Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Florida Sunrise

I think I'll let this post speak for itself: Henry and seeing the ocean for the first time (that he can remember), the sun rising slowly, and a family joined together in that perfect moment.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Idle Hands

It's been a very busy and extra-tiring weekend.

Henry has a cold and hasn't slept well at all because of his poor little stuffy nose.
I spent my weekend at work moving bags of grout and mortar and boxes of tile. My arms and legs are beat.
I ate like crap and now I feel like crap. I was tired, didn't want to cook, and didn't want to argue when it came to deciding on something easy to pick up for dinner.

Today is a new day.

Right now I think Henry and I are going to relax until nap time, then this mama's gotta get the yard mowed (all this spring rain is a killer) and try to catch up on some laundry because the majority of the rest of my week is already booked.


I'm a mixture of confidence and nervousness, partly because I haven't had to do an interview in forever and partly because I think it will be weird to sit down and interview with people you have worked and joked with for the past couple of years.

Because of scheduling conflicts with Jeremy needing to be at work and such tomorrow, it's at 7 a.m. That seems a heck of a lot earlier than when I am usually a fully functional human being, so we'll see how that effects it all - haha. We're going to do a baby switch-off in town and then Henry and I are headed for our weekly trip to Miamisburg.

Wednesday I'm dedicating as grocery day and planting day before work. I'm picking up extra hours so I'm working both Wednesday and Thursday.

I haven't planned Thursday out yet, but I'm hoping it will be warm and Henry and I can just enjoy some outdoor time before I play catch-up on Friday and then go back to work for the weekend.

Whenever I'm busy, I think of this song. I LOVE this song and the music video! I hope you guys have a fantastic Monday!

Leann Rimes - Nothing Better to Do

Friday, April 26, 2013


It's hard to stand back sometimes and really take a good look at yourself. As someone who has always been overweight, I hate photos of myself, especially full body photos. The only thing I ever see is my fat legs, big stomach, double chin, etc...

When I see photos of myself, even after I've lost weight, I never see myself different. I still feel like the only things anyone will see is how fat I am. It's horrible to live that way, and I'm truly, TRULY trying to change it.

So I figured in all my vulnerability, I would post this for all of you to see. The first photo was taken in October, at the heaviest I've probably ever been in my entire life. The second photo is from our vacation, and 20 pounds lighter than the first.

I'm trying to see the difference - the small changes. But it's hard. I can see the difference in Jeremy, but myself? I'm still just not happy.

Today I'm promising myself to take more full-body shots. To appreciate who I am now so I can appreciate myself even further as I inch my way closer to my goals. It's not that I hate myself or find myself ugly, or unlovable, or any of those kind of things, I just wish I were more comfortable in my own skin.

This is my way of getting even closer to being there.

Losing Weight Post-Vacation

I gained 4 pounds on vacation.

I was a bit disappointed in myself and a bit relieved too. Considering the amount of food we ate (most of it being out) I totally expected to come home and see a whole 10 pounds or something gained in a little over ONE week. While I told myself I wasn't going to stress about it on vacation, I also tried to stay conscious of what and how much I was putting into my body.

I know that helped. A lot.

Before vacation I had lost a total of 20.4 pounds. I had barely made the 20 mark, but I was happy anyway because even if I did gain a few pounds back, I had reached one goal and I knew I could easily reach that goal again and then move on to the next.

As of today, I am ONE pound away from that current weight loss of 20.4 lbs. Monday was the first day that I really went back to eating completely healthy and consciously and even then, I had Skyline for dinner that night because Jeremy's mother fed us after we mowed their yard. (Side-note, those of you who do not have Skyline's are seriously missing out, although I'm a bit jealous that you don't have it to tempt you. Cincinnati chili will always be my demise!) Not to mention, it was almost 10 p.m. when we sat down for dinner. It had just been one of those days.

Still, I kicked ass this week at keeping up with MFP and staying under my calorie goals. I couldn't believe how fast the 3 pounds came off and I'm hoping that this last pound will be just as easy. Now to move on to the next 10. Bring it!

P.S. - When we got home from vacation and we both stepped on the scale, Jeremy had lost TWO pounds while we were away. He's lost almost 30 pounds now and he started dieting AFTER I did. I'm glad that he's doing this with me, but man, why can't it be that easy for me?!

Growing Up

Meet Levi and his girlfriend, Natalie.

Pretty cute, eh?

Levi is my little brother (one of 4) and his junior prom is this weekend. I'm seriously in disbelief that he is growing up so fast. Levi is the brother that I remember being born and dragging around with me like he was my own child. 

One time I even 'ran' away from home, packing a small bag, and well...Levi. Apparently that was all I needed to survive alone in the world!

