Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 = the year of no excuses

Like so many others making New Year’s resolutions, I'm jumping on the January 1st bandwagon to lose weight.  Let's back up a little bit so I can share more about me, my struggle with weight and where I've been before. 

I've struggled with my weight my entire life.  The only time I remember and actually have proof that I was a healthy weight was probably when I was around 4 or 5 years old.  I'm not even really sure what caused me to spiral out of control but I did and here I am.  I could make up a list of excuses and place the blame on a million different people or issues but I won’t because like it says above, this is going to be the year of no excuses.  In 2007 I had RNY Gastric Bypass surgery and lost over 200 lbs in a year and a half.  In December of 2009 I became pregnant and by the end of my pregnancy I had gained way too much weight.  I thought that I would lose it all and then some easily once I gave birth, but here I sit, 2+ years after having Olivia and I weigh more than I did when I was pregnant.  Unacceptable.

At this point it's not even about wanting to lose weight.  I have to.  There's no way that I can continue on the path I'm on and live my life to the fullest.  I feel like a horrible mother and wife because I know that I'm not the best example I can be for Olivia.  I'm so fearful of what the future holds if I don’t get up and do something about this now.  I'm afraid of tons of things.
...Olivia, embarrassed of me
...not being able to participate in activities with her because of my weight
...Olivia following in my footsteps
The list goes on and on.... it's overwhelming.

I'm definitely my own worst enemy.  My thought process when I think about dieting or changing my lifestyle is always a downward spiral of negativity.
I've failed before
Why bother
I'm so far behind
I have too much to lose
I'll never be skinny
I can't do this
Those are the things that always make me lose focus.  Those are the words I need to stop saying to myself. 

I'm super scared to be putting myself out here like this, publicly.  I'm scared that I'm going to fail and humiliate myself, I'm afraid that there won’t be any follow up posts about this because just like before I'll abandon the idea and go back to stuffing my face mindlessly and let myself slip further and further down this slippery slope of hopelessness. 

But, if I don’t start now then I don’t think I ever will.  ...and a month from now, I'll be glad I started now, a year from now I'll be even happier that I started a year ago.

I'm going to take "before" pictures tonight.  I may post them but I'm not sure.  It's embarrassing and I'm already feeling a bit nervous over hitting the publish button for this post. 
I doubt I'll share my weight on the internet but I will share how much I've lost in updates.  

I've been putting a lot of thought into what triggers me to snack or make poor choices and it's mostly boredom, habit and poor planning.  I plan on making the next day’s lunch during nap time in order to prepare ahead, if I feel like having a snack I need to be less impulsive and drink a bottle of water before eating anything and if I'm bored then I need to get moving. 

I need to remember that it won’t happen overnight, 
it's a journey and it's going to take a long time to reach the end. 

I feel like I have a little more support on my side this time around.  I have God.  I'm praying furiously for strength, determination, will power, motivation, positive thinking and anything else that I can think of. 

So there you have it.  My New Year's resolution.  The year of no excuses.  I'm both dreading it and looking forward to it all at the same time.  I scared out of my mind.

If you have any encouraging words or advice you'd like to offer, please do. 
If you've shared your own experience with losing weight then link me to your blog. 
I need all the support, prayers and encouragement I can get. 

Today is the last day of this me.  Tomorrow, the new Laura debuts.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

One angel declared the news that gave the whole world a reason to REJOICE!
"A savior has been born to you; He is Christ the LORD!"
Luke 2:11
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.  Rejoice in the birth of our savior.  We will be praising Jesus and enjoying each moment with our families in His holy presence.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fab Friday

