Monday, December 29, 2008


Oh My Goodness! Oh My Goodness! I am so thrilled to say that I just found Beth Moore's blog. YES... I... said... BETH... MOORE'S.... BLOG!!! I feel like dancing around the room right now!!! If you haven't heard of Beth Moore, run to the nearest book store or come by my house and I will share!!! What a lady. I know it might sound like I am obsessed - so not the case - just mildy infactuated.

Anyway, she is offering a challenge for scripture memorization and I am excited to take the challenge. I know myself though and it will be very easy for me to make excuses and quit lucky you my many (uh-hmm, two) blog readers...I will be sharing the scriptures I am choosing to learn with you starting on Jan. 1st. The goal is to learn 2 new scriptures a month that are meaningful for YOU. Please, please, please join me if you feel the Lord is leading you to embark on this challenge as well. What sources of encouragement we could be to each other.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Tis The Season

Lauren opening presents from her "Aunt" Kelly and "Uncle" Tanner!

This is my VERY messy crafting/gift wrapping room. Shawn was working with the internet on the computer and Lauren was helping me wrap!

Monday, December 22, 2008

8 Things

I don't know how the whole "I got tagged" thing works, but I saw this one on a neat blog and I thought, "what the hay" - you're welcome.

8 Shows I watch:
1. The Office (my fav!)
2. Kath & Kim
3. Grey's Anatomy (although if it gets any cornier I may have to give it up)
4. Jon & Kate Plus 8
5. Friends re-runs
6. 17 Kids and Counting
7. Biggest Loser
8. American Idol

8 Favorite Restaurants:
1. Gilardi's
2. Cheddar's
3. Red Robin
4. Applebee's
5. Zio's
6. Amigos
7. Panera
8.Nearly Famous Deli

8 Things That Happened to Me Today:
1. I slept 7 hours SOLID (that deserves a moment of remembrance)
2. I changed a kazillion diapers (Lauren's got a little poopy problem...I think teething related)
3. I watched my 5 month old baby sit up on her own for about 5 seconds before reaching for a flashy toy and losing her balance (soooo cute!!!)
4. I watched TV on our new big screen
5. I read from the book, "Life Management for Busy Women" by Elizabeth George
6. I made chocolate dipped pretzels
7. I took a long, hot bath
8. I went with Shawn to pick up a few last minute gifts

8 Things I Look Forward to:
1. Lauren's first Christmas
2. Spending quality time with my family
3. Sara Grove's next CD
4. Getting new decorations for the master bedroom
5. Visiting with friends over Christmas break
6. Getting back on a schedule after the holidays
7. New Years Eve at the Ray's
8. A good night's sleep tonight

8 Things That I Wish For:
1. That my daughter will grow up knowing and loving the Lord with all her heart and not make the mistakes I made
2. That I never take for granted or wish away these days of slobbery smiles, poopy diapers, or baby cries
3. That Shawn and I will continue to love each other more and better every day
4. That my Papa JD will recover fully from the stroke and be himself again
5. That the world will remember what God did for us during this Christmas season
6. That I will embrace this season of motherhood fully and always give my best
7. That I would want to wake up early
8. That my house was always clean and the laundry always done

Ok - So now I am going to tag the following ladies...whenever you get a chance!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm still here staring blankly at my blog

Every day I open my blog with good intentions. I intend to write something meaningful, interesting, funny, what-have-you. But, moments before I click that orange Publish Post button, I become paralyzed. Below is the conversation I have with myself:

Me: Ok, I'm gonna do it this time, no matter what.
Me: I can't do it. This is a stupid post, what was I thinking? You have nothing worth sharing.
Me: Nobody reads this anyway, it is just for me. I can post what matters to me. Breathe!
Me: What if somebody did decide to read it today, this one post would be the make or break it for them...oh why did I post about that?!?!
Me: It doesn't matter.......right?
Me: Clicks the Sign Out button.

Ultimately I leave the blogosphere feeling rather icky inside. How can everyone else write so freely and beautifully?

