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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: November 2009

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has been moved to new address

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: November 2009

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

November 30, 2009

FMM-Survey Time!

This week, Amber at {aefilkins} has posted another great survery for FMM...As usual, I will be participating. Haha. Enjoy ;)

1. Favorite website: Facebook, Blogger, and Twitter. Usually these are the only 3 I manage to visit.

2. Favorite color: Pink & Red

3. Facebook? Absolutely! Let's be friends!

4. Favorite Christmas song? Hmmm...this is a tough one. I really love all Christmas music and can't choose a favorite.

5. Christmas tree: Real or fake? Fake this year. Just because I have a certain little boy toddling all over my house who would love to get his mouth on some tree needles.

6. Hottest celebrity? Sigh. Despite the fact that it's pretty much illegal for me to think it, considering he is a MINOR....I've got to say Taylor Lautner. [Then again, considering I am only 22, I guess it's not really that weird...]

7. Favorite restaurant? Outback or Chili's

8. Favorite magazine? I don't read a lot of magazines, but I do browse the Cosmo pretty often.

9. Favorite thing to drink around the holidays? Coffee & Hot Chocolate....if it cools off around here enough to actually drink them,

10. Favorite Christmas movie. Christmas Vacation. Hands down...funniest Christmas movie EVER.

Head on over to {aefilkins} and join in on the FMM fun!



November 28, 2009

Haircuts and Cucumbers

Well. My baby is no longer a baby...atleast, according to the "My First Haircut" Certificate he got today. I finally broke down and took my sweet little boy to have his beautiful little light brown curls chopped off. I was very proud of myself. I'm such an emotional person. I figured I would cry. But I didn't. I stood there, camera in hand, and smiled as my sweet little baby graduated into toddler/boyhood.

This was the before photo. I'm not sure this photo does any justice to how long his hair really was getting. I almost had enough for a pony-tail in the back. And that's just not cool on a little boy.

Things started out really well. No crying. No freaking out. But then...

It all began. He got upset and started crying and getting upset. His daddy was holding him, but of course, he wanted his mommy [if I'd have had him he would have wanted Daddy...isn't that how it works?] The man cutting his hair was super nice though. He tried his hardest to get him to calm down so he could finish. But Noah just wan't having it. As you can see, the crying stopped when Mommy picked him up.

He even got himself a lolly pop after he was finished...just because he was such a big boy. What else did he end up with? A stuffed "Larry the Cucumber" toy and a new Veggie Tales movie. Just because his daddy and I are suckers for his cute little grin and puppy dog eyes he was such a good boy while he was getting his hair cut. Ahh childhood milestones. They are here and gone so quickly. I can't get over how fast his childhood is flying by me.

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November 27, 2009

5 Question Friday

My Little Life This is the first time I have participated in "5 Question Friday" with Mama M at "My Little Life." But seeing as how I am currently at a loss for things to blog about [Could it be all of the turkey making me sleepy? Or the black Friday shopping frenzy?], I decided today to join in on the fun. Head over to Mama M's blog and play along....

1. Do you do a real or fake Christmas tree? Well, I prefer a real tree. BUT since I have a little toddler all over the place who insists on putting everything in his mouth, we are going with a fake Christmas tree this year.

2. What is your favorite Christmas tradition with your family? We usually go shopping on Christmas Eve. Just for the sake of saying that we did it, I guess. And we watch "Christmas Vacation" before heading to bed. I'm not really sure what traditions we will start this year with Noah. This will be his first real Christmas that he can actually enjoy some. And we are spending Christmas here in Florida, just us. So we will see.

3. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in your neck of the woods? And, if many calories do you think you consumed yesterday? Oh yes. Thanksgiving is 2nd to Christmas as far as calorie consumption goes. I honestly don't think I ate that much yesterday. Surprisingly enough, I maintained some self control.

4. Have you started decorating for Christmas, yet? Not yet. I will on Monday, though. We are getting our tree on Monday. So then it will be time to pull out the decorations and the Christmas dishes and make the house look like Santa's workshop. I think I am going to make hubby put lights up over the garage this year. :)

5. What is your favorite Christmas cookie? Hmmm....that's a tough one. I guess for Christmas my favorite cookie would be gingerbread or sugar cookies with the Green & Red sprinkles. I have never made Gingerbread men {or a Gingerbread house for that matter} but I think that's one of the new "traditions" I am going to incorporate into things this year.

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November 25, 2009

Shelves of my Heart

Where does your time go every day? Do you clean? Do you play with your kid(s)? Do you shop? Do you sleep? Do you do all of the above?

I've said it time is precious. I don't have nearly enough of it and what little bit I do have, I want to spend on myself. Taking a bubble bath, blogging, watching Lifetime, or just sitting in the total silence and doing, well, nothing. That's where my spare time foes. And I am starting to really feel guilty about it. I read a post today about how little time we give to God and that really struck a nerve with me.
I have started to realize that I don't give God nearly the time that he deserves...or the amount of time with him that I need.

My days are typically either totally chaotic when there is a lot going on or overwhelmingly slow-paced...both of which leave me exhausted at the end of the day and ready to collapse into bed. The days when there is tons and tons going on, I find myself rushing back and forth all over the place, just hoping that I get 50% of the things crossed off of my check-list. The slow paced days are just as bad, because then I am suddenly overwhelmed with the amount of free time that I have. I rush around thinking that since I have all of this time, then I SHOULD be able to cross everything off of my list. Do you see the pattern?

You see, I tend to give God whatever is left of my time. I get up in the mornings whenever Noah wakes up, rather than disciplining myself to wake up before he gets up. During the day, I go about doing my chores when I can and when I get a free moment, I give to something else. At the end of the day, when I am tired/drained/stresses/exhausted I yawn, crawl into bed beside my husband and try to go to sleep. It's during these moments that my conscience kicks in and realize, "Oh man...I've gone all day without acknowledging God!"

So then, I say a quick prayer, asking God to forgive me for putting him dead last. I ask him to give me yet another chance to do it right. I promise him that I will do better tomorrow...that I will try harder tomorrow...that I won't forget. Tomorrow. Then tomorrow rolls around, and where am I at the end of the day? In the same place I was the night before. And the night before. And the night before. Seeking God's unwavering forgiveness for something that I know needs changing.

I am known for categorizing my life...placing things in these nice, cute, colorful little bins in my head [and my heart] and organizing them into order of importance, most needing to get done, activities to accomplish...and sticking them on a shelf. Cleaning, Blogging, Cooking, Me time, Play time with my son, attempts at romancing and communicating with my husband...all of these things go into categories, sorted into bins, and shelved in my mind.

Then, there is Jesus. And Quiet Time. And Prayer. And Bible Study. All of those things are in a bright red bin together. They are at the top of my shelf. The top meaning, those things are of the most important. But with placing items on the top shelf, they generally get shoved to the back and forgotten about. So they collect dust until the day that I remember that they are there and they need to be removed and dusted.

It's time to make a change. It's time to recategorize and reorganize my life. Re-prioritize things. Start putting the most important things first. Like Jesus and prayer and Quiet time. Quality time communicating with my husband. And play time with my son. These are the things that mean the most. Not the dishes. Not whether or not the bathroom is cleaned up completely. Or the floor gets vaccumed. It's time that we start putting Christ back in the front of our lives. Put him first and allow everything else to fall into place around him.

