Thursday, May 30, 2013

Word Vomit

I've had some of the most trying few weeks. Honestly, it's been just an exercise in patience. Mainly at work, and not really anyone or anything in particular, just an exercise in patience. I was put in this position to streamline processes, and we all know that is not the easiest thing in the world to do, nor is it the popular thing to do. So, it's been tough. Not only that, but I've been incredibly busy at work, from the second I get there to the second I leave and even through lunch, most days. Not a fan of that, at all, but it's only temporary while we are going through some growing pains.
 
I have found myself with a nasty taste in my mouth lately. It's not that I cuss or say hateful or mean things, at all, it just feels like I am allowing my frustrations and aggravation get the best of my mouth. AKA complaining. I don't like being a complainer all the time. I really don't. Under alot of circumstances, you won't hear or see me complaining. Sometimes, though. Sometimes, it's all I can do NOT to complain.
 
It's one of those situations where, do I have the right to complain? Sure. Am I justified in my need to do it? Absolutely. Does that mean I have to? Nope. There are alot of situations where you are justified in feeling/reacting/saying/doing however you want, but it doesn't mean you should do it. And it doesn't mean that it's OK. Today, I was convicted about just how much complaining I was doing, BOTH on the inside of my head and out of my mouth, and God told me to stop it. Not because there are millions of people without a job that they'd love to complain about. Not because I should feel blessed by my job. (Although those are all good reasons, also) But becauase it's against what He wants from a follower of His.
 
Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. -Deuteronomy 15:10
 
You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. -Psalm 128:2

So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them? -Ecclesiastes 3:22
 
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters -Colossians 3:23
I hate word vomit. And I really hate when I am the one spewing it out of my mouth! And I really, REALLY hate it when I am complaining about something God has blessed me enormously with. I am going to watch that more closely from now on. And be cognisant of who is listening around me - is my complaining being a stumbling block? Am I making it OK for others around me to think it's OK to say this and that? I certainly hope not. Tomorrow is a new day, with new choices. And I will make them!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Inspire Us Tuesdays - Becoming a New Church Member

It appears I've gotten a little off track with my Inspire Us Tuesdays series - but I promised myself I would finish to the end! So today's topic is:
 
Becoming a New Church Member: Tell us about joining your church and the beginning days of your time there. Was it easy or hard to get to know other women?
 
Becoming a new church member, or even visiting a new church for the first time, is always daunting. Jason and I tried a few churches in both cities we lived before finding one we would stick with, and I remember walking in to an unfamiliar place, wondering if I was going to like the sermon, the music, the kids area. But the part that always made me most uncomfortable was having to shake hands with a bunch of people I didn't know. I know why we do this in Baptist churches, but as someone who had no idea who these people were, I always hated it!
 
Anyway, I have become a member of a very large church and an average size church. Larger churches are incredibly daunting, but they are also really good at informing their members of what is going on. They have schedules everywhere of upcoming retreats, Bible studies, groups you can be involved in. They really encouraged you to find a smaller group, either a Sunday school class (there were probably a hundred of them and you could choose which one you wanted to be a part of) or a Bible study so you could get to know people better. We really tried, but found ourselves having a hard time getting to know people, but it wasn't the church's fault. We just didn't know how to insert ourselves into a group and we weren't prepared to really be involved.
 
At our current church, we had been there as youth, so our experience was a little different than most visitors. There were many our own age we didn't know and we didn't mind becoming a part of things almost immediately. We volunteered and tried to make friends as quickly as we could. It's still hard though - for some reason, in a church setting, making friends and getting to know people almost seems harder and is a longer process than any other environment. It took a while, and even after a year and a half, we are still in the process of forming friendships and becoming a part of things.
 
I have to remind myself sometimes to look out for people I don't know and I am sometimes really bad at introducing myself to visitors and making them feel welcome. We are just in church, trying to keep our kids quiet, trying to pay attention to our own selves and I think it's easy to forget that people are there, watching how you are, wanting so badly for someone to talk to them, introduce themselves, be invited to lunch, any type of connection. I pray about being better at that myself, because I want that type of connection from others, but I need to give it back in return.
 
What about you? Did you have a good experience finding your church? 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Weight Shock

So, I am a little depressed.
 
