2018 to 2019:Starting the Year of Self-Care

It’s been a little quiet on here lately. 2018 was a big year for One Cute Cowboy and I. We welcomed into our world the cutest Lil’ Cowboy and our hearts swell with love and pride each passing month as we continue to grow and learn as a family of 3. I say with confidence, I’ve grown more mentally, emotionally, and spiritually this past year, than in any other year in my life. Becoming a mom has totally rocked my world, in a good way, but also in “everything’s changed” kind of way. Being a good parent comes with a multitude of changes and self-sacrifices. Some we welcomely make, and some we make gritting our teeth.

One thing that has been hard for me, has been making time for self-care and cultivating my relationships with others. It’s easy to be completely wrapped up in your new little one and forget about yourself and others. And don’t get me wrong, I 100% believe it’s okay to be wrapped up in your new little life, I think you should be engulfed in this new treasure…but I also believe it’s incredibly important to take care of your physical and mental self, your marriage, and your close relationships.

Now, I’ve never been big on the whole “New Years” racket. Making resolutions, making a big to-do about it being a new year and a new beginning, and so on and so forth. (Obviously, I’m just now getting around to posting this a week already, into the new year!) You all know what I’m talking about. There’s nothing wrong with any of it, it’s just never been that big a deal to me I suppose...But with that being said, I would like to state a few things I look forward to working towards this coming year (See what I did there 😉)

  • Enjoy Reading Again: 2018 might be one of my slowest reading years to date. I sadly only read a handful of books, and I’m afraid to report the ones I did read are hardly mentionable. So this year I want to take some time to read some good, enjoyable books! (If you have any good recommendations please send them my way!)
  • More Water, More Veggies: Since Little Bear was born I’ve only drank water. With a sip of coke here and there and I think I’ve had 1 or 2 glasses of iced tea. Other than that it’s been my daily (sometimes 2-3 times) hot tea and then it’s just been water. That being said, I still don’t feel like I drink what I should for my daily intake. Actually this is a goal of both One Cute Cowboy’s and mine- Drink more water! And while we’re at it, let’s throw in “to eat more veggies” too! I want Little Bear to grow up loving veggies and fruits, so in order for that to happen, mom and dad need to be intaking more as well.
  • Purge: Since having a new one, we realized just how much “stuff” we have in our home. For some reason I get a sentimental attachment to odd things. Therefore every nook and cranny seem to be filled in our little home. I plan on doing some serious purging in the next few months. I’ve just started reading about KonMari’s method of decluttering. I kinda dig it and I’m wiling to try it.
  • Quality Time: I’m as guilty as anyone about constantly looking at my phone. 🙄 I plan on being more conscientious of my time spent on my phone and taking breaks from social media to make sure I’m spending quality time with my ever-learning son, and my cute husband. 😉 That being said…
    Scheduled Posting: I want to be better this year in having more of a scheduled posting so y’all are aware of when new posts are coming and it’s not so hit and miss for all of you! I haven’t quite decided what that’s going to look like yet, once a week, bi-weekly, once a month? I’m not sure yet, what would y’all like to see?
    Self Care: Lastly, I want to spend this year being sure to take time for self-care. I have a few ways I plan on doing that, but my biggest way I want to work on that is spending more time in God’s word. I’ve lacked in my daily devotionals and prayer time it seems lately, and I can definitely tell when I do. That’s something I ( and I would say all of us) need to keep a healthy mentality and attitude. But I also plan on spending some self care reading, journaling again, and just some alone time to collect my thoughts, write down my goals, and have some quiet to reflect on and listen to God’s words.

2018 tested my patience, my marriage, my self-worth, my heart, my mind, my physical body, my organizational abilities, and my pocketbook. (If you think having a baby won’t test every single one of those aspects of life, then show me your guidebook! Haha!) But it’s also brought more love than I knew imaginable, more patience than I realized, a stronger love to my marriage, more love for myself for what my body and mind and spirit can endure, and more blessings than I knew were possible. God has favored me in this year, and I’m so grateful for His love and patience. I will continue to lean on His guidance and trust His timing and faithfulness. As I’ve been writing this and thinking about 2018, this hymn keeps coming to the surface,

“Great is thy faithfulness,

Great is thy faithfulness.

