Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy Golden Birthday to Kim!

Today I am celebrating my best friend, Kim's, golden birthday!  So yes, she is 31 on the 31st :)  I can totally say that since she is older than me! 

I met Kim my first year at Johnson Bible College, we lived on the same wing/hallway.  Kim was my first grown up friend.  I don't even know how we met, other than living on the same hall, and our boyfriends played soccer together.  Although at the time I met her, her and her boyfriend had broken up, but don't's a happy ending!  They got back together and now have 2 adorable boys. 

I was drawn to Kim my freshman year because she is hilarious, like have you rolling on the ground laughing, she is so kind and sincere.  I have also never once felt judged by her, I can share everything about my life, the good, the bad, and the super ugly, and not once back in 2002, or now in 2013 have I felt judged or belittled by her.  Kim has a huge heart, and although sometimes it's tough to crack through that fierce exterior, it's only because she cares so much about what's at hand, and wants others to care as much as she does. 

Kim and I both majored in counseling, so we have a lot of fun using our skills on people, well, unsuspecting people!  Kim and I are both married to guys named Eric, and we are all in ministry.  We have all walked together through some high highs and some low lows in ministry, but through it all we have had Jesus and each other.   

Kim has a true passion about her and once you meet her, you will feel that and see that.  Kim is a true inspiration to me, and motivates me to be better.  I feel incredibly blessed to have met Kim oh so many years ago, and to have remained close through all those years.  She has a huge place in my heart, and I hope she stays there forever!

Happy Birthday, Kimmie, I love you!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

You Decide

We just finished a sermon series at church called "You Decide."  Over the last 4 weeks we unpacked the idea about making decisions.  Here are the 4 questions we were asked during this series...

1. What's the real reason why I am doing this?
2. What's the story I someday want to tell?
3. Is there a tension I need to pay attention to?
4. Am I honoring God with this decision?
{Okay so #4 might have been worded different at church, but I can't find my notes right now}

This series has really affected me, I am beginning to question my decisions a lot more.  I think these questions can help you make a "simple decision" or a "hard decision."  We are all professional liars, I can talk myself into something or out of something so fast it's not even funny.  I mean seriously I can be determined I am not going to eat dessert tonight, and by 8pm I have justified and excused every single reason why I need that brownie, and usually I have already eaten two by then.  But these questions also have also challenged me when I am wanting to say yes to invites, saying yes to just one more thing, to this, to that, you get the point.

So I hope you feel a little more challenged to use these questions when you are facing a decision, I pray you ask yourself these questions, and I pray the answers help you to make a more God honoring decision.        

Monday, January 28, 2013

Just One Virtual Conference

Normally on Monday I will do a miscellany post...which trust me, I could do a great one today!  But today I really wanted to highlight a great {free} conference going on.  I am involved with some fabulous ladies over at Leading and Loving It.  It's a community of pastor's wives and ladies in ministry/leadership.  Every year they put on a free conference called Just One.  It's 4 weeks long, they have recorded messages from today's most phenomenal speakers, and you don't even have to get dressed to go! 

For instance this week we are hearing from these ladies...
Speaker 1: Christine Caine: Co-Founder of The A21 Campaign, Author of Undaunted, Director of Equip and Empower Ministries
Speaker 2: Lori Champion: Co-Founder of Celebration Church in Austin, Leader of ARC Women
Speaker 3: Carmen Meeks: Lead Pastor’s Wife at EastLake Church in Chula Vista, California
Speaker 4: Lisa Harper: Bible Teacher, Speaker, and Author of Malachai: A Love That Never Lets Go
Speaker 5: Dr. Tara Jenkins: First Lady at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago, Founder of Ministry Mates

All free!  Conferences can get very pricey, then there's childcare and travel issues, etc.  But the ladies at Leading and Loving It have thought of it all with this conference.  They play each week's speakers 8 times...that's 8 opportunities to grow and learn! 

So please, please, please...I urge anyone that is a pastor's wife or lady in ministry/leadership to watch these sessions, or if you know someone in one of these positions, please pass this info along to them!  I have been so encouraged by Just One over the last couple of years, and I pray you will be too!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Molly's 1st Lost Tooth!

