Thursday, September 12, 2013

Food For Thought <3

So, I know it is absolutely normal for us mommas (and dads) to feel frustrated at times during our journey through parenthood. I have read numerous articles, blogs, etc. on how you pretty much aren't normal if you don't have those days, right? And, trust me, boy do I have those days. Averi is now a little over two years old but I have never ever referred to this stage as the "terrible twos," like I have heard so many people (parents and not) call it.. I prefer to call it the "trying twos." I do have days where my sweet daughter tests my patience non-stop, but she is never "terrible," only "trying". We as moms need to step away for a moment, take a deep breathe and remember our little ones are growing, exploring and LEARNING to communicate in this great big world. I remind myself that she is two years old, and while tantrums, coloring on the furniture and making a mess are totally things that ALL two years olds do-- It is my job as her mother to teach her that she can in fact communicate without throwing a tantrum, or that coloring on paper versus on the couch leaves her with something she can be proud of. It is my job to teach her that making a mess is A-Okay, as long as we take some time to clean up afterwards.  We need to remember that these little humans struggle too, as they piece together how life works. Lately, when I find myself getting frustrated over situations like those mentioned above, or similar situations, I think to myself, "This may not be ideal, but what a blessing that God has trusted me with this precious child.. To love unconditionally and to teach the ways of life to." Don't get me wrong, I have my days where I have to take a walk solo or soak in the tub to keep from pulling my hair out, as I am sure we all do. But ultimately, isn't it such an incredible thing? The gift of parenthood. The fact that the Big Man upstairs has trusted us to care for and raise another human being? I think it is pretty incredible. I look at my daughter, and am amazed at the person she has become in only two short years. She is a sponge for knowledge and has a heart of gold. I have heard people say that at two years old, children begin to get manipulative and that you need a stern approach in disciplining them (mind you, a lot of the people I hear this come from or the articles I read are from people who have no children of their own--go figure!). That may work for some of you, but not for me. I don't necessarily think that children become manipulative, I believe that at this age they are becoming more independent and are exerting their independence in the only way they know how! Again, it is our job as mom & dad to teach them more effective ways of being independent. And yes, I believe you can start at two years old. :-) I may be all over the place with this post, but I felt compelled to blog about the challenges we face as parents during these trying twos, and how my outlook may differ from others. I am by no means a perfect mom, but I am a perfect mom for Averi, and that is all that matters to me. Love your babies and cherish your time with them--tantrums and no tantrums-- you won't ever get today back and lord knows they don't get younger!
 


Lots of love,
Ashlee

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Weekend Fun

Busy, busy weekend!
 
*Averi had her first Hopdoddy experience, and I'd say she was a fan!
 
 
*We went to the dog park several times since we were watching my sister's two dogs and needed a way to wear out 3 big dogs! (Ave LOVES the dog park, and also loves her ballerina dresses so of course she wore her dress to the dog park)
 
*We went to the pool on Saturday with my sister-in-law and nephew and Sunday with my little sister.
 
*Tried Cane's for the first time on Sunday, and it was pretty delicious!
*Averi was exhausted from all the weekend adventures and fell asleep at 6pm on Sunday. She slept on my chest for a good hour before we put her to bed. Love, love, love little moments like that.
 
(Weekend Adventures)

(Fun at the Dog Park)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Updates ♥

I just want to first say thank you so much for all of the incredible support and love after Tuesday's post. It really means a lot. It wasn't easy sharing my struggle, but being surrounded by such kind and loving people made a world of difference. 
 
Now, onto some of the exciting things going on in our lives:
  • We officially became homeowners and moved into our new house on March 16th!
  • Our sweet Averi turned two years old on May 31st! (Party pictures to come)
  • David received a big promotion at work-- Such a blessing!
  • Lots of soul searching and sorting!
  • Many of our good friends have had (or are having soon) their precious babies!
  • Averi went to SeaWorld for the first time!
 
These are just a few of the fun and exciting things that have happened over the last couple months. We have been so blessed to have been able to share these moments with the best friends and family a person could ask for!  

 

 
Ashlee

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sharing My Struggle

I have to say.. I have never really felt lost like I did on February 8th of 2013. And by that same token, I had never relied on my God so much for peace and understanding. That Friday was the day my doctor told me there was no longer a heartbeat and that I had lost the baby. I was only 8 weeks along but I was crushed. There are absolutely no words to describe the devastating feeling of this reality. We were so thrilled to welcome baby #2 into our family and to see Big Sister Averi in action. Never did we imagine our excitement would so quickly be replaced with devastation. There was nothing we could have done to prevent my miscarriage, it was my body's way of dealing with a pregnancy that wasn't developing as it should have been. Regardless, it didn't make it any easier. You can never fathom the pain and anguish a woman faces during a miscarriage unless you have walked in her shoes.

I didn't tell many people that we were expecting again, because I wanted to wait until I was a little further along. That being said, I wasn't able to completely be open and honest about what I was going through when we lost the baby; holding a lot of pain and sadness inside. My parents knew, so did my siblings and a couple of my closest friends, but that was it. People aren't quite sure what to say or how to talk to someone dealing with a miscarriage, so a lot of the time they distance themselves. While I am so appreciative of the kind words and condolences from those that were aware of the situation, one of my very best friends made all the difference during a heartbreaking time for me. She was the first to say she couldn't imagine the feeling, but was there for me. She checked on me every single day for a while, and even went so far as to send me the kindest and most warm care package (which included some much needed bible verses for tough times), all while being out of the state visiting her family. And for her and her kindness, I am so incredibly thankful.

