Thursday, November 11, 2010

Something Shook Me

On Sunday, something happened that absolutely rattled my "Mommy Foundation."  An acquaintance at our old church in SC lost their 21 month old son.  More shocking than just losing a child at less than 2 years old, was the way in which he lost his life.  He was not ill, it wasn't a car accident, or at the hand of another person...he fell down a flight of stairs.

This event has absolutely shaken me to the core.  Before he passed, I prayed for a miracle.  I prayed that if it took God taking one of my many blessings away for this little boy to live, that I would sacrifice that blessing.  I've cried for days over this.  I've cried for the parents, friends, and family members.  I've cried for the little boy, himself.  I've cried for the sitters who were watching him at the time.  I've cried tears of thanks to the Lord for my child.

And, the crazy thing is, I barely even knew this family.  So, why has it shaken me so much?

It's shaken me because I cannot imagine having to come home to a house full of toys, a camera full of pictures and videos yet to be shared, a closet full of clothes not yet worn, and Christmas presents not yet wrapped or opened.

It's shaken me because what person out there has not fallen down some stairs?  I feel like I do it on a monthly basis.  Children fall and bump their heads all the time.  They pull things down on them.  For heavens sake, they stick things in power outlets...but you rarely hear of something like that actually taking a baby's life.  It seems that they are always "close calls."  Why couldn't this tumble have been just a close call?

It's shaken me because of the numerous times I'm guilty of not immediately running to Jackson when I hear that he's getting into something he shouldn't or is in another room without supervision.

It's shaken me because I've been pondering whether I want to continue to stay at home full time or go back to teaching.  I can honestly say this one event has flipped my thoughts on going back to teaching upside down.  I don't want to miss a moment.  I don't want my child's safety and well being to be any one else's responsibility on a daily basis.  Not that I don't trust others, but because I wouldn't want anyone to have to go through what this little boy's sitters are having to go through.  So for now, at least, I'm resolved and completely thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom.

I'll never understand why this little boy was taken from his parents, friends, family, and the world so early.  I'll never understand why God only allowed his parents to enjoy him for less than two years.  But what I do understand is this...

My God is good.  He doesn't promise us a perfect life without hard times.  But what He does promise is that He will hold us close during those hard times.  God is love.  And love, overcomes death.

You Do Not Realize Now What I Am Doing, But Later You Will Understand. ~ John 13:7

Below is the link to the obituary.  The family is taking donations through the funeral home to help with funeral costs.  Please donate...


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Oh the difference a year makes...

Yesterday, I cleaned all the bottles out of the cabinet and was overcome with emotion.  I can't believe that it's been over a year since Jackson was born.  Lately, I've found myself being more and more nostalgic.  I think it's because I've felt like I have a newborn again.  Between Jackson waking up in the middle of the night and the neediness during the day, I've found myself sleep deprived and on edge like I was the first few weeks of his life.  Things are calming down now (Phew! It was just a stage.) and I've been able to break through the sleep fog to actually reminisce about all of the events of the past year.

                                  Halloween 2009 -  Almost 1 month old

I think about how much Jackson's grown and all the milestones he's already crossed -  sitting up, crawling, walking, eating solid foods, and no longer taking a bottle.  I look forward to watching Jackson cross many more milestones and doing typical little boy things - running around in the backyard, soccer games, playing fetch with the dogs, going to Disney World, etc.  But, I find myself wanting things to slow down.  I miss his nap times on my chest and cuddle time while he took his bottle.  I miss the sound of those first coos and giggles.  I miss my little baby boy.

             Halloween 2010 - 1 year old -  Very Hungry Caterpillar Theme

Uh that the itch to have another one?

I hope it's just eczema.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Apparently, I'm a hero...

I wish I were writing about how awesome my birthday was last week (not to diminish the wonderfulness of my husband who spoiled me rotten!), but sadly my birthday was overshadowed by another event.

The breaking of my finger.

A week and a day ago I (stupidly I now know) put Jackson to bed without a bottle.  He went down without a hitch but awoke the next morning in a feeding frenzy.  He absolutely did not want Cheerios or  a banana - he wanted a bottle - and PRONTO!  I quickly made one and shoved it in his mouth ASAP.

