Monday, December 16, 2013

Inspiring and convicting

Oh how I need to live life differently. 

Last weeks sermon and a friend's post on Instagram convicted my spirit and inspired me as well. 

I want to live my life in such a way that reflects the love of Jesus ... Am I doing that? 
Am I daily seeking God's face? 
Am I just "talking the talk" and refusing to fully "walk the walk". 
I hope to never have to tell me son (and future little ones), "do as I say, not as I do." 

So.... I will do my best. 

Not so others will think I am perfect - I am FAR from it and need a Savior. 
But so that other people will see the light in me and it will point to Jesus! 


Changing and love. - Monica 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Cards! {Indie Inkpress}

Merry Christmas!!! 

Ok.... I know I am a little too soon, but I just love this time of year! 
The birth of our Lord. The lights. Stockings. Snowmen. And Christmas cards! 

I am kind of in love with photo Christmas cards! I enjoy seeing how a family changes from year to year - especially if you don't live close. 
Last year it was just me, Mr. V, and Sophia Belle. 
But now we have the beautiful addition of Seth and I want all my friends and family to see him grow throughout the years.
This year a beautiful friend of mine designed my Christmas cards and I am completely in love!!! 
Sierra is sooo sweet and I secretly wish we lived closer so we can hang out (she was my first ever roommate during my one and only year of college). She is such a delightful person with a beautiful family. 

Sierra is the owner and designer of Indie Inkpress ( ). She is so incredibly talented and also does invitations and birth announcements. 
Her Instagram:

Her cards are already reasonably priced but she is offering Captivated By Love readers 25% off! If you still need Christmas cards, make sure to check her out! And they don't have to be photo ones if you are not into that. She has some great designs and will work with you. The cards got here so quick too so you can send all your friends and family beautiful greetings just in time! 

Make sure to mention my blog so she can give you a discount! 

Cards and love - Mrs. V

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday's Letters

Writing some letters with Ashley tonight. 

Dear husby,
Thank you so so much for cleaning the house yesterday!!! After being at work all day {on thanksgiving when I would rather be with my family} it was so wonderful to come home to a super clean home. I hope we can get a tree soon and decorate for Christmas!!! I love you! Thank you for being my spiritual leader and my best friend. 

Dear Seth, 
I know this thanksgiving wasn't very fun for you... Since you couldn't eat all the deliciousness. Next year I promise. One year ago today I found out you were growing in my belly! It is a day that will always be remembered! I looked at these two pink lines and couldn't help but cry! I rejoiced and praised God for my little miracle. 
You are becoming just the cutest little guy ever. I am really enjoying watching you grow. Today you stared at a pillow and reached out to grab it and it just warmed my heart! I love you more then you can know! I pray that The Lord protects you and guides you all the days of your life! I declare peace and joy over you and that weapon formed against you shall prosper. I love you, son. 

Dear bank account,
I. Am. Sorry. 

Dear Missouri,
Well we have been here for almost two months and I am still unsure about you. It's way to cold!!!! Maybe take it easy on me? At least until I have more in my bank account and I can buy winter clothes. 

Dear Jeep,
I guess your radiator went out the other day. You probably don't like this cold weather either. I will try to fix you soon. But for now you will just stay parked. 

Dear Lord,
I am always in awe of You. I feel you convicting my heart and longing to be with me. My time management has been awful and I know I NEED to get back into that secret place with You. I am such a better wife, mom, and person when I am relying on You, Lord. Thank you for grace and for the Holy Spirit who so lovingly reminds me of what's important. Amen. 

Dear readers/followers/friends,
I hope you all had a great thanksgiving filled with lots if yumminess and love!!!!!! If any of you went Black Friday shopping then I hope you found some deals! 
Thanks again for reading my little blog. I am so encouraged by your emails and testimonies that you send to me! I pray for each of you and it delights my heart when you email me and let me know how you are doing! Praying The Lord speaks to you this week friends!!! 

Letters and love. -Mrs. V 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday .... Sick day.

Well... The little munchkin and I are fighting a cold. 

We are sleeping with a humidifier (and with tissues) and trying to get better. 

