Friday, August 30, 2013

A Lesson in Insecurity and Humility

Jonathan is naturally introverted, so this probably gets on his nerves a little, but…I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE meeting & talking to new people!! I love hearing people’s “stories” & making new friends.

As a little girl, I never met a stranger. I loved talking to everyone and probably drove my parents bonkers with worry. I remember getting in trouble for always turning around in the booth when we were out to eat and interrupting other peoples’ dinner to talk to them.

In high school I had NO problem talking to people either (classmates, adults, strangers, whoever) & I even competed in interview competitions for FBLA for fun just because I loved talking to new people. I was friends with people from all different groups and cliques. Our high school’s population was very diverse and I LOVED that!

As I went off to college, I noticed that it wasn’t quite as easy to make friends (with girls especially). Fortunately I played ball in college & was able to have immediate friendships in my teammates (being involved in athletics creates a really cool opportunity for some unique bonds) , but outside of that, it was a little tougher. Girls were very “cliquish,” & even when I tried to smile & be friendly, some girls just seemed to not be having it.  (Maybe it was like that in high school too and I was just oblivious to it? Or maybe because most of us grew up together?) That was a new experience for me and I didn’t like it, so I always made a point (to the best of my knowledge anyway) to make people feel included and never leave anyone out. And to smile…a lot.

For years I’ve been serving in the youth & worked specifically with the young ladies, but lately have been feeling more of a tug on my heart to serve in women’s ministry. It’s been cool to watch that transition and how the Lord has placed women in my life to work with and to minister to. Women are definitely complex and complicated creatures. Half the time I don’t even understand what’s going on with me!! So as I’ve been praying through this, I’ve been more aware of my interactions with other ladies and I have SO enjoyed all the new friendships God has blessed me with lately. YAY for new friends!!

And then God taught me a great lesson the other day, so I wanted to share. It’s not some brilliant epiphany or anything, but it was definitely a good reminder for me.

One day this week my mom knew I was really needing so gym time in my life, so she watched the baby for me for an hour so I could go work out. I went to a new class. It was a 10:00 am class, and it was obvious most of the ladies were regulars and knew each other and were friends. Normally I would just smile and introduce myself and talk to everyone. And I’m not sure if it was because I was exhausted from not getting much sleep  or what, but for some reason I felt very self conscious and just kept to myself.  It was surprising to me how intimidated I felt to break into their circle and introduce myself. Afterwards, I was like “Seriously, Danielle? What the heck?” They all stood in a little circle and talked & laughed- but I didn’t talk to anyone & they didn’t talk to me. They probably looked at me and assumed I am snobby or stuck up (I’ve had people tell me many times they assumed I was snobby till they got to know me- I don’t mean to come off that way)…but in reality I just felt self-conscious & a little intimidated.

And this was SUCH a great reminder for me on so many levels.

It was a GREAT reminder that so many times we judge people before getting to know them. And so many times we assume things about somebody without reasoning…For example, assuming someone is stuck up or rude when they are actually just shy or maybe a little self-conscious or insecure. It was also a great reminder of what it feels like to be the “outsider” or the “new girl.” I haven’t felt that way in a long time, and it didn’t feel good. It was a lesson I definitely needed to encourage me to be more mindful of reaching out to others and making them feel welcome.

I don’t know why I am not as outgoing as I was when I was younger, but I know I need to work on getting out of my comfort zone again. Some of my best friends in life have come from me breaking the ice with a stranger…so it’s definitely worth it.

I know confidence can be tough, especially for women…but I also know that insecurity can cause a LOT of unnecessary issues.

Here are a few older posts on insecurity….

Are you Insecure?

Green Eyed Monster

Why do women tear each other down?


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Jase’s 16th Week!!

August 22-28

Weight: Just weighed him- 15 lbs!

Showin’ off his milk belly…


Health: So thankful for our healthy boy!! Praise the Lord. We thank Him for all of our health every day during our prayers& do our best to honor God with our bodies.


