4/30/13

Moving and organization

A couple of weeks ago we put our house on the market.

We decided it was time to move to somewhere else in our town so we got it all cleaned up and listed it on the market.

And by "we" I mean I hired someone to come get my house all cleaned up. I realize to some it seems like an oxymoron for a stay at home mom to hire a house cleaner. Just all me an oxymoron. Or whatever you want. House cleaners are god-sent. Like little angels from above with mops and dusting contraptions I didn't even know existed.

We figured we would list our house and then look around for a house while it was on the market. Basically we saw it as a slow process.

Then six days later we got an offer on our house. We did that back and forth thing that buyers and sellers do and then came to an agreement.

And in just a short bit we will be homeless

Honestly at first I wasn't stressed, but the closer our move out date moves upon us the more I start to stress.

This whole selling your house in six days thing is awesome for people who  move slow. I'm not a slow mover by nature but Luke is a very slower mover (anybody remember our 18 year courtship) so this is rocking our world.

Because we are scheduled to move soon I've been packing our house up bit by bit.

Do you know how much JUNK one family can acquire in a short amount of time?

A LOT.

So instead of stressing about finding a house and not being homeless and all that nonsense I've been stressing about the amount of stuff we own in this house. I'll leave the bigger stressful stuff to Luke.

I've been using the stress to organize our home.

Because clearly, if you are going to be moving and packing everything up you want it to be as organized as possible before throwing it in those moving boxes.

I'm talking I've been organizing our books by category. What is wrong with me? This is NOT required for throwing them in a box.

I've never claimed to be a person who makes a lot of sense. I just am me.

It should be an interesting next month as we already had a fairly busy May planned and then we threw in packing, moving and finding a new house or temporary housing until we find something.

Fun times at the Tree house.

I have no way to end this other than stay tuned.....and come help me organize if you want.

4/25/13

Books I've Read Recently

It's been awhile since I've shared books I've been reading. And as a person who always loves recommendations I love to suggest books for other people to read.

So, here is what I've been reading lately....

Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo

I'm sure most have heard of this book. It's about a little boy who is very sick and has a  heavenly experience.

First of all, as a mom this book was so hard to read. This sweet little boy was so sick, and there was nothing they could do about it. That part was just so hard and gut-wrenching for me to read. My verdict is still out on whether I believe all of it to be true. I am by no means saying that I think the author made it up, I just wonder how much the boy could remember or stuff like that. Regardless it was a good, easy and quick read. And it got me thinking for sure.

What Women Fear by Angie Smith

I love Angie Smith. I have now had the privilege to hear her speak live twice and I love her even more. I've always been a fan of her blog and read her first book about her pregnancy with her daughter Audrey. This book, What Women Fear, was perfect for me. I have ALWAYS struggled with fear. I'm at the point in my life where I can make jokes about my fears and taking pills and therapy and all that, but it is all very real and something I have to give to the Lord continuously. I took away some awesome points from this book and just overall enjoyed the teaching of Angie. 

Most Talkative by Andy Cohen


Oh how I love Andy Cohen. I am a fan of the Real Housewives of ANYWHERE franchise and Andy Cohen is the "mastermind" if you will behind it all. I expected his book to be hilarious and it did NOT disappoint. Andy is a very funny man and writes just like he talks. I wanted to read this book because I was interested in his background and how he got to where he is. I knew he had a background in journalism at CBS and had a strong presence during the OKC bombing and I wanted to hear his take on everything. It was very interesting to me. Keep in mind this book is full of inappropriate language and some inappropriate topics, but it was a funny read and I liked learning about Andy and his background.

Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shanklee

I think I've said once (or a million times) that I love the Big Mama blog and Melanie is one of my most favorite bloggers ever. I would venture to say that she IS my most favorite blogger ever and I want to be her BFF but that would make me sound a bit creepy and fan girl'ish so I won't say that, instead I will say go read this book. Now. You will thank me later. 


The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson

This book is about prayer, and I can honestly say it has changed my life. It has changed the way I pray, the way I view prayer, the way I think about prayer. I have pretty much recommended this book to anybody and everybody I have come into contact with since starting it. I could probably write a whole book based off of what I've read in this book and how it has effected my life so far. 


The Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers 

This series is amazing. Francine Rivers is a christian fiction author, and is the author of a very popular book Redeeming Love. My grandma gave me the Mark of the Lion series several years ago and has asked me many times if I had chance to read it yet. Finally this year I picked it up and finished the series in about short amount of time. VERY short amount of time. And as soon as I was done I wanted to pick it up and read it again. I wasn't yet ready to let the character go. If you are looking for a good fiction read go find this series and start it. A little disclaimer: the first part of the first book is sloow and a little bit hard to follow BUT it sets you up for the most wonderful story of all time. 


Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Eh. Typical Nicholas Sparks book. Not a book I would read again OR recommend. Plus the ending was just PLAIN WEIRD. 

Coming Home by Karen Kingsbury

Karen Kingsbury is another Christian fiction author whom I love. I read her series the Redemption series several years ago and this is the final book in that series. I had been looking forward to this book for awhile and was excited to sit down and finally read it. I was not expecting to BAWL my way through the book. If you haven't read the Redemption series do yourself a favor and read it. And then if you feel like crying so much that your entire face is puffy and you aren't sure you want to continue on with life then read this final book.

So there are some books I've read recently. I'm reading a couple more right now and I will blog about them when I'm done. Or 8 months later, that seems to be how I do things around here.

Anybody have any good books to recommend? Clearly I read books of all genres so I'm game for anything! 


4/24/13

Working out with Spiderman

Today is "does it really make a difference" day.

First of all we have time out. Eli has become all too familiar with time-out lately. Whether it is him acting a-fool at the dinner table, or refusing to let me change his diaper or get him dressed or throwing fits that I'm pretty sure our neighbors an acre over can here, he will find himself in time-out because of these actions.

Well recently Eli started putting himself in time-out. For instance this morning he threw a doozy of a fit. I'm talking screaming, fake crying, and rolling around on the floor. Then just as quickly as it started he stood up, walk to time out and sat there.

It's very hard to not laugh at your child when he DISCIPLINES HIMSELF. He has all the standard first born characteristics already.



I let him sit there for two minutes and then let him get up.

Then I wondered how affective is time-out if it's a place that he WANTS to go sit?

Or maybe he realized that is actions were wrong and deserved a punishment?

Either way he's basically a toddler-genius. This we already know.

The second question is how affective is working out when you have a toddler running around you "shooting webs" from his hand at you?

Eli was playing in our room this morning and seemed to be doing a mighty fine job of entertaining himself, so I decided to use this opportunity to do a little Ripped in 30 by Jillian Michaels. If I skip her super slow warm up and cool down parts (I do them on my own and not as slow) then it is actually a pretty quick, and good workout.

Well shortly into my workout Eli decided to join me - he does this sometimes and it ends up being really fun. He will do the exercises with me and then do his own thing and then come back and workout with me.

Consider it our Jillian Michaels bonding time.

However this morning he decided he was spiderman and was trying to 'beat me up" while I was doing my ripped thang.

I used photo booth on my computer to record a bit of what was going on because I knew Luke would find it hilarious

.



While I was trying to get Ripped in 30 and Eli was attacking me I wondered just how affective this workout was when I was halfway doing the exercises while dodging a 28 pound ball of energy.

Did halfway doing the workout really even matter? Maybe it mattered more?

And I look completely ridiculous doing my workout, usually I do them in the privacy of my house while NOT filming it for the 10 people who read my blog to see, just focus on the small child running around the bottom of the screen.

This is just another one of those times when I wonder and try to remember what life was like before I had a child who doubled as spiderman. Not nearly as entertaining that's for sure.


4/23/13

Friendship



This week's Build Em Up post is about friendship.

Obviously having friends is an important part of life. I mean who goes through life not wanting friends or not needing friends?

I have been blessed by friendships in my life and stressed by friendships in my life. I think I've reached a point in my life where I've realized that some people are in our lives for just seasons and that's ok.

I've also realized that not every friendship is identical. I think for awhile I tried to put all my friendships in the same box. If I have this, this and this in common with person A then I MUST have those same things in common with person B.

It made no sense and put unrealistic expectations on friendships. So as with anything in life I'm learning along the way, learning what being a good friend looks like. Learning HOW to be a good friend. And learning that its ok to let some friendships go, and its ok to fight for some friendships.

I have so many friends in my life that bless me. Some are friends that I've known for YEARS. You know those kind of friends that you can hang out with or talk on the phone with after not talking for months and feel like not a second has passed since you last saw them.

I have my college friends who will probably always be a constant in my life. We may not see each other but once a year, and we may not talk as often as we could but these are people that were with me during some very important years in my life. They were my family away from my family. They were there when I met my future husband and all the ups and downs of that. We may all be different people now and be in different places of our lives, but I am grateful and thankful for these girls.

Then we have "recent' friends, meaning friends who have come into my life the past couple of years. Whether it was through blogging, through Scentsy, or just through living life I have been able to develop some pretty fabulous friendships.

To me, friendship is about doing life with people. Friends are people I know I can call on when I need prayer or encouragement, and I hope and pray that they know they can do that with me.

Not every friendships is equal, not every friendship is made up of the same components and I now realize that not every friendship will last forever. I am working on having grace with other people and with myself. I think this is the key to a good friendship...grace.

