Has he left you alone?

It was probably around 2 A.M. and I was sitting up in my bed alone, crying. I couldn’t remember a time in my life that I had felt so much pain. The kind of pain that makes you feel like your heart might actually be being ripping out of your chest. There really isn’t any way to explain it unless you’ve felt it. I knew that my son was just across the hall in his room sleeping and if you’re a mom  you know just how much you would normally do to make sure they stay asleep. On this night, the volume in my cries kept getting louder, I just couldn’t help it.

I guess you could say that I’ve been one of those blessed people. One of those people that never doubts God. Up until that point in my life I had never had to go through anything hard enough that it made me question whether he was there or not. Growing up, no matter what I was going through, I always had this glimmer of faith in my mind that everything would eventually be alright. There was always the knowledge that I had someone at my side even in an empty room. I grew up knowing that God loved me and that he would never leave me. But on this night, this very very different night, I felt alone.

I kept calling out. “Please tell me you’re there.” “Please just let me feel peace so that I can sleep.” “Please send me some kind of comfort.” Nothing came. It was at this point that I really started to wonder if everything that I had believed for as long as I could remember was really true. I guess most people go through a time where they need to find the truth for themselves and it was now my turn, but I didn’t expect it to come in this way. This empty, alone, dark way.

Fast forward 2 years and I’ve gotten re-married and have a 4 year old and a 1 year old boy. They are the light of my life and also the reason I binge eat if you know what I mean. They make me happier than I ever could have imagined I could feel, while 4 and a half minutes later making me wish I was deaf and blind so I could be alone.

Over the years I’ve found myself wanting so desperately to protect my children from the evils of the world. I want their life to be beautiful in every way. I hate seeing them cry. My 4 year old still expects me to feed him sometimes. My 15 month old brings me his sippy cup and then hands it to me while simultaneously opening his mouth waiting for me to hold it and tip it up for him to drink. It takes my children a lot longer than it should to figure out how to go down or up the stairs alone because I don’t want them to get hurt and always end up carrying them. I take them home from the park when the other kids are mean and I don’t know how to say no to their cute little eyes when they want candy in the store, even when they’ve been bad. Is this a story about how I’m a bad mom? No. But rather it’s the story of how I came to understand why I was left alone that night in my room, and how having children helped me reach that point of understanding.

There comes a time in every persons life when you are forced to grow up. I can’t always be there for my children in the way I am now. I won’t always be there to feed them, protect them from the fall down the stairs, stop the mean people in this world from belittling them or making them feel smaller than they are. I can’t possibly follow every step they take and make sure that they are always okay and because of that, it’s my job as a loving parent to let my children learn how to do hard things, on their own. With children, there is a careful balance between teaching your children that you are always there for them, but yet making them grow to their full potential by allowing them to suffer through their trials as they were given that trial for a reason. This same principle applies to our Father in Heaven as he is consistently trying to strike a balance between what he will carry you through and what he will allow you to fight on your own.

Sometimes, life gives us hard things and I guess depending on your age or your life experiences you learn to deal with those things. In the end you become a better, stronger person. I can confidently say that until that October night I had always known that my Father in Heaven was there. I always knew that when life got to hard for me I could do as all of my Sunday School teachers had taught and I could get on my knees, lay my problems at his feet and he would take them. I knew without a doubt that he was listening to me and that I would always receive comfort when I felt like things were a little tight. I knew that I could fearlessly jump into his arms with the sure knowledge that I would never hit the ground because he would catch me.

There came a time in my adult life that God had to be there for me, but from a distance. I’m sure that as my children get older and are further out from under my very protective Momma wing I will understand more how he felt. He understood that comfort can’t always be offered because it’s requested. He knew he couldn’t save me from my pain because I asked him to. God knew that I would never grow in the way that I was meant to, if he picked me up and carried me. He knew that I needed to believe in him not because he always made my life wonderful but because he let me grow through my trials and I believe that that was probably much harder for him to do. Because of the overly helpful mother that I am, I can only imagine listening to my child crying out for my help but understanding that it was their time to become something more. I can’t think about how I would react if I was listening to my child begging for comfort but knowing that even if I could take away all of the pain, it would be worse for them in the end.

