Vulnerability at it’s finest

Vulnerability is defined as the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

Over the past few months, I have personally gone through some of the hardest things I thought I would ever have to endure. Now, I am not completely ready to share it with the world (maybe some day I will) but I am ready to talk about some of the things that I have gotten me to the place where I am today.

The word vulnerability scares me to death, because being the introverted person that I am, it means that I will have to verbally and openly discuss things that I have gone through in my life in order to start healing from it all, and that alone petrifies me.

Vulnerability is something that many of us don’t talk about, because we are afraid of being judged by our decisions in life whether personally or professionally. But it’s also the tool that is needed when you are going through some hard things, and you just want to vent, cry, or just want someone to listen as you discuss how you are having to face some of your biggest fears.

I feel like once I was able to openly talk (or type) about some of the things that I have gone through with the people I trust the most, I was able to let go and watch God work in my life and grow me mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Want to know what being vulnerable also opened to my eyes to? That in life there are people that say that love you and would be there for you during your trials and tribulations, and are nowhere to be found. I literally could only count on only a handful of people the past few months to pray for me, to love me, or to help financially, emotionally, or physically (and for those of you that have been there and continue to be there, thank you). Sometimes the people you love the most, aren’t really who you think they are. I think that was the hardest thing to realize emotionally, because for so long I had felt proud of the organizations I was a part of, and felt proud of all the things the kids were involved in, and the direction my life and family were heading.

But I want you all to know that everyone has something they have gone through in their life, or are going to go through, that may seem like the most difficult thing they could ever face. I want you to reach out and send them an encouraging message, or call them and let them be open and vulnerable with you (without you placing any judgement), or just do a random act of kindness for them. And if you are struggling with something right now, I want you to read Romans 8:28 and know that you are LOVED right where you are at. Also, find someone to confide in and if you are too scared to take that step, write your vulnerability down in a journal. You can get through this, but you have to put in the work in order to do so.

Romans 8:28 King James Version (KJV)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

Experience pain or be pain free


I really wanted to write this post on why I chose to experience pain and have two all natural deliveries (with no epidural) and what really led to that decision.

I wanted to write a little back story on how I came up to that decision. Brielle was my first full term baby and I knew I would most likely get an epidural with her.  It was all because I literally didn’t want to be in ANY pain at all.  I mean,  I was 25 years old, and I knew that I couldn’t handle it (well, at least back then I thought I knew that) so I really never gave an all natural birth experience a second thought.

Brielle’s delivery that I documented here was so easy.  It was exactly the way I wanted it to be (besides the major scare at the end) but overall I was laughing and enjoying the entire experience.  What I didn’t like about having the epidural is the loss of control.  I mean, I really never gave it a second thought that I wouldn’t be able to use to restroom (thank goodness I didn’t have to pee after I got it), or that I wouldn’t be able to shower after the delivery immediately (because y’all.. it’s just gross), or the fact that I wouldn’t be able to walk around and move during the process to get things moving a little (or a lot) faster.

So when we found out we were pregnant with Rochelle and that she was going to be a terminally ill baby, I wanted without a doubt, an all natural birth experience.  Her story is here.  Her birth was scary, and amazing at the same time.  In just 2 1/2 hours my body did something that took HOURS with Brielle.  I pushed her out and it was exhilarating, and I was SO extremely proud of myself for doing something that I was SO terrified to do.

Then comes Malachi.  One major reason that I wanted to do another all natural, no epidural labor was because things went to crazy and chaotic with Rochelle’s birth, I wanted to do things differently.  I didn’t know the gender of Malachi throughout the entire pregnancy and I wanted it to be a surprise to everyone.   I also wanted the freedom to have my kids in the delivery room (up until birth) and to walk around on wireless monitors.  I didn’t know that I would need a labor ball as well, but it was so beneficial and I am so glad I asked for one!  I wanted to slow down the oxytocin (the medication used to induce labor)  this go around as well (per doctors approval) and take it step by step.  His birth story is here.

I think so much pressure is put on us women as we have to make a choice in the beginning and in the end as to what we are going to do during labor.  If we are ok with a c-section (in case emergency happens), or if we want an epidural.  Never do they offer a “pain free” delivery with modifications that fit your wants/desires.  I think it’s amazing at the hospital I delivered at (DeTar North in Victoria, Tx) to listen to what I wanted and what was best for our baby on getting him out safely.

