A Letter to the Girl Who Holds It In

If you ask anybody that knows me well, they will tell you that I am a very emotional person. Stereotypical “girl” over here. And it’s not that I just see a sad puppy on TV & it makes me feel sad….I’m a very empathetic person. I will put myself in that sad little puppy’s shoes & really try to understand how they feel. I do this with everything & person in my life. I have grown to be this way. I don’t think I’ve always done this. But over these 26 years of my life I have learned that, usually, there is a reason for every action someone takes. Any time I’m in an argument with someone [which is hardly ever because I hate confrontation] or when someone I know does something I don’t understand, I try my hardest to put myself in the other person’s shoes before I assume wrongful things or judge them. This is a huge work in progress for me, & I am by no means perfect. The reason I started doing this was because of my own personal struggles I dealt with in the past, & still honestly deal with them to this day.

I grew up in such a loving household. I have been blessed beyond measure when it comes to close family. My daddy is an emotional bird like me. He was always so open about his feelings & I never felt ashamed to talk about anything I was feeling. Once I started reaching older high school age & my college years, I began to withhold a lot of my feelings. Maybe that’s just a phase everyone goes through? That’s such a huge transition in your life. So many changes & literally all of the hormones are going crazy. I tend to wear my feelings on my shoulder. Anyone can tell when something is bothering me. Now getting it out of me….that’s the kicker. I’m sure some of y’all can relate, right? I know my husband can. We are so alike in this way. Which can make for some difficult “let’s discuss our feelings” talks, because we always just say, “I’m okay”.

I’m okay.

So many hidden messages can be found in that small, two-word phrase. That’s usually my immediate reflex answer. Very recently, I started to realize that there is something really wrong with this. I sat down one evening waiting for my husband to come home from work & started thinking about why I felt so down all of the time. I thought about my family. My beautiful children & husband. The brightest joys in my life. They were definitely not the reason. We are close to our hometown now, so Texas nostalgia was not the source of my gloominess. Okay….my appearance? I was not happy with my body, but I was working on it. Could be a little part of why I feel this way. But what was really the issue here? Everything in my life seemed to be just as I wanted it to be. Around the same time some old pictures had popped up on my phone. When our sweet Noah was in the NICU. Then it was like this ton of bricks hit me.

I have never dealt with the emotional roller coaster of having a premature baby & the aftermath of it. I never really talked about how that whole experienced effected my physical state & mental psyche. It wasn’t just about the NICU, it was about all of it. The unplanned nature of both of my pregnancies. The timing of it all. It was all a lot. Especially to all happen in the course of just 2 years. The first two years of our marriage to be more precise. The first time I had lived away from my family. Eleven hundred miles away. It all just started rushing back to me. Please don’t misconstrue what I’m saying. My whole life is a huge blessing. Something I grew up praying about. A thing not everyone in this world gets to have. But it was the fact that I never expressed it. I never really let it all out. The undiagnosed post-partum depression that I never treated. The anxiety I felt having our baby boy home but nothing hooked up to him to make sure he was still breathing. The control I felt I didn’t have over my life because nothing was going how I had planned it.

Here I was, 2 years later having this “ah-ha” moment. And this is me, starting to let it all out. Taking that first step. To the girl like me. The girl who holds it all in. You may not realize it now. It may take you awhile like it took me. But those things build up. They get to a point where they overwhelm you. To the point where you might look around & not see anything wrong, but your mind tells you different. You want to know what helped me start to let it all out? The one thing that never faltered through all of my experiences? That overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of my God. When all else seems to be falling apart. When all else feels out of your control. There is one thing you can always trust in. That He has full control over everything. He holds your life in His hands. And He will never steer you down the wrong path. We may lose sight of that sometimes. I know I did. But like God always does, He made me see again. He helped me let out what I felt was holding me back for so long. Holding me back from enjoying what was right in front of me. So if you’re that girl like me, I pray you find that peace. I pray you realize that even if you feel like you don’t have anyone to vent to, God is always there. He hears your cries & your struggles. And even better, He heals them.

This blog has been such a wonderful thing in my life. It has allowed me to challenge myself. Encourage myself & others. And even document memories with my family. It’s also been a journal for me to write down things like this. I just wanted to give a huge thank you to all who read along with my words. It means so much to me.

