Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Okay peeps, I need some suggestions on what to watch next on Netflix!

Jeremy and I are about 10 episodes away from finishing 'Dawson's Creek' and I just finished watching 'Brothers & Sisters'. I rarely watch movies, but that's because I feel like I can't get into any of the one's that I start so I'm mainly talking about TV series. I like dramas, he likes anything 'feel good'. I don't mind sci-fi as long as it's more realistic, I don't think I'd enjoy anything zombie-based. We both enjoy comedies as long as they're not super dirty (I can't stand Family Guy or Southpark, for example).

I need something new to watch for myself and we are going to need something new to watch together. I saw Wonder Years was on there, so that may be our next 'together' show.

Last tv 'season' I really enjoyed Once Upon a Time, Glee, The Vampire Diaries and The Office. Jeremy and I have seen all of The Office and LOVED it, so we won't be revisiting that one for a little while at least. We loved Dawson's Creek and I know we'll love the Wonder Years if we move on to it (childhood favorites, haha).

It's just a rainy day here in Ohio and I'm feeling a little under the weather so I'm planning on parking my bottom on the couch for a couple of hours before work tonight. Any suggestions as to what I should watch??

Monday, July 29, 2013


It's funny how when you think about life and what it really means, it's hard to come up with a concrete answer. Is is about enjoying yourself? Loving your family? Raising a family? Being a good wife? A good mother? A good person in general?

Should we focus more on our children? Our husbands? Ourselves? Should we give more? Take more? Is there a right way? A wrong way? If there is, are we guilty or in the clear?

The fact of the matter is that life is filled to the brim with questions about life and very little answers. Or, if there are answers, they're all different. It's very unlikely to find one, unified answer for anything.

I recently finished reading 'Grace' by Max Lucado. Max and I, well, we have a good relationship. I sincerely enjoy his books and they are one of the few books that I can say that I've started and actually finished reading in the past five years. This is coming from someone who loves to read, by the way, there just aren't enough good books out there anymore. Anywho; Max and I, we get along. His book 'Facing our Giants' is one of my absolute favorite reads to this day and 'Grace' will probably find it's way onto my short list of favorites as well.

There is a point to all of this, so hang in there. I've been so miserably lonely at times in the last few years that it's really started to effect my attitude and my outlook on life. There are times where Jeremy can just look at me wrong and I'll snap at him, or Henry will throw a tantrum and I have to walk away because I just know I'm going to yell at him. It's hard feeling lonely.

To make a long story short, I know a lot of this loneliness and anger comes from a lack of family, or a lack of concern from the family I have. Matter of fact, my entire family (minus my grandmother, of course) failed to show at Henry's 2nd birthday party. It made me so angry that it took me all morning to get over it. I almost just wanted to cancel because I had put so much work and effort into this party with the thought in mind that I was actually going to have MY family come to MY house and show a little interest for once.

I should have known it was wishful thinking on my part and I tried to play it off like it didn't bother me because I sincerely just wanted Henry to have the best day ever. He wasn't going to care one way or the other if anyone showed up.

I never struggled as much with this issue as I have since Henry has been born. The simple fact that I had no one there and no one to turn to to help with this new little baby just broke my heart. My grandmother, bless her heart, tried her very best. But she never had any children of her own (another long story) and a lot of her advice was just... old. I hate saying it that way, but she wanted me to tie a ribbon with a quarter around his belly to hold his belly button in, and wanted me to wrap him in six blankets every time we left the house. She loves Henry more than anything in this world, but sometimes a girl just needs someone to talk to. A mother, to be exact. And a girl needs someone to depend on, a mother, a father, brothers and sisters, to be exact. I don't have those things, and no matter how hard I try, or how much I'm there for them, I can't seem to make my family be there for me.

So back to this book. I finished 'Grace' and the entire time I was reading it, I was soaking in every bit of love and grace that Lucado kept assuring me that God had to offer. I prayed and prayed and focused on being a person who radiated nothing but grace.