Now keep in mind this is before 8 am and my brain does not work properly until around 10ish.

As I am walking to the living room, feeding baby in arms, I trip over the alphabet train.  Now, I would've been able to catch myself (at least I like to think that), but said alphabet train has 26 alphabet blocks in its caboose, which went flying right in my stumbling path.  As I was trying to catch my balance I am stepping on the A, M, Q...etc.  I then realize, I'm going down hard...face first.  Oh...and I'm holding my child!

                                                 The Culprit

I quickly launched the bottle across the room (sending Jackson into a blind rage) and threw my hand down - just in time to catch myself and Jackson before he hit the floor - and rolled us both over.  Thankfully, the only damage done to Jackson was his sudden realization of hunger again.  My poor finger was not so lucky.

Bryan was still home and came running in to see me rocking back and forth repeating, "I broke my finger, I broke my finger," and Jackson still screaming on the floor.  After a full belly and full examination, Jackson was fine and I initiated the process of trying to convince myself that my finger was not, in fact, broken, just jammed.

The next morning, it was clear by the sight of my poor finger (resembling a multi-colored sausage) that it was, indeed, broken, and a couple hours later an x-ray confirmed it.

So, now I'm stuck with my right, middle finger (the broken one) and my ring finger taped together and splinted.  And, who knows for how long?  The doctor wouldn't say.

             Bryan says this seriously hinders my communication with him. :)

Did I mention I'm right handed?  Do you know how hard it is to change poopie diapers when half of your hand is rendered useless?

On the bright side, as my cousin pointed out, I saved my son's life.  Apparently, I'm a hero...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I've got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!

Lately, I've been struggling with joy.  Not that I don't have joy but I've felt that somehow, the joy I have is inadequate.  That I don't have enough.  Well this morning, for whatever reason, I woke up with this immense feeling of joy -- joy overflowing!

I am joyful because --

-  Jackson is sleeping through the night again.  And, this morning he slept until 8 am.  I know it still seems early for most, but considering he's been waking up at 7 am or before, it feels like sleeping in!

-  After he had his bottle, Jackson cuddled on the couch with me for over half an hour as we watched "Jack's Big Music Show."  I love my Cuddle Bug time!

-  I made it through the first year of Jackson's life.  I no longer have an infant, I have a toddler.  For some reason, this makes me feel like superwoman.

-  I have a husband that wants to spend time with me before anyone or anything else.  He would rather be at home than the office and, therefore, struggles when he has to stay late to get things done.

-  My husband works so hard to further himself in his career, even if it means late hours, so that in years to come we will have choices for where we want to be.

-  I have reconnected with several members of my Dad's side of the family.  I love being close with my cousins again and having regular phone conversations with them.

-  It's FALL!  The weather is cooling down and I get to decorate with leaves and pumpkins again.

-  I can depend on Rachael Ray for excellent meals.  Last night I made her steak sandwiches with provolone sauce and squished potatoes.  It was so delicious, I am still thinking about it.  Sometimes, I don't know what I'd do without that woman!

-  I have such wonderful friends.  I love that my girlfriends from NC and SC and I still talk often and try to see each other whenever we can.  I am so thankful to the Lord for the friends He's brought me in TN and know they will be lifelong friends.

-  Lastly, I am over-joyed at the blessings my Heavenly Father has given me.  He has blessed me with a wonderful family, extended family, group of friends, home, etc etc etc! He hears even the smallest of my prayers and answers them according to His will.  His grace is sufficient and His love is abundant.  Truth is, my joy comes from HIM!!

I hope this joy sticks around!

Thanks for reading.  XOXO

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A letter to my fellow graduates...

As the day that I have dreaded for 10 years is right around the corner I've found myself with less dread and more excitement towards attending my 10 year high school reunion.  Why I am excited is something that I've been pondering for a few weeks now.  I am excited about seeing where everyone is in their lives today, but dread some of the old, less exciting memories and labels we all had.  The only people that can truly understand the way I feel are my fellow MHS Class of 2000 classmates.  So, this blog post is composed as a letter to them.

Dear MHS Class of 2000,

Can you believe this day is upon us?  It's been ten years since we passed each other in the hallways, ten years since we sat together as Seniors at a football game, ten years since hearing the "thump, thump, thump" of Buddy Guin over the intercom, ten years since we crossed the stage as the graduating class of 2000.  Boy how time flies!

