Moms And Babies - Claire





This week I'm featuring Claire from Fast Forward Girl! I love reading Claire's blog, because she write such thought-provoking posts on her walk with the Lord, and I always leave her blog feeling encouraged and inspired to live in a way that is more pleasing to my Savior! Read on to hear what she has to say about her life as a wife and mom.



Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a 22 year old wife and momma of 2. I have been married to my husband, Bryan, for 3.5 years. Our little family has already lived in 3 states and on 2 continents. We were most recently living in South Africa as missionaries. As of September 2010 though, we are settled back into New England and are raising our family to glorify God. We don't always know what's around the next bend, but we know we are called to be faithful in the here and now, and right now that means trusting God in this season of parenthood. I am passionate about being the best wife and mother I can be while also enjoying my family and my life. I'm a young mother, so I hope to bring the vibrancy of youth to the way I live my grown up life.

What are your children's names and how old are they?

I have 2 girls. Peyton Spring just turned 2 at the end of May, and Britany Zoe is 6 months old.







Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.

I usually nurse Britany between 5-6 and then lay her back down to sleep until around 9. I get another hour or so of sleep and then am up by 7 to take a shower and get a few things done around the house before Peyton gets up at 8. Peyton usually watches a half hour of Curious George (her fav!!) while I make her oatmeal (which she has everyday :) Then she and I eat together. When Britany gets up I nurse and then give her a little baby food fruit mixed with baby cereal. Peyton usually either helps me feed Britany or plays with some of her toys at this time. After that I dress the kids and we get ready for whatever is planned for the day whether that's running errands, heading to a play date or the park, etc. But on days we stay home we usually try to pack our day with lots of play dough, coloring, casual potty training, reading books and playing outside. At 12 we have lunch and then Peyton goes down for her nap around 1. Britany usually goes down by 1:30. I typically have about 2 hours to myself but sometimes less depending on Britany's schedule that day. But Peyton sleeps for 3 hours. I try to use that time to do housework mostly, but I also like to make myself a good lunch (so easy to forget when you're chasing kiddos!) and have at least a half hour of down time :) When the kids get up they have a snack and then it's back to playing hard! My husbands schedule fluctuates so a lot of times he's actually home by the time the kids are up (but not all the time). Then the rest of the night is spent making dinner and spending time as a family. Both kids have a bath at 7:30 and are in bed by 8. Then it's Hubby/Wifey time!!!

If you had to choose three words to describe the personalities of each of your children, what would they be?

PEYTON: Energetic, Passionate, Bright. BRITANY: Happy, Sensitive, Loving




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What's your favorite part about being a mom?

I love LOVING my children, laughing with them and getting excited about the things that excite them. And I love investing in them. Pouring my life into them is a joy and a privilege. I love watching them learn. Especially Peyton right now since she's learning so much at this age. Seeing her count to 3 or identify that that ball is RED makes me giddy with excitement. But it's also a solemn thing. I am daily reminded of the weight of teaching these children to love God and to spend their lives for Him.

Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight?

Breastfeeding! I'm honestly not the greatest person for excercise. :( It's one of those things I know I need to do, but never make the time for. But breastfeeding rocks for taking off the weight. With Peyton I gained 26 lbs during my pregnancy and lost it all pretty quickly. My body looked back to normal at 4 months post partum. With Britany I gained more (about 40 lbs, thanks a lot bed rest!!!) and I'm currently 3 lbs from my pre pregnancy weight at 6 months post partum. But that's without excercise so if you're really determined you can definitely lose faster.

What have you and your husband done since your children's arrival to keep your relationship strong?

