Friday, June 17, 2016

Parents are Not Perfect

So it has been a few weeks since I last blogged and a lot has happened. I could talk about the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge but I've got something else on my mind. So here we go...

Parents are not perfect!

We are not omniscient, we are not omnipresent, we are not omnipotent. Those traits belong to God not to man.

In the past few weeks, two separate and unrelated incidents involving children made major media headlines. One child survived and the other is now singing with the Angels. In both situations, comments on social media have placed the blame on the parents. I've read some pretty disgusting and disturbing comments. Honestly, when society places the life of an animal over the life of a child there is something wrong with the priorities of society.

In the end, they forget the most important thing. There is a family who lost a child. A family who is grieving. A family who went home empty handed. A family who is holding tightly to the son they could have lost.

Instead of grieving with the family or counting their blessings, society passes judgement upon those parents.

What happened to the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," Matthew 7:12?

Instead of passing judgement or providing insults (because lets face it those opinions were insults), we should provide support. We should provide our prayers for comfort.

Just something to think about the next time a tragedy befalls a parent.
I'm a social worker, a mom, but most of all I'm a Christian

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 1 Complete!

So week 1 of BBMC5 was completed on Saturday since Sunday was a rest day. I couldn't believe that I actually exercised on a Saturday. I felt so empowered that day! Honestly I never thought I would get past day 2. I'm just not a consistent exerciser but I guess that is changing ;)

What cooldown?!
Today started week 2 and it took me a while to get going this morning. Today was a strength workout, and I found myself doing surprisingly well (except on the v-sit crunches. Evil little exercise). While completing today's workout, I found that my legs felt stronger than ever. There is this exercise called Goblet squats where you squat all the way down where your elbows hit your knees while holding a weight. I thought they were going to be awful but actually they were one of my favorite exercises. Now the v-sit crunches, those did not go well. I may have done several but I felt like my core was on fire. Of course that makes sense for my core to be the weakest area of my body since I've had two kids in 3 years. I hope that as I continue to exercise my core tones and tightens.

In conjunction with exercising, I'm also attempting to eat healthier. Lots of protein, vegetables, and fruits. Very little sugars, processed foods, dairy and gluten. That being how does one eat healthy when it is so expensive; and for those of you who are gluten free, I don't know how you do it (you must share your secrets). I'll spare you the horror story that was my shopping trip last night; but in the end, I spent a ridiculous amount of money on healthy foods (almost $60 on produce alone). I went home feeling discouraged and annoyed. But this morning, I woke up with a more positive attitude. I'm going to do the very best I can to eat healthier. I'm going to stop snacking on junk food and snack on healthy foods. I'm going to say no to sodas and yes to water. I'm not just doing this for myself but for my girls as well.

The support I've received from friends and family has been awesome. You guys are the ones that keep me going. That keep me wanting to exercise. In fact, I've discovered that I actually like exercising (cue the dramatic gasp) and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

Until next time!
I'm a social worker, a mom, but most of all I'm a Christian.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Here I go again!

Here I go again! Attempting to blog about my life and what it is like with 2 under 2.5. That's right I have a second child. All of my facebook friends know this but if you follow me outside of facebook God blessed me with a second child November of last year.

Baby grump as we lovingly call her is 6 months old. She can crawl, occasionally pull up, and has 1 tooth. She sleeps through the night and loves to eat. Her big sister loves her even if she doesn't always show it. My toddler has turned into the biggest little helper since her little sister was born.

So now I have two beautiful daughters that I'm very proud of. And because I want to be the very best mommy I can be, I've decided its time to get in shape. So for the next 90 days I'm going to attempt to follow Briana through her BBMC5 or Bikini Body Mommy Challenge 5.0.

I've never been one to stick to exercise routines especially if I don't have an accountability partner. Well this time I do and that has created this excitement about exercising that I've not had in a long time. So for the first time since my toddler was born, I want to exercise again. Yeah!

So I'm hoping to I'll stick to blogging this time because truthfully I use to love to write. I remember being in elementary and middle school and writing all sorts of stories. I've even started writing a book. I may bore you with my post on exercising and eating healthy but I also plan to write about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

So now that I've reintroduced myself (lol). I hope you will once again follow me as I attempt to rekindle my love for writing.

So before I sign off today I just wanted to share a little something that I find absolutely adorable. While I was completing Day 2 of the BBMC 5 my toddler was "helping" me exercise. Sometimes she would lean on me, sometimes she would stand right where I needed to be, and sometimes she was cheering me on. While I was completing one of the exercises, she lovingly told me to slow down. I just can't get over the cuteness of a toddler.