In the years since graduation, I have found myself pondering how today would go.  Who would come?  Would everyone come in and immediately flock to their old cliques?  Who would look exactly the same and who would look totally different? But mostly, I've thought about what you all would think of who I've become.  And, I'm sure I'm not alone in that.  In that thinking, though, I realized I was focusing more on who I was in high school, than who I am today.

Truth is, I didn't have a fantastic nor an awful high school experience.  I wasn't one of the uber-popular kids nor was I relentlessly teased and made-fun of.  I was somewhere, caught in the middle.   I was the goodie-goodie girl, the nice one that got run over, the girl who desperately tried out for cheerleading 3 times just because she wanted to fit in.  Many times I was ignored, sometimes people were mean to me, and other times I was made to feel really good about myself.  All of these experiences make me different than each and every one of you.

More important than the differences we had in high school, are the experiences that I shared and witnessed with all of you:  The very first bomb threat of Mooresville Senior High School, the expansion of our little town of Mooresville that once resembled Mayberry into Race City USA, being confronted with the realities of depression through the suicides of a teacher and an administrator in our Freshman year, the loss of four dear friends - Brett Kortright, Lee Barnett, Jamey Bagget and Lamar Caldwell - who were taken from us far too early, and the fact that we are the only people who crossed that stage as part of the Mooresville Senior High School Class of 2000!  

We all crossed that stage with labels:  the nerd, the jock, the popular one, the class clown, the band geek, the mean girl, the weirdo, the cheerleader, and, of course, the goodie-goodie.  More important are the labels that we have today:  the teacher, the doctor, the lawyer, the businessman and woman, the wife, the husband, the mother, the father, and the friend.

Let's have fun reminiscing; but in that, I hope to re-get to know each of you for who you have become and put who we might have been in high school where it the past.

With love,


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Did I really just sign up for this?

Ok, so I've gone and done it...I bit the bullet...and became a Celebrating Home Consultant!

Since moving to TN and becoming a stay at home mom, Bryan and I have struggled a little financially.  Well, not a little, A LOT!  We had a lot of things come at us all at once.  Between moving expenses, medical bills, trying to get settled into our new home, having to get a Brown Recluse elimination treatment for the house (AHHHH! Don't even get me started!) and just the plain ole expense of having a baby, we have found ourselves barely treading water.  Bryan and I have always been great with money, so this has been extremely tough on us.  Thankfully, we have an incredibly supportive family who have helped us through this hard time.

After doing a lot of talking to my husband, we came to the conclusion that I need to do something to earn a little bit of extra play money.  This isn't money we need to survive, but money that we can use for unexpected expenses and to do fun stuff.

In May, when I visited family in Maryland, I stayed with my Uncle Jamie and Aunt Megan.  Megan was just beginning her adventure as a new Celebrating Home consultant and we talked a lot about how excited she was about it.  At first, I didn't think anything of it, but as money's gotten tighter and tighter and I started searching for ways to earn a little, I kept coming back to the idea of being a party consultant.  I don't think that all of this is coincidence...I truly believe God put it into my life for a reason.  Not only will it be a way for me to earn a little money, but it also gives me an excuse to get out of the house.  Since we aren't super connected yet, I find myself trapped inside the house most days, taking care of Jackson.  I'm hoping this will give me some fun time away from home and will also help me build friendships and make more connections in TN.

Ok, so now for the sales had to know it was coming!  Please let me know if you would be interested in buying some beautiful home decor or if you would be willing to host a Celebrating Home party.  Celebrating Home used to be Home Interiors, which many more of you may be more familiar with.  Their products are not only beautiful, but are affordable and of high quality.  If you host a party, you can get awesome hostess benefits to make anything you want even more affordable!  

Sweet Summer time

It's been well over a month since I've blogged, which I feel really horrible about.  Besides being extremely busy and traveling, the only excuse I have is that I truly haven't felt like anything has been interesting enough to tell you about.  So I guess I'll just give you rundown of what the Parsons family has been up to so far this summer.