These are just a few of the bazillion photos I took of the two of them yesterday. I haven't edited most of them yet and I don't know when I'll get around to finishing them. He'll just have to be patient and wait - I am his sister after all!

I hope he has a wonderful time this weekend. I wish I could be there on the actual day, but I think he knows I'll be thinking of him regardless.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A New Job

Sooo... I applied for a different position at work today. It's funny how I was just talking about how I would like a different position that allowed more family time but would also work without needing to find childcare for Henry- it was like 'POOF!'... here you go! God is good, people.

I haven't GOT the job yet, and perhaps I'm being cocky, but I'm pretty much 99% sure that it's mine regardless. While I'm excited, I'm also nervous about some small details.

Here's the deal.

While enjoying our last day of vacation on Friday, I got a phone call from one of my managers saying that another employee had quit and a part-time position had opened in flooring. I've been 'unofficially' working in flooring for almost a year now as extra help so this was PERFECT for me. However, he couldn't promise me the same amount of hours that I have now and he wouldn't even HINT as to whether or not it would be more pay, so I pretty much brushed it aside. We can't afford for me to work much fewer hours and I don't want to risk switching positions, losing hours, and making even less money. No thanks.

On a side note, perhaps I should go more into detail about my current position. The position I have now is a 'weekend team' position that has set hours. Unless it's on a corporate level, they cannot even think about touching my hours. This includes giving me MORE hours. It sucks sometimes when the store needs extra help, but it is also nice when they're cutting hours for various reasons. I work Friday 5-9 and Saturday and Sunday 9-6. Jeremy typically gets off of work early on Fridays and is home by 4:30 or 4:45 - just enough time for me to run out the door. As you can imagine, working every single weekend can be severely depressing at times. I miss any and all family events unless it's something 'big' that I've had to request off (a month ahead of time, mind you) and because Jeremy works Monday-Friday, we do not have one single day off together unless we have some event or something to go to. It's no fun. Actually, it absolutely sucks.

Back to this new job. I ran into the flooring manager while grocery shopping today. He is on 'vacation' right now because he's getting married so I hadn't had a chance to talk to him at all about the position. He totally put my mind at ease. He told me he was absolutely positive it would be a pay raise, and while he couldn't guarantee me the same amount of hours either, he told me it would most likely be 20 to 25 weekly. I almost jumped for joy. I called up the store manager who had phoned me earlier in the week and told him I was applying right away. He told me he'd get the ball rolling and I'd be getting a phone call soon for an interview. The difference in this part time position and the last is that they will have to work specifically around my schedule. I will work mostly during the week in the evening after Jeremy gets home from work and that will allow me to have weekend time off to spend with him and Henry as a family. If it's a substantial enough raise, I'm hoping I can even cut my hours down to 15-18 so I can squeeze almost all of them in during the week.

So if you wouldn't mind - say a little prayer for me! I know this is an answered prayer from God - but my faith waivers and I'm still worried about the hours. I just need a new peace of mind going into this new adventure. I will post an update as it all enfolds!

The Perfect Life

It's taken me a little while to realize it, but I've become quite happy and content with life lately. I was reading back on some of my posts this morning, remembering how it felt to want a home so badly, to want to be a mother and to have a 'perfect' life... and I looked around and realized that I had it. Every last bit of it. It's funny how that happens... you spend a good part of your life wanting and wishing and hoping and praying for the things that you just can't seem to wait for, and then when you get them, you're thankful for a little while and then just move on to wanting something else.

I don't want to be constantly wanting more. I want to feel like I've been blessed beyond my wildest dreams ALL of the time. Content and happy with what I have because it's so much more than what most have.

What does my heart desire most right now?

Well, a second baby, for sure. Perhaps a new job opportunity that allowed more family time while still allowing us to go without childcare. The siding to be complete. A new vehicle that will allow me more room. To be at my goal weight.

Yes, all these things are things that I want.

But I have one baby who is healthy and happy and brings such joy to my life. If God wants to take his time blessing us with another, or chooses to never do so...that will be just fine. I'm still blessed beyond measure.

If I never switch jobs and this is the way things work for us until our children start school full-time, I will only have God to thank for the blessing of this time with them. It's more than what I could have ever dreamed or asked for.

The siding will eventually be done. We couldn't be more blessed than to have such wonderful friends who are willing to help us and show us how to do it. And if we can't figure it out, we've put money aside to pay to have someone else do it. So it will be done, eventually... I suppose I should pray for patience after thinking more about this one.

