It amazes me the things I’m willing to change for Emma. There are so many things in life that just didn’t matter before her, or they weren’t important enough. When she was born, our lives fit into perspective and all those things suddenly mattered. They were important. And along with that, time begins to fly by at a pace unimaginable. I’ve blinked and we’re getting ready to celebrate my daughter’s first birthday. I have anxiously awaited this day and been so excited about planning and putting together the celebration. Until now. Don’t get me wrong, I am still happy about this party and it will still be SO MUCH FUN, however, there’s a little bit of it that’s bittersweet. My daughter is no longer a baby. She crawls. She talks. She has attitude. She has a sense of humor that kills me- it’s sometimes more than I can take. How a child can laugh for so long is beyond me, but I’m all about it. She is also beginning to tell us, and other people, including Allie, “no”. She is becoming a big girl and there is no slowing that down. The 11 months that have past by us are gone and there will be no getting them back. Along with that, we’ve realized what things in our life matter and what things don’t. What things need to be put on a priority list. Here is what we have changed and what do, and don’t do, now because of Emma:
*We eat healthier. This one shouldn’t be anything new if you’ve followed me for long. We began this shortly after Emma was born. I was nursing Emma and realized that everything I was putting into my body was going into hers. When you stop and calculate the grease and fat in things, it really hits home and something just clicks. I don’t want that going in Emma, so why would I want that going in me? Now with that being said, we still go through a drive through on occasion. I’ve still been known to eat out. So when you see me, I ask you not to shake your head at me because I have been honest. There are times when we give in or when we’re in a hurry and these things just make sense. And there are times when we just want to splurge. Let’s be honest, sometimes a big stack of onion rings just sounds good. The difference is we don’t do this all the time. And we don’t make a habit out of it. We use to use the word “diet” until we realized that’s not what we’re doing. We’re changing our eating patterns and changing our lifestyle- we’re making a lifelong commitment to eating better versus a short term goal to lose a few pounds. If you choose to take this route, people will not understand. People look at me confused when I won’t let Emma eat certain things or when I pass on food. It’s tough to explain. But guess what? I don’t need to explain to anyone other than my family and who I am responsible for, thank goodness. *sigh of relief* Along with eating healthier, we have felt better. We feel full but not bloated, or guilty. We’ve also lost weight. Since having Emma, I have lost 38 pounds and intend to lose more. There’s nothing like feeling good about yourself and what you’re doing for your family. Thank you, Emma, for helping us realize this change we needed to make.
*We take care of ourselves. Along with eating healthier, we also watch the other products we put on and in our bodies. We are putting so many foreign chemicals and dangerous substances in our bodies that it’s sickening. I try not to think about it. After my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, we took a serious look at what we were doing and decided to make a change here, too. It didn’t really hit home until we had Emma and realized the risk she had. Two generations with breast cancer and then other cancers and illnesses beyond that. We can only control our end, but we want to control it. We are slowly but surely removing all the over processed items from our lives and moving to a smarter lifestyle. If you’re interested in taking this step with us, be sure to check out vitacost. We love it. They have a section that describes each product so you know what you’re getting. Paraben free, free of animal testing, you want it, you got it.If you sign up under me, you’ll get a free $10 code and I get $10 once you order. Everyone wins!
*We leave the house messy. I can’t believe it. There are a lot of times that I walk out of the house and leave it as is. Junk and all. It still makes me sick at my stomach. There are also times that I cuddle Emma to sleep at night and don’t bother picking up after ourselves. There are even sometimes that we play til we’re worn out and leave the toys everywhere, just for the heck of it. And you know what? I haven’t heard her complain once about it. I do hear her complain, however, when I’m washing dishes. Or folding clothes. Or cleaning the toilets. Well, not really. I don’t clean the toilets. JR does that. I married into a relationship that it was understood that I don’t touch toilets. Yuck! Thanks JR! Anyways, you get my point. I try to save these chores for when Emma is asleep, napping, or playing with her daddy. There are times that things need to be done, but for the most part, I try to make time for Emma and Emma alone. I don’t want to blink and have a spotless house and a three year old. I would much prefer letting my house grow dirty and taking Emma’s life day by day.
*We leave work at work. This is something that we’re still working on daily. This is probably our hardest task. We work in the ministry and as you know if you’ve done this or been married to someone who has, the work never ends. Reaching people for Christ is a constant job and as humans, we often times blur the lines on where work ends and serving begins. There are a lot of times that I catch myself doing stuff that “needs to be done” and realize I’m allowing myself to believe I’m doing something that really isn’t something that needs to be done right then. Granted, there are things that are very important and sometimes work has to come home. There are other times, with this one being more common, that things can wait. They can go a day or two without touching, or at least an evening. I read this article from Rick Warren and it sealed the deal for me. Guilty as charged.
God doesn’t expect you to save the world single-handedly, and believe me; your kids need you, too~ Rick Warren
*We spend a lot of time at home. Before we had Emma, we seemed to always be on the go. There was always something going on that took time away from us being at home enjoying one another’s company. When Emma came along, that changed. Finances definitely played a part in it, but you know what? I enjoy being at home. My home is my castle. I am able to kick back, relax, and be myself. Emma is able to play until her heart is content. And Allie loves it. We’ve never been home this much in the past three years of her life so I know she’s embracing it with open arms, or open paws. Ha! It’s better for our family. It’s better for our marriage. It’s better for our sanity. It’s better for our daughter.
If it wasn’t for Emma, we would probably continue to go 100 miles an hour, work all day and all night, eat with no limits, and so much more. I’m so grateful for her. She has changed our lives in the best way possible and we praise God everyday for allowing us to be her parents.
What has your child done to make a difference in your life?