Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Sweetness


 Somebody is so serious yet so stinking sweet on this sunny Saturday.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Beauty

Lately I have been struggling and battling within myself when it comes to beauty.  I’m going to be honest and share that these past few months I have been extremely down on myself; lacking any sort of confidence or assurance in who I am.  I find myself beating myself up over every little thing…I hate my hair, my teeth are too yellow, my skin looks splotchy, my clothes aren’t fitting right, my skin is freakishly pale…I could go on and on.  I find myself voicing these feelings aloud and I’ve come to the realization that my insecurities and unwholesome thoughts are entering into the ears of my precious Aubrey. Granted she doesn’t really know what I’m saying or understand the words I’m speaking, but soon she will.  What kind of example am I setting for her?  As her mother, I am her main role model; she will look to me as her example of how to feel about herself. 

When I first learned I was pregnant, I honestly thought the Lord would never give me a girl.  Even though I desperately wanted one, I figured because of my struggles and insecurities within myself, He’d never entrust me with a girl...I figured He didn’t think I was ready to handle that responsibility.  I was completely shocked when I discovered we were having Aubrey, as well as challenged to do my very best with the gift that He so graciously gave me. I felt as if the Lord was saying, “it’s okay Ashlee, I trust you…but don’t take this gift lightly.  It’s time to step up and be the Godly woman that Aubrey needs.”

Here I am three months into motherhood with a daughter, and I feel I am failing miserably at setting good examples for her as to how to find peace and satisfaction in myself.  I’m not teaching her that true beauty comes from within and our value can only be found in Christ.  I’m not showing her that who God made me to be is perfect and without flaw.  How can I expect her to have healthy views of beauty if I am refusing to see the truth? 

I know I am not the only one who struggles with this issue.  Both young and old…big and small…short and tall…we all struggle with the desire to feel beautiful.  We long to be desirable. So why do we continue to feed ourselves lies and believe the devil when he says we are not good enough, not pretty enough, or not the picture of beauty?

I think it goes back to the fact that we get into habits of telling ourselves these lies and before long those lies become daily slogans we believe.  It becomes second nature to find dissatisfaction within ourselves and we don’t search for the truth…we let the lies pour from our mouths time and time again without  realizing that the words we speak are poison to ourselves.  We try and scream louder than the voice of our heavenly Father, Who tells us that we are loved, we are beautiful, we are treasured, we are one of a kind.  We turn His words down and instead feast on our own mistaken thoughts. 

I so want Aubrey to have a confidence and satisfaction in who she is.  I want her to have a healthy outlook of herself and her body.  I want her to know that she was created by the Master and she is a masterpiece. I do not want to be a hindrance to her in anyway.  It shakes me to the core to know that my actions and words will have a lasting impact on her.   Our girls today need to know they are worthy of love and that they are designed in His image…making them perfect through Him. 

I write all this because I so desperately want to be the example that I need to be for Aubrey.  I am also realizing that my struggles aren’t going to disappear, in fact I firmly believe that as women, we will struggle with self worth until the day we die.  But we don’t have to lose the battle.  I will fight with all I have against the devil and his disgusting ways.  I wrote this post a while back talking about how big my God is and how capable He is of bringing us out of darkness. 

I need to be held accountable…I have to change my ways and look to Him alone for my security.  He alone is where I can find my peace.  I am declaring His words as my anthem.  I am also making it my mission to pray over Aubrey everyday…Claiming that she will always find victory in knowing who she was made to be.  I encourage you to lift up our young girls, praying desperately for their generation to be free from the bondages that so many young girls are facing today.

This is the verse I am claiming over myself and Aubrey.  I’m going to proclaim it whether or not I’m feeling it or not…cause we all know our feelings are totally unreliable.  We have to cling to truth.

1 Peter 3:3-4
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

Our God is greater…our God is stronger…God you are higher than any other.  Let that be the words that flow from our mouths. God…show us how special and valuable we are to You.  Let us never forget that we are exactly who You created us to be. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Phone Extract

I know lots of people call it Friday Phone Dump, but for some reason I just can't bring myself to use that terminology...I guess cause there is so much poop going on at my house that I don't want another reminder of it's existence!  Ha! TMI...sorry.

Speaking of poopies...this picture here was taken at the mall just moments after Aubrey blew out a diaper.  I mean it was a major mess.  You should have seen me scrambling- I was a nervous-wreck-mommy who ran out of wipes and was so not prepared!  But as you can see by the sweet face below...she wasn't fazed at all.  

Big girl loves to stand up.