If we do that, if we start putting him first, the way we should...everything will fall into place. Everything will work out and we can experience a peace and sense of wisdom that we have never known. I challenge all of you to examine your "shelves" and what your priorities are.

"...In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths." {Proverbs 3:6}

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November 24, 2009

Over The Top!!

My lovely blog friend Melinda at "Coming Clean" has given me this wonderful blog award! I never know what to say when I receive these because they really do mean a lot to me. I write for my own satisfaction and therapy, but I also write with the hopes of reaching people and having some sort of impact on my readers [even if that impact is small.] So these mean a lot. They show that you all are enjoying reading what I write and that, in itself, means the world to me. Thanks Melinda for the award! You guys should check her out. She has some very insightful and creative posts about parenting that always make me think and put a smile on my face.

So. The rules for this blog are to copy & paste the questions below and fill in your own answers and post to your blog. The catch? Answers have to be only one word. Then, you pass it along to other blogs that you find "Over the Top!"

1. Where is your cell phone? Table
2. Your hair? Brown
3. Your mother? Fiesty
4. Your father? Hard-working [do dashed words count as one?]
5. Your favorite food? Chicken
6. Your dream last night? Forgotten
7. Your favorite drink? Dr. Pepper
8. Your dream/goal? Novelist
9. What room are you in? Den
10. Your hobby? Blogging
11. Your fear? Failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home
13. Where were you last night? Movies
14. Something you aren’t? Unorganized
15. Muffins? Blueberry
16. Wish list item? Camera
17. Where did you grow up? Alabama
18. Last thing you did? Dishes
19. What are you wearing? PJs
20. Your TV? On
21. Your pets? None
22. Your friends? FABULOUS! :)
23. Your life? Inspiring
24. Your mood? Lonely
25. Missing someone? Hubby
26. Vehicle? Black
27. Something you’re not wearing? Shoes
28. Your favorite store? WalMart
29. Your favorite color? Red
30. When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Monday
32. Your best friend? Hubby
33. One place that I go over and over? Walmart
34. One person who emails me regularly? None
35. Favorite place to eat? Outback

Alright. Now I get to pass this fabulous blog onto some of my favorite reads. Melinda posted her reasons why she enjoyed reading the blogs she chose and I thought I would do the same:

{aefilkins}: Amber's blog is a newer read to me, as I've only been following for a few months, but I love it. She always offers a wide array of post topics, is the host of FMM every week, and offers insight on parenting, marriage, and the struggles faced in life. An absolute wonderful read!

Awake Amidst A Dream: Laura is a fellow military wife who is constantly posting witty and thought-provoking blogs. Her posts always make me smile and she seems to have such a happy disposition about life.

Modern Mom: Her blog is absolutely fabulous! Her posts always crack me up and make me smile and usually always provoke some sort of deep thought. Always a fun read gauranteed to leave you wanting more.

Laugh Until you Cry: Beth has a wonderful blog full of parenting insights, personal insights, and creativity. Again, another blog that leaves me thinking about her topic of choice and always has me coming back to hear what else she has to say. [Bonus: She is a fantastic commenter!]

Go check these wonderful ladies out! I promise you will be glad you did. Great reads, great women, great bloggers.


Lessons Learned in Silence

If I hear one more scream or squeal, I am going to rip my hair out!

If I have to wash one more dish, do one more load of laundry, pick up one more pair of dirty underwear...I'm going to lose my mind.

If I have to wipe one more puddle of spilt juice off of the kitchen floor or wipe one more counter or change one more diaper, I am pretty sure I am going to go crazy.

Have you ever had one of those days? Since returning home from Alabama with a son who now knows how to walk, throw food, squeal and throw temper-tantrums [oh yes, and with real tears for that matter...] I have had several of those days. Being a stay-at-home mom and full-time Housewife is a very repetitive full time job. I mean, very repetitive. As I've said in previous posts, my schedule looks somewhat the same every. single. day. I find myself becoming frustrated and ill with the job at hand and not doing everything that I know that I need to do. In this, I know that I am not alone. I read a lot of different blogs and have found that this is a very common feeling amongst the mom/wife blogger population. Even so, common feelings or not, God has really started to convict me about the attitude I take about my role in life right now.

This slap in the head came the other day while I was listening to my son scream in the floor because I wasn't sitting there playing with him when there was a sink full of dishes that needed washing. "Dear Lord," I thought to myself, "would you pleeeaaase just let him shut-up and go to sleep for a little while so that I can get this stuff done?!" I was starting to get irritated with Noah and I could tell that my frustrations were becoming evident to him. {Believe it or not, chidren can sense that kind of thing...yea. Creepy, I know. } I tried all of the usual tricks that pacify my son...rocking him, check the diaper, try to give him a snack, crawling around on the floor with him, giving him the cup of ink pens that sit on the end table beside the couch for him to play with. Nothing was working and my blood pressure was rising. I even resorted to picking him up and dancing around my living room with him like a complete idiot. Nada.

At this point, my stress level was sky high and I just broke down and started crying. I can't take it when he gets to the point of being totally inconsolable. It makes me feel like a crappy mom when I can't get my son to stop screaming, and it scares me because it makes me wonder if there is something really wrong with him. Sooo...I plopped back down in the rocking chair, with a bottle of apple juice and Noah's 'night-night blankie' and started rocking. Again. This time I turned the TV off and started humming. "Revelation Song" is one of my favorite new contemporary Christian worship songs and I had listened to it earlier and it was stuck in my head. Finally, after going through the song 3 times, Noah had fallen asleep. After I took him upstairs to his bed and got him layed down and situated, I came back downstairs and sat enjoying the silence.

Normally, I don't get much quiet time during the day to listen to God speak to me. But, out of exhaustion due to my previous debacle with little man, I wanted silence. No noise. It was then that God replayed what had just happened and my initial reaction to it. Followed by a replay of how I have acted about other things. The laundry, the cleaning, the cooking, picking up and tidying things up around my house. He really started pounding me about my attitude. {notice, God's 'voice' is in red}

Do you really think that's the right way to act?

No, but God I'm so tired of it! I do the same thing all day every day and I feel like I deserve a break every once in a while.

Do you really think that's the right way to act?

But it's not fair! I don' t ever get to relax and do what I want to do! [at this point, I am whining like a 5 year old]

How often do I hear the same things and do the same things over and over again?

I started thinking about that. What would we do if one day God just decided that he was tired of it, too? What if he decided that he was tired of hearing us complain over and over and over again? What if he decided he was tired of being generous and gracious and just gave up on us? What then?

That's when I realized what I was doing wrong. God hears us whine and complain and fuss about our lives and what we have, when we should really be praising him and thanking him for all that we do have. Instead of me complaining about doing the laundry or having to change diapers all day, I should be thanking God that I not only have a washer & dryer that works [something I didn't have in our last house] but that I have the opportunity to be a stay at home mom and wife where so many other women are forced to go to work to make ends meat. I don't have to work. I get to stay at home all day with my son and take care of my husband.

