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simplyblessed@charter.net

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Things of Me

So this post is something a little bit different.

I wanted to write about my hobbies and why I have them. So most know me as the Mom of many children right? Well, I also like to have some me time. I believe everyone should have hobbies and one that everyone knows is that I love to write.

I have such a better way of expressing myself through writing and getting my thoughts out of my mind so much better then talking. It’s been such a way of almost therapy for me. I think of something and then I just go with it.

To say that I am back is kind of not really where my mind is. We’ve been through a heck of a lot in the past 6 years to say the least. So many people have said that I need to be vulnerable and get back out there. I have to say unless you’re in someone else’s shoes, it’s so much easier said then done. Never in a million years did I ever think that I would find my Prince Charming at the innocent age of just 16, fall in love, get married and have this huge crew to love. Ya somedays are completely tough but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Life seems pretty on the outside sometimes but inside it can be pretty crushed. Social media has a funny way of making feel like we can only put good things out there, but people need to know the bad so that they can relate alongside of you.

With our oldest son just passing away in August, there were so many promises that I had made to him before that I will hold true to. I just feel like if I sit around in self pity then I will just wither away like a flower that hasn’t had water. I need just that one little piece of me to get back to where I was. I know that I will and my family will never be the same again but for Hayden I will do what he knew me for. He always said my husband and I were his biggest inspirations so how can I let him down?

So here I am writing again, decorating again, taking photos again and trying so hard to be the Mom and wife that I have been instructed to be. Missing him like crazy is just an understatement but our new reality that we have to face.

So…. next on the agenda is to start our family VLOG!!!

Stay tuned for some things coming……

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Nothing Is Permanent

As the clock ticks and the ocean waves come there’s so much that goes on in the world. Time is of the essence and after a while it doesn’t even matter what time of day it really is or what month we are in. Good things and bad things and so many things that you may not even be aware of.

You will never understand what someone is going through. We all have a unique story and our story is our special path that God has chosen for us to be on.

The person sitting next to you in the doctor’s office waiting for results or the person that is in front of you at the market, the little boy at the park with his mother or the teenager that is listening to her music so loudly and you thinking that it just may be rude. The older gentleman that gets so angry that you are going the wrong way in the grocery store aisle or the gentleman that is just asking for your opinion in the store about what furniture to choose. The mother crying sitting on a park bench or the Dad sitting in his car all alone.

No matter who you run into in life everyone has a story to be told. You can’t get mad at the person in the doctor’s office for being called in before you because maybe the are waiting for a test to say whether they have a certain time to live.

You can’t be angry for the bitter old lady at the market that is miserable because maybe she just lost someone very close to her.

You shouldn’t be mad at the little boy at the park with his mother that just said something so vulgar because maybe he doesn’t know any better then what he has been taught or maybe that mother needs to just get out of her home because her son has a disability and has no one that really supports her.

You can’t get mad at the teenage girl that has her music so loud. Maybe that’s just her coping mechanism because she lives with parents who are alcoholics or drug addicts.

Don’t be mad at the older gentleman that has gotten so ticked off that you went down the wrong aisle at the grocery store. After all this is how we are being programmed to live now a days.

The gentleman at the store asking for your opinion. Well he’s just lonely because he just lost his wife and wants to stay occupied and still make his home feel somewhat “home”.

Oh and the mother crying on a park bench who might not know how she is going to feed her children dinner after school because she just lost her job.

The dad sitting in his car alone. Don’t assume he is up to no good. Maybe he is battling depression. Something so deep that he just doesn’t know how to escape from.

You see all these examples are examples of things that are just temporary. Whether it’s a feeling or something that may happen.

Somethings we have control of much more then others but somethings are out of our control. In a crazy world like the one we live in we should be kind and be asking if someone needs us. We have all been just getting further and further away from who we once were. Caring and compassionate humans.

We help other countries but why are we not helping people right in front of our faces? Why do we have to be so cruel.

Unfortunately I have learned through the years that nothing is permanent and can be taken away in the matter of a moment.

Unless you are living the life of others you have no idea what someone may be going through.