 Isn't this terrible...this is how I found her after running into the other room to grab my phone.  Can you see now why she hates bows so much?  I am a horrible mommy!

Daddy and Aubrey enjoying some playtime.  Not sure who was more fascinated by the toy...daddy or Aubrey! 

 Kissable cheeks!

"What the heck are these things on my feet? Seriously mom...first bows, now shoes? When does it end?"

 Rocking the feather bow!

 I love this bumbo!  

 My sweet sis gave Aubrey what is known as a Wubbanub...and boy is it a hit.  It's a pacifier with a small stuffed animal attached to the end.  Aubrey absolutely loves it and it really does stay in her mouth better and she loves grabbing it and rubbing it.  Why couldn't I have invented this thing and become a millionaire?  

 "What you looking at Mommy?"

Happy Friday!  SO excited to have a few days to relax and just hangout.  Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Eleven Questions

My sweet friend Melissa over at Little Mrs. Married tagged me in a post and requested that I complete the following!  It sounded like fun so I thought I'd join in...

1. What are your biggest pet peeves, not including traffic issues?

One of my biggest pet peeves is laziness.  I can't stand when someone is too lazy to at least try something.  I encounter this a lot with my students.  I know they are capable of so much, but they are content with just getting by with the bare minimum. Another pet peeve I have is if I make our bed...I do not want ANYONE sitting on it.  I know this is crazy and I don't normally have neurotic tendencies, but this one has always bothered me.  

2. If you could go on an all-expense paid vacation & take one person, who would you take & where would you go?

I would definitely pick Christian as my travel buddy (I'd like to bring Aubrey as well but the place I want to go to is for couples only...sorry baby girl) and the designated place would be Couples Resort in Jamaica! We went there on our honeymoon and it was pure paradise.  Christian and I swore we were going to go back before we had kids but obviously we didn't make it! 

3. If you could do anything you wanted for your next birthday, what would you do? (Money is no object & everything is okay to eat!)

Oh I like the everything is okay to eat part...I'd choose to go to Franks for breakfast...Jimmy John's for lunch and J Alexanders for dinner.  I'd request Otis Spunkmeyer cookies in between meals as well!  I'd like to go to an early movie before lunch and then after lunch I'd request a 2-3 hour nap.  After dinner I would love to attend a gymnastics or swimming meet at the Olympic Games.  Ha!  Seriously that is what would be my perfect day!  

4. What is your favorite play or musical? If you do not have one, how are we friends? (Totally kidding. I don't watch football, it all evens out!)

I performed in Children of Eden in high school and I really enjoyed that particular play.  I'd also love to see the Lion King on Broadway.  

4. What are some of your favorite girl names? Favorite boy names?

Girl names I love include: Sofia, Kylan and Olivia
Boy names I love include: Kason and Weston

5. What is the biggest lesson you have learned in life?

The biggest lesson I have learned in life would definitely be that you can never have life all planned out.  You have to learn to take each day in stride and go with the flow.  Aubrey is constantly teaching me that no matter how much you think you are in control...you aren't.  The moment you think you have it all together...that is the moment a poopy blowout occurs, you are vomited on or your dog pees on your bed.  Yep...these are the moments I'm learning to just embrace and laugh about later.  

6. What is your favorite recipe? (Link please!)

I love tons of recipes on Pintrest...but one that I have tried recently and really enjoyed is a creamy, crock pot chicken recipe. It's easy and fabulous!  http://www.divinecaroline.com/33616/28885-creamy-crock-pot-chicken

7. What is the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?

Can't tell you the last book I have actually finished.  I've started a few recently, but I have yet to finish one.

8. Who is your favorite author or speaker?

I love Beth Moore.  I also love Louie Giglio from Passion.  Both are amazing, Godly speakers who can always speak a word straight from the Lord. 

9. Which bloggie friends do you hope to meet in real life?

I'd love to meet my sweet friend Amy over at Total Tippins Takeover...her girls are adorable and she always keeps me laughing.  She also keeps it real and I can appreciate that now that I have Miss Aubrey.  

I'd also love to meet Kelly over at Kelly's Korner...she is just too cute!

Oh and I'd also love to meet Amy over at Filled with Praise.  Her family recently adopted a beautiful little boy from Ethiopia.  Her precious family is such an inspiration to me.  Christian and I would LOVE to adopt one day.  It's something we talk about often and pray that perhaps one day we will have that opportunity. 

10. What is your nervous habit?

When I get nervous, I tend to start shaking my leg uncontrollably...like... it looks like I'm having a leg seizure!
  