I think every single way that a child is able to survive and enter this world is a miracle, and I just applaud each and every woman who has birthed a baby via c-section, getting an epidural or going the all natural method. Each mom is amazing and I want to give you a virtual hug!
**Also note that I am also speaking to all the moms whether you are a mother by adoption, or you had a surrogate deliver your precious child.. I think the world of you women as well!**

I would LOVE to know which birth plan you chose and why! I love sharing our amazing stories and think we can definitely build this community up with encouraging positive information.

With love,


©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.




Breast is always best


I wanted to open this discussion on this platform, because I think there definitely needs to be something said about this topic, to all of the moms out there!

I remember carrying Brielle and picturing what our first year would look like, how things would go, and kind of predicting our future together.  It definitely involved exclusively breastfeeding/pumping for an entire year.

I read ALL the baby books that I could (I was actually finishing up with my RN degree when I was pregnant with her) and so I was pretty informed on how MANY women were able to successfully breastfeed, and how with a lot of work and lot of patience MOST women could do it.

When I pushed Brielle out, I knew they were going to try to latch her on pretty quickly after delivery.. which I was 100% ok with.  What I thought would happen naturally with me producing colostrum seemed to be effective, and then about day 3-4 it seemed to turn into milk.  What I didn’t understand was that I was not feeding Brielle enough milk, and IT. FREAKING. HURT! She literally was a latching champ, and I couldn’t understand why she always hungry! After her initial 2 week check-up, she dropped a little weight (to be expected) but her Pediatrician did inform me that I should probably think about supplementation in the near future if she doesn’t start putting the weight back on.

I left that appointment CRYING (ok, I was full on bawling to my mom) and I knew I had to do something! So I made an appointment with a lactation consultant in Austin and I was ready to try ANYTHING for my baby girl.  I mean I bought ALL the teas, cookies, disgusting flavor drops that you can put in your tea to increase supply, you name it.. I bought it. But while I was there, she noticed how amazing Brielle nursed, and weighed her after nursing on both sides, and she did notice that one Breast was producing significantly less milk than the other.  She also stated that the gap between my breasts could be a cause of low-supply as well.

So I went home and I was determined to do anything to get my supply up.. I even lost TONS of sleep pumping incessantly in between each of her feedings.  But I just couldn’t produce enough milk.  I broke down when I realized that I put SO much pressure on myself to do something my body just couldn’t do, and I had to come to realization that if formula is what is best for my baby girl to get fed, and grow, and that was going to have to be ok!

So I supplemented half of every feeding with formula until about 4-6 months when my supply just started to decrease so much that there wasn’t really a point to continuing, so I chose to exclusively formula feed until she turned 1.

I couldn’t believe I got SO caught up with this idea that since ALL my friends could do it, and my own mother did it, that it would just work with me.

I was part of that society that just assumed all women should breastfeed because it’s what is said to be best for the baby (except of course if there is drug-use involved or potentially hazardous medication that could be passed within the breastmilk) but what if women couldn’t?  Would that make them less of a mom? What if they chose to only formula feed because they did not have any desire to breastfeed? Or what if they chose to pump? It absolutely all comes down to what is best for your baby, and that is different for every single one of moms (and dads) to determine.

I didn’t feel bad with Rochelle when my breastmilk couldn’t keep with her night-time round the clock feeding and I had to use formula, or when Malachi turned 4 months old and I had to switch to two different formulas (at the same time) that he would tolerate when my supply could no longer keep up.

Y’all, God created each one of us differently, and I know for a fact that you cannot tell if one school-aged child was breastfed vs. formula fed by the way they look on the exterior.  It’s amazing to me that so much judgement/pressure gets put on us moms to make a decision while we are pregnant as to how we are going to feed our baby after we welcome them into this world.  Sometimes, we just have to follow our gut and our intuition as to what we feel is best during that first year of life (or longer for some.)

I just want to tell you all to let that struggling mom out there that says breastfeeding is hard, IT IS.  Let them know they are doing a great job! Or that mom who has to pump because she works full time and cannot breastfeed at all times, give her a high five! Or what about the moms that formula feeds around the clock and has to wash 500 bottle parts a day? Tell her she is doing amazing!!

Instead of judgement, let’s spread positivity and encouragement to one another! Parenting is hard, but with a little help, a little positivity, and a LOT of love, we can do this!

With love,


©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

Being Bullied


When I walked inside the halls of my high school at the age of 15, I never thought I such a terrible day would ever happen to me.

A little back story- I have always been the “chubby” friend.. I literally was the biggest one in gymnastics, and the only sport I ever tried and was remotely decent at, was soccer.  I couldn’t run like all the other girls on the team, because I was overweight. Not just overweight, but tall & overweight.  And I towered over all the other girls, all the time, so I got stuck in the back of the field my entire soccer career.

