Known.

You know those times when you have to tell your kids to just trust you because you know what’s best? Every momma knows what I’m talking about. When they aren’t tired and fight you on laying down, but then 3 minutes later they’re asleep? Or when they think they might die of starvation and they’re almost positive the tootsie roll will fill them up just as well as that peanut butter sandwich you just made? Or how about when you KNOW they’ll like something so you make them try it anyway, and even though they won’t admit it…you can see in their eyes that you were right? That’s how Jesus feels with us. He sees our hearts desires and he wants so badly to fulfill them. In His time. Sometimes in our flesh we think if God would just give us what we asked for everything would work out perfectly! When I’m wrestling with God about something that I want, I like to talk about it out loud. As if he was visibly right in front of me. It helps me to hear how silly I sound telling the God who created all things (including me) how things should go. That’s not to say we shouldn’t ASK God for things we desire. Just because he already know us, (and already knows what’s best) doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to hear our hearts. In Genesis Abraham (called Abram then) ask God for an heir. He wanted children and asked God why he didn’t have them.(Gen 15:2-3) And do you know what it says God thought of that? He called him righteous in the Faith. (Gen 15:6) When we turn to God for our questions and hearts desires, it shows our Faith in His answers. If you’re yearning for something that you’re not getting, just remember that you are known and loved by your Father. And just as you know what’s best for your own children, he knows what’s best for you. Rest assured my friend, he wants to fulfill your every want and need in time. We know that biblically the heart is the most deceitful(Jeremiah 17:9-10) therefore, we have to seek Him to insure that our desires match His. Lean in, Ask, Listen and Accept that you are known by your creator.

Four.

My Beckett is four! When I was pregnant with Beckett I had gestational  diabetes and he was born at 37 weeks with immature lungs. He didn’t get to come home with us until 13 days after he was born. Since then he has filled our life is so much laughter! We coined the nickname “wreck it Beckett” because he so wild and manages to destroy everything. He is our tender-hearted ,candy loving, redneck, oblivious, wild child. I always say he’s just like his daddy, for better or for worse 😉
I’m always excited when it’s birthday time because I love a good party! When I throw a party, I like to have a few games for the kids to play and lots of food for people to eat. It tends to keep people entertained if their kids are busy and the adults have food to eat while socializing.  I try to keep the schedule relaxed and let the party flow naturally. This year’s theme was football and the kids seem to really enjoy it!
Thanks for reading! As always, email or comment with any questions 🙂

Lemon Grass

I can’t keep ANY plant alive. I honestly don’t understand it. I can keep 4 tiny humans alive, but somehow I can’t seem to keep a plant alive for longer than a week. Until my lemon grass… my mother in law read that lemon grass helps keep mosquitoes away and bought us and herself some. We kept it in the little plastic pot it comes in for a few days. I didn’t want to go out and buy new pots if this thing was just going to die anyway. So a week passed and my lemon grass was still alive! I was so proud. So we went to Home Depot and bought some bigger pots for it. We even got some “miracle grow” and put the lemon grass in the new pots. The lemon grass has been on my front porch, alive, for a few weeks now! I felt like I had really accomplished something! Then it happened… I saw my mother in laws lemon grass. Her lemon grass was so thick and full! It was growing straight up with not a single droopy piece. What on earth!? Suddenly, my lemon grass didn’t look so good and I wondered if I should just let it die and start all over. Why do we do that? How is it that I could be proud of my lemon grass for weeks and then in a split second decide it’s terrible? That’s satan’s wheelhouse guys. He loves to place things that he knows we will compare to right in front of us. That mom on Instagram who has it all together, that house on Pinterest that’s perfectly decorated, that couple on Facebook who never fight (HA!), or even something as small as lemon grass to cause a little bit of doubt. We’ve got to have the tools to fight back. The Bible tells us in Galatians 6:4 NIV that “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,” And yet, in our flesh, we can’t help but compare. When you find yourself comparing to what others have, do, say, or look like ask God to guard your mind. Pray for God to help you focus on what you do have. Remembering that the person you’re comparing yourself to has compared themselves to others also. When our focus is on what others have, it can’t be focused on what we have. Contentment and envy can’t live together. 

Last night my mother in law came over and I was telling her I might blog about our lemon grass when she said “Your lemon grass is still green! Mine is brown now” and I couldn’t help but chuckle. Capture the temptation to compare today! Take pride in yourself. Push Satan and his joy stealing aside in Jesus name! And remember…. 

