Sunday, December 28, 2014

After Christmas blues.

After the Holidays is always so strange. 

Trying to keep up with chores.
Attempting to not only eat cookies and eggnog all day. 
Adjusting back to normal life. 

MrV went back to work today after a few days off for Christmas and it was so sad for me! It felt a little strange to be just me and our son at home all day long. He is still enjoying all his new toys but I was a tad lost when I went to put on Christmas music with the fireplace on while he played. It took me about a milisecond to think "is this okay?" Is Christmas music really off limits after December 25th? 

Christmas has SUCH a huge build up. Some families start decorating and listening to Christmas carols before Thanksgiving! And then in a blink of an eye, its all gone and we have to take down the tree and garland and go back to whatever music we listened to before 'O Holy Night' was on repeat. 
We place all the ornaments back in the boxes and no longer buy peppermint mocha coffee creamer. 

On to the next BIG event! With new beginnings, resolutions, promises, and declarations. 

And although Christmas is over, my biggest resolution is that the reason behind it all - Jesus - will continue to impact those around me. 

empty cups of eggnog, disipating smell of pine, and love. - MrsV

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Hello lovelies! 

I know you are all wondering where in the world i have been.... well i wish i had something awesome to tell you -- but i have been in my apartment with Seth (LittleGuy) being a momma and loving this pregnancy. 

Today, I am enjoying the day celebrating the birth of our Savior with my beautiful family.  LittleGuy received so many amazing gifts from family and is currently napping (or in a sugar coma). 
MrV is playing with his little brother's new XboxOne getting lost in the Shadows of Mordor. 
I just finished my 4th cup of eggnog (don't judge me) and typing on my brand new ipad that MrV totally surprised me with! 
My in laws are all watching The Hobbit -- which i am not a total fan of. lol. 
Asher (LittleMan in my tummy) is kicking like crazy (probably wants more eggnog). 

We are thoroughly enjoying this Holiday and I am a little sad for the day when MrV returns to work next week and the magic is gone. 

May today (and everyday) be filled with laughter, the joy of Christ, smiles, and love! 

christmas sweets, mugs full of eggnog, and love. - MrsV

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Re-launch & announcement

I know I haven't been around much. 

I have been chasing a 1 yr old, changing diapers, cooking, doing laundry, cleaning, and doing a lot of praying. 

Captivated By Love blog has always been such a fun place for me. My journal, my record keeping. My place to find encouragement for unanswered prayers. 

I have been praying a lot about what to do with this blog and now that things have settled down I am so excited for....
..... A RE-LAUNCH this Fall {no exact date but probably in October}.
There will be a new look and faithful writing. 

I will have recipes, cleaning tricks, wifey stuff, mommy hood, and a whole lot of Jesus talk. 

I am so excited and I hope you are too! 

And now for the next announcement ....

Yup! We are going to have a BabyVThe2nd! 

We feel incredibly blessed to be able to have another child!!! 

So I will be capturing my pregnancy again on here and on social media {@xxooMrsV} with hashtag BabyVThe2nd. 

MrV and I are just so happy! 

Relaunches, new baby, and love - MrsV

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday's letters

Hooray for Friday!!! 

I am very ready for the weekend. 

But first.... Let's write some letters with Ashley! {does she even do these anymore? Lol}

Dear Bank Account, 
Sorry you have been empty for awhile. But thank you for paying all of our bills! Hopefully soon there will be more in there for ya! 

Dear BabyV,
You absolutely delight my heart. More then I ever thought possible. Your laugh and smile make my day. You are such an adventurer and I pray that I can always cultivate that in you! My biggest prayer is that you will see The Lord evident in your life and it will lead you down His path. You are our little pride and joy! Also, how is it your birthday in a little over a week! I can't wait to celebrate this past year of you!!! 

Dear Coffee,
I just want to thank you for giving my the extra energy to chase after my little guy, do the laundry, and just BE AWAKE when every part of me wants to sleep. Thank you for being my companion allll day! Iced or hot, you are a miracle. 

Dear Summer,
I hate you. I just do. I hate shorts. I hate heat. I hate sweat. I hate humidity. Go away! 

Dear MrV,
I am soooo proud of you on your promotion at work! I know I have told you a million times but I am! I am so glad I have you on this journey as spouses and parents. I know we aren't perfect and we are continually improving but I am blessed to have you! 

