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Friday, December 27, 2013

To Be A Jewel.

I want to be a jewel in God's sight. Something so lovely, so precious, so valuable. That's my hearts desire.
My Great Grandma's name was Jewel. She went to be with Jesus when I was 10 years old so I don't have as many memories with her as I wish I did but my whole family still talks about her often. She was passionate about The Lord and I wholeheartedly believe that she is the reason my dad's entire side of the family is saved. She wasn't raised Christian and came to know Jesus at the age of 21. She surrendered to Him right in her living room. :)
I want to have a legacy like my great grandma Jewel. I want to have such a passion for Jesus that it's contagious! The way she did! She was imperfect like us all, but she knew that God can use an imperfect person, perfectly.

My great grandma, Jewel and I. 1991.
This is a poem that she wrote that I came across recently and it spoke to my heart so much. Apparently writing runs in my family! I hope this is as much of a blessing for you as it is for me!

Just As I Am
I want you to see me, Dear, just as I am.
I make no effort at pretense or sham.
I admit---I'm a person, strange as can be
And Just as I am, I want you to see.
I must make sure you've understood
That in me, there is just nothing good.
I've a mind and a will that's prone to sin
And my heart just welcomes evil in.
My tongue has far too much to say
My lips allow it heedless sway
My eyes see things they truly shouldn't
My ears hear much I would they couldn't!
My thoughts---not right---quite wrong instead
My acts---where angels fear to tread
My hands---time wastes and sadness brings
My feet---they haste to selfish things.
To sum it up---this useless tool---
This worthless thing---is really Jewel!
There's not much more that I can write
Except, dear, that I'm holding tight
To Him who hath saved even me
To be what He would have me be---
He stills my soul, and yes, my voice
He doth my mind and will rejoice
He breaks my heart in bits it seems
He shapes my words 'til beauty gleams
He shows my eyes how to discern
He tunes my ears to His concern
He molds my thoughts and keeps intact
He guides my hands, to loving act.
My feet, He places on the Rock
And there, I find a seal and lock
I marvel, Dear, that this can be---
How, thru his blood, He cleanseth me
And then---in Grace---He takes this clay
And breathes---thru me---just for today.
by Jewel Rice
August 6, 1942

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed new year!
Love Louis, Sarah, and baby Selah-who thinks the word JOY is quite delicious! ;)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Newlywed Game Holiday Linkup!

I'm so excited this link up is back! Even if it is only for Christmas! :D
1.  Which Christmas would your spouse say was the best that you had together as a couple?
I think he would say our first Christmas together-2 years ago because we got to experience our first major holiday as a married couple!
This one because we have our sweet baby girl.
2.  What would your spouse say is the weirdest, or most unique tradition that your family does at Christmas?
White Elephant Gifts
Eating at 3p all through the night?
 3.  It's Christmas Day... you are looking all around and you can't find your spouse.  Finally, you find them hiding in a closet, devouring which holiday treat??
Reese's Fudge and Apple Pie
Christmas tree little debbies

 4.  It's your spouse's turn to pick out a Christmas movie.  Naturally, they pick their favorite one.  Which is it??
There are so many that she loves.  The Santa Clause?
 5.  If your spouse had it their way... when would they put up Christmas decorations?  Right after the turkey?  Last minute?  Not at all?
3 months before Christmas
October 31st lol
 6.  What does your spouse think is the best Christmas gift you ever gave them?
Love! lol
We haven't been together for many Christmas days, but I bet she will say the shopping spree this year will be the best!
 7.  Fa la la la laaaa, what is your spouse's go-to Christmas song?
The Little Drummer Boy
Oh Holy Night "Fall on your knees and hear the angel's voices"
8.  On Christmas morning, what does your spouse wish is under the tree?
A cross necklace
Lots of gift cards to Ulta, Charming Charlie, Old Navy, etc.
9.  What is one thing that your spouse absolutely has to do every year during the holidays?
wrap all the presents-it's his favorite thing to do! I've always loved it too but he loves it more so I let him wrap everything!
10.  What was the coolest gift your spouse got at Christmas as a child?  (Hopefully they told you this at some point in your relationship... otherwise... this one will have to be a lucky guess!!)
An Xbox?
I will have to take a easy bake oven??