That's when I saw it. It was like something that was always there, but I had gotten so good at ignoring it that I didn't even see it anymore. The family that I so longed for, wrapped within one warm, happy feeling. The answers to life's biggest questions. Whether or not I was doing it right, or wrong. (I was doing it wrong, by the way.) 

It was Grace. It was realizing that life is really nothing about the things we usually worry about, but all about the One who gave us life instead. As long as my eyes are focused on Him, I cannot be lonely, I cannot be angry, I cannot be anything but full of praise and thankfulness, love and grace. God's grace radiating from Him through me for all the world to see.

My one word for 2013 was 'present' and I've done really good about being more present with my family, and at work, and in general. But the one person who I was still only giving half myself to was God. I'd pushed him into the back of my mind and only pulled him forward when I really needed Him. It's easier to do than what we'd like to admit. I've already chosen my one word for 2014. Can you guess what it is?


My prayer is that I'll become so focused and present with God in the remainder of 2013 that I will radiate His grace in 2014 in all that I say and all that I do. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Henry's party was a 'Planes, Trains & Automobiles' theme this year and I had a blast getting everything together. Everything was super simple and I didn't spend nearly as much time as I did with his puppy party last year on the decorations or prep.

Stoplight Brownies, I followed the directions for more 'cake-like' brownies on the box instead of making them real fudgy so that they stuck together better in order to cut them like this.
We had a candy train.
These were the favors, boxes full of bubbles, little toy cars, candy and more.

Oreos as spare tires. We thought of using chocolate donuts as well, but thought the Oreos would go over better.

The birthday cake! I had originally wanted to put a road in the shape of a two with the car, but I hate sheet cakes and there just wasn't enough room on the round cake. I thought this was just as cute.

I made the banners from scrapbook paper and paper cutouts. They were super simple to do and I just used a yarn needle to string the twine through them. I sewed the banners together last year with my sewing machine, both works really well in my opinion.

Birth, 6 months, 1 year, 18 months and 2 years old. I can't believer how fast he's growing up!

His big gift from us was his new train table. All the kids played with it for the rest of the party. I had games planned (pin the wheel on the car, racing, paper airplanes, water balloons) but they just weren't interested. From age 2 to age 7, this was it for the rest of the night!
Henry was so pooped from all the excitement that he passed out on the floor at 7:30 and slept until 9:00 a.m. the next day. I don't think he's EVER slept that long!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

We can ALL have it ALL

It's funny how certain things will stick with you.

At church last Sunday (Yes, I said church. It's been FOREVER since we've got to go to church on a day that WASN'T a holiday. Thank you, Jesus!) the message was based around Ephesians and the church and the meaning of the church and how this great mystery had just been presented to them.

The mystery was that the Jews and the gentiles alike would share in the gift of grace and salvation and would be joined together as one body, which is the church.

And although this was no new news to me, something new and wonderful did stick with me and it was this:

We can ALL have it ALL.

How amazing is that?

God's grace and blessings and His inheritance is given to us all, equally. Not parts of it, but all of it. We can all have it all. I don't have to give up part of my salvation, or part of my spiritual gifts, or part of my portion of grace in order for anyone else to have it, it is freely given to anyone who will accept it.

That is after all the good news, isn't it?

I guess I had just never thought of it that way. That God's grace and love and mercy and blessings are not split, they do not have to be shared. It's all mine, and when someone else accepts these gifts, it becomes all theirs too.

God is sufficient for us all. Always and forever. His grace and love and mercy will never run out.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday, Little Bit

My Dearest Henry,

I've been thinking about this letter for at least two months now. I know that sounds extreme, but it's not an exaggeration in any shape or form. I just cannot find the words to explain the feelings that have grown in my heart for you, and as you approach your second birthday, I'm having a hard time coping with the part of me that really does not want you to grow up.

I remember what it was like to bring you home, two short years ago, in the hot of the middle of summer. I was so proud to be your mother, like you had been chosen specifically by God to be a part of our little family. We were so blessed by your presence, and still are. Henry, I would do anything for you. My entire world revolves around the times that you wrap your little arms around my neck for a hug or you smile or laugh that perfect little laugh. I can assure you that Daddy feels the same way too.

