In honor of Mother’s Day, we decided to highlight TWO MOMS for our Mighty Mom Award this month! And I’m pretty excited to highlight them because they are both incredible.
First up we have Jordan on is being introduced by her sister:
Mighty Mom: Jordan Stratton
My sister. Where do I begin? Jordan is one of a kind. There’s no other woman on this planet that is like her. She is ten years older than me so even from an early age I noticed her individuality and strength. You just couldn’t deny it. She is the oldest in our family which has always led me to believe is where she got her motherly instincts. She was born to be a mother. I know it’s a cliché statement but my sister was BORN TO BE A MOTHER.
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Her and her husband Bryan had their first girl 11 years ago. They named her Avery Raine. I was still young back then but I remember it perfectly. Jordan was completely enamored of her. One thing I remember about the whole thing was that she never acted like her child was a burden. Never. And still to this day I’ve never seen her act that way. Three years later they were blessed with another girl named Scarlett Renee. Jordan was so happy. Excited. Fulfilled. She was happy. Simple as that.
Four years passed and Jordan really wanted another baby. She wondered a lot why it had been four years without getting pregnant so she went to the doctor. They told her that she would never be able to have another child. This news was devastating to her. All she wanted were more children.
A few months later my sister got pregnant. She was ecstatic. We all were. Little sweet Tess Alexandra was born on February 8, 2010. Five years after her older sister Scarlett. Tess was an angel. The biggest blessing you had ever laid eyes on. She was perfect. She was everything Jordan had wanted and had been praying for. Life was good. Too good.
On April 21st, ten weeks later, my sister woke to a nightmare. Tess had died in her sleep. She just stopped breathing. It was ruled as SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome. Jordan didn’t even know what SIDS was. She was completely blindsided. We all were. We were so confused for a very long time. How does a perfectly healthy happy baby just die in her sleep? It doesn’t make sense.
My sister struggled. She struggled every single day from that point. She went from being a mother to a newborn baby to being a mother of grief and sorrow. Tess was stolen in the night is what she used to say. It was a hard few years. Even with all the pain she carried she still got up and lived her life. She took care of her kids and husband and tried to put a smile on her face. She did a very very good job at faking her smiles.
A few months later she found out she was pregnant. She was very happy because she wasn’t very sure if she’d every be able to have more children. It was a boy. They named him Saylor Evans. He was a huge comfort to my sister and her husband. He is probably one of the biggest babies you had ever seen and my sister was truly grateful for that. She told me that God knew she couldn’t handle a tiny fragile newborn. She lived in fear every single day with Saylor. I used to reassure her that everything was going to be okay. God would not allow 2 babies to die. It just wouldn’t happen.
About a year after Saylor was born my sister found out she was pregnant again. This time she was a bit devastated. It was very unexpected and she wasn’t sure it was what she wanted. This was her third pregnancy in three years, of which one had died. She was tired. She was sad. She was scared. She was terrified of having another newborn.
Jones Grey was born on November 8, 2012. Another boy. Jordan and Bryan were so unbelievably happy. They always talked about how Saylor would have a sibling to grow up with. About how God sent Jones so Saylor wouldn’t be alone. Jordan was happy. Her heart was finally starting to heal a little bit. Or at least it seemed that way because she didn’t have much time to be sad. She was raising two kids under two years apart, all while grieving the loss of another child. I could tell it was hard. She got her tubes tied after Jones was born because she knew her body and soul couldn’t handle any more babies.
On March 29, 2013 the same nightmare happened again. Bryan and Jordan woke to a still baby. Jones died in his sleep. Another baby was gone. I’m not sure I believed it. I’m not sure I believe it still. We just could not believe it. After all her and Bryan had been through. After all the heartache and anger and pain, they were going to have to do it again. My sister was going to have to start from the beginning. The thought of it just made me sick.
They drove Jones down to Gilmer Texas to be buried next to his sister. I think it was a big blur to all of us. Everyone seemed so confused and blindsided. I’m not sure how many times I reassured my sister that no more of her children would be stolen in the night. But the impossible happened. Jones was stolen in the night.
It has been about six weeks since Jones’ death. From an outsider looking in, my sister is
doing better than expected. I know she’s not doing good inside though. My poor poor poor sister.
There just have not been many words this time. No words.
I have children of my own. Before I had my first I used to pray that I’d be like my sister as a mother. You just have to see her. Her interaction with her children is priceless. I honestly believe that they were blessed with the BEST mother in the world. She’s amazing. She lives for those kids. She’s fun, real, selfless, crazy, funny and strong. Strongest woman there ever was. Even in the last few weeks she has lifted others up. She’s made us laugh like she always does.
My sister does not deserve the hand she’s been given. If it was about deserving then I should be mourning instead of her. She’s an incredible mother and on this Mother’s Day I write about her. I honor her. She is my hero. She is strong. She is beautiful. She is five beautiful children’s mother.