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Goals for 2014

They say if you write your goals down you will have a better chance at actually following through. I'm going to test this theory out today and come next January we'll see how everything plays out!

1-Spend time with Jesus each morning.
This is something I've always wanted to do but could never seem to follow through. I know if I can wake up before Selah does and get some Jesus time in my days will be so much better! Even more important than that, my relationship with Him will grow so much!
2- Start volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center.
I wrote about this a few weeks ago. I'm already seeing The Lord work on my heart in this area and I really feel him leading me toward it.
3-Open an Etsy shop.
I've been wanting to start sewing again since I kind of gave it up in high school. I miss it so much though and can't wait to get back into it! Now to just get a new machine...
4-Eat Healthy and Exercise.
I want to get back to my pre marriage weight. lol. Everyone says they want to get back to their pre baby weight but I'm already there and I wasn't exactly happy with where I was at health wise before I got prego so I'm working towards being back where I was before Louie and I started dating. Mainly I want to eat healthy because soon enough Selah will be eating what we eat and I don't want her eating junk. I want to be a good example for her.
5-Get more photography business.
This year has been sorta slow when it comes to our photography business. With us having a new baby and all it wasn't on the top of our priority list but I'm determined to advertise like crazy this next year and get lots of new clients!
6-Do at LEAST three blog posts a week!
This is something that is so important to me and I really want to make it happen! I think it's going to get easier now that Selah is actually taking naps in her crib! It makes it a lot easier for me to get things done during the day!
7-Be bold.
Whether it's ministering to a random person I've never met or asking someone from Church if they'd like to hang out sometime I want to start breaking out of my comfort zone!
8-Speak blessings over Selah each morning!
I believe whole heartedly in the power of words and so I'm starting early speaking blessings into Selah's life. She may not understand what I'm saying now but soon enough she will. I will tell her you are creative, you are talented, you are smart, you are gifted, you are a victor and not a victim, people like you, you are outgoing, you are child of the most high God, you are full of His can do power, and you are going to rise up and become everything God created you to be!
There are several other things that I have in mind to accomplish for this next year but I feel like if I wrote everything down it would take me FOREVER! These are the main things though.
Dear Abba,
Thank you so much for all of the blessings you've given me this year in 2013. Lord, I pray that you would help me to accomplish these goals because I know I can't do them on my own. It's not by my strength but it's by Yours! I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens me!
In Jesus' name, Amen!
And just because no post is complete without a picture of my sweet girl!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Selah-5 months old

Weight: Selah is almost 13 lbs.

Height: I would guess 25 inches

Nicknames: Say Say, Little Missy, Missy, Sweet Pea

Eating: Missy is eating every 2 1/2 to 3 hours now! It definitely makes going places a lot easier!

Sleeping: We have actually been teaching Selah to sleep in her crib this week. So far she hasn't slept through the night in there yet but it's coming!

Diapers: We just bought our first pack of size 2's yesterday! They're actually the fancy shmancy red and white striped ones for Christmas! :-)
Clothing: 3 months!

Social: Selah went into the nursery at Church for the first time on Sunday. I think it was harder on me than her! She seemed to do pretty well in there!

Likes: her bath toy, taking baths, grabbing her toys, chewing on EVERYTHING!

Dislikes: when mommy and daddy aren't holding her.

What we're looking forward to: Christmas! I can't wait to give Selah her presents! :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

On my heart...

When will I ever feel good enough?

That's a question I've asked myself too many times to count.

I constantly feel like I'm in a limbo of feeling good about myself and the progress I'm making to becoming who I want to be and feeling like I can never measure up. It's painful and it's something I'm battling every single day.

All of my life I've just wanted to belong. somewhere. anywhere. I'm so thankful to God that He kept me from getting mixed up with the wrong kind of crowd because I had the potential to do things I would really regret now because of my want to fit in. I may be 23 years old and five years out of high school but yet, somehow I still feel like I'm back there.

I know this all stems from the rejection I felt when I was young and overweight. But somehow, I still haven't been able to shake it.

So I'm writing this for me...and maybe just maybe someone who feels the way I do will be encouraged. Because I don't know where to go from here. I don't know how to overcome this-on my own that is.