As much fun that Daddy and I had before you entered our lives, we wouldn't trade you to go back to any of it. The late nights, tantrums, and endless hours attempting to decipher your grunts and rambled words are worth every second. We love you Henry, so very much. If there's one thing that I hope you will know in life, this is it; family is everything, Henry, and your father and I value the time that the three of us can spend together more than anything else in this world. As much as we enjoy loving and being with one another, we enjoy loving and being with you any more.

At two years old, Henry, you are so FULL of life. You never sit still (seriously, ask anyone) and you are so curious. I hope you never lose that curiosity. You love to be outdoors. We can barely keep you in the house and if it weren't for coaxing you indoors with the promise of a bath, I don't think you'd ever come in. You love to swim too. You're like a little fish and refuse to be helped in anyway. You wear your arm floats like a little big-boy and swim and float and splash around the pool for hours. You like to climb up Mommy and Daddy and jump into the water, you're not afraid at to go under and you've even learned how to hold your breath. You love anything with wheels. You have this little bobcat that you take with you everywhere and push around making car noises and when the dog chewed it up, your Daddy's first priority was to get you a new one. You still sleep with us most nights, although we took the front off of your crib and you now have your own 'big-boy' bed. I think you'll be more excited about sleeping in it yourself in the future and as much as Daddy won't admit it, I think we've all slept a little better since we did. You have this thing with feet. It's super strange but it's also kind of cute. You have to check the bottom of your feet after you take off your shoes (which we have to struggle to keep on you, you like to be barefoot like your Mama) to make sure that they're clean, and you dig your toes into us when you're trying to get comfortable or sleeping. You still love your silky blankets and there's always one within reach. You still use a pacifier more often than what I'd like, I almost had you broke of it except for bedtime until we went on vacation in April and we found it was the only way you'd be comfortable in the car. You push your little chairs and step-stool up to the counters and we constantly fight with you to quit pulling things off of them, but I love when you pull your chair up when I'm making dinner and 'help' me stir or just watch the water boil. It's moments like this that make my heart just smile. You are saying a couple of words but not much. You are so stubborn when it comes to talking that it drives your Daddy and I crazy, but we're trying our best to be understanding that you'll talk when you're ready. You have no interest in tv or movies, but you love to read books (or have Mama and Daddy read them) and watch 'Twinkle, Twinkle' at bed time. Your favorite foods are hotdogs, fruit snacks and cherries and I've yet to find a food that you won't try or don't like.

The list could go on and on, Henry. You have filled our lives with so much excitement and love and every time that you learn something new, it thrills your daddy and I to the moon and back.

That reminds me. You saw your first shooting star this year while night-swimming during the super moon. It was truly magical and you absolutely loved pointing out the moon and the stars to us. It's one of my recent favorite memories.

Little Bit, I hope this coming year will bring you nothing but good health, happiness and more love than your little heart could ever imagine. Daddy and I are going to do our best to give you the best life that you can imagine. There are so many people who love you and we all want nothing but the best for you. We're hoping to make some big and exciting changes this year, and I hope that each one will enrich your life in a wonderful way. We love you Henry, so very much. I don't think we could ever tell you this enough. Happy Birthday, I know you probably won't remember it, but I hope that one day you'll look back at the pictures and see a day filled with fun and love.

I love you to the moon,
Your Mama

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Henry is (almost) two.

Henry will be two in six short days. I repeat, SIX days. Where does this leave me? Completely crazy while attempting to concrete all of my thoughts and ideas and then putting them together this week. We still have birthday photos to do, a train table to go pick up an hour away, and a very dirty house to clean. Not to mention that I have no idea what we will be serving to eat AND I haven't made my mind completely up about the cake.

All with do time, right?

I'm so, so, so, so, so glad that I work tonight, tomorrow and Tuesday evening and then am off for a week.