In honor of your strength and those around you, Nicole Cowen with Dove Chocolate Discoveries is sponsoring you with their special “breakfast Special” bundle. It includes Frosted White Smoothie Mix, Spiced Chai Tea and Choco-Granola Fruit Crunch. Thanks Jordan, watch for your bundle in the mail.
I’ve never been a fan of fruit in my granola, but I LOVE the chocolate-covered blueberries and cranberries in this mix!
I also really loved the white chocolate smoothie mix. I couldn’t justify having it for breakfast, but I had it for a treat after lunch and it is seriously sooooo good. I even let the toddler have a taste test and I think it was a hit, what do you think? 🙂
My husband and I aren’t big tea drinkers and I would love for one of my readers to get a taste-test too, so lets have a little Mother’s Day Giveaway! First reader to comment below and describe what they love about their mom will get a free box of spiced Chai Tea. I’ve heard it’s great mixed with cool whip as a yummy fruit dip or as icing for pound cake. Okay… Ready…GO!
If you’re interested in seeing what other products Nicole has to offer, you can check out her website. You can also host a party and she takes care of the invites and chocolate goodies! If you do this, please invite me. I’ve never attended a scentsy party, I’ve never attended a children’s book party, but if you invite me to a chocolate party, I’ll come running 🙂
We are so grateful for our sponsors this month! If you have no interest in chocolate (what?), then please thank our sponsor by giving a like on Facebook!
Our next Mighty Mom is Marie Ricks. She has been sharing home and professional organization skills for more than 24 years now and is a presenter at professional and educational venues all over the United States. She has taught me so much about organization, time management, food preparation, and budgeting. Not only is she a talented woman, but she is also an astounding mother who has experienced many trials of her own:
Mighty Mom: Marie Ricks
Life is not meant to be smooth. There is no joy in inertia. It is true that the trials in my life are continuous as is the learning process. It is the same for us all, so don’t be fooled into thinking that once one trial is done, life will be good again. After our little boy died, my mother passed away, and then my grandmother, and then we couldn’t find work. It was an intense, learning season for me. The trials didn’t end, they just changed shape. It is learning to treasure life’s smallest beauties in the midst of the pain that has helped me sing a song in my heart. The newly budding rose, the endearing smile of a friend, the laughter of a joke well told, and the sense of a belonging that a hug brings are all precious to me. I still cry at times at night and awaken sad and sorry. But I know enough now to get up, put on my shoes and face another day.
I believe all women are incredible. The movement to true greatness involves understanding your passion, pursuing it with vigor, and staying with it until you find satisfaction and significantly impact the lives of others. In my different seasons, that has meant being a wife, a mother, a servant of God, and now includes writing, speaking, presenting, and coaching others about personal, home, and family organization. If you love it, find a way to make it a part of your life. You will be happier, more productive, and useful to our Heavenly Father.
My personal support system is indelibly woven into my personal joy. I have 28 aunts and uncles, close to 100 first cousins, seven siblings, 43 nieces and nephews on one side of the family, and another 21 nieces and nephews on the other side, and a husband, four sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. So my immediate circle of family influences approaches 200 individuals, diverse and absolutely precious to my learning process. Their greatest contribution is cheering me on during the extremely tough lessons life offers: death, discord, and emotional pain.
I’m inspired by early mornings before the sun it up, women with no hair wearing brightly colored scarves as they go on with their lives until the hair returns, small children who hiccup loudly, older women that wear pretty earrings and coiffure their hair, robins that nest too close to the ground so I can see sea-colored eggs inside their nest, people who keep an old car running to keep themselves financially safe, and anyone in a wheelchair that will smile at me like my father did from his.
Thanks Marie! You can learn a plethora of great stuff over at Marie’s blog, House of Order. She has also written some great books, one of which she co-authored with her son titled, “Be Successful in School.”
I already love fruit water so I knew I would love these! My husband was so excited to drink his fruit-flavored water when he came in from mowing the lawn today, and I have seen him fill it up at least 3 times since! Drinking fruit water is sooo good for
you! With these bottles, all you do is fill the bottle with water (or some people us alcoholic beverage). You unscrew the fruit diffuser from the top and put in your favorite fruit or any other item. Some people use fruit, julep mint leaves, carrots, cinnamon sticks, etc. Screw the diffuser back in to the top, insert the top in the bottle and in a few minutes your water (or other) starts to take on the flavor of whatever you put into the diffuser. Why buy flavored water when you can make it so much healthier AND keep a plastic bottle out of the landfill!
The first day having my bottle I tried straight lemon water, and the next day I added berries and pineapple. I loved both! I definitely prefer the Tritan over the glass bottle since I’m a mom and I can see my toddler breaking the glass one within weeks. The Tritan also has a handle on it so I can hang it on a hook on my stroller. Both are dishwasher safe and come in multiple colors. You can find them on Amazon. For ideas on some great fruit water recipes, check out the blog Christina’s Adventures. Once again, We are so thankful to our sponsors for helping us to highlight these amazing women! Please thank them by liking both AdNart and Nicole Cowen with Dove Chocolate Discoveries on Facebook!
*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*