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  Posted: Jul 12, 2012 1:29 AM
2 Rise
Mommy and daddy looking at baby clothes for their little girlie :)

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User Image stosslenz Posted: Nov 15, 2017 3:09 AM (UTC)
1 Lo-fi
Yessss. When I miss my SD community so much + get tired of not connecting to people I meet out here, I tend to not want to keep trying to. It's been quite a journey of God causing me to step into bravery He's created me for, to be able to go back to church out here.
Whenever I just wanted a little taste of familiarity, of home, and also be challenged to pursue God fully, I tend to listen to @erwinmcmanus sermons online. Which I've been burning through like crazy the last two weeks- finally I decide to go to church this Sunday at one of Hillsong' Phoenix locations + as I walk in late, the first thing I see is church news telling me that Erwin will be here speaking at a night of worship this upcoming Sunday.... in Arizona! Not LA or SD where I'm used to hearing God speak through this dude. Not to over glorify Erwin by any means/ but just to share this evident non-coincidental moment for me. Its like God gave me a little hug to remind me He's with me always, right before He said, now MOVE forward, and invest here, don't be afraid to call this new place home.
User Image stosslenz Posted: Nov 11, 2017 7:45 PM (UTC)
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Happy happy happy birthday to my baby brother who isn't much of a baby anymore! I can't believe it was 8 years ago that this little dude made his way into our lives + made everything better with his sweet, gentle, kind, fun spirit. Where does the time go?!?! Love him so much 💗💙🎉
User Image stosslenz Posted: Nov 1, 2017 11:23 PM (UTC)
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Yesterday I had a revelation! I was sitting in my therapist's office, talking to her about my fears about about being a single mom, she listened patiently for a few minutes until I was done, and then scooted to the edge of her seat and leaned in closer to ask if she could tell me something "very important". Of course, I said, yes.
"You have to stop calling yourself a single mom." I felt confused so I waited for her to continue. "You are a mom. Do you know that? You're identity did not change into single mom. It changed into MOM." Obviously, there were tears. "Every time you say you're a single mom I can hear your tone + see your demeanor drastically change, as if you're doing this negative thing. And I don't know why you being a single mom has such a negative connotation to you, but you're a mom Stoss! And you're going to be an amazing mom, regardless of the fact that you're single. It will be hard + I know that it scares you, but own it, face your fears, change your focus to becoming your definition of the greatest mom to Lola, no matter what, and stop looking down at yourself because being a single mom is only negative if you allow it to be. You're a mom.
You're a mom.
You're a mom.
How amazing is that?!" She said.
I had no idea how many negative lies i was believing + telling myself about being a single mom. I looked at the rough example I had of what being a single mom meant, growing up. The examples I had involved defeat, giving up + turning to substance abuse, struggling endlessly without ever finding hope, because a perfect man never came and fixed all your problems, so you wouldn't ever have to. And I have been battling the shame regarding mirroring those examples in any way, simply because of the ONE similarity- being a single mom. I've allowed the word "single" I put before mom to be more important than the word "MOM". When In reality, "single" is not my identity at all. Sure, it will be a part of my story that I deal with daily, but I won't EVER be a victim of that label. Lola will not see her mom carry a burden of shame. She will see a mom who has been set free from shame, who fails + always gets back up + who always speaks of our unfailing hope.
User Image stosslenz Posted: Nov 1, 2017 6:48 PM (UTC)
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Today is a very special day! Today is my best friend @jennarelyn 's 25th birthday! So thankful for your life Jenna + for meeting you in 6th grade- SO many years ago omg! I hope you are showered with soooo much love today + the rest of the days of celebrating to come, you deserve the best celebration everrrr 💗
User Image stosslenz Posted: Oct 27, 2017 12:07 AM (UTC)
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One day you're just a regular twenty-five year old girl who writes poetry + blogs + experiments with love + spirituality + thinks she knows a lot about a lot because of her life experiences but still isn't exactly sure what she wants to do with the rest of her life. So you try new careers, dye your hair crazy colors, find new music to listen to, go through a cigarette smoking phase, read too many novels about young women on their journey to self discovery. Then of course there's the boy you've been on + off with for the last year who never really goes away completely, even when you live in different states + oh cannot forget the move to a new state that you're still not sure about.
It's all very much like a regular old episode of @girlshbo or something else @lenadunham would write. You know, the epitome of very, totally normal mid-twenties, independent girl figuring out herself + her journey kind of stuff.
And then one day, while your sister helps you fix the bad decision to dye your pretty blonde hair dark red, you see an unfamiliar little pee soaked stick on your bathroom counter that reads "pregnant". And everything changes in an instant. Your status is no longer single 25 year old girl just trying to figure things out like everyone else you know is....
