Tornado Warning

Stephanie G

Sitting with my children having a movie day, I’m scrolling through my phone checking for weather updates and Facebook to see friends and family are safe and well. Suddenly my phone alerts me “Tornado Warning”, the warning instructs us to take cover. I look at it confused. There are clouds in the sky, but it’s perfectly calm and there isn’t even rain falling. I already packed a diaper bag, not really because I was concerned about the tornado warning. I was more concerned with the flash flood warnings for our area. This is the first time we’ve experienced severe weather since we moved here, so we’re not familiar with the areas that are prone to flooding.

A little while later it starts raining very heavy as well as lightning and thunder. My children become a bit fearful. My phone alerts me of another tornado warning. This time I’m a bit more concerned. The wind had begun picking up. I was looking out windows all throughout the house, I saw nothing. Even still, I wasn’t too worried I figured it’s better to be prepared. I shoved some clothes in a bag and rounded up my children’s favorite toys for comfort and put it all in the master bath closet. I figured I’d end up just taking it all out later. I went back to check on the kids with their movie and I realized how violent the wind had become. I was actually concerned about a storm. For the first time since I was a kid, I was freaking the F#@! out. I rushed my children into the closet and closed the doors. I got them situated to one side of the closet so if I needed to I could quickly get in, sit down and close the door.

Sitting on the the toilet in front of the closet clutching my 5 month old close, I watched my 2 and 4 year old obliviously playing on the iPad. The thunder grew louder and the house began to moan from the gusts of wind. I sat there with my heart pounding in my chest, adrenaline coursing through me trying so hard toIMG_1754 stay calm. A mantra in my head, “if you freak out, the kids freak out.” My toddlers began to grow aware of the raging storm and began asking questions. My 2 year old is a beast and she was just mimicking her sister, she wasn’t actually scared. My 4 year old on the other hand, she has autism. Loud noises tend to be a sensory overload sometimes, when she is not expecting the noise. My common approach is to be honest and tell her the truth no matter how scary it may be. So I explained to her it was a thunderstorm and that it may even be a tornado. After explaining the “scariness” of the tornado she began to shout, “Be quiet sky! Don’t make any tornados!” It was much needed humor to shake me out of my fright, but it didn’t last long.

I received a text message from my husband, “Everything ok?” At that moment I felt like I was about to pass out. While I was busy corralling my children into the closet the love of my life completely slipped my mind. My husband was at work. Where the entire store front is floor to ceiling windows. I felt the bile rise in my throat. Before I could finishing processing how upset I was the lights began to flicker, in that same dramatic fashion as a movie. I remembered at the moment no matter what happens I have to do my best to keep our babies safe. As I’m listening to this 70 year old home creak and moan, I’m trying so hard to keep myself calm. I’m focusing on listening for shattering glass or cracking. Anything that may indicate that there’s a tornado and I needed to curl my ass up in that closet next to my babies.

Finally after 30mins of sitting there the storm started to let up. I walked around and checked the house to make sure everything was intact and the storm was actually calm. The children were happy to wander the house and I’m now free to relax and let go of my panic. My husband is home just moments later since he only works down the street. He sees the girls are all perfectly content and not effected by the situation and immediately takes me into his arms and hugs me. He hugs me so tight. I can only imagine the panic he was in, not being right next to us during those 30 mins. Not only was it me he was worried for, but his entire life. His whole existence was huddled together terrified and possibly in danger, and he could do nothing. That moment we hugged each other was a moment of pure joy, relief, and love. Perhaps, it really wasn’t a life threatening situation, but it was terrifying none the less.

Hold your loved ones close every time you embrace. Always say “I love you”, even if you’re angry. Never forget how big of a piece to your life someone is.
Our thoughts and hope are going out to all the families effected by this terrible series of floods and storms.

S Garza

Family Photos

Stephanie G

 

 

It may not seem like the best picture to others but we absolutely adore her grump face.

It may not seem like the best picture to others but we absolutely adore her grump face.

A beautiful portrait to hang on the wall in your dinning room or living room is always one of the best ways to make a home welcoming and inviting. It gives it character and brings out the love that is in the home. It’s something you will look at and remember that day for years. I don’t know about other people, but I always find myself a bit stressed trying to get everyone dressed and ready for the photo. I even have to tell Mr.Garza what to wear, if he had it his way we’d all be in pajamas like we’ve just crawled out of bed. Although that’s actually how we look most of the time, we do dress decent to leave our cozy little home.

Newborn photos were a piece of cake and two month old photos were fairly easy as well, but now that I have two toddlers. I’m wondering how things are going to play out. When we had our youngest’s 2 month portraits done we had a family portrait taken as well, that was an event all in itself. A good friend has offered to take Bluebonnet photos of my girls, I was very excited because I’ve actually been thinking about it a lot this year. It will just be photos of my girls, but I’m sure something will prove to be a challenge. So I’m on to my first step and that’s just choosing the clothes. Yellow dresses and pink cowboy boots, I’m trying to embrace a little southern flare and play of the color of the bluebonnets.

