How Do You Spend Your Time?

The quality of your life is determined by how effectively you use time.

-Michelle McClain-Walters

I am making the most of my time instead of complaining about the time I don’t have. If that means I get to journal for three minutes, then so be it because time is the measure of life.

How you spend your time defines you.

 

There are moments where I have an hour or two to myself when all the kiddos are asleep, and I usually spend that time watching TV when I could be using that time wisely by reading a book, for example (since I compain about not having enough time to read anymore).

So I’m making a pact with myself to be more mindful of how I spend my time in general. If there is one thing that we absolutely cannot take back in life, it’s time. Last night, I read for an hour before I practically passed out on the couch but it felt amazing to escape into a book again.

If you were to be defined by how you spend most of your free time, what would you be called?

 

BIRTH STORY: Baby #3: You Are Not Less of a Mother Because You Had a C-Section

On October 20th, I gave birth to our baby girl.

Everything about this pregnancy and delivery was quite different, and we are grateful that everything went smoothly.

Some have asked me to share the birth story:

Let’s start with the pregnancy. We are so blessed and grateful that our baby girl is healthy. We call her a miracle baby because when I found out I was expecting with the IUD, doctors told us there was 50% chance the baby would not make it. Against all odds, she did. Thus, her name: Kennah, meaning Greatest Champion.

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I often get comments such as “finally got your girl!” Well, we were OK with all boys. But God wanted me to have a mini me so here she is!

God has a way of showing us who is truly in control.

At 37 weeks exactly, around 4am, I started having painful contractions. The contractions were really strong and consistent but spaced out in the afternoon. I had been to labor and delivery before and got sent home so I did not want to go unless I was sure it was time. I went to my ob appointment that same afternoon at 4pm and it turned out I was 2.5 centimeters and very soft! I was only a fingertip two weeks prior.

I was scheduled for a repeat C-section (3rd baby) in exactly 2 weeks on November 2nd, but my OB did not think I would make it past the weekend after checking me. I was still having contractions. She told me to go home and that if the contractions picked up again, walk for an hour and head to l&d if they continued. I walked for 30 minutes that evening and so around 9pm I started timing them and they were less than 10 minutes apart. Around 10pm, they got stronger so we headed to the hospital. My fear was waiting until it was too late given that it would be my third C-section! I refused to go through another Emergency Cesarean with all the trauma that comes with it.

I was at the hospital since 11pm Thursday night with contractions. In order to proceed with the repeat csection, I had to be in active labor with changes to my cervix. I wasn’t progressing at first and I almost got sent home when contractions slowed down after they gave me morphine. It was a long night, but then finally, at 6am my doctor encouraged me to walk. After walking for an hour, I finally dilated to a 4. So my Doctor decided it was time! They started prepping me for surgery.

Surgery. Such a scary word!

People think Cesarians are a breeze comparing to vaginal births. They have no idea.

First, the nurses came in with all the consent paperwork. After signing everything my doctor came to explain everything that would happen in the OR in detail. I wish she had delivered my first two babies. She has been such a great doctor. From the moment I stepped into her practice freaking out about the IUD pregnancy to the moment after I had the baby. She is the best doctor I have had and always returned phone calls in the middle of the night as well!

Anyway, she made me feel better because I started freaking out about having another surgery.

After she left, the anesthesiologist came in to explain the spinal anesthesia that he would perform once in the OR.

After the nurse finished prepping me, my nerves really started to get the best of me. Hubby and I decided to pray at that moment.

Shortly after, they took me into the OR, and more prepping continued. I really like that I was conscious and aware, not knocked out on too many drugs like my previous c-sections. All the hospital staff present in the OR made me feel comfortable.

It was scary but I felt better once my husband joined me. It happened so fast. I felt pressure. More pressure. No pain. Just pressure. The doctors often asked me of I was OK and explained what they were doing. Apparently, I had a lot of scar tissue from my previous c-sections.

“Are you OK? You don’t feel anything?” My husband asked looking more scared than I was.

More and more pressure and then suddenly, she was here.

I heard her cry and I was suddenly filled with joy–no more fear.

“Beautiful girl. Congratulations, mama!” Said My doctor.

Baby was born at 9:01am Friday morning.

My husband then cut the cord and they brought baby to me so I could kiss her shortly after they cleaned her.

