I am NOT sorry for being a young woman with a husband and a kid.

Yesterday my sister sent me a blog post wondering if I had read it yet. I hadn’t when she sent it to me, but when I saw the title of the post in the URL link, I knew I wasn’t going to like what I read. She even stated in the e-mail that it might upset me. Many people by now have read the post I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands and Kids and I’m Not Sorry. The more I read the more frustrated I was with Ms. Glass. Not only did I disagree with her, but I found it very disrespectful to ALL hard working mothers (stay at home or not).

Amy Glass states:

“Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for a celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them.”

I got married when I was 20 years old. I met my husband while going to school. We dated for 5 months before we were engaged and got married 4 months later, all while working toward building and maintaining our relationship.

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So I guess you could say, for me, it was “easy” to find my spouse. But by no means is getting married a “super easy task.” Getting married is more than just finding a person to “walk down the aisle with.” It doesn’t end there. After the ceremony had taken place and the party was over, we were given the blessing and challenge to build a lasting marriage. It takes work. Something we are still working on after 4 1/2 years of marriage and something we will keep working toward for the rest of eternity. Has it been easy and honky dory for us? HECK NO!!!But what marriage is?  I think it’s safe to say that just about every married couple would say that it is hard work to maintain a happy, lasting marriage. But it is so rewarding! Anything that requires work is an accomplishment. And for many that are not yet married, it is a goal of theirs to become married. When this wonderful event finally takes place for these individuals, they have met their goal. Meeting a goal is a great accomplishment, no matter how big or small the task may seem.

I also find it hard to believe that carrying and bearing children is a “super easy task.” In fact, I KNOW for a fact that it is NOT a super easy task. Six months after we were married, we found out that we were going to be having a baby. We were so excited! I had always wanted to be a mom! But on the day I became 12 weeks pregnant, I miscarried. I was so devastated! I can’t even begin to express how much I felt like a failure by not being able to carry out a task that my body was made to do – to carry and bear a child. If it was so easy, then why did it not work? I think of the couples who struggle with infertility and how much more they struggle with being able to complete this “super easy task.”

A year and a half after my miscarriage, I was fortunate to give birth to my now two year old daughter.

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But not until after I had experienced all the not so great parts of pregnancy. I was even diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had to give up carbs! In the middle of the summer while everyone was having bbq’s! At those events, often times the meat cooked on the grill was the only thing I could eat without spiking my blood sugar. Limiting my carb intake was a very hard thing for me to do. But it was important to me to have a healthy baby who didn’t weigh more than ten pounds when she was born, creating potential health risks for both me and the baby. So I worked hard for the rest of my pregnancy to take control of my blood sugar. From the time I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes to when I had E, my blood sugar spiked only 10 times. It was such an incredible accomplishment! But one of the biggest accomplishments I have ever had in my life was giving birth to my baby. To work for nine months, growing and preparing for a new life, hoping everything will be all right, and then to have that new life in my arms is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. The human body is extraordinary in what it is capable of doing! I would be among the last people to ever believe that having a baby is a super easy task. And much like marriage, it doesn’t stop there, even for working moms. Having the responsibility of raising her and our future children has been and will continue to be one of the most challenging things I will ever do.

Now I stay home with my daughter while my husband works. But that does not mean I have a “lack of real accomplishments.” I would list a few of my accomplishments since becoming a stay at home mom, but this post is already getting a little longer than I anticipated. But I would like to know what would be defined as a  “real accomplishment.” Is there a bucket list somewhere that lists these accomplishments? Because obviously, Amy Glass and I have differing opinions as to what defines a real accomplishment. I would dare say that a real accomplishment is defined by the person who achieved the accomplishment. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. What may be simple to someone is a challenge to someone else. So do not let anyone tell you that you are not making real accomplishments or that you will never be exceptional just because you are a wife and a mother. There is no shame in raising the little ones who will one day grow to be our future doctors, engineers, business leaders, etc. Someone has to! Who better to raise them than their mothers? Many of them wouldn’t be able to do it without the love, support, and encouragement from their mothers. A mother can be one of the most influential people in any person’s life. That is what makes mothers exceptional.

I would consider it to be the greatest accomplishment of my life to be an exceptional wife and mother. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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How I got my Kindle Fire HDX 7″ for free!

