Thursday, April 30, 2009


"Pictures of perfection . . . make me sick
and wicked." -- Jane Austen

For a while now I've been struggling with the stronghold of comparison. I've talked about this before and don't mean to be a broken record but it is a real and ever present issue in my life. I've been reading the book, Passionate Housewives Desperate for God, and although I don't agree with everything in the book 100%, I've found it is a good read for any woman who has made the decision to stay home or is contemplating the decision to stay home. The authors go into a lot of depth about how our cultural messages tend to demean the job of a homemaker but God's word esteems it . . . I won't go into that now.

The area that I have taken to heart has been the chapter on freedom from the bondage of perfectionism. I tend to hold a very high standard for myself . . . and the ironic thing is that instead of basing that standard biblically (which God would give me the strength for) I set that standard against other mothers and women I esteem and end up feeling completely spent. The problem with this is that I don't ever have a true vision of what their real life is like. We all put our best shoe forward. When I look at others I am only getting a glimpse of those beautiful, pristine, and stylish shoes . . . I don't have any clue just how uncomfortable they are. Maybe they pinch. Maybe they leave blisters. Maybe they are too big and heavy and it becomes hard for that person to even pick up their leg to make the next step. I will never know this because all I ever see and think is - oh my, are those shoes ever pretty.

The authors suggest that we need to get real and remember that nobody is perfect! According to Romans 3:23, we all sin and we all fall short of the glory of God. How I need to remember that. How I need to cut myself some slack and cut other people slack. I need to stop idolizing people and the way it appears they have it all together and start focusing again on my journey and the race God has set before me. We each have our own race. I cannot run yours and you cannot run mine. How I need to remember that when I start trying to model my journey after someone else's. If God has mine perfectly planned for me, who am I to get in there and mess it all up? What must God think of me as I continually waste time wishing I could have it all together like so and so?

The quote I shared at the beginning of this post really stuck with me. How very true it is! Am I the only one or do you agree that "pictures" of perfection can lead to jealousy and envy? How many times have I dealt with these issues because I think that someone has it all together and I don't. How many hours have I wasted wishing I had their "easy and perfect" life? Too many for sure.

Thanks for letting me work through some of this on here. I know it has been repetetive, but I'll be honest and say this has been no easy fix for me.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

i wanna run

Inspired by a few of my friends who are working hard to eat healthier and exercise, I've begun my own journey. It is way past time for me to get serious about losing some weight and toning some not so tone areas (which in reality is my whole body). Summer is almost here and I am in no shape to be seen in a bathing suit. Let's just say there is much work to be done. Anyway, for the past week I have been doing a mixture of weight training and cardio and I hate it. I can feel my body getting stronger, but I do not enjoy one single minute of it. Well, maybe that very last minute. I am also struggling with making better food choices throughout the day. Who wants to eat a handful of carrots instead of a handful of chocolate? or a whole chocolate cake in my case? Tonight is our night to run and if you could guess I am not excited. I wanna run alright - just to the nearest Andy's or Sonic or Dairy Queen...

Monday, April 27, 2009


So I've been a little absent from blogging this past week. I'll be honest, it's been nice.

Have you ever been in a place in your life when you can literally feel the walls around your heart crumbling? That place where you no longer wish to be numb and you open your heart to really feel? I'm right there tonight. God has been working on me this past week (and longer if I really start to think back). I'm still not sure what it all means right now, but I can tell you that I am desperate to hear what he's got up his sleeve. I am desperate for him. What a lovely place to be.

I am wondering what your favorite worship song is. What song do you turn to when you want to be near to God? When you want to praise him with everything in you? I have so many songs I love but one I've just found recently is, Divine Romance, by Phil Wickham. I love it. I can listen to it over and over and over and that drives Shawn nuts! :)

For You I sing I dance
Rejoice in this divine romance
Lift my heart and my hands
To show my love, to show my love...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

and we interrupt this break...

Okay ya'll...I know I said I was going to take a blogging break this week, but I also said UNLESS something huge happens. Well, don't get your hopes up too much I just needed to get something off of my chest... here goes:


P.S. I still love my Danny and Matt - just really LOVED what Kris did tonight on Idol.