Today I'm linking up with Laura from Between the Lines for her Fab Friday series.  It's nice to end the week reflecting on all the fabulous things that happened instead of dwelling on the not-so-good.
Today I want to share a few fab things we have going on -
~ Merry Christmas!  This is the last weekend before the big day and I have a ton of shopping to do.  While others may dread shopping on the last weekend before Christmas I actually kind of enjoy the rush, the hustle and bustle and the cheeriness of it.  I know that sometimes people can get to be not so nice during this time because they're all rushing around like busy bees but I plan on grabbing a coffee, my husband, Olivia and hitting the stores with a smile on my face!
~ This morning I made my usual stop at Dunkin Donuts but the drive thru line was really long so I decided that I'd just head inside to order instead.  With it being the Friday before Christmas, it seemed like a good "random act of kindness" day so I paid for the coffee of the man behind me.  His reaction was so funny when the cashier told him I'd taken care of his bill.  He said "Well sh*t, it's my lucky day!"  So I laughed and explained that since there's so much bad in the world, it's nice to do something good for a stranger and I asked him to please pay it forward.  He thanked me, I walked away and watched as he stood there and bought the order for the woman behind him.  It was awesome to see kindness transcend right away.  Good start to my day!
~ I spent 2 full afternoons this past week staining and polyurethaning part of Olivia's Christmas present.  We bought her really nice wooden doll furniture (a bed, stroller and highchair) for her baby dolls but I decided last night that I wasn't happy with how it had turned out and I'd rather it be white instead of a pinkish stain.  So, I grabbed some sand paper and sanded away all my hard work.  How is this fabulous you ask?  Well, I realized I didn't like it before Christmas day so I have this whole weekend to get my behind in the garage and make them beautiful for my baby girl!
~ I am so excited about our Christmas Eve service at church.  I know it's going to be fabulous so I can't wait to experience it with my husband for the first time.
A friend of mine from church wrote this amazing poem to honor and shed light on the horrific tragedy in Newtown, CT.  It's beautiful.
Between the Lines

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Since the tragedy in Newtown, CT my mind has been overcome with thinking of the 26 lives lost that day.  As a mother, I can’t even wrap my head around how the parents felt when they received that emergency phone call, how they felt when they were waiting and waiting to be reunited with their children, how they felt when their child never came and how they felt when they were told their children didn’t survive. 
That's every parent’s worst nightmare. 

I can’t even let myself think about it for very long because it's consuming me... but yet my mind keeps wandering there.  Thinking of those children, teachers and staff, their families and loved ones, Christmas without them, the presents they probably already had waiting for them under the tree.

I'm not even directly connected to anyone affected by the CT shooting but it's deeply affected me as a mother.  I feel like this tragedy has given me anxiety and I'm pretty sure I had a panic attack while I was at work yesterday.  I'm afraid of being away from my husband and Olivia for any amount of time.  I'm afraid that something will happen to one of us and we won’t all be together.  I'm afraid I won’t be able to protect my daughter.  I'm scared to go to the store because of a possible crazed gunman planning his attack.  ...but yet at the same time I know logically that I can’t live my life in fear like this.  I can’t control everything, God is in control, I know that, but it's not making this any easier. 
This world is a scary, scary place. 

It's even made me reevaluate things that I do naturally.  When you have a child I think you typically draw attention to yourself.  People tend to strike up conversation and start to talk to Olivia all the time.  I always encourage her to say hi, tell them your name etc.  Is that wrong?  Do I need to be fearful of people in general?  Should I just nod smile and keep moving?  It's this awkward place of wanting to be friendly and kind but yet not wanting to put myself or my child in danger. 
I hate having to even think about things like this.

I'm so thankful that Olivia doesn’t go to daycare or school yet.  I can’t even imagine how parents dropped their children off the following Monday morning after the shooting.  They must have been terrified. 

Olivia is home all day with her father while I'm at work and home with me when my husband goes to work.  I know she's safe being with a parent at all times but it still makes me panic when I call my husband during the day and he doesn’t answer, he's probably cooking or playing with Olivia but I can’t help my mind from going there.  From thinking the worst and immediately my anxiety is elevating and my emotions are on edge.  Yesterday I drove home and talked to my husband a good portion of my drive.  I knew that he and Olivia were ok but when I walked through the door and saw their faces I broke down in tears.  I felt relief that I was home, safe with my family. 

I've never experienced anything like this before and I'm praying that it passes and God will give me the peace my soul needs. 

I saw this video on the Today's Show and I loved the message.

How do you combat evil?  With good.  Do a random act of kindness for a stranger.  This always helps me feel better so I'm hoping that it will this time too.

