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Monday, December 30, 2013


Weary...this best describes how I felt yesterday when I sat on my couch and cried my eyes out. I felt beaten, crushed in spirit. No one thing, person or event made me feel like this. It was an accumulation of several weeks of anxiety and stress. I'd never say I feel like my life is stressful compared to most. I have much to be thankful for and I want for nothing. And I LOVE my life as a stay at home mom. It brings me more joy and satisfaction than I ever thought possible. But...there's always a but. Life as a stay at home mom can be just that, stressful. You don't get a break. You don't get time away from your kids. It's nonstop. 24/7. Always a little hand reaching out for something. Always someone who is hungry and asking for a snack. Always noise. Always running. (I've heard this may be different for those parents with girls. Possibly more quiet and down time, and play time that is actually quiet. Not sure, as we have two boys and things are always loud. But then again this could be that they are MY kids and I've always been loud and this is just payback....but I digress and that's another blog for another time.) Always a mess. Always something to be cleaned or folded or put away. With a personality like mine, one who is OCD about messes and can't seem to relax and sit down, it all weighs on you. It makes you feel like you can never do enough, can never clean enough. It makes you feel like you are a terrible mother. It makes you anxious. It makes you yell. It turns you into someone you never saw yourself being. Someone you never thought you'd be. Someone you never want to be again. It all weighs on you until one night you let it all out and cry on your best friend's shoulder. Of course Bruce has no clue what to say, as tears send most men into a panic of their own. But I don't need him to say anything. Just listen. Just hold me. Just pray for me.

I searched for scripture that was encouraging and helpful in times of stress. Because I believe being a parent to small children is a time of stress. Nobody tells you how hard it is. Nobody tells you it can bring you to tears. But there it is...I'm laying it out there. Being a parent is HARD! It challenges you! It challenges your marriage. It will either bring you closer or tear you apart. And I believe that is Satan at work. I will not let my 2 little blessings tear us apart. I will turn to the God Almighty who is bigger and stronger than me. Who can make ALL things possible. A God who will CRUSH Satan! And give me a peace that surpasses all understanding. I hope this scripture gives you the encouragement it gives me.

1.  John 14:1  “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, trust also in me.”

2.  John 14:27  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

3.  Isaiah 40: 30,31  “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

4.  Romans 16:20  “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” 

5.  Philippians 4:6,7.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

6.  1 Peter 5: 6,7  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

7.  Psalm 103: 1-5  “Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

8.  Psalm 100  “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.  Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

9.  Proverbs 16:3  “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”

10.  Proverbs 16:9  ”In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”

11.  Jeremiah 17: 7,8. “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water and sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

12.  James 1: 2-4  “Consider it pur joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

13.  Matthew 11: 28-30  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

14.  Deuteronomy 33:27  “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

15.  Psalm 9: 9,10  “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.  Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

16.  Psalm 16: 8  ”I have set the Lord always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

17.  Psalm 46: 1-3  “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and mountains quake and with their surging.”

18.  Psalm 36: 3-6  “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this; He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

19.  Proverbs 3:5,6.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

20.  Matthew 6:25-27  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

21.  John 15: 4, 5.  “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

22.  Psalm 34: 17-19.  “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.”

23.  Jeremiah 32:27  “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind.  Is anything too hard for me?”

24.  Romans 8:28  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

25.  Joshua 1:9  “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

I got these 25 verses from Lynn Dove's website, here is the link...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I read something the other day that really stuck with me. It left me a little sad. A little nostalgic. And very emotional. It was very simple - "While they are my littles." It has made me think about all the things our children only do when they are little. Things that don't last forever, in fact only last a very short while. Things they will grow out of. Priceless things. Things I love. Things that drive me crazy. Things I will wish for when they're older.  I started mentally compiling a list...

Imagination unhinged
Pretend play
Love for animals and the farm
Fascination with the ordinary
Endless days of staying home together
Bottles and sippy cups
Wiping their noses for them when they're sick...over and over again
Rocking them to sleep
Singing them to sleep
Patting them to sleep
Tantrums and Timeouts
Playing on the playground
Countless "I love you mommy"s
Never-ending chatter
"Mommy, watch this"
"Mommy, I want to tell you something"

I'm sure the list could go on and on ...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hudson is 1

Hudson and I are hanging out by ourselves this morning. He's up early and  Trey is still asleep. This time is precious because it rarely happens. 

Hudson is walking and standing up on his own. He started walking at 11 months (2 weeks before his birthday) but by his birthday, he was a pro.

He loves to eat! Loves bananas, bread, chicken nuggets, FRENCH FRIES, strawberries!, lasagna. He eats most everything I give him. Which is great! I feel like he will eat anything we are having for dinner, and I don't have to fix him something separate.

He is talking a little saying "uh oh" "dada" "mama" sometimes he seems to say "all done"

He loves Trey. His face lights up when he sees him. It is so precious. They play well together, even though Trey can be a bully and is constantly body slamming Hudson and taking his toys away. I'm hoping Hudson will be better for it - super tough and a tough skin.

I have been weaning him for a little while now. He has been nursing twice a day, morning and night, for about 2 weeks. For the last two nights, he has eaten a bottle of milk (milk skim, half whole) for his nightly feeding. It's very exciting and encouraging - especially since Trey would never drink milk for me. I plan to have him completely weaned by Friday, giving him a bottle in the morning as well.

