Monday, April 30, 2012

Live - Check

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

Mine is not necessarily a place, although somewhere warm would be nice, rather a place where I am closer to my loved ones.

Right now my parents are in St Louis. My brother and his wife are in Colorado. My Dad's parents are in Mississippi. My Dad's brothers and their families live in Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, and Costa Rica. My Mom's whole family lives in Arkansas. My best friends live in Minnesota and California. Everyone is so spread out. The one perk is that we do live near Adam's parents, but they even live far enough away that we can't just "stop by when we are in the area".

So. If I could live anywhere? It would be near all of these fabulous people. I would love to get together for a holiday and not have to drive over 30 miles to get there. I would love to watch my cousins or my friend's kids so that I could get to know them better and give my family and friends a chance to get away. I would love for my kids to be able to ask Michael to come over on facetime and he be able to say yes. I would love to be able to take food to them when they are sick.

I would love to live near them because I love them.

That is where I want to live.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Forgive - Check

What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?

Probably my own stupidity in high school. Forgiving myself for turning away from everything that I was taught was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

I actually can even pinpoint the time that I started to forgive myself. I was at an event called Dare2Share and the speaker asked us to write on a sheet of paper something that we are so ashamed of and feel as though God could never forgive us for that sin. I wrote my sin on that tiny sheet of paper as tears filled my eyes and poured down my cheeks. Then the speaker had us tear it up into tiny pieces and hold it tightly in our hands to represent our last moment bearing this burden alone, and to openly ask God to forgive us of the sin that we have held on to for so long. After a few minutes of prayer, the youth leaders (my Uncle Rick in my case) came around to collect the little pieces left and in our ears whispered, "You are forgiven." I sobbed like a baby as I watched him carry my sin that I had buried and held on to, up to the cross.

At that moment, the process of forgiving myself began.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Great - Check

What is the thing you most wish you were great at?


Self-control when it comes to food. No, I don't need that second piece of pie with ice cream and even though it looks so good and is calling my name, I am not going to eat it.

Self-control when it comes to time. While a nap sounds super fabulous right now, I am going to work-out instead.

Self-control when it comes to attitude. Why yes I have told you 13 times today to not put toys in your sister's clothes and I have zero patience left for this continuous behavior, but I am not going to raise my voice at you because it does neither of us any good.

Self-control when it comes to mood. The sun is not out again for the 9th day in a row and it is too chilly to take the girls outside, but I am going to make this an awesome day to make a tent and play like we are outside in the woods somewhere having a camp out.

Self-control is after all a fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."

Definitely one I wish I "were great at".

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

5 Greatest Accomplishments - Check

What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?

1. Married the man of my dreams.

2. Graduated college with my best friends.

3. Saw my favorite people in the world get married.

4. Bought a house

 5. Gave birth to 2 beautiful little girls.

Animal - Check

If you were an animal, what would you be 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".

I would be a bird. Because then I could fly and sing all day. The best part is that I could go south during the winter and come back north with it is warmer. Besides they move a lot and I know what that is like. And I could be a fat bird and nobody would care. I would not fall prey to those clean glass windows. And I might poop on cars just for fun. It would be fun to be a bird.

5 Strengths - Check

Describe 5 strengths you have.

Sorry it has been so long since my last post. I have been avoiding this, but decided that it is time to attack and conquer.

1. I consider myself to be a good friend. - I place great value in friendship. I have seen friendships come and go over the years and through that I have come to set boundaries for myself and expectations on those that I become friends with. These expectations I apply to myself as well. If I expect a friend to call and see how I am doing, then I better be doing the same for her. If I expect a friend to come visit, then I need to visit her. Relationships require give and take and if I am unwilling to give, then I should not be allowed to take. Being a friend is something I work hard at.

2. I want others to fit in. - Honestly, I don't know what to classify that as, I just have always had a heart for that one person that everyone else ignores. Or that new couple that I see in church. It bugs me when other people ignore the new person or the people that are not like them. As a Christian I feel like the people most out of my comfort zone are the ones that I should be reaching out to. Now let me back up and say that I do not necessarily think that I need to befriend all of those people. I only have so many connectors and I cannot be friends with everybody. However, I can do my best to get them connected with someone that they could be friends with. Example: A new young couple without kids comes to church. They are newlyweds, but around the same age as Adam and I. I feel like I should step out and say hello and introduce myself. I feel like I then she ask a little about them and then introduce them to the leaders of the newly marrieds connection group. Instead of just ignoring them and watching them leave without ever saying anything. We may never really hang out with that couple, but it does not hurt me to say hi when I see them and encourage them to join different things going on at church.