Anyway, if you are one of my many (um...2) readers our there and have been counting on me to deliver some awesome reading material, I am truly sorry. There should be counseling for my condition.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


I look around and wonder if it will ever get done. There are boxes in every room. Some are opened with contents strewn about the room and others wait patiently. I hate unpacking. I hate it so very much. I hate it because it isn't perfect. I hate it because I don't know right now where things should go in order to serve their purpose the very best. I hate it because it seems to never end. Seriously, how do we have so much stuff?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Homemade Christmas

With the big move and only one income this Christmas season, I am going to attempt the crafty! My goal this year is to give personal, creative, homemade gifts that will be friendly to our tight budget. I've already got a lot of ideas rolling around in my head and I can't wait to get started! If you have any ideas or neat websites with ideas, please send them my way! I hope to be able to post some things I've come up with - but we'll see how they turn out! :)

Also, if you need any help organizing your Christmas this year. Go here to find lots of printables and tips to keep you sane during the crazy season!


Last night Shawn and I got to work and began serious packing. I've been working on it throughout the week, but in starts and spurts and at a much slower pace.

We started in Lauren's room. That room has been a lot of things, but it never felt right until it was hers. As we packed up her books and blankets and decorations it hit me that we really were going to leave this place, her first home.

I am thankful that this home holds many memories for me. I am thankful that I can relive those memories, the good and the bad. And, even though it hurts, I am thankful that we have the chance to take a big step and make new memories somewhere else.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

see ya fairy tale

It seems like the past couple of nights I have gone to bed with the nagging feeling that I have accomplished nothing throughout the day. I look at my "to-do" list and realize that although I feel like I climbed a mountain, I have little to show for it.

I wonder what happened to my fairy tale vision of being a wife and mother. You know, the one with the cheerful woman who wakes long before her husband and makes him breakfast while putting laundry in and tidying up her immaculate house. The one with stylish, pressed clothes, flowing (clean) hair, and fresh makeup. The one who has a place for everything and has everything in its place. The one who has a routine and plan for her day that never gets interrupted. The one with the little baby who is always pleasant and never smells. Maybe she really is out there and I am just worlds away from her - or - maybe, just maybe, she isn't real at all.

Maybe reality is the mom who wakes up after her husband leaves for work because she was up with a crying little one in the dead of the night. Maybe it is dishes in the sink left from the supper that actually got made last night. Maybe it is a little girl who has learned to squeal in the highest frequency known to man and laughs and cries with passion. Maybe it is a house with a little dust on the furniture and laundry on the floor. Maybe it is knowing that no matter what, her husband will come home to her at the end of a long day and love her even though she is still in her pj's with a dirty ponytail and no makeup.

Each day I am challenged to re-evaluate my thoughts on motherhood and the great responsibility I have by staying home. No, I don't get to interact with adults on a daily basis. No, I don't have a job that pays me money. But, I have to believe that there is worth in what I'm doing. I have to believe that the love and time I am able to give to my family matters despite everything else.

Monday, November 10, 2008

We're Moving!!!

The last week has been a crazy time for us. We put an offer on a house last Sunday night, not really expecting them to take it. Well they did and we suddenly found ourselves with two homes! Ahhh, not a really smart thing in this economy. Monday we put our house on the market. I was totally freaking out. The week was stressful because at any moment I would have to pack up Lauren and leave so someone could stop by with their realtor and look at the house. I had to keep it clean at all times and with a baby that isn't too easy. We had our open house on Sunday and an hour after the open house we got an offer! After some re-negotiating, we signed the contract! I cannot explain fully how relieved I am. We close on this house and our new one the day after Thanksgiving. We're hoping to get carpet installed in the new house and the people who bought our house have graciously agreed to not move in until the 5th so we have that week to get that all set up. We will be in a new house for the holidays...strange! I'll keep you updated and post pics of the new house soon.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I feel like the past week has been an absolute whirlwind of events. Shawn took his test. We are awaiting the results. We bought a house. We haven't sold ours yet. Stress. Stress. Stress.

