Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bring On 2014

So 2014 is upon us.  I love the "clean slate" that the New Year brings.  Starting last year we sat down as a family and made a big list of things we wanted to do together in 2013.  We didn't do a lot of the things on the list - some were quite lofty - but it at least gave us things to try and plan for.  We will do the same thing again this year.  I don't really like resolutions - I prefer to set goals, make plans.  I'm a planner, a scheduler.  You can't really spring something major on me at the last minute.  So I like to try and plan stuff out.  I have a few goals for 2014, I need to be more intentional and really write all my personal and family goals out for 2014.  I'd like for our girls to write out some things they would like to accomplish this year also.

One thing I did see on pinterest that I thought was a fabulous idea was to write down every good thing as it happens big or small and put it in a jar.  At the end of the year, you pull everything out and remember all the good stuff through the year.  We tend to get so focused on ourselves, our problems, what isn't going right - how nice would it be to read through all the good stuff at the end of the year no matter how "small".

I may share some of our family goals on the blog this year... what are some things you all are wanting to do in 2014?


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Our Christmas and Stuff

Well, another Christmas has come and gone.  It's always nice to get everyone together, and watch all the kids open their gifts.  I am always the first one up on Christmas morning.  So, I woke everyone else up - like you're supposed to do...
However, before I woke the kids and husband up, I was surprised with my own gift!  The best husband in the universe (mine) BUILT me a new dining room table!  I had shown him a picture a long time ago of what I liked and asked him if he thought he could build it.  We never really talked much about it again.  I was planning on using some tax return money to buy a new table.  Well, he sure did build it, and moved it into the dining room on Christmas Eve after I went to bed.  Hello awesome surprise for me in the morning!  It really is one of the best gifts he's ever given me. (except our kids of course, but you know what I mean)  The fact that he built it, and the fact that they all kept it a secret for so long.  I literally had no idea, not even a clue that he was doing that for me.

We also went and saw Frozen over Christmas break.  Such a cute movie - I love animated movies.  Have I mentioned how I want to be a voice in an animated movie??  That would be like the best thing ever.  Bucket list, I guess.

Here are some pics of my new table for your enjoyment.  :)

You can click my instagram link over on the right to see some more Christmas pictures

Hope you all had a great Christmas - we sure did!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Kids & Doing The Right Thing

Our family has been very active in church since forever... Our kids have grown up in church - that's just how it is.  It is not about a religion for us, it's about a relationship with Christ, loving others, serving others - but that's another whole post for another day.  :)
We don't go to church so we can check off our to do list for the week.  It's a part of who we are.  And we are seeing the fruits of our labor with our girls.  Brandon and I are very much what you see is what you get kind of people.  We don't put on a show at church for everyone to see and then live completely different lives through the week, and our girls see that consistency.  I have written before about building Godly character in our girls, and teaching them to love others - treat people how you would want to be treated regardless of how they treat you.

Just the other day, someone needed us to do a favor for them.  It frustrated me because we were already running a little behind schedule, wasn't there someone else who could do it, we don't have time etc etc. I acted just the opposite of how I should have acted.  My 13 year old said - Mom, we are blessed to be a blessing - and helping them out would be the right thing to do.   Talk about being put in your place by your kid!  But on the other hand, it makes me proud that she is taking a stand for what she believes in, what we are trying to teach them.  There are plenty of rough days, trust me.   But these little moments remind me that it's all worth it.  We want our girls to be world changers, Christ followers who love Him and love others and do their part to make a difference in the world.  Now, if I could get her to show God's love to her sister everyday I'd really be winning the battle!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dry Winter Skin

Living in the Northeast makes for some very dry skin in the winter.  I work with money a lot at my job too, so I am constantly washing my hands, which only makes them drier.  So I thought I would let everyone in on a wonderful dry skin cream.  I use it every day.

This is a homemade cream - and is best applied all over while you are still damp from bath or shower.  My skin feels so good after I use it.  If you use too much you will be slightly greasy, a little goes a long way with this stuff.