Friday is our family day and will be devoted completely to spoiling Henry. Saturday is his party. Sunday, I'm sure we'll need to rest. Wish us luck, we have a lot to accomplish!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Perfectly Wonderful

I woke up before every one else did this morning. That doesn't happen often anymore and when it does, I usually just roll back over and attempt to catch a few more minutes of precious sleep.

This morning I got up.

As I stare out the window, up at the sky, I'm almost amazed by the beautiful robin's egg blue that I see there.  For weeks the sky has been filled with huge, dark clouds and I was beginning to feel a bit rained-out. I really needed that blue sky this morning, even if the dark clouds drift back in and it rains for the rest of the day.

Lately I have striven to be less idle, to make the most of every day, to not make excuses, and in turn I'm beginning to realize the potential of every day that I had somehow forgotten. It's so easy to let things go for so long that they become less bad habit and more bad routine.

Today I think I will take Henry to the park, wet slides and all. I'm making this little fun time for us a priority before laundry and the grocery and then work this evening. I see nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you have to let the 'must do' fall to the wayside long enough to really enjoy life.

That's exactly what I'm doing. Enjoying this crazy, imperfect, and absolutely wonderful life.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

The Fight

I'm sure as fellow mothers that you all understand completely the why when I say that it's 10 p.m., I'm exhausted and yet I'm up and writing this blog because a) the husband is not currently home and b) Little Bit is fast asleep.

These moments do not come often enough.

I'm struggling with finding time for myself lately, and then when I have this time, I really have no idea what to do with it. It's a true fight to hold on to being yourself when you are stretched in so many different directions all of the time.

I was telling Jeremy over lunch on Friday that I really have a hard time being happy sometimes, simply because I'm not sure I know what makes me happy anymore.

I mean, there are the obvious things like Jeremy himself and Henry, of course. But if you took away the things that are obvious, I'm not sure there's really much left.

I feel like I have this serious issue in turning everything I love into work.

I picked up a camera several years ago, fell in love with photography, starting learning the art, and then turned it into a business.

I taught myself how to crochet, enjoyed shopping and looking for these wonderful yarns, and started selling them as well. I have yet to make one thing for myself.

I started this blog and enjoyed writing, without worry about who read it, how many followers I may have or how many people 'enjoyed' what I wrote, and then those numbers started catching my attention and all of a sudden, it felt a whole lot more like work than enjoyment.

I do things simply because I feel like it's what is expected of me. Not necessarily because I want to, or feel like I need to, but simply because I feel like someone else expects me to. It's like I constantly worry and stress that if I'm enjoying what I'm doing, then I'm letting someone down elsewhere.

If I take a nap with Henry in the afternoon, I feel guilty because my husband is at work.
If I spend 20 minutes editing a photo just a certain way because I enjoy the end result, I feel like it's wasting time unless I can sell it.
If I want to go catch a coffee alone, I feel guilty because Henry is a) with a babysitter or b) with Jeremy, and then I feel double guilty because I'm spending time by myself instead of with the two of them.

If I do anything for ME and ME alone, I feel so self-centered, guilty and just down right agonized because my time is valuable and I think it should be put to use in the best ways possible. Which obviously is either with or for my family.

It's stupid, silly and ridiculous, I know... but it's truth.

So, I'm going to try to change that. I'm going to step away from photography on a business front for awhile, even after all the work I've put into it lately. It's time to get back to enjoying my camera the way that I used to. I'm going to sit down and crochet something completely for myself, something that is JUST for me. I'm going to get back to my 5 day-a-week exercising, even if it's just walking. That few minutes of being alone with just my music and my thoughts is really helpful sometimes. I'm going to read more, I always enjoyed reading. And I'm going to continue my little break from the blog world, I need to keep my distance enough to feel as if I'm writing only for myself.

I'm sure you all understand. I wouldn't mind your advice either. How have you managed to hold on to yourself and not feel guilty or pulled in too many directions?