Prayers are welcome!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Our Life

Right now is a bit of a crazy time for our family. For the past 7 months Shawn has been studying for his PE test. This is the test all engineers have to take in order to obtain professional status. The studying has been difficult for our family. Shawn's had many long days at work followed by endless evenings of sitting in front of a pile of books. It's been especially hard on him since he hasn't gotten to spend as much time with Lauren as he would have liked. It's also been hard to figure out our family's routine in the evening. Well, this Friday is the big day. We will be leaving for Eldon tomorrow. Lauren and I are going to stay with his parents there while Shawn will travel on to Columbia to spend the night at a hotel. This seemed to be the best arrangement to make sure he gets a good night sleep and doesn't have to drive an hour before the test on Friday morning. The test is 8 hours long. Please be thinking of him on Friday! I am so anxious to have my husband back!!! I know getting this over with will be a huge relief for him. He's been stressed about this for far too long. Crazy engineers!

Also, as if the test isn't enough stress, we have been contemplating making a move. We spoke with our realtor last week. We absolutely love our house, but it is getting a little small with our new addition and it seems to be the time to buy a house. Who knew babies had so many things?!?! Anyway, we are going to give this some serious thought and trust in God to lead us. We'd love to live on the eastern side of town closer to Shawn's work. If we move, this would be my first real move. When I moved in to this house, I was coming from a dorm room so there wasn't much to move. When Shawn and I got married, he moved all his dorm room stuff in and that was it. We've accumulated quite a bit of stuff (junk) over the years and I am not looking forward to the possibility of packing it all up! I'll welcome any thoughts/ideas on this subject should we make the move!

In Lauren news, she is holding her head up really well. She likes to sit in her Bumbo seat and she loves to suck on her fingers. She really doesn't like tummy time and I have to make myself make her have it. Sometimes I make her laugh by sticking her foot in her mouth. I don't know why that cracks her up but it sure does. She is very flexible! She is sleeping about 8 hours solid a night! Yeah!!! Today so far she has had 3 really good naps. That doesn't always happen so I am jumping for joy. I've been able to get caught up on my 30 loads of laundry. Seriously, it was bad.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

Today I finally decided to use the information from this post to put to use the cute little pumpkin that had been sitting on my kitchen table for weeks. I don't have any pictures because I left my camera at my parent's house last week. I seeded the pumpkin and set the seeds out to dry overnight. I plan on making sugared pumpkin seeds with them tomorrow. Yum! Then, I cut the pumpkin in half, cleaned out all of that stringy stuff with an ice cream scoop, and put both pieces in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees. When the pumpkin had been cooked I used a tablespoon to scoop out all the cooked pumpkin. I had to put it in the blender to puree it. I ended up with about 4 cups of pumpkin puree! Then I found this recipe for pumpkin bread using my homemade pumpkin puree. It came out of the oven just a little while ago. It's pretty tasty if I do say so myself! Let me know if you try this. It was a lot of fun!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I had to change the blog template I had been using because it was really bothering me the way the posts with pictures were lining up. In the process of changing, I lost all of my added settings. How sad!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Apple Pie

I made my very first pie this weekend! It was a lot of fun and Lauren took a nap long enough for me to get it all accomplished at one time! That is a feat in and of itself!

I started with apples from my Meme and Papa's orchard. These are the best apples ever and they worked really well for the apple pie I had planned.

I cut up about 7 cups of these apples and added sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Yummy!!!

I made the crust from scratch and it was surprisingly easy. I also put slabs of butter to the top of this before adding the top crust.

I found these tiny cookie cutters at Hobby Lobby so I used the apple one to add cute little pie crust apples to the top!

I was so excited that it didn't burn or turn out horrible! Shawn even said it was good and he is very picky about his pies! :)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Cleaning House

Since Lauren arrived (and maybe before) my house has been crazy. I have all these little drawers and cabinets that would mortify me if someone opened them. I've seriously had these special projects on my to-do list for weeks and weeks. It's funny how I just skip over them and do other things to waste my time. Well, I've decided to change my attitude and get to work! I know that even though the clutter may be behind closed doors, it still makes me feel all cluttered inside. So, here are my first projects. Maybe posting pictures will help me accomplish the rest of
my to-do list. Does anyone else have these areas? If so, I'd love to hear how you get motivated to get to work. And, maybe more importantly, how do you keep the areas neat and tidy after you've cleaned them up???





Life Is Good

This was taken after a fun-filled day at Farm Fest with her Pops!

I have no idea what she was doing in this picture, but she sure looks funny!

Here she is with my Meme and Papa.