Be kind and compassionate. Half of these stories I have actually encountered. And after losing our oldest son just 2 months ago… I try to have such a heart for others.

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It’s all from the inside

Hey everyone! I know that you’re probably wondering what is this title to this blog post all about right? Well, I wanted to get out there what I have been really thinking about and hearing about what others have been chatting with me about. So ….here goes. Ok.. have you ever wondered why people just can’t take credit for their own actions? What about others just constantly blaming others for something that clearly was their fault but they just don’t want to admit it? Why is it so hard for people to fess up and just take what is theirs? Geez!!Anyway have you ever been in the passenger side of a vehicle and the person that is driving is clearly not paying attention and being so distracted about what is around them? Then you say or maybe even yell at them and they start to blame the other person in front of them for stopping short and they have to put the brakes to the floor. What about when you can’t find something in the house and nobody wants to or remembers where they put it, so they have to blame someone. (ya, happens in our house all the time)! Oh this is a good one.. who has a Mr. Nobody who lives at your house? Oh.. we most certainly do! Never knew I had an extra kid in the house, not that I would probably notice anyway..LOL! Well, I am gonna get real for a moment here. Lately in our house things can be a little crazy (ok…maybe a lot of the time) but I realize if one little stumbling block gets in the way everything seems to go insane! We all experience something some time in our lives whether it’s something big or something that is just a little bit annoying right? We all go through things in life that we don’t think belong in “our story”. Some may experience something like a financial struggle and you don’t know how to overcome it. Maybe you’ve experienced something within your family that you just are not sure how to deal with it. Maybe you feel like you are just not the person, wife, mother, or friend that you want to be. Listen up… we all have flaws for sure and if we didn’t, then life would be a little less interesting. I know for me sometimes when I think I have had a bad day because the kids are misbehaving or just things aren’t going my way you just want to throw your hands up and walk away from it all.

It’s not that easy. You see this life that is yours you are creating. All the good things and all the bad decisions that have got the best of us stays with us for a while. Sometimes life just seems a little unfair but when life is tough there is a reason and we can look back and realize that annoying and daunting thing molds us into the person we are.

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Influenced or Influencer?

You know oftentimes I catch myself saying to my kids, “do you want to be a leader or a follower”? Well, we all want to see our children exceed their wildest expectations and rise to the top in everything they do right? I mean who wouldn’t want to see our kids get into Harvard with a GPA of over 4. I know that I want to see my children succeed and not fail. Although, let’s get one thing straight…we all fail at times and that’s ok. Get yourself back up and dust yourself off and move on. As I was having a conversation with my kids the other day about how some kids can be so cruel and others get made fun of on a daily basis, I was asking them how they would feel. It breaks my heart to know that some children just get picked on daily and what ends up happening is the other children that think they are “cool” are influenced by them and it changes their whole personality and demeanor. But let’s think of something…where did that one mean child learn that it is ok to be so cruel? I’m not going to sit here and blame the parents because children do have a mind of their own, but I do know one thing… children learn what they live! Children need the guidance to realize that just because one may be different or not technically “fit in”, it is NOT ok to just be a bully. So make sure you are talking with your kids and teaching them that being a bully is NOT ok. Anyway, so this leads me to this. We all have someone that influences us whether we are a child or an adult. Children look up to older siblings, parents, a family member, a friend, someone from church, or maybe even a family friend. We have to be prepared that someone may always be paying attention to what we are doing. In this crazy world that we live in today, we really need to be on top of who are children are influenced by because those are the influencers that our children shouldn’t be influenced by. Are you still following me?

Parenting is the hardest job by far whether people agree with me on this one or not. Until you are standing in a parents shoes…. there’s nothing that anyone can say different.

The saying goes “children learn what they live” very true indeed.

You teach them they way and pave the path but as they grow…. the path broadens and they choose their own way. So give them the foundation they will always remember because that is what will make a difference.

Plant the seed and watch them bloom

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In times like these

The days have all just become days and the nights have just become the same. Waking up each morning it’s hard to tell a Monday from a Sunday.

The kids being home, working from home, laid off from your job, no matter what the situation may be, we are all in this boat all together. As a matter of fact pretty much all the same suffering from the same effect, but in different ways.