I don't really have any advice on how to get, make, or keep friends. I think these are just lessons you learn as you go through life. I do think I'm that overzealous friend that tends to come on a little strong. When I go into a friendship I automatically assume that the person is my new BFF and I will start texting them and sharing inside jokes with them almost immediately. This is probably scary to some and I've learned to back off a bit. And then others embrace it....

I guess you can tell if a friend is good if they are as crazy (or crazier) than you are!






I would absolutely love to go on a girl's trip one day, it wouldn't have to be anything big - just a bunch of my friends together in a cabin laughing and having fun and eating lots of queso.

Hmmm maybe I just planned my 30th birthday?

If I've learned anything about friendship it is that there is no true definition of friendship. We are all unique individuals and together we make up unique friendships, no two friendships being the same.

I am thankful for the people that inspire me, challenge me, and listen to me. My friends.


4/22/13

New Frames

Social Media has changed the way I shop.

No longer do I need to take friends with me to get their opinion on how a shirt or pants look on me. With the click of a picture and the send of at text, tweet or instagram I can instantly get several opinions.

And for some reason, complete strangers who you've never met tend to be more honest than those "life long" friends in your life.

I mean those stranger-sisters tell it like it is.

This all works out very nicely for me because I enjoy shopping alone, so I go alone, tweet some questions, get some opinions, and buy some clothes. Its a very nice cycle.

Well today I had an eye appointment, which seems like a very normal, routine event in life.

Except I have this amazing ability to take normal, routine events in life and make them anything but normal and routine.

My eye appointment was going as scheduled, very normal and routine. I was chatting it up with the doctor having a good time - which side-note have I mentioned that I rank all my doctors on their ability to become my BFF?

I develop this weird attachment to my doctors, and if they don't pass the BFF test then it's time to move on. Usually male doctors only pass the BFF test. I realize this now sounds weird and like I'm one of those girls that "only has guy friends" but I can assure you I am not. I was scared of boys until basically age 19 when I met Luke.

He was the only boy who didn't scare me so I decided to marry him. It has worked out nicely.

This post is going downhill fast, most continue on.

So I was checking out at the doctor's office when the lady asked me if I needed some new frames. Which at first caught me off guard. I mean I'm used to the Target workers asking me if  need a Target Red Card when I'm FLASHING IT IN THEIR FACE but I didn't realize it was protocol for the eye clerk person to ask if I needed something extra when I was already paying $$$ for this one visit.

Or it could have been because I was trying on various frames exclaiming how cute they were that made her think I was in the market for some new frames.

And really, up until walking in that office I wasn't in the market for new frames, but when there are hundreds of beautiful glasses staring me in the face like sad little puppies basically begging me to take them home, suddenly I'M IN THE MARKET.

This is where my story gets hairy. I was out in the front of the store and I felt rushed to pick frames so I tried on a couple of pairs of glasses and then ultimately decided that this was the pair I "needed".

No mass text, no Instagram picture of opinions, just me, a tiny mirror and the eye clerk lady (clearly I don't know her professional name).

And since I left that place I have wondered if  made a mistake. I very expensive mistake. I mean I had these glasses on for about 5 seconds when I made the decision to get them. And lets not forget that I didn't even plan on getting glasses. It was a wham, bam, what just happened ma'am moment.

I was feeling rushed and stressed and now I may regret the decision that came out of that rushed and stressed moment.

Obviously big issues over here this week.

I sort of went the hipster route with my new frames. I am a 29 year old mother who recently shelled out a large sum of money to cover up her gray hair. There is nothing about me that leans towards hipster.

So as is customary in the social media world, when my glasses come in I'm going to tweet a picture and get opinions.

And in this case go ahead and lie and tell me they look good cause Luke already paid for them.

Please and thank you.



4/21/13

Blonde Hair and Cousin Time

Friday morning I went and did something that I haven't done in over a year.

Drum roll......I got my hair colored. ( I can hear the hallelujah chorus now). I never intended to go this long without getting my hair colored but we were working on not spending much money and my hair coloring got put on the back-burner.

I don't even really know what that saying means, but my hair coloring was on the last back-burner there ever was.

It wasn't until my baby sister was so kind to audibly gasp when she "realized" that I was 29 and my other sister pointed out that I had numerous gray hairs that I decided it was time for hair coloring to be released from the back-burner and be brought to the FRONT- BURNER.

And so I got blonde put back in my hair. Woo hoo!


And now that concludes the vain part of my post....let's carry on.

My nephew spent the weekend with us and Eli LOOOVED having his favorite playmate here with him. 

