Eleven Months of Baby Phoenix And Encouragement For All Us Weary Mamas

At 11 months Phoenix loves stealing my green smoothie, crawling and standing EVERYWHERE, enjoys being outside and exploring new textures like grass, and officially owns his first pair of Nike Airs.

I can hardly believe we are a few weeks away from Phoenix’s 1st birthday. ::mind blown:: This past year the days felt like forever but in reality it went by quicker than I thought. Time is moving faster and I’m trying to hold on to every moment and memory as much as I can.

I take pictures daily of Phoenix and special milestone moments are recorded too. I don’t want to miss a single things.

What a rollercoaster of a year. Of a journey, I should say. Motherhood brings so many changes. Your body changes. Your dream changes. Your career changes. Your marriage changes. Your mind changes.

And for women like me who have gone through infertility and fertility treatments, the journey can feel longer and more complicated. The emotional baggage (anxiety, fear, loss, grief) you carry going into pregnancy and then postpartum takes time to unpack and heal from. Add a global pandemic and… my goodness, it’s a lot.

I have tried with all my strength to remain hopeful, positive, and full of faith. Somedays are easier than others. Thankfully, my mind and body feel like they’re getting back to being me. And that feels great!

Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out how I will manage to work full-time, run a small biz/ blog, stay at home with Phoenix, and be a wife, and clean, and make time for me. It all feels incredibly overwhelming. And frankly, it’s hard not to feel like I’m failing when I’ve dropped the ball in more than one area.

What’s been my solution to all the changes, ups and downs, failures? Pouring it all out before God. Just laying it all out there for Him to hear and see. For a while I just felt like a broken record. And so I stopped the sacred and holy practice of pouring my heart out before the Lord.

But I was reminded recently, that like the woman who anointed Jesus with her tears and perfume, I too can pour out all of me before Him. I can become undone before Him. He can handle it.

Mama, you can unravel before your God. He is not like us who become awkward, distant, or embarrassed by vulnerability. He can see it and hear it all without a flinch.

Being a mom has taught me that just like Phoenix can cry loud or quiet tears, so can I cry loud or quiet tears before my Heavenly Father.

Leading up to Phoenix’s 1st birthday, I look back and remember all that had to come into place to get here. There has been sorrow and joy.

I think of the present. How beautiful it is to witness the smile and milestones of a new life.

And as I look ahead, I stop. I give the future to God. As much as I’d like to dwell in the “what ifs” of the future, I decide to pour it all out to God and let him carry that burden for me. It makes me a better mom, a better wife, and a more faithful follower of Christ.

Mamas, tias, abuelas, sisters–Let him heal the wounds of the past. Let his hands hold your future. And live in the present where His mercies are new and His grace is more than enough.

Seven Months Of Phoenix And 12 Bible Verses To Pray Over Your Kids

I never understood what it meant to pray without ceasing until I became a mom. I never understood why my mom prayed over me one night I got home at 4 AM after being out and up to no good. But now I do.

She literally came into the room, turned on the light, and said, “I have to tell you something I felt God put in my heart and pray over you”. And I was like, “Mom. Please not now”.

She told me anyway and prayed over me anyway. Even though I was half asleep and didn’t want anything to do with God.

She just knew she had to. She knew the power of prayer and she had not lost hope that I’d return to Jesus.

Well, I truly believe God heard the cries of my mom. And that memory will never be erased from my mind.

Now that I’m a mom, especially during these uneasy and uncertain times, I too have not stopped praying for my son. And I hope one day he holds a lasting memory of his mama praying for him fervently, like I do of my mom.

There is one prayer I pray every night over him. It goes like this: “Lord, may your goodness, mercy, love, and favor always be with Phoenix. I declare that even at a young age, Phoenix will receive you as his Lord and Savior and never turn from your ways. And I pray that he’ll grow up to be a mighty man of God who will do great works for your Kingdom and glory”.

Isn’t that the cry of every parent for their child(ren)?

I really wanted to gather scripture that could backup this prayer. So I compiled a list and I thought I should share it with you.

Here’s a list of 12 bible verses to speak over your kid(s):

Pray For Their Heart

“Create a new, clean heart within me. Fill me with pure thoughts and holy desires, ready to please you.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭51:10‬ ‭TPT‬‬

“We have proved ourselves by our lifestyles of purity, by our spiritual insights, by our patience, and by showing kindness, by the Spirit of holiness and by our uncritical love for you.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭6:6‬ ‭TPT‬‬

“So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Pray For Their Walk

“Teach me more about you, how you work and how you move, so that I can walk onward in your truth until everything within me brings honor to your name.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭86:11‬ ‭TPT‬‬

“Lord, when you said to me, “Seek my face,” my inner being responded, “I’m seeking your face with all my heart.””
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27:8‬ ‭TPT‬‬