The anxiety that has built up and the stress that is on our shoulders. The uncertainty of this has made this once called life something that we would have never imagined.

Thinking of everything that is taken for granted on an everyday basis. Just the simple fact of walking into a store or market without having to stand 6 feet apart or maybe even waiting outside in lines as the employees take a headcount because only so many are let in at a time. Not being able to go out to dinner with your spouse when now is the time when date nights are so needed. Not being able to enjoy fun things with our children when getting out of our house would be so beneficial. Visiting family members when now is the time they need us most. Our children not being with their friends at school and just don’t understand it all. This list is endless. I am sure you could think of a million other things.

What about the masks? Not even being able to see ones facial expressions is not only sad but strange. The plexiglass barriers that now we have to speak through. Almost feels as if this is all a nightmare and we just want to wake up right?

What about the essential workers? Some may have been dealing with extreme anxiety and having to wear a mask all day does nothing but cause irritation. This world we live in at this time is sad, lonely, depressing, anxiety filled, and scary.

The fear of the unknown captivates us into this never ending cyclone of questions. What is really going on? When will this all be done? Will we ever get back to the way life once was? I’m not 100% sure that life will ever be back to “normal” ever again. It’s baby steps before we can even see some sort of normalcy.

Some are taking this harder then others and some don’t take things too lightly. The only thing we can do is press on day after day. Pray for our future because no one knows what that looks like. Enjoy the time with our family right now because these moments count too.

The days are dark right now but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We will get through this!

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I know you’re tired, but so am I…

Dear husband….

The early mornings, to the exhausting commute time and working so hard each and everyday for us, you have definately shown and proven that you are the man of the house and you will never let us down.

Kicking your shoes off at the door and then it’s your relax time when you come home. Having only a few hours with the kids and then falling asleep from exhaustion, It must be tiring I’m sure.

The baby is ready to settle in for the night but not before she is nursed to sleep and using me as her comfort zone. The younger kids get bathed and all put to bed so they can get the rest that their little bodies need. The “teen agers and tween agers” well they get themselves all settled for bed and get ready for their next day of anxiety, peer pressure and stress of their daily routines.

The daily tasks that a stay at home mother endures throughout her day is sometimes overwhelming. Not just getting herself up and ready, but a whole team to get up and make sure that they have everything that they need to have a productive day. For you it is “just you” that you are getting up and getting yourself together and out the door to be in your car all alone. What I wouldn’t give to have some quiet time to think all to myself.

Then comes the daily household chores and errands… The cleaning, the bill paying, the never ending laundry that sometimes resembles Mount Everest, the dog having to go out and all the messes that come along with the dog, the being taxi so that others can get to their jobs, wait… hold on don’t forget the baby crying, cooking for the littles that are still at home, the cleaning up of messes, the after mess of everyone leaving in the morning, the helping in the bathroom, the everyday hustle of chores, and don’t forget running your own business and being on the phone with a very uncooperating toddler.

Being a stay at home parent is a far cry from easy. It can be stressful, overwhelming and just outright exhausting some days.

But now the children rush in the door after a long school day and demand a snack as they drop their backpacks by the door and shoes in a clustered mess. As you are still trying to figure out what’s for dinner as you realize you never took anything out of the freezer or have anything planned for that matter.

Where did the day go? So now it’s homework, dinner (if something is planned) baths, and a little time to unwind. As I’m sitting here practically falling asleep before putting the kids to bed. Kissing their sweet little faces and telling them how much I love them as tomorrow morning it will start all over once again.

Don’t get me wrong I love my title as “Mom” but I would be lying to you if I said some days are not tiring and very overwhelming. By the time things are all settled at night you try to rush around and get as much done as possible because now it’s your time to be you for just a minute without the 50 million demands of getting snacks and drinks and the constant “Mom” calling.

Did you ever wonder why they don’t bug Dad as much?

So to my dear husband somedays when I don’t look my best or dinner is not on the table and we have leftovers that night. Please just remember… I’m so sorry but I’m tired too.