I'm going to get awkward on you but I'm being real. We have had to be diligent about our sex life. Sex is the number one way for a couple to connect and be ONE. Sometimes that means giving our 2 year old a box of toys and shutting the door to her room so mommy and daddy can be together. Things can get crazy in life, so taking the time to lay in each others arms and remember why you fell in love is VITAL to keeping your sanity. Sometimes its 15 minutes... but if those 15 minutes are blissful, they can re-charge you for hours of spilled juice, crushed-into-the-carpet-cheerios and spit up on your most expensive pair of jeans ;) We also try to be intentional with the time we have after the kids are in bed. We watch a TV show we both enjoy and snuggle up with pop corn, or we'll play a board game together, or make a smoothie, etc. My husband is my best friend so I love talking with him over a cup of hot cocoa or sharing our funny moments from the day. Also, a great marriage begins in the heart. I try to be intentional about keeping my heart and my mind LOVING my husband throughout my day.Proverbs 31:12 says "She does him good and not evil ALL the days of her life" (that means that the Prov. 31 wife is always looking out for her husband's best even on the days he's 20 miles across town at work!!!) I try to keep that verse as my credo!!!







Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?

I think specifically for second time moms I would recommend lots of baby "stations". With my first baby I was able to spend a lot of time holding her and playing with her but now with 2 the baby does get less of my attention simply because a 2 year old is high maintenance! So keeping Britany happy has been really thanks to some fun items that can allow me to be hands free. 1. Bouncy Seat, 2. Activity Floor Mat, 3. Excersaucer. Britany makes her rounds through those 3 things (plus tummy time) alot during the day. I'm still able to engage her while she's in each of those things, but I can have my hands free to help Peyton with whatever she needs. Also, this isn't really a "prodcut" per se, but when I was pregnant with my first I joined a website called www.BabyZone.com. It has forums for the month you're due in, so you get to to know other women due the same time as you and you can take your questions and random thoughts there. I built such a strong community there during my pregnancy that kept me grounded even through a lot of moves during my pregnancy. I still keep in touch with all those women and they are some of my best friends. I still take a lot of my questions to them and I have a separate board for Britany's age as well. I love comparing notes with so many other moms who are in the exact same stage!

What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?

We've done a lot of traveling since we became a family and we've been to some amazing places (Cape Point in South Africa stands out.... also taking a cable car up Table Mountain...). But the moments that always top my list are the ones spent at home... in our living room, laughing. Tickling each other, chasing each other around the room, doing silly dances or making a big mess that we'll worry about some other time. And those are the moments I think my kids will love best as well. Stress free, happy, let loose kind of moments.

Any advice for first-time mothers?

For first time moms, cherish this time. Don't get hung up on details. Don't worry too much about sleep training or scheduling or pacifier addictions or poop color (ha!) SPEND YOUR ENERGY WISELY ON WHAT TRULY MATTERS.. For second time moms, PRIORITIZING your kids is a MUST. Each child must have their turn to WAIT. For example, if I'm in the middle of nursing Britany, Peyton will have to wait for me to fix her a snack. Or if I'm in the middle of disciplining Peyton for something, Britany might have to cry a little longer to be picked up. You can't be super mom and that's okay. Giving each child individual attention throughout the day is what will keep you moving :) For all kinds of moms? Take those moments to lay on the couch and take a nap along with your little one. Waste 15 minutes making funny faces at your baby. Play music, open the windows, dance across the room while you're cooking dinner. Keep life simple, joyful and memorable.


Thanks Claire! To read more, check out Claire's blog!


If Mama Ain't Happy . . .

So a couple weeks ago after work, my mom called me.

Sometimes when my mom has a thought that might help me, she calls to tell me. I really appreciate that my mom isn't afraid to call and give me advice, and it always seems to come right when I need it.

She called to remind me to be happy and cheerful when I get home from work - because I want Wyatt to grow up looking forward to when I come home. When mom (that'd be me) walks through the door, it should brighten her family's day, instead of making them have to walk on eggshells.

I thought that was great advice, and it came at a great time. I have to fight that tired, burned-out grumpiness when I get home from work, but when she called to tell me this, it instantly put everything in perspective. Because I do want my family to smile when I walk through the door.