It's a hard lesson to remember. It really is. It's so easy to bogged down in the every day routines and to forget all that there is to be gracious for. If God hasn't given up on us and continues to give to us as graciously as he does, then I need to learn to stop complaining and give to my family as graciously as I can. It's amazing the lessons we can learn in silence.


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November 23, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 23, 2009...

Outside my's a little gloomy outside. Really foggy this morning, but it's starting to clear some and I think that maybe the sun might come out today.

I am thinking...How pumped I am for Girls Night tonight! We are going to see "New Moon" and I can. not. wait.

I am thankful for...a wonderful church home. God has placed a fantastic group of people around us through our church family and I could not be more grateful for what they mean to us and how greatly they influence and encourage us.

I am remembering...that I need to make a list of people to send Christmas cards to and make out a list of Guests to invite to the Christmas Party hubby and I are having at our house.

I am see "New Moon" tonight!!!!

I am reading...the book of "Romans," and trying to find another book to read in my spare time. Any suggestions?

I am hoping...that hubby gets a comp day for working both days this weekend.

On my unbelievably fast this year has gone by! Where has the time gone?

Noticing that...yesterday morning I got up and had 51 followers and now, this morning, I am back down to only 50. :(

From the kitchen...either a frozen, quick dinner or leftovers. I'm going to be away tonight so the hubby will be fending for himself [not that he cares...he likes to eat quick meals.]

One of my favorite things...watching little man learn to walk. He is really starting to toddle around, taking 5, 6 and 7 steps at the time before he sits down. Then he stands and starts again.

Find other daybookers and link up your own here.


FMM-All about Thanksgiving

This week Amber over at {aefilkins} is hosting another fantastic FMM. This week's edition is all about Thanksgiving. Amber has put together a short list of questions all about, well, Thanksgiving.

1. Turkey or Ham? Turkey! Yum!

2. Favorite side dish. Homemade Chicken & Dumplings

3. Favorite dessert. Pecan Pie or Peanut Cake {grandmama's recipe!}

4. Black Friday: Are you going or not? Not sure yet...probably not. It's hard to go Black Friday shopping when you have a little one.

5. If so, what's on the top of your list? If I go, a new Flat Screen LCD is definitely at the top. Followed by a Sony Cypershot [on sale at Walmart for $79] for the husband.

6. Going out of town or staying close to home? Staying close to home

7. Hosting or helping? Helping. Some friends from church invited us to spend Thanksgiving with them and their family. I'll be bringing the desserts :)

8. Name one family tradition at Thanksgiving. Other than eating too much? Putting up the Christmas tree the day of or the day after Thanksgiving.

9. What do you do after dinner? Watch Football or nap...usually, I choose the nap. Haha!

10. What are you most thankful for this year?  A healthy, happy little boy. A strong marriage. An excellent church family. And, these of course.

Head on over to {aefilkins} to join in on all the FMM fun!

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November 21, 2009

Thankful for the little things...

The things that I am thankful for have made a huge change in the last 3 years.

In college, cries of gratitude and thanks fell on the ears of all who were around when spare change was found in the couch cushions or under the bed. My cute apartment, my seemingly never-ending cashflow [that, surprise surprise, was far from never-ending], my super cute accessories and shoes, Endless Frat Parties, and plenty of Frat Boys to date were reason enough for me to be thankful.

After I ditched the party scene in exchange for an actual education and opportunity to do something with my life, those same cries of joy could be heard on the days when class was cancelled. Or the days that I only had to go to class rather than to class and work. My brand new, sexy little 2-door Sports Car [that I purchased for way more than I should have] with fabulous Gas Mileage was definitely something to be thankful for.

This year, as a wife and a mother, my cries of thanks go out to different things. This year, I am Thankful for the real things. The things that give me reason to crawl out of bed. Oh sure, I'm thankful for the usual things too. Good husband, steady income, health, happiness, beautiful son....But these. THESE are the real-life things I am thankful for....

-I am thankful that the Swivel Sweeper works...even if it only works half of the time these days. It saves me from having to sweep, and sweep, and sweep the kitchen floor after one of our bouts with crackers, cookies, or anything else that can be broken up into teeny tiny pieces.

-I am thankful for caffeine. Be it in a can or a plastic cup with a Starbucks logo on it. Caffeine gets me up and running in the morning. Without it...well, lets just leave that scary thought to our imaginations, shall we?

-I am thankful for the makers of Children's Grape Tylenol, without which I don't know what I would have done during the months of non-stop teething and aching Ear Infections.

-I am thankful for the geniuese's behind "Playhouse Disney" and "Nick Jr." These guys save my sanity in the wee-hours of the morning [before my caffeine kicks in, of course.]

-I am thankful for nights of piece and quiet. Nights when Noah falls asleep early, the husband is entranced by his own thing, and I can sit in total and complete silence if I choose and do absolutely nothing.

-I am thankful for the last cold Dr. Pepper my husband leaves me in the fridge when are running low and have to restock.

-I am thankful for Lysol Kitchen Cleaner. Spray and Wipe. And the job is done.

-I am thankful for Nicholas Sparks and Stephenie Meyer...2 world class authors whose novels and stories allow me to escape dirty diapers and sticky messes. Even if only for a few minutes at a time.

-I am unbelievably thankful for this blog...and all of the friends I have made through social networking. I've saved thousands of dollars on "mommy brain" therapy just by being an avid blogger.

I am beyond thankful for my husband and my precious little boy, but these things? These simple, minute, seemingly insignificant things keep me sane. Keep me from losing every ounce of normalacy I have left. Here's to a Happy Thanksgiving and greater appreciation for the little things in life.


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November 20, 2009

Wipe, Sweep, Repeat

I am tired.

Noah's new found never ending amount of energy is leaving me worn completely out. I swear, when he actually stars walking, I am doomed.

Husband has been home most of the morning today and has gotten a little dose of what I've suddenly began to deal with. Since we returned home from Alabama 2 weeks ago, Noah has turned into a toddler. Where on EARTH did my sweet little baby go? The one that would sit quietly in the floor and play for a little while without really making noise? He vanished! And was replaced by this busy, rambunctious, curious little explorer who is terrorizing my house.

Not that I didn't know this was coming. I did have a slight inclination that my child would hit this stage. I just didn't realize it would be so soon. I swear it feels like he was just born. And now he is keeping me steadily busy. With no time to spare in between my suddenly hectic and unorganized schedule. I am working on getting into some sort of routine. Atleast, one that's slightly better than what I've got going on right now.

Currently, my days begin at 5:30. Atleast that's what time the husband gets out of bed and I wake up. However, I usually don't force myself to crawl get out of bed until 5:45. Then I make the husband lunch, ship him off to work and fight with myself to stay up. Why not go back to bed, you ask? Because I am priviledged to have an early bird on my hands. I swear he gets it from his daddy because I could sleep till 10 every morning and it never phase me. But, not my son. He's bright eyed and bushy tailed no later than 7:00 every. single. morning. And it's usually closer to 6:30 than 7:00. So then it's breakfast, clean the kitchen from the mess made at breakfast, playtime & cartoons, nap at 10:30, lunch, clean the kitchen from the mess made at lunch, bath, playtime, nap again. By this time, it's nearly 2:00 which leaves me with about an hour and a half or 2 hours to shower & get myself dressed, tidy up the house, blog, and relax.

