Posts Tagged

motherhood

Encouraging Mothers Who’s Done Having Babies
  • July 13, 2016

THE. END.

“Is it really?”

“You don’t really mean that.”

“Why would you do such a thing?!”

“But, you’re such an awesome mother!”

“Did you talk to God about this?!?”

“The bible says to “Be fruitful and multiple…” “

Yes. It is definitely the end to that phase of my life and I’m perfectly okay with it. Everyone has their opinion about the decisions made and that’s okay! People will guilt you about your decision to stop having babies but you have to be confident in your decision.

My husband and I sought the Lord about the idea of not having any more children. I was almost afraid to make that request but I asked Him to bless my womb and give me as many babies as I can get.

(Back story) I come from a very large family and I know with all of the experienced I’ve gain, I knew I would be a great mother. God has blessed my womb even when I was told at the age of six that I would not conceive because I ate some of my mother’s birth control. Well, fast forward to 2012, we found out we were pregnant with our fifth child. We were excited as always but we knew we were coming to the end of our stage of having more children. It just felt right to end at baby #5. As with our other children, my husband waited for God to reveal our baby’s name. One morning, he woke me up and said “Rebekah”. So we began to search the meaning of the name and it means “Captivating; knotted cord”. When we saw the meaning, we knew God gave us the OK to let Rebekah be the last child of our little family. So, March 2013, 2 months after her birth, I knotted the cord… well Essured it.

What is Essure? How does it prevent pregnancies? The small Essure inserts are placed into your fallopian tubes by your doctor. These inserts work with your body to form a natural barrier that keeps sperm from reaching the eggs, preventing pregnancy. While the natural barrier forms over time, another form of birth control must be used.

I’ve heard mostly negative reviews about this form of contraceptive (ongoing pelvic pain, pregnancy or even ectopic pregnancies)  but after 3 years, I’ve had no issues. I guess to each its own. But don’t get me wrong, having an Essure doesn’t stop me from getting the occasional “baby fever” especially well my emotions and hormones are all out of wack (menstruation)! 🙂

 

So why stop having children? I enjoyed each pregnancy and raising my children, but I feel it was time to actually enjoy the journey of motherhood by watching my children grow and remember each significant milestone. I can recall my children’s milestones, but to me, I feel as if I jipped my children one on one time with me because I was either pregnant or had a newborn…almost as if my children wasn’t allotted time to enjoy childhood. My children are still children, but if you’re a mom of “stair-steppers”, then you get what I’m saying!

I also feel that now, I have the opportunity to enjoy my husband. Now that my children are a little older, we (my husband and I) go on dates more frequently then ever before. I’m actually learning my husband outside of the “daddy role”.

I had time to revisit education and now is pursuing certification for teaching. I believe that my nurturing and encouraging children doesn’t have to be exclusive to my children, but I can help mold and cultivate other children as well…in a classroom setting. So beginning August 18th, I’ll be embarking on a new adventure…teaching! No, I don’t have my own classroom just yet, but I wanted my first year in education to be under an experienced teacher who loves children. I am so excited and to top that off, ALL FIVE OF MY CHILDREN… even the youngest will be in school full time!! *insert shout music*

Parenting does change you. FOR THE BETTER. I’m much more focused and goal oriented than ever before. I have always been a go-getter, but being a parent gives you that extra umph… that sense of urgency to teach and send out learners and leaders into this desperate land that’s in need of influence and hope… spiritually and educationally.

 

So, if you’re the mom who’s considering wrapping things up or even clipping 🙂 know that your purpose goes beyond your womb. Cultivate others, encourage other moms and train the children (biologically or not). You hold the seed, now it’s time to plant them and watch them grow!

So… I Got Some Work Done…
  • May 6, 2016

April 15, 2016 my life was….enhanced a bit! 🙂 I got a breast augmentation! Yup!!

 

Let’s backtracked a bit though….

In 2013, I birthed my last child and nursed her  until her 1st birthday in 2014. I enjoyed each pregnancy and every breastfeeding session with my fab five! Well, good things must come to an end and now that my children are older and vibrant, I figure it was time to repair what was broken during those most precious moments. No! I do not regret nursing my children nor do I regret having them, but I do have so work to do because of the decision my husband and I made. Shortly after my youngest first birthday, I sat with my husband with the thought of getting a breast augmentation. I was happy that he was so supportive of my decision to fix my heavily damage breast. When I say it was bad…IT. WAS.BAD!!!