Love ya!!!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

laaaa deeee da

Hey everyone! Just wanted to drop a quick note to let you know that I don't plan on blogging this week. I won't say "never" just in case something totally awesome comes up. You know, like I just happen to run into John Mayer and have my camera with me. :) It has been really crazy around these here parts over the past couple of weeks. Lauren and Shawn are both sick and my house is a bit in shambles. Anywho...I am just planning on taking this week to do some spring cleaning, work in my little herb garden, learn about proper comma usage, take plenty of walks outside, research making homemade cleaners, hopefully make it to the park with friends, figure out how to use the correct form of lay/lie/laid/laying/lying in any given sentence, read about love and logic training for Lauren, finish this week's Esther homework, update my home journal (oh yes, I have a binder for all things home and pending the completion of the organization I might just post a picture), figure out how to make my hair look like those girls' on the bump it commercial because I too want big happy hair, make some sports themed burp cloths, oh and get Lauren feeling better. I'm hoping that without the distraction of blogging I can actually get some of these things done!!! I hope you all have a great week. I saw this quote on a new blog I found and loved it even though it is totally not my way of life at the moment...hopefully I will get there!!!!

"Know the true value of time! Snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination. Never put off til tomorrow what you can do today."
--Lord Chesterfield

Saturday, April 18, 2009

prayers for a child

Last night Shawn and I watched, Slumdog Millionaire. It was such a captivating story. From the opening scenes my heart was broken in two. It is truly no wonder it won so many awards this year. If you haven't seen it, I recommend you go get it right now. Just be prepared to feel your heart ache.

As I watched the story unfold, I couldn't help but think of those poor orphaned kids living in the slums of India. Sometimes I feel so out of touch with the reality of this world. I close my eyes and ears to the suffering. And now, as they are open....I am puzzled. What can I do? What can one person - one family do?

I also thought of Lauren. I am so thankful that she is mine. I am so thankful that we have the means to take care of her and nurture her. It hit me last night as I was watching that movie just how important my job as her mother really is. She needs me to love on her, to guide her, and to teach her. She needs her mommy.

This song by Sara Groves is off of her CD, Station Wagon. When my friend Tammy and I went to see her in concert a few years back I bought it. I don't think she sells it in stores but it may be on iTunes. It is a CD all about motherhood and kids and even though I wasn't pregnant and didn't have any kids at the time I purchased it, I knew I loved Sara and I knew I would love her thoughts on being a mommy. This is one of my favorite songs off of the record and the song that kept running through my mind as I tried to sleep last night. I hope you enjoy it.

Also, here are a couple of sites I am looking into to DO something. Do any of you know any good reputable places to "adopt" a child or simply help out in this world???? I'm still not sure how this is going to work as our budget is pretty tight, but I have asked God to put on my heart what I should do. It may not be any of these and it could be something completely different. I am just trying to be still and really listen to what he is calling me to do. I'd love to hear your thoughts and stories.

Compassion International
- you can sponser a child from many places in the world and I think it is like $32 a month

Food for the Hungry - Sara Groves is a part of this. You sponser a child here from Rwanda. I am not sure yet on the cost...still researching.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

1st easter pictures

These pictures are so special to me because my grandpa suffered from a stroke in early December. Since his stroke this was the first time he wanted to hold Lauren. He would always talk to her and smile at her but he never wanted to hold her. I think he was just afraid and unsure about whether he could do it. Imagine my surprise when we walked into my grandparent's house on Easter Sunday and he held out his arms to hold her. She went right to him and my eyes stung as I watched the two of them interact.

Here she is in her dress. Shawn actually picked this dress out before she was born. I know it is black and Easter is usually more pastelly...but I thought she looked perfect.

This is a better picture of her dress, but as you can see she was NOT happy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


You know, I was thinking just the other day that it has been a little over a year since I walked into my Principal's office and handed her my well thought out resignation letter. I had no idea how my life would change. I also had no idea just how fast time would fly.

I never thought I would be a stay at home mom when I was younger. I didn't play with baby dolls and I didn't particularly like to nurture my two younger brothers. For as far back as I can remember I wanted to be a teacher. When I graduated high school I set out with a passion to do just that. I planned my college course so that I could be out in exactly four years. I worked hard and got good grades. I studied the art of teaching from an amazing teacher and mentor and landed my first job under her tutelage. In the spring of 2005, I was placed for the upcoming school year with a team of wonderful teachers who are to this day some of my very dearest friends. I had what I had always dreamed of. My one goal had been reached. I spent the next three years learning, teaching, and growing....emphasis on growing. I have no doubt in my mind that I was exactly where I should have been in that season of my life. There were times I wished I could have been anywhere else and there were times you couldn't have moved me from that place with a forklift.