For a few years now, I have been using an online rewards program to earn free gift cards. I have mentioned it on this blog before. I usually use the free gift cards I earn to help fund our Christmas budget. But with my husband now graduated and landing his job, making us financially stable for the first time in our almost 5 years of marriage, this year he encouraged me to use the gift cards for something for myself.

I debated for a while on whether or not I should. The darn mommy guilt kicked in! My kind husband reminded me that I NEVER do or get anything for myself. He was right. SoI finally decided to use my gift cards to buy myself something I’ve always wanted but could never justify spending the money on.

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A Kindle Fire HDX! I was so excited when I completed my purchase on Amazon, I couldn’t sleep! And the best part about it was that not a single cent came out of my pocket! And all of the books, games, and apps I have loaded onto it have also come from the free gift cards I have earned.

So how did I get it, you ask? By earning Swagbucks!

Swagbucks.com rewards you for the things you do on the internet all the time. You can earn Swagbucks by searching the internet, completing surveys, watching videos, shopping online, playing games, and various other online activities. And then when you are ready, you exchange the Swagbucks you have earned for gift cards.

Signing up is so easy! You just create a username and password. When you do, you are awarded 30 Swagbucks and you are good to go! No credit card information or anything. You really can do this all for free! Just start completing the activities to win Swagbucks and you’re on your way to getting free gift cards. Some places you can get gift cards to include Amazon, PayPal, Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Home Depot, and so many more, it will take too much time to list them all!

If you’re looking for some ways to make your Christmas shopping easier, or just want some options to treat yourself to things you normally wouldn’t buy, this is a great option to go about it. It has helped me and my family, as with many other people I know.

So if you’re ready to go and sign up to check out how Swagbucks can work for you, I have a sign up code that will hook you up with 50 extra Swagbucks. Just type in FreeGiftCards in the sign up code box, and before you know it, you’ll already have 80 Swagbucks! You just need 370 more to get your first $5 Amazon gift card. I easily earn enough to get one in less than a week!

2013 in Review and 2014 Goals

I am obviously not great a posting very often on my blog. Oh well.

Honestly, life took over. Shortly after my last post, my husband started his new job as a choir teacher at a middle school. We spent much of our summer getting things ready for him to teach and studying our insurance options (Hooray!)

On the second week of the school year, my husband was in a car wreck on his way to work. This presented quite a few challenges for us for the rest of the year. The crash totaled our car and gave my husband some serious whiplash injuries – injuries he still struggles with from time to time. But, boy am I grateful it wasn’t any worse! We were forced into a car loan, but we are so fortunate to be able to afford car payments while still keeping our debt to income ratio pretty low. In hindsight, it was probably the only thing on our credit history that we didn’t have that would help us when purchasing our first home. Also, because of his injuries, my husband has been forced to take it easy and not overdo it at work. It was probably the only thing that would keep him from getting burned out as his first year as a teacher. Tender mercies.

Our little girl turned 2 in August. I always heard kids grew fast, I just didn’t realize how true that was until I had a child of my own! She loves princesses and Mickey Mouse. Her favorite game is Ring Around the Rosie and loves to have “The Gingerbread Man” read to her every night before bed.

ImageI participated in another Christmas season with the Sterling Singers and we did our performance in the Libby Gardner Hall at the University of Utah. We were also invited to sing with Jackie Evancho at the LDS Conference Center with the MuzArt World Foundation in November. I love being able to make music with other talented singers and I look forward to singing with them again this year. Rehearsal starts again in a few weeks and I can’t wait!

Overall, with all of its challenges, 2013 was a good year for us. We made it through our roughest spot financially (so far), and my husband was able to snag a job in his field of study within months of graduating. I am grateful I am still able to stay home with my daughter and learn and grow with her.

I can already tell 2014 will be a great year! Here are some things I hope to accomplish this year:

  • Establish a better habit of personal prayer and scripture study
  • Go to the temple once a month
  • Read more books
  • Buy our first home
  • Live a healthier lifestyle. (I could be cliche and say “lose 30 pounds,” but I don’t want to set myself up for failure. Living a more healthy lifestyle is a great place to start, I think.)
  • Date my husband (It is pretty pathetic how boring we have gotten)
  • Spend more time on Family History Work
  • Put the home to bed each night (leave it cleaner than I found it when I woke up…too high of a standard?)
  • Pay off at least one loan
  • Try my best at updating this blog on a more regular basis

Here’s to a great year!

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