 But what I do know is that I serve a big God and this is what He says about me-and you too!

• I am a child of God.

But to all who have received him--those who believe in his name--he has given the right to become God's children … (John 1:12).

• I am a branch of the true vine, and a conduit of Christ’s life.

I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me--and I in him--bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing (John 15:1, 5).

• I am a friend of Jesus.

I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father (John 15:15).

• I have been justified and redeemed.

But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).

• My old self was crucified with Christ, and I am no longer a slave to sin.

We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin (Romans 6:6).

• I will not be condemned by God.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

• I have been set free from the law of sin and death.

For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

• As a child of God, I am a fellow heir with Christ.

And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ)--if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him (Romans 8:17).

• I have been accepted by Christ.

Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God's glory (Romans 15:7).

• I have been called to be a saint.

… To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called to be saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours (1 Corinthians 1:2). (See also Ephesians 1:1, Philippians 1:1, and Colossians 1:2.)

• In Christ Jesus, I have wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.

He is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption … (1 Corinthians 1:30).

• My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells in me.

Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you (1 Corinthians 6:19)?

• I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him.

But the one united with the Lord is one spirit with him (1 Corinthians 6:17).

• God leads me in the triumph and knowledge of Christ.

But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and who makes known through us the fragrance that consists of the knowledge of him in every place (2 Corinthians 2:14).

• I am a new creature in Christ.

So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away--look, what is new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)!

• I have become the righteousness of God in Christ.

God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

• I have been made one with all who are in Christ Jesus.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female--for all of you are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).

• I am no longer a slave, but a child and an heir.

So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are a son, then you are also an heir through God (Galatians 4:7).

• I have been set free in Christ.

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).

• I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).

• I am chosen, holy, and blameless before God.

For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love (Ephesians 1:4).

• I am redeemed and forgiven by the grace of Christ.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:7).

• I have been predestined by God to obtain an inheritance.

In Christ we too have been claimed as God's own possession, since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will (Ephesians 1:11).

• I have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)--when you believed in Christ--you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).

• Because of God’s mercy and love, I have been made alive with Christ.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you are saved (Ephesians 2:4-5)!

• I am seated in the heavenly places with Christ.

… And he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus … (Ephesians 2:6).

• I am God’s workmanship created to produce good works.

For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them (Ephesians 2:10).

• I have been brought near to God by the blood of Christ.

But now in Christ Jesus you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13).

• I am a member of Christ’s body and a partaker of His promise.

… The Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:6). (See also Ephesians 5:30.)

• I have boldness and confident access to God through faith in Christ.

… In whom we have boldness and confident access to God because of Christ's faithfulness (Ephesians 3:12).

• My new self is righteous and holy.

… Put on the new man who has been created in God's image--in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth (Ephesians 4:24).

• I am a citizen of heaven.

But our citizenship is in heaven--and we also await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ … (Philippians 3:20).

• The peace of God guards my heart and mind.

And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

• God supplies all my needs.

And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

• I have been made complete in Christ.

… You have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority (Colossians 2:10).

• I have been raised up with Christ.

Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1).

• My life is hidden with Christ in God.

… For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

• Christ is my life, and I will be revealed with Him in glory.

When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him (Colossians 3:4).

• I have been chosen of God, and I am holy and beloved.

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience … (Colossians 3:12).

• God loves me and has chosen me.

We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you … (1 Thessalonians 1:4).

So I'm going to speak these things everyday, and eventually I'll overcome these things that have tried to make me feel worthless and unlovable. Then and only then will I be able to walk in who He has called me to be-His child. And that's enough, so much more than enough.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dear Friday

Dear sweet hubby,
You are the sweetest man! I'm so blessed that God chose you just for me. I'm so thankful that Selah has such a good daddy and she will never have to go through the things that I went through growing up.

Dear sweet and sour chicken,
YOU ARE AWESOME! I've always loved Chinese food but never really attempted to make anything this close to legit Chinese food. Well I must've done something right because the recipe was delish!
Dear Christmas,
I just love this time of the year and I can't wait to celebrate more! Our family Christmas party is this weekend and I'm so excited for Selah to meet my extended family.