To give you a visual…pancake

 

I had to do something! I asked for advice from close friends and they said do what I feel needs to be done! In the meantime, I tried bras, exercises, massages…nothing worked.  I even asked readers of my blog on Facebook…here are some responses on what they thought about cosmetic surgery:

“I think it’s up to the individual. Many women after child birth experience drastic changes to their bodies. But plastic surgeries are really serious. Many women have died during and after procedures. Make sure it’s worth the pain and risk.”

 

“I don’t see anything wrong with it.”

My husband even chimed in. I will post his entire opinion HERE.

 

So, I went in for a consultation October 2014. I fell in love with the knowledge and experience of the surgeon, but didn’t follow through with the surgery until March 30!

 

I went in for a re-consultation and booked my surgery! April 15, 2016 my life was changed! Now at 3 weeks post operation, I am pleased with my decisions and results! My husband is as well!! 🙂

So let’s take a walk through my experience…

The prep the night before and day of surgery was pretty simple. Drink plenty of water and do not eat or drink anything after 11 PM the night before. So when I tell you I was starving… I. WAS. STARVING!!! I also showered the night before and cleansed the surgery area in Hibiclens and the morning of showered again in Hibiclens. I also had to put on loose fitting clothes with the anti-embolism stockings (very uncomfortable BTW) to decrease the chance of clotting and swelling.

 

So how I did feel?!?!

The day of my surgery, I have no idea what happened after I laid on the operating table. It is a complete blur! My anesthesiologist told me while he was drugging me 🙂 that I won’t feel or remember anything…he was right!! I don’t remember coming out of surgery… being dressed or getting home!! Luckily, my sister recorded the aftermath of being on anesthesia when I made it home. 🙂

There wasn’t any real pain. I was extremely uncomfortable and exhausted. The next day, the soreness continued and I had my husband to fill my muscle relaxing meds. I took one muscle relaxing pill and 2 Tylenol on Day Two and realizing the discomfort wasn’t managed, so I figured I can go without it. After Day 3 and beyond, I took no medicine for pain and dealt with the soreness…it is comparable to being engorged. Crazy, right??!! Who goes through surgery without taking pain medicine?! I did!! I slept propped up for the first week and after that, I was able to lie on my back. Sleeping was a challenge the 2nd week because I have to get use to the weight of my new breast but this week was a breeze… I can even sleep on my sides! The past 2 days, I’ve been experiencing some itching… I cannot stand the itchy feeling but I’ve researched that I shouldn’t scratch it but rub and relieve the feeling with warm towels.

My husband made my recovery a success by taking on all of the household responsibilities and children’s needs the first week. He even prepped and cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner! (Dinner wasn’t pictured, but he made homemade marinara and spaghetti with homemade garlic knots) Friends also pitched in and made dinner for us!

 

 

How Did They Look After Surgery?!?!

Oblong. Swollen. Very Weird!! I was very swollen and bloated after surgery. Day 4 the swelling began to go down and my breasts began to take shape. Although I have a few months before they actually “drop and fluff” I am very pleased with the way they look. They are becoming mobile and if I move a certain way I can hear them! 🙂 Because I had so much loose skin, my surgeon warned me about the possibility of having a breast lift in the future… after the surgery, he said the chance of having one now is ZERO!! I am glad about that! My surgeon also mentioned that my case was one of his most extreme and my results are in his top favorites! Yeah, I’m sure he says that to all of his clients, but I truly believe compared to before and afters I’ve seen from his practice, I’m on the top of the list!!

 

How BIG did I go?!?!?!

Well, my goal was to look as natural and full as possible. My plan was to be the size I was when I breastfed my children (36D). With all the loose skin that remained, that goal was more realistic than I thought. My surgeon  agreed that any bigger would look fake and to never go smaller than my goal. we were with him 100%! So on my left (and worst) side, he implanted 510 CC of saline (I went with saline by the way) and on the right side 480 CC of saline. I chose saline because if anything were to go wrong, it would be easier to detect as well as replace. The cost of saline implants are approx. $1200 cheaper than silicone. With the price and the risk being smaller than with silicone, saline was my best choice. So, did I meet my goal!??! Oh yeah!!! I am excited and so proud that I did this!

