Monday, December 5, 2016

Bethel is 1 month old!

Our beautiful girlie number two is already a month old!  It's craziness!  Bethel turned a month old on December 2nd ... wow, the time is flying!

What Bethel is doing and learning ....
Drinking 3 ounces of formula every 2-4 hours ~ Holding her head up amazingly so ~ Sleeping in her own bed on her tummy since 2 1/2 weeks old ~ Sleeping 3-4 hour stretches over night ~ Loves being with her daddy ... he has the touch! ~ Pretty much over her spit ups ~ Super congested all the time ... poor, kid ~ Enjoys her swing for short times throughout the day (usually after she eats - when she's the happiest) ~ A super pooper ~ Already likes her pacifier

What Mama is doing and learning ....
~ Sleep-deprived but getting lots of help from daddy and grandparents ~ Thankful for my girlies but wow am I worn out! ~ Adjusting better to two babies but wow some days are rough ~ Learning that I may not be cut out to be a stay-at-home mom ~ Looking for a full-time job ~ House hunting with my hubby ~ Putting money into savings ~ Loving Haddie's smiles and laughter ~ Loving holding Bethel and staring into each other's eyes ~ Struggling emotionally as we begin disciplining Haddie, our awesome, strong-willed girl ~ Continuing to overcome self-condemnation ~ Continually trying to carve out QUALITY time with Jesus ~ Working at The Porch with the girls ... my mom is amazing and helps me out so much ~ House cleaning ~ Loving the young mamas' group I started a few months back ~ Loving being a mom to my beautiful girlies ~ Thankful for God's grace and patience ~ Thankful for the way having children makes me grow in my faith ... even though (or is it because? ;)) it's the hardest thing I've ever done!!! ~ So thankful for our amazing support system, especially our parents and Gma ~ So, so, so thankful for my amazing husband who helps me so much with the girls, offers to get up with Bethel overnight even when he works the next day, and offers me all the unconditional love, patience, and grace that I could possible hope for ~ Praying for my girlies' salvation ~ Thankful the girls are taking a nap at least some days so that I get a break! ~ So thankful that God constantly teaches us and never gives up on us and gives us grace to get through each circumstance

Thursday, October 6, 2016

My Thoughts about Pregnancy Part 2

Well, I am 36 weeks pregnant today with our second baby girl. I've been thinking about writing this blog post for weeks. Since my pregnancy post with Haddie was so dramatic and full of struggle but with a happy ending, I wanted to share my thoughts about Bethel's pregnancy because it has been so different.

I was totally convinced we were having a boy because I wasn't sick at all in the first trimester. I woke up feeling a bit yucky until I ate something, but no nausea - what a gift! Really, other than some yucky mornings and a growing baby bump, I couldn't even tell I was pregnant. I've had a few minor ailments here and there, but really, I think this has been the smoothest, most comfortable pregnancy a mama could ask for. Remind me of that tonight when I'm turning over every 20 minutes from some fairly severe sciatica. ;) Haha!

Don't get me wrong. Even with a super smooth pregnancy, I'm still not a fan of being pregnant. I'm definitely not my grandma who apparently has said that she felt the best in her life while she was pregnant. What the what?! But wow, this pregnancy has been perspective-changing. I have felt Bethel move almost non-stop since week 20, which leaves me awed every time I feel her. I had a bout of despair and self-condemnation and hormones that I thought might literally kill me that preceded a real breakthrough in my bondage to self-condemnation .... I am now walking so much more in the freedom of grace - thank you, Jesus! And I have been so, so thankful this pregnancy, growing in excitement about meeting Bethel, growing more in love with Haddie everyday, growing to love my husband and be thankful for our relationship, basking in our amazing support system, growing more in my walk with Christ in this season of life than ever before, and so much more.

It's just amazing what I've learned during this pregnancy. Sure, I've felt a lot better carrying Bethel than I did carrying Haddie, so it's been easier to have a good attitude.  But I think God is ready to teach us something amazing (and difficult) every single day of our lives and in every season. We just have to be ready and open. ... I was pretty closed off for a lot of my pregnancy with Haddie, and I've definitely had some rough days and weeks with Bethel. But wow! God is so faithful to teach me, and I am so thankful for that!

I'm so excited to meet you, Little B! You're our next big adventure!!!


Over the summer, I watched the movie, War Room, and read this book, Fervent, with my ladies' Bible study at church. Wow, they were both so good! The biggest thing I took away from the movie was the WAY the main character prayed. She wrote down her prayers, word-for-word, and taped them to her closet walls. She wrote a couple pages at a time, even, and committed to reading through and praying through these written-out prayers! And that's what stuck with me. Reading the book only fueled my desire to pray, reminding me how powerful and essential prayer is and giving me a never-before-known-to-me desire to begin praying fervently for my husband, my children, myself, my family, my friends, my church family, and beyond.

I started writing out long prayers and taping them to my bedroom wall. When my prayers drifted over to Darrell's side of the room, I decided to make a crafty prayer journals instead. It has been working out great because now, when I want to pray, I can grab my journal and pray through my prayers easily instead of squinting and getting lost in my prayers from across the room. Haha! I am still working on my consistency, but I am praying and growing in my faith a heck of a lot more since I started this fervent prayer journey than I would be if I had never watched this movie and read the book and applied some of the principles. So I am stoked to continue growing in fervent prayer.

I highly recommend reading this book and finding the prayer method that works best for you. Writing and crafting my prayers has taken my prayer life to a whole new level. I'm so grateful for the motivation and inspiration and revelation this journey has and continues to give me!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Battlefield of the Mind

It's a miracle - I finished another book!!!!  My mother-in-law, Jan, gave me Battlefield of the Mind for Christmas in 2014.  I started reading it in April of last year.  I finished it about a month ago.  Yeah.  Haha!  I'm not the best reader around.  But I do have an almost 15-month-old, two part-time jobs, and a life to live.  Haha!  I'm working at becoming more of a reader, that's for sure!

I've decided to write about every book I read from now on ... to remember what I read and to, hopefully, encourage others to read some good stuff ... assuming that everything I read is good. ;)  I usually think it is.

I've heard lots of debate about Joyce Meyer.  I used to be pretty skeptical about her, myself, because I saw her as a female pastor, and I've been taught that female pastors are not biblical.  Yes, it's true that 1 Timothy 2:11-15 talks about how women should not authority over men.  And I believe that is God's Truth.  It's in the Bible; therefore, I believe it.  I do wholeheartedly believe that God gives women the ability to teach His Truth, and He has called them to do so.  I'll say I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable if a woman pastor one day took over for Pastor Roger.  But to me, the "women should have no authority over men" is a gray area in the Bible because it is not specific enough.  I'm still not totally sure what I believe about this issue is what I'm really trying to say.
I don't know if Joyce would call herself a pastor anyway.   And honestly, I don't know if it really matters.  I do know that men listen to her preaching and sit in on her seminars (I've seen them on her teaching DVD that I bought).  But isn't that their choice?  Joyce believes she has been called to teach God's Truth, and so she is.  She shares what God is teaching her, and she can't help who decides to listen or not listen.  All I know is that I have been pretty blessed and challenged to a closer walk with Christ because of what I've read and listened to by Joyce Meyer.  Her ministry is also flourishing.  I think God blesses people and ministries that honor Him, so I'm gonna believe that Joyce is good to go.  Just throwing my two cents in there ...