I noticed today that I spend most of my day re-doing things. I'm starting to give up the idea of a nice, clean, tidy home. Not that my house is dirty. Quite the opposite actually. I keep a very organized house. I can't live in it any other way. But I find myself repeating many chores throughout the day. Wiping the counters off in the kitchen. Sweeping the floors. Washing dishes. Doing laundry [ugh. I literally abhor laundry]. Picking up toys. Fixing juice. Giving baths. Rinsing food and other strange, unknown items out of said tub. It's exhausting. By the end of the day, I am praying that I can get Noah in the bed by 7:00 so I have an hour or 2 to sit and do nothing.

Like right now, I have a phone call that I need to make and the husband keeps bugging me about it. My time is precious. I mean very precious. Like, every moment needs to be alloted so that I can get the most out of it, kind of precious. I have probably 2 hours at the most [unless the planets line up right and Noah decided to sleep for more than 2 hours. Those days are glorious!] to do what I need to do. And right now, today, I don't want to spend a second of my time on the phone. Instead, here I sit, doing one of the things that I love the most. Blogging.

I swear it's better than therapy. Helps me to relax my mind and let go of some tension. So, for now, I blog. Husband goes back to work to log some night hours on the boat at 4:30, leaving me with little man for the evening. My plans? Early supper, bath, and have the baby in bed no later than 7:30. And for me? I'll join you guys here in the blogosphere for a little while, catch up on some of your posts that I need to get around to. Then, pop a Chick flick in the DVD player, snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie. And study "Romans" in my pretty new pink Bible. {I am such a girl...I love pink & brown. And now I have a Bible that color!}

I  love mommy duty. I really do. But tonight, after the never ending busy week that I have had, I need a break. So for now, I leave you. There are counters to be wiped down, a floor that needs mopping, and clothes to be washed, dried and put away. Wipe, Sweep, Repeat...

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Random Notes...on everything

It's hazy out this morning. Looks a lot like rain is coming. I'm starving. It's too early to be awake. Noah is sitting in the middle of the living room floor in his robot t-shirt & diaper eating cheerio's and watching Sponge Bob.  Husband is going to be gone literally all day working [gotta love duty week...not.] And I am at a loss for a blog. This usually doesn't happen to me. Being...empty minded, that is. ---This is normally where my husband or, if he were around, Father-in-law would insert some humerous crack about the whole 'empty minded' thing.---

There have been a handful of things on my mind lately. Nothing of real significance...just a few random ideas bouncing around the ol' noodle. So, since, unfortunately for you, I have nothing to blog about at this current moment, I'll divuldge said things to you:

     ~I really don't like my hair short. Atleast, not lately. Husband likes it shorter and he convinced me to chop it off. And I liked if for a few days, but now I'm bored. There isn't much to do with it style-wise. It's either straight as a board or curled slightly at the ends. And that's it. Period. I've thought about darkening it again. I did it in college and it looked pretty good. It was a deep, chocolate brown. And in high school, I kept blonde highlights in it. It'll be time for a haircut in another 2 weeks or so...maybe I can decide what to do with it by then.

     ~Noah took 5 steps the other day [if you follow my Twitter, you will have known that already] but hasn't really done anything since then. In a way it kind of bothers me. Kind of. Just because I hate listening to those moms who add that emphasis to the age their child was when they started walking. "Well, little Johnny started walking when he was 11 months." Like I really care when little Johnny started walking. I'm honestly enjoying the last little bit of time before he does start walking, because when he does I will never get a break. He is waaaay too active for me to even have a chance.

     ~I love my husband. The other night I had to go pick up the Casting Crowns CD that we got for free for donating to a "Help the Children" Christmas thing or something at Family Christian. I had been eyeing this new Bible. You know, the beautiful pink and brown, newly revised and updated Life Application Study Bible. As I am heading out the door to run to the bookstore, he tells me, "Get that Bible you want while you're there. You deserve it." Then, when he gets home from work last night, very obviously totally exhausted and needing a good nap, he says to me, "I have an idea. How about I keep the baby and you go get your nails and toes done." WHAT?! Where is all of this coming from? I was so excited. I asked 5 or 6 times if he was really sure and ended up spending about an hour and a half letting 2 sweet little Oriental ladies massage my feet and my hands while I sipped a Starbucks and let the massage chair loosen the tension in my back. Gah. It was fantastic. I love my husband. What a guy!

     ~Grey's Anatomy last night was crazy good. Mark Sloane has a KID?! Didn't see that coming. I mean, I saw it on the previews last week but figured it wouldn't actually be his daughter. And the chief's new-found run with alcoholism has me concerned. If he isn't careful he's gonna lose his wife. Again. And I loved that Derek, Mark and Arizona split the costs of the new tools for that poor little boy. Not like they don't make enough money...No new episode next week because of Thanksgiving. Boo! Don't the producer's know that I am thankful for Grey's and have no major plans for the holiday?

     ~I am starting to read the book of "Romans" in my beautiful new bible. :) I have read most of the New Testament before, but never have read all of Romans. I love Paul's letters to the churches. I get so much out of his work. I think I admire the fact too, that Paul was such an anti-Jesus person and God used him in such a mighty and powerful way to reach soooo many people and save thousands. It just shows you that God can use anyone and any situation to bring honor and glory to him.

    ~I hit 50 Followers here on my blog yesterday! I am so excited! I've decided that I'm going to do my very first Giveaway when I reach 100. So start telling your friends. Because it's going to be a good one. I already have an idea! I am starting to aquire some loyal followers who are commenting on a lot of my posts. I feel bad when I don't comment back. So I'm going to try to start a new "policy" for myself. If you comment on my post, I will comment on yours. I am a firm believer that if you take the time to write a blog, publish your thoughts out there into the world, then you should be acknowledged for it. So...yea. You comment me, and I'll comment you. :) Tell your friends. Haha!

     ~I absolutely, 100%, can NOT wait to see "New Moon!!!" Saw the previews again last night and I don't feel like I can get there fast enough. I'm going with some girlfriends on Monday Night. No husbands. No children. Just us, Edward, and Jacob. CAN. NOT.WAIT.

     ~ We have no idea what next year holds for us, as far as Josh's job is concerned. Things keep changing so much. One minute the waiting list for A-School is crazy long and Josh can't go to school until January 2011. And then it's back to being June of this coming year when he can go. No idea. It's all hanging up in the air right now, and it sort of frustrates me some. I think God is trying to get me to let go of the "control" I think I have to have on situations and trust him. Because I don't like being completely clueless about what we are going to do. It drove me banana's the month or 2 that it took last year for them to give us our orders for this station. I hate the wait. I'm a little bit impatient.

     ~I feel like I am too nice sometimes. I have started to feel as if I am so nice to people that they take advantage of me. And I've started to change that. I'm not going to be rude to people, but I feel like for the longest time I have tried to reach out to people, be people's friend, and in the end I am always the one that comes out on the crap end of the deal. Unappreciated and taken advantage of. Even Josh has said something about it before. I'm just now starting to listen. And God is really convicting me about these thoughts. Reminding me of the infamous Golden Rule.