It's Mama.

Your story takes a turn you never thought would happen, but in the best way possible, even though it takes a little to see that. You patiently await the months ahead, the most special moments in your life, that you didn't even know you underestimated... where you hear the heart beat of your baby girl, see her twirl + whirl around like the most happy joyful human in the world + eventually feel it happening from inside your belly. You plan + research + worry + pray harder than you ever have. You love a love you never knew existed. And you countdown the days until the first time you get to look deep into the eyes of the little girl who made you a Mama + say, "Hi! I love you!" #mamabird #mama #mother #mom #mommy #mum #mumsofinstagram #hiiloveyou
User Image stosslenz Posted: Oct 17, 2017 4:59 AM (UTC)
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Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr (a mash up of a few wise statements of his).
User Image stosslenz Posted: Oct 16, 2017 7:05 PM (UTC)
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Dear Lola,
You have the best Aunties + Uncles + Grandparents in the world, that are all so excited to meet you + shower you with love! I know you can't see all the gifts everyone is already getting you, but they're so thoughtful + sweet + I can't wait to share them with you when you're earthside 💗 Our friends + family are all over the world + I cannot wait to introduce you to them all, you're going to love them so much. I'm so happy I got to celebrate Auntie Ally + Uncle Steve's wedding weekend in San Diego with you doing all your crazy fishy swim moves in my belly. Mama loves you baby girl 🌸
User Image stosslenz Posted: Oct 15, 2017 11:20 PM (UTC)
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So much fun celebrating #steveandallygethitched last night. Also really happy that even though We both moved away that this sweet mama friend of mine @allison.schiller is in town the same time as me. It's hard for both of us to be so far away from San Diego but I love that we get to be reunited as often as we do 💗
User Image stosslenz Posted: Oct 15, 2017 6:54 AM (UTC)
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THEY DID IT 💍🤵🏼👰🏻🥂 #allyandstevegethitched
User Image stosslenz Posted: Oct 15, 2017 2:27 AM (UTC)
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Reunionnnn in honor of Ally + Steve getting hitched!
User Image stosslenz Posted: Oct 13, 2017 6:09 PM (UTC)
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Lola you light up my life 🌸
User Image stosslenz Posted: Oct 12, 2017 4:08 AM (UTC)
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Just the four of us 👰🏻🤵🏼🤰🏼👶🏻
User Image stosslenz Posted: Oct 12, 2017 1:04 AM (UTC)
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Got to be picked up at the airport by one special mama friend + her sweet little guy @allison.schiller + then got to spend a few solid hours catching up with another amazing mama friend + her newest adventure- Maeve. @christine_tustin 💗 It was so surreal to have this two month old sleeping on me directly above where my little Lola is playing in my belly 😍 Who knows maybe they both napped together. Precious times. Love my friends so much, so good to be in town with you all this week 😘
User Image stosslenz Posted: Oct 10, 2017 6:53 PM (UTC)
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Guess whatttt?! 💗💗💗 I CANT WAIT TO MEET MY LITTLE LOLA 🌸
User Image stosslenz Posted: Oct 9, 2017 5:07 AM (UTC)
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Honestly? This week fear was allowed to be way too present in my life. It was as if my daily prenatal vitamins were replaced with worry pills. Hormones are truly a wild roller coaster- I knew they could make you wacky but I never knew these pregnancy hormones until now + wacky doesn't begin to explain it 😉🙃 God's truth is what centers me, brings me back to reality + covers this mama in peace. I spent the last couple of years not giving God the credit that He deserves + then one day I peed on a stick + was instantly humbled in a way I never knew was possible until I was in that moment. You can try to do a lot of things in your own strength and you might get somewhere but finding out your a mama quickly changes that, at least for me it did. God's grace in giving me this gift is absolutely mind blowing. I tend towards worry, I tend towards fear + one of my greatest prayers during my pregnancy is that God heals me of that tendency, that I find in confidence in Him that I've never yet encountered or fully understood. This world + life is crazy + it takes great focus to keep our eyes on the light + beauty it still holds regardless. But not just focus on anything- focus on the light that is God's faithfulness + goodness + immeasurable love. In that focus, when our minds are set on Him, we find ourselves in perfect peace. So why choose to worry + fear + stress? Beats me! As the new week begins, praying we take our eyes off the darkness around us + seek God + His beautifullllll light FIRST. I believe fully we have a lot more peace available to us, all we need to do is position our lives to receive it....and not just one time with some magical words we pray at the height of an emotional experience, but constantly, over + over + over.