You should be able to get this stuff at any health food store...
Coconut Oil - a few big tablespoons 3-4
Shea Butter - a couple of tablespoons 2-3
Apricot Kernel Oil - a few drops plus a few more drops
Almond or Grapeseed Oil - a couple of teaspoons
Jojoba Oil - just a few drops
Rose Water - couple of teaspoons (this part is optional)  I feel like the addition of the rose water makes it a little more lotiony and less thick like a butter, and helps it to absorb just a little better.  But the more water you add, the faster it can spoil.  This only makes a small batch though, you don't have to worry about it spoiling unless you don't use it for like 6 months.

You can put it all in a pot over a boiling pan of water and melt it.  Then put it in freezer to cool - maybe 10 mins or so, and then using a blender/stick blender whip it until its creamy.

I don't always melt it, I just use my stick blender and mix it all together.  Put it in a small containter, and you're done.  Nice, creamy body lotion that is actually good for your skin.  I mean seriously, what is in most lotions out there??  A bunch of crap I don't want on me...

Your skin will thank you for this, I promise.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's The Little Things

I had coffee with a friend this morning.  Can I first just say that I don't do that enough... It was cold and snowy and I had worked late and was tired, but I'm so glad we got together.  It's so refreshing to be around someone who builds you up...

Anyway, we got talking about trusting God.  She commented on how if we can trust God for the big things in our lives, why do we have so much trouble trusting him for the little things.  This is often what happens in my own life.  I can and do pray over the big stuff, but when it comes to the little stuff, I don't even bother God with that.  Why is that?  Surely God cares about my littles as much as my bigs.

Maybe sometimes it's easy to pray over the bigs because on one hand, maybe it's so big that God is the only one that can come to the rescue.  Or maybe it's so big that we don't really have the faith to believe that God can do anything about it, but what the heck..

Maybe all the little stuff is so little that I can figure it out on my own.  But God wants to be a part of everything.  I am learning that - especially over this last year.  God cares about every part of my life.  He has a big plan and a purpose for me.  I am doing my best every day and learning to trust Him and His timing through it all.

What are you not giving to God?  What are you trying to deal with on your own?  You don't have to and God doesn't want you to.

1 Peter 5:7 says - Give ALL your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
It doesn't say some of your worries and cares.  Let God take care of it and just see what happens!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Merry Christmas From Us

I like when people send out a Christmas letter instead of the regular Christmas card - telling us all about their last year.  I did that one year, but I am so bad about sending out cards or letters... Facebook has this nifty little year in review feature.  So here you go.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!!!!

click here to see my year in review

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

If You're Right And You're Rude - You're Wrong

Something I've been thinking about lately - what to do when someone is rude to you... how do you respond in a situation like that?  It happens a lot - at least I see it happen a lot, especially working in retail.  Retail's motto tends to be that the customer is always right.  Well, if you're right and you're rude, you're wrong.  When someone is nasty to me just because they think that is their right, it makes me so mad.  It's like a switch is flipped and I have a very hard time smiling and holding my tongue.  Well, there was an incident with a customer at my job the other night, and I just couldn't sit back and pretend like how she was acting was ok.  I told her right then and there, that she was going to have to wait her turn, that I was trying to help the other customers ahead of her, and if and when she returns to the store to please not act like that again.  Then I just turned around and walked away.  I have to say - it felt REALLY good.  I was not rude in return - I just said what needed to be said.  If you let people walk all over you, they are going to do just that.  Ok, not everyone - but you know what I'm saying.  Don't treat me poorly because you feel like you can.  And I totally understand that I had no idea what kind of day she just had... which is why I was very civil.  Sometimes you just gotta let someone know that they are being an ass.  It's easier if you are friends or family maybe - maybe they will take it better, maybe not.  I've told my husband many times when we are having "discussions" to just let me know (in a nice way) that I am acting crazy.  Sometimes I get frustrated with people, things, whatever.  I need to vent sometimes... Well, my venting can turn into shouting, and my poor  husband feels like he's the one being yelled at.  Which is totally not the case.  But it's not ok for me to make him feel bad because I need to vent.  So I've told him to just stop me and say - babe, you're yelling at me again.  haha

But do you see what I mean?  It's ok to be angry, frustrated, upset - whatever.  But it's NOT ok to treat people like crap in the process.  So this is fair warning... If you are having a bad day - or not - and you see me and are mean to me or someone near me, I WILL confront you.  If you're ok with that, then bring it on - if you're not, then please take a few deep breaths.  It will all be ok.