As always, God bless

Brittany

The Perfect Romantic Vacay: For Those Young Parents Who Just Need a Minute

Having two toddlers running around can really take a toll on the romantic spark in your marriage. Tommy [my hubby] & I love each other so much, but the daily routine wears us down after awhile. By the time the kids are in bed, we flop down on our mattress, turn on The Office & try to soak up the hour or two of quiet before we finally call it a night. The diary of a toddler parent, right? We have learned the hard way how important it is to take time for ourselves. After the kid’s bedtime, laying in bed half asleep doesn’t count! I’m talkin’ REAL time. Intentional time. Not just dating your spouse but enjoying them, talking & listening to them, & making memories with them. It’s all of those things that made you fall head over heels for them in the first place! Keep the romance alive.

Related: 8 Ways I Show My Husband I Love Him

Being in the military can sometimes be hard to plan that time together. Believe me, we get that. It took us almost 3 years to make the time. We knew that once Tommy became a recruiter, he would not have any leave time. After his graduation he got 30 WHOLE DAYS of leave. So you best believe we were going to take full advantage of them. Especially now since we are so close to family. We are also so incredibly close to our most favorite place in the entire universe.

Gruene, Texas

There are so many fun & romantic things to do there. And places around the area that are super fun too! Gruene Hall [pictured above] is the oldest dance hall in Texas. Tons of country music legends have performed here including George Strait, Pat Green, Lyle Lovett, Tracy Lawrence & Willie Nelson.

It’s just a neat place to be in. So much history & good music.

DAY ONE

We took 5 days for our little getaway. The first day we got there a little late in the day but were able to make it to the Whitewater Amphitheater to see a few of our favorite Texas country artists play. Cory Morrow, Pat Green & Josh Abbott Band. It was amazing! We had such a blast. The amphitheater was so cool too. The river is directly behind it. There is so much room which makes it seem less crowded. We even got to meet Cory Morrow & Pat Green after the show! Tommy was on cloud 9!

I’ll admit, it was hot but it was a darn good time!

 

Pat Green on the left & Cory Morrow on the right

DAY TWO

Just to back track a bit, we actually stayed in New Braunfels the first three nights of our vacay. It’s very close to Gruene & all of the fun things to do around the area. This day we decided to drive just about an hour to Shiner, TX. My husband LOVES Shiner beer & has always wanted to visit their brewery. We figured since we were so close, why the heck not?! It was so fun, ya’ll. They had a ton of yard games set up around the brewery, a gift shop, & FREE BEER. You get these cute little tokens that you exchange for a free beer.

 

 

They assign you a group number & you just wait for your number to be called to go take the tour. This older woman was giving our tour & she had worked there for about 20 years. She was so cute & gave us an awesome tour. I would highly recommend going if you are ever close to the area. We had so much fun!

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After our visit at the brewery, we just couldn’t wait any longer to get to Gruene. We were craving our favorite wine & they only have it at The Grapevine which is a tiny little wine tasting place there in town. We always get a bottle for ourselves & hang out there for a while. It’s called Texas Blackberry wine. If there is one thing to take away from this post, it’s this wine. If you like sweeter tastes. You used to be able to buy it on their website, but now due to TABC laws, they are no longer able to. Sad day. Guess that means you HAVE to go now 😉 Live music, good wine & yummy sides.

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After our little break at The Grapevine, we ended our day with a delicious dinner at The Gruene River Grill. Heads up- you might not wanna read this if you are hungry because I have some mouth watering food pics coming your way!

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DAY THREE

This was our favorite day of the whole trip! Our number one favorite thing to do while in Gruene/ New Braunfels is floating the river. We’ve done the Guadalupe & the Comal. Both are super fun, but the Guadalupe is usually always a little low so you might have to walk a little bit. The only downfall of the Comal is that they have a “can ban” so no cans are allowed in efforts to keep the river more clean. Which is great, just inconvenient for everyone. This time we decided to float with the Gruene River Company. What was supposed to be about a 3 hour float turned into a 6 hour float. We had the best time & even made a friend along the way. That’s what the river is all about! Oh & I got one gnarly sunburn. But it was totally worth it!