I have a wonderfully reliable car who has gotten me from one place to another over the years and given me very little problems. I have an even more wonderful husband who can fix anything and everything that could possibly go wrong and really, I don't NEED the bigger vehicle. It's just something that I really want. We are a 3 vehicle family - that's 2 or 3 vehicles more than a lot of families and I should just be happy because of that fact alone!

I can't wish myself into my ideal weight and I have been working hard to achieve it. But, even if I never do...I have a husband who loves me just the way I am, friends who do not judge because I wear clothes that are bigger than theirs, and a family who truly knows my pain. I'm not alone in this struggle and I've learned to love myself regardless of my size. That's the true fight - accepting and loving yourself regardless. I am blessed because I've already won the biggest part of this battle.

I can see why I would be so content. Even the things that I want, I could easily live without. I am so, so, so very blessed and I am thankful because my grandmother said it well; "When you forget where you've come from and WHO has blessed you with all of these things, when you begin to praise yourself, brag and be boastful about what have, that's when God will begin to find ways to remind you that it was HE who blessed you."

I agree. I so, so agree. It is not I who have accomplished these things, but GOD who has blessed me. And I must remember to be thankful.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Vacation from Vacation?

A vacation from vacation? Sound fabulous right about now! The last two days have been jam-packed FULL for us around here. So full that I have yet to unpack our bags.


I'd love to finish the recaps on our vacation, but unfortunately I haven't even got around to looking at most of my photos.


I have however push-mowed two very large lawns that had to equal at LEAST a bazillion acres of what appeared to be a jungle full of wild weeds and sticks for me to trip and stumble on. I wish I had counted the amount of times the mower stalled out and I had to restart the darn thing. Let's just say that my arm is not happy from all that pulling today! I also planted two new hostas for earth day and a flat of flowers - because for some reason I felt like I'd be committing a crime if I didn't plant SOMETHING in lieu of the holiday. I also planned, marked and tilled a place for my garden, dug the trenches and placed the timbers with the help of my husband. It's beautiful - and just the right size. I can't wait to plant some things. (After Mother's Day of course...) I weeded, weed-whacked, pulled out the blower and even squeezed in a trip to the grocery, a visit to my grandmother and a couple of dinners in there.

I'm exhausted folks. Ex-hau-sted.

Tomorrow our couches finally come back. FINALLY. It will be so nice to have real inside furniture again! I also have to pay bills...they were due like 4 days ago.

Seriously. Whoops!

Maybe I'll finally unpack, clean house, work on the piles of laundry and dishes everywhere, and actually make a REAL trip to the grocery (so we don't have to eat hotdogs cut up in macaroni because it was all that was left in the cupboards) too?

Now where's the sign-up for that vacation?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Vacation Recap - Getting There

We had such a great time on vacation! It was very much needed and very much appreciated, I feel ready to tackle so many things now. I have so many photos and so much to share with you guys that I'm going to split it up in several posts. 

Because Ormond is quite the drive (14 hours) we decided to leave a day early and split the drive in two.   We ended up in North Carolina for the night on Lake Norman. We found a hotel room, had some dinner at a local place and then crashed for the night.

The next morning we got up and headed to some local places that my husband and father-in-law wanted to see. In case any of you didn't know, my husband is most definitely a motorhead. He doesn't really watch Nascar anymore, but he's really into NHRA stuff and loves talking about anything that has to do with the mechanics of a race vehicle. 

Earnhardt statue in the city of Kannapolis.

Earnhardt memorial.
We also visited  Hendrick Motorsports, which did not interest me at all. Henry did enjoy climbing into the race seat and driving awhile (one of his favorite things). While the boys looked around we headed outdoors to enjoy some much needed sunshine.

This is so much better mom!

Henry and grandma. 
 Henry did not enjoy being in the car as long as we were, but we managed to find ways to entertain him. Playing peek-a-boo with his hat and blankets was probably his favorite. This hat took a beating the last week, he's become obsessed with it and refuses to go anywhere without it on.

Where's Henry?

There he is!
Once in Florida, it's just one hop, skip and jump to where we were going. We didn't arrive in Ormond until later (10 pm) so we just grabbed dinner and then headed to our condo to unpack and get some sleep.

It's tradition for us to stop at the welcome center and grab a picture with the Florida sign. Here's a flashback photo to prove it, with a baby Henry on the way!

Notice my husband's wonderful change in fashion style... he owns about 4 of the same shirts and wears them constantly. Drives me crazy!
I'll post more about our vacation as I go through my photos. I hope you all have a wonderful Monday, mine will be spent unpacking, doing laundry and trying to get back into the swing of things! 

