Thoughts 4 Days Post Due Date

I feel very anxious to meet Oliver. However, this is all together very different than the kind of anxious that I felt four days ago – a feeling that once felt pure and full of joy and excitement – is now tainted with overwhelming anxiety and straight up fear. Fear that I might not be ready for this after all: I have so much left I want to see/do with Justin, I’m not ready to give my time up with just him. Fear that something might be wrong with Oliver. Fear that I am going to disappoint myself and Justin and be embarrassingly weak in childbirth. Fear that I’ll look back in regret. Anxiety to get on with life and pick back up again because right now everything is really just put on hold as we wait for our little – things are a little too slow for my liking. Anxiety over childbirth. Anxiety for our families meeting him for the first time and how those relationships individually will play out. Anxiety over how Justin and I will handle the first few days together and then parent together. 

These are all thoughts I have had before but today they were just too much. The day ended in a complete breakdown and included a long and very ugly crying/praying/yelling session. 

Through that, I got it. Thank God, I got it. I am just where I am supposed to be: wrestling through these fears and anxieties that I do believe are normal and ok but completely out of my control. I’ve got no business worrying about what I can’t control. So, here I am, 4 days post due date struggling to reach complete surrender and it feels so much better than being shackled to fear and anxiety. 

All of Matthew 6. If you’re where I’m at, go there and find a little piece of refuge. 

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34

Jesus, I am so human. And I need you SO terribly. Holy Spirit, help me obey this command, for in it, I know there is crazy freedom that can only come from you. 

Oliver will be in my arms soon enough, in God’s perfect timing, and he will be exactly how he was made to be. And for now, his mama will keep learning lessons from her good and loving Creator. I know I’ll probably teach that kid a thing or two but already I’m blessed by and learning through his little life.

Are you out of your comfort zone? Good.

I quit my day job. I. QUIT. MY. DAY. JOB.

I have worked for the last 2 years for this moment. I’ve re-branded once, made many mistakes, learned from some of them, made some of them again, and now, finally, my business has grown to where I get the opportunity to quit my day job and delve into the reality of what it looks like to grow TSB full time and work from home. Throughout this whole process, Justin has kept me steady. Scratch that, he’s been steady and being the dreamer, I’ve been all over the place. He has called me out and kept me in check; if it were up to me, I would have quit long ago. Heck, I still try to quit on a weekly basis. He has led me well in this and I let him and that is the #1 reason why I am where I am. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in the last few years is that you have to allow others into your dreams and to hold you accountable, I knew that I was genuinely ready to be doing this full time gig on my own when Justin told me I was ready. I had been saying I was ready for the last 2 years and the hard truth is: I wasn’t. I was so upset with Justin every time he told me that but that would have actually probably been really disastrous.

What’s been really hard: Since I was 17 years old, I have not had 2 weeks go by without a pay check being deposited into my checking account. Now, how successful I am and how much money I make is completely up to me. My success is in my own hands. I don’t know that I trust myself with that. Sales is also something that 100% does not come naturally to me, it actually brings me EXTREME anxiety. The kind of anxiety where I come home at the end of a day spent networking and cry and tell Justin I want to quit. But, the nature of growing a business, especially in just starting up, is getting in front of as many people as you possibly can, and building relationships with strangers. It is just how it is. And you know what? I’ve been out and about going door to door drumming up business, doing as many one-on-one meetings as I possibly can. I did my first elevator pitch this week (it was awful, like, I actually had two total strangers offer me advice on how to do better) and felt like I was dying inside while speaking but I didn’t even die…🙂

The lie that I’m tempted to believe: I need to be more personable. Less awkward. Better at describing what I do. Better at selling. And only in doing all of those things, I’ll be more successful.

The truth that I have a hard time believing: I don’t have to be anyone or anything that I am not. I actually got this far from just being me and I’m really proud of where I am. So, I vow to myself to continue to be me. Sure, I want to grow more comfortable in my own skin, I want to be crazy confident, and I’ll continue working toward that but for now, this is me, this is where I am at, and I am enough.