Molly lost her first tooth this week!  Which can I tell you I was not ready for that milestone!  Molly was a late teether, she got her first tooth at 11 months!  And they have slowly trickled in since.  So I figured she would lose her teeth later, like 1st or 2nd grade, not kindergarten!!  When I came home from work on Monday she told me she had a loose tooth and I thought sure you do.  When someone else in her class loses a tooth she will pull the old I have a loose tooth trick.  This time it was legit.  Just a couple of wiggles and it was out!  Molly was a little squimish about it at first, but she sat so still while Eric got it out.  The one next to it will be out by next week.  She can push it all the way forward, but there is still some resistance going backwards

Right after it fell out!

Of course little sister wanted to say "cheese" too

Molly is a little obsessed with showing people her "lost tooth"

And for fun, Lucy is loving Molly's old dance costume from 2 years ago!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

You've Got Mail {Creating A Family Mail Station}

I love holidays, really I love any reason to celebrate.  When I was in college my roommate and I would decorate our room for holidays, so it was a no brainer that when I got married, the decorating would continue.  Well, insert a very simple and cheap, ahem, frugal husband and there goes the decorating bliss.  Actually, we have learned to compromise.  I can have a certain space to decorate for each holiday.  Sometimes it's the mantle, or a book shelf, or our buffet table in our kitchen/dining area.  This compromise equals a happy husband with his simple home decor decorations, and happy wife with her one holiday decked out spot.

I have to admit, having a smaller space to decorate makes it easier for me.  I don't get so overwhelmed with trying to find the right stuff, or making what little I have for each holiday work in lots of spaces.  Plus, I am trying to use what I have and not buy more.

Now for our Valentine's Day decorating...

I decided to use our buffet table in the kitchen for this holiday decor.  I wanted to create a space that everyone in the family could be a part of, so I decided to create a family mail station.

For Valentine's Day this year I wanted to really focus on God's love for us, and wanted to make it a family focus, not just a one day little gift giving event.  So each day from February 1st- February 14th I plan on writing love notes to each member in my family.

I will place the love notes in their mailboxes.  The love notes won't be anything extravagant, just a little reminder of why I love them, what I love about them, or encouragement for the day.  Also, each day we will read a different verse from the Bible about love.  I have 14 picked out already, which can I tell you it was really hard narrowing it down to just 14!  I tried to pick some "easier" ones that Molly can understand and apply each day.

I tried to make the family mail station a little fun, too...
I also made a super simple banner.  I used my Cricut, but truthfully, long before I got my Cricut I used to make banners by hand, so you can, too!  It's pretty easy!   

{our wood sign has our last name on it, and it says 
"we are loyal to God and each other"
 we got it from here}

The main reason I wanted to make a bigger deal about love this year is because at Eric's grandma's funeral, Eric spoke of his grandma's amazing ability to love.  And the reason why she loved so well was because she experienced God's love first hand, so it was easy for her to love unconditionally because she felt and understood that love type of love from God.  I can't think of a better reason to celebrate Valentine's Day!  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Miscellany Monday

It's Monday, time for some miscellany...
1. My mom came to visit!  It was so much having her here with us!  Her flight got cancelled yesterday, so she left very, very early {yawn} this morning.  She will be back for my birthday in February!

2. We spent lots of time crafting this weekend...I think everyone but Eric made something.
3. I ran on Saturday for the first time since I ran a 15K in October.  It was 40 degrees out so I figured I should take advantage of the weather.  Too bad it's only going to be in the single digits this week :/

4. Molly had 2 birthday parties on Saturday, she was gone from 9:45am-2:30pm.  She was wiped out, and now has a glitter fairy tattoo on her cheek.  I am so not down with that.

5. Today is the day...I am back to officially counting calories, ugh...I need accountability friends, hit me up {kate1911} on My Fitness Pal.  I would add you all, but I have no clue how to do that from my phone!  Until I really start running again, like daily, I need to watch what I eat.  Right now I watch it go in my mouth, ha.

6. Tomorrow I will show you what I have been working on for some family Valentine fun!

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Happy Friday

I am really not leading y'all on with the whole Valentine's decorating, I promise.  My mom has been here the last couple of days, so I am soaking up time spent with her.  I have totally been doing VDay crafts, but I have not put the whole thing together yet.  I plan to this weekend, or next week, ahem.

Until then I will leave y'all with some pics from the last couple of days... 

