A letter to my niece

To my niece,

Words could never express how much I love and care about you. I have had the privilege of watching you grow from an infant to a beautiful 15 year old young lady. We have had some truly rememberable moments. People who have never met you, know all about you. You were and will always be my first “baby”. So, I guess you can say that I talk about you a lot. You are going through things that no 15 year old should have to endure. However, I know without a doubt that you are strong and able to get through this situation. If I could be in your place, I would. I wanted to rescue you from the situation. I tried, I did what I felt God wanted us to do. For some unknown reason, it did not work out. However, God has a plan. His plans are greater than mine. He is ultimately in control. Even though we do not understand at this time, I will continue to say “Thy will be done”. (By the way, the Hillary Scott song “Thy will” is a good song.) I will always be here for you. Regardless of the end result, remember that you are beautiful, you are loved, and you are special. No one has the authority to tell you that you are anything other than a princess. People like to talk…especially in a small town. So it is up to you to remind yourself that you are a princess, your father is the King of kings. I may not be able to physically hold you, but I LOVE YOU. Do NOT let anyone ever tell you any differently. Smile, keep your head up, and fight. Fight like your aunt Amy would. 🙂

With Love,

Your Aunt Amy!

What a week

How you ever had a week that you wish you could re-do? or better than that a week you could just forget? That was our week last week. It marked the one year mark since I had many medical issues that almost killed me (see previous post about my pregnancy). Also, I had some family issues with my niece who lives in another state. My husband flew back to Alabama to help, but that left me with still working my full-time job and taking care of my 3 year old and 9 month old. That will wear you out. Add the stress of the other issues and I am done! I am still recovering from last week.

Through the business and stress, I decided to start a system that could possibly keep me more organized. So I started looking at bullet journaling. There is a TON of information about bullet journaling. I’ll keep you updated on how it goes. So far, I bought the supplies. 🙂 More on that to come. stay tuned….

I’m getting old…

mc1

MC at 3 years old!

Hey everyone!

So I had a eye opening moment today. I am getting old. I know many of you are laughing at that statement right now. Yes it is true that I am 31 years old and in the grand scheme of things then I am not that old. However, my three year old was invited to a birthday party today at a gymnastics gym. He had a blast, running everywhere. That’s him in the picture! So I was watching a mom “attempt” to do a cartwheel. Well my husband in his wisdom decided to challenge me to do a cartwheel. I successfully did the cartwheel and that’s when it hit me…I’M OLD! Yes, I took gymnastics when I was younger, but it has been many years. I’ve not done a flip in YEARS. Not to mention having a child 7 months ago that I haven’t moved much in that time. I see Ibuprofen in my future.

I learned another valuable lesson as well. I should really start moving more. So I joined a course that encourages everyone (this course is mainly women) to move in a healthy manner. It is not an exercise program in the traditional sense. So I am curious to see if I will stick with it. I’ll be sure to update you on my progress. I am every excited to begin, I just hope I can find the time and energy to complete the short training videos each day.

Time to start moving!

 

Purpose statement

Recently, I took an e-course that came as part of a purchase I made for some e-books. Have you ever thought about what your individual purpose statement would be? In the course, we were challenged to create a purpose statement that defined why you were put on this earth. Now, I am a firm believer that God put us on this earth for a purpose and we should strive to complete that purpose. However, that does not mean I know what my purpose is. I think as we grow older that our purpose may change for the season of life that we are in. My purpose statement currently, shows that I am a wife, mother, and educator. With my faith being  a vital part of my life, it is also included. So, I decided to write my purpose statement and share it with you.

My purpose is to honor my husband in both words and actions. To be the best mother I can be and show my sons both love and respect. To educate others to become the best nurse that they can be. To live my life knowing that God loves me and has a specific design for my life. And most importantly, my purpose is to be a light that can be used by God to show love to others.