We did lots of fun things like a picnic in the park. Which sounded all fine and dandy and "we are the funnest parents EVER" until we got there and realized it is impossible for children to sit and eat when things like SLIDES and SWINGS and {nasty dirty} DUCKS are in sight. 



So Luke and I ate while the kiddos played.

Side note - why do kids not have to eat? It's like they can go for days living off of a morsel of bread crust and I feel like I'm starving if I haven't eaten in the past hour. AND Why do I end up eating most of Eli's meals? 

I still can't figure out why I've gained weight recently.

After Luke and I finished eating four meals we ventured out to chase and/or look at the ducks. Well we didn't chase ducks but we chased the children who were chasing ducks. 

I'm pretty sure it is frowned upon to actually chase the ducks. And I can only imagine how entertaining it is to watch a mom chase her toddler who is chasing ducks while yelling "ducka ducka ducka ducka ducka"

By the way, that's what Eli thinks ducks say. We have told him countless times that ducks say "quack" but he prefers that they day ducka. So when you say what does a duck say? He will say DUCKA DUCKA DUCKA.

This also applies when he chases the ducks. I'm sure the scared ducks are wondering why this kid is screaming ducka ducka ducka at them.



Chasing the ducks uphill.

I wanted to send a picture of me with the boys to my sister and mom, and this was the best I could get.

I like to pretend pictures like this are all natural and show us just having fun amongst the grass and tulips but really I had to corral the boys for like 8 minutes prior to this and then Eli was bucking like a bronco the entire time trying to get out of my lap.



Now this is a natural picture.....



Saturday we had a full day of pizza with friends, lots of time at the park, a trip to Sonic and a tired mama trying to get two boys to nap, even going to extreme measures of using the iPad as "rest" time only to fail. 

On a separate but related note I'm currently searching for the best cream to get rid of bags under my eyes. All suggestions welcome. 

 It was a great weekend!

4/16/13

The Answer


In April 1995 I was in 5th grade in Tulsa, OK. A city a little over 100 miles away from our state capital Oklahoma City.

On April 19th of that year I clearly remember watching teachers huddle together discussing something. I didn't know what they were discussing but I can remember the looks on their faces and the hushed conversations.

I have always been investigative if you will. My mom would probably just call this nosey as I always listened to her conversations with friends trying to figure out what they were talking about.

I still do this with my husband, and he finds it absurd when I can tell him exactly what the people next to us at a restaurant have going on in their life.

So, being who I am (nosey) it was only natural that I observe the teachers that day and their discussions. I had no idea what was going on, but it wasn't good.

Then throughout the day there was talk of a bombing in our state. Not too much was said and I now know the teachers themsleves were probably still processing it. They did not know answers, and they would not be able to provide answers, so nothing was said.

By the end of the day the news that a building in OKC had been bombed was everywhere. It was all over the TV, it was in every discussion, it was just a part of life now.

I remember watching the footage on TV,watching a man, clothes bloody and mangled climbing down a ladder to safety, pictures of children flashed across the screen as there was a daycare center in the building and those tiny, fresh, innocent lives were taken.

Then, as an 11 year old it didn't seem fair. Now as a mother it seems unfathomable.

Many years have passed since that day in April and instead of it feeling like that day was long ago, I now feel as if that day is more real than ever.

As a child it seemed awful, it seemed horrible, it seemed scary. But now, as a mother, as a wife, as a person who has a desire to grow old and raise a family in this world it seems unfathomable. It seems scary. It seems hopeless.

I live close enough now that I often drive past the site of where the OKC bombing took place. Which has now become a memorial to that moment in time. Appropriately marked with empty chairs for each person who passed. Each person who was taken from their life, their routine, from all they had worked towards, or all they had ahead of them.

And each time I drive by I cry. Tears for lives that were lost. Tears for those that remained here but were forever changed. Tears of fear and tears for the future.

Yes years have gone by since that attack, but as I've gotten older the magnitude of it all sets in a little more. What was once just snapshots of children on a TV I now see each one of them as someone's child.

And tragedy seems to strike again and again. Now we don't even have to turn on the news to be bombarded with news and pictures of tragedy. We are sent alerts to our phone, we are involved in constant daily conversations about it through social media, we can't escape it.

Tragedy has always surrounded us. From the beginning of time. Whether it was when you were a 5th grader at school trying to figure out what was happening or a mother who wants nothing more than to put her child under wing and never let go, it is here, both near and far.

I think fear is the natural instant emotion. What is going on? How do we handle this? How can we go on in this world?

And as quickly as the questions come, so do my answers. Hope, faith, trust. This world is not my home, it is not mine to figure out. I cannot answer all the questions so why bother trying? Instead I turn and look to The Answer.

