Friday, December 20, 2013

Let it snow...Please! let it snow!

Christmas time is here. Happiness and cheer... and a big ol long list of "I want"....

My oldest LOVES every aspect of this season. We have spent the month of December oohing and aahing over lights and decorations, watching Christmas movies and specials, singing carols over and over and over ( it is his goal to memorize every carol ever.. so sick of rudolph, falalalala, and even Hark the Herald Angels).... we have made crafts and attempted Christmas cookies, but most of all we have been building a master Christmas list. 

This is the first year he has really understood the whole gift getting aspect of Christmas. So everywhere we go I hear, " Mommy, let's add this to my list". I then lovingly explain that we don't get everything on our list. Normally, I receive a vague shrug and mumble in response as if this is crazy talk and of course all 3 billion items from his list will be waiting for him Christmas morning. I know come Christmas morning the list will be mostly forgotten and he will be ecstatic with his gifts. But, I am afraid he will notice the absence of one of his essentials.....snow. 

Yes, has repeatedly asked me to put snow on his list. When excitedly looking forward to the big day, he exclaims that we will open all our presents Christmas eve and then we will make snow angels Christmas Day. The first time he said this I asked what we would do if there was no snow. The look he gave me was more 14 than 4 as he slowly replied, " There is always snow at Christmas". I immediately knew I was in trouble. It's too warm, we live in North Carolina, it doesn't always snow at Christmas, we can still have fun without snow.....these are just some of my replies. None seem to work. Books, shows, and Christmas songs have convinced him snow and Christmas are synonymous. Nothing Mommy says can undo this.

 So, join me in praying for a freak winter storm for NC, or kindly turn a blind eye when my family is bundled up in winter coats and scarves happily making "angels" in the browning grass and  piles of dead leaves.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I did a bad bad thing. Something I swore I would never do. Something I  loudly ranted about and protested in opposition. 

I joined Pinterest.

I was finally overcome by my curiosity of why so many women, my friends, were obsessed with this thing. Why would you want to have millions of pictures of things you can't do, can't make, can't own continuously in your face??

I get it now. They make you feel as if you can do them, you can make them. That one day you very well could own that! Turn a table cloth into a tree skirt? Easy Peasy! Make a coffee table out of old crates? I got this! Finger knit 10 different infinity scarves for Christmas presents? I'm all over it! Own a super adorable "summer look" made up of designer clothing? Make room in the closet!

These are all things I have "pinned". All things that I have considered as possibilities in my talentless world. You see, these cutesy tutorials forget to remind me that I can't even cut a straight line..... so how will that tree skirt work again? I don't have wood crates lying around, and by the time I go get some couldn't I have bought a coffee table... craigslist maybe? And those blasted scarves! I'm still not quite sure what finger knitting is ( but they assure me even a child could do it)! 

So ladies, ( and those 5 men out there who have also joined) I am officially one of you. I will pin, attempt, laugh at my horrible interpretations, and glory in my few triumphs. I will begrudgingly enjoy my time hunting through the never ending list of ideas. And I will remind myself why I was so against it in the first place.

Monday, December 2, 2013

YaYa Roly YaYa Poly...

My four month old is a spaz. Before you become offended on his behalf please know that this was typed in love. Plus, it's the truth. Let me explain...

Last week my darling boy conquered the complex skill of rolling over. I naively cheered him on in this endeavor. I watched misty eyed as my sweet baby began the milestone filled path to mobility. Little did I know that his new "trick" would be the cause of great turmoil in our sleeping routine.

Now that he could roll over I no longer wanted to swaddle him. I had visions of him swaddled up tight, face down in his crib unable to scream for help. No problem. My oldest ( the worst sleeper ever) transitioned beautifully from swaddle to freedom.
Well, once again I was reminded that no two babies are alike. That once again, any edge I thought I had from already caring for one infant was erroneous. I'm a newbie when it comes to my youngest!

My poor little guy can't control his flailing arms and seems to roll around his crib all night. I tried explaining to him that just because he can roll doesn't mean he has to roll. Oddly enough, he did not seem to understand. So, we are back to square one when it comes to sleep. Hopefully, my boy will soon learn to control his spastic little arms instead of clawing at his face and batting wildly at the air. And maybe one day his chubby roly poly body will lie still, and then we can all get some sleep.

Until then, I welcome any strategies you other mamas ( and daddies) have found affective with a twitchy baby.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I'm back.

Please forgive my long absence. I have been distracted, tired, dry.

Over the past couple of weeks peeople very close to me have been going through some tough lessons. God has been stretching them and growing them. As a result, I have experienced my own time of frustration, questioning, growing, and acceptance. It has been uncomfortable and scary but totally worth it.

I am amazed at the faithfulness of my God. Two weeks ago I didn't understand what He was doing or why He was sending my loved ones (and me) through these situations. Honestly, I still don't completely understand, but now I completely trust Him. 

I didn't want to write about these uncomfortable growing pains and, I couldn't  detach from them to write about anything else. But, I feel ready now. Ready to write and share again. So, NaBloPoMo was a bust!.....Oh Well! There is always next year!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


They say grief has different stages. I think any major life event will be accompanied by various stages of emotion. It is normal and healthy to walk through different feelings as we process and experience life. But, sometimes we get stuck in a particular stage of emotion. This is unhealthy and damaging to ourselves and the people around us.

I'll admit it. I am stuck. I know I am stuck... And I don't care. This is referred to as wallowing. I am wallowing, alot. And I'm good at it. My head knows that it is time to move on and begin to process things from a new perspective and through different emotions, but my heart feels justified. I feel I deserve this nice long wallow. 

So, I'm taking it. In response, just ignore me over the next few days. I am throwing an epic pity party, and do not wish to be disturbed. If you are looking to talk sense, please go else where. I don't want any. I just want to wallow. 

You see, I'm stuck.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The domestic troll

Load dishwasher. Unload dishwasher.
Wash laundry. Fold laundry. Put laundry in drawers.
Dust. Vacuum. Sweep. Mop.
Clean bathroom. Four year old uses bathroom. Clean bathroom again. 
Pick up toys. Pick up toys again. Tell four year old to pick up toys. Wait. Pick up toys again. 
Make breakfast. Do dishes. Make lunch. Do dishes. Make dinner. Do dishes. 