3. I have deeply rooted compassion. - It hurts my heart to see broken people. I know several people that are currently struggling with different health issues, some of which are life threatening. My heart weeps for them. I know others that are dealing with intense life circumstances that are draining them. My heart weighs heavy for them. This compassion drives me to my knees for people I don't even know. People that I want to help, but cannot do anything more for. Compassion encompasses all sorts of people in all kinds of situations and I know that this is something that God uses in my life to draw me to Him and meet with Him about those things.

4. I am an encourager. - I want others to succeed so I encourage. I know I always do a better job when I know someone is there to encourage me along. So, maybe others are the same way. If I know someone that needs encouragement, I try to lend a hand.

5. I am hospitable. - Hosting is one of my favorite things to do. I love having people over and knowing that they had a great time. Since we have young kids, my hosting has slowed down a lot, but we still have our game days that we do once a month. I enjoy having people in the house, feeding them something yummy, and then sending them on their way. When my girls are older, I look forward to having slumber parties and get-togethers. I want people to feel like family when they come to my house.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

5 Weaknesses - Check

Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

I find this one to be super personal. But here we go.

1. Food - Especially sweets. Over the last few months I have been trying to re-train myself to eat less and to have self-control in general when it comes to food. It has not been easy, but I am finally getting to where I am ok with the way I look. However, food is still very much a weakness for me. Specifically ice cream, Oreos, or chocolate.

2. Insecurity - This is so huge. Between the baby belly that did not leave with baby 2 and the fact that my hormones have been a huge mess since Elanor was born, I have just been on a roller coaster with myself. Again, in efforts to help this along I have gone back to number 1 trying to get rid of the baby belly. It just takes so much time to really see results and when I do not see them, my insecurity gets the best of me.

3. Patience - Oh man. I do not know what happened to my patience. I used to have incredible patience. I would hide in my brother's room for hours just waiting for him to come in so I could scare him. My patience is ultra thin now and something I really have to work on.

4. Gentleness - Have you ever met those Moms that talk so gently and sweet to their children? I know that I am not one of them. I struggle to not be harsh with my girls. Going back to my lack of patience, I simply do not have the patience to be gentle. I try, but fail miserably.

5. Anger - Goodness, these last three are all tied together for me. I have such a short fuse patience wise that I can lose my cool really fast. And because I am not a gentle person, my response is mean and sometimes loud. As Kaylee gets older, I am starting to see her behavior reflect my own and I know that this is a weakness that I need to nip in the bud before it becomes my daughter's weakness as well.

These weaknesses are things that God has been really helping me overcome. Work in progress. I praise God that I serve Him and that He gives me grace and forgiveness when these weaknesses are visible in my life and heart, and that He gives me strength and persistence to pursue growth in each of these areas.

‎2 Corinthians 12:8-10 -  8 "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Friday, April 6, 2012

Typical Day - Check

Describe a typical day in your current life.

Oh my. Hope you bear with me. Haha!

Usually, I wake up to Kaylee singing or playing in her room and Ella is either cooing or fussing. After I brush my teeth and go potty, I get breakfast ready for the girls and more importantly make coffee for myself. I open all the curtains (hello sunshine!) and then go get Kaylee and take her potty. Then together we get Ella up and change her diaper. We eat breakfast and during breakfast is when I try to get my email and facebook checked. (I have found that if I keep the computer in the kitchen I am more productive.)

Anyways, after breakfast the girls play in the living room while I clean up breakfast and empty the dishwasher from the night before. Then, I join in the play/referee as Kaylee is still learning how to share. (In case you are wondering, Ella woke up in a great mood and is currently throwing a diva temper tantrum on the floor because I did not let her play in the bathroom.) At 10ish Ella goes down for a morning nap and Kaylee and I usually read a little and then do some cleaning until lunch.

After lunch I try to take the girls outside for a little while to burn some energy. If it is too cold to go out, I make Kaylee run laps in the hallway. At 1:30 I put both girls down for naps and I clean, work-out, and take some time for myself while they sleep. Adam gets home and I entertain the girls while he takes a short amount of time to himself. I make dinner and Ella hangs onto me during the process.

After dinner we play in the living room until it is time for the girls to go to bed. Adam usually lays down on the floor and becomes their human jungle gym. Adam and I rotate on which girl we put to bed so that we can each have alone time with one of them. After the girls are down, we either play a game or watch a movie/TV together.

Some days are easier than others depending on the amount of laundry and the mood of the girls. Some days I do not get anything done and simply hold the girls a lot because they just need to be cuddled. (Today looks to be one of those days. I do not know what Ella's deal is today. Kaylee is no better as she is instigating Ella. Oh the love of siblings.)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Healthy Eating Challenge

Several people have requested to have my spreadsheet for Adam's and my "Healthy Eating Challenge".

