Category Archives: family

Hello 2021 Goodbye 2020

I almost did write this post. As we all know 2020 has been one for the birds. I’ve personally gone through some of the scariest moments of my life. The uncertainty of this time has added a lot of extra stress and anxiety to my life. But, in addition to chaos, 2020 brought smiles, giggles, slobber and a little girl that I didnt know I wanted.

Piper will be 10 months old next week. These last 10 months have been rough at moments yet amazing at most. I dont want this post to be filled with the dreadfulness that we have all come to know. If you need any of that look back at my older posts where I talk about my terrible post partum depression.

Usually my New Years posts are filled with reflections, but the only positive reflection I have is Piper ElizabethAnne Jones. And she is something to look forward to as well.

We dont know what 2021 will bring us. If nothing else this year has taught us that. But we do know that whatever it is our Father God will bring us through it.

I pray you all have an amazing New Years eve. We are going to some friends house and have a bonfire and play some games. A little different one again than recent years, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Be Blessed WordPress!

She Has an Angel

To everyone else this is just a simple picture of a cute lamp sitting on a chest of drawers. To me it represents us being one step closer to my little girl having her own room. We have gone through so much to get to this point. We have lost someone special along the way. We know he is looking down and watching over our girl. He would gladly give up his room so that she could have it. We miss him but we will make sure Piper knows what a wonderful human being her Uncle Mark was. Now let the Unicorn fun begin!! #PrincessPiper #BeautyFromAshes #CantWaitToDecorate

Happy Thanksgiving my beautiful WordPress peeps! I hope today found you all recalling Thanksgivings from past years, before there was a such thing as covid. This time of the year can be very daunting for some people. Through the years we have all lost loved ones and I suppose it’s the extra time off or the slow pace of the season that reminds you of those gone on before us. The person you are missing may not be dead, instead they are no longer a part of your life. For the most part, even if we miss the good times with those people, their absence in your life is probably better for you. 

I’m always amazed at how different our lives can be in the 365 days it takes us to get back to this day. This time last year Mark was still alive, he had been living with us for 4 months. I was pregnant with Piper and physically and emotionally miserable. I was scared to breathe a certain way in fear of losing my baby. There were many dark days and I would not allow myself to imagine what it would be like to have another baby in the house. Trauma and loss will do that to a person. Especially when you don’t feel like you deserve it. Yet, my Father did not forsake me. And now i can’t imagine what life would be like without Piper. Thanksgiving will always make me think of Mark. For the past 3 years he would come and spend the whole week with us. His desperation for love and family acceptance made his love for the holidays that much deeper. 

2020 has been a much different year for all of us and for so many reasons. We can look around and although we have been through things and lost people, we can be thankful for those we still have with us. Never in a million years did i think that I would spend Piper’s 1st Thanksgiving on lock down with my family of 4. But, we didn’t do without. My best friend Holly did a front porch drop off for us and one for my Mom. She prepared a feast fit for royalty complete with made from scratch cheesecake and pumpkin cake. I have known this woman since I was 14. We are in very different stages of our lives right now, but in the end we always find our way back to each other. It didn’t matter that we haven’t hung out in months. She knew we were in a tight place not being able to go to the store and prepare ourselves our own meal. She said that she couldn’t sit down and eat knowing we didn’t have the appropriate holiday food. They say you only meet a handful of people that you can count on through thick or thin. She will always be my person and I hers.

Pipers first time in her toddler stroller

Today was day 3 in quarantine and it was a great one. The boys convinced me this morning to have a day off of our house transformation. I agreed that we had worked hard the last two days and we deserved to relax a little. I did manage to do a few loads of laundry. We watched a few movies and after our surprise dinner we were feeling a little stir crazy so we went on a family walk. No close contact with anyone else, but we did see a few friends out and about and they waved out the window. Piper enjoyed her 1st Thanksgiving and her favortie food was the chicken and dressing. Im sitting here thinking about all we have to be thankful for and i cant wait to see what wonderful things God has planned for my family in the upcoming days. I pray you are all blessed and grateful. 

                                   Love, LaBranda

Life in the Q:Day 2

Good evening my fellow WordPressers! Today was another productive day. The boys were able to finish putting down the wood floor in the living room and Eli’s room. I was able to finish about 5 loads of laundry and I went through all of Piper’s clothes because she has hit a growth spurt. She is officially in 6-9 months. Our girl is getting so big!

I had to get a little creative with keeping her happy. There is only so much time she can spend in her walker, bouncer, and play pen. It was such a nice day. I took her bouncer outside and put it on the front porch and she and I sat out there for a while and watched the birds. Then I put her in her stroller and we went for a little walk on the dead end, side street by our house. 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day and we will continue our lock down. But you know it’s nice not rushing around trying to get all that food cooked and dreading going from house to house. It won’t be a typical Thanksgiving but my little family of 4 will all be together and be happy and count our blessings that we are all still healthy. 2020 has been a heck of a year. It’s taught me so much and probably the biggest lesson is that it’s ok to take time and slow down. Sending time with my boys and my baby girl these last couple of days has been just what I needed. 

