Nelle Southern Belle

Faith•Relationships•Life

Hope After Hurricane Harvey — September 16, 2017

Hope After Hurricane Harvey

Exhausted. Anxious. Heartbroken.


These are only a few of the emotions I felt watching hurricane Harvey tear through the great state of Texas. Although there were several warnings, I still just couldn’t believe it. 

You see, just last year our very first home flooded 3 weeks after we closed. So as you could imagine, I experienced a bit of PTSD. This time, we didn’t hesitate at all, packed up the kids, and crashed at our close friends home in anticipation of the storm. Oh how the anxiety kicked in when our neighbors reported of the high water in our area!


1 year and 4 months after our first flood, we flooded again. I couldn’t help but wonder why God would allow this to happen again. Was He trying to teach me a lesson I missed last year? 

Harvey was extremely devastating to so many different areas of Texas. But, when it flooded my hometown and it’s surrounding areas…..that’s when it hit me hard. This is so much bigger than me. It was God’s way of getting everyone’s attention. It blew my mind to think about how selfish it was of me to be concerned about the water that flooded my home when there were people who lost EVERYTHING.  I was in a constant battle with feeling sorry for myself and my family to have to deal with this again and then guilt for the families torn apart. 

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” 

Jeremiah 29:11 MSG 

The beauty that I found in this disaster was for one minute, no one saw color, asked about religious beliefs, or financial status. People came together to save and help their neighbors. There is truly a long road ahead of all of us, but God….

He saw fit to bring us all togother to show the world what it means to be one body, working as one. God has a greater story in store for all of us and I pray that all of us that were affected will continue to push forward and keep our eyes on Him. It’s not easy, but can be done!

Wherever the river flows, life will flourish – great schools of fish – because the river is turning the salt sea into fresh water. Where the river flows, life abounds.  

Ezekiel 47:9

In no particular order: Beaumont, Houston, Galveston, Corpus Christie, Rockport, Sargent, Seadrift, Brazoria, Dickinson, Groves, League City, Port Arthur, Cleveland, Galveston, Baytown, Cypress, Kingwood, Humble, Winnie, Vidor, Conroe, Alvin, Texas City, Mont Belviue, Port Aransas, Aransas Pass, Lumberton, Santa Fe, Portland, Orange, New Caney, Simonton. We see you, and will continue to pray for you!!!!!

*Charge my mind and not my heart if I missed anyone.

**Thank you so much to the wonderful Hurricane Harvey 2017 – Together We Will Make It; TOGETHER WE WILL REBUILD group. Every single photo used in this post was submitted by a member from this group. They courageously shared their heart break and devastation to help me tell this story. You all have not only encouraged me, but also provided countless resources and updates for us all. From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful for each of you!!! TOGETHER WE WILL REBUILD!

***Jaime Cooling, Carlos Rodriguez, Kinsey Parisher Solleder, Susan Britton, Andrea Brice, and so many others, thank you for sharing your stories and photos with me and the world!!!

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FAITH AND FAVOR — July 26, 2017

FAITH AND FAVOR

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I know y’all have seen the “Call Me On My Shell Phone in a TuTu” outfit already, but I have a story that I just have to tell. When I decided to start blogging again, I made a vow to myself and my husband (my favorite accountability partner) that I would give it 110%. In my eyes, 110% means hard work and sacrifice.  Blood, sweat, and tears!!!

You know, I have to be honest. I’ve always given a bit of the side eye to the person who is always looking for a handout. As Michelle Obama (and later Melania Trump) said, “You have to work hard for the things you want in life”. I am a firm believer in that statement! It’s only fair right?!

Well….I’ll just say this, sometimes God has to show you that He is in charge!

So, there’s this pretty awesome event that I had been eyeing, Brunch and Slay.  Created to connect, inspire, and women.  Basically everything I need in my life.  However, once the official date was announced, I unfortunately didn’t have room in my budget for the ticket. You know, life happens….

I wanted to be sad about not being able to go, but I said a quick prayer to God basically saying, “If this is an event that I need to attend, I trust that You will make a way.”

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The very next morning, Ameerah Saine, the founder of Brunch and Slay, posted a giveaway for a FREE ticket in her Facebook group. I know you won’t believe this, but I WON!!!! Mind blown is an understatement. I’m so very grateful I was blessed with opportunity.

In a beautiful space filled with women from all different walks of life, from bloggers to entrepreneurs, I was so inspired! While I enjoyed every single moment from the actual brunch and mimosas to the fashion show and amazing panel, the best part for me was simply feeling pretty. I also felt extremely honored to meet, shake hands, and share hugs with some of the bloggers that I’ve admired from afar.

