The First Moment I Felt Like a Parent

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In every friend group there is the “mom” friend. The friend that has extra snacks, a bandaid, and two bottles of hand sanitizer in her purse at all times. This friend is me. I’m the friend who can’t help but fold your laundry if I see it out. (Not because I don’t think you can, it’s just a reflex). I am the friend who is forever the designated driver, who worries you’ll be kidnapped if you use dating apps, and who feels the need to cook you food if you seem sick.
However, now I am actually a “real” mom!! So many people have asked if I feel any different. If I feel like a parent. In some ways I feel the same! But in a lot of ways I do feel different. Several people have asked when I felt like a parent for the first time, when it hit me.
In my post about Nolie’s birth I mentioned that I was dishcharged a full day before her. This was because when they came in Friday night to run some tests they discovered she was jaundice. I’m not a doctor, and I really didn’t understand everything they said. However, basically her body had too much of something which can cause brain damages if levels get too high. They told us to strip her down to just a diaper and we put her in this plastic crib. She was laying on top of a UV light and there was one above her as well. She had to wear this little headgear to protect her eyes. Let me just tell you- Nolie hated it. Oh she hated it so much! The second you put her down she would begin to scream at the top of her lungs. It was non stop. It was the most heart wrenching sound I had ever heard.
Every three hours we could take her out and feed her, they gave me a max of thirty minutes each time. The second I pulled her to me she immediately stopped crying. She didn’t make a single sound. I could feel her whole body relax and she would immediately fall into a deep sleep, exhausted from the non stop wailing. I couldn’t even get her to stay awake to eat. (I ended up having to pump and Michael syringe fed her. She seriously was so worn out).
After several hours I found myself sitting in the dark in a rolling desk chair. Michael was trying to sleep. I had my head leaned up against the plastic with my hand slid under the light, trying to soothe her. This was the hardest moment. I knew if I just took her out and held her that her screams would silence. No one would know, the nurses wouldn’t be back for hours. However, I knew for her health she needed to be under that light.
I was suddenly reminded of a time I got in trouble with my dad. I don’t remember what for and I don’t remember what the punishment was other than I was devastated. I remember my dad looking at me with sad eyes and telling me that he didn’t want to, but he had to punish me for my own good. I think I had gotten grounded and I desperately wanted it to be lifted for a night for something that at the time felt incredibly important. I couldn’t comprehend why if he didn’t want to punish me and I didn’t want to be punished, why were we still talking about it!
The answer was that he was instilling in me a great understanding of consequences that has served me well every day of my life. He taught me to trust his word – whether he promises to take me to the movies or that if I missed curfew I would be punished. He had to play an un-fun role so that I could grow.
Sometimes being a good parent means you don’t get to be your kid’s friend and that’s okay. Sometimes being a parent means that you have to follow through with something, even if it breaks your heart because the most important thing is the long term physical and moral development of your child.
Listening to my brand new baby scream with such vigor absolutely broke my heart. I just cried and cried because it felt like I could feel her fear and pain. I have never felt more helpless. I knew I could short term fix it in a second, but I couldn’t do that. She was under that light for 23 hours and I’ve never been so emotionally spent. It took everything in me to leave her laying there screaming. I think that is the first time I truly felt like a parent.

DIY Gold Frames 

I really wanted some gold frames to match the accenting on our ADORABLE target lamp. It was surprisingly hard to find a matching shade of gold though! I didn’t want anything too shiny.  So we decided to try spray painting some IKEA frames we had bought a few years ago.

I put it off for a few weeks because I was extremely nervous about it. I have never spray painted anything before! But eventually we went down to Joanne’s and bought Design Master Color Tool spray paint in Antique Gold. We also picked up some sandpaper.


Michael was the true MVP of this product. He did most of the manual labor. First we opened the frames and took the matting and glass out. Then Michael sanded the frames down. I was worried because I thought they were plastic. It turns out they were wood with just a weird plastic paint on top! Perfect for spray painting after we finished sanding.

We then spread out newspaper and Michael sprayed the frames. (I tried and it ended up a little globby… ) They sat out to dry for literally twenty minutes. Then we put the glass back in, “windex”-ed it and then hung! It took like an hour, and they are perfect! I am so pleased with how they turned out. It was a great way to incorporate more gold into the living room without doing anything drastic.


Special shout out to my super talented husband who pretty much did all the work on this. I  love you!! Also, photos framed are by SwakPhotography.

Sometimes We Fight

A few days ago I was talking to an acquaintance.  Somehow Michael got brought up and I made a comment about how great he is.  All of the sudden it felt like this acquaintance was on the attack! The acquaintance quickly snapped “well I’m sure everything isn’t as perfect as you make it seem on Facebook.”