The first of many sharing cooties I am sure. 

If you are feeling under the weather - my prayers are with you! 

Stay warm! 

Lots of sleep and love - Monics 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Don't panic....

Praying for you all today on this cold Tuesday afternoon! 
No matter what is going on - remember that God is with you and holding you! 

Last night Baby V slept for only four hours and the rest of the night he was up every hour. I am two cups of coffee in and still could use more. I NEED His help. I NEED His strength. I NEED Him to be with me. 

Getting my strength from The Lord and love - Mrs. V

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Selfie Sunday.

We had such a great day at church today learning about how powerful our words are. {convicted me on my negativity lately and how I speak to my family}

Baby V, Mr. V, and I dressed in our Sunday's best. 
I decided we just had to take pictures (which is an often occurrence). 

Selfies with my son. 

It was so cute because he noticed himself in the camera. 

And a family picture. 

I am sooo loving all the Fall colors! That red tree is my favorite! 

Happy Sunday and blessings to a new week!!! 

Shameless selfies and love. - Mrs. V 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Even when it's hard....

We have been in Missouri for an entire month now and I will be honest - 
I am not too sure about how I feel. 

I feel homesick for California more then I have ever before. 
I feel discouraged that I have not found a job yet. 
I feel overwhelmed and confused. 
I feel frustrated and anxious. 

When my feelings get so polluted and confusing I have to run to The Lord. 

Friends, I am being honest -- if I had money I would joyfully go back to my beloved town in California. I would start attending my old church with a newfound appreciation. I would savor every restaurant, every coffee shop, every smell, every moment. I would hug my family and friends a little longer. I would enjoy the weather and happily go to work daily. I miss it more then I thought I would. And I haven't lived there in two years! 

But moving back to California is not an option and I have to trust God during this time. I don't know why I am here and I have to fight back the bitterness of living in yet another new state. 
BUT in the midst of all these feelings... I will trust God. 

Father, help me. Help me too see the reason why I am here. I never want to lose my joy in any season. As a new mom I am trying to learn a new way to live my life and I thank you for that. I thank you and praise you for my son. There is so much newness in my life right now and I pray that I will trust you during this time... Even when it's hard. Thank you for listening to my prayers and heart's cry - even when it's repetitive. Amen. 

New states, acclimating to a new call, and love. -Monica 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dear Seth

Dear Seth, 
I am still in shock that you are about to be 3 months old! You are now laughing, smiling, and talking. You have discovered your hands and love to grab your daddy's face. You cannot poop, fart, or burp without one of us clapping and smiling. You are already so curious and try to pay attention to everything going on around you. 

You delight us. 

We have tried to implement a nighttime routine with you with bath time, lotion, and nightly prayers. We all sleep a little better after time with The Lord. My hope is that you won't have one memory or going to sleep without our nightly prayers in them. 

Seth, I pray that I can be the mommy you need. My biggest prayer is that The Lord will teach me and guide me along this road as a new mom. I want to LEAD you, son. Not so that you will follow "my religion", or so that you "don't get into trouble". But so that you will know FIRST HAND the power, grace, and love of The Lord. Of all my hopes and dreams for you, that is the most important one to me. 
Even now as you lay next to me and start to drift asleep I pray that Holy Spirit will encounter you. 

You are a mighty man of valor, Seth. 

I love you so much! 

Forever, Mommy

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fridays letters

Lets write some letters with Ashley today. 

Dear Fall,
I love you! Pumpkin spice lattes, scarves, beautiful colors, boots, football, and snuggles! There is not much I don't love about you -- except that you leave me. But I plan to enjoy every moment you are here! 

Dear Missouri, 
We have been here a week. I know there is so much more of you to explore but so far I like you. Not so much the drivers here... But I know you can't help that. Please go easy on me this winter -- I am not a fan of snow. 

Dear Husby, 
I am sorry for all my crankiness! Lack of sleep and adjusting to life with a newborn is been a lot tougher then I imagined. Thank you for grace and forgiveness even when I don't deserve it. I will try my best to treat you better. I love you so much!

