2014… The best and worst year of my life…

Well… I can start off by singing you the oh so familiar song of “gee, its been forever since I blogged last” lol.  But it has.  Almost a full year.  But I have good reason so I make no apologies this time.

2014 Came in with a bang.  January 7th our house fell apart…literally.  If you want all the hairy details you can go back a few posts and find it… I honestly am still trying to put the event out of my mind so I’m not going to rehash it here.  We continued to watch my parents struggle with what appeared to be an endless bout of bad luck… Which is terribly difficult if you are an only child and feel like you are the only one in the world that can help them… but you cant.  We lost a few family members to sickness and old age.  We struggled… but… we overcame.

The house is ALMOST back to normal, and even with a few added upgrades.

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Dad is working and getting he and mom back on their feet.  Moms health is improving drastically with each passing month.

We find comfort in the fact that our loved ones are in the arms of Jesus rather than suffering here on Earth… and Jimmy and I have learned that we can pretty much handle anything we put our minds to taking on.

We saw my eternal bachelor Uncle get married at almost 50 years old.

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Max got dedicated in church… twice… in 2 different churches.

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Me and Max spent a glorious weekend in Charleston with our cousins.  Time I will always cherish and remember.

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I started the Lactation Educator Certification program with CAPPA in March.  Ive had the lovely opertunity to work with a few mommas along the way.  Breastfeeding is something I became passionate about before my babe even entered the world and I find it an extreme joy to help other mamas find their confidence and heart through feeding their babies.

We spent a weekend in the mountains with friends.

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We took Max on his first camping trip… which ended up not being so successful thanks to a horrible storm and a leaky tent.

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I threw Jimmy his first surprise party which also was not super successful thanks to getting lost and getting locations confused. We still had fun though.

We took Max on his first beach trip and thanks to generous family members had our first real vacation in a LONG time.  Again, times I will always cherish and remember.

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Spent a good majority of our summer at the lake with friends.

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We celebrated our sweet baby’s 1st Birthday.  Time goes by so fast.

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I chopped 12 inches of hair off my head (I feel sooo much better)

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Had a record breaking year in Art sales.

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Enjoyed our 2nd Christmas as parents.

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Made new friends and loved on the old ones.

And got to close the year with another wonderful visit from my cousins. I Love having my home full of family!

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As I look back I realize how incredibly blessed me and my little family are.

So… Did I accomplish all I had hoped to accomplish in 2014… Lets look back at my goals and see…

(Taken from a previous blog post)

Heres a short list of some of the projects I plan to take on this year.

– Re organize the Garage yep… but it needs it again.

– Actually decorate the back porch nope… maybe next year

– Clean out and reorganize all the closets in the house yes… but unfortunately they need it again

– Clean out and KEEP the pantry organized  my struggle lies in KEEPING it organized

– Reorganize all the kitchen cabinets yes… though they could probably use another round of this.

– Find a good daytime schedule for Me and Max and stick to it. if parenting has taught me one thing… its that schedules are ALWAYS changing

– Plan at least 2 Art shows this year no art shows… but I still managed to do alot better this year than I have ever done.

– Become certified as a Placenta Encapsulationist (more on a separate blog post) no… changed my mind about this one.

– Start certification to be a Postpartum Doula (Still thinking about it, have not made up my mind yet- I only want to do postpartum stuff…not birth stuff) nope… decided to go in the direction of Lactation education instead… may add on childbirth education sometime in the future.

– Get BACK into my natural lifestyle… the little debbies and processed refined foods are starting to take over my life again. its a slow journey but Im getting there.  Definitely ate much less processed foods this year and started a few new much healthier habits and hobbies… but there is always room to grow.

– Take better care of myself in general.  No weightloss goals, no fitness goals, just feel good about myself again and be a good example to my son.  this is up for debate.  There is something about motherhood that makes it incredibly difficult to see just how horribly you treat yourself.  I feel like maybe I am doing better than I was when Max was a few months old… but I could definitely stand for some more improvement in this area.