I was going to write a whole post about this, but then I read two posts last week dealing with the same topic. Maybe the Lord is trying to tell me something, no?

I don't think I can put it better than these two ladies already have, so check out these marvelous posts!



Claire on creating a good atmosphere in our homes as wives and mothers.

"Sometimes as mothers and wives, we can lose control of our good temperament very quickly when we let our minds and hearts wander to places of complaint and contempt. We have to learn to curb those emotions and press that reset button. We've all heard the phrases, "Happy wife, Happy life." or "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" (I'm sure there's more too!) we can laugh those phrases off, or we can take them to heart. Are we setting the climate of our home to happiness?"


Haley on how we as mothers can set the tone for our household.

"We've all heard that saying "If mama ain't happy, nobody's happy". We don't seem to realize the POWER we have as women. We use and abuse it til it's something nobody wants to be around. . . If only we took charge of that power. We could set the essence for a house that it may flow with peace and holiness, from the inside out."



I hope you are encouraged to create a joyful enviroment in your homes today!




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Over-Achiever

I love giving Wyatt baths. He doesn't hate it anymore, and he gets the cutest bored expressions on his face during bathtime.

The other day we were giving him a bath, and he grabbed the washcloth and started "washing his face". It was so cute!


He's an over-achiever already.




That Little Kid Inside

I had my birthday recently, and I find myself another year older. Weird how that happens, right? Because I've been thinking, I really don't feel any older.

Growing up, I always had this idea in my head of how I would feel when I reach the age I am now. And I really don't feel the way I thought I would. In many ways, I think I still feel like a kid.

I'm definitely an adult. I'm responsible. I have a career, a husband, a baby. I pay my bills and manage my money like an adult would. I act like an adult should act (at least most of the time). But internally, I don't feel that different from when I was a teenager. Am I the only one who feels like that?

See, I think I had this idea that when I was an "adult" I would just know things. I would know what to do in any given situation, I'd make decisions confidently, and I would always just know it was the right thing.

I had a conversation about this with Derek and with my mom, and we all agreed - you might never just know. In fact, you probably won't.

My mom even informed me that I'm still in the "know-it-all" stage of life (as are most of you - so don't be nodding your head at me, because all of us 20-somethings are in the same boat). You know that saying "The older I get, the less I know"? Apparently somewhere from 30-40 years of age, you're hit with the realization that you don't know as much as you thought you did. And I believe my mom when she says that, because I've not only heard it from her but from many other people.

And here I feel like I should know more now. Maybe that's the difference. Right now I feel like I should know more, but when I'm 30-something I'll realize that I don't and won't know everything.

I still ask my mom or Derek what they think I should do about certain situations. I still feel a little nervous when dealing with something I'm not familiar with. I still struggle with making some decisions.

But the sign of an adult isn't necessarily that you know what to do about everything. You'll never be done asking for advice (at least if you're a wise person you won't ever be done asking for advice).

I guess you probably know you're an adult when you act in ways that responsible adults would act, even if you still feel like a kid on the inside. And you really know you're an adult when you realize you know less than you thought you did.

Confusing, isn't it?

If I ever figure it out, I'll let you know.




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One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, I went into my restroom to take a pregnancy test.

I wasn't overly optimistic. I think I was just trying to protect myself in case it came out negative.

But it didn't. I saw those two blue lines that I had been waiting months to see.



I remember the way my heart immediately started racing. I threw open the bathroom door, called out to Derek, showed him the test, said "I think we're pregnant," and promptly started crying.

I wasn't crying because I was sad, but because I was so happy. Words can't express the feeling I had the moment that test turned positive.


"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."
Proverbs 13:12


Wyatt was only the size of a grain of rice, and I already loved him so much. Now we're here a year later, and I can't imagine not being his mom.




"He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.

Praise the LORD."

Psalm 113:9



This day last year was one of the happiest days of my life. The Lord has blessed us beyond measure, and I can't thank Him enough for the gift He has given us!