Dear Lord,
First of all - thank you! Thank you for my healthy baby boy and my wonderful husband. Thank you for Your grace and Your mercy that flow over me like a river. You are so good and I know I don't say thank you enough. I want to honor you with my words and actions always. I want to be an example to BabyV and future children. Thank you for guiding me along Your path and for Your never ending love. Bless each and every one of my followers. Reveal Yourself to them in new ways and give them peace that surpasses all understanding. Bless their finances, their marriages, their waiting, their children, their wombs, their minds, and their bodies! Amen

Dear readers/followers/friends,
You all are so amazing!!!! You have been patient with me while I figure out how to manage blogging with having a little one! You have shared stories with me, encouraged me, and make me smile! It's so fun getting to know you all and I realize that not every 140 of you read my blog everyday {although I like to pretend you get excite when I post something} but seriously you all just make my day that you even decided to follow Captivated By Love. 
I hope you all have a great weekend! Anything fun planned? Or just relaxing this weekend? Who has to work? Let me know in the comments! 

Letters, weekends, and love. - Mrs. V

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Things no one told me about motherhood

I have been a mommy for {almost} one year now! 

{oh my craziness! Still in shock it's almost been a year} 

I still have soooo much to learn as a new momma but I have also learned a lot already. 

I truly believe that no one can prepare you for motherhood. 
After all, every child is different. Every mom is different. Every family is different. 

I was thinking the other day that there are a few things that NO ONE told me about being a mom though.
So, I thought I would share some things I have realized along the way. 

• Your definition of "tired" changes drastically after having a child. 
A few days ago I checked my TimeHop app and it had a status from a year ago where I was about 37 weeks pregnant proclaiming to be "so tired". I wanted to giggle at myself. 
I WISH I could be that tired again. 
My adorable baby boy still does not sleep through the night so I am up 3-5 times before we wake up for the day. Before I had Baby V I could slowly wake up, make myself a cup of coffee, take our pup out and enjoy my coffee while I start my devotional time. 
NOW, I wake up to Baby V, change his diaper and take off his pajamas, brush his teeth, pick out an outfit for him, get Mickey Mouse clubhouse on while I cook breakfast, start a pot of coffee, take our dog out as fast as I can while Baby V is still eating his breakfast, finish feeding him, clean him up (and the high chair and surrounding area), get him dressed, set him down with some toys, then drink my Luke warm coffee until Mickey Mouse clubhouse is over ....which at that point is like 2 minutes. This is all before 9am. TIRED. 

• You will do things you swore you would never do before having kids. 
Before having kids I had this unwritten, running list of things I would NEVER do when I became a parent. Ha! 
You know, when you see the kids at the store/park/airport/church/doctor doing something and you say "well when I have kids they will NEVER do/say/eat/act like that." Word of advice: never make promises you can't keep. 
I told Mr. V when I was pregnant that our son would NEVER just wear a diaper around the house. I always wanted him in his cute little outfits, even if we were just home. Currently, he is napping in just a diaper. Yup. 
We also said we wouldn't let him crawl around in a gross environment. That changed when he was throwing fits during our three hour layaway on our way to California. "Uh.... We will just wash him really good. And make sure he doesn't eat anything off the ground."
You WILL do SOMETHING you said you wouldn't. Don't beat yourself up over it. 

• You will be judged for SOMETHING. 
I loathe mommy bashing. I actually hate any kind of bashing but it's hard enough being a mom (whether it's to one child or to 20 children) without judgement. 
You will be judged for cloth diapering, using disposables, vaccinating, not vaccinating, formula feeding, breastfeeding, breastfeeding after a certain age, baby led weaning, giving rice cereal, spanking, not spanking, co sleeping, sleep training,and pretty much every other decision you make as a parent. Remember mommies, there are so many different and beautiful ways to parent this precious child God has given us..... Let's spread love and let everyone be a parent in their own way. If someone is judging you for your parenting technique let it roll off your shoulder and remember you are doing the best you can to your abilities! And when you know better, do better! 
{parenting techniques are different from abuse and neglect. If you or someone you know is deliberately or in deliberately putting their child in danger, then it is time to speak up}. 

• Your love will grow more then you ever thought possible.  
It's true! In the beginning sleep deprivation and baby blues can mask that true, deep, love.... But just wait until they give you a hug, or a kiss, or smile, or say "mama", or offer some of their chewed up food, or put their arms up to be picked up. All of these things (and many more) make you fall in love day after day (and hour after hour). Children redefine "forever". I mean this child is YOURS forever. Forever. This precious little being that you are caring for is going to grow up, go to school, graduate, go to college or find a job, get married, and have children of their own... But they will always be your child. 
And my oh my does your baby LOVE you! You are all they know! They cannot even comprehend love but they have this overwhelming feeling for YOU! As their little heart and mind grow - so will their love for you too. 

