My Dyer-E
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MOCKINGJAY

I insisted we get to the theater an hour early thinking it might already be packed.

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Don’t worry, we found a seat.

After I shouted: TEAM PEETA!!!!

And then: LET’S DO THIS MOCKINGJAY!


During our hour wait, we Face Timed Little Duck to tell her goodnight and my dad hijacks the camera to do this.
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I’ve never been prouder to call him my dad.

Post movie blurb:

Brilliant.

These movies are some of the very few I’ve watched transition so flawlessly from pages in a book to the big screen.

My Mockingjay Part 1 fave?

Hands down– Haymitch. He’s absolutely perfect in such pivotal moments. Woody Harrelson killed it.

Also– Julianne Moore as President Coin was spot on.

So much goodness. So much pain. So much to love.

Oh, and winner of the previews?

CINDERELLA.

I will be seeing that Friday, March 13th (I LOVE FRIDAY THE 13TH) and then Allegiant the following Friday night— March Movie Madness.

Cannot. Wait.

11.20.14 Leave a comment

I love words.

Today was such a full day, starting with a Face Time date with June’s boy Katon and my girl Katie.

This date was not planned or I totally would have had June in cuter pajamas last night in preparation and maybe had me wearing pajamas to bed.  Ha.

Best wake up date ever though.

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We love those two more than words can express.

Anyway, the day kept busy from there and ended with a houseful of people we love for gospel community.

Oh and involved this:

10372760_626115100042_1259987291064077298_nI love when The Shippmate sends me flowers at work.

I also adore our gospel community.

Tonight was so good. So rich. So real.

I love that this all gets to happen in our living room.

And as you can see, we have a BYOB policy.

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Bring Your Own Baby.

With all of the busy of our day and evening, I’ve had little time to write, so I’m going to just share three times lately when words have been huge to me.

It’s no secret I love words.

I love writing them.  I love reading them.  I love speaking them.  Shoot, despite my skills- I even love singing them.

So when people write me words, they’re so important.  So big.  So meaningful.

I love it.

Three different people I respect greatly have written me short little sentences that meant a great deal to me, and I don’t want to forget them.

The first is from a favorite friend of Ryan and mine.  Devan is seriously the guy I need to have a sister for, because I would love nothing more than for him to be in my family.  And I can’t think of any other way for it to happen at this point.

But anyway, I love Devan.  Ryan loves Devan.  My dad would love Devan if he knew him better.  We all love Devan.

I was talking to him earlier about world issues and such and then somehow we got to talking about the time I kind of stressed people out by using the phrase “badass” in a blog (oh crap- I did it again) (and then I said crap) (I can’t stop myself) and Devan says–

“I actually think you’re incredibly badass.  And that’s hard for a stay at home mom to pull off.”

Hahahahahahha.  I die at all of the goodness happening there.

Devan’s like a brother to me, and it just meant a lot.  Especially with the SAHM disclaimer lol.  Excellent.

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(Side note: If you’re kind of my age-ish and single, go ahead and send dating applications to me, and I’ll consider setting you up with June’s Uncle Dev.  He’s the best, so please don’t waste my time if you’re just looking for an average guy though.)

The second time words have been huge to me lately was from a very dear friend I have in Courtney Yantes.  She’s the most thoughtful and considerate person you’ll meet and seriously just a gem of a friend.  I appreciate her wisdom and knowledge greatly.  After reading When Motherhood Hurts, she sent me an email with the simplest of words that were priceless to the writer in me:

“I needed to read this tonight. Thanks for being obedient to write.”

Those last six words mean the world to me.

Like I kind of want to frame them.

Only a fellow writer could write those words.  That kind of thank you is from someone who gets me on so many levels.

Courtney knows the feeling of urgency to put such deep feelings into precise words in a blog.  The calling higher and bigger than yourself to write when your heart hurts.  The glory that needs to be given to Jesus when the situation is not pretty.

Honestly, I can’t even accurately articulate the depth of joy that thank you brought me.

And Court- I’ve looked for 20 minutes for a pic of us– and even have the one of us with our Ssekos on from Columbia in mind– and can’t find a single one lol!  I partially blame you not having FB and it being tricky to locate, but the fact we’ve lived states away for quite some time also doesn’t help!

Regardless– you know I love you, and I am so thankful for the friend I have in you.

