What My Daughter Will Know

The Presidential Election of 2016, such a historical event for America. In some people’s eyes it is so historical because Mr. Trump is now our President and that is their best dream or worst nightmare. But for me, I have realized it is so historical because I know I have do to a better job at raising my daughter and future children to be BETTER American citizens.

I’m not the person you will see blasting social media with my political, or even social views. I’m not judging you if you do. Social media for me is to share with my family and friends back home and keep in touch. But obviously I am going to come across news stories, rants, and status’ people share that I can’t always ignore. I have seen so much hate spread through the internet during this election, its heart wrenching knowing these are people I know, and seeing them derate each other just because of what they believe in. That being said, I was inspired to get on here and write my first blog about how I am not scared for Donald Trump to be our President, and I am not scared for our country. I am scared for my daughter, and who she will grow up around. I am scared that one day some one she loves or cares about will belittle her for her beliefs. I am scared that Americans will raise their children to parade around with a sense of privilege they didn’t earn and think it is okay to do and say the absolute worst things about someone because they didn’t get what they wanted. And I am SCARED that these future children will not know the sacrifice that our military has made for them to have their voice and their votes count.

Trust me, I do not like looking at the future in a negative light, and thats why I wont let myself. No, I’m not oblivious to our political issues, and the problems that our nation faces daily. But I do believe that a huge issue is the American people themselves and our children can fix that. This country has given my family freedom to have the power to control our own life, and my husband and I can raise our children in whatever way we believe to be correct. So I hope and pray that everyone else out there can realize they to can do the same. We need to raise the future generations to be game changers! To be respectful, unique, empowered individuals that have such a passionate love for America that they would never even think of disgracing this nation for the president that we have elected. No group or person deserves be called awful names and belittled for what they believe in, do you really think that’s how we will get the equality we all want? Absolutely not. I have hope that Donald Trump will make a good president. If Hillary won, I would hope she too would be a good president despite BOTH of their issues. If you hope either candidate fails at their presidency, you are hoping that this country fails as well and that is the EXACT reason I plan to raise my children better.

Whatever you take from this, these are just my feelings. My point is to encourage you to embrace change. Have hope. And raise your children to love and respect others no matter who they are.

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Sincerely,

A young mother who knows a hell of a lot more than people think

 

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Sweet Potato Nachos

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Here is a healthy and EASY twist on those unhealthy nachos that we all love! I got this recipe idea from a fit mama that I follow on Instagram, and I put my own twist on it. Thats what is great about this recipe, you can add whatever healthy toppings you want!

What you will need:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • Chopped spinach
  • Pico
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • Light sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Start by slicing your sweet potatoes and covering them in olive oil. Then place them on a large cookie sheet and roast for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

Cook your ground turkey and dice it up small in the pan like taco meat. Once the meat is cooked thoroughly add a 1/2 cup of water and all of your seasonings (paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper). Mix.

Once your sweet potatoes are finished top them with your healthy taco meat and all of the other yummy toppings you want!

This is is super easy, healthy and filling! Enjoy(:

 

I’m a young wife and mother, on purpose.

Grow up, go to college, have a career, THEN start a family. That is the order in which people think you should live by, but that was never my goal. Growing up I never had a dream job, all I knew is that I wanted a family. I wanted to get married, have babies and fill my life with all the love possible. So thats exactly what I did! I am 21 years old, I am married to my best friend, and we have a 6 month old daughter (I can’t forget our 4 furry children as well), and I couldn’t be happier!

Now I didn’t set out on a mission to get married and pregnant asap. I just happened to find my husband very early in life. He joined the army (he’s 2 years older than I), and we got married right out of high school. We knew we were going to get married, so why stall the inevitable, right? And I am so happy we got married when we did because we have been on SO many adventures together since we tied the knot. One of those adventures was moving across the country to Alaska, yes ALASKA! Home is where the Army sends you and Alaska was our very first home together, the place where we truly became us. Just 4 short months after moving to Alaska, my husband deployed to Afghanistan for 9 months. I heard so many times, “you should go back to Ohio while he’s gone so you aren’t alone”, but some part of me just kept telling myself that I needed that time in Alaska alone to grow up. So there I was 18 years old, just 4 months out of my parents house, handling bills and living alone with our dog. At first I cried, and cried, and cried some more because I felt so lost. I had no family near me, only 1 friend, and just a whole lot of growing up to do. After a few months and a refreshing visit to Ohio, I got a job and started feeling very independent. My husband and I got to talk everyday, which was extremely encouraging, and my self confidence was growing tremendously. Everyday I counted down the days until Wayne came home, and then the day finally came, we were whole again. Those 9 months were hard, and I missed my husband so much, but in those 9 months I learned that I could do life by myself. I feel that a lot of people looked at me getting married at such a young age in a negative light, because they thought I would just be relying on a man to support me. But when I realized what I could do on my own, I knew that I support my husband just as much as he supports me in our marriage and life. That is what a marriage is about, equal support and love!