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

So What! Wednesday

It's time for another edition of So What! Wednesday....
~ So what if I'm still buying Christmas presents... and will probably finish my shopping this weekend.  The weekend before Christmas.  I'm crazy for waiting so long and not looking forward to it at all.
~ So what if I'm still finishing Olivia's main presents... we bought her really nice wooden doll furniture (a bed, stroller and highchair) for her baby dolls but they came unfinished.  I'm staining them a pinkish color but I've only half finished one piece... I really need to get my act together.
~ So what if we skipped church this past weekend.  With the events on Friday in Sandy Hook CT, a super stressful weekend and another sinus infection I just wanted to stay home in bed.  So I did.  I really missed the service but I needed the rest.
~ So what if I'm wishing for snow on Christmas.  It will be magical for Olivia to have a white Christmas and I would love to have dinner and take her outside to play in the snow!
~ So what if I can't wait for our Christmas Eve service at church.  This will be my first year attending at our new church and I've heard it's beautiful.
~ So what if I almost drove away from Dunkin Donuts without my coffee this morning.  It was early and I was tired and I have a lot on my mind.  Thank God I didn't leave without it.  It would have been a long, long day with no caffeine.
~ So what if I'm trying to come up with ways to bless someone this Christmas season.  I love random acts of kindness and I'm trying to think of a creative way to do something similar to our Thanksgiving blessings.
~ So what if I absolutely love my new blog header made by the awesome Jess from Wrangling Chaos!  She has a new blog design website up and for the month of December she's running a sale for half off premade blog headers!!!  Go check out the designs she has to offer and mention the code holiday for half off!
So What Wednesday

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Done being PC

Sorry, I'm not sorry.  Stop reading if you're offended easily.

I'm done being politically correct and having to tip toe around the fact that we're celebrating CHRISTMAS, not a holiday.  It's a CHRISTMAS tree, not a holiday tree.  In my state, our governor has deemed the tree in the state house a holiday tree in order to make everyone happy  
...BUT there's a menorah in the state house too. 
No one is calling the menorah a candelabra, are they?   
People find it disrespectful to call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree.
Well, what about the people who find it disrespectful to call a Christmas tree a holiday tree? 
Isn’t the tree part of the Christmas celebration? 
If people don’t want to celebrate Christmas then why would they put a Christmas tree up anyways? 
I don’t celebrate Hanukkah so I don’t have a menorah, simple as that.  Now, if I did want to have a menorah, I wouldn’t disrespect the Jewish community and call it a candelabra.

Now let’s get a little deeper here... if you don’t believe in Jesus then why celebrate Christmas in the first place?  Christmas is the celebration of Jesus' birth.  The birth of our savior.  So, again, if you don’t believe in it then why celebrate that holiday?  Christians don’t celebrate non Christian holidays so why are non Christians celebrating Christian ones?  If we start there then it could remove all the other unnecessary crap. 

I have an issue with people who don’t believe in God trying to turn the celebration of Christ's birth into a secular holiday.  And it's not even about the tree, it's about people trying their hardest to remove
How does the world get so far off base?  How do you start with a religious holiday and turn it into a day to focus solely on ripping open presents and not even have one mention of the true meaning of the day, of the season, of the reason?  Shame on them. 

Now I understand that people all have different beliefs and that's fine by me.  I know the truth and that's what I live by, but how dare the non-believers try to take one of the most precious days in all history and turn it into something that it's not and take the focus away from the true reason.  Jesus' birth is a historic event, he's not some made up character from a fairy tale, yet people are trying to demean it.

In my house we celebrate Jesus, not Santa.  We talk about the reason for the holiday, Olivia knows that the reason she receives presents on Christmas is because we're celebrating the day that God gave us the greatest gift of all, his son.  His son who was born, lived and died for us and our sins.  We minister on Christmas and serve food to the homeless.  We donate toys to shelters and pray for people and mankind.  We do all these things in Jesus' name, to honor him. 

I guess the moral of the story here is this - in my house, we live the truth.  No one can take that away from me.  But, if I run into you in the store during this CHRISTMAS season, you won’t be getting a "happy holidays" from me, I'll be proudly saying "MERRY CHRISTMAS!"

