Gardening

9:31 AM
Happy Friday! I'm enjoying a long weekend, seeing family and relaxing. I began a container garden about, oh, two months ago and I'm just barely getting a chance to share. Here is my disclaimer: I am in no way a plant expert. I'm more likely to kill a plant than I am to grow one. But I am really trying this time, really. I am willing to tell you what I do and how I'm doing! And if you are really good with plants and have tips, I am more than happy to learn. I don't pride myself on gardening, I simply pray hard everyday that my plants don't die because I hardly know what the heck I am doing.



I began with a really cute gardener, is that a good step? I mean I thought it was until he threw dirt in my face and I sent him to his room. He came back later to tell me he was very sorry (at his father's urging) but I never let him back on dirt duty. See? I'm learning things already.


Here are a couple of my plants, aww, they were just babies at this time, these are the pepper plants. There is a sweet pepper, hot banana pepper, jalapeƱo and orange bell pepper plant. I didn't pick them, my husband picked the peppers, I just wanted tomatoes for now. I'm picking one plant to try and get my gardening confidence up. We will see if these thrive or die under my rule.


Here are my "Big Boy" tomatoes... Or is it "Fat Boy." Great, I already forgot their names, let's just call them Bob. These are my Bob plants, I had a cherry tomato plant but he was sick and already died so I just deleted his photo. He has been replaced with a different "small tomato" plant but I didn't even think to photograph him.


Here are my cute tools lined up and photographed. I'm not actually using the cute hippo, he's belongs to the kiddo... That's my story and I am sticking to it.


And potting soil! I only hope this is a good choice, it seems to be working fine so far. Fingers crossed! I put all the plants into pots and they look about like this now:


This photo was from yesterday! They all look big and mostly happy, the Oklahoma wind isn't the friendliest towards gardens but we are hanging in there. Plus we have had a few cold fronts this month with lows in the 40s overnight, not exactly making the plants happy.


And the kiddo wanted to help water. Yes, he's holding the hose that way because it appears just as funny to him. No, I have no idea why his pajamas are inside out, he just insists he likes them that way and I left it at that. Kids will be kids!


We found blooms on our pepper plants!


And blooms on the cherry tomatoes! Sadly nothing to show on the big guys, yet. I talked to my mother about it and she thinks it probably hasn't been warm enough. We will see!

If you have any tips or questions, hit the comments! If it's a question, I'll do my best to give you a good answer. I did say I was not an expert, but I'm happy to learn with you.

I intend to keep you updated on my little garden, maybe every Friday, even if I just have to use my phone to get it done.

Hope you enjoy your weekend, I'm being called outside to see my kiddo hit a baseball, so off I go!


Guesting Posting On Blood Covering Ministries

2:13 PM
Today I have the honor of putting up a guest post for Blood Covering Ministries, the study blog my husband runs. He just finished a study on Forgiveness and asked if I would contribute.

Find me over there today!
http://www.bloodcoveringministries.com/2014/05/forgiveness-day-7-conclusion.html

- Amanda

A Motherhood Story

2:13 PM
Hello there! I took a week off and didn't even say anything... mostly because I wasn't prepared for my time off, it just happened. My kiddo got sick, I had life to take care and while I do have things to share, I just couldn't get my mind settled to write it down.

After Mother's Day I had began to write down my motherhood story. Sometimes we can get caught in assumptions online, we think everyone has more than us or has it easier than us, mostly because no one wants to talk about the bad. I promise, no one would be here if I was talking about everything I can't afford and making cuts to pay bills, blah blah blah. That would be depressing, right?

This goes for motherhood too. If someone is having trouble conceiving or has experienced loss, it's easy to look at anyone with children and immediately think "It must be so easy for her, she just popped one out and has never experienced what I have."

I get it because I've been there.

I have one child and I didn't just pop him out, end of story. Because the truth is, I have two children, but I've only ever held one in my arms. I've only had the chance to hug one, kiss him, read him stories at bedtime, change his diapers and care for him when he's sick. But I have two children.

I didn't get pregnant, have a smooth pregnancy and pop out a perfectly healthy baby on my first try. No, I lost my first baby, before I even knew whether he was a he or she was a she. But not before I knew I carried her, not before I knew she was mine and dreamed of my coming days of motherhood.