So it’s finally time to have their photos taken. There’s perfect little valley that’s at the

This is one of my favorites.

This is one of my favorites.

bottom of a hill located right of a road just on the outskirts of our town. First things first when we arrive and that’s to check for snakes. The grass was fairly short so snakes weren’t much of an issue, it was huge thorny vines we had to watch for. After that it was time to take some photos. We were trying so hard just to get the girls to stay together, but that was not going to happen. My 1 yr old is so grumpy and confused by all they flowers that she just stands and pouts most of the time. I’m trying to get behind my friend and I’m using all my tricks to get my girls to smile or play nice to each other… There was no cooperation that day.

Our favorite out of all the photos.

Our favorite out of all the photos.

After all the chaos was said done and laying on the ground and running around trying to a achieve a perfect portrait she managed to snap some beautiful photos of my girls. Although some people want perfect portraits of their children smile, I have to say I love seeing them as their natural selves and I happen to love my 1 year olds grump face. I’m learning to lay down my fight for perfection, because none of us are perfect. Those little imperfections in our portraits will remind us of a memory forever.

I few things to keep in mind when you go to take photos; If your child uses a pacifier, get it away before hand so your little sweetie is not red in the face from crying. Perhaps bring some treats to help calm them down if they get upset. Always dress accordingly, if you’re taking out door photos and you want to sit on the ground, pants/leggings are a good idea. Even a blanket to sit on would be helpful. For the older children, a little bargaining can go a long way. “After we take photos we can get some ice cream”, just an example. And always remember even though photographers can sometimes be expensive, the quality photos they capture will always be worth it.

 

 

If you like the photos and live in the San Antonio area, consider Butterfuly Wings Photography for your next family portrait. http://butterflywingsphotography.weebly.com/

S Garza

Birthday Fun

 

Stephanie G

 

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Mrs.Bailey, myself and D

I am 27 this year, I wanted to do something exciting and get out of town. Funds did not allow for the kind of adventure I was hoping. Instead I decided upon dinner with good friends, my mother, and of course my loving husband. Realizing I’m pushing 30 just made think about the fact that I will not have the stamina I do now. I just want to live life to the fullest I can, so next year I will definitely be doing something more exciting.

We started out the evening at my favorite sushi restaurant. We were sitting inside waiting for the last of our party to arrive to be seated. In walks Mrs.Bailey with a very large wrapped box and a smaller one on top. I couldn’t believe it, I was so surprised and happily so. I hadn’t received a wrapped present for my birthday in years. I eagerly opened the

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One of my fabulous new Lamps.

presents, I started with the small one. It was a lamp shade, and anyone who knows me has heard me go on and on about how I want an Eiffel tower lamp. So I immediately squealed and began unwrapping the big box, I couldn’t believe it, it was two lamps. I was so excited. She didn’t realize herself that there had been two so I’m short a lamp shade, but who cares, I got my Eiffel tower lamps. I am so excited and grateful for the thoughtful gift. Even more so that she took the time to look for them, she was originally searching for an Eiffel tower clock that was no longer at the store. I’m very fortunate to have such a sweet friend.

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Cherry Blossom

We were seated quickly where we began to talk and order our food, I was still gushing about my awesome present. We ordered Gyoza to start before our sushi came out. I’m absolutely crazy for Salmon nigiri and my husband loves sweet shrimp that comes with tempura shrimps heads. That’s always a conversation starter. We laughed and cringed as Mr.Garza crunched into the heads without even wincing. The rest of our sushi came out we all shared, that way would could get more variety.

After dinner Mrs.Bailey, K, and myself drove to karaoke, where Mrs.Bailey

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My delicious cookie cake.

would drop us off. We were laughing so hard and having a good time, it was wonderful. Embarrassing stories from my youth were told, my own embarrassment exposing my identity. It was all in good company so I’m ok with that. We arrived at the bar where another person was having a birthday. It brought me a bit down because he had his group of friends there already. But I reminded myself that I have all their love even if they weren’t with me. So I carried on sang with enjoyed my time with K until D and her boyfriend finally arrived. A while later my best friend finally arrived and I was so excited to see her. She had a cookie cake in hand, it read, “Happy Birthday Love Muffin”.

I had a wonderful evening with wonderful friends and I am truly grateful for you all. Your crazy, eccentric, reserved, and my perfect match. Not everyone gets to meet friends that they can be completely themselves with, but I have.

