I was tagged a couple weeks ago from Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing.
Thanks for thinking of me, Stephanie - I am honored!
I'm so sorry it took me forever to do this! Anyway, here goes.
What Was I Doing 10 Years Ago?
10 years ago, I was officially married over one year, moved across the country and started a business with Hubby.
We had our first baby - Buddy.
Our life was moving right along.
It was a nice time in our life as newlyweds and not much responsibility.
5 Things On My To-Do List Today:
1. Lay on the beach
2. grocery shop
4. play in the ocean
Snacks I Enjoy:
1. chocolate - any time
2. freshly made iced tea - oh, that's a beverage, but I like it!
3. the bing cherries are awesome right now
4. salsa and chips
Things I Would Do If I Were A Billionaire: I would give as much away to help feed these kids as possible.
I would pay off any debt my extended family has so they could live worry free.
Places I Have Lived: Missouri, Texas, North Carolina
I tag the following, if they want to play along...
In His Image
Just Another Day in Paradise
Tollesons 4 Him
Surf's Up - Gotta Run! Like I really surf or even know when the surf would be up, but it sure sounds good when you are at the beach!
Monday, June 30, 2008
I was tagged a couple weeks ago from Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
There is something very comforting to me when we first arrive at the beach and I begin to unpack.
Crazy, right? Stay with me for a minute.
We usually rent a condo or a house each summer for a week at the beach. We check in to the rental agency, get our keys and head to our home for the week. We pull up in the drive, grab a couple things, place the key in the door and open to the place we will make our newest set of memories as a family.
Hubby generally carries everything inside. The kids help some by carrying their pillows and special blankets but mostly just complain that everything is too heavy. "Buck up, we say - this is a team effort here guys."
I immediately head into the kitchen start unloading our food and organizing my new space. the kids run to their room and claim their beds. Well, actually they run into every single room screaming with excitement.
What is it with kids that they love to be in a new place so much?
Well, what is it with any of us? Because to be honest I run into all the rooms and out on the deck just bursting in curiosity of what this new place holds.
So, I unpack our clothes, hang those that need to be hung (which is not many at the beach) and place soaps by the sink to wash our hands. Place our flip flops by the door. Shampoo in the tub, towels and TP in the bathrooms. You know, all the niceties of a home.
It is only when all of this "setting up of house" is finished that I can relax.
As I run around placing everything in it's place and tucking away the suitcases, it is as if I am imagining that the home we are renting for the week is our very own. It reminds me in a way of playing house as a kid.
My brothers and I used to use masking tape on the floor to square off our imaginary rooms. We would set up each room like a kitchen or bedroom and play. Pots and pans and play food in the kitchen.
Because on vacation? All food is play food. Nothing counts for calories and you can eat what ever you want! Or so it goes on our vacations. Chips and dip? Bring it on. Chocolate truffle brownies? Come on down!
Clothes and babies in the bedrooms. Except that now my babies are real.
And right now they are needing to be tucked in.
I was so pleasantly surprised to be reading over at Musings of a Mum of 4 today and found that she gave me this award!
It is my first Blog Bling!!! Isn't that exciting? Well, I'm excited to be sure!
I also think for my first award I could not have received a more special and meaningful one.
It is one that was created to honor a little boy named Noah by his mom at Memoirs of A Mommy. He had a heart transplant when he was one month old and just turned a year! Oh, what a blessing and you have to go check his photo out here. He is really just tooooo cute!!! She created the award to honor the donor and raise awareness of organ donors.
Thank you thank you thank you, Rebecca and I want to pass along the love to:
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I am not really sure why I do this, but I always wait until the last minute to do everything.
Apparently, I am not the only one of you to do this! I feel so much better, Jen to know I am not alone.
So, here I am on the day before we leave for our vacation and I am just now making out my to-do list of the things I need to accomplish before we leave. And it is sooooo big.