Either way, I read Joyce Meyer's book, Battlefield of the Mind, and got a lot out of it.  I took away four powerful points ...
#1 - We must PRACTICE taking every thought captive in order to obey and glorify Christ.  It is a daily (even moment-by-moment) battle that goes on in our thoughts.  See 2 Corinthians 10:4-6.
#2 - This battle in our minds for a positive, uplifting, Christ-honoring thought life is a war against Satan and his minions, not against flesh and blood.  I must believe the Truth about WHO I'm really fighting so that I can win!  Again, see 2 Corinthians 10:4-6.
#3 - I have control over what I think about!  I don't have to wallow in self-pity, self-condemnation, self-mutilating thoughts, or any other negative thought.  I can SPEAK God's Truth out loud to combat Satan's lies.
#4 - Sometimes, our "thorns in the flesh" are there because God wants to use them to grow us closer to Himself.  See 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.  No matter how far we get in this sanctification process, there will always be something that we struggle with - perhaps it's our "thorn in the flesh" - and maybe God gives it to us, or allows it to continue in our lives, so that we will be continually dependent on Him.  So let's thank God for our progress and expect more change.  Let's thank God that we are totally dependent on Him!

The way we think really does affect our lives!  Thinking and speaking God's Truths instead of complaining and wallowing in sinful thoughts really can transform our entire lives for the better!  For Christ-likeness!  And isn't that the goal???  I'm slowly but surely putting these Truths into practice and seeing the transformation first hand.  Hopefully, someday, y'all will see it in me too. ;)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Our Baby Names: Hadassah Ruth

Alright, Haddie girl, it's your turn, babe!
A year or two before Darrell and I started dating, I read through a book series called The Mark of the Lion series.  It was a Christian historical fiction series written by Francine Rivers, just in case you're interested in reading it! ;)  In the first two books of the series, the main female character's name was Hadassah.  She started out as an ordinary, fearful girl who lost her family to the violent Romans, and she became an extraordinary woman of faith, determination, and trust in the Lord in the midst of some unbelievable trials.  I was totally inspired and amazed at this woman's journey of faith ... yes, even though she is a fictional character.  It was just that good of a story!  And from that point on, I wanted to name my first daughter Hadassah.  I pray that Haddie will grow to be a woman of this kind of undying faith in her Savior.
Darrell and I agreed that we'd really like to pick strong, Biblical names for our kids, and thankfully, Hadassah is found in one sentence of the Bible!  Hadassah is Esther's Hebrew name and can be found in Esther 2:7.  So, boom!  We have our strong, Biblical name for our first born girlie!  In addition to the Francine Rivers' Hadassah, we really admire Esther's strength and courage to follow God and risk her life for her people.  Also, we chose Haddie's middle name, Ruth, from, yep, you guessed it, the book of Ruth in the Bible.  Ruth's story of courage, loyalty, and humility is inspiring and such an amazing example to follow.  Hence, our strong, Biblical middle name for our Hadassah.  I worked through a Bible study of both the book of Esther and the book of Ruth while I was pregnant with Haddie, and I remember being even more convinced that we picked the perfect name for our girlie!

God is so awesome!  I'm so thankful for my Haddie girl!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Our Baby Names: Bethel Grace

My husband, Darrell, and I found out a few weeks back that our second baby is another girl!!!!  We are absolutely excited and can't wait to meet her!  And we are totally in love with the name we've picked out for her!

Bethel Grace.

I was lying on my bed upstairs thinking about Bethel's name recently ... and then I started thinking about Haddie's name and thought "a blog post is in order!"  Darrell and I wanted incredibly meaningful names for our kids even before we were married.  Meaningful and Biblical.

This post is a bit backwards, seeing as Bethel is our soon-to-be second born child, but her name inspired the blog post, so I'll write about her name first.  I'll get to your's soon, Haddie girl! :) ..... I think it's been at least two years now since our Pastor taught through the book of Genesis, but his sermons about Bethel really stuck with us.  You can find the story surrounding our Bethel's name in Genesis 28:10-22.  It's all about Jacob's dream of a ladder reaching to heaven.  When he awoke from his dream, he exclaimed, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it."  So he named the place Bethel.  Over and over again in Pastor's sermons, he referred to Bethel as "God of the house, and He's home."  Wow, we loved that!  And that's exactly what we want for Bethel.  We want her to be a house of God and for God to really and truly reign in her life every single day.  And what a beautiful name for a girl!  We also chose Grace for her middle name because God's grace is God's greatest lesson in my life ... at least so far.  I have struggled to grasp and accept God's grace for myself (recovering self-condemner and all), so Grace is perfect and beautiful for our Bethel girl.

So there you have it ... Bethel Grace Thompson.  We can't wait to meet her ... 14-ish weeks and counting! :D

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mical's Must Have's for Baby's First Year

Well, we've made it through a year and a couple weeks with our sweet babe, and what an adventure it has been!  I'm sure all first-time parents say that ... and probably all second-time and third-time and so on parents as well.  Kids are so, so worth it, but man, they are a lot of work!!!!  I wouldn't trade our sweet Haddie girl for the world though, and I am so looking forward to meeting Baby #2 in a few months.

I've been thinking about this post for over three months ... it all started when I was putting away my portable changing table pad and thought ... "Mical's Must Have's for Baby's First Year!  It's gonna be a blog post, yo!" ... I thought something like that. ;)  So here it is ... a list of things I'm not sure how we would've lived without in raising Haddie this year.

Portable Baby Changing Table Pad
Umm, yeah.  This is a life-saver.  Thank you, Maggie Wade!  So many times I went out with Haddie this year, and although most places have changing tables, some places do not.  And it was such a blessing to have a safe place to lay my baby.  Get one of these, and all ya do is fold it up and stick it in the side pocket of your diaper bag, and it's super easy to wipe down too!

When I first bought this for $20 ... thank you very much! ... When I first bought this saucer, I thought, "What on earth is this thing?"  I bought it because I heard they were super nifty for helping your baby play by herself, but to look at these things, you might think, "Huh?"  But babies love them!  At least mine did.  It was so fun to watch Haddie learn how to play with the toys attached to this round, roly seat.  And on top of that, it's a safe place for her to play when I need to get some things done around the house.  Pair it with Baby Einstein, and you can call yourself one blessed AND spoiled mama!  Holla-lujah!  Haddie played in this while I cooked dinner and interacted with her.  She played in it (and slept in it) while watching Baby Einstein.  It's great for teaching independent play and for sustaining mama's sanity.  They can be pretty pricey, but if you can find one at a yard sale or on some local baby pages (I'll talk about those later), then do it!  You won't regret it! :)

Baby Einstein Videos
Our friends, Jared and Maggie, gave us a few Baby Einstein videos to try out when Haddie was pretty little.  I took them gladly and gave 'em a try.  The first 2-3 months, Haddie was just too small for these videos, but she started liking them more and more as she got older.  By 6 or 7 months, she was hooked and so was mama!  Haha!  Haddie got the whole collection for Christmas from my mom, and we use them every single day.  I'll admit that Haddie watches them too much, but ya know ... I don't feel guilty about that one bit.  I play with my baby, feed her, love her, read to her, keep her safe, teach her independent play, pray for her, rock her to sleep, call the doctor for her and take her to all her appointments, encourage her, comfort her, and make sacrifices for her everyday.  So a little Baby Einstein isn't gonna kill her ... and to be honest, it gives ME LIFE! :)  Haddie is a fabulous independent player; she is social; she is happy; she is smart; she is an explorer; she is learning from these videos.  And when she watches these videos, she allows me to get all kinds of stuff done.  These videos (along with her saucer and pack 'n play) have allowed me to spend extra time in prayer and Bible-reading, get the dishes done, put laundry in the washer/dryer, read a book, BREATHE, work at The Porch to provide extra needed money for our family without sending Haddie to daycare, write blog posts, take showers, have a few minutes to myself, and BREATHE some more.  I'm incredibly thankful for the creators of these videos and for Jared and Mags who gave us a few to try out!

