Thursday, April 5, 2012

thankful thursdays

So my big sis is pretty much the coolest person I know, seriously.  She started a little bloggy movement a while ago called "thankful thursdays."  She wanted to cultivate thankfulness, and I think that's a splendid idea.  I also think she's super cool, did I say that?  So the first thing I am thankful for today is this lovely lady:

Yep, that's my big sis, Carina.  I've always had this perfect, big sister complex, she can do no wrong.  And I've always kinda wanted to be just like her.  She has three little boys that have stolen my heart. 

{Lute, Eddie, and little Georgie}
They probably just stole yours too, huh? 
She is kind and gentle and loves Jesus.  She is crafty and fancy and kind of a hipster.  She is without a doubt my best friend.  So here are a few things, besides this girl, that I am thankful for.

I am thankful for this girl too.  She is so smiley and happy and warm and squishy.  She also has kind of a temper which I love.  Yep, she's a spicy little lady bug.

On Tuesday I got a new pair of spectacles.  On Tuesday I realized just how blind I was.  I am so thankful I can watch The Office tonight without Brian poking fun at me for squinting.  I'm also thankful that I can stay up until the wee hours of the morning, reading, accurately.  I am, however, not so thankful that I am now very aware of how badly my brows needed a plucking. 

Next on the list...Kale chips!  These little crunchy morsels make eating vegetables so much more fun:

I even sprinkled 'em on our dinner tonight.  Yes, that is broiled chicken with sweet potato cream sauce and quinoa.  And it was bomb digity.

Then there's this handsome handyman.  He is giving our bathroom a much needed makeover.  This makes my heart flutter.  Befores and afters to come soon!

 What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

so i'm kind of a hypochondriac

For the past three or four weeks I've had this nagging pain in my arm, especially when I wake up in the morning.  Yesterday it went from nagging to downright excruciating.  The kind where you might utter a four letter word.  Brian said it was time to go to the doctor.  Brian's not much of a worrier when it comes to health.  He's from the "tough it out, your fine" camp.  I'm from camp hypochondriac.  Sometimes our camps go to war.  Especially when it comes to this little bean:

{how cute is this face by the way?}

So when he said it was time to head to the doc, I was kinda worried.  I started to google "upper arm pain" and in about 20 minutes I was pretty convinced I had sarcoma (a soft tissue cancer).  I was also pretty sure the doctor would tell me my arm would have to be amputated.  I even began to come up with ways I could make light of my situation and joke about it so people wouldn't feel uncomfortable around the cancer victim without an arm.  I had my future all planned out.  Yes, it's a beautiful mind, folks.

I headed to the doc this morning.  I sat down and the nurse began to ask me questions about my symptoms.  As I began to list them, I tried to read her face for any conclusions she may be arriving at regarding my cancerous condition.  Was that a look of sympathy?  Was that a knowing "mmhmm" that there was a serious diagnosis on the way?  These were the thoughts racing through my mind.  The doctor shortly came in, had me move my arm in a few different directions and stated...wait for it..."welp, you've got a strained rotator cuff."  A strained rotator cuff? I thought.  She told me I couldn't lift anything heavier than 10 lbs for the next two weeks.  Lola weighs 14 lbs, you do the math.  I've got an exciting two weeks ahead.  "So do you think I need a sling or something?"  I was hoping for a sling.  I knew if I brought a sling home I could probably get a lot more sympathy.  Camp "tough it out" was not going to think this was that big of a deal.  But it is a big deal.  I would probably be laid up on the couch for at least a few days, the sling might buy me a week of no cooking or house work.  To my dismay, there was no sling.  She thought with Lola it would be more of an inconvenience than a help.  "Okay." I muttered.  Me and my strained rotator cuff walked to the car, much relieved.