This was taken after church. She looks like she is watching TV.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Blog Makeover

So, I found this link while visiting and thought I would share it with you all. The website is Sassy Chic Designs and they have the cutest blog layouts! It looks like they will customize whatever you need! Very cool! Of course, it costs money...but this is a link for a FREE blog makeover - so that is awesome! Good luck if you enter! I know I am going to.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Coupon Organization

This is another call for help! I have been on hiatus from couponing for a couple of months and I am finally ready to get back into it. My problem is that I have a ton of expired coupons and piles of coupon inserts I haven't even gone through!. My husband has been faithfully bringing home the coupon section from the paper every Monday...I think that is a sign that he is ready for me to start saving money again! I'm glad he's helpful! Anyway, what I want to know is how you organize your coupons? I'm looking for a fresh start-something that is easy-something that works. Thanks!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Office

Can I just say The Office is the best show out there! Thanks, I feel better.

New Format

When I was still living at home, my mom used to tease me about how many times I would change my room around. I could disappear in there for hours pretending to be an interior designer. I'd try a hundred different options and enjoy every minute of the process. I absolutely love the feeling of walking into a room you've known for years and getting a different feeling from it. It's very cleansing for me. This urge to reclaim a space usually hits about every 2-3 months. Well - I have the urge now...except this time it is with my blog. I'm so tired of looking at the blue background! I want something new, vibrant, uplifting. The problem - I have no idea how to do it! So, I am asking for any help I can get. Does anyone know how to start with a blank blog and add pictures, etc. to make it my own? Is it even possible? For now - I'll use this new format and try to ignore the itchy feeling.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Well, Shawn informed me that I might have sounded a little bit like Sally Struthers on my last post. Sorry! I guess I just got a little fired up after seeing that episode. I'm not crazy....but I do want our children to be protected. Please keep that in mind should you read it! :)

Lauren is doing great! She is growing so much each day. She smiles now and has her own little voice. It is the most precious thing you could ever hear! I love to listen to her "talk" to me. She will even make facial expressions to go with her story. She loves her bouncy seat now! Hallelujah!!! She kicks and giggles and watches the little spiders moving up and down. Absolutely adorable. It also gives me a chance to do some things while she is awake. When she smiles it comes straight from her eyes and you can't help but smile back and thank God. I love being home with her to watch these milestones. Sometimes I just hold her while she sleeps and smell her sweet baby skin and try to memorize exactly what this time in our lives feels like. I know it will never be the same and that is okay, but I never want to look back and say that I didn't enjoy this time to the fullest. I understand how blessed I am to be able to stay home. I want this for every mother.

Shawn is working hard every day. This week has been especially crazy at work. He is a civil engineer and loves the work. We are very thankful that he works for an engineering firm that has a lot of work right now. He's been working on one project there for over two years. I think it is getting ready to go into the construction stage sometime soon. I know it is hard for him to be away from his little girl, but he wastes no time when he gets home to hold her. I think he may be wrapped around her little finger. I guess only time will tell... :) He has also been studying since March for his Professional Engineer test. He will take that in late October. That has been interesting with a brand new baby, but I'm really proud of him for preparing so well. We'll be so relieved when it is over!

I am home with Lauren and I love the freedom. There isn't a whole lot new with me other than I am trying to lose the extra baby weight I gained and I am looking forward to Fall!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Please Help

I don't normally watch Oprah, but today I tuned in for an episode about the horrific acts of violence and abuse against babies and children. I was appalled to say the least. I am a very naive person and I had NO idea that children as young as infants are being sexually abused in the United States and that these evil acts of abuse are being photographed, videotaped and shared on the internet. I just can't believe there are people out there who would do this. I was shocked at the vast number of individuals who have such material on their computers and how quickly it is shared. Apparently there are even "how-to" guides out there for how to molest children broken down into age groups. Is anyone else sick yet?

Thankfully, there are organizations and law enforcement agencies trying as hard as they can to track down these predators and bring them to justice. The problem is there are way too many cases and too little funding and man power to catch all of them. The agency may have a lead on a case but be unable to act on it quickly or at all. This means that while the case sits there, there are children being abused and exploited who desperately need a hero to come and rescue them.