I do think he may be teething. I don’t feel see teeth breaking through, but he is drooling like crazy and putting everything in his mouth. (I won’t put my hands in his mouth because I have "fingernails” and am afraid I’m carrying bacteria there even when my hands are clean.) Could just be normal development for his age.


Sleep: Shew! Going to be really honest here. This was a tough week for me. The majority of naps were awesome, but we had a few times when that good ole 45 minute intruder popped in. And there was one time when I missed his “sleepy window” and he wouldn’t sleep at all….he just cried for about 20 minutes straight and finally settled, but still wouldn’t sleep.  His wake time is almost exactly an hour and a half.

I’m definitely thankful for the good naps, but he is still waking up 2 times during the night- around 1:30 or 2:30, and again around 6 or 6:30. I have been so exhausted this week that we have been inconsistent with our 7:30 start time too, which is a major no-no. I was so tired after the 6 am feeding that I slept right through my alarm most days this week. Honestly, I have felt very discouraged. Like a “mommy failure.” Doesn’t that sound so ridiculous?? (It really does when I admit it out loud….AKA- type it here.) I’m just being transparent though. I think one of the reasons is because that one of the first questions people ask me is if he’s sleeping through the night, and even though I know they aren’t, I feel like they are measuring my parenting skills based on my response and and judging me. because he isn’t. And THEIR child started sleeping through the night at like 4 days old.(Honestly, most are probably only asking out of sympathy because they can relate to the lack of sleep that can result from becoming a parent.) I almost hang my head in defeat and shame to tell them “We’re still working on it.”  BabyWise suggests most babies should be sleeping through the night before now, so I feel like it must be something I’m doing wrong for him to not be. For 16 weeks now I’ve been going to bed every night thinking “Is this the night?” And no. I hear that monitor, look at the time on my phone, & stumble up the stairs like a zombie to try to soothe him back to sleep. Every once in a while that works, but usually it doesn’t & I feed him. He has slept through the night a total of 4-5 times...but I stayed up so late those nights and had to wake up so early the next day I didn’t get to thoroughly enjoy it. (I had to for those occasions, but on a normal basis it’s my own fault. I’m in a terrible cycle of taking naps during the day, then staying up till 12:30 or 1 to get things done I don’t get done during the day.)

So this week was a week of perspective for me. Here I am with a beautiful, healthy, happy, content baby who RARELY cries & is so much more than anything I could ask or imagine…yet I am discouraged & beating myself up over the fact he’s waking up in the middle of the night? CRAZINESS! (I know we all do it…maybe not over this issue, but over something. And we SHOULDN’T.) I am working really hard to make sure I do not EVER judge other moms for anything….because we are all in this together and all doing our best. All babies are different, & mommyhood is the most gigantic learning curve EVER!

Emily has been extremely helpful & encouraging this week, so hopefully some of her tips (making sure to get full feedings) will get things moving in the right direction with sleeping through the night. (I do feel a little selfish, because a big part of it is that I am so exhausted during the day that I sleep while he sleeps and am not getting a lot done…but I also really want HIM to get that long stretch of uninterrupted sleep too because I know it’s when his body is growing and recovering.) Yes, I do see how petty this all sounds….I know part of it is just me being so tired…but at the same time, I feel like it’s important to blog about this so I’ll remember if when I feel this way in the future.

Nursing: Going well. Burping him more (I just forget) and trying to get in full feedings. He is pulling off a lot, so I feel like I almost have to “make him” keep eating. He seems to want to just snack, so I’m having to put more effort & focus into nursing than I have been. I also have to put my hair into a ponytail because he loves to pull it. Also, now when I pump I only get about 3.5- 4 oz total.


What Jase is up to: Schedule is pretty consistent. After his morning feeding, the rest of our day is 11:-11:30, 2:30, 5:30-6, & 8:30 (then down to sleep). His wake time is almost EXACTLY and hour and a half and he can’t be awake much longer than that or he’ll miss that sleepy window. (Although that happened yesterday because we had to run an emergency errand for Daddy & he was late getting down for his nap…so he just got cranky and needed to go to bed earlier for the next one.)