That comment really caught me off guard. At first it hurt my feelings, I won’t lie. It felt so out of no where. I thought about it though, and then I felt really bad. I hope that I never mislead people into thinking Michael and I have some perfect relationship. I wish when I was first married that more people had told me that real couples argue. I had one friend who months into marriage swore they had never disagreed on anything yet. For her sake, I honestly hope that is true. However, for me, it would have been exponentially more beneficial to hear that yeah they argued… but then they laughed it off and made up.

When we first got married I panicked every time we fought about anything, no matter how small. I thought “was this a mistake? Did I hear God wrong? Why are we fighting? What am I doing badly?” Literally every (untrue) negative thought raced through my mind, making every situation more stressful mind you. My expectation was utter and complete honeymoon bliss. My expectations were that it would essentially be a sleepover and we would just be so giddy that we were married nothing would bother us. (Obviously I forgot who I am.) So I was so thankful when someone told me that it was normal. It was so freeing when I realized that every second doesn’t have to be filled with a thousand yellow daisies, and candles, and a horse.
I never want my younger sisters (by blood or by love) to be stuck in this small perfect box of what a marriage should be like! I don’t want anyone to feel like their marriage/relationship is less because you sometimes don’t agree. I would absolutely hate for this person to think that I judge her because she fights with her person. Even worse, I would hate for someone to feel like they couldn’t talk to me because I couldn’t relate to disagreeing with the hubs. 
I’m definitely not saying we should be breaking windows, screaming, and threatening. However, I don’t think it’s shameful if you have the occasional disagreement! I just never would want to mislead anyone into thinking that my marriage is perfect because I would hate for someone to be comparing their relationship to such a high, unrealistic standard. 
So I guess this is me, publicly announcing, that Michael and I fight. We argued last month because he shrunk my dress in the dryer. We argued this month because I was upset that he didn’t read my mind and bring home queso. We disagreed about if the cat should be allowed to sit on the counter and watch me cook. We debated over if we should put matting in the frames I hung in the living room. We bicker. We tease. Sometimes I even throw crackers at him. And you know what else? I’m grateful for it.
I’m grateful that when I’m ninety years old I will have my grouchy old man husband and we will still be arguing over whether I can have another kitten. I would’t trade it for anything.
// Photo by Sophie Davison Photography 

DIY Wooden Memo Board 

One of my biggest pet peeves is mail and other assorted papers laying around the house.  I hate how cluttered it looks!!! So I decided to make a little memo board that I could put the important mail on.

I started with a beautiful slab of wood from Lowes. I honestly didn’t even have it cut.  It seemed like a good size! The first thing I did when I got home was to completely sand it down. Then I wiped it with a wet rag and let it dry out in the sun.


Next I got out the stain I used to make my coffee station.  It’s a “dark walnut 2716.” I also grabbed some jute rope (a little thicker than twine), a staple gun, and a roll of tape.

Once the stain had plenty of time to dry I stood it upright. I started the jute rope by taping it on the backside of the board in the upper left corner. From there I just wrapped it around a few times, arranging it to lay as I wanted. I used tape as I wrapped down so that I knew it was wrapped tightly and in place.


Finally, I got a little staple happy. As I followed the string down I made sure it was still pulled tightly. I need it to be pulled enough that it will hold up a letter! The very last step was to attach size large picture hangers to the back. I put one in the top left and one in the top right corner. The final product is exactly what I wanted!! Check it out –

The Honest Company Free Trial

A week ago I saw an ad for the The Honest Company. They were promoting their free trial of both some of their essential household products and their baby products. The catch is, you have to sign up for their subscription service. However, you do have seven days to cancel your subscription from the day it is delivered (with no cancelation fees). You get quite a bit of product and only have to pay $5.95 in shipping.

So last Thursday I decided to order the trial sample of their essentials bundle. I got an email saying the shipping label was created less than twelve hours after I signed up! (The product arrived the following Wednesday in the same box.) The box was adorable. It included

  • seven Newborn sized diapers (you get to chose your size when you order)
  • a pack of wipes (10 count)
  • sample size face and body lotion
  • sample size hand soap
  • sample size shampoo and body wash
  • sample size multi surface cleaner
  • sample size organic healing bomb
  • Honest Company Welcome Guide

So far, we have tried the lotions, cleaner, and hand soap and we love them! They smell great and are very attractively packaged. I am so glad we decided to try it. (The diapers and wipes have been thrown into a tote in a closet for unknown future needs.) We are even debating signing up for the monthly “essentials” bundle subscription. You pay $35.95 per bundle and get five products. (Just for comparisons sake, we chose five items and compared them to the combined prices of the same type of items that we usually buy. It was less than a dollar price difference.) It really is a good deal for the convenience and we love the integrity behind the product. Plus, we both love getting packages in the mail haha.


If you want to try out the company, use this link so they know I sent you their way!(: It will provide you with $10 off of your first purchase. (The lotion I loved is $9.95 so you would literally only pay shipping). I highly recommend it!

