Saturday, March 31, 2012

5 Passions - Check

What are 5 passions you have?

1. Following Jesus - He is my lifeline. My rock. My fortress. My provider. My strength. My savior. He offers me rest when I am weary. He gives me hope when I am down. He provides peace when I am unsettled and He fills me with joy when I am struggling. My only reaction can be passion for following Him.

2. Working with teenagers - As a former teenager I know that the decisions you make in highschool effect the rest of your life and they stay with you always. For that reason, I am very passionate about sharing my story with teenagers in hopes that they will not make the mistakes that I made and choose to follow Jesus wholeheartedly.

3. Friendship - If I expect my friends to be good friends, I have to be a good friend in return. In my friends I look for loyalty and trust, accountability and reliability. Now that I know what real true authentic friendship looks like, I have a hard time settling for anything else.

4. Music - If you read any of my blogs before this one, you know I love music. I want to share this passion with my girls so there are lots of days that I will just turn on the music and we have our own little dance parties right here at home.

5. Marriage - In my short life I have seen lots of marriages fail. So according to the world's standard, Adam and I set ourselves up for failure by getting married. I have such a huge passion to stay hopelessly in love with my husband. To see our relationship grow and not be stagnant. We have always made the effort to study "marriage" at least once a year by reading books, listening to sermons, being in accountability groups, or by going to a marriage conference. My heart's prayer is that we reflect Jesus in our relationship and that we die in our old age happily married.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dream Job - Check

What is your dream job, and why?
This question is part of a collection of questions that I am working through. If you want to check them out, they are all under my tab "The List".

Wow! Dream job? I love being a stay-at-home Mom and Wife, but if in a dream world I could do whatever I wanted.... Well, I have to say I would want to sing and travel with my college praise team. (With my lovely family beside me of course!)

I love singing! Especially with my friends and family. When you sing/play with the same group for an extended amount of time you can get into a groove where you know exactly what the others are going to do musically before they even do it.

It is fun to learn new songs and try new harmonies.

And I will be honest. There is nothing better than worshiping God with your closest friends.

This group was such a blast to be around. We would sometimes be in the middle of a practice and all of a sudden be in the middle of true worship. It was a beautiful experience and I am so glad that I had it for a short time.

Wish we lived near one another so we could jam occasionally.

Definitely my dream job.

The last time we all were together was for my brother's wedding. Check it out.

Hardest Thing - Check

What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?

Writing this.

No seriously. I have started this blog about 15 times already and after debating about what experience to share I decided that this is my personal experience. It may be boring. You may think it is stupid. But this experience for me was very difficult and trying. Some of my darkest days spiritually came from this experience.

Adam and I had only been married for a few months before I got the baby itch. We had always agreed 3-5 years before having a baby. However, once that itch kicked in it was no backing down. Babies everywhere seemed to stare at me. Smile at me. Coo at me. Reach for me. I could not go anywhere without feeling this desire to have a baby sink deeper and deeper inside of my heart.

After several long discussions, Adam and I both agreed that it was just not the time. Adam was working two jobs and was hardly around. I was in school. Logically I knew.

Over time I saw my friends lose babies that I thought would be fabulous parents while other people that I knew did not want to have babies and they were pregnant.

I cried out to God, crying for my friends and for the injustice that I felt was taking place. I cried out to Him for my own heart’s cry to have a baby.

I felt far from Him.

I was never upset with Adam – only God.

After a couple of years Adam finally agreed to give me a date that we could start trying. It was still a year away, but it was hope. It was what I needed.

I still had days of struggle with God because I knew that He was bigger than all of our plans and could give me a baby.

Finally the day came.

And went.

Month after month I began to fret and worry. What is wrong with me?

Everyone I knew got pregnant quick.

Not us.

Months went by.

For someone who wants a baby – these months drag.

Late periods brought false hope.

More crying out to God.

I finally had all I could take when one more month came with another late period. I fell to my knees in submission. “OK GOD! I desire to have a baby. To carry it in my womb. To have it look like Adam and me. BUT  if that is not what you have for us, if you want us to adopt, I am at peace with that.”

That was the hardest conversation I have ever had with God. Surrendering my hopes and dreams and asking for His.

My Papa and Grandma came to visit a few weeks after this conversation. My Papa asked me if there was anything that he and Grandma could pray with me about and I shared with them my frustration and struggles.
After sharing with them, my Papa and Grandma prayed with me and my Papa anointed me with oil.

If you know me at all, you know that God eventually gave me two beautiful girls and I praise Him for both of my girls every day.

Through this experience God has taught me so much. Trust. Patience. Dependence. Perfect timing.