I haven't really thought about weight loss in a very long time. We've just had so many things going on, that adding one more thing onto our very busy plate just had my head spinning. I weighed myself this morning and had a huge shock.
 
190. 190 pounds. I am 20 pounds away from my heaviest pregnancy weight. Last year, when I was my heaviest, I was 177. This year, I am 190. My goal is 150 and now, instead of 27 pounds to lose, I have 40.
 
Nope. This is enough. I've had it. I have a beach trip in August. I am starting to not fit in my clothes, in a bad way. I have gained 13 pounds this last year and I've had enough.
 
Please don't message me about any weight loss products, no shakes, no cleanses. I don't want to do any of that. I want something easy, something affordable, something I can stick to. I can't do Weight Watchers, I hate counting calories and keeping track of everything. I need ease, smaller portions, no snacking on junk, and no sodas. I need meals already made for me. I need portion control. I thought about doing NutriSystem, but I think it's a little out of my price range, so for now, I am just going to go with Lean Cuisines, at least for a couple of weeks, just to help me get started. I am going to supplement with fruits and veggies and a heart healthy breakfast. I am going to drink a gazillion cups of water. I am GOING to do this.
 
You know when you look at people on Biggest Loser and think, "how'd they let themselves get this big? Didn't they realize it and want to stop?" Well, I am going to be there soon, if I don't watch it.
 
Enough is enough.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Aliens Welcome - Our Weekend In Roswell!

We spent last year in Roswell for Memorial Day too! How funny. We drove down to spend a good, yet short, weekend with Jason's parents.
 
 
 
We finally got wise to the notion of purchasing a portable DVD player and boy, was it worth the $50. Avery literally watched it the entire time down and back. These headphones are deceiving, she only wore them for a few minutes. Luckily, I have a cord that attaches to my auxillery portal in my car, so she got to watch her movies in surround sound. We only brought the movies we as the adults liked, so we enjoyed listening to them.
 
 
Isn't my hubby the cutest?
 
 
 
Robert and Shari have lots of land. It's a bit dusty, but Robert always has at least a few animals and fun things for kids to do. He has dogs and chickens right now, so Avery got to get the eggs when we got there. She had no interest in me taking her picture, but I did anyway.
 

 
 
Those boots got some great use. Perfect shoes for getting dirty. And that's all she did. Sit outside and play in the dirt, with sticks, with pebbles. She helped Robert plant green beans and helped Daddy turn on and off the irrigation. She was a great big helper. Her favorite thing to do, though, was play in the pebbles. She would pour them on herself, on her legs, dump them from one container to another. We wouldn't have her clean two seconds to eat a meal before she was covered in dust and dirt again. She loved it.
 


 
 
We just hung out, really. We even watched The Grapes of Wrath last night. Never seen it. Very depressing.
 
I met a special someone while I was there. He was out of this world. Jason was green with envy. His name was Everett Thomas, but I just called him E.T. for short. I can't think of any more space puns, but you get the idea.
 
 
Well, onto a four day week, hopefully, we will get some more good news in a few days!

Friday, May 24, 2013

He's An On-Time God, Yes He Is

I got a card at the store today, just for me to keep. This is what it said...
 
“When the time was right, the sea parted, the walls fell down, the lions went hungry, the sun stood still, the waves were calm, the stone was rolled away, the clouds were parted, the Lord ascended…and when the time is right, the King of Kings will return.
God is never early and He’s never late – He’s always right on time. His plan for you is GOOD.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a FUTURE.” Jeremiah 29:11
I just loved this card because it is so very true.
 
I really, really have enjoyed reading the Old Testament lately, mainly because alot of it that I've studied so far has ALL to do with waiting on God's timing. The Israelites had to wait for a long time, on several occasions, sometimes for generations at a time. Yet God always pulled through and was there for them, right in the time He had planned. Sometimes, I feel like reading the Old Testament is a training book on waiting on God's timing. There are so very many stories of people that had to wait on God to either answer prayers or fulfill His promises. A couple of recent stories I've studied would be Sarah and Ruth. Both were women who had to wait on God for things in their lives.
 
