Sunday, January 29, 2012

January Love

I have absolutely LOVED January this year. This is not the norm. Norm often involves me suffering from seasonal depression. Not this year. This year, I have been a lot of stuff done and reorganized and started and cleaned out. It's a great feeling!

And every weekend...we've been lazy. Enjoying family time. Replenishing. Soaking in togetherness. We've been able to get outside every weekend this month, the unseasonable warm weather has been amazing! Today involved a quick trip to Wilson's Creek.
Look at our very unique find on our walk. Any guesses? 
We thought it was an egg of some kind. Good thing Mike was with us, 'cuz he was foolish brave enough to pick it up! The other side had the markings of watermelon rind, this side apparently had some fungus on it. It was hallow, like a dried gourd. 

We came home and the girls insisted on making dinner. Well, okay, twist my arm! This was the kitchen when they were finished (to which my dear husband remarked "it looks the same as when you cook!" - ouch, sometimes the truth hurts!) Oh and by the way, Morgan even made my favorite pancakes for me - chocolate chips and pecans! Yum!! 
We've completed two puzzles this month. One very difficult one took us three weeks. This one we cranked out in just three days!  
As you can see above, we've been converting the area under our stairs to two American Girl 'studio apartments' - they are still 'in progress' - and it's hard to get a good picture, but they both have bunk beds in them. This weekend the girls worked on painting the walls. Sarah's is pink and white diamonds, Morgan's has green splatter painted walls. 

And the other thing is that we've had some absolutely gorgeous winter sunsets this month. My camera fails to capture the brilliance of the colors, but there were four different colored layers in the sunset tonight. Here is a picture off my back deck. 
Lastly, I just got a new devotional called "Jesus Calling" and I am very excited about it. It's been speaking to my soul, and that is good! And here comes February...birthdays, hearts, GS cookies, two weekend getaways...oh it will be good! 

Monday, January 23, 2012


As I've said before, I LOVE quotes. I needed a few to inspire me today. Here's what I found...

  • Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. ~Wayne Dyer
  • You can't discover new oceans unless you have the courage to leave the shore. Anonymous  
  • If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    Henry David Thoreau
  • We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes. John F. Kennedy
  • A Ship in harbor is safe - but that is not what ships are for. - John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic
  • Follow your passion, and success will follow you. - Terri Guillements
  • Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. - Attributed to Howard Thurman
  • I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future. Author Unknown

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pinterest Inspired Weekend

I know I've mentioned it before, but I really love! I find so many really fun ideas. And what's the point of actually finding the ideas (and pinning them) if you never use them?! So, since we were home this weekend...I've been inspired to try several of them!

First we made this cute, easy garland to decorate for Valentine's Day.
Pinned Image

Then we made mailboxes for the girl's door out of....drum roll please...old VHS cases!

So needless to say, we've been sharing notes all weekend! Then we searched and searched for the perfect valentine day cards to make for school parties.

Finally, I'm making two pinterest recipes for our small group bible study tonight.

Hot Cocoa Cake in the Crockpot...
Pinned Image
And  Cheddar Bacon Dip (aka Crack)...
Pinned Image
I made the dip one other time. It was really good!

Seriously, I am in love with pinterest. It makes me smile and inspires creativity! What's not to love?!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Puppy Love

I always wanted a floppy eared dog that loved to snuggle up with me. And guess what, that's just what I got! I LOVE this dog! (Whom the girls call Daisy Crazy Lazy Mazey Baker) It may have been a trying couple puppy years...and now, she is the sweetest dog!  She is still a terrible walker...following her nose everywhere (she is a beagle, so I can't blame her too much) and she loves our visitors so she will jump on you if you come to my door! She also likes to play Houdini and make stuff disappear off the table when we are not looking. So she's far from perfect, but she loves us so well, how can you not love her back? Here are a few recent pictures of the puppy that has taken up residence in my heart forever...
Cracks me up how she loves to burrow under the blankets whenever she can!
This is her favorite spot, curdled up on the blanket, on top of me, on the couch.  
She's breaking in my new hammock with me on a beautiful January day!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Tonight I am thankful for...

  • a husband who goes to a Girl Scout meeting to help sew sock monkeys so I can go out with a friend for hot cocoa and much needed conversation (If that's not love, I don't know what is!) 
  • a stranger becoming a friend
  • truth spoken to my heart (even if it is hard to hear)
  • God's patience and deep love for me. always. no matter what tough questions I'm asking him. 
  • a friend just a phone call away. 
  • a husband who knows what to do when emergency lights come on in the car
  • a snuggly, floppy ear dog at the end of the day (I might have to write a separate blog post for this!) 
  • my blog, printed into a book, sitting on my coffee table. :) 

Monday, January 16, 2012


I LOVE that both Mike and the girls had today OFF! And I LOVE even more that it was 68 and sunny (and very windy!) in the middle of January!!   So, how do we spend a day home?

