About Me

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I love to laugh and love with my family, read, exercise, cook and sew, all the while giving thanks to God for his immeasureable love and faithfulness to me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

15 years!

15 years ago I said "I do" to the love of my life.  Oh.my.goodness. Look at those babies!  We were actually 25, so not exactly babies, but still.  So young!

Who knew that saying yes to a blind date would be one of the single most important decisions we ever made?!  God knew.  #prayerworks
While we've certainly had our ups and downs, there are a few constants that have helped us weather the trials.  Please understand that I am no marital expert--these have just worked for us.
1.  Praying together.  I know you've heard the old adage "the family that prays together stays together", but I 100% believe it is true.  Both J and I firmly believe in praying out loud together during the good times, the bad ones and everything in between.  Again #prayerworks

2.  Going to bed at the same time.  Now this one might sound kind of obvious, but for us, sticking to a (relatively) constant bedtime and turning out the light together is really important to us.  We get into bed and then spend 15-20 minutes catching up and connecting.  I wish there was time during the day, but all too often we're spinning around and are just having more "bullet-point" types of conversations. Bedtime is our time.

3.  No electronics in the bedroom.  And I mean none--TV, laptop, i-phones, etc.  Blue light is bad news for sleep and mindless viewing/surfing is bad news for a marriage.  Again, refer to #2.
4.  Kiss each other the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.  Do you ever feel like you hit the ground running or that you fall into bed exhausted?  I certainly do!  That physical connection helps to re-ground us and remind us we're connected to each other--on the same team, so to speak.

5.  Keeping balance.  God first, spouse second, children third.  This is one that I know we need to be more conscious of--it is so easy for things to get topsy-turvey and all out of whack!  I feel that one of my most important goals as a mother, however, is for my girls to see J and I relying on God in a real-life, nitty-gritty kind of way so that it is meaningful and applicable to our/their lives.  I also think it is so important to model a healthy marriage--one where the mom and dad focus on their relationship so that it is a strong foundation for the family.  The best way to do this?  See #1.  The other reason this is so hard (in my opinion)?  It totally flies in the face of what the culture pushes.  Hello helicopter parenting.  Sigh.  Hello to me sometimes getting sucked up into that vortex--marriage/parenting...it ain't easy!
So there you have it.  5 tips that will help your marriage get stronger and will keep you and your mate connected.

What's Up Wednesday?!

I hadn't participated in a blog hop in a while and thought this one would be a fun one to do--here's what going on in our neck of the woods!

What we're eating this week:
EatLiveRun's Mediterranean Shrimp Tortellini is always a HUGE hit with the family as well as Two Peas & Their Pod's pasta with kale, kalamata olives, dried cranberries and feta.  There's something about the combination of the sweet/tangy of the cranberries, the salty of the olives and the creamy feta.  Mmmmm
What I'm reminiscing about:
15 years ago--today!!
What I'm reading:
LOVE Sarah Addison Allen!  I've read other books by her and just zip right through them.  So much so, that one night, I declared that everyone was going to be early (including me) because I just wanted to read!  I'm also in the middle of this book by David Platt.  He brings up some tough questions--really makes you think.
This is the next one in the queue--Lisa See is another one of my favorites.  I've never read any of her mysteries, so I'm interested in seeing how she does them.  As an aside, at the beginning of the year I heard about Goodreads and signed up (obviously I'm slow to hop on the whole social media thing!). Hello?!  Game changer for me!  I've always loved reading, but had slipped away from it recently. Mainly because I would hear about a book, forget to write it down and then feel frustrated because I couldn't find/remember anything that I really wanted to read.  Now I've got a running list, and as I get close to finishing one, I request the next one from the library.  
What I'm watching:
We don't have cable or satellite and we don't do Netflix either.  We're actually not big movie watchers, but when I can remember the title of a movie, I request it from our library and we watch it whenever it comes in.  Sometimes that means we have to wait a looong time to watch a popular movie, but most times it isn't too bad.  We can't say enough about the benefits of the local library!!
What I'm wearing now:
Love, love, love Oceans by Hillsong United.  The 36" chain length is a bit of a change for me but I'm digging it!  Interested in one for yourself?  Go here.