Okay actually...I am sitting in my pjs and drinking coffee while reading your blogs and news of Madonna possibly seeking to end her marriage to Guy. Shocker. Oh, and did Angie and Brad have their twins? I can't seem to find anything but that they are also adopting another child in addition to their twins and already large brood. Are they crazy or what???? Big hearts, I guess.
Really, people. These things are important! ;)
And does anyone else out there need their house to be clean before they leave? I just like to come home to a clean house. And since we have my mom and brother house-sitting and taking care of things, I like it to look presentable when they are here. Not that it is ever presentable when they come by when we are actually here!
My mom is also watching our dog and he suddenly has come down with a slight case of fleas from the last week when we had a friend watching him. So, now I have to give the dog a bath.
We also have a party tonight. Still need to head to the grocery store and get all the beach stuff from the tippy top shelf in the garage.
Okay, I'm outta here. Happy Saturday, y'all.
Friday, June 27, 2008
The big ole' bad mammogram that I was scared to go and get.
NO BIG DEAL!
Seriously, y'all, if you are afraid of this test - hear my words - Do. Not. Be.
It is not something I want to do every Wednesday morning, but plucking my eyebrows hurts worse.
TripFlix lets you pick your route and create your own adventures packed with
exciting locations, fun, trivia, interactive activities and even a few dance
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Okay, so I here I am posting last about the first part of the weekend. You know it was a whopper of a weekend when it takes you 4 days to post about it.
So, that's me and my new SIL, daughter, my new gorgeous niece and my other beautiful niece that everyone thinks is my daughter.
At lunch, my new SIL asked me to share the "dirt" on my brother. She wanted to know about his past as a teenager and young man. There is no dirt on my brother. He is truly the nicest and most honorable guy. He was the perfect kid growing up as the middle child. Always the one keeping the peace. Unlike my other brother and I - plenty of dirt and never keeping any peace in that home of ours. So, we just had to talk about his sweetness all day. That and that chocolate cake were just a little too much to handle.
So, here is the new family. Nothing like being a single guy for over 30 years and now having an instant family. Coming up on the teenage years. Oh, I am hoping there is some great love there to get them through those years. Don't you know, I will be praying! God Bless This Family!
Yesterday, was a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Compassion International and the Global Food Crisis.
You know, I complain every week after I go buy groceries. I am definitely spending more than I used to and have even joked that because of this new high grocery bill, I am unable to buy more shoes and flowers for my garden. Hubby gives me a budget each week to spend how I choose but groceries are to come out of it. So, the less I spend on food - the more fun stuff I get to buy. I am finding myself spending less money on fun stuff and more on food. And I would not be being honest if I didn't tell you that it bugs me. Now before you go believing my family is living on bologna and dandelions and I am running around in a cute new pair of wedge sandals, you must know that I love to cook healthy and my family eats just fine.
On a very serious and real note, though - Yesterday, caused me to stop and really think about how the cost of food is rising and how completely overwhelming this must feel to so many people around the world.
A couple months ago, our pastor and a team from church went to the Central African Republic. He shares a story of a family that had only a root for a meal one night. Last night, as I prepared dinner for my family and was cleaning a rather large sweet potato, I was reminded of this story. I just stopped and stared at this root vegetable and thought, what if this was it? What if I had to find a way to feed my family of 4 on this vegetable only and what if it was not just for today, but for a couple days.
It is really beyond my comprehension. I had in my hand more than we needed and others have nothing. Why is it so unbalanced? Why can't governments just feed their people? Why even in a country as rich as the US are families struggling to find a good meal?
Since I will most likely not ever understand or even know this side of heaven the answers to those questions, I just have to do what I can to help.
So, I prayed. I prayed as I cooked my family dinner that another family would be be blessed with food to fill their bellies. I prayed that my kids would always appreciate the meals that are set in front of them. In a day and age where parents are making 2 and 3 meals a night just to please their kids palates, I think this prayer is a big one. But I won't even get started on that soapbox.