 

 

Tommy even went to go jump off of one of the cliffs along the river. It was just a good time all around! I talk it up every time I get a chance to 🙂

DAY FOUR

We tried to take it a bit easy this day. We were extremely worn out from the river & I was even more extremely sunburnt. BUT this was the day that we got to check into The Gruene Mansion Inn. The most romantic place in Texas (in my opinion). We had only stayed there once before after Tommy had graduated from boot camp. So we were long overdue for a nice stay there! I can’t get over how pretty it is y’all. They have so many rooms to choose from. It the sweetest little bed and breakfast. The perfect spot for a couple’s getaway. They also have bigger rooms for families if you’re taking a family vacation. I promise this post is not sponsored, I just love it THAT much.

We stayed in the Pent Haus 14. It was so cozy & romantic. We had a wonderful view of the river too. I’m sad I didn’t get any good pics of our room, but just look at this place! It’s beautiful!

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After we checked in, we just laid in bed for hours. It was so nice. As parents of two toddlers, we never get to do that. A huge piece of advice I can give to parents or any couples that lead busy & stressful lives- when you go on vacation, take at least one day to do absolutely nothing. Lay in bed all day. Watch your favorite shows, a movie you haven’t seen or just sleep. Take advantage of that time, because you both know it won’t happen again for awhile.

That evening we went and walked around a little bit in Gruene and ate at one of our favorite restaurants there, Cantina Del Rio. We ended our day with some tasty margaritas, yummy enchiladas & more lazy time in bed. It was perfect.

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DAY FIVE 

We started our morning with a delightful breakfast. They have the sweetest little lady in the kitchen cooking an amazing spread every morning. Delicious home cooked food to start your day! We decided to add some mimosas to the mix. I mean, why not?!

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Once our tummies were very happy, we spontaneously decided to drive to San Antonio for the day. We were about 40 minutes from the city & really thought it would be fun to walk down the river walk & see The Alamo since we were so close. Our first stop was the river walk. We stopped and had some famous margaritas followed by a river tour on one of their river tour boats. I will say, it was extremely hot. It would be much better to go in the spring time or fall when it’s not scorching out. It didn’t help that my sunburn was killing me. But it was still cool nonetheless to see all of the historical buildings around the river & learn a little something while we were there.

After our nice little tour we went to visit one of the most historical, if not the most historical, building in Texas- The Alamo. We only spent about an hour there. It was so incredibly hot & my sunburn was just too much for me to handle, but it was so cool to see. Neither one of us had been since we were younger & it’s just humbling to stand on that ground where so much was fought for.

After our little tourist-y day, we headed back to Gruene to our room & got ready for dinner. We were starving. We saved the best place for our last night! The Gristmill. They have one of the best chicken fried chicken around. The place is huge, too. They have to coolest decorations & the atmosphere in general is one of a kind.

Oh & you gotta get the onion rings. My mouth is just watering now thinking about them. I told you…tons of food. I’m just a foodie. I’m not sorry.

DAY SIX

This was our last day…we were so sad to leave. But it was the fourth of July, Tommy’s favorite holiday of the year. And we were anxious to get back to our babies. But you best believe we weren’t leaving until we got some more of that delicious breakfast. Their cook outdid herself that morning. Our food was so yummy.

I love pretty food. This was the perfect way to end our stay in Gruene. Sitting on the patio, the fresh smell of morning in the air & freedom all around. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

If you just decided to scroll all the way down here & read through our amazing little getaway, I hope you can take away a very important point- make time to get away. That doesn’t necessarily mean to throw down a bunch of money & go on an expensive vacay somewhere by the ocean. You could literally just stay home. Let your babies go spend time with their grandparents (which is also extremely important) & take time for yourselves. Cuddle. Laugh. SLEEP. Just be. I can’t tell y’all how much we needed that time. I’ll remember every second.

Related: Five Reasons Why Healthy Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships are Important

Until next time…

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As always, God bless

Brittany

 

 

 

 

THE BIG MOVE

Long time no see, friends! Howdy FROM TEXAS!

I have missed writing these past couple of weeks! Needless to say, our little family has been busy busy busy. We have travelled over 2,000 miles, seen majestic national landmarks & made it back to our home state of Texas. And can I just say, “Ahhhhh it feels so good!” We have only been back for a little over a week but it feels great to be home. There’s just no place like it!

