The day has come!
It was the most empowering experience of my life.
One year ago, I achieved my goal of a natural birth with my son. At 31 weeks pregnant, God lay it on my heart to pursue natural childbirth. From that moment, my husband and I embarked on an incredible journey. We learned, we laughed, we cried, and we were in complete awe of God’s goodness.
While I had found the thought of natural childbirth overwhelming and even laughable, my mind completely changed as my husband and I began our research.
As my due date approached—and passed—my doctors became increasingly antsy. They wanted me to schedule a c-section, since I had one with my daughter. They had me schedule one, even though they knew I would cancel. Twice I canceled and rescheduled, just to appease my doctors. I couldn’t consent to a c-section when, aside from a few research statistics, I had no risk factors working against me. I couldn’t throw away my goal of a natural vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) out of fear of the “what if’s.”
I kept asking God, “Why? Why hasn’t he come yet?” When I was 40 weeks and 5 days, God revealed to me that He had a plan for the time while I was waiting.
At my 41 week appointment, the OB we saw offered another option besides a c-section—an option no one had mentioned before: a low-dose Pitocin induction.
That Thursday, June 30, 2016, We did it. We got our natural VBAC.
One of the greatest lessons I learned from that experience was the importance of a positive mindset. It’s amazing the power our minds have over how we experience events in our lives and how we respond to challenges and stressors.
A few weeks later, I began a series of blog posts sharing our journey. The pictures of us you see in these posts were taken by our incredible photographer, Amy Oliver, who showed us the true beauty of birth photography.
I am so grateful for the people who supported me in that journey.
Jeremy—Thank you for going with my crazy idea of natural birth and for trusting in God’s plan for us. Thank you for your support and for staying right beside me every step of the way.
Anna—Thank you for planting the seed (even though you didn’t know it) that would eventually grow into me listening to God’s nudge to pursue natural childbirth.
Ashley—Thank you for encouraging me and sharing your wisdom with me. Without you, I wouldn’t have changed the trajectory of my decisions regarding the labor and delivery of sweet Charles.
Brandy—Thank you for filling us with as much knowledge as you could in 4 weeks as we prepared for our birth. Thank you for encouraging me to advocate for myself and to stand firm in my beliefs and my trust in God’s perfect plan and perfect timing.
Jocelyn—Thank you for being the most incredible doula we could have asked for. You provided exactly what we needed and were such a calming and reassuring presence during our labor.
Amy—Thank you for capturing those precious moments. We will forever treasure the invaluable gift you gave us. You took more than pictures—you captured memories that we will forever be able to relive.
Thank you to everyone who prayed for, encouraged, and loved on us as we prepared for our birth and the days following. We are eternally grateful.
Thank you to everyone reading for being a treasured part of my journey of motherhood. I love you all.
A week and a half ago my friend and mentor Cliff Ravenscraft reached out to me and invited me to attend his workshop titled “Creating an Online Business Around Your Podcast.” I told him I had checked out the sales page but that it wasn’t in our budget. However, after further discussion with Cliff and my husband, I decided to make the investment.
As I figured it would be, the workshop was jam-packed with amazing information and Cliff’s presentation of that information was outstanding. The workshop was hosted in the Next Level Studio in Cliff’s home (“The Home That Podcasting Built”). Cliff and his family were so welcoming and hospitable. In addition to a great day and a half of content, the networking and relationships built were invaluable.
After the workshop I asked my friend Heather if I could swing by her house to say hi, as she lives just a few minutes away from Cliff. We sat on her back patio, and she asked some questions about the workshop. I answered enthusiastically, still on a high from it all.
Then Heather said, “I bet it was nice to get away and have some adult interaction.” I paused, then said, “Yeah, that was pretty nice.”
It hadn’t occurred to me until then. Sure, the workshop and relationships were awesome. But what I think refreshed me most was getting some time away to be in the presence of other adults—especially like-minded entrepreneurs who all have the same goal in mind: to build a responsible online business.
I didn’t realize how badly I needed it. The life of an entrepreneur can be incredibly isolating, especially in the early stages.
In the workshop, Cliff talked about Jim Rohn’s belief, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Cliff asked us to write down the five people we spend the most time with (outside of immediate family). It could be face-to-face interaction or interaction via phone, text, social media, etc.
I began to write down my five, starting with my church family and another close friend. I then realized that other than that, most of my in-person interactions are with my kids and husband. I have close friends, but I’m not intentionally getting together with them in person or picking up the phone to call them.
Cliff then asked us to take some time in the days coming up to write down the five people we want to intentionally spend the most time with moving forward. Who are the people I want to intentionally allow to influence the way I think through direct interaction?
I realized that in order to write my list and put it into action, I am going to be making some major commitments. I’ll be committing to investing in myself by committing to spending time with and investing in others.
But how in the world am I going to do that?? I’m a full time mom building an online business on the side. I don’t have time for intentional friendships!