I grew up my whole life tossing my problems into the hands of my Savior and our Father and I never had to find the peace that my soul was searching for on my own. God will always give you more than you can handle. There will be times in your life that you are not capable of handling things alone. There will be times that you call out for a peace that you will not immediately find. There will be moments that you wonder if you are alone because you feel like you are. But, if you could only see, you would find that he watches you from a distance, wishing he could do more but knowing you need this time. He will watch you as you are falling, arms beginning to reach for you. I promise you that he will be there in the end.

I often think about the person that I would be today if I didn’t ever have to seek him. If my heartaches were instantly passed on to become someone else’s, how strong would I be now? I am often pushed to wonder where my life would have taken me if I would have found the peace that I was searching for that night and quietly drifted off to sleep instead of picking up my scriptures to read and look for answers. Where would I be if my Father in Heaven had picked me up and carried me through the low points in my life only to set me down to enjoy the high ones?

Yes, for those that feel as if I am suggesting that the Lord will leave you alone, you are correct, but it’s only for a short time. Just as our Father in Heaven left the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, we will all be asked to bear our own crosses and it’s in those times that we will find ourselves alone. Later, we will find ourselves in our Father’s loving arms as he offers the comfort that he wished he could have offered sooner. Never stop finding yourself at his feet even if you feel that he may have forgotten you. Remember that hard times come to everyone and try to find strength in knowing that he is watching you grow into everything that you were always meant to become. Take heart in knowing that you will not feel alone forever, but only temporarily as you find yourself turning into a diamond under the intense heat and pressures that you will be asked to face in this life.

Just as I love my children and constantly find myself taking away their opportunities to learn, the Lord again sets the example of just how necessary it is to give them space to find who they are in the tests and tempests we will all find ourselves in as we move through this life and onto the next.

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He Didn’t Choose Me, He Chose Us.

I met my husband on a dating app. I know, it seems crazy but I was totally digging his 12 pack. That’s so superficial but I couldn’t help myself. His first question was also about what my favorite ice cream was and who wouldn’t be sucked in by someone that loves ice cream enough to make it his first point of conversation? It was the 24th of July when he asked me to breakfast, but it wasn’t just me he was meeting.

Let’s back up a little bit. I was a single mom at the time with a little man. He had just turned 2 and you know what they say about those 2’s. I had been dating for a little while and I was always upfront about my life and my son. I never wanted anyone to get caught off guard or feel like I tricked them. Raising a child is scary and I think that sometimes that can be the problem with single parents. All to often we find ourselves offended when people choose to opt out of a relationship because we have children and they aren’t ready for that level of commitment. The truth is that it’s about as fair to expect those that you date to want to become an instant parent as it is for them to expect you to give up your child to be with them. I lost a lot of relationships. It wasn’t necessarily me that men weren’t looking for but rather my situation that they weren’t interested in. I had decided to stop dating for a little while when I went on my last first date accompanied by my mini me.

We met at the Black Bear Diner. If you haven’t been there, stop reading and go now. Assuming that you’ve already been or that my enthralling love story has you hooked and you are still currently reading can I just tell you that I was nervous?? Like, butterfly stomach and sweaty armpit marks kind of nervous. I was busy trying to convince my son not to close the sunroof while his head was sticking out of it when the world entered slow motion. Go ahead, laugh, it’s cheesy, but guys….he was seriously attractive. I’m sure I stuttered when I introduced myself and who knew if this was going anywhere, but I was excited to find out if it was!

