9.23.2016

five on friday

one. all the baby boy things
my baby boy is GROWING!!  and I adore him!!  I've started to feel him move in the evenings and its very clear I am pregnant!  Im doing community outreach this week and teaching nutrition at a couple of middle schools.  LET ME JUST SAY you teachers are a different breed of men + women.  I am WIPED by 6th period and I cannot even imagine doing this job every single day.  side note: had an 8th grader ask me in front of the entire 27 student class I was teaching if I was pregnant.. thank goodness I said yes or that would have been awkward:) my face was beet red anyway.

I do plan to still do bump updates here and there, but it might not be every week.
but who knows.  it might.
either way, I am so in love with my growing bump.  I still cant believe all this is happening! 
two. maternity staples
I am already well into maternity clothes and completely embracing it.  tops still fit well because I love flowy boho, but as for the bottoms, I am all about the comfort and cant even handle doing the hair-tie trick.  thats never been comfortable for me- mainly because my waist is smaller than my rear and all my pants wont stay up if I use the hair tie.. even tho they wont even come close to buttoning naturally.  whatever. give me the full panel maternity pants.  some of my favorite basic styles that I come back to over and over are on SALE right now using code EVENT at checkout for 35% off!
I LIVE in the pure body tanks and tees throughout my entire pregnancy and their leggings are just amazing AND that t-shirt dress is basically the most versatile item ever. wear with sandals and a chunky necklace now.. and with a scarf + cardigan + tights with booties when the weather gets cooler (CMON, WEATHER!)


three. fabfitfun
those genius folks over at fabfitfun have done it again! when I received my box in the mail this week I could have died over the toesox.. and that mod cloth blanket scarf will look awesome with the black t-shirt dress I mentioned above.. with a grey duster cardigan?! and grey or taupe booties?! yes!
 use code AMBERM for $10 off your first box!
also, follow along over on IG (@fabfitfun) for sneak peeks into their newest boxes and fun updates!

fourtrendy toddlers + giveaway
I still cannot get over the awesome selection that little mango offers! I was pleased to share this small shop and I love how trendy my girls look! don't forget to enter the giveaway HERE!

five. nana + duke
well, we've opened the door.  not a lot (actually maybe just a handful of people) know the story or experience I've had with my parents/family and its been drama my entire life.  even as an adult I deal with things from my childhood that will never go away- no matter how much counseling I've had (I've gone through several years of it..) prescription drugs and alcohol consumed my mother's life for most of my adolescent life and into adulthood- and not a soul would know because of how well we hid it in our typical suburbia family life. outside looking in we were totally normal.  looking back there were so many times we visited my mom in rehab and I had no clue what we were doing there at that time and age- but now as an adult the pieces fall together so randomly.
I find myself saying "huh.  well that makes sense now.

my dad was miserable. bi-polar.  depressed. angry. never ever abusive in any way, but just absent.  he supported me in all of my extra curricular activities, but I never knew when he would decide to stay in bed all day- and I HATED being home on the weekends because my house was basically desolate with everyone in their four corners doing their own thing and never together.  I was never home because of this.

even bigger, as I got into high school, I was the adult and my mother was a child and I tolerated this until she started lying and being deceitful about her addiction..and basically lied to my face about being on prescription medication during her first and only visit she would have just one week after the twins were born.  she passed out while holding a four pound Jolie Grace and I was home alone with her and I freaked out.  I never talked to her or the rest of my family again. I had babies to protect from this turmoil I had dealt with my entire life and I never wanted my girls to question ANYthing or feel unsafe EVER. so I was done.  that was nearly four years ago.

over the last several months God has been revealing His truth of redemption and grace to me.. even to the point of it coming out in complete strangers.  the most bizarre experience of my life happened at Costco. an older gentleman, just in passing, complimented my girls and some how, right there in the middle of the bulk cereal aisle, broke down into tears because his daughter was keeping his grandkids from him. "dont keep them from their grandparents."
my stomach was in knots.
how did this guy inadvertently tell me my own life story.

since then God has been opening doors and making me feel safe in walking through them, and this week it all finally came to a head when my parents made a trip to Dallas to meet my girls for the first time.  it was the most awkward visit.. only because I had never seen my dad be so amazing.  he was a different person.. not angry or depressed or uninterested.. and my mom was clean.  normal. 
taking this one day at a time.. and I could write a novel just based on all this emotion rising to the surface about just one 48 hour visit.

any time anyone would ask about my parents or family it was so easy just to leave it to "we dont have a relationship with them".  sweep it under the rug or stuff it in a closet and hide behind that phrase because I swear Jordan, bless that amazing man, might be the only one that truly knows how dark my past can be. and he still loves me and supports me through it all.  even when I am fighting him with all my might in fear.  my fear is often bigger than my faith. 

