Sunday, September 25, 2016

Elijah is ONE

My goodness, I'm not sure how we got here already. Somehow I feel like this first year of Elijah's little life has flown by far too quickly than I can handle. But here we are!

One year ago on this day, at 9:46 PM, God gave us this sweet (not so little) 8lb 14oz baby boy. He has brought so much joy to our lives and he is literally a ray of sunshine to everyone who crosses his path. I am beyond honored to be his mama and I pray every single day that the Lord will equip me with the words, the wisdom, the love, the attitude and all of the other tools necessary to raise him and his brother up to be good Godly men.

In honor of Elijah's first birthday I put together a little video summarizing his first year of life. I hope you enjoy.

Music by : Bryan Adams - Here I Am (From the movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Elijah's Birth Story

As we approach Elijah's first birthday (still in denial) I have been reflecting on his amazing birth story. With my first son, I had him at the hospital, and to put things very lightly, the whole process was a complete nightmare. After that experience, I knew when I got pregnant this time around that I wanted something different. I wasn't really sure what that meant, but I knew that I wanted someone to take me and treat me like a patient, like a woman who is about to bring another human being into the world. Not like a name on a chart or just a dollar sign. I wanted a personal experience.

As my journey in finding a new doctor or midwife began, I met Charlie Rae Young, midwife and owner of Barefoot Birth here in the Tampa Bay Area. The first time I even met her, she came to my home, sat and talked with me, answering all my questions and concerns, for over an hour. I instantly fell in love with her and knew when I ultimately chose to work with her I was in great hands. Every appointment after that took place in my home and Gabriel even got to be involved in them too, which was extra special. He loved doing the "belly jelly". We built a relationship + a friendship throughout our time together, and she will always have a special place in my heart.

Fast forward 9 months and it is the evening of Elijah's birthday, September 25, 2015. We had just put Gabriel down for bed (7:30PM) when my first contraction hit. It came like a tidal wave. Let me tell you, when this kid was ready to be born, he was READY! Only a little more than 2 hours later (9:46PM) Elijah was born, in the water, in our home. It was the most amazing, empowering thing that I have ever experienced in my entire life.

Reflecting on his birth, there is no other way I would have rather done it. That evening, about midnight, as I took in the aftermath, it was much different than the hospital. Everything had been cleaned, the laundry started, candles were burning, soft music was playing, and not a soul was in sight except me, my husband and our sweet new little baby. It was so peaceful. The next morning, we woke Gabriel up with the surprise of his new baby brother.

I have to finish this up by saying, only by the grace of God and through the power of prayer do I believe his birth happened the way that it did. I had many many prayer warriors sending up their prayers for me during labor and I could feel God's presence in the room as little Elijah made his way into my arms. I believe that no matter your birth story, God can be seen and felt in the moment of your baby's birth. It is truly a miracle what our bodies can do!

Thank you to my beautiful + amazing friend and photographer at Caroline & Evan Photography for capturing these memories.

"When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world."
John 16:21

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Summer Reading

I have never really been a reader. I have tried, but I am that person that picks up a book and no matter how good it is, it puts me right to sleep a few pages in. Needless to say, English class was never my strong suit.

Yet, as I have gotten older, I have found myself loving devotional and inspirational books. They are what I can relate to, and if they take me a million years to finish, that is okay. This Summer I tried to immerse myself in a few different books to keep me in God's Word as the bible study I am a part of takes a break over the Summer.

Now that I have (somewhat) gotten a hang of this mom of 2 thing, I was able to actually read a couple of the books on my summer reading list:

I love Joyce Meyer, she is an inspiration and such an incredible roll model as a woman of God. Reading her devotional book, 'The Confident Woman' was an easy way to get in a little Me + God time each morning.

I also loved 'Because Crack is Illegal' (not pictured above). A hilarious mother to mother 30 day devotional book, which will have you giggling. Loved this book, because it was entertaining as well as pertinent to my life, and more importantly spiritually fulfilling.

Last book that I have just recently started (no where near completed) is 'I Love You to God and Back'. A super sweet book written by a mother about her and her daughter's bed time prayers. Just really getting into this, but I am enjoying it so far.

Do you do any Summer reading? Or just read any good books throughout the year? Suggestions for next Summer are welcome!