“Seek more of his strength! Seek more of him! Let’s always be seeking the light of his face.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭105:4‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Pray For Their Soul

“Embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect your thoughts from lies. And take the mighty razor-sharp Spirit-sword of the spoken Word of God. Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. Pray the blessings of God upon all his believers.”
Ephesians 6:17 TPT

“You will be satisfied with a full life and with all that I do for you. For you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation!”
Psalms 91:16 TPT

The Lord is my revelation-light to guide me along the way; he’s the source of my salvation to defend me every day. I fear no one! I’ll never turn back and run from you, Lord; surround and protect me”.
Psalms 27:1 TPT

Pray For Their Works

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
James 1:22 ESV

“Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others. For we know that we will receive a reward, an inheritance from the Lord, as we serve the Lord Yahweh, the Anointed One!”
Colossians 3:23-24 TPT

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”.
Matthew 5:16 ESV

Leaving A Legacy Of Faith And Grace

My hope is that I’d be able to leave a legacy of faith in Phoenix like my mother has for me. That I’d pray bold prayers and stand in the gap when my kid needs it. And that I’d extend the same grace to Phoenix that I was given by my mother and by God, as he finds himself in Him.

Six Months Of Phoenix And Baby Must Haves That We Can’t Live Without

I can’t believe six months have already come and gone. Many nights as I give Phoenix his last bottle, I hold him close, and I look through his newborn pictures.

Especially the ones we have from the hospital. It’s almost surreal that we’re here. Despite all the opposition, we made it! (Thank you, Jesus).

It amazes me how much he’s grown since he was born. We love seeing him discover the world little bit by little each day. It’s beautiful to rediscover it with him.

When people say, “Enjoy every moment. It goes by so fast”, they are not lying. It truly does happen so quickly. One day seems like an eternity but as a whole, time flies by!

This baby will have a very well documented life because we have taken at least one picture of him every single day since he was born. Pictures are special. I treasure them. And my phone’s camera roll is FILLED with pictures of Phoenix. Actually, I think all my pictures are of him.

In the last six months, I’ve been learning to be a mom. I’ve been learning to love my new body. I’ve been learning to be selfless. To give more than I possibly think I can. And I’ve learned that less important things, like working all the time, can wait.

Becoming a parent changes you forever. It all changes. But it’s such a beautiful change. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Even during a pandemic.

While this new season can be really difficult to adjust to, the right support system and encouragement, makes all the difference. And so does having the right baby must haves. And all the mamas, said, “Amen”!

Here’s a list of “must haves’ that helped us thrive in the newborn stage and “must haves” that we now cannot live without:

Tommee Tippee Advanced Anti-Colic Baby Bottles
LIFE. SAVERS. It is worth the time and effort that it takes to assemble these if your baby struggles with colic.

Taking Cara Babies Newborn Class
Lord, what would I have done without this?! It helped me learn about baby sleep, how to lay a solid sleep foundation, without feeling guilty if I wanted to hold my baby to sleep.

SwaddleMe Swaddles
Unless you’re a labor and delivery nurse, swaddling with regular blankets is super difficult and a waste of time. Just get swaddles with velcro. These were my favorite.

Uppa Baby Vista Stroller & Bassinet
Worth every penny. I love this stroller. It’s lightweight, easy to assemble, easy to open and close, and easy to use with one hand. And the one hand thing is important because I’m always holding either a bottle, a toy, or Phoenix.

Moby & Friends Showerhead
Makes removing bubbles and soap easy and now that Phoenix is older, he loves playing with the splashing water.

Hatch Baby Sound Machine
Now we can’t fall asleep without it. We may have to buy one for our room once Phoenix starts sleeping in his nursery (lol).

BEABA Babycook 4 in 1 Steam Cooker & Blender
If you’re planning on making your own baby food, this is worth the investment. You don’t have to worry about a long food prep process. This makes it so easy and quick. I also love that I don’t have to worry about using our blender and cross contaminating his food with ours.

Nested Bean Zen Sack Classic
As you can see, most of the products here are sleep related. Because sleep is IMPORTANT. We love using sleep sacks for Phoenix because it keeps him at a good body temperature and it’s safer than using a loose blanket.

Little Tikes My First Seat
I use this on my countertop to have Phoenix close by while I clean my kitchen. And I’ve been using it during feeding time before transitioning him to a highchair.

Skip Hop Campling Cubs Activity Gym
We’ve used this activity gym since Phoenix was about one month old for tummy time. And now it’s a true life saver when I need to check emails or finish up some work. It keeps him entertained while learning through all the sensory activities.

Fisher-Price Pizza Teether
I left the best for last. This is Phoenix’s favorite teether. We usually have pizza once a week and since Phoenix can’t eat real pizza yet, we got him a baby version 😉 He loves it! Fun and functional.

