Tuesday, December 7, 2010

is it really wonderful?

"It's the most wonderful time of the year...." the song plays on my car radio, and although I love this time of year, I am stuck in bumper to bumper traffic and the guy two cars back is blowing his horn at who knows what.  Really?  Is it really the most wonderful time of the year? 

This is my favorite time of the year.  There is something about having all the Christmas lights on and sitting and enjoying the glow.  Even with my wild 2 year old running around, it's great.  Christmas is a beautiful time... in the right controlled environment.  If you go out to the mall or shopping centers, you might feel differently.  And that is something that bothers me.  Why does this time of year have to be so crazy?  What makes the traffic seem 20x worse than any other time of the year? 

This morning I was reading my December Guideposts and read an article about a family tradition that I thought was pretty cool.  I doubt it's something that I'll adopt, but pretty neat nonetheless.  The story tells of a young mother (with a 2yr old like me!) who wants her son to enjoy Christmas for the "right" reasons.  She was talking with her Grandmamma about what her Great-Grandma Lela would have done.  You see, her G-Gma raised her kids in a run down shack and didn't have money to buy presents. But every year she put away ingredients starting in January, so that by December she would have enough stuff to make 7 cakes.  One for each day between Christmas and New Years.  For her children, it was the best present ever.  They even shared those cakes with neighbors, family, and friends that would come by. 

So the Granddaugther decided that is what she'd do.  So every year from then on, she and her son (and eventually her daughter too), along with her Mother and Grandmamma would bake 7 cakes.  They ate some and shared some, and remembered their Great Grandmother Lela. 

Yes, presents are fun and there is nothing wrong with them, I already have too many things picked out for Miss A., but there is more to Christmas.  For us, it's celebrating Jesus' birth.  Without him,...  well, I don't even want to think about where we'd be. 

So yes, it really is the most wonderful time of the year, as long as you keep the real reasons in mind.  And it probably wouldn't hurt if we all worked on having a little more patience.... but I wouldn't expect anyone else to do that, especially when they are worried they aren't going to get one of the "it" toys as they are racing to Walmart at the last minute.  :o)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

my reminder...

I was just thinking yesterday that I should write a post about needing a new brain.  My mind is shot, and I can't blame it on "Mom Brain."  Last night when the Hubbs called on his way home from work, he asked if I needed anything.  My answer, "could you stop somewhere and pick me up a new brain."  He played right along and said "sure, I think CVS has them on sale this week!"  Even my husband knows I've lost it. 

But thats not exactly what I'm talking about here.  Sure I need reminders all the time just to get through each day.  Shoot, if we didn't need reminders, the guy who invented Post-it notes would be out of business.   But the reminder I'm talking about is for my heart.  I'm blessed to have grown up in a Christian home and to have become a Christian at a young age, but that doesn't mean I don't need reminding of God's love, grace and mercy on a daily basis.  Some days are easier than others.  Some days, I get a quiet time.  Some days, I don't.  Which is of course is unfortunate as I am a totally different and better person if I have one.  (Quiet time = time alone with God, reading bible, praying) 

When the Hubbs and I met, I was quite active in our church and the college church that we had started.  I sang in the band @ H2o and even did the children's worship with two of my great friends.  Then Hubbs and I got married... wonderful day...  but it changed things.  For two years after that we floated around different states and different churches and I wasn't singing.  Yes, I sing to the radio and make up stupid songs in my head, but it definitely isn't the same as being in a band. 

Then we settled in PA and found an amazing church.  I waited... and waited...but didn't feel it was the right time to jump back in.  Then after the birth of my daughter, I casually started inquiring about the "how tos" of the band.  I started singing with them shortly after and have loved every second.  But, I'll admit, there was/is a bit of disappointment in having to start all over again.  I have to get them to trust me, to show them what I can do and even to have the opportunity to show them what I can do and am comfortable with.  And as I searched the Bible one "low" day, I came across a verse, Ephesians 5:18-19:

18 "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.
Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with
 psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.
Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,..."

So what did I do with this?  I got a tattoo!  LOL.... okay so thats not really how it all worked, but it was my inspiration.  I had been wanting another tattoo, one on my wrist.  (Yes, I have 3 now.... and most people would be shocked to know this, if they saw me)  Hubbs thought I was crazy, but after I showed him the design, he changed his mind.  Whether he understood where I was coming from or even knew what it meant to me, I don't know.  But everytime I catch a glimpse of my wrist, I am reminded... even when I can't sing in a band or be on stage I can always, and should always, "sing and make music in your heart to the Lord."  For it is to the Lord that I sing, and how I am able to sing.  And I haven't forgotten how lucky I am to have this opportunity... and I won't! 

Wanna see my newest ink?

my musical heart... treble clef & bass clef

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

best friends...