Until next time!
I'm a social worker, a mom, but most of all I'm a Christian.

Monday, February 23, 2015

2 Years Later...

So I can't believe I posted my last blog post almost two years ago...TWO years ago. It is official...I can't blog. But you know what, that is okay because in those two years something wonderful happened. I got pregnant and gave birth to this beauty. For the purpose of privacy, I will refer to her as "cutie" or "lamb". Here is a little update into my life.
 For 13 months, before I started this blog, my husband and I had been trying to get pregnant with no luck. I'd missed a lot of periods and was feeling very discouraged. That April I decided that we needed to take a break. I found myself a new doctor and set up an appointment for June 19th, 2013 to look into "helping" the process along. Late May, my husband and I went on a trip to visit his family in Missouri. During the trip, I was exhausted and very congested. I was pretty cranky/hormonal too. The day after we got home we were up early in order to get ready for a wedding. Aunt flow was supposed to greet me that day so like I'd been doing before every period I took a test. Can you guess what it said? If you guessed positive than you are correct.

I was finally pregnant. My husband was excited and I was glowing. But we had already decided that we would wait until after the first ultrasound to tell family. So for the next 8 weeks (really 7.5) my husband and I kept our mouths closed. We live nearby our families so we actually see them weekly. It was hard and by 7 weeks I was starting to feel pretty sick. It became almost impossible to keep the secret. Finally, our first ultrasound rolled around and we got to see our little cutie for the first time. It was so amazing seeing her little heartbeat. 

That evening we told our families and they were super excited for us. I shared the news with my parents by giving my mom some bibs. I told my oldest brother and wife over pizza and my middle brother and his wife over the phone (they live out of state). We used our nephew to share the news with my husband's family (during family dinner night). My husband and I secreted our nephew into a cute shirt that said he was going to be a big cousin. It took them a moment but once they realized everyone was congratulating us.

So for the next 7 months we waited for the day we would finally meet our little cutie. Then on February 4 of last year, our little lamb came into our life. She was 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches. She was perfect.

I felt blessed. I felt complete. But I also felt scared. All the sudden I was responsible for the this little lamb that God had blessed me with. I didn't know what to do. The first few weeks were hard. Little sleep and post pregnancy emotions took over. I think I cried every day for about the first month. I cried at everything. It was very exhausting. Slowly I regained control of my emotions and cutie began to sleep longer stretches. Life got a little easier. But then I had to go back to work and that was hard.

The first day I went back to work, I only worked half a day. I think I might have called my mom twice to check on cutie. It was hard leaving her. After that first HALF day I developed a whole new appreciation for moms who work full time. I don't know how ya'll do it. On the days I worked, it was a miracle if dinner got cooked. I was exhausted. Thankfully our little lamb was still small and napped a lot. But as that stopped and she stayed awake longer, work began to feel like a chore.

So in December of last year, I handed in my notice at work. That is right this Christian Social Worker is no longer working but you know what? That doesn't change who I am. I'm still a social worker. I'm still a Christian. But now I'm something else. I'm a mom.

For me, I don't miss working but I do miss the people I worked with. My coworkers are some of the best people I have ever know or worked with. I also miss my patient's especially those that I worked with on the geropsych unit. I miss the lessons that they taught me. I learned more for my elderly patient's than I learned in school. I hope one day to return to work but for now I'm content to raise my daughter.

This year has been wonderful so far. I've enjoyed staying home full time with my little lamb. There are so many fun things we get to do around town. I've joined a mommy friendly exercising group that offers classes for moms to bring their babies too. I babywear. I cloth diaper. I play with my daughter. I read to her from God's word and teach her about the things that God has made. I love my life and for the first time I feel at peace and stress free.

So there you have it world. That is why I haven't blogged in two years. I can't promise anything but I hope to start blogging again. I've got some ideas about what I want to blog about. I've eluded to some in this post. Until next time.

A Christian Social Worker MOM

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tucker, our Booger Fish

First off, thanks to all my readers for what I consider a successful first post. I was touched by the interest in my blog. I was not expecting it. I hope you all continue this journey with me.

I've decided that in order to know me a little better, you should all meet my booger-fish. My husband and I adopted a dog named Tucker one week and one day after our marriage. Tucker is anything but boring. He's the epitome of the word  bonkers. As he is my baby, he will most likely show up in many of my posts. 

According to his records, he is a Shih Tzu Poodle (Shih-Poo) mix with a large black spot on his back. My husband and I feel he is more like a Havanese since he portrays traits and characteristics associated with that breed. We termed him booger-fish shortly after he came to live with us. I don't remember the particulars as to how we came up with that name, but I'm sure it had to do with his mischievous ways.