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The new parenting surprises

As a Doula and a Mom of many I have seen so many discussions and have had so many chats with new parents. It’s so amazing to me that a lot of things are just not discussed between them and their doctor or midwives.
Who is going to be the one to just come out and say…"it’s not all glamorous when having a baby"! How about the things you were never told about? Do you recall the book "What to Expect When Expecting"? Well what about a book that was called "Everything Nobody Told You About When Expecting" or "What to Expect Now That Your Child Is Here"??? hmmmm…. maybe that can be my next book!
Oh how I wish our babies came with a step by step manual, but then again we would need one each and every phase of life until our very last day of life because we will never not worry about our babies.
Ok so we spend 9 almost 10 whole months carrying this precious child in our womb to grow and become this tiny human that we can not wait to hold. There’s been so much planning on how we would do things to setting up the nursery to what car seat we would choose. Oh and what about all the decisions….? To vacinate or not to vacinate? To circumcise or not to circumcise? What should we

use cloth diapers or disposable diapers? To breastfeed or to bottle feed or formula feed? You get my drift right?
Anyway.. How about just raise your child with what is going to be best for your family. Don’t compare what you are doing to what someone else is doing. Don’t think just because someone makes that decision it is the right one because there is NO right or wrong way to raise a child. Man do I ever wish that the came with a manual.
From that very first positive pregnancy test to the time that you bring that little bundle of joy home there’s ALOT that nobody has told you. Let me just put it out there… From the labor pains that make you feel as if you’re body is about to turn inside out comes this beautiful baby as a matter of fact the most beautiful face that you have ever laid your eyes on. God is amazing for that once your baby is born the pain of the contractions are gone in the blink of an eye so that you can focus on your little one. Then no one tells you that you still have to push out the placenta as if having the baby wasn’t enough. (don’t worry that’s the easy part) just something people forget to tell you. Then comes the faucet and I am not just talking about the tears you will shed but the postpartum bleeding for weeks on end sometimes (that you think will NEVER end) and the milk gates open like there’s no tomorrow. So you just feel as if you’re leaking in every direction to say the least.
Oh sounds fun right? Ummmm…. maybe or maybe not. Oh don’t forget you will still have your belly after the baby too! It doesn’t just magically disappear like we would like it to.
Then the time comes when you are waking up in the middle of the night and you feel like you will NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. Don’t worry you will or maybe you won’t until your child is 18 years old or in my experience you will NEVER stop worrying so sleep is a thing of the past.
Hey but listen…. God has chosen you to be this baby’s first provider, protector, nurse, chef, taxi (forever), teacher, first love, counselor, bank, playmate and so much more. We have a HUGE job but it’s a rewarding job. We will have a challenging road and no matter how old our children are they will always NEED you.
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Time

Holy cow!! Where does the time possibly go? Within the blink of an eye it seems as though not only do the days pass by so quickly but so do the weeks and years. I mean how are my oldest three in their 20’s and starting lives of their own and I even have an adorable grandson! Although, I guess you can say that we have been rather busy and even expecting our 14th baby.
When looking at pictures it feels like it was just yesterday right? It’s almost like someone waved a magic wand and voila… time has past. These moments in each stage of life have been so precious to remember and reminise about.
You know everyone dreams of the "perfect" life with the 2 1/2 kids and the dog and the white picket fence, but for us it was a far cry from that. I am what I like to call myself as the choas coordinator (sounds like a good title right)? Life has always been interesting for sure for our ever so growing tribe, but you know what?… I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I believe that God choose us to be the parents to such a large growing family because believe me I know lots that couldn’t even do it. Although I have to say…. somedays are not always what I expect. It’s the time that gets me. I think I have a good plan for the day and everything just falls apart, I have lessons planned and they don’t get done, I have a list to complete that never gets completed, I have laundry piled high but don’t have the energy to do it, I have dishes to do but honestly don’t feel like doing them. I think you get my point right? So many people think that just because you have a large family you have it all together, you’re house is always tidy, and you are just some organizing queen. Well… let me just tell you a little secret. Shhhhhh…. That’s NOT how it is. Somedays I just want to watch my kids play or listen to them talk or argue in most cases. I am breaking up little pity arguments or a battle of someone trying to save the day. Maybe getting that 15th drink of the day or maybe listening to whining about needing another snack when they just had lunch 20 minutes ago.
I am telling you all this because my day is probably just alot similiar to yours except with just a bigger bunch. So this is where time comes in. Don’t forget I am a homeschooling Mom to many and that is another thing that somedays it’s hard yes, but with everything that is going on in the world today I think we have made the best choice for my family. Maybe it’s not a good choice for your’s but that’s ok too. Just saying I spend most of my day teaching them not only academics but everyday life skills. I run a very successful health and wellness business which is one of the main reasons I can get through my day and have energy. My husband and I have recently started an amazing rustic sign business which has been such a blessing.
People will tell me that I have alot on my plate (like I didn’t already know that)! But you know what as a wife and mother we have to have our own little niche too. Don’t you agree?
My children bring me joy, show me life in a whole different way, and you know what we learn together and I love that!
Yes, by the end of the day when I am trying to just figure out dinner and do baths and make sure everyone is sent off to bed with stories and a kiss and I am so exhausted, I almost feel guilty. Why is that? Because… there is never enough time in a day!