I am so excited to take you through our whole moving experience- especially the road trip. It was all a huge whirlwind at first. Let me fill you in a little bit….in case you are just now tuning into the blog, my husband, Tommy, is a Marine and just recently graduated from recruiter’s school. The anticipation of waiting to hear where we would be stationed next was intense. Tommy had put in a special request for Fort Worth, Texas, where we were born and raised. We prayed hard for it and had tons of prayer warriors behind us through it all. I remember Tommy calling me the day he found out and he said, “Are you ready for this?” At this point I had no idea what to expect. The Marine Corps is so incredibly unexpected [my fellow spouses can attest to this]. So, honestly I was expecting the worst. He just sat there for a minute and said, “Killeen, TX baby!” I was sitting at the table eating lunch with the kids & I jumped up so high with pure excitement and joy flowing through my body. I was crying tears of happiness and relief. We were finally going back H O M E.

The next couple of weeks after we found out, we were basically just chillin’. Tommy was finishing up his school & I was constantly looking for houses to rent in the new area we would be living in. The amazing thing about this whole set-up was that we didn’t have to pack or move ourselves. The Marine Corps was going to do that all for us…or so we thought. About a week and a half before our expected move date, all of the Marines in Tommy’s class found out that the movers that were supposed to be scheduled to move all of us were backed up, therefore would not be able to move anyone out until middle or late July. That was just not going to work for us. We had a house lined up, a road trip planned to see all of these awesome places in almost a week & NOW you choose to tell us this?!

IO mad guy

You’d think I would get used to things just not going my way after almost 4 years of being a Marine Corps spouse, but no. I was livid. And extremely stressed out, to say the least. After getting some advice on what to do from a family friend of ours who is also a Marine, we decided to go ahead and move ourselves.

So I had about 5 days to pack up our house. Which in hindsight was not bad at all, but in the moment it was immensely overwhelming to me. All the while, my husband was working on getting the moving truck, towing trailer [for my car] & making sure we had all the funds necessary to make this move of ours happen. If you have ever or plan to ever rent a moving truck out of California to anywhere else in the U.S., I have a little tip for you…don’t do it. It’s so insanely expensive. My husband ended up buying a cheap flight to Vegas, picked up the moving truck there, drove back to our house [about a 5 hour drive] & we packed up and moved out 2 days after. See…whirlwind, I warned ya. It was way more inconvenient on our part, but much less in regards to money [like 3 times as less]. It was definitely the smarter route.

A friend of ours joked that we were proof that Murphy’s Law truly does exist. The journey leading up to our move & even some happenings on our road trip was just one chaotic mess after another!

DAY 1

Then we headed out on our trip. Once we knew we were going to have the moving truck we debated on whether or not we wanted to still make our stops along the way. I was so looking forward to seeing the Hoover Dam & the Grand Canyon. We finally decided, “Why not?!” We had four whole days to kill [what my husband “rates” for this particular move]. The first day, our goal was to make it to the Hoover Dam. Tommy was especially excited about this stop. We were all packed up & ready to head that way!

It took us a good 7-8 hours to get to the Hoover Dam. Another little road trip tip- if you are going to be traveling a long ways with toddlers in a car, just be prepared to stop A LOT. Especially if one or both of those toddlers is potty training. Both of the kids did amazing in the car. We watched Coco maybe 30 times, but they were calm & kept themselves entertained the whole way. Paislee had zero accidents the whole time, too! We were & are still so proud of her for that! Huge milestone in her potty training journey!

Anyways, back to the Hoover Dam…it was a huge heartbreak. TIP- check the websites of any major landmark or stop you plan to make before you go on your road trip. I say this because we failed to do this & we were not able to see the Hoover Dam in result. The Dam closes at 5:30. They are currently doing some construction & they close from 5:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. What really sucks is that we literally pulled up to the gate at 5:30 on the dot. Tommy was so bummed. I felt terrible. So, do your research people. Learn from our mistakes!

We were still super excited about the Grand Canyon the next day, though. We drove a little more to our hotel in Kingman, AZ & called it a day. The kids also slept really well in the hotels. They went to bed a little [sometimes much] later than their usual bedtimes, but that’s just all part of it. We weren’t too concerned about bedtimes & nap times. The kids never have trouble sleeping in the car either. So sleep was not an issue on this trip!