Easy & Quick Chicken Tiki Marsala

I love having dinner on the table for Michael, but honestly sometimes I am super short on time. So when I find a great tasting meal that is easy to prepare, I am all about it! Last night I made one of Michael’s favorite meals, and it only took like thirty minutes to prepare! I wanted to share it with y’all today.

To start off, no it is not completely from scratch. Hate all you want, sometime you don’t have time for all that! I can obviously agree that it isn’t as good as when it is made fresh at our favorite Indian place, Bombay Palace (West End, across from the Chipotle.) However, it is still a DELICIOUS meal that is both quick and super affordable! Here is what you will need (I bought all of my ingredients at Publix) :

  • Jasmine rice
  • One pepper (I did 1/3 of a red, orange, & yellow pepper for no other reason than it’s prettier)
  • Sharwood’s Chicken Tiki Marsala
  • Chicken breast/cutlets according to personal taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Stonefirs Tandoor Garlic Naan



Literally that is all you need! I start with the rice. We have the cutest little rice cooker and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It makes dinner so much easier. (It even has a timer on it so I could set it and leave for work and it would be done when I got home.) Anyways, I wash the rice then get it started before I start anything else- it is the most time consuming part of the entire dinner.

Next I dice up the peppers. I prefer to make them larger. Then I cut the fat off of the chicken and cut it into about one to two inch long pieces. Meanwhile I have half a tablespoon of butter melting in a nonstick frying pan. Once the butter it is melted I cook the chicken. When the chicken is a light brown on each side I plate it and put it to the side. Next a use the remaining butter to saute the peppers on a medium high.

When they are finished I put the peppers on the plate as well and I wipe out the pan. When the leftover butter has been cleaned out I pour the chicken and peppers back into the pan. Next I pour the sauce in. I let it sit on a low heat to warm everything. While that is going I put the garlic naan into the oven, per the instructions on the back of the package. When it is done I cut it into fourths. Finally, once the rice finishes, dinner is served!


I hope you enjoy this super easy to make meal as much as we do! Let me know how it goes!

Emotions & Options

The school year is about to start and soon I will be running across campus so as to not be late to class once more.  I’m excited, sad, nervous, and so many more emotions I don’t even know how I feel!

I’m about to start my senior year at Trevecca.  Part of me is beyond thrilled! I get to see favorite professors and good friends. Sophie and I have at least two classes together! It’s my last year, then I’ll be graduated and supposedly a real adult.  However, I’m also a little sad that I’ll be leaving good ol’ TNU.  It’s become a home.  I feel like I finally know where everything is.  I have my favorite study spots and I know where the cleanest bathrooms are.  (Can’t tell you because then I would face the risk that you’re the dirty bathroom fiend- and I would have just invited you into sacred, clean bathroom space.) I am so excited to be finished because I love accomplishing goals. And graduating has been a serious goal, but it will be a little bitter sweet.
Nervous is another word I would use to describe how I feel about going back to school and graduating as well. Everyone keeps asking if I have a job lined up, what the plan is, or what I am doing next. The honest answer- I don’t know! For so long the goal has just been graduate college. Now I have to make a “final draft” of all the “next step” goals I’ve been collecting over the years.  I have some big choices that lead down very different paths.
The obvious option is to secure a killer internship that segways into a career path in event coordinating. It’s an option I would enjoy.  It would be challenging and fulfilling. It’s what is expected of newly graduated seniors.  That’s what majority of my classmates will pursue.  But, then again, I’ve never fit in with the majority of my classmates.  By graduation I will have been married for two years to a best friend I will have known for seven years. I also will be blessed in that I will have zero student loans that will require paying off. This drastically opens up other doors that lead down a more maternal path.
Everyone knows I want a baby.  I knew I wanted a baby before I was old enough to know where babies come from. On my preschool worksheet while other kids wrote they wanted to be firefighters or rock stars, I wrote mommy. That has never really changed. (Sometime throwing in the occasional career path of “princess,” but currently that one is a little less attainable.) Having a husband who can support us, no debt to repay, and a great marriage opens the doors to pursuing that dream. I know it’s what I want the most.  I just don’t know if it’s God’s timing yet.
Another option, a secret dream of mine, is to pursue a yoga certification.  I think being a yoga instructor would be so fun! I find it so relaxing and beneficial. However, it’s time consuming and honestly, would it be silly to get a four year degree and then jump into a different program? I just don’t know what God has in store.  However, owning a yoga studio (maybe with a certain blonde friend of mine) would be the coolest! I would love to have a studio that incorporates the healing powers of yoga, but is openly Christian.
There are so many emotions and so many choices to be made.  I can guarantee you that there is some serious praying going on in the Cornell house this month.  (Feel free to throw us on your prayer list as well!) I guess at present I’m just going to focus on not stressing about it! Wish me luck.