Styrofoam cylinder, conversations hearts, and hot glue. 
 Just needs a bow on top, voila!

One for each member of the family

Because it's fun and I needed a challenge and 
a good laugh with my mom!

Our church just purchased a Wal-Mart...I got the grand tour of the demo today!

Happy Friday and have great weekend!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Vinyl, Transfer Tape, and a Valentine's Day Craft, Oh My!

I can't wait to show you all the one area I am decorating for Valentine's Day this year.  I wanted to make it really special, so I am trying to add some personal touches here and there for my family members.  One thing I wanted to incorporate into this special space was some Valentine subway art.  I love the look of subway art!  I printed one out last year, but this year I received a cartridge with my Cricut that had some subway art on it.  I knew I wanted to use it to make this craft for Valentine's Day!

So I was thrilled when the lovely folks at My Vinyl Direct asked me to do a tutorial on using transfer tape.  After doing my last subway art for Molly's room freehand, I knew using transfer tape would be the answer I was looking for!

Transfer tape helps the vinyl you have just cut using your Cricut or Silhouette, to transfer evenly to the object you are using, like canvas, a wall, glass jar, etc.

Here is a simple step by step guide how to use transfer tape...
Step 1: Cut your vinyl
Step 2: Cut your transfer tape to size and stick on the vinyl.  The subway art I was creating was 8.5x11, so I cut my transfer tape a tiny bit bigger than that to fit over top of it.  Peel the back off of the transfer tape and place the transfer tape sticky side down on top of the vinyl. 
Step 3: Peel the transfer tape and vinyl off of your mat, and place on the object you are using.  So for me I painted a white canvas red.  Once I peeled the transfer tape off my cutting mat, I then stuck it on top of my red canvas.  Now, I will say the transfer tape is really sticky.  I know duh, right, but it is.  So you have to carefully plan every move when using it.  Once you stick it to something you are basically stuck there.  
Here is my finished result using transfer tape...
Not too bad, right?!  I seriously could not imagine peeling all of those vinyl letters and sticking them on one at a time, like I did with Molly's subway art, ahem.  I will never not use transfer tape when using vinyl!  It worked so well, and I am so pleased with how my Valentine's subway art turned out, and I can't wait to decorate with it!  Happy transferring!

Connect with My Vinyl Direct to get all the supplies you need for your Cricut or Silhouette! 

My Vinyl Direct did not compensate me for this review, this review is full of my own opinions. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy Birthday, Adrienne

Today my best friend in the whole world is turning 29...I can say her age since she will hit 30 before me.  Adrienne Nicole has been my best friend since kindergarten.  We have had our fair share of ups and downs...we have had times when our parents no longer wanted us to be friends because of the many, many tears we caused each other, but some how through it all we have remained close.  

I have two hands down absolute best friends in this world, Adrienne and Kim.  I have a ton of other close friends, but these two girls get me completely.  And today I can't wait to share more about Adrienne with you all.  No worries, Kim's birthday is in 2 weeks, so you all will meet her soon.

Adrienne is probably the nicest person you will ever meet.  She is sweet and sincere, and cares about everyone and everything, well everything except spiders.  Adrienne carries with her a wealth of wisdom and knowledge, beyond being book smart which she is, she is God smart.  Every time we talk I feel challenged by her to be a better mom and wife, and a better follower of Jesus.  She is incredible. 

Adrienne and I grew up going to school together, and even though we were in some different clubs and cliques, we still remained true to each other.  I have always been able to count on her no matter what.  Even when my brother was in the hospital before he died, she came to visit me.  I am sure as a 14 year old it was incredibly awkward and stressful not knowing what you were walking in to, but she made me feel like everything was normal and we sat and talked in a little kids clubhouse in the lobby, like we were little kids again.  She is the best.  

Now Adrienne is all grown up and married with 3 babes of her own.  Her husband is a pastor so we have a lot to talk about together.  I can say we are closer than we have ever been.  And I love it.  