The third time I was in love with a sentence was also a response from When Motherhood Hurts.

It was from my dad, so I realize he isn’t the most unbiased source, but I loved this anyway.

He wrote me an email about the blog and in that email said–

“I know you quote Beth Moore, but if she would read your blog she would be quoting you!!”

Hahahahaha.  That’s a dad talking right there, and I know it– but it still made me smile.

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Kind of because the idea of what he is saying is flattering, but more so because I know that regardless of whether or not Beth Moore would or would not quote me, I know for a fact my dad actually believes she should.

And that means a lot.

Words are powerful, people.

I’m thankful for friends and family that gift them to me so well.

11.19.14 4 Comments

My Favorite Things: New Baby Edition

A sweet mama-to-be friend of mine tagged me in a post asking what the baby necessities are.

(Is anyone else now singing The Bare Necessities from Jungle Book… or is that just me?)

Oh but it feels like just yesterday I was throwing such a post of my own out to the world wide web.

And then felt utterly overwhelmed with the suggestions and my lack of knowledge of what half of the words meant– Bobby, Bumbo, Tucks, Soothies, Buttpaste… WHAAAAT!?!?

Yet here I am on the other side of it all, and not only can I define all of those AND use them in a sentence, but someone is now asking ME for this kind of advice.

I’ve come so far.

So, Sammi- first of all, I just went through the 100+ comments on your thread of people that beat me to the answer, and WHOA.  Lots of thoughts coming at you, so let me start with:

Just breathe.  You’ll so figure it out.  Just like you have your preference of supplies for your classroom that very well might differ from a BFF teacher you love, the same will apply to your nursery necessities.

So know that everything I am saying and all 100+ people are telling you is great and helpful, but you WILL figure it all out for yourself.  I promise.

I’ve compiled my top ten (or so) favorite things for you that I absolutely loved.

But before I share those, I would like to completely put out this disclaimer:  YOU SERIOUSLY NEED SO VERY LITTLE.  If you have a car seat, two breasts, and a form of diapering, I dare say YOU’RE GOLDEN.

We all know you have a million friends though and they’re going to shower you and that sweet babe with love and gifts, so here are some things my June and I just loved:

1.  A mirror for the car.  It’s my absolute favorite.  Rear facing is going to be your life for 2 years, so I find this mirror a complete must.  We use it daily, we exchange waves, kisses, and silly faces, too.  I love it.

http://www.amazon.com/In-Sight-Magical-Firefly-Mirror-Safety/dp/B00B7M7CMO/ref=sr_1_5?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1416333362&sr=1-5&keywords=baby+car+mirror

2.  A video baby monitor.  Okay, so I thought this was crazy when people suggested it, and I didn’t get one.  It wasn’t until we made the big switch from June sleeping in our room to her own room and her own crib that I borrowed a friend’s and FELL IN LOVE WITH IT.  Her monitor is sitting next to me as a I blog.  I can see she’s sleeping so sweetly, but also– I love seeing her behaviors upon waking up.  Just yesterday she woke up from her afternoon nap and spent FORTY FIVE minutes reading so happily in bed.  I never would have known she did this if I didn’t have the monitor, and likely would have went in when I first heard her waking up and totally ruined her SSR time.  Ha.  But seriously- I LOVE having a video monitor, and I plan to watch her sleep until she moves out.  You know, when she’s 35. (I’m kidding.)  (I think.)

http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Infant-Digital-Color-Monitor/dp/B007WF2PGS/ref=sr_1_4?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1416333314&sr=1-4&keywords=summer+infant+video+monitor

3.  Speaking of that transition from our room to her own room and her very lovely crib… with that transition, I also bought this perfect Soother Machine!  A friend suggested it to me, and it’s fabulous.  I push the button (music and water and lights) when I am going in to start our night time routine and the music sets the mood that “nigh nigh” time is approaching.  June also loves hitting the button herself now, and yesterday while she was reading in her crib, she played the music several times. I’m a fan.

http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Rainforest-Peek-a-Boo-Soother-Waterfall/dp/B00AQAI2KE/ref=sr_1_2?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1416333405&sr=1-2&keywords=soother

