Call me Mrs.

It’s been while! Just over 8 weeks since I last posted on here. It’s few and far between these days, with a full-time job, two kiddos, a new husband, and I’m also wrapping up a semester in college.

As the headline states… You can call me Mrs!

After six years dating, nearly four years engaged, and two kids later… Dylan & I finally tied the knot down south in Tennessee on 10/1. More to come on that, but I’ll leave you with a few photos from our special day!

I managed to put together our wedding & reception together in less than $10,000 (Todays average cost of a wedding is $30,000)!

More in-depth details to come later, but I wanted to introduce you to the new Chrissy Ruble 😊

It’s wedding week!

I’ve been casually MIA- for good reason.

6 days until “I do.”

I have planned our entire wedding in less than one year and under $10k dollars (which is nearly unthinkable today).

And did I mention… vacation?

Thursday morning at about 4am we will head to Pigeon Forge, TN where we will be married in the Smoky Mountains on Saturday. Send good thoughts, as the long travel (10-12 hour drive) we are asking of our families is what brings me the most worry.

I’ll be sure to update with plenty of pictures after the big day, but here is some of what we have been up to lately!! (Other than full time jobs, college, and wedding planning!

Pumpkin patch
Leon is almost 11 months old!
Our sweet Della Rae
Jeep rides!
And even time for a date night here & there!

Now for final preparations and packing!!! 🤍💍

A Good Mom

A Good Mom never believes that she is a good Mom.

Perhaps, I suggest to myself, it’s just how I stroke my broken ego after a long day of chasing children around the house.

Who knew a three year old could push my buttons so quickly? No one warned me of this!

Or, maybe they did. I just didn’t listen.

Sometimes I wonder how I’m supposed to be the adult and parent two children. I mean, I don’t even want to call to schedule my own appointments, let alone be responsible for a tiny person?!

Seems bizarre, but I seem to be doing okay at it.

When I was pregnant the first time, I remember several women telling me, ‘It’s instinct. You’ll know exactly what to do.’

Oh? That’s your idea of good advice? I have no idea what I am getting myself into and I’m supposed to just trust that I will instinctively know???

But I think I am beginning to understand that they just might have been right all along.

It is easy to love wholeheartedly and be tender loving. It’s easy to want to be everything for your child. We worry because we care so immensely that we just beat the hell out of ourselves when we forget, or worry too much, or be too bold, etc etc. The list of things we beat ourselves up over really could go on and on and on. It’s so easy to be the person your children need. You may not be perfect, but I believe the love and care comes instinctively.

But, I digress.

We were made to do this. Motherhood often feels lonely and the unknown journey can be paralyzing, but we really are just all flying by the seats of our pants. No one reaaaally knows what’s going on, and if they claim to, run… Because those are the people that are waaaayyy too comfortable relying on the comfort of a world we longer live in.

The times are changing, but you are a good Mom. You possess the tools you need to make it through anything. Mothers of the world, we got this.

To The Mothers Who Wonder if Being Present is Enough: It is.

There are days when performing the most basic tasks of motherhood is all the strength that I can muster up. Sometimes I take the “easy way out” even though I know I shouldn’t; like giving my daughter chocolate milk for bed, or letting her watch a little bit too much tv…

At the age of 7, my sister and I were removed from our home with our mother because she had substance abuse issues and an addiction to methamphetamine. I remember the mother before DCFS came in and changed what I thought I knew forever. I remember soft cuddles on the couch. And every week we would get out our TV dinner trays and sit on the floor to watch the newest episode of Fear Factor. I remember a blissful and loving childhood when I reminisce on the years I remember with my mother. I don’t remember a ton, maybe more than most (perhaps it’s made-up in my head), but I do remember that she was always there. The memories of that period of my life that I cherish the most are the ones I remember being curled up with her, tickle fights, doing crafts, spending time in the kitchen.

It was 2003. I didn’t know it then, but the day I left our home with DCFS was the closest I would ever be to my mother again.