Hope this was helpful! Why don’t you share it with all your new and expectant mama friends? 🙂

Four Months of Baby Phoenix And Finding A Fresh Perspective

What can I say? Being a mom is the most beautiful and most challenging thing in the world. One minute your heart feels like it can explode with love and the next you’re filled with worry because you’re not sure if you’re doing anything right. But regardless of all the emotional ups and downs, it’s been such a special season.

The past couple weeks I’ve been holding down the fort all on my own during the day since my hubby went back to work from leave. I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to handle it all. But I managed to cook a few meals, have all bottles ready on time, make my bed everyday, and take a shower in between naps. WOOHOO! I have to admit I love all the 1:1 time I spend with Phoenix. I get to witness all the daily little changes.

He is smart, strong, and fun! He is so observant. Has a strong grip. And wakes up with smiles and giggles.

I can’t believe God made me HIS mommy. His bright eyed stare and happy expressions make my day. He’s my little joy bomb!

In a couple weeks, I go back to work from parental leave. And I am hoping and praying that I can balance being a mom, having a full-time job, and running Styld by Grace. I know I’m not the first or last mom to do this. It’s doable. And I lean on knowing that God will give me the grace for this new season.

My main goal for 2020 was to focus on loving my growing family. And I felt strongly in my heart to give that my full attention during my parental leave. Which meant putting other things on hold. It meant taking a step back from writing and creating for Styld by Grace. And I was so worried this would backfire and cause my progress to take a hit. I was very tempted to ignore that little voice. But I chose to obey the direction God was taking me on.

To my surprise, I have had record views on the blog these past few months. All the time, effort, and content I’ve created throughout the years have not been in vain. I’m so glad that the stuff I’ve been creating throughout the years is standing the test of time. I’m thankful that in following my gut (the Holy Spirit’s guidance), God’s favor and blessing followed.

I’ve also learned a very important lesson about creating and building. It’s not about the quantity. It’s about the quality. Striving to keep up appearances will never pay off. But investing time and effort for the things that really resonate with people and are authentic to who you are, will always pay off.

This little miracle God gave us has put so many things into perspective. I feel incredibly fortunate to have a little family of my own. It has sparked a desire to dig deeper both personally and creatively. And I’m excited to create from a refreshed frame of mind. THANK YOU for being part of all the seasons Styld by Grace has been through. This next chapter will be the best one yet!

Two Months of Baby Phoenix During A Global Pandemic

No one could’ve expected these crazy times, right? I’m sure you’re reading this while being home for quite some time. We’ve been staying home since baby Phoenix was born. He was born right before the nation closed due to COVID-19.

Being quarantined while having a newborn has been sweet. We’ve been able to savor every single moment and milestone. But I also have to be honest and admit that it has also been very difficult, as we’ve had to be away from our tribe.

The birth of Phoenix was supposed to be the culmination of a really long and difficult season. We were looking forward to being with family, friends, and enjoying life with our new baby. There’s a bit (actually a lot) of sadness in my heart. What we are living is far from what I had hoped for and envisioned for this season.

I know I’m not the only person who’s experiencing loss during this crisis. And I want to say that our loss is legit. And it’s totally ok to process it. There’s many dreams, plans, and expectations that have been put on hold. And all we hear about is death, stressful statistics, and the pressure to “flatten the curve”.

Despite the loss and pain that we are feeling during this time, we must lean into the voice of truth: God’s word and His promises. On Palm Sunday, as we had church from home, while holding onto our miracle baby, God reminded me of something.

A year ago during this time we were starting IVF. We had NO IDEA if it would work. It was a complete leap of faith. But we beat the odds and have a healthy baby boy in our arms. Even though this season doesn’t look and feel anything like what I hoped it would, I am literally HOLDING living proof of God’s faithfulness.

When I see Phoenix, I see God’s faithfulness. Every day I struggle with fear of what could happen to him. We waited so long, went through such physical and mental hardship, and endured lots of heartache to have him. Anxiety sometimes is inevitable for me. But I remember that he was an impossibility at one point. And somehow, God made a way. His faithfulness saw us through.

As we continue to move forward during these trying times, let’s remember to focus on God’s unfailing love and faithfulness.

What are you HOLDING in your life as living proof of God’s faithfulness today? During really hard moments, return to those and be encouraged that God’s faithfulness is always with you.

And on that note, I’d love to share some baby milestones we are celebrating as Phoenix turns two months.

Month Two of Baby Phoenix:
• He loves music and singing with mommy
• He is smiling more and has the cutest dimple by his chin
• He is outgrowing some of his newborn clothes (bittersweet feeling)
• He is starting to hold his bottle
• He can get his arms out of his swaddle
• He has a fiery personality and the name Phoenix fits him very well 😉