4.  This chair for eating out.  So this was a gift from a friend and something I didn’t register for or even feel totally confident I would need, but I LOVE IT.  It hooks right on to the tables at restaurants and it eliminates the million germs on high chairs and/or you wiping the restaurant high chairs down. Everywhere we go, people ask us where we got this, how to order one… it’s just so nice.  It also has it’s own tray attached so June eats right off her own tray which is so handy in restaurants.  Just had a friend email me this morning asking about it from a pic they saw on FB.  We keep it in the trunk and it’s so great.

http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Infant-Take-Booster-Seat/dp/B0072ID3UW

5.  A bouncer seat.  June LOVED this chair.  It vibrates, has some music, and was completely a lifesaver for dragging into the bathroom while I showered.  We would also sit her in it while we ate dinner– we used this thing A LOT.
An added bonus is that it makes a perfect seat for taking adorable pics in. Which is clearly important.

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http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Deluxe-Bouncer-Little-Snugabunny/dp/B00CWN3FNW/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1416339651&sr=1-1&keywords=bouncer+seat

6. That reminds me of really the MOST necessary item:  EXTRA STORAGE ON YOUR PHONE.  Seriously.  If someone could invent something to stick in your iPhone that would allow the “You cannot take any more pictures” sign of death from appearing, THEY WOULD BE A MILLIONAIRE.  New moms everywhere would buy it immediately, because there is just too much goodness to video, photograph, and adore.

7. I saw several people saying how unnecessary a changing table is, and I am sure it is not needed, but I must give a big strong campaign for The Changing Table, because WE LOVE OURS.  I got a great deal on a beautiful white one from Target, and as I was reading all the people saying it isn’t necessary I was quite surprised, because I use ours all of the time.  Every diaper change, I’ve always went to the changing table where everything I need is, and it’s honestly a really sweet bonding time.  June loves laying there and when she was little she would smile and coo at us, now she still talks to us while we’re changing her, and it’s this fun little time that we all love.  I bought a mirror to go above ours, because I like looking at myself while changing a baby and saying:  WAY TO GO, MAMA– YOU CHANGE THAT POOPY DIAPER and also because June LOVES the mirror, so that’s an added fun of the process.  And I also saw a lot of hate for the wipe warmer, but we have one of those on our changing table, and love them both lol.  BUT REMEMBER:  I AM RUINING MY BABY, so seriously– maybe go with the ice cold wipes on the bum.

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8.  Disposable changing pads for when you’re out and have to change her at a store, restaurant, etc. are definitely handy.  Honestly I tried to avoid those changing table things whenever necessary though.  They just completely grossed me out, so I am all about a change in the car or my lap or really anywhere but those things.  My dad even developed a system he loves of diaper changes in their trunk LOL!  Their trunk is both huge and spotless neither of which ours is though, so it’s not something I’ve adapted myself.

http://www.amazon.com/Munchkin-Hammer-Disposable-Changing-Count/dp/B002KCMSPQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1416339681&sr=1-1&keywords=disposable+changing+pads

9.  This seems silly, but this flower bath was wonderful for her first 8-9 months of life.  It’s soft, it’s easy, and it’s adorable.

http://www.amazon.com/Blooming-Bath-Baby-Turquoise/dp/B007S1T42O/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1416340008&sr=1-1&keywords=flower+bath

10.  I didn’t get one of these initially but after June got pink eye and reading it can be from a grocery cart, I opted for one, and I’m really a fan.  It’s soft, adorable, and hopefully keeping the pink out of my June’s eyes.

http://www.amazon.com/Taggies-Cozy-Cart-Cover-Pink/dp/B007700SDK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1416341290&sr=8-2&keywords=grocery+cart+cover+pink

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11.  Sleepers. You’re obviously going to need them but what no one told me was GET THE KIND WITH ZIPPERS!  The snaps are such a pain.  And DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE BUTTONS.  Sleepers with 18 buttons that you get all confused and have to do numerous times while potentially sleep deprived with a crying baby?!  That is a baby shower gift you give someone you kind of can’t stand lol.   Just trust me- go with the zippers.