Home at Last

Well peeps. We got home at 6 a.m. this morning after driving for a long flippin' time. We slept until noon, got up, had brunch and headed over to Jeremy's parents to unload all of our bags from the van into our car, came home, napped until almost 7 and then got up long enough for us to make a quick trip to the grocery store for some bare essentials and have dinner. Now it's midnight and we're all exhausted again...

why is vacationing so exhausting at times?

I just wanted to thank those who contributed this last week and let you know that we're home after a wonderful trip away. I'm going to try to get through some of my photos soon and get a few recap posts put together for you! Happy Sunday/Monday!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Wife Mommy Me

Sooo...I may have saved the best post for last. Why you ask? Well, it's about me! Truly though, I didn't expect it to be about me and when I read it - well, I cried. I'm a crier and Stephanie, you know how to make a girl cry! Guys, meet my cousin. She's a wife to James, a mommy to Connor, and a SAHM who just moved from here in the buckeye state to Texas, where I hear everything is bigger and better. Pay her a visit, get to know her and I promise you won't regret it! This is the last week day that I'll be gone so I'll be back Monday with a vacation recap! I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Stephanie and I at her wedding - with a Henry on the way!

Hello! I'm Stephanie. You can find my little corner of internet Heaven over at Wife Mommy Me.

When I volunteered to write a guest post for Jenn, I was found myself wondering what I was going to write about. I want something worth reading and sharing on someone's blog. It took a day or so but then the idea hit me. I will write about Jenn. I mean, you are her follows and I can give you a little more insight on the girl beyond Ripples and Waves.

How do I have all this inside information? That's easy! I'm Jenn's older cousin. Jenn and I didn't have a close close relationship growing up. You've read a bit about her Mom, well... you know. Anyways. Through the years, we've kept in touch and if asked who some of my favorite family members are, I would, hand downs, without a doubt, mention Jenn. Why? Like I really need to explain. But let's!

Jenn has a heart of gold. She is one of the kindest human beings I have ever met! I think she gets that from her sweet Grandma! Who by the way is the tiniest little piece of sweetness you will ever find! Back to Jenn. She would do anything for anyone and I find that endearing since I'm not so kind. (However, we both are brutally honest. Right, Jenn?)

Nowadays it's hard to find someone who has complete faith in God and yet, Jenn does. It astounds me that no matter what she is going through, she knows that our Heavenly father will get her through. I truly envy her for this. I hope one day to have that type of faith.

I am so impressed with the amount of weight Jenn has lost! I can honestly say she gets her body type from her Mom's side of the family. I'm the smallest one and I am not small by any measure! It really is genetics! But like any goal Jenn sets for herself, I know she is is going to kickass at this one, too! Keep up the hard work, Jenn!! You will be a MIL* before you know it!

I'm sure you didn't expect a post selling you on Jenn, right? Well, she is fabulous and I'm not sure if her true beauty comes through her blog sometimes. She is a wonderful girl and not only am I lucky to be her cousin, but I'm also lucky to have her as a dear friend.

Enjoy vacation Jenn! Kiss that baby boy for me and give Jeremy a squeeze!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I'm ready, but I'm not

Hey guys! I want you to meet Katie over at Perfectly Us. She is a wife to Rob (her high school sweetheart!) and a mommy to Jaqs, the cutest little dumpling of a girl who just turned one. Katie is also a DIYer! I love her wreaths and her decorating style mirrors my own style a lot. She blogs a lot about her daily life as a mommy and wife and I love keeping up with everything they're up to. Go check her out and share the love!

I'm ready, but I'm not

Isn't it funny how everyone is always ready for the next big thing?
When you're single, people want to know why. When you're dating, people want to know why you aren't engaged yet. When you do get engaged, they want to know when the wedding will be. When you get married, people want to know when you're going to have kids. And when you have that first kid, you think you're going to get a break, but nope! They want to know when you're going to have number two! Obviously.

My baby girl, Jaqs, just had her 1st birthday, so I can only imagine that I'm going to pressed for number 2 a little harder than I already was before. But here's the thing, I don't feel like I'm anywhere near ready for number 2 just yet. Naturally I miss the newborn baby snuggles and the absolute sweetness of a baby that has no opinions, *wink, wink* but I'm kind of enjoying sleeping all night right now. It took us a bit to get into the groove of a baby's schedule with napping, eating, and what-not, so I'm not quite ready to go back to the chaos of having an itty bitty. Plus, I wouldn't be able to lay on the couch with a baby on my chest for much of the day like I did last time because now I have a toddler to care for!