– Get my yard looking good.  I have no excuse this year.  I’m home and can put in the work.  hahahah uh no

– Read 4 parenting books, 2 marriage books, and 2 faith based books.  nope… Ive read a few lactation books… but not really read in completion any of these.

– Deepen my daily scripture study.  Deepen… thats a very vague word.  I do feel like Ive grown closer to the Lord… but again… so very vague.

So what are my goals for 2015… Im still working on those.

What are yours? Id love to hear them.

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In a past life…

I used to have a blog before Jelly Bean Sundae… It wasn’t anything like Jelly Bean Sundae… 

I used to have a beauty blog.  It was rather fun. I would regularly post my “ootd” or “outfit of the day”.  I would review hair products and makeup… post tips and tricks… comment on new fashion trends… yeah it was fun.

But then for whatever reason I became embarrassed by it.  Guess I got a little too sophisticated for my own good lol!  So I went and deleted the blog…

Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done… because that blog saw alot of traffic… seems like there were actually a few thousand people interested in what I was wearing and how I organized my closet.  Go figure.  Im not even interested in that these days.  I was lucky enough to even have some companies send me products to use, keep and review on my blog.  So that was pretty awesome.

Why am I telling you this?  I dunno.  Maybe because being a new mom I feel accomplished if I just make it out of my pajamas a few days a week.  Maybe because I kinda miss the days when what I was going to wear was uber important… because people cared.  I miss spending a whole evening trying new makeup products.  I do kinda miss that part of my life.  

Now, the joys of mommyhood far outweigh the joys of being a self proclaimed fashionista and makeup guru… but still… I miss getting all dolled up just to take a selfie and post it on my blog for everyone to look at.

So who knows… maybe if I can get my junk together a makeup review or “ootd” post may pop up here on Jelly Bean Sundae. lol!

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2014… The year of the projects

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I decided not to make new years resolutions this year.  I usually do, and rarely ever have kept to them come the first of February.  So instead I deemed 2014 the “Year of the Projects”.  I figured I could more easily tackle small projects throughout the year.  (at the time I had no clue that remodeling my home would be one of them).  So far I have done well this year.  I managed to get my home in order and get on top of my cleaning (though now I’m about back at square one).  I organized my laundry room.  I painted,organized, and “created” the mudroom/mudcloset in the house.  I got the furniture in the master repainted and finished the mural on the master bedroom wall… Thats pretty good for the first month of the year… and the month isn’t over yet. I don’t plan on taking on any more projects this month as I’m sure the restoration of my floors, kitchen and ceiling are likely going to take me well into February. But one thing I did want to do this year is take on 3 new healthy habits per month.  They can be small things… like eliminating sugar in my coffee in the mornings… or big things like exercising 3 times a week. So far this month I’ve only taken on one healthy habit… oil pulling.  (I’ll blog more about oil pulling later). And if that’s the only healthy habit I take on this month… that’s ok.  I refuse to spend another year beating myself up because I didn’t stick to a “resolution”.  But next on the list is eliminating gluten.  I don’t have a gluten sensitivity, but from what I’ve read it can have a negative effect on my joints… and with my RA- whatever I can do to help eliminate any further joint issues would be great.  I’m very nervous about eliminating gluten because… well I LOVE gluten.  My husband works for Kellogg so I’m kinda married to gluten lol.  But I’ve taken on more extreme diets before so I know I can do it.  I do plan to wait until we get back in the house because its a little more difficult to manage any kind of elimination in diet when eating pretty much whatever you can throw together in a dorm style kitchen.  (I’m such a spoiled brat- this kitchen is more than alot of people have in their home…)  I digress… 

Heres a short list of some of the projects I plan to take on this year.