So through grade school, middle and high school, first jobs, youth group, drivers licenses, beach vacation, college roommates, maids of honors, cross country moves, first babies, second babies, and her third baby, ministry, marriage, and sisterhood, I am so glad to know I have a side kick for the rest of my life.  Happy Birthday, Adrienne, I love you!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

When My Insecurities Become Hers

When I was in grad school for counseling I had to "counsel" so many clients as part of my finishing requirements.  I remember talking with a lady about a lot of her fears and insecurities.  She seemed overwhelmed with a lot of stuff, but I vividly remember her looking me dead straight in the eyes and saying "I try to hide my fears from my daughter, I don't want my fears to become hers."  Part of me at the time thought she needed some more professional help, but the other part of me was scared. 

Two night ago I put Molly to bed, we did the typical reading routine, talking routine, and lights out routine.  About an hour later she woke up crying.  This is not uncommon for Molly, especially since starting kindergarten.  This time Molly was crying about not knowing all of her coins and she was scared her teacher would be mad at her.  Something completely irrational in my mind, she just started learning about money like a week ago, why on earth would her teacher be mad at her?!  All these thoughts were swirling through my head when it insecurities are hers.  I passed my fears on to Molly. 

I may not verbalize it like Molly, I might not let on to others that I am terrified of what people think of me, I may not wake Eric up in the middle of the night because I am panicked or crying over something I can not control.  But I still have all these insecurities.

Molly is a people pleaser, she gets it honestly from both her parents.  I am comforted to know she will probably have little to no discipline problems at school because she is too busy kissing up than misbehaving.  However, I am terrified Molly will fall into a lot of peer pressure because she wants to fit in, and have friends. 

Any type of personality or love language test I have ever taken has proven my need for approval.  Truthfully, I just want someone to take notice of a good job I have done, or work I put into something.  I hate a lot of attention, it actually makes me feel quite uncomfortable.  I just need one person to say "nice job."  Molly is constantly asking me if she is behaving well, if she did a great job coloring, if she read that book good enough, if I am proud of her.  Again, I may not verbalize all those things, but deep down, I am thinking them. 

My insecurities truly sometimes become my idols.  I think about them more than I think about God.  I let them grow bigger, and bigger in my life.  Sometimes so big they get in the way of my life.  Most days I am fine and feel confident about myself, feel good about my life, and I love my family to pieces.  Other days I feel inadequate, I feel like a terrible mom, wife, friend, neighbor, and I play the comparison game.  On those days is when I need to slay the idols in my life, on those days I need to allow God to grow bigger, and my insecurities shrink down, on those days I need to lay it all down and surrender again to the Lord.

I am learning and re-learning that every day is a new day, everyday is a chance to start over, a chance to re-surrender to the will of God.  And I pray that I can set this example for my Molly girl, I pray she sees that pleasing God is far more important than pleasing her teacher or her friends.  That when you live for God, things seem to just fall into place and insecurities begin to melt away. 

It's not an easy surrender or discipline to follow, but it's one well worth it.  


Monday, January 14, 2013

Miscellany Monday

It's Monday, you know what that means...some miscellany goodness!

1. My bosses left for vacay last Thursday and I have been doing a combination of going into the office and working from home.  I have loved working from home, and thankfully my job allows this from time to time. 

2. My mom is coming to visit this week!  I am so excited to see her and hang out.  Plus, the girls are over the moon that grandma will be here.

3. I am about to embark on the most arts and crafts projects I have ever done at one time...Molly gets to celebrate her half birthday since her real birthday is in August, so February 8th she is allowed to bring in healthy treats for her class.  Our school has done away with cupcakes, cookies, etc.  I am so-so on this new rule.  I get it, but it takes the fun out of the celebration, I think, says the cupcake lover over here.  Then we have Valentine's Day to get ready for...which I totally found a cute printable on Pinterest that I think am going with this year.
And then I am making all the teachers Valentines because we have extra money from the book fair they can use to purchase books and supplies for their classes.  Last year I did little gift certificates and a pots of gold for them at St. Patty's day.  I was going to decorate the teachers lounge with fun hearts and Valentines, but now I am thinking I need to just get all the gift certificates made!

4. Speaking of Valentine's Day...I can't wait to share with you all what I am going to do for the girls and Eric.  Think love notes...stay tuned!

5. Lucy has decided she is going to throw temper tantrums now...lovely.  I guess I naively thought since she communicates so well, we would be skipping the temper tantrum stage.  Guess again.  It started Friday and has not let up since.  Pray for me!