S Garza

Getting my Family Healthy

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I’m about to say the thing that thin girls aren’t allowed to say… I gained a lot of weight. Yeah I said it. In the time I have been with my husband I have gained 20+ pounds. Not all of them have been negative but the area around my stomach is very discouraging. This amount might not be that much to anyone else but to me that is a lot. When I graduated high school I weighed around 115 pounds. I’m not going to lie I was pretty scrawny but that was the way my figure was (or so I thought). This past year I started noticing things like I can’t fit into dresses that I got a year ago, my Halloween costume no longer fits, and pant shopping is a damn nightmare. I’ve tried running, Yoga and Zumba but nothing seemed to be working. I started getting really discouraged instead of pumping myself up to go run or to do a 30 minute session I would just stare at my computer. I was becoming bitter and thinking I might as well embrace it. Instead of embracing it I fell out of all of my routines. I switched from doing a facial cleansing routine in the morning and night to staying up late and getting up at the last minute. I wouldn’t do my makeup or hair for work I just grabbed a t-shirt and jeans and headed out the door. I needed something to get me out of my slump and it came from the most unlikely place.

 Victoria’s Real Secret

Victoria’s Secret models have always gotten a bad rap for sexualizing women and giving them a false image of what a woman’s bodyhttp://www.myfacehunter.com/2013_11_01_archive.html should look like. For women born without double d’s and bleach blonde hair it can be very frustrating to see perfectly tan goddesses in diamond studded swimsuits. I used to think the exact same way until recently when I was watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and I got really pumped to work out. Seeing these beautiful, hard working women really inspired me. Not everyone can look like a super model and I don’t think I ever will, but I do think that I can be the best version of myself. Seeing these beautiful fit (not rail thin) models on stage just enjoying life and watching the interviews where they were kind and courteous gave me a sense of purpose. If they could get up at the crack of dawn to work out, get in full hair and makeup, work, study, and eat healthy so could I. I could be the person that I wanted to be and knew I could be. It was like seeing those gorgeous girls in giant crystal wings kicked me in my butt. Instead of taking something beautiful and being filled with jealousy and anger I saw the beauty in other women and felt pride for them and their achievements.

Making the Decision

After being so inspired by some real life angels my husband and I had a discussion about being healthier. We knew that we would have to change pretty much everything about the way we were living.  Our typically routine at night consisted of driving in traffic for an hour, getting really hungry on the drive, arriving at home and deciding that we were going to get fast food instead. Now don’t get me wrong, we cooked food at home MOST of the time, but those moments where we were too tired started to become 2-3 times a week. We weren’t doing any type of exercise and were more tired every day. Coming to the same conclusion was an easy one for the both of us. A relative had already been using a workout and had a lot of success with it so we decided to try the same one.

Eating Better

http://hormoneeducation.com/balance-your-hormones-through-diet/The new workout also came with a nutrition guide which had very specific guidelines such as; no dairy, no gluten, no processed foods, no caffeine, and many others. We also had specific types foods to eat during specific times of the day to make it easier to digest and to release energy into the body. We got rid of all of our food since it was all processed or had some type of ingredient in it we couldn’t have. We started planning our meals and prepping them the night before and got really excited to start. Unfortunately the first two days were miserable for us and extremely disheartening. The food tasted horrible and the portions were way too much for me to eat. We also both felt awful like we had been hit by a truck. We decided to adjust the plan a little bit so we didn’t set ourselves up for failure. At first I was feeling like we had failed, but after talking it over we decided that it would be the best option for us. We follow the process mostly the only things we have changed is the specific foods at certain times of the day and we season the food as well. This doesn’t mean we pile bbq sauce on everything but we also don’t eat salad with just a lemon squeezed over it. We have made an effort to buy only organic or natural products even when it comes to dressings or seasonings.  Every once in a while I get a craving for a soda or something sweet but I just drink some more water or eat some fruit. Overall  I think it was one of the best decisions we have made.

Exercise

My favorite part of the workout system has been the exercise portion by far. It’s a mix of yoga and cardio which keeps you flexible but also raises your heart rate so you can be burning fat as well. It has a lot of dynamic resistance workouts which is low impact and so far I have been sweating after every workout. The plan builds you up so you start with basic moves and then you put them all together and increase speed, time in the position, as well as the intensity. We’ve each lost a little bit of weight so far and we are both pretty excited about the entire system. He is already noticing that he is getting stronger and I can feel that my joints in my knees are hurting less.

 Our Goals

Our goals aren’t necessarily to just lose weight but to be healthier overall and to live long and happy lives.  One thing that I am living proof of is that you can be unhealthy at any weight. I also believe that we can totally kick this programs ass. I’m looking forward to sharing this with all of you. As we go through this journey I am going to be posting some healthy recipes (only the ones that actually taste good), different workouts that we try as well as our progress. If you have any recipes or workout routines that have really been working for you comment below and let me know.

A Bailey

 

Marriage, The New Fashion Statement

Stephanie G

marriage pictureStanding there in a beautiful white gown, publicly saying the vows to the man I loved, I had no idea that I would be married to a different man a few years later. I married thinking that we were rock solid, we had each other and we were going to face the world together. Marriage isn’t something I take lightly, I still struggle with my morals to this day. Did I try hard enough to save the marriage? Was it really that bad? This is something I will question for the rest of my life and it’s something that I will keep in mind in the wonderful life I’m sharing with Mr.Garza. I may not have done everything I could have done to save my previous marriage, but I was not the only one who needed to put in the effort. It takes two people to communicate, to sustain a happy marriage. There are ups, there are downs, maybe evening counseling. It will be different in every marriage.