– Re organize the Garage

– Actually decorate the back porch

– Clean out and reorganize all the closets in the house

– Clean out and KEEP the pantry organized

– Reorganize all the kitchen cabinets

– Find a good daytime schedule for Me and Max and stick to it.

– Plan at least 2 Art shows this year

– Become certified as a Placenta Encapsulationist (more on a separate blog post)

– Start certification to be a Postpartum Doula (Still thinking about it, have not made up my mind yet- I only want to do postpartum stuff…not birth stuff)

– Get BACK into my natural lifestyle… the little debbies and processed refined foods are starting to take over my life again.

– Take better care of myself in general.  No weightloss goals, no fitness goals, just feel good about myself again and be a good example to my son.

– Get my yard looking good.  I have no excuse this year.  I’m home and can put in the work.  

– Read 4 parenting books, 2 marriage books, and 2 faith based books.

– Deepen my daily scripture study.

Those are a few of the projects I’d like to take on.  If they don’t get done this year, that’s Ok.  Because my biggest project is to learn self forgiveness…:-)

 

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Butthole Parenting.

So Ive heard it said that opinions are like buttholes… everyone has one.  I find that to be untrue.  It seems these days people have multiple opinions on certain subjects… and I’ve yet to meet someone with multiple buttholes.

The subject I am referring to is Parenting. I think its crazy how many different schools of thought there are regarding raising your children… and most of them with pretty decent research to back them up.  It can be very confusing for a first time mom.  

I should preference this by reminding you that Jimmy and I were married for 10 years before we brought our bundle of joy into the world.  Thats alot of time to prepare and make parenting decisions before we even had kids.  We started reading parenting books and “interviewing” friends many years before we became pregnant.  We went into parenting pretty prepared and with an good idea of how we wanted to do things…

Some ideas have changed since Max has been here, some of them remain the same… some people agree with our school of thought, some dont… and what I’ve learned is… thats ok.  

I’m big on education… I feel you should educate yourself before making a decision, especially when it comes to your children… but if you decided to do things differently- shouldn’t that be ok.  Shouldn’t we support eachother rather than constantly tear at eachothers parenting decisions.  

We dont vax, we dont circ, we cloth diaper, we “naturally” parent, Max is on donor milk because I couldn’t breast feed but still am a HUGE breastfeeding advocate… but if you use disposable diapers, vax, cir and use formula…. cant we still be friends… Cant our kids still play together and no judgement be passed between us.  

Im speaking this to myself as much as I am speaking this to other mothers.  Its hard when you feel so convicted about certain things to not judge others when they do the opposite.  I’ve been called a hippie… Ive even been told that I’m irresponsible for not vaxing and circumcising… but I have research to back up my decisions and peace of mind in making them.  If you can live with our decisions, I can live with mine… Now can we move on and just love and support each other. Because lets face it… parenting is hard.  

So when I see you in the play yard, and you have sweet tea in your little one’s sippy cup… I will not pass judgement.  Because Im sure you did your research and are at peace with your decision… so dont pass judgement on my hippie children who smell like lavender and patchouli.  lol!

This post by an awesome blogger friend sums it up WAY better than I could have ever said.

 

http://www.offlabelparenting.blogspot.com/2013/12/why-i-breaking-up-with-attachment.html

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Home is where… I am not.

So… It has been an interesting past few days.  South Carolina has been experiencing some record breaking low temperatures the past few nights.  Thank goodness we are on the up swing.  Im not one to usually complain too much about cold weather.  Winter is used to be my favorite season. Monday night we had lows in the single digits.  I cant remember when we had a winter that cold.  Usually if it gets down in the teens we are shocked.  Jimmy and I took all precautions… we wrapped the outside spickets with towels, left water dripping in all the faucets… And we woke up Tuesday morning with no problems… WOO HOO!