I praise Him that His timing is perfect and that He knows what we need better than we do. Sometimes it is hard to see the big picture and be ok with the things He is doing, but once everything falls into place we can catch a glimpse of the beautiful things He has for us.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

5 Happy Things - Check

What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

1.  Date Nights - After having children, these have become so very important to Adam's and my relationship. The time away to reconnect and catch up with one another. Time to hang out and just be us. Time to refresh and lift one another up. Time to encourage one another. These nights make me happy.

2. Alone Time - Lately I have found that my alone time is very important for me to be able to function. This makes me a better wife, a better mom, a better person. This alone time is doing exactly what I need at that moment. Sometimes it is sleeping. Sometimes it is cleaning. Sometimes it is sewing. It is always time to dig into the Word and praise and worship God. This time alone with Him is my lifeline to get through the day.

3. Being Outside - I love being outside on warm sunny days. It is great because I can let the girls run around and burn off energy without having to get all of their gear in the van and go somewhere. It is like a theme park right outside the front door. A whole new word awaits!

4. Competition - Adam and I have been playing series of games, best of 5, after the girls go to bed. Not every night, but most nights. Loser gets to pick the next game. This competition proves that Adam is much better at boardgames than I am, but I get to play a lot of my favorite games so I am ok with losing.

We are also doing a different competition that is a "get healthy" competition. We have calorie goals, but the real goal is to eat at least 2 servings of fruits and vegetables plus drink at least 32 oz of water every day. So far I have lost 14 pounds and 5 inches off of my stomach which is super awesome. How could I not be happy about that?

5. Conversation - Thanks to Facetime and Skype I can have a conversation with family or friends and actually see them as if we are talking in person. This makes it possible for my girls to see my family even though they do not live close. It is pretty fantastic!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Message From the Future - Check

List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.

1. Do not worry about what others think about you. 15 years from now, you will only communicate with those people through a program on the internet called Facebook.

2. Dating is a waste of time. You have some wonderful friends, hang out with them more and save dating for when it matters, which is when you are old enough to consider getting married. It is not worth the heartache you will have later. Just wait.

3. Listen to your parents. They are so much wiser than you and have a ton more life experience than you. They know better than you. They may seem annoying to you now, but trust me, if you listen to them now you will be better off.

4. Enjoy highschool. Be in plays. Do your best in choir. Enjoy the freetime!

5. Try out for things you never thought you would be good at. Get out of your comfort zone. Cheer leading. Dance team. Sports.

6. Keep that fire for Jesus burning! Continue your prayer group and Bible study. They will help you set a healthy lifestyle for yourself so that when you are older, praying and reading your Bible come more naturally.

7. Practice on the basketball hoop outside more because in college you will play basketball and you do not want to look like a fool.

8. Spend more time with your brother. He is pretty awesome and one day you will regret wasting all those years when you were not friends. Sing together while you can because one day you will live far apart and you will not be able to do this very often. You will miss it.

9. As soon as you can, buy a hair straightener. It will change your life for the better. And your hair for the better. (Look at the fluff.)

10. I will not tell you much about your future spouse, but he is amazing. And he saved his first kiss for you. Men like this do exist and he is very much worth the wait. Save your kisses for him. Save everything for him. You will be so glad that you did. He is going to make you very happy.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Parents - Check

Describe your relationship with your parents.

My Momma and I are a lot alike in that we are both loud and opinionated.  She is my confidant and my friend. I can call her when I need prayer or friend advice. She is helpful and extremely caring. Her cooking could outdo just about anyone else's. (Especially the holiday meals!) God has given her a voice that is magnificent. When she sings, the birds stop to listen.

My Daddy and I are alike too in that we like a lot of the same things like books, movies, games, etc. He is my protector and my friend. He is comforting and gives great advice. I can call him and know he will answer the phone no matter how early or late I call. God has given him a heart to serve others and he is very passionate about doing so.

When I was younger my parents guided and directed me and showed me the way. Now that I am older and have children of my own our relationship has changed. I still seek them for their wisdom and discernment in different situations, but I see them as special friends instead of the authority that they once were in my life.

I am truly blessed to have such God-honoring parents that not only love and serve God, but also love and serve one another.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

3 Fears - Check

Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.

One of my fears is losing somebody that I love. Death has been a part of my life since I was in the first grade when my best friend died. I feel like since then it has played a significant role in shaping me. Death feels so final. As a Christian, I know I will see my loved ones again in Heaven some day, but it does not make losing them any easier while here on earth.