Alright. There you go. A peek into my mind this morning. I have a post in the works for this weekend that's going to require a little bit more time. It's one I would like you to be involved in, but the past 2 times I have tried a MckLinky, no one linked up and I was really bummed. So, I'll share my idea so if you want to join you can. I'm doing a post on all of the quirky things around my house that make our house a home. Just simple things...nothing fancy. Little things that stay out place, etc. And I'm taking photos of them to share with you. If you think you'd like to play, will you leave me a comment so I can decide if I want to bother with a MckLinky or not?

Hope everyone has a great Friday! Weekend is here! YAY!

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November 19, 2009

The Mommy Look

Have you stopped lately to notice how eerily similar us moms are in a lot of ways? It's like, somehow or another we share this unspoken, kinda creepy bond. Sometimes you can just look at a mom and tell what she's feeling. What's on her mind. How much  [or more often than not, how little] she has slept lately. The kind of day she is having.

I started thinking about this last night when I was getting ready for church. [Random, I know. But I did.] I was standing there about to touch up my makeup and fix my hair and what I saw in the mirror almost knocked me backwards. Yep. I have started to ::gulp:: look like a mom. Now before you all decide to stop following me, never leave me comments any more, and tell all of your blog friends that I think mom's look terrible, give me a chance to plead my case.

I think Mom's are beautiful.

Really. All of us. To endure what we endure during child birth is reason enough to think that we are pretty friggin' awesome. But to me, and I think I've always been like this, one of the most beautiful things in the world is to see a mother with her child. Whether that child is happy or pitching one of those God-awful fits in the middle of the Grocery Store.

But mom's just have a look about them. I can't quite pin-point what it is. But most of the time, you can just look at someone and tell they have children. Even older women. I think you can tell whether someone has had a child before. No matter what they do to themselves to get that pre-baby body back, having a child just sticks to you [Literally. Haha.]

For me, I realized last night that I looked like a mom by the dark circles under my eyes. Thank God for concealer. Mom's should get that stuff in a Goody Bag when you leave the hospital after child birth. And when I really started noticing my new found "Mom-ish" appearance, I realized that everything about me was different. I walk different. I talk differently. I even where different kinds of clothes. I've turned into a mom. Kids call me "Ma'am" and "Mrs." That's creepy. I don't feel old enough to be called Ma'am. That's what I call my mom...and Josh's Grandmother. Not me. I'm not even 23 yet and I've got folks calling me Ma'am.

Is that something that just comes with the territory? The pimply face guy that works at the Shell Station where we always get drinks before church on Wednesday night calls me Ma'am. He's probably older than me...but I have a baby, so I'm a ma'am. The Sales Woman in Dillards not too long ago asked me if I was shopping for my daughter or a friend when I was browsing dresses in the Juniors Department...probably because I had Noah with me. [Yes. I still shop in Junior sometimes. So sue me. I only wear a size 6...or 8 depending on the brand. And I'm only 22, so I think I'm allowed.]

Fact is, everything changes when you have a child. This past summer I almost cried in Victoria's Secret when I was shopping for lingerie and a swimsuit. I picked out a modest 2-piece swimsuit and got ready to check out. Hubby was there with Noah in his stroller and he was waiting outside the store for me. I waved at him and this hateful woman behind me piped up:

"Is that your baby?"

"Yes Ma'am [again with the ma'am thing...] He is." I smiled, thinking the woman was about to tell me how cute my kid was.

She looks at me and nods her head, then looks at the bikini I'm about to purchase. "Hmm...well, if I were you I would be a little bit more modest with what I was wearing. You know you are a mother now. You might want to consider something a little less revealing to wear to the beach."

Like, all of a sudden I'm not allowed to wear a 2-piece swimsuit because I have a child. When did being a mom suddenly strip you of your rights to shop at Victoria's Secret? And what was that lady doing in there? Surely she couldn't be buying lingerie...and should it even matter?

::Sigh:: Anywho. Don't really know how I got off on that rant. I digress.

Moral of the Story: Mom's have a look. I can't explain it. I don't know what it is. But we do. We share something. I can walk past a mom with 2 or 3 kids in WalMart who are acting up in the aisles. She looks at  me, I look at her, and I know she gets the telepathic message I'm sending her. "Sucks for you right now. But I'm really glad mine is behaving at the moment." We smile and go about our merry way. Ever done that before?

What kinds of things have YOU noticed that mother's have in common? Is it our keen sense to help out and offer baby wipes to the mom whose just been spit-up on across way from you at a restaurant? Is it your naturally ability to help a child find his mom at the grocery store? What do you see that we all have in common? Would love to hear from you guys!

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November 18, 2009

Wifey Wednesday

Hello all of my bloggy friends! I hope you are all having a fantastic Wednesday's only 2 days until the weekend so that is reason enough to be in a great mood! This morning, I am linking up again with Sheila over at "To Love, Honor and Vaccum" for another 'Wifey Wednesday' post. I love talking about marriage [and parenting, of course] and especially ways to improve said marriage. Maybe one day I will write a couple of best-selling novels of my own. But for now, I'll stick with Sheila and her topic for the day-Working your Strengths.

I admit, there are many times that I get frustrated with my beloved husband. I get aggravated about the clothes he so carefully leaves on the bedroom floor...right beside the towel he used in the shower. Or the fact that he doesn't really like to talk about work when he gets home and he can't understand why I do. [Could be because my main audience for the day is a 1 year old with a love for Mickey Mouse and Handy Manny...a little adult conversation at the end of the day keeps me sane.] Similarly, I can gaurantee you that it drives him crazy when I nag him about said clothes and towel; when I complain about having to wash dishes after supper or give Noah another bath before bedtime.

Marriage is all about give and take. It's about focusing on the good and working together to over come the bad. As Sheila has said in today's post, it's about focusing on the strengths in your marriage. The things that you are good at and make your marriage, well, your marriage.

For us, it's the little things. The smallest of minute details. It's the way we work together to make things easier and happy in our home. It's the way that Josh lets me do all of the decorating in our home...not because he doesn't want to listen to me nag about it, but because well, 1) he doesn't care that much and 2) because he trusts me well enough to make our house a home for us.  It's the way he cleans the kitchen up after supper while I give Noah a bath or either he gives Noah the bath and I clean...that way I'm not stuck doing everything after dinner is over and we both get to relax in the evenings.

It's the way he does leave his work at work and doesn't drag it home with him. There are so many men [and women] who bring their careers home with them and don't optimize the time they have together with their families. And I am so grateful that my husband looks so forward to being with us when his job is over. It's the way we act like children when we battle each other in a game of Uno. It's the way we play and laugh together, and play with our son together. Whether it be playing in the park or playing ball in the house, or playing a game of tag/chase all over the house. It's the fun we share that keeps the spirit alive in our marriage.

Sure, we have our frustrations with one another and we have moments where we could quite literally ring one anothers neck; but it goes away quickly. If I have learned anything in the almost 2 years that we have been married, it's that you have to laugh at things and let them go. You can't hold grudges and bring up mistakes from the past every time you have a small arguement. You will never overcome anything, feelings will be hurt and slowly your relationship will be ripped apart at the seams.