So what was the lesson from all of this you might ask?  Why did I decide this was a blog worthy event?  Well remember my last post a while ago about trusting God?  Lately He's been giving me lots of opportunities to trust Him.  I was reading 1 Peter yesterday and came upon a little bit of scripture I loved :

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

1 Peter 5:5-10

Now this little chunk of scripture is jam-packed with lessons Jesus has been teaching me about.  Pride, humility, anxiety, how much He cares for me.  Sometimes I forget how much he cares for me.  He cared that I was feeling anxious about my arm even though it was kind of silly.  He says to cast all our anxiety on Him, not just the things we deem worthy.  He wanted me to go to Him and find security and comfort in Him.  Not Brian or Google or Web MD first, Him.  The God of the universe wants me to go to Him when I'm feeling anxious or melancholy or ecstatic and full of joy.  He even gets jealous when I don't.  God is jealous for me.  Little 'ol me.  I find that truth to be amazing.  Kind of unfathomable.  Sometimes it's hard to wrap my brain around.  So I am going to go spend some time with Him.  Just being still, with Him.  Drinking in His love and mercy and grace and peace.  Be still my heart. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

trust issues

This past week I have been reflecting a lot over the past year.  Last year at this time Brian and I found out we had a little bun in the oven.  It was a magical little bun.  I remember we were completely broke, barely getting by, but so filled with joy.  It was also around this time we were blessed with a fence project.  Not just any fence project, a huge fence project.

{What's that?  You didn't know Brian was a general contractor?  Well, honey, he is.  If fact he can do all sorts of things.  He can build fences, and decks, home additions, remodels, new construction...he is a construction genius.  He would also be happy to give you an estimate should you have any construction needs.  And you know, spring is right around the corner.  I know you want to BBQ up some chicken under your new covered porch on the back patio.  :) }

But I digress.

Anyway, back to the story.  So we get this fence project that will sustain us for an entire year.  Not just sustain us, allow us to live pretty darned comfortably.  It has been such a nice, comfortable, prosperous year in so many ways.  We are blessed.  Recently this project came to an end.  Just a few weeks ago, in fact.  It has been bitter sweetness around our house.  Initially, I was feeling a little stressed.  I started having doubts that we were going to be able to get by.  I was worried for Brian because I know how heavily our finances weigh on his mind.  Oddly though, he was at such peace when the project came to an end.  And to be honest, I was kind of like, "what the H?"  I am usually the cool, calm, collected one.  The one that knows everything is going to be fine.  The stress free, easy breezy kind of gal.  But now I was the one who was worried.  And I didn't like it.  I knew something was up and I knew what I needed to do.

I started reading in Matthew, you know the story about the Jesus feeding thousands out of seven loaves of bread and a few fish?  Well I feel like he did that for us with the fence project.  We were so poor, just barely scraping by and he blessed us with an abundance.  Then as you go on reading you come to the part where later the disciples realize they had forgotten to bring food on their journey, and Jesus reminds them, "Oh you of little you not yet perceive?" ...and I was embarrassed.  Did I not yet perceive, did I not get it?   Jesus was reminding them of the abundant provision that had just taken place.  He used it to remind me too.  I feel God using this as a time of trial for us.  A test to see if we have learned yet to be faithful, to completely trust him.  It says in James 1:12,

I can't help but be kind of excited about this.  God has been teaching us and showing us he will provide everything we need and that he has a plan.  Now he is asking us to show him that we trust in that.  He is giving us this great opportunity to really show him the faith we have in him.  And sometimes I fail.  Sometimes I catch my thoughts wandering to places of worry and angst.  I have to stop in the moment and pray against it and remember these verses.  My faith is growing.  Slowly, but it's growing.  What a blessing it is.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

what if you only had a week?

Today I went for a run.  It was snowing and sunny at the same time and it was glorious.  I made it through without Lucy tripping me or dragging me through any mud puddles which equals success.  I came home and caught the last three minutes of a movie Brian had been watching.  I think it was called "One Week."  I was able to catch the premise in those last minutes and by the title that nudged the me to ask myself, "what would I do if I had one week to live?"  We all have these moments every once in a while in life when we are reminded that this life we live on earth can be taken away at any moment.  In James 4:14 it says: "yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes."  What is my life?  It was funny that this movie was on because this has been on my mind lately.  I have been thinking about what legacy I would want to leave, what story I would want to tell if I knew I had just a week.  What regrets would I have?  What would I not have said?  If I were to die today {Not to sound morbid or like a wacadoo, I just think it's a good thing to think about.} I would regret not telling more people about Jesus.  I would {hopefully} get to heaven and he would ask me why I didn't.  What would I say?  "Uhhh, I didn't tell more people about you because, uh, I was afraid of what people might think of me."  Which would sound so completely lame but would be the complete truth.  Or maybe I would say that I thought if I told them, they might reject me.  I'm already nervous to post this.  But, then I remember this verse I randomly stumbled upon this week while thinking about all of this:

So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.  What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.  And do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather fear him who can kill both soul and body in hell.