Some couples jump to marriage because they are expecting and some because it’s the “next level”. Who is anyone to say what is the next level for your relationship?A lot of people argue that it’s just a piece of paper and will never get married. Then there are those who believe it is just a piece of paper but get married despite that fact. They don’t think this is the person they will be spending the rest of their life with but they marry them anyway. The other individual has no idea of the fact and believes their marriage is solid so they are ready to move on to the next step, having children. I’ve always been a firm believer in marriage before children, because marriage is something you choose, children are something that makes a family. A family is something that shouldn’t be broken. My childhood has a lot to do with that and I think that is a big factor in keeping my marriage strong and healthy.

I’ve see so many women getting married for the wrong reasons. Planning extravagant events all because they want all that attention on them, only to divorce shortly after for the wrong reasons, because it’s too hard to make it work. But maybe it’s time to ask yourself some questions. Are you communicating? Are you putting in all your effort? Have you already decided your marriage is over? Don’t give up because you think it’s too hard. Marriage isn’t easy for everyone. Here’s a great reference for someone in a troubled place…”Questions To Ask Yourself Before Ending your Marriage”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/14/when-to-divorce-ending-marriage_n_3423342.html

Divorce rates have fluctuated over the years hitting an all time high of 50% in the 80’s. Divorce rates have gone down by 3.5% from 2012-2013 but that’s still not much. We need to focusing on marriage and family. Our schedules can get so filled up with things to do; Birthday parties, work meetings, fitness… We need to be sure to plan some time just for our spouse, after all this is the person we pledged to spend the rest of our lives with. I would hate to turn around 50 years from now and be married to a complete stranger. We grow and we change, we must learn to do that together, always for the good of our marriage and family. So whatever your reason for  getting married, remember this is not just a piece of paper or a tax cut, this is meant to be a life time commitment. If you don’t feel that it is, perhaps you should reconsider marriage.

Are you married? What are some things you do to stay connected? If you aren’t, are you going to get married one day?

S Garza

Divorce is not in our Vocabulary

divorceI come from a divorced family and although I don’t think it is a good idea to “stay together for the kids” I do think it is important to not immediately resort to divorce. When Mr. Bailey and I were dating we talked about getting married and how neither one of us wanted to be in relationships where divorce or separation was even talked about. Before I get into Divorce not being in our vocabulary I would like to admit some faults on my side.  I’m not the type to fight, I’m the type to sit quietly and build up a fire in my stomach of hate until I can break away to cry in a bathroom by myself. Obviously this is not a healthy practice and did not go over well with my husband who likes to work things out vocally. This has been one of our biggest adjustments as a couple and we still work on it daily but there is one thing I have never had to be afraid of and that was being threatened with divorce or breaking up or any of that.

There were times when I thought to myself ‘I’ve really pissed him off I think he might be done dealing with me‘ and that resulted in me being a total wreck. This of course did not go over well because to my husband that was never a possibility. We had long discussions about how that was not going to be us and that I shouldn’t be afraid to speak my mind because there wasn’t that threat that came along with making someone angry. I’ve talked to Mrs. Garza about this exact topic and we both agree that divorce is just too easy in this day and age. People just get married because it is simple and they don’t even try they know they don’t have to because a pre-nup and a court date will resolve all of your problems. 

I don’t share fights or issues with people outside of my marriage (bar a couple of times with Mrs. Garza) because it’s nobody’s IMG_0412business. I also don’t want anyone trying to fill my head with that seven letter word that so many people are fond of. It would never happen but I also don’t seek out those certain people who promote it as the end all be all answer. Yes we fight and argue and bicker but you should. You should because it is healthy and you will feel better about it in the end. I have felt closer to my husband because of fights that we have had than I have felt with anyone I have ever met because I can be honest and real. I’m not perfect and I do throw fits for no reason and complain about things that aren’t even a big deal but we are honest. I’m a brat and he is sometimes a grump but it’s who we are and that doesn’t drive us apart it brings us closer.

 Divorce is the answer for some people and I truly believe that some people do fall out of love or shouldn’t have been married in the first place. Then there are the people who do love each other who just give up when things get hard. They don’t even try in the end because partying, the single life, etc. is so enticing to them and the real world isn’t easy. Divorce isn’t in our vocabulary for a reason, we don’t believe in it and we don’t see it as a tool to threaten the other into submission.  There are reasons for divorce and I do not promote staying together when you are in danger, your children are in danger, you are miserable, depressed etc. but I also don’t promote getting married and then giving up because it’s hard. Marriage is hard and I know that we haven’t even scratched the surface, but keeping constant communication and knowing each others goals will help ease those hard times. All of our love to all of you out there who just started your journey or are ending it for your own reasons. 

