Monday, December 11, 2017

I'm Back... to Blogging & Facebook

So I decided to give Facebook a break almost a month ago. Well, jokes on me because it's just about impossible to completely give it up these days. No, I'm not an addict, but I'm starting to see it's kind of the way of the world these days.

Within a few days of saying peace, I had to get on to check an address for birthday party because the invite came via Facebook (and there's really nothing wrong with that either because let's be honest, it's free and easy and people always be checking their Facebook feeds, haha). Then I had to get on because someone needed a picture that I had posted a while back and I didn't have it on my phone but guess where I could find it? Yep, that's right... my mobile uploads to Facebook. That actually happened a bunch of times. Also, my brother got a last minute fight and the only way we could watch it was, you guessed it, via Facebook of course. (Side note, I don't watch his fights live. I pray while he fights and watch after, but I did watch after because he won, first round KO, woot woot!) There was also the occasional text that said, "hey did you check your messages because I sent you a message." Yep, so at that point, I started thinking to myself, "what if someone that doesn't have my number messages me and it's important?" I then decided I should just start checking my messages daily (because just in case, right?).

The crazy thing is taking a "Facebook break" actually became more of a pain than the break I was seeking. I left for all of the normal reasons like being sick of all of the politics, the ridiculous videos, the horribly sad news and the time wasting articles that make every parent feel like a failure. Not to mention all of the suggested ads that I literally can't stand!

The truth is, I did need a break from all of the unnecessary stuff that fills my news feed... all of it. I think too I've realized during my "sort of" time away that my biggest problem with social media is the fact that we can't all just agree to disagree on topics that are simply opinions. It makes me crazy.

We all have passions and convictions and I'm completely for that because trust me, I have my own (and you may not like them), but I'm not over here forcing them down your throat or trying to convince you to see it my way. I'm also not calling you terrible names if you decide not to agree with me or wishing you a horrible fate because we don't agree. There are so many hot topics out there and while speaking our minds is not a bad thing, hate is not okay neither is shaming and unfortunately disagreeing on these hot topics often goes down that road.

I will be the first one to admit, I love a good debate. In college, I LOVED Debate class and pretty much everyone in my Debate class hated me because I was so awesome at it. At the end of any good debate though, I could shake that person's hand and say good job because while we might have been getting heated on our topic, at the end of the day I always knew that person mattered way more than their opinion on farm fresh eggs vs grocery store eggs. (No, that was never actually one of my debates. Our topics were always so much more intense and touchy and 14 years ago, no one debated that, but I felt the need inject something light hearted here.)

If you're still reading this I just want to challenge you to think long and hard about what you are passionate about and how you choose to share your passions, but I also want you to think about the people in your lives or on your social media pages. Decide if shoving your opinions down some one's "Facebook feed throat" is going to make them side with you on any topic anyway. Love is the answer to sharing your heart and sometimes being able to agree to disagree is the only way to keep loving. Sometimes taking it a step further and NOT posting on Facebook but having an actual conversation is the way to go too. My mom and I sometimes disagree on some pretty big hot-button issues, but I freaking love my mom. Sometimes we have have LONG drawn out conversations where we state our cases and stick to our guns but ultimately have to agree to disagree because that's how relationships work. You won't always agree on everything but people are way more important than opinions (even the ones you're really really passionate about).

It's just become really hard for me to accept that we pretty much live in a world where you're considered an evil person if you don't agree with the masses. I'm all over here on team, "You Do You."

One of the biggest examples of this right now in my life is the topic of homeschooling. Yes, we homeschool and we have our reasons, but I'm not anti "whatever school anyone else chooses is best for their family." Remember, I'm on team, "You Do You," because I'm sure you have a lot of good reasons why you choose what you choose but I'm also on team, "Stop Judging Everyone That Doesn't Do What You Do." I'm also on team, "Stop Hiding Behind Your Facebook To Shame People Into Siding With Your Views On Everything In Life."