I say all of this to say, if it is for you God will definitely make a way.  It’s not always about the amount of work that you have put in or even an education. Sometimes, it’s simply God’s favor on your life.

For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord. – Proverbs 8:35

 

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In Love With Me: A Lesson in Self-Care — July 21, 2017

In Love With Me: A Lesson in Self-Care


The day I fell in love with my husband I knew my lifelong goal was to be his devoted and supportive wife. Then the babies were thrown into the mix and my goals list grew. To be a strong wife, nurturing mother, thriving professional. You know……

“Strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business” -Beyoncé

I never prepared myself for what would happen if I didn’t maintain these goals. What if I had a bad day, fell apart, and God forrbid a case of PMS? I can say for sure that I’ve experienced times when I felt like a complete failure as a wife and mother simply because I’m not perfect. I had to realize that it’s ok to not be perfect all the time.

The busier life became for us as a family, the more “bad days” I had. I was more impatient and irritable than ever before and we all know if Mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy. I had to fix this (work STILL in progress).

With the help of my husband, family, and friends, I figured out the issue. Wanting to be the picture of perfection and love on everyone around me, I put myself dead last. My husband would encourage me get out and do things, but I was so lost I didn’t even know what that looked like! If given the choice, I would spend every moment I have surrounded by my family, exhausted and all.

My Steps to Self Love and Care

  • As my mom would say, be intentional! Make a vow to yourself to take at least 10 minutes out of each day to spend alone. For me, this is once before I wake the kids and again as soon as we get home in the evening. Schedule “me” time and never miss that appointment. Even Superwoman needs it. ♥
  • Do what you love as often as possible. I know this is hard to do when you’re tired and unmotivated, but you’ll feel so much better when you just do it. You owe it to yourself! Get your hair done, polish your toes, read a book, write, dance, sing, the list is endless. It can take some soul searching to find things you love because it changes with age. Trust me, I learned to knit last year! Again, it’s worth it!!
  • Surround yourself with positivity! I’m so thankful for my family and friends who pour positivity into me constantly. I’ve even gone the extra mile to expand my tribe with other moms, Christian women, and entrepreneurs. I think it is very important to not only have people that you can relate to, but also people who are where you wish to be in any aspect of your journey.
  • Most importantly, never lose YOU! YOU are a very important factor in the life of your husband, kids, family, and all the people placed in your life. God only made one for a reason. Take care of you so you can live out your purpose!


Here is a list of very inpspirational groups that I have joined on Facebook that have made a huge difference in my life.
Be a Goal Getter with Jereshia Hawk – A Free Accountablity Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/goalgettermember/

Brunch and Slay “We Build We Win”

https://www.facebook.com/groups/webuildwewinBAS/

M. O. M. – a group of phenomenal mommies!!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/143546695855019/

I would love to see you in any of these groups!! Do you have any recommendations for awesome groups or self-care tips?

Top 5 Favorite Pinterest Recipies — July 13, 2017

Top 5 Favorite Pinterest Recipies

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I absolutely love a big Sunday dinner, but during the week I am all about quick and easy meals. I’ve grown tired of the normal spaghetti and sloppy joe days, and what better place to find good recipes than Pinterest. Check out my favorites and please share some of yours in the comments. I’m always looking for a new variety of recipes!

Absolute Favorite Quick and Easy Breakfast (easy meal prep option)

https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/easy-cheesy-breakfast-casserole-recipe/

Taco Tuesday

http://www.howsweeteats.com/2015/04/easy-weeknight-chicken-tacos/

Fish or Chicken Dish (great recipe for either)

https://www.thespruce.com/parmesan-baked-fish-3058409

Kid’s Favorite

http://damndelicious.net/2014/03/15/one-pot-chili-mac-cheese/?m

One of Hubby’s Favorites (healthier version of Chicken Parmesan)

http://littlespicejar.com/30-minute-mozzarella-chicken/?utm_content=bufferfeeae&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Annnnd there you have it folks! Please visit these sites for other recipes as well, they’re AWESOME!!! Don’t forget to leave your favorite recipes in the comments below!

Chat with you soon!

Nelle Belle

I Want That Old Thing Back: Confessions of a Former Size 2 — June 30, 2017

I Want That Old Thing Back: Confessions of a Former Size 2

Self-Care

Really quick, before I get into why I want that old thing back, I really need to address a serious issue.  It is NEVER and I mean NEVER okay to assume a woman is pregnant and ask/or make comments about an unconfirmed baby bump!!!

After 2 c-sections, 19 months apart, I can sometimes have that late 1st trimester (maybe even 2nd trimester) look. On different occasions, I have had people ask if I wanted a boy or girl this time, if I was sure I was ready for another one in diapers, and even told that I better get a pickle before my baby starts kicking. (Looooong blank stare) Just rude!