but this time it was good. my girls completely fell in love with my dad and my dad's feelings were clearly mutual. and the sweet conversations they had with my mom were plenty.
my dad would tell me he loved me and my mom would try and just hug me or love on me and I wasn't sure what to do or say or how to act, but I wanted to keep my girls comfortable.  they don't know about this hurt I have.  they don't know about drama or pain or stress.  my heart is hard right now about all this.  but I am working so hard to soften it.  I just took a seat and watched all this unfold with tears in my eyes- never thinking this would ever be a reality.  I tried so hard to push the anxiety away and just let the joy play out.  no matter how much drama and distress you have in your family life.. there are always points when you "just want your mom".  I have said it one million times in my adult life that I just wanted my mom.  I've cried in Jordans' arms over absolutely nothing because I just want my mom.  and she physically and emotionally just could not be there.  I was terrified to walk through another pregnancy without my mom.  but she's here.  she's here now.  and I hope and pray and believe that this time wont turn into yet another dance of promises and let downs.
..taking things one day at a time.

32 comments:

Tanya said...

I just recently rediscovered your blog, and I'm so glad I did. Congrats on your new pregnancy.

Your incredibly honest post about your own family of origin just brought me to tears. My mother was bipolar throughout my whole life, with many scary moments, hospitalizations, and other problems. Once I had my own family, I also had to make a decision of what was most important, and obviously it was my kids! It was freeing to be rid of the drama, but we did maintain some kind of relationship with her. It was tough, but I'm glad my kids knew her. She passed away a few years ago. Anyway, I don't want to get into my story, but just wanted to say to keep things on YOUR terms and do what's best for your family. But by letting your kids know them on your terms, you will not have any regrets later on.

Amanda said...

Amber, I was touched by your post today and your complete honesty regarding your family story. I just wanted you to know that I will pray for you and your parents - that you may reconcile and be able to demonstrate God's amazing love, redemption, and forgiveness. I cannot in any way say that I know what you are going through, but did want to share that my father has suffered from debilitating depression for my entire life. I know it is IN NO WAY the same, and I would never pretend that.....but I do know the intense sorrow, and strain that fills a home when something like that is going on. I do know what it's like to be a child and feel like you have to be the one in control. And I do know what it's like to be an adult child feeling a sense of desperation for a parent. My father is a born-again Christian and the most Godly man I know....and he has attempted treatment for his depression...but it has never been well-managed or under control. And so, our story continues. Anyway, I just wanted to say - I love your blog. I love your heart for your children and love of life. I enjoy reading every single post. And know that you are not alone. I pray that your family will be able to heal and reconcile and that God would continue to work in all of your lives. Much love all the way from Maine!

Kara said...

Proud of you sweet Amber! Praying for you guys!

Stephanie Harshbarger said...

These are the kinds of posts I truly enjoy reading. It's so nice to see an honest, open, vulnerable and real family situation that you are trying your best to wade through. It's not easy to share things like that with strangers. Please write more things like this - not as an invasion of your family privacy, but this is the real stuff. This is how people will relate to you and how you can truly make an impact on someone's life. The product endorsements are fun as well from time to time, but these stories change lives and speak to people. My childhood was not butterflies and rainbows most days for a variety of reasons, and it was very refreshing to read your experience and how you're trying to move forward. I hope you continue to find healing and peace with your family, and thank you for sharing.

Stephanie Allen said...

OMG your the cutest Prego ever!!! Thanks so much for opening up and telling parts of your story, you should be so proud of the woman, amazing wife & mother you've become through it all. And maybe writing a book based on your experience / using bits and pieces from
Your blog could be the new big thing coming your way! I for one would 100000% would buy an book written by Amber Massey! Haha. You're truly an inspiration and my FAV blogger to read, keep on doing what your doing and only good things will come
Your way! Ps dying to hear what your thinking of for the kids Halloween costumes, the twins bday theme and baby boys nursery!!! Take care and have a great weekend!

Ashley Alcorn said...

I'm a teacher and appreciate your comment on how hard we work. Then, coming home to an 18 month old and 3 year old, adds to the pure exhaustion, but I love it and can't imagine doing anything else. I'm so happy for you and your sweet family. I hope everything continues to look up from here!

Tori Parker said...

This hits so close go home I think you broke a window. My upbringing was the same. Its makes me happy to see you succeed and have a beautiful family. I pray the relationship continues to blossom.

Anna said...