Jackson is growing leaps and bounds right now.  He's starting to do new things everyday.  He's starting to feed himself little bits of solid food and beginning to crawl.  I can't believe how much he is growing and developing!  It makes me miss my snuggly, little newborn!

We have traveled a lot so far this summer.  Mid-June we traveled back to Lexington/Columbia, SC for Bryan to defend his dissertation.  He, of course, defended successfully and I am now (unofficially) married to a Doctor!!  I am so proud of my smart, dedicated hubby!  The past five years have been hard on both of us, but all the hard work is paying off.  It was great to spend time with friends in SC.  All the babies have grown so much and it was a lot of fun to get them all together.  We all commented on how it didn't seem as though Bryan, Jackson, and I had been gone for 6 months.  It was almost as if we'd never left.  I was surprised, though, at how much I've already gotten accustomed to TN.  I felt myself longing for home (Martin) even in Lexington.  The visit was bittersweet, to say the least.

After we visited SC, we traveled to Ocean Isle Beach with my mom, step-dad, and sister-in-law.  We had an absolute blast!  It was Jackson's first trip to the beach -- SO SPECIAL!  The first time he was on the beach, he was not having it.  The noise and power of the waves scared him a little so we had to keep him up on the sand.  The next day, though he did great!  He sat in the surf and played in the sand.  Plus, Jackson absolutely LOVED the pool.  He would just sit in the float and splash and laugh.  I have a feeling I'm going to have a little fish on my hands in the summers to come.  After the beach, we traveled to Charlotte and got to spend some good, quality time with Bryan's mom.  We did lots of shopping and even more relaxing considering Jackson woke up at 10 till 6 am every day at the beach.

All in all, this summer has been wonderful and it's not over yet!  I'm hopeful that for the rest of the summer we can make more connections with people here in Martin and spend some quality time with new friends!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Teenagers make it look like having babies is easy...

Today I found out that another one of my girlfriends has had a miscarriage.  Every time I hear of someone having a miscarriage it brings back all the emotions I felt with mine.

It all seems so unfair.  I mean look at all of the unwanted babies out there.  Sixteen year olds have unwanted pregnancies everyday!  And then you get couples - good, Godly, have done everything right couples - who either have trouble getting pregnant or staying pregnant.  As a kid you are told, "Don't have sex, you'll get pregnant and you're not ready to have a baby!" Then you get married and sex is good and right and you are ready to have a baby, but then things don't seem that easy.  How ironic?!

Truth is one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage.  Unfortunately, I am one of the 25%.  Here is my story...

In late summer of 2008, Bryan and I decided to start trying to start a family.  We weren't sure if we'd get pregnant right away so we were surprised when it worked with the first try!  We had planned it out just right.  The baby would be due in May, and since I was a teacher, I would take maternity leave for the rest of the year and then would have all summer to spend with the baby.  We were so excited and told everyone immediately.  I didn't think miscarriage could even be a possibility.

Everything was going great for about 6 1/2 weeks.  I wasn't sick or tired at all.  Then I noticed that my breasts weren't tender and sore anymore.  In retrospect, it should have sent up a red flag, but I was just glad that symptom had gone away and I was ready to see what symptom I'd have next.  For two weeks, nothing new happened.  Then in my eighth week, I started bleeding.  I asked around and was reassured by many that a little bleeding is normal and not to worry.

The next weekend we traveled to Charlotte to celebrate the many birthdays in our family in October.  Bryan, his mom, my mom, and myself were all looking at baby stuff in Babies R Us when I started to feel crampy.  I went to the bathroom and saw that my bleeding had picked up.  I knew something was wrong but decided to keep it to myself just to be sure.  I couldn't stay in that store anymore though or I would lose it.  I came out and told everyone I didn't see anything I liked and wanted to leave.  As much as I was trying to hide it, both Bryan and my mom knew something was wrong with me.  After leaving, I told them and we decided to wait it out to see what would happen over the weekend.  If it continued, I would go to the doctor on Monday.  Well that plan was short lived.  When we got home, my bleeding was even worse than before.  I called Bryan and my mom in and as soon as my mom saw it she said, "We need to take you to the hospital now!"  At the hospital, they did an ultrasound and everything looked great. Plus, my bleeding had virtually stopped.  There wasn't a heartbeat, which they said was normal since I was only measuring six weeks pregnant.  I kept trying to tell them that couldn't be right because I knew I was 9 weeks.  I knew the exact day we conceived.  This should have sent up another red flag, but the doctor assured me I must've been wrong and we left the hospital with a lot of hope.