(there have been a few events that have triggered this post.  I'm not sorry if you're offended because I've encountered many situations where I've been offended and I feel this needed to be said)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


It's Wednesday again and you all know what that means. 
I'm linking up with Shannon from Life After I Dew for her So What! Wednesday series.
This week I'm saying So What! if...
~ I'm still hoping to get more responses and advice in regards to yesterdays post.  There are a few women who go to my church that read my blog so I'm hoping they will chime in.  I received a few heartfelt emails that I have yet to respond to and I'm so, so thankful for them.
~ Olivia is constantly amazing me with things she does and says.  She's so, so smart!  We talk to her about everything and last night she grabbed a pillow and blanket, laid down on the fireplace and told me she was "waiting for Santa and Jesus' birthday!"  I know she understands who Santa is but I didn't know she understood the details!

Don't mind the fancy baby gate in the fireplace.  O is obsessed with going into the fireplace, throwing her toys in there etc. etc. etc.  We got tired of having a 2 year old covered in soot... so hence, the baby gate.
~ I'm excited for our upcoming busy weekend - family Christmas party, nephews birthday party, dance, church and family time.
~ We took Olivia to LaSalette last night and let her stay up way past her bedtime.  She loved it and we're the parents so we can break the rules! 

LaSalette 2012
~ The bottom half of our Christmas tree has no ornaments on it.  I mean, it DID at one time but there's this certain someone who lives in my house and happens to be right about that height that has assumed the ornaments as new toys for her to play with. 
~ I wrapped all of Olivia's Christmas presents and feel like I need to buy her more.  It's this weird balance between knowing she has enough and wanting to give her the world. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Baptism & Hesitation

I've talked about my faith before in bits and pieces.  It's something that still new to me.  I wonder if I'll always feel this way or if I'll ever feel comfortable with the amount of stuff I know, my relationship with Jesus and my actions, sins and prayers.  I don’t know.  Every day I struggle with little things, doubts and questions.  It's because I'm still learning, but partially because I'm a thinker. 
I over think and over-analyze everything.

I was saved on July 11, 2012 and I am firm in my beliefs.  I believe that Jesus is my savior and he was born, lived and died for all of our sins.  There's no question in my mind about this. 

My hesitation comes in when I think about taking the next steps, baptism.  I was supposed to be baptized in November with my husband but I asked for it to be postponed.  I was baptized as an infant in a Catholic church, but Christians don’t believe that this 'counts' since it wasn’t something I chose to do.  With baptism comes church membership and while I love our church I have this funny hesitant feeling about taking this step.  I think that part of my worry is that my family doesn’t believe in or really support what we're doing.  They are non-practicing Catholics and have no interest in coming to church with us or even going to their own church.  This makes me feel bad because the way I grew up, in a Catholic baptism it's a celebration.  The baby is baptized and there's a family gathering afterwards and it seems strange to me to go to church, get baptized and then go home as if nothing happened.  Not that I need to have a party or anything but some acknowledgement would be nice. 

Maybe I'm a little bitter because I don’t have their support?

Maybe a piece of me feels like it's disrespectful to my family that I'm choosing a different religious path?  Even though I know that this is the right thing for me, my husband and Olivia, it's been made clear that since they were "born Catholic, they'll die Catholic" and part of me feels like they expect the same from me. 

I've been praying about it, but I'm not quite there yet. 
Have any of you had the same hesitation?  What did you end up doing about it?

Pray for me to gain clarity in this area.

(Please know that regardless of my family's lack of interest in my faith I still love them deeply and don't judge their decisions about their faith.  I guess everyone has to do what feels right to them.  I just don't want this to come off as me soudning like I think I'm better than them etc.)


Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend Recap - decking the halls

This weekend was full of Christmas decorating, church, birthday parties and family time.  We tagged our Christmas tree a few weeks ago, brought it home last weekend and it's been sitting in the garage in its stand waiting for everyone to be home to decorate.  I am dead set on making this a fun family tradition that Olivia will always remember, I wanted to have special snacks, hot chocolate, Christmas music and we did just that.  Just us, the tree, the ambiance and the ornaments. 
I gave Olivia an early bath, dressed her in her Christmas jammies, poured a little bowl of red and green M&M's and brought out the ornaments.  Olivia was SO excited!

I swear this picture could be me as a child, Olivia looks just like me.

