Category Archives: motherhood

How to start a Mom Blog

I get asked OFTEN how I got started blogging. Back in 2005 my husband and I moved to Northern Ohio… 12 hours from my family and his… to serve at a church in a small town called Bellevue. Now while I wish I could say that adventure was filled with nothing but great memories, I will be honest in saying it was very hard for me… and not a time I look back on with the best of memories… although the memories we had with our students are bittersweet to think back on. I miss many of them still dearly… so thankful for facebook to keep up with them and watch them grow and begin to start families of their own.

While in Ohio though I was a NEW Mom. NEW Pastor’s Wife. NEW homemaker… and still very much a baby myself. I was only 21 years old when we moved there… and so starting a blog for me was my way of being able to stay in touch with my family and friends back home. It was an outlet for me to express my thoughts and share my woes… although at the time I thought I knew it all …. and regret A LOT of what I say. I was like pretty much any 21 year old and thought I had it all together and could do it all alone. So wrong haha… I have grown and learned a lot since then (now 10 years later).

While in Ohio my blog was through a company called Blogger. It is kind of the go-to I think for most new bloggers and for that time being it worked. So, if you plan to dabble in the world of “blogs” – try out blogger first. Its free… easy to use… and has some fun and easy options to make it your own. I know a few big name bloggers to this day who use blogger… so this post def. is not to bash blogger at all. :) The cool thing with blogger is that you can TRANSFER your entire blog to another provider when you feel it is time to take things to the next level.

For me, that came when I had my 2nd born son Taite (also in Ohio)… and once we moved back to NC, I decided to start my photography business. With that business came the adventure of learning how to market myself… build a website… build a brand… etc..etc… It was A LOT to learn but I am thankful for the ability to learn quick and some how manage to figure it out over time. It took a while though :) and I was thankful for tech savvy friendships along the way that helped me when I got stumped. Some of those tech savvy friends btw were bloggers as well. ;-)

When it came time to choose my business name… it was a toss up. I had debated using DREA WOOD, as my business name… it was catchy and to me easier for people to remember than Andrea Wood… however, I dreaded having to deal with checks written out to Drea Wood and my bank declining them because my name is really Andrea. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I just needed to name my business after my real name and go with that. Still, when I started this journey I purchased the domain www.dreawood.com as well as www.andrea-wood.com, just incase I changed my mind. I wanted to guarantee both names stayed available for me. Once I figured out what business name I wanted to use for my photography, I then began setting up www.andrea-wood.com with all my photo jazz…. and eventually even made www.andrea-wood.com/blog, so that clients could view blog post for photography through my business site.

Because I had also purchased www.dreawood.com and ended up not needing it for my photography business, I figured, may as well transfer my “mommy blog” over to that domain, so that the $10 cost for the domain didn’t go to waste. So that is when my blog you are reading today became what it is now. It went from blogger to a self hosted wordpress site.

In other words. I paid for my hosting for my business… and business blog. I then used that same hosting to host my personal blog. Make sense? Hopefully it will begin to as you read below :)

Okay…

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To start a website OR a self hosted blog… the first step is to buy your web space… through a host. When I began my business I looked and looked for the cheapest possible deal I could find. I stumbled across a site that was called “SUPER GREEN HOSTING” at the time and was able to get my hosting so cheap! The way I got it really cheap though was a bit sneaky and totally by accident.

What I did was I went to their website (now called JUST HOST) – and began the sign up process for my website.

Here is what you will see when you go to their website:

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Now when there I would click to sign up and it would then take me to this page:

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Once on that page I then chose the domain I wanted. In my case it was www.dreawood.com. You may or may not be able to get the domain of your choice. It just depends on what the name is and how common that name is. Apparently there were no other dreawood’s in the world though and so my domain was available (yay!). So I typed in my domain and then went onto this page:

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Once to this page you can select what payment plan you want. They will give you many options and you just choose what works best for you. I think when I started I selected the 2 year plan. OH and DO SELECT DOMAIN PRIVACY as an add on. (The Domain Privacy shields your personal address and phone number from being displayed to the public.)

Here is the secret to saving more though….