El Cucuy

Stephanie G

My family is primarily from Germany, although I know very little about my German heritage. I consider myself an American. This is where I was born and raised. The only kind of heritage I feel I may have claim to is being a Texan. I like my sweet tea, chicken fried steak and love Tex-Mex cuisine. I also happen to like men with dark eyes and hair, so naturally, I married a Mexican man. Although he was born in Mexico and his parents still have trouble speaking English, he is like me, an American.

El Llorona is a heart breaking tale of a woman who drown her children for the man she loved. When he discovered she drown their children he left her and she took her own life. It is believed she now wonders the banks of rivers  crying.

El Llorona is a heart breaking tale of a woman who drown her children for the man she loved. When he discovered she drown their children he left her and she took her own life. It is believed she now wonders the banks of rivers crying.

When I first started seeing my husband, I had a drawn out idea of what Mexican people were like, loud drunk men and aggressive woman who are both opinionated. If you don’t match up to what is “right” they have no problem telling you. The woman should stay home and make tortillas, tamales and take care of the children. But his parents broke the mold I had created in my head. His mother is one of the hardest working people I have ever met, while his father will nap every chance he can get. His mother was so welcoming to me, and I loved her for that. I reluctantly moved in at Mr.Garza’s request after a month or so of dating. It was happening very fast, but it felt right to be with him, so I just embraced the relationship. Things were great, until after I got pregnant. I had no idea the cultural shock I was about to experience. I knew about the stories that some believe whole heartedly, La llorona, El Cucuy, and the very well know El Cupacabra.

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The notion that cats will suck the life from an infant mostly came from medieval days when cats were associated with evil spirits and witchcraft.

My Mother-in-law immediately offered the money up to get me to the doctor as soon as possible. She worried a lot because she struggled to carry pregnancies so many years before. My husband is her miracle, she lost two pregnancies before him and almost lost him as well. She was very concerned about how “delicate” I was, understandable of course, but also ignorantly. She would complain about driving over a bump too fast if I was in the car, bending over, sleeping on my stomach at 7 weeks along. Then a big debate came, I needed to get rid of my cat because he was going to suck the life from our new born baby. I can understand a cause for concern of suffocation if a cat decided to lay on a baby but this was absolutely ridiculous.

I was very ill during this pregnancy, smells were a big problem. Burnt tortillas and scorched oil would always set me off, but somehow it was all in my head because this does not happen to Mexican women…. 32 lbs later, a prescription for zofran and trip to the hospital for dehydration and my husband is FINALLY able to get through to them. Unfortunately they still made beans weekly, so I would just try not to be home that day.

You must either stay inside or put a key or safety pin on your clothes to reflect the light of the sun or moon.

You must either stay inside or put a key or safety pin on your clothes to reflect the light of the sun or moon.

That summer there was a lunar eclipse, I was very excited about watching it. What harm could come to me or my growing child sitting under the stars? Well, If I don’t have a metal key or paperclip on during, my child will have a cleft lip/palate. I was so confused and I asked her wear the belief came from and she said that’s what happens in Mexico. My daughter was born perfectly normal at 7 lb 1oz. It was a great and wonderful day, then my mother-in-law informs me that I need to make sure I cover my head and ears when I leave the hospital. She told me that when I go outside I must do this for 40 days after delivery. If I don’t cover my head I will get something like the flu and if I don’t cover my ears I will hear the sound of a train roaring for 6 months… I thought my cat sucking the life out of my child was crazy but this completely blew me away. Then they told me about “Ojo”. If someone looks at my my child and thinks she’s pretty they must touch my child, otherwise she will become sick. I don’t know about other people, but I told a lot of people to not touch my child in grocery stores and restaurants. My daughter did not become violently ill, in fact I only recall one ear infection that developed from a cold she caught from me.

There I was pregnant with my second and unexpected child. I didn’t test positive for almost 3 months. When I went in

This belief stems from the Aztecs. They believe that the gods took a bite out of the moon or sun and would also take a bite out of your child's mouth.

This belief stems from the Aztecs. They believe that the gods took a bite out of the moon or sun and would also take a bite out of your child’s mouth.

for my first ultrasound I was 13 weeks along. I showed my mother-in-law the ultrasound image, and immediately before genitals are even visible she decides that I’m having a boy.(My first daughter was a boy as well) I told her we don’t know that yet and she insisted that she did. 20 week anatomy checkup and something was wrong, our baby was measuring 1 week smaller then SHE should. There was an eclipse that was going to happen, so I go to enjoy it with friends and get my mind off the worry. I finally go to see the specialists and they confirm what the other ultrasound technician saw. Our daughter is measuring small and her right foot was not fully formed. Considering all the other issues that could possibly be wrong considering her small size I was put on high risk. We kept this secret for over a month just to further confirm that there was no mistake. As soon as we told her the first thing she jumped to was the eclipse and she was convinced in the ultrasound she saw a cleft lip. I felt as though she was blaming me for my daughters deformity, I didn’t feel she was, I knew she was.

