Easy Peach Sorbet || First Trimester Snack

I’m officially DONE with the first trimester. Not that necessarily means anything as far as how I’m feeling goes, but it’s nice to be 1/3 of the way done with this pregnancy. Now that I’m coming out the fog a bit and starting to get my ish together, I’m going to be sharing some of my top secret first trimester tummy calming recipes.

The thing about the first trimester is that you’re too sick and tired to put a lot of effort into anything, much less cooking and preparing snacks to eat. You feel awful if you’re not eating, but who seriously feels like eating when you’re just trying not to puke, right? So when I saw this little gem over on the Knoxville Moms Blog, I was all. YES. YES. YES. It’s one of those things that you see and your body says, “You need this right now.” But I didn’t have the exact ingredients that it called for, so…I improvised. As one does. And thus Peach Sorbet was born. It works wonders on my upset stomach and is so quick to make that it’s almost funny. ENJOY!

Easy Peach Sorbet for the First Trimester #pregnancy #morningsicknessrelief

How It’s Made :

1 cup of frozen peaches
1 cup of Vanilla Almond Milk (I’ve tried this with regular almond milk too, but there’s just something about the vanilla that makes it perfect)
1 tbs of honey
A pinch of ginger (or more, depending on your taste)

Blend it all together until nice and smooth and then come back here and thank me later. Have a great weekend, my friends!

It’s OK to be in Survival Mode.

That has been my mantra for the past 6 weeks.

I’m a workaholic for real, dawg. If I’m not producing, I’m not thriving, and we all know how I’m all about thriving. But the thing is, I can only do so much and making a baby while having two other children to care for is a freaking hard amount of work. Two weeks ago, I took the pressure off of myself and decided to just ride the waves.

Hence the lack of productivity over here.

Hence the lack of my new site design which I should’ve finished a long time ago.

Hence the lack of progress on another super top secret amazing project I’ve been alluding to for months.

I’ve relaxed into survival mode and it’s been so good for my soul. It took me a few weeks to accept the truth, but I needed a break and nothing suffered or died because of it. And now, as I crawl out of the trenches of morning sickness, exhaustion, and first trimester probs, I’m ready to get moving and get back to life. But before I do, a message for those of you still in survival mode.

Whether it’s because you’re in your first trimester, or your baby isn’t sleeping through the night, or you’re working double shifts, or your marriage is in a tough spot, or you don’t know how you’re going to feed your family this week, or you’re grieving, struggling with depression, with motherhood, with church drama, friend drama, or maybe you just are having a tough week…whatever. I’m here to tell you that it’s ok to be in survival mode.

Survive, woman. Put your feet up. Relax. Drink a latte. Watch a stupid show. (The Office is my go to comfort show for real.) Eat chicken dip and carb up and don’t put pants on and just be a total slob if that’s what you need to do. The mess can wait. The laundry will clean itself. (right? …) But you need to take of yoself. There’s no point in pushing yourself to the point where you hate getting up every day. RELAX.  I know the days are long, but the years are impossibly short and there’s no reason to put gray hairs on your head prematurely (or you know, more gray hairs on your head). You deserve a break and you deserve to let yourself be loved and cared for, even if you’re the only one doing the loving and caring.

Are you in survival mode? It’s ok. I’ll be here to help you thrive again when you crawl back out.

Here are few examples of my survival techniques the past few weeks. Not pictured : many a latte, the butt groove on my couch, Michael Scott, Shark Tank, and buffalo chicken wing dip.

Don’t let the joy on his face trick you into believing I was being an attentive parent. Pretty much just sat on the swing and watched his brother dump water on his head because he wanted to do the “ice water challenge!” on the unsuspecting baby.

TV, you’re my favorite baby sitter. Thanks for helping me get through a head cold.

Um. Confession. We’ve eaten an ungodly amount of Chipotle in the last few weeks. Mostly because it’s good, but also mostly because like I was even going to go upstairs and cook a decent meal when I could barely see straight. Took this photo on our second trip to chipotle in the same week. But to be fair, we buy one meal and split it so that’s something, right?

Oh hey. This is what our basement looks like 99% of the time. And please don’t look inside that closet. It’s so embarrassing.

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The kids don’t care if I’m on the couch, too sick to pay attention to them, but not sick enough to take a desperate selfie to beg their father to come home. They just climb right up, fight for the spot on my lap and then bite and hit each other with the remotes. Fun times.

YUP. Just a bunch of crap I’ve been avoiding, piling up and mocking me.