Until about 4:30 Tuesday afternoon.  As I was sitting on the couch- feeling sorry for everyone I was reading about whose pipes busted due to the cold (and honestly thinking “you should have left your faucets dripping) I hear what I can only describe as a waterfall… in my kitchen.  I ran into the kitchen to see what was going on.  After I picked myself up from a pretty nasty fall I realize there is water gushing out of my can lights in the ceiling.  When I say gushing… Im not exaggerating.  Thank God I am a quick thinker… I pulled the trash bag out of the trash can and stuck the trash can under the heaviest gushing can light.  Ran to the garage, dumped out a Rubbermaid container and grabbed a 5 gallon bucket and put those under 2 other can lights… then the ceiling started leaking in other spots… I finally found enough buckets to contain most of the heavy flow, grabbed EVERYTHING in the house that was absorbent (blankets, towels, my comforter etc) and tried to keep the water in the kitchen as best as I could.  I called Jimmy, then called my dad.  Jimmy said he was going to head home right away.  Dad tried to get me to calm down and had me cut the electric breakers (the walls started to spark) and turn the water off.  I had NO clue how to turn the water off… but an angel, in the form of my neighbor was driving by just as I was running around in the yard like a crazy person and helped me turn the water off.  He told me that numerous people including himself had the same issue.

So… now what.  I was standing in water up to my ankles, with a screaming baby and two shaking and confused dogs.  What do I do now.  I had enough sense to go ahead and call the insurance and try to get a clean up crew out asap.  Learned that my deductible was WAY more money than we have- But… at least we have Homeowner’s Insurance. Shortly after a good friend of ours came to the house and replaced the pipe that had busted.  This pipe didn’t just bust… It shattered- in about a 10 ft long section.  Upon further inspection we found that there were actually 4 pipes that had busted.  But our friend had them fixed before the clean up crew even arrived the next day.  The weight from the water eventually collapsed the ceiling in the kitchen leaving my kitchen covered in insulation.

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I’m not gonna lie… I kinda lost it there for a while, and yeah, I’m a bit depressed about it.  The mitigation crew that came out last night told Jimmy it could be a month before the house is livable again… Which means we are living couch to couch until then.  Which is hard with 2 dogs and a 4 month old baby… regardless of how hospitable people are.  We are very blessed to have had LOTS AND LOTS of offers of places to stay. I’m incredibly grateful.  But none of it is home.  And one day into this… I already miss home.  Just because its HOME… my HOME.  We have been put up in a very nice apartment with our own private space and a mini kitchen.  They have welcomed our dogs and are taking very good care of us… but its not home.

Give me a few days, and I will be able to be more positive about this- but right now I am mopey… We love our home.  And I hate to see it in the state it is in.

It could be worse… I do know that.  Max and the dogs are safe.  We are fine, and we have a roof over our head.  I keep thinking about how much worse it would have been if we weren’t home.  My dogs… My poor dogs would have freaked out.  We keep Chewy in a kennel… what would have happened to him.  What if the water got high… what if the water caused an electrical fire… My poor dogs.  Thank GOD I was home.

I know this post makes me sound like a Debby Downer… But I do want to say thank you.  We had meals brought to us, friends help repair things, neighbors bring us water so our poor dogs could have a drink… TONS of people offer us a place to stay… and still more offers to help pouring in.  Your kindness DOES overwhelm me.  And I am forever grateful to you all.

I know the Lord is trying to teach me something through all of this… I just hope that I’m able to keep an open heart enough to receive it.

Thank you Lord for keeping me and my babies safe and providing for us throughout EVERY need.  Even the ones we don’t like.

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2013 Highlights

2013 was by far the most difficult yet most rewarding year of my life.  There were loads of highlights.  I could write and make my hand hurt, or I can just show you in pictures…

This is how we closed out 2012…Image

We found out the gender of our baby in March… definately a huge highlight.  We had our immediate family present to find out that the Sorrells name will carry on… ITS A BOY!

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Once we found out the gender, we could finish  up the nursery.

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In April, Jimmy and I celebrated 10 years of marriage in the Mountains of North Carolina.