Dear Baby V, 
My love for you grows every single day! I am still in awe of you and that you were inside my belly. It's so funny how every little thing you do makes me smile - even if its burping or farting. I pray for you every day; that The Lord will speak to you and guard you. I pray that you will grow strong physically and spiritually. I pray that you will know who God is and that you will live a life that points to Christ. I love you so much my little munchkin. And I always will. 

Dear Lord, 
Thank you. Thank you for my life. My prayer is that others will see You exalted in my life. You are so good. Even in my confusion - You are good. Even in my stupidity - You are good. In my disbelief, rebellion, and fear - You are always good. I pray I never forget that. I adore you. 

Dear readers/followers/friends, 
Once again you encourage me! I wish I could give you all tons of hugs. I love hearing your stories and experiences. Your testimonies continue to capture my attention -- even the ones that are not finished. Continue to trust The Lord. Remember that He wants to give you the desires of our heart. He is so good and chose YOU! He chose you long before you chose Him. 
Thank you for reading and sharing in my joy of Baby V. Thank you for the prayers and excitement during my move. You are all so remarkable and impact my life so much! 

Happy weekend!!! 

Letters and love. - Monica 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Family photos

We just got back our family photos that we took in Alabama before we moved. 
It's so lush and green I really wanted to make sure to take pictures outside. 

Kristi Chappell is a wonderful photographer so if you are in the Birmingham/Gadsden, AL area make sure to check her out! 

I am so glad that we have taken photos every year around our anniversary. Love seeing out family grow and mature. 

Here are some of our photos! I am really looking forward to printing them to decorate our home! 

And look how much changed in two short years. 

Feeling so blessed. 

Color coordinating and love - Monica 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Yielding in faith

Well we made it to Missouri and we are starting to settle in to our new home sweet home! 
The trip was great! My sweet baby boy and puppy traveled beautifully and both slept majority of the time. Praise The Lord! 

Now I have a few moments to write a little post! 

So far my life has looked like this:
So many boxes!!!! 

We are chipping away slowly but surely {ok... I am doing more snuggling the baby then unpacking}. 

We had our first church service this morning and I am overjoyed!!!! 
My mother-in-love thought that service started at 10:00, so when we got there at 9:56 we were very happy to find out church actually started at 10:30! We will probably have to trick ourselves again next week to get there on time. {anyone else like this?} 

We absolutely ADORED the service and really felt welcomed. I feel at complete peace now. 

I was scared in the beginning and during the moving process, I didn't see how this was a good thing.... But God is always faithful. I keep learning this over and over and over again. He is faithful.... And I desire to be in His will. Even when it's uncomfortable. Even when it's hard. Even when it's an inconvenience. Even when I don't understand. Even when I am unsure. I still desire to stay where God wants me and leave when He says to. I am learning this in a new way. And at church The Lord just reconfirmed it. 

Is The Lord showing you anything lately? Anyone else learning this kind of trust? 

Yielding and love - Monica

{it took me three tries and two days to write this! Hehe goodness life has changed!} 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

New adventure for us!!!

Well here is a BIG announcement! 

My beautiful family and I are in the middle of moving to Missouri! 

We have been praying for this change for awhile now and I am really excited for it! 

We are {once again} yielding to The Lord will for our lives. 

We have really enjoyed Alabama and all that has happened here. 
- me being able to stay home and be a wife and new momma
- southern adventures like eating collard greens. 
- sweet friendships
- getting pregnant and having our baby
- experiencing college football in Alabama (if you ever lived there... You know how intense that is!)
There is nothing I would change about our experience in Alabama but it is time for a new adventure! 

So, Mr. V and I packed up our house, baby V, and Sophia Belle and we are on our way! :) 

I probably won't be blogging from the road so if you want to check it out... Follow me on Instagram {@mrsv820} and twitter {@mrs_v820}. And I will be hash tagging #VfamilymovetoMO too! 

Moving and love, Monica 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Things I have learned since being a mommy...

I have already learned so much in the short month that Baby V has been here and I know there is still so much to learn. 

But I wanted to give you a little insight at what I have learned so far since being a mommy...

