In our house we love Valentines Day! Pun intended! Why?
Well I have a question for you. Why not? Why the hate?
It’s just a day created by greeting card companies! Wahhh! I’m single! Wahhh! There’s so much pressure! Wahhh! You should treat your loved one like that every day! Wahhh!
Baby, we got history…
Haha! Okay, okay toning down the sarcasm now. Well, it isn’t a day created by greeting card companies. Sorry to burst your bitter bubble. There’s so much good history behind it. Look it up. Read about St. Valentine/Valentinus. Teach your kiddos why we celebrate this fun day!
Still no reason to hate on it. I have THE BEST Valentines Day memories growing up! My parents made it such a fun day. My mom would (and still does) make each of us a big Valentine goody basket filled with candy, movies, music etc. What a great opportunity to have fun with your kids, your parents, and friends. Why would we want to slam shut an opportunity to spread a little more love?
I challenge you to get or make a Valentine for a friend, family member, or teacher etc. Spread the love! We GET to. I love knowing what my family and friends love languages are. It helps me to act upon the love I have for them. Step outside your comfort zone and do something that taps into your loved ones love languages more this year. Even the smallest act of love can speak volumes into someone’s life. And don’t forget to treat yo self while you’re at it! Go on, get yourself that giant box of chocolates you’ve been eyeing 😉
We should treat our loved ones like this everyday!
I agree, but we all know that just isn’t the case. Relationships are hard and take work. Let’s start by practicing and “upping” our game on Valentine’s Day. Maybe it could even help us get into a better rhythm? Stop hating, it, shunning it, or feeling like there’s so much pressure for it to look like this…(totally being sarcastic by the way. This movie is hilarious!)
So, whatever your situation…enjoy this festive day of hearts. Try to at least. Most importantly, know you’re loved by a Heavenly Father beyond all compare and understanding. That’s reason enough to celebrate.
4 years strong!
Oh, and I can’t forget, Happy Anniversary baby! Or as we call it, Valentersary. Yes we know it’s cheesy. But for two people who never really had a true “Valentine” in our lives, we embrace and cheeseball hard this time of year. See, you never know! I wish I could go back and tell my teenage/college self that one day I’d be celebrating my wedding anniversary and Valentine’s Day with an insanely incredible and loving man so to hush up and deal. Ha!
Enough sappiness, happy freaking four years baby! Here’s to many many more.
Smelling a dozen roses if my man knows what’s good for him,
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” -Philippians 4:6-7,MSG
Days and nights have become one to me as of late with the lack of sleep my almost-8-month-old has lovingly bestowed upon me. So let’s see what God can make of the following. I have no reservations though. He always comes through these fingers. Actually, I feel Him best when I am here sometimes which is probably why they say the pen can be mightier than the sword 😉
So onward I go!
I can’t describe how much of a blessing it has been with where we are at now, but life is still life, you know? Things get hard, no matter where you are at or who you are with. Life will be, a lot of times, how you allow seasons and situations affect you. Marriage is a beautiful workload. Motherhood is an incredible miracle tacked with growing pains. Relationships with both family and friends are a breathtaking adventure on an up-and-down rollercoaster. And it’s the HOW I let it all affect me that determines if the latter outways the former in all of these areas in life. I know it goes without saying that all of us want to enjoy life, that we want more of the good than the bad. When all along, we are the ones who determine if it is more good than bad. God has been much at work in me with the HOW–pruning, pulling, refining, and helping me to see…me. I am the one that allows so much to affect me so crazily, stressfully, and so forth. I admit it. And no matter what I tell myself—marriage, motherhood, family nor any other relationship in my life is to blame for that. It has always been me. So what do I do now? That’s where I found myself…
Our church, Celebration Church, did a 15 day Daniel Fast at the beginning of this month. There were many prayer services and challenges given to us as we came together. God did so much in me during this time and it stayed in me, taking root. A passionate prayer life is what I asked for, reached for, and began to walk in. He spoke gently to me for I needed to learn gentleness during this time. He showed me the ugly fragments in me and said, “Let’s tackle this together, Erica.” It is ongoing now, don’t get me wrong. But whew, what freedom there is in the tackling…
Philippians 4:6-7 above could be called an anthem for this time. Did you know the word fret in its noun form means the action of wearing away or erosion? If we fret in life, it’s like we are killing ourselves. We are allowing ourselves to wear away, to erode. Thinking of it literally like that, I never want to fret again. And I thought worrying was bad enough. But instead of worrying and fretting, we are TO PRAY. We are to let petitions and prayers shape these worrisome and fretful times into prayers to our most gracious God. We are to let Him know our concerns.
