Harper Elizabeth’s Birth Story

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So I know I kind of disappeared again. Pregnancy and a toddler were seriously draining though! Harper Elizabeth is here though! And as most of you know, I am all about all things pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding related so I’d like to share her birth story with lots of pictures 🙂

Me at 39 weeks. She was born at 39 weeks 5 days.

39 weeks

Harper’s birth was a lot different than Lucas’ was 2.5 years ago! Of course, we had her at home just as we had Lucas at home and labor started with my water breaking just as it had with Lucas. Nothing else was the same though 🙂

You can read Lucas’ here.

I was awoken by a loud pop and gurgling bubbles sound that I could feel. I laid there for a second with my eyes opened and realized that” Oh No! That was my water, get to the toilet!” So I jumped out of bed, and almost made it to the toilet. It was almost 8 am. I called Clint at work and told him to come home and called my midwife to let her know. I also called my mother-in-law and asked her to come get Lucas, who was still sleeping. When she arrived, I decided to jump into the shower since I cannot function without my morning shower.

About 9 am, I started having some contractions here and there but nothing to be timed. Clint got home shortly after and contractions started very quickly and were STRONG! I hadn’t expected things to get so serious so fast, because they hadn’t with Lucas. .I expected a build up… By about 10 am contractions were 2.5 minutes apart and 50 seconds long and about a 7 or 8 in pain. Michelle and Lucas left about this time.

By 10:30 they were 3.5 minutes apart but were 70 seconds long now. I was in the shower again at this point because I was having a pretty hard time dealing with the contractions. Clint and I couldn’t figure out a good way for me to “make it” through my contractions. With Lucas, I would put my hands against the counter and sway while Clint did counterpressure on my back or something along those lines. But I had back labor with Lucas, and that didn’t really work this time. And these contractions were MUCH stronger. It was about this time that we all decided my midwife should start heading our way since she lives an hour from us.

Clint had already started filling up our kiddie-pool-turned-birth-pool since it seemed like things were moving quickly. I just wanted some pain relief. I started praying for “breaks”. I had one contraction in the shower that felt a little “pushy”. Clint freaked out and told me I could not have this baby until AFTER the midwife arrived. 🙂

My little sister, Shaye, arrived around this time. Clint and I had been trying different things to help me cope with the contractions. Hip squeezes worked every now and then, counterpressure on my back worked some, but for the most part we figured that if he would just squeeze my upper body and I squeezed him that felt the best. It just made me feel secure, I suppose.

I had LOTS of pressure with each contraction on my bottom and figured out that a towel between my legs serving as a bit of counterpressure was also relieving. I have no idea why. This made me decide to sit on my exercise ball. I tried to stay moving and keep my mind off the contractions, but it was pretty difficult during them. At least I didn’t really need to time them anymore, THAT was extremely annoying to me for some reason.

Once on the ball, I started feeling pretty “pushy” with every contraction. It was about 11:50 now and we were starting to worry since my midwife wasn’t there yet. Shaye called her and she was right down the road, so we all relaxed a little. She did tell me to get off the birth ball though and the pressure would be less. I decided to lay down on the couch for a little while so Clint could squeeze me through my contractions and I was hoping maybe I could get one of those “breaks” I had been praying for. Silly me.

dealing with contractions

My midwife checked me at 12:08 and I was around 6-7 cms and 90% effaced. That was great news to me! Things seemed like they were happening so quickly. Because we needed to fill the birth pool with warm water, it still wasn’t full. We were filling it with hot water and then when it was close to the level we wanted, we were going to fill it the rest of the way with cold water so it would get warm. But the hot water heater runs out of water so you have to let it refill.