By this time, Wayne and I have been married for over a year and babies ran through our minds pretty often, but we weren’t in a rush (or so we thought). We found out I was pregnant just 2 months after Wayne got back from Afghanistan and we were THRILLED, we couldn’t believe how fast it had happened. I was only a few weeks along when we found out, and the thought of miscarriage weighed heavy on us. That thought was unfortunately true in our case, we lost our first baby before the second trimester. The growing up continued as we learned how to cope with this loss. Our marriage grew as we learned how each other grieved and how to heal one another. Our hearts learned that we truly were ready for a baby, and that’s why when we were cleared to, we tried to get pregnant again. Within a few months of trying we found out we were pregnant, and this time I noticed something different about our reactions. It was so much happiness combined with SO much fear. We made it further in this pregnancy and started to gain hope that we would truly be bringing a healthy baby into the world. Only soon we got news that I was having a partial molar pregnancy and our baby had passed away. For the next 5 months after we had miscarried I had to get blood work done, and it brought me down every time I walked into that office. My personality was very different, I wasn’t myself and my mind kind of shut off for a while. Wayne never once pushed me, he walked with me every step of the way, helping me get back to myself little by little. We grew so much from those two losses, we grew in ourselves and in our marriage.

About a year and 3 dogs later, we moved to Tennessee and bought our very first home together! We had so much fun exploring this new state, hiking and trying to find the best sushi restaurant around. But eventually came back to the only thing we knew we were missing, a baby. On December 4th, 2015 our lives changed forever, we found out we were pregnant for the third time. This time was so much different though, we were ready. We knew the risks, we knew the heartbreak if this pregnancy didn’t end with a healthy baby, but we were ready because we had hope. Days, weeks, and months passed as our little girl grew stronger and stronger in my belly. August 10, 2016 Charlotte Josephine Lewis graced our lives as healthy as can be. She is the light of our lives, and such a blessing. I truly believe that we were given her at the perfect time. We had grown from the struggles we faced and that growth helps us to be the parents that we are today.

My life as a young wife and mother is extremely fulfilling. I take pride in raising my daughter and loving my husband. I believe that every person should be able to live the life that they want without facing the scrutiny of others who don’t agree with them. Just because I am a young wife who has chosen to be a stay at home mom, doesn’t mean I am any less of a woman. And it sure as hell doesn’t mean I am incapable of being independent. I get satisfaction in what I do every single day, just as i’m sure you do in your career.

What I hope people can take from this is that everyone should live their life by their own standards, not by everyone else’s. Follow your own path and do not judge those who are doing life differently than you. You have no idea what another persons life is like behind their job title, whether they are a housewife or an entrepreneur.

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Why I Love Him More

I see a lot of negativity posted towards men in todays society and how you can never find a good husband or father anymore. That makes my heart hurt for those who think this way. I know I’m blessed, and I know finding such a devoted man isn’t easy for everyone, but I feel there is a huge need for appreciation in those men who DO fulfill their promises, who ARE good people, and who WILL treat women with the utmost respect. My husband is one of those men.

My husband and I have an ongoing debate of “who loves who more” (I know, we’re SO adorable). It’s a silly back and forth game that will never end. But I do love him more. I love him more than I did yesterday, than I did on our wedding day, than I did when he helped me push through every contraction while I was in labor. My love for him grows more and more each day. But when I saw my husband hold our daughter for the first time, my love for him exploded.

I Love Him More because: I’ll ask him to get our daughter dressed while i’m finishing up getting ready. I go into her room to find her in a mismatched outfit all ready to go. Why did he pick that outfit? Why did he think that looked good? But then I stop and look at whats before me, my husband SO happy to be getting his baby ready and super confident in the outfit he chose. I’m learning to hold my tongue, to realize that polkadot onesies and plaid pants DO work together.

And just when I think I couldn’t love him more than in that very moment, another moment happens-

I Love Him More because: Recently our daughter hasn’t been resting well, growing teeth is tough stuff. This leads to a very exhausted mama at the end of the day. As i’m rocking her to sleep at night, thinking about all of the things I want to get done before I can go to bed, I hear the faucet turn on. Then dishes clanking together. My sweet husband is doing the dishes. Something so little, but means so much.