My son tried to sabotage me. I know he did. He spent the entire time screaming to open one of those jelly packs that they have on the table. My date was dodging silverware and picking things up off of the floor in between what seemed like every breath he took. Little man didn’t eat his breakfast, which I’m sure my date was super thrilled about since he paid for it. We cut the breakfast short to go to the park where my poor date was ordered around by this tiny human to push him on the swing, sit down on the see-saw and go down the very small slides, made for very small people. Let’s just say it was a tight squeeze for him.

I never expected a call after that date ended and while I was sad I just told myself that I didn’t want someone around that didn’t want my son too. We were a package deal. I guess since I’ve already told you the spoiler, you now know that he called. During the time that we were dating I was usually always on cloud nine but I had to wonder if he really was too. You see, dating me was different than dating other girls.It was complicated and required a lot of planning in advance. I couldn’t go out to the 10:45 PM showing of World War Z because I had a son that would be sleeping by then, hopefully. I wasn’t the girl that could pick up and take that last minute trip to Moab because traveling with a little one was much more difficult then going alone. Staying out late to go bowling with the sweet music and disco lights wasn’t an option because it doesn’t ever start until 10 PM. I started to wonder if I was taking his life away from him. Was it fair that just because we clicked that he had to give up all of benefits that the single life has to offer? No, it wasn’t. I decided to bring up my concerns.

“So, babe? I was thinking, are you sure that you want to do this? I mean, be with me? There are so many girls out there and while I really care about you, I just don’t want to take away your freed….”
I was cut off. He quickly responded by saying, “We are not breaking up, what would you like for dinner tonight?”
With no rebuttal I gratefully excepted that someone loved me. That they openly understood, or at least thought they understood the circumstances they were entering into and they still wanted to stay. That was something that I wasn’t used to.

We’re now married and OUR son is 4 and 1/2. We also had a honeymoon baby, woohoo for that, and he is 1 year old. They are both growing so fast and life has been nothing but eventful for the good and the bad. Sometimes our oldest yells at my husband, we lose hours of sleep to him constantly waking us up because he’s sleep walking and yes, it takes us an hour sometimes to convince him to eat his dinner. Do I get nervous that the hard times are just going to keep on coming as he gets older? Do I worry about the time that he first says “You’re not my dad!”? The answer is a nice resounding yes. But you wanna know what makes me feel better? He chose US. He chose to read books to our little every night instead of watching late night movies with his friends. He chose sleepless nights, he maybe just didn’t know how many there would be. He chose a little bit tighter budget. He chose to have less wiggle room to travel and less 1:00 AM trips to IHOP for pancakes. He chose to have a little less alone time and a little more family time. He chose the good and the bad. He chose the difficult and the easy.

When you get pregnant you do so without knowing what little quirks will come with your baby and you have to wait and see what attitude they bring to earth with them. You love your child, and because they are forever yours you learn to work with and around those little parts of them that may make things difficult but also make them who they are. In our situation, my husband knew that my babe was stubborn. He knew that he cried over the idea that he may have stepped on an ant and killed it and just about everything else. He had a heads up that he was a picky eater and that he had a hard time listening, but he still decided that he wanted us.

People ask us all of the time what it’s like to be in a mixed family and we have the same answer for everyone. We aren’t a step family. We are just a family. We have all of the problems that you would expect any family to have but we also have more love than I ever could have imagined. Will the problems of having 4 parents raising 1 child arise? I’m sure they will, but we’ve chosen to make peace and our child’s happiness our number one priority. Don’t get me wrong, I am not discounting the importance of our sons birth Father in his life but we choose not to use the terms REAL father and STEP father. How much would we be discounting the numerous thoughts and prayers that went into his choice of becoming an instant parent if we chose to except that he wasn’t the REAL father?