Amber - I am in tears! Tears of sorrow but much more tears of pure joy! I am praying for redemption for your family - that the past has been forgiven and a new life has started! Those babies of yours could very well have been made for this purpose - complete healing and restoration for your family. My heart is so happy for you all! Standing and praying with you all. I am so looking forward to what the future holds. XOXO!

Darcy Potter said...

WOW Amber! Thank you for sharing about your mom and dad and the struggles you faced, though brief, you are pulling at my heartstrings today! I am happy to hear things are going well this time around and truly hope for everyone this is a change for the long-term :) God definitely works in mysterious ways sometimes and always has a bigger plan. Luvs and hugs,
Darcy

Ashley said...

Amber, thank you so much for sharing that. Redemption is a beautiful thing. I will be praying that things continue to go smoothly and that your mom stays clean. One step at a time is all that needs to be done. Thank you for sharing your family with us. As a mom of three girls, I've always loved reading your blog. :) Congratulations on a new baby boy!

908c567a-81a8-11e6-9168-f3db82d96f9f said...

I think it's very brave of you to share your story and great you are able to see your parents in a different light. My grandfather passed away a few years ago and I was DEVESTATED and still heartbroken. It was almost like a parent passing away. And after the dust settled I figured out why my aunts, uncles and grandmother didn't have the same reaction is 14plus grandchildren did. We knew a different man. Let's just say as a person in social welfare, they could've potentially been clients if it occurred now. But the grandchildren didn't know that man and were weren't ever shown and not until adulthood did we hear stories here and there that were told with ease.

Sara said...

In my marriage, I am the Jordan (great, fun loving family that loves my girl) and my husband is the Amber (comes from a tough situation with difficult people). His family is a tough pill to swallow and neither of us are ready to do that yet, but your experience is encouraging. I want to give props to Jordan here, too. As a spouse, I know how hard it is to see your wife/husband being mistreated by their own "people." He's a champ for giving them another shot, too. Do you think you will take the step of reconciliation with your brothers, too? Honestly, bravo for taking the leap and BRAVO for sharing!

Stephanie Hager said...

I always wondered about your side of the family, I figured you'd share when it was our business. My heart goes out to you, I hope everything works out! I love this blog and you- boys are the best, they steal their Mama's heart. Congrats!

Stephanie Dunn said...

I completely broke down reading this. I have a similar situation with my parents and they have been completely removed from my twin girls' lives. I feel really moved to try opening my heart to them and find a way to make them part of our life. Prayers for you and your family! Thanks for being so open and honest.

correen e. said...

I have been so encouraged by your blog since I started reading it about a year and a half ago. Your family is so sweet and I'm so excited for your baby boy coming! Your post about your parents is so moving. I lost my mom to cancer at 22 (11 years ago) and I still have times where I feel the need for a mom in my life. I can relate to the fear being bigger than the faith. I still have a lot of fear in my life that has made itself visible after marriage and the birth of our little boy last year. My heart goes out to you and I'm praying for you! I think of Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." May you sense His nearness and protection over you heart!

Lavakels said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I've had similar experiences with my parents and not being in contact with them and it is so hard. My Dad passed away very suddenly in May and I'm so thankful that we were able to move to a place of forgiveness and that he was able to meet my kids. God can change any situation- I pray that your situation will keep getting better and better!

Laura Fairchild said...

Oh my gosh, prayers to you. Thanks for sharing your story.

Brittney said...

Amber you are an amazing mom and such an inspiration! I can totally relate to wanting to keep your babies safe and it is scary when there are so many what ifs. But I am so glad you are allowing this door to open just a little. I pray that things work out great this time around with your parents. I have followed your blog for a long time now and even emailed you a few times about pregnany and loss and your faith is so inspiring! I have wondered about your parents since you never mention them in the blog and I am glad you felt comfortable enough to share with us. Hope you have a great weekend!

Kayla Peas said...

I have been following you for awhile now and often wondered about your parents or your family, but thought that you would share when there was something to say or it honestly wasn't my business to ask! My mother had a similar upbringing, and I want to encourage you that you are not them. Sometimes the best people come from bad situations. From following you for so long, I know you are such a great momma to your girls and now to your little baby boy! God's grace is a true blessing and one I take advantage of everyday. You don't realize how easy it is for Him to forgive us until you have to forgive someone that has hurt you so deeply. Praying for you!

Kelly Smith said...

Amber, you are so brave to tell your story and you have risen to overcome enormous challenges. My childhood was similar and want you to know that you're not alone. The Lord will guide your steps through this new chapter. You are courageous and inspiring! Have you read "Carry on, Warrior" by Glennon Doyle Melton? You may like it. :) All the best!