Thank you Father God for the little things like watching my baby eat ice cream for the first time and seeing how she has learned to run around in her walker. Thank you for my son and how he is such a big helper to his dad and I. I don’t know what we would do without him. Most of all Lord thank you for this special time we have together and for keeping us all safe and healthy. I think we all need this down time ever now and then! I love you Lord!!

                                     Love, LaBranda

Life in the Q:: Day 1

Yay! We survived day 1 of quarantine! I’m still married, and both my children have had an adventurous day. I was able to get a hold of my boss who had the Head Start nurse contact the CDC to see what the appropriate practices would be since I was exposed to a positive case. I was advised to stay in and hunker down until December 7th. Tj was also given the advice from his boss to take a 2 week break. Both of us will be paid for this thank God.
We started our day with opening all the windows in the house since it was so beautiful outside. I was really pleased yet shocked at how on board my boys were with agreeing that we should spend the rest of this week getting the house in order. Next week we can make the best of our time together and just relax. We made a big dent in our laundry mountain, as well as sorting through our drawers and closets and deciding on the clothes we need to keep, donate, and trash. There is still a good amount of laundry to be completed, but hey, why rush, we have 13 more days! HAAAAA! Eli got a bit of his room done. Their plan is to get everything out of there so that Tj can finish the floor in there and then they can start in Piper’s room.
We spent some time watching YouTube documentaries and playing with Piper. All in all I enjoyed day one and hope the next 13 go as smoothly.
I am determined to use this time with my little family and admit this is God’s way of telling us to slow down and enjoy each other while we can. After all, my children will only be children for a minute in time. If you are reading this I hope that you had a great productive day and that you will stick around and watch how the rest of this quarantine saga plays out. Be blessed!!

                                        Love, LaBranda

An Intresting Turn of Events

It’s incredible how one thing can change an entire week. If you read my blog often you will know that in my last post I talked about having this week off and how I wanted to get my house in shape. I did get a few things done yesterday before I went to town and got some errands done. But then the call came in not long after I got back to the house. Some good friends of ours that we often spend time with on the weekends, and whose house we were at this past Saturday, called to inform us that they both tested positive for Covid. That sentence fills me with fear. Not for myself but for my Mom and my children. I went to Moms house after we left their house on Saturday night. I’m trying to remain positive that God’s plans are perfect and that he knows what he is doing. The silver lining in all of this is that my husband has never had a 2 week paid vacation. But, he got himself one this year. So for the next 14 days me and my family will be quarantined inside this house together. Y’all pray for me because dealing with these boys can get really hairy at times. Lol I plan on getting tons done in the house, reading a good book, getting more writing done, and spending more time with God. I believe he allows things like this to happen to get us back to basics. His timing is never late or early, yet always on time. Stay tuned, I plan on documenting my time inside. Be blessed, not stressed. 

                                                               LOVE, LaBranda

Sunday Blessings

This weekend has been pretty amazing. On Saturday Piper and I went and celebrated A’s 2nd BIrthday with a Minnie Mouse party. A is a beautiful little girl that my best friend is fostering. She has had her since she was 3 months old. 6 weeks ago she also got A’s new born baby brother, Baby J. I pray that one day she will be able to adopt them both and we will no longer have to refer to them as letters. I hate that when we take incredible pictures that we have to scribble them out. For those of you that have never been touched by foster care, let me tell you that it’s an amazing journey. It takes someone selfless and willing to put their feelings aside long enough to take care of these kids as long as God sees fit to keep them in their lives. My friend doesn’t like to think ahead too far. A is so much a part of her family that she couldn’t imagine life without her in it. All she can do is have hope and pray that God’s perfect will will be done when it comes to their best interest. She is an amazing person and I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Look at my Piper Girl at 8 months old!

In other news Eli has a new friend. Well I guess she isn’t really new. They have been “friends” since September. She is the sweetest girl. She has so much talent! I can’t wait to see where it takes her in life. She is super good at taking pictures and today she sent me these sketches that she did of Piper just because she was bored. I was instantly in love and wanted to share them with my WordPress family. I hope you all have an amazing week!! BE BLESSED!

Elijah and Bailey

Day 17 of NICU Life

Hello all! Life is surly very strange for us all of us these days. I just wanted to hop on and update everyone on our Piper girl!

Today is day 17 in our NICU life. We had originally been told this past weekend that we would be released to go home today. She passed her hearing test and her car seat challenge with flying colors. She no longer has her feeding tube and is taking all her feeds by mouth. She is consistently gaining weight and is currently 5 pounds and 14 oz!

