28 And Finding Joy

   Today is my birthday…I’m 28 years old. Most people would be like “Oh…you’re so young!!”. True I am young but birthdays get me thinking. I’ve been thinking a lot the last couple of weeks about life, goals and being a stay at home mom.

   For some people being a stay at home mom seems to come comes naturally. For others, like me, it hard. I watch both my sister-in-laws and feel like they have it down! They don’t sweat the small things, they seem to enjoy the little moments and don’t mind if their houses gets a little messy :). These things don’t come naturally to me…at all!! I get anxious when my house is a mess, I like order and routine to my day and I’m not a spontaneous person so when things don’t go as planned it’s hard for me. You might be thinking why are you sharing? Because it’s my reality. I love my kids but being a stay at home mom is very hard for me. It’s a very draining, and never ending job…this year I want to try to focus on finding the joy in it.

   I want to enjoy the small things. Look past the blocks and barbies everywhere and see the joy of my two kids playing together. Look past the chores of the day and decided to find joy in serving my family. I know this is where I’m supposed to be. God has blessed us beyond anything I could have ever imagined to make it possible for me to be home. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

   The last year has been a hard one for me. Lots of good times and great memories with the kids but also lots of hard, and extremely draining days. I believe that God puts us in an uncomfortable place to help us grow and learn…to make us be stronger, better people. Instead of being frustrated with my situation I want to find the joy.

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24

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Why {& How} I Decided to Cloth Diaper

Cloth diapers…I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is ewww, gross, poop, pee!! It’s really not as bad as you’re imaging! IMG_2713_edited-2Once I was pregnant with baby #2  I knew that we would have a much tighter budget so one way I knew we could save money was by using cloth diapers. At first I thought it was going to be really gross and that I wouldn’t want to do it but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to do some research.

The more research I did the more I realized that there are A LOT of different kinds of diapers and first I would have to try to figure out what kind would work with our lifestyle. I settled on “hybrid” diapers. Hybrid diapers have a shell and then some sort of insert. Often they also have a disposable insert option. I liked the idea of hybrid diapers so then I started researching all the different brands.

I decided to try out Best Bottom Diapers, Flip Diapers, and Econobum Diapers. I settled on these after watching tons of You Tube videos and reading lots of reviews online. From what learned it’s best to try a few different brands on your child. Since all babies are built different one brand may fit better then another. Overall I think it’s just good to have options!

Here is some of my stash:

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My faves are the Best Bottom ones. They are the cutest – with lots of color options and they almost never leak! Second are Flip – overall I like them but I never have him nap in them – they always leak. I think this is mainly because they don’t have any elastic on the front to keep them tight to the belly while he sleep (he is a stomach sleeper). And Econobum – I don’t use them. I don’t like them at all – good thing I got them on sale and they only cost me $20!!

After using cloth for about 5 months here is what I have learned…

  1. I didn’t CD (cloth diaper) my newborn. Bry was 7lbs 10ounces and still WAY to small for the diapers I bought him. I started him around 3 months old. You can buy special newborn diapers but I chose to skip that.
  2. I mainly CD at home. It’s just easier to use a disposable when I’m on the run. I have friends that do it but I’ve just decided that using a few disposables here and there works for me.
  3. Buy a wet bag, diaper pail liner and diaper sprayer. These are a must when CDing.
  4. Decide how often you want to do laundry – then buy enough diapers. I didn’t want to do laundry every day or every other day (like most sites recommend) so I bought more diapers.  I do CD laundry every 3-4 days – some people say this causes your diapers to stink – I haven’t had any issues with that.
  5. I don’t CD at night. My son is a heavy wetter and pees through everything. I’ve actually had to start buying him special nighttime disposable diapers (which are A-MA-ZING!)
  6. Learn about diaper stripping
  7. Some pants won’t fit a baby in a CD. Weird – yes – just thought you should know 😉
  8. Do what works for you! Even if you CD 50% of the time that is a 50% savings over disposable.

I’m happy I decided to do it – do your research – and ask around. I think you’ll be surprised at how many people actually still cloth diaper!

One thing I don’t want to forget

As a stay at home mom I feel like everyday is almost the same…wake up, feed the kids, play, clean up all the toys, feed the kids, change diapers, naps, feed the kids (yes – they are always hungry/eating!!), cook dinner, clean up the house, bedtimes…and then it all starts over again. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the schedule of the day. As Kindergarten is fast approaching for my sweet Taylin, I decided to take a few pictures at lunch time today. I don’t want to forget these moments. I want to remember these times together…I’m sure I will miss her next year!