Go ahead and begin the check out process. Enter in your name… your address, your email, etc.etc… you may even can begin to add in your credit card info. However, DO NOT CHECK OUT just yet. Once you fill in your info in click next. Before you confirm ANY ORDER, go ahead and back out of the site by trying to leave… I know that sounds super weird, but do it. You will then be prompted with JUST HOST agent asking if you would like to save an additional percentage off your domain/hosting. Decline it and leave the website all together. Wait about 24 hours and they will then email you with a special coupon discount to apply to your order. Now I will say, it has been YEARS since I signed up to do this, so this may not be the case any more… but back when I signed up, this is exactly what happened for me and I ended up saving an additional 50% off my order!! I got my hosting so dirt cheap I couldn’t believe it.

Because I don’t know for sure if that will happen now or not, just try it and if it does, great, if it doesnt, their pricing is still among the cheapest I have found, ever. So its a good deal either way. Also they do have great customer service. I have been with them for many years now and have never had a problem.

Here are a few things you get with Just Host:

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I know… lots of techie talk. Some of that may make sense, some may not.

So how do I use my professional photography site to host my personal blog?

I pay for my hosting. Every 2 years. It is a set rate and fee… Varies depending on the sale you get in on, so I cant quote a price, but lets just say its $100.00 a year for your hosting (that is on the high end btw). You then have your domain. So my domain is www.dreawood.com – IF I want to use my hosting account that I am paying for to host ANOTHER domain (aka website/blog), you can then add on additional domains. Some times they just give them to you free with your hosting, sometimes it cost an extra fee. The fee is minimal though, like $3.99-10.00 a year per domain.

So I pay my set hosting rate.
I got my domain with that.
I then added on an additional domain for my personal blog.
For my photo blog I was able to install wordpress to that at no extra cost and just direct it to the domain www.andrea-wood.com/blog.

I know… I know, ITS LIKE CHINESE YALL! Its so confusing for me to even type this out for you… I feel like I am making no sense… and truly you may not be able to make sense of any of this, until you actually try to start the process for yourself.

Once you set up your hosting account from the c-panel Just Host gives you, you can then turn your domain link into a SELF HOSTED wordpress blog. Here is what the screen would look like from the c-panel….

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The host will take care of installing wordpress for you once you follow the steps it gives you on that page. It is very easy to do once in there… even though it looks a bit overwhelming on screen. Its not.

Once you install wordpress, it will then give you a log in screen to go to. From that screen you would then access your wordpress blog.
So for me, my log in screen is www.dreawood.com/wp-admin – if your blog was www.mykidseatalotofcheese.com, your log in page for wordpress would be www.mykidseatalotofcheese.com/wp-admin. It will look like this once there:

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Once in your wordpress account you can then post blogs… upload images… set up the “look” of the blog and so forth. That in and of itself does take time to get use too… but dont give up right away, it gets easier the longer you blog. Trust me…. there came a time when I hated wordpress and missed blogger. Blogger is WAY EASIER imo for newbies… so even for someone like me who catches on fast, there was a transitional time period where I had to get use to wordpress and learn my way around.

To those wanting to make your blog pretty… there are lots of FREE templates you can use on wordpress. You can even go to google and type in “Free Pretty WordPress Templates” – and tons will come up. For me, I wanted the ability to customize my layout easier than free templates offered… so I purchased my template through a company called HEADWAY. There is a link to their site on my side bar… or you can CLICK HERE to check them out. I love their templates and they are very easy to use and make your own.

Headway Themes — The Drag & Drop WordPress Theme

Another great source btw to learn more about setting up a first time blog is this FREE EBOOK. I loved it and learned a lot from it.

Also for personal photo’s on my blog. I do use FLICKR instead of my webspace. The reason being is I like ordering snapfish photobooks yearly for my family. I try to print at least 1 a year from either a family vacation or the year kinda combined into one book. Flickr sync’s with snapfish’s website and their organizational options are amazing on flickr. I LOVE IT to much not to use it. I have been a FLICKR user since 2005! Great website and well worth the $25 a year I pay for unlimited storage space and uploads.

I hope some of this made sense…

Blogging is something I love to do… and while I do make some money with it now (many years later after starting), it for me, is more than just some income. I have met amazing people through my blog!