Pack 'n Play
We have used our pack 'n play for pretty much all of Haddie's life.  This is the pack 'n play that we keep at my mom's cafe', but the one we have used at home this year has two levels built in ... one that zips up high in the pack 'n play for when Haddie was very tiny (under 15 pounds) ... she had lots of tummy time in here.  As she got older, we took the upper level out and just let her play on the "floor" level ... she STILL plays in the pack 'n play at The Porch on a daily basis.  It's a safe, contained space so that I can do office work or prep food at my mom's store.  I've also taken the pack 'n play with me to do house-cleaning jobs as well.  Couple it with some Baby Einstein, and you've got a safe and entertaining place for baby for as long as she'll stand it.

Baby Swing
We only used our swing for the first few months ... I think Haddie started enjoying it for short lengths of time around 6 or 7 weeks old ... all the way up until probably around 4 months old.  It was like a saucer for really tiny babies ... it was great for interacting with Haddie while I cooked dinner or got the dishes done.

Wow!  Again ... what a blessing this little guy has been.  We used this as Haddie's high chair until she was almost 8 months old.  Heck, she STILL uses it at The Porch everyday!  Our specific Bumbo has a tray that you snap on to create the high chair effect ... or you can just push it right up to the table.  And even at 25 pounds and over a year old, Haddie can still use it on a daily basis, so we keep the Bumbo at The Porch and the portable high chair at home.  It's a safe place for Haddie to sit and eat or play with toys while I eat or do housework in the same room with her.  I remember when Haddie was younger than 7 months, I would put her in the Bumbo up on the table top so that she could play with toys and stay occupied while I worked in the kitchen ... she liked being able to see everything I was doing.  A great alternative to a high chair ... or heck, use it AS your high chair for as long as possible!

Portable High Chair
This baby is an awesome upgrade from our Bumbo seat.  Sadly, we haven't thought to actually take it with us when we could've used it while out and about.  Imagine that ... taking a PORTABLE high chair out to a friend's house for dinner or on a weekend trip out of town ... ha ha!  Yeah, we never remember.  But!  If we were to remember, this high chair would be perfect! ;)  Haddie got this for Christmas from Darrell's parents and grandparents, and it has been a huge blessing.  She can sit in it for decent chunks of time, eating, drinking a bottle, playing, or watching Baby Einstein.

Little People (Or toy of your baby's choice)
If you can, find a toy (or toys) that your baby really likes.  We started collecting the Little People princesses and superheroes long before we even thought of having a baby just 'cause we think they're cool.  And when she was 6 or 7 months old, she started playing with these all the time and loved 'em.  We think she liked 'em so much because they were the perfect size for her hand ... yet big enough that we weren't afraid she'd choke on 'em (bonus!).  She carried them with her everywhere and played with them in her car seat.  Although she has started playing with toys that make noise or music or talk much more often, she still enjoys playing with her growing collection of Little People even now.

I think I've heard a bit of controversy about pacifiers.  I know we heard some while we were going to breastfeeding classes shortly before Haddie was born.  If you breastfeed your baby, I bet what they had to say about staying away from pacifiers made a lot of sense.  But since we chose not to breastfeed (and it was the best decision we could have made for EVERYONE, by the way ... again, an opinion under much controversy! ;)), pacifiers have been a must have for us.  When Haddie was really little she had no use for them, but once she started teething (and continues to do so!), pacifiers became one of her best friends.  I say read your kid's needs and be open to trying something out that may save you and your baby a lot of unnecessary tears and anguish.  Although we don't want her using a pacifier well past the age of 2, pacifiers have been a friend to our family over the past few months. :)

Local Baby Pages on Facebook
I saved my favorite for last!  Oh. My. Word!  I'm assuming that there are Facebook Baby/Mommy Pages anywhere you live ... at least I hope so!  These Facebook groups have been the greatest blessing to us as parents this past year.  We figured out pretty early on that Gerber Soothe worked best for Haddie, and once our Target gift cards ran out, we were able to save so much money by using these groups to buy and sell formula (along with other baby items).  Thank you, Justine Basye, for hooking me up with these pages!  You communicate with other moms in your area to buy, sell, and trade all kinds of baby stuff.  I wish I had thought to keep track of how much I saved on formula this past year because I was buying Gerber Soothe from other moms for 35 to 50/60% off what I could find in stores.  Formula is expensive, y'all!  So what a huge, huge blessing!

Any first-time moms out there reading my blog???  What are YOUR must haves for baby?  I'd love to know ... I've got another one on the way! ;)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Books to Read Before I Die

So these books WERE my reading goals for this year.  I have probably a gazillion books on my to-read list, but I am a terrible reader.  Sure, I don't retain or comprehend the best, but what I really mean is, my attention span and busy schedule make reading pretty difficult.  And in this season of my life, I am learning a whole, whole lot about grace ... and maybe a little about simplifying my life.  So I've decided to keep these books on my to-read list, but instead of reading all of them by the end of 2016, which was my original goal, I will make them my reading goal for some time before I die.  Yep, you heard me right.  Before I die.  Sounds like the perfect goal to me!  And perhaps I can tell you a little about each book I read from here on out just in case it peaks your interest and you wanna read it too.  I usually pick pretty good reads.  I did read the entire Twilight Saga ... so maybe you'll disagree with me.  Hahaha!  Silly.  Probably a huge waste of time.  But those books were pretty entertaining for a single, sappy young woman (yes, I was at the time!).  I'm still sappy ... just not single. ;)

Anyways ... here's the book I have finished most recently.