Is the workload outwaying the beautiful in your marriage? Pray. Are the growing pains causing fretfulness as you walk out mother/fatherhood? Pray. Are there downs-after-downs in any of your relationships with family or friends? Pray. Let God know each of these concerns. Refuse to let it weigh on you. Refuse to fret. Refuse to worry. Refuse what the enemy would love for it all to do to you.
Wives, mothers, fathers, I challenge you that as you fold your spouse’s and children’s laundry to pray for them. I read about doing this in one of my favorite books as of late, Real Moms…Real Jesus. It sounds so simple but it’s actually tough to push through our complaining flesh and actually do. But try it! Let each article of clothing be an opportunity to pray for your loved ones individually and specifically. Take advantage of the everyday moments. Turn them into prayerful moments. Those mountains of laundry in front of us, whether literally laundry or whatever the mountain is, are opportunities for us to pray through them as we move them.
Let your worry lead to prayer. Turn those piles into prayers.
And what are the results? As the scripture states—a sense of God’s wholeness along with everything coming together. Isn’t that what we all long for? God WILL settle us down and displace worry. Everything will come together. I can never think of once in my life where it hasn’t.
Fast, pray, praise Him during the start of this New Year. Let Philippians 4:6-7 be your anthem too. Shoot, take the laundry challenge ladies and gents! Do whatever you have got to do to be a better you. How will you let seasons and situations affect you this year?
“It’s wonderful when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
It’s been 3 months since we moved here and it’s been an incredible season full of abundant change, tests, trials, new beginnings, and fragrant HOPE. I say fragrant because I have experienced God’s love in a whole new way—a more tangible way. God is good.
I know it’s been a couple of months or so since I’ve posted but here I am, in a new season where I will be getting more quiet time to write, collect my thoughts, or just even let my thoughts rest—no thinking at all! Motherhood takes a lot of thought out of ya. Along with physical and emotional exhaustion, I never knew that mental exhausted would be included in the “mommy package”. Alas another perk of planting here, I will be getting more mental breaks 😉
And on that note, I wanted to share with you all a little end-of-the-year letter of sorts. Here’s what the Canant’s have been up to lately and what we look forward to in the year 2015.
The Mr. & Mrs.
Philip and I have tapped into a new era of marriage. We are getting to place more focus on one another and on God as one. We both have talked extensively about how much we finally feel at home. The change of environment has done great things for us. And you see, God wants that for us all. He takes us from one place to another at times so that we can learn, grow, be sharpened, molded, and so forth. Ultimately, He wants to take us to a promised land much like the Israelites. He wants us to be planted so we can then sow, lead, and do exceedingly great things for His kingdom. So far in the initial planting, things are going great! Philip is LOVING his job. He’s in a much happier place work wise. He’s actually getting to do real engineer work now— freedom to learn and grow, and a real chance to move up. The company is incredible too! Christian and family-owned, great sense of community. He’s going to get to be a light, do good work here for God. And as for me, I’m getting to stay home with the girls, love on them, teach them, and write again! I will be seeking freelance opportunities soon and begin to really push out and sharpen my writing skills.
