Not Just Another Snapshot

Posted: August 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

A few days ago, we got off the elevator in our apartment building, and I was able to capture this picture of James and Emma…IMG_2095 [53998] edit

There’s nothing grand or spectacular about it. This photo will never appear on the cover of a magazine, but it will always be special to me. Why? In a way, it somewhat demonstrates the role of a dad in the life of his daughter.

In this picture, James is carrying Emma in the same way that all great dads would be willing to carry their daughter through anything in life – whether it’s a simple piggyback ride to make her feel comforted in a big crowd, helping her move into her dorm at college, or walking her down the aisle. He’s always there to support his daughter in any way he possibly can.

James also has her high up on his shoulders to proudly show her off. Daddies are so proud of their daughters. They’ll always have a picture in their wallet or on their phone of their sweet little girls, and they’re ready to show off their babies in an instant.

While Emma may be high on his shoulders, she is also being held so she will stay safe. Let’s face it, we live in a scary world today. The fact that parents are able to give their children a sense of security just by simply holding them is amazing.

The siding in the hallway of this picture creates what are called, “leading lines,” which are lines that naturally direct the eye to the main focus area of your photo. Normally, you wouldn’t put your subject right in the middle. However, in this picture, the fact that they are both in the center of the photo demonstrates how they are the center of each other’s worlds. There is just something special about the bond between a father and his daughter.

I love this photo. In some ways, I can’t really describe why. You may just see a man and his little girl. I see my husband with our daughter…and all the love they share.

I Don’t Mind Your Messes

Posted: April 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

Oh baby girl…

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Today, you learned how to unroll the toilet paper. You always loved playing with your duckies by the tub, so I assumed that’s what was happening when I saw you crawl into the bathroom while I was on my way to put the laundry in the washer. When I finished what I was doing, I came to see what you were up to, and found you sitting on the bathroom floor with a piece of toilet paper in your hand, about to eat it, and also noticed that you had unrolled about half a roll of toilet paper as well. As soon as I said your name, you jumped and looked at me, then you smiled, and started clapping while saying, “Yay!” You seriously are just way too cute sometimes.

Emma, you are so little and curious about everything around you. Your little messes don’t bother me one bit. Daddy and I love watching you play and grow. Next month, you’ll be turning one year old. Where has the time gone? I hope you know how loved you are. In your parents’ eyes, you are perfect in every way (even when you throw your little tantrums because there’s no more ice cream). We couldn’t ask for a better daughter. I’m so glad God gave you to us!

My First One Song Workout

Posted: April 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

I’ve decided to post weekly one song workouts to my Facebook page, in hopes that you will get motivated to be more active, even just for a few minutes a day. Here’s the link to my first video, posted last week:

It’s by no means perfect. I’m nowhere near the shape I used to be in, but I’ll get there. Everyone has 3-4 minutes of their day to spare. Why not put down the Blue Bell for a minute, burn a few calories, and build a little muscle?😉

When Darkness Turns to Day

Posted: March 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

Depression, anxiety, and suicide are all topics that weren’t really talked about much until recently. If you break your arm, everyone runs to sign your cast. If you tell people you have depression or anxiety, people run the other way. Approximately 6% of Americans are diagnosed with some form of depression, 18% are diagnosed with different types of anxiety disorders, and approximately 117 Americans take their lives each day. These numbers don’t include those who are still at home, fighting mental battles everyday. They don’t include those who suffer in silence because they don’t want people to see them differently.

What if I told you that I could’ve easily been one of those 117? What if I told you that I, too, have seen some incredibly dark and scary days, marked by both depression and anxiety?

You can look at a person and think, “Wow, they really have their life together. They have a family, a job, money, a nice house, a fancy car. They’re always smiling.” Deep down, that person could be having an inner battle against their own mind. You may think, “They have so much to live for. How could they possibly be depressed or suicidal?” That’s the thing about mental illnesses. The signs aren’t always visibly there.

When my husband left for Afghanistan, I had a new baby, a new job, and just found out I was pregnant again. I used to look forward to a certain time of day because that meant I’d be able to see my husband and daughter, only my husband was no longer there. Deep in the pit of my gut, I was worried he might not come home. My husband’s friends all deployed with him, and my friends all moved back home while their husbands were deployed. I felt like I had no one around me who would truly understand what I was going through. I knew I needed help. I knew I needed to talk to somebody because of how much stress I was under, but I didn’t. My sisters came to visit me, and I shared everything with them. When they asked why I hadn’t gone to a mental health doctor yet, my reply was, “They already took my husband. I don’t want them to take my baby too.”

