In Uncategorized on
July 27, 2018

Welcome to Becoming Lenore!

Hi! My name is Lenore Ntozake Schaffer. My family and friends call me Nto or Lenny or Dr. Bae (well, only hubby calls me that honestly). I’m a wife, a new mom, and a higher education administrator. I’m originally from Antigua and Barbuda, but I currently live in the United States in South Mississippi with my husband, Micah and daughter, Amara.

My website is entitled “Becoming Lenore” because it describes my current season in life perfectly. I’m almost 30 years old and most people see 30 as “the age”. Most of us hope that by age 30 all of our dreams and goals would be achieved. To some it might look like I’ve achieved it all and I live this perfect life. “You’ve arrived girl,” they say. I have the husband, the new baby girl, my degrees, a good job etc. However, that’s so far from my truth! In fact, the closer I get to 30 the more I realize:

1. The things of this world do not satisfy my soul.

2. The minute I think I have it all figured out, life throws me a curveball—sometimes a huge one!

3. 30 isn’t the age of my arrival. For me, it’s the age of becoming. Realizing that I don’t have it all figured out and I STILL have so much to learn. Most importantly, that it’s okay NOT to have it all figured out.

I’m still figuring things out as a wife, in my career, financially, and especially as a mom. In a world where it seems like everyone in your age bracket is already debt free, have multiple businesses, the perfect little family, and a well-organized and filtered Instagram feed, it’s easy to get discouraged. I know I do at times! Yet I refuse to live my last year in my 20’s discouraged and upset with myself for not achieving something that I thought I would have by now. Now the focus is on becoming who I am and embracing the journey—the highs and the lows.

I am becoming Lenore…

Who are you becoming?

In Shopping Life on
November 18, 2018

Why I Love Rent the Runway

So I’ll never describe myself as a shopaholic. I also don’t believe in spending a lot of money on clothes or shoes. However, I still like to dress up. I just believe in doing it on a budget! Ever so often, I want to wear a really nice outfit on a special occasion e.g. birthdays, weddings etc. I always want something nice and affordable, which usually means a designer dress is off limits! Until my friend Jessica (Hey Jess!) told me about Rent the Runway!

What do you mean you can rent dresses?

So, I don’t have to buy a dress for every fancy occasion? (Especially since I hate rewearing an outfit multiple times–of course I’ll do it if I have to, but after the 4th wear it’s not the same LOL).

I was 100% sold on the idea of renting an outfit. Of course, there are certain things I will absolutely purchase e.g. jeans, everyday outfits, casual pieces etc. But, I really liked the idea of having something that I couldn’t afford to purchase as a birthday outfit. I went on the website in 2017, browsed a few pieces, read multiple reviews, and rented my first dress! I rented a curve-hugging navy blue piece for my graduation photos. It was perfect for the look I was going for! Since then, I’ve used Rent the Runway at least once a year (sometimes more). I’m a happy customer!

You can rent designer dresses for as little as 30-35 dollars! You have two options for renting. You select either a 4-day rental or 6-day rental. 6-day rentals will always cost a little more! I personally always use 4 day rentals :). Always choose a date that’s at least 2 days before your event! I’ve never received a dress late, and I LOVE that they allow you to choose a backup size for free! Returning your dress is also super easy! You just pack everything back up, and drop it off in a UPS dropbox. It’s such a game-changer!

I also want to give you $30.00 off your first order >>>>>> https://rtr.app.link/e/8sMghHr2WR

I love Rent the Runway! Go ahead and check out their website, download the app, and rent an outfit for Christmas, New Years Eve, or another special event using the link above!

My first Rent the Runway order

My 28th birthday dress!

The most recent dress I ordered. My 29th birthday dress!

xoxo

In Work Life on
October 25, 2018

I’m Going Back to University!

Yes, you read that title right! I’m going back to University!! Woohoo!!

Now settle down, settle down. Before I’m the topic of today’s gossip and you start wondering, “What the heck is wrong with this girl? She already has a PhD!”, keep reading.

  1. I love learning! I believe in education! I would not have enrolled in graduate school if I didn’t love to learn. I would take classes until I die, if I didn’t have to deal with stress from exams, research paper deadlines etc.
  2. This year, I decided that I won’t compromise on my family’s health and wellness. There are so many daily products we use with high levels of toxicity. It’s crazy. There are apps available that show you how toxic various products are. I was blown away! So many things I used (including around my baby) that were simply no good. I was determined to make some changes. I don’t want sickness to be the reason I can’t do something. What you don’t spend on pure, non-toxic products, and healthy foods, you’ll spend on doctor/hospital bills. Now, that’s not to say that I’ll never get sick or Amara will never catch a cold (she already has-twice), but I don’t have to contribute to poor health. I can make smarter choices that will make a difference!