6. Downton Abbey did not disappoint last night, nope, not at all!

7. Tonight is my monthly Virtual Community Group with other Pastor's Wives from across the country!  I love this night!  Community, encouragement, laughter, prayer, and just fun! 

I think that's it...better finish pinning so I can get crafting!  Happy Monday!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Blog Hopping

Today is the last day I am linking up with's been fun this week! 

Today we are connecting with each other, and hopefully staying connected!  I love making new friends, especially in blogland.  I have met so many wonderful people and feel super blessed by their friendships! 

So hit a sista up...

Google +

Have a great weekend, and here's to meeting new friends!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Some of My Favorites...

Linking up again today with Jenilee...I am really going to miss having someone prompt me each day on what to post about!

Today is favorite day
My favorite book right now is...Jesus Calling...I have stack knee deep of books I would love to read and wish I had time to read, but truthfully I am lucky to read out of this book each day.
My favorite pinterest board is...probably my favorite quotes and sayings
My favorite app is...Instagram
My favorite hot drink coffee in the mornings.  My mom let me drink some coffee when I was in 5th grade, she made it like this: 4 tsp of sugar, coffee, flavored coffee creamer, and then top it off with some milk.  I know, I am a tried and true coffee drinker, ha!  But I have loved it that way ever since, and I drink it like that every morning.
My favorite restaurant used to be Bill Knapps, then they went out of business, hmm...truthfully anywhere because that means I am not cooking at home!
My favorite blog post is...probably all the ones about my girls, especially when they were babies, the each month updates were fun!
My favorite time of day is...after my kids go to bed, or when Lucy lays down for a nap, I give myself 1 hour to do nothing.  I usually lay on the couch and watch General Hospital.
My favorite way to relax is...watching TV or running.  I know polar opposites, but I like doing both!
My favorite season is...Spring or Fall...I love the beauty of things coming to life, and I also love the colors of Fall.
My favorite vacation spot is...anywhere near water or a beach, or both!  I want to retire near water some day, which is funny since I can't swim!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wednesday's Walk

I am linking up with Jenilee again today.  Today we are going back to an old meme that a lot of my blogging friends used to participate in.  That's actually where I met most of the people I still stay in contact with. 

"Today is Wednesday's Walk.

A day that we take a minute and write down a memory.

Remembering that the backbone of most of our blogs was or still is to keep a record of our family moments and treasured memories for the years to come.

A scrapbook of sorts...

Wednesday's Walk keeps us accountable to doing that once and awhile!" ~ Jenilee

So here is my's not something from a long time ago, actually it's much more recent. 

During Advent this year, Eric and I committed to reading the Bible with Molly every night.  It's something we have tried before and failed epically at, I know, great ministry parents, ha.  One thing about Molly though, the older she gets the more determined she gets.  For instance in the Spring and Summer when we garden, if it wasn't for her wanting to water it everyday, our garden would probably not produce any fruit due to lack of love and attention.  But not with Molly around, she bugs and bugs you until you finally do it.  She is a good motivator.  So now that she is "reading" herself, she is determined to to be a full on independent reader, so any time you mention the word book, she is all over it.  So back to Advent, I started off with the best of intentions, and I have to say for the first time probably ever, we stuck to it.  There were many, many nights I just wanted her to go to bed and we would catch up the next day, and many, many nights I would ask "are you even listening?!" 

But we never missed a single night of reading because Molly was determined to do it all, and yes, she was listening.  Because every morning when Lucy woke up, Molly would go into Lucy's room, climb up in her crib {one day that thing is going to fall to the ground!} and tell Lucy everything about what we read the night before.  She started doing this a couple days into the Advent readings.  Now we are reading a daily devotion before bed, so Molly wakes up and tells Lucy everything we read about the night before.  She even repeats the prayer to Lucy. 

I want to remember this forever.  I want to remember the sweet innocence of two little girls talking about God.  I want to remember how my heart almost bursts out of my chest each morning laying in bed listening to them play and giggle {in the crib, ha!}.  I want my girls to remain naive and have undoubting faith that God is who He is, no questions asked.  I want them to always have faith like a child.  And I want to encourage you all, yes, they are listening, most of the time, and how important it is to read to them the word of God, and tell them all about God.  Because selfishly it feels great to hear them sharing it with others.  That's my memory for today. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What's On My Phone {picture style}

Today I am linking up with Jenilee, and she asked us to post pictures from our phones. I have a lot of pictures on my phone, 776 to be exact and that's just from December 1st to now! So here is our life in picture form...
Molly and my dad, we visited him at work one day

Ain't that the truth!