• sometimes a shower is just dry shampoo and baby wiping the spit up off your chest. 
• worrying is something you will get really good at. 
• google is your best friend and worst enemy. 
there isn't a graceful way to open a door and walk through with a stroller. 
• coffee = life
• you really can survive off of 4 hours of sleep.
• it's true.... You miss the feeling of your little baby in your belly.
• your love for this precious human is beyond measure or comprehension. 
• when going out its actually really smart to bring spare clothes for you and baby. Odds are you will get something on yourself (breast milk, spit up, poo...)
• a messy bun is a go-to hair style... Yes, even to go out.
• people are going to have their opinions on your parenting (breast feeding, co sleeping, crying it out, formula, baby wearing, vaccines, diapers, bottles, discipline, potty training, etc...). Just remind them that this is your child and whether or not they agree with you... You will be the one who decides what YOU believe is best. After all, if picking up your child every time they cry will "spoil them" - you're the one who will have to deal with a spoiled child, not them. 

I can't wait to experience more of this beautiful gift of motherhood. 

Mommies - what have you all learned so far?

Learning and love - Monica 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Life with a newborn {honesty}

It has been 23 days since my son was born. 

I have been learning what it means to be a mother and trying my best to enjoy this experience. 

But since this is my blog and I want to always be honest and open on here... Here is the truth.

It's been hard. 

Starting from the moment he was born - there was a sense of disconnection. 
After all, I was still in surgery when he was born and my husband got to hold him and bond with him first. 
My epidural made me very very shaky and the anesthesiologist gave me "something to help me relax". Although I was so glad to not be shaking anymore, I felt disconnected to him in the recovery room. 
The next few days in the hospital I was healing and in a lot of pain and was on medication that continued that separated feeling. 
I was also sent home with that medicine {and to be honest, I needed it! I was in so so much pain and could barely do anything.}. 
After a few days I decided to stop taking a certain pain reliever because I didn't like how I was feeling while taking it. {I was still taking a non-narcotic pain medication}

I was a new mom and I would look at this beautiful baby boy but I didn't feel bonded. 
I didn't feel that mushy, gushy love that I thought I was supposed to be feeling during those first weeks.
So then I felt guilty. And shameful. 
I loved this baby boy.... But it wasn't this over the moon feeling. I was feeling more tired then anything. 
Lack of sleep, anxiety, fear, and guilt, consumed me. 

There were a few days that I just couldn't help but cry. 

Through time, naps, and lots of prayer I started to feel better. 
And now three weeks after his arrival I am feeling connected and bonded to this beautiful little guy that The Lord has given us. 

The first few weeks of a newborn are very tiring and trying. There are extreme highs and lows. Sometimes you do feel that picture perfect mushy love..... But other times you don't and that's ok. 

{if the negative feeling lasts more then a few weeks or if you have thoughts of harming you or your child, it's extremely important to tell your doctor since that could be signs of post pardom depression.}

I believe There is a special grace that The Lord gives to moms of newborns. Because I cannot do this on my own. I need the strength and joy of The Lord. 

To all you new, experienced, and soon-to-be moms -- I am praying for a fresh grace to enjoy every moment of your new born. Wish I could send you all hugs {and coffee}. 

Accepting our emotions and love - Monica

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Two yrs ago today I was walking down the aisle to be joined as one flesh to my prince. 

Now, living in a new city, in a new state with a brand new baby and puppy I am more in love then that day. 

There have been ups and downs. Laughter and tears. From living in our first apartment together to driving across country. From raising our little puppy to bringing home our baby boy. Life has been so so amazing and God has blessed us. 

Normally I would post a million pictures of our wedding but I leave you with one of us exchanging our vows. 
My prayer is that we will live out our vows every single day. 

With all that I am and all that I have, I honor you. I promise to be your faithful and loving wife. I pledge my whole life and self to you.
I give myself to you, to have and to hold on this day forward - in the good and difficulty of life, no matter what comes. I will love and cherish you as long as we both live.   

Promises, love, and more love. -Monics

Sunday, August 18, 2013

My hope became reality

My baby boy is sleeping in his swing and I am relaxing on the chair. These past two weeks have been nothing like I have ever experienced. 
I literally feel like I could sleep for a month! 