Tuesday, July 02, 2013


I've had a lot of things on my mind lately. BIG things. Things that really do matter. In terms of religion, I consider myself a Christian. In terms of denomination, I was raised Baptist but consider myself very close to non-denominational at this point. I mean, let's be honest, you have to disagree with SOMETHING usually somewhere in just about every denomination.

The honest-to-God truth is that I really enjoy church, but really hate the stigmas that usually follow certain denominations. It all seems more hurtful than peaceful in most circumstances, like...if you don't agree with me than you can't be my friend because I am right and you are wrong. I hate that. Why can't we all just get along?

I am 25 and at this point of my life, this is what I personally believe. It's not all religious, but most of it ties back to my religious beliefs. I've been told on several occasions in my life that my life is 'too perfect'. I've been accused of never having an issue and being handed all things on a silver platter, simply because I refuse to let life get me down. These reasons are why I am happy, why my life may appear 'perfect', and why I can face any trouble in the face and not be shaken completely by it.

1) I am saved by grace, not by works. Nothing I can do can get me to heaven aside from trusting in Jesus and knowing that He was innocent, crucified, and rose again.

2) Prayer and trust is all I need to get through this life. Seriously. Even in the most stressful situations, I truly believe that if you're trusting that it's all in God's plan, there is absolutely no reason to worry about it.

3) Living in America means we should all have equal rights regardless of sex, race or sexual 'preference' and it's my opinion that the church and state are too closely related for comfort.

5) With that being said, I don't think homosexuality, bisexual tendencies, or being transgender is 'natural'.

6) Babies are babies whether they are inside a womb or out. I know that some people feel as if they are not fit to be parents, but killing an unborn child is murder. I don't care what you do with your body, but I think killing an innocent life should not be a choice.

7) Telling someone else how to live their life will do nothing but block you out from their mind, heart, and life. Live your life as a testament to what you believe and it will make more difference than you can imagine. There is already enough persecution, judgement and hatefulness in the world.

8) Forgiveness is key to a happy life.

9) Love Never Fails. Love, love, love and then go out and love some more. Treat others as you'd want to be treated, give when you can, and remember that you have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

10) Believe only half of what you see and nothing you hear.

11) Your word and your character are two of the few things you can control completely in life. Live so that if someone says something negative about you, they would never believe it. Never break your promises because trust is the foundation to every relationship, big or small.

12) Throw out an mold that someone tries to shove you in and live your life the way YOU see fit. Don't let judgmental stares or fear hold you back.

13) Strive to change the lives of those around you.

14) One good friend is better than 10 'ok' friends any day.

15) Sex should be saved for marriage, but usually isn't. Therefore we should be educated about the risks of having sex and how to have sex safely. Ignoring sex will only cause more trouble in the long run.

16) A marriage should be taken more seriously and it should be more difficult to get a divorce. A lot of people will disagree with me here, but we are in an era of giving up before we've even really tried.

17) There should be mandatory drug-tests for any and all recipients of welfare. There's no reason that our government should be helping people who refuse to help themselves.

18) A tattoo is a permanent thing and should be carefully considered. With that being said, tattoos should also be more widely accepted in the work-place.

19) Love is a feeling we choose to make. You can control who your heart loves, by choosing to think about who you allow to be in your life, the amount of time you spend with them, and the amount of time you spend getting to know them. If in your mind you are not open to the possibility of love, love will not just push itself into your life. I believe in lust at first sight, but not love.

20) God should come first in life and family should be second. Nothing else should matter more than these two things, especially money.

21) There are way more things in life that are more important than the way you look. Vanity can be a seriously harmful thing. However, the way you present yourself to the world says a lot about yourself as well. There can be a very fine line between the two.

22) One should never lose hope. Miracles do happen and wishes do come true.

23) Honesty is always the best policy. When you are willing to bear your soul to those around you, you'll often find that you're not alone in your insecurities, fears and issues.

This list is getting long and 23 is my favorite number so I think I'll stop. What do you personally believe? I'd love to hear what makes you tick!