"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him."

1 Samuel 1:27



Rush Tea

If you've been following my blog for any period of time, you know that I'm very conservative in my politics, and I love conservative talk radio (sorry if any of my readers are not of my political persuasion - just disregard this post and we'll agree to disagree. Sound good?).



I love listening to Rush Limbaugh. The term "Rush Baby" pretty much describes me. I grew up listening to Rush, and I have fond memories of family road trips with Rush on in the background.



And now I'm a Rush Baby raising a Rush Baby.


Does that make Wyatt a Rush Grandbaby?



Anyway, back to the point.



I was listening this week to Rush, and I heard him talking about his new line of tea.



That's right, tea.



Of course I had to check it out. It's called Two If By Tea.






Isn't that the funniest thing? I love that he put his own face on the bottle.



I totally want some of this tea now. Apparently, it's delicious.



And you know how I love my tea.


Hope you all have a great weekend (regardless of your political affiliation)!










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Moms And Babies - LeAnna






This week I'm featuring LeAnna from Thoughts And Whatnots! I love LeAnna's blog - she always has great insights into being a Christian mother and wife, sprinkled in amidst the humor. She makes me laugh - I think because she reminds me so much of myself! She says the things that I want to say on my blog, and she says them so much better than I could say them. Read on to find out more!


Tell us a little about yourself.

Well, let's see. I'm soon to be 25, part fire-cracker and married to the most hard working, sweet, and laid back man God ever made. He keeps me from igniting 98.9% of the time, God bless him. I stay-at-home with our two children, and occasionaly help Hubby with any paperwork involved with the commercial construction company we own. I mostly dream about living on a farm, take pictures of what and whoever I can get my hands on, and it is the gospel truth that I could talk your ear off about agriculture. Oh, and I wipe a lot of poop off small hiney's.



What are your children's names (or blogland aliases), and how old are they?

I keep my kid's real names off my blog for privacy reasons but my oldest goes by Q (amaaazingly his name really does start with a Q) he's almost 2 1/2. My youngest is known as Sprig (and even though I like to think I'm trendy, I am not. And that is not her real name.) She will be 8 months old in a week!



Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.

Our days start pretty early, I'm a fan of sleeping but my children are not. We get up in the mornings and usually Hubby has already headed to a job site or to his office above our garage by 6:30 or 7. I make breakfast and check the online world, typically vacuum the floor so Sprig doesn't find any goodies...all while trying to keep Q from getting into things he's not supposed to, or making random phone calls to people. We head outside at 8:45 every morning to go on a 1/2 hour power walk with my friend and her new baby. Sprig naps later in the morning while Q and I go outside to take care of our plethora of animals and weed the gardens. Between our 2 dairy goats, 6 chickens, 2 dogs (plus 8 puppies!) cat (and her 5 kittens!), and my little backyard veggie gardens we spend at least half an hour or more outside while Sprig is sleeping. After that we head inside and I do chores, Q plays in his room, watches cartoons or Veggie Tales, plays outside or does crafts while I get lunch going. My goal in life is to have both kids napping at the same time in the early afternoon, which is generally accomplished. Most days they nap 1 1/2 - 2 hours. That is "me" time. I refuse to spend it cleaning...Everybody is up for snacks and any afternoon errands out of the house. I start supper and we anxiously await for Hubby to come home. It's the highlight of Q's day! Usually we have meltdowns right before he walks in the door, because the world comes to an end, every day right before Dadda gets home. We eat, and play as a family, do our evening outdoor/animal chores again (gathering eggs, putting goats up, etc) and sometimes go on walks or take the kids on Gator rides. Kids are in bed by 8. and then Hubby and I have our time together. Or in a lot of cases, Hubby sacks out in his favorite chair (because he's worked all day) and I sew or blog until I'm sleepy. ;)

If you had to choose three words to describe each of your children, what would they be?