Would love to hear how others deal with this?


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas and Stuff

My kids have never really believed in Santa - and we have never pushed the issue.  Somehow they've always known that Santa isn't real.  Whenever they would ask, (which was never very often) we would tell them that mom and dad buy their presents.  Now that they are older (10 &13) they are past that age anyway.  We have told them the basic story of the real St. Nicholas - but somehow over the years Christmas has turned into a ME frenzy.

What we have tried to teach them over the years, is that Christmas isn't about them.  We want our girls to have generous hearts despite our innate selfishness.  I don't think that Christmas is the only time of year, you should promote this idea, but Christmas time is always a good reminder time of year.

For us, Christmas is about Jesus - His birth, and that is what we rememeber and celebrate on Christmas.  I'm not saying that my kids don't get presents - because they do.  They are blessed little girls with lots of grandparents that like to spoil them.  But that needs to be balanced out.  We are blessed to be a blessing, and while we definitely don't have tons - we have more than alot of people.

So this year, we are going to start a new tradition with the girls.  We are going to give them each a set amount of $, and they will get to pick how they want to spend the money (the focus of course being someone else - with some guidance from us).  Brandon and I try to demonstrate this for them through the year - whether it's buying someones meal in line behind us at the drive through, or giving the homeless man on the corner a value meal for lunch.  Our kids have started looking for those little opportunities to give.  That's what I want to focus on this holiday season.  I love that our church also puts the focus on others.  Every November, we have the opportunity to buy gifts for people in our community that wouldn't otherwise be able to.  So that is also something we do as a family.  This year we bought for a 5 year old little boy.  It feels so good to give - and to know that you had a part in making someone else's day a little brighter.

What are some things that you do as a family to teach generosity?


Monday, December 9, 2013

Random Acts Of Kindness

This last year has been a hard year for us.  There has been a lot of transition, a lot of trying to figure out what we are supposed to be doing.  I will spare you all the boring tidbits for now of everything that has happened over the last year.  But we are finally in a better place, moving forward, adjusting to our lives in New York.  One thing that we have tried to do over the last year in particular is be generous.  There was a long period of unemployment for both my husband and myself - and we determined that even though we didn't have much we still are blessed to be a blessing.  I know that taking the focus off of ourselves and our problems helps us to not live in a "why me" mindset.  Have you ever noticed that it's easier to be generous when you have less?  It seems like the more you have, the less you rely on God, and the less generous you want to be.  At least, that seems to be true for me.  That's one of the things we are trying to learn, and feel like we were supposed to learn from this last year.  It doesn't matter what you have or how much money you have, everyone can be generous.  Whether it's finanically, with your time, making something for someone, a smile for someone in a bad mood - we ALL can be generous.  It's not always easy, but it is always so worth it.  

Yesterday, on my way to work I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a hot chocolate and a blueberry muffin. I also paid for the car behind me.  The cashier got a big smile on his face and his mood changed almost instantly.  I hope I helped to make the day a little brighter for the guy behind me too.  I don't want a pat on the back for that - just doing that little bit for someone else also put me in a much better mood.  I looked at people differently for the rest of the night!

So let me encourage you to do something nice for someone today.  No matter how big or how small - it will change your day, I promise.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Thanksgiving Weekend In Pictures

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  We had the opportunity to get to MA for the long weekend.  It was nice to sit around and not do much.  There was lots of fireplace sitting and ornament decorating and wreath making here.  If you're ever in Worcester MA, you should def. check the place out.  So cool.

Anyway, enjoy the pics and have a great Wednesday!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cranky People & Angry Crowds

What is it about the Holiday season that brings out the worst in people?  I guess the stress of cooking, family visiting, shopping, cleaning etc., all builds up and overwhelms us until we reach a breaking point.

The last few years, I have dreaded this time of year.  I do not like dealing with cranky people or angry crowds - which ironically brought out the worst in me during the "happiest time of the year".

So, I am making a purposed effort to be extra nice to cranky people and to enjoy this time of year with family and friends.

Let me challenge you that when you find yourself getting all holiday bent out of shape, that you find a way to make someone else's day better.. after all, giving always makes the heart happy.