This world is hopeless but I have Hope. This world is scary, but I trust a God that knows the future. And while to some that may seem crazy, I have a relationship with my Lord that goes beyond crazy. A relationship based on faith and hope and trust.

As the anniversary of the OKC bombing approaches I remember. I remember hearing the stories, seeing the faces, driving past the memorial and crying tears. But I also remember who I look to. Who I put my trust in, and who holds the answers.

So when fear comes, because it does, I will choose to look to Him, The Answer.

4/15/13

The Monday Man Cold

Have you heard of the man cold?

It's when a man gets sick and thinks he is dying because he has a simple cold.

I realize this could be a sexist term but have you ever been around a man with a cold? The man cold is real.

But unfortunately I think I have a man cold. It started about two weeks ago with a runny nose. And then it led to a cough and a sore throat. My voice went away for about a day but then came back in sort of a rough, manly type sound.

Which was just in time for me to speak at a Scentsy event last weekend. I don't think I mentioned on here that I spoke at an event but I did. It was fun. I made sure to tell the audience that I had been sick for a bit.

Which is typical of the man cold - anybody and everybody must know that you had been sick.

I kept waiting for the cold to go away but instead of going away it just got worse. And worse.

Until Sunday morning-ish when I was pretty sure I was going to die from a cold. Thus the definition of a man cold.

Sunday night when I was sure I couldn't carry on with life as normal I consulted Dr. Twitter which I have found to be 92% more accurate than WebMD. Dr. Twitter unanimously agreed that I have a sinus infection.

I've had sinus infections before and never felt like my head might explode at any moment but I am not one to doubt perfect strangers diagnosing me through the internet.

So first thing Monday morning I made a Dr appt. I am the prime example of "if everybody told you to jump off a bridge would you do it?" Yes. Clearly I would.

I have so much pressure in my head I really want to try one of those Netti pot things, but I remember hearing stories about people who used them and then some amoeba thing ate their brain.

I can only assume that would be much worse than a man cold.

I had big plans today to do my Jillian Michaels workout and do a little run on my treadmill. But I'm pretty sure it is impossible to do any sort of workout when you feel like your head might explode and your teeth hurt from the pressure.

Everybody knows it is impossible to workout with a sore mouth.

It is also impossible to meal plan and grocery shop with a cold that is causing a sore mouth.

At least that's what I'm telling myself as I sit here trying to meal plan.

Happy Monday! This mama needs some antibiotics!

4/13/13

Simple


We encounter God in the ordinariness of life, not in search for spiritual highs and extraordinary mystical experiences but in our simple presence in life 
~ Brennan Manning

I read those words in a book one day during my junior year of college.

A time when I was feeling lost and confused. During a time when I was doubting everything and pretty much everyone.

I was caught up in a game of Christianity. A game where I felt like my walk with Christ had to look like the people around me. A game where it seemed like everyone had a list of how to live this perfect Christ-follower life and I was desperately trying to get my list right, putting check marks next to each "accomplishment" as I felt l was one step closer to being that perfect Christian.

I got lost in all that junk and felt so defeated. And so worried. Worried that I wasn't feeling God like I was supposed to. Worried that I couldn't hear Him like it seemed others could. Worried that I was a lesser Christian because my list of experiences didn't add up to theirs.

Comparison. It is a mighty and well used tool of the enemy.

And then one day, while on vacation at the beach with my best friend and her family I read this sentence and my life was forever changed.

I can remember where I was sitting, when I read this sentence. I was leaning back in a chair by the pool (because who wants to actually go to the beach and get all sandy, gross) and I had picked up my friend's book Abba's Child.

I began reading just out of curiosity of what she was reading and I couldn't stop. Every word, every sentence pulled me in. Spoke to me. And then I read that sentence and it changed everything. It changed my attitude. It changed my game of comparison and trying to live up to what somebody else's idea of a "perfect Christ-follower" looked like. It broke me.

This past Friday I learned that the author of that book and many other amazing books passed away. And I was met with such a strange feeling.

I have never met this man, I have no relationship with him or know him personally but because he listened to the stirring on his heart to write a book my life was forever changed.

I have now experienced a freedom in Christ that I never knew before reading that sentence.

And as I let a few tears fall in the mourning of the passing of a brother in Christ  I stopped and thanked The Lord for his beautiful work. For giving certain people the art of writing and for putting words on their heart that stretch further than those hands ever could imagine as they pen out sentences and paragraphs.

For using words and art and music and whatever else to reach people when they least expect it. For being so big, yet so small. For using someone across the United States to reach me on vacation when I least expected it.

For showing me that a relationship with Him is not a game. It is not a list of check marks. It does not look like another person's. It is an individual, ordinary, simple, yet profound relationship. It is not something that just happens when I'm standing at church worshiping, or doing something to try and make myself feel closer to God. It comes through everyday, ordinary, living of life. Living for Him.