I got really whiny about this time and promised Clint that this was our last and kept letting everyone in the room know that this was in fact our last child. Those “pushy” contractions started up and were pretty intense. Since I wasn’t fully dilated, I was trying to breathe through them. Then, suddenly I had a contraction that was definitely my body pushing involuntarily. My miwdife checked me again (12:45 pm) and I was fully effaced and was fully dilated except for a little lip of cervix.

relaxing between contractions

The pool was ready now, so I got into it and it felt amazing. I hadn’t really enjoyed the pool with Lucas’ labor, so I was very happy that it was so nice this time around. The only bad part is I am REALLY hot during labor so I kept asking for cold rags. Eventually, Shaye put lots of wet dish towels in the freezer and would just bring me a new one when I requested.

starting to push

I started pushing pretty much immediately and pushed leaning forward for a little while holding onto Clint’s hands and then reclined while also holding onto Clint’s hands.

pushing at homebirth

Pretty quickly, everyone in the room was commenting on all of her hair. She does have LOTS!

pushing in birthing pool

At 1:12 pm I got out of the pool because my midwife was concerned about shoulder dystocia. We did have a shoulder dystocia so I didn’t get to catch Harper like I had hoped to and did with Lucas, but my midwife handled it beautifully and Harper was born at 1:19 pm weighing a whopping 9 lbs 3 oz!

cutting cord at homebirth

Clint’s squeamish so Shaye got to cut the cord ^^

And here’s Daddy weighing Harper.

weighing baby at homebirthBecause of the shoulder dystocia, our amazing chiropractor came by the house and adjusted Harper shortly after she was born.

newborn chiropractic adjustment

We could not believe she was so big! I am only 4’10” and Lucas weighed 6 lbs 5 oz, so baby sister is quite a bit bigger than he was.

difference between Harper and Lucas

I felt so much more whiny this time than I did the last, though. Clint and Shaye said I was pretty much the same: I would calmly tell them that I was hurting really bad and they sort of took it with a grain of salt. I was definitely more vocal while pushing this time though! My throat was sore for a couple of days because of all of the RAWR’ing I did. 😉

It’s kind of cool that I’ve had a baby in our bedroom and living room now. haha! Of course, both of my births will be something I remember for the rest of my life. Even with their challenges, I enjoyed both of them so much. For me, having a child with no drugs in my system in the serenity of my own home is EXTREMELY empowering. And I was so blessed to do it twice with a midwife who I completely trust and adore.

midwife with newborn

 

I’ll post shortly and do a nursery tour. 🙂

Do you look back at your births with pride? What was your favorite part? 

29 Weeks: Pregnancy Update

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Hello! Yesterday marked 29 weeks and I’m soooo tired… Thanks 3rd trimester. This is my 28 week picture- I told you- I’m tired!

The ultrasound technician last week didn’t get very good pictures, but we do know she’s still a girl! 🙂 Lucas came to the last ultrasound and he loved watching it. When she was done, he said “Watch again!”

We’ve  finally got some things purchased, though. I’ve bought some newborn cloth diapers and a few One Size. I also bought all of the linens for her crib. We’re not doing a big set with a bumper (which isn’t all that safe anyways). I just got fitted sheets, 2 blankets, a crib skirt and matching changing pad covers. We’re moving all of Lucas’ clothes to his closet either hung up or in baskets in his closet organizer and going to use his dresser for her room, which will also double as a changing table. We also got Lucas a new big boy bed which he refers to as his “car bed”, so we’ll be moving his crib to Harper’s room. Progress!

Lucas in Car Bed

Not to mention, my Dad painted the nursery for us this weekend. I’m loving the color!

Harper's Nursery Painted

(Yes, we’re cleaning carpets this week) So once all of the furniture is set up, I’m going to do some string art of her name for above her crib and will probably buy a few prints/canvases on Etsy for the walls. Along with those gray walls, we’re doing coral, mint, and gold around the room. I’ll try to post pictures along the way 😉

Oh, I also forgot — Lucas got his first haircut this week too! My Big Boy!

Photo Feb 10, 12 04 06 PM

27 Weeks: Pregnancy Update

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Hello! 27 weeks– it’s going by pretty fast. It’s crazy how much different this pregnancy is than the last.

