Baby Travels

So this time around, I thought I would keep things light and happy!

Traveling with a baby. Yikes. Sounds terrifying right? For both mom and fellow travelers!

After traveling with my (at the time) 3 month old baby to Arizona, which is a 4 hour flight, I learned a few things and wanted to share them!

  1. Please Please Please do NOT feel the need or obligation to pack a little baggie full of “goodies” for fellow flyers incase your baby decides to be a little grumpy. Why? Because it happens! Babies do that sometimes and we as moms should not feel obligated to please everyone around us. We are already trying our best to keep our sanity and to keep our little babes happy. You are a mom trying your best to travel and that should be enough! Don’t let others add to your stress, mama. Grown adults can suck it up (sorry, but it’s true!) and they can stick their fancy, little pods in their ears to drown out the sound if needed.
  2. Whether your traveling with a baby that is still drinking milk/formula or a little one that is snacking on food, bring a TON. Seriously. Keep those little bellies full and happy. You might have a better shot at having them snooze! In regard to the bottles, it’s a great idea if you can have them eat or suck on a pacifier during take off. This way, they probably won’t experience much in the way of their ears popping!
  3. Bring toys or (dare I say) an iPad or tablet. I am not at all for tablets or other smart gadgets for little ones but in times like this, they can be totally life saving. If you have Netflix, you can download certain movies or TV shows before hand with WiFi.
  4. If your packing breastmilk for your flight, make sure you have that easily accessible. Security will want to check the fluid to be sure it’s not “contaminated”. Also, be sure to leave your breast pump in a place you can easily pull it out of your bag(if you packed it with your carry on items); it will need to go on the belt to be scanned with your other carry on items.
  5. DON’T pack a lot of diapers. Pack 1 diaper for every hour you will be traveling. Do yourself a favor and just buy a small package of them once you land at your destination. This saves on space in your diaper bag and/or other luggage.
  6. If you plan on renting a car at your destination, check to see if the offer car seats. Most car rental places do! This way, you don’t have to haul yours around the airport or pay to check it.

Hopefully these little tips can help you! The first time you fly with a little one, can be SO nerve racking. You just have to remember you are doing the best you can for you and your family. Don’t let others around you make the flight any harder or stressful!

God’s Perfect Timing

Ecclesiastes 3:1 – “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

As a child, my family and I went to church every single Sunday. The only way your butt cheeks were not going to be sitting on one of the many scratchy seats that were lined in a massive sanctuary, was if you were sick. Thanks to my top notch immune system, I rarely missed a single Sunday service.

As I got older and started high school, I started to become a little more independent in my decision making. One of those decisions I had started to make, was not to go to church. I still believed in Jesus but the thought of going to church every Sunday started to be cumbersome because I had been forced to go my whole life.

Once I became a Senior in high school, I starting getting involved with a group of boys that went to a local technical college. Majority of them were not from Ohio and were pretty rough around the edges. I mean, they were aspiring Diesel Mechanics in Downtown Cleveland. What else could you expect?

I was just a skinny, blonde, high school girl and they were greasy, vehicle fixing, cigarette smoking, beer chugging neanderthals. Back then, I thought they were cool. They were the kind of people that I had never really seen or experienced before. I had always been sheltered by my parents within the church walls. These boys had a wild streak that I found utterly fascinating.

As time went on, there was one boy out of the group that I had decided was the best neanderthal of the bunch (LOL). He was cute, had his own car, a couple of tattoos, a bad attitude and a Boston accent to top it all off. We will call him Earle (just for all you Dixie Chicks loving fans). For a naive high schooler just starting to explore what else the world had to offer, this was a recipe for disaster.

Fast forward.

We had moved to Indiana together and I had found myself in an extremely unhealthy and toxic relationship with a person who constantly made me feel insignificant, worthless and broken. The worst part? I let this go on for 5 years. Five years of me foolishly accepting apologies that were supposed to be followed by change but always fell through.

In the summer of 2015, my brother took his own life. I packed up my things and headed to Cleveland for the week.

While I was there, my brother’s mentor who was a long time friend of my parents from church, said he wanted to speak to me before I headed back to Indiana. He said that God had laid it on his heart, to tell me something.

Please keep in mind that I have always believed in Jesus and believed that he was my Lord and Savior. I had simply taken a wrong path and walked away from practicing my faith but had recently started praying about the situation I was in and to help get me out of it.

We met at Starbucks and he cut right to the chase. “Grace, God has been telling me that you are going through some hard times. He wants you to move home. While I don’t know what they are, He has big things waiting for you here.” I instantly started crying. I hadn’t told a soul about what was really going on in my life, let alone my brother’s mentor.

When I returned to Indiana, my brother had been buried for 2 days and I was obviously still emotional. I walked in the door and Earl asked, “How was it?” What kind of question is that? That is a question you ask someone when they are trying a new cheeseburger off the McDonald’s menu, not coming back from a siblings funeral. I started crying and the next thing he said was, “Grace, it’s been a week already. Get over it and stop crying.” Unreal. Can you even believe that narcissistic response?!