The (lemon) grass isn’t always greener on the other side. 😉

 

Dear Griffen.

Dear Griffen-

The day I’ve dreaded since you were born has finally come and gone. Kindergarten. I always said that Jesus was coming back before you started school because he had to know I couldn’t handle sending you! Turns out I was wrong. You’re gone. And you absolutely love it. Sending you to school brought on all kinds of emotions for me. You’re gone from our breakfast and lunch table five days a week. I don’t  hear you and your brothers laughing throughout the day anymore (or fighting 😉 ) You aren’t home to ride your bike after breakfast, or catch lizards after lunch. I’m now waking you up everyday instead of you getting to wake up on your own and come cuddle me. There are almost EIGHT hours of everyday that you spend outside of our house. Another adult is in charge of your well being from 7:50-3:15! Before sending you, my mommy heart couldn’t take all of these things. A sweet friend of mine told me to pray that you’d get the teacher you needed, and meet one good friend for the year. God is so faithful! Your teacher recently wrote me an email saying how great you were doing, and how she loved your tender heart. The fact that she knows about your tender heart just one week into school made me a little more at ease. You come home everyday talking about a new friend. The excitement in your eyes when you tell us something new you learned is such a blessing to experience. Here at home, Beckett is growing as a big brother too. He’s remembering all the things you did for him, and he’s doing them for his little brothers 🙂 So as much as I didn’t want kindergarten to come, i’ll admit that so far seeing you grow, learn, and share your light with other people isn’t half bad. I’m so proud to be your mommy! I love you, buddy. Keep shining!

Love, Your Mommy

To anyone out there who is struggling with any transition, find the joy. I did a bible study by Margaret Feinberg where she encouraged us to find “joy bombs” (which i’ve linked at the bottom of this page. It’s a great bible study, especially if you’re struggling to find your joy!) No matter your situation, look for 3 joy bombs throughout your day. For Griffen’s first day of kindergarten my joy bombs were a smooth drop off with no tears, seeing Beckett step up as a big brother, and 3:15 when I got to pick my baby boy up and hear about his day! We can always find joy if we aren’t looking for misery 🙂 Seeing how much Griffen loves kindergarten brings me joy more than anything else.

Train up a child in the way the he should go: and when he gets old, he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6 KJV

 

Lifestyle session.

As promised, this post is our images from our lifestyle photo session with the fabulous Rachel Coney! If i’m being honest, I’m not always the greatest at doing photo shoots. It can be a lot of work when you have multiple children! I always tend to over analyze how I look, how my kids are acting, and what kind of mood my husband will be in during the shoot. Lifestyle session is a different story!  It took so much stress off of me because we were all in our lounge wear just hanging out. We didn’t have to be super posed or stress about what we would wear. In fact, we were all barefoot!

Here are some of my favorites in color…

And a few black and whites, because who doesn’t love a good black and white? 😉

I hope you’ve enjoyed these, and maybe even been inspired to gather up your family and do a lifestyle photo shoot! You won’t regret it 🙂

Until next time! XOXO

Welcoming baby Lincoln!

Our Lincoln Hays is here! We woke up the morning of August 1st and headed to the hospital for our planned induction! I must say, a planned induction was pretty nice! When we got to the hospital they already had our room ready, and our nurse came in and started asking all her necessary questions. After SEVEN tries for an IV, we finally got one. (For some reason i’m always a hard patient to get an IV on, so we halfway expected a little trouble) They drew blood, ran labs, and ordered my antibiotics. Around 9:30 in the morning, my OB came by to check on me. I was already at a 4 cm and she said it was time to break my water. Right after she broke my water I told them I was ready for an epidural. I wasn’t feeling too much pain yet, and wasn’t really interested in changing that. 😉 Not too much longer the CRNA showed up to start the epidural. Zack actually got to stay in the room and watch the process. (I made sure to tell him he wasn’t allowed to make any comments regarding needle size, say phrases like oh my goodness, or ask any questions until the epidural was complete ) The epidural took a little longer to work than they were expecting, and I had to lay flat on my back for what seemed like forever. Have you ever laid flat on your back while 9 months pregnant? Ouch. But it finally started working! Not long after it started working, I started itching everywhere. The CRNA (who was very attentive and prompt) came in and switched the kind of medicine which solved the problem! Around 1:45pm I asked the nurse to check me. I was starting to feel a little more pressure and thought maybe it was go time. She checked and I was a 7cm. Darn! At 2:00pm my OB came back and asked how everything was. I told her I really thought it was time to push, but that the nurse had just checked me. She asked if I wanted her to check me again and I said yes. She did, and said it was definitely go time! She went and got the nurses and they started breaking down the bed and getting everything they needed out. At 2:21pm our precious baby boy was born! The hospital I delivered at has started a new thing, and immediately put him on my chest for 1 hour of skin to skin. So we let everyone know he was born, but didn’t have any stats on him yet and no one was allowed back in the room until the hour was up. After the hour, they weighed him, cleaned him up a little (although they’ve now also decided that a bath before they’re 6 hours old is a bad idea apparently) gave him his shots, did his footprints, and gave him back to us. It was finally time for all my babies to meet! My sister in law came in to take pictures of everyone’s reactions. Some were more thrilled than others 😉