Dear water,
I can't get enough of you! They were not lying when they said breastfeeding would make you thirsty! Goodness!
Dear exclamation points,
I! Can't! Seem! To! Stop! Putting! An! Exclamation! Point! After! Every! Sentence! I! Apologize! In! Advance!
Dear sweet Selah,
You are such a happy sweet girl! I can't wait to see the things The Lord does through you! You are amazing baby girl!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Recap

It was so amazing experiencing our first major holiday as a family of 3. Having a baby makes the holidays so much more exciting. There's just something about it! :-)
I've been counting my blessings this thanksgiving. I love thinking about all that God has done for me. It makes me want to shout! 

Here are some IPhone pics from all of the festivities!
Turkey cookies!

That would be my adorable nephew, Colin!
Alaina and Colin.
I love family.
My big sissy and I.

My sweet girl in a chair just her size! :)

I love them so!

We saw a herd of deer in the neighborhood near Louie's grandmas house! Wish I would've gotten a clearer pic!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Selah-4 Months Old

Weight: Selah is 11lbs 7oz. My little sweet pea.

Height: 24 inches long

Nicknames: Say Say, Little Missy, Missy, Sweet Pea
Eating: She's still eating every 2-2 1/2 hours. I think she's slowly starting to stretch out feedings which is awesome for me! It's crazy to me when I see other mamas talk about how their two month olds eat every four hours! I can't even imagine! lol
Sleeping: This last week she actually has been waking up at 5am or so. This mama is so not used to that! She even woke up at 2am a few days ago. I was wondering what was going on until I heard about this thing called 4 month sleep regression! Now it makes sense...She was back to her normal 10-7 schedule last night so I'm hoping we're all good again! 
Diapers: She's still in size 1 target diapers!
Clothing: 0-3 and 3 months!
Social: Selah is getting very aware of who's holding her now. When she realizes anyone who isn't mommy, daddy, or grandma is holding her that bottom lip goes out and she starts crying!
Likes: being tickled, laughing, shaking her rattle, playing on her playmat.
Dislikes: When she is not being entertained, being in her swing
Mama: Loving being a stay at home mama and so thankful that I've been given this precious gift!
Daddy: Louis is so good at making Selah laugh. It's pretty much the cutest thing!
What we're looking forward to: Thanksgiving! We're actually going to go to Kohls tonight to try and find her a cute thanksgiving outfit! Gotta be festive! ;)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Life Lately.

Life has been busy, but calm lately. I know that probably makes zero sense but hear me out.
The busy has been hard for me because since Selah has been born everything has been pretty steady, normal now. This is my life now.

We're finally getting back into the swing of photography, which is great! But to tell you the truth it's been a struggle for me because I simply don't want to spend anytime away from Selah. These past three months I've never been away from her for more than a few hours and now I'm expected to go and photograph a wedding for 8 hours. I give mad props to working mamas! I'm so blessed that I get to stay home with my girl and I will never take it for granted!

I never expected to be so attached to her. Sounds weird, I know because she's my baby. But I thought it wouldn't be a big deal at all to leave her with my mom for a couple of hours so Louis and I could go on a date. When the hubby and I have gone on one these past four months I was thinking and talking about her the whole time. I also thought that I would have her in the church nursery two months after she was born-ha! I'm laughing at how naïve I was. She is four months now and has yet to have been in the nursery without me. I'm working on it though, soon enough. Probably within the next few weeks or so.

The Lord has also been birthing something new in my heart, a dream or vision if you will. I know he placed a desire in me to fight for the unborn-to be their voice. But I haven't done nearly enough. So I'm planning to start volunteering very soon at a place here in Nebraska that helps young pregnant women make the decision to keep their babies. It's really an awesome place! I can't wait to see how The Lord will use me there. More than anything I just want to be His hands and His feet in this messed up world! I pray He would use me to do something big for His kingdom!