How to Argue so your Spouse will Listen by Sharon Morris May

I started going to counseling last July for myself ... for my issues with self-condemnation.  It was the catalyst to start me on an awesome journey of discovering what God's grace truly means.  And one area in which I desperately needed to grasp grace was in my marriage.  I wanted to please my husband so much, but I beat myself up about every little thing that I didn't do perfectly ... which, as you can imagine, was everything, because I'm not perfect.  Ahh!  So I started bringing Darrell along with me to counseling, and it has empowered our marriage so much!  I thought we had a good marriage before, but now, we have a great marriage that is getting better with time.
Okay, so that's the back story.  During some of our counseling sessions, our counseling pastor had us read this book.  Honestly, I don't have too much to share about it.  I did read the whole thing.  I think it's a great book for every married couple.  It helps us begin to understand the mechanics of arguing and what causes arguments.  For me, figuring out where arguments come from in the first place is what I took away from this book.  Chapter Three: Dragons and Vulnerabilities ... The Hidden Meanings that Fuel our Arguments.  This chapter throws a lot at readers ... pulling personalities, past experiences and relationships that cause vulnerabilities, and current relationship styles all together to help us understand why arguments happen in the first place.  Sharon Morris May calls our past experiences or vulnerabilities our "dragons."  She explains that "when experiences in [our] relationships today are similar to the hurtful experiences [we] had over the course of [our] life, they trigger the same hurts, fears, and responses.  When a current situation touches or raises [our] old hurts and sets in motion [our] automatic way of reacting to those hurts, [our] 'dragons have been raised'" (pages 44-45).  I just know for me and Darrell, remembering that our hurtful responses come from events and feelings in our pasts has really helped us communicate better.  You will find plenty of great principles for marriage in this book, but learning about dragons was what impacted me the most.

And by the way, if you and your spouse are not in counseling, even if you think your marriage is great, I would consider it!  We have our whole lives to improve and grow and become more like Jesus in our marriages.  Take the time to invest in your marriage no matter what the season ... you won't regret it! :)

Dear Hadassah on your First Birthday

Dear, Hadassah,

My beautiful Haddie girl, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

I am so thankful that you are my daughter.  You are so beautiful, sweet, and strong-willed already.  It has been fun and challenging to watch you grow this year.  It's still amazing to me that you've been on the planet for an entire year.  And what a year of lessons and late nights and joys and tears and awesome times together it has been.  You are such an incredible gift in my life.  Ever since you were born, God has taught me so much about selfless love and grace and thankfulness.  Being your mom is growing me in amazing ways!  God is using you to bless and challenge my life and mind and heart everyday.  And I am so incredibly thankful for that - and even more so, I am thankful for you!

I am praying for you, and I am beyond excited to continue watching you grow and teaching you and loving you the best I can.  You are such a precious and perfect gift in my life.  I love you, Haddie!

Happy 1st Birthday, baby girl!

Your Mama :)
Jeremiah 17:7-8

Haddie Made it To One!

My baby girl has been on the planet for a whole year!  I can't believe it!

What Haddie girl is doing and learning these days ...
Walking ... a little.  About 6-10 steps at a time, sometimes less. ~ Giving lots of kisses ~ Loves exploring outside - it's her favorite thing to do currently ~ Drinking whole milk now!  Wow!  No more formula ... well, for a few months, then on to baby #2! ;) ~ Learning cause and effect - she recently started putting objects into other objects and taking them out and pushing buttons and levers and such on her toys ... so fun to watch! ~ Taking daily naps IN HER CRIB ... this is big, people! ~ Has moved up to the next size car seat ... craziness! ~ In the 97th percentile for weight ... just under 25 pounds at her 1-year doctor's appointment ~ In the 91st percentile for height ... we've got a good-sized girl on our hands ~ Throwing tantrums when she doesn't get her way ... yep, we're figuring out how to help her overcome that everyday ~ Bringing such joy (and a little exhaustion ;)) to her parents and grandparents every single day! ~ Growing into an absolutely beautiful and awesome little person every single day! :)

What Mama is doing and learning these days ...
Making progress with this grace and gratitude thing - HOLLA-LUJAH!!!! ~ Praying for my husband and babies ~ Still working at building my prayer wall ~ So thankful for a healthy pregnancy ~ So thankful for my daughter and what her life is teaching me ~ So thankful for my husband whose love is so amazing I can't fathom it many days :) ~ So thankful for Haddie's afternoon naps ... mama time, folks! ~ Realizing that I don't have to be a perfect wife and mama; I just do my best, and God takes care of the rest ~ Excited to be blogging more often again ~ Still going to counseling, and it is empowering our marriage so much and making me fall even more in love with my husband!!! ~ Excited to see what God is a brewin' and a bringin' to our lives this year and beyond ... it's gonna be good, people!  It already is! :)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Haddie's Favorite Books

Well, I've tried to post this blog post at least three times in the past couple of weeks.  Our daggone internet is horrible, and half the time it literally won't even bring up my blog home page.  Sometimes, I almost cry because I wanna be a "real blogger" so bad, and I've been making the time for it but can't get on.  And call me old-fashioned, but I just can't post too many posts from my phone ... the screen is just too small, and everything is more time-consuming.  Ha!  Anyways ... I think I can finally post this, so I'm so excited!

Over the past few months, Haddie has been developing a love for books.  At this stage, she mostly likes to eat them.  Haha!  But she does like to look at books with us, point at the pictures, hear the words and/or sounds. ... My friend, Emily, over at The Thought Spot shared a post like this with her daughter's favorite books a few months back, and I loved it.  So I am fully admitting that this blog post idea is totally stolen.  I don't think Emily will mind. ;)

My First Word Book is probably Haddie's absolute favorite.  It is full of colorful pictures with a single word describing several of the pictures on each page.  It teaches littles what specific objects, foods, animals, and so on are called.  Haddie especially likes the farm page because we make the animal noises ... she just laughs and laughs.

Haddie received this Peek-a-Boo book at her 9-month doctor's appointment, and she has loved it ever since.  It is such a cute, little book with baby faces and a few phrases.  The phrases correspond with the face each baby is making.  Haddie loves to interact with other babies and kids, so she giggles or yells with delight every time we open this book for her.  We keep this book in the car to help occupy her during car rides. ... She especially likes the little boy who is yawning ... haha!  So cute!

Haddie received this book, That's Not My Snowman, for Christmas from Gma (Darrell's grandma).  I am a huge fan of snowmen, so I think this book is a keeper.  It is a touch-and-feel book.  Haddie enjoys touching the different textures on each page, but I think the reason she likes this book so much is because she sees a cute, smiling snowman on each page.  We keep this one in her crib, along with other toys, so that she can play for awhile each morning before waking mommy up.  I recently found a chunk chewed out of the binding.  Nice, kid.  A little digested cardboard never hurt anyone, right? ;)

It's a good thing I'm not a real blogger because I can't figure out how to crop this picture to make the book sit upright.  Oh, well. ... This Fisher-Price Colors book is one that Haddie will hand to me to read over and over again in one sitting.  She loves pointing to the animals, food, and objects and hearing the names of each.  One side of each page is a color; the other side of the page has a picture of an animal, food, or object that is the same color.  Super simple.  Super great for teaching littles their colors.  This is one, as you can see, that Haddie has eaten the binding off of; it is literally falling apart.  Haha!

Yeah.  Same story.  How do I crop this thing? ... This Fisher-Price counting book is so cute.  Littles only learn how to count to five, but hey, they aren't anywhere close to preschool yet, so I say, that's awesome!  Each page has cute, little animals (the number of which corresponds to the number being learned ... imagine that!) and a rhyming question asking how many animals are found on each page.  Haddie likes both the animals and the rhyming.  She also likes the fact that we make up silly stories for each page a lot the time instead of reading the actually text.