The summer before my third year as a teacher I began to feel that maybe, just maybe, teaching wasn't the only thing I wanted my life to be about. Maybe I didn't want that to define me so much. Shawn and I decided that we'd like to have children sooner than later. Once we made that decision, I started feeling God putting something on my heart. Suddenly, I started thinking about staying home with my baby. We weren't pregnant yet and I already knew that God was calling me to stay home. I just wasn't ready to commit yet. Shawn and I talked at length about this and he was just so great. He knew that God was quietly telling me something and he was feeling that God was telling him the same thing. He supported my decision but later told me that he could never picture me not staying home with our little one. Anyway, we got pregnant that fall and I kept wrestling. I knew...I KNEW what I was supposed to do but I was afraid to tell people. How is that for honest? I am a people pleaser by nature.

I told my ladies at school and they were just so supportive and loving. That was hard to do. I knew I was making the right choice. I just wished that it didn't involve the pain of leaving them, ya know? I cried many times to my family about how hard it seemed at the time to walk away from my career - what I had worked so hard for so long for. I talked the ears off of some very dear people, including my mentor teacher and her ornery but lovely husband. I talked to other moms who had done what I was attempting to do. And, I prayed. I got real still. I listened for that quiet voice that urged me on. I basked in the peace that God gave me everytime I thought about staying home. I prayed for his wisdom when things were crazy at school and I didn't know how I could pack up my room and "give-up".

I remember that last day of school so clearly. I was tired from being so huge. My room was filled with boxes of books, post-its, paper clips, binders, and all other things teaching. I didn't know how I would do it. How in the world was I going to walk out of those doors and walk away from what had defined me? I remember sitting at my desk and just looking around my room. Just the shell of what it had been. I had worked so hard to make it the kind of place a kid would want to be. Now it was bare white walls and dirty desks. Sitting at my desk I knew I was at a crossroad. A huge, life-changing, never look back kind of crossroad. I couldn't stay. I didn't know what the future held. A moment of panic hit me and then peace. God washed over me that day. I walked out of that room fresh with hugs from my girls and never looked back.

I am so thankful for that period of teaching. I met the coolest kids. I learned life lessons that shaped and molded the person I am today. And yes, my journey is way different than my 12 year old self would have ever imagined, but I am forever grateful that I listened to that still and quiet voice that only asked for me to trust him.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


This Easter, I am reminded of the great sacrifice my Lord made for me. I am reminded that because of his wounds, I am healed. I am reminded that he took on a weight greater than I can fathom and endured pain worse than I can imagine - for me. I am reminded that when Jesus died that day on the cross, he took my sins with Him. I am reminded that in his infinite wisdom and divine timing, he rose again. I am reminded that because I chose to love him, believe that he died and rose again for me, and asked him to make his dwelling place in my heart I am forgiven and even greater - I am promised an eternal life with him!

One of my favorite songs, especially this time of year, is "Why" by Nichole Nordeman. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

pooped out

This is how Lauren fell asleep after our trip to the park last Wednesday. I couldn't believe it! She was just so darn precious I could barely stand it!

And this is her in our backyard that evening. We were waiting for Shawn to come home and it was just too nice to be inside. I took out a blanket and a few toys. She mostly just looked around at everything and shrieked at the neighbor's dog. I just love this girl.

traveling light

Friday, April 10, 2009

vitamin D, please

On Wednesday, I took Lauren to meet some friends at a park here in town. It was a gorgeous day and it was so nice to get out and feel the sunshine! Lauren had a blast swinging and she even went down the slide with me. Here are a few pics!

Isn't this one the cutest? These three were each born two months apart from each other. Preston (on the left) is 6 months old, Kendall (in the middle) is 10 months old, and Lauren (on the right) is 8 months old. They play in the nursery together at church and whenever we get together. It seems they always have their hands all up in each other's business. It is too funny!

We put Kendall and Lauren in the same swing and it was so funny! They actually loved it and those swings are really pretty big, so they fit nicely!

It was kind of funny because they kept trying to look at each other!

Lauren had so much fun. It was wonderful for me because I have always imagined taking my kids to the park and seeing their excitement. Motherhood is so fun...well most of the time!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

bunko night

Tuesday night was Bunko at my house. I love playing Bunko, but I will be honest and say that I much rather prefer to play at someone else's house. That way I don't have to do the stressing! Anyway, we had such a good time. I ended up making corn dip which is way good although it looks nasty. As Shawn so kindly said, "It sort of looks like vomit." Thanks, babe! I also made rotel dip - always a staple.

For dessert I made these:

And I wrapped them like this:

The inside is strawberry cake and cream cheese icing...yuuuuuummmmm!!!! Please, please forgive me for the HORRIBLE quality of this picture - I am definately NOT a photographer!

