Thursday, January 29, 2009

When I stand before the Lord, I’ll be standing alone
This journey is my own
Still I want man’s advice, and I need man’s approval
This journey is my own

Why would I want to live for man, and pay the highest price
What does it mean to gain the whole world, only to lose my life

So much of what I do is to make a good impression
This journey is my own
And so much of what I say is to make myself look better
But this journey is my own

And why would I want to live for man, and pay the highest price
And what does it mean to gain a whole world, only to lose my life

And I have never felt relief like I feel it right now
This journey is my own
Cause trying to please the world, it was breaking me down
It was breaking me down

And now I live and I breathe for an audience of one
Now I live and I breathe for an audience of one
Now I live and I breathe for an audience of one
Because I know this journey is my own

And why would I want to live for man, and pay the highest price
And what does it mean to gain a whole world, only to lose my life
And you can live for someone else, and it will only bring you pain
I can’t even judge myself, only the Lord can say, ‘Well done.’

Oh, this journey is my own
~Sara Groves

a gift

So, I had the nicest thing happen to me yesterday. A very dear friend of mine brought me a gift. She did it discreetly and without fanfare. In fact, I never even saw her sweet face or got to give her a big hug. It was just there in my mailbox with no strings attached, no reason. Aren't those the best kind anyway? I mean the ones where there is really no reason for the gift other than because the giver wanted to give it? Thank you, friend, for reminding me of the beauty of giving.

The gift was the book, Smart Organizing. Smart!!!!Organizing!!!! Truly, this is a book after my own heart. First off, the cover is beautiful and very inspiring. I've just begun reading through it, but already I've gotten several easy and manageable ideas for creating a more organized and harmonious home. I plan on sharing some of these ideas and how they are working for me as I work my way through the book.

The first thing I thought I would share is the idea of putting everything back where you got it as soon as you are done using it. Duh, I know, but there are many times when I don't do this and then wonder how my house got so messy. Hopefully, if I commit to doing this, I won't be so frustrated at the end of the day. Maybe I am the only one, but it always seems when I really work to clean the house during the day, by that night it looks like a disaster again. Apparently, it is because I haven't been putting things back up. Like I said, duh! Sometimes it takes me a while to figure the small stuff out.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

dating my husband

One of the hardest things for Shawn and me during this season of life is making the effort to spend time together...alone. Lauren is 6 months old and we've been on 2 dates. Both of these my mom "forced" us to go on. It's not that I think Lauren can't make it without me, it's just that it is so much easier just to stay home. I know her. I know her schedule. I know when she's fussy because she is hungry, when it is a diaper issue, or if she just isn't feeling herself. Also, I am a bit of a control freak. I don't like not knowing what is going on. Seriously, it is bad. I check the pager at church constantly...I mean she might need me, right?! Never mind that the thing vibrates for goodness sake.

Shawn and I went on our first date about a week after Lolo was born. We went to dinner and it was nice, but I still wasn't feeling myself and I definitely did not feel attractive AT ALL. I was right in the midst of those all encompassing baby blues and just couldn't enjoy myself. Our second date happened last Friday night. My mom watched her again for us. This time I was ready to get out. Lauren was finally taking a bottle again along with rice cereal and baby food so I knew she wouldn't starve. Also, I knew that her Grammy would love on her and play with her all night. It sort of felt like we were sneaking out or something. I was worried it would be awkward or strange, but it really didn't take long for us to fall back in the swing of it. We went to dinner and talked...I mean really talked! I was reminded of all the reasons I fell in love with my husband. Then, we went to see Marley & Me; I cried and he held my hand. We had time to reconnect as husband and wife. I know everybody tells you that is important but it is so easy to let that go.

A friend of mine is doing The Love Dare and seems to really like it. I don't have the book, but I am looking for ways to love my husband better. A few of my ideas are:

~setting aside a once a month date night
~making his home a haven when he comes home from work
~really listening when he explains work stuff (I don't really understand a lot of what he does!)