I am not a domestic goddess. I'm more like a domestic troll. Short, chubby, and slightly bitter as I shuffle about my duties.  I read the Facebook post of some of my more domestically inclined friends. They relish this job. They  vacuum daily, make their own laundry soap, scrub their baseboards weekly, dance to Yo Gabba Gabba with their kids, and still have time to make a three course meal. I read this with awe and jealousy mixed with a hint of a snarl. 

I recently read an article that said a real woman understands the importance of her role as the domestic keeper of her home. She appreciates and fulfills... Blah blah blah... (Insert eye roll here). You see, I understand the importance of my role. I will aggressively attack all the chores listed above. I just won't do them with a saccharin  smile on my face, heels on my feet, and pearls around my neck. 

And yes, this was written in a stunning display of procrastination. I guess I should start those chores now....

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Create. A powerful word that has always intimidated me. I have always wanted to reach towards this idea of creating something beautiful and memorable. I just didn't know if I could. 

And tonight I find myself hesitating. I have started several different posts only to delete them and start anew. They are stories I am not yet ready to write. They are ideas and thoughts I can not share. They are too personal, too close to me and who I am. As I try to write them down, I feel exposed and uncomfortable. Creating something takes courage. It is laying bare a part of yourself for all the world to see. 

Tonight, I learned I am not courageous. I can't freely share without thought of who will see this, how it will affect them, how it will affect me. I stared at the words on the screen and they just felt wrong, almost inappropriate. Create. It is a powerful word. A power that must sometimes be checked. 

Maybe not all things need to be created. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Time well spent

Vacations should be relaxing, and our latest trip to Atlanta definitely was. We chose to spend the majority of our time with family and tried to avoid rushing around from one place to another. Although, we did go on a few fun excursions.

We took Isaac to visit Josh's aunt at the fire station she works at.  She showed him the trucks, an ambulance, all the gear, and a hovercraft used in water rescues. Needless to say, Isaac loved it! His favorite part was opening the compartment doors on the side of the fire truck. He was also pretty fascinated by the hovercraft... I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty sweet.

Our next big outing was to the Georgia Aquarium in down town Atlanta. Josh's grandma watched our youngest so we could really focus on spending time with our big kid. Isaac loved The aquarium! We had a hard time getting a descent pic because he wouldn't hold still. He was busy rushing from one exhibit to the next. Thanks to a little show called Octonauts, my child is a mini expert on sea life. He ran around the aquarium shouting, " Seahorses!" "Jellyfish!" " Pirhanas!" "Beluga Whales!" It was adorable and impressive to see how many of the fish he recognized. We also were able to see a dolphin show which I thought was neat. Isaac thought it was a bit long ( he was ready to move on to the sharks). Overall, it was a fun experience and I'm glad we were able to provide it for our boy.

Vacation officially ends today. Tomorrow we head back to life, responsibilities, and routine. I feel we are ready though. We are rested and refreshed. We hid from reality, invested in each other as a family, and took some time for ourselves. It may not have been fancy, but it was ours.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Truths about Johnny B.

Reasons why my Father is awesome ( a fun little list in honor of my Dad)

1. He has an entire drawer dedicated to chocolate. Not the cheap stuff, but real chocolate

2. He lovingly shares the chocolate from said drawer.

3. He truly believes chocolate cures any illness or heartache.

4. His soothing voice can calm the angriest of babies.

5. His biting sarcasm... It's amazing to behold in full force!

6. He is one of the most generous people I know.

7. He loves to dance and is really good at it. I am hoping one of these days he will teach me to shag          
( a southern beach style dance).

8. He has impeccable taste. The man knows how to dress.

9. Unlike many men, he has never shied away from saying he loves his family or showing affection.

10. He is an extremely hard worker.

11. He loves to iron........Okay this one might just be strange.

12. He willingly played barbies and had tea parties with us when we were children. Now, he willingly plays Legos, ninja, or whatever other craziness his grandsons request.

13. He cooks breakfast every morning, and it is always delicious.

14. His homemade spaghetti sauce is legendary.

15. He is a true biblical example of what a husband and father should be.

Yep, my Dad rocks.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Home again

After seven hours of interstate, intermittent sleeping and crying, face booking, snacking, changing DVDs, candy crush, and hearing " I'm hungry" we are finally home from our vacation.

We spent the majority of our time connecting with and enjoying family. We did take our oldest son to the aquarium which he thoroughly enjoyed. I also had the chance to slip away for some thrift store shopping which I thoroughly enjoyed. And dont worry about the hubs, he was able to enjoy several hours of basketball! 

Despite all my worrying about sleep situations we all slept and survived. My boys weren't too wild, and I didn't display too much crazy. I am embarrassed to admit I was the last one up each morning ( one morning I didn't get up till ten!) I told the hubs they probably think I'm the laziest person ever. He assured me they knew I had been up with the baby through out the night. I chose to believe him, and just avoided eye contact as I stumbled down the stairs each morning.

Now, I'm just glad to be out of the car and safely home. The boys are already in their beds and I am ready for mine. Hopefully later this week I can share some more detail and photos of our trip. But right now I'm going to fall asleep to the sweet sounds of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors.           
                       * Sigh..........*

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mini Me

Recently it has becoming increasingly apparent that my child is very aware of the things I say and do. He is so aware that he begins to say and do them too. Sometimes this can be very sweet and heart warming, other times it is embarrassing and convicting.

Today we took Isaac to the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta. Now if you know me you know I HATE fish. I think they are grossly weird creatures and the oceans would be much better without them. Unfortunately, my husband and son think they are amazing. Hence the trip to the Aquarium. While there I caught myself spelling a lot of my thoughts to my husband. For example, " That angler fish is g-r-o-s-s." I didn't want Isaac to know I thought the whole place horrible. I didn't want to color his experience, or ruin sea life for him. He loves it, and I didn't want that to change because of me.