I would give you the directions for how to make them, but Bakerella herself and Pioneer Woman have already done it for me. Go here or here for specific directions! They took a little while to make, but I was excited with how they turned out!

Here are a few bunko pictures for my ladies! Oh and we even listened to a little John Mayer, baby! His "Free Falling" cover is magic. Seriously...

Monday, April 06, 2009

the food blues

I am in a funk. A menu planning funk.

I have been sitting at my kitchen bar staring at cookbooks for over 30 minutes and do you know what I have planned for dinner so far this week?!? Hot Dogs. Yes, that is right. Hot dogs. And I didn't even find the idea for them in one of the stinking cookbooks. It is a sad, sad state I am in.

I keep trying to figure out what my problem is this week. I usually love to plan our meals. Cookbooks excite me. Oh yeah, I used the word excite and I meant it very much. I usually like to try new things. Apparently not this week.

Here is my problem...Tuesday night I have bunko at my house and need to come up with some appetizers and a yummy desert. So far...I have nadda ideas. Then, Thursday night we have some friends coming over for dinner. Again...I have nadda ideas. Maybe it is the pressure...maybe I am just tired of cooking....maybe it is this nasty, freezing cold weather...maybe the thought of getting out in this weather with a baby to get groceries just doesn't do it for me. All that sounds about right.

Any ideas/suggestions for me? Too bad I couldn't just take a week off and our groceries would magically refill themselves and we would have hot, yummy dishes every night. Too bad...

Thursday, April 02, 2009


You know when you know you only have a short time to blog and then your mind totally decides to go all blank on you? Totally me right now. Lauren is napping and I can hear the clock ticking. The pressure is too much!

I'll give you a quick glimpse into my life right now. Right this second I am sitting on my couch. Nice, huh?!? Okay, there is a Mizzou blanket draped over our fireplace. It is there for two reasons. #1 - Mizzou we still love you and will pay homage to your valiant effort. #2 -Lauren is crawling and pulling up on things now and well, she isn't that graceful when falling. The vacuum is in the corner because I am totally going to get to that, you know right after the important things like blogging about unimportant things. Lauren's toys are all over the living room floor and will stay there because I know when she wakes up she will just get them all back out again. I have two pampers diaper wrappers beside me because I just entered the codes for their gifts to grow program. My sweet tea is within arms reach and so is my phone. That is about it. I don't know why I shared that, but whatever.

I am way behind on my verses for the Beth Moore challenge! I never posted my verse from March 15. You wanna know why? I never did it. *Gasp* But, I found one last night so I am going to be doing double duty this month.

But he was pierced for my transgressions, he was crushed for my iniquities; the punishment that brought me peace was upon him, and by his wounds I am healed.
Isaiah 53:5

I changed the words that are bold and italized for my own memorization purposes. I need to own this verse. I need to own my transgressions and iniquities. I need to remember that Jesus endured the punishment because of me, because he loves me. This isn't a verse to keep me in bondage or to make me wallow in my past sins because I believe that God has forgiven me of those and wants me to look forward, however it is good for me to remember what he did for me when I am tempted to take him for granted or not give him my full attention.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praisworthy - think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

I chose this verse because so often I let my mind wander upon things that it shouldn't. Things that God would not find true, noble, right, etc. I've been calling this verse to the front of my mind when everything else within me wants to gossip or get mad at my husband over something silly.

Finally, I know a lot of you are praying for little Miss Lauren and her sleeping issues lately and for her very tired mommy and daddy. Just a little update - we have been doing The Sleepeasy Solution by Jennifer Waldburger and Jill Spivack and it is working!!! The first night was HORRIBLE - I mean torture. She was up from 3:09 until 4:40. The book talks about helping your child learn how to fall back asleep on their own. Basically you go in there and without touching your child you talk to them in an encouraging tone of voice for no more than 30 seconds then you leave. I was so tired of going back in there over and over that first night but I kept telling myself it had to get better and that it was only one night. The second night she woke up at 5, talked to herself for a little while (NO crying) and then went back to sleep until 6 which was totally fine with me because - holla - I got to sleep! Last night she slept until 5 again, but this time she cried and fussed on and off for about 40 minutes. I tried to go in there one time but that just made her more upset so I let her handle it. She fell back asleep and slept until 8:30! Seriously, you guys I couldn't even believe it. Now, I am completely aware that because I chose to write about her progress tonight I will be up ALL night long with little miss sunshine. Pray for us still!!!