Her brothers met her that evening and they were a bit confused at first–mostly because they were not with us and felt like we “left” them. Haha.

The following days got better and they are now taking good care of bébé Kennah at home.

Recovery has been much easier this time around. I was able to start walking, slowly the same day and now after a week, I can pretty much do everything as normal except lifting and exercise, which I can’t do for another 5 weeks. The main thing that is bothering me is the swelling in my legs and feet. They are extremely swollen this time and I can’t wear shoes at all. All the water went down to my poor feet.

All in all, we are all home and doing well.

As I mentioned, my previous cesareans were emergency c-sections so I’m grateful this one was smooth. Funny because I feel like I got better care at a small local hospital than the big teaching hospital in the city. Recovery has been easier and baby is perfectly healthy.

After three c-sections, I just want to encourage those who also had dreams and goals of having a vaginal birth but couldn’t for whatever reason. For me, I went through labor for hours and even started pushing when baby’s heart rate started to drop and I got rolled into the OR–both times. Scary stuff.

Beige Photo Wedding Pinterest Graphic

You are not less of a mother because you had a C-section and yes, you did have a real delivery.

Getting cut open is real stuff. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. People do not realize how painful (physically and emotionally) it is when having a C-section. I don’t know why some think it is a much easier route. Not being able to walk does not sound like an easy route to me. Nursing while recovering from surgery and can’t even feel your abs isn’t either.

So do not be discouraged by such assumptions from people who do not know or could not possibly understand this. I struggled with this after my first C-section. I felt like I got robbed from having a “real” delivery by not having the baby vaginally. And comments from people did not make it better.

“You got it easy…at least you did not have to push!”

I know there are so many C-section mamas with the same sentiments. Be happy that you and your baby are healthy!

Whether you had your baby via C-section or vaginal birth, we are all mothers. We all gave life to a precious bundle of joy. We all gave birth! Let’s not compare who had it worse.

Thanks for reading!

 

Why I Love Working in Coffee Shops So Much.

Even in the most awesome of offices we can fall into a routine, and a routine is the enemy of creativity. Changing your environment, even just for a day, brings new types of input and stimulation, which in turn stimulates creativity and inspiration.

Wesley Verhoeve

As a WAHM (Work-at-home-mom), writer, coffee lover and coffee shop dweller, my ultimate favorite thing about working from home is the many COFFEE SHOPS I get to work in! I remember the day I was given my job offer, I was still not sure if the job was completely a remote position or if I was required to work on campus as well. I remember asking my new boss where I was expected to work.

“Wherever you want! Coffee shops are a great place,” was her response, and I was quite surprised, in a good way.

I can work at a coffee shop and get paid at the same time??

What a dream job!

So since then, I have been visiting different shops as much as I can. I have a routine where I work at a coffee shop at least once a week to feel grounded and connected to the outside world since working from home can sometimes be very isolating.

For those who know me, you know that I am a coffee shop dweller. I seem to get a lot more work done in a coffee shop–whether I am grading or writing. Now being that I live all the way in the West Valley and most coffee shops are in Downtown Phoenix or the East, my choices were limited at first.  However, there has been a sudden growth on my side of town and coffee shops have been opening left and right.

Matter of fact, there is one that just opened up this weekend, and it is truly a writer’s ideal place to write or read at. It is called Ebb + Flow located in the heart of Verrado.

People often ask me why I looooove coffee shops so much. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Conversation

Working from home can sometimes become depressing and isolating. In a coffee shop, I get to interact with other people (adults–not toddlers) and meet new people. I don’t know about you but speaking in baby language can sometimes get…well….old.  Meeting new people in your community is always a good thing. By meeting new people, you are introduced to new things, ideas, and places. There is another local coffee shop where I am a regular at and as soon as I walk in, the owners greet me by name and already know my order. The regulars and I know each other and converse quite often. This has been good for me personally with being new to the area.

Perhaps it’s the smell of the coffee; the air lightly laced with caffeine and conversation. There’s a wonderful sort of anonymous social contact gained from a day in a cafe; the short exchanges with serving staff, the moments tuned in to other people’s gossip.