The best thing for me was coming up with prizes worth winning that did not cost an arm and a leg. Our first competition (4 weeks long), the prize was picking the next movie that we went to see in the theater. I won so Adam whined his way through "The Vow". This competition (8 weeks long) ends this weekend, but I have already won it and it is an entire day to myself. This one was way more important to me to win so I am super excited about it. Right now, Adam is done with the challenge for a while. I think he just needs a little break from counting calories. I, however, am hoping that since we have been doing it for so long that it will just be a natural part of my day from here out. We have some friends that want to take us on and Adam said he may be up for it in a few weeks. We will see I suppose.

Anyways, here is the spreadsheet if you want to try it for yourselves. Good luck!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me. Thanks!

Pet Peeves - Check

Describe 10 pet peeves you have.

1. Bad drivers - this includes but is not limited to the driver that is rude and will not let you merge onto the interstate, the driver that turns so slowly that you could have bought Christmas presents for all the Dugger kids by they time they have finally finished turning, the driver that is going so fast and zooming in and out of traffic almost causing an accident, the driver that stays in the passing lane with their cruise set and does not get out of the way for the line of traffic behind it, and the driver that takes what feels like 5 hours to go at a green light.

2. Lack of Pregnant/Young Children Parking - When I was pregnant there were days where I could hardly move, but I needed to pick something up at the store. I would have to park forever and a day away and walk forever to get into the store. This did not become any easier once I was not pregnant anymore because now I am carrying an infant in an infant seat into the store and trying to recover from having a baby plus handle my emotions. Now I that I have two kids, I have to carry one and hold the other's hand while trying to maneuver the diaper bags and my purse. This would be so much easier if we could park closer. Or have designated parking next to the cart corral so that I can just plop them right into a cart.

3. Rewashing dishes - Our dishwasher is not the greatest on the market and so all the dishes must be rinsed well in order for the dishwasher to do a good job. Sometimes the dishes do not get rinsed well and the gunk that was on it before the wash is now glued to it thanks to the drying part of the dishwasher being super awesome.

4. Creaky carts - I always end up with the noisiest cart that is super difficult to drive.

5. Empty toilet paper rolls - Seriously?!? Am I the only one in the world that knows how to change them?

6. People blowing their nose in quiet public places - Like church. Mainly because I visualize the germs flying over to me and grabbing me. And then burrowing into my skin. And it is loud. And distracting. (I have the same reaction to people that don't cover their mouth when they sneeze or cough.)

7. Cat hair - I know I have a cat, but seriously I will just finish scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees. I will stand up to look upon my work proudly and see a stupid tumble weed of cat hair floating across and now sticking to my perfectly polished floor. I promise I sweep.

8. Constant whining - Drives. Me. Crazy.

9. People that don't wash their hands after using the restroom - Gross. I don't care if you "didn't get anything on you". Wash your hands.

10. People that clearly have way more than 10 items going to the express lane because they do not want to wait in line - Oh man. When I worked retail, if I was in a really bad mood, I would tell those people, "I am sorry, but my machine has a 10 item limit. It technically goes up to 15 (you know if you get gum in line or something), but after 15 an alarm goes off and it is really humiliating. So, if you would please go to another line that would be great." Much to the pleasure of the person behind them.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Embarrassing Moment - Check

Describe your most embarrassing moment.

This one is so easy for me.

My most embarrassing moment was in the 3rd grade. I had a broken arm and was not allowed to go to P.E. so I stayed in the classroom and wrote on the chalkboard. Normally, this would not be a bad situation as I enjoyed doodling on the board.

Let me back- up a little.

Our school had a pretty tight policy that said that in order to call home, you have to have a form filled out by your teacher saying that you have permission, who you are calling, and what number they can be reached at.

Ok, back to the story. So I had to pee really bad and my teacher was not in the room. Being the good little school girl that I was, I waited. And waited. And waited some more.

She finally came back to the room and told me that I could use the restroom. Then, she said that she was going to pick up the rest of my class from P.E. and would be right back.

Did I mention I had a broken arm?

Well, I get into the bathroom and into the stall and gave my body the feeling that it relief was on the way. Only... I could not get the button on my shorts to cooperate. Yep. You guessed it. I peed my pants in the stall of the bathroom.

And I could not call home because I needed the form from my teacher.

Who went to get my WHOLE CLASS.

So again I waited. Behind the door. And when my teacher came back in she did not see my frantic wave or hear me call her name. So I waited until my friend came in and I asked her to get the teacher for me.