Fear, insecurity, and being (WAY…WAY…) out of my comfort zone always creeps in and is a total fun sponge. Here, I find myself completely reliant on Jesus and what he says about me and he says I am enough. I will continue to let these circumstances, right now that is being 100% out of my comfort zone, bring me to my knees and remember how much I need a Savior.

What’s been really, really wonderful: FREEDOM – an obvious pro for anyone who works for themselves. I was growing TSB while working 40 hours a week for the past 6 months so I now had that additional time to grow TSB but also to do a few personal development things that I had been desiring to do for a long time (more on that soon). My work life is now a place that I grow and am consistently challenged. My previous job got very comfortable, not that I wasn’t 100% in it or that I wasn’t occasionally challenged, but I pretty much knew what the day would bring. Running your own business, testing markets/wording/techniques, and planning your own days, and marketing strategies look very different than that and it’s incredibly empowering. I am learning something new every day and have been pleasantly surprised at how myself and TSB has been accepted throughout other business owners.

What’s been completely different than I thought it’d be: That freedom that I was talking about has been hard to accept. For example, Justin had a couple hours free and I had a light week so we went to see a movie at 12:45pm on a Monday and I felt guilty! Like I should be working on something. I don’t work 40 hours a week. I mean, sometimes I work beyond that, sometimes I get close, and sometimes I just don’t. But after week 3 of working from home, I don’t even keep track anymore, I actually fight very hard against that urge to make sure I’m living up to that.

I get to be a work from home mama, a dream come true. I am beside myself and feel so undeserving of this opportunity but the reality is, I worked very hard to get here and have a very long way to go. Getting to the place where I can work from home isn’t where it stops, it’s actually where it begins so I’ve got a lot of hard work ahead but I can’t wait to see what kind of growth that brings: to me, to my family, and to the community of other dreamers out there who are 6 months behind me or 6 months ahead of me or 60 years ahead of me. I want to pour into and learn from everyone that I possibly can and I can’t wait to see what that looks like.

Get out of your comfort zone, my friends. It. Is. Life. Changing. Be true to you. 

You are always enough. I am always enough. All the glory and praise be to Jesus.



I am 39 weeks today! I can’t even believe how quickly time has gone by until right now, just now has time started crawling by. I cannot wait until Oliver is here, I grow more and more anxious with every day that passes, but I know that in just a few short weeks I will be holding my sweet boy in my arms.

This pregnancy has been a dream. I really, truly could not have asked for a more pleasant pregnancy. I had some pretty serious food aversions in the first trimester and was sick for about 2.5 weeks in the third trimester (about three weeks ago – the first week of me working from home full time!) but that has seriously been the worst of it.

Big changes have happened in the last nine months: we moved, Justin switched jobs into a part time position in ministry, I quit my day job and started working from home full time, we traveled to see family, went on the most perfect babymoon, Justin traveled to Cambodia, and we prepared for our little ones arrival. But, we are settled and so at peace right now. Sometimes we just don’t see it, nine months ago I had no idea how all this crazy was going to go down but what sweet timing The Lord has.

The emotions throughout different stages in pregnant have been really interesting (put mildly) and God is so good to know that we need 9 months to process through it all. I’ve gone from anxious about how everything would work out to scared about labor and delivery to empowered, back to scared and weak, then sad about losing time with Justin to feeling guilty about being sad about losing time with Justin to this last week really – just feeling 100% at peace. Labor and delivery will be rough, it will surely be painful but my goodness, I cannot wait to hold his little body in my arms and to watch Justin with him for the first time.

Come soon sweet Oliver, we cannot wait for you to join our little family.

We did maternity photos with the talented and lovely Amber Malia Photography and I couldn’t be happier that we did. I will forever treasure these pictures!