I have made friendships on it that as silly as this may sound, got me through some dark times. Some people I had never even met were able to encourage me in ways no one had ever done. I love the relationships its brought into my life and for that reason, I think it gave me the extra push to press on, even during harder times where the public criticized me and my family. While I know I made mistakes in areas of my blog over the years, some of the emails and remarks I got from people who read and disagree’d with my choices, broke me at times. I often didn’t feel it was worth the fuss… and there have been times I had to step away and take a break. To me that is okay and at times needed.

I get asked how I got a lot of readers.

Honestly. I have no idea.

I just wrote… used social media to promote here and there… and just stayed true to who I was.

Thats it.

If you do start a blog let me know in the comments!! I would love to follow you. I btw use FEEDLY to keep up with all my blogs I read. Love it!

Blue Ribbon Food’s – what is it?

blueribbonfoodSome of you who follow me on my personal facebook would have seen me post the photo to the right last week…. A photo that seemed to be great at catching peoples attention haha, because I got a TON of comments on that post. Kinda blew me away. Loved the conversation it created and was cool to pass on information about this company to all those who may find it to be a fit for their family.

To go ahead and get some disclaimers out there
, since I tend to feel the need to do so. I was 1) Not paid to write this post for Blue Ribbon. 2) My family signed up with Blue Ribbon Food’s just like anyone else would, through a friend. 3) I am no expert and I am brand new to this company, so what I am about to talk about is from a newbie’s experience. However, I plan to follow up in 6 mo. from now and share with my readers my thoughts as the time goes. I may even do a 3 mo. check in too, if yall want.

I saw a friend of ours on facebook post a similar image to the right, of their freezer. Packed full of foods. They also mentioned how the food was from a good source of local farms, free range and so forth. I am big on this but will be totally honest. We could not afford to buy all our foods organic… from whole foods, trader joes and other organic food stores in the area. I tried to find ways to make it work… but with our budget, we just couldn’t. We literally live pay check to pay check right now… and as much as I value quality food for my family, it was not worth buying it and then not having enough money to pay our mortgage or utilities. I have learned throughout my years of trying to live well, healthy, feeding my family real food, that living in fear is no way to live… and while everything we eat may not be 100% organic, I try my very best to make do with the resources we have and feed my family well.

So, when I saw these friends post about Blue Ribbon Food’s… I was immediately intrigued. I knew they didn’t live the high life and didn’t live lavishly with lots of money… I knew they had lots of little mouths to feed and shared similar values… and so I decided, why not… why not call the guy they referred me to, and check things out for myself.

So I made an apt. with Blue Ribbon Food’s. The rep who’s name is Matt Albert, came out to our house and cooked our family a meal. Yes, all 6 of us. He asked us prior to coming, what kind of meat we like and would prefer to try… and once he came, he began to cook it up, while talking to us about the company, the farms, the food and so forth. They btw have a list of all their farms. All of them local to the states they service.

Throughout the entire apt. my husband told me, he was just holding his breathe. Waiting for the big price tag to flash across our faces and bid the man goodbye, as he just knew we could not afford something that seemed so nice.

After Matt explained everything to us though, we ate the food, kids enjoyed it… he asked us a lot of questions, like what meats we eat, how often we eat at home, what veggies we eat and so forth… he then was able to quote us a price.

If you go to the Blue Ribbon website you will not see individual pricing. The way their service works isn’t based off a set price on a chicken breast, or a pound of turkey. The price varies depending on your family size… what meats you eat. Do you eat fish, lobster, beef, pork, chicken… or are you a vegetarian and only need their organic veggies. All of these things come into account and that ultimately determines the final price.

I will be honest I am not totally sure how all the numbers work in that regard.

What I do know is once he priced our family cost, my husband was shocked.

It was such a good deal… and even with the freezer we got through the company (commercial grade, frost free), the cost is still within our budget and LESS than what we had been spending at normal grocery stores, buying things on our own. (The freezer btw is something you will want to discuss with Blue Ribbon. It is amazing and so worth getting. It is not “required tho” to use their services. Still, ask about it.)

As soon as my husband heard the price, he was sold.

So, on Wednesday last week, a sweet man in a Blue Ribbon uniform, showed up. My kids were behaving as if this man was Santa :) – so excited about the huge freezer he was about to lug down our drive way and the boxes of food he was going to fill it with.

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The man who delivered our food was very patient with my kids 1,000 questions and remarks.