So with all that being said, I am officially a student at YL University!!! “Lenore, I’ve never heard of that. Is that another for-profit institution?” (can you tell my PhD is in Higher Education?).

No it’s not another for-profit :). YL stands for Young Living! Young Living is an essential oil company that provides pure, non-toxic, and powerful products that are infused with essential oils. I was really impressed with their Seed to Seal program and how the company distill their oils. It’s so fascinating to me! This is why I wanted to take my essential oil knowledge to the next level. So, I’m basically schooling myself on everything essential oil related. I can’t believe it took me this long to recognize just how amazing and powerful pure essential oils are.

My goal is to learn something new about an oil each week! My diffuser is always going, and my house smells wonderful. Knowledge is power. Wellness is a must. I’m so excited to start this journey. Like I said in my introduction, this year is all about my becoming. So here’s to becoming a lover of essential oils and a healthier version of me! Do you use essential oils? If so, what’s your favorite oil. Comment below! If you don’t use essential oils or you’re on the fence about using, what’s holding you back? Let’s chat!

 

If you want to learn more about Young Living and my favorite products visit www.myyl.com/becominglenore. 

Valor. I used this oil all week at work. It smells amazing and so many benefits!

xoxo

In Mom Life on
October 22, 2018

Zoo Day with Bradley Moms & Dads

Happy Monday!!

In my natural birth story blog I discussed the Bradley Method class we completed. This class not only boosted my confidence to go through with an unmedicated birth, but I met some amazing couples because of it! We have a Bradley Moms message group and we share pictures, advice, and encourage each other as new moms. We also have a periodic venting session :). I have so much love for these ladies and couples!

Yesterday we went to the Hattiesburg Zoo as a group. It was so nice seeing everyone together and meeting all the babies! We were one couple short, so I look forward to the next event! I love walking this new season of motherhood with other moms. I love that I can glean lessons and encouragement from other new moms, seasoned moms, and the pros of all pros LOL. We were never meant to do life alone. I’m grateful for all the women and moms in my life! Here are a few pictures from our day.

xoxo

 

 

Amara was not impressed with the zoo LOL

When the favor of God is all over you *praise hands*

Like I said, not impressed LOL

Train ride fun. The adults enjoyed it at least LOL

Bradley Moms 🙂

Look up babies–say cheese!

From left to right: The Schaffer’s, The Myers’, The McNair’s, The Bishop’s

This looks like we should be advertising baby gear 🙂

In Mom Life on
October 14, 2018

Amara’s Baby Dedication

Heyyyyyy

So it’s been awhile since I last blogged, but I had to set aside some time to post a quick one. I have so many exciting news to share, but today’s post is all about my precious daughter. Amara was dedicated to the Lord in church this morning, and I’m just overwhelmed by the Lord’s faithfulness!

Name meaning

Amara’s name has several meanings depending on the culture of origin, but in the Igbo culture “Amara” means grace or kindness. “Lyric” means words to a song. My husband came up with her name first, but from the minute he told me about it, I loved them both! It was perfect for her. Now that she’s here, I can’t imagine choosing any other name. She LOVES music, singing, and she’s a representative of God’s grace in our lives. I’m also a firm believer that she will be known as a kind spirit. My friend Jamie (if you don’t know Jamie you need to. She’s great!) encouraged me today as she described my sweet baby. She described Amara as sensitive and tender, observant, happy, and delicate. Ya’ll that’s Amara to the T (is that the expression? Shrug, I’m not from here if it’s not—that’s my excuse to everything lol). My baby is so tender, observant (not nosy lol) and just precious. I can’t wait to see all the amazing things she does in this world! She is so loved and there are so many people praying over her life. That alone makes my heart glad. Micah and I are truly blessed! I’m also thankful for my church family and family/friends who came out to support and celebrate Amara. Ya’ll rock!

Life Verses/Special Scripture

Colossians 3:17: And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Proverbs 31:25: Strength and dignity are her clothing and she smiles at the future.