So, those are some things no one told me about motherhood. 

What have YOU learned about motherhood that no one told you? 
Let me know in the comments!!! 

Cups of Luke warm coffee, dirty floors, and love. - Mrs. V 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What's up Wednesday!

Thought I would do something fun and tell you all what I have been up to! 

What have I been reading: 
The book of Ruth with the SheReadsTruth community. I have known the story but digging deeper is really impacting me. It is reminding me that God is always working in my life - even in the harder times. 

What have I been watching: 
LOTS of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. I put it on for Baby V while I read and enjoy coffee. He doesn't actually WATCH it but once the episode ends he starts jabbering and looking at the TV and then back at me. 
Also today I caught up on Parenthood and watched the season finale. Hmm.

What have i been eating; 
spaghetti' I have made it TWICE this week per my husband's request. Mr. V loves angel hair pasta and told me today "I could eat this every day". Uh.... No. I think I need a break haha. 
Spaghetti face 

Also I have found my love for chocolate banana protein smoothies. Mmmm.

What products have i been using:
I haven't been using anything special for me but for Seth I am IN LOVE with California Baby products. They all smell so yummy and all natural. 

What have you been feeling: 
I am actually kinda stressed. Ha. Our car broke down at target on Friday for the 3rd time in like four months. It's costing us a little more then we thought and that is kind of hurting us financially. Seth is teething really badly (getting two bottom teeth) and so he is very very cuddly and just wants to be held all day. Which means I pretty much get zero housework down (and I cannot remember the last time I brushed my hair). Our little family has made a BIG decision and although I feel peace about it, there is still a lot to do. So I am just clinging to some bible verses to keep me going. {"You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word." (Psalms 119:114 NKJV)}

So lovelies, let me know what's up with you in the comments! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week and remember that the joy of The Lord is you strength! 

Pasta, Daniel Tiger, and love - Mrs V

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I need grace {my realization}

We all get busy.

I am at that point where I feel like I am always doing something but then I feel like I did nothing. 

My new mom life is filled with changing diapers, breastfeeding, managing NapTime, singing "itsy bitsy spider" a million times, preparing easy to swallow meals, and chasing after a crawler who wants to put everything in his mouth. 


The other day I realized that I am not spending enough time with The Lord. Sure... I am not doing anything WRONG. I am not getting drunk or sleeping around. I'm not killing people or cheating. I read my bible every few days and maybe even listen to a worship song. I say my little "thank you" prayer before I eat and before bed. That's good, right? 

Except, that I felt myself being jealous of other people. I was having an attitude with my husband and would even get impatient with my ten month old. I was feeling bitter about certain situations. I was NOT in a good place. I was trying to find happiness in other places. I was trying to do everything in my own strength. 

I had become stagnant. I was no longer pursuing The Lord. I was just there. 

Holy Spirit is so good and reminded me that I had distanced myself. I was not in constant relationship with The Lord. I was meeting my daily quota of a bible verse but I was not truly spending time with God. 

When I am actively pursuing The Lord then all my relationships flow from that. 

I am never going to be perfect. I know that I need my Savior and His grace daily. And when I am spending time with Him I can receive that grace and glorify God. 

His grace is sufficient for me. 

It restores me. 
It revitalizes me. 
It refreshes me. 

Friends, if you have been struggling in any way... Know that I am praying for you! 
His grace is enough for you! 
Even if you noticed that you are in a similar place as me and you have become stagnant
In a place where you are just living from your own strength. You don't have to feel like this! Reach out to The Lord and allow His joy to cover you. 

Ssllllooowwwww down. 

Find the joy in the every day. 

Accept His grace. 

Feel His love for you! 

Fresh grace, new beginnings, and love. - Mrs. V

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My crazy, messy, beautiful life.

My days are filled with running after a baby (or is he a toddler?), making meals, cleaning up toys, wiping a booty, breastfeeding, going to bed at 8:30 only to be woken up 3 times at night and up at 7am, and entertaining a ten month old while attempting to be a good wife.
My life {at this point} is far from anything pretty. More days then I can count my hair isn't brushed and some days (like yesterday) I forget to put on deodorant.  I am always tired. Always. During Baby V's NapTime I am usually trying to catch up on laundry or just staring at the wall. 

I constantly have a Daniel Tiger's neighborhood song stuck in my head and some type of drool or spit up on my shirt. 

But I am cherishing this time! He is only small for such a short time. I mean he is already almost a year old. 

Although I never have make up on, usually wearing a big tshirt and yoga pants on {and might  even stink from time to time} I wouldn't pass up his laugh, toothless grins, and sweet cuddles for anything. The Lord has blessed me as a mother and I choose to praise Him for this crazy, messy, beautiful life. 