There are stories we all have to tell, they don't seem important when the events occur and we think no one will ever want to hear that! But recently I was on a blog I follow and she was talking about her problems getting pregnant and how scary everything she was going through was, how worried it all made her. In that moment, reading and relating to her emotions I shared a glimpse of my experience with her and got an unexpected response. My story was inspiring to her.

My story, it began 6 years ago. My husband and I were newlyweds, we knew when we got married that we wanted to start a family. We were married on May 4th [Hooray! Just passed our anniversary!] and I found out I was pregnant in November. We were excited and could not wait to welcome our first child into the world. Being our first pregnancy, we announced it with glee as soon as we found out. We purchased baby items and began picking names for boys and girls. I was 21, young and healthy, there was no way I could have any problems, right? Ah, to be so young and naive. I was positive at this time that I was carrying a girl, we were already planning to name her Lillian Grace or Emma Rose yet we had not a single boy's name picked.

Our lives would change forever during my second month.

It was a routine day, at this time both my husband and I worked for the same company, in the same building but different departments. It was wonderful because we always had our breaks and lunches together. Break was coming up and I didn't want to waste it using the ladies room, so I decided to take care of that before my husband came for me at my desk. But, I wouldn't be returning to my desk... I was bleeding.

I remember standing in the hall, shaking and trying to reach my doctor. I was young and so very clueless. A woman I worked with had come out of the office and saw me standing there, I thought I was hiding my emotions but clearly she could tell something was up. With just a glance she diverted from her path and asked me if I was okay. I couldn't speak in that moment, so I began crying and her eyes widened with concern. Finally I croaked out that I was bleeding and she quickly embraced me, just holding me for a few minutes while I cried. I don't think you know how good of people are until they show you compassion in a difficult moment. She finally let me go and told me she was going to get my husband. After she left, my doctor called me back and told me to get home and get off my feet. I would call her back in a few hours to update her if anything changed. I had my checkup just that past Friday and it could just be a little bleeding due to irritation.

When my husband came, I told him and then my amazing co-worker followed shortly with my purse and jacket, assuring me that she'd already informed my boss and shut down my computer. In that moment, she was such an amazing, caring woman and I will never forget her kindness.

After hours at home, in bed, nothing changed, I continued to bleed and began to feel worse. My husband called my mom and by time she arrived we were leaving for the ER. I don't recall much from when we arrived, I know I was put into a wheel chair and a nurse had me moved in quickly because I was very pale and running a fever. Everything felt like it went by in seconds, though I know we were there all day. I had blood drawn, had multiple ultrasounds and was wheeled from room to room. But in the end they regretted to tell me that I had lost the baby, my body had literally vacated the premises all on it's own. But they had more news for me, my blood had come back as O- Negative, which meant I had to get a special shot which followed with the worst news they could give me. With my blood, my body has a tendency to attack anything foreign. This meant, for whatever reason, they baby must have had positive blood and somehow it made contact with my blood and my blood attacked to protect itself. This didn't mean my body would always do this, there was a chance something had gone wrong and my body was going to release the baby anyway. I've received many reassurances that something was wrong with the baby and my body took care of it naturally by preventing the pregnancy from continuing. That wasn't actually very reassuring, lessons from experience, don't tell a grieving mother negative things about the baby she just lost. I hated even more that all the Doctor could tell me was to try again in three months and see what happens. They wouldn't know how to proceed until they knew if my body was always going to do this. And I made up my mind, at that moment, that I wouldn't be trying again, this was too painful.

I spent the remainder of the week at home, mostly in bed, while my husband returned to work. I didn't want to see people, I didn't want to talk to anyone, even my Mother gave me love that day but gave me space the remainder of the week. She would call or text my husband to ask about me instead, Mom's are wise in those ways. I boxed up the things I had bought for baby and put them away, I couldn't stand to see them. At this time, I wanted nothing to do with babies because it all just reminded me of what I had lost. That following Monday, I picked myself up and returned to work. I remember sitting at my desk, doing my work and no one talked to me. I actually preferred that, maybe they all knew it was better too.

As the next few months went by, I returned to life as normal. My husband and I continued to enjoy our life, just the two of us and the dog... gosh, I forgot how much time the dog and I spent together. Just as I am writing this I wonder if I took her passing so hard because I bonded with her so much during my time in bed. Yes, I let the dog lay in bed with me as I cried all that week, dogs are amazing companions in that way. My dog's name was Emery, in case you were wondering. She was the most amazing dog, a german shepherd mix we adopted, all kinds of personality and I miss her dearly.