-Matthew 10:26-28

I am reminded that I should not fear what others think of me.  What I should be concerned with is what Jesus thinks of me.  He is telling me here that I should be shouting the good news of Jesus on the housetops, so this is my housetop.  I cannot tell you how Jesus has changed my life since I began really following him a couple of years ago. {If you would like to hear about this, I would be happy to tell you.  Let's go get a latte.  It will take a while.  It is a perfect love story.}  What I have felt God impressing upon my heart is that if I claim to follow Christ and I truly believe what he says, that means I believe there is a heaven and there is a hell.  There is a hell, folks.  God tells us in his word that this life we have here on earth is a vapor.  It's nothing compared to the eternity that waits for us.  It's forever.  Jesus so desires you to be in heaven with him.  You need his saving and he so wants to save you.  But he is the only way.  You can try other roads but they will all lead you to a dead end.  No matter where you are in your life.  How screwed up you might think it is or how perfect you might think it is.  You need him and he wants you.  Not only does he not want you to go to hell, he wants to show you the fullness of his love.  He wants a relationship with you now.  He wants to teach you about his grace and his mercy.  Today.  He wants to give you his perfect peace.  This is what he has done for me and it's unlike anything I have ever experienced.  My hope is that if you are reading this and you don't know Jesus, I mean really know him, you might want to.  Or at least be curious.  I would love to tell you more.  If you have questions about Jesus or why I so desperately want you to know him, please ask.  Whether you are a facebook friend, a dear friend, or you stumbled upon my blog at random.  I can't say I will know the answer, but I will find it for you.  I am available.  That said, this pretty much wraps up what I wanted to say:

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Being a mama ain't easy business.
Sometimes it's hard.
Last week it was hard. 
I got mopey.  Real mopey.
I had a pity party.
On Saturday I stayed in my pajamas all day and ate lots of sushi.
I decided this week will be better.
I have so much to be grateful for.  Too much to be grateful for to be mopey.
So much in fact, I decided to make a collage of everything I am grateful for:

Okay, I guess that's not everything I'm grateful for.  But there's a few.  With all of these things and a little bit of razzle dazzle, this week will be a better week, I do declare.  I'm sorry, Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute are also two people I am super grateful for.  Here's to a great week ahead, peepsies!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

a tribute

Today this handsome fella turns 27:

This means I have known him for 11 years, dated him for five, was engaged for three months and married to him for one year and eight sweet months.  All of which have been a pretty big, action-packed love story that still amazes me when I ponder it.  I love him so and I love the life we have built together.  Some of the things I love most are as follows:

  1. He is a man’s man to the core.  He hunts and fishes and loves to work on his trucks. 
  2. He says phrases like “doggone” and “howdy.”
  3. Because of #2 older folks love him.  In fact they love him so much he often comes home with “goodies” they have made him.  These goodies include things like pie and jars of chutney (I very much dislike chutney.  What is that stuff anyway?) and birdhouses and also this little masterpiece:

    Now I’m not actually sure what this is supposed to be.  I do know that it will not take up residence on my front porch which is where Brian attempted to place it.  But it does have character and so does the lovely gentlemen who made it, Art.  He is 89 and loves my husband.    (Brian wanted me to be sure to give Art a shout out and that I didn't "make fun" of him.  Just for the record I would never poke fun at Art.  But this is how sweet my husband is.  Heart of gold I tell you.) 
    4.  He is so, so funny. 5.  He loves food as much as I do.  We started off the day with this lovely breakfast:
    Yes, I did make hash browns in my waffle iron.  Thank you, Pinterest.  They were crispy and cheesy and deee-lish.
    6.  He also loves animals as much as I do and was so gracious when I told him asked him if we could adopt this little girl:
    7. He loves Jesus and prays with me daily. {sigh}
    8. He has become the best daddy to our baby I could ask for.  {again, sigh}
    If you know us, you know we have had a long road to the life we have today.  I love and appreciate this man more than I can express.  Here's to you, honey.  Hope this is the best birthday to date.