As of 9:28 we have a 4-year-old.
4 years. How has it been that long!?! How are you 4 years old already, GG???
God placed you in my life and in my arms that day 4 years ago and I’m so thankful that He let you stay with us. You had my heart before you even took your first breath. I know that I’ve never done anything in my life to deserve YOU, just as I’ve done nothing to deserve God’s ultimate sacrifice and forgiveness and I will be thankful my entire life for YOU, our miracle.
You are smart - the smartest little "big" boy I know. You understand so much and the things you don't "get" just yet you strive to understand until you do. You are kind and compassionate, loving and caring - you love saying "I love you" and giving hugs and kisses. You are stubborn - you know what you want and you don’t let anything hold you back. You are handsome - the most beautiful little boy I’ve seen in my entire life. You have such an amazingly sarcastic sense of humor - a perfect mix between mommie and daddy.
YOU are my heart. I would walk through fire for you. The day you were born was the day that I began to fully live. I am so proud of the little "big" boy that you have become and so excited to see the bigger boy you will grow into. It breaks my heart when you talk about getting bigger and being as big as daddy because I know that that day will come so much sooner than I'm prepared for, but I know that we are raising a man that will be so much more than even we can imagine.
Before you were born, this was (and will always be) my prayer for you:
“God, I pray that Gregory is independent, that he is a leader among men. I pray for integrity. I pray that he has a heart for YOU and a heart for others, that he would help those in need. That he would stand up for his beliefs. I pray that he would also stand up for those that cannot do so for themselves. That he would be kind, gentle, loving and firm. Lord, I pray for his happiness. I pray that he does mighty and wondrous things in Your name.” I will never be able to express to you just how much my love for you is! I love you as much as the sky and more. I love you to the moon and back x infinity!!
All my love,
Last week a neighbor gave us a hermit crab aquarium all set up for some hermies as their affectionately called. Since GG has asthma and horrible allergies we thought, why not.? At first he saw it and wanted a lizard, but when I told it what it was set up for he was very ready to get a hermit crab. My husband and I did some research and added some other things to the habitat.
On Saturday we brought home three hermies and I have been a WRECK ever since. There is more in taking card of a hermit crab than any other animal/reptile/amphibian I have ever owned! I'm so invested in these little guys that I won't go to sleep until I've seen all three walking around at night. It takes them a while to get use to their new habitat so they're digging and staying under all day.
If I would have done even more research I would have gotten GG a fish. I never realized what these little guys go through and I didn't know that they aren't breed in captivity. I was going to write an entire post here, but my god-daughter (who lives with us as of a few weeks ago) wrote an essay on hermies. I'm going to share that instead!
Do you believe that hermit crabs should be kept as pets
Do I believe hermit crabs should be kept as pets? No, I do not. The reasons why I believe this way are as follows. Hermit crabs are wild animals that should be left in their natural habitat. They have very specific needs that most people don’t know anything about. They are also very social and misunderstood.
Hermit crabs are wild animals that should be left in their natural habitat. I believe this for several different reasons. The first reason is that their life span is much larger when they are in their natural environment. In nature the lifespan of a hermit crab is thirty to forty years, however as pets it’s rare that they live more than a few years.
Secondly, hermit crabs can not breed in captivity. There have been rare cases, but the eggs can not hatch unless they are placed in the ocean.
Hermit crabs have very specific needs. For one the temperature needs to be between seventy five and eighty degrees. The humidity also need to be kept between seventy and eighty five percent. This is because hermit crabs are from tropical environments like the Caribbean. They also breathe with special gills, they pull their air from moisture in the air that we breathe, this is why the humidity must be so high. Many people don’t understand this and their hermit crabs slowly suffocate and die.
Hermit crabs are very social. This is usually misunderstood because of their names. When people hear “hermit” they think of a person that does not want to be around anyone. The hermit crab however needs to be around other hermits. It got its name because when it’s scared it hides in its shell for protection. It’s name causes many people to think that it can be alone. People see their name and assume that it is okay to be by themselves. When this happens a hermit crab will become very depressed and eventually die.
In conclusion, I do not believe that hermit crabs should be kept as pets. Hermit crabs are wild animals that should be left in their natural habitat. They have very specific needs that most people don’t know anything about. They are also very social and misunderstood. When left in their natural environment they live very fulfilled lives, sometimes as long as forty years. When left alone they do not have the added stress that humans bring.
It's another rainy, gloomy day today. How many of you have little ones running around right now with loads of pent up energy? Let's take a look at some fun indoor rainy day activities that can help us get some of that energy out -- aside from having them run laps around the house that is!
Emotional abuse is an often overlooked form of abuse. Words CAN and DO hurt.
