Thursday, April 6, 2017

One of those days.

Yesterday was one of those days... 
Baby Girl woke up at 4 AM, threw up, and the day just spiraled down-hill from there.

Unexpected things like that always seem to happen at the worst possible time. With finals creeping up our mindset is on school because we are absolutely bombarded right now. Keiton has had a few late nights on campus, finishing up projects and preparing for presentations and that is always hard for me.  We make a great team and we are better when we are together.  Keiton has a great way of keeping me clam so the fact that I have eight papers due in the next two weeks and that I was putting  Baby Girl to bed by myself increased my stress a ton.

Baby Girl proceeded to throw up two more times. My mommy mind took over and all I wanted to do was hold that sweet little girl.  Putting off the ten page research paper that is due in less than a week yet again...

Sometimes I think, it is just not possible, there is not enough hours to finish everything for school in two weeks.  It seems like these unexpected things keep popping up more and more making everyday feel like one of those days.

We haven't been to the grocery store in weeks, our dinners consist of a lot of fast food or throwing whatever is in the pantry together.  Let me tell you, we have had a ton of interesting meals!  Our apartment isn't clean and life isn't going how I had envisioned it but somehow we are making it through just fine.

I read a quote by Benjamin Franklyn that says:
"Some people grumble because God placed thorns among roses. Why not thank God because He placed roses among thorns?"

We have learned that we just have to laugh at our crazy life and trust that somehow everything will get done. That was hard to do after we had broken our cardinal rule of not letting Baby Girl sleep in our bed and then she threw up everywhere. But now with a little time, and Baby Girl feeling a ton better, we think it is hilarious.

Right now we are in survive mode and we just can't wait for this semester to be over!! Life is a beautiful chaotic mess but we wouldn't change it for the world! While there is so much that is stressing us out at the moment, holding us together are all of the good things we have been blessed with and that is what we try to spend our energy focusing on.

Like:


This little girl! She ALWAYS puts a smile on our faces, no matter how stressed out we are.

And date night!



Like I said, Keiton and I make a great team and no matter how stressed I am, he has a way of calming me down, helping me to laugh and see that there is way more to be happy then upset about. I lucked out with this one!




Wish us luck as we finish up this semester! We need all the help we can get 😂




Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Twenty-four


Recently I celebrated my twenty-fourth birthday. This guy right here made it the 
BEST BIRTHDAY EVER! 



On Saturday, I went to the Women's Broadcast of General Conference and when I came home this is what I found. . .


 Keiton is always trying to surprise me, and by celebrating my birthday a day early he caught me completely off guard. He wanted to make sure I never saw it coming, so imagine my surprise when I walked in and saw my favorite treats, sparking cider and tickets to Lion King! He made my birthday-eve the best night ever!!

 

It had been a really crazy week so it was nice just to take a few days off and just have family time! And of course eat lots of yummy food! 

 

On my actual birthday we went down to my parents house. My mom made my favorite food, Cafe Rio Salads and Cheesecake. It was DELICIOUS! I love that we live so close to them and that Lucy gets to spend so much time with them! My parents are the best and it is fun to hang out with the Monroe Clan. 


Earlier in the week we decided to blow off some homework and go to Olive Garden instead. I love their desserts and I really love that it is free on your birthday! Lucy didn't love the singing, it kind of freaked her out 😂

 


On birthday-eve we celebrated by going to Black Bear Diner and it was SO good! I LOVE their pancakes so instead of writing a 5 page paper we procrastinated a little longer to have a delicious breakfast.


I am so grateful to have a husband who helps me to have fun no matter how stressful life is.  He is really good at taking a step back and enjoying the little things in life. I don't know how I lucked out to find him, but I'm sure glad I did! 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Priorities

Have you ever looked at your massive to-do list and thought, Nope. Not happening, there is no possible way. A million things to do, no motivation to do them, running on junk food, and hair is made up of 90% dry shampoo.

Nope, just me? Cool. 

Well, lately those kinds of days seem to have become more common. But seriously... when was the last time I washed my hair :/

Out of necessity I have learned a little of the art of prioritizing and letting things go. So in light of this new "que sera sera" outlook I thought I would share some of the experiences that have pushed me so far out of my perfectionist comfort zone.

I have my list of things to do and I rely on it way too much. I have learned that it is simply not possible to have the house perfectly clean, be the perfect mom, perfect wife, or to successfully get my homework done. So I have to actively choose what my priorities are.  If I don't, every little thing that pops up would distract me and I would never even make it to my list. Or worse, I would get everything done but not have time for Keiton and my Baby Girl.