I have two beautiful ladies in my life that I call my best friends.  Neither of them live close to me.  Bummer!  But thanks to technology, we talk via phone, and internet... oh yeah, and with "old school" cards.  I love sending cards.  But it's times like these, when I wish I lived closer to them.  One of my dearest and oldest friends, is dealing with such heartache right now.  Actually she's been dealing with it for two years, and it breaks my heart.  You see, I have something she so desperately wants; a child. 

I called her this afternoon after reading her most recent blog post, and she called back a bit later.... we just got off the phone.  I so wish I could be there, back home, with her, talking and laughing and letting her complain as much as she wants.  She feels she is being so negative, but really she's just expressing how her heart feels.  To me, it's not complaining. 

She has been on my mind a lot lately and I've been praying for them.  I know fertility/infertility is hard no matter how it happens.  We have quite a few people/friends around here who are dealing with or have dealt with this.  Shoot, we even have a group of women at church who get together and talk.  I was telling my mom the other day that I've never known so many people dealing with this.  But the reality is, it's very very common.

It took us a bit of time to conceive our daughter, but within a year, it happened.  We were blessed, you could even call us lucky.  But I don't think of luck when I think of my friend.  It's not that she isn't "lucky" or even blessed, she definitely is, she's just in such a deep and heavy trial right now.....  I don't even have the words to express what I'm feeling.  I pray all the time that God would bless them with a child.  What an amazing mother she would be.  She is an amazing "mother" to all her patients, family and friends.  And I feel she deserves this.  But it's not for me to decide. 

I'm sure in this time of suffering, no one likes to hear "in God's time."  I sure didn't enjoy hearing that when I was waiting on a husband and all my friends were engaged or married.  But last week at my bible study a friend mentioned something and it just rocked me to the core... in a good way (probably because I knew this already, but it was so simply stated... and we tend to forget these things).  We've been studying Joseph (not Jesus' Dad), and were talking about why in the world he had to go for so long in slavery before he was raised up to an exaulted position.  She said, "there are so many specific details and events that have to fall into place before our future can happen."  Hello! We don't see these events, we don't know what God is doing and why he is making us wait.  Sure, most of the time it doesn't even add up until we get to the long awaited event, but it eventually does.  And then we look back and see how much more wonderful the end result is, because God's hand was in it. 

Anyway, back to my best friend.  She probably doesn't want to hear this again, and she'll probably read this, and I hope she isn't let down....  but God has His plan, and it's better than ours.  That doesn't help the feelings she feels, or how much I think, wish, and pray for their child.  For she'll probably still feel that pang of sadness when someone else finds out they're pregnant, and I'll definitely keep praying that this month is the month for them.

I know you don't know me, and you don't know my best friend, but if you would, take a minute and say a prayer for her and her husband.  Just knowing others are praying for you, even strangers, can help.  And hopefully next time any of us feel like something we so desperately want isn't working out, remember, God is working on your future! 

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to proser you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

"Since no one knows the future, (except God) who can tell someone else what is to come?"
Ecclesiastes 8:7
(parenthesis added by me!)

TT, I love you, and I'm here any time you need me... even the middle of the night, thats what friends are for!

B-12 & more...

sounds like a Bingo call right?  For me, it's energy!

For the past 10 months, B-12 is something that I take every morning right along side my multivitamin.  It all began last winter when my daughter got H1N1.  It was not a fun time, trust me.  But she'd wake up around 6:30am, drink a cup of milk and then go back to sleep with me on the couch until about 9am.  Thankfully, she got better after about 10 days... but I didn't.  I could not function.  I'd get up in the mornings and have to lay on the couch for a couple of hours.  I couldn't play with my daughter, I could barely keep my eyes open.  I decided to see a doctor when I realized how depressed I was getting and how much worse my fatigue was. 

So after an office visit and some blood work, B-12 deficiency was my answer.  My levels were down around 200, which was stinkin' low.  Now, B-12 deficiency isn't a huge deal, it's totally treatable.  So I started to taking extra B-12 and over time my levels started to rise.  By April I was up to 400, and as of last Monday (Oct.) I was up to 500.  It's a slow climb back to normal, but we're getting there.  I am still sleepy a lot of days, but my doctor suggested a lower carb/high protein diet to help.  I've done this "diet" before (I don't metabolize carbs quickly like most people, so they sit in my stomach... my body does better with high protein!), and it isn't hard, except for the fact that we eat a good bit of pasta, and quick snacks are usually high in carbs.  But I started eating this way last Monday, and honestly, I am feeling better.  I don't have a huge surge of energy, as some people do when they take B-12 (but their levels are usually normal and they take it for weight loss), but I'm hoping when I get back up to normal range, maybe I'll get some more energy.  I sure could use it with a 2 year old running around.  As for weight loss... nothing but a pound or so.  I'm not completely carb free, unlike in years past, but maybe I can keep myself away from the sweets more easily now.  Although, we have a huge bowl of Halloween candy left over from Sunday.

Why is it that when a doctor tells you to do something, it's usually easier to do than when you decide to do it yourself?  Just a thought.

On to something else....