So I know that was kind of all over the place but just bear with me! That's been this blog much as I try to be consistent with writing something always takes me away from finishing a whole post, and when I sit down to write a post it's usually all over the place. For anyone still reading, I love you! Thanks for sticking around. Someday soon I will figure out how to balance this mommy/blogger thing. I'm determined to make it happen. I love writing much too much to stop! :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dearest Selah

My Selah Abigail,

There are things I never want to forget about this stage you're in. The way your eyelashes look when you're sleeping. The way you nuzzle into my arm when you are overtired and fighting sleep. The way you look at me like I'm your favorite person in the whole world. It's such a different love than I ever imagined it would be.

I love that you started sucking your thumb when you sleep. I know I should be trying to get you to stop but I just can't bring myself to. There's just something so sweet about it.

When I put you on my shoulder to burp you I love the sound of your breath in my ear. It's so soft, so sweet. Something I never want to forget.

You're such a determined girl already, I can see it. You've rolled from your belly to your back last week and now you're trying to roll from back to tummy. I just know you will do it soon! I love seeing the determination in you because I know now that these things might be what some would consider the "little things" but I see them as huge things! I know that you will be one determined and outspoken girl when it comes to things of the kingdom and I just love that about you!

Your daddy and I prayed and declared when you were in my belly that you would never be afraid to speak out for Jesus. You will never struggle with being shy like the both of us have. I can already tell how social you are by the fact that you try to "talk" to anyone who gives you so much as a smile. I love it.

 I'm so so glad that we named you Selah! It is so perfect for you because everyday just thinking about you causes me to pause and reflect on what the Lord has done for me! He brought me you, sweet girl. Words cannot express my thankfulness for you.

Sweet pea, you melt me every. single. day. From your contagious smiles to your coos and belly laugh. We love you so much baby girl. You have made our world so much brighter!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

To be honest.

To be honest,
 I feel like I don't get enough done in the day. I feel terrible when I see my husband coming home from work and having to do the laundry because I didn't get to it. Or what about the time last week when I asked my hubby to drive through burger king on the way home. Yeah that happened. I wish I could say that this is a one time occurrence but it happens quite often-probably about once a week.

The thing is, my hubby is wonderful about it all. He understands that it isn't easy taking care of Selah and that some days are harder than others.

I feel like there is a certain stereotype of who a stay at home mom is supposed to be and I'm constantly trying to compare myself with others. I know it's not a good thing to do but comparison has always been something I've struggled with as much as I try not to.

I know I'm growing and that's why I try to give myself grace. I've only been doing this mommy thing for three and a half months-these things don't just happen overnight. It makes me wonder sometimes if anyone is really that stereotypical stay at home mom or if we all tend to fake it sometimes. It's easy when what you post on facebook are the smiling pictures of your baby and the one yummy meal you happened to make that week. I know I'm certainly guilty of it.

The Lord has been so good and gracious through this time to me. Through all of the thoughts telling me I'm not good enough, I know God is working on me and I know I'm growing. I've seen it many times. Now to just block out the voices telling me I'm not good enough and listen to the voice that really matters.

2 Corinthians 12:9

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Friday, October 25, 2013

All Together Beautiful.

Ignorance is bliss, or so I’ve heard. I still remember, very vividly the first time I realized that I was fat. I was a naïve little first grader and I was standing in lunch line with my best friend, Chelsea. A boy in our class named Andy came up to me and told me I was fat. At this time, fat was a foreign word to me. My family always referred to me a “chunky” and the word fat never existed in my vocabulary. My mom was overweight and so was one of my big sisters, Amanda. As a result I was never put down by them for having to shop in the kids plus size section at JCPenny’s. But the problem with that was I needed help and I would not get it from them.