 

In Love Life, Mom Life, Work Life on
September 5, 2018

Birthday Reflections

I celebrated m 29th birthday on August 26th! I meant to post this before my birthday, but I am quickly realizing how hectic life really is. I had no free time to post. None whatsoever. I’m struggling to respond to text messages too (don’t even mention phone calls ugh).

Amara keeps me busy. Work keeps me busy. Then, when I find that I’m not AS busy, I’d rather take a nap (keepin’ it real). Also, if I’m not taking a nap, I’m spending as much time as possible with my family because hubby works crazy hours (so whenever we’re both home, I want to squeeze in as much time together as I can)! I also spend a lot of my free time playing with Amara and talking to her.

I really wanted to share my birthday thoughts with you all. I’ve been thinking about a lot lately! I also know so many women struggling with a specific area in their life. My prayer is that my words will encourage you to keep going, no matter what!

Relationships

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

On the weekend of my 29th birthday I spent the weekend in reflection mode. I reflected on my 20s: the things I learned, the mistakes I made, the tears, the laughs, and everything in between. So I wasn’t surprised when my past relationships came to mind. If only I knew at age 21 what I now know at 29. Ladies, there is absolutely nothing wrong with setting boundaries and being single. I’ll repeat. There is absolutely nothing wrong with setting boundaries. Don’t be afraid to walk away from something or someone who is not God’s best for your life. You are valuable because God says so. And I don’t know about you, but time is precious. You can’t get that back once it’s wasted. I wasted so much time in dead end relationships. When Micah and I started dating, he knew from early on that I was NOT about to waste my time again. I set the tone really early. It was my first time doing so. I knew what I wanted and for the first time in my life, I truly loved myself. I also learned what God’s word said about love. I was no longer going to tolerate “unkind” love because I knew that was NOT love—no matter how often a person used the words, “I love you”. So check a person’s fruit (i.e. actions).

 

Motherhood

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you…

Isaiah 66:13

Nothing has stretched me and caused me to lean on the love of The Father like being a mom. It has challenged me and changed me. Yet, I am more me than I have ever been. It just feels natural. I was meant to be a mom, and knowing that comforts me. Most importantly, I was called to be Amara’s mom. God chose me to be her mom for a reason. My baby is unique. I should not compare her to other babies. I know at times it’s easier said than done, especially when I get a baby milestone alert on my phone or people ask the “Has your baby done x,y,z yet?” . I’m learning to relax and trust the process. My baby will roll over on her own. She’ll also crawl, then walk. God is teaching me what it means to truly trust him. I’ve always been a control freak, and I’m learning very quickly that there is so much I cannot control when it comes to parenting and Amara’s development or growth.

 

Career

You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail. 

Proverbs 19:21

That scripture says it all. God’s purpose is more powerful than any of my little ole plans. Don’t get me wrong, planning is good. I believe in planning. I believe we’re supposed to be good stewards and be faithful with what God has given us (which includes making plans), but ultimately, his will is going to be accomplished! I choose to be comforted by that. You’re not a failure because you haven’t climbed up the corporate ladder. You’re not a failure because you don’t own a business. You’re not a failure because you don’t have that degree or that experience. Let your goals and dreams motivate you, rather than deter you. You should feel good about working toward that goal, rather than discouraged because you haven’t accomplished yet! Keep pushing. Continue to work for it. Most importantly, ask the Lord for wisdom and pray, “Lord let your will be done in my life (here on earth) as it is in heaven. God is so generous. He won’t give his wisdom grudgingly. Lately, Micah and I have been praying for the wisdom and skills we need to accomplish what we are believing for, rather than the thing itself. People appreciate what they work hard for!

Self-Care

Then because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Mark 6:31

Rest. Whew. I’m preaching to myself here. For my 29th birthday, I want the Lord to show me how to go away to a quiet place and get some rest. I’m constantly going. If I’m not physically doing something, my mind has a million tabs open. I’m always looking for the next thing to do. But, even Jesus rested. He encouraged his disciples to rest too. We are no different. My girls (Real Housewives of Hattiesburg LOL) paid for a massage for my birthday. It will be my first professional massage and I’m so excited. I plan to go on my first day off! I promised myself that I won’t do laundry, clean, or even blog on my day off. I’m going to get a massage, browse a bookstore, and take a nap! A day of rest. I encourage you to have a self-care day each month too. Maybe you can’t afford a luxury vacation or even a professional massage, but there is something you can do for self-care. It’s an absolute necessity!