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In early May I had my first of 3 baby showers.

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In late May I made an 8 hour road trip, pregnant, and alone to see my cousin and Uncle that I hadn’t seen in  years.  I also got to visit with other family.

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We spent or Summer camping and spending time with wonderful friends.  Being pregnant in the summer is umm… HOT! So I spent as much time in the water as possible.

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I quit my job in July to finish out my pregnancy and hang out with these 2 lazy butts.

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We watched my belly grow…

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And grow…

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And grow.

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And finally on August 28th, we welcomed our beautiful baby boy, Maximus Alexander, into the world.

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Then life as a stay at home mommy began…

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We took Max on his first road trip in October to see his cousin Miranda get married and meet all the family…

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I judged the Art Slam competition for the first time in December.

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I spent my 31st birthday with this special little man…

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And of course we LOVED experiencing Max’s first Christmas.

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I hope everyone had a wonderful 2013 and may 2014 bring you much joy and peace.

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A Different kind of Christmas.

This Christmas was different than Christmases past.  Yes, it was Max’s first Christmas… but it was more than that.  There were no Christmas presents under the tree… there was no running around on Christmas day.  No chaos, no confusion, no drama.  Can you imagine… a drama free holiday lol.  

Early this year Jimmy and I made the decision not to exchange Christmas gifts since we knew we would have so much going on in the 4th quarter of the year.  This was a hard decision… Jimmy is Mr. Christmas. He begins buying Christmas presents on December 26th and is almost always half way through by April.  Its insane.  I’ve gotten better over the years and am usually done around August.  But with a new baby on the way and me quitting my job to be a stay at home mommy, we knew that the holidays would likely be a bit overwhelming and decided we would simplify.  This was a great financial decision… and an even better spiritual decision.  

Now don’t think I realized this when making the decision…oh no, I’m not that holy.  As a matter of fact I spent Christmas morning sipping coffee, watching the Disney Parade and pouting because there were no presents to open.  It wasn’t until a few days later that I realized how wonderful our Christmas actually was.  In between sips of coffee and feeling sorry for myself I would get so angry.  Why was the absence of presents so upsetting to me.  I received so much this year.  I had a wonderful healthy pregnancy.  I had a life changing euphoric natural birth.  I got to hold my precious baby boy in my arms for the first time.  I was able to quit my job so I can spend every day with my son.  I was able to grow and develop my marriage even more, and celebrate 10 years of wedded bliss.  I made friendships and developed others to new depths… and every day I get to wake up knowing that a savior gave his life so I might live… Forever.  Seriously… why was I so upset over the absence of presents.  

I cant give you a good answer. It did upset me… but I now realize that what I did was give myself the opportunity to reflect and bask in the real reason for Christmas.  

As a Christian Christmas is a day to celebrate the birth of a savior.  Have you ever thought of it like that… the day the one person who could save you was born (not necessarily on that day, but the day we celebrate it none the less).  Imagine you are hanging on cliff… the only thing keeping you there is a string off your shirt hung up on a rock.  You cannot reach the edge and below you is miles of jagged rock… certain death.  And some random dude comes in on a helicopter and rescues your dumb butt… I’d say that’s cause for celebration.  I doubt you’d be very concerned with gifts that Christmas…  So why don’t we celebrate every Christmas with that kind of fervor?  Why aren’t we so thankful and overwhelmed every year that the gifts don’t matter?  I had to face this question as I sat pouting on my couch Christmas morning.  Why couldn’t I be so overcome with gratitude that God sent a person, in flesh, to save me… 

Christmas day was confusing for me.  A moment by moment battle between my flesh and my spirit… but I am thankful for our simple Christmas.  Now, I love gift giving.  I love gift giving just as much as I love gift receiving… and yes, we plan to exchange gifts in the future… but I pray that every year I am able to examine why we celebrate.  Why we get excited every year.  Is it the presents?  

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