And some of the most exciting news is that we found a church, Celebration Church! Pastor Joe and Lori Champion are the incredible pastors there. They’re from Louisiana and huge LSU fans. Their son is the student coach for the upcoming football season. Go figure we’d go from one Cajun pastor to another. Haha! Again, God is good! So far we love this church, all of us! We also know that we want to travel more in our future, buy a home in the coming year, and even try for more kiddos! Speaking of kiddos…
Emmy is 2 and so bright! She’s talking more and more everyday. She’s learned all of the basic colors. She’s starting to talk in phrases more, almost creating sentences. She’s frozen-obsessed, sings the infamous “Let it Go” daily. Coloring and painting are two of her favorite pastimes. Reading completely captivates her. We are firm believers in giving little to no time on electronic devices. We want her to find a love and appreciation for the written word, in real books. And she has! Her library is growing. She absolutely loves her Bible. We’ve read through it twice already. She’s also potty trained. Yup, potty trained in a day and a half. I’m pretty proud 😉 And this Christmas, she was on cloud 9. She learned to say “baby Jesus” and I believe we got a great start on teaching her why we celebrate and give to one another. She loves church too. She never stayed in the nursery in before but here at Celebration, she literally runs to her teachers. We felt like that was a sign in itself 😉
Almost 7 months strong, Eliana is just about crawling. She’s a complete ball of joy. She’s so loving, cuddly, and funny. She’s absolutely precious and such an easy baby (90% of the time. Hehe!). She watches her big sister like a hawk and tries so hard to keep up with her. She’s also pulling herself up onto things. I am soaking up every moment with her because Emmy turned 2 in the blink of an eye. I absolutely love the baby stage and want to stay here as long as possible. Eliana also has an appetite like her sister. I make all of her baby food and she gobbles it up. She’s such a blessing.
And there you have it folks. That’s where we are and how we’ve been in a nutshell 🙂 Looking forward to this year, we are definitely changing things up in a few areas. There’s so much to come!
I hope you all have a happy happy new year and that you not only look forward to what’s to come but MOVE forward. It takes vision but also doing to get there.
It’s national breastfeeding awareness month and I thought I’d do a little [humurous] post in it’s honor. Now, I’m absolutely 100% pro-nursing and without a doubt believe God made these bad boys to deliver awesome nourishment to our little ones. And I am, afterall, currently nursing my second daughter; BUT I’m not gonna lie, there are a lot of crazy, funny, and absolutely horrifically-awkward moments that come along with it. I always laugh about these things when they happen with the hubby but I thought, what the heck, I certainly can’t be the only momma who’s experienced moments like these. I’m just going to be so bold as to write about them. So, here’s to all my fellow mommas letting the milk down!
Now, it’s taken me a while to be okay with nursing in public and I really try to avoid it if I can. A lot of moms give me a hard time about it and tell me I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it. So why you ask? Because like I said, moments like these tend to happen to me…a lot.
Really people? What’s with all the stares? I don’t get it. I’m covered and feeding my baby. Do us all a favor and stop starring. A few weeks ago, I had to nurse Eliana at the mall on a bench outside. I seriously should’ve counted how many stares I got. I bet it would’ve been at least 30-50 sets of piercing eyes within the time I fed her. How about I stare intensely at you while you eat? Instead, how about giving me a thumbs up for giving my baby what’s best, eh? Now that’d be a sight to see, “mall crowd gives nursing mommy thumbs up while they pass her by.” Do it!
Yea that little circular gap at the top of my nursing cover, it’s not there for you to peek into to get a glimpse of my baby. It’s for ME to be able to see her and make sure I’m not feeding her eyeball or chin. I literally had a family member walk up to me while I was nursing and peek inside the gap to see the baby and went, “awwww!” Can you say awkward moment? Awwww to my goodies or the baby?! Back away from the peep hole people! It’s hard enough trying to keep her from flinging up the cover and showing you my ladies without you just walking up and peeping for yourself.
Now this has happened so many times to me. My daughters’ legs and feet will be poking out the side of the cover and someone will come up and play with her legs and feet. Um…really? It makes me want to do that to them next time they’re eating. I can just imagine myself crawling under the table and going, “oh how cute, gotta have me some of them piggly wigglies!” See how they like it…haha!