Morning by morning new mercies I see.

All I have needed thy hand has provided.

Great is thy faithfulness,

Lord unto me.”

I pray that in 2019 I never lose sight of His faithfulness, and to remember, all that I need, His hand will provide.

Happy New Year! May 2019 be full of blessings and new adventures and lots and lots of love. ❤️

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What does your label read?

We are the generation of “label readers.” To me, this isn’t a bad thing. It just means we’ve become conscious of living the best and cleanest way we can. Whenever I see something new I want to try whether it be food, beauty products, or items for my household, I read the label. I want to know what it’s made up of, what ingredients are used, and how will those affect my family and I. I’m amazed at the things that are considered “safe” to use in some products, whether it be a minuscule amount or not. I read the other day the average woman puts 5lbs of harmful chemicals on her skin a year. Five. Pounds. That’s completely insane to me!!

When I became pregnant with Lil Cute Cowboy, I became incredibly aware of what I was putting on and in my body. Now that he’s here, I’m just as obsessive about what’s not only going on my body (since we snuggle up everyday and essentially what’s going on mine is going on his) but what I’m putting on his body as well. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Okay, we get it ya ‘ol hippie! Go green…or whatever!” I’m not trying to necessarily convince anyone of anything, I just think as a whole, we can do so much better in this world. We can take care of ourselves and others better than what we have in the past. #KnowBetterDoBetter

This is, what I would I say, the era of “all natural” and “organic.” Seems like there’s an organic option for just about everything. I’m only going to lightly touch on this one, do I think organic is always the way to go?Not necessarily. We have the knowledge and the resources to know what is and isn’t harmful to our bodies and minds, so why not do the best we can? And Yes, you read that right, our minds. Do I think the moisturizer I put on my face of an evening could possibly affect my state of mine? Absolutely. Do I think that can of Coke OCC is drinking daily could possibly be affecting his mind? I think it’s quite possible. There are so many things out there that can change and modify the chemicals in our body, that it’s scary once you start reading the possible affect some ingredients can have on you.

One Cute Cowboy would tell you I’m a hippie at heart, because I’m always looking for a natural solution. Now, I know, the thought of trying to “go green” or completely change to organic or all natural or back to the “old ways” of doing things is a daunting task. I don’t want to give the wrong impression, One Cute Cowboy and I are pretty conscientious of the things we use on a daily basis and what we put into our bodies, but we definitely do not have it all figured out. We still eat Cheetos, use store bought shampoo, drink cokes (OCC gets to anyway) eat frozen meals, and don’t exercise like we should. Okay, maybe I don’t exercise like I should, OCC gets quite a bit of exercise daily. But my point is, we’re starting to take small steps to try and take out some harmful things in our daily lives and really strive to be the best we can, not just for ourselves but for our little bear. We want him to have a full life and be able to thrive.

Now, up there I said we use store bought shampoo, that’s a bit of a fib. We’re in the process of changing over our shampoo to a more natural, toxic-free option, along with our body soap, the cleaner in our house, and our laundry regiment. Most of you know, I’m an oily gal, and Young Living has come out with some amazing household and beauty products that are, you guessed it, toxic free! Young Living is a brand I fully trust because of their “Seed to Seal” promise. If you’d like to read more about what that means, you can go here.

We just recently got rid of all the toxic cleaners in our house, and replaced it with one, non-toxic cleaner. Thieves Household Cleaner. I do mean all the cleaners in my house.

Windows✔️Countertops✔️ Appliances✔️ Floors✔️ Bathtub/Shower✔️ Toilet✔️Baby Gadgets✔️

It covers all the bases and plus it helps boost your immune system while you clean! Whoop whoop!! We’re in the process of “ditch and switch” with several other things too.