 

In Mom Life on
September 5, 2018

Lenore’s Mommy Must-Haves (0-3 months)

Hey ya’ll,

My daughter made 3 months on August 21st (ahhhhh!!!! How is she 3 months already?!) The fourth trimester is officially over. It’s been a season of adjusting to my new normal, but I am truly happy with my portion. Nothing makes me smile like seeing Amara smile or laugh. I feel like I immediately turn into putty in her hands haha!

On another note, I wanted to share my mommy must-haves with you. Things that I learned to lean on and love during those first 3 months. So here goes 🙂 (Also, these items are in no particular order).

Must-Have Items

  • Blooming Bath Lotus: So soft and safe to use! I love Blooming Bath! Baby girl loves it too. You can purchase on their website (and also get your baby’s name monogrammed). I got mine from Target. It was a registry item and a friend purchased for us!

  • Diaper A&D ointment/Baby Vaseline: No diaper rashes over here, and her skin looks great! You can purchase this almost anywhere (e.g. Walmart, Target, CVS Pharmacy etc.)

  • Dock-A-tot: It’s costly, but it was worth it. I’m considering get the grand when she gets too big for this one. She slept like a champ whenever she was in it.

  • Gas Drops: Every mama knows that gas drops and/or gripe water is your best friend. Amara was super gassy those first couple of months. This is also super easy to find, but I got mine from Target! Can you tell I love Target?

  • Mama Roo Rocker: Another costly item, but we were blessed and our friends allowed us to borrow theirs. It came in so handy! I was able to get things done (e.g. shower). She even falls asleep in it ever so often. The rocker plays music and has different motions you can choose from (e.g. car ride, ocean wave). Amara loves the car ride motion!

 

  • Diaper Pail: Thank God for our diaper pail. Stinky diapers in and it keeps the smell out! It’s a definite must have. You can purchase from Target, Walmart etc.

 

  • Happy Baby Bundle (wrap and carrier): Look how good my hubby looks in this baby wrap :). We got the bundle, so we have the wrap and carrier for an affordable price. I love the lightweight material of this wrap. I’ve tried a couple, but this is by far my favorite. Check out happy baby wrap and carrier here! 

  • Baby Buddha portable breast pump: If you’re planning to breastfeed and pump, then you need a portable breast pump! I love my baby buddha pump. It’s a total game changer. I wrote a review about it, so check it out. If you purchase (and I don’t know why you wouldn’t honestly), use my code for 15% off (BECOMINGLENORE15). You’re welcome!!!

  • White noise sound machine: When Amara hears it, she knows it’s bed time! Works like a charm. Your baby is used to hearing your heartbeat and all sorts of noises when they were inside your womb. As a newborn, sounds were comforting for her!

 

  • Udder nursing cover: I love nursing my baby. When I want some privacy, my udder cover is a life saver. I love the fact that I’m covered, but I can still make eye contact with her because it has an adjustable neckline. A must have if you plan to nurse! Check out my post about it, and you can get one for free with my discount code (becominglenore).

xoxo

In Mom Life, Work Life on
August 19, 2018

My Baby Buddha Pump Review & Experience

Note: This post contains an affiliate link, but my review is 100% mine. 

A good pump makes all the difference in maintaining your milk supply…so let’s chat about the Baby Buddha pump.

I’m exclusively breastfeeding my daughter! Since her birth, she’s had nothing but breastmilk. She hasn’t had any water, formula, juice…nada! So knowing I would return to work several weeks after her birth, pumping was a must for me. My doula recommended the Spectra S2 pump, so I purchased it. I loved my Spectra (I still do) and I got really good results using it. I have a fast letdown, so pumping was never really an issue for me, and I loved pumping!

Knowing I was doing what I needed to do to give my daughter the very best motivated me. However, I would sit at the table for 15-30 minutes with my pump plugged into the wall. It didn’t bother me that much when I was on maternity leave, but I knew that I would need to find another option once I returned to work. I saw portable pumps on the market, but they were out of my budget. Then, one of my followers (another mom) shared this pump with me on instagram. What?! A portable pump? Just what I needed! I’ve been using it for the past week and I love it! A total game changer. Here are my top 4 reasons why!