We have tons of special ornaments - Olivia's first Christmas, my first Christmas, ornaments of Olivia's favorite characters like Minnie, Elmo and Cookie Monster.  My all time favorite, the Grinch, ornaments I made as a child etc etc etc.  It was so fun to see Olivia marvel over each one and play with them.  A few of her favorites are no longer on the tree since she seems to think that they're toys.  We even took the Grinch ornament to church Sunday night because she insisted.
The night was perfect.  Olivia truly had a blast decorating and I love that she actually gets it this year. 
She talked about baby Jesus and Santa and she knows that the reason Santa brings us some presents for Christmas is to celebrate Jesus' birthday.
Last year we bought Olivia a little people nativity set and we're going to put that up tonight. 
I'm praying for the right words to explain the true meaning of Christmas. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Today is a good day.

My dear friends welcomed the newest addition to their family this morning! 
Little Leo was born in the wee hours of the morning, 2 weeks early and he's absolutely perfect.  I can't wait to go and meet him this afternoon.  He has made his mom an official "boy mom" and his dad now has a little man in the house, not to mention Penelope has earned her badge as "big sister"!
Congratulations Stacy, Bill and Penelope!
Prayers for your new family of 4!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Olivia Says

My sweet Olivia is 26 months old.  I really can’t believe she's 2.  I get this anxious feeling sometimes when I look at her and she just looks so big.  So much like a kid instead of a toddler or a baby.  It's true what people say, when you have children, the time just disappears.  I can’t even say it flies by, it's just gone.  Sometimes the difficult days seem slow and long but in the grand scheme of things, time is just going too fast and even though my daughter is only 2, I need it to slow down.  I wish she would stop growing, just for a little bit so I can enjoy each stage just a little longer. 

It's also true when people say that kids do and say the funniest things.  Here's Olivia's most recent funnies.

~ this past weekend my husband and I and friends were out to lunch.  Olivia was sitting on the booth next to me and she stands up, points across the restaurant and yells "look Mommy, it's SANTA!"  I turn my head and there's a man, and his wife, standing up ready to leave the restaurant and sure enough he has a long white beard.  He heard her and was laughing.  If yelling it once wasn’t enough, she did it again!  They laughed and waved and so did we, but oh my gosh.  Talk about embarrassing!

~ Lately she's been calling me little pet names.  Whenever I talk to her I usually say "baby or honey or sweetie so now when she talks to me she uses the same terms of endearment like "I love you Mommy honey."

~ she gives herself little pep talks when she's afraid of something or upset about something.  She's recently decided she's afraid of sharks, but not baby sharks, just mommy and daddy sharks.  I hear her talking to her baby dolls saying "baby shark is so cute, he's friendly, we hug him, mommy and daddy shark is big, we not afraid, we try not be afraid of mommy and daddy shark, we love baby shark so much honey."

~ I'm not sure where she picked this up but she likes to play "Super YaYa" (she calls herself YaYa).  She yells "Super Yaya!" puts her arms up like she's flying and runs around.  She also likes us to play Super Mommy, Super Daddy, Super Papa and Super Grandma.

~ The other day I was cooking and I said "Olivia, don’t touch the oven, it's hot.  You got it kid?"  I was just joking with her by saying "you got it kid" but now she uses that to answer everything I say.  Our conversations look something like this....
"Olivia, please don’t touch the dogs water ok?" 
"Ok, Mommy, I got it kid!"

She has us laughing constantly.  She's so funny and she knows when she's being funny because she'll put her hand over her mouth when she's laughing and double over as if she's laughing so hard!  I love this child more than anything.  This love, my love for her is so much, so big, so indescribable, so rich and full, so overwhelming, so scary, so amazing.   

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

So What! Wednesday

It's Wednesday again, and I'm linking up with Shannon from "Life After I Dew" for So What! Wednesday. 
~So what if I bake when I'm stressed.  This week I've made Mickey Mouse cookies, Christmas cupcakes and I have the plans for peanut butter blossoms this afternoon.
~ So what if I burnt the Mickey Mouse cookies to a crisp because I forgot they were in the oven.  ...and so what if I tried to hide them from Olivia by throwing them in the trash but she saw them anyways and cried. 
~ So what if my daughter started saying "shut up" because I slipped and said it to the dogs when they were barking at the mail man.  I've corrected her a million times but now she's just saying "no no shut up, don't say the words" instead.  Either way it still sounds bad.
~ So what if I can't wait for the new year so I have vacation time again!  I've used my 4 weeks already and I can't wait until it's accrued again.
~  So what if Olivia saw a man with a long white beard and yelled out in the middle of a crowded restaurant
"MOMMY IT'S SANTA!!!!" while pointing at said man. 
~ So what if she not only yelled it out once, but twice.  He smiled and waved but I was mortified.
That's all for So what Wednesday this week.
Thanks for the prayers from this post.  Although at this point I can't elaborate on the situation, all people I requested prayers for did just fine on Monday and we're now waiting for the next step.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Prayers please.

