Friday, December 30, 2016


To say that 2016 has been rough would be a huge understatement. While it wasn't all bad, there were many challenging parts. While some relationships flourished, others completely fell apart. Doors were opened, doors were slammed shut. A rough pregnancy and labor produced a beautiful baby boy. Our faith has been tested, but we are still standing. And our marriage is stronger than ever. As this year comes to a close, I am gladly turning the page to the new chapter that is 2017. There is something about a fresh start -- a blank page -- that fills me with hope. Instead of worrying about the future and trying to figure everything out, I've decided that I will just speak life over 2017!

Keith and I have been doing Beth Moore's bible study on King David and it has absolutely changed my life. Truly. But that is a post for another day. However, through this study we read Psalm 20, and it has resuscitated my soul and is what I claim for this new year.

Psalm 20
1 May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.[b]
4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
5 May we shout for joy over your victory
and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
6 Now this I know:
The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
9 Lord, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!

What incredibly powerful words! I speak this Psalm over my life and over 2017, as I believe this will not only be a MUCH better year than 2016, but it will be our best year yet!

In addition to choosing this Psalm, I have also been listening to one song in particular and it's become an anthem of sorts. It's called "Shake It Out" by Florence and the Machine and has provided me with lyrics to shout in the shower, tunes to dance to in the kitchen, and words to speak when I am frustrated, confused, or discouraged. 

Did you listen to it? It's good, yeah? (That's the Cajun in me adding yeah at the end :D)

My favorite parts: It's always darkest before the dawn and It's hard to dance with a devil on your back so shake him off. 
After the year my family has had, we are ready to shake the devil off, claim the promises that God's Word says, and have a wonderful year! 

2016 has been a mostly dark year, but the sun is rising, and 2017 is looking bright.

Are you picking Scripture or music to speak over 2017? If so, let me know!

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Place That Built Me

***I wrote this post in August and never published it.
I'm not sure why, but that changes today.***

At the beginning of this month, the kids and I traveled to Louisiana to visit with family and friends. All of the stressful problems that I was keeping quiet about on my last post just became too much, and I needed an escape. So on August 3rd at three o'clock in the morning, we took off for my Aunt's house in the Covington area. The trip was smooth and the kids were perfect, and we arrived around 1:30PM. We stayed in this area for the night and visited with my Aunt, Nanny, and a handful of cousins, and then made our way to the Lafayette area. Over the next 10 days we split our time between my mom's house in New Iberia and my Maw Maw's house in Kaplan.

While there, I felt all the stress and anger that had been crippling me in South Carolina vanish. The hardening stomach, the twitching eye, and the body aches were gone, and I was at peace. Spending time with people that love me for who I am is something that I do not take for granted. While life is Charleston is mostly enjoyable, I've never felt truly at home here. Of course, it's a beautiful place to explore and our location on the East Coast puts us near many desirable travel locations (I'm looking at you, Lake Lure ;)), but I still feel like few really know me. I don't think I'm great with people, and I often feel misunderstood. 

Because of this, I seem to be stuck in limbo. 

The place that I call home is the place where my forever friends and family live. It's a place bursting with culture and community and hospitality. Louisiana.

But the place that my husband and children call home is a place 800 miles away. A place where cobblestone stones streets and Spanish moss transport you to another time, and oysters are eaten instead of crawfish. South Carolina.

While driving down the streets of Lafayette, memories of my youth came rushing back. Meeting friends at local restaurants, shopping at the mall, nights out with my girlfriends, walks in the's like the 30-year-old me traveled through time to 20-year-old me's life.

But that wasn't truly the case.

In reality, while reminiscing over the past, I was shocked and impressed at how much Lafayette has grown since I left. Entire sections of the city that used to be empty fields now contained new roads and routes to get in and out of the city. Grocery stores, restaurants, and businesses that I'd never seen appeared before my eyes and looked like they'd existed for a while.

It felt very surreal to drive the same routes I'd driven down hundreds of times, and yet feel like I was someplace foreign.

Very quickly after arriving, I threw myself a pity party. I don't belong anywhere was my theme, and I began to reevaluate myself and my current predicament in South Carolina. If I don't belong there, and I don't feel like I belong here...then where the heck do I belong?

Luckily, I snapped out of that pretty quickly, but the question remained -- Where do I belong?

I began to pray for peace and direction, and ultimately had a slight wake-up call that didn't happen once I returned to South Carolina. It was one of those Mufasa-in-the-clouds-remember-who-you-are moments. So who am I?

I am the King's Daughter.

I am a Cajun.

I am strong.

I am compassionate.

I have overcome adversity.

I am armed with passion and determination.

I am a wife and mother. 

I am me.