This little man LOVES to be read to!!! I read to him multiple times a day & every time he just sits so content and looks at the pages.


He is moving his mouth and mimicking my mouth motions as I talk, count, and sing ABCs.

He also REALLY acts like he wants to crawl! When we put him down in his crib, sometimes he gets up on his knees, booty in the air, pushes up on his hands and arms, and rocks. Not even four months old….is that normal? We’ll be getting out the baby gates before we know it!

LAUGHING & “talking” like crazy! It is ADORABLE!!

He LOVES, LOVES, LOVES all of his grandparents like crazy. We are so blessed in that department.

Another funny thing, everyone comments on how “deep” his voice is- his coos and laughs. So funny! I don’t really have anything to compare with, so I can’t tell, but it’s interesting that others notice that. I can’t wait to hear him talking eventually….there is NOTHING sweeter than baby talk to me. BUT, I also want to just FREEZE him right here.


He also has started putting his arms around my neck more when I hold him and has excellent motor skills. It wasn’t just coincidence. He can take his paci out of his mouth, hold it in his hand, and can put it back in his mouth.

PostPartum: Like I said, this week was an exhausting week and I only made it to the gym once. I decided to find a way to make it work to go more because I NEED to work out.  Not that I have a lot of stress, but it really helps me clear my head, have more energy, sleep better, and just FEEL better. Plus, it’s important to my health. I can start walking with the baby more now that it’s getting cooler. (Too bad Delta broke my stroller!)

Baby Gear: play mat, bouncy seat, Huggies size 2 diapers (they actually seem a little small? wondering if it’s the brand), Baby’s First Hymns (I think I go the c.d.s from Wal-Mart- there are 2 volumes.),

Thoughts: Like I said, a big week on perspective.

I was just thinking the other day about how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my sweet Jase….and my heart immediately sank for the children of the world who do not have someone who loves them in that way. So much so that I squalled about it and prayed for those kids for a good half hour.  My heart aches for those children.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

VMA Recap…& What Would Jesus Think

Didn’t mean to be misleading… but I didn’t watch the VMAs.

In fact, I can’t honestly remember the last time we even turned on our television other than to play the Advocare DVD at a mixer. Based on what I read on FB and a few blog posts about Miley though, I’m thankful I “missed out.” And I’m thankful that wasn’t even in my home at all. (I know Baby Jase is little, and wasn’t even awake probably, but I feel a strong obligation to monitor what I allow in our lives, our home, etc.)

My newsfeed was seriously blowing up about it, & everyone agreed it was a lot of garbage & disgusting. But I wonder how many turned it off?? Not judging at all...just curious. I know things like that are like a car wreck- it’s so awful, but you can’t take your eyes off of it.

(I know FB can be junk too, but I can’t help it…I LOVE connecting with people there… seeing milestones, pictures of my friends and their families, celebrating events, etc. that I wouldn’t ordinarily get to be a part of….it’s just cool to me.)

Don’t get me wrong….I LOVED me some N Sync & Justin Timberlake as a middle school girl. And yes, I’m sure it’s true that JT “brought sexy back” like everyone said (ha!)…

But Jonathan & I drew a line in the sand a while back regarding entertainment. And here’s the reality. Television, movies, & concerts, are not getting us closer to accomplishing our life goals. They aren’t adding value to us as people. And the majority of what is on tv, the radio, & in movies is certainly not pleasing to the Lord. If we claim that our ultimate goal is to serve Him and bring Him glory, than we need to honor Him with our thoughts, words, & actions…and that includes what we allow in our homes.

That doesn’t mean we think we are any better than anyone else or “holier than thou” because we don’t. It’s just a personal conviction for us. I’ll be the first to admit we used to watch some trashy junk on tv, & I am definitely not proud of some of the playlists you would find on my i-pod (wherever the heck that thing it).