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ED9A8802As he loaded the freezer into our garage (where we felt it would best fit). I began chatting with him some about the company… and asked him about the largest family he delivers to. He said he has a family with 15 children he delivers to. Many foster kids… What a blessing this service has got to be for families that large… families who may have special needs children… who may not be easily taken to a grocery store. Families who’s husbands may work really late hours, leaving their wife to do all the housework, grocery shopping and tending to the children. I for one, do not enjoy grocery shopping with my kids. While some trips are kinda fun, if its just to pick up a few things here and there… If I had to choose, I would much rather do my grocery shopping alone :) – so that my brain can function properly haha… and I can think while I pick things out.

This guy took care of moving everything into place. He took care of unloading all the boxes himself. I felt like I needed to do something, but nope, he did it all. He didn’t even make that a possibility. He even took the time to properly organize and place all my meats/veggies and other items in the freezer. He explained to me how to use the freezer… its features and so forth. Oh and get this. IF YOU HAVE TO MOVE... as long as you move WITHIN the states that Blue Ribbon Service, they will come to your home on move day, pack up your food and freezer. They will then relocated it for you to your new home, even if that means taking it to a new state! Re-install and re-fill it for you, at no cost. I was blown away at that. They believe in taking care of their customers without a doubt.

Once we checked off the check list, he was on his way and that was it. Could not have been any easier.

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To those curious, all their food is vacuum sealed… it is good in the freezer for up to 12 mo. It wont get all gross and freezer burnt. The way they package their meats is amazing, as well as their organic veggies. I really don’t think Id do it justice to talk about all that here though, you def. need to contact my rep Matt and have him answer all those questions for you.

blue ribbon foodsA few questions I can answer… that some may have.

1. How much food is it? how often do you order?

– You order a 6 mo. supply of food… but you can order as often as you like.
– If you do not use the food within the 6 mo. You do not have to order again after 6 mo. You order when you are ready.

2. Do you have to pay for it all at once?

– Heck no haha. You pay for it weekly. Also, be sure to ask them about what happens if you loose your job… and can’t pay for the food. Their costumer care is UNREAL. It is no wonder most of their clients stay with them for 10+ years.

3. Do you have to order the same stuff all the time?
– No, you can change what you order at any time. So if you end up using more turkey than you thought, but not much of the beef… you can switch it up next order.

There are TONS of questions to ask about the services Blue Ribbon Food’s provides… I don’t really feel I am qualified to answer them all…. However, what I will say is, book an apt. Talk to a rep. Ask a lots of questions and go from there. It cost NOTHING to have a rep come into your home, cook you free food… and tell you about the company. Its free and it is def. no pressure. If they quote the price for your family and you cannot afford it, they understand and its okay. They will work with you and make it work though if it is something you want.

To end, let me say this…

I feel incredibly blessed to live in a country that has the resources it has. You all, we are blessed! I mean look at that freezer! God has blessed this country and I am thankful for everything we have. I do not post any of this to boast… to brag… My family lives frugally…. and while we live very lavishly compared to many in third world countries or even in our own state, where many are homeless and don’t have anything… we have learned to live within our means and with a tight budget. God teaches us to be good stewards of our money… and we truly believe this is going to help us stay within our budget even better.

I look forward to not having to run to a grocery store to buy meat that may be bad… Have you ever purchased an organic chicken (that you paid a lot for) only to get it home and realize its rancid? what a pain… I look forward to trying new recipes with the many choices of food we have here… I also look forward to cutting our bills down even more, by eating at home, real, healthy foods…. rather than running out to eat because we didn’t have a chance to go buy meat, or veggies at the store that week. We have eaten out way to much the last few months and I know that is the culprit. Not being prepared… and not having the time in between home schooling, shooting for my business and keeping a home. Grocery shopping, is last on my list some weeks…

Having Blue Ribbon become a part of our normal, is fine by me :)

To wrap this up….