We forget about waiting sometimes, don't we? We get very anxious, very impatient. We want to know why God hasn't given me a husband, why He hasn't given me a better job, or more money, or a nicer house, or a baby, or any number of things we want throughout our lifetime. We feel like God has forgotten us. Like he has either abandoned us in our hour of need or is punishing us by making us struggle longer than we feel like we have to. I know I've felt like that on more than one occasion (hundreds of occasions, I am sure), just felt like I knew better than God, on when things should be happening in my life. Well, God proves me wrong time and time again. He always shows me, faithfully shows me, that He is on on-time God. He is never early, He is never late. He's always right on time.
 
I think that when you study the Bible, you really start to see that since the beginning, people have always been inpatient with God, and even in the beginning, He has been there for them in His time. It makes me feel good, knowing that I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to question God on when things should be happening in my life. People have been the same, always. You see examples of it throughout the Bible and it's so comforting and reassuring. I am so glad that God didn't answer my prayers for wants in the time I asked for them. Looking back, alot of things I asked for weren't things I should have had at certain points in my life. Did I know that then? Of course not. But present-day-me knows that God did things when He did them for a reason and I am so glad that He is the one in control, not me.
 
Today was a blessed day for many reasons and I just couldn't have expressed more eloquently than that card did just how I felt while prayers we've been praying for years were finally answered. Boy, am I glad my God is faithful to me and my purpose in His plan.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Officially 2 and a Half

I just realized something and it knocked the wind out of me.
 
Today, my daughter is officially two and a half. After today, Avery will be closer to 3 years old than 2 years old. Oh. My. Goodness.
 

Avery loves dresses. Like, LOVES them. She wants to wear them 24 hours a day. It's so great, I just love it.
 

She has finally realized that this "stool" thing is pretty awesome. It makes you be able to reach things, like light switches. On. Off. On. Off.
 

Last night, they had end of the year for Awanas and Avery is in Cubbies. They did a slide show of the kids in her group and here she is. Foot up, lounging, at church. Greatness.
 
I can't believe it. I still can't believe she is getting so big. 


 

Are You Confident In Your Choices In Motherhood?

Today, Kelly's Korner is doing a link up on "Being Confident in Your Choices in Motherhood." I thought I would add to the conversation.
 
As much as I hate to admit it, I am both a mom and a stepmom. No matter how much I'd love for it to be different, it's just not. I hardly ever have guilt about Avery or feel wishy washy on the things I want and ask from her. But I feel guilt, constantly, about my stepkids. I have a hard time being a stepmom sometimes. A REAL hard time. In fact, it's probably the thing I struggle with most in my life. What's hard about it is that I don't ask different things of them then I ask of Avery. The difference is that Avery hears my expectation from her, day in and day out, since she was born. My stepkids have two homes with two seperate influences, so I get frustrated at times with behavior and words that are used that are OK at their moms but not OK here. And I know they get frustrated as well. Things are different there than they are here. I know that's upsetting for a kid to deal with. I have no idea what it would be like for them, having not been a kid of divorce, but I am sure it's difficult.

I am constantly asking myself if I am doing the right thing with them. I am constantly second guessing myself. I am constantly asking myself if my expectations of them should be the same as Avery or if they should be different. I wish I knew better how to navigate this road as a stepmom, but I do my best and hope for the best.

I am very confident in the choices I have made and make for Avery. I try not to take all of her milestons and "should be's" too seriously. (Should be potty training, should be sleeping in a big girl bed.) Both Jason and I have a very clear idea of how we want her to be raised and how we want her to grow up and the type of person she should become (in relation to how she treats others, loves Jesus, etc.) I also don't mind if Avery doesn't like me at a moment when I am getting on to her, I know she will get over it, that I am her mom and always will be. I worry alot about my stepkids not liking me or looking back on their childhood with us with resentment and anger. I really struggle with the line between being an authorative figure in their life and them living in our house and abiding by the expectations of our family and being the stepmom they want to come around when they get older, who they can talk to. I want them to know, as adults, that even though I didn't always do everything right, I still love them very much and want to be there for them, always. It's hard to explain that to an 8 year old and 11 year old, whether they are your bio-kids or not.

Do you have stepkids? Do you struggle with these as well?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Little Husband Bragging...

I try really hard not to brag too much on my husband on my blog. But, I felt that he did a few things that deserved at least a little bragging.
 
