the white things on the left are extra Tena's because again I can't find anything stating how many I should use. Above that is my "going home" outfit. I have a pair of maternity jeans, a blank nursing tank top, a green comfortable but cute button down cardigan, and a scar. The top middle pile is my "after delivery and shower" clothes. I have grey yoga pants (though these are not the most modest so I am hoping to get some baggier ones but like I said above, I packed them just in case. If I get new ones, these are being taken out), 2 nursing tank tops, and a comfortable blue cardigan that I have worn after every birth so far. It is comfortable and so much nicer looking than a robe. It makes me feel more human right after birth. The black pile is John's change of clothes. Then I have flip flops (I always bring them, but haven't ever needed them. We don't walk the halls because we labor at home and both hospitals we have delivered at have super nice Jacuzzi tubs so no dirty showers. But I always bring them just in case), non slip footie slippers. I have an old pair that I love. I wanted a "new" pair for the hospital. So comfortable! A sports bra that I use while I am in labor especially because I labor in the tub so I can keep a little bit of modesty and that is it for clothes. I don't bring but one nursing bra because I have the nursing tank tops that have built in bras, so that works great. I don't bring any underwear because I never wear my own while I am at the hospital. In fact, I wait a few days and just bring home the mesh panties (or this time the Tena's).

 Now for baby's hospital bag, it is a little skimpy at the moment. The reason being is we are doing a gender reveal party on New Year's Eve. John does fireworks shows at my parent's house and so the last firework of the evening is going to reveal the gender of the baby. I do have SOME neutral stuff, but not much. I will be pushing 38 weeks then and I want to make sure it is packed. If I haven't gone into labor after we find out the gender, I can then repack or add "gender specific" clothes. But if not, these things will work. :) I have my boppy nursing pillow, a black nursing cover which works great since you have nurses and guests coming and giong a lot. On the bottom is a crocheted outfit that was mine and I only packed it in case we have a girl. If it is a boy, I think it is a bit too feminine for me. I have a small bag that contains scratch mittens and socks. Our WONDERFUL sleep sack swaddle! LOVE this thing! At the moment only one undershirt/onsie because the hospital provides those and they are the kind that don't go over their belly button so it doesn't get irritated. One white nightgown which makes diaper changes amazing and one sleeper that will work well for going home.
 I am also packing a snack bag like I did last time. There is a cafe that is open 24/7 which is wonderful, but I like the idea of having snacks for John when I am in labor or for us while we are waiting for the food, etc. I am packing apple juice to help with the lovely post-partum constpation and so far I just have a few of John's favorite snacks. Jerky and Wheat things. I will be adding a few more things like chocolate milk (mainly for me, but I'll share. ;P), granola bars, and a few other things that I can think of. Not much, but something. I also have a few bags of Mother's Milk tea, Smooth Move Tea (again for post partum issues), and my wonderful Bath Herbs that I talk about in detail in this post.
And finally, here are my nurse thank you's. I didn't make book marks this year, instead I put candy (a cute little assorted chocolates box in there! So cute!), Ghirardelli chocolates, gum, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, and not pictured is a yummy smelling tea light candle. I am making 4 "main" ones and then I have 2-3 extra ones. Again, I cannot for the life of me remember how many nurses I ended up having. At Henry Ford West Bloomfield, you have a LDRP room, so you don't get moved, but I am not sure if that means more or less nurses or if it is the same amount. I wanted to do something. So, I am going to give these to the main nurses/midwife. I think this will be enough though, but we will see. Maybe I will buy some candy and put it in a bucket with a thank you card and have it at the entrance of our room in case I run out?

So, this is my third time 'round hospital bag. I am planning on adding things like our laptop, phone chargers, pillows, and such later. I also want to add a comfy throw for me in there as well. I am sure that this will get unpacked and repacked at least 10 more times (I have 10 more weeks left) before Baby Brines the 3rd is born! lol

ETA: So since this is the third time around, we basically used everything we brought except I didn't wear my going home outfit. I stayed in my sweats that I brought because they were comfortable. Also, I am so glad we brought the baby Halo Swaddle Blanket. I loved using that instead of the blankets at the hospital. It was so much easier to keep Titus wrapped. That first bath is ALWAYS my favorite and once again I loved it. I loved having all of my new yummy smelling stuff. I didn't wash my hair because I had just washed it and we only stay at the hospital for 24 hours (we'd leave sooner if they'd let us lol). So there was no need for the shampoo and conditioner but I will plan on bringing it again if we have another one because I'd rather have it than not.