Mommy and Lincoln

Daddy introducing Collier and Griffen to Lincoln. They immediately loved him and wanted to hold him.

Our poor Beckett didn’t understand at first… he said he didn’t want another baby and acted like his life was over. Life is hard when you’re 3 and your nap didn’t happen because mommy was in labor. Haha! (To all mommy’s worried about how their current children will react to their future children, stop worrying! Children adapt. Beckett now loves his brother and probably already doesn’t remember life before him. 😉 )

Beckett starting to come around, and Collier trying desperately to get Lincoln to open his eyes! He kept saying “Like this baby Lincoln” and opening and closing his own eyes.

Next up were the grandparents! (and not pictured, my sister in law… who is always behind the camera. We love you Rachel!)

Our very first family photo. (Which we had to give out gum in order to get them to smile for. Whatever works people, whatever works)

We had a great rest of the day. We got moved into our overnight room, had great nurses, doctors and caregivers (including Zack’s cousin who we were lucky enough to have as our nurse for the day after delivery) and got to go home after a 24 hour stay!

I can’t wait to share our lifestyle newborn pictures with you! Stay tuned and subscribe so that you’ll be up to date on when I post 🙂

As always, thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

What’s in my hospital bag?

It’s that time! Packing for the hospital! Woo hoo! This is now the fourth time we are doing this, and I still feel like i’m forgetting something!

I’ll start with my Mommy bag that I had made …because mommies need new stuff too, right?

This time around, Always Discreet, Incontinence Underwear for Women, Maximum Classic Cut, Small/Medium, 32 count came recommended. Here’s to hoping there is no shame in my diaper game! Haha! I feel like it’s worth a shot because who really loves those 12 foot long pads they give you at the hospital? Not it!  I always pack travel size shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and toothpaste simply because I can pack it ahead of time without having to grab it on the way out the door. The same goes for a toothbrush, loofah, and make up. I never pack much make up…. just foundation, mascara and blush. Just enough to feel like my face isn’t naked.

For clothes for myself, I like to have loose clothing. Pack a few pair of panties, whatever kind of bra you’re most comfortable with (nursing bra, sports bra, regular bra… keeping in mind you’ll most likely have visitors) and a good pair of house shoes!  I also love a good robe! So easy to slip on and off and when I got this robe as a gift I was so excited! I think it’s from Etsy!

 

You’ll also need cash/change for vending machine purchases, snacks for your hospital room, any electronic chargers, and as a nice gesture we like to provide snacks/candy for the staff members as they’re coming in and out of our room. My pain management is in their hands, so I certain don’t want them to be hangry 😉

As for the baby bag, I got this Ju-Ju-Be Collection Be Right Back Backpack Diaper Bag, East Hampton, Coastal as a baby gift and I love it! So many pockets, yet lightweight.

When it comes to diapers don’t pack too many. The hospital will provide those. However, for knowledge sake, with previous babies i’ve had the best luck with Up & Up Diapers (Size 2 (37 Count) 12-18 lbs)Huggies Little Snugglers Baby Diapers, Size Newborn, 88 Count (Packaging May Vary) or The Honest Company – Eco-Friendly and Premium Disposable Diapers – Giraffe, Newborn Size (<10lbs.) 40 Ct. I love them all for different reason’s. We’ve never had a leak with the target diapers, they’re soft, affordable, and this year they have a new whale pattern! 🙂 Honest diapers are obviously adorable and soft. They’re a little on the expensive side and for whatever reason, the newborn size don’t have an umbilical cord cut out, so keep those things in mind when purchasing! Huggies have been great for us too! Soft, no leaks, and semi-affordable. I wish they’d do more patterns than the mickey mouse, but we’ll take what we can get! My favorite wipes are easily the Pampers Sensitive Wipes Travel Pack 56 Count (Pack of 4). These wipes are SO soft, and don’t have a super strong scent which is nice. Beckett had sensitive skin and thus, we found these and never looked back.