Do any of you have ways that you date your husband? How do you make him feel loved when you don't feel like it? I'd love to hear what you are doing! I need all the help in this area that I can get.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

baby food makin'

I am attempting to make Lauren's baby food. I feel like it could be a way to save our family some money and since I am home I thought I might be able to keep up with it. It could be interesting, but I am up for the challenge.
I am starting her off with carrots and have plans to make squash and green beans next. Basically you just peel and cut up the carrots and then steam them until they are really soft and smushy. My mom got me this awesome microwave steamer from The Pampered Chef. It is so easy and quick...luuuve it!
Drain the water off, but make sure to save it in another container so that you can add it back to the carrots as needed. I am using a food processor to make her baby food. I tried my blender, but it didn't get all of the chunks out completely and she gagged when I tried to feed it to her. It needs to be pretty smooth for these first steps of feeding.

Puree the carrots, adding the steamed water as necessary.When the consistency is how you like it, fill ice cube trays with the baby food. Freeze these and then distribute 2 to 3 cubes into individual freezer bags. This is about how much is in a baby food jar.
When you are ready to use the baby food, either run the freezer bag under warm water or pop the ice cubes in a small bowl and microwave for just a little bit and the food is ready!

Yummy! :)

Friday, January 23, 2009


A good friend of mine introduced me to one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Bebo Norman, a couple of years ago. He has such a soothing voice and his lyrics almost always make me think. I came across this song off of his latest album and I thought it was so well written. This song isn't just about Britney Spears, it is about the fickle world in which we live. This is about a people starving for love and the healing power of a Savior. This is about the responsibility we have for treating others with love and respect amidst the lies and cruelty of our world.

Britney I'm sorry for the lies we told
we took you into our arms and then left you cold
Britney I'm sorry for this cruel cruel world
we sell the beauty but destroy the girl
Britney I'm sorry for your broken heart
we stood aside and watched you fall apart
I'm sorry we told you fame would fill you up
and money moves the man so drink the cup

I know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
you never see it coming back
I know love goes around the world we know
and you never see it coming back
but i can see it coming back for you
yes coming back for you

Britney I'm sorry for the stones we throw
we tear you down just so we can watch the show
Britney I'm sorry for the words we say
we point the finger as you fall from grace

Repeat chorus

Yeah, its coming back for you, yeah, its coming back for you, yeah, its coming back for you, yeah

Britney I do believe that love has come
here for the broken
here for the ones like us

Repeat chorus x2

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bath & Body Works DEAL!!!

My friend Megan sent me an awesome coupon you can print off here from Bath & Body Works. Buy anything in the store and get any signature collection product valued up to $12 FREE!!! Apparently Bath & Body Works is changing the packaging on all of their signature products and are trying to get rid of the old. Yea for us couponers!!!

Here is what I did with 3 coupons:

Bought 1 purse size lotion @ $1.00, got full size body cream (regularly priced $10.50) FREE! Total Out of Pocket: $1.07
Bought 1 purse size body spritz @ $1.oo, got a second full size body cream FREE! Total OOP: $1.07
Bought 1 purse size body wash @ $1.00, got a third full size body cream FREE! Total OOP: $1.07

Total Spent without Coupons would have been: $34.50 + tax
Total Spent with Coupons: $3.21

I had to do 3 different transactions, one for each coupon, but it was so worth it! I just told the cashier that I had the coupon and that I wanted to buy the $1 item and get the other free. She looked at the coupon and rang me up. Nowhere on the coupon does it say anything about the item being of equal or lesser value so there are some great deals to be made!

I am going to post pictures after Shawn gets home with my camera. He took it to work on Monday and I haven't seen it since. I keep asking politely, but he never remembers. Maybe I will send him a scary email and he will remember to grab it! :)

If anyone does this deal, let me know how you did. You can print the coupon as many times as you want, you just have to do different transactions!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I completed the dreaded task of cleaning out the fridge this morning. I feel better.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I don't want to!

I am having one of those days.

Last night before bed I sat down with my planner, my notebook, and the refreshing information I found here on organizing and preparing for a productive day. I thought about the 10 tasks I wanted to get done and then pulled the 3 most important ones and wrote them at the top of my page, those became my Most Important Tasks, more info on that here. Then, feeling rather good about myself, I went to bed. I really like lists and checking things off, so I just knew this would be Pu-errrfect for me.

The problem?

I woke up this morning and did not - I mean DID NOT want to do anything on that list. I didn't even want to look at it. Where was all that enthusiasm I had just hours ago? Seriously, I think I could have accomplished every task on that list last night I was so pumped. This morning I couldn't even congure up the energy to start. Instead, I found every little thing I could do to keep me from doing what was on my list. What is wrong with me?!?!