I am not alone

Lately, my husband has had to work long hours at work. This means that I have to do even more for my boys. Of course, I love my boys and would do anything for them. However, after working all day, to come home and have to do everything by myself gets to be too much. At first, I just did it…all of it. Then, I let anger settle in. That was a mistake. I started resenting my husband. All that did was make me miserable. He still wasn’t home, I was still doing the vast majority of the work, and now I was in a bad mood. After about a week of that, I found a book entitled “Married Mom, Solo Parent: Finding God’s Strength to Face the Challenge” by Carla Anne Coroy. Find it here (This is an affiliate link, which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you). The book made me realize that I wasn’t alone. Many women have the task of caring for the family while the husband is working. Sometimes just knowing that others are in the same boat that you are helps the task not seem so big. One of the things that she emphasizes in the book is to pray. Bless your spouse even when you think you are being taken for grant. Another important concept was to guard your heart and mind. When you are not able to spend time with your spouse like you want, sometimes you may seek the attention of other males. No one intends on having an affair, it happens slowly. Sometimes affairs are more emotional than physical. In either form, they are still wrong.

So, in case you were wondering, yes my husband is STILL working long hours at least a couple of days a week. Just last week, my three year old proudly proclaimed that “daddy doesn’t live with us, he lives at work”. That statement was sad, but comical. Sad because I know he is missing his daddy, but it has been reality lately. I am scheduled to work 35 hours per week, often I work more. One of the best things about getting off of work is getting my boys. Seeing their excitement is the best part of my day. I will continue to do all that I can to care for them, I will pray and bless my husband, and I will be careful to guard my heart.

Who am I?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? What are the words that define you? I have a list (I know you are shocked) of words that come to mind.

  • Mother
  • Wife
  • Daughter
  • Student
  • Educator
  • Christian
  • Nerd
  • Nurse

As you can see, there are several words that describe me. Of course, if you read the about me page, you will see that I am the wife of John, my husband. We have been married for six years. We have to children, which makes me a mother. I teach nursing school. I am a Christian who depends on her faith. I love to learn and read, hence the nerd word. Although I am all of those things, some are more evident that others. My joy in life comes from being a mommy. Nothing makes me feel more alive than my boys. I also enjoy my job of educating others to pursue their dream of being a nurse. Most evident is my marriage, I wear a ring (well two rings) on my finger that symbolize my marriage. Have you ever considered what words you would use to describe yourself?

The day I almost died…

Okay, so that might be a bit dramatic. I can promise you though, I thought I was truly going to die. When I was pregnant with my last child, a lot of odd things started happening with my health. I had some contractions and was told to cut down my work hours. The same thing happened during my first pregnancy, so no big deal. Then in late September, my heart felt like it was racing, then I fainted while at work. Only a few days later I fainted again and again. My heart rate was racing 150-180 beats per minute (normal is 60-100). My EKG (heart rhythm) came back abnormal. The ultrasounds revealed that my baby was in the 5th percentile, a condition known as IUGR. I started having an episode of vomiting, that lead me to the hospital. I expected a bag of fluids and to be sent home. Instead, I spent a week in the hospital. My potassium was dangerously low,my other electrolytes were also abnormal. Eventually, I was diagnosed with Diabetes Insipidus. This is not the diabetes that effects your sugar level. This type of diabetes makes you urinate 2-3x (or more) the normal amount, which leads to electrolyte imbalances.

That experience taught me several things. First, that I am not superwomen (see http://amymaustin.com/2016/05/30/noi-am-not-superwoman/). Second, I learned that I needed my family and friends, even if it was only emotional support. Third, I learned that life is fragile. You are only given a certain amount of time, you never know when today will be your last. Finally, I got the best gift ever, my baby boy was born happy and healthy. He was in the 1st percentile for weight (meaning 99% of children his age were BIGGER than him). Now he is 7 months old and in the 50th percentile. Another words, he is exactly average. He has brought so much joy to our lives since his birth.