What is Emotional Abuse?
Constant criticism. demands and rejections.
Unreasonable jealously and jealous rage.
Deliberate flirting and unfaithfulness.
Insults, rude nicknames.
Attacks on what a person is rather than what a person does.
Excessive or hurtful teasing.
Verbal abuse is a pattern of behavior that can seriously interfere with a person's healthy emotional development. Regular exposure leads to significant detriment of a person's self-esteem, emotional well-being, and physical state.
"If there are love and truth in the relationship,
life will sustain the relationship by itself.
If there are not love and truth in the
relationship, it will change."
From the book "The
Silent Whisperings of the Heart"
Monday, April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day 2018
HEAL Autism Walk at the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens on Sunday, April 29th
World Autism Awareness Day can trace its roots back to November 1st, 2007. This is when the U.N first requested that a day be established as World Autism Day. This resolution was passed and on December 18th of 2007, World Autism Awareness Day was established as a holiday on April 2nd of every year. The first World Autism Awareness Day would then take place in the spring of 2008.
Today, Autism Speaks is one of the largest private organizations to raise awareness for autism, to push for further research and to advocate for individuals who may have autism. One of their main projects – and perhaps their largest – is the Light It Up Blue Initiative. This initiative is observed on World Autism Awareness Day and is designed to spread awareness about this disorder.
I work jobs where I have to put myself out there, be it HITC, my photography business or the two small businesses I have on the side. I try to show my value, if someone doesn't see that value then I don't get to welcome them into my client "family" because they're going to go with someone else. I'm sure many of you out there have similar jobs.
I'm a people pleaser, I try to make sure everyone is happy, and when they aren't I have a very hard time not placing the blame on myself - even when it's something completely out of my hands. This is me in my personal life as well as my business life. I try very hard to remember that on the business side of things it's just that, it's business. Nothing I did wrong per say and it's not anyone's way of rejecting me personally.
To all of you out there that are like that, "YOU GOT THIS". Just remember - Not everyone will see your value. That's okay, you are not for everyone. Be true to yourself, be unapologetically you. Live by your values even if you have to step on a few toes. Stand for what you believe and don't let anyone make you give in to make them happy. Those that value you will stick with you, they'll flock to you. If it hasn't happened yet -- hang in there, it will. This is directed just as much at me as to anyone else!
In every business there are niches, be firm and stand in yours. You never know, you could be carving that niche out for others that come along to walk beside you in your journey.
In every [personal] life there is a point when you get tired of trying to be "IT" for everyone. When your top priority is to gain the approval of everyone, you’re inviting people to befriend a sham.
Dr. Seuss said it best:
"Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! "
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
With Valentine's Day fast approaching I thought it would be a great idea to list some of our awesome restaurants around town! If you have any to add please leave a comment with the place and why! Jacksonville is by far a hub for amazing food, that being said - I had a very hard time narrowing it down!
"III Forks Steakhouse embodies the Best of the American Steakhouse. The finest USDA Prime steak, mouthwatering, buttery lobster and ocean-fresh seafood are prepared to perfection, exact to order. They hand-select the finest USDA Prime and only deem the top .005% of beef acceptable. Their selection offers abundant marbling, juiciness, tenderness, and superior flavor. Experience the warm and intimate surroundings of a preferred fine dining restaurant."
"We are proud to source most of our ingredients from local and regional farmers and purveyors. We believe that this practice fits a more sustainable model that enables us to provide high-quality food that is as fresh as possible. Amazing meats, produce, seafood, and dairy products are found throughout Florida and Georgia and we utilize them whenever possible."
"Located in South Jacksonville Beach, Eleven South provides a warm and elegant setting to enjoy seasonally inspired world cuisine by our award winning team. Named for its distinctive location, just blocks from the ocean, Eleven South balances a casual environment, professional service and an exceptional menu offering, while maintaining a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.
We believe fine dining can be fun and we invite you try it first hand. You will see why so many of our customers come back time and time again and why so many love to say…Meet me at Eleven."
"Taverna draws inspiration from the simplicity and warmth of rustic Italian kitchens. Located in Jacksonville’s historic San Marco neighborhood, this rustic, yet sophisticated dining destination has earned many accolades since opening in 2009."
The Flying Iguana
"Live music, creative signature cocktails, local craft beers and an exciting fusion of Latin American cuisine including: eclectic tacos, creative entrees, spirits and live music in a modern atmosphere. The Flying Iguana is located in Neptune Beach, Florida just a block away from the Atlantic Ocean and in the heart of the north beaches entertainment district."
"Jonathan Insetta, Jason Eddy, and Michael McKinney, along with an outstanding crew, strive to provide a warm, genuine dining experience without pretense in a bustling, fun atmosphere with smiling, attentive service."