So I choose family. Keiton and I set aside time together every single night so that no matter what comes up, we have time together to focus on us.  That means when Baby Girl goes to bed, there is no homework, no projects, just each other and usually an episode or two on Netflix.  This time is so important to me, I love Baby Girl but it is so nice to reconnect and laugh with my best friend with no distractions.

This nightly ritual has saved me this semester. When I am stressed out, or disappointed because I bombed a test, I have something to look forward to that brightens any bad day! Laughing and relaxing every night has done wonders in my life.  And the weirdest thing has happened, I have seen that as I actively put my family first and figure out how to fit everything else in my life, I have had more time to get the other stuff done. It's that weird time paradox where I feel like God has helped me be more productive with my time and cross off a lot more on my to-do list.

Another important lesson I have learned is to let it go. What even is the "perfect wife", "perfect mom", straight A student and who has a "perfectly clean" house? Not me, that's for sure. I don't think it is possible to do all of those things perfectly, so I have chosen to focus on my family. I still try to do well in everything else, that is the perfectionist personality inside me. But if we have no clean spoons and to eat cereal with forks it is going to be just fine!

I had a research paper due in one of my classes, I had known about this paper for two months but I had put it off for way too long.  The day before it was due I put it off even longer because we decided to go on a family walk, so I didn't even start it until after we put Baby Girl to bed.  I was up until midnight but I finally finished.  I had to learn that it was ok that my paper wasn't going to be the best just as long as I did my best.  I know for most of you, you are thinking 'well... duh!' But for a busy perfectionist mom this was a break through 😉

The final thing I have learned is to make the time to work on my Spirituality.  Life is SO busy and reading my scriptures usually was the first thing to get bumped off my list.  Recently I have made the resolution that no matter what I am going to set aside at least 20 minutes and those 20 minutes have made all the difference.  I have found I am A LOT more patient and kind if I put God first in my day.

Putting family first, letting go of the expectation to be perfect, and making time for Spiritual growth has helped me to become the happiest I have ever been in my life! I have also taken courage in the quote by Elder Holland that says " Don't you quit! You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. For those who embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ blessings come! Trust God and believe in good things to come!" I have found that somehow, it all works out! 

SEVEN MONTHS

Can you even believe it? Homegirl is getting SO big! 


Baby Girl's personality is coming through more and more each day and she is so interactive! She absolutely loves "joining the conversation," when ever Keiton and I are talking she babbles and screeches because she thinks she is so big 😂 She smiles 100% of the time and is a complete dream! (Except around 1 AM, she is always hungry and definitely thinks it's the end of the world) 


Her new favorite thing to do is giggle.  We were at Walmart the other day and she giggled at everything. It was one of those adorable laughs that can make anyone smile. We had people around us smiling and laughing and she was loving the extra attention. I was laughing so hard because she apparently she thought her jokes were hilarious, it was SO cute!

 

Baby Girl makes being a mom the best job in the entire world! She brings so much joy and happiness into our lives! Her smile melts my heart and my favorite thing in the whole world is seeing her face as she lights up when she sees me or Keiton.  She makes life so much fun and I love seeing her excitement for the little things in life 💕
                                               
  

She is definitely my daughter because her new favorite thing is Mickey Mouse.  She loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and she gets SO excited every time she see her Mickey stuffed animal. I took her with me to Disney On Ice with the Dockstader Girls and she absolutely LOVED it! Disney girl through and through. 


 

Baby Girl is adorable and I can't imagine our life without her! 


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

SIX MONTHS

This little lady is half a year old! 


I still have a hard time believing it was six months ago she joined our family. Time has flown by so fast!  I feel like I blinked and she went from a tiny, cuddly, precious newborn to the wiggly, playful, smiley baby she is now.  Seriously, I need to stop blinking because I want her to stay little forever!


She now weighs 17.4 pounds, 65 percentile.
27 inches long, 82 percentile.
She still has a big melon, 17 inch head circumference, 93 percentile. 💕💕


This has been my favorite stage by far! She LOVES to play!  She is a chatterbox, cooing all the time. She thinks it's hilarious to coo back and forth with people.  Peek-a-boo makes her giggle so hard we have to take a little breather 😂  Her absolute favorite toy is her stuffed animal raccoon.  She also loves her baby doll and to chew on everything she can get her hands on.