You can keep praying today and you can donate to help with this global food crisis right here if you want.
And if that isn't possible for you, then clean out your pantry. Look for food that you bought but has been sitting there for months and take it to your local food pantry.
Okay, enough of me telling you what to do - just do what your heart tells you to do.
Now back to our regularly scheduled nonsense on this blog.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
We finally get there.
"Rowing on the right side will make you turn left, Mom!"
"is a little teamwork, guys."
This girl led us in worship all weekend at She Speaks. She is beyond cute and ultra-talented. I have been listening to her new CD non-stop since I got it on Sunday.
You should pick it up - you won't be disappointed!
And she is on fire for Compassion International which I love. I love to see young people like this serving God in such big ways.
Lindsey Kane Ministries
Monday, June 23, 2008
Jo-Lynne and me!
Writers were getting set up with book publishers. One in my very own evaluation group, Cinderella, met with one.
Tables were filled with studies and books written by past She Speaks attendees.
The speakers were incredible, warm, funny, honest and amazing women. Their words impacted me in so many ways.
My speakers evaluation group (below) was phenomenal. The women in that group were in no way beginners and they truly knew how to make scripture come alive with personal stories. They were very generous in their comments and evaluation of me. Not a negative one in the bunch. They made me feel awesome.
I am excited to see where God takes each of those women. I know they are going to do great things for him!
So, to say that I was feeling a little underqualified would be an understatement.
This is the difference between those career conferences and a conference like She Speaks.
This is a ministry of God. These women are doing God's work. And there is no way I was going to get out of there feeling like that.
After dinner, Renee Swope spoke. She talked about how we often can live in the shadow of doubt. I love to hear Renee speak because she is warm and transparent. She is someone who women can relate to because she shares the real events in her life - the real struggles, the real joy.
We were asked to pray and write on a card what we felt led to concerning our fears, doubts and insecurities. Then if you wanted, to take that card up and lay it at the foot of a cross. Then to pick up a promise (various scriptures and words written on cards for us to take). To live in the shadow of the cross and not our doubts.
Okay, so I covered my card with doubts and insecurities. I walked up to the front and laid it at the cross and thought, if they find this card, they are going to think I am a total basket case. I got my promise and spent some time praying over it.
The scripture was what I needed from God at that moment. Exactly what I needed. I may share it later this week, because this post is getting too long.
What I need to share here now is that I didn't leave She Speaks feeling unworthy. I didn't leave feeling underqualified. I didn't feel like I was missing something.
While I still am not positive where God is taking me, I am so open to WHERE EVER that is as long as he's with me. I know that whatever the reason I went to that conference will be revealed to me some day. I will need the tools I learned. I will meet those women again. I will pray for them. They will pray for me.
I left feeling filled. Filled with the blessing of peace from a God that has his hand on my life.
I guess with a normal career or leadership type conference you leave with the tools you may need to help you advance a career.
With She Speaks, I left with the tools to lead a better life.
A life that says, I am worthy.
I am a creation of a big God.
I am not underqualified because he qualifies me.
Thank you to all of the women at Proverbs 31. Your hard work was visible in every detail. You are each amazing!
Update: Check out more recaps of the weekend from a Mr. Linky over at Robin's blog, Pensieve
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I can't believe I have not posted in almost two days! I have not really even had access to my computer until now and am actually still away from home and on my SIL's computer right now.
I am e.x.h.a.u.s.t.e.d.
The She Speaks Conference was just awesome. I learned more than one thing for sure! There was practical advice to help me with my speaking and writing and more inspiration than I even hoped for.
I am planning to post a little more about that later this week - just not tonight.
Immediately after the conference, Hubby picked me up and I joined him, his parents, brother, SIL and all the kids for a canoeing trip.
A wedding. A conference. A canoeing trip. And lots of driving.
So, hello and goodnight to you my bloggy friends.
I will be sharing all the wonderful events of this weekend throughout the week. So much happiness and fun. So many blessings.