Okay rant over but on a less serious note, I did get a lot done while I was on a "sort of" break from Facebook. I read 6 books. All of them pretty sizable too! I found the bottom of the laundry pile and for 3 sweet hours there was literally zero laundry in any hamper, on any bathroom floor, behind any bedroom door or hiding in the trunk of my minivan! I also decided that it might be time to start writing again so I edited a blog post that I wrote at the end of last year (that I haven't been ready to share), logged into my old blogger account and got the blog itch all over again.

So here I am. Back on Facebook and back to blogging.

Cheers to social media, Y'all, without it I couldn't share this blog post and a big cheers to agreeing to disagreeing, because in the end... Love really does win.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Third Time's a Charm...

Written June 26, 2013. Posted 3 years & 5 months later. Oooops.

Hello, old friend! I sure do miss you, but this mama has been so busy being pregnant, keeping up with a 3 year old, a 4 year old and getting our home ready for a baby, that I haven't had much time for you!

I think I'll skip the part where I say I'll try to make more time for blogging and I'll try to get this thing updated, and just say, if I blog again before our sweet babies first birthday I'll be happy with that! But let's cut to the chase for today...

They say, third time is a charm, and for this mama of three, I'll say that I have to agree (so far anyway).

After 39 weeks and 1 day of pregnancy on June 17th, 2013 Anderson Matthew entered the world with lungs a blaring at 12:39pm. He weighed in at 9lbs and 3oz and measured 21 inches (ouch, yes, but it's too soon to share that part of the story, too soon)! This I will share, his labor and delivery was quick and went as smooth as it could have (minus the fact that holy cow, I don't want to feel that kind of pain again for a long time, if ever).

Matt, Baby {A}, and I stayed our required 24 hours in the hospital and came home as quickly as we could to the "double" big brother {L}and Big Sis {C} (there really is no place like home).

Nine days have gone by now and I still can't believe my sweet baby boy is here! We've had a wonderful transition into being a family of five. Part of it, I know is experience (this ain't my first rodeo with a newborn) but I also know that a big part of it is God answering my prayers. I know what it's like to bring a baby home and have another baby waiting for you when you get there, so this time I knew what to pray for going into bringing home a baby with two babies at home waiting!

Baby {A} is now 9 days old! I can't believe it.

Cheers to our new life and being a Pastor's Wife and Mama of 3!

The Funny thing about this post is that I wrote it in June of 2013 and must have never clicked "publish." I just logged into my blog for the first time in years, saw it and thought,  "why not put it out there." This just might be the last post this blog of mine ever sees. 

I've been considering wiping the dust off of this old thing for a while now, I'm just not sure if I'd like to update this one or start fresh. Time will tell. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday to my sweet Channy girl!

Dear Chandler Rae,

It's hard to believe that it's only been 3 years since we welcomed you into the world! 

I really can't remember life without you by my side. Since you were born you've been a total Mama's girl! (Although recently you've been a little bit of a Daddy's girl. I think you're figuring out that you've got him totally wrapped around your finger and that I don't let you get away with near as much as he does). You help me with the dishes, the laundry, and you are such a big help when it comes to picking up around the house. 

You say some of the funniest things I have ever heard! In fact, right now, you're on the potty singing, "It's a Small World." The other day,  I came out of my room in a dress you've never seen before and said, "Mom, you look so beautiful." Just the way you looked at me and said that melted my heart. 

Recently you've started painting your finger and toe nails and you are so very into your clothes and shoes. You pose just like I used to in all your photos too and I love it. I just hope you always remember the most important part of you is who you are on the inside, but when you mix your cuteness on the outside with your sweet, sassy, silly, and smart personality you are the whole package! 

You are so very strong willed and independent which I mostly love. You've always wanted to do everything "all by yourself" especially as you've gotten closer to being 3. You've been picking out and putting on your own clothes for about a year now and you potty trained yourself just after your 2nd birthday!! Your ability to take care of yourself at such a young age amazes me. There really isn't much you can't do, girl! I love it but it also makes me a little sad. I'm so proud of you and so excited for you when you do new things, but I also hope you know I'm here for you no matter what... to button a shirt or to help you reach something high when you can't quite reach it. I tell you all the time, God gave you a mommy to help, teach, and love you through life and I hope you always remember that!!! 

