January 27, 2014

18 years ago yesterday

I said yes to being this guy's girlfriend.  One would think I would be sick of him by now.  And some days I am.  But most days, he makes me laugh.  I love him more now than I did then.  Plus, we make cute babies (AND NO, that does not mean I want more!).

In June, we'll have been married for 12 years.  Total craziness.  But I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Most days...

18 years later, we've gotten fatter and one of us has lost more hair than the other...

I like to think we get better with age.

January 24, 2014

Operation Christmas Child Box Delivered!

I received an email back in December that my boxes were headed to the Dominican Republic.

I've just now gotten around to reading it and taking it all in.  One of the links they sent within their email was to this video.

Here are some of what happens with the kids in the DR.  I'm so happy that I can make a small difference to some children there.

This was also posted on the page:

Twenty-nine percent of the Dominican Republic's 10.2 million people are 14-years old or younger.  In the 2013-2014 season, 231,840 shoebox gifts from the US will be delivered to children in the Dominican Republic which first received the gifts in 1999.  Since then, 2,213,052 children in the DR have received a shoebox.

How awesome is that?  I may or may not have shed a tear (or two or ten) watching that video.  

Now, do you think since it's not Christmas time that it's time to stop thinking about OCC?  Wrong!  You can shop year-round for these kids.  You can build a box online for only $30.  Or you can designate a box at your house and make a commitment to put items in it once a month.  We've already started ours.

Here's our box!

Here are some ideas of items you can collect year-round.  Make a list or print this out and put it in your purse, or on your fridge, or in our car.

Christmas items (shop those after Christmas sales!) like candy canes, hard candy, small stockings, small stocking stuffer type items

Toothbrushes, toothpaste, and Valentine items such as hard candy (lollipops, heart-shaped candies) and little toys (shop the after Valentine’s Day sales!)

Happy Meal toys (McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Chick-Fil-A, Subway, etc.)

Money – This month, collect donations to help cover the shipping costs of the boxes packed in November. Count your change!

Wash cloths and soap (NO IRISH SPRING, best kind is Ivory) and Ziploc bags of any size

Small toys (balls, jump ropes, games, plastic jewelry), stickers, coloring books, etc.

Paper, notebooks, writing tablets, journals, coloring books, stickers, (shop those Back to School sales) etc.

School supplies (shop those Back to School sales) such as crayons, pencils, pens, pencil sharpeners, colored pencils, markers, etc.

Flip flops and sunglasses (shop those end of season specials!)

Plastic shoe boxes (they are sturdier than the cardboard ones) from Fred’s, Home Depot, Office Max, Wal-Mart, etc.

Hard candy (shop those after Halloween sales!), hair accessories such as combs, brushes, ponytail holders, etc.


Socks, t-shirts, watches, flashlights, stocking stuffer type items, etc. 

At the end of the year when it's time to start packing boxes, you'll have enough stuff to pack many more boxes than you normally do and you won't spend as much money over a short period of time.

Just because the holiday season is over, doesn't mean that it's time for forget about these kids.  They are currently completing the Greatest Journey Bible study they received when they got their boxes.  Pray for them to be receptive to God's greatest gift.

January 23, 2014


Does anybody make resolutions?  I've always heard they are made to be broken. I've never really been a big fan of them.  I like to thing of ways to encourage myself to live be, be better, eat better, etc.

This year, I've seen a lot of people on social media and blogs tell what their 'word' is for 2014.  I like that.  I've been thinking and praying about mine.  

At first, I thought giving was what it was supposed to be.  Then my BFF Lisa invited me to this online Bible study and it's called Intentionally Focused.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.


The definition of intentional is an adjective meaning done deliberately or intended. Deliberate means to be done with full consciousness of the effects or marked with careful consideration.

I know some of you might laugh at this if you know me well enough.  Let's just say sometimes I don't think before I speak or act.  I've gotten better in my 'old' age but part of it is just who I am.

The Bible study I'm doing is an online group of ladies that hold each other accountable.  The study talks about being intentional with you finances, your health, your marriage, your children and more.

The more I read, the more I'm intrigued. 

And the more I'm convicted.

Over the past 2 or 3 years, I've really tried to do everything.  And do it right. Read my Bible daily, eat healthier, exercise, be all to everyone.  You know, what we all strive to do. Right?

I want to make a difference.  In my life, in my kid's lives, in other's lives.

Then, I realize I'm human.

And it's ok if I can't do everything.  I've learned to say NO more.  I've cut way back on extra things I'm involved in.  I sacrifice my time for my kids more.

And no, I'm not perfect.  And don't strive to be.

I just want to be intentional.

The hardest part of that starts with me.

I want to be good at my job.  I want to exercise.  I want to eat right.  I want to read with my kids every night for 30 minutes.  I don't want to be rushed. I want to be the best that I can be.

Then life and reality set in.  I struggle with time management. Yeah, as OCD as I am, I struggle.  