On top of all that, I selfishly want time with just Jaqs to do things with for a couple of years. We're just getting into the fun stuff here! Going to the park, zoo days, spending our entire summer at the kiddie pool, having lunch dates, and maybe even a family vacation in the future. I'd also be lying if I left out the fact that facing football season with TWO under 2 would be absolutely overwhelming. Whew, I'm still recovering from last year ;)

With all that said, I definitely think having children close in age would be a lot of fun, and I have tons of respect for those of you who do, but I'm not sure if I'm cut out for it. My brother is 7 years older than I am, and I think it's pretty safe to say that we both had a great childhood despite being far apart in age. Sure, he picked on me a whole lot, and I always wanted to tag along with him everywhere, but now that we're adults? The age gap doesn't seem that big...we're still very close, and I wouldn't trade it.

So to sum it up? I'm ready, but I'm not. I want more kids, God-willing, no doubt about it! If He surprised me with one tomorrow, I'd be absolutely thrilled, BUT I'm not going to press this issue just yet ;)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yummy Guacamole

I'm sure you guys remember Sarah from Friday - with her awesome giveaway and Drew's cute face, how could you forget her, right? She's sharing her yummy guacamole recipe with us today! I'm not going to lie, she's almost tempted me to make it and try it with her gorgeous photos, and I don't even like guacamole! Make sure you guys hop on over to Our Journey and get to know Sarah better! I promise you won't regret it!

Yummy Guacamole

Hi all! I'm so excited to be guest posting for Jenn while she's off soaking up the rays! After our friends devoured my guac on St. Patty's day, I realized I've never posted it online anywhere. It's one of our favorite dips and is a great 'go-to' when heading to a party as it's super easy! Enjoy!


2 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 avocado, peeled and chopped

1/4 c. finely chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T. parsley

1 T. oregano

1 T. olive oil

1 T. vinegar (or white wine)

4 oz crumbled feta cheese


1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except for the feta cheese. Stir gently to mix.

2. Then gently stir in the feta cheese.

3. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Our Fairy Tale

Meet Tayler! I haven't been following Tayler for a very long time, so I'm still getting to know her myself, but from what I've seen and read, I'm really enjoying her blog so far! I know she'd appreciate your visit, so read a little about her and then hop on over to her little space and say hello!


Hi there! I’m Tayler from Our Fairy Tale. I started blogging as a way to open up with my feelings and practice my writing.  I started out with my thoughts and feelings on writing and books, since that is what I love, and my hope is to one day be a published author of fantasy. I play soccer and volleyball, and am currently training for a half marathon when my strained LCL allows me to. I love reading historical fiction and fantasy, and love writing it as well. I love watching anime, Once Upon a Time, Disney movies, Psych, Doctor Who, Parenthood, and Marvel movies! And I am Mormon!

I am married to the most wonderful person in the whole world: Justin Morrell. Find out how I met him and fell accidentally, but madly in love with him here. We are perfect for each other. He is stoic and rational, I am nervous and anxious. He is very sociable, I have a harder time face-to-face. I plan everything out, am on top of things, and work until everything is done, Justin sometimes needs a push to get off the video games and into his statistical analysis homework. We both love to cook and that is another difference of us. Justin doesn't believe in measuring. If I am trying a new recipe, or have been taught to cook a meal a specific way, I most definitely measure. We've had quite the interesting adventures in our kitchen!

Justin always makes me laugh!
Dw i'n siarad yn Nghymraeg. Dw i'n hoffi Cymru a theithio. Dw i'n gobethio i dychwelyd yno ryw dydd. 
I speak Welsh. I love Wales and traveling. I hope to return there someday. When I was 20, I had the chance of a life time to study the Celtic language of Welsh in Wales and Great Britain. I took immersive courses and traveled almost every day of the week to different castles, historic cities, and breath-taking place. That was 3 years ago. Ever since then, my heart and soul has ached for Wales, or just to travel in general.

I'm on the left. Liz, my archaeologist friend is center. Dawn, a social studies teaching friend, is on the right.
I teach Utah Studies and the first half of U.S. history to 7th and 8th graders. It can be a little discouraging at times, dealing with the toughest years of teenage life. But, I love all of my students and I know this is the right profession for me. I love history and exploring it with my students. Seeing their eyes pop open as they make connections, seeing them struggle with points of view other than their own, reading their thoughts and their creative stories and solutions is what keeps me going. I have my favorite students and some of them claim me as their favorite teacher. It always warms my soul to see the different drawings they give me, or the notes they leave on my wall. It's also nice when Christmas, Easter, and Teacher Appreciation Week comes along. My 8th graders have finished a project on expanding west. They wrote a travelogue diary with 5 stops. I am just about done grading it, and as soon as I am, I will be posting another installment of "Student Writings." Be on the look out! They are good! They are hilarious! 