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What I’m Loving: Pregnancy Products

I was told of a million and one things that I absolutely HAD TO HAVE during pregnancy by everyone but I tried to keep it real simple and only buy the necessities and I just figured out as I went what those necessities for me were. Here’s what ended up being my absolute favorites:

Ingrid & Isabel Bellaband – this was a total lifesaver for me. I didn’t buy one pair of maternity jeans, I used this over my regular pants throughout my entire pregnancy.

Old Navy maternity dresses – (this and this) I have been pregnant through the Florida summer so these have been on repeat (the least amount of clothes that I can get away with is what I aimed for ;)). I also found a few plain shirts and tank tops at Motherhood Maternity that I dressed up with accessories and that pretty much did it for me on the maternity clothes front.

Garden of Life Protein – it’s hard to get in as much protein as you should be! Especially with food aversions. This has always been my go-to but during pregnancy, I clung to it to make sure I was getting enough protein. My go-to smoothie is: scoop of protein, frozen banana, heaping handful of spinach, cacao, and almond milk.

Garden of Life Prenatal Vitamins – they are a little more on the expensive side and you have to take three of them per day but the quality and contents are so worth it. You wouldn’t believe how little nutrients you get from many of the prenatal vitamins you can get off the shelf for $10.

Frankincense, Lavender, Coconut Oil on my belly (I use Young Living for my essential oils). It’s the only thing I used on my belly.

5 drops of Young Living Abundance (this is a YL essential oil blend and it is heavenly) in the tub. Hot baths have been especially helpful toward the end, it’s really helped me to relax and relieves some of the aches and pains.

ACURE products – I have talked about them before as being products that I’ve loved and these have been safe for me to use throughout pregnancy and they’ve continued to be amazing even through my crazy hormonal skin ups and downs.

Freezer Meal Prep – I’m making my way through this list right now, picking what I want and skipping over what I don’t but this is an AWESOME list of really great freezer friendly meals.

Dreamy Babymoon to St. Augustine

We found this cute little cottage on Airbnb in St. Augustine and were off for our last week-long getaway just the three of us (J, Lil and I). Stefanie and her husband were incredible hosts, we had fresh eggs waiting for us every morning – we also scored fresh fruit from trees on their property.



This is just a little glimpse of their sweet backyard. It was so full of life and character.

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FRESH SUGARCANE! Neither Justin or I had ever had sugarcane. Just in case you were wondering: that’s how you chew it…😉


We visited St. Augustine Distillery, Justin partook in the tasting but I’ll have to wait until next time😉. We had dinner at the Ice Plant after and it was delicious — their Blue Crab Beignets may be the best thing that I’ve ever tasted.



We spent our days on the beach relaxing and our evenings downtown exploring and eating way too much. One day we visited the fort and Justin was like a kid in a candy shop! I couldn’t help but think of how fun it will be to bring Oliver back so they can enjoy it together.


J’s favorite place in St. Aug! He loves their milkshakes.

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We also bought my favorite piece in Oliver’s nursery (check it out in the upcoming nursery post) at one of the shops in downtown St. Augustine, Justin and I fell in love with it the very first time we saw it!

I came home with a very full heart, feeling completely refreshed. It was such a sweet time to re-connect and catch up with each other. If I could offer one piece of advice to first time parents – TAKE A BABYMOON. It is good for the soul.

Second Trimester


I would describe the second trimester of my pregnancy as a complete breeze and a total 180 degree change from the anxiety and fear and exhaustion that plagued my first trimester. I’ve been told I’ll pay for the ease that’s been my second trimester of pregnancy in the home stretch so we will see! I thankfully no longer have food aversions so I’m happy to be back eating my normal diet (I didn’t eat very healthy in my first trimester — nothing green sounded good!). I’m feeling him move like crazy — he likes to chill on the right side of my belly, I feel him there the most and he is getting big enough to be all up on my ribs on the right side which is not the most comfortable feeling but I’ll take the peace of mind that comes in feeling his pokes and jabs. Also, Braxton hicks contractions are in full swing and they’re weird – I’ve had a few that have been super intense (probably due to dehydration – trying to stay hydrated, being pregnant in the summer months in Florida is serious!!!) and others that I don’t realize until I feel my belly is hard as a rock. img_0518