To get my mind off of all the stress of worrying about my unborn baby, caring for my 1 year old and dealing with my superstitious mother-in-law. I decided to have a friend over, I didn’t think it was a big deal. I told my husband my friend Jason would be coming to visit. My father-in-law came in from the store, I was sitting on about 6-7 ft away from Jason playing a video game. My father-in-law immediately calls my husband and tells him I have a man in the house… I was completely offended, even more so when I had a conversation with my mother-in-law and what she was implying. After that, I didn’t invite friends over unless my husband was there.

We still have our issues now, mostly with disagreements about how a child should be raised. I believe in strict rules and punishment if needed. My in-laws seem to think he shouldn’t tell a child no unless they are going to jump off a bridge. Setting our differences aside, I want to make it clear that my mother-in-law no matter how infuriating is an amazing woman and I look up to her. She is a breast cancer survivor and she works two jobs still, when she should probably be taking it easy. My father-in-law…I think the best I can say about him is he sicks by his wife and that in itself is something to admire.

S Garza

Why Can’t I Find a Decent Women’s Magazine?

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via Pinterest

At the grocery store last weekend and this weekend I asked Mr. Bailey if I could pick up a magazine. They are typically a couple of bucks and there is something about them that I just love. They are crisp, the colors are vibrant and SOME of the articles are very interesting. The only bad thing about it is I can never find a magazine that I’m interested in and most of the time they are mainly advertisements and not actually articles. I’ve been wanting to pick up a magazine at the store for a while now but when I look at them the cover has things like “15 Way to Please Your Man on the Couch” or “25 Reasons Why You Should Change Everything About Yourself” and that stinks. I’ve been researching a little bit because I want to read something that is building me up and teaching me things not an entire magazine on making your butt look like Kim Kardashian’s.

 

I don’t care about Lindsay Lohan

I know these type of magazines have to be out there I mean there has to be a demographic that they are aiming this towards, right? I can’t be the only person who wants to read something motivational, information about keeping my budget balanced AND have a random quick recipe thrown in. It could just be that I don’t care about Lindsay Lohan’s recent stint in rehab or that some celeb is getting a divorce and everyone knew it. I would like to clarify that I’m not above celeb gossip I just don’t want to pay for pictures of what Adele wore to the Oscars. What I am above is the nonsense that we are feeding women today.

Sexy Bikini Bodies?

I decided to go to a couple of different women’s magazine websites to see which ones I should actually pick up at the store. There were some that I knew were aimed at specific demographics such as Self which is a fitness magazine primarily. One of the main articles is “How to look better naked” which okay I can understand wanting to look better naked that is a common thing for women. I would LOVE to look better naked it just wasn’t what I was looking for. Then I thought what is it that I’m looking for? Something that is educational and fun to read that has some information in it that I actually like.

“Women’s Magazines” 

There were a couple of sites that did stand out to me and I actually enjoyed reading them. Women’s Day was one of my favorites because it had pretty much everything. Some of the articles that really stood out to me were “What to Know Before Buying a House“, “Quick Fixes for Difficult In-Laws“, “10 De-Stressing Methods Put to the Test“. These are all areas that I would read or a friend of mine would read. Another site that I enjoyed was Good Housekeeping; it did have a little more fluff so I don’t know if I’ll actually buy it. They have a Recipe Finder on the site and some articles that I bookmarked for later such as “10 Surprising Things you can Wash in the Dishwasher” and “9 Habits that Seriously Slow Down your Metabolism“. Besides these two magazines I really enjoyed Real Simple which had a lot of information on organization and cooking. I have purchased Real Simple in the past and it didn’t have a ton of articles that I liked so I might just stick with their online version.

Maybe No Magazine has the Answer?

via PostSecret.com

Although the magazines I’ve talked about above do have a ton of information they still have a lot of fluff and it’s all about keeping a house. I know that is a lot of what we do daily but what about things to stimulate our minds? Maybe women’s magazines just aren’t made for that or maybe I’m just reading the wrong ones. So much of the content just seems like a buzzword type of thing and don’t really contain any substance. I understand demographics and having to please audiences but maybe it’s going to be a pick and choose type of situation… if I want exercise information I go to Self’s website, if I want to know how to throw an awesome holiday party I go to Good Housekeeping and if I want to learn about economics, investing, children’s educations, etc. I’ll have to just get a book or look online.

It might be because I’m getting older and I just don’t fit inside the demographic that Cosmo and those other types of magazines are aimed at, but they just seem so damn silly to me. I’m not a homemaker by any means and my husband will agree with me but I’ll be damned if I let myself be absorbed by the nonsense that those types of magazines are trying to feed me. If you have any suggestions for some articles, websites, magazines please let me know.

A Bailey

If She’s Pregnant, You Both Are!

Stephanie G

Becoming parents is a huge life event. Some people think it’s no big deal, but it really is. Everything you do can be so crucial to having a healthy pregnancy, not only for baby but for you. How your partner deals with it is important as well. Their support can make a difference in your crazy hormone filled day. Preparing for the baby and making sure you have everything you need. The latest gadgets and advance in technology or maybe the best natural approach for things. It’s hard to be 100% ready because every baby is different and what works for one baby may not work for another.