11. What do you hope will happen (that could happen!) in 2012?

I hope to participate in Rocketchix this summer...it's a local triathlon.  I hate running so I know it will be a challenge for me.  I've done it in the past with a relay team which was really fun...but I'd like to challenge myself and try to do the whole thing by myself.  

Thanks for tagging me in this post Melissa!  These questions were a lot of fun!!    

I'm supposed to tag 11 more people...but I don't think I really know 11 other blog buddies.  I'll tag a few friends who might enjoy answering these questions as well.

Janee at Beauty will Rise
Angel at The Mustard Seed
Amy at Total Tippins Takeover
Rylee at Compelled
Evie and Henry's mom at the Niemeyer Nest

That's all I got!!  Happy Tuesday everyone!!






Thursday, January 12, 2012

Three Months Old


Aubrey Lane you are 3 stinking months old…can you please, dear child, slow down and stop getting so big! Time is flying by. It makes me cry each time I do another one of these monthly post! I’m thrilled to see you growing and developing each day…but I also want you to stay tiny forever.

You weigh about 10 pounds 5 ounces. No doctor’s appointment this month so we don’t know exactly what your measurements are. You are now in size 1 diapers and are wearing 0-3 month clothing.

You feed about every 3.5 hours and have mastered the art of nursing. You are done in 10 minutes tops! So much for quality bonding time with mommy…you do your thing and are ready to go!


You have officially started sleeping through the night-meaning I don’t hear a peep out of you until 5:30 when I wake you up for a feeding. We put you to bed around 8:00 then wake you up around 10:00 for a dream feed. We probably will start dropping that 10:00 pm feeding this month. You are seriously the easiest thing ever-we put you in your crib and you are out. I feed you at 5:30 in the morning and then put you right back to bed until about 8:45 am. I am amazed at how much you love your sleep. (Thank you Jesus!)

You love your naps, bathtime, your playmat, music and of course…daddy. You are beginning to enjoy sitting up and standing up. You are very strong and love locking those little legs and standing big and tall.


Mommy started back to work this month and you are adjusting well to the change. Mommy has had a harder time but we are settling into a nice routine that we both can deal with! Mommy’s favorite part of the day is getting off at 3:00 and heading home to see your sweet face.


You are smiling and cooing. Daddy and I spend endless amounts of time trying to get you to smile and laugh. We will do anything just to see that smile…including making annoying noises and singing outrageously aggravating songs! The more annoying…the more you love it!

Not a day goes by that I don’t thank the Lord for His goodness in giving you to us. We are so blessed to have such an easy, laid back baby! In Jesus name…you will bring that easy going spirit with you into toddlerhood…childhood and even into your teenage years!

We love you to pieces Aubrey Lane…you are our precious angel!!


I'd also like to give a shout out to this little PITR (pain in the rear) girl...she has also survived 3 months with our new addition and I must say she has done exceptionally well.  She gets on my last nerve, but she is fabulous with Aubrey.  She is very patient, loving and even affectionate with AL.  Lexie has gone from being number 1...to being forgotten in the kennel.  I have to give it to her...she hangs in there and still acts like she loves us even though we have totally neglected her. (Don't worry...we still manage to feed her everyday...at least we try to remember!)  Poor Lex...she wanted to get in on the photo action last night so I felt it only necessary that she wear the sticker as well.  Today is a celebration for Lexie...she has survived 3 months without being shipped off to the pound!  You go girl!!


YAY Lex!  Happy-You-Survived-3 Months Day!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First day back blues and laundry

Today was my first day back teaching (part time) since I gave birth to Aubrey 12 weeks ago.  I have to say these past few days leading up to today have been extremely hard for me.  I've been a wreck.  Crying all the time...dreading leaving her...just a complete emotional mess.  But thanks to tons of prayers and support from many, I made it through and it wasn't the end of the world.  Sure... I missed her like crazy and thought about her at every possible moment, but I did manage to survive being away for a few hours and even found myself enjoying my students. I know she is in good hands with her daddy and Nanas/Memes so that helps make it more manageable. 

You should have seen me last night...I was rocking Aubrey to sleep...sobbing...singing Whitney Houston's, "I will always love you".  Ha!  It was a terrible sight to see and I even apologized to Aubrey this morning for having to suffer through that disaster. 

I'm glad my first day back is over and hopefully we will settle into a nice routine.  Hopefully one that involves a more sound minded mommy.  A mommy that doesn't sob through horrible 80's songs at bedtime!!