Q is clever, sweet, and tender-hearted. Sprig is a sassy, cheerful and determined.



What's your favorite part about being a mom?

The fact that such a tiny little thing grows inside of you, then is born and continues to grow outside of you is just phenomenal. Being a Mom is tiring. It's hard work. It's 24/7, and it's priceless. Our very own mission field and heritage in the next room. Perhaps they will be a life-saving doctor, or a missionary, or maybe they'll be a brick layer or a computer tech. Regardless, when we raise them to the glory of God, they will be an offering of Hope to a hurting world, and it starts with the grace and love we show them.

Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight?

Cut back on the sugar and carbs. It is SO hard, but I think most people eat way too much sugar. It's in everything, too. Stay away from high fructose corn syrups, eat less processed foods. Nurse, if you can. It burns an insane amount of calories. However, don't be disappointed if you don't lose weight while nursing...I know a lot of Mom's who keep their weight until they wean. For me, the last 10 pounds are the hardest. Combined with eating less sugar and carbs, and staying active it actually came right off this time, taking some bonus fat with it. Another thing, and this is a total "to each their own" but I think there's something to it: find a natural form of birth control (NFP, FAM, Barrier,etc). For some women (obviously not all!) hormone replacement birth control makes it hard to keep weight off. That was my case!

What have you and your husband done since your first child's birth to keep your relationship strong?

The biggest thing we had to realize was that the road ran both ways. I didn't have any expectations of my husband, other than to love his son. We didn't keep score over how many diapers the other had changed, or who got up when at night...we shared the job as parents. Not only pertaining to our children, but also around the house. He started recognizing what it meant to me if he took the trash out without being asked, or folded a basket of clothes without any suggestion on my part. All of those little, seemingly unromantic things build on one another until you find yourself watching your Man fold bathroom towels and (if I might be a little honest) you think to yourself "Now, that is one hot hunk." ;) You could say it out loud, but at your own risk. *ahem* Now, maybe it's just me, but Happy Mama = Happy Daddy, if you know what I mean. And a happy Daddy loves helping Mama keep things happy, therefor the cycle continues. ;) Of course it's not always sunshine and roses, but we fight fair and move on when need be.


Your second child's birth? We went through much of the same that we did with the first child. You can just add that I think it's hot when he refers to me as Mama. Oh, how life has changed. ;)

Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?

There are SO many amazing things available for Mom's right now. Of all my favorites, I'd have to say that a Baby K'tan (or Moby Wrap, if you don't mind the tying) and a mei tai style (Babyhawk) carrier, or an Ergo is pretty essential. It's nice to be hands-free if need be. I often strap Sprig in the Ergo while we're doing chores outside in the evening.


Also, these mesh feeders are awesome. Teaches the infant to learn the chewing motion, and helps with coordination once they start finger foods. I also fill it with frozen fruit or ice when Sprig is teething. It has bought me a LOT of time.



What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?

Probably the time we went on vacation and Q got car sick, and threw up twice in the backseat of the Suburban.


Um, not.


We had fun going on vacation, though. Q was just old enough to take in a lot of the sights and be amazed by them. Two and a half is a very fun age. Hubby and I get a total kick out of the crazy things he says.

Any advice for first-time mothers?

Love who you are. Love who God made your children to be. Love this moment, and don't ache for the next because it will be here and then gone in a flash. Don't compare yourself. Don't compare your children. Rest in the fact that you are who you are because Christ has provided you with grace to live abundantly. Believe that He can change you where you need to be changed, and don't be afraid to ask Him to. Let go of your insecurities, and be content in Him. Don't let what others tell you hinder your instinct, God made you the mother of your child. Trust the leading of the Holy Spirit, He'll give you wisdom. And, most of all, roll with it. Learn to be flexible, and not hate yourself when your schedule goes awry. Give yourself grace, and don't forget to pour it out freely on others (especially your Hubby).



Thanks Leanna! Check out LeAnna's blog to read more!