Tucker loves his kong cozy's (an awesome toy if you own a big chewer). They have a squeaker in them which he thinks its fun to squeak until one of us steals it and throws it down the hallway. He also enjoys playing outside, especially when he gets to chase rabbits (though he isn't always good at spotting them). He enjoys sitting upon the highest point in the house whether its atop our bed or atop the back of the couch. But his favorite past time would be licking our feet, therefore, we warn all guest that unless they want a foot bath they should wear either A) socks or B) shoes.

On the random occasion that I give Tucker a bath, he begins to race around the couches bounding from couch to couch to fireplace in a fast pace race. He does this in attempts to avoid the terrible evil brush. Another strange quirk that belongs to our booger fish is the way he gets our attention. He does this in one of two ways: 1) He barks at us and pushes his back paws behind him or 2) He jumps on top of us from the top of the couch. I think he waits until I'm perfectly comfortable laying on the couch before bounding on top of my stomach. We love Tucker and wouldn't trade him for anything.

Through my experiences at work one of the things that our patient's talk about the most are their pets. I love to hear their stories about what kind of animals they own, their names, and how special the animals are to them. I remember one patient talk about how her dogs were what got her through the toughest times of her mental illness. There is something special about animal companionship. Tucker has gotten me through a lot of tough times, and I don't know what I would do without him.

If you own a pet, I hope you take a minute and give it a big hug and show how special it is to you. Until next time!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Beginning of a New Journey

After giving it much thought I have finally decided to start my own blog. I am not by any means a writer or a poet but I do have my own thoughts and beliefs and have decided to share them with the world. I'm starting this blog on a sort of trial. For the next 3 months, I'm going to attempt to post on a weekly basis. Hopefully, I can keep up with it and not neglect it like I have done to several blog attempts in the past. If at the end of the three months, I feel that I have touched someone's life or entertained them I will continue this journey of bloghood.

My name is Julie, and I'm a Christian as well as a PRN (as needed) Social Worker for a mental health hospital. Due to the nature of my work I cannot share anything personal about our patients but I hope to share some of the lessons I have learned over the past 2 years. I also intend to share my personal thoughts and beliefs as a Christian on several Hot Topics that our world deals with in this day-in-age. My personal thoughts and beliefs are just that...personal, and therefore, do not necessarily reflect those of my religion or my employers. It is not my intent to offend anyone in these posts. If I do accidentally offend someone, please let me know so that I might make amends and explain myself more fully.

Let it Begin...

Today, I was off work and decided to watch one of my favorite period dramas, North and South. Now, this isn't the long miniseries about the civil war. Instead, North and South is a movie based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell. It speaks of the harsh world of the North of England brought on by the industrial revolution. The heroine of this novel/movie is Miss Margaret Hale who is from the tranquil and rural south. You learn in the movie that the ways of the South are very different from the ways of the North. As you watch the movie, Margaret overcomes her prejudice of the North and grows to love its people and their way of life. In a way, I can relate to Miss Hale as I to had to overcome my prejudices for a different kind of people.

When I was in college, I told myself multiple times that I would never work in the mental health field. In truth, I was terrified of them...of the unknown. After graduating from college, I discovered that looking for a job was much more difficult than I originally thought. So when the first true job opportunity came to light I snatched it up. The job was working as a PRN Social Worker for the very people I was scared of. It didn't take long for me to realize that I was very wrong in my prejudices against those with mental illnesses. In truth, I have come to love them and to respect them as a people who are faced with much adversity and prejudice.
It has been an incredible journey and one I would repeat a thousand times.

Over the past 2 years, I have discovered a serious problem among the citizens of this country. The problem is the serious lack of understanding of mental illness. Now, I understand that there are those who do understand mental illnesses whether by personal means or social means; therefore, I urge those of you to spread your knowledge and to lead by example. For those of you who have very little knowledge of mental illnesses such as Bipolar and Schizophrenia, I implore you to do the research and learn more about these mental illnesses.

When I was in college, I thought those who suffered from Schizophrenia were violent and chaotic when in truth many of them are no different than you or I. My experiences through work have opened my eyes to the level of prejudice they experience; therefore, I implore you to watch what you say towards and about those with mental illnesses. Remember they have feelings like you and I.

If you suffer from a mental illness, know that I hold a deep respect for you but do not allow this illness to beat you down. Make the best of what God has given you and persevere through all trials and tribulations. Know when you have reached your limits and when to ask for help. In the words of Commander Peter Quincy Taggert, "Never Give Up, Never Surrender!"

A Christian Social Worker