Right now there is a bill getting ready to go before the U.S. Senate. Senate Bill 1738 PROTECT Our Children Act will:
  • Authorize over $320 million over the next five years in desperately needed funding for law enforcement to investigate child exploitation.
  • Mandate that child rescue be a top priority for law enforcement receiving federal funding.
  • Allocate funds for high-tech computer software that can track down Internet predators (
Here is what I am begging you to:
#1 - PRAY for the thousands of children that are being abused right now. Pray that someone will be their protector. Pray that someone will save them from their horrifying situation. Pray that they will survive the night. Pray that their abuser will be caught and brought to justice. Pray that our justice system gives the harshest penalty available as even that cannot undo the wrong done to the innocent children. Pray that someone will speak up for them.
#2 - Contact your state senator immediately and let them know this is a bill that needs to become a law! For you Missourians I have listed our state senators and their contact information below.

Bond, Christopher S.- (R - MO)Class III
(202) 224-5721
Web Form:

McCaskill, Claire- (D - MO)Class I
(202) 224-6154
Web Form:

On the Oprah website there is a letter you can copy and paste to send or email to your senator if you're not sure how to express your feelings on the bill. The thinking is taken out of the there is NO excuse!

Having an eight week old daughter makes me ultra sensitive to this subject, but I believe that there is no excuse to let innocent babies and children go through these horrific acts of violence when there is something we can do. Please spread the word about this bill. I think it will be voted on at the end of September.

I'm so sick from the blurred images I saw today. Tiny babies are being targeted because they cannot vocalize the abuse they are going through. How can we let that happen? How can anyone be so evil?

I'd love to hear your thoughts about this.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bring Your Daughter to Work Day

Lauren visited Shawn at work this week. Obviously she was a huge help while there!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


I am all about things that make my life easier. One thing that has really been difficult since having a child is dinner prep and finding the time to cook. Before Lauren I used to have dinner all made and ready to eat when Shawn got home from work. Now I am lucky to have eaten lunch when he gets home. It's not that I am totally incapable of having a meal ready, it's just that most days I am taking care of, playing with, feeding, loving on, etc. Lauren. Dinner does get made eventually but it has been a source of stress for me. So, I have started thinking about dinner in the morning. I lay out anything that might need to defrost. If I have time during the day while she naps I will make hamburger or cook noodles, basically anything I can cook ahead of time. If it is a casserole dish, I will try to make it during a nap so I know that later all I have to do is pop it in the oven. The other wonderful thing I totally recommend for everyone is a Food Saver. This thing is remarkable!!! If you don't have one, you need one! Basically you have this roll of bag paper (I don't know how better to explain that) that you can cut to whatever size bag you need. The food saver will seal one end and you put the food in the open end of the other side. The machine will then suck all the air out of the bag and seal the other side. When you freeze the food there is NO freezer burn taste!!! I have fried several pounds of hamburger, for instance, and then put them in individual bags. When I know I am going to have a dish that needs ground hamburger, I simply pull out one of my bags and boil it. The meat inside heats up and tastes like I just made it. My mom did this with a meatloaf she made Shawn and I after Lauren was born. I just boiled the bag, opened it up and served the meatloaf. It tasted like I had just made it. This contraption has helped me to not waste food and be more prepared when it comes to family dinners around here.

Monday, September 08, 2008


This past weekend my sweet husband packed Lauren and me up and took us "home". It had been over two whole weeks since I'd felt my mom and daddy's arms around me or gotten the famous bear hug from my youngest brother. It had been even longer than that since I'd set foot in my childhood home, smelled the crisp country air, or seen the beauty of our farm. Let me just say, I needed it badly! There is something wonderful about going home. We had the best time. Mom made homemade chicken and dumplings (yum!) and blackberry cobbler. We went to eat catfish at a new little restaurant near town. We cuddled up on the couch and watched movies. We slept late! We also got to go see my Meme and Papa! It is always wonderful to get to spend time with them. Shawn helped pick apples from their orchard and got fresh eggs for us from their chickens. They are seriously the best eggs ever!!! I also got a picture of Lauren, Meme, my mom, and me together. I am so thankful for the time I had at home.

Friday, August 08, 2008

She's Here!!!