Lastly, keeping GOD first and at the center of things is glue that holds our entire marriage together. We may not always sit and read the Bible together or do devotionals together. We may not pray with one another every single night [as we should, as a husband and wife and parents], but we both keep GOD first. We both have relationships-growing relationships-with our Father and that reflects within our marriage. We put him first, followed by one another, and then our son. We have common goals: to serve God in whatever way he sees fit, to keep a strong healthy home for our son to grow up in, and to grow old together. Side by Side. That little old couple walking down the side walk hand in hand...the ones that you look at and can see that they are as in love today-at 80 something years old, as they were when they were 18.

Pop on over to Sheila's to see what other wives are saying and link up your own post.

Happy Wednesday!

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Christmas "Wish"ful Thinking

It's almost that time of year again. Time for toys and time for cheer. Yep. You got it. It's Christmas Time!! I love the Holiday Season. Easily my favorite time of year...the smells, the cooler weather [yes, I said cooler because "cold" weather doesn't actually exist in Florida], the lights, the decorations, and the FOOD! Today, I thought it would be fun to make a "wish" list of the things we all want for Christmas this year-me, the husband and Noah. [Hence again, the word "WISH"...most of these aren't things we are actually going to get, but in the Spirit of Christmas and Santa, it's fun to make a list.]

For the husband...
-The 42" Flat Screen Vizio LCD
-A PS3
-And to see his beloved Crimson Tide Football team beat the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship Game December 5 [We could call that an early gift.]

For the little monkey...
-Handy Manny and his tools
-A Ball Pit
-And some new clothes [the child got more toys than he knows what to do with for his birthday...I think he may have one of everything on the shelves!]

And for me...what's topping my "Wish" list?

-The New Canon Rebel Digital
-The New updated NIV Life Application Study Bible
-And some new furniture for the house...preferably some for the Bedroom.

But in all seriousness, what do I really want for Christmas? To spend the holidays with my husband and my son. To celebrate Christmas as a family in our own home under the Christmas Tree. To watch Noah act goofy and play with the wrapping paper instead of his new toys. To watch my husbands face when he opens his Christmas Gifts [he is like a big's so fun to watch him open presents]. To take Noah to see Santa for the first time. To bake cookies and candy for my family the way my Grandmother always did. To watch Noah pull the decorations off of the Christmas Tree. To light candles that make the house smell like Christmas. And to know that this is just one of many Christmases that we get to celebrate together as a family.

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November 17, 2009

Running Away

Have you ever ran away from  God?

I have. For whatever reason, there are times in life that we feel like God is to blame and that the only way to make things right in our lives is to run from him. As if we could actually hide. We get mad, or upset, or frustrated or feel like we have hit rock bottom and can't find our way back to the top again. We start to believe that God is the one who put us there. That he's the one who is to blame for our petty misery. We don't get all of the things that we want, and suddenly God is the bad guy.

We fight with our spouse, we lose our job, we don't have all of the 'things' that we think we 'need', we get sick, we lose a friendship...and instead of looking at it from the perspective that maybe, just maybe God has a bigger and better plan for our life, we get mad. We run away from God. We ignore him. We stop praying. We stop reading our Bible's. We act as if he simply doesn't exist.

I've done it. On more than one occasion, if you want me to be honest. Not something I am proud of, but it happens. I did it during college. After my grades went south and I lost my scholarships [to read all about that, check out this post] and had to move home, I turned away from God. Yea. Because he was the one to blame for me staying out all night and not going to class the next day. I just completely ignored him. Gave him the cold shoulder. Like he just didn't even exist. Despite the fact that he was there ALL the time. Keeping me safe when I did really stupid things [like...driving drunk? Jumping in the car with people who were drunk? Not my finest moments]

When I was pregnant with Noah and husband and I were in that awkward adjustment period, there was a dark cloud over our marriage. We weren't getting along, we weren't communicating, we were doing things intentionally [or maybe unintentionally...] that we knew caused the other pain. I prayed. And prayed. And prayed. I dug into Gods word for literally hours a day, begging God to fix my marriage. To fix whatever it was that was suddenly broken. When it didn't happen right away, even though I thought it should, I turned my back on God again.

Neither time I did this brought me any joy. I didn't feel better; truth be known, I felt worse. A lot worse. I was mad at the situation at hand and I was mad at myself for doing what I knew I shouldn't-leaving God and blaming him.

See, we humans like to be in control of everything. We like to act like we have a grip on everything that goes on. We have the perfect marriage, the perfect kids, the perfect job, the perfect car, house...whatever. We like others to think that we have life down to an art. And when things suddenly go wrong, it ticks us off. We are knocked down a level and reminded that we don't control anything. God does.

So where does that leave us?

As simple as it sounds, we must remind ourselves over and over again that WE aren't the ones that control things. We take a look at the important things and thank God for what we do have. Whether we always believe it or not, we do have something to be thankful for. For instance...we aren't filthy rich and able to simply spend money the way that we want. We have to budget. We have to plan for things. We have to carefully track where our funds go. Does that bother me? Sometimes. I am human. And the good Lord knows that there are days when I would love to be able to hit the mall for an hour or two and shop for some new clothes because I want to. Or go to the jewelry store and buy myself a new Bridal Set, or a purchase the new sofa and loveseat that I've been eyeing for a few months. But I can't.

And instead of getting mad about that, getting frustrated with God because he didn't see fit to give me money to just throw around, I take the time to thank him for what he HAS given me:
...A wonderful husband that works hard to provide for our family, loves me and my son, and allows me to stay home and be a mother. A beautiful son who adores his mommy and daddy; who surprises me every day with the simple gift of watching him learn and grow and discover the world around him. A beautiful home that we have been able to rent for a lot less than what it's worth. A car to drive, clothes to wear, good health, food on the table and more material possessions than a lot of people can say that they have. A steady income with no fears of my husband losing his job...

I could go on and on. And that's the way that we should do it. We should take a look at all that we do have, whether we do it quietly or actually write down the list on paper. Be thankful for what God's blessed you with. We live in a world where unsatisfaction is marketed daily. We are bred to think that we need more than what we have. But God knows our needs...he created the sun, the moon, the stars...the beautiful world that we live in. I'm pretty sure he knows whether or not we need that $700 Canon Rebel Digital Camera we have been eyeing [Yea. That is in reference to myself. Haha]

I encourge you to look around today and thank God for what he's given you...even if you are convinced that more would make you happy. God is in control today...and every day. Let him decide what's best for you. And while he does, sit back and enjoy what you already have.

"For I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through HIM who gives me strength." -Philippians 4:11b-13

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. For Christ's sake I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." -2 Corinthians 12: 9a &10

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November 16, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, November 16, 2009

Outside my's a beautiful Florida day! The sun is shining, the sky is blue and it's actually not insanely warm outside.

I am thinking...about the several things on my "I really need to get this done" list...lots to do before hubby comes home today.

I am wearing...still in my PJ's this morning. Noah slept late, which means I got to sleep late. Oh well!

I am remembering...that hubby and I need to watch the Dave Ramsey video we missed while we were gone to Alabama before Wednesday.

I am reading...nothing right now. I need to get out my "Crazy Love" book that I started AGAIN several weeks ago and haven't finished.