This evening, as I sat thinking about our day, I realized how hard I had worked at protecting him from such a trivial thing... My opinion of fish. My actions today showed I understand the power of my influence in his life. Am I that aware when it comes to things that matter? Do I protect him from gossip? Name calling? Anger? Sarcasm? Whining? Blaming others?

Do I instead provide him with attitudes to emulate? Do I encourage him to love others? Share? Give freely? Encourage? Forgive? Sacrifice?  Do I point him to Christ in my everyday actions and responses ?

My boys are watching and listening. Their responses to life will reflect my own. It's time I truly consider what they are seeing and hearing so I can be proud of what I hear and see from them.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

So I Missed a Day

I didn't post yesterday. I really did want to meet the goal of NaBloPoMo, but we are on vacation this week and other things took priority.

Instead of posting I enjoyed a delicious meal. I sat at the table with family and shared rich conversation. I proudly watched as my children were exclaimed over and loved. We built on past relationships making them deeper and stronger.

I apologize for not posting yesterday, but know that I was off living life so I could write about it later.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Vacation- all I ever wanted....

Today is a momentous occasion. One that I have been looking forward to but also slightly nervous about. Today, we embarked upon our first vacation as a family  of four. And oh my! How things have changed!

I sit writing this from a pitch black hotel room that is filled with the sounds of my men. A coughing four year old, the snotty snore of a four month old, and the exhausted snuffle of my hubs. B.C. (before children) vacations were an adventure. I loved staying in hotels, exploring new places, and trying new things. Now.. Hotels make me nervous. I'm afraid my child will wake up screaming and disturb anyone and everyone near us. The only adventure I care for now is the dream variety. I'm pretty sure I would choose an uninterrupted nap over any form of exploring. 

B.C. I would spend time pouring over web sites and message boards looking for ideas of things to do at our destination. Now... I spend time worrying about sleeping arrangements and interrupted sleeping habits. Who knew simply changing the scenery outside the pack-n-play could throw off a four month old completely?? 

B.C. I refused to stop unless it was an absolute emergency. There were times we traveled from Florida to N.C. and only stopped once which was for gas. Now... We stopped after having been on the road for five minutes. A certain little boy had to use the bathroom.  The other little boy just hates his car seat and spent a good portion of the trip screaming. The hubs plugged his ears. I resorted to rocking back and forth while twitching.

Thankfully, we are going to visit family who I'm sure will kindly forgive my boys and their off schedule, and will turn a blind eye to my display of crazy. But, after one day of vacation I'm already in need of a vacation.... Or a Valium. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Public Service Saturday: Silly Spelling Slip ups

I am indulging my inner nerd today, and addressing spelling. Yes, spelling. This is a personal pet peeve that often causes me to wince while reading blogs, facebook, or anything really.

As I scroll through facebook I often see certain words misspelled. Some are obvious typos, some are just difficult words, and some are " near words". "Near words" are words that are close in spelling but very different in meaning. Today, I would like to simply bring your attention to these words and how easy it can be to mix them up.

1. Lose vs. Loose- I remember it this way: I only want to lOse it once, but I want it to be extra lOOse.

2. Breathe vs. Breath - you can be SHORT of breath ( get it... it's a shorter word). Or just remember you hear an "e" when you say breathe ( not at the end of the word.. but nonetheless it will help you make the connection)

3. Your vs. You're-  These two words are homophones, and are easily confused. A quick fix is to say the phrase out loud and insert the are. Does it make sense? Then use You're.
Ex.  You are tall. Check!                       You're tall.
       You are dog is cute. No Check.    Your dog is cute.

I'm sure there are way more words that are missused or mixed up. I'm curious to know which ones bother you....

These are just some silly tips my brain uses to keep tricky words straight. Hopefully, it will help you too. So go forth and Status Update properly!

** please note- this is not a claim to spelling or grammatical perfection. I will make mistakes. Feel free to lovingly correct me so we can move on together.**

Friday, November 8, 2013 pillow

My eyes are heavy and outlined in baggy dark circles. The sides of my mouth are slightly crusted in drool. I am tired.

My precious son has been struggling with the concept of sleep lately. This is disappointing. You see, for roughly a month he teased me by sleeping 8 hours straight. I happilyy thought that we had beaten sleepless nights. I rejoiced over the idea of uninterrupted sleep. My joy was premature. 

Last week he cut his first tooth ( at 31/2 months, crazy I know!), and as a result his awesone sleep routine disappeared. He began waking up a couple times every night. The tooth is now officially in, but his sleep habits have yet to correct themselves. 

So please forgive these awkward blog posts. In all honesty, I'm partially asleep as I type this. I warned you at the beginning of NaBloPoMo that the posts may not always be coherent, but I promised to write them anyway.  

Good night friends. I'm going to stop drooling on the keyboard and go crash on my pillow.  Let's pray I get to spend some much needed, uninterrupted time with that pillow. I think it's beginning to feel neglected......

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Tonight, as I sat twitching at the sound of  a shrill voice calling, " Mommy!" and a four month old screaming I thought.....I just want to not be needed. 

The selfishness and foolishness of this thought didn't hit me till later. I was holding the aforementioned  four month old while he slept, and I stared jealously wishing I could be sleeping. Then i realized sleep will one day come, "Mommy" will eventually no longer be screamed, and I will get my wish. I will no longer be needed. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The longest season of all...

Pumpkins, vibrant colors, comfort foods, time with family..... the NBA. Can you find the one that just doesn't quite fit in? The unvited guest that crashed the party? Yes, the professional basketball season has begun. It has broken into my life and will remain an unwanted guest until July. Yep, July.

I really do enjoy basketball, but have always struggled at making a connection with the NBA. Unfortunately, my husband doesn't just connect with the NBA, he has a deep relationship with it. And it's not just with one team. He will watch the game no matter who is playing. He texts friends and family and has long conversations analyzing the game. He mutters to himself and outright yells at the tv. He is passioinate and absorbed.

I sit on the couch staring blankly as my husband watches intently and my four year old yells, " Is that Buh-bron?", his version of Lebron. ( My husband is already trying to teach him all the starters for The Heat). I occassionally nod and smile pretending to care. I secretly countdown the days to the finals and the end of the season.