I so appreciate your comments and hope to visit you all this week to catch up on your blogs.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Well, one wedding and too much time in the car later, I am in Concord, NC for the She Speaks Conference. I am so excited to see what God has in store for me at this conference tomorrow.
I hate that I had to miss the Bloggers session and reception tonight. Luckily, I can buy the audio of the session, but of course will have missed out on valuable time getting to know some very lovely women I am sure.
But I would not have missed seeing the happiness on my brother's face today as he and his new bride said their "I Do's". It was such a blessing.
So, the sessions begin at 8:15 am! Holy Smokes -early morning! They run all day and into the night. They are jam packed with more than I imagine my head can hold, but I anticipate the opportunties for growth and inspiration!
I had to shave an entire 3 minutes off of my talk for tomorrow. 3 minutes!!! That is forever in the world of speaking. Pray for me that it goes well!
Okay, I am awfully sleepy from our drive and off to bed!
I am the oldest of 3 children. I have two younger brothers by four and six years.
When I was 14, my parents divorced and my mom became a single parent who worked very hard to support us. Where my dad was in this picture is a longer story than I care to spend time here tonight. Because tonight, I want to share with you the happiness I feel for a sibling who has found a mate - a soul mate, a helpmate - a friend to share his life with.
When my mom had to work, I was the one in charge of taking care of my younger brothers. We spent a great deal of time alone together and managed fine most of the time. Except when I almost started our apartment on fire. That is another story for another day, though.
Anyway, we went through a lot together and I always hoped for the happiness that I have found with my little family for each of my siblings. I cared for them in ways like a mom would. As a matter of fact, my nickname for a long time was "Little Mom."
My brother met a woman about a year ago and fell in love. He knew right away she was the one and proposed around on Christmas morning.
I met her for the first time yesterday. I have spent time in their new home (first for both) and with her two children (sweet and beautiful).
I am so happy for him as he begins his life with this woman who could not be more perfect for him. He is a precious and sweet man and he has found someone who is loves him for exactly who he is. He has been alone for a long time and tomorrow he will begin a new life with a new family. It is pretty cool and I am very happy for him.
Welcome to the family!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Our attic was not intended to be the local labor and delivery room for 5 squirrel babies. Try telling this mama squirrel that as my hubby tried to scare them out. She was not happy with him and he still has nightmares about it! :) We ended up having to call a service to remove them. They wreaked complete havoc in our attic.
For More Wordless Wednesday photos go to 5 Minutes for Mom and Wordless Wednesday.com
Mine? Not so wordless. :)
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Want to see more great tackles? Check them out at 5 Minutes for Mom!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Hubby has been wanting a new TV for months. You know the ones: Flat, LCD - rectangle and does not fit in your really nice mahogany armoire that your other TV is housed in.
I go back to Target to get the matching shelf to house all the components. DVR, DVD player, etc. Of course, you have to have a matching shelf on each side of the TV stand, so I get two shelves.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
The dryer balls you never knew you needed. The winner is ....
Sarah of Twinkle!!! Yay, Sarah!
Random Integer Generator
Here are your
Timestamp: 2008-06-14 13:08:28 UTC
Sarah's laundry advice was:
I pretty much have to do it everyday. My kids are still at
the age where they can easily ruin two outfits in one afternoon. If I don't keep
on top of it, I not only end up with piles of laundry, but also ruined
Thanks for all the great advice ladies. I think I am going to get a laundry divider and just have to try to keep up with it daily. I really need to just embrace the laundry. It certainly is not going anywhere!
Friday, June 13, 2008
A couple weeks ago, I heard a new song called Aware. I immediately loved it. I found the words reminiscent of where I am right now.
The other night I went for a run.
Well, a walk/run. I don't run the whole time because my knees kill and well, it just hurts to run, people. Kudos to all you marathon runners out there.
My younger brother called me out on this the other day when he read another post where I mentioned that I went for a run.
He was all like, "You don't run."