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I won’t judge you for hiding from your kids if you don’t judge me for hiding from mine.

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Nothing screams survival like an ice cream cone. And freshly awfully painted nails. But the Jamberry wrap looks legit, so that’s good, right? I need a whole set of those things so I can stop painting my skin. #righthanded problems. I got this beauty from a lovely gal named Allysia. I believe there’s a fall/winter line that’s coming out and I’m most definitely getting a set of wraps for Influence Conference!! Which is just a few weeks away! Ah. Ok. Ice cream.
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What are you doing to survive these days?

 

Share Your Story : Angie’s Story

This is a part of the Share Your Story Project, where anyone can share what’s on their heart with the When at Home community. Interested in having your story told? Click here

Share Your Story @ When at Home. If you have a story to tell, but no platform to share it, well now you do! Click for more info.

Dear God,

I pray that you will keep my parents around long enough to see me have two children.

Starting around the age of 11 or 12, I prayed that prayer. I am not sure what led me to say those words but I remember praying them regularly for a few years. Enter the teenage years and the last thing I could envision was having my own kids particularly during those fun teenage angst days. Then somewhere in my twenties the desire for children of my own returned. I had it in my mind that I wanted my first by the time I was 28. My mom had been 28 when she had me and I didn’t want to exceed that because at the time my parents were the older ones compared to other kids’ parents my own age. Beyond 28 seemed old back then.

I came to the point where it was time to start trying. After only three months I discovered I was pregnant but I would be 29 by the time I delivered. That was somewhat hard but it was ok. It seemed so easy. I hear now about women charting and monitoring and at the time I did not have to go through any of that. I found out I was pregnant when I was on vacation back home and my mom and I were overjoyed at the news. We leapt right in and envisioned so many things. I was only home for a short visit but in that time we told my family, went to a maternity store, bought myself a pair of larger pants since I was already feeling the bloating accompanying early pregnancy. I even tried on maternity clothes with the pillow to envision how I would look when I was showing and my mom took photos. Hilarious! I had a wonderful three weeks of pregnancy bliss.

Then the spotting started. I contacted my doctor, had blood drawn and discovered my progesterone levels were low. I was put on Prometrium and had lab draws regularly – at least four that I remember. At some point I was put on pelvic rest in which I had to limit standing or walking to only going to/from the car or the bathroom. I had two ultrasounds during that time – one transvaginal in the earlier days and another regular one. I remember seeing the heartbeat and knowing it was real. The next thing I knew I was on bed rest. I spent a really l.o.n.g. weekend in bed praying, crying, reading devotionals, praying, crying, talking on the phone with my mom and being waited on hand and foot. I was cramping and bleeding which progressively worsened. Eventually on Sunday evening, December 15, I miscarried. We rushed to the ER and it was confirmed. Eventually I got to go home, but was then called back to the hospital because my blood type was that one rare type that requires a shot to keep the baby’s blood from killing me. What? I couldn’t understand what the doctors or nurses were telling me, but I had to have a shot in the hip. That pain was unbearable – not only had I lost this precious living being but I had to have a shot to protect me from my baby? They say I was seven weeks along but I had experienced so much in that short time frame that it really impacted me. Christmas that year was extraordinarily difficult. Then a month and a half later my grandmother passed away. My marriage ended up not lasting and it took a long time before I was in a place to start trying to have a baby again.

Fast forward eleven years… I am happily remarried and after about five and a half years of marriage we decided to try to have a baby. I was about to turn 40. Ever since I turned 35 I have been struggling and worrying about my age and having a baby, hearing about how after the age of 35 pregnancy can be difficult. Remember I thought 29 was old for my first… 40 has been excruciatingly challenging for me. We would have kept waiting as life circumstances are not optimal right now but we knew it could take time and my time is limited. We put it in God’s hands. My doctor said a lot of women around the age of 43 even are having their first in a city she previously worked so she was encouraging. The first month we started trying my period was late. I thought, wow, could I be pregnant already? I was always very regular and it was rare to be late. I took a home pregnancy test and it was negative. I waited a few days and took another negative home pregnancy test. A week later I had a blood test, but it came back negative too. I went to a natural doctor and learned my hormones were off balance. I ended up skipping a period for the first time ever. Terms like pre-menopause came to my mind and I freaked out. Since then I have missed one more period but not due to pregnancy. How could I have been so regular my entire life and all of a sudden, the month we start trying for a baby, my cycles change? I prayed to God to take the desire for a child away (it has been extra strong since my miscarriage) if it was not in His will for me. I keep praying that prayer, but the desire is still strong. Every day I get older though. Every day I have to try to keep my head up and have faith. Every day I see someone pregnant or with kids, hear about someone getting pregnant, see someone pregnant on TV or a movie, and everyone is younger. Every day I feel alone and scared. Every day I want to feel a baby move inside of me, and see my little one grow up. It is hard because there are few people I can talk to but they really don’t understand how hard it is to be my age and not have a child yet.