Well, Lauren Avery was born on July 21st. I did it! It is hard to believe in some ways that she will be 3 weeks old this Monday. In other ways, it feels like it has been forever! Adjusting to mommyhood was a lot harder than I ever thought it would be. It could be the type of person I am....those who know me well know that I am a little bit of a perfectionist. I beat myself up if I feel like I am not doing something well. Lets just say I've found a million things to beat myself up over and worry about as a mommy. I am working on it, I promise!!! I thought I would list a couple of the things I have learned so far:

#1 - There is no love like the love a parent has for a child. It is all consuming and has given me a little better insight on how God must feel about us.
#2 - Don't change a baby the first time you hear the poop noise! Lauren has gone through several diapers in one diaper changing session because I jumped the gun. She needs time to get things done! I've been squirted more times than I'd like to remember!
#3 - Take time for yourself and your family. One of the hardest things has been getting to
figure out what our new normal is. It required me shutting myself off from the world for a bit to get a feel for Lauren and what she needs. It was worth it and I am feeling much more confident!
#4 - I can survive without 8 hours of sleep. I don't like it, but I can do it. I've also learned to take advantage of her naps and at least try to rest my eyes when she goes down.
#5 - Take each day or minute at a time. It is way too overwhelming to think about the next day, weekend, or big event. Sometimes it is way too overwhelming to even think about the very next second. I am really learning to be in the now. I have to slow down and take it step by step.
#6 - The advice of trusted friends is gold! I can't tell you how many phone calls I've made and emails I've sent to friends I trust completely. They have given great advice and provided strategies to try with my little baby when I've been at a loss. Probably more importantly though, they have given encouragement to a frazzled mom! Thank you!
#7 - The feeling of holding a tiny person who relies on you for everything close to your chest is amazing and makes the late night feedings sweeter.
#8 - Nursing can be hard, but it is worth it. Keep at it!!!

It has been a crazy life the past three weeks. I wouldn't change it for the world. I am so thankful that Lauren is here, that she is healthy, and that she is mine.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Baby Update

Shawn and I went to the doctor yesterday. Without going into too much detail...I am progressing very well. In fact, he said that he didn't see me making it to my due date which is next Wednesday the 23rd. I have to admit I was so excited when he told us that. Now I am just trying to be calm and wait patiently. Thanks for all your prayers! I can't wait to post pictures of our baby.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing...

So anyone who knows me well knows that patience is really not my thing. I kind of have this thing where if I get something in my has to be done right then and right there. Shawn merely mentions that we could use a new comforter...I am searching the web, checking every store, and I am ready to buy any comforter that might work just to have a new one. It is sick, I know. I have been working on this...but it is definitely a work in progress. It's like once the idea rattles around in my brain I will go crazy unless I can settle it. All that said, this whole not knowing when the baby is going to be here and having no control (even though it is my body that is going through this crazy time) is really tough for me. I am ready for this thing to happen. I am ready to have my little girl here. And there is absolutely nothing I can do to get this settled. It has really been driving me crazy! So, last night as I am wide awake in bed at 1:30 am the thought hits me..."What are your thoughts fixed one?" Oooops....(did I mention it usually takes me a while to see the really obvious things in my life?) duh! My thoughts have been totally transfixed on having this baby. When is it going to happen? Was that a contraction? Is my water going to break as I am standing in this line? Will my family make it in time? Is labor going to hurt as bad as everyone says? What if I have a c-section? What if something is wrong with the baby? And on and on and on. Of course I have been anxious. Of course it's been hard for me to sleep. I have been thinking on the wrong things!

"Finally, bretheren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8

Thursday, July 17, 2008


It is hard to believe that four years have come and gone so quickly. It seems like just yesterday I was stepping into my wedding gown and walking down the aisle. I can remember exactly what Shawn looked like when I saw him for the first time that day. I can remember exactly what I felt when he looked at me. I hope that is something I never forget. I hope it is something our daughter feels one day. I know I am biased, but it was a beautiful day!

As I look back over the past four years there were definitely some ups and downs. We had some major mountains to climb, especially that first year. Who knew it would be so difficult for two completely different people to mesh into one?!?!? There were times I really thought we wouldn't make it. We were young and very new at the whole marriage thing! It is so much harder than it looks!!! Thankfully, we never gave up on each other.