12.  This is something I didn’t have, but have seen friends have and want to get for my next babe. It’s a baby mat that I can think of a million and two uses for and it’s just pretty dang cute.

http://www.amazon.com/Bestever-2531-Baby-Mat-Giraffe/dp/B0013FKDU8/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1416334678&sr=1-1&keywords=animal+mat

13. Lastly, lip gloss.  Those first few weeks are going to be madness– there will be highs like none other and a few lows, too.  Your body isn’t going to be normal right away and you might not have time for fabulous hair or polished nails, but you know what you can put on for a very quick pick-me-up?  Lip gloss.  Every new mama needs to feel pretty in the midst of the hormones and poopy diapers and tears, and I say a good lip gloss is the quickest and most practical remedy.

So that’s my list.

I want to provide a disclaimer explaining the lack of some items you might still want but I know nothing about:

June didn’t do bottles, pacifiers, or even any kind of “lovey” that she was attached to?

This is NOT because I don’t “believe” in all of those or anything, but just she wasn’t interested (and I didn’t need to use bottles) so I am sure there is a world of those things that other people can advise you on and one day I might have to learn myself!

She also never really spit up, so I didn’t do bibs.

And we got a lot of medicinal things like “gas drops” or something that have never been opened, but some people swear by them??

My biggest OVERRATED item of all would be the Boppy. I COULD NOT FIGURE THAT DANG THING OUT.  I thought I HAD to use it for “optimal breastfeeding” and hello— what postpartum waist was that thing even designed for?!!?! As soon as I tossed it aside, I was much happier.

BUT do not throw it away, because a couple of weeks later I realized The Mom Secret that no tells you about.  The Boppy is useless for breastfeeding, but a LIFESAVER for hemorrhoids.

I’ll end on that note.

11.18.14 24 Comments

When Motherhood Hurts

The older I get, the more I realize how big of a God we serve.

I also have learned that in the trickiest and stickiest of relationships here on Earth, the closer and nearer to God I find myself.

Which is kind of tricky and sly of God, if you think about it.

About 97% of the time, I find relationships easy and fabulous and such a joy.

But not always.  There is about 3% of the time that I feel a mess trying to sort out how to love better.  How to be better.  How to understand better.

The details of those situations aren’t important, because we all have them.

I once read a Beth Moore quote that said if you don’t have a difficult person to love in your life, chances are you’re not getting out enough.

Ha.  Which is probably about right.

But the glory of God is so vivid in those tricky relationships.  It’s unreal.

After everything that happened with June and living what I would say was the single worst day of my life to date, I felt so incredibly grateful for family and friends that just overwhelmed us with kindness, prayers, and such extravagant love.

Amidst a really horrible situation, the love extended to us was so big.

After life calmed down and returned to a sense of normal and because I’m me and too observant for my own good, I will be so honest to admit I noticed a few– a very, very few– people that didn’t extend the prayers, the love, or the support I would have expected.

I was also running a fever of 102, sick as a dog with mastitis, still worried about my baby, and a whole lot of sleep deprived.

You add all of those together and clearly– emotions are high and feelings are absolutely sensitive.

So I get that.

But even now– feeling well and after having a fabulous Monday with my little fam, I still will own that I would have expected more.  I would have treated those few people different if it was their baby in the hospital with such a scare.

And man– that HURTS.

Here’s the thing about being a parent that no one tells you at your baby showers.

What that baby feels… what makes her hurt or cry or confused or sad… oh sister- you’re going to feel it TIMES TEN.

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If I’m in the hospital and sick and stressed, eh– that’s one thing.  But MY BABY!?!?  My Baby June?!!  You don’t ignore that.  You don’t not care about her.  You don’t not pray for her.

It unleashes this very primal Mama Bear inside of me that says SHE IS MY BABY– SHE IS 14 MONTHS YOUNG AND WAVES AT EVERYONE– YOU BETTER WAVE AND SMILE BACK AT HER.

OR ELSE.

People, this motherhood thing feels like war.  I will fight for her.  I will absolutely not be okay with someone not acknowledging my flesh and blood and favorite baby girl is hooked up to monitors and needs a dang prayer.

I’ve talked this feeling through with my Shippmate and a few faves of mine, parents included.  They smile at my fire and know this is me being me.

They’ve reasoned and rationalized and been annoyed with me, too.

But tonight I had a bigger talk.  I had a talk with God.

I was holding June asleep in my arms and praying over her like I do nightly now.

I will admit it– I didn’t pray over her or with her every night before her seizures. I took her perfect health for granted.  I absolutely did.