To be honest, I am starting to feel numb to the questions and comments about me looking pregnant, but every once in a while it can really tear me apart.  I’m talking a full on water works production.  Listen, I know pregnant women are totally adorable, but please take a second to think about how bad you would feel if the woman you congratulated walked away in shame with a face full of tears.

Please?

Okay, now let’s move on to how I am working on getting that old thing back. I know that I will more than likely never get back to that perfect size 2, but I would love to not only be healthy, but to also love the body I see in the mirror.

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An Open Letter to Myself (and to anyone else that needs a little motivation)

  • Take care of yourself; spiritually, mentally, and physically. Don’t get caught up in putting everyone before yourself. Wake up early to have that “ME” time to get yourself together. Seriously, schedule time for you! I absolutely love the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” because it’s so true. Pour into yourself first.
  • See yourself as beautiful, not to be measured by the scale or any mirror. With the help of God, your body produced a miracle, stretched far and wide to birth a blessing.
  • Don’t be afraid to wear clothes that FIT. Wearing baggy clothes can sometimes only make it worse.
  • Once you have truly accepted yourself just as you are, decide on the changes you want to make. It can be anything from making healthier food choices, eating smaller portions, and making an effort to start exercising or to exercise more often.
  • Set realistic goals! I am so guilty of trying ANYTHING to lose 30 pounds in 2 weeks. I may lose a pound or 2, but it never works. It undeniably takes time a dedication.
  • Stop making excuses, period!!!
  • Find yourself an accountability partner that believes in you and wants to see you succeed.
  • Last but certainly not least, (this one is for me specifically) you cannot reward yourself for doing any of the above with food or sweets!!!! I can hear you now, “Since I’ve eaten healthy all week, I’m going to have myself a burger…..with bacon, fries, and a root beer!” I’m not saying to never have cheat dates, but realize it can be a very slippery slope.

Self Care

All that I seek is already within me. – Louise Hay

It is time to get back to self love and care. Who’s with me ladies (and the men who support us)?!?!

Self Help Tip #1: How I Improved My Life — June 22, 2017

Self Help Tip #1: How I Improved My Life

Have you ever found yourself smack dab in the middle of exhaustion, defeat, with a hint of this cannot be my life?

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Yep…..me too!

I can honestly say  that Tuesday is normally the toughest day of the week for me. It’s simply too far from Friday and the “fresh start” feeling from Monday has completely worn off. On this particular Tuesday around 1 a.m., our new puppy made it VERY clear that he did not like thunderstorms.  In fact, he told me over and over until he wore himself out and I finally got to close my eyes.

Gratitude

 

 

After getting a couple of hours of sleep, my alarm was going off (for the third time) and it was time to get myself and the kids ready for the day. I thought to my self, “perfect, I still have enough time to scramble some eggs and have a cup of coffee.” Little did I know, my 2-year-old had a special surprise for me. While she is normally very good about sleeping in her own bed, I assume she was not a fan of the early morning thunderstorm either. On the day that I just so happened to not have my mattress pad on my bed, my Princess has an accident. Great! Now I have to give her a bath, clean the mattress before it stains, feed and clean after the dog before we leave. Forget breakfast and coffee, running on 4 hours of sleep, I can do this!!!

And that’s when it hits me, I can’t do this…..I’m exhausted. I really don’t have to energy to go to work and I feel like a horrible Mom because I’m a moody mess.

Even after having that difficult discussion about using the potty and sleeping in our own beds, my Princess looks at me and says, “Mommy I love you, you my friend”. In that very moment life just made sense.

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Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

-Robert Brault

In the same way people say your life flashes before you, I remembered praying for a family, for a home, and for a better job. More times than not, the things that we pray for are the very things we complain about. So, I began to count all of my blessings. I started by thanking God for not only my blessings, but also for the tough times. That day I wrote down everything that I could think of that has been a blessing in my life (which is a list that I will probably never complete), I also went through old pictures and emails….I have come a looooooong way.

The #1 Method to Changing your life is to change your perspective. Instead of always complaining or looking for a reason to be negative, I live in gratitude. Here are some other simple ways to change your life for the better.

  • Start each and every day with prayer, reflection/meditation, and a heart of thankfulness (think of all the people who didn’t wake up, it’s a blessing to be alive)
  • Always search for the positive in every situation
  • Never, ever, EVER compare your life to someone else’s (everything that glitters isn’t gold, your life has its own path and purpose)

 

I would love to hear from you! What are some of the ways you strive to live a life fill of gratitude?