  1. Portable and Rechargeable: If you want to be able to get things done while pumping, this is your pump! The portability of this pump is amazing. You can literally wear the pump around your neck to be hands-free! It’s definitely my favorite feature. How does cooking dinner or doing laundry while pumping sound to you? How about catching up on emails? I have to do these things and I love the fact that I can get them done, while still taking care of my daughter by pumping. I don’t want to supplement (nothing against you if you do), so having a good pump that’s also portable is a must for me!
  2. Affordable: I don’t know about you, but I am NOT trying to break the bank with a good pump. I need affordability. Thankfully, the Baby Buddha pump is very affordable. You can order it on sale right now for $189.99 (original is $249.99).
  3. Easy to Use: The pump comes with a manual that explains how to use the pump, how to clean etc. It’s pretty straight forward and easy to follow. When you turn the pump on at first, you’ll be in simulation mode. The levels automatically increase, so if you want it to remain at a particular level you’ll have to roll the trackball thingy (I think that’s what it’s called LOL). To switch the pump to suction mode only, you have to press the trackball. It’s super easy!
  4. Appearance: How shallow of me right?LOL But, it really is the best looking pump I’ve seen. I was even impressed with the packaging and all the items that come with it e.g. the detachable lanyard and carrying tote. The pump unit itself is small and fits in the palm of my hand. I love nursing in style and I wrote about how I do that, and now I can pump in style too :). 

Goal: Build my freezer stash AND free up my time. Thank you Baby Buddha!

Keepin’ it real

So in a nutshell, would you recommend this pump, Lenore?

Yes, I would! I personally didn’t have a problem pumping enough milk, but I know it’s helped a lot of women get more milk because of it’s strength. It has a SUPER strong suction. In fact, I can’t pass level 1 (maybe 2 if I’m feeling brave) because it’s THAT strong. Depending on the person, the strength in the suction is going to be a pro or a con. However, I needed a pump that was more convenient, but would still measure up to my spectra s2 in regards to power and affordability.

So are you going to throw out your spectra and only use baby buddha pump? 

Nope! I plan to use both because they both provide things I need. I’m a pretty busy lady (especially now that I’ve returned to work). If I need to get things done while pumping or if I’m traveling–hello baby buddha! Baby buddha saves me time!

Anything I should know before purchasing?

The flange sizes are standard (24mm), so if it’s not your size you may need to get another. I think you’re able to use other pump parts with it, but I’m not 100% sure. Using the right flange size is key to comfortable pumping and seeing results from pumping. That’s the case with any pump. It can also be used as a double pump. I know there are times when I use my spectra, and I attach my haaka to my other breast to catch the letdown. With this pump, I won’t need to do that!

Like I mentioned earlier, the pump has a super strong suction, so my advice is to wait and see how you handle level 1, before going any higher. Even if you were able to go higher on your current pump, just try things out on level 1 first. Also, try switching off the simulation mode at first (which is what the pump operates in as soon as it is turned on), especially if you have sensitive nipples. I’ve had to do that a few times. Every woman is different, so find what works for you. Lastly, to truly be handsfree you’ll need a pumping bra. Put that bra on and wear that pump around your neck!!

Something for you…

Overall, I’m impressed and pleased with baby buddha! It was exactly what I needed as a busy working breastfeeding mama. So if you need a pump that will help you maintain your supply without losing precious time, you should get one.

Visit their website to learn more about it and to purchase www.babybuddhaproducts.com  

The pump is currently sold out BUT you can pre-order for their early September shipment. When purchasing, use: BECOMINGLENORE15 (must be in all caps) for 15% off!! Let me know if you have any questions,  subscribe for future posts, and follow me on instagram: @becominglenore

xoxo

 

 

In Grub Life on
August 11, 2018

Louise’s Oxtails Will Change Your Life

Heyyy!!

So my mom spent 10 weeks with us to help me around the house. She basically was my postpartum doula :). She helped me with Amara, she cooked, cleaned, did laundry every weekend. She helped me out tremendously! Hubby and I truly appreciate her heart to serve. Honestly, my parents are just amazing! I couldn’t ask for a better mom and dad.  Before she left, my mom threw it down in the kitchen for us and some of our friends. We had oxtails, baked chicken, Mahi-mahi, rice & peas, macaroni pie, parmesan crusted zucchini, veggies, blueberry casserole etc. It was A LOT of food, and everything was delicious.

Everyone LOVES my mommy’s oxtails. I asked her how she cooked it, and like a real Antiguan cook she said, “Ya gyal, me ah warn yu na. Mi na know. I just season it and put it in the oven with some foil!” 