The next day I sat and seriously thought about what I had been told in regard to moving home. I had no idea how I would do it though; I would have no where to live, no money and no job. I also had a dog, a small car, a ton of stuff, and a lease on an expensive apartment. So I prayed. And then I prayed some more.

My sister came forward and said, “I wish you would move home. You could bring your dog and come stay with me. You could watch my kids and I will give you some money until you get on your feet.” Okay, God! This was a start. Now, I had to worry about breaking my lease…

Earl and I were supposed to be heading to his homeland, Boston. His dad was getting married. The plane tickets had been booked for several weeks but to my surprise, he would pull the biggest curve ball on me yet. I was supposed to meet him after work one day to pack my stuff and head for the airport. Instead, 2 hours before I was going to leave work, he texted me saying, “Maybe we need to take a break and I should go to Boston alone.” I tried calling and texting back several times silence.

I left work and headed back to our apartment to find that he had packed up his stuff and left. To make an extremely long and emotional story short, Earl had decided to drive to Boston. But that wasn’t the only surprise. He had made the executive decision to take my “best friend” a long for the ride.

Talk about ripping your heart out! I cried and cried and cried. But then I realized something. I realized that this was my door. The door that I had been praying for. I wanted out of the terrible relationship I was in, which he ultimately ended due to his actions. When he returned, he graciously agreed to sign the lease of our apartment over to himself. I then took a leap of Faith and headed back home. I had no idea what I was going to do or how I was truly going to pay my bills but God had gotten me this far, He will take me the rest of the way.

When I had gotten settled in back at home, I found myself employed at a Christian based company. A company whose CEO and President was a gentleman that I knew from church, and had been friends with his kids. As if that wasn’t enough, I was also reunited with an old friend. A friend who is now my husband and the father to my child.

God DID have big things waiting for me!

Was that the way I wanted to leave Earl? No, not really. I could have done without all the crying and heartbreak (LOL) but God had other plans! And while I couldn’t see it at the time, those plans ended up being SO much greater than I could have ever imagined. I am thankful for my experiences because they taught me to not only trust in God but to follow him.

God is always listening and his timing is truly perfect! If God had not intervened in my relationship and put me through that situation, I probably would have stayed and believed all the apologies and promises I was fed; just as I had tens and tens of times before. I believe, that God knew my soft heart and knew exactly what needed to happen for me to leave and never return. He opened those doors for me and I took them.

God won’t always give us the easy way out. Sometimes we have to struggle but as long as we trust and rely on God, He will see us through in His way and His timing. Of course it’s nearly impossible to see that when we are in the midst of something hard but once it passes, we can clearly see what God was doing for us! Regardless of your struggle, big or small, don’t give up. Keep praying. Keep believing and relying on God.

Who is Grace?

Hey there, readers!

I would like to start off my f i r s t blog by saying..Hello!

You’re probably wondering, “Who on earth is Grace?”. Well let me give you a little overview!

Me. I am a 26 year old mother and wife. I was born and raised in a suburb just outside of Cleveland Ohio. I have 3 half siblings (thanks dad) however, they were already adults by the time I got here. Why yes, I was an oopsie. Sheesh, is it that obvious?

My Husband. Jameson and I went to high school together in 2007-2008. He was a senior and I was a Freshman. I would like to tell you that this is your basic fairy tail where we were high school sweethearts and lived happily ever after bbuuuttt that’s not the case here, friends. I was a nerd. I had no idea how to groom myself let alone how to dress like one of the cool kids.

Him on the other hand? He was…well…HOT. So as painful as it is for me to admit, I really just constantly (and obsessively) fantasized from afar when he had no idea who I was until a few years later #embarrassing. I promise I will give you those juicy deets later on.

My Kiddos. I gave birth to my first daughter on 12/01/2018. I feel the need here to include that I gave birth to her completely unmedicated; for that, I am extremely proud of myself. And as crazy as it sounds, I planned it that way! I am also a step-mom to a 10 year old, volleyball loving tweenager who joins our home every other weekend.

My Roots. I have a larger family than most people here of these days. My mom is Polish and one of 3 girls however, my dad is Italian and was one of 11! All of my aunts and uncles are either married or dating, bringing the grand total of cousins to 27! Any family get togethers are usually split between either my mom’s side or my dad’s. For my dad’s side, you can definitely assume that any family or holiday get-together looked a lot more like a neighborhood pep rally than it did just immediate family (shouting and all).

My Schooling. I was homeschooled through 8th grade (with the exception of trying out a “real” school in 2nd grade) then later enrolled in a Lutheran high school near my childhood home, where I received my diploma. Would I recommend homeschooling or do it all over again? Eh. I can go more in depth about this subject at a later date.

My Faith. I grew up in a non-denominational household. We went to church every single Sunday. We also usually ended up going on a Friday or Saturday night, as well as Wednesday nights because my mom often taught a group of middle school girls. While I don’t go to church on Wednesday nights anymore or on a Friday/Saturday, my husband and I are still involved in our local church.

I really hope that you all have enjoyed this little tasting and will continue to follow along with me! I promise I will go into more detail on some of the above topics. If any of you readers have any suggestions on how I can improve or things I should write about please (kindly) let me know! I am always wanting to learn.