The next time I want to have a pity party because I'm homesick, feel rejected, or am having one of those days, I'll read this list and remind myself of all the things I am, instead of all the things I am not.

I'd be lying if I said it was all rainbows and sunshine during my visit to Louisiana, because being 7 months pregnant and a single parent to two kids under age 5 was freaking hard, and I missed that sweet husband of mine. I also didn't get to see many friends and family that I adore, AND the rain started, didn't stop, and flooded everything. BUT...I loved this visit, I needed this visit, and I've come to a rather obvious conclusion -- Life and death is in the power of the tongue.

So am I speaking life or death

Which one are you speaking?

When Keith and I met, I was so closed off and had built so many walls in an effort to protect my heart that I almost missed out on the love of a lifetime. I won't do that again. I won't let my scars and insecurities hinder me from actually living life. I am determined to change my outlook of Charleston and to try to build relationships here. To bloom where I am planted.

And while I don't know if I'll ever live in Louisiana again (I personally hope this isn't the case), I do find comfort in the fact that I can always go back home...and that is one lovely (and delicious) place to be. 

**I am happy to report that since August I've worked on becoming more content in who I am and have begun to grow more in my walk with Christ, as well as in my community. I may be moving at a glacial pace in regards to the latter, but progress is progress...right?**

Monday, December 12, 2016

Ethan Andrew - One Month Old

Current stats: At Ethan's check-up on December 1st (8 days shy of one month old) he weighed in at  9 lbs 9.5oz and was 22" long! We're very proud of this growth of almost 2 pounds and 4"! He wore newborn diapers for the first 2 weeks and is now in size 1 diapers. He's also wearing newborn and 0-3 month size clothing. 

Sleeping: Little man is such a great sleeper. He's sleeps for most of the day, and takes a really good 2-3 morning and evening nap. At night, he wakes up between midnight and 1AM, again between 4AM and 5AM, and then again for the day around 8AM. I am very grateful to be getting so much sleep during this first month, even though it isn't consistent hours, those 2-4 hour stretches really make such a difference. He prefers to sleep on his tummy, and we're constantly trying to roll him back onto his back.

Eating: He is exclusively nursing and does so like a champ! He normally eats every 2-3 hours, unless he's having a growth spurt, then he cluster eats...and that is incredibly exhausting for me (although we've only had a few days like that so far). I absolutely love nursing, but I've noticed whenever I eat any dairy (AKA my loves cheese, milk, sour cream, yogurt) or onions, he is very gassy and is in pain. So, I've stopped eating those things so that he isn't suffering. I had a similar problem with Arabella and had to stop eating dairy for a few months, but luckily I was able to reintroduce when she was older with no problems. I've been pumping periodically, and Ethan takes a bottle with ease. He also takes a pacifier and that is convenient!

Likes and Dislikes: Little man loves to be held (and we love to hold him), loves looking at his sea animal crib mobile, music, Christmas lights, and being rocked in his rocker. He also adores his siblings and loves when they talk to him. He adores Keith and will look for him if he hears Keith's voice. He also likes me a good bit. :D As for dislikes, he is not a fan of his car seat or swing, but both are growing on him.

Nicknames: Lil Baby, Eeth, Baby E, Ethan Peethan, and Tiny Mais. Then there's Eeth, Eeth the Indian Chief (because when Keith was younger he'd always say "Keith, Keith the Indian Chief!" lol)


First Bath at Home - November 16,  2016

First Thanksgiving - November 24, 2016

First smile captured on camera - November 27, 2016

Sibling Love: Gavin and Arabella both went through a lot adjusting to their new sibling. The first week Arabella would cry and throw herself on the ground constantly, and Gavin was being very sassy and talking back. The second and third week, Arabella stopped crying and started being my little diaper helper. Anytime E needed a diaper change, she was there bringing me a diaper, wipe, and throwing the dirty diaper away. Gavin stopped talking back and also started helping get E's pacifier when needed. Now, Gavin is absolutely obsessed with his brother and talks to him, helps me take care of him, and always tries to make him laugh. Arabella tends to do her own thing, but she does love on him here and there. 

Parenting: I'm not going to lie -- parenting 3 kids under the age of 5 is some serious business. There's a lot of juggling and a lot of deep breathing involved. :) I'm constantly reminding myself that Gavin and Arabella are still children and even though they're much older than the baby, they deserve just as much grace as he gets. While it has been an adjustment, I adore my family and am so thankful to be able to stay home with my children while working part-time with my videography business. 

Other Information: At his first check-up the week after birth, his umbilical cord came off on my shirt and his belly button had been bleeding a little since that appointment. At the appointment on 12/1, his doc used a silver nitrate stick to stop the bleeding, and it worked! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...