I remember seeing all my other teammates tryout+join the high school soccer team, and transition out of the league we were in, but I just couldn’t get myself to do it.  I was afraid of being called fat, or afraid of giving other people having the opportunity to laugh at me on the field.

So welcome freshman year, where your hopes are high for a great new year, with a TON of opportunity to meet new friends (around 500 students my freshmen year) and I thought it was a good start to build confidence that I lacked majority of my life.

I saw a lot of fresh faces, and a few months in, I started making some new friends.. or so I thought.

So I started having a little crush on this one guy in my class, and I would let him cheat off of me every day in class, so that he could make straight A’s and not have to worry about anything.. since he really wasn’t the brightest of the bunch (or so he played that card pretty well.) But one day, I got sick and tired of it and told him enough was enough and I told the teacher to please move my seat.

It was that next week when I walked into school (2nd semester of freshman year) and saw everyone staring at me.. in a bad way (start of the terrible day.)  I didn’t understand if I had food on my face, if my make-up was messed up, or what in the world they were looking at..until I saw a stack of papers stapled together that one of my “new friends” that I had met was carrying around in his hands.

I asked him what it was, and he was reluctant to say, so I took it and started opening the pages and my stomach dropped.  It was a book about me.  About how fat I was.

You know that feeling when you just want to hide and run away, and act like something never existed? That was exactly how I felt in that very moment.  I felt so small.  So helpless.  And I just wanted to breakdown and cry in the hallway.

The book was pictures of me comparing me so rather large things such as “Sheridan is as big as a hippo,  or Sheridan is so fat that she reminds me of a …” well, you get the point.  After a couple of pages I threw the book at the person who was holding it and pretty much ran to my first class.

I didn’t know what else to do besides to tell my closest friends, and there really wasn’t much they could do about the situation either.  My brother was probably the least protective brother during those years (he is one year older than me,) and I didn’t really have any other options.

It felt like this day would NEVER end but I knew I wanted to go report this to the school  counselor before the end of the day was over.  She stated that she was vaguely aware of the situation, and told me that there would be consequences for whoever decided to type up this book and distribute it throughout the whole school (of about 2,000 people.)

Once it finally came back that it was the guy I had a crush on, and it all came down to the fact that I wouldn’t let him cheat off of me, I was devastated.  I was so so embarrassed and I even questioned my entire self worth, and thought that everyone must think the same as him now.  Thankfully they didn’t and it took a long time for me to understand that.

Y’all it was one of the hardest days/years of my life that I have had growing up, and I want you all to know that bullying is NEVER ok.  It’s never ok to make fun of someone because of the way they look, their sex, their disability, or their race. It’s NEVER ok!

It took me years to forgive this person, and one day (it must have been a good 4 years after the incident occurred) he reached out to me.  He apologized for ever doing that, and making me feel that way.  He owned up to his responsibility and I 100% appreciated that.

For so many years I let my weight and my self-worth be determined by others.  I never had the understanding that beauty comes from within, and that I know I am beautifully and wonderfully made in Gods image!

I never grew up appreciate my chubby cheeks, or my pretty smile, or my amazing curls, but now it doesn’t matter what the number on the scale says, I know my self-worth and I am fully aware that it is not up to anyone else to decide, but me.

Do I want to get back to that obsessed with the gym 6X/week Sheridan who was in the best shape of her life, prior to 8 kids (my 6 + my 2 heavenly babies?) Of course! And one day when I choose it’s the right time, I will! But for right now, I am choosing to love my littles and raise them to my best ability.

I hope my children never have to experience hate/bullying from other kids, but Shane and I both know we cannot protect them from everyone!  We also know that it’s our responsibility to teach them to stick up for other children when they see bullying occur, and not sit back and do nothing at all.  Or if they see that kid in class sitting by themselves, to move over and be friends with them.  It’s so easy to do, but y’all please have conversations with your children.  I was so glad that I could be open with my mom and tell her, and I am so thankful for her being there for me when I needed her the most.

I’m hoping to spread awareness and to spread love.  The power of forgiveness is amazing, and I am SO thankful that God is working on me, and healing wounds from my childhood. I am also so thankful that I am able to share them with you all, in hopes to be able to reach one person that may have gone through something similar, to let them know that it’s ok to talk about, to let them know their feelings can exists, and that we can help be a voice for someone else who may still be struggling.

Never let anyone take your shine away!

With love,