For those that have a healthy relationship with a step parent whether you are married to them or parented by them you know what I mean when I say that there is no greater love. There are no words for the love that I see radiating from my husband when OUR son scores a goal in soccer. I couldn’t possibly explain what happens inside of me when I see them rocking out to the Pokemon theme song, or fighting bad guys. OUR son needed someone that would play in the dirt, pick up bugs, talk about superheros and laugh at the unexpected burp with him. He needed him just as much as I did and how blessed we are that he decided that we were his and he was ours.

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Spread the Love with these Valentines treats! 

Today we decided to make some Valentines treats for a few of our loved ones! If we did everyone we love we would be cooking forever! How blessed are we to love THAT many people right? We found chocolate dipped rice crispy hearts and we knew that they were the ones!

It was fun and easy and while it was a tiny bit messy we loved licking the chocolate off of our fingers! Here is what you’ll need:

  • 3 tablespoons of butter.
  • 1 10 ounce package of regular marshmallows or 4 cups of mini marshmallows.
  • 6 cups of crisp rice cereal
  • 12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Valentines Sprinkles


Melt the butter in a large sauce pan. Add marshmallows and melt them into the butter until you have a creamy mixture. Add your rice crisp cereal and mix until all cereal is mixed in and sticky!

Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to create the heart shaped rice crispy treats and place them on a greased cookie sheet or wax/parchment paper.

Melt 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Take each heart and dip it in however you want! We dipped one side but you can do the top or the bottom too! I used a spoon to push the chocolate around and tried to spread it evenly. While the chocolate is melted put your Valentines Day sprinkles on in whatever way you want!



They don’t have to look perfect. My 4 year old helped me and I love the little bit of personality that he added to them! They look perfect to me!

Let them dry and then bag them, box them or eat them! Happy Valentines Day from our family to yours!

  

Original post can be found here. ❤

10 Tips to Help Avoid Binge and Impulse Eating

1. MAKE A GROCERY LIST AND STICK TO IT

Making a grocery list is a must. It’s so important that you have foods in your house, that you would want to fuel your body with, at all times. Otherwise, you are more likely to call to have a pizza delivered or pick up some take out. It’s helpful for me to not only pick up foods that I know are good but rather plan meals for each day to ensure that I don’t end up swinging by McDonalds. Without planning meals, I just end up with a bunch of food that, while they might be healthy, do not compliment each other, leaving me to I go out and get food anyways.

So take a second, sit down, and carefully plan out your meals for the span of time that you are shopping for, and then DON’T deviate from your list. Some grocery stores even offer the option of ordering your groceries online and then picking them up from the store, you don’t even have to go inside. This is ideal because you don’t get suckered by your kids, or your stomach into buying things that you don’t need.

 

2. DO NOT SHOP ON AN EMPTY STOMACH

I don’t know about you, but I’m 99% (okay who am I kidding… more like 250%) more likely likely to buy things that look irresistible when I go to the store with a grumbling stomach. Not only is this not good for your wallet, it also makes it near impossible to pass up the new Oreo flavor that just came out and those pumpkin chocolate chip cookies you’ve been craving all week.

 

3. BUY YOUR CHEAT SNACKS OR MEALS WHEN IT’S TIME TO HAVE THEM, NOT WHILE YOU’RE GROCERY SHOPPING

Sometimes, being mom is rough, and it’s easy to want to curl up with a bowl of ice cream after a particularly long day, that you thought would never end, and binge watch Netflix. Or, after those horrible days at work, when you felt like everyone woke up on the wrong side of the bed, you of course want to dive into that bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. It’s those nights that I find myself caving into my cravings, but only if I make them available to me. I know it’s easy to pick up some brownies at the store with the intention of waiting until your cheat day or meal to devour them, but when they are available to you, it’s easier to lose your self–control.

This is why, we have switched to picking up our pasta and bread sticks ON our cheat day. Or swinging by and getting some ice cream ON the night that we have selected to have our cheat dessert. You’re still spending the money, but now it’s not available for stress or binge eating at midnight.