Much to my dismay, Beckett wouldn’t take a paci!  Griffen and Collier both loved  MAM Newborn Start Orthodontic Pacifier, Boy, 0+ Months, 2-Count (and mommy loves the cute designs of them. 🙂 ) At first I had a hard time finding paci clips that would go with the MAMs until I discovered 5 MAM Ring Button Style Pacifier Adapter (clear) – by i Craft for Less. They’re awesome! You just slip the rubber circle part around the paci and pretty much any clip will then attach!

For feeding, breastfeeding didn’t come natural for me. I went through 100 different formulas with Griffen before discovering Enfamil Gentlease Baby Formula – Powder – 21.5 oz – 4 pk. (I also use the off brand, doesn’t matter which brand as long as it says “as compared to enfamil gentlease” on the container.) My pediatrician said that the off brands go through the same testing as name brand and my boys never acted any different when switching between off brands and name brand. You’re the mommy, go with whatever you decide! Side note: If you can breast feed, I think that’s great. If you can’t… that’s great too. No judging either way here 😉 For bottles Collier was actually the picky one. We couldn’t do anything but Dr Brown’s or he would scream with gas. Dr. Brown’s Original Wide-Neck Bottle, 8 Ounce, 3-Pack were my favorite because the wide-neck made it easier to pour the formula in.  Whether breast feeding or not, this Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner – Bare Naked is great to have! Once my babies could hold their own bottles, I would lay them in this on the floor and let them eat. This way their head was still elevated and I didn’t worry about the fluid affecting their ears. Another thing worth mentioning, while it’s not technically “in my hospital bag” is this Baby Brezza Formula Pro One Step Food Maker… literally worth every penny. Makes the bottles warm, quickly, and with the touch of a button. You do have to make sure and clean it every night but i’m telling you… lifesaver for formula moms!

My mother in law made some baby gowns, and I had the vinyl done by the same place that I got the bag! Etsy shops are another cute place to find baby outfits.  All of my babies came home from the hospital in a single initial gown, so of course Lincoln has to also 🙂 For those times when the newborn outfit doesn’t have the built in mittens, these Carter’s Baby 3-Pack Mittens Set are great to have to avoid the baby scratching themselves!

I personally liked to have a few swaddling blankets, any “special blanket” you want them to have, and some burp clothes in the bag just in case. How adorable is that little fox lovey? And the aden + anais silky soft swaddle 3 pack, indigo are seriously soft!

Once it’s time to head home, we’ll be loading little Lincoln up in this Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Infant Car Seat with adjustable base, Tenley (ours is a slightly different print, and called accel) I have been so impressed with Graco’s customer service, safety reviews, and durability! My infant Graco seat that I used with the other boys expired this June, so Lincoln got one of his very own! We plan to use this  MUMSON Baby Car Seat Cover Canopy and Nursing Cover Multi-use Stretchy 3 in 1 B&W Signature Stripes as the carseat cover. It’s also new to this baby so I can’t wait to try it out! I love that it’s multi purpose!

And we won’t forget to take our hospital door hanger back home with us to join Lincoln in his nursery! 🙂

Whether you’ve gained good knowledge from this post, or just enjoyed seeing all the cute baby items… i’m glad you stopped by! Maybe, just maybe, my next post will have pictures of our newest addition! It’s almost time!

Rachel Coney Photography, of course 😉 You can also check out her blog here.

 

Enough.

Whew! It’s been awhile since I’ve been back to write! The truth is, I’ve been struggling lately. I’m sure i’m not alone. It’s so hard to juggle all the things life requires of us. It’s hard to feel like i’m being enough for everyone who needs me. In the song “O Come to the Altar” it ask “Have you come to the end of yourself? Do you thirst for a drink from the well?” Yes! Then it says “Jesus is calling, O come to the Altar, the Father’s arms are open wide.” I think that’s exactly my problem. I haven’t been going to the well. How can I give to others if i’m not taking time for myself? If my cup is empty, how can I pour into others? Sometimes as moms, we have to remember to take time out to recharge. Not just physical time out, but mental and spiritual as well. Our Father’s arms are open wide to embrace us! Our spiritual health directly correlates with our attitude, and honestly my attitude lately has been rough. When we aren’t going to the Father to be fed, we aren’t feeding others well. So tonight I challenge you (and me) to head to the well. Spend time alone in prayer, asking God to remind you that you are enough. That he chose you to be those kid’s mommy, that man’s wife, in that position at work. Whatever it is that you’re feeling not enough for, you are. Sometimes we just need a little time out to be refreshed and tackle the day!