I can't wait to see you as a big sister in action. Baby {A} is going to love you so much. You already love him so much and he's not even here yet. Everyday you talk to him, sing to him, tell him stories, and kiss my belly all over. You tell us that you're going to hold him and love him and even change all his poopy diapers. You're like a little mommy in action already. 

Your big brother loves you so much too. It seems the older you both get the more and more you play and laugh together. I love to listen to you playing together. It melts my heart to hear you guys having fun together. You are both always saying that you're going to marry each other (which is sweet now, but will be gross later, trust me)!

I hope you know just how much your mommy loves you! Watching you play, talking with you, and being silly singing Taylor swift at the top of our lungs in the van brings me so much happiness. While we have our moments of disagreement and when you are tired and hungry you may show a little too much of your sass, I could not imagine our lives without you. 

I love you Channy Rae! Today, and for the next 364 days you are my favorite 3 year old in the world!!! 


Your Mommy Girl 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

We're having another...

So, I'm still committed to keeping off of facebook this year and have had no problem thus far, but I find that in certain situations (like this one)... it's faster, cheaper, and much more convenient to share with family and friends via fb.

It's hardly a secret that we're having another baby, but since we already have a boy and a girl we were going to keep the gender a surprise this time around. Our sweet little babe was not up for keeping this secret though and at a scheduled 12 week ultrasound baby {A} revealed themselves! We had our 20 week appointment and ultrasound earlier this week and it was again confirmed!

Anyhow, we had an awesome friend and her daughter take some super cute pictures revealing the gender of our baby on the way (hey, you never know, this could be our final rodeo, so you better believe I'm doing all that pinterest crap this time around)!

I made up a super cute card and was getting ready to order 100 of them when I decided that I would rather save our time, energy, effort and money and use it for getting ready for our little bundle. So I blogged and I got on facebook for 5 minutes to share it! I'm sure Matt will post more pictures when our babe is born and if I find the time to blog while running a household and raising 3 children, maybe he can share that for me too. But I digress...

And without further ado... we're having another...

BOY or GIRL ???

12 years, where have you gone?
Blue or Pink???

We're headed for the blue! 
Covered in blue silly string! 
The "double" big brother and very proud big sister.
Sporting our mustaches! 
What a family this kid is joining!!
I never imagined myself with a big family, but we certainly are on our way and we're all pretty excited about it!! Landon can hardly contain himself, he's now getting a brother and while Chandler was slightly disappointed at the thought of not having a sister this time around, she quickly realized she will now remain the sole princess in the Sander's household. 

Seriously, what could be better? And to that I say, "CHEERS!"

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

So glad I peaced out on fb!

So it's been 9 days since I've been off of facebook and it's amazing, life goes on without it!

I don't miss it and absolutely do not regret following through with this conviction.

Nine days in and I've already almost finished Landon's baby book, organized all of Chandler's baby stuff, so I can finish hers and I've got what I need to start baby A's book too (yes, we have a name)! I've also written out specific prayers to focus on for each of the kids this year (which is something I've been saying I'm going to do since I read Power of a Praying Parent over 3 years ago!) I plan on tracing their hands, writing those prayers on them, lamenting them and placing them in my Bible. After the year is over, I'll do it again and over the years I'll have those prayers to look back on and share with them as they grow up and start families of their own.

Beyond actually getting things done that have been on the "to do" list for years, the daily grind has been a lot more smooth too (or as smooth as it should go with 2 little kids, one on the way, and a husband with a busy schedule). I don't feel so distracted during the day when I'm playing with the kids, cooking dinner, or when my husband gets home from work. I have no need to take 20 minutes out of my precious time to share what I'm doing, where we're going, or what we already did. I don't need to post pictures or keep up with messages or posts I've commented on or liked. I'm focused on what I'm doing or as my College Success professor called it, I'm "being here now," which is a quality you don't find many to have anymore.