A Little Ramdomness For Your Wednesday

Time for a little randomness I think.

I am having so much blogging inspiration this week, it's not even funny. I probably wrote five posts in the last two days, and they're just waiting in reserve until I need them. I love having posts like that to fall back on.

The overload of blogging inspiration is why I'm wasting a perfectly good blogging day on randomness. Because I have to get all of these thoughts out into blogland before I feel compelled to sit and write a post for each one.

I could do that, but really, I only want so many posts in reserve. If I have too many I get anxious to post them, and I want use them to their full advantage.

Wow, that was way more than I intended to say on the subject.

Anyway . . .

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There really is nothing like real lemonade, no? And by real I mean from concentrate. Because there is no way I'd have the time and money to juice so many lemons to fill an entire pitcher, like whoever crazy person made this batch of lemonade:



Image from Simply Recipes. Click on the link if you want a recipe for really-truly-real lemonade.

But I'm perfectly happy with my semi-real lemonade. It says "summer".

But not like limeade does. Limeade is even better.

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Just a couple random family updates . . .

I'm not sure if any of you remember me mentioning that my sister got engaged? Well, then she got un-engaged. It's a long story, but she absolutely did the right thing. Just thought I'd better mention it in case she gets engaged again one of these days - that way you're not all confused.

And my sister-in-law is pregnant again, so I'm going to be an aunt a second time! I'm so excited for them (and for me)!

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I went to the hospital yesterday to have a check on my clot. It's still there. But it's smaller. This most likely means I'll be put on another round of lovenox injections - so not fun. Here I thought I was done with the poking and the bruising.

FYI: If you ever have to give yourself injections, avoid inserting the needle into an already bruised area. Even if it feels like there's no where left to go. Because it hurts to give yourself an injection into a bruise.

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I'm thinking of doing a giveaway again soon. More on that to come.

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I've realized that I never congratulated Emily and Melanie on the births of their baby girls! I'm slacking. So now that they are a month old . . . congratulations ladies, they are both adorable!

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The votes on the latest poll are in! This time we got a whopping 76 votes. I'm thoroughly impressed.



The results are much like I expected. The majority of you are in your twenties, but I'm pretty pleased to see that there are some readers on either side of that too! No one over thirty-five though, at least no one who cares to vote.

Here's how it breaks down:

-There are 2 (2%) of you who are 20 or under.
-39 (51%) of you who are 21-25.
-26 (34%) in the 26-30 age range.
-There are 9 (11%) from 31-35.
-And no one over 35.

Update: Strike that, I was just informed that one of the "31-35" votes should have been an "over 35" vote! So there are bloggers from every age group mentioned! I love that.

Next question is on location! I try not to let my state be known on this blog. Alot of you probably have it figured out, but I just don't want it to be easy for people to figure out - you just never know who might come across your blog. So for those of you who also keep your location a secret, I completely understand.

But I'm curious to see how our blog community is distributed, so this way everyone can still keep their state a secret, but we can kind of see where everyone lives!

I'm going to basically break the contintental United States down into three segments. If your state is half in one option and half in another, just vote with the option that contains most of your state. Here's a map if you're geographically challenged like I am:



Picture from here.

Don't worry, I'm including options outside the continental U.S. too.

I have my suspicions of how the votes will go, but we'll see if I'm right.

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And because no random post would be complete without pictures of my boy, here are a couple pictures of me and Wyatt on my birthday!





Derek gave me five different lotions from Bath and Body Works, in case you were wondering. He knows me so well - I like variety. I'm going to have sweet fragrances lingering about me all summer long!

And did I mention that Wyatt slept for 13 hours the night of my birthday?

Happy birthday to me.


First Father's Day


I wanted to record Derek's first Father's Day, so excuse the second post in one day.

On Saturday (which I'm counting as part of the celebration) we went for a walk through some botannic gardens and then by a river that runs through this cute little town. It was a beautiful day!




