Laura Story “Open Hands” Album Review and Giveaway!

I’ve got another great album for you to check out! Laura Story just released her new album, Open Hands and I could not be more excited to share it with you! I knew I was going to love this album the moment I slipped it into my CD player and the first song that played was When Death Was Arrested. This is one of my FAVORITE worship songs right now, and her version is phenomenal!

Open Hands is a sequel of sorts to Story’s 2013 album, God of Every Story. You’ll hear many different artists throughout her tracks, including Matt Redman, Matt Maher and Seth Mosley! The title track features guest vocals from Mac Powell of Third Day.

You’ll find that every song on this album is uplifting and relatable, she has truly made an album worth listening too!

You can check out the song, Open Hands, below or checkout the song devotional HERE. Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win your own copy of Laura Story’s album in the widget at the bottom of this post!

 

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Baby Bear is Finally Here!

I realize I have been pretty terrible posting pregnancy updates and such these past few months. To say that life has been a little bit crazy would be an understatement.

Baby Bear finally made his debut in the wee hours of February 21st at 41 weeks gestation. I was having mild cramps all day on the 20th (Monday). Basically felt like mild menstrual cramps, I was able to act completely normal through them. I didn’t even tell my parents, who were in town for the week, they had no idea! I texted Janelle that morning to let her know so she could drive into town and be here for Bear’s birth, we weren’t sure if she would be able to make it but I wanted her to have the opportunity if she could! Justin knew I was cramping, though I told him not to panic, because I knew that nothing was happening yet.

Later in the day I ran to the store to pick up some things for dinner and while walking around the store and in the parking lot the cramping started feeling more significant. We went home, made dinner and after putting the kids to bed I laid down and tried to read to relax. My dear, sweet wonderful husband was being a butt however and being obnoxious of course. The menstrual like cramping started feeling more like mild contractions, and while I tried to time them, they weren’t regular at all. I went ahead and texted Janelle again around 8pm to let her know they were becoming more significant and she headed this way!

The cramping was still very irregular, but becoming slightly more painful. Nothing I couldn’t talk through though. I was dreading having Bear in the middle of the night… I knew that’s probably what was going to happen, but I also knew that I was going to be exhausted and have a hard time catching up on sleep afterwards! It worked out for the best though, because Janelle arrived at our house a little after 11pm and I was starting to feel contractions that I couldn’t talk through. Again, they were still very irregular and it was strange… it seemed like every other contraction was stronger and hard to talk through, while the others were like the earlier cramping. Nothing like my previous births.

When I started having to lean over the counter in the kitchen and the railings on the porch outside to get through those harder contractions we decided to head out. I had called my midwife’s office a little while before Janelle had arrived, and I am pretty sure they didn’t believe that I was going into active labor, so I had to pretty much tell them that we were coming in around midnight and to expect us. Since we moved out of state, the midwives I’ve been seeing have been wonderful, but truly didn’t believe that I would have this baby quickly…

We arrived at the birth center at midnight and I was at 3cm dilated. The midwife wanted to send us home, but not only was I adamant about staying, Janelle and Justin both knew that if we went home we would be turning right back around the moment we got there. I bounced on a birthing ball for a while but then decided that while my contractions were manageable I would lie down and try to rest some. I didn’t really sleep, but being able to just lie there and rest really helped. The midwife came back in at 1am and I was 6cm dilated. Things were becoming more intense at this point and I was no longer able to lay down to rest. I asked to have the tub filled, and during that time the contractions started picking up in intensity and speed. There wasn’t much of a break between contractions anymore and during each I used Justin as my support and swayed through each one.

I was much calmer and in control during this birth than previous births. While my body was obviously doing it’s job and taking over, I was able to talk myself through the pain. When the tub was finally filled I immediately got in and went from sitting on my knees between contractions to being on my hands and knees during contractions. I think I got in the tub around 1:30 or so, but I could be wrong. All I know is that once I was in the tub it was game on! My body only pushed one big time in order for my water to break, I pushed once more and felt his head come out… and then another large push and he was born into the water!

I think I was a little shocked, not only was he born super fast, but he was born much faster than the other three. My births with Bubby and Bird were also fast but I pushed a little longer with them. This was amazingly fast. I got to immediately hold Bear skin to skin and let his cord finish pulsating. By the time it finished I was able to push out the placenta and get out of the tub. Justin was so much calmer and relaxed this time around, he was a great support and I couldn’t be more thankful for him! I’m also very thankful that Janelle was able to be there to pray over us and be an extra support person as needed. She is the BEST Aunt Janelle my kids could have, I’m so glad she and Nathan are our children’s godparents!