This really is the year of getting the things done I've been wanting to get done for so long, letting go of the stuff that just doesn't matter and staying focused on what does!

There are still a few things I want to get in on my routine like reading for pleasure and more physical activity (but seriously if our family could stay healthy and the weather would just quit freaking out, the activity thing would naturally become a lot easier for us)!

I will also admit that I watched The Bachelor on Monday night which is something I probably would not have done had I still been on facebook. In the past, I would've taken a couple hours alone and got lost in the distracting world of clicking, commenting, and liking! Instead, I laid on the couch, put my feet up, turned on 1 of the 7 channels we get (we don't have cable, which also helps keep down the distractions), and guilty pleasured into The Bachelor! Not sure if I'll keep up with it or not, but I'm for sure at least going to try to catch the finale! Ha!

I've realized so much over this short time off of facebook that I don't really feel the need to share with the world what I ate for breakfast.

9 days down and I'm not sure I'll ever go back. Only 356 more days to decide!

Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Why I'm Leaving FB in 2013

So, I figured I'd take a few minutes just to put into words exactly why I feel so convicted to leave facebook in 2013.

There are a number of reasons and this isn't something I just woke up and decided to do. This is something I have been feeling like I should do for a long time. I've given it up here and there for a week or a month and during those times, I've been so very productive and truly don't miss it at all. In July, during the National Christian Convention I really felt the strong pull to get off, but I came up with a million reasons why I shouldn't (that my friends is called rationalization, we learned a lot about that in youth group when we were teenagers).

I'm not saying that facebook is evil or that you should leave it because I am. In fact, I know there are a lot of great benefits to having it. It's a great way to keep up with friends and family who live far away, a way to get ahold of people quickly or invite them to a party. In our home, we've even used it as a way to sell/give things away or to see if anyone is selling/giving away something we're looking for. My husband uses it to reach the youth and even the parents at our church. facebook can be used as a great tool, I won't deny that, but I will say that it can also be used to boast, to share things that are inappropriate, to make people feel left out (on purpose or not), and it really almost encourages us to compare ourselves to everyone else. I'd be lying too if I didn't mention that facebook is a way for us all to see what people from our past are up to and sometimes (if you're like me), to make yourself feel really good about where you are in your life and where they are not in theirs. Somehow it makes you feel justified for the past or like you came out on top. It's kind of sad actually, but I think if we got really honest with ourselves we'd all admit we've let our thoughts go there to there a time or two and frankly, I don't want to be that kind of person!

At the top of the list for me, it is just a complete time waster! It's easy to get on just to check a message or post a quick picture and then realize 45 minutes later that you haven't even done what you originally got on to do in the first place. As a pastor's wife and mother of two children under 5 with one on the way, time is precious, so very precious.

This is the year for me to stop talking about how much closer I'm going to get with God, how much more scripture I'm going to read and memorize, how awesome I'm going to be as a homemaker, how much more organized and full of fun lessons for our children I'll become and to finally just do it without the distractions! The best part is that it will be between me and God and my family and my best friend who I really and truly do life with. It's not about being awesome and posting it all over facebook. It's about being who God called me to be to the fullest and closing my eyes at the end of the day knowing that He is saying well done, Amanda, or good try today you'll do better tomorrow. I don't need the approval of my facebook friends and family to make me feel good or posts from other facebook friends to make me feel bad or not good enough.

I'm clinging to this passage from Matthew 6: 3-4 (The Message translation),

When you do something for someone else, don't call attention to yourself. You've seen them in action, I'm sure --'playactors'-- I call them -- treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that's all they get. When you help someone out, don't think about how it looks. Just do it -- quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scene, helps you out. 

I love this. It's not about doing and sharing it with the world constantly. It's about sharing and doing for the world (or in this case my family) and knowing that this kind of doing becomes contagious. The kind of doing that is done just because, not because of who is watching. I'll still keep my blog to express how I'm feeling, but that's for me, because writing is something I enjoy and a way for me to have memories in print. It's also to encourage. Not to make anyone feel less about themselves or to brag about anything I am doing because trust in me, if I do something great, it's God working through me, not anything I did. He is the good in me!