I am hoping...that hubby doesn't have a late week this week. I really don't like duty weeks at all because they usually mean that he works way past his normal time 2 or 3 times during the week and most always has to work atleast one day during the weekend.

On my mind...some troubles a good friend is having at of those things I really want to help with but can't really do anything about.

From the kitchen...not sure yet. Vegetables and some kind of meat. LOL But not sure what yet.

Around the house...a mess. I have 5 loads of laundry that needs putting away. Yes, I said 5. The sheets needs to be put back on the bed and there are things strung all over the place that need putting away. I'll get to it. I always do. At some point.

Find other daybookers here.


November 14, 2009


The past few days have been crazy busy for me. I have been trying my hardest to get caught up on laundry. I seriously have NO clue where it all comes from. I feel like I have been doing laundry ALL day and I still have 3 loads sitting in the floor in the hallway upstairs, just waiting to be washed. I just haven't gotten around to it. The husband had a volleyball game at work on Wednesday afternoon, so the big boy and I went out to watch him play. They actually have a sand volleyball court, with REAL beach sand and I made the mistake of allowing the little guy to get down and play in it. My car looks like I took the beach home with us! But he had a good time, so I guess that's all that matters. Thursday we went and had breakfast with the Coast Guard guys Josh works with followed by ANOTHER volleyball game that afternoon.

Husband and I are coaching Upward Basketball and Cheerleading this year, so for the past two nights we have been at church doing evaluations and orientation for 2-3 hours, and then again this morning for 3 hours. I'm exhausted! I came home this morning and cleaned the bathrooms, cleaned the kitchen, did MORE laundry, ran a few errands and cooked for our Friends and Family day at church tomorrow. I made 2 casseroles and a chocolate cake. And my kitchen is clean! Did I mention that I was tired yet? But, despite how exhausted and drained I feel, I am in a fantastic mood and feel completely and totally BLESSED and GRATEFUL for my life. And tonight, for all of my bloggy friends, I decided to tell you why:

**~I am so unbelievably GRATEFUL for baby Stellen's successful surgery and recovery. This sweet family has touched my heart in ways I never thought that someone I had never actually met could. But they have. And I am so humbled by God's grace and hand in this sweet little boys life.

**~I am so humbled by God's never-ending presence in my life. There have been so many days in the past 2 weeks when I felt like I was at a point where I just didn't know what to do or how to handle the things I was feeling. But each and every time, God has come through for me and my family and shown his greatness.

**~I am amazed by how God can and does work things out for us. In times of this economic slump things have frustrating and tight for us at times. At the end of the day sometimes it just doesn't leave me with a "warm fuzzy feeling." But, every time I get this uneasy feeling about our finances, God provides. He ALWAYS provides. ALWAYS. It never fails for him to just work things out for us. They just happen. It absolutely amazes me.

**~I am so thankful for my husband. He is such an amazing man. I could not have ever imagined someone more perfect for me. I don't know what I would do without him. He completes me in ways that I didn't even realize that I wasn't complete. He is one of the only people in this world that makes me TRULY happy and I don't know what I would do without him in my life.

**~I am so blessed to have such a beautiful [well, maybe I should say handsome?], smart, independent, rambunctious, curious, snuggly little boy. I never really knew how much I could love someone until I had my son. It takes my breath away day after day after day. He is such a sweet child. His goofy, toothy grin and constand giggles melt my heart time and time again. I don't know what I ever did to deserve such a precious gift from God, but I am so beyond thankful that he did.

I haven't been so happy in a very long time. And right now, I just don't know what to do with all of that happiness. I feel like I can do anything [with the Good Lord's help, of course] and want to share how happy and blessed I am with everyone. I'm so excited that this bliss is right here at Christmas time, which just so happens to be my favorite season. Ever. We are getting our Christmas tree on the 1st of December and decorating the house. I can't wait. Don't worry, you'll get photos :) The only thing that would make me happier than I already am would be if the temperature in Florida took about a 25 or 30 degree drop for the next 2 or 3 months. I would love a cold Christmas this year.

God is so good! I encourage you all to look around you today and take note of all the things that he has blessed you with. To him be the honor and glory now and and forever!  :)

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November 10, 2009


Sometimes it amazes me how powerful and wonderous God is.

I mean, it's one of those things that I know but sometimes I don't always acknowledge it. I take a lot for granted [I shouldn't, and I'm working on it, but I do] and I don't always take the time to give God all of the credit that he deserves, the time that he deserves, the praise that he deserves. It's something that bothers me heavily day in and day out, but sometimes no matter how much it bothers me, I keep right on about my business like it doesn't matter.

Last night was a bad night for me. There have been...issues in my life [none involving my husband or my son, but issues none the less] that have really been weighing heavily on my heart. I have struggled for a long time with feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness and unimportance. My husband has helped me to overcome most of that, but still the issues are there. I got really upset about some stuff last night before bed, things that shouldn't have bothered me because I know they weren't accurate or truthful, but they did.

I spent almost an hour crying before I went to bed. I cried for over 30 minutes curled up in the bed while my amazing husband held me in his arms and let me be upset. Then I got up and came downstairs and read through some of your blogs and cried a little bit more. About 10:00 I turned the TV off and went back upstairs, completely exhausted, but almost positive that I wouldn't be able to sleep. I lay in bed, listening to Josh snore [yes, he snores...just a little] and started praying. That was the only thing that I knew to do.

I prayed for peace. I didn't pray that God would take it away, the pain that is, I just prayed that he would let me sleep. I was so tired. And before I could even finish praying, I was asleep. Sound asleep. One of those crazy deep sleeps where I don't dream or move. I just...sleep.

And I got up this morning, still sleepy, but completely at ease with the things that were bothering me last night. I felt calm. I felt relaxed. I felt...good. I didn't feel any of the guilt, or frustration, or worthlessness that I have been feeling for a while. For once, this morning I got up and felt completely and totally happy with my life and my husband and my family. I had a good day with my sweet little boy, walked around the Barnes & Noble with him before his doctors appointment, took him for his one year checkup, went to pick up Josh, and watched him play volleyball while Noah played in the sand.

It was a good day. And it was a good day because GOD gave me this good day because he knew how much I was in need of it. I needed this "break" from the nagging negativity I have been carrying around with me. And now, today, I'm over it. It's all gone. And I am at Peace.

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November 9, 2009

From one mom to others...

I don't know how many of you out there follow MckMama or the story of her sweet little boy Stellen. Those of you who do, know the situation and the circumstance at hand. Those who don't, as a mother, I encourage you to head over to her site and check it out.

This little boy, and his family, is hurting. MckMama's strength and faith in God is admirable and inspirational. I could not imagine having to watch my child go through what all Stellen has been through in his first short year. Right now [again, please visit her site and join in with us as we lift up this family] I want to take just a minute to send up a prayer for this sweet little boy.

Right now, this sweet little boy is undergoing major Heart Surgery and needs our prayers. He isn't doing the best in the world right now, but no matter what happens I KNOW God is in control of all of it. As a mother and a follower of Christ, the only thing I know to do right now is to PRAY and PRAY FERVENTLY for this little boy and his family. Would you join me?