Seth is growing great and the pediatrician said he is extremely healthy (he had gained a pound since leaving the hospital and is already past his birth weight). 
I believe he is in the middle of a growth spurt which meant that I got very little sleep last night and I am past due for nap. 

My beautiful mother-in-law and wonderful sister-in-law came for a visit over the weekend. It was so great to see them since we haven't since we moved here from California a yr and a half ago. 
Having help from my aunt and then from my Inlaws was so nice! 
I was dealing with a lot of emotions and I was able to work through them and even get more sleep! Hehe. 

Husby and I still have so much to learn and grow so we can raise this precious baby boy but I am just feeling so so blessed that he is here. 

This is a day that I had waited, hoped for, and prayed about for many many years and now it is here. I remember just wishing to one day be a wife and mom and now it is that time. I have to keep my joy - even with my sleepless nights. 
If you have a dream or you feel like God has promised you something and you haven't seen it come forth yet.... Do not give up. Don't lose Hope. The bible says hope deferred makes the heart sick {proverbs 13:12}. Keep your heart healthy and cling to that promise. Sometimes our timing isn't God's timing but know that He has you in mind and has your best interest! 

Praying for all of you! 

Thank you all so much for celebrating alongside me with the birth of BabyV too. I am excited to share this new journey with you. (: 

Happy Sunday! 

Hopes, swings, and love. - Monica 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Baby V is here!!!!

Well it has been a crazy few weeks for sure!!! 

My aunt came to town, I went into labor, and baby v was born! 
Yup, Seth Jason is here!!!!! My heart is exploding with love for this boy. 

I had been feeling increasingly uncomfortable - I felt stretched to the max. 
I started feeling some light contractions in the end of July but they were not that painful at all. We picked up my aunt on July 25th and I was more then ready for baby v to come! He had different plans though. The night of Wednesday, July 31 I started having stronger contractions that I could time and I was getting excited!!! I didn't sleep that night - part nerves and part breathing through the pain. Thursday (my due day) we went out of town to go to target and out to lunch. I thought the walking would help really kick start my labor. That night I felt like the contractions were very strong and close enough together to go to the hospital. I was wrong and was sent home since I hadn't progressed enough. Thursday night (when we got home) I felt the worse pain I had ever felt! My poor husband didn't know how to help me... But I am so blessed I have him. He tried to help me breathe through the pain and even drew me a bath (which was the only thing that helped with the pain). Friday at noon I decided to go back to the hospital and this time they kept me (yay!). We were there all day and by 2am Saturday we thought Seth was going to be born. Seth had other plans. 
Seth was posterior (facing the wrong way) and was stuck on my pelvic none. 

At 3:08am on August 3, 2013 Seth Jason was born via c section. He weighed 10 lbs 3 oz and was 22.5 inches long. 

It has been six days and I am falling even more in love every day! Martin has totally bonded with his son and is always in awe of him. 

I am recovering from the c section nicely and although I did lose some blood and needed a small transfusion, I am healing nicely. {praise God} 

Now we are adjusting to life with a newborn and loving every moment! 

Thank you Lord for entrusting Martin and I with the beautiful responsibility of parenting this little boy. I praise you that Seth is fearfully and wonderfully made and that he has hope and a future. You are such a good God and every time I look at this precious face I am once again reminded of your goodness. I pray that I never forget this and that each day I will see the opportunities to love extravagantly and represent You. I am humbled by you, Lord. Once again I thank you! I love you Lord. In Jesus Name Amen! 

Newborn snuggles, sweet husbands, and love. - Monica 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Quick little update

Well I am exactly two weeks from my due date. {yay!} 
This pregnancy has been so so blessed but these past few weeks I have been exhausted! 
And if I am totally honest today I have been lounging around watching Netflix all day (except I had to run after Sophia when she ran after a cat this morning -- not fun!)

I am so so ready to have this little baby boy and see his beautiful face. I can't wait to see my husband hold him. Oh, I am excited! 