If you are interested in Blue Ribbon Food’s and live in, GA, NC, SC and parts of VA… contact my rep Matthew Albert on facebook HERE. Or you can email him at: malbert[at]blueribbonfoods.com. I have his phone number too if you want that… but because my blog is a bit to public, if you would like his phone number, just email me drea[at]dreawood.com and I will pass that onto you. One cool thing that Blue Ribbon does do, is offer some great rewards… so any time someone signs up with Blue Ribbon Foods, our family has the opt. to earn money towards paying for our food. So you can help our family out, and others can help you out, etc..etc… The way they have it laid out is great. So if you are interested, be sure to tell Matthew that “Andrea Wood” or “The Wood Family” sent you :) – and we would appreciate it.

With that said, even if Blue Ribbon Food’s had no reward program. We’d still use them. You really cannot beat the convenience and quality for the price.

Hopefully this post made SOME sense. I know it was really long :)

I leave you with baby Reed, enjoying some of his Blue Ribbon food, the first day we cooked it up last week. We’ve enjoyed many meals since then using their food and loved every single one.

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Please don’t blog this mom. Bed Wetting.

ED9A5724Please don’t blog this…. or “really mom?!” is the feeling I get when I look at my son Taite’s face in the image to the right. I’m sorry Taite… but truly, this is blog worthy and I believe will help other moms, so therefore I must blog it. You will forgive me, I’m sure of it :) – Plus all the pee, poop and boy dirtiness I have to clean up after these boys, I should have the freedom to talk about it until they are at least 13. :-D

Ok! SO. Lets take a step back in time a bit.

Caleb my 1st born. Potty Trained right before his baby brother Taite was born. So around 26 mo. old he was fully trained. The only thing Caleb at that age could not do, was go through the night without wetting. I was understanding though and knew for a boy his age, that was totally normal. So no stress. Come age 5 though, I began to stress a bit. Caleb still wet the bed and we relied on expensive pull ups night after night for him. I tried all the tricks in the book with Caleb. No drinks pass 6. (poor kid was thirsty a lot). Wake them up at like midnight when you go to bed to take them pee half asleep. Nothing seemed to work with him… however at age 6, something in his brain seemed to click and wam, no more peeing in the bed for Caleb.

So when Taite became potty trained at 21 months! Crazy, he was such an early trainer… I thought for sure, he’d be able to go through the night sooner than Caleb. WRONG. Age 6 rolled around and no magic happened. He still wet. I also tried it all with Taite.

Taite is now 7 1/2 (he will be 8 this Dec). One day about 6 weeks ago… I just had enough. Pulls ups are SO EXPENSIVE. Because Taite is 7… he couldn’t use cheap pull ups either. He would fill those suckers up. It literally felt like gallon of milk in his pants come morning. Each time I had to go buy more pull ups I just felt tense about the amount of money we had forked out for pull ups month after month.

So. I decided. No more. No more pull ups. No more throwing $20 down the drain every 3 weeks. I was done…
and while I knew the road ahead with washing bed sheets was bound to happen… I was willing to take that chance and battle this out.

So here is what I did….

bedwetting- I got the essential oil Cypress.
This part is optional but I do think helped Taite. Cypress oil is great for the bladder and urinary track system all together. At night Taite with a roller bottle applies cypress all over his tummy, in his belly button and onto his feet. He does this without thinking now, its become kinda routine :) – while at the beginning it was not full proof… with a couple days it really began to kick in.

- I then got a pack of loose fitting boxers

- A couple bed wetting covers (we also already had a mattress water proof cover on his bed, as we do all our boys beds.)

– I btw found all the above at Walmart relatively cheap. They had a two pack of the covers for like 9 bucks. I already had a few already though. Having extra’s is nice in case you miss laundry that day. The Essential Oil I got of course came from Rocky Mountain Oils.

I explained to Taite that the cost of pull ups was very expensive… and that we would love to see if he can try to wake up dry without using them… I just had a feeling that he was wetting because he knew he had the safety of a pull up. I also encouraged him that if he went a week solid without any accidents he would get to pick out a prize. Im all for an extra push of encouragement through friendly prizes :)

The loose boxers I got just so I would have less heavy clothing to wash if he had an accident. I put all of his long jammies away and he had to sleep in just these boxers to start. Less laundry the better! The bed covering also helped cut down on some washing… Boy’s tend to pee up btw, so don’t be surprised if you end up washing the comforter the most out of all the bedding.

The 1st few nights we tried this, he was hit and miss.

By week 2… same thing.

By week 3, we began to see consistency…. Like 5 out of 7 nights.