Having him at a birth center was amazing, it was very hands off, calm, relaxing and I was able to just bond and love on my sweet boy as long as I wanted. They came in to check on us and do his newborn check up a few hours later. After all was said and done, he was born at 2:06am and we were able to come home at 6:45am. If you ever have the opportunity to give birth at a center, I highly recommend it. It’s the best experience you could imagine and the next best option to a home birth in my opinion.

Baby Bear weighed in at 7lbs 12oz, 19.5″ long on February 21st, 2017 at 2:06am. We are so in love with this handsome boy and he has been such an easy, laid back baby so far. I can’t wait to post more about him in the future! And I’m even more excited to feel like our family is finally complete.

Kari Jobe “The Garden” Album Review and GIVEAWAY!

Kari Jobe has just released one of the best albums I’ve heard in a while. The Garden, inspired by Jobe’s grief and transition as a new mother, experiencing the loss of her sister’s stillborn daughter (while Jobe was pregnant with her first child, Canyon), and her restoration from that grief through God’s promises.

The songs on this album are beautiful, you can absolutely feel the heartache, the triumph and the redeeming love of God in her lyrics and gorgeous voice. The namesake of this album, the song The Garden,  is an amazing song about how, just like in a garden that through the seasons change, wither and sprout back up again, we often find ourselves facing heartaches and hardships. But through it all, God lifts us up and brings us to a point where we are blooming again. It happens to the best of us.

 

Truly, the whole album is fantastic, you can purchase it on iTunes HERE or stream it HERE on Spotify! You can also enter below for a chance to win your own copy! It’s super easy to enter and only takes a few minutes! Winner’s entries WILL be verified. Good luck!

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

 

 

Amazon Graco Deals – TODAY ONLY!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a portion of the sales. These funds are used to support my blog and the expenses required to keep Mustard Seed Mommy running. 

Amazon always has great deals, but today they have some AMAZING deals on Graco gear! I’ve listed a few below!

Just click on the images to order!

This Graco Pack N Play Playard (with Bassinet) in Pasadena print is only $43.69! (There’s a few other prints as well, some are this low, some are a little bit higher priced)

Graco Highback Turbobooster Car Seat in Go Green is only $27.35! Please note that a high back booster is only appropriate for a child over 5 who is ready to sit appropriately without a 5 point harness!

Graco Simpleswitch Portable High Chair and Booster in Zuba print – this high chair is SO cool. You can use it as pictured or take it off the legs and use it in a kitchen chair with our without the tray! And it’s marked down to $40.37! That’s a steal!

Graco SnugRide 30 LX Click Connect Car Seat in Glacier – this is a great seat, we got this same seat in a different print for Baby Bear! It’s marked down to $79.03!

There are a lot more great deals, you can head over to AMAZON to check out more products and gear for your little ones!

Those Last Firsts

When J and I got married we knew we wanted to start trying for a baby right away. We wanted a family but we weren’t sure how many children we wanted yet. I was pretty set on having a large family while J was set on just two or three. I think it’s evident who won that battle!

I was excited about first seeing those red lines pop up on that first positive pregnancy test. And hear our baby’s heartbeat for the very first time. Feel the soft kicks and nudges in the second trimester, and the harder more pronounced movements in the third. Holding that sweet baby for the first time and taking in every smell, yawn and adorable face she made…. so on and so forth. What I didn’t anticipate was how I would feel experiencing our last firsts.

Baby Bear will be our last baby, with that comes a lot of last firsts. The last time I would tear up seeing those red lines pop up on the first test I took. The last time I would hear his heartbeat for the first time. The last time I would feel his first kicks and nudges. The last time I would have a pronounced bump for the first time. I didn’t realize how excited and how devastated all of those things would make me feel. Bear is going to be the last baby I hold for the first time, the last baby I smell and touch and kiss for the first time. He will be the last baby I see smile for the first time, hear giggle for the first time, crawl and walk and talk for the first time.

There will continue to be firsts, some that I have yet to experience. But in this period of my life, I’ll be saying goodbye to the pregnancy first, and soon after the new baby firsts, then the toddler firsts. I’m not sure where life is going to lead us, or what crazy adventures we’ll have as these babies grow and mature… all I know is that I will always look back and treasure all of the firsts from these stages.

Something I’ve learned after having several babies is that you become so busy with the mundane day to day, the cooking and the cleaning, the kissing boo-boos and reading board books that you don’t realize how fast the time goes by. You don’t realize how quickly those firsts will fly by and you learn to appreciate them just a bit more. So mommas, take a moment to treasure those moments, even if you have to take a trip down memory lane to reminisce those magical moments.