I’m almost to the 3rd trimester and I can so feel it. I was so surprised at how great I felt most of the 2nd, but now that exhaustion is hitting me again. I’ve been napping at least a few times a week while Lucas naps. So glad I’m a SAHM now. I can’t imagine working and doing all of the cleaning, laundry and cooking. I would never see or talk to Lucas or Clint unless I was in a grouchy mood.

Oh, we finally decided on a name— Harper Elizabeth. She’s so strong! Or maybe really boney, but she’s still extremely low in my pelvic area most of the time. Here’s some pictures of the last few weeks.

22 weeks

24 weeks

25 weeks

26 weeks

 

Everything has still been going great. I’m on my thyroid medicine, which has been adjusted and I’m doing okay on it. We have appointments Friday to do my glucose test and have another ultrasound done. I’m excited to see her again!

I’ll try to be more regular in updates! 😉

 

Team Us: Marriage Together (Giveaway Time!)

team us: marriage together
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How do you fight? Not brawling on the streets, but with your spouse– ya know, “conflict resolution”.

Clint and I used to be terrible fighters, there was fighting but not as much resolving. In the beginning of our marriage, there was lots of screaming and it always ended with Clint angry and me wanting to ignore the situation before anything was resolved. We both believe we’ve gotten better at fighting.

In Ashleigh Slater’s book Team Us: Marriage Together she talks about two different approaches to conflict resolution: the “me-first” and the “team-first” mentalities.

Just to give a few examples:

ME-FIRST would be a need to be right and disregarding your spouse’s perspective on the issue.

TEAM-FIRST  would be giving up the need to be right and instead having a desire to understand your spouse’s perspective on the issue.

Of these two, I definitely think Clint and I have learned to employ more of the team-first than the me-first. Sometimes when we argue, it turns into a really long conversation of us just trying to understand where the other is coming from and clarifying clarifying clarifying until we completely understand. Honestly, sometimes we realize we both think or feel the same way, we’re just so different that we explain things differently.

I recently read Ashleigh’s book and enjoyed it. She uses several real-life examples from her own marriage and examples from marriages of her friends written by each of them, for each of the 10 chapters. I always love examples in marriage books because it affirms that you know what the author is talking about.

At the end of each chapter, are questions that you can either answer alone or with your spouse for some discussion to get you thinking. There are also several snippets in each chapter from Ashleigh’s husband.

The entire focus of the book is how to approach marriage as a team. A good team, one that works together to win! Ashleigh offers several strategies throughout the book that she and her husband use in their own marriage that have helped them build a stronger marriage. The book is a fairly quick read and the chapters are the perfect length to read a chapter before bed each night and discuss with your spouse.

And just in time for Valentine’s Day, I also have a copy to give away to one of you! Just scroll to the bottom to enter the giveaway.

Do you and your husband view marriage as a “team”? 

About the book:

What are you agreeing to when you say “I do”? When a couple promises “I do,” they agree to more than just a shared last name, a joint bank account, and no more dateless nights. This husband and wife duo forms a new team. “Life together” becomes their mantra. Nothing can come between them. At least, that’s the plan. But then real life sets in. With it come disappointments and frustrations. If the couple isn’t intentional in their day-to-day interactions, that once enthusiastic “we” can slowly revert to “you” and “me.” Before long, the couple’s left wondering what happened to their team spirit. 
Team Us: Marriage Together offers couples practical ways to cultivate and strengthen unity in their marriages. Author Ashleigh Slater shares from her own marriage as she presents couples with realistic ideas on how to foster cooperation, deepen commitment, and exercise grace on a daily basis.
You can also get more info here:
Check out the book trailer HERE & hear from Ashleigh Slater HERE.
 
Check out Ashleigh’s blog HERE
 
Check out the official website HERE 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

21 Weeks Update

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Good morning/afternoon/night! I’m a little more than halfway through this pregnancy now at 21 weeks!