Now at a month since starting, Taite has been perfect! knock on wood :)

I am so pleased with the results and so glad I finally just gave it a go.

Taite was ready…. so I will say as kind of a disclaimer… I have heard medically, sometimes boys cannot go through the night without wetting until as late as age 10. Each child is different… and I just want to encourage moms out there to use judgement on their part to decide when is a good time to try methods like this. I just felt in my gut Taite was ready and knew he could do it. Then again if a month into this we had no change and Taite felt defeated… and down on himself over this. I would have stopped. I dont think embarrassing or making a child feel there is something wrong with them, is def. not the way to go. If Taite had wet every single night for a month, I would have taken that as a clear sign he just physically could not go through the night yet… for whatever hormonal/brain/body reason…

It never hurt anyone to at least try though :)

I plan to start Owen on this same plan around age 5. I’m not going to push him at just 4 to go through the night. Although he has done it before ;-)

Hopefully this post helps someone reading… Hopefully it made sense :) – Cypess oil has lots of great uses btw, not just bed wetting purposes ;-) – its great for womanly problems too! aka PMS.

In just a week – ailments!

#homeschoolbreak by the pool  #homeschool #wesleptinIn just 1 week.

We had 2 kids barf. More than once.  Stomach bug… food poisoning. The world may never know. Whatever it may be… anything barf, is about as bad as it gets in my book (for child related cold-issues). I hate everything about throw up… and would rather give birth without any pain killers, than to barf for hours. NO THANKS!

Parents came in town. Always nice… but was a lil scared they may contract whatever nasties we had… thankfully they did not.

While they visited. Owen contracted some weird facial rash. Pretty sure it is some sort of poison ivy rash…. sent it to a friend of mine who went to school for skin stuff and works for a dermatologist… shes pretty confident that is what it is.

Tonight Reed fell, hit his fore head onto a wall socket plate. Split the plate with his head, resulting in a Y shaped cut on his fore head. Thankful a band aid did the trick this time but it may leave a small scar. Then again, maybe not.

I tell you though. Some weekends I feel as if every wall is caving in. I think the overly rainy weather in Georgia has been putting extra fuel to the fire… I hate rainy days… A RAINY DAY, is ok. COUNTLESS ONES, not so much. I believe in environmental changes affecting peoples moods and depression. As much as I hate heat, I need sunshine. Amen.

We hoped to attend church tonight after Travis got off work. That also did not happen. He got stuck at work and didn’t make it home in time. I was looking forward to going too. So that was kinda a bummer. Although we did get some much needed house stuff going tonight. Still. Sunday for me without church, feels off. Worship is so important. When you miss it, you feel it.

In it all. Thankful to be in a country where we are safe… where our children are sleeping comfortably in bed…

Travis showed me some stuff going on overseas with Christians being persecuted… to the point they started to behead their children…. I try not to even think about it to much because its so terrible to think of. PURE EVIL… how messed up… and sad. Really you cant even put into words how terrible that is.

Prayers go out to those there… I truly cannot imagine.

 

 

 

To the Mom’s of Boys

Many who read this blog, may not know the small details to my life… such as how old I was when I got married. Many who I tell, gasp. cringe. think I am insane. wonder why. and often times, just give a smile and say something awkward.

I admit. I feel alone in my young age with so many on occasion. Majority of the time though, I am thankful.

I got married at 19.

2 years (not even) fresh out of high school.

I don’t have the memories of college dorms… or living on my own. While I attended a community college for a few years, it wasn’t much more than a couple classes and waitressing in between. Yes I use to waitress :) – another fact many may not know.

I always lived at home.

When I got married I had only had a license for two years.

I think my bank account had a few hundred bucks.

I don’t even think I had cooked a full meal on my own (my poor husband).

I was, young.

Travis and I choosing to get married when we did was meant to be. I don’t have regret of that… but I will say, being 19… and a wife. It’s a lot to take in.