But now, I pray.  I tell God— “She’s not mine.  I hate it, but it’s true.  I trust You because You love her more than me (even though this feels impossible) but God, You have to wrap your arms around her when she sleeps.  You have to.  I need You.  She needs You.  We’re so unworthy and yet, we love You so much.”

Tonight before my final plea to God before I set her in her crib, I just started talking to Him about the little bit of anger/annoyed I had floating around from just those less than a handful of people that I thought should have cared a little more.

I said to God, “God– I will still be kind to them. I will still celebrate their big moments, pray for their hard ones, and be the kind of person to them I should be… the kind of person I want to be actually… I’ll do that because it’s what Jesus would do.  But it’s not fair.  IT IS NOT FAIR TO NOT CARE ABOUT MY VERY OWN BABY.  My own child that I thought I was going to lose.  How could someone be more worried about something personal and not able to care about something so precious… You just can’t even know how that feels…”

And right there it hit me.

The answer no friend, no parent, no Shippmate could give me in our conversation.

The answer only God Himself could put so abruptly and perfectly on my heart.

Right as I was feeling  so Christ-like by saying, “I’m going to love when I haven’t felt loved…. I’m going to be kind when I didn’t feel kindness because that is what Jesus has done for me over and over”… I was feeling pretty holy and pretty much like God was about to say, “YOU ARE SO RIGHTEOUS AND AWESOME, ERICA!!!”

Instead, He says to me, “I don’t just hear your heart, Erica, but I’ve lived and felt your heart.”

GOD— who gave HIS SON for MY sins?!

Of course He might know a thing or 152 about desiring people to care a little more about His child.

This is where God is so good.  This is where I absolutely believe God allows pain for His glory.

I rocked my sleeping Baby June with tears in my eyes.  God knows my heart.  And what always humbles me so earnestly to the cross in these moments is that in the relationship with God… I’m the difficult one to love.

I’m the one that forgets to care about His Son that has suffered so much.

I’m the one that lets my life be bigger than the life of God’s one and only Son that He loves so much.

And not only that, but I’ve also hurt people I care about!  I’ve not cared enough for people when I should have.  I’ve not done enough.

Our pastor once said, “Forgiveness only makes sense to those who need forgiven.”

And I desperately need forgiven, so I will daily choose to forgive.

It won’t be easy.  I won’t be perfect.  I might have a moment when Mama Bear comes out in me and I feel justified because y’all– IT’S MY BABY… but in those moments, I will feel the most near to a God THE FATHER who doesn’t just hear my pain, but He gets my pain.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
-John 3:16-

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
-Mark 11:25-

11.17.14 41 Comments

Three Generations of BFFs

This afternoon my mom and I had the extreme pleasure of reuniting with our neighbor/BFFs from our times together living on The Hill.

Tiffanie and Leanne were our besties before besties was even a thing.

We grew up together, played endless hours together that truth be told sometimes involved both silently reading together in bean bags lol, spent the night at each other’s homes all of the time, and just had the kind of childhood friendship you read about, see on movies, and hope your own kids can experience one day.

Since our favorite girls moved away when I was in the 3rd grade, we kept in touch but REALLY picked back up due to the dearest ol’ Facebook.

Tiffanie made my day by coming in for my wedding in 2010, and then she and Leanne followed my pregnancy with the precious love and enthusiasm that felt like family AND THEN my mom and I got a four way phone call from our girls last winter that my BFF was pregnant and due almost exactly one year later to the day from when June was born!

It was so very, very fun to get to follow Tiffanie’s gorgeous and glowing pregnancy, and I was so excited to finally meet her beautiful Emily!

Juniper Harbor didn’t quite know what to think of Emily being in HER swing and laying on HER Mammie’s blanket (I die– my child is such a fireball and I can’t even help but adore it) so she actually got kicked out of our party and went with Pa to visit her GGW lol.

I could have visited and caught up with Tiffanie and Leanne all evening.  It was so sweet to see my mom and Leanne as giddy to visit as Tiffanie and I were, too.

As an adult, I’ve really recognized and appreciated the way my mom modeled what it looked like to be a great friend to others as I was growing up.  I always saw my mom surrounded in the best of friendships, and I often think of her influence in putting a priority on community and solid relationships on my own adult friendships and relationships I’m so thankful for today.