DAY 2

We woke up the next morning & made our way to the Grand Canyon! The kids were in such great moods that morning! And so were we. We got some decent sleep & were very excited to get back on the road again.

This is the day it started to rain. It rained almost the entire day. Except for the time we were actually at the Grand Canyon [we can thank God for that 🙂]. I will try not to spam the next portion of this post with the beautiful pictures we captured, but I can’t make any promises! It was so majestic & serene, y’all. I can’t begin to explain how big it actually is. There are no words to describe it. It was true proof of God’s handy work. We are so blessed to have been able to take the kids [and the dogs] to see this.

It’s like you almost feel like you can touch Heaven. That’s how magical & peaceful it is there.

Tommy went out on this cliff where you could get some awesome shots of the Canyon. I was too much of a chicken to go out there myself, although I did try.

It was a wonderful day. The kids are still so little & couldn’t really appreciate the beauty, but it was still such a memorable moment for us as parents & something we will always remember doing with them!

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But you better believe that Paislee remembers this! It was the highlight of her trip to the Grand Canyon, if you ask her.

And of course we had to get the kids matching shirts! I got the smallest sizes they had…I just couldn’t help myself.

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Day two was our favorite road trip day! It was filled with tons of fun & lifetime memories!

DAY 3

This day was filled with lots & lots of driving. This is the day we made the most time. And it rained all. day. long. This is the day we finally made it to Texas! This was the hardest day for me. I was getting so tired of driving. And although the kids weren’t having any real meltdowns, they were constantly dropping something that I couldn’t get for them. Their snacks, their blankets, the cups, their toys. Everything. And I was driving, so it was hard for me to pick whatever it was up for them.

Something that made the drive so much easier was the walkie talkies that we bought before we left California. So if the kids did drop something, I could let Tommy know immediately & we could both pull over to the shoulder really quick so I could grab it. It was so much easier & safer than picking up the phone & calling each other every time we needed to stop. It was also helpful in just keeping the other person in the loop of cars passing or something coming up that I couldn’t see because the huge moving truck was in front of me the whole drive there. I would highly recommend getting a pair if you have to drive separately on a road trip with someone. The ones we purchased are down at the end of this post 🙂

Then we made it. To Texas. The homeland. The promiseland.

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We were a little excited, could you tell??

We started the day in Albuquerque, NM & ended the day in Abilene, TX. We drove a lot, but it was so worth it. Because the next day would only be a 3ish hour drive to our new home!

DAY 4

The final day had come! We were going to see our new house today! No more driving. We would get to sleep in our own bed. It was going to be a glorious day! Abilene is only about a 3 hour drive from our home in Nolanville. It seemed like the longest 3 hours though. Probably because we were just so darn excited. When we arrived, my dad and one of my younger sisters was there to greet us! A huge sigh of relief & thankfulness came out of me when we saw our home. It was beautiful. And it was in Texas. What could be any better?!

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DAY 13

Jump ahead a little, & today we are just loving our new home & town. It just feels right here. We are still unpacking & trying to get in all of the quality time we can before Tommy starts his new position as a recruiter & I start my new job [which I just accepted last week, yay!]. It is so nice being so close to family. We can spend the big holidays together, & even the weekends that nothing is going on. We are cherishing this time in our lives & love that our kids are finally getting some real Texas time. God has answered our prayers. Like He always does. The road was surely bumpy & stressful along the way [when is it not?], but we got here. Welcome to the next chapter in our life! We hope you keep reading 🙂

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As always, God bless

Brittany

Why Change is GOOD for the Faint of Heart

As some of you may have seen on social media, about a couple of weeks ago we received some very exciting news! We are moving back to Texas! Killeen, TX to be exact. A good ole country town with HEBs & Whataburgers as far as the eye can see. We couldn’t be happier!

When you have a spouse in the military, it can be so hard. New places every few years, new people, the long hours your spouse works. Not to mention those week to month long field ops and deployments. We have been so blessed in that we haven’t experienced a deployment in the almost 5 years my husband has been a Marine. For him, it’s a bittersweet thing. That’s why they join, right? Of course, he never wants to be away from me and the kids. But we have gone through lots of times where we couldn’t see or talk to each other. We’ve been through it all together. From poolee functions, boot camp, weeks of field ops, Sergeant’s course & now Recruiter’s school.