–http://www.stylist.co.uk/

2. A Moment To Myself

Time away from the kids is needed! I’m a sole believer in having “Mommy Time”. In fact, I have that daily once I put the kids to bed. My Mommy Time keeps me sane. If you currently do not have such time to yourself, then I am here to tell you that you are missing out and why a coffee shop would be an ideal place . This is a precious moment for me where I can relax and do what I like, whether it’s reading, writing, or simply working not at home.  Stepping away from the kids can be good for your mind and body! Although there has been a few times where I had to take my baby with me to meet with a few colleagues. Usually, I prefer to go alone.

3. Stimulates Creativity

There is a reason why most writers love to write in coffee shops. The scenery. Coffee. People watching. It just inspires me more to write and be productive with my time. Of course, you should not work at cafes every single day, but I think it is refreshing to do so at least once a week.

4. Focus

Sometimes when I am working from home, I am constantly distracted by the TV, food, my phone, and my comfortable couch–especially during pregnancy. On days that I have enormous work to do, I force myself to work in a coffee shop to be more productive. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I am more productive and less distracted when I work at a coffee shop.

Working from home used to be a love & hate relationship for me, but I have since then embraced it with arms wide open. I used to toy with the idea of going back to work in an office setting, but after three years, that would be very difficult for me to do unless it is a very flexible job. My point is,

Working from home can be great, but also isolating. You don’t have to be stuck at home everyday. Escaping to a coffee shop can solve the problem of isolation.

If you were wondering where I’ve been…

 

They say every pregnancy is different.

They also say every pregnancy gets more difficult with age.

Those statements are both true for me, but I know that it may not be so for others.

As I am nearing the end of my third pregnancy, it feels as if this one went faster, but more difficult.  Perhaps because I was working the entire time? And although I was working, I’m grateful that I was not on my feet or didn’t even have to step out of the house, matter of fact. Working from home while pregnant has been a blessing in many ways and I’m grateful I was able to do so.

There’s also this thing with pregnancy brain because I can’t seem to remember the purpose of this blog post after many interruptions by the kiddos.

I think I just wanted to let you all know that I’m still here. It has been difficult to keep up with blogging, working, family life, and pregnancy. Also, Arizona has finally cooled off–I always seem to be in a bad mood in those long six months of never ending dry heat, now top if off with pregnancy hormones.

This week has been better than the last few ones. A spur of energy came  over me and I was even able to join my Fit Mama’s fitness club on this beautiful fall morning.

I obviously won’t be as active until after baby but it felt nice to get “out” there.

I find that this pregnancy has been the most challenging, especially because I already have two energetic toddlers to chase after everyday.

Each day, I’m grateful for the moments I get to spend with them; playing, reading, singing, and laughing. I know that soon, things will get a little bit hectic for a while and my attention will be divided between three kids.

I hear the hardest transition is from two to three kids. Learning to balance  life with three kids sounds scary, but we are ready for the challenge.  At this point, we don’t have a choice. Baby is coming soon! The journey has been exciting and nerve-wracking, but holding my baby girl in my arms…that, I can hardly wait for.

So if you were wondering where I’ve been, this is it: I’ve been too pregnant to blog.

Hopefully I will get back to my weekly blogging routine soon.

A Writer’s Dream

How exciting and unreal is it to see my book on a bookshelf at a bookstore!?

I go from overly excited to overly scared– fearing the what ifs about my upcoming book signing this month. But, what if no one shows up except my hubby? What if no one likes my book? What if I’m not good enough? What if…what if…what if…

I am extremely gateful for my support system for reminding me that God gave me a gift, so I need to proceed until the end, no matter what.

What would be the point of life if we never took risks?

The entire process has been quite a ride, and I’m excited to be having a book signing.

So September 23rd at 7pm will be my book signing for Chasing Freedom at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix, AZ. If you’re in the valley, I hope to see you there, so we can drink coffee and chat about this amazing novel of mine!

 

Tell Us How You Published Your Book? What Was the Journey Like?

The time has finally come!

Chasing Freedom, my novel, has finally been released. After a long journey,  it is finally out. What most people don’t know is that I have been working on this book for years.

You may purchase it here: http://bit.ly/2sWEI9D

Where did the storyline come from? The inspiration?

Well, the protagonist in the novel is a Congolese rape victim and refugee.  Given that I am Congolese (although I’ve never been),  I’ve been reading and hearing so many horrific stories and I felt like I had to write about this and be the voice of the women of Eastern Congo who are daily being abused.