 

What are my results?!!?!

 

 

I still have some dropping to do, but I am very please with the results. I am happy I made this change and I’m also happy with the support to make this change. I was never the busty type and getting my breast augmentation was not to make me busty, but more womanly. After having five beautiful children, there was a great chance of breast damage and I thank God for doctors who studied years into complimenting the bodies of women in such an awesome way. No my confidence wasn’t shot neither was I pressured into doing this surgery. I simply wanted an upgrade to the already fabulous me. I’m 30 years old and this change by far has been the best birthday gift I’ve ever received but it wasn’t the only one…my hubby surprised me with some awesome things for my 30th and I am grateful!

If you choose to enhance your beauty or not, it’s your choice! People get cosmetic surgery everyday… veneers, breast, tummy tucks, etc. It happens daily, so don’t knock someone for doing what makes them happy. If I were to listen to the naysayers, I would be miserable! If I listened to people who know about my surgery and hear them send me to Hell because of it, I would regret my decision..but I won’t! My intentions are pure and I am not looking for attention. My husband is perfectly fine with my body… pregnant, engorged and shrunken…he loved it all and love it now!

So the moral of this blog is do what makes you happy! Point. Blank!

 

 

RARE Haul: I went shopping, y’all!!!
  • January 22, 2016
Annie Weightloss 2014

30 lb weight loss (2014)

Guess who went shopping?!

I did!!

This is my second time going shopping after my major weight loss! April 2014, I loss 30 lbs!! I worked my tail off and with the help of the flu, I met my weight goal faster! NO JOKE!! But back to my original topic… shopping!!

Well, like I mentioned, I went to Ross back in 2014 and bought dresses and shirts to compliment my new body. I refused to shop for anything bigger which would make me comfortable with my weight at that time. It was definitely a struggle to see all of the beautiful summer dresses and jeans, but I remained disciplined and waited it out. Well, fast forward to two weeks ago, I decided to stop by Ross while I was nearby and and grabbed some amazing pieces at amazing prices!! Now, I am not the one to show off my closet, but these prices were too good of a deal to keep them to myself!

Now, don’t get use to this haul thingy…this is once every blue moon! Seriously! Moms, you understand! As you can tell, I shop the clearance section. My favorite part of any store! There’s always hidden treasures in there!

But, if I come across crazy prices like this again, I’ll let you know… especially if it concern kids’ clothes! You don’t have to spend a ton to get a cute look. Maybe I’ll do a look to a piece or two! Hmmm…

If you’re anything like me, clothes don’t matter, but it sure did feel good buying for myself! Whew!! Can someone say “Retail Therapy”?

 

What are some of your fab finds?!?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saving Money: Laundry Hacks
  • October 5, 2015

Before we begin the quest to saving money on laundry, ask yourself these questions?

  1. How often do you wash your laundry?
  2. Do you have any kids? Active lifestyle that causes you to wash more?
  3. How effective is your laundry detergent?

If you have a big family like me or wash frequently, you understand how pricey washing clothes can become. The hassle of buying the right detergent,washer/dryer and whether it is HE (high efficiency) can add up! But there is a solution and a smart, green one at that!

HACK #1:

Buy a high efficiency washer/dryer! I know, everyone can’t run out to the nearest appliance store and pick them up but eventually when your set breaks down (like mine did a few months ago), be sure to do your research! High Efficiency washer/dryers saves money on energy and water, has more space because there is no longer an agitator and has more washing settings to ensure cleaning and water usage. {to read more about HE, click here.}

 

HACK #2:

Choose the right detergent for your needs. Detergent is just as important as the appliance that use it. There is a very valuable and competitive market for detergent,but buying the most popular wouldn’t necessarily benefit you if you are trying to save money. On average, a family would spend between $180 – $600 per year (or every 300-390 loads) on laundry detergent. Crazy right!? Well, as for me and my family, we have been a devoted Charlie’s Soap user for nearly 7 years. We would buy a 32 lb bucket of powder Charlie’s Soap and it would last us 1 1/2 to 2 years! One bucket takes care of 1250 loads! Amazing right! Now you won’t get the smell of rain dew or flowers,but the fresh smell of clean clothes…. actually that’s all I need! Charlie’s Soap also saved me money on baby detergent, because it is safe for sensitive skin and is hypoallergenic… and NO NEED FOR FABRIC SOFTENERS!