Another fear that I have is that my children will not have a personal relationship with Christ. There was a time in my life where I had turned my back on all that I had been taught growing up and if it had not been for loving and truly devoted parents plus the continuous voice of God convicting me and calling me out of the darkness, my life would have been very different than what it is now. I can only pray that my children will see Adam's and my relationship with God and desire what we have. It is a matter of eternity.

My last fear is that my house will burn to the ground. When I was a little girl I was alone in the kitchen with the oven started on fire. My fear grew more when a few years ago Adam started the bathroom on fire in our apartment. (Trevor didn't help things when he said, "The fire department stayed all night spraying the walls because the fire was in the walls." - I did not get any sleep that week night. - We moved at the end of the week.) When Kaylee's fan had it's little fiasco, I went out and bought a fire extinguisher and 2 more fire alarms, one for each of the girls' rooms.  This fear ties in with the first one.

Fears are interesting though because they do not come from God. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of self-control." These are things that I have given to Him and trust Him with because if I carried the burden of them all the time I would be so weary and tired from trying to handle them on my own. When these fears try to capture me I remember Psalm 56:3 "When I am afraid, I will trust in you."

I am so glad that, while these fears are scary to me and make me cringe, God is always with me.

Friday, March 23, 2012

20 Randoms - Check

List 20 random facts about yourself.

1. I love to read. Mystery and Romance. And I am pretty picky with what I read. Usually I stick with specific authors.

Most recent read: The Hunger Games (Going to the movie on Monday!)

2. Now that I have kids, I am much more introverted than I used to be. I like nights where I can be alone and do nothing.

3. Music is my favorite. If you get me talking about what I listen to, you will sit and listen to thousands of fabulous songs by some of my favorite artists.

Whatever, Michael, Skillet is and always will be awesome.

4. I enjoy playing strategic boardgames. I think it is a great way to get to know other people and get in a little bit of competition in the process.

5. Sunshine and 75 degrees are my friends. If it is cold and gray out, I have a hard time being motivated to do anything. (Which is why I am working on this today instead of doing other things.)

6. I keep an old school Nintendo Gameboy in the bathroom so I can play Tetris when I am in there for longer periods of time.

7. Routine is important to me. It gives me sanity and helps me move more quickly. When Adam is home in the morning on the weekends, it throws me off so I move very slowly.

8. I am not a morning person. So much so that if you talk to me before I have had a chance to go potty and brush my teeth, I will probably just growl at you.

9. Starbucks is my refuge when I need to get away from the house. I am a gold card member and use my membership frequently. Favorite cold drink is a Java Chip Frappaccino. Favorite warm drink is a Dark Cherry Mocha, but since they don't make the Cherry syrup anymore... it is the Peppermint Mocha.

10. When my kids are a little older, I would love to act and sing at a community theater somewhere.

11. My love for bridges comes from the fact that Jesus is the ultimate bridge for me. (Que the Point of Grace song.)

12. My house stays picked-up most of the time so that if someone were to stop by, it would not be a big deal. However, my bedroom is usually a pit and if you were to peek in there I would be extremely embarrassed.

13. I consider scrapbooking to be one of my hobbies, but I am lucky if I do it once a year.

14. Blue (aqua-ish) has been my favorite color since I was about 14. My favorite color before that was purple.

15. During my childhood I was super clumsy. I busted my nose open, broke my right arm once, broke my left arm twice, and had my fingernail torn off.

16. I collect Starbucks mugs from major cities and I also collect Willow Tree Figurines.

17. Singing is one of my biggest passions. Especially when I can worship my Lord and Savior.

18. Listening to the birds sing makes me happy.

19. I still have all of my wisdom teeth, but the dentist says that they have to come out this year.

20. Photography is important to me because I don't have many pictures of my childhood. Pictures are captured memories. I don't want to miss out on being able to look back.

Try sitting down and thinking of 20 things about yourself. It is not an easy task.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The List

My best friend Meggan gave me a list to do for the next 30 posts. Since I love lists and feel the need to check them off one by one, I am going to work my way through the list. Looks fun!


1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
3. Describe your relationship with your parents.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What is your love language?
29. What do you think people misunderstand most about you?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.


Since about November of last year, I have felt God moving in my heart and in my life through a multitude of Bible studies, lessons, and events. I feel like I am bursting at the seams because I have intended to share this with you for a long time, but with the busyness of life I have not had the chance to just sit and write. Right now I have the chance so here it goes.

It started with reading the book called "My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife". In reading this book and reading Proverbs 31 itself,  God showed me that there are areas of my life that I need to do better at maintaining. Specifically my time. More time being like the Proverbs 31 woman and less time sitting around on the internet. More time with my girls and less time playing games on my phone.