And then in the diaspora, there are many refugees who still continue to struggle because, well, America isn’t always “golden“.

I wanted to show the journey of a young woman and refugee chasing after freedom, from Congo all the way to the U.S..

There are so many organizations who claim to help refugees when they truly have their own agendas. I will not say too much because I don’t want to give out any spoilers.  I interviewed people, read many books, and watched many YouTube videos to research as much as I could.

People who have recently started following my blog or recently became friends with me on my Facebook or Instagram, assume that I recently wrote this book. No, no–not with two kids!

So, when did you write the book?

Allow me to tell you the story- the shorter version.

I initially wrote this novel as my thesis in grad school in my creative writing program back in 2012. I worked with a mentor who is an author and professor who guided me through the process . I had about a year to finish the novel. Once it was done, I received critiques from my cohorts and other readers such as professors and a NYC agent .  At the time, it was nowhere near ready to be published. First drafts are usually crap!

Once I graduated from grad school in 2013, I started working on revisions after revisions.  Mid 2013, I queried several literary agents and landed myself one! Oh how exciting! It was a dream come true.

Unfortunately, the dream later became quite a bit of a nightmare. The agent was fairly new to the game and in my opinion, did not have enough close contacts in the publishing world. And I don’t  believe she really did a great job getting my manuscript “published ready” for editors.

Anyway,  so she pitched and pitched  by book to editors, but we only received rejections back. And when I looked at the list of editors she pitched,  most of them did not even seem right for my book.

After three years, I had enough.  I started asking around, “does it take this long when you already have an agent?”

Most of my “agented” writing buddies advised me to end the contract because it should not take this long to sell the book.  So, I did that. I ended the contract with her.

Then I decided that my book still needed work to be considered  “published ready” so I hired a professional fiction editor who has worked in traditional publishing for years. I interviewed a few editors before I made my final decision.

Because my novel is quite diverse, it was important to find someone who understood the main character and the vision of this novel. She was able to really help me with the tone, voice, and the overall pacing of the novel.

Many indie authors skip this step because it can be quite pricey.  That is a big mistake. Editing is the most important stage of the writing process!

Then I gave the novel a break for almost an entire year, I believe.

When I came back to it with fresh eyes, I was impressed. “Wow. I wrote this? This is a good novel.”

It was almost a complete different novel. The power of an editor.

Anyway,  I was still undecided about pursuing another agent or going indie. By indie, for those who are not familiar with the term, I’m referring to independent publishing, as an self-publishing. After a wonderful, eye-opening, and inspiring weekend in Dallas I wrote about here: https://chez-debz.com/takingmywritingcareerbackinto/, I decided to go indie. One of the main reasons I did so is because in the publishing industry, once an agent has already pitched your book to an editor at a publishing house, you can’t try to re-pitch it to the same publishing house, even to a different editor. So my options were limited here and I was so over the whole “gate keepers” of  publishing.  I did; however, pitched a few literary agents just to “see”  but my heart was already sold on going indie.

The publishing world has changed drastically in the last few years and I am very happy about my decision! I believe  more writers should go indie!

Not only is my book available on all online bookstores, but I am also doing a consignment  program  with a local bookstore to have my book on a shelf as well. 

I was able to control each stage of publishing; from the cover, to the publisher, and distribution.

So you may be wondering now…

How can I write and publish a book too??

Upcoming next week will be a blog post on “How Do I Write and Publish a Book”. I have since then received numerous emails and messages on how to self-publish a book, so I think a blog post with step by step instructions will be helpful to all aspiring authors. As always, thanks for reading and don’t forget to buy your copy of Chasing Freedom here: http://bit.ly/2sWEI9D

And for details on the book, visit my author website: DeborahKabwang.com

Slow Down and Enjoy Life

Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.

-Eddie Cantor

I know. I know. I have been such a stranger these days, but I’ve been keeping busy, I promise.  Perhaps a little bit too busy. I’ve always been the kind of person who keeps busy at all times and often has multiple projects going on all at once. But I believe that slowing down can also be a virtue.

Being off work in the summers, I always try to make the most of my time and work on things I usually do not have time for when I’m back to work. Whether it’s writing, reading, deep cleaning, or working on other things. So, on the days the boys are in daycare, I usually spend most of the time working hard on something when I could/should be giving my body a rest sometimes.

