Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014: The Rusk Newsletter

2014 Has been a year of many struggles.. at several points I found myself questioning God's plan and praying for strength. As always, I made it through (by God's grace, of course) but that's not to say that it was easy.

While I'm making it sound all bad, it wasn't. My life was drastically changed in the best way on January 21st when I found out I was pregnant. Something I had wanted to be my whole life (a mom) became very real all at once.

We finally met our sweet girl on after what seemed like forever on September 25th- She arrived at 6:30 P.M. Weighing 6lbs 9.8oz. She has been a very healthy and sweet baby. I couldn't ask for better. I've already lost more sleep than I ever thought possible and haven't minded it as much as you would think. I've been put in a position of not only making decisions for myself but for my child as well- and it's a big responsibility. I pray for God's guidance that I will do His will for myself and my family.

While she is mine and Dylan's whole world things have happened between January and September.
I've lost my closest friend this May to cancer and then another in August to cancer as well. Seeing them both in their last days/hours was both a blessing and tragedy. It isn't until you spend the last moments you can with someone that you are truly grateful for every one you are given and every one you've spent together.
We moved back to the mountain the 1st of December temporarily after a few months of living in town. We are a house-divided on where we want to live. We are at least in a safer and cleaner apartment here!

 This November was another year older for me and one year of marriage for Dylan and myself. We're proud to have celebrated one year of marriage and almost three years of being together. We aren't the perfect couple but we have the willingness it takes to improve. We seek guidance from God and other couples.. and have a love for who each other is that gets us through. Being parents has made us more of a team as we share responsibilities and hold each other accountable.

Speaking of marriage, it was a joy to be a part of my sisters wedding in December. She and her groom said "I do" on 12-13-14 at 15:00. It was a beautiful ceremony of red and black in Claremore, OK. They are currently living in Oark as Mason works construction. Brenda has a ship-out date in January and will be in training until march of 2015. We are sad to see her go but are excited to see the things in store for her through the military. After she completes her training she will be using the GI Bill to attend UAFS.

We had a wonderful Baby's First Christmas. We were blessed with quality family-time and were able to make a trip to Watson, OK in our wonderful, new reliable car.

I plan to start school this upcoming fall if everything can be worked out at Arkansas Tech University in Ozark for Cosemetology or Business. Once again, I'm back-and-forth about my calling as far as education goes and hoping to get financial aid. College is expensive, but worth it. I am excited to have a career someday and ditch the minimum-wage lifestyle.

Dylan and I hope to start saving and setting up for a home. Now that we are a family of more than two a studio apartment isn't the most practical thing. We are looking into American or Amish Homes (select from multiple styles/sizes pay for shipping and set it up) and property in Clarksville.

In other exciting news, then I will let you go- I've made the prayerful decision to join East MT. Zion Trinity Baptist Church after almost three years of making it my home. I will be baptized the first Sunday of January and looking for ministry opportunities. I'm grateful that God has healed the brokenness in my heart after the hole that was left years ago and given me a home-church that loves me and my little family.

Here's to hoping for a wonderful 2015 to you and yours! Thanks for reading!
with love,
Dylan, Tamara and Phoenix Rusk

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Warnings in love from one mom to the next

You worry for nights and days before you become a mom.. about what your child will look like, act like, their health, habits and the list goes on and on. But in my experience, the baby is the BEST part about being a mom.
Many times what gets you down or makes you want to scream is the other moms (or even worse) the people who aren't moms and still think they know everything.
Phoenix is only three months old and I've already had my fair share of people making negative comments or doubting me. I expected to have a lot of "advice" since I'm only 20 and many seem to doubt young moms. But sometimes it goes too far. If your baby is wearing socks someone is bound to say they don't match the outfit or it's too warm for socks. However; if they're not, someone is bound to say they need socks.. Likewise, if you have a carseat cover someone will say they want to see the baby and if you don't, it's far too cold to be without one.
And the examples could go on and on. Bottom line and the point of this article is IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. No matter the efforts you make to be prepared or the articles you read, questions you ask the doctor- someone will always be there to say you're doing it wrong or give you advice that really isn't always wanted. Here is what I have learned to do

First- with a smile on your face (no matter how fake it may feel) say "Thank you, that's a good idea"/ "I'll have to try that" whoever is giving you this advice more than likely won't be there to watch your every move at home and unless you tell them so won't know whether or not you're following their advice.
OR Second- if the fake "smile and wave" isn't quite your thing you can politely say "This is what the doctor told me to do" or explain you've researched it/tried it and found it to be a good idea.

Though you may be hurt by people's comments or doubting you (Believe me, I've been there) responding with your best manners will often get you further than a snide remark or rolling your eyes/huffing off.
Most people really don't realize what they're doing is hurtful or wrong (especially those who don't have children yet.. until you have children you think you know everything.. it's not until you have one that you're humbled) they probably think they're helping or giving sound advice and often don't realize just HOW MUCH advice you've been given that contradicts each other.

Stick to what you know
Seek help for what you don't
Be humbled when you find it
Don't be offended when someone tries to help
Help those you can
Remember what you've found
Use it where it's applicable

and most importantly- remember that moms are really all in it together. No matter how old their babies are.