Come on and read all about my fairy tale. After all, "Every life is a Fairy Tale written by God's Fingers." 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Wedding Bells

Yay! My first guest post for the week! Meet Kristen over at 31 Million Seconds. She's guest posting first this week because SHE'S GETTING MARRIED in just a few days!! So make sure you hop on over to her blog and wish her congratulations (and good luck)! Thanks for taking time out of your already busy schedule to post here, Kristen!


I was so excited when Jenn offered up her little spot on the Internet for guest posting.  I love getting the chance to meet new people.  But then I was one of those annoying folks who asked for special privileges and wanted an early day to stop by and say hello to everyone.  I promise I have a good reason though.  I'm getting married on Saturday!  So, yeah, things are a little insane at the moment.

Here's the thing, I've learned some important stuff about wedding planning along the way.

One, men are pretty much useless when it comes to wedding planning.  (I'm sorry sweetheart.  You know I love you with all my heart, but you have to admit it's true.)  At first, I tried to include him in all the decisions.  But after multiple times of hearing, "I don't care" or "Whatever you'd like, dear"  I gave up.  He lost all decision privileges.

Two, if you stick the words "bridal" or "wedding" in the description, expect the price to triple or more.  I kid you not.  A glittery headband at the mall costs $8.00.  The same exact glittery "bridal" headband at a "bridal" boutique will set you back $108.00.

For someone like me, who is trying to save as much money as possible and do this thing as cheaply as possible, that just drives me crazy.  It also means I've had to be pretty creative at times.

Three, you find out that your friends know you very, very well (maybe a little too well).  Especially when, out of nowhere, they send you a text that says, "JUST BREATHE".  Because they knew you were in the middle of a nervous breakdown.

Four, I know I'm marrying the right guy.  If anyone can put up with the insanity and the stress that comes along with a wedding, and still love you, there's no doubt in my mind that he's the one.

I would love for you to stop by and say hello, but just remember, I'm a little out of it right now!  So maybe next month?  I'm sure I'm going to need all the newlywed advice I can get.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Goodbyes & a giveaway!

Well folks, I'm officially on my way to sunny Florida. I'm not taking my computer, my cell phone is going to stay buried in the bottom of my purse, and I'm just going to try to enjoy every minute of this time away from distractions with my family. I promise to take lots of pictures! Well...as long as I don't leave my charger in a hotel in Charleston again this time...

I'm blessed beyond measure to have such wonderful blogger friends and followers, and there are quite a few of you making a guest appearance on my little space here through-out the week. Come back each day and get to know them - I'm sure you'll love them all as much as I do! You guys really are the best!

Mentioning blog friends, if there's one gal whose life seems to mirror my own - it is Sarah from Our Journey. She lives in the buckeye state as well and totally understands when I whine and cry about our stubborn and bi-polar weather. She's a wife to Derek and a mommy to Drew - a cute, squishy toddler who has the cutest 'forced' smile ever! I love following Sarah and I feel like I can relate to almost every single one of her posts. She's going to be posting a yummy recipe here on Wednesday, so make sure you come back and grab it up. In the meantime, Sarah is having a fantastic giveaway on her blog for some gorgeous earrings and there's only a couple of days left, so make sure you head that way and enter!

Here's the link, Good luck everyone!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

7 1/2

7 1/2 hours...

the countdown is over.

I'm going to bed and when I awake, we'll be outta here.

Let it Rain

I woke up almost two hours ago to the lullaby of rain falling softly. The rhythmic sound wrapped around me and it took everything in me to drag myself out of bed just to use the bathroom. Now I'm laying here again, Henry and Jeremy at my side, dreaming of lazy summer days where the rain cools and cleans the world around us. I've always been fond of the rain...

When I was a child, I can remember hating the rain on most occasions. The rain meant days spent indoors rather than out with nothing but the television to entertain us. Boy, can age really give you new insight and perspective on life!

It makes my heart leap for joy when Henry begs and enjoys the outdoors so much. He's already brought us his shoes and thrown a mini-fit because the rain is keeping him inside this morning. I hated being in the house as a kid (unlike Jeremy) and I so hoped that he would find that trait within himself. It will only make me happy to see his clothes covered in dirt and grass stains - and I will never discourage his curiosity and excitement for the outdoors.

Today is going to be a very busy day. My hope is that it just keeps raining...

The rain always makes me think of this song. 'Rain's comin' down on the old tin roof. It's a lullaby song in the middle of June. Falling slow, falling slow...'

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wednesday, April 10th

It was 80 degrees yesterday and today we have severe weather alerts: Welcome to Ohio! We went from winter to summer in one week!