It’s really not easy to keep up with everyday “life demands” personal projects, and of course,  those cute kiddos of mine who keep me on my feet, but I try to manage. In the mornings, I like to have activities with my boys: library time, story time, baking at home, playdates or go eat breakfast somewhere.  This keeps us all active but it is becoming more and more difficult to do given the heat we are facing in AZ during summer.

and also given my new condition…

There is a time for everything as we all know it. I suppose slowing down sometimes may feel like giving up, but I just need to remind myself that it is not so. It is simply taking care of yourself so that you can be better, stronger.   I know that it is time to slow down, which my body has been begging me to do for some time. So I will listen to my body, my doctor, and my hubby.

I will slow down and enjoy life.

Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast.

– William Shakespeare

Q&A On Being a Full-time Work-at-Home-Mom 

As a WAHM (Work-At-Home-Mom), I am constantly asked different questions on how I got my job and its details.  So I decided to dedicate a blog post to answering the most common questions I get from other moms interested in working from home on a full-time basis.

What exactly do you do?

Most of you know by now that I teach. I am an Online Instructor of Writing.  I teach for a large local research university in their online division. I mostly teach First Year Composition.

How did you find your job?

How I found my job is actually a pretty interesting story . I wasn’t actually seeking for a work from home job. I was simply looking for a full-time job. At the time, I had been an adjunct (teaching part-time) for about two years at a local community college, and they were not hiring full-time, at least not me! I was tired of working my butt off for a small paycheck and decided to search for a full-time teaching position although everyone told me that it was unlikely that I would find one because I had only been teaching for barely two years. Some adjuncts remain adjuncts for years. I’m talking 5 to 10 years until they eventually decide to change professions. That alone was discouraging but I did not let it stop me, I suppose. I saw a position at my current institution, but it was part-time still, but a bit more pay. I decided to apply anyway to keep my options open and started applying for full-time non teaching jobs as well.

Needless to say, I received a call from the chair, but it was actually for a different department than the one I had originally applied for. They had a sudden growth and needed more instructors ASAP. And, they liked my resume. Upon checking out their department, I saw that they were also looking to hire a full-time instructor. So during my interview, I mentioned that although I was interviewing for part-time, I was interested in the full-time position. There were really excited to hear that and said they would be in touch on how to proceed if I was selected for the next step. Long story short, I had a second panel interview, this time for the full-time position, and a few weeks later I was given an offer! So, this is how it happened! Call it luck, but I call it favor! Oh and by the way, I still did not realize it was a work from home position. I thought I would still have to go on campus, but when I asked questions during the last interview about working conditions, their answer was : You can work from home, coffee shop, library, or wherever you want!

Interesting thing is that I found out that I was pregnant with our 2nd child shortly after, so ah, it was indeed a blessing!

What is your schedule like as a WAHM?

I don’t have a set schedule. Some work from home jobs require their employees to work a set schedule and clock in etc, but my job is very flexible. I work whenever. For example, when I had our second child, he stayed home with me that first year so I mostly got work done when my husband got home from work and I would mostly work until 1 or 2am at least 3 days a week. Oh boy. Those days were tough.  Now that he is in daycare 3 days a week, I finally work during normal business hours of the day. This leads to the most common question I get.

Are your kids in daycare? Why?

This is the most misconception about working from home. If you have a job like mine (full-time/salaried), after a while, it is impossible to get any work done with toddlers around unless you don’t mind cooking/ cleaning and taking care of the kids during the day, working from 6pm to 1 or 2am when you can barely focus because you are exhausted from the day, and waking up at 6am to do it all over again! The type of work I do requires concentration, especially when I am grading, so working late at night after running after my kids all day was becoming unrealistic and simply exhausting.  I learned that you can’t do everything on your own. There comes a time when help is needed and really appreciated. It was easier when they were infants.  If you wish to work from home full-time, just be realistic and know that your kids may still NEED to go to daycare, at least part-time.

On the days the kids are home with me, we usually go somewhere for morning activities: playdates and story time etc . I like to keep them active in the morning and then it’s lunch, naptime, and getting dinner ready. If needed, I will work in the evenings for a few hours as well!

When they are not home and are in daycare, I usually get most work done in the hours of 9am to 3pm.

Do you like working from home? Is it really as great? Or is it lonely?