Jason is quite literally the most thoughtful person I've ever known. He is most certainly an incredibly thoughtful, giving, and selfless husband and does things for me without being asked and just "because." He does things that he just thinks will either make me happy or make my life easier. It's almost to the point of guilt; at one point in our marriage I'd felt very bad that it didn't come naturally to me to do the same types of things for him that he did for me. But I realized he doesn't do the things he does for me so I will turn around and do things for him in return. He literally does things purely to be thoughtful. He is very perfect, in alot of ways. I, on the other hand, am not. But I will say that it took me a while to get used to this. I always thought in the beginning there was some "alterior motive." When we were first dating, he asked for the key to my apartment (and having known him for 20 years, I felt comfortable.) I came home from work to dinner in the crockpot, a clean apartment, an organized closet (which I know took him a long time), and a fixed vaccuum cleaner. I had never, NEVER, had a guy go out of his way for me before that. Not even the littlest bit. Not even kind of. So, it was quite shocking, to say the least.
 
After we got married, I really thought that side of him would change, or at least, he would stop trying so hard. He had me now, right? Well, I was wrong about that, too. Jason has continued to do things that make my life easier.I realize that I have a pretty special guy. I had to wait a long time for him, and endure alot of not-so-great stuff before I met him, but he was most assuredly worth it.
 
We don't fight all that often, and I have a feeling, there are reasons why. One reason I just know we don't argue is because for the past two years, he and I have had seperate closets. It's not that we've intentionally tried to be seperate, it's just worked out that way. At this house, we have three closets in our room, a big walk in closet and two smaller, yet large, closets, in the bathroom. He gets those two and I get the big one. My closet has always been a disaster, always. I even have a shoe shelf in this closet and my shoes are never on it. In fact, when Jason and I first started dating, he told my parents, after having seen my closet, that he was going to take me to The Container Store so I could get my closet organized, to which we all three had a hearty laugh. He realized at that moment my closet cleanliness was probably never going to change. He never goes in my closet, now. He says it makes him anxious. And that's OK. But yesterday morning, he disappeared for about 45 minutes and came out and said, "I did something that I think might help you keep your closet organized.
 
This is what I found.
 
My clothes and jeans were organized, according to season...
 
 
 
My shoes were put up and organized...
 
 
 
and my closet was even vaccuumed.
 
 
 
That was amazing.
 
I gotta tell ya. I have a good one. I think I will keep him!
 
 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Your Calling

Today is Tuesday, which means it's once again time for "Inspire Us Tuesdays!" Today's topic is this: Your Calling: What do you believe is your true calling in your church? Is there a ministry you would like to become a part of but haven't? Why or why not?
 
When I was younger, I used to think we all had only one calling in life. I think because I had heard the term "calling" linked up with "ministry" so often, that it's like a calling only referred to people who had been "Called" by God to be in the ministry or missionaries. It wasn't until I got older that not only do I think every person is called to do something, I think every person is called to do many things throughout the course of their life time.
 
What does "calling" mean, anyway? I think the term "call" began to describe protestants who were being led my Christ in God's work. I don't think this is limited to work for pay, as in being a pastor, but also working or volunteering in any capacity, as God has led one to do. In our churches, we have the biggest opportunity to hear and obey God's calling. Most of our churches have several ministries that a person could participate in, from being in the choir (music ministry), working with kids, (children's ministry), working with teens (youth ministry), working with senior adults (seniors ministry) or any number of other ministries you feel your church or community is in need of.
 
I have always felt called to be a part of a choir. I joined a choir for the first time in a long time when we went to Prestonwood Baptist and I was a part of the choir ministry at our present church for a little while, until I was asked to be a part of our middle schooler ministry on Wednesday nights. I was also asked to help with our children's ministry on Sundays, by teaching Sunday school. It's hard to know, sometimes, in church what God is calling you to do and what you are simply asked to do because they depend on you and know you will say yes. Sometimes, I feel torn between the two things myself. But I know when it's time for me to move, God will let me know. Lately, I've been feeling very convicted to work at the pregnancy center, so I am not sure how that is going to fit in with the volunteering I already do, so we will see.
 
It's hard to determine a calling sometimes. And it's even harder, sometimes, to follow the calling that God has set before you. The calling that God asks you to follow isn't always the thing you want to do, but sometimes the thing that God needs us to do, either for our own lives or for another plan we might not see. I've learned to do my best to follow His call for my life, even if it doesn't always seem convenient and easy. It's not always an easy task, but it sure is fulfilling.
 
What is your calling?
 