One recent switch we’ve made is our sunscreen. One Cute Cowboy goes through a lot of sunscreen. He wears it just about 300 days a year since he’s in the sun so much! I hated the thought of him putting those chemicals on his body day in and day out (y’all your epidermis is your largest organ, take care of it!) Young Living came out with a mineral based sunscreen that not only works fantastically, but OCC and I can visually tell it’s been better for his skin. No more redness from his skin reacting to the chemicals in his old sunscreen.

So, my point being, make good choices for you and your family. Get interested in what you’re consuming,internally and externally. You may ask yourself, “does it really matter? If it’s only a little bit {of toxins} in (fill in the blank) is it really doing me any harm?” My answer will be, “YES! It matters because YOU matter.” If there’s just a “little bit of toxins” in 90% of the products you use, then think about what that’s building up in your body. I don’t know about you, but I know where I’m making my vote, and that’s with where I spend my money for better products for me and my family. Like I said above Know better, do better!

{steps off soapbox} ☺️

If any of y’all are interested in learning more about Young Living products or are ready to ditch and switch the products in your home, shoot me an email or go sign up here. Or if you’re interested to see just how harmful some of the products in your household are, download the “Think Dirty” app and look them up! It’s helped open my eyes a lot!

*ASpottedHeart

July on the Ponderosa

Lil’ Cute Cowboy coming nose-to-nose with his first bronc!

July has felt long and short all at once. Seems like just last week I was writing June’s Ponderosa post, but at the same time, there’s also been a lot of happenings this month.

One Cute Cowboy kicked off the month by completely replacing the floor in his stock trailer. This took a few days and evenings, and the finished product was well worth the time spent. It’s as good as new!

We celebrated the 4th of July with family and friends in the park of our small community. We had hamburgers and hotdogs and homecut French fries. Our local firefighters did all the cooking. It was delicious. We threw our big jean & fleece blanket on the ground and ate and listened to the live band. Bratcher wasn’t sure what to think of it all at first, but he warmed up to it. He even got to meet one of his future little classmates!

Guess what else One Cute Cowboy did this month. No guesses? Fixed and built more fence! Haha! As I’ve said before, it’s truly a never ending job. I guess it’s job security, because there’s always fence to be worked on somewhere. He finished up building the hot wire fence for the CRP cattle and got them all moved to their new pastures for the next couple months.

Along with CRP cattle, comes the job of hauling water. Most CRP pastures don’t have a water source, therefore the Cowboy’s have to haul the water to the cows every, single, day. The little rig above is new to the ranch, and has been pretty dang handy. The Cowboys haul water to 3 pastures everyday, and it takes around 2 hours from start to finish. I always like to go haul water, though I haven’t gotten to this year any. It’s always fun to see the cows come in for a fresh, cool drink of water.

It was unbearably hot here for about 2 weeks. It reached 106 for a high and we were over 100 for 6 days! Days like that make me so ready for fall to come around. It’s especially important on days like that to make sure every pasture has water and all windmills are working as they should. This month also consisted of a lot of water checking and more windmill oil checking.

The Cowboys rotated some of the cattle around to different “summer” pastures to give some of the land a break. As I talked about in June’s post, it’s just as important to take care of our land as much as the cattle. God made us to be good stewards of both, for they’re each a living thing and have been gifted to us.

As you may have gathered, One Cute Cowboy is a jack of many many trades! He is also a Superior Livestock representative. He spent part of the month contracting and selling cattle through Superior. July is a busy time because of the annual Superior sale that happens up in the Rockies. The first year we went it was up in Steamboat,CO. The last two years it’s been in Breckinridge, CO. We didn’t go this year but OCC and my dad watched a lot of the sale online on the Superior website. Each year OCC contracts calves for local producers that top the markets throughout the United States. We have some dang good cattle in this part of the country! Be sure and contact OCC if you have some cattle that need reppin’. 😉

OCC did quite a bit of maintenance work on machinery and trailers this month. As I’ve mentioned before, he likes to keep everything in tip-top shape!