So, while she was cooking it one day, I asked her to tell me step by step what she was doing. She also never uses measuring cups or spoons (real cooks rarely measure ingredients LOL), so use your judgment. Or as she would say, “Season to taste”. So, without further ado, here’s my mommy’s oxtail recipe. Trust me, this will change your life (so will her macaroni pie, but that’s another post 🙂 ).

What you’ll need:

5lbs cut up oxtails ( the smaller they are the better)
Yellow Onions
Garlic cloves
Seasoning Peppers (or red and green bell peppers)
Complete Seasoning
Black Pepper
Roasted Garlic and Herb Seasoning 
A dash of salt 
Brown Gravy packet
Tomato Paste
Water 
Vinegar 

1. Cut off any excess fat and wash meat with vinegar, and/or lemons. 
   (Team Marci over here. You need to wash that meat! LOL). 

2. Dice the yellow onions, garlic cloves, seasoning peppers 

3. Season the meat with the complete seasoning, black pepper, roasted garlic 
   and herb seasoning, and dash of salt. 

4. Add the diced yellow onions, garlic, and peppers. 

5. Mix it all together to completely cover the oxtails. 

6. Add the meat mixture to a covered bowl (or ziplock bags) and let it stand 
   overnight or for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. 

7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

8. Place oxtails in a pan/baking dish. 

9. In a separate bowl, mix brown gravy, tomato paste, and water together. 

10. Pour gravy mixture over oxtails. Make sure the oxtails are completely covered. 

11. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until tender (depending on your oven, the time
    may vary, but usually 3-4 hours--You want the meat to be tender). 

14. Once tender, you can remove the foil and bake for 30 more minutes or so. 

15. Oxtails are best served with some rice and peas and fried plantains! Bon appetit! 

I helped with the fried plantains. Mommy did everything else. God bless her!

xoxo

In Mom Life on
August 9, 2018

The Best Nursing Cover

Hey Breastfeeding Moms and Breastfeeding Moms-to-be!!

I’ve been using a nursing cover from Udder Covers for awhile now, and let’s just say I’m in love! It’s the only nursing cover I pack in my diaper bags when I’m heading out. Even if you don’t use a cover when breastfeeding, I still think you should check out their nursing covers. I personally don’t use a cover every single time I nurse my little one (LO), but there are times when I want some additional privacy and choose to be more discreet. In those moments, my udder cover is my go-to! Here are my top 3 reasons why I love using their nursing cover:

  1. The neckline: Their nursing covers have an adjustable neckline that allows you to have direct eye contact with your little one while nursing. I can easily see when she’s close to popping off my nipple (tongue/lip tie problems) and adjust her easily. Yet, I remain completely covered while breastfeeding and during any adjustments. My baby may squirm around a little bit at first, but once we get an optimal latch, she feeds like a champ and drifts off to sleep under the cover. It’s super cozy for her.

    the best nursing cover

    Udder Cover

  2. The colors and designs: So many pretty colors and designs to choose from! These covers are NOT boring and you can select one that fits your personality or style. I get compliments all the time when I nurse in public! You can also pay a small fee and get it monogrammed. How sweet is that?!
  3. Care and Cleaning: Lastly, these covers are easy to care for and clean! It’s machine washable and it doesn’t lose it’s texture or color after washing. Neither does it shrink!

I love my udder cover and actually plan to purchase another one soon. It’s completely worth it! So check out Udder Covers by visiting www.uddercovers.com. And here’s the kicker, by using this code: BECOMINGLENORE1, you get $35.00 off your nursing cover. Say what?! Yes, $35.00 off. Use this code and you get a free nursing cover! You just have to pay shipping fees. Like I said, it’s totally worth it!

Be on the lookout for more mommy-must-have items in future posts. I just had to devote an entire post to this because I love my nursing cover that much. It makes me love nursing so much more. Nurse in style ladies 🙂

the best nursing cover

xoxo

In Love Life on
August 6, 2018

Becoming One

My husband and I celebrate our 3rd anniversary today. It’s also his birthday, so it’s a pretty special day. We have absolutely nothing planned, and I’m not even disappointed. Honestly, I just want to spend time in his presence once he gets home from work. I enjoy his company. We could be watching Netflix on the couch (married people really watch Netflix LOL), or traveling to somewhere new. It doesn’t matter! I enjoy him! My hubby, my best friend, Zaddy (lol)!