I also remember all the places we've been and times we've shared together. We've been hot air ballooning, to the Mayan Riviera, on a cruise with friends, survived a home remodel, made traditions of our own, and now we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our daughter, Lauren. We have learned a lot about each other and the funny thing is that we learn more every day.

Shawn, I love you and I am so thankful that we have been blessed with four full years of marriage. You know me better than anyone and the fact that you still love me is amazing. I find safety in your arms and world. I am so looking forward to our future! We are blessed!

Isn't the picture great...I really think it shows our depth of love for each other! Ha :)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Today was Alex's lucky day. A package came in the mail! I barely got everything out of the box before he was trying to get in it. After he pawed around and chewed on the edges he settled in for a nice little cat nap.

The Nursery

We're finally getting some progress made on the nursery. I don't feel so panicky that it won't be done in time for her. There are still things to do, but I feel like if she decided to come early we would be ready.

Her bookshelf has board books, picture books that I love, and lots of toys. I am looking forward to reading to her when she gets here.

This is the changing area. When I saw the mirror, I fell in love. It looks better in person! The changing table can be used as a dresser when she gets older. This area might need a little more color. I did find a hot pink changing pad cover so I might try that.

I love this part of the nursery. The chair is unbelievably comfortable! It is so cozy!

My grandma made the bedding and curtains! She is so amazing. On the wall behind the bed we are going to put the letters of her name! I painted some 8" x 10" canvases the green color in the bedding and we ordered black letters from Uppercase Living. I hope it will look good! I'll post that picture when the letters come in!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Praise

My gallbladder ultrasound came back fine. I got the call from the doctor yesterday. I am really glad that there is nothing wrong with it but I am still trying to figure out what the pain is from. Having never been pregnant before, I have nothing to compare this to. If anyone knows where this pain may be from or what it is, I have open ears!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My New Favorite Thing

Shawn and I recently purchased a very inexpensive patio set. Let me just say...I LOVE IT! We have a beautiful backyard (thanks to the hard work and dedication of my sweet hubby) and I have been enjoying just relaxing in the sun. In fact, I am writing this blog from the back yard right now! How fun. Also, it is a great opportunity for me to catch some sun. My legs are freakishly white this summer. I've also spent time out here with my current bible study by Beth Moore, A Heart Like His. I've caught up on emails, researched homemaking ideas, and worked on my final masters class. There is nothing quite like being outside to lift my spirits. My second favorite thing are these frozen lemonade popsicle things. Oh my are they good! I think I'll have one now!


So, I just got back from a gallbladder ultrasound. I've been having pain in my back and near the top of my uterus on my right side. It is a pain that goes straight through if that makes sense. Of course, the technician couldn't tell me anything. I have to wait for someone else to review the pictures and for my doctor to call me. I am hoping that will be in the next few days. I don't hope that there is something wrong with my gallbladder, but I do hope that they can tell me what the pain is from. It is isolated and uncomfortable. I think these are the sides of pregnancy nobody wants you to know about!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

School's out and other stuff...

Well, this week was the big move out and move on. All in all I think I handled it pretty well. On the morning of the last day of school I had a few tears. I think it finally hit me that it was over. By the end of the day, however, I was ready to go. In fact, I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
I'm working at the book store of a friend of mine for a couple of days and it is a nice change of pace. I'm new to the whole cash register thing (I embarrassing that I have never held a job in which running a cash register was a required ability) and I only almost punched it twice today. I thought that was pretty good considering my hormonal emotional state.
I'm 31 weeks pregnant which means the most I have left is 9-10 weeks. My friend Carissa had her little baby girl last Friday. Kendall Rose is adorable. I have to admit that after hearing she actually had her and visiting her in the hospital, I thought about running. I soon remembered that wherever I run, she will go with me and that no matter what, I am going to have to physically have this baby. That's enough to think about for a while.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Walgreens and Me