I can't wait for her next set of favorite books ... heck, I can't wait for the day when she stops EATING her books!  Haha! ... Which books do your kids like?  Let's cultivate reading minds in our children, shall we?  It can only help, right? :)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Haddie is 11 months old!

Well, I'm only 2 weeks late posting Haddie's 11-month post. Ha!

What Haddie is doing and learning ...
Taking a step or two here and there, but no walking yet ~ Loves walking with her walker and holding our hands ~ Giving kisses ~ Biting! Yes, we are staying on her about that one ~ Practicing with her sippy cup and getting her drinks all over herself ~ Wearing 18-month clothes and has been for a few weeks ~ Loves being outside ~ Fruit is still her favorite food from what we can tell ~ Waves at people, even strangers, all the time ~ Continues to love music, especially when she can see and touch the instruments ~ She even dances a little and likes to watch others dance ~ Likes pushing and chasing balls on the floor ~ Likes to be chased ~ Loves games like peek-a-boo ~ Baby Einstein is still her favorite show ~ Starting to climb on things and up stairs ... yep, we've been using the baby gate consistently for a few weeks

What Mama is doing and learning ...
Thankful for my family ~ Physically exhausted most days ~ Extra emotional ~ Struggling with finding some balance but striving to maintain a positive perspective ~ Struggling not to put too many expectations on myself ~ Still learning that I am not saved by what I do but only by God's grace ~ Learning that being faithful is about the motivations of my heart, not about what I do ~ Still so thankful I can stay home with my baby girl ~ Excited and nervous about baby #2's arrival in November ~ So, so thankful God gave me a patient, understanding husband who loves me through everything ~ I am unceasingly thankful for God's many lessons and great patience with me :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

FOTS: Goodness

For several months, probably a couple of years, honestly, lessons in my walk with the Lord often point me back to this issue of the heart called ... my motives.  And it's got me thinking about goodness.  The dictionary defines the word good as being "morally excellent," "virtuous," "righteous" ... things like that.  While those are decent definitions, I've been learning that goodness has so very much to do with grace.

Ya see ... no one is good (Romans 3:10-12).  Only God is good.  Even Jesus, who was God in the flesh, didn't consider Himself good ... but pointed to God, alone, as being good (Matthew 19:17).  But the longer I exist on this planet, seeking after God and striving to know Him better, I continue to learn that although we are not good in and of ourselves, we are good according to God.  Once we put our trust in Jesus, God sees goodness, not sin.  I think another definition of goodness is "without blame" or "blameless."  And that's exactly how God sees us because we are washed by the blood of Jesus!

Is this hard for you to swallow?  Well, get in line!  I have struggled for over 10 years with this thing called grace.  It's for everyone but me ... at least, that's what I've somehow brainwashed my mind into believing.  But by God's GRACE, He is retraining my mind, slowly but surely, teaching me to embrace His grace for myself ... specifically, He is teaching me "practice instead of perfection."  He is showing me in His Word and through my daily encounters with Him and through teachings at church that I am good.  I'm not good because of anything I've done.  I'm good because of what JESUS has done.  And His grace is MORE than sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Quickly, I wanted to bring us back to my first sentence about motives.  Another key Truth that I want to share concerning goodness is our motives.  The motives of our hearts also reveal whether or not we are allowing goodness to reign in our lives and grow as a Fruit of the Spirit.  Yes, we are good because of what Jesus did for us on the Cross and because we have accepted His free gift of grace.  But I think we manifest goodness in our lives by examining the condition of our hearts and choosing pure motives and actions rather than our fleshly desires.  We are human beings, so we are going to sin ... I get it.  But what are our motives?  I can honestly say, that from a young age, my greatest desire has been to honor God with my life.  Have I messed up?  Heck, yeah!  But my motives are almost always pure.  I want to please Him.  And I think that is something else God considers good.  At least that is what I'm learning ... it all comes back to this phrase: it's a heart issue.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

FOTS: Kindness

I've been thinking about a couple at our church whom I so admire.  They are amazing folks with hearts of Jesus!  And I've been thinking about them for this kindness post for awhile, so let's go!

Brent and Rene' Lacy.  This couple started coming in to my mom's cafe' a few years back, and they were so friendly and open ... and they became regulars.  Well, my mom sat and chatted with them as often as she could, and one day, she was bold enough to ask them about where they stood with Jesus.  They put their trust in Jesus during that conversation and have been coming to our church faithfully ever since.  And wow!  What a blessing they have been!

To me, the word kindness goes so much farther than just being nice to someone.  Kindness is about putting yourself in the other person's shoes, trying to see where they are coming from and then serving them just where they are, no matter who they are.  I guess I think of kindness being a synonym to servanthood.  Just my opinion.

Well, Brent and Rene' are servants who exude kindness.  Ever since they started coming to our church, they have found countless ways to serve our church family.  They pretty much ran the church garden by themselves last year ... I know Richard Smith helped, and forgive me for any others who may have helped ... but I know Brent and Rene' put in a ton of work in the church's backyard last year.  Rene' reaches out to families in our church on a weekly basis, helping them take care of chores and projects and anything else they may need.  They have helped my parents with projects around their house and at my mom's cafe'.  They chip in and help at all kinds of events at Calvary on a regular basis.  And I know there are so many other things that they do.  And I know for a fact that they do it because they love people, and they love Jesus.  That is what kindness is all about: serving others in love.  My family and I have been so privileged to get to know them and call them our friends.  I am so grateful for their salvation and for the hearts of kindness God has instilled in them.  They truly do share kindness wherever they go.  And they go a lot of different places because they literally do not eat any meal at home! ;)

Monday, March 7, 2016

Haddie is 10 months old!

What Haddie is doing and learning these days ....
Finally holding her own bottle! ~ Drinking lots more water from her bottle ~ Drinking much less formula and eating more table food ~ She hardly ever eats from a spoon because she wants to feed herself ~ Learning to clap ~ Has a new face that is to die for ... she bends her head down so you can barely see her eyes and then grins - so funny and precious! ~ Standing on her own a lot more ~ Using her walker a lot more and getting fast! ~ Likes to make us laugh ~ Starting to play games and responding to games like peek-a-boo and leaning your head back and forth ~ Loves Baby Einstein more all the time ... Meet the Orchestra is her favorite! ~ Loves music, especially musical instruments ~ Has been introduced to the show Daniel Tiger a bit, and we can tell she already likes it ~ Likes board books, especially ones that have objects you point to and say the name of ~ Carries her Little People around with her everywhere ~ Still a big fan of her pacifier, especially when she's tired or riding in her car seat ~ Quite the daddy's little girl ... she's been dismissing mommy for daddy these days! (Daddy sure doesn't mind) ~ Tries to climb the stairs a bit ~ Loves to eat food (and other things) off the floor .... mommy needs to sweep more often - haha! ~ Haddie just found out last week that she's gonna be a big sister ... around November 3rd of this year!