Would You Sacrifice Your Breasts to Save Your Life?

I thought it was interesting that this article popped up on my news feed today. Angelina Jolie, a woman known for her beautiful and perfect body, elected to have a double mastecomy after learning she had an 85% chance to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
 
Angelina Jolie mastectomy
 
Of course, she isn't the first celebrity to have this same surgery in the face of breast cancer. I commend them all for doing such a courageous thing.
 
A friend of mine recently found a lump in her breast. After visiting the doctor, they decided to proceed with a diagnostic mammogram. On Monday, she went in for it and they discovered a large mass in her breast. At this point, they aren't sure whether it's cancer or not. But Monday morning, before she went in, we were talking about how she felt about things. She and I feel the same way. If it's the choices between breast cancer and losing my breasts, BYE BYE TA-TAS. I have always been prepared to lose my breasts to save my life. I think in my 20s it would have been more difficult for me. I hadn't had children yet, I wasn't sure about breastfeeding. My breasts were a feature that made me a woman. Now, it just seems that I have a loving husband who loves me no matter what I looked like, children who depend on me, and a future that requires me to be in it. My breasts have served their purpose with my daughter, so I am prepared to see them go.
 
But, I have never had breast cancer. I think it's probably easy to say I would be prepared for that option, without actually knowing what it feels like to have that option presented to me. For those women out there, who knows what it feels like to either lose your breasts or lose the fight with cancer, and not feel like you are losing your identity when they go, I commend you. It seems like such a slam dunk decision to make, such an easy decision. I am sure the reality of it isn't so easy.
 
I thought these were pretty humorous t-shirts so I figured I'd share.
 
 
 
Vulgar, yet pretty funny
 
 
I know of a few people, right at this time, that are either surviving or suffering from cancers of all kinds. I just want to take a moment and recognize your strength in the face of real suffering. May God heal your body and preserve your mind and perserverance during this time of endurance you are facing.
 

Monday, May 13, 2013

My Baby

Sometimes, I still am overcome with emotion when I think about Avery.
 
 
She is such a joy, such a light in my life, such a sweet spirit, such a unique personality. I just can not believe how blessed I have been having her as my daughter.
 
In the picture above, you can see her fingers. She constantly has something she is "rolling" around in her fingers. When she is on the potty, she will grab a little piece of toilet paper and roll it into a ball. She will pick up little bitty rocks, stuff she finds on the floor, pieces of food. Jason hates it, he thinks it's so disgusting. I guess it kind of is. You just wonder, when you look at your kids and their habits and traits, "How did they even get to being like this?" She has always loved to do this. It's a habit of hers. I just think it's something that makes her uniquely Avery and I love it.
 
She is just growing up so fast. She doesn't have any trace of baby left in her. No chubby baby feet, no chubby baby legs. I was helping her change clothes the other night and looked at her legs and realized that they are the legs of a 2 year old. She is a little girl, all the way around. It really does happen in the blink of an eye. I have purposely made it a point to savor every moment with her, every memory, every stage, I guess naively thinking it would make it last longer in my mind. No matter how much you appreciate the time you get, it doesn't make it go any slower. One of these days, I am going to wake up and find a high school graduate sitting in front of me and wonder how 18 years could pass by so fast.
 
I guess tonight I am feeling grateful for this little blessing in my life. I came home from work tonight and had her run towards me, with excitement and love, and I had a little girl that wanted me to pick her up and never put her down. I also know there will come a time when that changes, and I will have to beg for her attention, instead of the other way around. It breaks my heart and makes me happy all at once. Being a parent is the hardest thing in the world to do. Watching your kids grow up from babies, to toddlers, to kids, to teens, to adults is such a mix of emotions and I never understood it until she came along.
 
I try not to think of the future and things that are to come in her life. I want to be excited and grateful for today, the day this beautiful child talked to me on the way to daycare and told me about what she saw out the window. Who watched Sesame Street and pointed out all of the characters she knew. The one who I came to get out of bed and she said, "morning mommy!" with a sweet smile. The little girl who I could still hold down in a bear hug in bed and kiss her face to my heart's desire, without a moment's hesitation. The little girl who asks for a sippy cup of milk in the morning. The one who whines for food she wants. The little girl with a messy head of hair and cute baby teeth, grinning from ear to ear, while she tells me how pretty I am when I get ready to work. The little girl who poses in her dress and tells me how she can twirl, then shows me how good she is at it. The little girl who can still fit in her little rocking chair while she watches Blue's Clues. The little girl who gets scared and immediately runs to me to make her feel better. The little girl who wants to use me as a jungle gym, while kneeing and elbowing me in all the wrong places. The little girl who bears such a striking resemblance to her mommy, who is outspoken and a singer, and who loves people in her life so much.
 