M.B swimming

M.B swimming at Grannah’s and Grandpa’s

Another List

Part of my type A personality is my love of list making. I make lists for almost anything, from shopping to things to remember. Now, just because I make lists does not mean I always follow them exactly. For example, my grocery list…should cost $50, but I leave the store spending at least twice that.  So today my thought was to make a different kind of list. A list of things I like about being a mommy. Although my list could go on forever, I decided to limit myself to only seven items. So here we go:

  1. I love the snuggle time. My infant is a great, but my toddler has to be in the mood to let mommy hold him. I guess he is too cool for that now.
  2. I love the one-on-one times. Both of my boys are awesome at spending one-on-one time with mommy.
  3. I love loving my boys. True unconditional love is the only way to describe my love for my boys. Speaking of love…
  4. I love how my boys love me. My toddler is awesome at telling me he loves me.
  5. Hugs and kisses. What could be better than that? Giving or receiving, both are wonderful.
  6. Knowing that I have a responsibility to these babies gives me an incredible sense of purpose.
  7. Lastly, although not directly related, I love being a mommy with my husband. He is a great daddy to our boys. What could be more special that sharing this amazing role with a man I love with all of my heart.

Expectations

Lately, I have been taking an e-course that explores who you are via personality tests. I know myself fairly well, but I love doing personality tests. My family, I am sure, are tired of getting personality test to complete. Surely, I am not the only one! So as part of this course, you were asked to complete several different personality tests. So, what did I learn from all that? Nothing that I didn’t already know. Shocking, right? Of course not. However, doing the tests made me think about how I perceive others.

 

One thing that I did realize is that I have high expectations. I have extremely high expectations of myself. A supervisor once told me that my expectations of myself were unrealistic. I completely understand that perfection in many instances is not realistic, but I still strive for perfection. One thing I have come to realize is that although my expectations of others are much lower than my own expectations, I still have high expectations of others. Unrealistic? Maybe. I am still not sure about that part. Let me explain.

 

When give a task or job, I will do that task to the best of my ability, even if I do not like it or want to do it. So I get very frustrated when I see people do only the minimum, or just enough to get by. It drives me crazy! You should always do your best, right? I am learning that not everyone thinks that way though. Some people are okay to do just the minimum.

 

If it is not my responsibility, then it should not be my frustration. I will not lower my standards, but I should also realize that not everyone has the same personality as me. Not everyone will work hard, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t. What it does mean is that I have to be aware of others and their personalities and respect their differences. So my expectations are still high, but I will try to be more understanding. Hopefully, I will also be less frustrated!

I am a GOOD mommy!

If we were to meet, I can almost guarantee you that within five minutes, you would hear something about my favorite “job”, being a mommy. I am fortunate enough to be a mommy to two wonderful little boys. Both of my babies mean the world to me. There is nothing I love more than spending time with my babies. Being about to hold my babies is the best!

 

Before I had my babies, before I was even married, I chose a career. I went to college and started working in my chosen profession right out of high school. Once married, my husband and I discussed what it would be like to have children. We made the decision that we would both continue in our chosen careers even after having kids.

So I am a mommy, but I have chosen to work outside of the home in a career that I love. Of course I miss my boys when I am at work. Especially during “bad” days, I just want to go home and be with my babies. However, I also love my career. I get to make a difference in people’s lives.

Lately, I have had people say (or write) horrible things about mothers who work outside the home. Things such as “you chose your job over your family” or “what kind of mother are you” are hurtful. I want to yell back- I am a mommy. I am a GOOD mommy! My children are happy and healthy. My three-year old loves “school” (what he calls daycare). I have never picked either child up when they were not happy. I am very fortunate to have a daycare that loves and cares for my kids. Knowing that my children are taken care of makes working much easier.

 

If you are a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, or work-outside-the-home mom, understand we are all moms. The most important thing we can do is love our children. There is no reason to judge each other, that benefits no one. Instead of saying or posting horrible things to each other, let’s spend that time supporting each other, or better yet… spend that time loving on your children.