I've been bitten by the procrastination bug. Monday I packed both Henry and I's bags, Tuesday I spent the day with my grandmother and today... well, today I have done a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but it's amounted up to just about nothing. Tomorrow I know I'm going to have to get the house in tip-top shape, pack Jeremy's bags and finish some odds and ends before we leave early Friday. I got this thing... I think.

I haven't quite put my finger on why this vacation has gotten me so excited. We always go on vacation, usually twice a year, and I never get this excited. I've felt bad every time I sit down to write a blog lately because I feel like it's ALL I can think about. Sorry about that - I promise you guys won't have to put up with it much longer.  =P

Henry has been such a little ball of excitement lately. I took a step back and examined our lives and how busy we are sometimes, and I realized that I spend way too much time frustrated with his fits and stubbornness and not nearly enough time just cherishing him. I've made it a point the last week or so to laugh with him, cuddle him closer, and focus on him in a positive way. I don't ever want him to doubt that I love him with my whole heart and that no matter what he does or how angry or frustrated I may be, that will never change and he can always count on his Mommy.

He's been going around saying 'dog' too. That makes me so happy... my little boy is finally saying something other than 'dad'. He makes my heart swell with pride and joy. Today he got caught in the middle of a rain storm and it soaked him to the bone. I thought it would scare him, but no, the kid laughed like there was nothing funnier in the entire world. I wish that that innocence and joy with life would never go away for him...

I suppose I should go finish our laundry. Our washer is on the fritz and we'll probably have to replace it when we get home. In the meantime I'm pretty much stuck with wringing the excess water out of our clothes before drying them. (Maybe this is why I'm procrastinating?) I hope you guys are having a wonderful hump day, it's all downhill from here!

Thinking of You

Forgive me for my absence from your blogs this week. It's been hectic busy already! I'm still thinking of you all (that counts, right?)!

Monday, April 08, 2013

Weekend Randoms

Oh man, what a weekend it was!

I am exhausted. Jeremy's parents invited us over for dinner last night, the food didn't agree with me and I was up half of the night because of it. I'm still not feeling great today, but I'm doing my best to push through.

My bag is packed, Henry's bag is packed and I've got almost everything but Jeremy's things ready to go for Friday. I'm anxious and impatient at this point - can you tell? I'm babysitting in a couple of hours and my house is trashed. Eventually I'm going to have to get motivated to do something other than pack.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. It was sunny and warm here all weekend (it got up to 70 yesterday!) but today it's dreary and rainy. It's suppose to rain all week and I think I'm okay with that. When it's nice out, Henry pretty much refuses to stay indoors and it makes it really hard to get any housework inside done.

In other news, I've gained back 1 1/2 pounds somehow in the past few days. I swear I wasn't cheating on my diet and I was so busy at work yesterday that I didn't even get to eat breakfast or lunch. It baffles me and it's disheartening, but I figure that a weight change that small isn't something to dwell on. I'll just keep working towards bettering what I put into my body and exercising daily. Maybe there's some other reason for the weight gain? Who knows? I know vacation is going to be horrible for my diet, and honestly, I'm not sure I care. I just want to enjoy this time and not worry about things.

Did you guys have a good weekend? Just an FYI - I have one day left next week that isn't filled with a guest post from one of my wonderful blog friends. If you're interested, you still have time!

Friday, April 05, 2013


I am sun-burnt, worn out and so very, very happy. I think spring has finally decided to make it's appearance here in Ohio and I have cherished every single minute of it so far. In the last couple of days, Henry and I have seen the indoors for three reasons and three reasons only: to eat, to sleep, and to shop. Yeah, it's only been in the upper 40's and low 50's, but the sunshine has been warm and the birds have been singing and life is just better when you can be outside soaking up some D. We've blown bubbles, made fires, drawn on the sidewalk with chalk, and even cleaned up the yard. It's been just heavenly.

I just wanted to remind you all that I will be leaving for Florida for a little over a week this time next week and I'd love if you'd like to guest post for a day on my blog. If you don't want to write an entire post, I'd be more than happy just to 'spot-light' your blog for the day (this is free advertising here, don't pass it up) and send my followers your way so they can get to know you. A couple of you have shown interest and I appreciate you so much! Just shoot me a message if you'd like to be included as well: OveyCreations@yahoo.com

In other news, Jeremy and I pulled the trigger and bought our siding last night. It's both a relief and a whole new level of stress to have it done. We decided on a sage green color with white trim - now we just have to get it up.

I want to wish you all a wonderful weekend. I have a feeling that work will be extra busy with this good weather on our side so you probably won't see me around these parts much. Enjoy an extra minute of relaxation and fun for me!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

20 Down!

Yup, it's true - I have officially lost 20 entire pounds! I am so flippin' proud of myself! This also means that I get to buy myself a new outfit (and *cough* may already have)! This also means that I've got to come up with another date night for Jeremy and I. I'm so excited!