Okay, this is my loot from Walgreens this week!!! I was so excited that I had to share it. I was in desperate need of I hit up the CoverGirl deals this week. Everything CG is buy one get one 50% off and I had coupons!!! I ended up getting $29.95 worth of makeup for $4.65 (that includes the $10 RR I got for buying 5 items of CG)!!! Yeah :)
Also, I got 4 Crest toothpastes for $0.41 using coupons and the Walgreens deal this week.
The Febreeze and Swiffer wets were a little more pricey, but I needed them AND I used my coupons. I ended up getting $18.47 worth of these products for $6.98.
The iron pills and contact solution we needed and I just used some of the RRs I earned today to buy them.
Coupons are great!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I want to be an encouraging person. I want my time on this earth to mean something to someone else. I just left an hour of refreshing conversation with a couple that I just love. Every time I talk to them, I leave feeling lighter. How do they do it? It is just amazing.
What a blessing to build others up. What a blessing to help someone gain a fresh outlook on life. All too often I get caught up in my own life and don't give of myself. I know my excuses well... I am too busy right now to get involved... I don't have anything to say to them... I can't bear their weight as well as mine... and on and on. What is my purpose here if I don't help others? Something to think about for sure.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A New Season

Well, it is official. I turned in my letter of resignation. I am really going to be a stay home mother. I have many emotions about this new season of life. I've always wanted to be a teacher, so it feels a little awkward to pack up that part of my life so suddenly. With the end of the year quickly approaching, I know it won't be long before I no longer have "my room" or "my kiddos" and I am not really sure how I am going to feel about that. I've put a lot of time and money into what I do and now it will all go in boxes for another day. Hmmmm..... I wonder how long I will be away from it. And then, there is this huge part of me that is so thrilled that I have a wonderful husband who works hard so I have this opportunity! I get to stay home with my child. I get to be the one to teach her and play with her. I get to pour my heart into my home. today's age, I know that isn't always possible. It will definitely be strange come August when the smell of new crayons and crisp paper draw me down the aisle in WalMart and I turn away, but I am trusting God and this decision he has made so obvious on my heart.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring & Baby Kicks

It seems fitting that during this spring season of new beginnings, our little darling has "woken up" to start kicking me with enthusiasm and life. I think she can sense the change in temperature and the change in me. I absolutely love spring with its brilliant colors, warm breezes, and sunny skies! How can you be down when the world is so up?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

20 weeks

20 weeks of pregnancy behind me, 20 more to go! Pregnancy is really the craziest thing ever. We went to the doctor this week and had a second ultrasound done. The doctor confirmed one more time that there is a girl in there. Actually, what he said was, "If it's a boy, we know it's a boy. If it's a girl, it's probably a girl." Comforting, huh!? He was pretty confident, so I am choosing to be also! We will have a final ultrasound in about 10 weeks. I guess we'll check again then! :)
She is moving around quite a bit in there! It sort of feels like little pieces of popcorn popping every now and then. We've been able to hear her heartbeat whenever we want thanks to a wonderful friend who loaned her hospital grade heartbeat monitor to us. Her heartbeat is truly the most magical sound ever. It just doesn't get old hearing it.
Already she is a huge fan of John Mayer and Sara Groves. Also, she really enjoys Dr. Seuss books. I guess that's the teacher in me. It's a great, fun, wonderful time and I feel so blessed and a little afraid that God is trusting Shawn and me with this huge task. Should be interesting!!!

Saving Money

I am so excited about this website:

A couple I love dearly shared this with me. Their daughter is a stay at home mom and uses the tools and strategies for saving money found on this site. So, I looked into it. Basically...I am hooked! I never thought I could afford to shop at Walgreens, but I have found (in my one quick shopping trip there) that they have MANY bargains if you catch their store sales and clip coupons. Right now, I am just a baby saver and I am trying hard to learn all the ropes. It is worth a look! Fun, fun!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Beginning

I suppose since this is my first true attempt at a blog, I should begin with a short preview of my life right now. I have a wonderful husband who makes every day a great adventure, especially right now with a kitchen remodel well underway. We have been married 3 1/2 years and have learned a lot! Let's just say marriage gets better with time!!! We are expecting our first baby in July! We found out that it is a little girl and her birthdate is scheduled (ha) for July 23. I have never known the excitement and joy of preparing for a child and I am soaking up every minute. Well, at least the minutes that have occured since the vomiting quit. Of course, I have found many cute pink outfits for her already and she will be stylin' for sure! We are truly blessed to the fullest. What a wonderful season to begin. I can't wait!!!