Gulp, slurp, gulp
Yea this didn’t happen with Emarosa but boy oh boy, miss Eliana is a loud eater. She slurps and gulps each time like she hasn’t eaten for days! One time I was nursing her at the hospital before her newborn screening test in a waiting room. I was covered and the nurse walks in to ask us some questions and all you hear is Elly going to town on these bad boys. The nurse just laughed and laughed. At least she followed up with the reassuring comment of, “Oh I’ve heard louder dear!” Whew, that makes me feel so much better…yea not.
Yea you’d think one would get away with nursing privately in ones own vehicle. Yea, not so much. Philip will park so far out in any parking lot to avoid the awkwardness of when someone is getting in or out of their car and I’m all sitting there like, “what’s up! Just feeding my baby here. Nice car by the way…” (which has happened a lot). And I kid you not, each time, someone has pulled up right next to us. Seriously people? We are in the middle lane, on the very last row of spots where no car or man has ever gone before and you’re going to park right next to us?! There are a million spots open all around. I’ve even had someone pull up next to us, their wife got out and he just sat there in the driver’s seat. I put a blanket over the window at that point…You know what, someone should invent a giant “Nursing Mother” car flag. Now I’d buy and hoist that baby with pride!
These are but a few hilarious run-ins I’ve experienced while nursing and I’m sure there are many more to come. I’ve learned to laugh them off and just try to focus on the beauty in breastfeeding my precious little one. This time is so fleeting and special; and before I know it, I’ll be weaning her off and she’ll be a rambunctious, eats-us-house-and-home toddler just like my Emmy is now. So until then, I’m going to enjoy every single loud, slurping feeding time and pray no more rubbernecking, peek-a-boobing, toe grabbing, personal space violators come my way anymore 😉
I’m so excited to finally share all of our hospital and newborn photos of Eliana Hope. My amazing friend and incredible photographer, Janay Garcia of HeavenLeigh Frames outdid herself and took these absolutely beautiful photos. Thank you for capturing these precious moment Janay bae! Click here to check out her Facebook page 🙂
Eliana has been doing so well. She just turned 2 months! We are cherishing every moment with her. I’m absolutely in awe of what God is doing in the midst of our little growing family. What a special season it has been. Enjoy!
P.s. I’ve got a few new posts coming your way that I’m super stoked about! Xoxo
After a couple of weeks of going it alone with dos little ones…I now consider myself an expert. Haha! Yea right. Nevertheless, here are 10 things that make life with 2 youngins even better than it already is. Between the sarcasm and awww’s, maybe my fellow mommas might find a nugget or two to take along. Just maybe…
1.) Wear Your Baby It’s alright to ignore one kid and tend to the other. I mean, it’s not like we have four arms, right? WRONG! We can have four arms mommies. Wear your baby! Whoever invented these baby carriers is an absolute genius. I am a huge fan of the baby bjorn carrier with extra back support. It’s so easy to put Eliana in and out of AND it gives me 2 arms to cook, clean, change toddler poop (yuck btw), and so forth. With having a 2 story place, it definitely helps like crazy as I attempt to get the 3 of us up and down the stairs every day. But, it doesn’t quit solve ALL of the juggling demands so cut yourself some slack moms. Sometimes kid #1 or #2 will just have to cry a minute or wait his or her turn. Deal children! Mommy is doing her best 🙂 2.) Let the toddler do the dirty work Oh heck yes to this one! Emarosa is throwing away diapers, fetching baby wipes, putting pacy in sissy’s mouth, handing me laundry and the list goes on. It’s not only a good way to teach her how to start helping out, but it also helps to make her feel included. Not to mention, it’s a huge score for momma! I’ll call you, CinderEmmy from now on LOL 3.) Instant Grub Yea…cooking. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I’m cooking breast milk 24/7 already as it is, so instant we go. There are so many instant & (mostly) healthy foods to make life easier and your tatas flowing with milk and honey 😉 Fruits, veggies, oatmeal, waffles, greek yogurt, granola, cheese, frozen pizza and nuggets, cereals and the list goes on. No shame here. And, bust out that crock pot yo! Those meals almost feel instant. Let me get a swing of this mom of two thing and then I’ll take a shot at the culinary arts again. I *cough* promise…
4.) Big Sister/Brother box Before you pop out that second child, have someone make or make for yourself a big sister/a brother box. Hit up the dollar store and pick out handfuls of activities, games, etc for your first child. Wrap them individually and put in a big box. Every day when the the new addition is snoozing, sit down with kid #1 and open a gift with them. Then, do the activity together! This is so much fun as it’s a daily new toy and activity AND your little one doesn’t feel forgotten or left out. Emmy and I have LOVED each of these moments. We’ve played in the dark with glow in the dark rings and sticks, colored, tatted our arms up, played pretend makeup and beauty salon and so forth. Shout out to my mom’s coworker and friend, Susan for making this sweet gift for us!