 I was never self-conscious about my weight until about 6th or 7th grade. When I began middle school I took it upon myself to start dieting. I can remember writing down this diet plan for myself but this attempt would last maybe a day or so, until I found the nutty bars in the cupboard.  I then proceeded to have “just one” but one would lead to two and then three, four, and so on. I was eating my feelings one by one and learning to comfort myself with food. Food was my drug of choice, and I was fully and completely addicted.
One of the worst parts about me being overweight, though was that I wasn’t proportionately overweight. I carried a lot of my weight in my stomach area which caused me to carry some heavy connotations as well. I was in 7th grade the first time someone asked me if I was pregnant, and he did it in front of my entire English class. That hurt a million times worse for me than just being called fat. I never wanted people to think that I had no morals and that I was the type of person who would get pregnant when I was 13 years old. I was a pastor’s daughter for crying out loud!
Although I can’t recall his name, I can still hear his voice in my head-clear as day.
“Are you pregnant?!” he asked loudly.
I sat there at my table in shock for what seemed like an hour but it was probably only a few seconds.
“No!” I retorted back.
And that was that. I could feel my face turning three shades of red under the shame and guilt of being fat-so fat that fat didn’t describe me anymore. Pregnant was now how people defined me. And when I went home that night, I didn’t cry. I went and found my best friend, food. We were kindred spirits you know. Four pieces of pizza and two bowls of cookies and cream ice cream would suffice my feelings for the time being. Food equaled love and that’s all I ever really wanted.
The summer after 9th grade I begged my mom to move me to a different school district. Finally she gave in and I joyfully left Benson and enrolled across the city at Westside High school my sophomore year. I couldn’t wait to escape the monotony that was my life. I had been such a shy girl all my life, held back by my weight for so long and I wanted a fresh start.
I was determined to start sophomore year as a new, skinnier me. I told myself, “This summer I will lose weight!” And I did lose weight that summer, maybe 5 pounds which I could attribute to the 90 dollar workout DVD that I purchased with my hard earned babysitting money. Turbo Jam claimed to have all the answers. But the viscous cycle continued.
Try. Eat. Fail. Eat more.
So I began school at Westside, looking like a pregnant sophomore. “At least I have a pretty face.” I thought. I had been told by so many people that I was pretty, but the thing was they would never say, “Sarah, you’re pretty!” They would say, “Sarah, you have such a pretty face.” I would look at my face in the mirror and gain some self-confidence in myself and sometimes I would start to feel pretty. But then I’d look at my size 18 jeans and my XXL shirt and think, “Never mind. How could anyone ever love this?”
Any prettiness I possessed, I felt was covered up with fat and that was all people would think about me. I thought that if I even raised my hand in class and answered a question people would think to themselves, “ewe she’s fat.  She shouldn’t be talking because she doesn’t deserve to talk.” So I avoided talking in class altogether. I had the few friends I talked to and ate lunch with but didn’t have classes with many of them. So in those classes where I didn’t have anyone to talk to I would only speak if I was spoken to, nothing more. I was trapped in this stupid fat suit, and I despised myself because of it. The cycle continued.
Eat. Eat. Eat. Fail. Eat. Fail.
The next two years at Westside didn’t help my weight at at all. Westside catered in Pizza Hut. Pizza was my one true weakness. I probably could have eaten it for every meal if I had the option.  I ballooned to 211 pounds by the time I was a senior.
Fortunately it was senior year that everything changed. In the midst of the usual decisions about college and career choices I began to regain the relationship with my sister, Amanda that I had lost when she moved to Las Vegas four years prior. The more I talked to her the more I started thinking, “maybe Las Vegas is the place for me. Maybe what I need is to change it up.
When I made the decision that I would really lose weight it was March 2009, nearly the end of my senior year. My sister had told me that if I was strict with myself and determined enough then I would lose the weight. She had lost her weight already through the Atkins diet three years before so I trusted her. No bread. No sugar. No carbs. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. Especially for a self-proclaimed “carbotarian” such as myself.  I was such a foodie that I even invented a word that meant a person who only ate carbs. Bravo, Sarah. Bravo.
The first week on Atkins is unquestionably the most difficult. You aren’t allowed to drink anything except water and you can only eat meat and veggies. But after the first week I had already lost five pounds and I was determined to keep going. It felt so good for the first time in my life to actually start seeing results of what I was doing. So the weeks went by and I kept losing weight. I had lost about 15 pounds by the time I graduated. Going to find my dress for graduation was an awesome experience because I could finally shop in the “normal” stores-the ones that every teenage girl should be able to shop in. I was now 191 pounds and I felt so good! During the summer I stayed strict with myself and kept losing. I developed a new cycle.
Try. Eat. Lose weight. Win.
I worked at Target during this time and had always been the chunky, shy girl for the two years that I had been there. When the weight really dropped off I could see that my red target shirt and khakis were getting very baggy, so baggy that I kind of felt like a thug. I refused for the longest time to get new clothes because I knew that I would be leaving for Vegas in just a few months and new clothes weren’t a necessity for me. Finally, though a month before I left Target I couldn’t stand the baggy clothes so I went and bought a new tight-fitting shirt and size 13 khakis. When I went to work that next day, sporting my new clothes everyone was shocked! I didn’t realize that the baggy clothes were just hiding all of the weight I had lost, I just assumed that my coworkers hadn’t noticed anything different about me. I basked in all the new attention I was receiving. I was no longer hidden in the corner, I was in the spotlight. And I loved it.
The first time I really had a guy notice me was when one of my old coworkers, James came back in to Target to visit after 4 or 5 months of being gone. He walked by the fitting room and did a double take.
“Sarah??” He asked in disbelief.
“Hey James!” I responded, all nonchalant.
“Have you lost weight?!”
“Um Yes!” I laughed.
“You look amazing!” He said with so much feeling, I knew he had to be telling me the truth. I just couldn’t believe how shocked he was. By this time I had already lost about 40 pounds. I was so close to my goal weight of 150, only 15 pounds away.  I felt like I was on top of the world and that I could do anything.
On August 29th 2009, I boarded my plane for Las Vegas, Nevada. When I stepped off that plane I started my new chapter as a brave, skinny, and more outgoing Sarah. While living in Las Vegas I even worked as a Talent Scout! I never would have imagined in a million years that I would ever be able to do something like that. Approaching complete strangers had never been my cup of tea. But I did it and I was good at it.

