Everyday Moms: Amber

Today I am so excited to feature a good friend of mine. We have never met but we have kept in touch these past almost 7 years. She is one of the sweetest, most kind and funny girlfriends I have known. She also has two adorable little girls! Enjoy!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family. 
I am a full time working mother of two beautiful girls. My husband is just retiring from serving in the U.S. Army, and I couldn't be more proud of him. I am 26 years old and have a 2 1/2 year old daughter named Sarah and a 9 month old daughter named Natalie. Sarah was born while we were stationed in Germany (in a German hospital) and Natalie was born at Fort Knox. Sarah is our wide- eyed, totally cautious, loving and caring girl. She organizes her shoes and toys in a certain manner, and is very dainty. She hates getting dirty and has a very tender heart when it comes to those around her. She is very attentive to her sister, very mothering. It makes my heart happy to see them together. Natalie's personality is shaping out to be a little spit-fire with reckless abandon. She is happy from the moment she wakes up until the moment she goes to sleep at night. She has been the joy of our heart since the day she was born. I have been married for almost 5 years to my best friend, and we have overcome some very steep obstacles due to the effects of war. PTSD strongly effected my family but with God's grace and help we are making it through and are so much stronger and closer than I ever thought we would be. I work at a local cloth diapering/natural parenting store. I started working there when Natalie was 8 weeks old so I could get 3 hours to myself a few times a week. As God would will it as we were transitioning out of the Army; God was transitioning me into managing the entire store. I am very fortunate to have this job because I can take my girls with me to work. Natalie comes almost everyday and Sarah on the occasions that Sam cannot watch her. I feel so blessed to have a job outside the home that I can still take my children with me.

Where do you blog and what is it about? 

I currently blog at A Simple Wife's Blog. I LOVE to write, but can only write when I feel inspiration. I go through spells of great inspiration and spells of nothing. I blog about life, blessings, recipes and devotionals. I do love to write short stories and that can be found on my hub pages link.  My short stories also come in spurts and when I find the time and inspiration. When I write it is to encourage people and to make people laugh. Laughter is the best medicine, even if that includes laughing at yourself!

How do you stay encouraged when you are having a tough season in motherhood? 

How do I stay encouraged when I have had a full day of two children whining and crying non-stop, making it impossible to do anything but sit on the couch? The days that I feel like I have failed in every way of parenting as possible, and I just sit down and want to cry...? Two words: Nap Time! Ha, no just kidding. In all seriousness I sit them both down in a safe place and I walk out of the room for about 10 seconds and pray. Prayer is a go to for me even in my weakest moments HE is made strong. That includes weaknesses in the tough seasons of motherhood. I take two deep breaths and I remember that in my failings the ultimate best thing I can do for my girls is love them. So if that means I sit on the couch with a lap full of children, it is OK! These moments will pass and they will go from whiney babies to quiet teenagers before I am ready for it. I take my 10 seconds to refocus my mind on the situation, breath in- breath out and go back to get them. Often I find my stress or mood will be what escalates their moods too. So if mommy comes back calm; most of the time the situation will defuse itself. 

What do you and your hubby do to keep the flames alive in the little years?

Sam and I have had a different marriage experience than most of the people we know. We were only married 10 months before he left for basic training with the Army. He was gone 16 weeks (missing our first anniversary) with only 4 phone calls that entire time. We were able to write, but it was hard. After basic he was given orders to go to Germany. He left the first week of September; I didn't arrive in Germany until December (not by choice either!). In January he was given orders for deployment and he left in July of 2012; six weeks after Sarah was born and was gone for a year.  Once he was home he suffered from severe PTSD and the effects had a great impact on our marriage. We both had to start from scratch and fall in love with each other all over again. Some days it didn't seem like it was going to be possible but God healed our hearts and we started making it through. We both understand and know what it is like in a separated, barely communicated marriage. We have lived apart for so much of our married life that in essence we are newlyweds at heart. So even with two children we make it a point to have time for just us. To make it possible we have a designated bed time. At 7:30pm every night the girls are in bed, and we spend time together. We need that time to really communicate, be intimate(even if it is non-sexual) and just do things we enjoy together. Those evenings of playing games, watching movies, having dinner or just talking has strengthened our marriage. We have actually carved out time in our busy ife to make sure we have time to halt the world and spend time with just us.
In that we have fallen in love with each other all over again. We love each other more everyday than we did the day before. God has been good to us. 

How do you balance work/chores/marriage, etc in your home?

Since I have a very predictable schedule, balancing makes it easy.  I work most evenings so mornings I spend cleaning up and spending time with the girls. During their afternoon nap is when I go to work and Sam takes over parental duties. I get home around 7pm and he already has the girls fed and I spend time with them before they go to bed. Sam and I split the chores and so keeping up the home is made easy.

What is a typical day in your home?

Days start at 7:30 and I take my time to do devotions and then the girls get up. Breakfast is usually at the table with all of us, then we have play time. In the new place we moved into we have a den and it's filled with all the girl's toys. So they have fun with that :). Natalie goes down for a nap around 9 and that is when Sarah gets her movie time and I do some work around the house. Lunch is at 12. I go to work around 2 and Sam takes over. By 7pm I am off and home and the girls play with me before they go to bed. Once they are in bed, Sam and I have dinner and spend time together.

When have you found is the best time to do devotions and spend time with God?

Mornings are always the best. It is the only time of day that the house is quiet and I have time to have my moments with God. 

Who inspires you (either online or offline)?

My mom and my mother-in-law inspire me. My mom because she has shown me true strength and love for children. She has shown me that no matter how hard a situation is, it's always possible to make it through it with God's help. She has been my rock and my best friend for many years. My mother-in-law inspires me, for in her I see myself. I see how a marriage, if you stick it out, can overcome the struggles that come with PTSD. That despite it all you still have your best friend in your husband and everything will be alright. She has a silent strength that encourages me to no end.

If you could go back and give yourself as a new mom in the little years advice, what would it be?

The advice given to you when you first became a mom holds true. "When all else fails, love your child. For that love you have will not make a mistake". When you have tried with all your logic and reasoning to figure out how to handle something, LOVE your baby. That will carry you both through. 

What is your favorite part in your current season of motherhood and what is the toughest?

My favorite part is most definitely seeing Sarah become a little girl with her own preferences. Her personality is becoming so defined. I love how girly she is and how she HATES getting her hands dirty. I love how she finds humor in everything and is already showing how creative her imagination is. With Natalie, I am loving the fact she still isn't mobile and wants to cuddle. Time will come too soon when she will be on the go and will not want to be held anymore. I love how she is growing and changing and is developing into a beautiful little toddler. The hardest part is the fact they are growing up. It is like I blinked and Sarah went from a squishy newborn to a laughing two year old and Natalie is nearly 1 year old.

Your go to dinner?

Cheesy Chicken and Rice casserole. Or Crockpot meals! :) 

What are some inexpensive dates with your hubby that you have done and loved? 

Blowing up the air mattress in the living room, lighting candles, popping popcorn and watching a movie. 

You can find Amber at her: BLOG | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | HUB PAGES

I hope you all are loving these Everyday Moms post! Remember and don't hesitate to share these on your Facebook or Twitter and let's connect with moms all around to have encouragement and share each other's stories! 

Also if you would like to be featured on Everyday Moms, contact me via email gratefulwithtwo {at} gmail {dot} com.