Related: Three Things I’ve Learned as a Marine Corps Wife

There are about to be a lot of changes happening with our little family. My husband is currently in school and will soon have a new job in the Marine Corps. Recruiter. So if you live in the Killeen or any of the surrounding areas, he’s about to get to know y’all & your kiddos REAL well. He will be changing lives [as corny as that sounds] 7 spreading the good word of the Marine Corps. We are all so proud of him. With that comes a lot of change as well. The only thing I’ve heard about being a recruiter’s wife is, “Be ready for the long hours.” Encouraging right? Eh. It’s okay. It’s like when you find out your pregnant and literally everyone who has had a baby has to share their wisdom with you. Like, “The first trimester sucks” , & “Just wait until the last 2 months. You’ll never stop peeing.” Oh, but my personal favorite, “You think you’re not getting any sleep now? Just wait til that baby comes.”

I GET IT! Ya know what I mean?

Anyways, although the long hours won’t be the highlight of this job, I know Tommy will get so much experience and pride from it. He has been studying and working so hard throughout his entire school, even practicing & using me as recruiting bait. Needless to say, I think we are all excited for this change! I haven’t seen him this exciting about the Marine Corps since he joined.

We lived in a few houses on base, but this one was special. The best neighbors & memories we will never forget!

I too will be getting a new job. I still plan to work in the same field as an ABA therapist, but with a different company that will allow me to be home on the weekends when my hubby won’t be. Or will be, since that’s the only time we will probably see each other. The life. I have an interview set up already & I am very excited for this transition. The company I have been with for the past year & a half has been so wonderful. I have learned so much working here. Working with children on the spectrum or that have any kind of special needs is truly my passion & they helped me to discover that!

Then there’s the whole thing about moving with two toddlers & two dogs. It’s gonna be an adventure y’all! The greatest thing about the move is that the Marine Corps is moving everything for us & packing it all. Such a huge stress taken off of our shoulders. Because looking for a house in a town you don’t & have never lived in is super stressful. Also looking for child care is tricky. But we are making the best of it. Our families have been so awesome & have offered to look at homes for us since they only live a couple of hours away. I just couldn’t feel more blessed y’all!

So this all sounds great, right? But WHY is it great? Especially for me. Someone who is so faint hearted. I like staying in my comfort zone when it comes to pretty much anything. I’m not the “adventurer” type. I don’t do dangerous things or take risks & chances. This man right here has helped me come out of my shell in so many ways.

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He adapts so well to new situations. He is my calm before & after the storm. Most times, he even helps me to avoid the storm altogether. Waiting to find out where we were going to be stationed next was one of the most stressful situations we have gone through. I cried so many tears of joy when Tommy called me to tell me the news. It is a moment I will never forget.

Related: 8 Ways I Show My Husband I Love Him

Being in California for the past four and a half years has been a big step out of my comfort zone. I was born and raised in Texas. I never imagined myself leaving it. But I would follow my husband anywhere. Living in this foreign [to me] state & meeting so many new people has helped me grow. It has made me so much stronger. I’m such a family girl & being away from my family was hard. So hard I can’t even explain. But the positive side of it is that it has really helped me to be more independent. I’ve had to do and learn a lot of things on my own when it comes to being a working mother & wife. And my introverted self managed to make some beautiful friends that might as well be family.

Change is scary. Change is hard. But is is good. It is healthy. And it’s so EXCITING sometimes! We are so looking forward to this new chapter in our lives. We can’t wait to go back to our home state. Only a couple of hours away from family & friends. And don’t worry, the entire road trip will be documented & there will be an entire post [or two] dedicated to it! So blessed to have y’all on this journey with us!

Have any of you gone through some changes lately? Or have some coming up soon? Share them in the comments, I would love to hear about them & how you coped 🙂

Bluebonnets here we come!

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As always, God bless †

Brittany

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Why We Decided to Stop Having Kids at 25

Kids.

It’s what we all think about when picturing our life and how it pans out, right? Whether we want them or not. How many of them we want. What gender we want. If we want to have twins, adopt, or maybe foster. At some point or another, it crosses your mind. Some [like me] dream about becoming a mom. It’s what I’ve always wanted to be. God listened and answered my prayers. Although the road was a little bumpy at times, I got my babies & I couldn’t be happier.