Today my family needs your prayers.  There's an ongoing family situation that is in the court system right now and today is a very important court date.  Please pray for courage for all people affected, wisdom and clarity to say the truth, peace in their hearts and forgiveness of the unforgivable. 
I know this is vague and at this time I can not elaborate any more but maybe someday, once everything is settled I will be able to explain a bit. 
All prayers are appreciated. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Child's Love

Before having Olivia (and accepting Jesus as my savior) I'm not sure that I ever really knew what it felt like to be on the receiving end of unconditional love.  Of course my parents love me, I've never doubted that, but it's a different feeling than when your child loves you, adores you. 
When you can do no wrong in their eyes.

There are so many conditions to most kinds of love. 
Couples fall in and out of love all the time. 
Relationships end, friendships part, parents are disappointed in their children, etc, etc, etc. 
All of those factors take little bits and pieces away from the true unconditional love that can be shared.  

It's no easy job raising a strong willed, has mind of her own 2 year old.  She's feisty and silly and mischievous and amazing all wrapped up into one little being that I love so fiercely.  I'm not a perfect parent and I have my moments where I lose my cool and yell while disciplining Olivia.  She pushes my buttons for sure and I can tell exactly when she's going to do it by her motions and the little smirk on her face.

Recently, when I was having a bad day already and she was having an
"I'm going to be bad today" day I yelled at her about something. 
I don’t recall if it was hitting the dog or standing on the table or dumping the dogs water bowl or...or...or... 

You know?  
One of those days when your 2 year old goes from one mischievous activity to the next almost seamlessly?  When you haven’t even finished cleaning up the first mess and she's already on the third? 
It was one of those days. 

Well, in the midst of my frustration and her craziness I yelled at her....
and in the midst of my yelling at her
...she says "Mommy?" 
...frustrated I huff "What Olivia???" 
...and in the sweetest little pixie voice she says "I love you Mommy." and gives me a hug.

In the middle of me being a less than good parent and taking my frustrations out by yelling,
she told me she loved me.  That is unconditional love.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

A (late) Thanksgiving Recap

Life has been busy with work and a death in the family which has
kept me away from the computer and blogger for over a week. 

Let's back up to Wednesday night, Joe and I went to "Pie and Praise" at church. 
It was beautiful to hear everyone's testimonies and listen to all the various blessings
and trials that people are thankful for this year. 
I felt moved to speak and it was an emotional experience. 
I thanked God for my and my husband's salvation. 
He's changed our lives this year, my husband and I were both saved within 3 months
of each other and now we're a Christian family raising our daughter to know Jesus. 
To me, that's amazing
Olivia's life will be radically different than if God hadn’t done work in our lives and hearts. 
So, I thanked Him publicly for our salvation. 

Thanksgiving day we had dinner with my parents, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and nephew. 
Olivia had a blast playing with her cousin and the food was delicious!  Of course Olivia wouldn’t know that the food was good because I couldn’t get her to eat anything besides a roll!  Kids.

Joe and I did a little shopping on black Friday but NOT in the middle of the night!  We enjoyed the rest of our long weekend at dance, a play date with friends and their kids, church, shopping and more church! 

Now, it's time to start decorating for Christmas!

(I didn't take any pictures on Thanksgiving, I'm so bad with remembering to take the camera out!)