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The Silent Cry

This is a story for one that may be suffering or maybe someone that knows someone suffering. A story that needs awareness. A story that many don’t like to face. A story that I hope will be a light for others.
You see it’s a word, a feeling, a struggle that no ones wants to talk about. You put it on the back burner because you think that maybe, just maybe it will just go away. You fell lost, alone and crying out to God because you just don’t know why you feel the way you do. It hurts, you feel as if someone ripped you in pieces, you feel defeated and pretty much not even liking who you have become.
It’s that word…. depression.
I have seen it first hand being a Doula, I have seen it within my family. But did I ever think I could have ever feel that way… umm nope.
So many think with raising a large family that we have it all together. The fact is we ALL have struggles whether big or small ones, financial, mental or anything in between.
Sometimes the situation rises so much more then what we can bare.
I thought about what has happened in my life that after so many children something was completely different.
I had lost a pregnancy at 14 weeks (which my book will be out soon) I then had another miscarriage due to a blighted ovum a few months later and then I had a beautiful baby boy that has had intense food allergies that has been very stressful. I felt like I was walking on eggs shells and I wanted the day to just become the next.
Depression is so real and I believe the devil tries so hard to lure us in that direction and come to a dark place.
I felt like I was sinking to the point of just not knowing how to handle myself. So much had been taken away from not only me but my family. I felt like I just didn’t function to my full ability. I would be lying if I said that everything was fine.
You see many wont talk about it and deal with it themselves. But I knew I needed to get better but didn’t want medication. I never went to a doctor but I’d tons of research on my own.
I changed my eating habits especially for my baby as I was breastfeeding and still am. I found out that if I didn’t heal my gut I was never going to get better so I take amazing supplements. I was tired of hearing myself get angry and frustrated all the time. My kids probably didn’t know what happened to their mom and my poor husband, what a trooper. But praying to God daily and asking him to restore me and make me whole again was all I wanted. I wanted to be that "super mom" that people thought that I was. I felt like I had lost that title. It was hard and now I can relate to those that deal with this in so many different ways. But God.. He knew my heart, He knew that I didn’t want to feel the way that I did, and He knew that I needed to break free of that. I kept pushing on and praying for something good. Not a miracle but something good. And you know what…. He listens! I am so much better!
Never in a million years would I think that I would have felt so down. And…. no one knew. I kept my cry silent for months. I didn’t share with anyone and as a matter of fact I just said something to my husband recently that I know that’s what I was going through but didn’t want to admit it. People have no idea what that next person may be going through so don’t just assume they are ok.
My feeling with this is I hope that I can reach someone’s heart and let them know that yes you will get better but take the steps to get there. Eat more healthy and get your gut health in check with plant based supplements and NOT ones from the drug store. I stumbled across this amazing product while searching for hope. I knew that something had to be out there to help me. And there it was right in front of me! I can help you with that. I hate to see people suffering because now I know the pain. Trust God that he is the answer to prayer.
Don’t let the devil win!!! Stand firm and let him know that Jesus is your almighty savior.
So since this is Thanksgiving week I come to Him with thanksgiving and praise that we all can overcome anything.
My prayer to anyone suffering depression is that you will get through and heal yourself from the inside out.
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Yes No Maybe So