But why stop?

My husband and I always wanted to have two babies. A boy & a girl. We actually wanted our boy first, but they got flip-flopped. And that’s okay! But there’s always that thought in the back of your mind- “What if we had one more?” Believe me, I thought about it. Hard. Our babies were born so close together, both such a blessing but so unexpected. Not at all how we had “planned”. The newborn phases came and went. Never again will we get to experience that. I had a hard time with that part. That “new mom” feeling won’t ever be felt again. But I’m okay with that. And here’s why…

Pregnancy was NOT my friend

Both of my pregnancies came with complications. The second more than the first. You can read more about that here. I feel like my doctor’s always had something that wasn’t going “right” every time I went to an appointment. I wasn’t gaining enough weight, my fluid was low, the baby was measuring small. And then with Noah I had some more extreme complications like premature rupture of membranes [water broke early], decreased fetal movement, and infection. It was just a lot & really rough on my body. I also had an annoying, constant morning sickness. Especially the first time around. Round ligament pain. Acne. Dry skin. Just the works, y’all. Don’t get me wrong, it was all SO worth it. Some women love being pregnant. Me, not so much. I feel bad saying that out loud sometimes, but it was just a little miserable for me. A miserable blessing.

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Checking my fluid…I had to go in 2-3 times a week to make sure my levels weren’t too low

We can focus on the children we have

This is not to say that we didn’t focus on our kiddos before we made this decision. But like I said before, you always wonder “what if?” Now that we’ve made this decision for our family, we know that these babies we have are it for us. They are the one and only’s. I cherish every single second with them. Every single chaotic & playful second. It makes you appreciate the time you have with them because you KNOW it won’t happen again. We won’t experience these toddler years again with another child, so we soak it all up every chance we get.

This was the day we brought Noah home from the hospital after 3 months in the NICU

Fear

I know people say that you shouldn’t let fear hold you back from doing anything. But in our case, I think it’s a legitimate reason. Our experience with Noah was the scariest thing I have ever gone through. I know our family went through it for a reason & it truly made me a stronger person and momma, but I don’t want to go through that again. Who knows, circumstances may be different if I were to get pregnant again. I just don’t want to chance it. The thing is, I know families who have gone through something similar to us, even something harder, & they have had more children that are completely healthy. But the thing with me is that I’m such a “worry wart” as my husband so graciously puts it. I stress when I know I shouldn’t. For the healthy of myself, my family, & that beautiful hypothetical baby- it’s the right decision for us. 

Related: The Truth Behind the Scar: A Story of Two C-Sections

God

The biggest reason. God has blessed us with what we’ve always wanted and dreamed of. Our boy & our girl. How could you ask for more? He is always looking out for us. I’ll tell you the moment I knew I was done having kids. It was just a simple moment that happens everyday. It was the weekend. My husband was home. We had just cleaned up after eating breakfast and were just sitting watching some Sunday morning cartoons. I was on the love seat & I look over to see the kids cuddling with their daddy. Just the three of them. No idea they were creating a moment I will never forget. I knew in that moment God was telling me that this was enough for me. These three humans are my world. My heart will always hold that moment dear.

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This wasn’t the exact moment, but captures it all nonetheless 🙂

We made this decision at 25 years old & it was a big one to make. At times we weren’t sure & we talked a lot about it. But after I had that little moment with God & thinking about all of these things, I am peace with the decision we made. We may seem young to a lot, but we have been through so much with our two little ones. Isn’t it funny how you focus on raising your children and watching them grow, all the while they are doing the same to with without either of you ever really knowing it? Life is beautiful!

As always, God bless †

Brittany

8 Ways I Show My Husband I Love Him

People really don’t lie when they describe the difference of their lives before & after kids. It is very different. Your priorities change. Your sleep schedules changes. Your daily routine changes. Your finances change. Basically your whole world is turned upside down because of this tiny little human you made. These are not bad changes, they are all for good I promise. But recently I was talking with some of my girlfriends, specifically, about how much your relationship with your significant other changes after you have kids. All of your time is focused on these little people who you want to raise to be decent human beings. Date nights are a must, of course. But not everyone really has the luxury of having a date night every single week. I started thinking about this, and how much my relationship with my husband has changed over these last 5 years.