I’m crying like a baby as I type this, remembering how I felt when all these events were taking place. I was so scared that a therapist would see me as an unstable mother, and that they’d end up taking my baby away because there was no one else to take care of her while I got the help I needed. I couldn’t bear the thought of that. I thought about suicide. It seemed to be my only other option to escape the pain I was in. I even thought of ways to do it. Then I saw my daughter, and that was no longer an option. If I had followed through with my plan, how long would my daughter be left alone in her crib, crying for someone to get her, before someone found me? Would she grow up thinking mommy didn’t love her enough to choose life? What would go on in my husband’s head, when he received that news? How would he handle it?

As I mentioned in a previous post, my husband ended up coming home early from his deployment due to his own anxiety and depression. Since he’s been home, we’ve both gotten so much better. I no longer have my job, but am attending school. My husband has a normal Monday through Friday work schedule, and sees a therapist once a week. Every night, we get to have dinner as a family. We’re looking into buying our first house within the next year. Our second baby is due in July, and I’m currently browsing pinterest for ideas for our daughter’s first birthday. None of this would be happening right now if I’d decided to end my life.

Before I go, I’ll share a 10 quotes with you that helped me during my darkest of days, and  I still find them helpful today.

1.) “Every storm runs out of rain. Every dark night turns into day. Every heartache will fade away.”

2.) “Suicide takes the weight of your problems, and places it on the shoulders of someone else.”

3.) “Suicide is a permanent fix to a temporary problem.”

4.) “Sometimes, even to live is an act of courage.”

5.) “It’s often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars.”

6.) “Just remember, even your worst days only have 24 hours.”

7.) “Just because the past didn’t turn out like you wanted it to, doesn’t mean your future can’t be better than you ever imagined.”

8.) “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

9.) “Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise.”

10.) “If today was perfect, there’d be no need for tomorrow.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts, please reach out and get help from a friend, family member, psychologist, or even just call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255. People will not see you differently or run the opposite direction…and if they do, they didn’t need to be in your life anyway. I hope this post is able to help someone in need. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog!

Just Because I Love You

Posted: March 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

When my husband and I were still dating, he wrote a list of all the things he promised he’d do for me. They ranged anywhere from killing all the spiders to being the kind of man he’d want his daughter to marry. That list was written nearly 3 years ago, and he’s kept every single one of those promises. Valentines day just passed, and I guess you could say we aren’t the traditional couple on good old V-Day. By that, I mean we don’t go to a nice dinner, see a movie, or spend ridiculous amounts of money on overpriced flowers, chocolates, teddy bears, etc.

Our very first Valentines Day as a couple, I put on a pretty dress, hopped in my car, and drove to Lackland AFB for the first time. I went to the wrong gate, my tires badly needed to be replaced (it was a miracle I made the 4hr drive there, lol), and my hair wasn’t as perfect as it was when I left my house because my car didn’t have A/C, so I rode the whole way with my windows down. Then I saw him. That handsome man who is now my husband. He was smiling at the mess of a girl that I was, and was so beyond happy to see me. As far as gifts, I’m pretty sure I just gave him a card (since I drove all that way to see him), and he gave me flowers with a sweet note. We didn’t go on a fancy date, and that was perfectly fine with me. Instead, we got Chipotle, then watched movies while sharing a pint of ice cream. The next day, I showed him how much the price drops on valentine’s day candy. We stocked up and ate way too much chocolate while watching another movie that afternoon. For dinner that night, he took me on an actual date. Three years later, we’re still doing the same thing. Chipotle and a movie, then candy, then a date.

Sure, it’s fun to have one day out of the year where you go above and beyond to spoil that special someone. In my mind though, if you truly love someone, you show them throughout the year, everyday, even in the smallest of ways. Don’t get me wrong, I always love when my husband surprises me with flowers every month or so, but he also shows me he loves me in other ways. he tells me thank you for making dinner and does the dishes when we’re finished eating. He comments on how clean our house is or how good it smells. he calls me beautiful, even when I’m feeling the furthest thing from it. He tries his absolute hardest to get me everything I want. He sends me sweet texts throughout the day. He hugs me or holds me when I look like I’ve had a rough day. He gets a bubble bath all ready for me, complete with a glass of wine and candles.There are so many other things he does to show his love or me, but I’m pretty sure you get the idea.