Leanne and Tiffanie are the kind of friends that genuinely feel much more like family, and it makes me so happy that our afternoon was spent with three generations of BFFs.

Emmie and Junie just don’t know it yet, but with this kind of love of a legacy– they’re bound to find themselves participating in their own SSR in beanbags one day.

I just know it.

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11.16.14 5 Comments

FABULOUS

The Shippmate took June to breakfast after I fed her at 7 this morning so I could sleep in.

I slept in until 10am.

IT WAS FABULOUS.

While June and The Shipper napped later after their fun-filled morning together, I painted my nails while watching a sermon.

IT WAS FABULOUS.

I put together this darling outfit that I loved very much on my Juniper Harbor Shippy.  Pants from Dee, shirt from Mammie, boots Mama found at a consignment shop.  Love. Love. Love.

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My parents offered to watch Junie Bee while Ryan and I went on a date together.

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IT WAS FABULOUS.

(Also: my mom miraculously convinced June to wear a bow all night.  She loves her Mammie that much apparently lol.)

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We saw Santa at the Blue Springs Wal-Mart which turns out is quite a bit better than the Wburg Wal-Mart lol.

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IT WAS FABULOUS.

We stopped at Panera for a Pumpkin Pie Bagel.

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IT WAS FABULOUS.

Last Saturday we were coming home from Children’s Mercy Hospital.

That was NOT fabulous.

But that place and those babes still there have been on my heart ever since.

So tonight, as I’m headed to my own bed with my Shippmate and my healthy babe a room away, I’m going to say a prayer for the moms and dads and little ones there tonight.  Will you join me in that prayer?

11.15.14 2 Comments

November 14th: TGIF

Today.  Ah today.

Today was so good.

And did we ever need a good day.

No ambulances.  No crying on the bathroom floor.  And really nothing overly special.

Just a very normal kind of fabulous Friday with my baby girl.

Let me show you.

While I shower, this is what my Baby June does:

photo 3  photo 1One of the many, many things I adore about The New House is that we have a master bath.  I make sure our room is totally June safe, and then I set her up right outside the master bathroom door with a snack, water, and something to play with– most recently some of Nanny’s necklaces that she adores putting on and taking off.

I’m sure everyone’s kid is adorable while they shower, but I just am seriously amazed every time I shower (I almost said everyday but that would be a lie) how she just sits there and talks to me while I shower and she eats/accessorizes.  I love her so much.

Then somehow this happened today, and let me just say, I needed a good hair day.

10429414_625688240472_7412010305845478115_n(not pictured- my eyes. I couldn’t be greedy and expect them to look good today after my week lol. They’ll be back soon.)

No, but seriously– there is something very, very powerful about doing your hair and make-up for the first time in a week.  It’s a total game changer.

I decided after almost two weeks of sickness and hard stuff, it was time for June and I to make a trip to The City.

Where all goodness happens.

Like Target and randomly getting to meet up with Grammy for lunch.

I made a list last night of some specific things I wanted to accomplish, and people–

EVERYTHING GOT ACCOMPLISHED.

AND THEN SOME.

It was one of those amazing, amazing shopping trips when everything fit, everything worked, everything was there and on the shelves and half price.

It was shopping bliss.

I’ve actually never understood or really liked the term “retail therapy” because I’m not a huge shopper, and buying things/spending money is not “relaxing” to me, but maybe sometimes the opposite, but today was truly such wonderful.

Our family has this tradition I just adore where all of the women exchange Christmas decor gifts on Thanksgiving, and one of my list items was to find my gift for everyone.  Not only did I find something so festively fun, but it was also cheaper than I expected which made it even more merry!

Not to mention, shopping through Christmas decor was just the jolly my heart and soul needed.  June and I had so much fun, and I’m pretty sure my Juniper is going to LOVE Christmas this year and that makes me so giddy!!!!

photo 1 copy Also, I’ve known I wanted to get June a chair for Christmas for the past couple of months, and today pretty much confirmed she is going to LOVE LOVE LOVE her own chair.

See Exhibit A, B, and C:

photo 2 copyphoto 3 copyphoto 4Why does it kill me to see my Baby June just relaxing in a chair!??!  IT IS SO PRECIOUS.

OH and we didn’t just find some Christmas decor for The New House, but also some MAJORLY discounted Halloween items and a Thanksgiving turkey, too!