This particular lesson was also impressed on my heart through a series of lessons that our highschoolers were hearing on Sundays about making your focus daily be Jesus. Having Him be your whole life, your identity. While I had always tried to make time for Him, I have found this to always be something I have struggled with. The reality was that I was going at it all wrong. My focus was more on just spending time with Him because I had been taught that it was important. My focus needed to be on making the time because I desire for my relationship to be deeper and more meaningful. Since this moment of realization, I have found that if my heart is in the right place so is my relationship with Him.

Adam asked me to listen to some sermons by Mark Driscoll and little did I know they would be life changing as well. The first few were about what marriage should look like and how we should be friends with our spouse. Good stuff, but nothing too convicting. Then, he spoke on being a respectful wife. My favorite quote was "If there is disrespect in how you think of him (your husband), there will be disrespect in how you feel about him. And it comes out in your speech. This is one of the reasons it is really important to regularly be praying for your husband. Because it conditions you on how to speak about your husband." - Mark Driscoll The Respectful Wife Sermon. God has really shown me that my thoughts are not as they should be when it comes to Adam. These sermons have also shown me some areas where I still have quite a bit of selfishness to work on.

Speaking of my selfishness, about a month ago I went on a retreat with our senior high youth group as a leader and the biggest thing that stood out to me throughout the weekend's sermons was how selfish I can be with my time. Isn't it amazing how God just continues to point to areas of our lives through multiple different ways to bring us back to the same issue. He wants my time. Stop being lazy. Get up. Get my Bible. Read it. Talk to Him. Life is so much better when I am walking with Him beside me.

To top off all of the things that God has been doing in me, I am currently finishing up a Bible Study called Train Up a Mom. The biggest thing I have taken from this class so far is that I should be praying for my girls. One way to go about this is by praying scripture for them. What a great way to get before the Lord and pray specific things for them.

It has amazed me how when I am willing God shows up and challenges and grows me in ways I never expected. Sometimes it is overwhelming to see all of the areas of my life that still need work, but I am so grateful that He shows them to me and gives me direction in how to work on them. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring

Pinterest has a multitude of heavenly looking recipes and I am slowly trying the ones on my food board.

I decided to try this recipe for sticky buns because I had everything already on hand. This recipe is from All Things Delicious.

Here's what you'll need:

1 tube Pillsbury Grands buttermilk biscuits
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1/2 C. pancake syrup
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. chopped pecans, opt.
1/4 C. chopped almonds, opt.

Spray a fluted pan with non-stick spray. Combine the melted butter and syrup in a small bowl and set aside. In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts (if desired). Place about half of the syrup mixture in the bottom of the pan. Then sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture on top. Lay the biscuits on the bottom of the pan, overlapping edges (closely together) to form a ring. Top with remaining syrup and sugar mixtures. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 1 minute in the pan, then invert onto a serving platter and enjoy!

This recipe was so easy and quick to make! I have a spectacular recipe for monkey bread, but it takes a long time to break the biscuits and roll them into balls. This tasted almost exactly the same and took no time at all! I will definitely make it again!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ella's First Year In One Post

Today my sweet Ella turned 1 and boy did she wake up cranky.

We tried to put her down for a short nap before family and friends arrived, but she was not having that. She wanted to be awake and did not mind being grumpy.

I was looking back over the past year of Ella's life and spent some time just remembering.

Even though she was late, she entered the world super fast!

The first 3 months after she was born we were trying to figure out why she a)spit-up 90% of her food b)cried ALL the time c)could not stand laying down flat and d)would not sleep laying down flat.

By month 3 she was on some incredible medicine that helped with what we figured out was reflux. She still spit-up, but we were finally able to see a little of her personality and spirit come out as she began to cry a lot less.

Months 4,5, and 6 were spent getting into a routine and getting to know our little bear. She started laughing all the time and sitting up during these months. Spit-up was still a huge part of her life, but the medicine was still working fabulously.

Month 6 she started solids and I started weaning her off of the medication. She did great! She also started scooting around the house on her bottom. She loved going wherever Kaylee was.

Months 7, 8, and 9 she started crawling, but still preferred scooting on her bottom. Spit-up was finally becoming a thing of the past. She also started trying to talk.

Months 10 and 11 she started to get some teeth finally and crawling became her primary way to get around. She got really sick and had to be put on breathing treatments for a few weeks. Once she was better, she started pulling up on the furniture and cruising around.

Now she is cruising everywhere and trying to talk more and more. I cannot believe a year has come and gone!

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

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