Baby Girl is still unnamed as of now 😦 But she’s growing big and STRONG! I can feel her roll, punch, kick, curl into a ball. It seems like I feel her every movement. And she’s sooo low. Every movement I feel is way down in my pelvic area. I think the only time I felt those movements with Lucas was when he was closer to his due date and head down, but face up.  I felt his little hands in my pelvic area. It’s been really neat the last couple of days though– at night, she spreads way out across my belly and I can feel feet on one side of my belly above my hip and head/hands on the other side above my other hip.

Here is a belly pic of me at 20 weeks:

20 weeks belly pic

I’ve had some confusing health stuff going on with this pregnancy and haven’t really known what to think of it. Right before we got pregnant, I found out I had some high thyroid levels which pointed to hyperthyroidism. I went to the doctor because I was feeling “funny” and knew that we could end up pregnant at any time so I wanted to make sure I was healthy. In the end, my doctor told me let’s just retest in 6 weeks because an ultrasound on my thyroid looked fine. Well before those 6 weeks, I was in fact pregnant. Fast forward through a bunch of bloodwork, OB appointments, and High Risk OB appointments and then an Endocrinologist appointment 2 weeks ago and those thyroid levels that were originally abnormal (my TSH) is now in the normal range, but I have really high thyroid antibodies. The Endo hasn’t technically diagnosed me with anything but I am on medicine now to lessen our risk of complications and we’re pretty confident, through lots of prayer, that everything will work out just fine in the end. And since I’m not technically “high risk” I’m not driving the 2 hours once a month to see the High Risk OB anymore for them to perform an ultrasound and more bloodwork when I already have an OB and an Endo already doing that, which has relieved some stress for me. All the different appointments stress me out!

Here’s an ultrasound pic from my last appointment at 18 weeks:

18 week ultrasound pic

So anyways, Baby Girl and I have both been healthy according to every health care worker we’ve seen thus far, so pray that that doesn’t change 😉

This pregnancy is so different than Lucas’ though. Before I got pregnant, I was losing weight as a result of the thyroid stuff and I still lost about 3 lbs in the beginning. I’ve not gained any. I think I had probably already gained about 10 lbs with Lucas this far. Of course, I was also overweight to begin with this time and was not last time, so that very well could play into it.

Baby girl is the size of pomegranate now (she was the length of a banana last week). Oh, and no, we haven’t started doing ANYTHING around the house yet. I’m sure I’ll feel some urgency soon and push us along though, right?

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18 Weeks Update

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Hi! How was your Thanksgiving? We celebrated a weekend early with my Dad and little sister because my Dad would be gone for work on Thanksgiving. We split the cooking duties and it was SOOO good. I love me some Thanksgiving! I’m so glad I wasn’t to that ‘you can’t eat much because baby is so big and your stomach just doesn’t have enough room in there’ stage yet. On Thursday, we went to Clint’s grandmother’s house and ate with his family there.

Then, we went Saturday and got our Christmas tree. Of course, I didn’t take any pictures though. We never think to take pictures of stuff. Lucas loves the Christmas tree farm though. Well, he pretty much loves any open spaces with lots of grass, trees, leaves, you name it. He’s an outside boy. We’re planning to decorate the tree this week as a family. #startoffamilytraditions

This is me this past Sunday. I’m 18 weeks now. Baby Girl is VERY active. I don’t remember Lucas being this active this early. I can’t wait for Lucas and Clint to be able to feel all of her little movements. I’m sure it won’t be long as strong as she seems to be. Oh, and she’s the size of a sweet potato this week.

18 weeks

I’m really trying to do better with my diet and my water intake. I’m not doing bad, but not doing as great as I should be either. It’s difficult to go from drinking about 15-20 oz of water a day to 60-70. Did you know you’re supposed to drink half your body weight in ounces of water a day? Do you?

Other than that, we haven’t start much baby planning yet. I have another ultrasound this week and an appointment with my high risk doctor and an ultrasound there. I want to “make sure” she’s still a her. The only thing we have done is buy Lucas one of these.

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We’re hoping to get him in the “big boy” twin sized bed before Baby Girl gets here, so she can just use the crib and we don’t have to buy another one. So far he loves it!