I have a really awesome BIL who dances with my kids

One of Molly's new outfits

Some very loved princesses

Escaped for a 24 hour get-away, wonderful!

It's always Skyline time

My new boots

Very thankful for surrogate family here in WI

The return of Downton Abbey...need I say more?!

A new Peanut Butter cookie recipe, only 36 calories, 
and 4 ingredients {PB, Sugar, Egg, Baking Soda}

Friday, January 4, 2013

Why Even Set A Goal?!

I know a lot of people either love or hate the idea of making New Year Resolutions.  Most feel it's a waste of time because they make them, then break them soon after the New Year.  Other people really try hard, they have the best of intentions to keep their new resolution, they make a change, go all out, and usually still fail.

I don't like making resolutions either.  I hate to fail, so I just don't do it.  But I have learned as I have gotten older that I need those resolutions to make a lifestyle change, or to accomplish something that I really want.  I just don't call them resolutions, I call them goals.  For some reason a goal seems more achievable and attainable, where a resolution seems so final and scary.  Probably all mental, but it works for me.

So why set a goal, why risk failing...why not, why not risk achieving your goal?  Even if you fail while attempting it at least you tried and probably surprised yourself along the way with the little things you accomplished or achieved. 
I can only speak to you as a lady, wife, mom, and part-time working friend...sometimes making it through the day in one piece and feeling accomplished that dinner was semi on the table around a decent dinner time hour, the kids were dressed at one point, and your sweats are still clean enough to wear tomorrow is about all the goal setting you feel like you can do.  I have been there, most days I am there.

But trust me, you can do so much more.  Even if you set little goals for the day, week, or month, the sense of accomplishment once you meet that goal will make you feel so good.  Heck, sometimes just cooking dinner and having it ready when Eric walks through the door is a huge goal set and met for me.     

I am not asking you to conquer the world, most moms do that everyday anyways.  I am just asking that you figure out some things you want or need in your life, make those your goals.  Start small, make very achievable goals at first, once you start meeting those little stepping stones, set some bigger goals, and go for it.  Along the goal highway you will need support.  Trust me, even if the goal only benefits you per say, you still need outside support to hold you accountable and to keep you encouraged.  Most people don't accomplish their goals because they kept them to themselves and no one knew they wanted to write a book, run a marathon, or learn to sew.  But if people know what you want to accomplish they can help you make a plan, watch your kids, or give you tips.  Who knows, you may even inspire those around you to set their own goals and they will feel a sense of accomplishment for themselves, all because you shared your goals with them. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lets Get Physical...2013 Health Goals

Are you singing along with Olivia Newton John now?  I know I am...

I decided to state my intent for my fitness goals for 2013...I am still unresolved about these fitness resolutions, but figured I would at least get started and throw some out. 

I am not a dieter, like not at all.  If you tell me I can't have something I will crave it.  I will crave it so much that I binge eat on that item.  Then I feel sick, and well, you know the cycle.  That's why I like running, well, you all know my love/hate relationship with it...I love how running makes me feel when I am finished, but I hate doing it.  I also love that I basically can eat what I want when I run.  I honestly don't eat terribly, I just like dessert.  Even a simple cup of hot cocoa is fine by me for dessert, but I am also not one to turn down a warm brownie either. 

Last year my biggest goal was to run and finish a half marathon.  I didn't have a certain time set in my mind, I just wanted to cross the finish line.  I started training late Spring, had a knee injury in June, cried and whined about not being able to run, then over Labor Day weekend I ran in the Lake Country Half, with a finishing time of 2:03.  Which I could have never done without you all.  Each one of you that reads my blog inspires me, challenges me, gives me countless amounts of advice, and you all have encouraged me beyond belief.  I hope in some small way I can repay it all back to you.

So with all of that said, here are some of my fitness/health goals for 2013...

1. Running- Once the weather gets nice again, which who knows when that will be here in the Cheese State, I will resume running again.  With no gym membership I run outside, and I am too chicken to run in the dark and on icy sidewalks. 