All throughout adolescence, I had my bouts of extreme anger, pure hopelessness, and resentment towards my mom; and this was all well-masked by my focus on being a hardworking multi-sport athlete, straight-A student, and an active role model in the community. I felt put-together and distracted from the “loss” of my mother by becoming someone with the morals, work ethic, and dedication of the strong leaders, teachers, coaches, and friends that I was surrounded by. I feel very blessed for their contributions to who I am, but I would be lying if I said there could ever be anyone to replace my Mom.

As the years went by and I grew into a young adult, my mother was in and out of prison several times. We had very little communication all throughout my middle school years, until I was in high school and able to make an effort on my own accord. I scanned the stands of every game I ever played in, hoping to see her there. She never was. I wrote letters to her in prison using a friend’s home address instead of mine. I was brokenhearted and didn’t know the right ways to cope. I begged and pleaded to God, asking him what I did to make her not want me. Our relationship could never be completely restored, even if I wanted it to be. The pain of not having a mother still fills me with astounding anguish at times; it’s usually short-lived, but every day I wish I could call my mom for advice. I had my children without my mother. This fall, I will get married and she will not be there. This is a pain that I feel constantly.

I promise you, your presence in your child’s life is enough. Even if you don’t have a clean house today. Even if you let them skip brushing their teeth for one night. Even if you don’t love all of the parts of motherhood. Even if you question if you are truly a “good mom.” Stressing over these minute instances just proves that you are the best mother for your child.

I am speaking from the perspective of someone who both treasures the memories I have with a loving and kind mother, and also as someone who daily mourns a lost relationship with their mother: You, most definitely, are enough. Even if you feel like you could have been better. Even if you made a mistake and it’s eating at you. Even if you feel like the biggest failure on your bad days.

You’re human, you’re trying; but most importantly, you are present.

Every day, you wake up and commit your life to your child. Being there matters. Children may not remember everything you do together, but even when you are being hard on yourself, I hope you take comfort in the thought that they will always know that their mama was there.

Because there is one helluva hole left behind when they aren’t.

Garden Update!

Life is crazy with two babes, a full-time job, college classes, planning a wedding, Sunday night slow pitch softball league… what else?

Oh, a wonderful garden!

Reminisce with me… This time last year we were preparing to move to this house (our first time as homeowners!) and had tomatoes, jalapeños, and several other plants growing in pots. We dreamed of a garden in the earth and were excitedly making plans to prepare the garden that we now have!!

We made our dream a reality (in most parts, but not to say there hasn’t been stumbles along the way)! There are still plenty of ways we know we can improve (a lot of which require $$$), but I’m still so excited about what we’ve accomplished.

Here’s the layout:

Raised bed with lettuce & radishes; peas growing up a trellis cage; potted mint; bell peppers, tomatoes, jalapeños, green beans, corn, and carrots sown in the ground
Baby lettuce 🥬
Radishes
Strawberries 🍓
2 potato plants 🥔
Tomatoes 🍅
Carrots 🥕
Corn 🌽 , green beans, jalapeños 🌶 , & tomatoes 🍅
This year I am attempting to grow sunflowers 🌻!! I’m so excited 😆
🌻
Apple tree progress 🍏

We are so excited for the progress and I will update with more photos soon!!

EOD Thoughts: 06.19.2022

Perhaps today isn’t the day to write what I feel

Maybe I should give a shout-out to the men in my life that are wonderful fathers

Or acknowledge the importance of the celebration of Juneteenth

But instead

Tonight I feel sad and that’s all I want to put on this page

Tomorrow will bring a new day

But I know that a new day will not result in a “parent” choosing to accept you

Or congratulate you, or hell- even wish you the best

Tonight I’m sad because I believe she very actively, possibly subconsciously (but doubtful), hopes that I fail

All while publicly loving and admiring a few of her other (favorite) children all over Facebook

Maybe it shouldn’t bother me

I guess it hurts knowing I’ll continue this world without a mother figure

She was supposed to be “the replacement”

She was supposed to fix me

But instead, she’s another woman that continues to break my heart and fails to love me the way a mother should

Or, I suppose, the way I believe a mother should love their daughter

I just imagine the future with my daughter…

And I know it involves tons of phone calls, adult cuddles and day dates, and one day… the involvement with her children should she ever have her own…

I don’t know what a relationship with a woman is regarding these important memories a mother and daughter should share

But then again… how would I know what mothers and daughters should do???