It took me reading one sentence to realize all that. To finally see that truth that I know God had been trying to get to me. And he used one man as a vessel to speak so clearly to me.

It's funny how I was trying so hard to find God through experiences, and approval of other people and making it some complex thing, and yet the Lord used a simple book on a simple afternoon to just completely change me.

I am so thankful.

And, if you are that person, like I was that is searching everywhere for God, trying to find Him through experiences and highs and anything else I urge you to just stop.

Stop and take a deep breathe and breath him in. He is there. He is listening. He simply Is.


4/11/13

Remembering Me

I'm a little late to the party (I mean really what's new) but I am linking up with some of my blogging friends for the "Build em Up" series

This week the topic is "Remembering You" which basically means making time for yourself amidst all the other craziness that is going on in your life.

I was thinking about this, and I really feel like I don't struggle with this too much. Which could be for several reasons. It could be because I have never craved alone time and in fact dread being alone. It could be because I only have one child right now. It could be because I don't spend every second of my day tending to Eli's every need, I do my own stuff while he's awake, or it could be because I see everyday with Eli as a fleeting moment that will soon be gone and if I spend all my time worrying I will look back and wish I had enjoyed it more.

Or basically because I'm just one of those crazy moms.

But just because this particular time is just a season and I won't always have a baby-boy-toddler running around, doesn't mean I don't need to take time for myself. I do need to, especially when I have obligations and duties and that sort of thing.

First off, my biggest ME thing is finding time to spend in the Word. I'm currently involved in three bible studies (clearly I'm some sort of  superior Christian) (or I'm just an over-committer) so I always want to find time to study my chapters before our meetings Two out of three of my studies are just studying straight scripture and it is rocking my world. God has been revealing so much to me through Matthew and John in the Bible. I've written a couple of posts about this but have yet to click publish.

It's not always easy to find time to do this, but like I said sometimes I do things with Eli right there with me. There have been times where he sits next to me at the table and colors while I study my bible. He gets a little art time, I get a little Bible time. Win. Win.



I absolutely LOVE that I have Scentsy in my life. This weekend we had a training and after I left the training I was nearly in tears. It's also that time of the month when I'm very emotional so that could have had something to do with it, but I was just so thankful for this opportunity in my life.

I'm able to be a stay at home mom, yet continue to still earn money for our family, still pour into people's lives and have people pour into my life. It's not always easy. Sometimes the balancing act of keeping up with my team of consultants, and my customers, and then all my "regular" duties starts to feel like too much, but it doesn't last long and I just adjust what needs to be adjusted. Sometimes that means I need to spend some time getting better organized, or maybe even let something go, but it all adjusts out in the end

I do pretty much all my Scentsy work when Eli is asleep either during his nap or at night. He also still goes to a babysitter one day a week which leaves me time to tackle tasks that aren't as easy to do when mr. draw-all-over-the-couch- is around.

I try and find time to exercise during the day, so if the weather is nice I will put Eli in the jogging stroller and go to a local park or just go around our neighborhood. I also do my Jillian Michaels DVD during the week and I will do it during Eli's nap time or just do it with him awake. He has started doing it with me and it cracks me up when he does crunches with me. He's getting pretty good.

I am a night owl by nature. I always have been. I can stay up till 3am and then wake up at 6am ready to  go. So that helps a lot in doing things I need to do. Like reading a book, or staying up till the wee hours of the night wasting my life watching One Tree Hill.

For me the key to having "me" time is to just adjust accordingly. If I'm looking at my week and I know I have a lot of Scentsy tasks or I'm feeling behind in cleaning or working out, I will know to be intentional with Eli's nap time and use it to be productive. It's just all about "'making do" with what I have before me. The rest will fall in line.

4/10/13

Easy Hair Video

So we all know I'm a fan of some awesome wavy hair.

I like to wear my hair wavy most of the time. Either by letting it dry naturally for a little "beach" wavy look.



Or curling it with my curling iron for a nicer look.


And even though I curl my hair almost everyday, I still feel like I have so much to learn when doing it. I find myself watching countless videos on the internet trying to perfect my look.

I watched this video and was amazed at how awesome and natural her hair looks! Plus she keeps it quick and explains it in a way that makes sense, unlike some hair videos that are sixteen minutes long! (like mine, ahem)

So watch this video and maybe even try the hair style. I really want to try it sometime!

And then after watching the short video submit the form at the end to win $250!

So easy!




Sweeps rules: 
Prizes & Promotions page on Blogher.com: 


4/7/13

Artwork on a Couch

When Luke and I were first married I was so excited to do all the typical "married people" things together.