What Mama is doing and learning these days ....
I'm pregnant again!  Happy birthday to me! :):):) ~ Still working at this thing called balance ... learning that it's a never-ending battle ~ Trying to work out more of a routine for me and Haddie ... as best I can ~ Slowly reading the books on my 2016 reading list ~ Starting a study called Fervent with the Ladies' Tuesday Morning Bible study - so excited! ~ Trying to find ways to make money as a Blogger .... probably should find more TIME to blog first, huh?  Ha! ~ Loving to read my friend, Emily's blog ... it's awesome!  Check it out at ~ Excited that we are paying down our debt and making plans for the future ~ Been using the myfitnesspal app, and I really like it ~ Continuing to learn that dependence on God is my purpose ... so I am doing exactly what God wants for me when I choose practice instead of perfection :) ~ Still practicing cultivating a heart of thankfulness ~ So thankful for my cleaning job and job at The Porch ... they are tremendously helpful to us ~ So thankful for a husband who loves me unconditionally, is always willing to work at communication and finances and overcoming struggles TOGETHER, and who is working so hard to provide for our family in multiple ways ~ So thankful for my beautiful Haddie girl who challenges me, warms my heart, and makes me laugh ~ So thankful for my parents and Darrell's parents who help us with Haddie in so, so many ways ~ I'm so thankful for this season to live with my parents ... we are paying off debt and making plans for the future that would not be possible without their help ~ I'm thankful that Haddie is actually taking a NAP, IN HER CRIB, so that I can get a few things done (yes, if you can't tell, this is not a normal thing for her) ;) ~ Can't wait for the warmer weather so that we can go for family walks/bike rides at the park ~ So hopeful for God's workings in our lives and marriage and family ... excited to see what He's got up His sleeve! ~ Absolutely loving being a mom, and it's growing all the time ~ And excited for our new baby a comin' :)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Haddie is 9 months old!

Haddie girl turned 9 months old yesterday ... I love watching her face mature in our monthly pictures.  She becomes more beautiful everyday!  She is such a good girl, full of smiles and growing personality.  We think she's gonna be a bit stubborn, but she is as sweet as can be, independent, and full of life and new noises.  Just love being this girlie's mama!

What Haddie is doing and learning these days ....
Teething!!!  And no, it's not very fun for anyone ~ likes her pacifier quite a bit ~ making new noises: spitting noises, "mama", "dada", "nahnah" ... just lots of babbling in general :) ~ starting to understand how to drink out of a sippy cup ~ eating much less pureed food and more table food ~ she really likes to feed herself ... she'd prefer that most of the time ~ in the 66 percentile or higher for length (28 inches) and weight (21.7 pounds) ~ standing up all by herself from time to time ~ taking naps in her car seat ... this girl barely takes naps during the day, but when she does?  She's in her car seat! ~ likes playing with daddy ~ likes mommy to hold her best when she's upset ~ drawn to facial expressions, mouth noises, clapping sounds ~ doesn't like weird noises like aluminum foil crinkling or the Nutri-bullet grinding ~ loves looking in mirrors ~ extra clingy and a little extra fussy lately ... wants to be held a lot more often (probably from the teething?) ~ still totally sweet and lovable ... growing like a weed and soaking up knowledge like a sponge!

What Mama is doing and learning these days ....
Practicing thankfulness :) ~ trying to figure out how to get the girlie to nap so that I have more time for prayer, reading, blogging, etc. ... just wanna have some time to do things that are truly important and good "me time" but that I can't do while she's up and goin' ~ Slowly reading some really good books and excited to start the rest of my reading list ~ still going to counseling, and it's really providing good tools for communication in my relationship with Darrell ~ wondering about God's timing with another baby ... just curious :) ~ trying to shop and eat more whole and organic foods and get motivated to try new recipes for better health and more variety ~ working out more regularly but struggling to stay motivated ... and struggling to exercise with the girlie hanging all over me - she always seems the most clingy when I wanna get my workout in - haha! ~ learning a lot about practice, thankfulness, dependence on the Lord, remembering what's most important and doing those things, and not trying to control everything ~ growing more in love with my husband and my baby girl all the time ~ so thankful for our season of life ... time together as a family, staying home with Haddie, being apart of a wonderful church family, God's provision, learning lessons ... God's just cool! ~ excited to see what God's got in store for 2016 and beyond!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Journey with Jesus: Day 40

Tuesday was my last day for my sugar fast and posting about my Daniel Plan eating.  It is good to do fasts from time to time.  At least for me, it helps me see just how addicted I am to certain foods and such.  Sweet tea is probably my favorite worldly pleasure, so that's the thing I usually fast from.  And yes, I'm addicted.  "Hello, my name is Mical, and I'm a sweet tea-aholic."  Honestly, at this point, I have no plan to ever get rid of sweet tea completely, but I would like to keep working at drinking less of it.  Sugar IS bad for you, so I need to really limit how much I put in my body. ... I HAVE tried all-natural sweeteners like stevia, but ... yuck.  I've decided I'm going to have some sweet tea ... I just need to drink less of it.
On the positive side of things, I've discovered that I can not only stomach salads now, but I'm beginning to really enjoy them.  I'm so thankful for that because I get some good veggies like spinach and cucumbers ... but as I grow to put more veggies on my salads, I'll get even more veggies in me!  Now, if only salad dressings were healthy for you.  Sheesh!  I'm pretty picky about my dressings.  And I'm not gonna eat my grass without dressing ... just saying! ;)  Vidalia Onion from Sam's Club is my current favorite ... but sadly, it's not organic, and it has a few preservatives in it.  Boo!  But I've decided something with that too ... sometimes you gotta take the good with the bad, ya know?  I'm making progress; that's all that really matters to me.

So I'm a sweet tea-aholic, salad-eating, gonna-keep-trying-at-this-healthy-eating-thing mama.  Here's to practice!  Forever practice ... I love it!

Journey with Jesus: Day 40
Breakfast - bacon and oatmeal
Lunch - potato soup and salad
Dinner - smoked sausage, rice, and beans

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Journey with Jesus: Day 39

Every other Monday, I clean house for a pretty cool lady at my church.  Most of the time, my mom has been so gracious to keep Haddie for me while I clean, but she needed to get some grocery shopping and cooking done for The Porch yesterday.  So Haddie came with me to clean.  I am so grateful for my baby's sweet, independent, happy personality.  She did so great playing in her saucer and pack 'n play, watching Baby Einstein.  She only lost patience in the last 15 minutes.  It was amazing!  I was so grateful for her "help."  'Cause it really helps me when she's good! :)  So grateful I can bring in some extra money for our family.

Only one day left!
Journey with Jesus: Day 39
Breakfast - bacon and oatmeal
Lunch - tater tot casserole and salad
Snack - almond crackers and cheese
Dinner - chicken and noodles and broccoli and cauliflower
Snack - apple with peanut butter and mixed nuts
64 ounces of water

Journey with Jesus: Day 38

Sunday was a busy but wonderful day!  Church is our favorite place to be, and we have lunch with my parents after church every Sunday.  Always good times.  But we had our third counseling session, and that is something I am truly thankful for.  I started going to counseling back in the summer time for my struggles with self-condemnation, and those sessions helped me see that that a lot of what I condemn myself about has to do with my relationship with Darrell.  A lot of it was beating myself up for things that we BOTH need to work on together ... mainly communicating the right way.  So we've started going together, and it has been great for our marriage.  I'm so grateful for the strides we are making in our communication and how our love is growing even more through it all.

