The Power of Positive Thinking – And Also, HBD TO MY HUBBY!!

Happy Wednesday!

First, here’s a big belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my handsome man who turns 30 today!! 30 has never looked better. Trevor, I can’t believe how much more I love you now than I did when we were first together. Seeing you become a father has made my respect for you skyrocket. You are just the best daddy in the whole world, and Jonathan and I are the luckiest to have you.

It’s been almost 6 years since we became friends, almost 3 years since we started dating, and over 2 years of marriage. I have always said you were the best guy I knew (even when I was dating someone else back in the day..), and you are still by far the best there is. Here are a few things I LOVE about you:

  • Your sense of humor has me in stitches constantly.
  • Your leadership over our family is strong and protective.
  • Your pursuit of my heart leaves me humbled.
  • Your integrity is unwavering.
  • You are constantly growing in the Lord and are always seeking to know His ways.
  • Your words are never frivolous or meaningless, but rather thoughtful and true.
  • You are friend to the friendless.
  • You lead with grace and strength.
  • You never gossip and are cautious to speak a harsh word against anyone, yet you don’t shy away from speaking truth when the time is right.
  • Your teaching of Scripture, to me, is unparalleled. I love listening to you speak.

I’m so proud to be called your wife. I’m proud to raise a son who calls you father. I love you deeply.

On a completely different note! I’ve read, off and on, The Power of Positive Thinking for a few years now, and it really is such a useful book. It’s one that I flip through constantly. Norman Vincent Peale, the author, was a minister, so the book is full of Scripture and references to Christ. I love it because it’s practical and incredibly helpful if you struggle with negativity. Over the past year or so, I’ve been reading different sources that deal with the power of mentality and the will, and the consequences of a pessimistic mindset. It’s staggering what negativity and deception can do to your mind, your body, and your emotions. It’s also staggering what can happen when you start to take control back and intentionally change your thought processes. In The Power of Positive Thinking, I came across a list of 7 steps that help you shift your mentality to positive, and I want to write them out here for anyone that might benefit from it:

1. “For the next twenty-four hours, deliberately speak hopefully about everything, about your job, about your health, about your future. Go out of your way to talk optimistically about everything.”

2. “After speaking hopefully for twenty-four hours, continue the practice for one week, then you can be permitted to be “realistic” for a day or two. You will discover that what you meant by “realistic” a week ago was actually pessimistic, but what you now mean by “realistic” is something entirely different; it is the dawning of a positive outlook. When most people say they are being “realistic” they delude themselves: they are simply being negative.”

3. “You must feed your mind even as you feed your body, and to make your mind healthy you must feed it nourishing, wholesome thoughts…Start at the beginning of the New Testament and underscore every sentence about faith. Continue doing this until you have marked every passage in the four books, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Particularly note Mark 11, verses 22, 23, 24. They will serve as samples of the verses you are to underscore and fix deeply in your consciousness.

4. “Then, commit the underscored passages to memory. Commit one each day until you can recite the entire list from memory. This will take time, but remember you have consumed much more time becoming a negative thinker than this will require. Effort and time will be needed to unlearn your negative pattern.”

5. “Make a list of your friends to determine who is the most positive thinker among them and deliberately cultivate his society. Do not abandon your negative friends, but get closer to those with a positive point of view for a while, until you have absorbed their spirit, then you can go back among your negative friends and give them your newly acquired thought pattern without taking on their negativism.”

6. “Avoid argument, but whenever a negative attitude is expressed, counter with a positive and optimistic opinion.”

7. “Pray a great deal and always let your prayer take the form of thanksgiving on the assumption that God is giving you great and wonderful things; for if you think He is, He surely is.”

These steps are so simple, but I’ve found that it’s the most simple things done habitually that make the biggest difference. I hope this is as helpful for others as it is for me!

**reference: Peale, Norman Vincent. The Power of Positive Thinking. New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1952. Print. Pg. 171, 172.

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10 Things that Surprised Me About Motherhood

While I knew that nothing would be as I expected once the baby came, regardless of the number of books and articles I read, some things really did catch me off guard. I have learned that a special grace comes with the sleep-deprivation, an overwhelming love overrides the diaper changing throughout the night, and all of the sudden you have supersonic hearing.