God has really been working on my heart and in my marriage. It has been truly great. Expecting this precious gift has opened my eyes even more to the beauty, grace, and love from The Lord. Baby V makes me want to be the best mother, wife, and woman of God I can be. It makes me want to live a certain way that will encourage him to live the same someday. (: 

14 more days and love, Monica 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bumpdate {35 weeks}

Happy Tuesday lovelies! 

Did you know that grapes are poisonous to dogs? 
Ya... Neither did I! Sophia ate two and although the vet said she would have to eat a pound of grapes for it to be toxic I gave her some tums just in case. Goodness! Oh! And I cried {just staying honest}.

This week my Mr. has been working like CRAZY! He worked straight through the weekend and working all this week too. He is tired but I am so proud of him for all he does! I am planning a super yummy breakfast for him for Saturday. (: 

We are getting closer and closer to meeting baby v and I am just so so excited! 

Baby bumpdate 

How Far along: 35 weeks (and four days) 

Size Of Baby: baby v is about the size of a large cantaloupe (19-22 inches, 5.5 lbs) 

Maternity Clothes:  dresses! And I got a flowy skirt. 

Stretch Marks: yup! 

Weight Gain: I think I am still at about 35 pounds.

Sleep:  the other night baby Seth discovered my ribs and I was up every two hours to him kicking those haha. 

Best Moment of the Week:   My baby shower (pics below)! My husband's boss' wife threw me an amazing shower with all the significant others of the guys at work. It was so gorgeous and so fun!

Movement:  lots and lots! 

Cravings: cookies and cream ice cream!!! And I really want a burger! 

Gender: boy oh boy!

Belly Button In or Out: totally out! Haha

Wedding Ring on or Off: on... But at night I take it off. The other night my hand went like tingly ... Idk if it was from my ring but I took it off anyways 

Anything Making You Queasy or Sick:  absolutely nothing.

What I Miss: putting socks on without running out of breath! Haha 

What I am Looking Forward to:  weekly doctors appointments! And I am looking forward to a weekend with my husby! 

Nursery: everything to the nursery is in a box! Haha. I really need to get that all set up. 

Emotions:  happy. Excited. Blessed. I can't wait to see the beautiful baby boy that The Lord is forming in my womb. I am feeling confident in labor as well. 

Have a happy happy Tuesday and a super fun 4th of July! I am gonna go make some yummy 4th of July inspired chocolate covered strawberries! 

Bumpdates and love, Monica 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bumpdate {34 weeks}

Happy Monday! Today starts a new work week for my husband and he would appreciate any prayers. 

I know I am a little behind but let's do a bumpdate! (: 

How Far along: 34 weeks {in the picture.. But today I am actually 34 weeks 4 days}

Size Of Baby: baby v is about the size of a small cantaloupe {5.5 lbs. 19-22 inches}

Maternity Clothes:  summer dresses, and yoga pants at the house. 

Stretch Marks: oh ya! Got some beautiful proof of growing this baby boy.

Weight Gain: I have gained a whopping 35 lbs already! I am totally in shock!!!

Sleep:  it's okay. The hardest part is turning from side to side. I bet it looks hilarious! 

Best Moment of the Week:  today I received a package from my sister filled with adorable things for Seth! Blankets, towels, tons of clothes, and the cutest mustache pacifier! Looking at all those tiny clothes is making me even more excited! 

Movement:  tons and tons! My whole belly moves and you can see little lumps poke out. Hehe. I never knew what it would feel like but it is so incredible. 

Cravings: Frosty's from Wendy's. I could probably eat one every day. Oh! And frosted mini wheats with bananas. Mmm! 

Gender: all boy

Belly Button In or Out: out. Haha it looks funny in my shirt. 

Wedding Ring on or Off: my band is off -- but my new wedding ring is comfortably on. 

Anything Making You Queasy or Sick:  no

What I Miss: wearing shoes lol. My feet have started to puff up so all my shoes feel tight. I wear sandals when Martin and I go out and usually take them off haha

What I am Looking Forward to:  holding him! Hehe. But also my shower is Saturday! I am so so so excited for that! 

Nursery: it's sporty animals but we haven't really decorated. Lol I also got wood letters that spell out his name that I plan on painting. 