McKenzie Ashcraft said...

Thinking of you girl! So proud of you that you are being vulnerable and sharing with others.

-Kenzie
farmgirlblogs.com

Brittney Hjelseth said...

thank you for sharing this and being so real. I cannot imagine all of your emotions. praying it will all continue well for you and your sweet family.

chantal said...

What an incredible burden you've carried for so long. It's amazing how much one's childhood shapes a person, and it seems like you've decided to let it shape you into the mother you wished you'd had.
I'm a child protection worker and I see horrific aftermath of children who come from families with parents who are addicts. How much strength you must have emotionally to overcome it AND to accept efforts from your parents to make amends is admirable. If anything, for the sake of your children.
I really hope that they continue down a positive, enlightened path of sobriety and accountability.

Cassie said...

So touching. Praying for your sweet family.

Leah said...

I am sitting here in tears I have know words... this is my life but my kids are grown and all I ever wanted was their grandparents to be apart of their lives.. it was by my choice because of my childhood but as I read this maybe it's not to late! Thank you for your transparency and I pray that God will open my heart to heal and forgive!! I will Pray for your amazing family!

Heather Clement said...

Thank you for sharing and being so honest...things are not always perfect and great you could reveal your deepest truths. Love how you said sometime fear is bigger than faith. I hate that but I'm always struggling to make the faith bigger. Thanks again for sharing.❤️

Juliana said...

Amber, thank you for sharing such personal information with your readers. Ive been following you since the twins where tiny babes, I just want to wish and pray that from here on out your relationship with your parents goes as you wish. Sometimes I feel when one shares such personal information that it makes us feel so much better, I always write in my iphones notes section all the feelings of loosing my father who I was so closed too and it is so hard to share. thank you. wish you the best in this new chapter of your life.

Danielle said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this burden you've been carrying. I've had parent issues too, much different, but ones that have hardened my heart. Long story short, they pretend to care and go on and on about how much they love their grandkids on FB and I'm annoyed watching the comments roll in about how wonderful they are when in reality, they don't acknowledge them or play with them, have told me how they did their time with kids when they were younger and are done now, and a million other things. They moved away a few years ago and when they'd come to visit, spent the whole time asking if we could get a babysitter for them and go elsewhere. And then they moved back and they see them just as much as when they lived out of state. It's hurtful to me, because you want people to love your children. I can swallow my own hurt, but that mama bear comes out and I want to shield my kids from the shallowness and hurtfulness of it all. And it's a tough pill to swallow trying to explain to my kids why they don't get to hang with Grandparents for sleepovers or dates when their friends are telling them all about their Grandparent days. But I mean, how do you talk about it? I usually just pretend everything is great and don't tell people anything. Just pretend a lot. That's tough. But I can't imagine what you've been through-I'm sorry. Hopefully, over time, things will improve. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers! Much love mama!

Krcat said...

Amber... thank you for feeling comfortable enough to share your family struggles. I always wondered about your side of the family and why you didn't mention them. I figured they lived far away or something and didn't see the kids much. I'm so glad you have Jordan's family because it seems like you are so close with them! My husband isn't close with this family and has always felt like the odd man out with them but it's hard for him to get close to my family. It's so sad to see so I'm glad things are not like that for you. I pray things continue to move forward for you! Krista

Katlin Smith said...

Amber,

My husband does not have a relationship with either of his biological parents due to some serious darkness in his childhood (divorce, drugs, drinking, depression the works)I have never met his biological father, but his step dad (who has is divorced from his mom now) is amazing and is who he calls dad and who my kids call Papa, his mother however has just been in and out of his life for years. We saw some hope when I got pregnant with our first and she was very involved but then when our son was born she refused to not smoke in front of him and walked out of our lives when he was about 10 months old.I think she has only seen him a hadful of time since he was born until the day she walked out. It has been hard to handle to say the least. Now that our oldest his 3 and starting to figure our families he has been asking about Daddy's Mommy. We just recently had twins and I have been feeling this stiring in my heart to reach out to her. Call her see how she is, let her know about our family and it's like God placed this blog in my life. I think I'm going to call her and reach out. I have to do it for my heart. Your honesty has helped so much. I will pray for you and your family going forward. Thank you so much!

Julie said...

God is amazing. :) Thanks for sharing your story. I love to hear about how God has worked His magic in someone's life. I especially loved hearing about when you recognized the sign he sent you in the grocery store. Very cool. Hoping for lots of healing for you & your family in the future.

Kerry Forristall said...

Thank you for sharing your story. It's so easy for bloggers to project a perfect life and I applaud your honesty.

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