And I was like, "Uh-huh! Kind of. I walk/run - what do you do?"
Silence. Hhmph, that's what I thought, little bro. ;)
Anyway, I digress. But now I guess I must call it what it really is - a walk/run. Or I really like to call it "interval training."
Before I went for my walk/run I read my friend Amy's post about running. She is my neighbor and I was talking to her earlier that day about the Avon walk she has started training for and she just happened to mention that she could not listen to music during the actual walk. So, in preparation for that she was not listening to music while she trained. She really felt she could have some good quiet time with God while she didn't have music blaring in her ears.
That is nice, I thought and we went on our way. I also thought to myself that I would not be giving up my music during my walk/run. Because then I am sure it would be all walk and no run. It is about the only thing that motivates me to run.
So, back to my walk/run. With my headphones on, I am about to head out the door only to practically trip on my little dog who is very insistent on going with me. He is 6 pounds and he only gets around the block when he usually decides to park it under a tree so that I have to carry him the rest of the way. He doesn't normally go on my walk/runs. I couldn't resist, though and took him around the block and back home.
As I was walking with him. (No running at this point). As I was walking, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye - a long blade of grass. I thought it was a snake. It wasn't but when I turned my head just a bit to the other side I actually became aware of a very large black snake. Very large. About 2 steps in front of me. I jumped to the street and we missed it. It slithered into the woods.
I took the dog home and I headed back out. Same route. Now running. Music blaring through my headphones. I notice something out of the corner of my eye again. It was that same dang snake but in a different spot. Dodged him again.
So, I'm walking, running, walking, running - Music blaring... Stay with me here.
During this walk the following things happen which either never happen during my exercise or I just don't notice. My "interval trainings" are usually pretty hum drum.
A large jackrabbit jumps out in front of me. Dodged it.
I ran out in front of a minivan. She stopped for me so I could cross the street. Nice lady.
A frog hopped out in my path. Dodged him.
All of a sudden about 20 minutes into my walk/run, I became very aware - I mean very aware of the sound of the wind blowing through my headphones.
Not the song, but the wind over the song.
I have NEVER noticed this before.
Now maybe, it was just that I was running downhill, but I run downhill a lot. Because running uphill hurts! Or maybe my headphone was out of my ear a bit.
Whatever it was, to me, at that very moment it was like God had been trying to get my attention the entire walk. Just to be with him. Just to have some time alone to commune with him in his beautiful world for a little while. My dog didn't do it, the snake didn't. The rabbit? Nope. Frog? Nope. Even a big white minivan.
It took the wind over my music.
I immediately pulled my headphones out.
Then I was aware of the quiet.
The precious quiet and only the rhythm of my breath. (Note: with music on, I don't typically hear how heavy I am actually breathing!)
Then, I just started running and running and running. No walking. Just running and focusing on the beauty around me. It was an exhilarating feeling. I ran for a long time. More than I usually would. And it didn't hurt! (until the next day- ouch). There were no more interruptions that I needed to dodge.
My prayer during my cool down moments were some of the words to the song I mentioned above:
Just make me aware, God.
Always make me aware.
It's not all about me.
Take my world and turn it around.
That the obvious can finally be found.
Here's the song. Without the headphones and running and all that.
I am most excited about my roses this year. Planted just a few years ago, they have been such a delight to watch bloom! Everyone says roses are hard to grow and I am so hoping they are just happy where they are planted.
I got another hybrid (yellow and pink) rose bush for Mother's Day and I wish I had a shot of it's blooms. Maybe next year!
On to the back yard... Our new patio and a couple new raised beds there! It is my new favorite spot!!!
Here is another shot of a bed that Hubby built in our back yard.
Below is my deck and some potted plants. I love doing container gardening. I find you see the most immediate gratification from putting together a great container full of flowers.
Okay, that is officially the most photos I have ever put in one post. I wish I could post more, but that should do it for this year. I hope this is an annual thing!