The thought that gave me the most peace during those agonizing weeks was that God was and is always in control. He knows our present, and he knows our future. And he knows exactly what we need, during every journey in our lives. I found comfort in knowing that this moment was all in His plan, and that he knew best. Don't get me wrong, I was devastated, and I questioned why this had happened, but through my struggle I realized just how blessed I truly was. It may not have been in God's divine plan to add to our family at that time but we had so much to be thankful for; a beautiful and healthy daughter, great jobs with excellent benefits, the purchase of our brand new home, our friends, our family, and our love for one another are just a few of are beloved blessings. The fact that my husband is just as trusting in The Lord as I am, made this situation so much more bearable. David was confident that God had a greater plan for us, and that Moreno Baby #2 would come at just the right time. Looking back on the last six months, I would have to agree. God knows best.

Wrapping up this post, I will be completely honest and tell you that I think about our angel baby all the time, and what he or she would have been like. Would we have had another precious princess, or a perfect little prince? Would he or she have looked like David, or like myself this time? So many questions and emotions still fill my heart, but my solace is in knowing that our teeny tiny little baby was perfect enough to spend eternity with our Heavenly Father. And that is a love far greater than anything here on earth. If you have experienced or are experiencing the devastating loss of a pregnancy, know that you are not alone.. Time and faith soften the pain, but it never completely is forgotten, and that is okay. It took me six months to put my feelings into words, but I finally felt ready to share my struggle. It is not easy, but it was something I needed to do.

I know it has been forever since I have blogged, but I had to jump back in somewhere! Now, onward and upward from here with lots of house, and Averi updates and pictures!
 
Lots of love,
Ashlee

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Flashback Friday!

 






 
 

These pictures are now almost two years old... The time really does fly! She was such a beautiful baby and has continued to grow into the prettiest of toddlers. She is her Daddy's girl and her Momma's world! Averi "flashbacks" are my favorite!
 
Ashlee

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Picture Recap #1 ♥

 
Picture recap #1: Some of my favorite details from our special day  

 














Ashlee

Friday, February 8, 2013

We are HOMEOWNERS!

I haven't blogged in way too long and I so miss it. There has been a lot going on lately but the most exciting news is that we bought our first home! I cannot tell you what an awesome feeling it is, after a long and very patient wait. We have worked so incredibly hard over the past two years and sacrificed quite a bit to get into the best possible position to buy a home. When we first started chit-chatting about purchasing a home, we had pretty much figured we would only qualify for a certain amount (that amount not being much), which would in turn have us settling for something that wasn't quite our first choice. Two years ago, we both had credit scores that weren't the greatest. Not horrible, but not where we would need them to be to qualify for a home at a good rate. David and I both had made silly choices in our teenage years that affected our credit and we had never done anything to take care of it (because at that time, it wasn't a priority, go figure). In addition to our credit issue, we each had a little bit of debt we needed to get paid off. Long story short, my debt is completely paid off and the only thing we have left is a small portion to pay off on David's student loan. Both of our credit scores are now what is considered excellent, and that my friends is something we are so proud of! All within the last two years. Thank you my sweet Averi, for giving us a reason to better ourselves in every way imaginable.
 
The past two years, we have lived in the apartment complex that David manages, and while I am super thankful that we had a roof over our heads and next to nothing to pay in rent, I am MORE than ready to move into our new home. We were able to put back money and pay all of our debt off because of the discount David received for living onsite. While the location is below average and we would never choose to live in this area again, I will always remember apartment 2141, where I went from a girlfriend, to a mother, to a fiance, and to a wife. And where David started as a boyfriend, then became a father, and a fiance and then a husband. For not being in the greatest part of town, and in a small apartment with a princess who has a ton of toys, we sure did make some wonderful memories. This is where we brought our daughter home from the hospital. I will be forever grateful.
 
Now, to our new home deets.. Our new house is in Cedar Park and was just finished being built last month! It is a one story, stone DR Horton home, and we are absolutely in love with it. Three bedrooms and two baths, big closets, gorgeous bathrooms, a huge utility room, a kitchen to die for, a giant covered patio and just enough of a backyard for Averi to play and Kehilo to run around. And ontop of that, the appliance package is included! We had the option to either do stainless steel or black appliances and we went with black. While stainless is pretty, when you have sticky fingers touching everything, it is near impossible to keep clean (right, mom and dad?!), plus the black looks pretty sharp with the granite and cabinet colors. So, not only are all the kitchen appliances included, but a brand new washer and dryer come with it as well! Landscaping in front and back, sprinkler system already installed and ready to go, window treatments, and security system. I cannot tell you how blessed we feel. This home, OUR home, is more than we could have ever imagined. Especially with it being our very first home. The best feeling is knowing we did it all by ourselves, we worked our butts off for it. The past two years of declining events and going out with friends (spending money) to save money have been so worth it. We cannot wait to host get-togethers and holidays at our house!
 
Three weeks until we move into our beautiful home!
 
 

Ashlee