So, here's to what I didn't get accomplished today:
~the fridge is still full of old leftover containers and something brown and slimy
~there is still a pile of dirty clothes on the floor of my closet
~the floor still needs vacuumed
~the pile of bills/junk mail/paperwork still sits on the kitchen counter
~the living room is still overrun with toys

And, to what I did:
~made banana bread
~made baby food
~played with Lauren
~went shopping with a friend

Here's to a week of getting things done...or not. I guess we shall see what becomes of it.

On a more serious note, I have been having a hard time memorizing my memory verse this time around. Every time I think to practice it or say it over myself it seems like my mind goes somewhere else, or I have something I "need" to do instead. The verse I chose for this week reflects a very personal struggle that I've been going through with God. I need to believe that He knows me. I need to believe that this is a truth I have every right to claim as a daughter of Christ. For some reason, I'm struggling with getting into it. It makes me wonder what spiritual warfare is going on.
I hope that if you are participating you are having better luck this week. If you want to know more about the challenge, go here to read Beth Moore's post.

Friday, January 16, 2009

approaching the new year

I'm not a big resolution kind of girl. Don't get me wrong, I love fresh starts, clean slates, and new beginnings... I've just failed at keeping resolutions I've made too many times. To me, making a resolution is like buying the trendiest of trendy shoes, loving the walk in them for a while, and then waking up one day with the realization they are ugly, they don't fit who you really are, and they hurt your feet. I think too many people try to make resolutions they think they should know - lose weight, eat better, save money, shave more often, etc. instead of focusing on what will truly make their life happier and more productive.

This year I had already decided there would be no set list of resolutions for me. However, as I said earlier I do love fresh starts. Being the kind of person I am, I needed some way to satisfy the desire to organize my dreams for the year. Then, I read this post by my friend over at The Sparrow about her approach to the new year. Here is a snippet:

"I decided this year would be a year of inspiration. I would look for things that inspire me, whether to create, change my lifestyle, or write a letter. A sort of “out with the bad thoughts, in with the good”…but on a deeper level."

I love her idea of having a theme that runs through your whole year. What a great way to approach each new season in your life and stay motivated all year long!

I want to use her theme of Inspiration for my year ahead. I love that it embodies all of the dreams and goals I have rolling around my head. I want to live inspired - to look for the beauty in my everyday life, to find things that make me think, laugh, and get moving, and to be a joyful person.

What are your resolutions or themes for the year? Here's to 2009!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

2nd Verse

For my second memory verse I chose:

"O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD."
Psalm 139: 1-4 (NIV)

Lately I have been struggling with the feeling that I am invisible. With our world in such a fragile, crazy state it is hard to believe that God cares about my tedious days and honestly, my insignificant troubles. I wonder how in the world does he not get annoyed with my petty requests and tired of my same 'ole strongholds? Maybe you've felt this way too?

My plan is to speak this scripture over and over until I feel it really resonate in my heart. This is a scripture that I NEED at this point in my life.

I hope those of you who are taking this challenge have found verses that are meaningful to you. Doesn't this make you feel so empowered in the Holy Spirit? It brings new meaning to wielding the sword, doesn't it! Check out Beth's blog here and click on comments if you'd like a whole lot of scriptures to read over yourself today! And, post your verse if you haven't already!!!

I am cheering for you! Let's do this!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Grocery Shopping

Well I said I would post to let you know how I did on the grocery front this week. My goal was to spend $60 maximum on all of our groceries for the week. I even included household items that we were running out of, i.e. trash bags. I had big plans of going to Dillions as they were having some great deals and to Aldi for my fruits, veggies, and milk (as they are almost ALWAYS cheaper there) but that didn't work out. I found myself in Wal*Mart with a limited amount of time to myself (Shawn had Lauren and she was getting close to needing to eat) with a $1 calculator I had to pop out of the box to use and a grocery list that Shawn had to read to me over the phone. For any of you who were wondering, I did pay for the calculator which unfortunately ate into my $60. I really think I would have made it out of there for under $60, but Shawn called while I was shopping to make sure I was picking him up some PopTarts and then I had to have my very own box of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough PopTarts (yummmm) along with his icky brown sugar ones. Also, I was shopping hungry...I know...I know the golden rule of grocery shopping is to shop on a full stomach. Let's just say that due to my fragile state some pudding snacks and string cheese ended up in my cart. I had planned on posting a picture of the receipt for authenticity, but the total spent was very hard to read. Hopefully, you will trust me when I say that $64.06 was my total spent. Oh yeah, I also used one $1 off coupon. There you have it. Hopefully next week I will get to shop around for the best deals. We shall see.