 

HACK #3:

Wash with cold water even your whites! Washing your clothes in cold water saves you so much money and energy. Energy is wasted up to 90% in heating up the water for your hot washes. Cold water preserves the life of your clothes,shrink your carbon footprint and helps the planet ( after all, we are stewards of the land).

 

HACK #4:

Wash linens separately. Yes, it is usually convenient to throw all your clothes and towels into the same wash, but you are actually wearing your towels mixing them in with heavier fabrics such as jeans. How do you save money by separating your towels? Isn’t that wasting money? Separating your towels ensures the quality of your linen hence not having to buy more sooner than needed.

 

Well, I hope this help you for your next laundry day! What are some of your favorites tips passed on? I would love to hear them! Comment below or start the conversation on my Facebook Page!

 

See you soon!

 

When Less is More
  • August 17, 2015

Growing up I was under the impression that life was about the bigger and better things of life. Looking back, I realize the pressure to appear to be something you’re not. People will go in debt to look the part. Is it worth it?

Now that I have my own family now and our own expenses, we choose to live within our means well enjoying our lives professionally and leisurely. Living less doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have the means to live, but you choose to live without the stress of living check to check. Get it?

For a few years now, my focus has been on my family and being debt free…  from mortgage to a piece of mind! It is easy to get wrapped up in the latest trend and way of life, but when you are focused on your goals, no trend can even tempt you! Don’t get me wrong a nice pair of shoes always makes a girl smile, but it should not be the source of your happiness.

I want my life to be full of adventure and thrills… risks and rewards. How can this happen if I’m living like the next person?! As Christians, we are to live a purposeful life. A life that is a refection of God’s love, grace and favor! When people see you, do they see Christ or the things you throw in their face? My hope is I’m seen “naked” and completely “transparent”. No one should ever question who I belong to or what I represent.

When you see me, I hope you see patience. Patience is a very complicated and “offensive” word for this day in age. We live in the express or gimme now society. No one waits for anything! My husband and I have a goal to build our first home (with our own hands) before age 33! This is unbelievable to many and some even have to offend their reason why they did something different. One person once said, To each its own” and I fond this to be valid. We never compared ourselves with the next couple, but being the light God has called us to be, some people feel the need to validate themselves. What people fail to realize, our decisions does not affect yours. You want the suburban life? Go for it!! We are godly proud of you! You want the most popular gadget?! Yessss, werk it out! But for me and my house, if we want those things, we believe we rather do it off of impulse or for popularity, but to fulfill our OWN goals! And in doing so, patience and hearing from God plays a huge role in our lives.

 

When you see me, I hope you see ingenuity. For the past year, we have been transitioning into a homestead life. Growing our own fruits, experimenting with farm animals, and farm fresh eggs, the works! Who would have thought that a couple of city kids would love the country life so much!! From big city contracts to building chicken coops and pig pens, who would have thought?! My hope is that people are encouraged to live out their dream even if it’s not very popular to do.

 

When you see me, I hope you see confidence. Being confident in your decisions can make you stand apart. People’s opinions begin to flow into your personal space. Once you are secure i your goals and livelihood, their opinions will not matter. When we decided to follow God and move to Texas, we had people praying against us…LITERALLY!! People told us they were praying against our hast decision. When we moved into a mobile home, we were told to just buy a home and worry about building one later. That may have worked for someone else, but not us! We are confident in our decision…even in our struggle.

 

When you have your life goals together, everything else doesn’t matter. Living a life of less is so relieving. Less drama, less negativity, less stress. You would think everyone’s goal is to be with less of these things, but some actually thrive on it. To each its own.