Emotions:  happy, excited, overjoyed, little nervous, and loving! I just love this little boy so much! I am excited to be a mother and to see him grow. 

What baby is up to: Seth is probably as long as he will be at birth but will grow in pounds. Possibly a pound a week! He can open and close his eyes and his toenails and fingernails are all grown! He is loved by his family and adored by The Lord. Seth is fearfully and wonderfully made! 

Baby bumps and love. - Monica 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Thoughts on forgiveness

It's been way to long lovelies!!! 

The past few weeks have been filled with daily cleaning, snuggles with my pup, loving time with my Husby, and even more revelation from The Lord. 

Recently a good friend of mine forgave someone in their life for years and years of past hurt {like 20 or more years}. 
My friend's complete selflessness and understanding made me take a long look at my own unforgiveness in my life. 
I realized.....

.... I don't forgive well.

I hold on to the hurt as some strange way to protect myself. I distance myself so far from the person that I need to forgive -- even with people I shouldn't distance myself from. I justify my behavior because so-and-so did such-and-such so I don't have to forgive them. But the Bible says to forgive so that we can be forgiven {Luke 6:37} and that we need to forgive 70x7 times {Matthew 18:22}.... Although I know sometimes it feels like for some people we have almost forgiven that many times (kidding).  The Bible even says that we should PRAY and LOVE our enemies {Matthew 5:44-45}. That's a little hard to do when we have unforgiveness in our hearts. 

I was dealing with some unforgiveness recently that was just eating away at my heart. It was hard to focus. My heart felt broken. And.... I was angry. But after weeks of feeling this way I realized that this was just hurting me. So I started to ask The Lord to help me forgive and to see this person through God's eyes. 
Forgiving this person does not say that what they did was ok. Forgiveness says  that they hurt me deeply but I am CHOOSING to release that hurt. This person and I are restoring our relationship and working on trust -- and it's a great thing. 

We are all human. We make mistakes. People let us down. Forgiveness is something that is needed in all relationships and I pray that I can continue to grow in this area. 

I think that there is no magical number in how long it should take to forgive someone. Forgiveness is so personal. Also in some cases we need to move that person further away from our hearts... And I believe that is ok. Forgiveness is not is not for the person who hurt us - its for us. 

So those are some thoughts I have been having for the past few weeks. 
Praying for every single one of you and that a fresh encounter with The Lord will be experienced this next week! And if any of you need to forgive someone {even if its yourself} I pray that you can take that step and just release that person. 

Forgiveness and love. - Monica 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fridays Letters

Lets write some letters today with Ashley! 

Dear Husby, 
I love you and I am so proud of you! I am so glad that I have you to work through things! I know marriage isn't perfect but I am beyond blessed to be figuring this out alongside of you! Thank you for pointing me to Christ and reminding me what grace looks like. 

Dear Southern Summer, 
I am sorry -- but I kinda hate you! Hot and muggy is not what I call happiness. I never want to leave my house. So lets work on this humidity. I am sure my husband would appreciate it too. Thanks! 

Dear Sophia Belle, 
You are so incredibly sweet when you snuggle up to me on the couch. Remember you have a brother coming soon and you will need to make room for him. Also thank you for staying out of the rain today! Kisses! 

Dear Baby V, 
Well I am sure you know your daddy's voice! At our ultrasound you didn't move until daddy started talking and then you waved. You are the most beautiful and precious boy I have ever laid my eyes on. We cannot wait to meet you, my love bug! Feeling you kick and hearing your heart beat are my two favorite things! 
 We pray for you every single day! I love you! 

Dear PUPPS, 
Thank you for picking me out of 200 pregnant women to attack! These itchy red bumps all over are so not fun! So if you don't mind - you have over stayed your welcome. 

Dear lovely readers/followers/friends, 
You are all beautiful and inspiring! Thank you for walking along this journey with me! I am praying for you all to have a fresh encounter with The Lord! Every single one of you have such an amazing story and gifts! Getting comments and emails from you warm my heart! 

And I leave you with a reminder for the single ladies (all the single ladies) and the married ones as well! (; 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Bumpdate {31 weeks}

I haven't done a bumpdate in awhile! And I am excited to tell you how I have been! 