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My youngest child at about 20 weeks.

I’ve personally found that there are two kinds of soon-to-be parents. One  accepts any and all advice because they have never done this before, these are quite rare. Then you have your most common future parent. They read and read and think that they are prepared for every obstacle that will come their way once that adorable little bundle arrives. Sometimes life just happens and we need to keep that in mind that not every thing goes as planned. I feel my husband and myself found ourselves at a happy medium. There were some people I would completely ignore any advice and opinions given. Then, there were people I would actually listening and consider any advice or experiences they had to offer.

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Myself, 7-8months with my first child.

The worst part about pregnancy can be very different from woman to woman. For some woman it’s the aches and pains of carrying around a 15lb. watermelon strapped to your abdomen, except you can’t remove it. You can’t sleep comfortably, you can’t sit comfortably in an upright position, and you start to get a waddle. Which you’ll be reminded of every time you give your precious one a bath with those little rubber duckies. For other woman there’s the morning sickness, which is so obviously named by a man. That plagued me with both of my pregnancies.  Wake up in the morning and get sick, brush you teeth and get sick, smell something stinky….you get the idea. It can hit anytime of day. For me it even happened in the middle of the night sometimes. I lost 30lb. during my first pregnancy and 37lb. during my second. I am that small percentage of women who are effected by severe morning sickness, it doesn’t happen like that for everyone. Pregnancy for myself is a very unpleasant experience. Seeing your partner go through all of this can bring up so many emotions. My husband is a very monotone person when it comes to showing emotions. At the beginning, I could see the look of worry on his face as I spent my frequent moments hugging toilet. He would always try to lighten the moods with jokes or offer assistance even though in those moments there was nothing he could really do. He’s also typically a bed hog and like to cuddle. There was no way that I was going to cuddle when I felt like it was 90 degrees and I was sweating like a pig. Towards the end he did everything he could, even giving up his extra pillow so I could add to the 4 I already in hopes of trying to find a position that I may be able to get some rest in.

While the majority of pregnancy is absolutely excruciating, in my opinion, there are moments that will take your breath away. I remember the first time I felt my oldest move. I was relaxing watching TV when I felt that first flutter. I stopped and held my stomach and waited, I had to be sure this was actually a baby and not the fried food I had the night before. I felt the flutter again, this was the moment when I remembered how badly I wanted to be a mother. For my husband it took him a bit longer to really get that same kind of excitement. Although her kicks were strong enough to feel on my belly by the end of the 5th month, he did not get to experience this until the 7th. Every time he tried to feel her move it was like a calm would wash over her and she would just stop. Now was my turn to comfort him. I just encouraged him to continuing talking to her and playing guitar for our sweet girl. Finally he managed to feel her move and to my surprise this monotone man shouted for the first time in our marriage, “Oh my god!” I laughed so hard from his reaction.

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Pregnancy can be very hard on some. Our local HEB acknowledges that.

WARNING: If you plan on having children you may want to skip this paragraph. Every pregnancy will be different and some strange and unexpected things can happen during pregnancy as well. Some of it I couldn’t believe and honestly I always wondered why we don’t tell our daughters about some of it, it would be the best form of birth control ever. So everyone knows about the frequent urination, so I’ll tell you about some other things you may not know. A woman’s foot can grow half to a whole shoe size during pregnancy. My feet are now a 10 instead a 9, as if my feet weren’t big enough already. Varicose veins are common to show their ugly face, for most woman on they’re legs, but with all the increased blood flow to your uterus you can develop them in some very uncomfortable places and they can also turn into hemorrhoids. They usually go away almost immediately after delivery. A partner could help in this situation but running a warm bath, it can help sooth those achy areas. Sometimes it’s good to carry carefree panty liners, not just for when you sneeze or cough but discharge. This can leave you feeling not so fresh or sexy. So remind that babe how amazing and beautiful she is, most woman lack some confidence when their body is going through all these crazy changes.

Baby showers can be a lot of fun. Especially if you’re fortunate enough to have someone throw one for you. I planned my own, my mother-in-law says she’s not very creative, so for me to just plan it and she’ll pay for everything. A close friend helped me prepare for the shower of my oldest, my youngest’s turned into a welcoming shower. I was very appreciative that I was able to plan mine. I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to my girls. I say only expect 50-75% of the invited to actually attend. If someone asks what you want TELL THEM. I ended up with an obnoxious amount of onesies. I actually only got a few items that were extremely helpful. My experience at my own baby showers has made me very aware of what to give to my friends. I always try to give them something that will be useful and include a gift receipt. A lot of people plan co-ed baby showers now, but I have this feeling most women don’t realize men just don’t get as excited about babies as we do. So instead of begging your partner to stay because you need them because you’re pregnant, remember you’re going to be surrounded by woman who are going to be dying to cater to you. So instead of making them stay and hunting for something that isn’t chick food, let them go enjoy a day with the guys. Pregnancy can takes it toll on both people.