I have grown to love this man more than I could’ve ever imagined possible. Everyone talks about not knowing how much you could love until you have a baby. And this is so true on two accounts…your baby and your husband. When you see your man holding that baby for the first time, it’s like “uh, okay I’m ready to make another baby” haha [not really]. I kid, but it’s seriously such a special moment and something I will never be able to forget. Even through all of this love and growth as a couple, it is sometimes hard to set aside time for ourselves and our marriage. I try my hardest every day to do something for my husband. Big or small. Just so he knows I see him, I appreciate him, and I love him so much. Life isn’t perfect & some days pass where I fall short, but I try.

I came up with a little exercise for myself. I thought of somethings that I know I do to show my husband that I love him.

Letting him enjoy time with the kids

Now, when I say this, I don’t mean when I’m like, “Okay baby I need to go to the store, can you watch the kids while I’m out?” No. This is special time. Like for example, my husband and I refer to ourselves as “a team”. We work together on everything. Every night I will unload the dishwasher and he will load it. So, usually after dinner I start to clean off the kids’ placemats and bring everything to the sink. He and the kids will usually start playing while I’m unloading the dishwasher. Not every night, but some nights they do. And they will turn on some music and start jammin’ out. It’s just so sweet to watch. He looks so happy and content. I go ahead and load up the dishwasher so he can have that time. I get to spend all day with the kids while he is at work. I know he misses that time & loves to spend every second he can with our babies. He deserves that time just as much as me. I would never want to take him away from that.

Buy him his favorite snacks/drinks at the store

Every time I go to the grocery store I ask him if he wants/needs anything. He will occasionally need some shaving cream or something essential, but never gives me anything he wants. I always make it a point to get him something there that I know he loves to eat or drink. Then when I bring everything home he gets so happy that I restocked his favorite snacks. It’s the little things 🙂

Thank him

This might be a hard one at times, but this is the biggest one for me. Anytime I see him doing something around the house- dishes, laundry, hanging up pictures, vacumming, etc. I always try to thank him. Even though most of the things he’s doing should be done around the house anyways, it never hurts to give a little ‘thank you’. I know I always appreciate that! And for other things too like hangin out with the kids while I take a quick shower or go on a run. I’m so grateful to have a husband that is there for me when I need a little break. The least I can do is thank him.

Sweet texts

This is one that I love to do and should do more often. When I can sense he’s having a hard day or I walk by a picture of him in the house and start to miss him, I’ll type up a sweet little text and send it to him. And he will do the same for me. It’s such a nice way to express your love and let him know that even through the chaos of the day, he is always on my mind.

After I wrote down these four ways I show my husband I love him, I was curious at what he would say if I asked him the same question. “How do I make you feel loved?” These were his answers…

When I surprise him with his favorite meals

I love do to this. His absolute favorite is beef stroganoff. It sits in the crock pot all day, so when he gets home the house smells so good! I love seeing his face when he walks through the door and takes a big whiff.

Talk him up

This is something I didn’t really notice that I did, but it’s so sweet. He loves when I talk him up to the kids like he’s a superhero. I always tell them, “Daddy is the best!” Because he totally is 🙂

Making him lunch 

We are fortunate enough to live close to his work, so he comes home for lunch almost everyday. He will usually call me on his way home and I’ll ask him what he’s hungry for. If I’m not too busy making the kids’ lunches or running behind I love to make his lunch and have it ready. He never asks or expects it, which makes me want to do it for him!

Showing interest in things he loves

The biggest example he gave of this was our annual trips to the NASCAR race. Every year I’ve woken up way too early so we could head out and get a good parking spot to tailgate. Although I enjoy doing this with him every year, this is totally his thing. He is such a die hard fan, & the greatest joy I get out of it is seeing him so happy & excited. He’s seriously like a little kid [or me 🙂] on Christmas morning!

You can use these as ideas to start showing your wife or husband you love them, or I challenge you to try out this exercise with them! It was really cool to see what we both thought of. And it’s a really nice way to think about those little things that happen almost on a daily basis. It helps you to appreciate your spouse more. I would love to hear what y’all came up with & if you share some of things my husband and I thought of! Let me know in the comments 🙂

As always, God bless †

Brittany