2013 is a big year for our family. A new baby is coming in May or June. We'll start homeschooling in the Fall. Even with all of these awesome additions coming our way, I feel less overwhelmed then ever. I have a peace about this year. It's the year for me to cut out the distractions and focus on what really matters or as another wiser mommy has told me, "anything with a heartbeat."

Cheers to a new year!

My facebook will still be active in 2013. There are lots of pictures I need to get off of there and my husband may tag me in a post or two when our new baby comes or maybe even share a blog post with pictures of our growing family. He'll keep an eye on it too, make sure no one hacks or posts something yucky on there, but I will not be on it. Who knows if I'll be back in 2014, but as for 2013, I'm out! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Baby, Bunk-beds, and a Blog Name Change are Coming our Way... WE'RE PREGNANT!!

Well, it's officially facebook official... The Sanders will be welcoming a new baby into our family next year! 

I'm Pregnant! 

Trust us, we were just as surprised about 6 weeks ago as you are!

Landon, who is 4 now was absolutely 100% planned. We even tried all the magic they say to try to get a boy and it happened! Chandler Rae, now 2 was also 100% part of our plans. Tried for a girl and bam... got a girl! Baby Sanders number 3 was also 100% planned, but this time by God (my guess is it's a girl, but we won't be finding out until the birth). If you read my blog, then you read this post What Now? back in June. In this post I declared no babies, no dogs, and no moving for the Sanders family any time soon. Then in August you may have read this post, Life is Funny like That. Here I explained why we were moving on such short notice to our surprise! And here I am, just a few months later blogging about (in the words of my children) "a baby in my belly."

It's funny how God works! 28 and a half years on this planet helps you understand this. When we moved we got rid of everything baby! I'm talking everything! From the pack n play that I parted with through tears to just about every piece of baby clothing we had saved! After we moved, I started getting crafty and I really started enjoying the little bit of time I had to do some things I wanted to get done. We also made the big decision to home school our children (that's a blog post for another day), but over the last few months I really and truly have come to the realization that God has blessed us with two beautiful, healthy, funny, smart, and wacky children and that maybe two is what he planned for us. I literally said in my head to God probably about 8 weeks ago, "you know what, two is great. I think I'm good with two, God." Our children on the other hand, have been praying for another baby like crazy. Landon has asked many times how we get "one" in there. He even told us that we should get married again. We explained the best you can to a 4 year old that it comes with some praying and planning and so he did his part and started praying. I'm talking PRAYING. We'd be in the car and he would just say out of the blue, "Dear God, please put a baby in my mommies tummy, amen." This kid prayed so much for a baby, I began to worry what he may think if he didn't get this baby he was praying so hard for. Well, God has blessed us all by answering the prayers of my little ones and sometime in May or June we'll be welcoming that little answered prayer into our family with joy!

This is such a different experience as a mom because Landon was a baby when Chandler was born. There wasn't much involvement or explaining to do. They really don't remember life without each other. This time around they are so involved and excited. They're ready to be big helpers and can't wait for my belly to grow. Landon asked me the other day when the baby shower was because he was excited about having a cake (me too, Landon)!!

In other ways this pregnancy is turning out to be very similar to the others. I'm sick as a dog all day, all night, everyday. I'm craving some pretty weird stuff, but am too sick to eat it, smells of any kind are not welcomed, naps are a requirement, and I will be keeping any and all fast food chains that carry french fries in business for the next 7 months!

Selfishly, I'm not excited to be heaving over the toilet everyday and I'm not terribly excited to lose my figure again (I've worked very hard to get it back), but honestly, none of that will matter when I hold that sweet baby in my arms and love he/she with the same kind of crazy love I already have for my two kiddies.

I'm a little nervous about life with 3, after all we will be out numbered, but I'm more excited about our growing family and all that God has in store for us!

Cheers to a family of 5!