Sticky fingers, a change of clothes, and love. - Mrs. V

Monday, May 26, 2014

A lesson from Jonah

Happy Monday Lovelies! 

Are you familiar with the story of Jonah in the Bible? 
That's the guy who was swallowed by a giant fish. 

Here is a quick recap: 

God tells Jonah to go to a city {Ninevah} to preach to them. Jonah doesn't want to do that and runs away to a boat. There is a huge storm and all the guys on the boat are like "everyone pray to your gods and tell them to stop this storm." The storm continues and gets worth and the guys confront Jonah and Jonah tells him that he is running away from God who made the heavens and earth. Eventually Jonah gets off the boat and is thrown into the sea. The guys on the ship were so fearful of such a powerful God that they made vows to Him! {At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him. (Jonah 1:16 NIV)} 
Jonah gets swallowed by a giant fish for three days and three nights. He prays to The Lord and repents. Jonah goes to Ninevah, like he should have to begin with. 
{this was the fast recap and there are so many details that are left out. Make sure to read the story in Jonah 1,2,3}

I realized that I am a little like Jonah in this season.... But like opposite. 

I want to move back to California. Especially after visiting! My heart LOVES it there and it will always be home to me. 
But...... My husband and I are feeling like we should stay here. We don't want to leave Missouri missing out on what God has for us here (ministry opportunity, a lesson, friend, etc). I know we won't be swallowed up by a giant fish and we aren't intentionally trying to disobey The Lord , but I still don't want to miss out. 
Think of all those Ninevites who would have not heard The Lord if His servant, Jonah, had continue to run away. 

Let's all take a lesson from Jonah. His story is a short but important one. 

Listen to The Lord. Go to where He calls you. Bloom where you are planted! 

Lessons and love. -Mrs. V

Thursday, May 22, 2014

No more striving

Baby V, Mr. V, and I have been back in Missouri for a few days. I have already worked a couple of days and we are {slowly} getting back to a somewhat routine. 

Today we have been talking about dreams. Schools and dream jobs were discussed and I realized something. This IS my dream. 
Growing up I never had great plans of what I wanted to do or be. I didn't want to be president or a lawyer or veterinarian or teacher. When someone asked what I wanted to be when I "grew up" my response was the same: a mom and a wife. 

It's true! 

I briefly went to college (one year) as a music major.... But that was because I wanted to lead worship at a church! Once I figured out I didn't really need college to do that, I left. 

So according to my childhood self - I am living my dream! 

So why am I not happier? 

The answer to that question was just realized five minutes ago as I was putting my 9 month old to bed in his crib. 

I strive.  
And "fail". 
Then I don't feel good enough. 
Which makes me not want to try.

Ew... It feels yucky to say, but it's true! 
I strive. 

I put so much pressure on myself to be a certain way as a mother, a wife, and Godly woman. I can never reach this goal and then I just feel bad about myself! 
Then, eventually, I give up. 

And that, my friends, is what happened. 

My passion died. 

I was no longer EXCITED about this beautiful life I have. 
I was just going through the motions trying not to cry everyday for yet again not meeting the unattainable expectation as a mother and wife. 

So! Tomorrow is a new day! 

will not allow the enemy to take what's mine - my passion, happiness, joy, faith, and trust! 
I know I will fail. I will make mistakes. I will be tired. I will argue with my husband and I will lose patience with my son. 
BUT I will live with grace. I will live intentionally. I will give God the glory and I will sing His praises! 

Lovelies, if you are in a similar place and striving - STOP! Whatever it is, just rest in God's goodness. Soak it in. Breathe in His presence and breathe out the unattainable expectations you or others put on you. 
You are enough! 
You are worthy!  
Jesus died on the cross for YOU! 
You don't have to earn it, it's Yours. 
You are loved! 
You are a beautiful mess, and it's ok! 

New joy, new mercy, and love. - Mrs. V

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Hello lovelies! 

If any of you follow me on social media (@xxooMrsV) then you know our little family is currently on VACATION! We flew to Northern California on Saturday and we will be here for 2 weeks! 

We are visiting family and places we haven't been in awhile. We are with my sister right now but starting tomorrow we will be traveling and stopping to see different family. Introducing Seth to everyone and having fun! We haven't been here in three long years -- we have missed California! 