This is what I treated myself with:

This shirt from JCP. I love the colors and thought it was super cute. Usually I'm not much of a 't-shirt' person but this one just called to me. Plus, there's nothing better than lounging around in a t-shirt and some capri's during the summer time!

These bermuda shorts also from JCP. I have never owned a pair of white pants/shorts/capris and I figured it was about darn time. I love how they fit and I was so happy to buy them in a size down! Best part? These two pieces go GREAT together and they'll also be great to pair with other things I have as well!

I'm looking forward to the pair of shoes I'll get to buy when I lose 25 pounds. I'm going to kick butt to lose those 5 pounds before vacation so that I can buy a cute new pair of sandals for the beach! You guys have been such a great motivation and help so far, and I can't thank you enough! You guys rock!

Sweet Memories

He smelled like fire and smoke, and mixed with a faint hint of cologne; it may have been my most favorite smell in the entire world.

We were standing at the edge of our property, his arms wound tightly around my waist and my nose tucked beneath his chin. The air was cold and bitter but the fire warmed my backside comfortably. I nuzzle my face into the warmth of his chest and sigh happily to myself as a movie of memories from the last few years flood my head:

The two of us walking arm-in-arm down the aisle as Brandon Heath's 'Love Never Fails' plays over the sound system. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time and as I approach the preacher, I know that this moment is only the beginning of the rest of my life. We pledge to create a life together, focused on God and one another, and then kiss to seal the deal.

Traveling side-by-side in the car, the radio turned up barely over a whisper so that we can talk about life and our dreams and where we hope life will take us. He pulls over the car as we approach the ocean so that I can take in the first view and cherish it the way that it should be at that moment. Us sitting on the beach at midnight on New Years as fireworks shoot and burst over the dark water, his arm around my waist and my head against his shoulder.

Carrying a couch up two flights of stairs as we settle into our first, tiny apartment in a historic building in the middle of downtown. Nights spent cuddling on the couch watching the food channel and days spent at the lake fishing or just walking around. Our first anniversary and laughter as we try to remove a cork from our wine without a corkscrew.

New jobs, tears, arguing...a promise to one another and a new hope for a better future.

A positive pregnancy test sitting on the bathroom counter as I sit in the living room stunned and silent. Phone calls, photos and excitement as the days quickly pass as we wait for the arrival of our 'Peanut'. An ultrasound on our anniversary that showed a 'turtle', another big announcement and a name: Henry Kenneth. Puking, itching, swelling and an early induction in hopes that our little boy will be healthy.

Walking hand-in-hand into the police station and waiting nervously for the house to come up on the list. Bidding, laughing, and walking away home owners. Worrying, praying, moving, cleaning and then settling into our very first home.

A first birthday bash focused on his favorite thing: puppies. Friends and family surrounding us as we celebrate an entire year of Henry. Gifts galore, cake and lots of food on one of the hottest days of the year.

A date night. Just the two of us - nothing to worry about but being in the moment together. Fires in the backyard, my arms around his neck and his around my waist. Memories, sweet memories... and the hope of more to come.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Easter 2013

Doesn't it feel like Sunday was ages ago already? Maybe it's just me! Easter is always full of wonderful blessings for our family every year. We always go to church, participate in numerous Easter egg hunts and have a huge family dinner. This year was no exception!

Jeremy took Henry on this year's first Easter egg hunt while I was at work a couple of Saturdays ago. He was super shy and only picked up a couple of eggs, but Jeremy said he had a ton of fun anyway.

Henry and his Grandma.
Daddy and Henry. I asked Jeremy why he looked so angry to be participating in an egg hunt and he told me this was about the 15th try at a picture because his mom couldn't figure out the camera on the phone. Haha!
We gave Henry his Easter basket first thing Sunday morning - in bed. In case you missed it, you can check out the details of what was in the basket in this post. He loved everything and played with his trains all morning long!

Then we all got dressed up and headed off to church. We still attend my home church in Miamisburg on special holidays although we have a local church that we attend quite often as well. My grandmother and brothers and sisters attend this church so it always feels good to go there when we can.

Family photo!
Sisterly love.

He did MUCH better the second time around!
We went to my grandmother's house afterwards to have a light lunch and watch Henry open his Easter basket from her.

She loves him more than anything.
Then we headed to Jeremy's parent's house for dinner and another Easter egg hunt (and more baskets). The food was soooo good and I totally blew my diet for the day (hey, it was a holiday) and I have to say that it was totally worth it. Henry enjoyed dessert the best.

We had just a wonderful Easter and I hope your Easter was as blessed as ours!