When is the last time you did something for someone just because you love them? It doesn’t have to be anything that costs money. A simple note, a back massage, or even just a “Thank you” can have a huge impact on your relationship. You can say, “You’ve only been married two years. You don’t understand.” The best way to keep a woman is to keep doing what you did to get her in the beginning. Remember, happy wife, happy life.

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My husband and I on Valentines Day 2016❤

Lately, I’ve seen so many negative posts about young moms. I think it’s time we set the record straight with some true/false statements.

All young moms got pregnant by some loser in high school. -FALSE

While teen pregnancy is sadly on the rise, this is not true of all young mothers. Some of us got married at a younger age, and wanted to start a family sooner than others. Some of us might’ve not been planning to get pregnant, but ended up having a baby anyway (and wouldn’t trade it for the world). I’m not trying to bash moms who do get pregnant in high school. I have a few friends who did, and they’d all tell you that becoming a mother was the greatest thing that ever happened to them.

All of our babies have different daddies, and we have tons of “baby daddy issues.” -FALSE

Again, there are people that I see on facebook who have some serious drama/issues with the father of their children. Then here are those who chose a great guy to have kids with, who wants to be involved in the life of their child. There are moms who had a baby with a different man than their first baby, and there are moms whose children all have the same father. We don’t all belong on Jerry Springer. We don’t all have “deadbeat dads” as the father(s) of our children.

We are missing out on a “normal” life for someone our age. -TRUE

I’m 21 years old, married, have one baby, and another on the way…and I’m so beyond happy! Most (not all…but most) people my age are out drinking, partying, sleeping around, or in meaningless relationships with people they don’t plan on marrying, just because they want someone to hang out with. People my age are so desperate for attention and affection, they’d give up who they are just to be someone else’s idea of “perfect,” only to have their heart broken or crushed a few months/years later. that’s what a “normal’ life is for the average 21 year old right now. So yeah, I guess you could say I’m “missing out” or that I haven’t even had a chance to live yet. Honestly, I’d rather spend my days cuddled up on the couch with my husband and my baby while we watch Disney movies, rather than going out and partying into the wee hours of the morning. Let’s be honest, nothing good happen after dark…that’s why your parents gave you a curfew while growing up.

We’re all just a bunch of unemployed, uneducated housewives, mooching off whoever we can. -FALSE

Most of the young moms I know are also some of the hardest working people I know. I call it the “Mama Bear Instinct,” when we go out of our way to do absolutely everything we can for our kids to have the best life possible. Some of us are stay-at-home-moms (myself, my sister, and several of my friends included), and we all have our reasons. I tried working, but it was soooo hard for me to leave my daughter every morning. I felt like I was missing out on all her firsts. I felt like someone else was raising my baby. The only time I really had with her was the 20 minute car ride to and from the sitter’s house, 2 hours before bedtime in the evenings, and weekends. To all the working mothers out there, my hat goes off to you. As far as calling us all uneducated, well that’s simply not true either. It may take us longer to get our degrees due to the fact that we have children, but at least we’re doing it. While I was at Bible College, I was exhausted from working a full time job, and going to school full time as well. Now that I’m a mom and going to school at the same time, I know that it’s way more exhausting than when my only responsibility was school and work. Now, I have a husband and baby who need me (along with our dog, cat, and 2 beta fish), a home to take care of, online classes to take, and still trying to find time to study…that added responsibility can be quite overwhelming. Guess what? You’ll never hear a young mom complain about it. Cleaning their house gives their kids a safe, clean environment to grow and play in. Making dinner for their husbands (or significant others) just means there’s one less thing for their man to worry about after a long day at work. Staying up to study or do school means that one day, they’ll have a degree, and will be able to have a job that enables them to provide for their families in so many ways.

You can look at an 18-25 year old woman and see all the negatives that people circulate through social media. Then again, you can look at her, smile, and possibly even give her a few words of encouragement. Being a mom is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding opportunities that women are given. Looking down on mothers who started their families at a younger age than what you think is appropriate…well, that’s just not nice.

Oh, Boy!

Posted: March 4, 2016 in Life As We Know It

Not long after my husband left for Afghanistan, I found out I was pregnant. He and I were both so excited! After he came home, I had several “threatened miscarriages” that we prayed would stop happening. God heard and answered our prayers. Currently, I’m almost 23 weeks pregnant with our 2nd baby, and haven’t had any more complications. A little over a week ago, we found out that we are having a little baby BOY!!

We are so excited to be welcoming Gregory James Heise into our little family! He’s expected to arrive July 4, 2016. Only a few more weeks to go!