 I think I could handle this if it was just a couple games a week, but sometimes it's a couple games a night! Even holidays are ambushed by these freakishly tall men. They have taken Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.  Thank goodness for DVR, or I'm not sure we would see my husband on these special days.... or any day.

So, welcome back NBA. Back to my tv, to dominating my dvr, to being the background noise that rocks me to sleep each night, to our lives.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


The night is cold, but my home is warm. The aromas of dinner still hang in the air as I wipe the stove clean. Dishes are piled waiting to be put in the dishwasher. As I stare at the mess, laughter pours in from the other room. My husband is tickling our oldest son while humming a silly tune to entertain our youngest son.

I smile despite the chores surrounding me. 

My heart is full.

 I am blessed.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Accountability Monday

Last Monday I posted about my new found determination to lose weight and get in shape. I worked out all week, ate right, and shunned sugary drinks. I was down two pounds and feeling invincible!

Then Friday came...followed by Saturday and Sunday. My determination became a slight inclination. Eating right was a minor concern, exercise was climbing the stairs, and sweet tea was guzzled. I didn't just fall off the wagon, I crashed it then lit it on fire and danced around it. The worst part is that I really don't feel that guilty. I'm a bit disappointed with myself and my lack of self control. I realize that I didn't even make it a full week and how pitiful that is. I guess I just haven't bottomed out yet. I haven't reached my point of desperation, and I'm not so sure I'm going to reach it before Thanksgiving or Christmas.

My amazing hubs did much better than I did. He had a pretty successful weekend, and I am quite proud of him. Maybe his success will be the catalyst I need. 

So dear friends, I asked last week that you hold me accountable ( and several of you really did try). Despite my weekend failure and current feeling of indifference , I do still want and need your accountability. Continue to show the tough love. Maybe with your help I'll put down the oreos for good. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Little Us Time

My parents kindly offered to watch the boys last night so the hubs and I could go out. We were only gone for an hour and thirty minutes, but it felt like an entire evening.

We went to a little café and ordered whatever we wanted with no considerations of the reaction of a four year old sharing with us. We chose a small table near other people with out fear of receiving glares. We talked, laughed, and flirted. We didn't even care that the service was a bit slow.

It was a needed and refreshing time for us as a couple. We were able to truly talk about issues in our lives.We shared our thoughts with out interruption. It was lovely.

We returned to our children lighter. We were excited to see them and happily listened to one chatter and the other babble. We love our boys, but sometimes it's nice to have an hour and thirty minutes to remind us how much.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Fat Arms

It's a universal fact that we all have embarrassing secrets. Today, I am going to share one of mine. It is something that is an irreversible fact about myself that I have had to simply accept. I.... Have..... Fat arms. If you are a man you just read that and became confused. If you are a woman you read that, gasped, and nodded knowingly. It is not an expression. I literally have fat arms.

This was first pointed out to me when I was teaching 10th grade in Florida. I was diligently assisting one of my darling 10th grade boys with his grammar assignment. I was having a real " Dead Poet's" moment. A teacher connecting with and shaping her pupils to do great things! This student was staring intently. I was making an impact. He tilts his head and points while saying, " Dang Mrs. T you've got big arms.... No, really. They're huge!"

Wounded, I stepped back while self consciously crossing my arms. " It's the shirt" I mumbled defensively, and stumbled to my desk to yank a sweater over my freakish upper arms. The wide eyed shock of this 10th grade delinquent stayed with me for years. It motivated me to tone and shape my arms. I could at least claim they were abnormally large from being in awesome shape ( so this never actually happened but it was attempted). I chose shirts and dresses that flattered and became a huge fan of the cardigan. I was at peace with my fat arms.

Well, this past weekend I needed a dress for a special occasion. I hastily chose a lacy confection from the store the day of the event. I hurried home to get dressed and ready. I slipped the dress on and set upon the task of finding the right shoes to go with it. While on this hunt, I noticed a growing rip in the lace sleeve of the right arm. Stunned, I ran to the mirror to check the severity of this wardrobe malfunction. It was bad. It was an ever widening, gargantuan hole in the upper arm of the sleeve. I haughtily shared my surprise that this store would sell such poor quality clothing that was already ripped when I bought it. " I was in such a hurry I didn't even notice!" I stammered.  "Why, I never!" I sputtered in my best southern belle. I made do as best I could, attempting to hide the rip through out the evening, and tsking this store whenever someone started to point or give a questioning look.

But between me and you, I'm not sure it was the dress or the store. I think it was the fat arm. It might be time to revisit that whole toning mission. Or, embrace the situation and charge a viewing fee....

Friday, November 1, 2013


It's NaBloPoMo! That's insider lingo for National Blog Post Month ( I just learned that this week... I guess I'm finally an insider). In honor of NaBloPoMo I have made a commitment to write a new post everyday.  This is a big commitment people, but I think it's doable.... And I am actually kind of excited for the challenge.  

I'm not promising every post will be profound, insightful, entertaining, or even coherent! But, I do promise to write everyday. I have spent the last week compiling ideas for this month long adventure. Trust me, thinking up thirty different topics that are at least partially interesting is harder than it sounds. 

What you can expect this month:
My experience with Post Partum Depression
Why my family is crazier than yours
My kid said what....??
Forget lunch let's do life
Raising a thankful child
My dream date
Fat arms ( just wait.. It'll make sense)
The little things
My favorite thanksgiving recipes
The curse of the NBA
Anti DIY

As you can see, I'm still coming up with ideas. So, if you have any feel free to share!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Note to Churches

Dear church,
I am attempting to write this letter as a neutral party. I am not writing as a Pastor's wife or as a church member. I am writing as an observer. Let me start by saying this letter is not directed at one church in particular but the American church collectively. So please,  do not assume I am talking about you and become offended. But, if it applies feel free to be convicted unto repentance. I know I already have been just organizing my thoughts for this letter.

We are a church in crisis. Our families are hurting, our churches are hurting, and our Pastors are hurting. We have allowed our desire for things other than The Lord to creep in and steal our focus. We have chased the American Dream more than we follow our Savior. As a result, parents are busy working instead of investing in their children. Families are stealing Sundays from The Lord in an attempt to make up for lost time that went to employers. The church has become an optional social club for many believers. It is there to fit their needs and their schedule. This is not biblical.