Like grocery shop. Furniture shop. Watch TV together. Ya know all the fun stuff.

Clearly I had high standards for our marriage.

During our engagement when I was crazy and maybe a little bit mean bride planning her wedding, Luke and I ventured to pick out some new furniture for our apartment.

I was just giddy about FINALLY getting to do married people things. Furniture shopping with my soon to be husband was the icing on my finally-getting-married-after-waiting-eighteen-years-for-my-boyfriend-to-propose cake.

We headed to the furniture store and came to three realizations.

1. We have very different taste when it came to furniture
2. We were poor
3. Neither one of us was good at avoiding and/or getting rid of those sales people who follow you around.

These were three things that could have broke us but we decided to push through and make the best of it.

We continued to walk around the furniture store with our new best friend, a middle aged woman named Cathy, who was bound and determined to help an engaged couple get their life started through moderately priced furniture. (or make a sale, whatever).

She led us to a couch and sofa set that she insisted was perfect for us. I looked at the couch and sofa and imagined Luke and I watching TV together on that furniture in our newlywed bliss. I imagined Luke sitting on the couch eating dinner that his beautiful bride had meticulously put together for him. There were a lot of unrealistic not-yet-married dreams happening in that few moments.

And now, for the past five years I have continuously regretted that moment when I pictured what I thought we would look like instead of actually taking the time to CHECK OUT THE FURNITURE WE WERE ABOUT TO BUY.

I'm not even sure we sat on it? Or touched it? We just bought it.

We were young and dumb.

And I've had to remind myself time and time again that couches do not define me. couches do not define me. couches do not define me.

We were finally going to pull the plug and get a new couch and sofa and then we had Eli. And not only was there less money around but we realized that babies are messy, and we would rather have that mess on old couches than a brand new beautiful (and comfortable) couch.

For the most part I had come to peace with my couches and didn't feel sick every time I looked at them.

And then tonight I walked into the living room to sit on the couch, looked at my couch and gasped.

I gasped so loud and shrieked that Luke came running, thinking something was wrong.

Something was wrong.

My couches were (are) now the home of the artwork of a certain two year old. A man in this house who shall go unnamed left a black ink pen on the couch and a toddler who will go unnamed got to work with that pen.

Just earlier today at church I had a conversation with a friend asking if I really needed to keep every piece of artwork that Eli ever scribble scrabbles.

I mean the picture of Moses from kid's church is cute and all but it was TWO lines of crayon. One purple and one green. I really don't think I need to keep that tucked away so we can pull it out 10 years from now and marvel at how Eli drew a line.

Eli was nearby when I said this, and I'm now convinced he was hurt and decided to put his artwork on a permanent place. LIKE MY COUCH.

I have been told that rubbing alcohol can get out ink. Or at least lessen the blow.

I will be drinking the other kind of alcohol as I try and get rid of the ink.

Just kidding.

a couch does not define me. a couch does not define me. a couch does not define me.



4/2/13

Apples and Cheese!

New month, new Scentsy news! 

I LOVE the new warmer this month and think it's the perfect gift for that special teacher, without being too cheesy with a teacher theme.


Do you like the Scentsy warmers that come with lids? I love them, and I don't have any trouble with the scent coming through. Thoughts? 

The scent is Sunnny and Share (I won't tell you how long it took me to figure out that the name was a play on Sonny and Cher)

I've been warming this a lot and every time I do Luke tells me it is his most favorite scent ever. It is a very clean, strong scent.

SAY CHEESE!

I don't talk about it a lot but I also sell a line of Fondue Warmer from Scentsy Family called Velata. I'm a big fan of these and use them for every party I host. I always end up selling a fondue warmer when I set one out because people love it that much.

My friend Jill used her Velata warmer for a Valentine's party and I thought it was adorable! Plus the chocolate is amazing.



In the past chocolate was the only food item offered with our fondue warmers, NOW you can enjoy cheese also.



Seriously? Best news ever.

If you haven't yet seen the fondue warmers that Velata offers check it out here!

As always, if you have any Scentsy questions, email me and let's chat!

4/1/13

Shredding. Again.

When I started staying home I assumed I would lose some weight.

That statement makes it sound like I think about my weight all the time, which I don't always (usually) but I was going from sitting at a desk all day long snacking on whatever snacks co-workers brought in, to chasing around a toddler, and moving about the house. It just seemed like I would lose weight.

But in fact the exact opposite happened.

Well I don't know if technically I've gained weight because I only judge based on how my pants feel. And lately they've been begging for mercy as I pull them on and attempt to button them.

I have been walking/jogging more since I started staying home, plus I move all day long, so I can only imagine that my pants getting tighter is CLEARLY my washing machine shrinking them.