P.S. For those of you who are participating with me in the Beth Moore challenge to memorize 24 scriptures in 12 months, this Thursday is our 2nd scripture. I have been so excited about this challenge and I have been praying that God puts on my heart scripture that I NEED. I've been struggling lately with the reality that God loves me, that he cares about me, that he knows me in the midst of this great big crazy world, and so I am looking for scripture that I can speak over myself to give me ownership of His love. Does that make sense? Anyway, more on that Thursday! Let's keep this up, ladies! Satan wants to give us every excuse not to do this thing. All the more reason TO do it!

Friday, January 09, 2009

my worst enemy

This is just one of the many things that stands between me and that swimsuit I am hoping to wear while at the lake this summer. From the looks of things, I might be in a tank top and shorts...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

my girl

Seriously, how can you love someone else so much? And, what did I ever do with myself before she was here?

She loves her bath time and so do I. She kicks and laughs and has a ball. I love the way she smells when she is all clean!

I think this was last weekend, because she and Shawn are both still in their PJ's. Precious times!

money, money, money, muuuuuney

Many of you know this about me, but some may not. I have found a new love for couponing and living frugally. Now - that does not mean that I do not enjoy myself some pretty new shoes or fancy doodag every now and again...but I guess it just means that I try to be more aware of what I buy and how much I spend on it. I still struggle with making the choice between the NEEDS in my life and the WANTS. Do I really NEED those boots? I mean really, what about the other 3 pair in my closet that wait every morning to be picked? Do I really NEED that new scented candle or will my other one do until it burns out? It is a struggle every time I enter a store, but I am working on it! The pain of not owning something when I walk out of a store subsides over time.

Before I met Shawn I had some serious money management issues. If I had $25 left in my bank account I never sweated it. I might even go to Wal*Mart for that "thing" I HAD to have and end up with $10 in my account. The concept of saving wasn't necessarily foreign to me (I had good parents growing up) it just wasn't appealing. You know that rush you get when you buy something? Well let's just say I had a mini addiction to it. Thank God I do not have to re-live that first year of marriage (I love you honey) because it was, well... a little not so fun. You see, Shawn wanted me to think about what I spent before I spent it. Can you imagine the nerve of that guy!? Let's just say there were many moments of theatrical greatness as I tried and cried to get my way. I just knew I was the most mistreated wife in the world. Thankfully, he kept me around and has had the great patience to help teach me about money over the years.

Obviously, now that I stay home I don't really have the choice of spending when I feel like it. Well, I guess I still could, but I am pretty sure that would be a rough road to go down and I'd rather not be the reason our family is in over our heads. And this is where it can get tricky and satan has a finger grip on me. See, I don't bring home any money....and satan wants me to feel like I don't contribute to the family, that I am a loser, and that I am of no value. I work every day to fight these degrading thoughts and if I am being honest, some days I win and some days I fall into that pit. I am praying that God will show me some verses in His Word for the upcoming scripture memorization so that I can fight satan's lies with God's truth.

So, here is my goal this week as far as living frugally and using coupons. I am going to attempt to spend $60 on a full week's worth of groceries - breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you see me at Wal*Mart with my coupons, my calculator, and a focused'll know I haven't lost my mind! Organizing Junkie does a Menu Plan Monday every week and although this isn't Monday (I hope that is okay!) I am going to post the plan I have for next week. Then, I am going to go to the grocery store - or Wal*Mart -or wherever has the best deals and attempt to get everything I need for $60 or under. I am hoping for under. Wish me luck!!

Breakfasts (in no particular order)
banana & frozen fruit smootie, toast
granola & yogurt (ick, I hate this stuff, but it is good for is good for is good for me)
scrambled eggs and cheese
apple muffins, fruit
cereal, toast x2
pancakes, juice (I may even throw in some chocolate chips, yummy-I am salivating)

salad, grilled chicked strips
PB&J, carrots
leftovers x2
baked potato, broccoli
lunchmeat sandwich, oranges
cheese quesadillas, fruit

taco Soup (crockpot)
roast w/potatos and carrots (crockpot)
steak, mashed potatos, asparagus
ham (crockpot) homeade bread, salad,
BBQ chicken pizza
beef enchiladas, salad
Dinner Out (Oh, I hope!!!) or leftovers :(