Oh, and since it is Cyber Monday– Aqua Anchor Designs is having a 25% sale that ends TODAY. If you spend $50 or more, you can also use coupon code THANKFUL14 for free shipping. 😉

I’m planning to start posting financial updates this week, so keep an eye out. You can make sure you don’t miss anything by:

Following me on Bloglovin

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Missed Me?

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Life has been extremely busy the last 7 months. I want to update you guys on ALL of it! But not all in this one particular post.

First and foremost, we’re expecting another bundle of joy! I’m 16 weeks right now, but 15 weeks in this photo.

15 Week Baby Bump

As you can tell from the photo, we found out a couple weeks ago that ‘it’ is indeed a baby girl. We’re excited, of course, but scared to death since we feel like we’re ‘boy parents’ now. If only we could agree on a name now.

10 Week Ultrasound

I’m been feeling flutters from baby girl since I was about 14 weeks but they’re starting to turn into more than just flutters now and it’s SO exciting. I can’t wait for Clint and Lucas to be able to feel her move around.

I do plan to keep you guys updated on everything pregnancy in the coming weeks. My next post will be a sort of catch up on our financial aspects of life—I have some BIG stuff to share on that front! I hope you’ll follow along! You can do that by:

Following me on Bloglovin

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Because No Mother is Perfect (Mother’s Day Giveaway)

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Howdy strangers! I know it’s been a little while, but life is just really getting in the way of me blogging lately. I even have a few projects and ideas for blog posts and haven’t had a moment to sit down and put them to paper, well keyboard.  Anyhow, I think you’ll really enjoy what I have for you today.

I’ve told you before I think being a Mama is tough and then a few months back, I wrote about The Mother of All Meltdowns and even gave away two copies of the book. By the way, it’s only $0.99 now through Mother’s Day on [amazon-product text=”Amazon” type=”text”]0989955311[/amazon-product]. Well, the ladies who put together The Mother of All Meltdowns just launched a new website called No Mother is Perfect and asked me to host a Blog Tour Stop. The website is a community for the perfectly imperfect mother! A place where you can let your guard down and talk about the meltdowns, struggles, and less rosy aspects of being a mom…

To celebrate they’re having an amazing giveaway, No Mother is Perfect, But Every Mother is Unique Mother’s Day Giveaway. Y’all are going to want to check this out– the sponsors include The Oaks at OjaiCarilohaWicker CentralMetropolis Coffee CompanyWind & Fire JewelryChuao ChocolatierGlobal Rose, & Anew Riesling and you could win one of three fabulous prize packages including a three night stay for two at a destination spa! Click the image below to enter!

Enter to Win! (3)

As part of the blog tour, I got to do a little Q&A with one of the contributors! I follow Stephanie’s blog Crayon Marks and Tiger Stripes and love the fact that she uses it as a ministry. Her particular meltdown (yes, it involved poop) has really stayed with me and I’ll think you’ll see why I chose her.. 😉

Q:         So your meltdown story with your toddler yelling “Mommy is pooping” in the restroom of a crowded gas station is definitely the most memorable meltdown from The Mother of All Meltdowns, Stephanie. I actually replay it in my head every time I use a public restroom (TMI?). Have you had any similar instances since then?

A:          Hahaha!!  I replay it in my head too, which is why my little boy now visits the restroom with his daddy on road trips.  This momma vowed to never experience that situation again.  But that doesn’t mean my son and poop haven’t haunted me in other ways.  In fact, just last week, I was horrified by the contents of his pull-up, and the location of said contents.  He has mastered peeing in the potty, but pooping is a different story.  Can you see where this is going?  He is in underwear all day and in a pull up at naptime and bedtime.  He has decided he would rather save his poop for that pull-up rather than the potty.  At this point, I’m convinced he will be 25 and in adult diapers.  I hate potty training…

Anyway, my husband and I were working out to P90X3 while my son was still asleep (or so I thought).  Our son has a tot clock that is blue when he has to stay in his room and yellow when he can get up and play.  It’s set to turn yellow at 8am.  At 8:15, I began to wonder why he hadn’t come out of his room yet.  Around 8:20, he opened the door and out he came with a wad of wipeys and a ginormous poop ball sitting on top of it.  “I cleaned up the poop.  It’s okay.  I cleaned up the poop.”  Much to my horror, the contents of his pull up had overflowed out of his pull up into his pajamas and onto the floor and he had attempted to clean it up (A+ for effort, I guess!).  It was a disaster.