"Seasons 52 is a celebration of what’s good now. Seasonally inspired menus featuring ingredients at their peak of freshness. Rustic cooking techniques like brick oven roasting and open-fire grilling that bring out natural flavors. And an ever-changing selection of global wines. All in a casually sophisticated setting. Discover what’s good now, this and every season."
This week I took GG, my toddler (yes, I still have a few months that I can call him that, so I'm doing it as much as possible!), had his first non-melt-down haircut. He's almost 4 and I've taken him to two salons, once when he was over one and another about 9 months later. They were disasters. He would meltdown as soon as hair touched his skin. My husband and I decided we would just keep doing his hair at home. Not that he reacts any differently at home, he has Sensory Processing Disorder which I've written about previously, and the hair touching his skin is a huge meltdown trigger.
For a few weeks now he's wanted a "cool" guy haircut that he picked out. I'm not going to lie, thinking about taking him to have his hair done instantly put knots in my stomach. Would I be paying for another half haircut again? I was nervous and didn't have a clue where to take him. I posted a status and asked for suggestions to hair stylists that had experience with children on the spectrum.
Finally the day came that he really wanted it done - THAT day - this past Tuesday. We left our Chiropractor appointments and I noticed a kid's hair salon unfortunately it wasn't open for business yet. I said a little prayer for God to send me to where I needed to go for my son. Immediately I felt like I knew where to go.
We get there and a gentleman takes us back. GG gets on the chair, gets a cape and is done with it. He tells me he's scared. We talk a little and he wants to leave. Okay, we tried, right!?! The guy tells us to come back if he changes his mind. Outside there's a bench that I have GG sit on. I kneel down and we talk about why he was scared. I explained to him that the guy was a "hair doctor" and knew what he was doing. After a few minutes he decided that he wanted to try again.
The gentleman, Mac, and I talked to him through the entire process. Mac took the cape off and brushed GG anytime hair got on him. He let GG hold the brush and use it, he let him spray me with the water bottle. He did whatever GG needed of him and while it took longer than a typical haircut, we got it done! My very brave little toddler morphed into a big boy right in front of my eyes. I was so thankful and so proud that I almost cried.
Things like this remind me. Yes, my little one is going to have a harder time at some things, BUT he's brave, strong willed and oh so very smart. Even though things may be harder for him at times or may take longer, he will always beat the odds.
The body and mind are interconnected and emotions play a big part in determining one's health status. Stress and its negative effect on the immune system remains the major challenge to good health. The immune system with its holistic nature is significantly affected by its close associations with psychology, neurology, endocrinology, nutrition and the environment. Recent studies show 70-80% of all physician visits are stress related; 80% health problems are stress related; 100 million people "out" everyday due to stress; and 40% employee turnover due to stress. Chronic stress depletes the body's resources and ability to adapt. Over a long period coping functions are compromised and illness results.
A comprehensive approach to maintaining good health includes increasing self-responsibility for wellness, healthy lifestyle choices, health-promoting diet and a positive mental attitude. The concept of "Don't Worry. Be Happy," is not new. By the end of the 1970's several studies had shown that negative emotions suppress immune function. The 1979 book, Anatomy of An Illness, by Norman Cousins was a personal account of his experience using positive emotional states (humor and laughter) with guided imagery and meditative states to enhance immune system function in the face of serious, life-threatening disease.
vWhen I was about six I went on a trip to central Florida with my parents. While there we did several things, but what stayed in my mind was visiting Weeki Wachee and seeing the mermaids swim. I had already been dreaming of being a mermaid, but seeing those girls swimming as mermaids made me fall deeper in love with the idea. It was magical!
This past weekend we decided to do something in our state. We drove down to Rainbow River in Dunnellon and the guys went swimming in the spring. I tried, I got about waist deep, but the water was just too cold for me. GG swam so much that he was out quick later that evening! After their little swim we drove the remaining way to our hotel which was just five minutes south of Weeki Wachee. The next day we got up and went over extra early so that we could get in.
After almost an hour in line we made it through the gates! A lot has changed since I was there almost 30 years ago (of course). It saddens me that the state bought it out and turned part of the spring into a water park, BUT I am glad that it's still there and we can still get in to see it.
The mermaids are the best part. Seeing GG see the mermaids for the first time was even better. I'm pretty sure it was just as magical to him now as it was to me all those years ago.
After leaving we drove a little north to see some manatees.
Hello! I’m Hilarie!
I am a wife, mother, an assistant, and now a blogger! I am so exciting to relaunch Jacksonville Housewives in the city.
I love the beach, coffee, marketing and meeting new friends. I cannot wait to meet y’all!