To make matters even worse, once I got to the office, the office ladies were all, "Awwww! We are so sorry, hun!" They went on and on for what felt like forever.

It was the most embarrassing thing I have ever experienced.

(And I never wore those shorts again.)

10 People - Check

 List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.

I am going to try to do this through time. Maybe it will help you understand the complexity that is me.

1. My Parents - Yeah, I know they had their own blog, but really they were the first to start influencing me. They are after all my parents. My parents have stuck together through the hard times. They have had lots of fun together (and still do). They taught me how to sing and how to say my ABC's. They let me have dogs and cats. They gave me my first caboodle. They showed me discipline out of love. And they directed me towards Jesus my Savior. They are pretty awesome! They are my role models and I admire them deeply.

2. My Brother - He has grown from an annoying little brother to an amazing man of God. We have gone from being enemies to close friends. He is a hard-working motivated young man and I am so very proud of him. He asks tough questions and gives great advice. He challenges me to be a better Mom and a better wife and I am extremely grateful for him.

3. My Family - Papa and Grandma - taught me to be open to visitors and being a good hostess. Nanny and Granddaddy - taught me to love playing games and to make good food for your company. Mema and Pepa -taught me that family is important and you should spend time with them every chance you get. Uncle Rick and Aunt Wendy - taught me that there is a way to love others in spite of long distances between you. Uncle Dennis and Aunt Mary - taught me that you should be involved in your children's activities. Uncle David and Aunt Dawn - taught me to have a gentle spirit with my children. Uncle Joel and Aunt Pam - taught me to have fun with my children and to take them places. Uncle Billy and Aunt Patty - taught me that distance does not have to get in the way of getting to know someone. Aunt Debbie - taught me to be kind heart-ed and to serve my children. Uncle Steve and Aunt Debbie - taught me to let my children be themselves. Uncle Marvin and Aunt Dena - taught me that family is a strong bond and that God binds us together. Uncle Gary and Aunt Shelia - taught me to cherish and nourish the relationship that I have with my family. Uncle John and Aunt Leisa - taught me that marriage takes work, but it is worth the effort. Rachel - taught me to love others and serve them no matter who they are or how they act.

4. Pastor Tim - He was my Pastor for a very long time. As my Pastor he guided me and gave me clear direction through his preaching. He came to see me the multiple times I was in the hospital. He even flew out to Indianapolis to officiate my and Adam's wedding which was so very important to me. This shows his love and compassion for the body of believers. He makes time for his family and still serves the church.

5. Maggie V. and Amber C.- These are two of the greatest friends I had growing up. They both knew everything there was to know about me and they still liked me!!! They both kept all of my secrets. They gave me advice and direction when I needed it. They cried with me. Laughed with me. And acted silly with me. The biggest thing is that they both challenged me in my walk with Christ. I admire who these women were then and for who they have become. They are women of integrity and honor and I feel blessed to know them and call them friends.

6. Kimberly H. - My first friend at Vennard. She made school lots of fun as she was my partner in crime when it came to pranks. She brought other wonderful people into my life. She was and still is a very good friend.  She is good wife and a good mom. She encourages me in my relationship with Adam and in my relationship with God.She is trustworthy and compassionate. She challenges me to stay productive and organized. She does a great job of keeping in touch and checking up on me in spite of the distance between us.

7. Meggan S. - She gave me a chance when others did not. In school she was the dancing queen. She is a fashion diva. She is such a great example to me of being a faithful follower of Christ. She understands me. She addresses the tough issues in my life, but she also knows when I just need someone to listen. If I needed her here, she would be here. Even with her toddler and infant in tow. She loves her husband and her kids and does a great job of serving them. She is a Godly example of how we should always be striving to follow Him daily. Even though she is far away, we remain close.

8. Adam - He is my hero. This man loves me on the good and bad days. He challenges me to be a better person and to make good decisions. He reminds me to be loving and to have a servant's heart. He works hard and provides for our little family. He is loyal and devoted. He buys me flowers even though he considers them a waste of money. He lets me have nights off and lets me sleep in. God made someone spectacular when He made him. I am so blessed to call him mine.

9. Mark and Markita - The best in-laws a person can have. They are so gracious and have such a heart for blessing their family. They give great advice. They are hard workers. They serve others. They follow Jesus diligently and share Him by they way they live and the way they guide and direct their children. They gave me a handsome young man to marry. I could not ask for better in-laws and I am so very blessed to have them in my life.

10. Kaylee and Elanor - My girls teach me daily the areas that I still need to grow in the Lord. They are also a great reminder of our sin nature and the need to pray against it. They make me joyful and grateful for the blessings that God gives to me. They are my sunshine. I love them dearly.

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