The church is a God ordained institution designed for the edification of believers, sharing of the gospel, and caring for the needy and broken. It is not optional. But, we have made it such.

Many Pastors feel they have to beg their members to attend on a regular basis. They have to offer special activities and events to entice believers into worshipping and serving the God they declare to follow. They work tirelessly to pour into people and help them grow. Often, the response they receive is criticism.

Pastors do not need your criticism. They need your encouragement. They know they are not perfect. They are reminded of this daily by others, themselves, and Satan. Doubt, Depression, Bitterness, and Discouragement whisper in their ears taunting them and beckoning  them to give up and give in. Ministry is a daily battle. We as believers should not become another combatant for our Pastors to face.

We need to lift them up in prayer, encourage them with our words and actions. We need to let them know we love them and support them. If we do have a grievance with a Pastor we should go to them! Talk to them... Not about them. It is biblical to go to the person who has offended you and talk it out. Work it out with them. The majority of Pastors care more about you and your spiritual growth than they do about being right or in control.

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. I believe most Pastors would agree that the best way to honor them this month is by committing to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. ( that's not an excuse to be cheap! You still need to love on him and his family with words, kindness, and gifts) They pray that you not simply attend church and hear the Word of God, but they long for you to apply it to your life.

They have been called to a hard, demanding, often discouraging job. Encourage these men... For the harvest is plentiful, but the true laborers are few.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A New Window: weight loss

My window is closing. The precious days of blaming my weight on a new baby are almost over. In previous weeks I received comments like, " wow, you look great for just having had a baby!" I reveled in these comments. They made that brownie, can of coke, or order of cheese fries possible. But those comments have faded. Now I get, " oh look, a baby!" I know what this means. It means it is time to care again. It means I can no longer hold up a newborn as an excuse for my weight. It means I have to try. My window is closing.

I must open a new window, so I began exercising yesterday. It was excruciatingly painful and slightly embarrassing. Jumping jacks were no longer a simple warmup. They were evil and hard. Push ups were near impossible! With Titus I had reached a whole new level of out of shape. I must now claw my way back. Delicious desserts and cheese laden calories must be set aside. Cardio must be reintroduced. Accountability is essential.

So dear friends, if you see this girl walking around with milkshake in hand, snatch it away. If a bag of fast food is being held tightly, pry it loose. If I'm guzzling a can of coke, cut me some slack. I was probably up all night with a teething baby. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Big Kid

Today, my oldest child turns four. All traces of baby are gone. He looks, sounds, and smells like a boy. I am excited about this new phase of development, but I am also nostalgic and weepy. I'm sure this is normal mommy emotion, but that doesn't make the lump in my throat any smaller. 

Isaac was awful at being a baby. He hated sleep and fought it furiously. He was forever hungry and never satisfied. He was mysteriously angry...all the time. Praise to God, he finally settled into his skin, and around 6 months of age we reached an understanding of one another. By 12 months of age he was flat out fun! He was still stubborn, but also extremely loving. He laughed about everything, slept like a champ, and completely owned my heart. 

Toddler and preschool years have been tough at times. My awesome napper became an occassional napper. His strong will molded into full on attitude. This is when parenting officially became hard work. Consistency, discipline, prayer, and a punching pillow ( for me) were vital. My fluffy fiction reads were replaced with " Raising Strong Willed Boys" and other parenting staples. My husband was amazing! He willingly took on the role of leader, and is helping our boy navigate these tough years. 

My newly four year old boy is wild, tender hearted, sarcastic ( that one is my fault-- working on it), and still strong willed. He is an awesome big brother, has the BEST laugh, and still has my heart. 

Happy Birthday Isaac! I'm so thankful you're mine and I'm yours. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pastor Appreciation Part I

Since October is Pastor Appreciation Month, I thought it would be fitting to give a public thank you to the men and women who have impacted me through their ministry. The profession they were called into is extremely difficult, draining, and often discouraging. It is important that we as members of their ministry remember to thank them and encourage them. So, this is my thank you.

Pastor and Mrs.Milton, through your ministry I discovered my passion for missions. Growing up I watched as you tirelessly planned and pursued ways for our small church to have a large impact on our world. I learned the importance of praying for our missionaries and building relationships with them. I learned the importance of going to work side by side with these men and women. I learned I am called to share my faith and make disciples whereever I am. It planted in my heart the desire to serve in whatever way God had for me. 

Pastor and Mrs. Herman, through your ministry I was shown patience and kindness. As students I know we were not always so kind to you or Mrs. Herman. Now, that my husband is a youth pastor I realize how often you probably wanted to give us a swift kick, but you never let that show. You faithfully preached to us and lovingly put up with us, all while working another full time job. Thank you for investing all the time you really didn't have into us. We may not have shown it, but we loved you and your wife.

Mr. Rudman, it makes me smile to think that as I sit and type of your faithfulness you have already heard the words, " Well done my good and faithful servant". You are already enjoying your heavenly home with our Savior. My words of praise and recognition no longer matter to you. You have experienced the glory of our Lord. You have bowed before Him, and have lovingly offered Him all of your praise. Your crowns have been cast at His feet. I still would like to say thank you.  You cared for each student in your ministry, and even though we knew when you were annoyed with us we also knew that you were praying for us. You showed us courage and how to truly depend upon the Lord. Thank you.

Ron and Celia Jones, thank you for serving the students of the triad through campus crusade. Your ministry helped me to grow spiritually in a time of life when most students are walking away from the Lord. You and Celia encouraged me to hold fast to my faith and share it with the lost students on my campus. You gave me the opportunty to not only learn what I believe but to put it into practice. Thank you for your hard work. I know our campus wasn't easy and didn't always show results, but you continued to pour into the students that did come. Thank you.