My parents are older now too. I have revised my pre-teen prayer to praying God will keep my parents around for me to have one child and to be able to know that child and for that child to know them. How did my young heart know to pray that prayer?

My relationship with God deepened immensely during the weekend of my miscarriage. My relationship and faith are often tested and I am trying to stay strong and stay focused on His will for me. I know it will all be ok, and I pray there will be a happy ending.

Share Your Story || Angie's Story

Angie is happily married, works full time, is a graduate student and hopes to work in interior architecture after obtaining her master’s degree. She gets to enjoy the mountains and sunshine of Colorado while loving creativity, art, design, her family and God.

Thank You

Last year, in the height of our “Oh crap what are we gonna do?” stage of life, I had an emotional break down in the cleaning aisle of publix. It was the beginning of November, Zach had been out of work for several weeks and we had $25 to spend on groceries for the entire week. I thought I was in good spirits that day. $25 can go a long way if you know how to work the sales. And if you like rice and beans. Anyway. I walked to the store with Jonah and Emery and we were set to have a great day. But then things happened. Jonah had just discovered Toy Story and was really, really, realllyyyy into it. We walked through the produce aisle and there, blown up by the flowers, was a huge Toy Story balloon. Jonah lost his mind. He was so excited. “MOM! Iss woody, mom! Iss woody! Can I have it, cwease??” I took once glance at the price tag and sighed. It was almost $8. 8 freaking american dollars for a balloon. A BALLOON.

I told Jonah we couldn’t buy the balloon, but maybe we could find a different treat. Nope. There was no reasoning with him. He wanted that balloon and he didn’t understand why he couldn’t have it. How do you explain, “We barely have enough money to eat this week, so no, you can’t have that overpriced piece of tin foil.” I couldn’t explain it to him and he couldn’t understand. In any other situation, I might have just said, “No. You can’t have that. Get over it. Tough luck.” You know, all tough mom style. But I didn’t because I really wanted to get him that balloon. We hadn’t bought him a new toy in ages. All of his clothes were passed on from generous friends and family and I was feeling really poor and sorry for myself.

We were almost done with our shopping and Jonah had mostly forgotten about the balloon. But as we walked through the cleaning aisle, he saw something that reminded him of the balloon and he let one little tear go down his cheek and puckered up his bottom lip and said, “But why I can’t have the woody balloon, mommy?” And I knelt down next to him and hugged him and I cried. I blubbered cried. I cried like somebody had died. It was pathetic. But I hated that I couldn’t get my kid that stupid mother loving $8 balloon. 

Under no circumstance would I ever have spent that much money on a balloon. Even if we were millionaires. Even we were billionaires. Even I was Melinda Gates. Ok well maybe then I would. But still. It wasn’t about the balloon, it was the fact that I couldn’t buy it for him, even if I wanted to.

But now things are different. Things aren’t strapped so tight for us financially and a big part of that is you. All mah When at Homies. No seriously. When you read, when you comment, when you share, when you pin, you’re helping provide for my family. When you take out an ad on  my sidebar, or use my affiliate links to make a purchase, you’re helping me provide for my family. I work hard on this little blog space of mine, but it’s only because you keep coming back to read that I’m able to make a little money on this thing.

So thank you.

When I took Jonah to the store last week to buy his first Ninja Turtle (since that’s his new obsession these days), I thought of you all. As I was paying for that $9 turtle and not blinking an eye at the receipt, I was overcome with gratitude. It’s because of you that I can buy my kid a toy for no reason at all except that I love him and his joy gives me joy. It’s because of you that we’re finally starting to make some headway on paying down our massive amount of student debt. I’ve had more than my share of grocery store sob fests and I’m just so thankful that this season of life gives us a little more wiggle room.

I love you all and I’m sending some extra love to a few of my September sponsors. Here are the bloggers and businesses that are helping the LaValley family pay down out debt this month.

Gracie & Sam : I’ve been working with Valerie (the master seamstress behind the scenes) for a few months now. You can read my mei tai review here and check out her incredible work here.