I mean seriously people, if you're gonna get that stressed out over it, then what is the purpose?  Because you are making the rest of us miserable.

Monday, November 18, 2013

It's Ok To Color Outside The Lines

I think so often we get stuck in a rut.  Whether it's at work, school, kids, whatever... we get tied to this whole - it's always been done this way mentality.  Just because it's been done that way for the last 10 years, doesn't mean it's the best way.  In fact, change is probably long overdue.  Be current, be creative - think outside the box once in awhile.  Get outside your comfort zone and learn to color outside the lines.  You just might surprise yourself.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Our Kids Will Survive

Our kids will survive if they don't get everything they want.  *GASP*
What happened to hard work, respect, earning it?  I feel like I've always been a pretty hard worker.  If I didn't earn it, then I don't want it.  I'm not talking about receiving gifts or being blessed by someone here... I am trying to teach our girls to work hard, to be responsible, to show respect.  We live in an age, where everyone gets a trophy, even if you did nothing to earn it.  Really?  I don't get it.  What is that teaching? - That you can do nothing and still reap the rewards? We are so bent on not hurting anyones feelings, or worrying that our kids will grow up to learn that life isn't fair.  Well, guess what, life ISN'T fair - it's learning to navigate through that, that produces responsible, society contributing adults.  I don't want things handed to my kids - I WANT them to work for it.  High school will be hard, college even harder, and life the hardest.  I am doing them no favors by doing it all for them.  There will be disappointments, hardships, failures - but it's how you deal with those things that build character.  We can't control our circumstances, but we CAN control how we respond in those circumstances.

Agree, disagree or agree to disagree - but that's my story and I'm sticking with it.

See you Soon

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Accepting The Challenge

I tend to be a glass half empty kind of person.  That's not something I'm really all that proud of.  My first reaction is to find the problems.  So I am trying to make a conscious effort to find the good in situations.  I do believe that you can find the good in most situations.  Bad, crappy, unfair things are going to happen - sometimes more than we think is our fair share. but that just makes it more of a challenge to find the good things.  And once I start highlighting the good, it becomes easier to focus on the good instead of the bad.  Plus, I have a husband who can find the good in a pile of dog poo...most days.

It's kind of a personal challenge actually.  When I start wanting to complain, I use that as a reminder to instead look for something positive.

I have this one customer at work, she is always so nice, so friendly - she is such a joy.  I love when she comes in because we just chat for a minute and she reminds me that all is not lost.  LOL  Seriously, though, she inspires me to be better.

Are you a glass half empty or half full?

See you Soon

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

One Wall At A Time

So we moved into this house in July and I have been trying to do little things here and there as I have time.  The living room is almost done.  I am a total thrift store addict.  I absolutely hate buying stuff brand new - well most stuff.  I'm not talking like socks and underwear here...

I can see potential in all those ugly, unwanted end tables at the good will.  And I love a mix match mentality when it comes to decorating.  I don't know that I have a definite "style" - If I like it, I find a way to use it.  I guess you could say I'm sort of eclectic with a leaning towards country.  But not like a wood shelf with heart cut outs country.  More of country chic - is that even a style?  Well, it is now.  :)

I love when I can take something old and yucky and make it new and fabulous.

I've said before that I don't necessarily want this blog to just be about projects - but since projects and decorating are part of my everyday life - they are bound to creep up every now and again.  So I do want to share a wall in my living room that I just did.  In my head it looked different, but in the end I am really happy with what ended up appearing on my wall.  lol

Let me tell you a little secret about my projects process.
1.  I decide what I want to do
2.  I do it

Yup, that's it.  I'm not really a measure, tape, find the center kind of girl.  If it looks imperfect, all the better.  My husband was gasping during this whole project.  I finally let him measure the wall and find the center for me.  But then he had to take our girls trick or treating (I stayed home to hand out candy) so I banged out the rest of the wall while he was gone. *insert sinister laugh here*

Is it perfect, no - but I love it.  Once I add a few more things to the room, I will happily give you guys a living room tour.  But for now, this is all you get.

Would love to know what you think...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Can I Really Do This?

