Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cherishing the little moments

Ethan and I are the early risers in our house. I have certainly been blessed with two babies who seem to love their crib/bed. Just as Emily did when she slept in the crib, Ethan will wake each morning and spend at least 20 minutes just talking and singing to himself. There are times when I will just watch him on the monitor as he has his own special way of greeting the day.

I always go in and check on them both as I get up to start the day. One morning this week, as I made my 4:30 a.m. check-up on them before heading to the shower, I walked in his room and he quickly sat up in his bed and started laughing. My arms reached down and picked up his warm little, pudgy body and pulled it to my chest. His curls tickled under my chin as he laid his head down, and I grabbed the fleece blanket and returned it to the cocoon-like wrap around his body. The house was still dark, and I eased into the living room to sit in the rocker that has rocked both my babies from infancy.

He did not raise his head again, but nestled more closely into my arms and body in that spot that is made just for a baby to rest. We rocked. The clock continued to tick, and the minutes were passing me by, but we rocked. He loves to hum a little in the early morning. Don't really talk to him at that time, but he will hum a conversation with you. He would make his little humming noises, and I would return with the same. We continued our unspoken rhyme with the gentle sway of the chair for several minutes until I felt that moment when a little body goes from awake to asleep. It was precious and perfect. I eased him back into his crib and started the routine of my day... all the while thanking God for a spectacular interruption and a very precious memory.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

that Folgers commercial


I am blessed with two beautiful children. My daughter is four years old, and she is my princess. She is truly my mini-me, looking and acting just like I did at her age. We have a wonderful relationship, and I am so privileged to be her mother!

Mr. Handsome here just turned one in May. The day we found out Little Mister was indeed a mister will forever be burned in my brain. I was convinced I was having another little girl. Sweet little sisters. Nope, clearly our home would be doused in a baby blue bath of boyness. I was nervous immediately. My husband and I are not sports fans. He doesn't play golf or hunt critters of any sort. Would we be boy-friendly enough to ensure he was well rounded in all of the activities he would enjoy in life? Could we foster his interest in things that in no way interested us? Yes, all these thoughts before the first blue onesie was purchased, but still, it worried me.

Then he was born and everything changed.

I have learned first hand the magnetic bond between a mother and her son. Oh, true enough on some days, he is a daddy's boy, and YES, he's only fourteen months old, but... he's my little man, and I can't imagine our family without him.

You know that Folgers commercial when the son sneaks home for Christmas very early in the morning when just his sister is up to welcome him. He makes the coffee and mom and dad come down the stairs. When the mom has her eyes on him for the first time, she stops, she pauses for just a second and closes her eyes. She is saying in her heart, my son is home. She then grabs him and hugs him tight.

He does that to me every day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I colored

Coloring was always something I loved doing as a child. I would sit for hours and entertain myself with a coloring book and a box of Crayolas. My daughter loves it as much as I did. There is something therapeutic about taking that crisp, white paper and gradually filling it full of bright hues of your choosing.

This past weekend, while I had dirty dishes in my sink, a flower bed in desperate need of attention and ironing that was not going to do itself... I colored. I sat with my daughter and filled in the sections on the paper with the color she told me matched the number. We talked about what we will do on our beach vacation in a few weeks. We laughed as we sat side by side.



A memory was made in a four year old's mind as well as one for her mother.
My heart and mind were at peace when I stopped to cherish this moment with her.

I love this quote, and it is such a shame that I've never seen anyone credited with speaking it into existence. Our lives are always going to be filled with chaos and chores, but we can have peace in the midst of these things. We can have peace with a box of crayons and spending 10 minutes to lift up your heart with the little things that seem so small, but are such a great medicine for the tired soul.


Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119:165

Monday, July 16, 2012

Show Me

While I'm not one for pity parties, I know the importance of a good cry when it is needed. I've been through a lot in my life, more than some, but oh so much less than others. I've learned that drowning in your sorrows is a waste of time, but I appreciate the importance of taking a swim in them from time to time. Life certainly doesn't go the way we want it to always, but through the hardest times we learn to appreciate the joyful times that much more. The fall-apart cry is needed when your heart is broken or you are scared. I believe God knows how we need to fall apart and He is always there to put us back together again.