I am not a perfect Christian. In fact, I screw up…a LOT more than I’d care to admit. And to me, that means I have to work even harder to guard my heart and mind.

That may seem petty to some, or too extreme, or whatever. Maybe watching a simple tv show seems insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But what I know is the Lord tells us very specifically what he wants us to focus on in our lives, and most modern-day entertainment does not fall into any of these categories.

Here’s what I try to ask myself as often as possible. “What would Jesus think?” If He were sitting right next to me on the couch, would I still be watching that on tv? Listening to that song? Wearing that outfit? Thinking those thoughts? Reacting that way?

I don’t know about you, but I have to do “self-checks” a lot and I’m so thankful for the Holy Spirit convicting me. (Gotta be transparent again…I don’t always respond. Sometimes I act like a brat to my parents and my husband. Sometimes I compare myself to others when I shouldn’t. Sometimes I allow my priorities to get out of order. I’m DEFINITELY a work in progress.)

I wrote a few other blog posts about this same topic a while back. May be worth checking out. Just some food for thought, anyway…

What Goes in, Must Come Out

Some thoughts on Entertainment Choices

Jase's 15th Week!!

August 15- 21
Weight: We haven’t weighed in a while- really need to do that! He is definitely growing though. He is especially LONG…I mean, WOW!IMG_4528

Health: Everything is going well! Bright eyes, fuzzy blonde hair coming back in, (still rockin’ a sweet dark patch in the back though) & lots of big, gummy smiles!  He is super alert, content, & learning so much. Moved up to size 2 diapers this week…those 1s just weren’t cutting it!

Sleep: We have had AWESOME naps this week!! I can put him down & he goes to sleep on his own & is typically staying asleep for around 2 hours. Yipee!! If he doesn’t fall asleep right away, I will put his paci in his mouth and pat his back for a minute or so, but then he falls asleep pretty quickly. He still REALLY loves his hymn cd.

Jase is a CRAZY sleeper!! He does complete 360 turns and half the time ends up sideways or on the other side of his crib. He also gets his arms & legs stuck out of the crib lats and that wakes him up every time. The worst is when he rolls over in his sleep and bumps his little head. Breaks my heart, but don’t know what else to do because I don’t feel comfortable with bumpers. Any suggestions?


Still waking up 1-2 times every night. Working on that…

Nursing: Like a champ! I need to burp him more while he is nursing, & I can tell when I need to because he will push me away.

I am SO over pumping! I’d way rather just feed him myself.

What Jase is up to: Basically, being a stud.

He is HILARIOUS!! I stinkin LOVE this kid. And so does pretty much anyone who meets him. He definitely has both of his grandparents’ hearts…


Loving playing with Daddy! My boys are really cute together…


Jase enjoyed visiting Meleisa at school…


And looked SO stinkin cute rockin’ Daddy’s hat from when he was little! Ahhhhh!!!! “Awwww, Mooooom…..why are you making me wear this hat?”


PostPartum: I feel good for the most part. He is still waking up 1-2 times during the night, so I am a little tired during the day. I try to take at least one nap while he is sleeping, and other than that I am just SUPER thankful for SPARK!

Wishing I had a little more time to work out. That is my only “hobby” besides blogging (and THANK YOU to the precious soul who hooked me up with WLW…you are my hero & just single handedly saved my blogging career!).  I need it for me I know I could and should work out at home, and I used to do that, but now that I am home ALL THE TIME (I rarely leave- it’s just easier to be here & have him in his own bed for naps) I really like having that hour out of the house. Right now we share Advocare about 3 evenings a week and go to church the other night, so I only get to go about once a week. Maybe when he gets a little bigger I can let him hang in the gym nursery for 45 min or so…

BUT, nothing compares to seeing this precious angel & I am LOVING being able to spend so much time with my little man!! Thank you, Lord, for this opportunity to be home!

Also loved seeing Baby Vann! SUCH a handsome lil guy & he loves his Aunt Danielle already!