My sweet pea is 12 weeks old today!!  Please time...slow down.
My oh my...has she grown and changed over these last few weeks.  I think she just gets cuter and cuter! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A year in review


Wow! What a year 2011 has been.  I was talking with Christian last night and I told him I think 2011 has been one of my most challenging years...yet my most rewarding year.  Challenging in lots of little ways...but rewarding in one huge way...a new addition to our family!

January: In January we lost my sweet Grandmother.  Believe it or not, that is the first person I have ever lost that was close to me.  Death was kinda foreign to me so it was a new experience to walk through.  I tasted the bitter loss of losing a loved one and it was tough...even tougher was watching the pain it caused my mother to lose her mom. 

February: In February, much to our surprise we discovered we were expecting!  Can't tell you how shocked we were to learn we were going to be parents!  One of the greatest surprises of our lives!


March: In March, we officially shared with all our friends and family our news.  We had such a blast doing different things in order to share that we were expecting.  Like wrapping a pregnancy test inside a gift bag and giving it to my mom and dad...or posing to take a picture with my in-laws and having Christian say "everyone say...Ashlee's pregnant".  Christian even disguised one announcement in a dinner prayer by blessing our unborn child...let's just say that prayer got interrupted by hoops and hollers!


April: In April, I started a new part time job working at the LPC Board.  Met my dear friend Mary Alice...someone who I know will be a lifetime friend. 

May: In May, we were able to find out the gender of baby Moots...Still one of the best days of my life was the day we found out what we were having.  We had both sets of parents in the room with us to find out...and boy... were we all shocked to discover it was a girl!  I was thrilled!!!!  We celebrated with a fabulous Gender Reveal Party that was just the icing on the cake!

June: In June, we were faced with the horrible news of cysts on Aubrey's brain.  Such a frightening diagnosis to us as new parents.  We had to wait 6 long weeks to find out what would happen with our sweet baby's brain...one of the most difficult things I have had to walk through. It was a time when I had to learn to be just totally dependant on God...nothing I did or didn't do would change the outcome, so I had to surrender all my fears to Him.

July: In July, we took a vacation to the beach with the Moots' family and had a blast.  We also had another ultrasound to check on Aubrey's brain and were ecstatic to learn that she was going to be okay!  Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness.

August: In August, we went on a beach trip with the Craft family and had a wonderful time eating fabulous dinners and lounging at the lazy river...a perfect end to our summer.  I was thrown a beautiful baby shower and celebrated with friends and family the upcoming arrival of baby Aubrey. I also started back teaching at Victory and settled into the last few months of my pregnancy.

September: In September, I was extremely uncomfortable and in a lot of pain...just ready to have that baby!  Can't say I was a lot of fun to be around that month! LSU football also started back up so that was a lot of fun...Saturday nights were always much anticipated in the Moots household!

October: In October, we welcomed our precious bundle of joy into our family.  October 12 was the all-time greatest day in my life (right up there with my wedding day and gender reveal)!  So many emotions and feelings were poured out on that day...just a beautiful experience.  October also brought many challenges for me as a new mother...I'll be the first to admit that having a baby is tough.  I had a difficult delivery and recovery as well as a hard time with nursing...so those first 6 weeks were incredibly challenging for me.  I'm so thankful to have had so much love and support from Christian as well as my family and friends.  I was kinda naive and didn't think it would be that hard...I guess I expected just to know everything but boy was I wrong.  Nothing like a newborn to teach you that you don't know jack!  Ha!! 


November: In November we celebrated Thanksgiving with our families and boy did we have a lot to be thankful for.
December: In December, things started to really settle down and I was much more confident in my mothering abilities.  Aubrey settled into a great routine and has been such an easy baby for me.  She is so content and good...nothing she inherited from me!  Christmas was fabulous and just a great time of fellowship with our family and friends.

Overall this has been a wonderful year.  So many memories and special occasions that I will cherish and hold dear to my heart forever.  I give all praise to my Lord for His faithfulness and goodness throughout this year.  Even when times were tough...He was always right there holding our hands.  I am so sad to see this year come to an end...it will always be a year we remember. 

My hopes for 2012 are simple. I hope to become a better wife and mother.  I hope to make more time for family and friends.  I hope to learn to relax a little and embrace each moment.  I hope to participate in another triathlon.  And last but not least...I hope to draw closer to the Lord and really focus on becoming more passionate and devoted to His word. 

May 2012 be a blessed year for you as well...may your prayers be answered this year and may you draw nearer to God throughout each day. 

So long 2011...you were a great one...