The next day Bryan and I left to go home and the entire way I had horrible cramps.  We got home and my bleeding was horrible again.  I fell apart in the middle of the bathroom.  This time, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I knew that I was losing the baby.  We went to the doctor first thing the next morning and they confirmed it...I was having a miscarriage.  Because I had been bleeding for a week, we decided the best option was a D&C.  Plus, this would ensure that I would not have to go through the emotional pain of actually having to see the full miscarriage.  The rest of the day is a blur to me.  It was filled with more crying than you can imagine and the dread of knowing that in 24 hours there would no longer be a little baby inside of me.

At the hospital, the next day is when I started to see God's hand in everything again.  The doctor that was doing the D&C came in and shut the curtain with a long look on his face.  I immediately thought, "Uh oh, what's wrong now?"  Instead of bringing me bad news, he asked if we (myself, Bryan, my mom, and my stepdad) could all join hands and pray before he did the procedure.  Right there, in the middle of that small prayer, God showed up.  I knew He had sent Dr. Stallard to me.  I couldn't believe that of all the doctors, I got one who loved the Lord and who knew how devastating this was to all of us.  The D&C went smoothly and in a couple of hours I was home, resting, and no longer pregnant.

The next several weeks were absolute torture.  Bryan and I were a wreck.  We were angry at God, mourning our loss, and were unsure we even wanted to get pregnant again out of fear that it would happen all over again.  I knew neither one of us would be able to take that.  Then God sent many amazing women my way who helped Bryan and I realize that this was not His will, that He was mad with us, and that we would one day see that baby again.

We slowly started to heal and then Bryan had a very vivid dream.  He dreamt that we had a little girl with blonde hair and freckles and we kept calling her Emma.  This was strange because that was not even a name we had considered.  The next morning he looked up the meaning of the name and was blown away by it.  Emma means, "To be made whole and complete."  We both know that God was telling Bryan that the baby we lost was a little girl and that her name is Emma.  She is up in heaven waiting to meet us, and has been made whole and complete.

Following doctors orders, we waited three months before trying to get pregnant again.  We were super excited and it happened, again, on the first try.  This time everything went just as expected.  I had all of the horrible symptoms of pregnancy, which were miserable, but I was thankful for.  It helped me know that everything was just fine with the baby.  On October 1, 2009, we welcomed Jackson Cole into the world.  It is amazing to me, the timing of it all.  God gave me a baby exactly a year after I was miscarrying my first.  Jackson is the love of our lives.  I know that every parent is thankful for their children, but considering that we lost one, I feel Bryan and I are so much more appreciative for Jackson! He is our little miracle baby!

Thanks for reading...XOXO

Thursday, May 6, 2010

We made it back!

Jackson and I made it to Maryland, had a fabulous time, and have made it back safely!

All of the fears and trepidation were for almost no reason.  He traveled wonderfully and we had a great time with all of the family in Maryland.

Let me use this post to share how much God answers prayers.  I told you in the last post that I was praying for two things specifically:  1.  That God would surround us with people who would want to help with Jackson in the airport and on the plane, and 2. That Jackson would fall asleep in my arms easily.  Both were overwhelmingly answered!  Everyone at both the Memphis and Baltimore airports were super helpful.  The attendant at both gates even found me a seat with no one next to me so I'd have more room with Jackson.  On the way home during landing, Jackson's ears started hurting and he started to fuss.  The lady in front of us (who was in 1st class) turned around and started talking and singing to Jackson, which completely distracted him from his ears.  She was such a blessing!  Jackson fell asleep in my arms on both flights, and other than him spilling my Diet Coke all over the floor on the return flight, everything was smooth!

The time I spent with family was so special.  I loved every minute of staying with my Uncle Jamie, Aunt Megan, and sweet little Brody Man.  They were so good to me!  I had a lot of time to catch up and have some great conversations with all of my cousins.  It was incredible to hear that we all felt the same way about the rift in the family and hopefully our attitude about it will help put it to an end.  It will take time and prayer but I believe that God wants to bring our family together and heal the hurt that has been there for a long time now.  It was also super fun to get Jackson together with his little cousins Ava and Ivey.  I'm looking forward to many more years of them playing together!