Baby Gear:  size 2 diapers, books, Praise cds, mirrors

Thoughts: LOVE this sweet angel more than words. So thankful I get to be his mommy, & so thankful for his happy disposition. I don’t know if future Baby Butler’s will be this “easy,” but if so I’d have a whole house full!  BLESSED.BEYOND.MEASURE.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Does he look like Mommy or Daddy?

Jase DEFINITELY gets his good looks from his Daddy!!! 
He resembled me a good bit during his first few weeks, but sweet angel looks more and more like Jonathan as he is growing.
I think he has Jonathan's head shape, big eyes, eye color, and mouth...but I think he has my ears (ha!), eye shape, & chin.
It's so interesting to see how he changes and whose features he has- so fun!
What do you think??

 Mommy & Jase
  Daddy & Jase

Sunday, August 18, 2013

It's Offcial...Butler, Party of 3

Well, it's time friends!
We have technically been "Butler, Party of 3" since May 8th, of the most blessed days of our lives! So it's time for the blog to catch up with real time.
 A HUGE shout out to Jackie @ Memories by Design.....she has been SO awesome to work with & so patient with this new mama. She's responsible for our new look.

We just wanted to make sure you'd know where to find us in case anything gets "disconnected" during our transition....I know things happen & I'd hate to lose my blog friends. For example, I know Pinterest links from old posts will no longer bring you to our blog- boo!) Still, we are so excited about this new chapter!

One last thing. I really need some help on this one...

I no longer have a computer that has Windows Live Writer.  Windows Live Writer is the BEST THING that has ever happened in the world of real. SO easy, quick, efficient, user friendly, don't have to edit pics, and it publishes directly to my Blogger account. We bought a Mac hoping blogging would be easier since I no longer have the laptop that has WLW, but it doesn't even COMPARE. W Actually, I HATE it. We ended up buying a new Dell (we are looking to sell the Mac Book Pro for around $1000 if anyone is interested....we paid over $1400 for it & even purchased the One-to-One training!) and of course it doesn't have WLW either and won't let me put it on here. Does anyone have a solution? I am a really fast writer and typist, so it normally only takes me about 15 min to whip out a post. Since I've had to go back to using Blogger, it now takes over an hour at the LEAST to post anything. If you've noticed a lull in my posting frequency, that is why. It's super frustrating and I've almost "quit" a few times because my time is more precious than ever now- it annoys me really bad to be spending so much time doing something that I KNOW can be done SO much quicker and more efficiently. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE blogging and have SO many things I've wanted to blog about during the past 3 months, but haven't because I know it will take forever. Please help! Anyone??

Come check us out as we officially become Butler, Party of 3! Thank you for joining us on this journey!!

Our Trip to Texas (Success School & Jase's First Flights)

We LOVE going to Texas for Success School!!
 I had never been to TX until becoming involved with Advocare, but had always heard great things from my friend Dusti- and she was right. We LOVE Texas!! This was our 3rd time going & it gets better every time. I love being a part of a company that is truly interested in changing lives & helping people with the two main issues that are plaguing America- health & finances.
We actually missed my 10 year reunion to go, & although I hated that we missed seeing all of my old classmates (loved seeing pics- everyone looks so great!), we really, really love Advocare & our Advo family. This company is allowing me to stay home with my baby and will bring Jonathan home soon too, so we definitely don't miss an opportunity to invest in our business & ourselves. Being a part of Advocare has changed our lives and the future of our family. The life training, personal growth, & leadership development you get and the way they invest in you as a person is absolutely unmatched & has helped of us both become better people.
This time we brought my parents (they are the bomb!) & Baby Jase, who was an absolute stud on his first flights. We prayed about it before & I just couldn't bare to leave him at home (he's only 3 months), but we sure weren't going to miss Success School, so this was a perfect solution.
We were a little nervous about what it would be like trying to get through the airport with the baby and our 8 million bags (someone in Butler, Party of 3 doesn't know how to pack light!!)- stroller, pack n play, etc., but thankfully it was so much smoother than expected. They let us check the pack-n-play for free, gate check the stroller/carseat (although they BROKE our stroller....NOT COOL!), & we carried on a cooler with some frozen milk. We also got to go to the front of the lines in security because we had a stroller. We brought my bookbag with snacks for us and an empty water bottle to fill up after going through security (I'm big on water all the time, but it's especially important to stay hydrated while nursing), as well as his diaper bag with goodies he might need during the flight (diapers & wipes, paci, blankets, burp cloths, etc.)