We stay in our pajamas til noon, while watching episode 2 of Star Wars (only have episode #3 left in the series!). The girls got Mike the blu-ray disks (decided to update our VHS tapes of IV,V,VI) for Christmas, so we have been watching them with them this month. It's funny how much they are 'in' to the story!

The girls played this afternoon outside with their friends - tire swing, trampoline, american girl dolls. Mike and I did a few chores around here, and I started collecting info for taxes (the not so fun part of my day!).

Then we went for a long walk at the nature center, browsed for some home improvement ideas at Home Depot, enjoyed this gorgeous sunset on the way to...yes, you guessed it, Andy's Frozen Custard. Don't judge me, I didn't feel like cooking, so it was our dinner!!

Yes, it was a good day (except the little hiccup in the middle of Mike and I being upset with each other, but I'm thankful we were able to talk it out and put it behind us and enjoy the rest of the day!) I LOVE extra days I get to spend with my three favorite people!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wishy Washy Words

There are some words in my vocabulary that I am trying to change. There's one of them: "try". I find myself saying  this a lot "I will try to do this or that..." When really how much better would it be if I just decide that yes I am going to do this or no I will not be doing that?!

The other word is maybe. Maybe I'll check into that. Maybe I won't.  The only time I like this word is when I'm trying to be a bit mysterious..."'ll just have to wait and see." Otherwise, I just need to decide and do!

Then there is "kinda". I kinda like that. Well do I or don't I? Why am I so wishy washy? So uncommitted as to if I like something or don't. I really need to be more decisive.

The other word I use waaay too often is "just" as in, Just a minute, I was just wondering, I just want to be sure. It's just an odd little word, that often isn't really necessary...and yet I use it all the time.  I am sure you will find it in most of my blog posts if you just take a minute and look. ;)

There has got to be better words for me to use! To be true to myself and not live life so wishy-washy. Just don't ask me to give up my most profound, "ummm" that I use more than all of the other words combined! Goodness!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Random Questions of Late

Random questions I've been asking the past few days...

  • How in the world did my daughter grow up so fast? Does anyone else ever look at their children and think, wow, they grew up overnight! It happens every now and then around here. I don't really like that feeling. 
  • How did I get so lucky to be sharing life with Mike? Seriously, every time I turn around, I feel treasured.  And he is an amazing dad! I wish every one could share life with someone like him. After all these years, I'm still glad he chose me to share life with! 
  • How can I get these gray hairs to STOP growing on the top of my head?! I should be thankful I've never had to color my hair. I really don't want to think about it even now. I just keep thinking, I can NOT have gray hair when I still feel so young! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Commitments

Lots of random thoughts dancing around my head tonight. I thought perhaps taking a moment to write some of them down might help clear my head and let me sleep more soundly when my head hits the pillow tonight. (Wishful thinking, I know!)

We've moved and started over five times. The first four times seemed so much easier than this last time has been. I know it's been 3.5 years since we've been here now, but I'm just now feeling like really investing in the community. I try to analyze why it's been this way, but really I wonder if they 'why' really matters. What matters is the 'now'.  And now, I'm wanting to take action, to be more involved. Not in an over-committed sense, but in the sense that I am in a position in life where I can be involved.  Here are some of the areas I am looking forward to committing to in the coming months.

First, deep relationships. Taking time to actually have face to face interactions with some of the beautiful people God has brought into my life. Less computer time, more real face time! Going out, with friends.

Second, I'm feeling this desire slowly rekindling to get back into social work. I tread back into these waters lightly, as I know how emotionally demanding careers in social work truly are. And yet, within me lies a passion to be available to others, and offer them opportunities to get past some of the pain and hard circumstances that are keeping them stuck. And along with that, I really want to invest in children...because I truly believe that preventing brokenness and empowering children with life skills...these are the things that will make the biggest difference in the community.  I have a deep respect for the mission of Isabel's House and look forward to volunteering there in the (hopefully) very near future. Side Note: I'd be there tomorrow, but the application process to volunteer is more in-depth than many regular jobs - understandably. 

Third, we have really enjoyed our new church, and while we've led a small group in our home and we've helped at 2nd Saturday events, we have yet to jump on board in actually helping at the church campus. So, with the start-up of a third campus, we have decided this is a good time for us to jump back into ministry. God is doing some awesome things through North Point Church, and we want to use our gifts to be a part of it!

Oh, the list of things in my head is much longer than this, but it does feel good to write down some of  these plans/desires for the coming months.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Questions for 2012

Some random questions as I ponder the year ahead....

  • Will Sarah be able to keep track of her new expander (getting next week) for the entire year? Phase 1 of Braces here we come!
  • Will my weekend getaway with Mike get here soon enough? 
  • How will helping with the start of another campus at North Point Church change us? 
  • How much will I cry when Morgan heads off to Middle School? 
  • Which friendships will grow deeper this coming year? 
  • How will God draw me closer to him? 
  • and lastly, How can I be celebrating my 20 year high school reunion this year when I still feel so young?!