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35

PS: I haven’t forgotten about my “What’s in my hospital bag?” post! Stay tuned for that, and as always, thanks for reading!

Tight Spaces.

*This post includes affiliated links*

Did you notice the new little tab at the top of my blog!? It’s almost time to expand our Entrusted brand and i’m like a kid in a candy store! 🙂

Zack and I have combined our passions for design and woodwork and we are finally taking the leap into a business! Entrusted design will include almost anything that involves wood, but for right now our primary focus is on our new adorable wooden signs! We have really been working hard the past couple of weeks to make sure we take all the proper steps in starting a business so that we are fully equipped to handle all your needs. We will be welcoming our little Lincoln in a few weeks and because of that we are not quite ready to open our online shop just yet but we hope you’ll stay tuned and get excited with us!

So, I’ve been needing a work space that I can leave a mess, and lock when necessary.  Our house doesn’t have an office, it just has a desk that’s in our kitchen. Not ideal with 3 young kiddos who want to “help” with painting, gluing, cutting, etc. & that’s when it came to me! We can turn the little closet under the stairs into my own mini Entrusted office! Being the only female in a house full of boys, I decided it would be the perfect little nook that was just for me. I had to really get creative and get as much function out of that tight space as possible. Once I had the plans in mind, Zack started building and I started decorating! We had so much fun and I wanted to share our space with you!

Amazon has tons of gold office supplies that is just too cute! And for a mommy who is usually surrounded by boy stuff, I “needed” it. Right?

I got the sign, shelves and cork board from Hobby Lobby. Also found that adorable calendar from a free printable here, and the chair from IKEA.

… and now a sneak peek of our wooden signs! We are so excited about these and hope you love them as much as we do! You can hang them on your doors or walls. Our Lincoln’s will hang on his hospital door when he’s born and then be on his nursery wall after that!

Don’t forget to subscribe so you can be in the know for when you can have a sign of your own! We are so grateful for those who have “entrusted” us with your designs in the past, and we hope we continue to expand! 🙂 Have a great fourth of July weekend everyone!

Persist.

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Persistence… in kids it can sometimes be viewed as a negative characteristic. People will say, “Man, he sure is persistent!” Or moms will say “She just will not stop!” But persistence in a biblical sense is everything. Persistence by definition means “firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” Have you ever faced difficulty or opposition while trying to live out your course of action? Haha, Yeah, me too! But don’t you want to be known as someone who was persistent with the will of God? The Christian walk commands persistence. Endurance. Stamina. Perseverance. Constancy. We were never promised it would be an easy road. Did you know that before Jesus died on the cross he asked God if there was another way? In Mathew 26:39 & 42 he says “my father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me…” But he persisted. He pushed through it. He endured the cross so that you and I were free. Boy am I thankful for that kind of persistence! See once we find Gods plan for our lives, once we decide we are in, we are called to persist. We WILL face opposition, Satan WILL attack us while we try to further the kingdom of God, but with Gods help we also WILL persist. The Bible gives several examples of how we should act when we are faced with opposition. In Romans it tells us to be patient in affliction. (12:12) In Galatians it tells us not to become weary, for in proper time we will reap our harvest if we do not give up. (6:9) Revelations tells us that since we have endured patiently, we will not face the hour of trial. (3:10) Seeing the same pattern I am? It could take awhile guys… persist anyway. Let the spirit lead you. Talk through when you’re discouraged. Let others help you persist, but persist!

I feel unworthy to encourage this, as I promise I’m in the struggle to persistent just as you might be. But let’s choose to persist. Let’s make sure our motives are spirit driven, and let’s endure in spite of opposition. Just as we are called to do.

I will leave you with this word from Beth Moore’s entrusted bible study… (Page 151 in the study guide for those who have it)


” Pure persistence will carry you where no amount of talent, skill, aptitude, and experience can… persist.”