Tonight I’m sad, that’s all

Earth Day 2022

Helllooo friends & followers! Today was a busy day at our house! I still worked most of the day, but we finished some Earth Day projects nonetheless.

I’ve previously talked about gardening on Between the Lens, but folks,,, it’s getting reallll.

This is our current layout and things are really moving along! Dylan got the posts up and ready for fencing to go around the garden. There will also be a cattle panel overhanging the walkway through, hopefully to grow our peas up.

We got strawberries planted also

On Easter Day, Della & I painted flower pots. Today, we planted seeds for flowers in them.

We’ve been working long and hard on our backyard. This is the creek rock walkway we’ve completed after several weeks. We collected the creek rock ourselves locally and laid it all ourselves. Today, we finished the edging, planted some shrubs, and mulched. I’m super excited for how this is all coming together. Owning a home has proven to be exciting and fun!!

We love this earth. We’re doing what we can to be more self-sustainable while also instilling the beauty of raising your own goods. There are many benefits to working in a garden. Even being in direct contact with the earth (getting your hands dirty, walking barefoot) has benefits to your health. It makes me so happy to raise my kids with firsthand knowledge of appreciating the earth, cultivating it, respecting plants and all living things. Life is wonderful because it can be appreciated among so many different aspects. I challenge you all to take some time to “get your hands dirty” or honor this wonderful world we get to call home. 🌍

Our garden: Year 2

Today marked the real start of planting for our 2022 garden. You may remember, I wrote about this last year– we had to plant all of our tomatoes and jalapeños in a pot since we were renting and couldn’t till our own true garden.

2021 actually brought us a pretty decent yield considering we grew everything in containers and kept them alive through the move into our new home.

But this year, we’re excited. We are making our plans to start a real garden sown outdoors since we finally own our own land. FINALLY we own a home and can do as we please, and a big part of who we want to become is becoming more self-sustained; which will be improved with the bearings of fresh, real food harvested from a garden less than 25 yards away.

We have big plans, but also understand that we are new to this ( and any advice is highly appreciated). We have plans for tomatoes, jalapeños, corn, bush beans, snap peas, onions, strawberries, cilantro, spinach, cucumbers, radishes, asparagus, carrots, mint, basil, and possibly more that I can’t think of right now. We also have an apple tree. I’d like to get some berry bushes and a couple more fruit trees planted this spring.

Now, if we actually get all of these to harvest? Who knows. We are new to this, so our expectations are in line with some disappointment but also some great fresh produce. I’m particularly interested in growing the spices and seasonings, and also hoping we can finally get some onion to harvest. We’ve failed with onions before, but I’d really like to venture into making homemade salsa, pickles, and spaghetti sauce!

Today I started the jalapeño and tomatoes seeds so that they can germinate indoors and eventually be transplanted out in the yard in 6-8 weeks.

Dylan has started with putting some stakes in the yard so that we can fence in the garden. The other night we woke around 3am to notice eight deer roaming our backyard. We watched them for a bit, as it was fun to watch them simply roam.

More to come on the garden front – we are so excited! I will update as the garden season progresses!

The Treasure of Memories

Smartphones have absorbed our entire world. Our society runs through them in a lot of ways. They have single-handedly both destroyed the world we live in while also bringing the world closer than it has ever been before.

But I like to think of my phone as a tool.

Yes, I get on social media and play games and spend way too much time being unproductive on it… but today I’m thankful for my phone’s little tool called the camera.

There is a constant battle in motherhood. Loving your life, just as it is, right where you are at. But also hoping it gets easier, looking forward to tomorrow, and looking for the days when your life is no longer a constant sprint everywhere you go.

But the camera allows us a glimpse back into the moments we treasure. Memories no longer have to live in our minds. They come to life when you watch the video of your daughter’s first steps, or when you watch yourself become a wife. Photos let us step back into a moment and relive the happiness that we felt. All captured from this amazingly smart tool right at the tip of our fingers.

I’m thankful that these moments will be passed down and shared and relived for many years to come.

Life is too short to not enjoy. Turn off the noise, and focus on your happy. Groom your mind for positivity and live in the moment.