From the my very first pregnancy 24 years ago to now, I can’t even believe all the decisions that we have had to make! Have you ever just sat down and thought about that for a minute? It all starts with one simple question, "Are we or aren’t we ready to have a baby"? Well doesn’t matter when you are ready. Sometimes things may just happen when you least expect it, at least that has happened to us many of times.
Whether you carry your child yourself or even adoption, we become parents no matter what way our family is born. We all still have to make some major decisions as parents and boy some of it is insane!
From the moment you become a parent the questions start to flood in and sometimes they can be quite scary. One way that I describe children is that I call them "borrowed blessings". Sounds crazy but seriously, children are God’s children and we are just borrowing them to raise the best way possible and teach them character traits to become the adults that we hope and pray for each and everyday. Now I do understand that when they grow they are the ones to make their decisions on their own but as a parent it is so vital that we are open, honest, responsible, loving, and just down right real with our kids. We have one chance to try and raise up some amazing humans! What seems like an eternity for them to become adults is over before we know it. Sometimes I would love to turn back time. Does anyone know where they are hiding that reset button??
So anyway we all start with a name. A name is a BIG deal! We try to pick a name that might mean something or have some sort of significance. Maybe we pick it just because we love it. Then comes that pile of questions….. "will we breast or formula feed, will we vaccinate or not, will my son have a circumsion, what doctor will I choose, what car seat will we pick (because they seriously make it so difficult with all the choices). Choices and the selections they have out now compare to 24 years ago is crazy! They never had "pink" car seats or baby furniture. So if you had a girl you were getting probably a blue car seat.
Well that’s just a shortened "baby list". What about when they start to get older? Oh geez! I am going to spare you the drama on that. But it’s just so fascinating to really just go over all the decisions that were once your decisions and now I have adult children making their own decisions. Thank God I still have little ones to keep me occupied!
Being a Mom has been one of the most rewarding jobs for me. Oh and yes I have had many of shares of tears and felt like a failure many times over and over again, but I just pick up my big girl pants and remind myself that this job can be tough, but this is a job that no one can replace.
Not every decision we make will be the right decision or the best decision but as a parent we all have to do what is right for our family. Don’t base your decision on someone else’s family life. Do what you feel is best for you. Definitely take advice from other, believe me, I still do! We all need encouragement to get us through sometimes. But never for once think that you have fallen short on your day.
Have you ever had that moment when you tell the kids that you will do something and then it just doesn’t happen? Tell me how you feel when that happens. I know I have done that and then that night I will feel like I just had an epic parent fail. Sometimes we can get wrapped up in housework, or just simple silly things that we have forgotten that our children really need us to interact, listen, and just simply be there. Years ago someone once told me that you shouldn’t worry about the house mess unless someone is coming to visit, you should spend time with your children because in a blink of an eye they will be grown. I can honestly say.. that is so true! I can’t even get over the fact that I am a Grandmother now! I sit and wonder how that time and where that time went. When someone figures out how to freeze time let me know will ya?
So, I guess when you look at the big picture of making decisions for everything in life, you should be trying to make the BEST ones possible. Do your research with everything. Just because you read it somewhere doesn’t mean it’s the best decision for your family. I pray that God will guide us all in our decisions. It’s a hard thing and we could really use some guidance with this one.
As our children grow and we see them making decisions for themselves:
1. Never think that your children are too old to hear you say you love them
2. Never think that just because they are getting older they don’t need you because they do ( as a matter of fact, probably more then you think)
3. Now that they are older they will probably become your best friends (hopefully) Oh DO NOT try to be their best friend when they are younger! That just doesn’t work out very well! You are their parent before that time strictly!
4. Know that even if you have a parent fail, your children will still love you <3
So I know that some of you are just starting out on your parenting journeys or are still waiting or you could be like me and still going through it or maybe your children are grown, but one thing we all have in common is we are all still learning. Everyday is an adventure and one worth talking about.
Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.