He also cleaned out the pens here at the house a couple evenings. It’s important to keep your pens clean of old manure and hay. It helps the animal stay healthier and keeps their immune systems strong. As well as it cuts down on those pesky flies! It’s not just a healthier environment for them to live in, but a happier one!

Here on the homefront we had our first successful grocery shopping trip with Little Bear! Woohoo! This may not seem like a big feat for most, but it was for this little family! We also went to our first church service. He did completely awesome at both! He’s such a trooper!

Well, there are the happening for us in July here at the Ponderosa. Hope you had a good July, stay tuned this August for a special edition from the animals on the Ponderosa!

*ASpottedHeart

Lil’ Cute Cowboy’s Favorite Books at 4 Months Old

Growing up, I always loved stories. I loved being read to, I loved library day once I was in school, and when I got old enough I loved reading! My love started out with Clifford the Big Red Dog (Oddly enough I haven’t bought any of those for Little Bear yet) and then continued to grow the more I read and learned of other authors like Mercer Mayer, Bill Wallace, and Peggy Parish.

When I first brought Lil’ Cute Cowboy home from the hospital, I wasn’t really sure what to do when he was awake, so I’d read to him. Studies have shown that children that were read to as infants grow up with a larger vocabulary and more advanced mathematical skills. This also helps develop their language skills. Its great for their brains to see pictures and connect words with those pictures.

Needless to say, Little Bear gets read to every day, and at 4 months, these are his favorite books.

1. Disney Bunnies All Ears

He loves this book! His Aunt MiMi got this book for him for Easter and he’s just started really enjoying it. I think he loves Thumper’s big eyes and pliable ears! He always smiles when he sees I have this book to read.

2. The Brave Cowboy – by Joan Walsh Anglund

This is the cutest book! We were gifted this book and he loves when his daddy reads it to him. I have a feeling this will be a book we will be reading for many many more years! It’s also illustrated really fun; what’s really happening in the story is in black and white drawings, but his imagination is depicted in red. I’d recommend this to any little Cowboy!

3. Snuggle Bunny by Kate Dopirak

This is a book we’ve been reading since day one. I think what he enjoys most on this book is the pictures of all the different animals that come over to Snuggle Bunny’s house for Snuggle Bunny Day. When you read this one he just looks and looks at the pages. It’s a really cute and fun book.

4. There’s a Wocket in my Pocket by Dr. Seuss

This kid loves Dr. Seuss! You start reading this book and he starts jabbering like there’s no tomorrow! I think he likes the rhyming and rhythm. Dr. Seuss is so highly praised in the literary world (and by teachers everywhere) because rhyming helps children understand how language works. They learn to predict what’s coming next, which is another great learning tool to have in their toolbox. I think Little Bear also really enjoys the illustrations with the bright colors and funny looking creatures in Seuss world!

5. Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins

This is right up there with the Dr. Seuss books! The rhyming and rhythm of this book gets him talking and kicking and you can tell he really enjoys this book!

6. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr.

He loves this classic children’s book. It’s celebrating its 25th anniversary of being published this year! His eyes get big as he looks at the colors and shapes while you read. I look forward to continuing this book in hopes that it helps him learn his colors. You can’t go wrong with a classic.

And now for Lil’ Cute Cowboy’s favorite book right now:

7. Bedtime for Chickies by Janee Trasler

You guys, he absolutely loves this book! You start out with the opening line, “It’s bedtime for chickies, it’s bedtime for sheep…” and he starts kicking his legs, waving his hands, and jabbering like it’s the greatest thing in the world! This book always makes him smile. It’s a cute little story about some little chickies who just won’t go to bed! It’s a repetitive book, and I think that’s part of why he loves it so much, because he anticipates what’s coming next. Like when the chickies go “cheep cheep cheep!!” He Loves that! I definitely recommend this book if you have a little one. Really cute!