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The first time Mr.Garza held our daughter.

After 9 months of roller coasting between all the crazy symptoms and hormones, it’s finally time to hold your baby. While woman become mothers the day they find out their pregnant, it’s not going to be the same for our partners. That moment isn’t as real to them until they actually get to cradle that sweet baby. An uncomfortable induction, 12 hours of labor, and 45 mins of pushing and we finally got to meet our beautiful Sophia. They laid her on my chest and I began to cry. They only words I could find were, “beautiful.” After sitting there for a few moments they finally took her for a moment to weight her and make sure everything was absolutely as perfect as it seemed. The nursed swaddled her and asked Mr.Garza if he would like to hold her, of course after all this time how could he refuse. In that moment I saw that I was no longer the girl to hold his heart. This beautiful creation that we made already had him wrapped around her tiny little finger. After all this time I finally had the family I’ve waited so long for.

So while you’re miserable and happy all at the same time while that amazing creation is growing inside of you, remember to keep that special person in your life close so that they can feel connected and enjoy every moment with you.

S Garza

My Wedding Story

Stephanie G

There are no longer any magazine images, this was all I could find of the 2010 gown I loved so much.

There are no longer any magazine images, this was all I could find of the 2010 gown I loved so much.

January 2010, we had just gotten engaged and it was time to start on wedding plans. What colors do we want, where will it be, and what kind of food do we want? Don’t forget the most important thing, the dress. I began shopping for dresses and found the perfect corseted ball gown with pickups all over the skirt, who knew my fair skin would look so good in ivory. We picked November 4th 2010 for the wedding. After a few weeks of planning, I noticed Mr.Garza seemed a bit over whelmed. Having had a big wedding once before I offered just having a small event with just close family and friends. At this point I didn’t care about a big wedding, I just wanted to tie myself to the man I love in every way humanly possible. He was hesitant at first because he knew how much I loved that dress, but what is a dress that I will only wear once? Ok, so it was actually a big deal to me, but a dress I could live without. It would mean nothing without him. So we agreed a small wedding would be best. Our wedding was now a backyard BBQ set for the end of February.

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We have very few photos of that day and nothing digital.

So I still needed a dress, he requested it was white. So I went shopping with one of my best friends. I don’t know how many stores we went to. We finally ended up at David’s Bridal with my fiancé, they were having their $99 gown sale. So, I began looking at dresses. The consultant pulled out a halter dress that I was not feeling at all. Of course that was the dress Mr.Garza thought was amazing. Since I had a wedding already I just agreed to this awful dress. fortunately his mother use to be a seamstress and could at least sow the straps to the back so it wouldn’t be a halter.

323139_1917099177707_7678034_o2 weeks before the wedding, we realized we both needed wedding bands. So we went shopping again. We couldn’t afford the bands I wanted to go with my ring, so we continued to shop around. We found ourselves at Kay Jewelers. Mr.Garza found out he could apply for credit, he was approved. He told me to pick out whatever I wanted. They still did not have any “v” shaped bands that would compliment the ring I had. So He then told me to pick out a new bridal set, I was floored. So there I picked out a very simple 0.33 carat diamond in a white gold setting. The gentleman put a rush order on the ring to be sized as a wedding present for us. He is our goto man now when picking out gifts for loved ones. 

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Our sweet girl at 2 weeks old, dressed up for Thanksgiving.

We woke up that morning together and began our day. We decorated very little, we focused more on food. I couldn’t get my mind off of food that week. I had been dreaming about it and craving Cola, I hate Cola. I assumed it was just nerves. Mr.Garza’s aunts from Mexico where in the kitchen preparing tamales and borracho beans. I picked up the cake by myself and the road to our house was so bumpy, that it was completely slumped over and ruined by the time I got home. So Mr.Garza and his mother returned to the store to see if they could fix it and they remade the entire cake for no charge. After returning with the cake intact, it was time to get ready. I put on the dress I absolutely hated, put my makeup on, I was not happy with it. I was so unbelievably frustrated. My grandmother put my hair up in a french twist and I strung a long necklace through my hair. It was time to go outside. I picked up my bouquet that I made and went to the back door. There gathered in our backyard, friends and family ready to celebrate our happy event. Desiree walked out before me. I heard Mr.Garza begin to play the song he wrote for me the year before. I stepped out and my eyes locked on him, my nerves were a wreck. There under the tree in the backyard we were married…by a karaoke DJ, who happened to be a minister and good friend. He had never gotten to preform a wedding ceremony before, he had written a beautiful speech and vows for the wedding and they flew out the window of his un-airconditioned truck on the way there. Nothing really went the way we planned that day, but we were married. The food was good the company was great and we received the best wedding present we could ever imagine. A positive test that we were going to be parents. Her due date was November 4th, sometimes it just feels like some things are meant to be. This is how our life together began.

S Garza

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