Of course, we had to take a break to feed Wyatt. I gave Wyatt a bottle and then Derek burped him. It was a team effort!



On Sunday I gave Derek his Father's Day present from Wyatt:




A coffee mug and mouse pad with our pictures on it. Derek doesn't have any pictures of us for his office, so he's glad he has these now! I love these pictures too, because Wyatt looks so enthralled with the gift-opening.

We got a Starbucks and went to church together. Wyatt did really well in church, and I was glad, since it was Father's Day. Afterward we went out to eat at a "real" Mexican restaurant (Derek always distinguishes between "real" Mexican food and American-ized Mexican food, but we like both).



I wish I could have made Derek's first Father's Day even more special, because he's an amazing dad - but I think it was a success!

Goodbye TV . . . Part Two

So I left off explaining how we came to the decision to get rid of our satellite TV. Here are some of the reasons I think this may be a good thing, and some reasons why I think it may be a bad thing.



The Good

- Less TV to watch means more quality time spent with family. If we want to watch a movie, we'll be intentional about it and watch a movie together. But we'll also spend more time playing games, going for walks, and just talking. Family bonding time occurs best when you spend time doing things together, engaging in conversation, which is harder to do with a constant schedule of TV programs to work around.

- Less TV means less time wasted for me. I waste so much time watching TV. I have more time to do other things that I always want to do but never get around to, now that we don't have TV. I find myself reading alot more, which I love.

- No scheduled programs means no time schedule for our evening (other than Wyatt's meal times and bedtime), so we're more likely to eat dinner together at the table. This is something that Derek and I have wanted to establish for our family for a long time, but more often than not we'd find ourselves eating dinner while watching TV, and it wasn't getting any better. We've shared more meals together since getting rid of our satellite service.

- The money we used to spend on our TV bill we're now using for the Lord. I love that we can do that now.

- I tended to just turn on the TV and leave it on all day in the background while I did other things. But then I wouldn't get nearly as much done because I was constantly distracted by the TV. I also think it gives a more chaotic feel to everything when I do that. I want a peaceful home. It's much easier to achieve that now that there can't be constant TV noise in the background.

- I hate that you can't find a TV package that does not include inappropriate channels. And even though you can lock alot of those channels, I was always finding new ones coming through that I had to lock. I trust my hubby, but I don't want the TV accidentally switching to a channel where my husband or son will see something they don't want to see and shouldn't see.

- I think it's healthy for kids to learn how to occupy themselves without watching TV. To play, and learn, and be creative. In my opinion, this will be accomplished more easily for Wyatt without the constant temptation of the TV schedule - and I'll also be less distracted by the TV schedule, so I'll be able to spend more time playing, learning, and being creative with him.

- I have my suspicions about TV and the decline of children's attention spans . . . this is purely my opinion, but if less TV in our house means more advantages for Wyatt, I want to give it a try.

The Bad

- Football games. Derek is a huge football fan, and we won't be able to watch all the games. It was a big sacrifice for him to give it up for that reason, but he'll listen to the games on the radio. For the ones he really wants to watch, we'll either go to a sports restaurant to watch or we'll see if we can watch at my parent's house.

- We won't be able to watch the news. This isn't a huge deal, because I get most of the day-to-day news from talk radio, and I think I'm better informed that way - but when there's a big news event, it'll be kind of hard not to be able to watch the live coverage.

- Election coverage. I love to watch the news on election nights, and see the votes come in, and see who wins in all the different states. We may have to visit my parents on election nights from now on.

- We'll miss shows we might like to watch. Though I've found that most TV ends up just being a waste of time for me, there are certain shows that we really enjoyed watching together. But if we decide we really want to see a certain show, we can just visit my parents on those nights again (we may end up spending more time over there this way, but I don't think they'll complain).

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that Derek and I are doing this right now because we feel led to do it. I've been getting "hints" from the Lord for months, and we decided to finally take a leap of faith and follow the Lord's leading in this.