These are the men and women who helped prepare me for a life in ministry. Tomorrow, I will say thank you to those who my husband and I have been blessed to serve with in ministry.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Public Service Saturday: Facebook Etiquette

Dear people of the world,
Just because you think it doesn't mean you should type it. Unfortunately, this has become increasingly popular. I call it oversharing. Believe it or not, I don't want to know how far you are dialated. No, I do not need to know what part of your child's anatomy they recently discovered. No, I don't need to know your boyfriend is a string of cuss words, and that you now hate him. And no, I don't want to read about how many times you vomited with the latest stomach bug. 

Today, I will offer a helpful tip to avoid oversharing. If you are about to post an update and you aren't quite sure if it's appropriate I want you to follow these easy steps...

1. Go to your friends list and find the most random aquaintance you have. It could be your fourth grade teacher, that guy you met at that thing three years ago and never saw again, or the old lady that sits in front of your grandma at church.

2. Now picture yourself standing face to face with that person. Imagine looking that person in the eye and telling them exactly what you are about to type. Is it awkward? Uncomfortable? Do you imagine them looking at you in total fear and disgust? Then don't type it! Because that is exactly what dozens of your unfortunate " friends" will be doing as they scroll through on their laptops and smart phones. They will be so horrified that they will then verbally share your status with anyone standing nearby. So now total strangers will be aware of your trip to the lady doctor! 

3. Delete whatever it was you were going to share, and post something else. Good safe choices include: a comment on the weather, an inspirational quote, a witty comment that you could share at a work party with out fear of alienating yourself from the entire office.

As the problem of oversharing grows I may find it necessary to unfriend certain people. So if you find yourself unfriended please do take it personal. Because you made it personal.....waaaay tooooo personal.

** Please Note - this was written in fun. Don't be offended, and if you are I am sorry. But, if you are guilty of oversharing take this opportunity to giggle at yourself and take a little bit of loving advice** and now I add a wink face, because nobody can be mad at a wink face. ;)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

In my Own Strength

This week has been a big 'ol ball of fail. I have had moments of failure as a mother, wife, youth pastor's wife, and child of God. 

These are all side effects of living life depending on my own abilities. It's amazing how often I attempt to do life on my own, even though I am so ill equipped. I stubbornly push forward attempting to do and be everything. 

My heavenly Father waits patiently as I stumble along. He offers peace and rest, but I must abide in him instead of depending on me. It's an issue of pride and control. My flesh tells me to go go go, reach the American dream, be all things to all people, and do it through your own ability. My Father whispers that He is the vine and I am the branch. I am to abide in Him. He gently reminds me that I can find rest for my soul because His yolk is easy and His burden is light. He lovingly tells me that I am not on my own. A Comforter has been sent to teach me all things and remind me of His Word. 

So tonight, for the billionth time, I seek forgiveness for my arrogant attempts at perfection. I come humbly before my Savior and sing, " My life Lord is Yours to control". I choose to cling to His promises and bask in His loving guidance. 

Tomorrow is a new day. I move past my week of failures, and I simply follow. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Day Titus Almost Became an Only Child

  That early October Sunday dawned cool and gray. A thick fog  covered the world offering a false sense of hush. The previous week had been unseasonably warm so this morning, as odd as it was, was a welcome respite. I quickly dressed for church as my youngest lay cooing on the bed and my oldest noisely played in the bedroom floor. As I contemplated which necklace best complimented my attire, I heard Isaac sweetly call my name. 
"What is it, bud?" I responded distractedly.
" Are we going to have another baby?" He asked.
I smiled and chuckled softly. " No honey, we are not", I patiently replied. 
He paused pensively then declared, " Yes we are, because your belly is big."
   The outside gray turned a deep black. The misty fog thickened. The young boy smiled wide, unaware of the danger he was facing. My eyes narrowed, nostrils flared, lip curled and my voice reached an alarmingly dangerous low. 
" I'm still in my window", I growled. Blinded with rage I mentally flipped through my options. Kick him square in the butt, pinch the fat on the back of his leg, spit in his eye! As the red began to fade and I returned to my senses, I knew I didn't really want to harm my offspring ( nor could I legally ). 
   I breathed deeply, and chose to forgive the cruel words of my clueless young child. Instead of wallowing, I would use them as inspiration. Plus, I really am still in my window...... or so I continue to tell myself. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

grocery envy

There is a fanatical organization entrenched in the suburbs of America. They are organized, well educated and trained in their area of expertise, and always looking for recruits. They enthusiastically share their ideology, and love to brag about their latest victory. You have probably been tempted to join their ranks, or maybe you all ready have.  I have numerous friends who are successful followers of this "lifestyle".  I myself have flirted with "joining up", wooed by their promises of deals, free groceries, and savings. Yes, they are couponers.

Visit any major grocery store and you will see these women stalking the aisles with large binders splayed out bulging with coupons. They have meticulously organized them by product and cross referenced them by date and store. Narrow eyed, mumbling to themselves, they dominate the store and block the aisle.

I must admit, I have complicated emotions when it comes to these women. Part of me is annoyed by their cockiness, put off by their rude dominance of the grocery store. But, I am mostly jealous. You see, I have tried, really tried, to join this exclusive rank of womanhood. I have clipped coupons from newspapers, printed them from the internet, and attended several classes on how to be a successful couponer. They have not helped. I am still horribly inept at this learned skill. I look on with bitter jealousy at my friends' pictures on facebook, their declarations of amounts saved, the woman smugly pushing her full cart to the register.

Last time I attempted to enter this elite world, I spent time clipping and printing. I slowly moved through the store carefully matching product to paper. I excitedly went to the register and handed over my coupons with a smirk on my face...... I only saved nine dollars. I bitterly lugged my overpriced haul to the car in frustration. I swore off couponing forever.......again.

Maybe one day I will develop the true patience, or whatever it is I lack, to become a real deal couponer. Till then, ignore the dirty look I give when you brag about your savings. It's really just envy in disguise.

**Please note- this is not a cry for couponing help. Please do not offer any. I'm still scarred from my last experience, and like any victim I will speak out and ask for help when I am ready**

Monday, September 30, 2013

because my husband is awesome.