Here are just 10 that I have learned thus far:

  1. The 10-12 diapers a day is actually an under-estimate. If you have a boy, take into account that sometimes he’ll pee on the new one right before you close it up. 2 at a time, baby!
  2. As much as I thought I wouldn’t, I missed the feeling of being pregnant within a day or two. I heard that would happen from my midwife and all my friends, and I never believed them due to feeling just generally pretty lousy throughout much of the pregnancy. It really is such a special time when you can feel every little kick and hiccup.
  3. I really think babies can sense when you’re sitting down to eat. 2-3 hours, not a peep…I sit down with food, and he gets hungry. This is also something I always heard from my mom-friends would happen on the regular. It is so true and pretty hilarious.
  4. I can hear Jonathan’s tiniest noises from pretty much any room in the house.
  5. Somehow, I feel more rested after a solid 3 hours of interrupted sleep than I did with 8 hours pre-pregnancy.
  6. What are meals? 2pm cereal, 8pm pizza. Same cup of coffee throughout the day, reheated 10 times. Add more cream and cold coffee from french press as tiredness sets in. I’m counting on my appetite improving sooner rather than later, hopefully. Until then, I’m happy with whatever I can eat with one hand.
  7. As much as I swore I would never fall asleep with my baby in the bed, it’s happened once or twice with the 4am nursing sessions. I think I was sleep-nursing.
  8. There is nothing that compares to seeing your husband become a father and step into that role with such strength and humility. Trevor doesn’t think twice about changing diapers and cleaning spit-up. He changed every dirty diaper while we were at the hospital. #Smitten.
  9. Swaddling tight is a miracle-worker.
  10. I could kiss his face and just stare all day! Everyday. It truly is a miracle holding the little one you carried in your belly for 9 months. I am ruined.

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Obsessed.

We are so blessed and so happy!

Curly Hair Products That Actually Work

Attention all curly-haired girls!

Those whose mane can be the bane of your existence or your confidence booster, depending on the day’s chance of precipitation. The struggle is real, ya’ll, and the temptation to shave your head GI Jane-style happens on the daily. I have gone through so many products, from gels to mousse to hairspray to oils and back again, it’s ridiculous. Drugstore curly hair offerings harken to me like candy to a 5-year old, and typically, I’m better off flushing my money down the toilet because I throw away so much of it.

There are few survivors, but alas! They do exist, and they are sitting in my cabinet, used almost everyday. I thought it would be selfish to not share the short, but effective, list with my fellow frizzy-haired comrades. So here goes! May it guide you down the elusive path of luscious curls as it does for me..most days (depending on chance of humidity..of course).

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This product was a game-changer for me. It’s the only conditioner I use, so I shampoo in the shower and then use about 3-4 pumps of this after combing through my hair with a wide-tooth comb. I’m a believer! I reapply after every shower that I don’t wash my hair in.

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I love this mist because it’s made with natural ingredients, and you only need a tiny bit so it lasts forever. Also, it smells like heaven’s angels (Is there any smell more heavenly than coconut?..besides cupcakes? Coconut cupcakes.) Be careful not to over-spray, or else your hair will look a tad-greasy, but just a little bit really brings out the shine in each curl.

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The tried and true product cabinet staple: This serum does not disappoint. I use 2 pumps after the leave-in conditioner. Also, I don’t use both this and the oil on the same day, unless my hair is looking super extra dry. Today is one of those days, actually!

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This is what I finish up with. My hair basically looks like a big frizzy wave-blob unless I use a strong product that provides structure. Mousse doesn’t cut it, and gel normally looks too crunchy for my curl-type. This stuff is the bomb, and it’s a recent find for me. After I got the first bottle, I ordered a pack of 3 in a panic, so now I have 4 bottles in my cabinet. I do math good.

So anyways, these are my hair staples! Curly-haired gals, I wouldn’t lead you astray. All of these products are around $10 or less (The Frizz-Ease is much cheaper at Target, but for consistencies sake, I linked everything to Amazon).

Cheers to 100 degree Florida heat and ponytails when all else fails!