 

4. AVOID FALLING FOR THE “I’LL JUST TAKE ONE BITE” TRICK

Sometimes, when you’re trying to eat healthy, other people who are respecting your eating habits will say things like “this is amazing, you just need to take one bite.” Or sometimes it’s me telling myself that something delicious is needing me to eat it, but since it’s not our cheat day I’ll just take a small taste. Friends, this is the road to disaster.

It never ends up being one bite or a small taste but rather 5 donuts or an entire Whopper Hamburger, the fries, and maybe the shake. This includes our children’s meals. Sometimes while feeding our kids a Nutella sandwich, licking it off of my finger can send me straight to the jar with a spoon.

 

5. DON’T START YOUR DAY WITH SUGAR

Every day that I kick start with sugar is miserable. I spend the whole day suffering because I just can’t stop thinking about it. This is because of how I introduced my body to the day. Be sure to start your day with hearty meals that will fill you up and not leave your body craving sweets until your head hits the pillow and you fall asleep. Leaving sugarplums, or Reese’s, dancing in your heads all night.

6. PACK SNACKS WHEN ON THE MOVE

Whenever I’m out and about, I make a point to bring a snack. Even when I think it’s only going to be a short trip. This comes in extra handy when I find myself caught up at the car repair shop for hours longer than expected and spend my time staring at the inevitable, the  dreaded vending machine. I know that the longer I stay, the more likely I am to purchase those Cheetos and a Diet Coke to satisfy my hunger.

It’s important to always carry snacks. Whether you choose to carry beef jerky, almonds, a protein bar or string cheese, having food is ALWAYS in your best interest for when you stomach says “I’m hungry” but your situation isn’t ideal for good food options.

 

7. DON’T LET YOURSELF GET TOO HUNGRY

Ever feel like you haven’t eaten for weeks? Me too. Frequently. So OF COURSE it makes sense that I would need to eat until I feel sick. That seems like the only possible solution. The best way to combat this problem is to make sure that you never get to the point of starvation. Eat a healthy breakfast, if you feel hunger start to move in and it’s not lunch time, eat a snack to hold you over until then.

 

8. FIGHT STRESS IN OTHER WAYS THAN EATING

I am a stress eater. And a bored eater. I’m also a “I don’t even know how this bag of chips got here” eater. It’s so important that you establish why you’re eating. Are you really hungry?

If you are a stress eater, find a different way to conquer your stress that doesn’t include eating. Workout, listen to music, clean, or play with your kids (unless they are causing your stress which is likely). Do something that is going to help you relax without needing food.

 

9. PLAN MEALS OUT ON DAYS THAT YOU ARE ALLOWED TO CHEAT

Your friend wants to meet up for lunch, GREAT! You haven’t seen her for a while and it sure would be good to catch up. We all know it’s not always easy to find options that will meet your daily criteria for calories or protein, fat and carb intake while eating out.

If you know for sure that you can find something to eat that will meet your goals for that day, then by all means join her. But if you aren’t sure or are afraid that you might cave in to eating the chips and salsa that you KNOW she’s going to order, don’t tempt yourself and schedule your get together for a day that you can eat guilt free.

 

10. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

I always have a water bottle. I get frustrated when I forget it. Seems silly I know, but I’ve found that by drinking the recommended amount of water a day, I feel more full. I don’t crave sugary foods as often and I don’t find myself opening the same cupboard over and over looking for something to snack on.

Remember that meeting your health and fitness goals is mostly accomplished by what you choose to put in your body. If you implement these life hacks, you WILL find it much easier to consume healthy meals and you WON’T find yourself looking into the fridge longing for your cravings.

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Calling All Disney Lovers

Do you love Disney? Perfect. So do I. If you asked my husband he would say that we have WAY to many Disney movies, and my jaw consistently drops each time. I then respond to his complaints with a question, “Can you ever have enough?” The answer is no. No you can’t.