We’ve now finished the registry, bought some of his nursery furniture, and we have a bunch of clothes given to us by friends so it’s all starting to get very real. Our friends and family are throwing a couple of showers for us in August and September, I’m SO excited to start celebrating Oliver with all of them.
When I think about going into labor, being in labor, and delivering our baby, I get butterflies. I can’t wait to see what the story of Oliver starts out like. I’m delivering at a birthing center with a group of midwives that are absolutely wonderful. It’s been a joy to do my prenatal care with them and the experience that I’ve had so far is so empowering. At our last visit we got all kinds of information and a checklist of things to bring to to the birthing center, we also are signed up for a birthing and breastfeeding class  and are working on a birth plan — I’m starting to realize that his arrival is not too terribly far away.
I have been struggling quite a bit with mourning the loss of my alone time with Justin, I realize that it will never be the same and while I am so excited for Oliver to be here, I’ve also been working through genuine sadness that I won’t get him all to myself every night. There won’t really be carefree, quiet nights of laying on the couch together watching a movie and I really cherish that time with him.
One thing that I’m loving the very most though, is talking about and praying over the character and heart of our little guy. I am in absolute awe that we get to have an equal representation of both myself and the love of my life. It is such a joy to think about enjoying that with Justin.
We haven’t taken a vacation just Justin and I since our honeymoon so we have a babymoon booked and are headed to St. Augustine for a week! I can’t wait for that time to unplug and relax with J before he leaves me for 12 WHOLE DAYS to Cambodia to lead a mission trip, I’m switching from working 40 hours a week in the same place that I have worked for the last 6 years to being self-employed and working from home building The Social Bee. I am SO grateful for the opportunity to do that because it will give me the freedom to be home with Oliver.

First Trimester


Baby Neal is coming in October!!! We could not be more excited and we were both so excited to share the news with everyone the weekend after Easter. I’ve gotten so many questions on how I’ve been feeling and I don’t want to forget all of this, it’s already going too fast.

I found out at 4 weeks (!!!) about 20 minutes before our house was filled with about 20 of our friends for small group, I don’t think I said much that night! We didn’t have a confirmation appointment at our OB until 8 weeks, so we waited 4 long weeks keeping the news to ourselves and anxiously awaiting to hear that everything was perfectly ok with our sweet baby. We finally did and hearing the heartbeat at that first appointment was incredible!


We decided to go with The Birth Place and had our first appointment at about 12 weeks, Justin and I loved touring and talking about the experience that we’ll have there when baby comes.

As far as sickness and cravings go: weeks 5-9 were pretty rough. I was tired from the moment I woke up and all throughout the day, the nausea came and went throughout the day and I was so bloated. I don’t think I cooked one meal during those couple of weeks, I would come home and pass out. I didn’t desire coffee AT ALL which is weird because I normally drink at least two cups a day, I also thought I would miss wine but I really didn’t have any desire for that either.

I came out of all of that around week 10 (PRAISE JESUS) and finally felt like myself again, the food aversions were still there (I couldn’t’ do anything green – especially spinach), I also tried to have cauliflower “rice” and ew – just typing that still makes me gag. Also, crazy: I don’t care for Chipotle right now – I LOVE Chipotle! Pregnancy is weird.

Today I’m at 16 weeks and 4 days. Thankfully, I don’t even feel pregnant right now (except for this growing belly – I’ve gained about 10 lbs – and occasional aches/pains).The only thing I’m really missing right now is laying on my stomach, it was comfortable until about 2 weeks ago (when the picture on the right above was taken). Baby is the size of an avocado – 4.61 inches and 2.50 ounces –  and our friends lent us a heartbeat doppler so my favorite thing is to hear the heartbeat every few days. We find out the sex in 3 days!!!!!! And Justin and I both have an inkling as to what baby is. For now, Justin and I are adventuring a lot and fully enjoying these last few months while life is still just the two of us… and our Lil!