$2 each for these bad boys, and I know what you’re thinking– I overpaid.  HA.

photo 4 copy
I CANNOT HELP MYSELF WITH HALLOWEEN DECOR. It’s a real weakness.

But for $4 total, it was a safe splurge.

A safe splurge that June is clearly already enjoying:

photo 2 copy photo 3 copy photo 4 copyI know it’s November 14th, but I might leave them out a day or two.  As you can see, the past two weeks haven’t involved me taking down our current Halloween decor.

After our festive fun at Gordman’s, we were on to Target.

Oh Tar-Jay, I love you so.

Which is why we spent a solid two hours there.

This is June FaceTiming Mammie and Pa from a bottle of Goo Gone that kept her entertained for at least 20 minutes.

10523986_625712876102_2144540975506130016_n  1920427_625712846162_5587942453369313594_nIt was the most sincere and enthusiastic conversation that I had to look twice myself to confirm they weren’t actually on the Goo Gone “screen.”

Have I mentioned she’s my favorite?  I adore her so much.

One of the many, many reasons Target is my favorite is the wide spread of EVERYTHING I love here.  Another item on my list today was to look at some winter clothing, because after being pregnant and newly not pregnant last winter, it all adds up to the things that fit me in my closet being from 2011, so I figured I should add some 2014 to the mix.  And honest to blog, I loved everything I tried on.  It was fabulous.

But the fun doesn’t stop at clothes for me and Target.

I found June a couple of things, two wedding gifts, a Christmas gift, three fabulous books (2 children’s ones for a friend and 1 Liane Moriarty one for Mama) and some home things, too.

I love you, Target.  You’re so good to me.

When I got home and after the third trip to the car to unload “successes” of our day, I said to my Shippmate- “So I’ve never really understood the term retail therapy… until today maybe?”

And here is the picture proof of she who literally shopped until she dropped.

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She slept the whole drive home, which probably felt right since she was snug as a bug in a rug between two pillows lol.

Oh, and an actual Christmas rug, too!

photo 5 I forgot something else I found at the one stop shop that is Target:

MY CHRISTMAS WREATH.

I’m in love with it, and it was marked down to $15!!?!?  Whaaaat!?

That was seriously the story of my day, and I’m so thankful for that story.

June and I needed today.  At ten this morning when I realized we were both dressed and out of the house, I felt the day held grand promise, and it very much did.

I don’t know how long this feeling will last, but the normal of a day like today feels worthy of a celebration after the last couple of weeks.

I’m so thankful for our health and for a Friday trip to The City with my girl.

photo 5PS: We also had a fantastic evening with friends after getting back to The Burg.  photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 10.49.53 PMIt makes my heart soar to see June playing with her “older girlfriends” and the beautiful kindness, love, and friendship those girls show my June.

It’s been the worst of days recently, but I can’t help but think it might just lead to an even sweeter appreciation for the most normal and mundane of moments.

And for that, I’m so grateful to Jesus.

11.14.14 Leave a comment

November 13th

I’m not doing well.

This mastitis has been the worst it’s ever been.  Very intense pain.

I didn’t sleep last Thursday night because I was up vomiting and very, very sick.  Then I didn’t sleep Friday with June in the hospital.  Sleep was very intermittent Saturday and Sunday, but finally Monday I felt some peace and was able to emotionally be able to sleep, but ended up having a 102 fever that night with the mastitis, so sleep was sparse.  Then the past two nights June has woke up in the middle of the night– totally not normal but after being up all night with testing at the hospital, it’s not weird– so I’ve been up every few hours and not really sleeping yet.

I am exhausted in every way I can think of, a little frustrated feeling, a lot emotional, and just when I thought maybe the mastitis was getting smaller, I have felt worse yet today.

I’m just done.

I’m so tired and so frustrated and just pissed off now.

I’ve tried so hard to be positive but I have very little left to give in that department.  I would ask for prayers but I’m almost too annoyed to even do that. Not to mention I’ve taken about all I can ask for in prayers.

I just want to be better, able to do the piles of laundry in this house, and have a “normal” day with June.

Instead I’m bawling my eyes out on my bathroom floor, and I’m pretty sure June is drawing on our hardwood floors with her new colored pencils saying, “Niiiiice.”