Now, we are getting prepared for Bryan's mom to come Saturday to visit for a week.  She hasn't seen Jackson since we moved to we are really looking forward to it!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Leaving On a Jet Plane

In two days, Jackson and I will be flying to Maryland to visit family for my grandmother's 75th birthday.  I have a lot of excitement and trepidation about this trip.

I have already started packing and I am trying to get all of Jackson and I's clothes, toys, blankets, toiletries, bottles, and other necessities into one suitcase.  My husband can well testify that it is hard enough for ME to get everything I'd want to bring for a 5 day trip in ONE suitcase.  And, all you other moms out there know that even though babies are so much smaller, they require so much more stuff!  But I am bound and determined to get everything into one bag so I don't have to pay for two bags at the airport.  It is ridiculous enough that I will have to pay for one!

My first area of concern is getting through security.  I have found myself spending as much time on the computer checking the TSA website as I have getting stuff together.  I've had to go through all the stuff in my diaper bag to make sure diaper rash cream, hand sanitizer, gas drops, etc. are all under 3.4 ounces.  Luckily, they are.  However, I am worried that TSA is going to stop me because they think 3 bottles for a 2 hour flight will be too many.  But, I've heard a lot of people say that you should give babies something to drink during take off and landing because the change in cabin pressure can hurt their ears.  I am also bringing some juice and a sippy cup for this reason.  The flight is during Jackson's breakfast time so I have to bring baby food too.  Not to mention the water filled teething ring that is Jackson's favorite toy.  I can't possibly have him on a plane for two hours without it.  Needless to say, the amount of liquids I will be bringing on this flight could put me well on top of the terrorist watch list!

Second area of concern:  the flight itself. Typically, as soon as people see a person walk on a plane with a baby they think, "Please don't sit here!  Please don't sit here!"  I know this because I've thought it myself.   So, I have been specifically praying that God will put people around me that will want to help entertain Jackson.  I am bringing several toys, snacks, juice, and I've even downloaded an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba and The Backyardigans on my iTouch for entertainment.  None of these will help, however, if Jackson gets tired.  Lately, he has refused to fall asleep in my arms.  I think he is just too big now and can't get comfortable.  My second prayer (other than the obvious safety prayer) is that he will easily fall asleep if he gets tired.  It is possible that there will be some empty seats on the flight and the flight attendants will let me bring his seat on without paying extra.  That would help a ton, but I can't count on it.

Once I get to Maryland things should be a piece of cake.  As long as I can keep Jackson on some type of schedule while we are there, we should be golden. 

I do have a small amount of trepidation about seeing everyone on my dad's side of the family though.  I am not as close with this side of my family, which I totally share the fault in.  I guess that is just how it goes when you haven't lived close to them for most of your life.  Because I don't see them much, I always feel like I need to look my best when I do.  And I definitely don't look my best right now (read my last post for more details).  Also, most of my dad's family drink and aren't exactly Bible-totin' Christians so I often feel like the odd man out with them.  This is no knock on them by any means, I am just different.  Most of all, there has been a rift in the family in the past few years, which has added some drama into the mix.  I am hoping that everyone can come together, putting differences aside, and celebrate the woman who made all of us possible.  After all, the relationships you have with family members are the most important because they last the longest.

Even though I have all of these concerns, I am truly excited about going!  I am really looking forward to seeing all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins and introducing Jackson so many of them.  Plus, two of my cousins have also had babies in the past year so it will be fun to get all the little ones together.  I am sure all of the "what-if" situations will fade and I will have a really great flight and trip altogether.

You'll definitely get a post about how everything went once I get back.  I'm hoping for at least one "I can't believe that happened," type of story.  Keep Jackson and I in your prayers over the upcoming week.  We'll be back Tuesday!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Chunky babies are cute. Chunky mamas are not!

I think God should've made sure that as soon as a baby pops out, that moms look smokin' hot.  I mean come on, motherhood is tough enough, we don't need to worry about losing weight too!