Running is still every bit a challenge for me, but it also does so much for me, and I can tell when I need to run.  I have withdrawals from it, and feel jealous when I see someone else running outside.  I am sure my wonderful husband wishes I could go running, a lot :)  

2. Races- Here is my wish for 2013...
5K, 10K, 15K, Half Marathon, 15K, 10K, 5K
But races cost money, so depending on finances, timing, and all the stars lining up in a row, my biggest goal will be another half this year, and hopefully some other races mixed in there.  I have pondered and tossed around a full marathon, but truthfully, I am okay with another half this year.  Who knows, in 2014 I turn 30, maybe I will run a full then.

3. Healthy Habits- I feel like this category is complicated!  This will cover what goes in my body {food, nutrition, pop consumption, caffeine, etc}, being active with my kids, and overall health {regular doctor, dentist, dermatologist checks}.  I basically want to set a good example for my girls to follow.  So no diets for me, but I am watching what I eat because I have a Molly and a Lucy watching me, too.      

That's about it on the physical fitness home front for me.  I want to be active again, I crave activity, and I want to explore more outside with my kids.  I am not an outdoorsy person by nature, but once I get outside, and truly look, that's when I see God the most.  So I can't wait for Spring to spring around here, and in the meantime, I am trying to workout at home with no such luck, so pray the winter goes fast, for my sake, and my husbands :)   

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One Word for 2013

I love choosing a word to focus on each year.  It helps me put things into perspective, or at least try to, ha!  I was getting excited about what word I thought God might be telling me to focus on, I kept thinking of different ones, but none seem to fit, or feel right.  Then Eric's grandma passed away and the word choosing was no longer in the forefront of my mind.

All last week we soaked up good old fashioned family time.  It was incredible.  Eric performed the funeral service for his grandma, and we met with all the family to discuss what they wanted said or share about grandma.  Eric had everyone in the family start saying words or phrases that came to mind about grandma.  Lets say no one was at a loss for words.  We all kept them coming, we laughed, cried, and smiled as we shared memories about Grandma Ferguson.

Oh, how I wish you all could have met Eric's grandma.  She truly was the sweetest, kindest, and most loving person you have ever known.  Grandma Ferguson loved with her whole being, and she cared tremendously about everyone.  She spoke wisdom even long after she lost her ability to speak.  When you were with grandma, everything was right in the world again.  I wish you all could have heard the beautiful and moving message Eric gave at her funeral.  Not a dry eye in the place, including Eric.  I know she is in Heaven, I know her body is whole, and I know she is spending her days with Jesus, but it still hurts that she is gone.  I lost both my grandma's by the time I was 8, so Eric's grandma was my grandma in a sense.  I have known Grandma Ferguson since I was Molly's age and I still remember her drinking coffee in the church kitchen.  She stood no taller then 4 foot something, yet commanded respect with her small stature.

Eric talked about 3 things he felt his grandma's life represented here on earth, they are faith, hope, and love.  Eric's Aunt Patty, who cared for Eric's grandma, gave him grandma's Bible.  What a treasure.  Eric was able to go through her Bible and see her writing, her highlights, her notes.  A Bible truly reveals a lot about a person.  Eric was able to incorporate some of her favorite scriptures into his message at the funeral.  It was so moving, and so inspiring.  Eric's aunt spoke about grandma in such a touching way.  One of the things she said has been locked in mind, she frankly said "if God is love, then I said good morning and good night to God every day of my life."  That was truly Eric's grandma.

Not to sound cliche but Eric's grandma truly was a Proverbs 31 woman, to listen to her kids, daughter-in-laws, grandkids, and great grandkids talk so wonderfully about her was truly motivational and inspiring.  When I am gone, I hope my kids say half of the things we said about Grandma Ferguson. 

All of that to say my word for 2013 is...loving

I wish my word was so much more bold, strong, and sassy, but loving is truly what I feel God has laid on my heart.  Especially after hearing how Eric's grandma was the epitome of love.  The reason why she loved so well was because she knew and felt the love God had for her.  Eric said if you knew his grandma you knew her faith, the two were not separate.  That's exactly how I want to be.  So 2013 will be focused on being more loving, and I am using 1 Corinthians 13 as my guide...
"If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end."   
1 Corinthians 13:3-7 {The Message}

I can't wait to share more about my victories, and I am sure my fair share of defeats all while trying to be more loving.