Yet, I've got figure out a way to be intentional with every aspect of my life.  I want and pray that my kids understand salvation and know what it truly means to have Jesus in your heart.  I pray that God will bring them a soulmate (MANY MANY MANY years from now) that is a true man of God.  I want them to know it's ok to be different.  I want them to know that skin color doesn't matter.  I want them to know right from wrong.  I want them to fail at some things so they will learn (whew, tha's tough).  I don't want to push too hard but just enough and that's a FINE LINE my friends.

I want to be able to take care of me.  Would I love to go to the gym every day after work? YES.  But I choose to not sacrifice what little time I have with my kids each and every day for my health.  Sue me.  I just have to make it work when they are sleeping or at school.

I want to be intentional in my meal planning.  And making a budget and sticking to it.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming.

It seems like SOOOOO much, all at one time.

Baby steps my friends.  Teeny tiny baby steps.

Intentional steps.  Deliberate steps.

Make it all worth something.

So here's to 2014.  It hasn't gotten off to a great start but I know it's going to be awesome.  It's going to be intentional.

And I hope I become a better person because of it.

January 20, 2014


This is another beautiful song that Big Sister and I can't get enough of.  She knows almost every word too!

I can't seem to get this out of my head.  Absolutely amazing song by Hillsong United.  Or Hillsong or United or whatever they are going by these days!

January 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Papaw!

Today is the birthday of the first man I ever loved.  My Daddy!  Our Papaw.

He loves to pester but he's really just a big ole teddy bear!  I've vowed to get more pictures of him this year with me and with the grands.

Baby Sister is pretty sweet on him too.  And Big Sister is his buddy. They build together and go on adventures and she keeps him on the move! 

I'm so thankful that I have a Dad still around that is as close with my kids as he was when I was little.

Thanks for all your do for us Papaw!  Even if you are ornery sometimes!  hehehe!

January 15, 2014

Keep Making Me

On my way to work today, this song by Sidewalk Prophets came on after KLove's encouraging story.  The story always makes me cry but then they followed it up and I felt convicted.  What amazing words.  And a testimony.

Make Me Broke Lord, so that I can be healed. Until you are my one desire. Until you are my one true love. Until you are my breath, my everything.  Lord, please keep making me!

Definitely words to live by!  And I LOVE this live version where he talks about CS Lewis and to be loved is to be vulnerable!

January 12, 2014


On this day 7 short years ago, I was headed to the hospital for a non-stress test with hopes of staying in the hospital and delivering a healthy baby girl.  My BP was high and I was miserable.  Which I thought I was. Until I was pregnant with #2 IN THE SUMMER. That's a game changer.

Since my BP was up, my Dr. decided it was time for baby to come.  I was 37 weeks to the day.  I was a little nervous about inducing so early but I felt that I was in the right place if anything were to happen.  And she stood a better change outside my body, rather than in. She and I both at this point.  I'm lucky to have so many friends who decided to grow up and be Labor and Delivery nurses.  I always thought it would be weird having friends all up in my 'business' but it was actually very comforting.  I had LOTS of questions. They were there for me through it all, as I'm sure any nurse would be, but for me, it was extremely comforting.  Plus, those friends get to watch my child grow up via in person, FB, IG, etc.

I remember that morning vividly.  I had cherrios for breakfast and a piece of peanut butter toast, with hopes that I would not be eating again until late in the day.

After an afternoon filled with firsts and not having a clue about any of it, my first child was born at 4:43 pm, January 12, 2007.  That seems like ages ago by date but in real life, it was 2 weeks ago.

We've come a long way baby!

We didn't have a clue as to what we were doing when we first brought home our bundle of joy.  We knew what people had told us, but nothing can prepare you.  Especially for how your body reacts to the lack of sleep.

So here we are, 7 years later.

She has a beautiful smile, but a total SASSY side.  She's a solid 70 pounds.  Yep.  And is about 4 feet and 2 inches tall.  She's so big for her age but she's perfect to us.

She can read really well but is not super confident about it and is easily distracted (squirrel?).  She's sooooooooooooo full of energy that it almost kills me.  Last Saturday, we went swimming for 2.5 hours, then she wanted to run on my treadmill and then go riding her bike around the neighborhood.  She's a SLAVE DRIVER.

She makes friends easy (which makes me so happy).  She is a HUGE tomboy.  She's a people pleaser (no clue where that came from...).

She's so smart!  They don't get 'grades' in kindergarten so I wasn't sure how to judge her progress.  In 1st grade, they are graded A-F.  So far, she's made all A's for the entire semester (2 nine weeks).  After seeing the small number of kids in her class on the stage during awards day for making All A's, it was humbling.  She was one of maybe 7 or 8.  Common Core is not perfect but it's all she's ever known, as they started teaching it last year in kindergarten.  She's used to it.  While, I don't agree with parts of it (have you seen these math problems?), there are things I do agree with.  To each his own.

I've watched her faith grow tremendously in the past year.  We've had many talks about Jesus being in your heart.  I don't think she completely understands it all so I've encouraged her to talk to some others in the church.  The older she gets, the deeper the questions get.  And I promise you, the questions in general get more frequent.  Kids are NOSY!