Journey with Jesus: Day 38
Breakfast - bacon and eggs and orange juice
Lunch - beef chimichanga, rice, and beans
Dinner - grilled chicken salad and french fries
64 ounces of water

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Journey with Jesus: Day 37

I worked as a waitress at The Porch today.  Usually, I'm upstairs working on online posts, packaging tea, and any other office work mom might have.  I found out that when you haven't waited on tables in a while, it can be CRAZY!  I think I only had five or six tables, and I was totally overwhelmed.  There's so much to remember as a waitress, and I want to give people great service ... and I'm a recovering perfectionist and self-condemner ... so it can be pretty rough.  I did well, I think ... but I was pretty flustered.  Man, that is one thing I don't like about myself - I get flustered so easily, and once I'm flustered, I have a hard time coming back from it.  I guess it was another opportunity to lean on Jesus, huh?  My dependence lesson. ;)

Stop in The Porch sometime soon ... 2411 E. Main St. Danville, IN 46122.  It's a pretty cool place with yummy food, delicious teas, and all kinds of neat merchandise.  We're open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 2pm!

Journey with Jesus: Day 37
Breakfast - Reese's Puffs and milk
Lunch #1 - tater tot casserole and orange juice
Lunch #2 - salad, apple, mixed nuts
Snack - popcorn
Dinner - chicken tacos, tortilla chips and salsa, and refried beans
64 ounces of water

Yeah, as you can see, today's meals for the first half of the day were more for convenience than anything.  It happens.  I'll do better tomorrow. ;)

Journey with Jesus: Day 36

Journey with Jesus: Day 36

Breakfast - bacon and eggs and kiwi and milk
Lunch - Salad and cottage cheese
Dinner - chicken, baked potato, and salad
48+ ounces of water

Yeah ... kind of a boring post ... but encouraging!  Fruits and veggies for me! :)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Journey with Jesus: Day 35

In Wednesday's post, I mentioned that I'm learning about dependence on God.  Yesterday, I had a meltdown because I didn't have that lesson "down" yet.  Ha!  I love the perspective my husband always seems to give me. :)  I was super stressed out and starting to cry because I had been a bit prideful with my mom at work that day.  She was being rather particular about how she wanted her menu redone, and I kinda have a bad habit of having a less-than-great attitude about doing things that I don't understand.  I've kind of always been that way ... it's a pride issue, and yes, it needs to be dealt with.  I'm working on it.  Well, I was in a tizzy about my pride ... beating myself up for being ungrateful for my job and questioning what mom wanted.  And on top of it, I was mad at myself for not letting it all go and remembering that my sins and struggles drive me to depend on God.  Thankfully, my mom was super gracious and honestly didn't even see me as being prideful or having a bad attitude (even though I was and did).  And Darrell was there to put things in perspective for me.  He asked me, "When did you start learning that lesson? ... Yesterday?  Oh, well, then you don't need to 'have it down' yet because it's going to take time, right?"  Of course I sheepishly said, "yes."  Thank God for a husband who is way better at perspective than I am!  So yeah ... I'm a RECOVERING self-condemning - it's still something I'm working through, but I've made progress.  Holla-lujah! ;)

Journey with Jesus: Day 35
Breakfast - bacon and oatmeal and milk
Snack - almond crackers and cheese
Lunch - chicken pot pie and salad
Dinner - tater tot casserole and broccoli
64 ounces of water

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Journey with Jesus: Day 34

Another busy day today ... much like yesterday, I got my workout in and packaged some teas at The Porch ... but today, Haddie and I stopped at the bank and the grocery store.  Once at home, I put the groceries away, and Haddie and I played for a bit and had dinner together ... then it was off to the babysitter for Haddie and off to Bible study for me, where I met my hubby.  Darrell is getting the sweet girl down tonight ... what better time to blog than now?  Ahh ... a few minutes to myself.  Breathing is nice.  Slowing down is nice.

It's also nice to reflect.  Tonight's Bible study was great, as usual.  We love our group and, especially, our Bible study leaders.  I was reminded of something in our parenting study tonight that smacked me right between the eyes at my Bible study yesterday morning as well: dependence on God.  I was reminded ... or perhaps I'm learning it for the first time in many ways ... that, as a parent, I must lay down my will everyday.  And really, I have to lay it down several times a day ... as soon as I get up, after breakfast, again when I get impatient with Haddie, again when I don't want to feed her for the millionth time (so it feels some days) ... you get the idea.  But I was so grateful to make the connection from Tuesday morning because, yesterday, we talked about how God isn't worried about our "control-freak nature" as women because it makes us dependent on Him.  Our struggles with sin and perspective drive us to need His help.  I must lay down my own desires and attitudes and time and energy and so on for my baby girl.  Am I gonna get it right every time?  Heck, no!  But I don't have to beat myself up anymore.  I can just remember that my struggles force me to depend on the Lord for strength and/or a renewed mindset ... at least, if I want to honor God, which I do.  I really, really do!  Don't you? :)

Journey with Jesus: Day 34

Breakfast - bacon and eggs and orange juice
Lunch - chicken pot pie, potato soup, and a salad
Dinner - Taco salad
Snack - almond crackers and cheese
I'm drinking my fourth water bottle now.
And I got a 20-minute Zumba workout in today!

What struggles are you going through today, no matter how big or how small?  And how do those struggles make you depend on the Lord?  Depending on God and living for Him ... it's what we were made to do.  Don't hate it; embrace it!  That's what I'm beginning to learn.  Good night, peeps! :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Journey with Jesus: Day 33

And today ... busy!  Very busy!  I love going to the ladies' Bible study on Tuesday mornings, and I'm so thankful that my mom keeps Haddie for me.  And then I worked at The Porch for a few hours ... packaging teas.  Haddie did great while we were there.  Such a good girlie!  I guess the rest of the afternoon was just spent hanging out at home, but man, it felt busy.  Haddie's usually close to 2-hour nap was like maybe 30 minutes ... so my reading time was cut short.  And then she was fussy the rest of the day because she was tired from not getting her nap.  Gosh, that kid just does not want to sleep during the day ... the only time I can get lucky with a 2-hour nap is when she falls asleep in the car seat on the way home from work.  I didn't get so lucky today. ;)  I love spending time with her, don't get me wrong.  But a mama's gotta have some time to herself, ya know?  For blogging and house-cleaning and prayer and Bible study and just reading a good book ... and to BREATHE!  Haha!  Anyways ... after an afternoon full of fussy cries and toys spread all over the floor, and I did manage to get the rest of my chapter read, I got dinner done ... and Haddie and I ate our dinner, played some more; I got the bills paid, and then I got Haddie a bath, a bottle, and into bed.

*Deep breath*

Busy day.  What did you do today? .... Seriously, I want to know. :)

Journey with Jesus: Day 33
I'm still doing well ... I'm on my fourth day with no sugary drinks and no desserts.  Whew!  I could really use a sweet tea about now! ;)
Breakfast - uhh ... I kinda overslept and skipped it ... man, I was starving by lunch time!
Lunch - bowl of potato soup and chef salad
Snack - blueberry yogurt
Dinner - soup beans and corn bread
Most likely gonna have some cheese for a snack in a bit ...
I'm drinking my fourth water bottle to get me to 64 ounces now.
And I got my workout video in for today too!  Woot, woot!