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

So What! Wednesday

Linking up with Shannon at "Life After I Dew" today for her So What! Wednesday series. 
This week I'm saying So What! if...
~ I'm still feeling all warm and fuzzy after gifting two local families in need full Thanksgiving dinners.  Read more about it HERE.  Get inspired and do something for the greater good.
~ I can't wait for Pie and Praise tonight at church and Thanksgiving tomorrow.
~ I started cooking for Thanksgiving already to free up some room in the oven on the day of.  I made roasted butternut squash yesterday and oh my! it was delicious.  I wanted to eat it right then and there!
~ Making a chocolate cream pie with Olivia yesterday took twice as long and was twice as messy but it was also twice as fun!!  This age is awesome.  She's so fun and funny and she gets super excited about little things just like I do and I love it!  This is my girl licking the leftover pudding.  She rocks!
~ Olivia started saying "shut up!" and I was so, so appalled!  I blamed my husband, my mom and my dad...until I realized that it was me she picked it up from.  I don't normally say it in a mean way but more in the context of "no way!" type of shut up.  It has to stop because it sounds so horrible coming from my 2 year olds mouth.  I have to admit that I also say it to my obnoxiously loud barking dog... ugh.
That's all I have to say So What! to this week.  I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving. 
I'll be back after the long holiday weekend! 
So What Wednesday

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Thanksgiving Blessing - x 2

The holiday season always makes me mushy and weepy for many reasons but one of which tugs at my heartstrings like no other.  People.  Just a general love and worry and care for people.  Less fortunate people who have to worry where their next meal is coming from, how they'll support their family, how they’ll provide basic necessities that many, including myself, take for granted.  As I was writing out my shopping list for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday my mind drifted to those people.  People I don’t even know.  People who could be making the same list yet simultaneously crossing things off that they can’t afford.  At this point I prayed for God to give me an idea, something to do for the greater good, to glorify Him.  I picked up my phone and texted my husband saying that I wanted to buy a turkey for someone in need.  We discussed my thoughts and he was excited about the idea too!  He posted the following ad on our local Craigslist's free section...


...and within minutes we received two responses.  We only planned on buying one turkey but we just couldn’t ignore that second email.  The first email came from a woman whose husband had passed away earlier this year and her daughter also hit hard times so she was living with her daughter and two grandsons and was barely making ends meet.  The second email was from a disabled father who supports a family of 4 on his disability income and couldn’t afford a turkey. 

We contacted both people, got their addresses and headed to the grocery store. 
What started out as buying one turkey, turned into two turkeys, 10 lbs of potatoes, 4 boxes of stuffing, 4 jars of gravy, 4 cans of cranberry sauce, 2 pans to cook the turkey in, 2 cans of corn, 2 cans of peas, 2 cans of green beans and 2 apple pies!  My husband and I also felt moved to include tracks (or pamphlets from our church to share the Gospel) in the bags. 

We were able to provide two full Thanksgiving meals for families in need and share God's word.  What an awesome feeling it was go deliver these meals and meet these amazing people.  Both families were extremely thankful and surprised that what started out as a turkey ended in much more.  They both said "God bless you and your family" to us and we left each home feeling encouraged that they'd read the tracks we included.  We prayed for both families last night and plan to reach out to them by email on Thanksgiving to wish them a happy holiday. 

"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God." 
- Hebrews 13:16

We've decided that this is going to be a family tradition.  We want to teach Olivia to have a kind heart to all people.  To help people in need and to do it for the right reasons, to honor God.   

"Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" - Corinthians 10:31

 We hope that this will inspire more people to reach out in your local community to help someone in need.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tagging the tree

Every year for as long as I can remember my family and I have gone to a local Christmas Tree farm to tag our tree.  Buying one from a parking lot just doesn't have the same appeal as walking through the "forest" and choose the perfect one for our home.  This year was no different.  After church we piled into the car, stopped at Dunkin Donuts for obligatory hot chocolate or coffee and munchkins and were on our way. 
Since Olivia is older now, this year was fun.  She was able to walk through the tree farm with us and help choose our tree... all while picking up sticks and rocks and pinecones along the way. 
She fell in love with this little Charlie Brown tree that was just her size.... we may get her one for her bedroom this year.  I think she'll love it!
We finally found our tree. 
My Dad and Husband were so funny trying to convince each other that this tree was "the one".  
Their conversation went like this... 
Dad - "it's perfect"
Husband - "no bare spots"
Dad - "just the right height"
Husband - "not to big"
Dad - "not too small"
Husband - "not too wide"
Dad - "not too narrow"
When they were done discussing the physical attributes of our future Christmas tree we tied on our tag and signature tree tagging penguin (see pics) and took some pictures to mark the occasion.