Quickly into our marriage God began to bless us with children. I got pregnant 2 mo. after we got married… only to miscarry that sweet baby who I do believe was a boy… who we named Daniel (Ive never shared that here btw… but felt it was time), He passed just shy of my 2nd trimester. It was crushing and hard… and I remember it taking years to recover from. Even after the Lord blessed us with our 1st born Caleb, I had many boo hoo moments where Id cry over that small baby Daniel’s ultrasound. It is precious to me… and a memory I cherish. I know my husbands mom has a sweet baby boy with her in Heaven and that right there, brings me peace. Travis’ mom never got to meet me… or any of our children. I just have this mental image of her grinning with the same smile Travis inherited from her :) – as that sweet baby entered the gate.

After my 1st born Caleb was born, just shy of my 21st birthday… I never could have imagined the Lord would give me 3 more boys.

This verse holds such truth and is one of my favorites….


“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.”
– Psalm 127:4

I am completely covered in boy love every single day…. and while some days are harder than others. One thing remains constant. They love me.

ED9A4643They love my imperfections.

They love me after I completely loose it…

They love me even after a bad meal with lots of veggies they hated to eat.

They love me after a long school day, where tempers boiled and tears may have been shed.

They love me with or with out my make up.

They love me with or without a bra.

They love me squishy stomach and soft unripped body and all.

They love my stupid faces and annoying voices.

They love me even in my brokeness.

Boys. Are the best…. and while it is all I know. What I do know is, I am so glad God gave me a house full of boys, who I know, love me in a way, that blesses me each and every day.

So. To the Mom of Boys.

Be brave.

Put on your flip flops or muddy shoes and get dirty.

Throw out the tight clothes and fashion forward skirts… (saving them for girls nights or a date night. No need to be mom-ish all the time)

Sit down, build, create… love on those boys. The messes, the boy jokes and obsession over their privates (already, geez) and smelly feet. One day, when they leave home, they will look back on their sweet short ole mom, and remember how she put up with all of it… and even when they leave, they will love you, in a way, that will forever melt your heart.

Remain strong. Guiding them and teaching them. One thing I am realizing, year after year… as I meet new people… am around others… see families at the park… and so on, is that God is so clear in His Word on how we are to teach… and guide… and discipline our children. There is nothing more frustrating to deal with than children who do not respect and obey. While every child will disobey… and disrespect at some point… teaching them the truth on why these things are so wrong… and so bad, is so important.


“He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”
– Proverbs 13:24

I am so thankful that from the get go, The Lord began to work in my heart as well as my husbands in these areas… and while I know, our boys are not perfect. I am proud of them. I am proud of the fact I can go out with all 4 and be okay. I am thankful for their obedience and respect for others… while they have their moments of failure… like everyone… I see a desire in them to please. I love how when I call their name, they now say “Mam’…” and while it is just one word… it is a word that just echo’s respect and honor… and I am thankful for how we have pushed and taught our boys the value in this. I hope and pray my boys continue to grow… and mature…. desire to serve, treat others with respect… and dig more and more into God’s Word as the years pass.

Often times Believers are criticized on the verse above… where it speaks about the Rod. I for one am not here to tell anyone how to discipline their child. I think that is something a parent has to come to a decision about. We hardly spank it seems these days… but there is a time and place for it in our books. Done in love and with proper teaching to go with it. I remember early on as a mom, one time my child darted out from my arms in a busy parking lot and all I could see flashing before my eyes, was a car coming and when I yelled “STOP!!” that child disobeying me and getting killed by the passing car. This thankfully did not happen… but it surely could have.

Children need to be taught to obey… and fast…

No matter how you choose to discipline… always follow through. Actions always have consequences… My boys know this… and while at times it seemed like a loosing battle… Now that my oldest is almost 10, I am finally beginning to see the fruit of all that hard work…

Thankful for God’s Word.

Thankful for Wisdom.

For guidance and examples from other moms.

IThere is no shame and no harm in ever going to a friend and asking her questions… if anything I believe that to be biblical… I have done it myself… in fact I just did it last week… called up a mom of 8 (almost 9) – just asking her plain and simple “How do you do it….” in regards to home school, etc… as soon as I was ready to quit… give up, toss my kids on a school bus, she encouraged me… and gave me that boost that I needed to stick with my gut and keep at it. Those conversations are…

Humbling…

Needed….

…and so worth having.

Thankful to be where I am today.

Now 30.

No longer a teenager ;-) – newly married with one baby.

Lord has been good to me.

I am loved. By Him… and thankful for my these boys, all blessings.

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