5.) Routine Shmoutine I had Emmy on a strict routine pre-Elly and we expected her to stay on it post-Elly. Yea…who were we kidding? New baby changes EVERYTHING. So, be okay with throwing out the routine. Let ’em sleep in your bed. And then after a few weeks, reintroduce the routine and see how it goes. It’s been a few weeks, but Emmy is now back to going to sleep by herself in her crib! Holler! She also now understands that Eliana isn’t going anywhere…
6.) Big Girl Status Right before I had Eliana, I started calling Emmy my “big girl” like…excessively and I’m sure glad I did! She loves being called big girl and she calls Elly “baby” all of the time! It’s helped her to want to do “big girl” things instead of pretending to be a baby. Like the other day, she told me she had to poop and so to the potty we went. And, she pooped! So, it looks like it’s potty training time in the Canant house 🙂
7.) Do things for yourself! As hard as it is to leave your little ones, take advantage of the help you have and yes, that includes daddio. Get out the house with the girlfrans! Go shopping for yourself, go out to eat or the movies, or go get your nose pierced (I got mine pierced the other night and I LOVE it). Don’t feel bad about doing something for yourself. It’s the only way to stay sane for those of us who hardly ever get a moment to ourselves. Shout out to my hubby for pushing me to get out the few times I have and for holding down Camp Canant!
8.) It’s okay to cry Haha seriously… I’ve cried a few times after moments when Emmy’s thrown a colossal tantrum, spilled something sticky or gross all over the floor or table, or when I just feel like a cow being milked nonstop. It’s ok to cry it out! You just gave birth to a second miracle. And shoot, my girls are not even 19 months apart. It’s tough! So after a good little cry and some prayer time…I feel so much better! God gets me back to the reason why I took on this calling and I regain strength to keep going. Every calling has it’s ups and downs. So go on girl, grab a tissue and glass or two of wine, it’s okay…This leads to #9 baby…
9.) Drink that wine yo! Just because you’re nursing, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a glass or two. Nurse your newby right before you drink and then wait 2-3 hours until the alcohol has left your blood stream. Or, have a bottle of your milk ready and pump and dump a couple of ounces. Once every so often doesn’t hurt anyone, especially baby. In fact, it helps momma! And when momma’s happy…well you know the saying.
10.) Get rid of the distractions Once we brought Eliana home, I started feeling even more distracted and wanted to focus on my family completely. Then I listened to Pastor Steven Furtick’s message, Death by Distraction and BAM, confirmation. I deleted all of the social media apps off of my iPhone and limited myself to only getting on my iPad at night before bed or during nap time. I know this will not last forever, as we are moving and I’ll want snapchat back to keep in touch with my friends here hehe 🙂 But it’s also been very beneficial for Emmy as she was getting addicted to my iPad. I’m so happy I did this and Philip has even noticed a huge change in my disposition. Praise God! So maybe some, all, or none of these tips will be helpful for my fellow mommas but I had to share. After all, I’m an expert, remember? Keep holding it down mommas! Every moment is so special. Love it, cherish it, and laugh, laugh, laugh!
Sippin’ that wine and wipin’ them little bottoms all day errday,
Eliana Hope has arrived! On June 2, 2014 at 4:09 P.M., Eliana graced us with her tiny presence. Weighing in at 8lbs, 9oz and 22in long (although she only measured 19in at her 1 week checkup), Eliana wanted to make a statement as she entered into the world.