After reviewing her chart, doc decided he wanted to watch her for a few more days while they weaned her off some meds. I get it, but it’s still so hard to leave her here every day. But I’m trusting that God’s plan and timing is perfect and these nurses and doctors know what they are doing.

We are so eager to get her home. I can’t believe I heard myself say the other day that I couldn’t wait to get her home and get some bows in this hair of hers! Just think a few months ago I didn’t know what I was going to do with a girl!

It’s been a long and sometimes sad road, but we are thankful for God’s mercy and faithfulness through it all. Be blessed WordPress!

15 Weeks!

Tuesday Piper and I had an OB appointment. I dont know why, but for some reason I was extra anxious about it. I dont know if it’s because the week before I thought I might have felt her move a few times, and then I didn’t feel anything the rest if the week. I find myself getting so caught up in posts and things I see on Facebook. As you know this is Pregnancy Loss Awareness month and there have been many visual triggers going around. I cant help but to stop and read each and every story. It hurts my heart and spirit to see these terrible accounts of the worst days of these peoples lives. I tend to put myself in each scenario and the emotions I’d imagine myself having if these events occurred for me. I obsessively look for signs of missed misscarrage and of baby dying in the womb. I know to others around me that it makes no sense. It makes none to me either. I just cant help myself. I think of those families that have lost so much and even though I really do believe that God has me and Piper in his hands, didnt he have these families as well? What makes me so different than the lady who’s baby lived until the day before it was due to be born? Or the lady who has lost multiple babies, and I don’t mean to early miscarriage, but to more than one still births. I couldn’t survive just one, much less multiples. Please dont think that I’m questioning God. I’m simply thinking to myself, what makes me so special? After all, I’m just as human as these other women.

Ok, enough of that sadness. I dont want anyone to think that I’m doubting Gods Faithfulness. At this point I’ve discovered that that is nearly impossible. I have so many good and wonderful, God fearing prayer warriors in my life that have me and Piper covered. They remind me DAILY that this is real and its part if His plan. That he loves us and would not bring us to this without a good reason. I pray I can really really embrace that thought whether things end in a good way or a bad way this time around.

Back to our appointment. I talked to my doctor about my terrible headaches. He said I need to make sure I’m good and hydrated everyday, to keep an eye on my blood pressure. (It was slightly elevated that day.) That I needed to learn to listen to my body more and take a break when I’m feeling overwhelmed. He also mentioned that this is just part of the new normal for me and pregnancy for a woman my age. I absolutely love my doctor. He is quick and to the point and dosen’t take 25 forevers for an appointment. I got to hear her heartbeat on the doppler and it was still good and strong. That was so reassuring. I’m on the look out for one that I can have at home. I think I’d be more at ease if I could hear her, even though it’s too early to feel her just yet. I have been through this before but that was many years ago and honestly I was so miserable with Eli that I dont remember what week I first felt him. And plus I’m a little thicker than I was when I got pregnant with him.

I’ve finally started collecting a few things!

All in all it’s been a good week. I’ve got the makings of a head cold and cough, but was able to find some meds I could safely take to help.

We will go back on Nov. 19th for an anatomy scan ultrasound. I’m excited and I want to see if both my boys can come with me to see how well she has grown.

I will close by saying Thank God its Friday and tomorrow is going to be a rainy snuggly day! Be blessed!

❤ LaBranda

Baby Piper Update

My brother sent this outfit today. What am I going to do with it?

Today I am 14+3! This week I have been off for Fall Break. I got a few things done around the house. The most important one was cleaning out the closet in my bedroom. I have finally decided that the time was right to collect a few items that my friends have had put up for me. I didn’t want to have any possession of anything baby related bc well… know…anxiety will do that to you. But, it’s been a good productive week! I got that done and we went through some of the little girl clothes. I still have a ton to sort. I am not an organized person by nature, but I’m going to try my best to be better at that this time around.

I’ve been pinning like crazy on my Piper Pinterest board. So have my two best friends since we have a collaborated bored. I’m just going to go with a general pink/grey theme.

We are going to make her a Baby Nook in the corner of our room for awhile.

T.j. has been so involved this time around. When we were going through clothes the other day he came across a baby bikini and swore Piper would never wear anything like that. Lol

All in all I’m feeling great! Trying to get that gallon of water in each day. Let me tell you that is so tough! Even as hot as it’s been here. I saw my primary doctor on Monday and she said that dehydration could be the cause of my daily headaches. I’m trying, but I’m taking it one day at a time.

I go back to my ob next Tuesday. I need to look at my paperwork and find out what to expect at that appointment.

I hope everyone has a great rest of the week!

Dear God,

I pray strongly for Baby Piper. That you will sustain her life to your perfect will, timing, and ways. I pray that you continue to keep me healthy during this pregnancy and that you continue to give me peace when my anxiety and fears randomly pop up. I’m so thankful for this baby and I love you!