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

When I stand before the Lord, I’ll be standing alone
This journey is my own
Still I want man’s advice, and I need man’s approval
This journey is my own

Why would I want to live for man, and pay the highest price
What does it mean to gain a whole world, only to lose my life

So much of what I do is to make a good impression
This journey is my own
And so much of what I say is to make myself look better
But this journey is my own

And why would I want to live for man, and pay the highest price
And what does it mean to gain a whole world, only to lose my life

And I have never felt relief like I feel it right now
This journey is my own
Cuz trying to please the world, it was breaking me down
It was breaking me down

And now I live and I breathe for an audience of one
Now I live and I breathe for an audience of one
Now I live and I breathe for an audience of one
Cuz I know this journey is my own

And why would I want to live for man, and pay the highest price
And what does it mean to gain a whole world, only to lose my life
And you can live for someone else, and it will only bring you pain
I can’t even judge myself, only the Lord can say, ‘Well done.’

Oh, this journey is my own
~Sara Groves

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


It's a good thing I can laugh at myself! Yesterday I posted about how we are finally getting back on a schedule and how it was working so well. Why Oh Why did I post that?!?! It seems like we have had the MOST off schedule day ever around here today. Little Miss Lauren decided today was the day to cut one of her bottom teeth. She has been very irritable and fussy all morning. She didn't eat well, had about a 30 minute nap, and refused to go back to sleep. Of course she acts fine when I am holding her or when I am within two feet of her, but the moment I put her down or walk away she throws the biggest fit! She is finally resting now...poor thing. I've got to go get things done, but I thought I would share how my day has gone so far!

Monday, January 05, 2009

back to reality

Now that we are back home, I am trying to get back into a routine of sorts. One thing that we have been working on around here is trying to get little Miss Lauren on a better schedule. For the past couple of weeks she hasn't been sleeping through the night like normal and her napping has been very unpredictable. So, I decided it was time to stop rocking her to sleep (I know, I am a horrible mother!!!)
Basically our routine before bed looks like this: bath or lotion massage, last feeding, read a story, then rice cereal. After she eats her rice cereal Shawn and I both give her kisses and put her in her bed. We leave the room and she usually fusses for about 15 minutes. She doesn't cry, just talks and winds down I think. We have to give her her binky a couple of times and pat her back but she will finally fall asleep on her own!!! I am so proud of her. She goes to bed between 8 and 8:30 and will sleep until about 5:30 or 6!
She still eats every 3 hours during the day, so a normal day for us includes eating, changing diapers, playing, bouncing in her jumper, and reading books. Then, she starts getting tired, so I put her down for a nap the same way we do at night. I give her hugs and kisses and just leave. It takes anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes for her to fall asleep, but she is doing it ON HER OWN! This frees up a lot of my day as I am not having to rock her down then pray that she doesn't wake up when I lie her down. She sleeps about an hour and a half at a time.
While she sleeps I try to get caught up on the house or blog or take a shower and prepare for the day.
One of the hardest things I faced with staying home was the lack of any sort of schedule. I came from a career that was very scheduled and organized and I think that I need that to feel accomplished and at ease in my life. I am happier when I have goals and checklists! I do think that God is teaching me to be more flexible and easy going about things and I am trying very hard to learn these things! If anyone has any ideas/strategies/ success stories with any of this I'd love to hear from you!

P.S. I am so encouraged by the number of friends and family that are taking the scripture memorization challenge with me! Girls, let's not let this be something that falls by the wayside in 2009. I am rooting for you and am anxious to see how God uses these personal scriptures to help some of us out of areas of sin or strongholds that are bringing us down (I know I have some areas that I pray God will work me through). I am also excited to see how God uses these scriptures to make us warriors for him in this crazy world! Let's Do This!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

happy new year

I am really excited about having a "Jesus Year" in 2009. I am dying for a deeper relationship and a greater knowledge of my Lord.

The first verse I have chosen to memorize is:

and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God
Proverbs 2:4-5

I chose this verse because I feel like I can't embark on a journey of memorization without first acknowledging that the task ahead will not be easy. I will have to actually work at this. Thankfully, God wants this for me and for anyone who is taking this challenge. I believe that the reward will be a deeper understanding of the love my God has for me (hard to fathom) and what He wants for me in this life.