My husband would try to talk to me about having kids and I was convinced at this time that we would never be having children. I wasn't going to sacrifice baby after baby to my angry womb to "see what happens" and go through that terrible experience again. But I also knew that it made me sad to refuse to try because my husband wanted children so badly. It's not like this experience didn't impact him too, that his heart wasn't as broken as mine, he was just better at controlling his emotions. But as that three month mark came closer, he persisted in bringing it up more and more.

The three month mark came and the discussion became more serious about having children. I came to realize, despite my self-righteous decision to "protect babies from my womb" the truth was, I was scared. I was hiding behind "reasons" to disguise my fear of experiencing the pain of loss again. We actually had a nurse, the night we lost the baby, tell us that I couldn't get pregnant without a series of shots. Being clueless I took that to heart and thought I could never have babies! The truth was, we were ill informed, because of my blood type I have to have a shot after a miscarriage, around 26 weeks during a pregnancy or immediately following birth. Having the correct information is important. At this point I finally relented and told my husband we could start trying again and in my mind I began preparing myself for the unpleasant experience I knew would be coming.

Weeks passed and our first anniversary arrived, we took a weekend to Dallas, stayed in a hotel and spent the weekend together having fun. Regretfully I became sick our first night there, we went out to a super nice steak house and when my filet mignon arrived my stomach turned. We went to a pizza place we were told we must try and again, my stomach turned. Clearly I had caught a stomach bug, I hardly ate that weekend yet I was ravenous with hunger. What I didn't consider at the time was I was missing an important event in my life, not my anniversary but my monthly lady business.

It had been 6 weeks.

I left work early that Monday because I still felt sick, I never "lost my lunch" but I still had a gross feeling and just wanted to rest. I progressed sluggishly that whole week, getting behind on work, not eating much and just wanting to sleep.

7 weeks go by.

My husband noticed and mentioned it to me, I hadn't sent him on a store run in awhile to grab anything for me. He's an awesome husband, he's not embarrassed to go to the store for tampons and m&ms, yet I am. I told him he was crazy, hadn't it just been a few weeks go? He wanted me to go get a pregnancy test and I actually told him, if this was the case I'd rather not, if I'm going to lose it then it's better I never know for sure I never had it. In reality, this was a stupid idea because if I had a miscarriage I needed my shot. I'm not ashamed to say that me at 22 was a pretty stupid person sometimes (or from my current POV, I was stupid all the time).

And now 8 weeks arrived.

If I'm pregnant, I'm at that line, in just a matter of days I'll carry one baby longer than the other. I keep waiting for it to happen but it doesn't, I cross the line and finally give in to taking a pregnancy test.

I was pregnant.

At this point, you probably think everything turns out fine from here, smooth sailing and a healthy baby boy. I wish that was the truth, but I had many ups and downs. We actually spent the majority of the pregnancy knowing that our son was showing signs of down syndrome. Which meant extra tests, ultrasounds and doctors visits. When it came to birth, I wouldn't dilate and they found out my cervix was tilted [makes it hard for baby to find the exit!]. Only when he was born did we finally know he was completely healthy and have an idea of how our lives would proceed.

Becoming a mother would be a life changing experience for me, the three of us have weathered a lot together in just four and a half years. I had a terrible time trying to breast feed and ended up being unable to continue after three months. Yes, I had wonderful mom's that made me feel like a failure for it. After my maternity leave was over, my husband and I discussed it and looked at our finances long and hard before deciding I could be a stay at home mom with some sacrifices. We committed and we were doing fine but three weeks later my husband lost his job. We survived unemployment with a baby and when my husband started work again, he was working a night shift. He was on night shift for 3 years and I practically acted as a single parent the entire time, hardly ever getting a break from my duties. Life doesn't always work out as we plan, maybe it isn't as cheery and perfect as people think, but we do the best we can.

I have never forgotten the baby I carried first. I've always been convinced she was my little girl and thinking about her, losing her still brings tears to my eyes. But I can talk about it now, I can share it now and let other women know that they are not the only ones having a difficult time with pregnancy.