Depends. If I’m grading 60 essays, my answer will most likely be no, I hate it. But if there are no essays to grade, I pretty much LOVE It.

For me, it is both great and lonely. I have my days. I have my moments.  I love and hate my job at the same time. I always daydream about maybe teaching face to face again or getting a new job, but knowing myself, I may end up regretting it. After two years of working from home, I have gotten used to the freedom, flexibility, and etc. It was really hard at first and still is sometimes, but it has gotten a lot better since putting both kids in daycare 3x a week. I have more time to myself to focus on work, clean the house, and just have some ME time etc. I get to work at my favorite coffee shops and talk to people on some days. Is it my dream job? Um…no. I’m tying to live in the moment and convince myself that it is probably the best job for me and my family in our current stage of life. And with time, I may even want to keep it forever. Who knows. Like I said, it’s a hate/love kinda thing.

What can you advise for someone who wants to work from home full-time?

It’s a tricky question because it really depends on the person’s background. For example, you can NOT be an online instructor without at least a Master’s degree; however, you can be an online tutor with a bachelor’s degree.  There are options out there even for moms without a college degree, but the income may not be so great and it may be a bit competitive because so many other moms are applying for the same positions. Perhaps also look into companies that allow employees to work from home after X amount of time. There is online tutoring, data entry, customer service, help desk, etc…Be creative.  Some moms  start their own business, but that takes dedication and patience. I wrote a  post about different options/careers for those wanting to work from home full-time here.

All right, thanks for reading and let me know if there is anything I missed or if you have any questions

Work-at-Home-Moms: When It’s Time To Put The Kids In Daycare

 For the past year, since his birth, I’ve been working from home full-time  with an infant–and it was the hardest thing ever. But… it was worth it! Watching him grow and never missing a moment of his first year was priceless. Now, my oldest has been going to preschool part-time for a while,  so it is also good to be able to spend some days with him at home as well. I am grateful to be a Work-at-Home-Mom.
Working during nap time was never consistent, and working after the kids went to bed was becoming too overwhelming. Sleeping after midnight every night was my life. What was supposed to be “the best of both worlds” became a nightmare. I always complained because of how exhausting the situation was, playing the supermom role and all. I knew it was temporary. We’d agreed we’d  keep him at home the first year, but when he was six months, it was already starting to feel almost impossible. but still,  I tried to hold on a little longer.
See, people have this misconception  that working from home is all peaches and roses. That’s a thing, right? Peaches and roses? I can’t think straight right now (currently tucked in bed writing this). Anyway,  as I was saying,  by working from home, I don’t  mean selling oils or it works! (no offense), but I am referring to work-at-home-moms with a full-time  salary position.
I often hear: “You’re so lucky. I wish I could have your job so I could bring in some income and be with my kids.”
Uh…yeah….
I always tell them to be prepared to do double the work. Because that is the reality. WORK-AT-HOME-MOMS  wear both hats. We’re home with the kids and trying to work at the same time, while keeping up with cooking and household chores while trying not to feel guilty about not devoting enough time to play peek-a-boo.. Let me add how messy the house gets! So it is not as “golden” as people think.
It is; however, a good option if you have a very flexible job where you can set your own hours and work whenever, wherever. Even better if you’re able to have some help during the day for your own sanity.
Every now and then, time away  from the kids can make you a better mother and a much better employee.
All in all, working from home has been a blessing for my family. I do admit that I have a love it and hate it relationship with my job. But at the end of the day, it’s what’s best for my family and our current stage of life.
So in order to continue  to make it work, something had to change after my latest breakdown. And I feel so great about this decision.  Sort of like I can breathe again– major weight lifted off my shoulders.
So now, this mama right here  gets a break three days a week to work during normal business hours of the day and sleep when everyone sleeps because I will no longer have to be a night owl who works past midnight .
Amen to that. 

When Your Plans Fail

 

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. –Proverbs 16:9

I always try to remind myself that my plans are not necessarily His plans. I can try to control my life as much as possible, but at the end of the day, God rules. So even when I find myself questioning and worrying, I remind myself that God has a plan and a purpose for everything in my life–even those beyond my comprehension.

My plans are just that. Mine.

So I’m trusting and believing, even when that seems difficult.  I’m staying positive, even when negative thoughts want to consume my mind.

Most importantly,  I’m letting go.