That’s the issue though. I historically have not made (keyword “made,” not “found”) the time to be intentional about friendships. I was very academically focused in school. I got married my senior year of college, started graduate school a year later, and went straight into a job from my grad school internship. I worked full time until I had Margaret, then gradually moved down to part time, then resigned after my maternity leave with Charles. No matter which of these stages I was in, I struggled with being intentional about friendships.
After last weekend, I decided: No more. No more playing the “I’m a tired/busy mom” card. No more neglecting the amazing friendships staring me in the face because they’re just so much work. No more excuses. No more.
Is it going to be easy? Maybe not. Is it going to be worth it? Absolutely.
Jesus wants us to live in community. After all, he spent a good deal of time with his twelve best buds. It seems to have served Him quite well.
Take some time this week to do the following exercise:
First, write down the 5 people you spend the most time with.
Second, write down the 5 people you want to spend the most time with.
Third, set a plan into action that will help you grow your relationships with those people.
It may seem like a lot of work and time that you don’t have to invest. I get that. But if you make this a priority, you’ll be amazed at the way your world changes.
Are you spending time with people who are lifting you up? Are you intentional about being around positive people who have your best interests at heart? What can you do to deepen those relationships?
A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to get back into running. I had started in fall of 2015 but stopped shortly after I became pregnant with my son.
Because I’ve had issues with my knees in the past, I’m starting with brisk walks and strengthening exercises for a few weeks before I start running.
As I walked last Tuesday morning, I thought about how critical it is that I take this step forward to focus on my health. Not only is it important for me; it is important for my family. I’ve discussed here and there in my writing and speaking how important it is to take care of ourselves, including regular exercise. I’ve been walking with my kids, but that’s more like a turtle-paced stroll when you have a 3 year old. I knew I needed to start doing more.
I’ll be alternating days—walking one day, strength training the next, and so on. In a few weeks I’ll start the Couch to 5K program, which I did in the fall of 2015.
On my walk last week, I thought, “Hey, it would be cool to share my journey with anyone who wanted to follow it.” I texted my friend Cliff Ravenscraft and asked if I could steal his “thing.”
2.5 years ago Cliff embarked on a journey to focus on his health—eating well and exercising 6 days each week. He started using the hashtag #TrainWithCliff in his posts. Little did he know that he would start a movement that would launch hundreds of others into making lifestyle changes to take care of their bodies and join Cliff in his journey. I told Cliff I was thinking about doing my own hashtag and threw out a few ideas. He said he liked “#TrainWithTrish,” so I went with it.
Here are my pics from Week 1:
Now, I want to make this very VERY clear: I am by no means a fitness expert, nor do I care to portray myself as one. I leave that to my pal Daryl. (He’s super cool. You should check him out). I’m just a regular ol’ mama looking to better myself and have others join me along the way.
If you want to join me, go ahead and post those workout selfies with the hashtag #TrainWithTrish. It’ll be fun.
Since the day I moved into my house, I’ve found myself stumbling upon misplaced items and thinking, Well, I might need this someday, so I’ll hang on to it. It then ends up in some box, drawer, or pile in my basement. People have offered furniture and my husband and I have thought, Well, we may use this someday, so we’ll take it and put it in the basement for now.
After 8 years of doing this, I have accumulated a basement overflowing with junk. You’d think it would be no surprise, but I’ve found myself increasingly irritated with the mess downstairs, as if someone else made that mess.
Couches. Recliners. Baby clothes. Baby toys. Novels. Stuffed animals. Clothes that will likely never fit and quite frankly I’d look ridiculous in. Binders of college schoolwork. Textbooks. Video game accessories. An old, gross washer and dryer set. Bookcases. Half-empty cans of paint. An old fridge that may or may not work. Things that my parents have stored at our house—furniture, decorative items, a spare toilet (not kidding), a kid desk.
Our basement is unfinished, except for a room on one side. I’d love to use part of that room as an office space. I’d love to use the other side of the room for a play area. Unfortunately, I can barely tip-toe to navigate that room.
Soooooo my husband and I decided to start chipping away at all the mess, either giving things away or selling them.
In order to do so, I’ve had to change my mindset about my things.
Instead of asking myself, “Will I need this someday?” I envision what I want my family life to look like.
Then I ask, “Do I want to have a need for this? Does this item fit into my vision?” If not, it goes. Asking myself this question has completely changed my outlook on my “stuff.” I can more clearly see what needs to stay and what needs to go, and it’s making it a heck of a lot easier to clean up and clear out.
If your house is full of junk, I challenge you: Envision what you want your family life to look like. Then ask yourself if the items in your house fall into that vision. If not, get rid of it. It doesn’t matter how. Give it away to friends/family, sell it, or donate it. Whatever you do, do it FAST. The more quickly you go through and clear out your junk, the easier it will be to let go of things.
Comment below with some of the things you’re holding on to that you can get rid of. Commit to clearing those things out one way or another. If you want, come back and comment on how you’re feeling once you have more space and breathing room in your house.
Alright, now get to it!