I really enjoy blogging.  I consider myself to be a fairly creative person - and blogging is a creative outlet for me.  I want to take my blogging seriously, and I want others to take my blogging seriously.  Sometimes I struggle with what to write about - if it's important to me, will it be important to others?  I'm not a writer, maybe I should stop being a poser, does anyone really care?

But you know what, this is where being ME (in case you missed this post) comes into play.  I WRITE about what is important to me.  If I can inspire just one person then it's kind of worth it, don't you think?

I read Ashley's post the other day and I just had to share it. I've read it before, but it's EXACTLY how I feel, and I hope you will love it.  Take a look around her blog while you're there - she's pretty great.

See you Soon

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fall Is Almost Gone

Fall is nearly behind us, even though we are still having some fairly warm days for November here in NY.  Soon enough everything will be covered in a layer of white stuff... Here are some pics from our family day trip to the Adirondacks about a 1 1/2 months ago.  I can't get enough of fall foliage here in the Northeast.  I'm always sad when the colors are gone..

Don't we live in such a pretty place?

I mean, seriously

Friday, November 8, 2013

Family Apple Picking Day

I was so excited for apple picking this year.  Since living in TX for the last 8 years, we haven't been able to go, so I was so excited for this year.  I love a northeast fall season - and apple picking is a must...  We loaded up the girls and the dogs on Columbus Day weekend and drove the 3 hours to MA, to see all the family for the long weekend.  It's always nice to just get away.

Everyone, well almost everyone got together and we had a great day.  Enjoy the pictures!  (Courtesy of my sister)
all the cousins

me and my sister

not sure what was so funny, but i love this candid shot of my 13 year old

me and the hubby


baby cow - ahh, i LOVE baby animals

almost the whole family

monkey in a tree  :)

the kids all wanted a picture eating an apple.  too bad these were all rotten.  LOL

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Staying Healthy During Cold & Flu Season

Cold and flu season is upon us.  We are a pretty healthy family, but the occasional cold, ear infection, strep throat still plagues us every now and then.  For anyone who doesn't know me well, I try to stay away from over the counter drugs and medicines unless absolutely necessary.  The same goes for antibiotics. Most of it is way way way too overused and overprescribed.  And over the years I have found alot of all natural medicines/remedies that work for the majority of ailments.  So I thought I would share some stuff that works for us.  We also see a chiropractor regularly and believe 100% that our good health can be attributed to getting regular adjustments.  Before we started getting adjusted I would probably get 5-7 colds a year.  Now I get maybe 2, and they don't last as long and aren't quite so nasty.  So yes, I am a huge proponent of chiropractic care.  In case you are wondering, we see Dr. Antonio Marotta and we really love him!  So if you are local, check him out.  What have you got to lose right?  His fees are reasonable, he is great, and his office staff is awesome too!  And if you are wondering, yes our kids also get adjusted - it's a family affair.

Probiotics - we take everyday, sometimes multiple times a day.  Probiotics put good bacteria in your digestive tract which is where about 70% of your immune system is.  All the good bacteria helps fight off any bad bacteria that shouldn't be there.  If you have to take antibiotics for anything, I highly recommend also adding in a probiotic supplement.  Antibiotics tend to kill ALL bacteria good and bad. Do you ever notice that you sometimes get sick again, soon after ending a round of antibiotics?  It's because you have killed off all the good stuff in your digestive tract, and there is nothing left to fight the bad stuff off.  So adding in a probiotic really helps.

I take a flax seed supplement every day.  Flax seed is good for a number of things.  I'll let you google that.

Things you can do/take for colds, ear infections, sore throat etc.

Green tea is really good to fight colds - find organic
Braggs apple cider vinegar is great for so many things.  Take a little every day to fight stuff.  But if you are sick, you can mix just a little bit in your green tea with some honey.  Triple threat.
And you can take that as many times as you want - green tea does have caffeine though.

Ear infections/earaches - a piece of a garlic clove in the ear, and cover with a cotton ball.  Leave in for a few hours.  You can do this multiple times a day until the earache is gone.  A hot compress on the ear also feels good.  With my kids, I've found that the garlic works pretty quickly.