Is this a forever thing? I don't know. Derek and I figure we will reevaluate in a few months and decide where to go from there. But I'm starting to suspect that the benefits are going to become more and more evident the longer we go without TV. We may decide to get TV service again in the future, but we may not. Time will tell.

Do I have a problem with TV in general? No. We still have a TV, and we still watch movies together. I don't think it's wrong to watch TV, and I'm not trying to tell anyone that they should do the same thing that we've decided to do - I just know that for me, TV is more of a hindrance than a help to strong family relationships, intellectual development, and spiritual growth.

As I look at our future without the TV blaring in the background, I'm feeling pretty hopeful. I know that this will be a good thing, because I feel the calling to give this up right now. I can't wait to see what the Lord will do with our family as we try this little "experiment".

I'll keep you posted.

Goodbye TV . . . Part One

A couple weeks ago we did something I never really pictured myself doing.

We got rid of our satellite TV service.

Why did I never picture myself doing this? Because I like TV. Alot.

Therein lies the problem.

Last year on our cruise, I read a challenging book called Do Hard Things by Brett and Alex Harris that got me thinking more about how I spend my time. It occurred to me then how much more time I would have to do things, and accomplish things, if I didn't have satellite TV.

The thought continued to niggle in the back of my mind over the next couple months. Then I got pregnant, and I had to put away alot of my paycheck to pay for medical bills - so we weren't able to give as much to the Lord as we would have liked. We started thinking of ways to cut out certain expenses so we could give more to the Lord, and the thought of giving up TV came up again.

Of course Derek thought it was a great idea - because he doesn't like TV nearly as much as I do.

We could have done it then, but I just wasn't quite ready.

Then a few months later, I happened to read Radical by David Platt, which discusses sacrificial giving to the Lord. And of course, I thought of the TV again.

Honestly, I was getting rather tired of wasting so much time watching TV. I don't know how many times I would resolve to watch less, do well for a day, and then fall right back into my old habits. I don't like how it was so hard for me to cut back, especially when I could accomplish so much more without it.

Plus with all the niggling in my brain, and all the things that kept making me consider giving it up, I figured the Lord was trying to tell me something.

So Derek and I talked it over and made the decision. We decided to get rid of our TV service as soon as the current season of reality TV was over (after all, I have to see who wins, right?).

It's been two weeks now. The withdrawl wasn't as serious as I thought it would be, though I still find myself popping a movie in our DVD player too often. But overall, getting rid of satellite has made me more intentional about the time I spend watching TV. If I want to watch something, I'll actually sit down and watch it - instead of just turning the TV on for background noise, which can add chaos and distractions.

Not to say I make so much better use of my time just yet. I still waste far too much of my day, but it's a step in the right direction.

In my next post I'll discuss the pros and cons that I've come up with so far on this decision.

Have you ever considered giving up satellite or cable TV? Do you think you could do it? How would you cope and/or use your extra time?



To Derek On Father's Day

Dear Derek,

Happy 1st Father's Day! I am so proud of the man and father that you are!



I know that you'll teach Wyatt everything he needs to know about being a man, and that's so comforting to me. You are a strong, smart, godly man, and Wyatt will have a wonderful example to follow as he grows.





I love watching you and Wyatt together - I can already tell how much he loves his dad, and in a couple years you're going to have a "mini me" following you around!




We both love you very much, and I thank the Lord every day for how He blessed us in giving us you!

Love Always,

Callie and Wyatt

To My Wonderful Dad

Dear Dad,

Happy Father's Day! I'm incredibly blessed to have you as my dad.

You are always there when I need you, and there is no way to put a price on how much that's worth to me.






You taught me the difference between right and wrong simply by the way you live, and you instilled in me a love of God's creation, and a sense of awe for it's Creator.






You are an amazing dad (and grandpa!), and I am so proud to call you mine!






I love you, Daddy!

Your Daughter,
Callie


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