Hi friends! Happy Tuesday!
Sometimes when I think of a blog post idea + start to create it, it just flies off my fingertips. Those are the ones that come straight from my heart + this is one of those. I thought I would post this one today + get out of baby world for a second.
Although, just so you know Maxwell is as cute as ever + doing really well! We have our 2 week appointment later today. I also just wanted to make a quick mention that we saw a lactation consult yesterday + she was beyond helpful. Truly she is meant to be in this role + I made sure to let her know that! She had SO many useful tips, one thing I learned (already did know, but needed reemphasized) is that Maxwell + I should take the time to set ourselves up better. It is just so darn hard to get all the pillows set up at 3am! Additionally, she wanted us to get his tongue looked at because it doesn’t come out very far + we’ll mention that to the pediatrician today. The good news is he is up to 8 pounds 8.5 oz, which is 8.5 oz above birth weight! Go Max!
Back to the post of the day:
On Friday, I was thinking about how much life has changed. I was catching up with an old friend + she was asking how mommyhood was. She also said, “I remember when you + Drew first started dating.”
That took me back! And with our new addition of Maxwell, our weekends + priorities have changed big time.
Before Max came, Drew + I found solid ground in our relationship. I’m SO thankful for that because it has made parenting together much easier. I’ve told him I could never imagine doing this with a less supportive partner, or by myself. All parents, especially single parents now truly amaze me! I hadn’t realized how much work these little beings were until we had our very own.
Because nursing is my second career (my first was personal training + it’s funny because now I want to do that again on the side! I just absolutely love working with people on their health, fitness, + confidence!). I work with a lot of women that are younger than me because nursing works by seniority, so all of newbies ended up on nightshift together. They’ve become some of my best friends + we’ve had some really hilarious + fun shifts. Many times in the past they voice how mature Drew + my relationship is or seek me out for advice about their own. Or one time when they asked what year I was born a certain one of them said “you could be my mom!” (Julia…hahaha).
Here is the thing: we weren’t always this way. In the beginning of our relationship we made it through a bunch of challenges that many younger couple faces. We faced a long distance relationship, the stress of being early in our careers, + a bit of insecurity. To be frank: we also sucked at conflict resolution in the beginning. It wasn’t all bad because we made it through + one of the first things we loved about each other is how we had such a good time together. We were friends before we started dating + our friendship has very much deepened along with our love.
We were both still growing as people. Our weekends together often consisted of a date + then meeting all of our friends out. In college I was a little bit of a party girl (okay– maybe a lot of bit) + I was just starting to get out of that phase. And Drew had a couple things to iron out too, right babe?!
What changed? A few things. One huge one: Drew + I started going to church together. We both had faith before dating, but a few months after I moved to Madison we decided we needed a church. We attended Blackhawk together + immediately connected with the messages that we heard there. We started to become more centered in our faith. Attending church helped to open up conversations between us, helped us make decisions, + build a solid foundation for our future.
After Drew proposed we had to take premarital counseling through our church in order to have a Blackhawk pastor marry us. We met the most wonderful couple through this experience. The counseling made us dig deep into issues that we hadn’t even thought to cover. Drew + I thought we knew each other SO well, but we discovered a ton more during this process. We discussed things like how our parents handled conflict, how we handled conflict, our finances, friends + family of origin issues, etc. Some of those sessions were tough! We had to dig deep + get vulnerable with each other. I would highly, highly recommend some form of counseling if you are going to take the plunge into marriage. It really helped us, especially in the area of conflict resolution– which we’ve became much better at!
Another phase of growth was when we decided to join a Life Group through Blackhawk. Life Groups give people the opportunity to travel with others in their spiritual journey. We often dig deeper into the message from the past sermon + also talk a lot about life. This year we did a month long series on marriage + it was really neat to hear our friends share their strengths, weaknesses, conflicts, + other details of their marriage. During one of the sessions we had to go around + talk about the quality that we most appreciate about our significant other. I absolutely loved this exercise + had tears in my eyes as my friends spoke so highly + beautifully of their spouses. Our group supports each other through trials + celebrates each other’s successes. It is also a place where you can be really honest with each other + help people reflect. Drew + I have made some really true + lifelong friends through our group. It is a wonderful feeling to know that you have people cheering, praying, + supporting you through it all. I’m SO thankful for these friendships + a some of the ladies are the biggest supporters of this blog!
To grow as people + to grow in our relationships we had to actively seek out opportunities. As I mentioned above, sometimes these sessions pushed us out of our comfort zone + that’s where the growth happened. We would leave some of the Life Group sessions + have things that we needed to iron out between us. Some of the sermons at church give us pause + we discuss if we need to adjust our sails or it gives us a fresh perspective to start our week.
I would strongly encourage each of you to do things that help you to grow as a person. Perhaps for you it isn’t church, but it could be reading books, watching TED talks, connecting with a group, making a new friend that pushes you to be better or more positive, starting a yoga practice, joining a gym, trying meditation, etc. etc! I’m a firm believer in reading books that encourage self improvement + positivity. It lifts my spirits + freshens my outlook as I turn the pages.
I’m SO thankful for Blackhawk Church, our Life Group, + my husband. Over the years each of these pieces has been a key influence in helping me to grow. I look forward to continuing the process now as a momma + walking even closer with the Lord.
Hope you are having a great start to your week! Look for growth opportunities my friends! -Ames