I just can’t.

My head is pounding.  I haven’t left the house all week when I NEED to leave the house DAILY– multiple times really– to be happiest, and this just has to be coming to an end.

I’m so thankful June is back to her normal very happy self and that alone should be enough to not care how poorly I’m feeling, but I think my emotions and exhaustion are not allowing me to see clearly.   I’m annoyed at people, hurt easily right now, and unable to separate what is even justifiable among all of my feelings.

I just need tonight to be a night of sleep that is normal for us all.  I usually don’t have time to document all of the happy of our day, because too much goodness is still happening until the minute I go to bed, and this past week has been quite the opposite.

Let me be the first to admit– I’m not handling this week of sick, trauma, and no sleep well.  At all.

I surrender.  I want to be so very, very done and back to my annoyingly happy self that would already be playing Christmas music on November 13th.

Not crying on my bathroom floor.  That hasn’t probably been adequately sterilized from the events of last week.

This is rough.

11.13.14 15 Comments

November 12th

After the past few days of not being the bearer of the best news, I do have some wonderful news to share!

(Finally. )

We were told we would have the precautionary EEG in two weeks. Obviously, we knew this would be a tough two weeks of waiting and hoping and putting our trust in Jesus for the best. Ryan even reminded me that it might not be EXACTLY two weeks, so I should prepare myself for this.

Despite his smart advice, I already had my hopes up and just insisted I needed that appointment to happen and this all be over before Thanksgiving.

When we were contacted by the Neurology Department, the receptionist said June’s appointment would be December 12th.

I wanted to cry, but held it together with this inner mom strength I’ve found myself mustering more and more lately. I then proceeded to confirm we’d see Dr. Coffman (the neurologist we saw this weekend and the chief of neurology) that day, and she said, “Oh no no no– he is absolutely booked until April! You’ll see a nurse practitioner instead.”

I couldn’t channel any more inner mom strength and felt tears absolutely coming. I took a deep breath and thought to myself: “ERICA- talking to people is your strength! You once returned a three year old curling iron to Wal-Mart while it was still hot and left with a brand new one- no questions asked. Obviously the neurology department isn’t Wal-Mart, but step up to the freaking plate and at least try here!”

So I firmly but kindly said that all of this information was very contradictory to what I was told this weekend. I was told it would be 2 weeks and we would see Dr. Coffman, and it was an overcautious measure so I don’t even know how I feel about her being on this medicine now for two extra weeks?

The receptionist said her chart said 4-6 weeks and there was no way we were seeing Dr. Coffman.

I then explained that I never once heard 4-6 weeks and wondered if she could confirm that timeline and ask Dr. Coffman his thoughts on June being on the meds for an extra two weeks.

The receptionist said she would check with him and call right back.

While waiting for the callback, I prepared myself that we might have to wait until December and that could be okay.

However, she called back quickly and said, “You were right. It was a mistake that it was written down 4-6 weeks and we will see June in 2 weeks. And I spoke to Dr. Coffman and he said while he has no appointments that day in the clinic, he is just going to come down right after her EEG and meet with you there. Which is huge- that doesn’t just happen– he’s really going out of his way for you.”

This time, I didn’t hold back the tears. I thanked her very much and felt so very, very grateful that not only would we see the neurologist I trust and love, but our appointment?

It’s the day before Thanksgiving.

I’m already so thankful, and with tremendous faith in Jesus and appreciation for your continued prayers, I just feel so confident we’ll be enjoying turkey with our family on that Thursday with all of this behind us.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. -Colossians 3:15

11.12.14 Leave a comment

November 11th

10:56am

I spiked a fever of 102 last night and was terrified I had caught another virus at CMH that I was going to spread to my family, BUT PRAISE JESUS IT IS JUST MASTITIS.

A year ago, I thought mastitis was the worst thing I’d ever been through (because it actually is pretty terrible) BUT it’s a dang walk in the park knowing my Baby June cannot get it!!!!!

This also very much explains why I was struggling emotionally last night– I was actually very, very sick and hadn’t had a chance to notice.

I’ve never been so thankful for The Big Bad Mastitis.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the prayers. Y’all are the best.

And thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesus, for mastitis– I know You’re right here with us and we WILL get through this– together.

8:55pm

I love love.

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11.11.14 Leave a comment

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