So there are Lil Cute Cowboy’s Favorite books at this age. I’m so thankful he enjoys story time, because Mama sure does too!

** I cant forget one of his favorites, his crinkly book shown above! Haha! Every baby needs a crinkle book, here’s a link to his: Penguin and Friends

Did you enjoy this post? Is this something ya’ll, my readers, would be interested in as a monthly thing? Maybe not 7, but 1 or 2?new children’s book recommendations a month? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email aspottedheart@gmail.com

Thanks for reading!

*ASpottedHeart

The Moon-Lit Sessions

My lifestyle has changed a bit in the last few months, and I’m up at all hours of the night. I’m beginning to realize why God made me a night owl, he was just prepping me for motherhood.

I’ve always liked the night-time. Growing up I’d stay up watching Nick at Nite until the wee hours of the morning and the infomercials would take over. As I got older (and Nick at Nite stopped playing the good shows) I’d spend those late nights watching movies,writing in my journals, or reading. When I lived in Nashville, those hours are where I found my solitude to write, to think, to be creative. (I used to have another blog on Tumblr that was primarily pictures, but fun and inspiring.)

So now as I find myself awake in the wee hours of the night I revisit some of those habits. I find myself searching to be inspired. Which raises the questions, What inspires me? Where am I pouring out my creativity? What makes my soul feel energized?

I think it’s important to stay inspired and to ask yourself these questions often. To keep your mind stimulated. To do things that “fill your cup” so to speak. One of my favorite sayings is, “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” meaning you must first make sure you are taking care of yourself before you can start “pouring” or reaching out to love/help/appreciate others. If to haven’t taken the time to nurture and take care of your own soul and mind, how can you help others?

So what feeds your soul? What makes you feel alive and happy? Maybe it’s writing. Maybe it’s baking. Maybe it’s climbing a mountain. Maybe it’s sitting alone, in the quiet for 5 minutes. Whatever feeds you, whatever fills your cup, make sure you’re making time for that. Now, I know that’s much easier said than done. If I’ve learned anything from becoming a mother it is this, time is no longer yours, and has taken on a whole new meaning. I don’t think one truly understands time until it’s no longer their own. Haha! But honestly, I understand how “finding the time” can truly be a difficult thing.

But I urge you, find the time to recharge and fill your cup. In this season of my life, in those late night sessions, I find myself in prayer more often than not. Prayer has a way of recharging me spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. It can inspire me and inspire new thoughts and ideas. Never underestimate what prayer can do for you.

So what do your “moon-lit sessions” look like? How are you recharging and staying inspired? I want to hear from my readers about what’s inspiring you or how you’re staying inspired!

*ASpottedHeart

May on the Ponderosa

Well, here we are starting into June. My oh my, how summer has rushed upon us! It’s been in the upper 80’s low 90’s the last couple weeks, which feels insane to be that warm already. But I will say, we’ve had some nice little thunderstorms! We’re always thankful for rain!!

This month has been full of more brandings for One Cute Cowboy. 2,900 calves in 21 days to be exact!

Started the month off with finishing up the branding at the ranch headquarters and has been gypsy jumping around from ranch to ranch “dayworking” (helping other ranches for a short time), all month!

This time of the year is tough on cowboys because not only are they working long hard days but they have to get their normal jobs completed and cows checked and problems dealt with on their own ranches after “dayworking” for the other ranches. Needless to say, they can turn into VERY long days! No one ever said being a Cowboy’s wife would be easy.

OCC had the yearly branding at my in-laws in New Mexico, just on the other side of Kenton, Oklahoma this month as well. Once again, Lil Cute Cowboy and I decided to stay home since it would be hot, windy, and dusty. This mama bear is still a little overly protective. ☺️

The brand on the calf pictured above is One Cute Cowboy’s great grandpa’s brand. It’s been in his family for 5 generations! Agriculture is all about tradition you know. It’s neat to know that the calves have received this same brand for all of these years.