God, thank you for this blessing that is my daughter. Thank you for trusting me enough with her life and for giving me the priviledge to watch her live it.
 
 
 
 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What Lessons Did Your Mom Teach You?

In honor of Mother's Day, I thought I would share a few life lessons I learned from my mother!
 
1. My mom taught me to perservere, even when things are really hard.
 
2. My mom taught me to use my gifts and talents.
 
3. My mom taught me that people can change.
 
4. My mom taught me that sometimes, life just isn't fun, sometimes it's hard.
 
5. My mom taught me that I am not the only person living on this earth and I needed to be respectful of other people, even if they are strangers.
 
6. My mom taught me to be accountable for my actions.
 
7. My mom taught me not to feel entitled to anything, that I have to work to get the things I want.
 
8. My mom taught me that sometimes, the little things in life just aren't worth getting upset over.
 
9. My mom taught me that parents should always be there for kids, no matter how many mistakes they've made.
 
10. My mom taught me how I want to be as a grandmother some day.
 
I love you Mom! Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Magic Trick To a Great Picture with a Toddler

"Avery, why won't you get up a take a picture with mommy?"
 

"Avery, just look at daddy and smile."
 
 
"No, look at DADDY and smile."
 
 

 
"No, be still and look at Daddy and smile."
 
 
"Oh goodness. One more time?"
 
 
"Ok, close...one more time? I will give you M&Ms..."
 
 
Works every time.
 

Becoming Unglued

Kelly's Korner is doing a "Build Em' Up" Series and today, her topic is what we do when we become unglued. Considering how unglued I feel at my present time in life, I thought it was fitting I added to the discussion.
 
I was just telling my husband today that I was feeling very out of control. Our life right now is a series of commitments and activities and I feel like it's just constantly one thing after another thing after another thing. It's all I can do to keep going some days, I mean, keep going in a productive direction while having things together. Not in a "depression" way of ""keeping going," but in a purposeful, forward motion. Between budgets, kids, work, husbands, and a household, it really is just alot for me to handle sometimes and I don't always do a good job of hanging on.
 
I don't always remember birthdays and sending birthday cards. I don't always remember to call friends or respond to texts. I can't always participate in every activity I am asked to join. Sometimes, after a long day and more activities at night, I really have no energy left to do anything in my final hour of the day besides sit and stare at the TV. I figured out that the reason I enjoy watching TV is because it's mindless. It requires no mental energy. It requires still, mindless activity, for once in my day.
 
My job requires my brain to be on from the moment I get there to the second I leave. I recently got a promotion at work and it requires me to coordinate and manage several projects, which requires my full attention at all times. I am a part of a Bible study Tuesdays, youth leader at church Wednesdays, Thursdays is a flurry of having my stepkids, making dinner, getting them back to their moms, and Fridays lately have been cleaning or preparing for the influx of activities on Saturdays. The weekends have been non-stop, one thing or another thing, for the last couple of months. With summer coming, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and then a whole month of 3 kids in July and what to do with them during the day, it's alot to plan and think about. It feels like sometimes the only evening I have in my entire week that I get to veg out and relax is Mondays, and even that isn't always free.
 
Lately, I have been feeling defeated. I can't seem to get my weight under control. My house is constantly a disaster of laundry and "stuff" everywhere. I have to back out of one commitment to be a part of another often. My marriage is lacking the excitement and conversation because I don't have any energy left, after giving all of my energy to everyone else. I know, I know. You can't do all things. Marriage is the most important. I get all of that. I know, I need to time for me. I know all of the things I would say to myself during this time of busy-ness in our life. And that's just it, it's a time of busy-ness, it won't last forever. Sometimes, things really can't just "wait until later." Sometimes, things have to be dealt with and done right now. But that usually means that something will suffer or get put on the backburner.
 