Hudson can give high-fives and play peek-a-boo! He gets really excited about both and they are so adorable.

We went to the Leesburg Animal Park on Saturday for Hudson's birthday with Uncle Josh. There were lots of cool animals there and of course Trey loved it. He is fearless when it comes to those animals. Fear. Less.



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sleeping through the night

Hudson is one week away from being seven months old and he is sleeping 12+ hours at night. I believe this is because he is now eating 3 meals a day of solid food and goes to bed with a full belly. He is on a great schedule, going bed around 7:30 and taking two naps during the day. I usually try and lay Trey down at the same time as Hudson's second nap. Which is glorious! I even occasionally sneak a nap in myself. Bruce has been working some pretty late nights, which keeps me up later if I want to spend any time with him during the week...which I do, but only at the cost of my precious sleep which I hold so dearly. I am used to being in bed by 10 and it has shifted to me being lucky if I'm in bed by 12. Those two hours are crucial!! So I am grateful when I can nap with the boys. Trey is still an amazing sleeper. He sleeps about 10-12 hours at night. If he naps it pushes his bed time to 9 or 10 which is super late and leaves hardly any mommy/daddy time. If he doesn't nap he's cranky by 7 so we put him to bed with Hudson. I can't decide which way to go, nap or no nap. That two hours of quiet time during the day is wonderful and helps me make it thru the day without going crazy. But I also love the time Bruce and I get to spend together at the end of the night by ourselves. It makes me feel like a wife and not just a mommy. Which I'd say is pretty important.

Life has adjusted to a normal pace somewhere along the way. It was pretty rough at first. Having two kids was NOT a piece of cake for the MacNeills. I think the thing that helps the most is Hudson being on a normal schedule and getting plenty of sleep. Duh! If I get sleep I am a happy person. If I don't get sleep, watch out because I'm liable to hurt someone. Even with Bruce gone on trips during the week, I feel like I am in much more control and can make thru the week with no problem. In the beginning I was scared to be alone with both boys. Now I am way more confident in my abilities. You live and learn, right?

Lets see... What else is new? Hudson is just starting to sit up on his own and stays up for a good while. He wants to crawl so badly but hasn't gotten up on all fours yet. He is so content. I can lay him on the floor with a couple of toys and he will entertain himself for forever. He loves his exercaucer but not for too too long. He loves to lay and roll and play on the floor the most. He and Trey are starting to play together. It is hilarious. Trey likes to lay on top of Hudson and make him laugh. Which Hudson loves. It's the beginning of all the rough housing I'm sure we have to look forward to. I am loving having two boys. They are such a joy. God surely knew what he was doing when he gave us these two.

Trey started a baseball skills camp about a month ago. It's a bit of a joke but he seems to love it and that's all that matters. This is his first structured activity so he had a hard time listening and following directions at first. He did much better this past week and I was proud of him. Not necessarily better at baseball, just better at listening. He is such a great little hitter and we pitch it to him at home. So he's not used to hitting with a tee. He'll have to learn if he wants to play though. They don't pitch it until they're older.

Monday, January 14, 2013

I want another one...

I want another one...those four little words and Bruce knows exactly what I'm talking about. He thinks I'm crazy. His response "There is nothing I want less in this whole world right now than another child, maybe that will change in 6 months, who knows." This makes me laugh and I expected nothing less from him. Two kids has been a big challenge and adjustment for both of us.

Once we made it past the first few months that were some of the most difficult times ever as parents, a time when I don't know what I would have done without my husband, a time when we adjusted to having two little ones and working out the "tag team" system, a time when sleep deprivation had us on the verge of going crazy. I knew. I knew that even though I have loved Trey and every stage and phase that he's gone through (some not as fun as others) babies are the ultimate! The ultimate challenge, the ultimate love, the ultimate stage. And I have seen how fast it goes by. One minute you have this little dude that completely relies on you for everything, and the next moment you have a little dude that wants to do EVERYTHING for himself, or "meself" as Trey still says. I don't care if it's a girl or boy, all I know is that I don't want this to be the end of the baby phase for me.  I know, I know...Hudson is still very much a baby, and I am soaking it ALL in! but if you can say at 4 months when you are delusional and tired and things are as stressed out and as crazy as ever that you want another one, I think it's safe to say (I'm certifiably insane?) that I really want one.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is a recipe I came up with by combining 3-4 recipes I have found for Chicken Tortilla Soup. I made it this week and it was really good so I thought I'd share.
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken or veggie broth
2 cups water
1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
2 (15 oz) cans Rotel Original
3 chicken breasts cooked and shredded (my sis recommends using a rotissere chicken, especially if you are short on time.)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles
1 medium diced onion
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
(I have added 10 oz of enchilada sauce before, but I left it out this time)
This turns out pretty spicy. If you don't like spice, I recommend cutting out the chopped chiles, or maybe cut the rotel down to only 1 can, or use Rotel Mild. Or you could cut out the cayenne pepper. Also, you could add more water or broth.
Add all ingredients and cook on low for about 1 hour. Top with shredded cheese or tortilla strips if desired or any other garnish that sounds delish.
I served this with my mom's mexican cornbread and it was great! Maybe I'll add that recipe to the blog.