The bulls of the ranch were finally happy to be placed out in their different pastures for the summer. It’s important to make sure and give the bulls and cows a break from one another. Some of the bulls will be gathered back up in July, and some will get to stay with the cows until October.

Speaking of bulls, we got all of our registered bulls delivered this month as well. It’s a good feeling to have them all placed at good ranches .

One Cute Cowboy and I have our own little herd that got vaccinated and branded this month too. Have I ever told you about Mama, the friendly cow? She’s an older cow that Riley and I got in our first herd right after we got married. She is such a sweetheart, she’ll come right up to eat cake out of your hand (she’s actually usually up in your business trying to see if you actually have any cake in your hands to snatch up!) She always throws us a good little bull calf each year, which we’re always happy to see! She’s talked one of the other mamas into coming up to us too. We call this ‘ol gal Sister.

One of the biggest changes this month on the Ponderosa is I went back to work at my 9 to 5. It’s been incredibly hard leaving Little Bear everyday, but we’re getting more of a routine down and learning and growing. I try to remind myself to just be in the moment and not to dwell on not being with him all day. It’s definitely hard on this mama!

This Lil Ranch Kid is growing like crazy and smiling and laughing and just so much dang fun! Our hearts are full here on the Ponderosa.

Happy June!

*ASpottedHeart

Saturday Favorites: New Mom Edition

I figured what better “favorites” list to do this Saturday, but one of a new mom! I realize this won’t be all that interesting for some of you, but as a new Mom there are definitely some things I couldn’t function without along with a few “wish list” items as well. So without further adieu, here we go:

The Snuggle Me Organic

This wonderful little lounger is something I am so glad I invested in. When I lie Little Bear in it, it envelopes him in and he snuggles down and is comfortable and happy. Its’s sling design mimics being held and cuddled. This has been a life-saver for us! Plus it’s made in the USA!

Mud Pie Swaddles

I got a couple sets of these muslin swaddles for baby gifts and I absolutely love them! I received several nice, pretty swaddles but I think the Mud Pie ones are my favorite if for nothing more than the simple fact of, they’ve kept their softness. You seriously can not have enough swaddle blankets. You’d be surprised how often you use one.

Rock n’ Play

This is definitely one of those things I think all moms need. It’s so nice to be able to lay Little Bear down in it when I need to get some things done around the house. It rocks him back and forth and even has 3 different sound settings to soothe him as he sleeps. This is a must for us! It’s also light and easy to move around, which is a plus in my books.

Cloud Island Burp Cloths

Something I definitely underestimated before motherhood were burp cloths! I never gave much thought to them to tell you the truth and it wasn’t really something that was on my “radar” of things I needed. Boy am I glad I had mamas that knew otherwise! I got a set of these Cloud Island burp cloths that are perfectly soft and nice and long to drape over your shoulder or across baby’s back while burping. They’re the perfect material to soak up any spit-up or drool that baby might have. My sister also made me some really soft and cute ones that are my go-to for using on Little Bear’s face because of their plush softness. My point is-make sure you have good burp cloths.

Owlet Baby Care Monitor

We got this as a gift from my parents and let me tell you, its made the difference in how well we sleep. It’s a baby heart and oxygen monitor that goes on their foot when you put them down to sleep. It has a “Home” base that goes by the crib and it connects to your phone via wi-fi. Anytime I want to check Little Bear’s heart rate, I click on the app and it shows me his heart rate and oxygen levels. Any time one goes below what’s considered a normal level, it sends an alarm to my phone and the base station alarm goes off and it turns red. This has made sleeping so much better because I know if our guy is in danger that alarm will go off and we can take action. I can’t tell you how much better I sleep at night knowing this. Now, that doesn’t go to say I don’t still wake up several times a night to check on him, but it definitely gives me peace of mind. This is something I think is most certainly worth the investment!