Pink eye - chamomille tea.  Works like a charm.  I brew a cup of the tea, and then use a cotton ball soaked in the tea to clean the infected eyes several times a day.  Don't use the same cotton ball on both eyes, you'll just be spreading infection between eyes.  This will usually clear up the infection in a day or two.

Sore throat - The green tea/apple cider vinegar also works for sore throats.  But what I always have on hand for sore throats is grapefruit seed extract.  It takes like junk, I'll be honest, but it works wonders on throat infections.  For really bad sore throats, you can put a drop or two directly in the throat.  Otherwise, just mix a few drops with a drink of juice and take this several times a day until symptoms are gone.

Lots of hand washing. - When the kids get home from school, they wash their hands first thing.  And multiple times through the day.  I have a nail biter, so she tends to catch more stuff, so lots of hand washing in necessary.

A note on the apple cider vinegar - you want the raw, unfiltered stuff.  Not walmart brand.  Go with Braggs.  It has all the beneficial stuff in in.  When you see floaties, that's a good thing.

Also, with apple cider vinegar - it makes a good bath soak.  If you've been achy from cold or flu, you can put a couple cups in a tub of warm water and soak for a bit.  It helps to pull toxins out of your body and you'll leave the bath feeling better than when you went in.

Of course, if you are concerned that something is very wrong, you should see a doctor.  I have just found that these things work for us, for minor ailments and infections.

I also make our own laundry soap, shampoo and I use a special facial cleanser that I make myself and a jojoba oil moisturizer... Just read the labels on stuff - totally skeeves me out.  Anyway, maybe I'll post more on all that at a later date.  For now, if you have an all natural remedy that you really like, I'd love to hear it.  Leave me a comment and let me know!

See you soon

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Thought For A Wednesday Night...

It's ok to be me - I am still learning this everyday.  God has designed me to be exactly who I am - ME.  That doesn't mean that I stop trying to be a better version of me.  It simply means that I cannot be YOU.   I have unique gifts and abilities, some that maybe I wish I didn't have, some I am still figuring out, and hopefully some that will emerge as I learn and grow.  I can do things that you can't.  You can do things that I can't - and that's OK.  And it's good.

Stop trying to be someone else, and step into who YOU are.


You Really Shouldn't Say The First Thing That Pops Into Your Head

My hair is almost completely gray - and very curly.  I started noticing gray hairs in high school.  One or two here and there, but I would always just yank them out.  As I got a little older and the gray seemed to multiply, I started coloring my hair.  Not so much because I didn't like my gray, but just to change things up.  About two years ago, I decided I wanted to grow my hair out a little (it's been very short for some time now) AND I was going to let my gray grow out with it.  Well, it was a little shocking to see just how gray I really am - and that's mostly.  But I really love it.  I'm 38 and nearly, completely gray.  I actually have some totally white highlights in the front.

So, I've gotten used to it and actually really love it, but it still strikes me as so funny when I get random questions about it.  People are quite bold - welcome to the Northeast.
"What color do I dye it to get it that color?"
"How old are you?"
"Did I do that on purpose?"
My very recent favorite - "Did you forget to wash out your halloween costume?" - In his defense, he was about 75, and I don't think he meant to be rude.

And then of course I get the "nice" comments from people that actually like it.  Honestly, the comments don't bother me anymore.  My hair is unique - a total reflection of me!  People are just jealous that's all. :)

Plus, isn't there something about gray hair and wisdom?

See you soon

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It Must Be Love, Right?

Just the other day, I was going through my 13 year olds text messages on her phone like I do periodically.  We have an open door policy when it comes to cell phones, ipads, internet, their rooms, backpacks etc. :)

My girls argue a lot of the time.  And it's always about trivial things - who ate the last strawberry oatmeal packet, who used my ponytail holder.  I mean, seriously, it's almost enough to drive someone to drink.  Good thing I don't like the taste of alcohol.  I guess I'm lucky that they don't actually fight, it's mostly petty arguing, but it's still annoying.  So you can imagine my pleasant surprise when I found texts from my oldest to my youngest telling her to make sure she wears warm clothes for school so she doesn't get cold waiting for the bus.  My 13 year old leaves for school almost an hour before my 10 year old.  Isn't that just the sweetest thing?  It gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling.  And it wasn't just one text - it was several texts over several days.   She's looking out for her little sister.  And now we can all let out a collective - AWWWWW

It almost makes me forget about all the unnecessary arguing - ALMOST

What are some sweet things your kids have done for each other without telling you, or without you knowing about it?