User Image stosslenz Posted: Oct 7, 2017 5:46 PM (UTC)
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Dear world 🌎,
Today marks 1 week from the day my best friend @allyisally walks down the isle to say "I DO" to the rest of her life with one of the greatest dudes I've ever met. @krchs 🥂 I cannot wait to celebrate this union, I think I'm more excited about them getting married, than I am about my own future marriage haha. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the people I love the most, truly, madly, deeply, happy. Growing up with Ally as a best friend has been one of the most fun + sweetest gifts I could have asked for. Wish I could be celebrating her in Palm Springs today instead of working of all day, but you better believe I'll be hopping off the airplane on Wednesday with my dancing shoes on! This mama is ready to see these two hitched + get some major moments of celebration in the books. Cheers to getting to do life with the best people on the planet! I am the luckiest 💁🏼
User Image stosslenz Posted: Oct 6, 2017 3:11 AM (UTC)
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Dear Mama,
My pregnancy with Little Babe has been really similar to your pregnancy with me, from what you have described to me, at least. And every day it's impossible for me to not be so thankful for what your body went through to bring me into the world. I never really asked what being pregnant with me was like for you until I was pregnant myself. For some reason I had been under the impression that pregnancy was pretty easy, a lot of my friends smooth sailing pregnancies, with super mild symptoms, so from the day I found out, I've been confused as to why mine seems to be different. Not everyone has a smooth sailing, mild symptom, pregnancy. Like us! So far, it's been physically speaking, really difficult. And every time I want to get overly frustrated with my body's reaction to growing my Little Babe, I am encouraged that you did this too, that I wouldn't be here, growing this little light in my belly right now, had you not been patient with your own body, while I grew inside of yours. We may not have a perfect relationship but regardless, I will always love you. I will always be here + be becoming the woman + mama I am meant to be because you brought me into this world, because you chose to create a space in your body where I existed. Your body was my first home, the first protector of my soul, when my body couldn't be that on it's own. God gave me life but you were the temple He chose for me to grow into a tiny little human in. And not a day goes by that I'm not extremely grateful for that part of my story- the part of the story where you are my mama + I am your daughter. And now, I get to also be extremely grateful for the part of my story where I get to be the mama to my own son or daughter. A gift, that is only mine now because when God gave you little me, you chose to give me life. Thank you for that. Even though this pregnancy has had it's challenges, even though it's testing me in every way, I am SO thankful that God in His grace, has chosen me to be Mama to my Little Babe + that is something that not for one day, I will ever take lightly or for granted. Mama's are really what make the world go round ;) Happy to have one, happy to be one! 💗
User Image stosslenz Posted: Sep 26, 2017 7:02 PM (UTC)
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Baby bump photo as requested. Now off to work we go, happy Tuesday loves 💖
User Image stosslenz Posted: Sep 24, 2017 7:41 PM (UTC)
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Four months pregnant + just starting to experience some sort of glow ✨
The first trimester was honestly the most uncomfortable time of my life. I had completely 100% underestimated how my body could react to this new precious soul making my body it's first home. That morning or in my case, all day sickness, is no joke. The exhaustion is unlike anything I've ever imagined, it's honestly all a blur! Now, thankfully my craziest symptom is that I feel a dire need to cry, like real tears flowing, anytime someone expresses any kind of human feeling they have. Most of the time it's happy tears, but holy smokes, I had no idea a symptom of pregnancy was that you turn into an uncontrollable empathy monster 😂 Yesterday I watched Lady Gaga's Netflix documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two... and honestly cried the entire time. I could not tell you why, there were scenes where she was very vulnerable + raw + it was beautiful but not like the kind of stuff you'd need to weep over- and yet, I did, indeed WEEP. All together, I'm amazed more than ever before at how incredible it is to be a woman! My body is GROWING a human?! Like, I knew we do that, because I've seen lots of others do it, and thought about how radical it is. But feeling it happening inside of my own body has been quite the wild trip. The whole process is absolutely mind blowing, it's incredibly humbling + also empowering all at the same time. I'm super thankful for the way God designed life to come into the world, how it starts in the womb, and how as a mother, I get to house this sweet soul in my very own body. So far I'm seeing as a mama that we are forced to dig deep + find strength we've always had but never fully understood. God is a brilliant + kind + gracious designer.
User Image stosslenz Posted: Sep 15, 2017 4:39 AM (UTC)
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Oh but all the wonders I have seen, I will see a second time.
From inside of the ages through your eyes. 💞
-The Mother, Brandi Carlile