A friend recently made a comment that reminded me of how truly blessed I am. She stated that I had found one of the "good ones". She was referring to my husband. This was no surprise to me, I know I've got a good one. I just forget not everyone else does! It made me realize I might not be telling him enough how truly thankful I am for him. So, in honor of his birthday I would like to publicly declare just a few of the many reasons that he is a "good one".

1. He kindly smiles while eating the crumbly lump I am calling meatloaf.

2. He gladly holds my purse/ diaper bag/ shopping bag with out complaint.

3. He goes for a walk with our son instead of taking a nap, even though he worked till 11:30 the night before.

4. He indulges all my crazy plans for trips to museums, zoos,  or shopping on his day off.

5. He loves my family.

6. He drives 15 minutes out of his way because I mentioned a Bojangles' sweet tea sounded good.

7. He listens when I talk ( unless it's basketball season .... I mean he is only human!)

8. He laughs at the same things that I do.

9. He drives the van with two screaming children, and let's me drive the quiet, peaceful car.

10. He tells me I'm pretty at least once everyday.

Happy birthday hubs! Thank you for being such a good one.

Friday, September 27, 2013

a letter for teenage girls ( but you can read it too!)

I spend an overwhelming amount of time each week with students. This would probably be creepy except for the fact that it's my husband's job and mine too. Sometimes, hanging out with these crazy kids makes me feel like I'm still young and fun. Other times, it just makes me feel old......very old. But, as I watch them navigate those horrendously hormonal years, I am reminded of my own journey. I watch as these young ladies make some of the same mistakes I made. So this note is for them, and probably still for me too.

Dear teenage girl,
I am thirty one. I know this seems impossibly ancient to you, but you will be flirting with your thirtieth year before you know it! As an elder of the tribe I wish to share with you some nuggets of wisdom I have collected upon my journey.

First, it is not the end of the world. I don't know what it is, but I know it's not the end of the world. So calm down, take a deep breath and drop the hysterics. It could be your boyfriend dumped you, your best friend isn't talking to you or something that actually is serious. It's a bummer right now, but I promise you will one day laugh again. Now, I know some of you actually will be dealing with truly heavy stuff ( divorce, sick loved ones). You may not believe me, but this isn't the end of the world either. It may alter your world, but it won't end it. (This is the perfect opportunity for you to focus on the fourth topic of the letter. )

Second, take a break from your boyfriend! Go hang out with your girls! Dare I say it- spend time with your family ( you know those people you live with, birthed you, give you money)
  Ladies, chances are you will not marry this boy you are now dating. So,if he isn't the one why waste all this time on him? And, if he is the one, well you have the rest of your life to hang out with him! My husband and I were high school sweet hearts, and we fell victim to this as well. Trust me, we never sit around and say, " Man, I wish we had gone on more dates back then!" No, we normally talk of our regret for not spending more time with friends and family. 

Third, stop trying to be a grownup. Trust me, it's not that awesome. I know you think you are busy, overscheduled, and tired now... but you're not. I snicker when I hear teenagers say they are tired. You've never met tired! But, one day you will...and it's as horrific as you can imagine. So, enjoy these years of freedom. Act silly, stay up late giggling, sing with the radio at the top of your lungs ( cause when you do that as an adult people begin to worry). 

Fourth and final, start growing now. So many teenagers say they will get serious about their spiritual walk later. Guess what? They normally don't. If you aren't making your relationship with the Lord a priority now, chances are you won't in the future. Don't waste this precious time to explore God's word. You are going to need this foundation as you head off to college and adulthood. It's a sad reality that the majority of students walk away from the church after graduation. I've watched it happen, and it breaks my heart. It' s the effort you put in now that will keep you from being a statistic later. God wants to you use you for His glory right now! Let Him! I mourn the time I wasted as a teenager. There were people I could have impacted for the kingdom of God, but I didn't because I was too busy saying I'd do it later. Learn from my mistake.

So teenage girl, go do something fun, build meaningful relationships with friends, spend quality time with your Creator, and enjoy all that energy you have.

The haggard old woman you saw pushing a stroller at the mall

Monday, September 23, 2013

The best friend I never knew I always had

Today I spent time with two very special people. One is a dear friend who was visiting, and the other is my sister. 

My sister is three years older than me, and spent everyday of my childhood reminding me of this fact. As children, we were built in playmates. We spent hours playing barbies, having tea parties with our dolls, and running through the woods. We enjoyed being sisters. 

As we reached our teenage years things began to shift. I would become irate at the sight of her wearing my clothes that she had not asked to borrow, yet I felt free to take from her closet. I became annoyed when she would spend time with "my" friends. I remember evenings when her presence frustrated me, and I know she often felt the same way. We simply existed in the same house.

We eventually went off to college, started working, met boys, married those boys, and moved off to different states. We talked, but not often. Honestly, I would have considered several of my friends to be closer to me than my sister. I would always look at people who were very close to their siblings as if they were a bit off. 

Then, we became parents. My sister had her son first. A little over a year later I gave birth to my little boy. The woman who previously had been just my sister was now a source, someone who understood, someone who I could ask for advice, and I often did. But, it wasn't until we both ended up living back in our home town that we really began to grow a friendship. We arranged playdates for our boys and conversation time for ourselves. We began to share life, and I learned things about my sister I had never known. We now enjoyed being sisters and friends. 

In the past few years my family moved an hour down the road. My sister and I have both had more children and more responsibilities. We are both busy, yet still make time to call and visit one another. Our children beg for these visits. My son will tell you that J, my nephew, is his best friend. I love to here him say that because J's mom is probably mine. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumnal Bliss!

Fall is officially here!
 I L-O-V-E this time of year, and can not wait to enjoy every aspect of this glorious season. So I dedicate today to all the things I love about fall!

fall decor- one of those things that I can NEVER have enough of....

 ( i might be obsessed with pumpkins)

overalls and holiday onesies (yes that is a turkey on the bum, and it's stinkin' adorable)


 Colored leaves- like the one I found in my yard today.

Classic tv specials!

Family trips to the pumpkin patch.

My boy dressed as buzz lightyear...for the third year in a row. Now I need to convince the hubs to buy the Woody costume for our little one.

 Delicious fall treats- like the pumpkin cheesecake donut from Krispy Kreme. 