Moral of this story-  If you think blow outs are only a part of infants and young babies, think again.  It will happen to your toddler too.

Since then, this nightmare has also happened in his bed when he tried to clean it up and smeared poop all over his sheets (Ugh!) and just a couple days ago, he tried to empty the contents of his pull up into the toilet (while we were asleep!).  He decided he needed to turn the light on so he climbed up the onto the counter and dragged his little poop covered bottom across the counter to get to the light switch…poop everywhere.  Did I mention I hate potty training?

One day when he is a teenager, I am so going to use these poop stories as blackmail…. 😉

Q:         I know that you suffered from Postpartum Depression and a negative body image after the birth of your son. What do you think were some of the contributing factors to that?

A:          I was already 20 lbs overweight when I got pregnant because I was in nursing school and nursing school equals no life what so ever.  My husband and I decided that after graduation would be a great time to start our family and after 6 months of trying, we got pregnant.  My pregnancy was rough and I felt sick all the time.  When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.  I had already gained 30 lbs, but in two weeks, I gained 20 lbs more of just water weight! I was miserable, uncomfortable and hated the way I looked in the mirror.

I wanted sooooo badly to delivery naturally, but I had to have an emergency cesarean.  Then I was so drugged afterwards that I don’t remember the first 12 hours of my son’s life.  On top of that, I wanted to breastfeed, but it was the most difficult thing to get my body to make enough milk.  My body had become a huge disappointment to me.  Everything that God designed it to do as a woman was failing.  I began to believe that I was a failure.  In that moment, I became vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. I really believe that Satan strikes in those very vulnerable moments.  I never thought I would be one to be hit with postpartum depression and I refused to acknowledge it as that for almost a year.

 Q:        What was finally your “aha!” moment that pulled you out of that haze?

A:          After about 8 months of some serious self-loathing, my husband said something to me that began to lift the haze, “I love your body.  It is what brought our son into this world.  You mean the world to me and you mean the world to our son.”  In that conversation, I could hear God gently tugging on me and saying “If your husband loves you this much, how much more do I, your Father in Heaven, love you?”  It was then that I began to see how I much I was letting Satan deceive me and how I needed to start fighting this spiritual battle, and stop letting him defeat me!  It was then that I surrendered to God and asked Him to help me escape this prison of self doubt and self hate.

 Q:        We all know that No Mother is Perfect and probably tend to feel this way about our bodies often. What advice would you give other Moms that are suffering from negative body image?

 A:          Don’t play the comparison game!!  You never win when you begin to compare yourself to others.  We have to remember: There is only One who is Perfect and His name is Jesus.  No mother is perfect!!!  I’m an imperfect mom and that’s okay.  I’m an imperfect wife and that’s okay.  I’m an imperfect person and that’s okay.  There is a God that loves me regardless of my flaws.  To those moms out there suffering from this, remember that you are an imperfect person loved by a Perfect God!!!

 Q:         Is there a scripture that especially helped you through that phase in your life? (or maybe one you wished you would have used)

A:          I’m glad you asked this question because that is actually the advice I would give to moms suffering from negative body image!  Seek scriptures!!!  Negative body image is a never ending spiritual battle.  Even though I can stand here and say that I have overcome it, I still must have things in place to keep me from going back to that dark place.  That is when I turn to scripture.