I am still struggling with knowing how to manage all things without going completely nuts. I don't know how to fit exercise into my day without sacrificing my much-needed time to relax. I don't want to feel like I am going, going, going for 14 straight hours, then have to spend "free time" doing exercise, and I have yet to find exercise I actually enjoy, so it just feels like another hour of "work" to me. Housework is yet another tug at my time...my husband is great at doing this in the afternoons, but if things go well for him in the near future, he will no longer have as much free time during the week, so that's another thing to consider.

I have come to the conclusion that A) The world will not come to an end because I am not always the best at having things organized. B) I can't say yes to everything I am asked to do. C) It's OK to take a break and focus on one thing at a time. D) This is just a season, nothing more.

But, what do I do to feel better? For one, I don't sacrifice sleep, at least, not more than once per week. I need at least 6-8 hours a night to function. I absolutely don't stay up past 11 at all during the week unless a random circumstance occurs. If it's a choice between going to bed on time and staying up to fold laundry, you better believe my bed will win. I just become a person I don't like when I am exhausted. I also can't functionally handle the things life throws at me in a constructive way when I am tired. Secondly, I allow myself at least some silent time each day. Silent, still time. Just to sit and relax, let my brain shut off, let my body shut down. Usually, this is TV time. Sometimes, it's sitting out on the patio on a nice night with Jason. This happens every day, or else I would self-destruct. Thirdly, when I am to the end of my rope and I need a night off, I take it. I simply can't push myself to my limi every single day. Most people in my life understand if I can't commit to doing something or need a night off. Fourth, I rely very heavily on my husband to help me. He is a wonderful partner. I communicate how I am feeling all the time and if I am stressed or tired or just need a break, he is great at giving me that time I need. I don't expect him to just jump in and help, I tell him when I need it. We are good together that way!

What do you do when you start becoming unglued?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Inspire Us Tuesdays - Your Women's Ministry

It's Tuesday again! (Already!! Did it seem like the last seven days have come and gone in hurry, or is it just me?)
 
That means we will have the next installment on our "Inspire Us Tuesdays" series: Women's Ministry: Tell us about your women's ministry team at your church. Do you have one?
 
I have to be honest. I haven't really had a whole lot of time for involvement in our women's ministry at church since we joined last spring. This year, I was able to attend the women's retreat and I have been able to be a part of our women's Bible study over the last few weeks, so it's been really nice being around women at my church without the kids around.
 
I think women's ministry is hard to participate in at any church, especially when there are lots of women with littler kids. It's just hard to find the time and energy to be a part of every thing, you know? I would absolutely love to be a part of a conference, where I was able to go away for a couple of nights with the women at my church and stay in a nice hotel. It would be wonderful for me. Maybe one of these years, when I have money and time, that will happen!
 
I would love to hear about other women's ministries at other churches. I haven't ever been a part of one before, so I have no point of reference. But I think our church does a good job of accomodating schedules and not throwing too much at us constantly to be a part of, but enough stuff to be a part of, you know?
 
How's the women's ministry at your church? What types of activities do you do there?
 
 
 

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Friday Five

1. The BEST coffee creamer in the world...
 
 
I used to be in charge of purchasing kitchen supplies for work, which included coffee and creamer. I found this amazing-ness at Tom Thumb and then had to start buying it for myself. I've had people come to my house and drink coffee and then I will go to their house and see this in their fridge. They say, "I had it at your house and now I am addicted!" I swear, this stuff is just, better than Starbucks. Yeah. I said it.
 
2. This is how I felt at work...
 
 
Busy, busy, busy. I need some more helpers! I don't know how I became so proficient in computer skills, but I guess I am now. It gets hard staring at a computer all day, but I enjoy it!
 
3. I am getting very tired of this...
 
 
I just think I am about to be done with my account forever. I am tired of seeing constant depressing and upsetting links in my feed!
 
4. I started doing this Bible study...
 
 
And I have really enjoyed it! We are only through the first week and starting on the second, but I highly recommend it!
 
5. We just had this for dinner....
 
 
And it was so, so not worth the calories. What a waste!
 
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Breakfast with Mommy Part 2

I took Avery to breakfast at McDonald's this morning.
 

How did she get so old so fast?
 
Just for grins, here is the little stinker at another breakfast with mommy, 1 and a half years ago...
 
 
Oh how this makes me sad and happy at the same time.
 


 
My big girl. Tear.