So, here's to cooler weather, cuter clothes, buying more fall decorations, and eating anything and everything pumpkin!

Friday, September 20, 2013


Have you ever done something and almost immediately regretted it? I am the queen of regret/ remorse. Sometimes it is an immediate, " What have I done?" Other times it takes days, weeks, maybe months or years for my mistake to become apparent.
Here I will share my top ten most regrettable moments.....

1. Buying a house.....with only two the height of the florida ( one of the hardest hit places during the real estate crash)

2. Buying a pair of skinny jeans. No they are NOT for everyone. I should have listened to Stacy and Clinton.....

3. Spending a year of college as an art major. I can't even draw! I had a professor laugh, yes audibly laugh, at one of my "works". 

4. Letting my husband sell our Nissan titan. I miss my truck. Yes, it was crazy bad on gas, but I was bigger than most the people on the road. Vehicular intimidation.... priceless.

5. Everything I wore between 1996-2000. No wardrobe should have that much flannel, cheap denim, and velour. Rough stuff.

6. Not paying attention while my mother was cooking. Who knew cooking would be a skill I would need later on in life? 

7. Not traveling more b.c. ( before children). I had the time, money, and energy to go anywhere in the world! But, for some reason I didn't. Now, I can't even muster the time and energy to step outside. Let's not even discuss the money....

8. Eating. The majority of what I eat or drink on any given day will be regretted within a 2 hour period. For example, that pumpkin cheesecake donut and coke I had earlier were not my best moment.

9. Watching Downtown Abbey. I still haven't forgiven them for the final moments of season three. I gave them three seasons, and they broke my heart. I'm boycotting season 4.... let's see how long that lasts.....

10. Not buying the brown leather Aigner riding boots that were on sale at the outlet 3 years ago. I still dream about them.

As I compiled this list I realized I had way more than 10 major regrets. One day I might have to add my other top 10 regrets. Until then, share yours! What is your biggest regret? 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Learning Grace

There are some things that come naturally to me. For example, sarcasm, lifting one eyebrow, and finding a good deal are all areas in which I excel. Unfortunately, grace can not be added to that list. I am more of a justice girl. But, I was recently reminded of the beauty and importance of showing grace. 

There is a woman who has repeatedly hurt my husband's family. She gossiped about them, stole from them, and spread false information. They continued to forgive her, and she continued to hurt them and others.

Recently, she needed surgery, and my husband learned it would be preformed at a nearby hospital. He decided to go so he could pray with her and encourage her. I watched from the comfort of our warm bed as he awoke early and dressed quietly so he wouldn't wake our newborn sleeping in his bassinet. I shook my head as he climbed in the car. I spent the day watching the clock and tsking. This undeserving woman had monopolized my husband's entire day. 

When he finally returned home he shared how this woman wept when he walked into the room. She had been all alone and had assumed she would remain that way. He sat listening for hours as she poured out her heart and shared stories of her life. As he finished telling me about his day he simply stated, "She just needs Jesus".

I was humbled and slightly embarrassed about my attitude that day. My husband had chosen to show grace and compassion. I had chosen judgement. At the thought of her need for Christ I was reminded of my own unworthiness. I am so thankful God showed me His grace and compassion when I deserved judgement. And, I'm thankful for a husband who is helping me learn to share grace with others.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Super Baby

My baby has magic powers. It's true. They are not spiderman type powers ( to the disappointment of his older brother), but powers none the less. Unfortunately, we have yet to harness these powers for the greater good. He currently uses them to torture and cause discomfort.
   When trying to explain these powers I normally liken them to animal intuition. Not just dogs that sense their owners are sad or a certain person is danger, but prediction level. There are dogs that can predict on coming seizures, and some even assert dogs can predict earthquakes! My baby's powers are earthquake predicting level. 

Super power 1. My baby knows when I have an early day or busy day coming. This morning I needed to be up by 6 am. That is unheard of crazy early for our house. My baby knew. He woke up every 2 hours last night. This is after weeks of 5-6 hours of sleep in a row. You now understand why I consider these powers malevolent in nature. 

Super power 2. My baby knows when I am going to pour milk on my cereal. When the last drop reaches the toasted flakes a wail will rise from my child. He now needs attention, love, food, or to be changed. This may not sound terrible to you, but you experience two months of soggy cereal then come talk to me.

Super power 3. My baby can predict when Curtis Stone is going to reveal who was "chopped" from Top Chef Masters. That wail I mentioned earlier becomes an ear piercing scream that blocks out all other sound and temporarily blinds you ( that might be an exaggeration). Let's just say I'm thankful for dvr. 

Super power 4. My baby can predict when the waiter will bring the food. He can be in a coma like sleep and wake up the second the waiter turns the corner. 

Super power 5. And last, the redeeming power that restores my sanity. My baby knows when I need to hold him. Whether I'm sad, discouraged, lonely, or just ready for a snuggle he is ready for one too. My hubby says it could be the pinch I give him to wake him up, but I prefer to think it's our bond and his super powers.

What could your little one always "predict?"

Monday, September 16, 2013

why now?

 After years of flirting with the idea, I have finally decided to take my narcissism to a whole new level.
            I am starting a blog. 
I can see the question forming in your mind, "Why now?"
Well, let me explain......

1. Today is my 31st birthday. No, I do not feel sad or older. I do not feel the need to prove my worth. I just feel the need to do. I am finally ready to explore new opportunities, and to find new hobbies to enjoy. 

2. I can. My circumstances have recently changed, and I now have more time to write.... and ponder...... and blog.

3. I love to join a trend late! I was the 8 year old desperately clinging to her walkman when everyone else was carrying their new cd player.  And I was the college student listening to her clip on RADIO while all the other college students listened to their mp3 player. So, considering my own mother has now had a blog for a little over a year, I figured it was time for this girl!

4. I have a voice, a life, and ideas that are worth sharing. 

So join me as I start this new adventure. I hope to explore aspects of my life in ministry, my experiences as a mother to two awesomely adorable boys, the new path I'm beginning to navigate, and just pearls of wisdom and entertainment in general.

Mama said there'd be days like this, and I'm going to tell you all about them!