In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus is tempted by Satan.  He responds to Satan’s attacks with scripture.  We need to do the same.  Here are a few of my favorites:

–          Proverbs 31:25- She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

–          1 Peter 3:4- Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

–          John 16:33: I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world, you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.

–          Proverbs 31:30- Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

–          1 Corinthians 6:19-20:  Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own.  You were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your bodies.

–          1 Samuel 16:7- People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Fighting back with scripture is the best battle plan.  When negative thoughts fill your mind, strike them back with scripture, prayer and positive affirmations!  Remember that you are God’s masterpiece!

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Bio: Stephanie is wife to Dr. Smartypants and mom to a little red headed boy.  She’s a Christ follower, a do it yourselfer, a list lover and coffeeaholic.  She lives by the slogan: I am mommy! Hear me roar!  She writes to encourage women in their journeys as mothers and wives.  When she’s not tending to her little ginger’s every need, you can find her at Crayon Marks and Tiger Stripes (www.crayonmarksandtigerstripes.com) where she blogs about healthy living, maintaining a positive body image, faith, and the ups and downs of parenting.  You can also find her on twitter (www.twitter.com/cmtsblog) and on facebook (www.facebook.com/crayonmarksandtigerstripes.com).

 This post contains affiliate links. I have not been compensated for any material in this post and every opinion is my own. 

Winner of The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted…

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Drum roll please….

 

Congratulations to….

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fine print: The winner has been emailed and has 24 hours to respond. If I receive no response, I will pick an alternate. 

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the giveaway. Hopefully, I will have more opportunities in the future to giveaway something else to you lovelies! 

If you are still interested in the book and want to read it, which I hope you will, you can purchase it at Amazon here:

[amazon-product image=”http://ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=0802411576&Format=_SL160_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=notyoumaima09-20″ type=”image”]0802411576[/amazon-product]

I will be posting the final part of the You Need A Budget series on Monday, so be sure to check back! Or you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin or Subscribe to future posts so you don’t miss them.

The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted..

The Marriage You've Always Wanted
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Happy Valentine’s Day! Let’s celebrate by talking about marriage today! The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted- sounds nice, right? Would make a wonderful book title too. Well Gary Chapman already beat you to it 😉

You guys probably already know I’m a big fan of Gary Chapman from this post. Well his book The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted is just as good as The Five Love Languages, if not better. Actually, I think they’re both great in their own way.

One thing I love about his books is that they are written for any couple. For instance, he will make reference to couples having a hard time and write things specifically for you, but he also writes plenty for the couples in a good season in marriage. And he does both effectively, I think– I’ve been in both of those spots in my marriage– to the extreme of each actually.

Clint and I haven’t had much time to sit and read this book together at night, with so much going on, ya know–life. But I recently read this book and Clint has been reading a chapter here and there when I leave it out for him. Now that I’m finished, he’s going to read the rest of it.

The book covers almost any subject you can think of though and gives you that eye-opening DOH! type of advice just like the love languages. You’ll go, well of course, why didn’t I think of that? Well, maybe because you aren’t a trained Christian marriage counselor, ya think? 🙂

Another thing about Chapman, is that he never avoids the topic of sex. I know society has made sex so dirty, that we’re taken back when we here a Christian leader mention it. But Chapman always points out that it is an extremely important aspect of a healthy marriage and that we as Christians need to get over that stereotype and enjoy intimacy with our partners.. just saying.

Each chapter is sort of broken down into a general idea or specific topic, such as in-laws or sexual intimacy, and then at the end of each chapter there is a mini “assignment”. I like to highlight the parts in the chapters that really speak to me and then answer the questions directly into the book. That way, when I want to look back through at another time, if I wanna be lazy I can just read the highlighted. For instance, I love this…

"Doing right, responding to others as God would respond, expressing love, being patient with imperfection, and having a realistic appraisal of yourself-- these are the things that bring true fulfillment to a marriage."

So now here’s your chance to read The Marriage You’ve Always Marriage– I’m giving away a free copy to one of you!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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If you don’t want to wait for the giveaway, you could just go ahead and purchase it now.

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