Actually, during this time of living within our means, I’ve been able to really enjoy nature. Living in the country has taught me to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. It has also taught me to be a better steward of the things we are given. Too often we are concerned about artificial and man made fashions of this world and are easily wrapped up in fantasy that we lose focus of the things that matter…God, family and relationships. This Less is more journey is focused on those three things. I want all that God has in store for me…the true riches of life. One of my favorite songwriters (Jimmy Needham) sung,

“ Why are we so convinced a bigger audience
Is simply common sense to have?
Maybe success is measured best
By nothing less then our obedience”

If we put our focus and our energies to the Source of our being, we will enjoy the promises of God. If we stayed committed to God, our obedience, patience and long-suffering will be rewarded. What a way to be!!!!

Are you on a Less is more journey? What ways are you freeing yourself to enjoy the bounty of God’s promises for your life?

Mother’s Day 24/7
  • May 8, 2015

What does greeting cards, candy, flowers and  breakfast in bed all have in common? Mother’s Day! Yes, the all too common holiday is just days away. If you’re unfamiliar with this holiday,  Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate the things moms do (and didn’t do for your sake LOL) throughout the year. If you ask me, Mother’s Day means more work for mothers! How? Well, the weekend of Mother’s Day is just like any regular weekend for me.

Friday, I spend the day washing and folding laundry and completing housework. Saturday, a yard day and preparing the night’s dinner and getting the kids clothes together for Sunday. Sunday, we have church and the struggle to keep the kids clean. After service, back home to finish yard work, feed the family and get ready for the school week. Sounds pretty depressing huh?

So, how do I make this year’s Mother’s Day eventfully and different than the rest? Honestly, I don’t know! I love doing things for my little family. I enjoy cooking and time spent with them. Mother’s Day for me is everyday! Everyday, I am given all the love and honor just  by being me… a mom! Now don’t get me wrong, QT is needed when you have a husband, 5 kids and a homestead, but enjoying my family is a blessing!

BUT……

If I had to choose my top 3 gifts for Mother’s Day, I would pick:

3. The kids to get along for a full day. I have five kids which means 5 unique personalities clashing every 32 minutes (Trust me I have them down to a science!)

2. A slice of strawberry cheesecake and Oreo cheesecake TO MYSELF! I rarely eat sweets anymore because I am trying to keep make new figure, but when I want to splurge, I would like to do so on my own! My family love to share (on their own terms)! LOL

1. A clean house! Now I keep a fairly clean home but to have it cleaned without my help and done my way would be FREAKING AWESOME!!

 

(I hope my husband reads this so #2 can come true ASAP! The rest can happen over time…no rush! LOL)

IMG_0390So, now the tables have turned… what would be your top 3 gifts for Mother’s Day??

READY…

 

SET…….

 

GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What I would tell my 20 year old self by Tracie McClinton
  • July 25, 2014

In the middle of yet another EXCRUCIATING, frustrating, exhausting conversation with my almost 20-year old daughter, I realized we just don’t understand each other. We are not communicating, we’re just talking. And worse, she has no idea what I’m talking about and thinks I have no idea what I’m talking about! She doesn’t even care to listen to me. I never want to say “I’m 46 and I’m right.” But the fact is, I’M 46 AND I’M RIGHT! I’ve been there done that and failed miserably at it. When I looked at her all I saw was myself at 20 making all the wrong moves, having the wrong attitude and not thinking like someone on the path to being a productive adult. So, I began to think how much better off I would be if I knew then what I know now and what things I would want my 20 year old self (and my almost 20 year old daughter) to know.

What I would tell my 20 year old self:

1. Listen more, talk less.

2. It’s ok to be wrong about something.

3. Be good to yourself.

4. Save/spend your money carefully. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’…the Jones’ are in debt.

5. Take responsibility for your bad behavior (choices, decisions, actions, etc.)

6. Forgive…..yourself and others.

7. Know your worth and walk in it. Don’t settle.

8. Dream big. But wake up, get up and actually DO SOMETHING to make your dreams happen. No excuses, just results.

9. There’s a big difference between taking a “leap of faith” and “taking a flying leap”. Choose wisely.

10. Think. Then react.

11. It’s OK to ask for help. But remember to show gratitude not attitude. YOU need the help.

 

 

Thanks Tracie for your continual support and posts on my blog!

 

If you would like to be the next featured blogger on In The Life of a Virtuous Woman, comment below!