People often ask us whose idea was it to get married on his birthday. The truth is, my aunt’s venue was booked on the day we originally had in mind. There were two dates available and Micah’s birthday was one of them. We decided we’ll just choose his birthdate, since it was one of the options. Micah also jokes around with people by saying it was planned so he could never get in trouble for forgetting our anniversary. But, it definitely was not planned. Honestly, I was slightly disappointed, but I had to adjust and change my perspective.

Our marriage has seen a whole lot of adjusting and needing to change perspectives. Three years in, and we’re still adjusting because becoming one in marriage isn’t easy work. It takes effort, persistence, and patience.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Ephesians 5:31

God joined Micah and I together to become “one flesh”. When we said our I do’s, we were immediately unified in a mysterious way (Ephesians 5:32) that is unlike any other relationship here on earth (yes, even the relationship between a parent and child). Being one flesh is more than a sexual bonding, although it does involve a sexual union. Micah and I established our own family when we got married. Our loyalty is and should be to each other, before anyone else. Our status has changed from two single individuals to being one. Every decision I make needs my husband’s involvement and vice versa. We’re a unit. We immediately became one on August 6, 2015, but we’re still becoming one.

God’s word says “to leave” and “hold fast” (or cleave), but there are days when cleaving to Micah is downright hard. Maybe I’m having a rough day, or maybe he said or did something that hurt me, or we’re disagreeing on a matter. Whatever it is, clinging to him tightly is the LAST thing I want to do. I know he’s felt the same way too. Yet, that’s what God calls us to do as husband and wife. This is why marriage and love is a choice, rather than a feeling. Even when we don’t feel like it, we still choose each other. In the good times and bad times –we choose to hold fast to each other. We choose to hold fast to our marriage. We choose to hold fast to our family unit.

So how does one continue the journey of “becoming one” with their spouse?

  1. Prayer: Prayer is a must. Praying individually and praying together as a couple. Ask the Lord to search your heart daily. Ask him to remove anything in your heart that’s not from him. Ask him to pour more of His Spirit inside of you. Ask him for direction/purpose for your marriage. Pray over struggles that you and/or your spouse may be facing. Also, be open to counsel and prayers from trusted friends. We were never meant to do life alone. Micah and I are blessed to be surrounded by married friends who love the Lord, love their spouses, and love us.
  2. Communicate: Becoming one is more than a sexual union. You and your spouse have to talk to each other DAILY! It’s so easy to get caught up in life: bills, work, the kids, church responsibilities, family issues etc. You look up and realize that it’s been a week or two since you sat down and checked in to see how your spouse is doing, or what’s been on their heart recently. This is something I’m still working on. I’ve always been a go-getter. I like to get stuff done. So, whenever I got home from work I would immediately go into grind mode. Did we get mail? Have you paid the power bill yet? Have you looked at the budget I created? What are we eating etc. None of those things are bad, but my husband should be first. Instead, greeting him with a big juicy kiss, and asking him what’s new in his world since we last checked in, is a priority!
  3. Date: Make time to spend with each other. This may look differently when kids enter the picture, but having kids is still no excuse.
  4. Leave and Cleave: Lastly, remember to leave and cleave. Don’t let anyone get in the way of your marriage. Not a family member, not a friend, not an ex..NO ONE. Cling to each other. Hold fast. Speak well of each other. Don’t let anyone disrespect your spouse (you don’t either). You two are on the same team. Don’t ever forget it.

Micah (you do read my blogs right?), what a ride huh? This last year has seen its highs and lows. But, we’re still here. Still loving each other. Still choosing each other. God also blessed us with the most precious baby girl. We are truly blessed. Thank you for asking me to be your wife. Thank you for loving me even when I’m acting unlovable. Thank you for working as hard as you do. Thank you for the laughs. Thank you for carrying all the bags. Thank you for breaking my prenatal vitamins in two so I can swallow them easily. Thank you for opening my water bottles. Thank you for not fussing at me too much when I leave several opened water bottles around the house. Thank you for cooking when I don’t feel like it. Thank you for running my bath water after you clean out the tub. Thank you for always having my back. Thank you for the good times. Thank you for the bad times.

No matter our season, you make me reflect on the gospel and Christ’s love for his people. There’s no one else I’d rather do life with. You just get me babe. I chose you on August 6, 2015, and I’ll choose you for the rest of my life. Happy Birthday and Happy anniversary my love. You’re the finest Zaddy I know too! Alligator food.