We, my daughter and I, ran up to the outlets that we live near and returned a shirt for my husband.  While we were there, we stopped by Carter's to get a Christmas present for our newest baby cousin and then headed over to the Columbia store to look at coats.  I needed a new winter coat, last year I wore the Hubb's coat, and it was/is going to be my Christmas present.  I had in my head that I'd like to have something in green and white, but there wasn't a single green and white coat in the store.  My next choice was blue, but when I tried on the blue coats, they just didn't look right.... something to do with the color my jeans.  (Don't ask!)  Then a sales associate showed me a couple coats they had just marked down that morning; they were PINK!  Fushia, or magenta really, more of a redish pink.  Not what I had planned on, but I loved it.  The fit was perfect, and there was only 1 medium left.  The price tag: orig. $239.99.  Ouch! But being in an outlet the price was $119.99 - much better... even better, it was marked down that morning to $89.99!!!!  WHOOHOO!

With the Hubbs permission, I bought it.  Merry Christmas Sarah! 
So what do you think?  (looks red in the pic...much brighter in person)

So this is the 2nd Christmas present I've bought this year... the first was for Hubbs.  Can't say what it is... you never know, he might read this.  But, I'm starting to get in the Christmas mood.  I know it's only November and we have another holiday first, but honestly, Thanksgiving isn't a big holiday for me.  Not that I'm not thankful for all I have (yes, thank you God for your blessings!) but, it's just not my favorite holiday.  That said, Christmas is my favorite holiday.  Not for the presents, but for all it represents and for the family I get to see.  (I do enjoy giving presents.) 

The Christmas season is already upon us, just go look at your local stores, they already have their decorations out.  So, I'll make my turkey and the fixin's in a couple of weeks, but I'll have my mind on what is coming next.  And, in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy my new coat, and then put a bow on it for Christmas morning.  Yeah, I'm that silly!

Monday, October 11, 2010


I have NONE!  Especially when it comes to food, specifically speaking, chocolate.  I love most all junk food, although I'm not a huge fan of candy - unless it's chocolate. 

I've seen what junk food does to my body, I'm definitely not sportin' a bikini these days, but I can't seem to stay away from it.  Chocolate is my alcohol.  It's what I turn to when I need a little something that gives me pleasure.  I've even joked that it's not only a desire but a need, thus an addiction.  And quite possibly it is. 

5 years ago before Nathan and I got married, I gave up sweets for the last month before our wedding.  I lost about 10lbs.  Amazing right?  (Yes, yes, I know stress & wedding stuff helped too)  So I know it's possible for me to give it up or eat less and lose weight, but it sure is hard.  Somewhat recently my Mom started Weight Watchers.  Not that she needed to lose weight, but she felt her clothes might fit better and she wanted to start eating right.  You see, my Mom didn't cook much when I was growing up.  So I have a pretty bad menu and pattern of foods stored in my head.  I love to cook and I've learned and created new recipes, but I still fall into the old pattern of junk food too often.  But I did see how successful my Mom was with WW, and so I thought I'd at least try to eat better, assign points to things and go for it.

Fail!  I sat up here today and did my church work.... oh yes, I do some admin for our church.... anyway, I sat up here and had a nice little snack of carrots w/ ranch and water.  Not too bad.  That was until I went downstairs and grabbed a cookie... and another cookie... and another cookie.  Good grief.

"Get rid of it," "Dont' keep it in the house,"  people say, but.... but... well...  I guess my reason of keeping it for Na is stupid.  He'd probably prefer if we didn't keep that stuff either.  It's temptation for him as well.  So maybe my willpower will get a little boost if I get rid of the current stuff (yeah, we'll probably eat it to get rid of it) and then stop buying it.  In the long run, it will be good for all of us, including Ava.  Not that we let her eat that many sweets, she's a huge fan of M&Ms, but we also should be examples for her. 

So there's my confession for the day... I'm a junk food addict.  On another note, I'm always open to try new recipes, so if you have any great ones, let me know. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Dear Little Gremlin who lives in my basement,

I've had enough of you stealing things from my family and our house.  It's wasn't enough that you took our digital camera and Ava's beloved Lambie (#1), now you've taken our Wii remote.  I don't know when you did it or even how, as I was using it yesterday afternoon when Ava wanted to watch Super Why, but somehow you did.  This has to stop!  We need these items and would like to have them back. 

If you can not produce these items, I will take matters into my own hands.  I am a Christian woman, but I am not above violence.  Return the remote or ELSE!!!!!

***Update***  The remote has been returned, Thank you very much!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

the Beginning

I've been told I'm quite random, just ask my husband or best friends.  They can probably tell you of times when I've blurted something out only to get a blank stare in response... or maybe a "what?" if I'm lucky.  Thus, a space of my own, to say what I want, when I want.  If you care to, come along with me and get a scary insight into what goes on in/through my head. 

I'm an almost 30-something, Wife and Stay-at-home Mom.  A regular gal who has too much to say, and only a 2 year old to talk to during the day.  Now, you're my audience!  I hope this works.