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Beyond Ordinary…What I Want For My Marriage

Do you ever feel like your marriage is good…but not great? I know I’ve felt that way before…having an amazing marriage is a choice. It’s about being intentional…it’s not just going to fall into your lap! I was given the opportunity to read “Beyond Ordinary” By Justin and Trisha Davis…this book has blown my mind.

978-1-4143-7227-3“Marriage is no ordinary battle. To overcome an ordinary marriage you have to fight for your spouse not with your spouse.”

They are SO open and honest, so real. They aren’t trying to say they’ve done everything in their marriage right. The book is quite the opposite. They share the bumpy road they have been on. Each of them share from their journey – his perspective and then hers. They talk about choosing to have an extraordinary marriage instead of an ordinary one.

It’s so easy to get stuck in the normal day to day life especially when life is busy with work, the kids, and church. But this book reminds you to be intentional. The book reminds you that with God you can get through some really tough times. The book reminded me that we can’t change our spouses…only God can.

If you want to read about real people who have messed up and made it out alive then pick up this book. it’s not a light, fluffy book! It will challenge you, it will make you think twice about your marriage, it will encourage you and you will be better equip to take on whatever comes your way!

Thank you Trisha & Justin for sharing your story and for listening to the Lord – your story is going to help a lot of people!

Check out their ministry it’s pretty amazing! RefineUs Marriage Ministry
Follow them on Facebook…I do RefineUs Facebook

~ Sydney Ross

Monthly Photo Project

Well I’m a bit behind with posting my photos for Bryson’s baby book..but I have been taking the pictures and making the pages. I can’t wait to get this book printed! it’s going to be awesome! He is almost 8 months old and is an extremely happy baby! He adds so much joy to our house and I’m so blessed to be his mom!

5-5 months 6-6 months 7-7 months 8-8 months

Untitled-2_edited-1I love tracking his growth and milestones this way I think I’ll try to continue his monthly photos past the first year!

God is Our Provider

This has been on my heart to share…The journey for me to be a stay at home mom has been a scary one. I loved my job at Premera, I had been there 6 years and had gotten a couple of promotions. Premera was a blessing to our family. Wonderful relationships were built there, they helped pay for my schooling and provided benefits for my family for roughly $100 per month. For me to quit my job would be a HUGE hit to our family. My pay was a little less then half of our income and the benefits provided equaled roughly $1,200 per month.

While I was pregnant with Bry we went back and fourth about me staying home or not. After researching the prices for two kids in daycare it seemed very apparent that it was pointless for me to work. Almost my entire paycheck would be going to daycare expenses. So the decision was made for me to stay home…this was scary because on paper Tom’s paycheck wouldn’t cover our bills. We would be short by about $200 per month. We decided to step out in faith that God would provide. I called our internet and cell phone providers to scale back our plans. If we were going to make this work we were going to use every penny wisely.

Over the last 8-10 months God has provided more then we ever could have imagined!

  • Prior to leaving Premera a coworker, that I barely knew, gave me 8 garbage bags of clothes for Bry – he is totally set for the first two years of life!
  • When I gave notice that I was quitting my job I was told I could finish out my entire maternity leave. This meant I could have inexpensive healthcare for my family for an additional 3 months!
  • Our friend gifted us the most beautiful newborn pictures of our son – Moments that can’t be recreated!
  • Taylin had grown out of most of her dresses and we didn’t have the finances to get her more…that week at church a friend came up to me with a bag of clothes which included 3 dresses that were exactly Tays size!
  • Tom and I have both been given opportunities to make extra $$ and God’s timing is always perfect!
  • I was able to get on Tom’s healthcare at work and the kids qualified for some really inexpensive health care!
  • A friend gave us 6 cans of free formula!
  • We had been hoping to buy Taylin two booster seats but had been putting it off…a friend from church posted on Facebook that they had two booster seats to get rid of! Today we picked them up and they are in great shape and EXACTLY what we needed!

I’m listing all these examples because I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to overlook the little things! God is our provider – in the last 7.5 months since Bry has been born we have never missed a bill. We have always had exactly what we needed and more.  Although on paper we don’t have enough we have continued to tithe 10% of our income because we know God is taking care of us. We are beyond blessed…if you have donated anything to our family thank you! Thank you for thinking of us!

Trust in God, be smart with what you have and he will BLOW YOU AWAY!! He has provide way more then I could have ever imagined and it’s been amazing to watch him provide!

Princess Lace Up Cards

Long time no blog! I’ve been super busy adjusting to life with two kids while trying to keep my house clean, and have food on the table at dinner time! I’m still crafting it just seems like I don’t have time to take pictures and post the projects!

Taylin has basically stopped taking naps, but for my sanity I still make her do quiet time everyday. This allows me roughly an hour to myself while the kids are both in bed.