So, I’m going to share with you our favorite way to get cheap Disney DVD’s, and it really works. For the longest time, I was POSITIVE that the Disney Movie Club was a scam. I kept seeing all of the amazing adds saying that you could get Disney Movies for a ton cheaper than I had ever seen them. It just didn’t make sense, but one day I looked into it more and decided to try it. Now, I can say that I will NEVER not be a member of the Disney Movie Club.

Let’s talk about some of the perks. When you join the Disney Movie Club you get 5 movies for ONE DOLLAR! $1.00. UNO DI NERO (I know… That’s not proper Spanish). The great thing is that there isn’t a “limited selection” of old movies to choose from. We selected all of the newest releases when we did ours and we had new movies to watch for days! That would have cost me at least $100.00 if I would have purchased it from the store. On top of that, if you order 1 DVD at regular price at any time after you join, you get all of the other DVD’s that you order at least 50% off. So sure, you may be spending a little more than you would at Walmart for the first DVD, but after that, you are getting at least 2 movies for the price of one. How awesome is that?

What’s the catch? Good question! Here is what you need to know. Over 2 years, you have to order 4 movies at regular price. Easiest thing ever. Birthday? Movies! Christmas? Movies! The only other thing that you need to be aware of is that every couple of months they have what they call a “Featured Title.” You will get an email notification as well as a mailer that tells you what that featured title is. Often it’s a new release or a combo pack of movies. You can either accept or decline this title. Nothing happens if you choose to decline it. All you have to do is login to your account at Disneymovieclub.com and click “respond to featured title.” They will then send you an email with your confirmation. If you do not decline it within the month long grace period, it is auto shipped and your card on file is charged.

I am horrible with auto shipped items. Honestly, I’m really bad, and I usually refuse any offers that require auto ship. BUT, I’ve found that because of the multiple ways of notifying me, as well as the fact that I’m usually EXCITED about what it is going to be, I have never forgotten to respond to a title. I also get to pre-order movies that haven’t even been released yet!

So guys, again, buying movies is kinda my thing. I love it. I love buying old movies that I used to watch as a kid for my kids to enjoy. I love Desperate Housewives and Golden Girls, which just so happen to ALSO be done by Disney and can be purchased in seasons through their site. You will LOVE the Disney Movie Club. We got it and we will never look back.

Click here and use my code to sign up today and get your 5 movies for $1.oo! It will take you to my Facebook page where you will see a link that will take you straight there! Enjoy spending you snowed in days watching Disney for cheap!  IMG_8141[1]

 

 

Monster In a Jar.

We love crafts! Especially, things that can be used many times, and aren’t going to be built to sit in a corner and get dusty. When I first saw this idea on Pinterest I wasn’t sure if my kids would actually like it.

But, we put it Together anyway, and my kids play with it NON-STOP. They are always asking if they can get out their “Monster Making Jar.” It’s seriously the easiest and cheapest craft ever, and some of the stuff you probably already have at home.

I’m not going to tell you what you need rather, I will just show you what I USED, Because it really doesn’t matter. Anything sparks imagination when it comes to your kids. So here is our stuff.

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You could also use feathers, ribbon, sequins and more.

You do have the option of gluing them together as they are built, and you will be able to build more complex monsters. However, I LOVE the fact that my kids can build them up, take them apart and then do it again the next day. Or in our case, later the same day.

Here are some of our favorites that we put together! We had so much fun!

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We even made a monster out of our REAL little monster. (wink wink)

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Trying to decide if you want all of those pieces everywhere? Are you thinking to yourself “That is WAAAAAY to many things for me to have to clean up??”  I did the same thing and I wouldn’t blame you! But here’s the good news for mom. They go in here.

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You stuff everything in this nice little jar, we had one at home. We glued a little monster on top and we used some plain ol’ construction paper to make our “Monster Jar” sign!

I hope that you enjoy this craft! We have so much fun with it together. It just so happens to help keep my kids entertained for hours! I love watching their imaginations run.