I Love Him More because: Once we have our daughter down for the night, it is finally US time. And sometimes that means just sitting on the couch in our pj’s eating popcorn and soaking up the silence. Knowing that even though we haven’t said a word in the past 20 minutes, we are both enjoying every second with each other. The moments when he will randomly turn to me and say “I love you so much” and “I am so happy”, those moments make me love him MORE.

I Love Him More because: I wish I could be selfish and keep him to myself all the time. Man time is a necessity, but he will always say “are you sure you don’t want me to stay home” “I don’t have to go”, and even though I so badly would rather him stay, I want him so badly to go enjoy himself. I know that getting to do things he enjoys and loves will relax him. He will have a clear mind and get to soak up the time with our daughter and I 100%.

I Love Him More because he is the best dad to our daughter. He appreciates everything I do. He shows his love for me every single day. He embraces my flaws and encourages my dreams. I Love Him More because he is a damn good man, and I am lucky enough to call him mine.

So remember this, no man or woman is the perfect spouse or parent. But if they are giving life their all and loving with their whole heart, they deserve appreciation. Focus on the positive, and don’t dwell on little things that you can’t change.
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Sweet Turkey Meatballs

I love spaghetti, it’s easy, fast and almost everybody will eat it! But lets get real, it can get boring. So thats why I love adding meatballs to the mix to class it up for a dinner party, or to just spice up an average family meal! My husband loves these sweet and tangy turkey meatballs I whipped up one night so I thought I would share my recipe with you! This is the perfect meal for any occasion, and it is quick and easy to make!

Cook time: Crock-pot 3 hours, Stove top 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground turkey (I used 93/7)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup traditional bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp. grape jam
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder (not garlic salt!)
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste (about a tbsp. of each)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion (optional)

Dice your onion and add to your pot, this is totally optional, but it adds a lot of flavor to your meatballs.

Combine turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, jam, lemon juice, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. Make sure all of the ingredients are well incorporated.

With your non stick pan on low heat, or crock-pot set on high start rolling your meatballs and adding them to your pot. They should be about the size of a golfball, you don’t want them too big or else they wont cook well. This recipe makes around 17-18 meatballs.

If you are cooking on the stove top, place your lid on your pot and let them be for about 10-12 minutes, then turn the meatballs and wait another 10-12 minutes. Add your spaghetti sauce, and simmer for another 10 minutes.

If you are cooking in a crock-pot place the lid on the meatballs and wait 45 minutes, then turn them. After about 2 hours of them cooking turn your crock-pot to low, add your sauce and wait an hr. ( I recommend this way of cooking them if you ave the time, it gives them so much flavor!)

Place over a plate of spaghetti and your done, I hope you enjoy!

My Newborn MUST-HAVES!

Congratulations, you’re having a baby! Getting prepared for your new addition can get stressful, especially when everyone is telling you what you will and will not need.

I am a first time mom to a 5 1/2 month old little girl and as a first time mom you tend to go a little over board with ALL THE THINGS! I was told how I am never going to use this or that, and how they never used this particular item and were just fine.

There are so many new, hot baby products being advertised everyday, and in my opinion it is great! Not every gadget or item is going to work for every baby, so I think it’s wonderful that we have so many things to try and choose from.

Here is a list of my top newborn/baby items that we used and still use for Charlotte and why we love them so much!