See you soon

Monday, November 4, 2013

It's Ok To Be Scared

Something new is stirring in me.  A desire to be more, to do more, to maximize my full potential.  I told my husband a couple of weeks ago that I feel like something is coming.  So I've been doing some dreaming, planning, mind mapping - you know, all the fun stuff.  My husband is my biggest supporter.  When I lack the self confidence, he builds me up and gives me 100 reasons why I CAN do it.  But he also encourages me in the areas that he really believes I can excel in, rather than just giving me the - "Sure babe, do whatever you want".

Needless to say I am working on the whole self confidence thing.  I struggle with the whole - why would anyone want to know what I have to say?  What's my experience?  But you know what, I'm learning to move past that, to embrace who God is calling me to be.  I DO have things to say, I DO have experiences to share.  I feel like I am entering a new season of my life, and while it's a little scary, it's also exciting.  I used to dread change, but now I almost long for it.  Life is too short to not take some risks right?  I read this the other day - "If all we have to lose is some time, money and energy, then the risk is worth it." And I couldn't agree more.  If you never take the risk, never go for the ask - the answer will always be no.  And so what if you get some no's along the way or some funny looks.  I'd rather look back and say that I did it, or I tried it, than looking back and wondering what would've happened if I had.

See you soon 

Your Parenting Questions Answered - Part 1

Ya right - wouldn't that be nice if all the answers to parenting were neatly compiled in a nice little blog post??  While I do think we have insight to share, I in no way claim to have all the answers.  But hopefully I can share some things that have worked for us, and you guys can share some things that have worked for you.  We are all in different parenting stages, and should be building eachother up, not tearing eachother down.  We are starting a whole new phase with our girls - read on...

We now have an occasionally overdramatic 13 year old daughter - whose most recent meltdown was the result of someone eating a very specific piece of her halloween candy.  And we have a mostly moody 10 year old daughter, who gives you attitude for everything and fights you every step of the way.  Needless to say, some days I feel like tying them both to a chair and locking them in a closet giving them all the extra love and attention they need.  :)

One thing I know is key - and that is consistency in our parenting.  Just because someone may have eaten a piece of their candy doesn't give them permission to act poorly.  There are always consequences for their actions.  Are we perfect in that disciplinary area?  Absolutely not - And the fact that we have 2 very different daughters doesn't make that any easier.  What works for one rarely works for the other.  And as they get older it gets harder to come up with creative, appropriate forms of discipline.  Sometimes I wish there was a magic manual - just say what the problem is and out pops an answer.  I wonder if SIRI has any experience with pre-teen/teen discipline? :)

In the end, I know it will all be worth it.  We are doing our very best to raise our daughters to be responsible, contributing members of society.  We try to work hard at whatever we are doing, whether its our jobs, church, housework etc.  We want our kids to see that hard work pays off and that it is important to do your best.  And we are starting to reap the benefits of sowing those seeds.  Both of our daughters volunteer at our church every weekend.  They enjoy it and give their very best.  It's not something we forced on them.  It makes my heart happy when other adults tell me how much they love my girls and what great helpers they are.  We believe in training our girls everyday and preparing them for their eventual departure from us - which when you stop to think about it, isn't really all that far away.  Which is bittersweet - but that is another blogpost altogether.

Now if I could just figure out the secret formula to get them to clean their rooms - on their own...  oh well, you win some, you lose some - right?

I would like to do a series of parenting posts.  Something that has actually been on my heart and mind for quite some time.  Not because I am the world's best parent, but because I'm not.  And I'm learning everyday how to do right by my girls.  Would love to hear about your parenting wins and losses - leave me a message below...

See you soon

Sunday, November 3, 2013

It's Not That Hard

Why do we always seem to make things so difficult?  Sometimes we overthink something - a process, a task, a chore, whatever.  Instead of just sucking it up and doing it, we complain or try to think of 1000 other ways to do it so it won't be so unenjoyable. There is a learning and growing process to everything we do.  If we are complaining through the "whatevers" we are missing the point.  How much different would the "chore" turn out to be, if we just said - This has to get done, so I'm gonna do it to the best of my ability and learn from it in the process.  We can learn how to do it better next time, what didn't work that we thought might have.  There are always going to be things that we will have to do that we may not want to, or will be uncomfortable for us.  But those are times that we should attack the situation head on, because those are the moments that bring the most personal growth.