I’m so excited and honored to get to share a second birth story with you all. Every birth story is a miracle and I can’t believe God has blessed me twice over. This time has been beautiful and I’m most definitely soaking up every minute of it.
Sunday night, June 1st we had a scheduled induction because it seemed like the Emarosa situation all over again 😉 No dilation was happening but we could tell that baby wanted to come on out! We started the cervidal and then the pitocin first thing in the morning. Shout out to one of my besties, Lo for my pedi that night! That’s a true friend y’all! 😉
I began to dilate quickly and contract A LOT! But then after gladly accepting the epidural and reaching full dilation, Eliana wanted to come out with her face instead of the crown of her head. The doctor wanted to wait though to see if she’d move and position correctly. But after hours of trying to get her to shift, the doctor wanted to let me push. And after 3 pushes and the nurse shouting to stop pushing cause the baby was going to fly out, we had my OBGYN rush over to deliver her in only 2 more pushes 🙂 God is so good! She knew how to wiggle on out, even face first! Eliana Hope wanted us to know right off-the-bat that she was different than her sister, unique 😉 She came out all purple and bruised, but healthy nonetheless. We are so in love and so thankful to God!
We had so many people lifting us and Eliana up in prayer. We are so thankful to God for each and every one of them. We are just so beyond thankful for everything. What an experience this second time has been! The new adventure has begun!
Here are some of the photos our amazing friend and photographer, Janay Garcia with Heaven Leigh Frames captured that beautiful day. Enjoy and celebrate with us as “God has answered HOPE”. I absolutely love the meaning of her name because it suits the very season we are in. So much hope is ahead for our family!
P.s. She looks just like me! Yay! Newborn photos to come soon too 😉
I’m 38 weeks pregnant. That’s 266 days pregnant (give or take a few days, probably give in my case). For the past 266 days, my body has been growing a precious little miracle—supplying nutrients, vitamins, water, hormones and the list goes on. And, well, I’ve been told time and time again that I have “the glow”… What does that even mean?! And after sharing the hilarious, “Pregnancy Sucks” clip from What to Expect When You’re Expecting, I was inspired to write about it.
Well, the time has come for me to finally do this kind of post on pregnancy. I’m ready to let more of my sarcastic hair down in my blog. Haha, so here’s the truth y’all…
The red glow on my face when I’m constipated because this baby is squishing all of my internal organs together? The furious glow I get when I want to punch annoying people in the face who tell me I look well-done, further along, like I’m having twins, ready to pop, or the ones who don’t give up their chair for me while my cankles also give off a popping-tub-of-biscuits-glow? The glow that shines on my face from my phone or iPad while I lye awake reading or pinning all night because I can’t sleep due to insomnia, heartburn, restless leg syndrome and so forth? The glistening glow I perspire on my face and elsewhere because I am hot and sweaty all of the time? The freckled glow I get after tossing my cookies? And don’t even get me started on when my husband mentions “the glow” with that twinkle in his eye…There’s a million glows I can list 😉 Well, which one is it folks? Hahahaha oh man…
I’ve learned to just laugh it off, for the most part. There’s also much more I can complain about. And I know, I know…there’s a lot of backlash I can get from women who would give anything to be able to experience pregnancy. I’m not saying I would take it back at all. It is absolutely beautiful. It is a miracle. And I would joyfully go through all of this again and again and probably will 1-2 more times haha! I just have to have some venting time and real talk, because IT IS HARD. Creating a human being is freaking hard. Your body is literally working 24/7 to nourish and form LIFE from within. Not to mention, my body is doing all of this whilst caring for a toddler. BUT I love it! I’m supposed to say that, right? Haha I do y’all…
And I know what people mean when they say that I have “the glow”. There’s just something about forming LIFE from within that does produce the most joyful and beautiful glow on every woman IF they let it show. I’m so thankful for this time. I only have a little over 1 week to go because dun…nuh…nuh…we are inducing on June 1st/2nd (specific date pending my unusually high cervix). I see the light at the end of the tunnel baby!