Today I am having what I like to call a "fat day."  I stepped on the scale this morning and realized I only lost 1 pound this week.  Fat, I'm gonna need you to come off quicker than that.

I've always had some body issues but they have sky rocketed since I had Jackson.  As most pregnant women do, I got bigger all over when I was pregnant.  I really didn't know that my butt could get any bigger!  I have always hated the size of my rear end, as it has always been the largest part of my body.  I mean come on, I was named "Honorary Black Chick" in my teaching cohort because the African American ladies in the group said I had a "sister's booty."  It is things like this that I am sure are partially meant as a compliment, but seem to make me feel worse about myself.  Another reason I hate my butt and legs is that I've had cellulite since the age of 16.  That's a really freakin' long time to see cottage cheese every time you look in the mirror.

Before pregnancy, I could ignore my bottom half somewhat because of my nice top half.  But, I no longer have that flat tummy and "nice rack" that I prided myself on.  Instead, I have a "Kruger."  I call it this because the saggy skin and stretch marks have caused my stomach to look like Freddie Kruger's face.  Also, somehow, my breasts both deflated and got bigger at the same time.  How that's possible, I'm not so sure?  

I see all these celebrities that seem to bounce right back to their pre-pregnancy weight within what seems like weeks after giving birth.  I know they have nutritionists and personal trainers, but come on, it can't be impossible can it?  Also, facebook isn't helping much.  I have several friends who had babies after me and have already reached their goal weights.  I shake my fist at all you skinny girls!  Ugh.

I know that most of my struggle is my fault.  I haven't been sticking to Weight Watchers as close as I should have and need to step up the exercise a little.  It is so hard, though!  Life gets in the way.  Either Jackson gets sick, or it is raining too hard for me to run, or something else happens to prevent me from exercising.  There is always an excuse I guess.  The worst part is my eating habits.  I am totally addicted to sweets and fried, greasy foods.  And, I don't even want to get into how much more expensive it is to eat healthy.  It is virtually impossible to stick to my budget at the grocery store and buy healthy meals and snacks.  It's a conspiracy I tell you!

Today I am recommitting myself to get back on track.  I will be counting points obsessively and trying my hardest to exercise 3-4 times a week.  My goal for now is to get to my pre-pregnancy weight and clothing size before I go to the beach this summer.  That gives me around 2 months to lose 10 lbs and a pants size.  Think it's possible?  I sure hope so!

Any tips and support you can give is welcomed.  Thanks for listening to my rant.  I'll try not to make whiney posts a regular thing.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Story

Who is this Lindsey chick and how did she get here, you might ask?  Well, here's my story...

I am originally from and grew up in Mooresville, NC (Yes, where Dale Earnhardt lived for all you NASCAR fans, and no I didn't know him).  In middle school, I took a step that would forever change the rest of my life.  I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  If it was not for the love and grace of Him, I would not be who I am and probably wouldn't even be here today.

After high school, I attended Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.  The four years I spent in Boone at ASU were probably the best of my life.  I really came into myself in college.  I had a horrible high school experience, but college was the complete opposite.  I made a lot of really great friends who are still so special to me.  To this day, I find myself daydreaming about transporting back in time to go back there.  I absolutely love Boone and my husband and I try to get back there as much as we can.

There is another reason that I love ASU so much.  It is there that I met my husband, Bryan.  We met my sophomore year, his freshman year.  That's right...I'm a cougar! From the time we met we were pretty much inseperable.  Not to say that we didn't have our rocky moments.  We broke up twice before we both decided it was much easier to finally admit we were in love instead of fighting it.  Even during the break ups we still spent all of our time together.  The good news about those break up times were that they allowed us to become best friends first.  I love being able to say that I fell in love with my best friend. 

After college graduation, I worked for a short time with a non-profit organization while Bryan finished his last year at ASU.  Working as a fundraiser was my first peek into the PR world and I was already beginning to realize that it wasn't for me.  But, I was not ready to give up on it quite yet.  Besides, I knew I would only be at that job until Bryan and I got married and he whisked me away to wherever he'd be attending grad school.