A year later I moved back to Nebraska. I had never planned to stay in Vegas for long and I had always known that Omaha would always be my one true home. I don’t regret moving, though. Not for even a second. I did so many things I never thought I could and broke down so many barriers that had been built up for 18 years of my life. I know I'm no twig, which was kind of my goal in the beginning but not so much anymore.

If there's one thing that changed about me, it wasn't my weight. Sure, I lost 60lbs but that wasn't it. Once the weight fell off a mindset fell off too. The idea that I was worthless, unlovable, and ugly. Who God created me to be on the inside never once changed. Sure that girl was hiding for awhile, but Jesus knew me all along. He says I'm beautiful. He says I'm loved. He says I'm worth dying for. And that my friends, is beautiful. All together beautiful.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Selah-3 months old

I know I'm going to say this every month but it's crazy to think that my sweet girl is getting so big! She does something new everyday and I just love the stage she's in right now! She's still so smiley and lovable.

Weight: 10lbs 7oz. We have a little scale at home so I weigh her every week or so. I try to not get too obsessive about it though. I'm always just trying to make sure she's gaining the right amount of weight!

Height: I'm guessing about 22 inches long

Nicknames: Say Say, Little Missy, Missy, Sweet Pea, Silly baby

Eating: She's still eating about every 2 hours. She does take bottles now! woot woot! It feels so good to know that we can take her anywhere with us and if she needs to eat I don't have to whip out the ta-ta's! I'm not a big fan of nursing in public so anytime we have gone anywhere we literally have to keep it to an hour and be back home in time to feed her.

Sleeping: Selah is still a great sleeper! For some reason these last few weeks she was waking up at 5am wanting to eat. Now she's back on her 10-7 sleep schedule. I'm trying to start having her get used to her crib during her naps so we can get her ready for when we decide to put her in there at night. 

Diapers: She is in size 1 diapers. We love the Target brand! 14.99 for a 120ct Target box vs. Huggies for 24.99-I choose Target! :) They work the best for us too!
Clothing: 0-3 months. She's finally out of all of her newborn clothes!
Social: Selah got to have a play date with her baby friend, Jaxson the other day! She kept grabbing his shirt! lol
Likes: laying on her play mat, looking at her mobile, talking, chewing on EVERYTHING!
Dislikes: When she is not being entertained, being in her swing

Mama: Loving being a stay at home mama and so thankful that I've been given this precious gift!
Daddy: Louis is such a good daddy! He can't wait to get home from work so he can spend time with us!

What we're looking forward to: The holidays! I definitely need to start Christmas shopping. Having a baby is making these things so much more exciting! :)