I adore this picture of Olivia and her Papa (my dad).  She loves him SO SO much!

Our tree tagging adventure was a success. 
Now, let's just hope that we can find our tree when it's time to pick it up!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Randoms

TGIF - this week has been good.  I'm just glad it's Friday which means tomorrow is the weekend and weekends are fun around here!  Saturday is dance for Olivia and Sunday is church and my BFF's 30th birthday!  Although she'll be busy studying for her nursing exam I'll be texting her Happy Birthday lyrics throughout the day.  30 is a big deal!
Today after work I have discipleship - my last class.  I'm sort of sad that I won't have weekly one on one meetings but that just means that now I'm further along in my faith and I need to pray more and rely on myself and my husband to strengthen our walk ourselves. 
I can't wait to deliver my friend's birthday present.  I made her a survival kit for her 30th year to help her stay young at heart.  The idea was inspired by a pinterest pin but mine didn't come out nearly as pinterest worthy.  I know she'll love it.  I included fun things to give herself a makeover, take a relaxing bath and get cozy and watch a movie.  Not to mention a sappy letter and an awesome card. 
Tonight I'm meeting my cousin for dinner.  We haven't spent time together in a long, long time, just us.  Truth be told, I miss it.  When we were younger she lived down the street from me and being 5 years older she drove and had an awesome mustang convertible and 90% of the time you could find us crusing the streets of our town with the top down and the music up.  I miss those days.  I'm so excited to see her because she just found out she's expecting and I couldn't be more excited for her! 
This is her first baby and she's going to be an awesome and fun Mama!
Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

So What! Wednesday.

Linking up with Shannon again for So What! Wednesday! 
This week I'm saying So What! if...
~ Olivia pretty much started potty training herself.  We have had a potty in the
bathroom for her to get used to it but at church this past Sunday she was all "let's do this!"
(see yesterday's post for details!) 
~ It's almost Thanksgiving and we don't have any plans yet.
~ I'm probably more excited about our "Pie and Praise" night at church than I am
about Thanksgiving.  Members of the church are going to bring pie and share their personal
testimonies of how they came to know the Lord and their experience this far. 
What's better than eating yummy pie and hearing true life stories of how Jesus changed lives?
~ I finally got started on my Christmas shopping for Olivia. 
I bought her 4 things online yesterday and I'm super excited about all of them.
~  I need a haircut like yesterday.  I really want to do something drastic (my hair is pretty long)
...but I don't have the guts, the time or the extra cash right now.
~ the women that work at Dunkin Donuts know me and my order by heart.  I start to order my coffee in the drive thru speaker and they interrupt me half way and say "Good morning!  Drive up!"  ...and sure enough, every time they have exactly what I always order waiting for me.  Awesome!
So What Wednesday
That's all I'm saying So What! to this week.  Check out Shannon's blog and be sure to link up.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Time-outs and Potty Training.

This is what I saw when I walked into the church nursery after service on Sunday.
...this is Olivia in the time-out chair. 
Apparently she refused to keep her clothes on. 
Highly inappropriate for church. 
See, in the nursery there is a toddler bathroom with a half door that has a toddler
size toilet and Olivia is obsessed with it. 
She likes to "help" all the kids who are potty training and I guess she
figured that if she kept taking her clothes off the Mom's working in
the nursery would get the hint that she wanted to use the potty. 
She did successfully go potty while at church so
I figured I'd take advantage of her eagerness and interest and go with it. 
After church we went straight to Target and bought her big girl Minnie Mouse panties!  She was so excited.  On the ride home we talked about going potty and wearing her big girl undies.
I put her new undies on her and she was so excited to show them off to Daddy, Gram and Papa.
She spent the rest of the day in her big girl panties, slippers....
...and sometimes a tutu!
I'm so proud of Olivia.  This is a pretty big transition and she's doing an awesome job with it.  After each successful potty-ing she gets a ton of claps, praise and high-fives!  She soaks it in...which could explain why she went potty about 3 times in the first 10 minutes of wearing her new undies. 
My girl is a rockstar - I'm so, so proud of her!
Now, if you'll excuse me, we have some reading to do.