I can speak from personal experience - Over the last 10 years, I have been put in situations that are out of my comfort zone again and again.  I could've just said - No, I'm not doing that.  But where would that have gotten me?  Instead I chose to look at each situation as a learning process.  I may not see the growth right away, but I can tell you that I am a completely different person than I was 10 years ago - for the better.  I have had great leaders and mentors that taught me that it's ok to get out of your comfort zone.  You actually NEED to do it.  I still don't always like being in a situation that is out of my comfort zone, but I know that there is a growing season that will result from it. And I hope that most of us can say that we want to be a better person tomorrow than we are today.  So the next time, you are in a situation at work, church, home, wherever - maybe your boss is wanting you to do something you don't think you can do.  Maybe there is a reason he is asking you to do it - he seems something in you that you don't.  Do it to the best of your ability - learn from your mistakes - do it better next time - and be a better person for it.

Just my 2 cents this Sunday morning.  Have a great day
See you soon

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.'

Ok, so that's a really long title, but its exactly how I've felt about this past year... I'm thinking of getting that tattooed on me.  Just kidding - kind of.  :)

The last year has completely flown by.  We've been in NY for almost a year (next week).  So much has happened and this year has been a complete whirlwind.  We've only made one other major move as a family and that was when we moved from MA to TX 8 years ago.  It took me a full year to adjust then and it took me a year now.  I am finally beginning to feel settled here.  I love the Northeast and have never felt for a minute that we made a mistake by moving here.  But that is a huge life change.  Anyway, things are starting to even out for us.  We are part of a good church, have steady jobs, kids are in a good school district, moved into our house in July, finally registered the cars in NY.  Like I said, starting to feel settled.

I've also been having the desire to start blogging again more consistently.  I've kind of focused this blog on projects that I've done, and I'm not really sure the direction I want to take just yet.  I'm always working on some sort of project and I'm sure I will still share the ones I really love.  But I think taking the direction of a daily life blog.  Which means there may be some randomness, but that's me, that's my family.  We've learned to go with the flow - or at least are trying to learn that every day, and I feel like I want this blog to reflect that.

So with that being said - I'll see you soon


Monday, April 22, 2013

Kalyssa and Infinity Scarves

I love scarves - they make a great accessory to almost any outfit.  And spring is a great time of year for a fun infinity scarf.  Kalyssa (my 13 yr. old) got a sewing machine for her 13th birthday.  We thought it would be fun to sew some infinity scarves as good sewing practice for her.  Well, she enjoys making them, and is doing a great job so we thought we would try to sell a few.  The scarves below she has made herself, with just a little help from me. I don't know how far she will want to take this whole thing, but for now, I'm listing some of the ones she's made here on the blog.  She will be donating a portion of each sale to The A21 Campaign
This is an organization that rescues girls from human trafficking.  Read about what they do - I'm sure you will be slightly shocked that this is going on today.

So, if you'd like to purchase one of the scarves below - leave me your paypal email address in the comments along with which scarf # you'd like and I will send you an invoice.  I will invoice the first 2 emails I receive for each scarf - there are 2 available of each pattern.  Once payment is received Kalyssa will get you your scarf.  :)

Every scarf is approximately 60" long & 10" wide- so 30" long & 10" wide finished.  They are long enough to loop around your neck 2 times.

I recommend washing on the delicate cycle and air dry or dry on low heat for a short period of time.

Thanks everyone, Happy Monday!

Scarf #1.  100% cotton/lightweight.  $22 includes shipping.  2 available.  First 2 paypal email addresses in comments will receive invoice.

Scarf #2.  100% cotton/lightweight. 2 available. $27 includes shipping.  First 2 paypal email addresses in coments will receive invoice.

Scarf #3.  100% cotton/lightweight.  2 available.  $27 includes shipping.  First 2 paypal email addresses in comments will receive invoice.