The song Show Me by Audrey Assad is written from the perspective of taking a swim in the sorrows. She knows God has put her into this pool of sadness for a reason, and she wants to appreciate that reason and soak up all the heartache of the moment. By tasting the bitterness of the sorrow, she is seasoning her palate for the sweet joy of the morning.

God is blessing me in the sweet and the bitter. I pray I always appreciate both.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My kind of pace

We recently took a family vacation to Branson, Missouri. While I have nothing against all the country shows and entertainment options, let's just say I'm not the first in line to purchase tickets to any of those things. What I do love the most about Branson is the pace of the town. Traffic around showtime is a nightmare, but no one seems to care. Folks will stop to let you in line and wave as they do so. Casual, calm and peaceful. Just the way I like it. Our lives are too filled with hustle and bustle, so the very last thing I want is more of that while on vacation. We stayed in a condo with walking distance to the river, and one of the best times we spent involved our toes in the cold water while we were throwing rocks. My kids loved it!

A jewel of a trip I found was our visit to Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. The park is owned by Bass Pro Shops which is evident throughout with the rustic touches in decor and layout. There are trout filled streams, cool flowing water and plenty of flora and fauna to fill your time. We enjoyed the tram ride through the park with lots of nice stops along the way for photo opportunities. I would have been happy as a clam to have spent the entire vacation here. It was perfect and peaceful!

Life is not meant to be as complicated as we make it. It was not designed to be that way, and that makes it all the more important that we remember to keep our foundation and focus where it is supposed to be so that we can survive the hustle and know the true peace...

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.




Monday, July 2, 2012

65 to Start

This is me and my family in December 2011.


This is me and my handsome man in April of 2012.


We started a diet program and a commitment to lose weight on February 2, 2012. When we took this picture at the end of April, he had lost 62 pounds, and I had lost 55.

  • No pills or shots
  • No "magic" potions
  • No frozen meals
  • No gym membership
  • No diet/weight-loss group
I've battled an issue with weight since I was a child. I would lose some then put it right back on. This is the first time I've lost this much weight and been this size in a very long time. Yesterday was my 36th birthday, and I've now lost a total of 65 pounds. If you had told me five months ago that I would be weighing in 65 pounds lighter by my birthday I would not have believed you. It just doesn't seem possible.

I've always been the one to buy the magazines at the check-out line where someone lost 30 pounds by standing on their head at straight up noon Pacific Time while facing east and singing "Hollaback Girl." Food items for each fad diet would end up in my shopping cart, and while some of them did indeed work for a season, nothing had a lasting result. Until now.

Everyone is asking me what the secret is. Honestly, you have everything you need to lose weight without buying one single thing. The difference this time is I meant it. I seriously made up my mind in my head and in my heart that 2012 is THE year. This is the year that I'm going to get this weight off, and I'm not going to let it come back. I firmly believe for some people food is as much a drug as cocaine or heroin. It tastes so good! The more butter on that biscuit, the better it tastes. My mind and body would crave it just like an addict, and just like with drugs, it was destroying my body. My back hurt almost constantly. I was so tired at times I would almost be in tears. Today, I feel so much better with a higher energy level and so many less aches and pains. The self-esteem boost is maybe the best feeling of them all. Trying on new clothes and knowing before those pants wouldn't even come above my thigh, but now they fit perfectly... that's an amazing feeling. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

A dream

I recently read a quote on Pinterest that said...

If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough.

I have so many dreams that in and of themselves are not at all scary. It is when I decide to put action to those dreams that the scary part comes in. 2012 started with me focusing on the word purpose. I want to have purpose and there to be purpose in everything I do. Purpose in being a child of God, following Him as He would have me to. Purpose in being a wife and mother. Purpose in having a creative outlet through this blog and a side catering business where my true passions are fed. The year of 2012 is already half over, and I must say, I've accomplished some dreams this year. It was scary, and it was tough, but it was so very worth it!