Getting his wings! Such a big boy!!

The flight there was delayed for almost an hour because of the bad weather, but thankfully he is super content and just hung out until takeoff. Our pediatrician told us to make sure he was either nursing or sucking on a paci during takeoff & landing to help with pressure in his ears, so I did my best to plan flights around his schedule.
  The weather delay threw him off & meant he was eating later than normal, but he handled it like a champ & never even made a peep other than cooing and laughing.

You know what people do when they see a baby get on a flight. And I don't blame them. But afterwards we had several people compliment us on what a good baby he is & how great he did. We are truly blessed to have such a happy little man with such a good disposition!
It was so helpful having my parents help us with all the luggage and the baby. Definitely would have been much tougher with just the two of us.
This is his Jase's first bus ride! We took a shuttle from the airport to the car rental place. The new Ford Edge's are really nice.

Wednesday night we took my parents out for steaks at Cattleman's, & it was DELISH! I don't even eat red meat (I just prefer fish & poultry), but I ordered a steak too and enjoyed it.
Thursday night we had a leadership dinner @ Billy Bob's- America's largest saloon! I love that we get to dress up & hang out with some of the BEST people ever. This year's Western theme sent lots of people shopping, but we just went right to our closet. Jonathan thinks these boots are so tacky & I almost sold them at a yard sale, but I'm so glad I hung on to them. They came in handy!! The food was delicious & we had fun with all the armadillo racing, bull riding, and line dancing.

Seriously, Jonathan looked SO HOT to me. I love this look!!
All the handsome fellas!

And the lovely ladies!

So thankful for all these precious new friendships this has brought into our life.
It was a little weird seeing this outside the restaurant, but I tried not to think about it. Ha.

This is our GA these guys!

Jase had a great time exploring Ft. Worth with Grammy & Grandaddy while we went to the trainings & events. It was such a relief knowing he was in such great hands.

It was SUPER hot- like 105- but TX doesn't have the crazy humidity we do here in GA so it was doable.
This year we were in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium and it was unbelievable! Jonathan has ALWAYS been a huge Cowboys fan (especially Emmett Smith) and always wanted to go there, so it was pretty cool getting to share that with him.

The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders were AWESOME!

So proud our President & CEO was recognized as Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year. He and his wife are incredible leaders & helping our company become a billion dollar company. We are so thankful for their vision and leadership.

We are SO PROUD of our team! Truly blessed to get to "work" with such awesome people. We are both so grateful for these friendships.

It was Jase's naptime on our flight home, so I had to wake him up during takeoff & landing to feed him. Is he not the sweetest little angel??

Poor little fella was SO overly tired on our drive home from the airport and cried a good bit.  It broke my mom's heart & Jon was so tore up about it because we RARELY hear him cry. He fusses a little if he is hungry or overly tired, but having him on a consistent schedule means that isn't typically an issue. I knew there wasn't really any consoling him because he was just overly tired and would cry until he went to sleep. After about 30 minutes of me singing to him, he finally gave it up & went to sleep for us. I felt terrible knowing it was my fault, but he recovered really well & had an awesome day of naps the next day back at home.
I have some precious pictures of our sweet boy from Texas and am so thankful we got to experience this trip as a family of 3. Thankful we were able to bring my parents too, and even though they were there to help us, I know they enjoyed exploring. They love going places they've never been & it feels good to be able to pay for them for a change.
We left Texas with full hearts & an even stronger passion & even more of a burning purpose to share with others.