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Busy Boy Survival Guide : Boy moms turn up! Need activity ideas, toddler boy style tips, a little consolation that you’re not the only mom dealing with crazy boy stuff? Check out Busy Boy Survival Guide!

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Chloe & Isabel by Cobberson & Co : Beautiful and affordable jewelry! Order through Kym and look into becoming a merchandiser for the company! It’s a fun (and fabulous!) way to earn some extra money from home. Check out Kym’s collection here and her blog here. Here are a few of my favorites from her shop : 

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Young Living Oils by Heidi : I’m super excited to be working with Heidi this month! Not only is she filling up that precious spot over on my sidebar, I’m also working on a series of posts featuring Young Living Oils annnndddd maybe planning a giveaway for you all! Need oils? Talk to Heidi.

Diastasis Recti Repair : Quoting directly from the website : “The Diastasis Recti Repair Program was designed to heal your diastasis and strengthen your whole core, including your pelvic floor muscles. You will also learn why it is important to have a strong core and how to keep it diastasis-free for life! This is an excellent childbirth rehab program that every new Mom should do first, before returning to fitness, so she can do so safely.”

The Only Thing That’s Good in Me is Jesus

the only thing that's good in meI spent the first 19 years of my life feeling totally worthless. I never had a lot of friends, I was in trouble a lot, I lied a lot, and was often reminded of my “sin” and shortcomings. I was made fun of all the time for everything and I just didn’t think I was any good at anything or for anybody. I always felt like to even be good enough for Jesus, I had to constantly sacrifice and belittle myself at his feet. On the rare occasion that somebody would compliment me on something, I instantly thought they were lying or taking pity on me. When guys would hit on me, I’d get mad and storm off because I thought they were just doing it to make fun of me. I’d been set up and embarrassed too many times and hurt far too often to believe anything positive about myself. I had ZERO self esteem. ZERO. When I look back at who I was then I just get so angry because I spent so much time feeling bad about myself. I hated myself. And not just because of how I looked (although that was a HUGE player), but who I was at my core. I hated who I was because I thought everyone else did.

It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I started understanding that I was worth something. That I wasn’t the mess of of a sinner that I’d seen in the mirror for so long. I wasn’t just the goof off, the class clown, the girl who overcompensated for her insecurity by being obnoxious and acting like she didn’t care what anyone else thought. When I finally accepted that I did care and that I was loved by the Creator Himself, things started to change. I gained confidence in myself and who God had called me to be. I learned to accept that I was created in the image of God and even though I didn’t like who I was that much, there was a King creating and perfecting the art of Kristen. “Can the clay say to the potter, why did you make me this way?” No. She can’t. She just has to try to see the beauty in her mess the way the potter does. But I didn’t. And perhaps I still don’t.

After we left our youth ministry position and moved and things were tough, I went back to my first love, my greatest gift, the one talent I had that no one ever made fun of…writing. It took a few months of writing and pouring my heart out, but then the e-mails started coming in.

“You just saved my marriage.”
“I can’t tell you what your words have meant to my life.”
“Thank you for writing. Please don’t ever stop.”
“You are wise beyond your years and you speak truth into the darkness.”
“This is kingdom work that you’re doing, Kristen.”

When they first starting coming in, I was so overwhelmed. I couldn’t even read them all. I started deleting them and Zach was like, “NO! You’re going to need those words to encourage you someday!” But I felt like I needed to write a post exposing myself for who I truly am. I didn’t want anybody to think that I was somebody special. That I was holy or set apart or anything more than just a woman in her 20s struggling with life and faith and motherhood. I cried because I felt like a fraud. The words I write on here are always true, but they’re only a fraction of a glimpse into who I really am. And I’m a mess. A hypocrite. A fraud. A failure.

But I am also holy, set apart, created and loved by the Creator. The fact that I fail does not negate my righteousness or my calling. My favorite cliche’ Christian quote is “Christ doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.” I am a 27 year old Bible College graduate who struggles with doubt, insecurity, failure, and worthlessness. Quite literally, the only thing that’s good in me is Jesus. And I love that. I can claim no prize or honor for myself, because without Him, I am nothing and have done nothing. Just know that anytime you look at someone and find yourself feeling insecure or like you’re less than what you should be, relax. Breathe deep. I can’t speak for everyone, but the only good you see in me is Christ within me. I am nobody, He is everything. I hope that truth is always reflected in what I write, in what I say, in how I act, and in what I choose. He is good and all the good you see in me, is Him.

Thanks for journeying with me, friends.