Dear Gracious Heavenly Father,
I don't always understand the things that you send our way. I don't know Stellen or his family personally, but I know what it's like to be a mommy. I know what it's like to have a sick child and right now, I can not imagine what his mother is feeling. This is a special, very much loved little boy. And right now, I lift him up to you. You know the end from the beginning, and I pray that you would continue to control the situation at hand. I pray that you would be with the doctors and the nurses that are with Stellen right now. I pray you would give them sound minds & steady hands as they work to save this sweet little boy.

I pray for Stellen, Lord. He has already been through so much in his short life, but I pray God that you would give him strength to hold on a little bit more. I pray God that your hands would be all over him, that you would provide peace and comfort in a time that he can't understand. I pray for healing of his tiny little heart, and strength for his little body. I pray Lord, more than anything else, no matter what it may be, that your will and your will alone would be done.

I pray for MckMama. I can't imagine what she is experiencing. I pray for peace and understand right now. I pray for comfort and ease of her mind in the way that only YOU can provide. I praise you Father for the Faith you have instilled in her and pray, God, that you would continue to allow her to feel your presence within her and around her. Send her your love and your wisdom and your peace during this scary and uncertain time in her life. I pray for the safe and timely arrival of her husband. I pray for her other children, that they would understand and feel your comfort with them right now.

I lift this family up to you, God. Take care of them as only you can. Thank you so much, Father, for your faithfulness in times of uncertainty. I lay this sweet little gem at your feet Father and pray that your hands and your spirit be with him. May your will be done through all of this.
In Christ Jesus Name I pray,

I know it's not much, but it's the best thing I can do for them now. Will join with me and pray? Pray for this little boy who has so much ahead of him. Pray for his family, his mother & father who love him dearly and have seen him hurt for so long. Lift them up. God tells us "for where 2 or 3 have gathered together in my name, there among them I will be..." [Matthew 18:20] Will you gather together with me today, right here, right now to lift up this little boy? Link up! Let's see how many people we can get to pray for Stellen today!

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We made it...

Well, we made it home. In one piece. Safe and sound.

It's always such a bittersweet emotion coming home from, well, home. It's always hard to leave behind the place I grew up. The place that, no matter where we ever move, will hold something special in my heart. I'm a southern girl through and through. No matter where I end up in the future.

We actually timed our trip home perfectly. Nothing defines our hometown like the smell and sight of Peanut's and Peanut Dust being stirred up; or following a bright green John Deere down a main road. The sight of the cotton scattered across the fields. It's really beautiful. No big tall buildings. No interstates. Just land. Trees, dirt roads, beautiful houses...

We had a good time. We got to enjoy home in it's greatest essence. We went out to the fair 3 times, which was a blast. We never did ride anything, but it's just enjoyable to be there. Noah had a blast. He loved the lights and the rides. [And of course, the boiled peanuts we willingly fed him.] Josh and I got to go out to the Eric Church concert and just be us again. I felt like I was able to fully relax and be my old self again while we were there that night. I didn't have any parental responsibilities, we didn't have anything to worry about. For once, in a long time, we were able to just be us. I felt like I did the same night, almost exactly 2 years to the date, that we went to the same fair for our first date. Only this time, it was about 15 degrees warmer.

We got to visit a lot of people that we hadn't seen in a while. People that we hadn't been able to make time for since before Noah was born. And there were people we didn't see...people we didn't visit as much for one reason or another. [Long, long story...maybe to come. Eventually.]

I grew up when I went home this time. Does that make sense? I feel like part of me changed while I was there, part of me died while I was there, and I came back to Florida with my husband and my son a different person. Not that it's a bad thing. It's good. It's really good. I feel energized. I feel goal-oriented. I feel like I know what I want for a change. I feel rested. I think that the "break" from everything at home helped me to clear my head and get some things off my chest and my heart. In a good way.

I feel like I have a better grip on the balance between marriage and parenting. I feel like I know WHAT I need to do-both in the day to day and in the long run. I know a lot of this isn't making sense right now to all of you, but I promise I have intentions of explaining all of it to you soon enough. I feel like God has shown me some things that are more important than other things I was putting first. And most importantly, I feel like God has helped me to let go of some things in my past that I have been holding onto. Things that were hurting me. Things that I can't change, but feel like I am finally starting to get under my control.

It was a good trip. A refreshing trip. But now it's over. And I couldn't be more excited to be back at home. In my house, with my son and with MY husband. My life. MY life.

November 7, 2009

I need a hobby...

I have been struggling with a void lately. I feel like there is a big empty spot in my life and I don't know where it is coming from or what it is going to take to fill it. It feels something like a sense of "worthlessness" that I just can't shake.

I am having a hard time finding purpose in my day to day life. Like, I can't seem to see what, if anything, that I do matters. I know that it does. I just don't feel like it most days. I lay in bed at night and look back at the day and it's the same things over and over again. My days are identical. Every.single. day.

I get up, feed Noah breakfast, clean up the breakfast dishes, play and watch cartoons, I blog or check facebook, feed Noah lunch, play some more, nap time, then Josh comes home, he checks his facebook, plays with Noah, and we eat supper or go to church [depending on what day it is] and then we go to bed. And then I get up and do it all over again.

It's gotten to the point that Josh is starting to notice it. He mentioned earlier that I seemed "bored" with my life. It's not that I'm really bored with him, or with being a wife or a mother, as much as it is that I'm just not satisfied with myself. Something is missing. I feel like since I got married that I am not me anymore. I don't ever do anything for myself. I don't go to school so I'm not pursuing any kind of degree, which leaves me feeling like I'm empty and working for nothing. I'm not working, so I am not bringing in any kind of income to benefit the I still feel like I'm not contributing or doing anything.

I don't know. I don't know what to do to fix it. I AM a child of God, so it's not that he is missing from my life [I know that someone would have brought that up, that's why I mentioned it]. Maybe he is using this to try to draw me closer to him. But I feel like I don't always get anything, or much of anything out of the time I spend with him. I pray...I pray alot. I write in a prayer journal several times a week [which I DO need to do that more often], I am trying my hardest to get involved with the church youth group, but being new it's taking some time to get any of the girls to feel like they know me well enough to open up to me.

It's just been hard. I am still trying to find the balance of motherhood. I haven't gotten it down yet. Trying to figure out how to be the good wife and mother without completely losing myself and the things that I want in the process. I never realized that having children was such a sacrifice. Not that I regret having my son at all, because I don't. But it's starting to become more and more clear of how simple it is to completely get lost in having a child. How simple it is to put everything that you want for yourself on the back burner, until eventually, you forget what it is that you wanted in the first place.

There is always something that seems to take precedent over "me" time. And right now, I'm just not sure how to get around it. Really. Josh and I are still struggling with how to keep our marriage from going into the rut because of how little time there is. I mean, we aren't in dire need of counseling or anything. Our marriage isn't dead. But it's hard to keep it alive. Even though we've only been parents for a year, it is a big change from being alone. A BIG change. That's one of the things people don't warn you about when you decide to have a kid. But, it's worth it. Having a baby did a lot of good for us. Changed a lot of bad habits for the better and made us really realize what we wanted out of life.

Anywho. Just some brain food. Makes me feel better to blog it because I know that someone out there that reads this has to have felt this way at one point or another. And it always makes me feel better to know that I am not alone.

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