Bryan was accepted into the Doctoral program of Political Science at the University of South Carolina.  We moved there two short weeks after we were married.  For the first couple years, I worked for an Ad-agency.  It is no secret to my friends and family that this was a horrible experience for me.  The guy I worked for was a horrible person and I dreaded the sight of him.  I hated how the business was about twisting and turning things and deceiving not only our clients but their customers.  I didn't get to write nearly as much as I would've liked and found myself doing mundane tasks (such as peeling labels off of honey jars to put fake ones on) rather than PR work. 

Bryan and I found a church in SC (The Harvest in Lexington, SC...if you are ever in town go there!) that turned my world upside down.  We quickly started working with the youth group and I fell in love with the students.  We were teaching the middle school bible study for only a couple of weeks when I said for about the fifth time that I wished I would've gone into teaching.  Bryan quickly responded, "Quit your complaining and do it!"  I found an alternative certification program and started teaching middle school language arts the following August.

Teaching is absolutely what I was meant to do.  I loved getting up and going to work every day.  The teenagers at the church and the students I taught enriched my life to the fullest!  I learned so much from all of them.  Usually you hear people say how much teachers touched their lives, but I think good teachers would tell you the opposite.  It's the students that touch ours!

A couple years later, Bryan and I decided that we wanted to start a family.  We thought we had things all planned out and got pregnant in late summer of 2008.  It was perfect.  I would have the baby in May and be able to take my maternity leave at the end of the year and have the rest of the summer off to spend with the baby.  Well, God had other plans.  In early October, I began to miscarry.  On October 7th, I had a D&C and our dreams were shattered.  Having a miscarriage was the hardest thing I've ever had to endure.  I was truly broken for months but God pulled me out of my despair.  Alas, that is a story for another post.

Following doctors orders, Bryan and I waited a few months before trying again.  In late January, we learned we were pregnant again and couldn't have been happier.  This time everything worked out and we welcomed our beautiful son, Jackson Cole, into the world on October 1st.  Isn't it awesome that God gave me a bundle of joy a year after I'd lost one?!

I went back to work in November but it was short lived.  Bryan had started his job search for the following August a few months earlier.  In December, he got a call for an interview at the University of Tennessee at Martin.  Needless to say he got the job!  What we weren't expecting was the timeline.  They wanted him to start in January!  It was definitely a whirlwind, but I left my job, we found a house, and quickly settled in here in Martin.  The blessing about Bryan's new job is that we were in serious financial trouble in SC and I don't know how we would've been able to afford anything if we were still there.  Not only did this position allow us to be more financially secure, but we are secure enough that I can stay home with Jackson.  I never thought I'd want to be a stay at home mom, but it's funny how actually having a baby changes all that!

So, that is my story up until now.  It is only the beginning...

Umm...Did I just start a blog?

That's right folks, I broke down and did it. I, Lindsey Parsons, have started a blog! For years, I have been against the whole blogging trend. I mean come on, there are over 3 million blogs out there! People blog about every topic in the universe. Some of them interesting, some of them definitely not interesting. I have read several blogs throughout the years and have noticed that very few are successful and many have less than ten followers. This was my main concern about starting one myself. I mean come on, my life is not interesting enough, nor am I important enough that people (outside of maybe my mother and husband) would want to hear my opinions or know the aspects of my life on a regular basis.

One of my biggest fears about starting a blog is that it would become just another one of the thousands of mommy diaries out there. The last thing I want to blog about on a regular basis is dirty diapers, spit up, and cleaning my house. Not that there is anything wrong with that for all you Uber-Homemakers out there, but it just isn't me. Yes, I am a stay-at-home mom but that is not what defines me.

So, why am I starting a blog if I have all of these issues, you ask? I am doing it for me. I have always enjoyed writing, yet have never had a good reason to do it. I have always chosen jobs that allow me to write. Hence the reason I went into public relations and later became and English teacher. Also, I have been obsessing over whether or not to start one for weeks now. I figure, quit your obsessing and start one already! And of course, I secretly hope it'll become super successful and one day be published as a book. (I know, not likely. But a girl can dream!)

My promise to myself and to you (whoever you may be) is to write about everything that encompasses me. I am a mother, a wife, a friend, and a Christian. I promise to write about everything I obsess over - motherhood, pop-culture, food, friends, and family. Above all else, I promise to be completely transparent - good, bad, and ugly.

I hope you enjoy! Oh...and if you don't...don't be afraid to tell me.