Baby bumpdate 

How Far along: 31 weeks. Crazy, right?

Size Of Baby: baby v is the size of a small melon. He is about 19 inches and is weighing probably around 3.5 lbs!

Maternity Clothes:  leggings and shirts and then summer dresses!!! Although I wish I had some maternity shorts. 

Stretch Marks: I am covered! I told my husband that by the time Seth is born I will have stretch marks up to my chest! Ha. 

Weight Gain:  I weighed myself the other day and I am up 30 pounds! Whoop whoop! 

Sleep:  I am sleeping better since I started drinking mama peaceful sleep tea.

Best Moment of the Week:   My babymoon! Husby planned an amazing weekend getaway at the lake! {I will add photos at the end}. He also got me a beautiful new wedding ring as an anniversary gift. The waiter brought out this gold wrapped present and when I opened it the ring was in there. It was so sweet. 

Movement:  lots! Sometimes I wake up from sleep from a hard jab. Haha. Martin feels it too when we are snuggling. 

Cravings: cheese and crackers! I want it like everyday.

Gender: all boy! 

Belly Button In or Out: it is now out haha. 

Wedding Ring on or Off: my original wedding ring got too tight and i had to take it off. But luckily husby didn't get this new one sized and it fits perfectly. 

Anything Making You Queasy or Sick:  nope

What I Miss: uh.... Getting off the couch normally. Hehe. I look so silly trying to get up. 

What I am Looking Forward to:  our birth class and hospital tour tomorrow! 

Nursery: we changed our idea on the nursery and I really like it! I will add a picture. It's like a sporty theme. 

Emotions:  happy happy happy! I am just so joyful about this baby! Some days I get so emotional that I am having a son and The Lord has given us this beautiful gift. I am blessed. 

What baby is up to: Seth's permanent teeth buds are formed, his brain is growing, and he is plumping up with some fat (so cute!). He is being perfectly formed in my womb! 

Bumpdates and love - Monica 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Things I have learned since being a wife.

Hello lovelies! 
I feel like I have been sooo busy but if you asked me what I have done - I couldn't answer. Hehe. 

I have been doing a lot of cleaning and preparing for baby V, since he will be here in about two months! {eee!} 
Also I have been doing a lot a lot of thinking. God is showing me so much about myself, my marriage, and my life. It's amazing - but sometimes tough. 

I wanted to tell you all a little bit of what I have learned in the past {almost} two years of being married. 

Just because you and your spouse fight doesn't mean you aren't meant to be.  
      I always thought that if you married the person you were supposed to be with then you would never fight. You wouldn't argue. You wouldn't really disagree. I don't really know where I got this idea but it was hard on us in the beginning. I felt if we got into a disagreement that we weren't meant to be. Now that I am freed from this our marriage is happier. Yes, we argue from time to time but he is my prince! 

Two people will not drink a gallon of milk. 
     Check the dates at the store and get the furthest date available. I learned this in the beginning and yet I STILL throw out milk from time to time. 

Communication is speaking and listening. 
     I always knew that "communication is key" in marriage ... But the longer I am married I am realizing what communication really is. We have to speak in a respectful and loving way -- but we also have listen without taking offense. We sometimes have to "read between the lines". I will say something to my husband but mean something totally different because I am talking through fear, insecurity, frustration, and/or disrespect. When that happens our spouse (or we) have to learn to listen a more carefully to their heart. {my husband is great at this!} 

Insecurities will arise in marriage and its best to deal with it then ignore it. 
     A lot of insecurities in me have been brought up to the surface since becoming a wife. Things that I thought I dealt with when I was younger come up again. If I allow it -- it can really affect us and our marriage. Things from body image to issues with alcohol to fear. We have to deal with the insecurities when they come up.... And communicate and listen. 

- . - . - . - 

Those are some of the things I have learned so far that The Lord is reminding me now {well maybe not the milk one... I just thought of it because I have a half gallon of expired milk in the fridge}.

So what have you learned since being married or in a relationship? 
What have you learned with being single? 

Never stop growing and love. - Monica 

{leaving you with a wedding photo because I love to look back on this day.}