While it's been fun watching her grow, it has not been fun disciplining her.  Oh my laws at the sass.  She doesn't treat anybody else the way she treats her mother.  Some days (ok, maybe a lot), she acts like a hormonal teenager and it makes me want to commit myself!  I'm hoping it's just a phase and I know I'm teaching her the right things but MAN, can it be frustrating.  

Yet, through it all, I wouldn't change it for the world.  I look forward to seeing what the next year brings.  I'm sure the tooth fairy will be a more frequent visitor this year (he? she? only had to come twice last year).

Oh, and she reads to the Principal in a few weeks and is a tad bit nervous.  She's such a good reader but lacks that confidence. I'm hoping this will be the boost she needs.

I love watching her with her peers at school and elsewhere.  I was hoping to see that yesterday at her birthday party.  But, me being the MOM OF THE YEAR, shared my strep throat from last week with her.  She started complaining Friday night and we were up and at the Sat. clinic when they opened yesterday.  i was hoping for sinus drainage but was not so lucky.  She got a shot in the behind that she was NOT happy about.  And she is usually my good shot taker, like after her flu shot said, "Was that all? It was nothing."  (I kid you not.)

The Dr. said she could go if she wore a mask and washed her hands frequently but I just didn't feel comfortable doing that to other kids and parents.  So, we decided to postpone.  I was able to get in touch with every invitee except 2.  One came to the party really early and was told about it.  The other one showed up at party time and I was there to tell them we had to reschedule.  Everyone was totally fine with us not sharing!

At bedtime last night, I told her just how lucky she was to be so liked and to have such great friends.  They all sent well wishes for her and most are still going to be able to make the rescheduled party!

Man, what an eventful 7 years we have had!  She was the only child for the first 4.5 years of that time.  I think she would have loved to stay that way too.  But these days, she and her baby sister are inseparable.  It's sooooo sweet, like nothing I have ever seen before. (Which also means, Baby Sister will have strep about Monday..)

(It's rare to find a pic of them NOT together)

She's my buddy, my pal, my friend.  She's also my motivator, my protector, my daughter, my firstborn.

Happy 7th birthday kiddo.  I love you forever and ever and always.

Now, get well soon so we can celebrate!

January 11, 2014

2014 so far...

Wow, it's January 11th and I've yet to blog in 2014.  This year has started off rough for us.

First off, this week 3 out of the 4 of us have had strep.  Yep, it was bad.  Made my kid postpone her birthday party so we wouldn't share anymore.  But more on that to come in later posts.

My best friend had some pretty serious surgery yesterday.  She's a very private person so not many people knew about it, until now.  She told me about it the day before Thanksgiving and honestly, it took me a while to process it.  BUT, the surgery was super successful and she should be on her way home from MD Anderson tomorrow, just 2 days after surgery.  Luckily, her stepdad is one awesome doctor (my GP) and her mom is one heck of a nurse (and teacher) so I feel like she's in great hands.

So this whole week, I've tried my best to see the positive in every situation.  Today, it was HARD. Knowing that I was the reason that my daughter wasn't able to attend her own birthday party and won't spend her actual birthday with anyone beyond our 4 walls, it was heartbreaking.  I cried.  I sobbed.  I apologized.  I tended to her (and her still semi-sick male patient father) and a (so far) well 2.5 year old who decided today was the day she wanted to see how many pair of panties she could run through.  Luckily, we started her on preventative antibiotics just in case.  She can't seem to stay away from her Sissy.  It's frustrating and sweet all the same.

But looking back, 2014 can only get better.  You know, my best friend is coming home tomorrow less than 2 days removed from surgery.  And they got it all.  And she's going to be fine.  Which she told me she would be.  But you know, you never know until it's here.  

I'm so thankful for her and her friendship. She came along in my life at a time that was weird for me.  I was craving another best friend here in town (I always have my BFF's outside town).  Luckily, when I got to know her, I gained 2 best friends.  Both of whom are much younger than me.  I say I live vicariously through them and they keep me young!

I'm so thankful for the many doctors in her life.  I'm so thankful that she can put this behind her and move on to other things in her life.  She's had an extremely rough past 2 years. Like, push me to the breaking point and then push a little more rough.  But through it all, I've watcher her grow, her faith, as a woman and in her tenacity to overcome.

Whew, I say all this just to get it all of my chest.  It's been a week and a DAY at my house today.  I'm an emotional roller coaster already because tomorrow I will have a SEVEN year old at my house.  Which means, yes, I had her when I was 15.  Kidding.  It does make a me feel old but I'm loving (mostly) watching the girl she's becoming.  Check back tomorrow for more on that.

So now, I leave you with this.

My healthy BFF.  My hero.  My confidant.  

Isn't she beautiful?  And yes, this was about the week after I chopped off all my hair.  Can't wait to do that again!

And next week is this beautiful lady's birthday!  She and my Dad share the day.  So happy early birthday KMS!!!!  We all love you!