Now for a couple of “wish list” items:

WildBird Sling

I’m in love with these slings. I received a Moby sling and it works good, but unfortunately Little Bear isn’t a big fan of it. He’ll tolerate it for about 5 minutes, then he’s done. I think it’s getting him situated in it that gets him so frustrated. I think with the Wildbird Sling, it would only take a second to plop him in and go. Something I really love about WildBird is there isn’t some big manufacturing company making these, they’ve hired 45+ seamstresses that are moms, that work from their own home to create these beautiful slings. I think that’s pretty spectacular, giving mom’s the chance to stay at him with their baby birds.

Mama Wolf

Every new mom needs a tee stating her new title, and this is my current fav! “Mama Wolf” I love this on so many levels!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mamas!

*ASpottedHeart

Mama Bear 🐻

I can’t believe my baby bear will be a month old this week! I always thought it was a little silly when I’d hear other moms say this but, Time, slow down already!! I totally get it now, he’s already changing so fast. While I love it, it’s also a little sad because he’s not my little newborn anymore. I never knew I could love being a mom this much. Most of you probably read my Pregnancy Truths post, and know my journey to this point; but even still I never dreamed I would love this stage so much. It can be hard and frustrating and oh-so tiresome, but when this little guy falls asleep on my chest, or his little blue eyes look into mine, I completely melt and it’s hard to imagine life any other way.

Moms, I know I’m not telling you anything new, this isn’t some new revelation on Mom’s loving their children, but it’s a bit of awakening in my own heart that I just want to share I guess.

I didn’t get to share my Lil’ Cute Cowboy’s “full” birthing story last week so I want to share a little more about it with you today.

At 9:30 the night I went into labor, One Cute Cowboy and I had just gotten home from going into town to get supper at Subway. He decided to go check the heifers before coming inside to eat so I went out to the pens with him. There was a heifer whom was clearly having trouble having her calf, so he got her into the chute to pull the calf.

OCC started to pull the calf and was having some difficulty, then the mama went down in the chute which makes it near impossible to continue pulling a calf when a heifer goes down like that. So I was trying with all I could to get her to stand back up while OCC continued to try to save this calf and get it pulled. He asked me to go get a sorting stick, to poke her with,out of the pickup, so here I am 9 months and 1 day over due and I’m at a trot to the pickup so we can get this mama up. (One Cute Cowboy still thinks this is the reason I went into labor.) I got back and OCC had successfully pulled the calf and it was alive and well, but the mama was going to need stitched up. So we got the pickup and trailer and hauled her into the vet to be stitched up and get her back to her calf. We got back to the house around 11:00 and went to bed.

A mere hour and half later I woke up, just like I had been the last 7-8 months, to go to the bathroom, but when I got up, my water broke and I had a really strong and long contraction. I knew the time had finally come! I woke up One Cute Cowboy and he looked at me in disbelief. Haha! Poor guy had been waiting for months to meet his son, and now that it was time he looked at me with a look of shock and said, “right now?!” We got our bags I’d packed a few weeks earlier and headed out the door. Although if you were to ask OCC, he’d say I dilly-dallied. 😏

We said a short prayer together as we left our home and we were on the road to Amarillo. I started having consistent contractions as we pulled out of the drive that were only 5 minutes a part. I must say, at that point OCC and I were pretty scared because they were so close together and we still had a 2 hour drive ahead of us!!! They stayed at a steady 5 minutes apart as One Cute Cowboy drove 90 with his hazards flashing. Praise God for He was watching over us and we made it to Amarillo at 3 a.m.

Once we got to the hospital, time seemed to slow down a bit. They got me in my room and started getting my IV hooked up and my contractions were now starting to get stronger, but still about 5 minutes a part. Something I’d gone back and forth about was whether or not I wanted an epidural. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate needles? Also, I guess I’m a little “crunchy” you could say, and I was torn between not wanting to feel unbearable pain, and wanting to have the full experience of bringing another human being into the world. Let me just tell you, after those contractions started getting stronger, the only thing I could think of is what a saint those women who don’t get epidurals are! I told One Cute Cowboy I had a whole new respect for my Mom who had 3 girls without any medication. So as you may have already guessed, I opted for the epidural and after that, it was a little smoother sailing. OCC and I actually both took naps believe it or not!