  1. Nose Frida- BEST. INVENTION. EVER. This product is a game changer when your child has a stuffy nose or congestion. It replaces your old bulb snot sucker with a tube that goes in your baby’s nose and you suck the snot out with your mouth. BEFORE YOU VOMIT, know that there are filters and no snot will get in your mouth (most of the time lol).11355332.jpg
  2. Dock-A-Tot- Oh how I wish we purchased our Doc before Charlotte came home from the hospital, that would’ve saved us from many sleepless nights! We got the Dock-A-Tot when Charlotte was about 2 months old and if you co-sleep like us, it will ease your mind that your little one is resting safely beside you. Unlike other co-sleepers, the Doc is breathable, built to snuggle your baby just right, versatile, and the different covers are so cute!14641918_726033214227702_3567653809474557780_n.jpg
  3. Baby carrier/wrap- Baby carrying will change your life! We used the Solly Wrap until Charlotte was 5 months old and then moved up to a 4-in-1 baby carrier. 14445989_713099792187711_7298542600498086780_n.jpg
  4. BLANKETS- Get all the blankets you can because spit-ups and blowouts happen way more often than not, and when there isn’t a spit rag in arms reach their blanket is the next best thing!
  5. Breast pads- If you are going to be breastfeeding, nursing pads are a must!
  6. Wubbanub- If you plan on introducing a pacifier, the wubbanubs are great because the stuffed animal helps the baby keep the paci in their mouth._DSC1624 (2).jpg
  7. Muslin swaddles- We didn’t swaddle Charlotte for very long (she likes to have her hands by her face), but for the first month or so swaddling was our go-to for sleeping at night. Muslin swaddles are a stretchy, breathable fabric that are so easy to get the perfect swaddle.13886892_693065087524515_6699232458738712343_n.jpg
  8. Mittens- Like I said, Charlotte is all about having her hands by her face and that lead to a lot of scratches on her little cheeks. Mittens when she slept fixed that right away_DSC1640 (2).jpg
  9. Swing- This one all depends on your baby, but once Charlotte was about a month old she started to LOVE her swing and would nap great in it. Other options would be a rock’n-play or mama-roo.
  10. Video baby monitor- Baby monitors are a must, but a video baby monitor is a whole new ball game. You can literally watch and see that your baby is breathing on the camera rather than constantly going in to check on them and ultimately waking them up from going in and out of their room!
  11. Tons of onesies- All kinds of them, we loved to use long sleeve white onesies with the built in mittens. You can never have enough onesies!
  12. Coconut oil- Charlotte has sensitive skin, and we like to be pretty natural. So in place of lotion we use coconut oil on her every night and after every bath! It keeps her skin super soft, and it also works great as nipple cream if your are breastfeeding!

I know how overwhelming it can feel, worrying that you might not have everything your baby will need when they arrive, so I hope this list helps all you mamas out there preparing!

A Letter To My Daughter

We were barely hanging onto hope that we would bring a healthy baby into this world, but then we found out we were pregnant with you.

Every day we listened to your heartbeat with our doppler to make sure you were okay. Every appointment we had to check on you, mommy was overwhelmed with nerves until the midwife told us how great you were developing.

We chose your name and we filled our home with everything we thought you would need and more. We talked about the kind of parents we hoped we would be. We dreamed about what you would look like and yearned for your arrival.

7 hours of active labor. Your daddy and mamaw supporting me through every contraction. And barely 2 minutes of pushing. You were here.

They laid you on my belly and I couldn’t believe you were actually here with us, earth side. You were the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I held you, nursed you, and cried the happiest of tears over you for hours after your birth. You graced our lives with your precious soul.

And now here you lay in front of me, playing with your toes, growing too fast for your own good. You already have such a developed personality, and the most infectious smile that I have ever seen. You have the ability to brighten the darkest of days with your gummy grin, and a drive to do things on your own just like your daddy. How can our 4 month old stand in her crib, and try to crawl already? Even though the thought of you being grown saddens me, as I wish you could be my little baby forever, I am so excited to cheer you on throughout your life. I will support you, encourage you, teach you and love you forever.

You are teaching mommy and daddy something new everyday. We have a gained such an appreciation for everything we have since we have been blessed with you. We have gained patience we never knew we needed. We love each other even more after seeing one another love you. And we learned that there is a love and happiness that only a child could bring, and that is our love for you Charlotte.

We promise to tell you all about your 2 siblings in heaven that are watching down on us. We promise to teach you to be humble, encouraging and kind. We will fill your life with smiles and just the right amount of structure to help you grow and appreciate what you have. And we will love and guide you in this amazing life journey you are embarking on.

With so much love my sweet girl,

Your mama

 

 

 

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

 

This is the perfect soup to have on a cold fall/winter night. It is so easy to make, will leave your house smelling amazing, and actually fills my husband up (who can eat as much as a family of six by himself).

Serves: 6 Prep Time: 10-15 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour

What you will need:

  • A large pot
  • 2 chicken breasts
  •  8 cups of chicken broth (2 boxes)
  • 1 cup of wild rice
  • 1 can of super sweet corn
  • 2 cups of shredded carrots
  • 1 cup of chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup of chopped red onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp. of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. of basil
  • 1 tsp. of poultry seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. of butter
  1. In a separate pot, start by boiling your 2 chicken breasts
  2. On medium heat, add your chicken broth to your main pot
  3. Chop your celery and onion and add them to your pot
  4. Add carrots, corn, wild rice, and butter
  5. Stir
  6. Add all of your seasonings, and stir
  7. Bring to a boil for about 2 minutes
  8. Reduce to low heat, and place lid on pot
  9. Shred your chicken (try using a hand mixer to save time!)
  10. Add chicken to pot and stir
  11. Place lid on pot, stirring occasionally for 1 hour or until your rice is tender

*This soup is chunky, but if you want it to have a little more liquid add 2 more cups of broth or water*

ENJOY!

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