Mother's Day Inspiration

2:12 PM
A Collection of my favorites from @shopsosie


Sosie is one of my favorite places to shop online. I have always loved my orders and never have returned a thing! From my experience the shipping has always been super fast, record time is two days from when I placed my order. Most big retail places don't ship that fast [I will not name a popular retail store that took two weeks just to SHIP the items I ordered]. Working with small businesses is always better for everyone, including the small businesses you're helping grow.

This morning I opened my email to find a mother's day coupon inside from Sosie and got a little inspired to do some window shopping [i.e. a list to send my husband]. And now that window shopping has turned into a post to inspire the rest of you instead of cleaning the kitchen and deep cleaning the bathrooms like I intended to do. Shopping will always be more fun than cleaning the bathroom, always.

Mother's Day is always portrayed as a old lady holiday, in my opinion. Most commercials and inspiration posts from major websites seem to lean towards mom beings in her 60s or in her 40s dressing like she's in her 60s. This is my shout out to us younger, trendy moms! I'm in my late 20s, I do not want a porcelain frame! I like clothes [or in my case baking/cooking items or quilting things work too, who's 60 now!?] and things I can continue to use EVERY DAY.

Here's my inspiration for shopping for the young mom, the stylish mom, the mom who isn't an old lady. It is ALL from Sosie to take advantage of that lovely coupon they have right now [$50 off of $150!]. Every outfit goes over the necessary limit to use the coupon with the exception of the last outfit, I have suggestions to stretch it when you get there.

Tee || Skirt || Necklace || Shoes || Bracelet || Rings: 1 & 2

I'm starting with my choice outfit because I LOVE, in all caps, that tee. It's the kind of shirt I could enjoy wearing when I'm put together and the days I literally leave the house looking how I woke up. Florals are huge this spring [aren't they always?] and I am in love with the trend. It seems lately the bigger the statement necklace the better and I couldn't resist pairing a bit of an unexpected necklace with the floral. We all know I love gold shoes, plus these have that wonderful vintage feel to them. Add a couple of dainty rings and a bracelet and I'm set. This is, however, the only outfit I didn't add sunglasses to, how does that happen!? May I suggest these?

Outfit Total = $153.50 (Sunglasses not included)

It's right on the dot [basically], take it as it is. NEXT!


I fell in love with that top at first sight, the geometric print is an eye catcher for sure. The colors are bright and springy but the style will easily transition into summer [just replace pants with shorts!]. I wanted to draw on the yellow in the top by adding the bright necklace, it's a color pop without being too busy on top of the shirt. And I brought in a little teal through the watch and shoes. This outfit, for me, is a dress up or down. I could just as easily wear this running errands and getting groceries as I could out for dinner with my handsome, beastly husband [he's bearded, so he's beastly].

Outfit Total = $182.00

We are over, you can drop a few items, mix it up. I already have white jeans, so I could drop those and find something to bump me back up to what I need spend to qualify for the coupon. NEXT!


This one goes out to the mom's that just don't like dressing up, at all. I know you're out there, I'm good friends with one of you! What's ideal is comfort, but I have to throw a chic twist into, that's me. I ended up going nautical with these because, well, my colors were screaming nautical. I added in accessories without it being too flashy or gaudy, I love gaudy but it's not for everything. It all begins with that yellow Piko top, Piko is for everyone! They fall away from the body, they're soft and comfortable. If yellow isn't your thing they come in a variety of colors. For the comfy mom, it needed to be shorts and I could not resist these polka dot cut offs, they're my chic here: stylish and trend without sacrificing your comfort. I will be honest, I wanted a different sandal, but Sosie is pretty limited at the moment. They may not have added in their sandals online yet or they may have sold like popsicles on a 100 degree day. It's hard to say when there is an amazing coupon hanging out there. But these are the only ones that had more stock than 1 or 2 left, I couldn't do that to your guys.

Outfit Total = $184.00

Over again! How is the casual outfit over? Comfort costs more, I suppose. Maybe drop the shoes or scarf, play around with it and make it your own. ON TO THE LAST!