What I bought myself heavily hinted at for Mother's Day:
Love 1 Baseball Tee
147 Million orphans in the world.  Sickening.  When you buy a shirt, from this organization it will feed a child in need for a week.  Now that makes this mama's heart happy!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Date night--anniversary style

J and I have our 15 year anniversary coming up in a few days so we decided to celebrate this past weekend.  Lollie and Papa were only too happy to babysit, so we decided to head out early and do a little shopping (really more of a necessity for J, but we were together, so it was fun) before going out to eat.  There is a Greek restaurant a few cities away, so that's where we decided to go afterwards...yum-o!
Since we're pretty introverted low key, after dinner, we decided to just come home and open up a bottle of bubbly and chat some more.  I am part of a Moms group and one of the speakers talked about how 2x/year, she and her husband have a "state of their marriage/family" chat.  Around the new year they discuss their goals for their family, strengths/weaknesses, areas of focus for kiddos, etc. and on their anniversary they talk about what's working and what needs to be addressed in order to make their marriage stronger.  I loved that!  Thankfully J was game to talk about "feelings...nothing more than feelings......." Ha!
This year's anniversary was infinitely better than last--Mei Mei's palate re-repair was scheduled on our actual anniversary, so we spent #14 in the hospital, eating our anniversary meal (breakfast) in the hospital cafeteria while she was in the O.R., and then nursing one poor, sick baby back to health.  The silver lining of that gray cloud?  At least we were together for the entire day, and there wasn't anyone I wanted by my side more than J!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Must be Spring!

Spring is cautiously raising its sleepy head around here. The daffs are fluttering their pretty heads in the wind and the sun is finally warming things up.
Buds are emerging and we're starting to see some green!
Welcome back Spring--we've missed you!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Bouncin' around

This school year, the Noodle has participated in an after-school program where the kiddos learn all kinds of ball-handling skills.  Kinda like the Harlem Globetrotters.
One man runs it and has been doing so for the last 40 years.  40 years!  He does it all on his own. Without help.  On any given day there are anywhere between 40-60 kids plus doing his program. Again, I state, on his own.  Did I also mention that he's 72?!

The dude demands attention and the children are only too willing to give it to him.  As a side note, I cannot imagine, ever, signing up to try and instruct 40-60 kids on my own.  He really is that good.
All year long the children work hard learning tricks, practice their skills and perfecting their routines. They give up their recess at the end and even eat shorter lunches some days.   It all leads up to the big event when they get to perform for the pre-game and half-time show for a NBA game.
Last night was THE NIGHT.  Such excitement!  The nerves!  The anticipation!  The energy!  The Noodle went down with J and had a blast.  I don't know whether she'll do it next year because the fearless leader is retiring at the end of the year.  His shoes will be pretty big to fill, but he's certainly left a legacy.  We're thrilled that she got to be a part of it!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Christ is risen!

Let no no caught in sin remain, Inside the lie of inward shame, We fix our eyes upon the cross, And run to him who showed great love, And bled for us, Freely you bled for us
Christ has risen from the grave, Trampling over death by death, Come awake, Come awake! Come and rise up from the dead!
Oh death! Where is your sting? Oh hell! Where is your victory? Oh church! Come stand in the light! Our God is not dead, he's alive! He's alive!
"Christ is Risen"--Matt Maher

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Preparation

How do you prepare for Easter?  New clothes?  Spring hat?  Full cart at the grocery?  Dying eggs? All good and fun, but the most important preparation begins in our hearts.  It is easy to get caught up in the Easter bunny craze and somehow neglect to focus on the real reason for Easter.
The fact that on Friday, Jesus, who had died an absolutely horrible death, was dead and put into a tomb, but that three days later, that tomb was empty.  Our Lord rose from the dead.  Just like he said he would do.  Amazing.  Mind blowing.  Life changing!!
We've been trying to be a bit more intentional about Easter this year.  If J and I don't focus on it, how will the girls ever grasp the true  meaning?  Certainly not by just hoping that they absorb it at Sunday school (although don't get me wrong, this is also a huge component!).  But it is so easy to just go along with the flow and get swept up in the candy, eggs, bunnies and baskets of it all, that all of a sudden, Christ and his sacrifice, becomes just a passing thought or comment.
Hopefully, by little discussions and meaningful (fun!) activities, they will start to understand and fully grasp the full sacrifice Jesus made for each and every one of us by taking on our sins and dying for us.  We don't do anything earth shattering--making resurrection cookies, eating hot cross buns (and "breakfast ice-cream" ha ha!) for breakfast on Good Friday, a prayer walk around the neighborhood (mainly adults, puddle splashing/tree climbing for the kiddos), watching a cute movie for family movie night, spending some quite time reflecting on Jesus' sacrifices.  But it opens the door for conversation and discussion about what Easter really is about.
Don't get me wrong--we've still got our new clothes, dyed eggs and enough chocolate and jelly bean eggs to give anyone a sugar rush!  But most importantly, we've got the promise of  new, eternal life that only he can give.  What can top that?