I am going to try to blog {more} about all the fun stuff we are doing but make sure to check out my twitter and Instagram to see it too! @xxooMrsV #VFamilyCaliVacation 

Seth did so well on the planes! We had two flights and jumped ahead two hours!!! Seth slept pretty much the entire time. We had a three hour layover in Phoenix, Arizona and that was awful! All Seth wanted to do was crawl and play. After about ten minutes and three tantrums we were those parents and let him crawl on the nasty floor. We wipesd him down (and his toy) before we got back on the plane though. 

My birthday is on Thursday (May 8) but we won't be with my sister so she threw me a birthday dinner. We had chicken Alfredo lasagna and then spaghetti with meatballs. For dessert she made my favorite - tiramisu! Mmm! 
My younger brothers (who are twins) came too! It was such a great time! 

Martin and I went on a hunt for a pack n play and a high chair for Seth on Monday. We did not find one! We went to the town I grew up in and the local coffee shop was open so we HAD to stop and get a vanilla chai. Mmmm! Nowhere has Chais like coffee station. I savored every sip since I don't know when I will get it again! 

We are having a great time and trying to adjust to the time change and all the changes for Seth. It's a lot harder having "vacation" with an infant. But we are excited for more family to meet him and to see more places. 

It's going to be HARD to go back to the Midwest after this trip. 

Vanilla chais, lots of naps, and love. - Mrs. V

Monday, April 28, 2014

A choice


..... My marriage needed to hear this quote. 

Keep choosing! 

-Mrs V

Sunday, April 6, 2014

From one mom to another

My handsome boy is 8 months old now. 
What an incredible, exhausting, and rewarding journey this has been so far. 

Being a mother is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life so far. 
Meeting my son's basic needs is not even the half of it. 
He is constantly changing and growing. Expanding and exploring. My child is experiencing and persevering. He is finding his limits and noticing his surroundings. What worked last month {to make him sleep, laugh, calm down, stay still, etc...) might not work now or next month. He is andventurerer. 
And somehow, I, as imperfect as I am, am supposed to help him, nurture him, protect him, and cultivate him. 

I am also learning and growing. Expanding and being stretched. Being Pushed to my limits and back again. Doing things I couldn't believe I could do. 

Like ....

Going without sleep. 
Putting his needs above my own. 
Feeling overwhelmed
Smiling at small moments. 
Wishing to pause time. 
And at some instances wishing to fast forward (teething, anyone?).

Before I was pregnant I imagined what kind of mother I would be. 
I pictured how I would react and how I would raise this little prince. 
I took all those expectations... And threw them out the window! Very early on in my son's life I was being choked by this perception of what motherhood is. 

Now... My prayer daily is that I would parent my amazing son in a way that gives God glory. And I thank Him for new grace. New joy. Every single morning. 

And at times I fail. Sometimes I cry. Certain days I have no idea what I'm doing! Sometimes I fall short. And I know I will again. 

But this is motherhood

The small moments. The giggles. The obstacles. The tantrums. The smiles. The moments between NapTime and play time. The new accomplishments and the mundane daily activities. 

We are all growing and learning, mamas. 

So have grace for yourself, sweet friends.

Bath times, teething toys, and love. - Monica

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Hello lovely readers!!! 

I know I have been missing for quite some time! 
Tryin to figure out with mom/wife/working girl thing. Lol. 

Plus living in a new city in a new state and attending a new church. 

A lot of change and adjustment.

I have been thinking and praying about my awhile now aaannndddd I am going to do a rebrand. 




I love blogging my life like a journal and somewhere I lost that ... & I am ready to get back to that. 

So! I need to find a new blog design and then I will rebrand all my social media so it's all the same too. 
I am thinking I will keep my blog name because it's still true to what I am about and wish to blog about. 

Question for you all is .... Who designed your blog? Do you love it? Do YOU design blogs? Is it your passion? 
Let me in the comments! 

Have a happy day! 

Refocusing and still captivated, Monica

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Happy new year!!! 

Gosh, I can't believe how fast 2013 went! I know it probably feels like that every year but still! 

This past year was filled with a growing baby (and belly), lots of sweet tea, Mr. V working a lot of hours, Alabama humidity, finding a southern church, giving birth to my beautiful baby boy, packing up and moving to Missouri, traveling in a new state, and learning what it means to be a momma and working wife. 

It's has been such a beautifully blessed year and I cannot wait to see what The Lord has in store for 2014! 

With this new year and fresh start here are some goals I am trying to stick to:

• be more organized {I NEVER know when I work and never give myself enough time to get ready}
• read my Bible and pray everyday 
• be the best mommy I can be to Baby V
• have a trip to California to see my family 
• be the wife God created me to be
• live a life that shines and represents Jesus. 

Do you have any goals for this bright new year? 

Fresh starts and love. - Monica