There are no other explanations.

I highly doubt my coke a cola addiction, free reign of the pantry all day and Easter candy consumption has anything to do with my pants getting tight.

So now the time has come for this mama to get her bootay in gear. And I looked no further than to my friend Jillian to help me.

I've been doing The Shred on and off since 2009, so I pulled out my ole DVD and got to Shredding.

And I actually allowed myself to listen to music instead of listening to Jillian. In the past my first born "always follow every rule" self would have felt like that would have been breaking the rules or something but this year I decided I don't care how many 400 pound people can do jumping jacks when I can listen to various songs that bring me delight.

I'm using the word delight loosely as nothing that involves front anterior raises will bring me delight.

But I did put together a pretty good workout playlist that keeps me going. Such as Baby One More Time. There is nothing that will make you want to get in shape more than picturing Britney Spears and her abs. Or at least the ones she had 16 years old. Pre-shaved head.

Or my own abs when I first heard that song at 15 years old. Never shaved my head.

If I do The Shred while Eli is awake I simply turn on Curious George for Eli in the living room and then I put The Shred on my laptop in the kitchen and Shred while Eli watches TV.



And if my doctor is reading my blog, that Curious George time is included in his two hours of TV a day (ahem).

There was a time when my new mom self would have felt bad about this 20 minutes I took to do something for myself and not dote on Eli, but then I said satan get behind me you are clearly on my pants side, and I got to Shredding.

I have set a goal to do the Shred everyday in April. And to motivate myself I get a sticker on my planner everyday that I complete my session.



Because nothing says "you go girl, get rid of that muffin top" than good ole Thomas the Tank Engine himself.

These were the only stickers I could find in our house. And Eli won't even miss them. I bought them in a fit of desperation last week when waiting in line at the store and Eli was just past the point of a full on meltdown.

My doctor gave me an article that said to not bribe your children. Clearly the author of that article (I'm assuming it was a man) never stood in line at Old Navy for 15 minutes with a wild toddler. Hello bribery you are my best friend.

When I saw those Thomas stickers it was like a $2 piece of GOLD FROM ABOVE.

And the bribery worked twofold because it now serves as my motivator for me to continue working towards a sick pack.

Except not really that's a joke. I'll never have a six pack.

So here I go, 30 days of The Shred. Hopefully my train stickers keep me motivated.

Easter Weekend 2013

We had a wonderful Easter weekend, it flew by but it was still great!

Friday we just stayed home and hung out. I had cooked a brisket in the oven all day which was a first for me. I've normally done it in the crock pot but I think I liked it better coming from the oven.

After dinner we went and got ice cream and then just came home and watched TV. I think Friday nights have become my favorite nights as a family. No need for Luke to go to bed early, no plans on the schedule, just hanging out together. So fun.

Saturday we ran some errands in the morning. It was a beautiful day and warm enough to wear shorts! I wish it would stay that way but it is supposed to get back down in the 40's this week.


We went to Barnes and Noble to get Eli an Easter book, and we happened to go at the same time there was a story time. Eli wanted to listen to the story but didn't want to sit on the bench with the big kids. I think he looks so precious here just peaking over. He is growing up so fast!


There was also a train table in the kids area so Eli was in heaven. We stayed here for about an hour looking at books and letting him play.



Eli had been asking for "pia" all day so that night we got some pizza. He loves it and eats about 2-3 pieces.

The next day was Easter, and aside from the meaning of the day, it was just like any other day for us.

Luke leaves very early in the morning so there was no Easter basket time with Eli, and we don't live near any family so we didn't have any family lunches or picnics to attend. Despite all of that it was still a great day.

I knew it would be near impossible to try and get a family picture that morning. I was working in kids church (where I had 23 four year olds, God Bless my weary soul) and I knew it would be chaotic after church.

We managed to get one picture, which on a scale of 1 to awful it's about a 9 1/2 but it will do.


And because of the craziness of trying to get outside after church we ended up missing the Easter egg hunt. Which wasn't a big deal cause Eli didn't know what he had missed, and he had already done one egg hunt last week with my family.

He actually walked around and picked up all the broken plastic eggs and had fun doing that.


After church we ate our leftover pia (awesome Easter meal) and then went to a park to swing and feed the ducks.

Eli hates all animals except ducks, which is nothing if not completely crazy. I love all animals except ducks. Anything that will fly at me and/or peck me is a no-no in my book but he loves them and loves to feed them bread.

That night after giving Eli his bath and putting on his PJ's we realized we had forgotten to give him his Easter basket. so we did that at the dinner table.



It was a great, low-key weekend.


but the angel said, "don't be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn't' here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body
Mark 16:6