She is fascinated by hands, especially her own.  She loves to sit and watch her little thumbs wiggle.  She has cut her first two teeth! Her bottom two teeth popped up the other day, we learned when she bit Keiton.  

Homegirl LOVES foods!  She is a great little eater, sweet potatoes and apples are still her favorite. She pulls a disgusted face when she eat peas and green beans but she continues to eat most of the jar! When we make her bottle her little face lights up and she get SO EXCITED! 


Baby Girl loves to be on the go.  She loves going on walks and seeing the world around her. She is beautiful and brings us so much joy! It is crazy just how much we love this little stinker!  









Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Suffocation

We are at that point of the semester where every professor has decided to make life miserable by assigning tests, projects and papers at the same time.  Everyday I go to class and feel like I'm being buried deeper and deeper by the amount of things to do (the phrase suffocation.. no breathing... comes to mind).  

You would think that would I would super organized in order to get everything done but I have "senioritis" super bad right now so it usually means staying at a constant stressed out level and turning to Netflix instead.... (I'm only kind of kidding about that) 😬

 I do have days where I would rather play with Baby Girl and catch up on my shows but for the most part, Keiton and I are somehow making it through this insane busy time.  I mean we both bombed tests last Saturday but hey I didn't say we were successfully getting through this busy time, just somehow floating through.  


Keiton got his hair cut this week and the lady who was cutting his hair was our age.  When she found out we had a baby she freaked out and asked him if he regretted having a baby so young.  Keiton was taken back at the question and told her if he could go back he wouldn't change a thing.

I whole heartedly 100% agree.  

School is overwhelming at times but it's always been stressful. Having our sweet Baby Girl makes life not only bearable but SO MUCH FUN too!! How can you not be filled with joy when you look into this face?! 


I would rather be busy than bored which is good because this little girl is a wiggle worm, always on the move (heaven help us when she can walk).  Luckily she loves to play so we set her in front of her toys and then try and get to get as much done as possible.  If anything having Baby Girl has taught me to be more productive with my time.



I have learned that with the help of God, somehow everything on my to-do list gets done and by some huge miracle I am at least passing my classes.  The rest is up to me and my attitude and I whole heartedly believe that it is possible to get through stressful situations with joy.


One of my favorite quotes is from Elder M. Russell Ballard,
"Attitude is an important part of the foundation upon which we build a productive life.  In appraising our present attitude, we might ask: 'Am I working to become my best self? Do I look toward the positive in life?' Remember, a good attitude produces good results, a fair attitude fair results, a poor attitude poor results.  We each shape our own life, and the shape of it is determined largely by our attitude.



So that is my though this week, no matter how stressful life is right now focus more on your attitude and a little less on the list of things to do.  Keeping a positive attitude and smile on your face will go a long way!


I'm so grateful for this little girl who constantly reminds me to smile.  We spend most of our days laughing, babbling and playing and that makes all the difference in my attitude! 






Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day 2017

It's crazy to think how much has changed in a year.



This time last year we announced on social media we were having a baby.  And now look at her, she is getting SO big!  I don't know what we did in our life before she came along.  I don't know how I filled my days without kissing those chubby cheeks a million times or tickling her chunky belly and listing to her adorable laugh.   


Now we have our little one and she makes everything in our little family feel complete.  Even as little as she is she makes holidays, even little ones, a lot more exciting.

 

Before Keiton, I never really cared about Valentine's Day.  I thought it was a fake holiday and dumb that we had to have a day to tell our loved ones we are thinking about them.  Now that I have my forever valentine, he has changed my mind!

One of the things I love about Keiton is that he is so good at telling me and showing me just how much he loves me every single day.  He is really great about randomly bringing home flowers, making me dinner, leaving notes around the house.  So Valentine's Day still isn't a super big deal, but I still get really excited because any chance I have to go on a date with with my love, I'll take it!  


Because of Keiton and Baby Girl, I have found myself getting a lot more into this "fake holiday." I had so much fun dressing Baby Girl up and taking Valentine's pictures and I even made an Oreo cake and heart shaped pizza. Yep, I have gotten mushy over the years, but we had SO much fun!

 


 It was the perfect night.  I am grateful for this fake holiday because we blew off all the homework we had and just had a fun night together.  Keiton got me flowers, we had dinner together, put Baby Girl to bed early and watched a movie together.  This weekend we are going to dress up fancy and go to dinner.  But I am so grateful that we get to celebrate this love all year, not just on February 14th.