The other day I decided I wanted to make a “quiet box” that is filled with toys/activities that she can play with during quiet time. I started looking through Pinterest and found a few fun ideas. This was the first thing I made for her quiet box.

IMG_3266 copyI found this great printable from Yellow Mums Blog and went straight to work. The instructions said to print these on card stock…I didn’t have any so I printed them on normal paper, glued them to construction paper then “laminated” then with clear contact paper. After they were done I punched the holes and cut some string. Taylin loves them!

They are a fun variation on paper dolls and will keep her occupied during quiet time! They would also be great for an airplane ride or long car ride!

Do you have any suggestions for quiet time activities?

 

 

Sweet Sleepy Boy

Bryson is finally become a pretty good sleeper! We are following the Baby Wise schedule for him which has completely changed his sleep habits. Before this schedule he was getting up 4 times a night within 4 days of switching to the Baby Wise schedule he was down to getting up once a night!! Seriously AMAZING!! Currently he sleeps from 8:00PM-4:30AM or 5:00AM eats, then goes back to sleep until 8:00AM. I totally recommend the book (I only read the chapter about sleep schedules because I hate to read!). Here is a link.

Today while he was napping I decided to take a couple pictures of him sleeping…I could watch him sleep for hour…creepy?? Maybe but I just love how peaceful he looks!

I don’t want to forget the memories of him peacefully sleeping…

And then I accidentally woke him up…oops…to many camera clicks!!

Poor baby…I kept taking pictures because I even want to remember this sad face!

I love him so much..he is really aware of the world around him right now. He ADORES his sister and loves to smile at anyone that will talk to him. He has a such a sweet personality I can’t wait to see what kind of little boy he turns into!

“7:An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess”

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Photo Credit

So let me start by saying I’m in a book club…not because I like to read but because I love the people in the book club and I love the food they bring. Most months I don’t read the book or if I do I don’t finish it. This month was different…we chose to read the book 7 : An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker…this book was life changing or at least it should be.

The book is about an experiment she and her family did in seven different area’s of life…trying to eliminate excess…excess food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste and stress. She spent a month on each topic and it’s really challenged me. It’s a really easy read…she writes with emotions and heart. I really appreciate that she included all the times she failed (and she did each month!!). It’s really challenged me to think about all the excess in our lives.

Here is the trailer about the book…watch it so you understand 🙂

Each chapter challenged me but a few stood out the most.

Spending – This chapter hit close to home. She talked about how her family spent at 60 some places each month. For one month she would spend at only 7 places. I don’t know how many places we spend at but I’m sure it would be pretty close to 60. We are at a time in our budget where we don’t have a lot of extra money…in our society it’s hard to not spend money. It’s hard to only spend on what we TRULY need. It’s not “normal” to only pay your bills and not buy a lot of extras…but it’s OK. We are blessed…we can pay our bills and we can provide what our kids and family needs…we don’t need Starbucks or that new sweatshirt…I have 8 sweatshirts!!

In this chapter she talked about how she didn’t got anywhere for the first week because if she didn’t leave her house she wouldn’t be tempted to spend. She was so used to grabbing coffee with girlfriends or meeting a friend for lunch. But after the first week she realized she could have people over or hang out at friends houses instead of constantly out to eat.

This part of the book really challenged me:

Let me be honest for a minute…often I don’t have people over not because I don’t want to hang out with them but because it’s too much work. I am a clean freak so my house needs to be clean before people come over…then after they leave it’s dirty so I need to clean it again. Come on really!! It’s totally lame and this called me out…this really challenged me…my house isn’t spotless all the time and people are probably ok with that…relationships are WAY more important then how clean my house is! God provided us with this amazing house…I need to use it for his glory not keep it all to myself!

Media – we live in a world that is so connected…it’s amazing in ways and it benefits us but in other ways it hinders us. In our house we have 2 TV’s, an iPad, laptop, Toshiba Thrive (tablet), two iPhones, a DVR, xBox, Wii, Super Nintendo (yup!!) and a TiVo. To say we are always connected to something is an understatement.

I love that we have all this technology at our fingertips but this chapter really challenged me to be in the moment. When I’m playing with my daughter I should  really be playing with her…not checking my Facebook every 30 seconds or checking Pinterest. There is a time and place for those things but I think at times it gets out of control.

15 years ago we didn’t have Facebook, Pinterest or Words With Friends and we all survived…I love all those things and will continue to use them…I’m just really going to strive for moderation.

To sum this book up…all I can say is read the book. It’s an easy read and so worth it! She is raw, funny, and a  great writer. I totally enjoyed the book (which says a lot coming form someone that hates to read!!!). It will challenge you and make you think twice about so many areas of your life!