I’m letting go of my worries and sentiments that won’t let me breathe in peace. Freely.

I’m letting go of failed plans and making ways for new plans.

I’m letting go of broken relationships and making ways for healing.

I’m letting go of disappointment and making a way for restoration.

Because in the end, His plan will always prevail.

 

Gallery

Our Trip To Disneyland and Orange County

My husband had a work conference in Anaheim and since it is not too far, we thought it would be nice if we all went. Since his conference would only be two days (Wed and Thursday), we would have Tuesday and Friday to enjoy California! Well, the main reason why I wanted all of us to go is mainly because it was the final week of the semester, which is usually hectic for me. And since I knew I wouldn’t have anyone to help me with the kids, there was no way I would make it out that week without losing my mind if hubby was not around.  I knew at least that if we were all with him (Arizona or Cali), I could always escape to work after his conference.

Anyway, so on Tuesday morning we headed out to the airport, late and all on a rainy day. And of course we missed our flight, but it’s okay because we got on the next flight.

Once in Orange County, we had lost so much time because we originally planned on going to Disneyland all day. We decided to go still–even if for 4, 5 hours.  Going to Disneyland on a Tuesday is much cheaper than Friday, Sat, and Sunday, by the way.  Our kids got in free because they are still under 3. Yay!

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What most people do is that they get a hotel within walking distance. We happened to be within walking distance of Disney because of my husband’s work conference was at the Hilton, and I’m glad it happened that way!

Anyway, so most people stay in that area so that they can go to Disneyland in the morning as soon as the doors are open, take a break between noon and 3pm, and then go back all the way until the parade. 

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So anyway, the entire time on our way to Orange County, we prepared our oldest and told him he was going to see Mickey Mouse. We assumed that by the time he actually saw him, he would be scared, like most kids. But we were wrong!

He was excited, surprised, and really happy to be at Disneyland!

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We had a great time, but that first day got really really chilly in the evening. And of course, that night I was too tired to work so we all called it a night!

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The next day my husband went off to the 2nd floor of the hotel for his work conference, and I was with the kids, ready for more adventure so we went to Disneyland Downtown. By the way, Disneyland Downtown is sort of a shopping center with stores, restaurants, and entertainment, and it is COMPLETELY FREE! You get there through the main entrance of Disneyland.

That evening, we had a nice dinner and I had a nice glass of margarita. Wrong move. I was  now ready for bed after that drink. BUT… I had no choice. I had to work.  I am not much of a drinker. The last drink I had was at least last year in August. I know this because that is also the day I had my first hangover. I had one drink on an empty stomach. I know…rookie mistake! So, anyway …I had a dilemma. I needed my espresso in order to stay awake but the closest Starbucks had already closed for the night. I decided to go downstairs to the bar, and I was glad I did so because the bartender also had an espresso machine and hooked me up with a triple shot latte.

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The next day was very similar so I will not bore you with the same details, but on Friday, oh boy Friday! It was beautiful. I was done with work and had submitted all grades, so I was ready for some beach time before heading back to Phoenix.  We were all ready for the beach! Given that it was our first time in Orange County, we wanted to check out only one of the best beaches there. So, we decided on Laguna Beach! The drive there was about 30 minutes from the hotel, and we got to realize that Orange County seems more livable than L.A.

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The beach was peaceful, beautiful, and simply serene. I don’t have much more to say so I will simply let you all enjoy the pictures!

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Enjoy the Season You’re In

I feel like I need a change. Career wise. Why aren’t we ever content with where we are? For whatever reason, I feel like where I am now is not enough or where I truly want to be. But then I hear God whisper to me,

Enjoy the season you’re in.

My husband asked me, “What makes you happy?” “What do you truly want to do?”

Well, Write. Read. Research. Home Decor. Anything House related. 

Sometimes simple questions are more complex than they sound. I know what makes me happy, but it feels like there’s  a bridge between us that I can’t seem to cross over.

Five years ago, I saw myself as a novelist someday. Today, I don’t just see myself as a novelist  someday, because my interests have since then reached into other areas other than fiction.  More realistic goals, I suppose.

If you’re a writer then you understand how difficult it is to find a full-time job in this field or be a full-time  writer.

I’m truly learning to be patient. :: patiently waiting, hoping, and praying for the change my heart so desires.