Lastly we have the classic, dressy gift for mom. But if we're going to go dressy, let's make it nice and fashionable, okay? The dress style is flattering for every shape, it has a way of creating curves for the straight woman and hiding curves for us hippy/bootylicious ladies. The strappy heels are huge this year, that single strap is all over my favorite fashion blogs and it gives the outfit that trendy feel. Vintage style sunglasses with the statement necklace add the old fashioned glamour to the outfit. I chose the link bracelet to add a little balance and to keep it fairly simple after adding a big statement necklace. This outfit would make me feel stylish and put together, maybe even the best dressed mom of the day. The colors will do well through spring, summer and fall, all you need is a blazer or cardigan when fall gets chilly.

Outfit Total: $116.00

Whoa, we still have $34 left, not bad. If you want to hit the coupon may I suggest a new purse? Maybe a floppy hat? Or this adorable vest?

---

Obviously I'm panning for clothes and style for mother's day and probably food, I always want food. What are you hoping for Mother's day? No offense if you want a porcelain frame, you can still ask for that. Be yourself!

If you're just searching for inspiration and you're stuck sometimes it is just better to ASK what the special woman in your life wants. Or check her pinterest, always check her pinterest.

Speaking of, this is all nicely compiled on pinterest for you to save and share.

Edit: I can only laugh at myself for forgetting to share the most important part, THE COUPON. It's one their website but just for your information now its: $50 off when you spend $150 - Code: MOTHERSDAY

Polka Dot Chambray & Bright White Skinnies

10:55 AM


I love anything that makes me feel like I'm wearing vintage, the polka dots and tie bottom on this shirt make me feel just that way.



Shirt: Forever21 (Old) styles I like at Old Navy, ModCloth, Sosie, Ruche || Jeans: Converse for Target (Not Online) Similar || Shoes: Target (Old) Similar || Necklace: Oasap || Purse: JCPenney

Spring has sprung in Oklahoma which means it keeps shifting from one extreme degree of warm to freezing over night. And when the temp is being "normal" the wind is literally trying to blow you down the plains if not sucking you up into a whirling funnel of doom. I'm not being dramatic... okay, maybe a little, but not by much.

I'm just about tired of taking photos in front of zee wall, just yesterday I stepped outside for a few photos in a tank dress I created and quickly ran back inside because it was like 50 degrees (fahrenheit) outside with wind, brr. But at least outside is becoming an option! Granted, any day now I'm going to peel the wallpaper off that wall and revealed the metal underneath because that wall is magnetic, one of my favorite finds in this here house.

Anyway, about the outfit! I picked up this little shirt last summer at Forever21 for around $14, maybe it was $12, I just recall it was an excellent deal. I don't do too well with just plain tees and tanks, I feel bland [Yet I see so many others than look fabulous in a plain tee, teach me your ways], so I have to have to those casual yet dressed kind of items. I wore this a ton because it was so easy to put on and and feel dressed. When I needed something to wear for running errands the other day, I knew this was going to be perfect and comfy. I do regret to inform you that I could not find a good knock off and most polka dot chambray I found was sold out, so I just picked a few chambray shirts to show.

If you didn't already know white denim is "WHITE HOT" right now and we all just love a good "WHITE OUT" or whatever the magazines are saying about it, I'm going off the emails I get from various companies fifty times a day. So I got myself a pair at Target, because I just never know how comfortable I'm going to feel in anything other than plain, dark denim with my curvy thighs and round bottom. I actually like these! They have a zipper ankle and it's cut slim so that I actually get a "skinny" look around my ankle after I accommodate a gracious helping of booty into a size that society assumes my body shouldn't be wearing. Usually skinny jeans look like straight legs on me, I always have to alter them. These jeans are Converse brand, they're soft and comfy, more of a legging jean, easy for dressing up or down [seriously, pair them with converse] plus, bonus points for cleaning easily! I wore them for Easter to my Grandpa's, because I'm insane, and after sitting on dirty lawn chairs, porches, swings, tracking through high grass to see trains and don't forget hiding easter eggs, most of the dirt just brushed off.

I feel like the way I'm wearing my purse looks silly, it's a cross body bag, but I felt it would be distracting if I wore it across. That is one of the purses I actually carry right now, it's between that and my snakeskin purse, I haven't picked a new spring purse. Maybe I'll just return to my beige nine west and call it pastel for spring because I have a hard time picking purses. Oh the pains of being picky

I have a busy weekend planned, celebrating our Anniversary and Star Wars day... they're on the same day. It was a coincidence, I swear. I hope the weekend treats you all well!

Till next time!
 
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