About 9 hours later it was time for Bratcher to finally make an appearance. It was the hardest, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life. The human body is absolutely mind-blowing what it can endure and do! It can be pushed to what feels like it’s limits only to prove to you it can do so much more. God truly did something magnificent when he created us.

When you see that little guy, that’s been inside of you growing and thriving the last 9 months, finally face to face it’s the truest purest form of love at first sight. To know that he is yours is incomprehensible in that moment and there’s an overwhelming feeling of pure joy.

One Cute Cowboy was a complete trooper through the entire process! He never left my side. He got to do his part as well, some pretty amazing Dad stuff! He immediately was handed towels to start drying him off, he cut the umbilical cord, then once he was ready OCC helped measure him, weigh him, and put on his first diaper. A little later he helped give him his first bath. It’s amazing how instantaneously my love also grew for him in those moments.

Now here we are a month later, being parents! My days are all mashed together. Spending most of our time nursing, sleeping, and a little play/reading time each day. OCC and I’s evenings consist of cooing over whatever cuteness Lil Cute Cowboy is serving up and just enjoying being Mom and Dad. One Cute Cowboy has been amazing about making breakfast and supper, cleaning, and making sure LilCC and I don’t want or need for anything! He’s pretty amazing. 😍

Even though it’s incredibly scary to be 100% responsible for another human being, it’s incredibly rewarding to be this little bear’s mama. I thank God everyday for these two Cowboy’s He’s put in my life.

Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

*ASpottedHeart

Love, Love, Love

Lately, I’ve thought a lot about Love. February seems to do that…and being pregnant. The word itself has become so commonly used, but do we ever stop to think about what love actually means to us?! According to Webster’s dictionary there are 9 different definitions of love, nine! Maybe thats’s why they say love is a universal language.

I won’t list what all nine say, but let me tell you the ones that resonate the most with me.

1) strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.

2) warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion.

4) unselfish loyal and benevolent

9) God

These are my 4 favorite ways that love are described. Being pregnant has made me really focus on the love between One Cute Cowboy and I, and the love we already have, abundantly overflowing, for little bear. It also has made me fiercely protective of that love. I guess you could say like a Mama Bear, I want to protect and nurture and make the love I have for Little Bear prosper, but I also feel that strong intuition to protect the love between One Cute Cowboy and myself.

That “warm attachment” mentioned above, has been like red-hot attachment lately. We’ve been savoring these last couple months as just “us” and cherishing one another for what we’ve become as a couple, and what we’ll soon be–parents! We’re wanting to make sure we’re setting a strong foundation of love for our Little Bear to look to when everything else seems to falter. We want him to know how deeply his parents not only love him, but love each other. I think it’s important for kids to see that.

Which brings me to the number nine definition of Love–God. I can’t help but think it’s that red-hot attachment that He has for us as well. He wants us to know His deep love for us, and to share that love.

Now a minute to brag on my loving husband. I’m strong-headed (so is he) but he lovingly takes me in stride when my temper runs over. He is my supporter in anything I set my mind to. He is my rock, he is my shelter. He is quite simply the love of my life, and soul-mate. I can’t imagine going on this journey with anyone else in this world. Our love isn’t perfect by any means, but we’ve learned to love through the imperfections.

” It’s not a walk in the park to love each other, but when our fingers interlock I can’t deny, can’t deny, you’re worthit. ‘Cause after all this time, I’m still into you.”–Paramore

We’ve been on many adventures together, but we’re getting ready to embark on our greatest adventure yet, there’s not a doubt in my mind that you’re my One. Happy Valentine’s Day, My One Cute Cowboy! ❤️