Well, the hubby just walked in the door after his extra long day at work.  So peace out, and good night, y'all!

Journey with Jesus: Day 32

I just started back to this blogging regularly thing ... and I'm finding out that it is REALLY hard to blog everyday when you have an 8-month-old crawling around, getting into everything all day everyday. ;)  So here is yesterday's Journey with Jesus.

Breakfast - bacon and oatmeal and milk
Lunch - Chef salad and cottage cheese
Snack - kiwi and mixed nuts and rice crackers with cheese
Dinner - Pork chops, broccoli & cauliflower, corn, and asparagas
Snack - mixed nuts
64 ounces of water
40-minute Zumba workout

Monday, January 18, 2016

Journey with Jesus: Day 31

Breakfast - bacon and oatmeal and milk
Lunch - Salad and cottage cheese
Dinner - pizza and breadsticks ... yeah, I know ;)
Snack - blueberry yogurt ... yum!
48+ounces of water

Journey with Jesus: Day 30

I'm continuing with my goal to finish unfinished blog projects.  I started back with my "Journey with Jesus" lifestyle a few weeks back, and now, I wanna finish my Journey with Jesus posts.

Back on January 5th, my husband started a juicing diet for his breakfasts and lunches and a healthy dinner each night.  He's been doing well with his goals.  I'm so proud of him!  I didn't go to the juicing extreme, but I've been trying to make some changes for myself as well ... since about December 28th.  Well, Friday night, we had a major cheat night ... pizza, cookies, ice cream, soda, sweet tea ... yeah.  We both felt awful afterwards.  That night helped me see (again!) just how addicted to sugar I am.  So since Saturday morning, I've committed to fasting from sugary drinks and desserts for a time ... I think I've decided until I finish these Journey with Jesus posts ... and then I'll do my best to really limit my sugar intake from then on.  I totally believe people when they say that sugar is more addictive than actual drugs!  Granted, I've never tried a real drug, but I can imagine!  Because I am super addicted to sugar, especially in the form of sweet tea.

So as I did before, I will write some kind of blurb (above), and then I'll post what I ate that day.

Breakfast ... uhh, I kinda slept in and skipped it.
Lunch - Bowl of broccoli/potato soup
Dinner - Steak, baked potato, and a salad
Snack - rice crackers and cheese, apple with peanut butter, and mixed nuts (we had a super early dinner)
48 ounces of water

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

FOTS: Patience

The last few times I've hopped on my blog, I've noticed that I don't finish what I start ... in the blog world, that is.  I start a "blog project," and then let it fall by the wayside.  Thought I'd try to change that ... starting today.  I started a blog series a long time ago called "FOTS" ... meaning Fruit of the Spirit.  If I remember correctly, I was studying Galatians 5:22-23 and thought I'd be a "good blogger" and post my thoughts about what I was learning.  I stopped the posts just three fruits in ... Love, Joy, Peace, Done.  Ha!  So let's go on to the fourth fruit today ... Patience.

As is true for all of the Fruit of the Spirit, patience is something we learn every single day ... at least, we can, if we just take the time to look for ways to learn it.  Last year, my husband and I learned a lot about patience.  We were pregnant with our first baby, and so my husband took a job with the Pepsi Beverage Company to provide more money for our family.  To keep the back story short, I'll just say that we went through some tough trials for the 9 months he worked there and discovered that Pepsi definitely was NOT for us.  During those months at Pepsi, we struggled immensely with the requirements of Darrell's job, our attitudes, and the specifics about HOW we wanted to raise our family.  We were incredibly discouraged and getting kind of desperate ... Darrell almost took a $6.50-an-hour pay-cut!  All the while, I was praying and hoping that another job would come along.  I was convinced that if we just "hung tight" and remained faithful, prayerful, and hopeful, something just right for us would come along.  And thankfully, just a few weeks after Darrell turned down the $6.50-an-hour, pay-cut job offer, his old job at the health center opened up again.  It was still a pay cut, but a doable pay cut.  And we have been so entirely thankful ever since.  Such a better fit for our family!

But it was because we were PATIENT that we received such a blessing.  If we had taken the huge pay cut, I would have definitely had to find a job ... and could we have afforded day care?  Gosh!  We learned so much about patience through that season at Pepsi, and we continue to learn it now as we seek God's guidance about how long to live with my parents, what kinds of job opportunities we need to look into so that we can eventually get our own place again, and which desires and plans for our family are most important and how to meet them.  Patience is a continual lesson around our house.  But we are growing through it ... growing to be more thankful, growing to trust God more, growing to remember and practice what is MOST important, and so many other lessons.

Here's to Patience ... one of the greatest teachers of all. :)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Haddie is 8 months old!

I am so in love with this little beauty!  She teaches me so much about being selfless and thankful and hopeful and so much more!

What Haddie is doing and learning ....
Exploring like crazy! ~ Better at grabbing things ~ More coordinated ~ Much more steady when she pulls herself up on to things ~ Starting to climb a bit ... she flipped head over heels over a box recently because she was trying to climb over it! ~ Cruising along furniture a bit ~ Such a happy girl - still!  Smiles and laughter all the time! ~ More personality coming out all the time! ~ Eating soft table foods pretty regularly and loving it! ... She really likes eggs, potatoes, kiwi, bananas, chicken, broccoli ... those are probably her favorites ~ Loves playing with board books (and books in general), Little People, spoons, blocks, and toys that light up and play music ~ She got a bunch of Baby Einsteins for Christmas ... she seems to enjoy them still, but she's becoming more mobile, so she'd rather play on the floor or go exploring ~ Getting more of a bedtime routine (yeah, it took mommy and daddy a while to buckle down with that! ;)) ... bath, story, bottle, rocking to sleep with music quietly playing in the background ~ Sleeping longer ... closer to 12 hours a night (all the parents say "holla-lujah!" :)) ~ Sitting in a big girl high chair (instead of her bumbo) ... she got it for Christmas - thank you, Granny and Grampy and Gma and Frank! ~ Growing out of clothes like crazy!  She wears mostly 9-month onesies, but she's already starting to wear 12-month sleepers and pants!  Craziness! ~ Got her first tooth on December 16th ... just one, lonesome tooth, in the front, on the bottom ... super (extra) cute when she smiles really big! ~ Starting to pop another tooth through ~ Still a horrible napper during the day ... but she sleeps a lot at night, so mommy will take it! ~ Taking naps in her car seat ... hey, mama will take what she can get ;) ~ Tons of independent play ~ Still in the "mommy phase" (and mommy doesn't complain! ;)) ~ Not a big fan of adults she doesn't know, but she loves kids ~ Totally awesome all the way around! :D

What Mama is doing and learning ....
Growing in grace and thankfulness ~ Overwhelmed with God's provision and the hope and gratitude He has been filling my mind and life with! ~ Absolutely loving being a mom! ~ Growing more in love with Haddie everyday! ~ So grateful to be home with Haddie everyday ~ So thankful for the hodge podge jobs I have to bring in some extra income ~ So thankful for my parents' generosity to let us live with them to save and pay off debt and raise our family ~ So thankful for my Darrell! ~ Wanting another baby ~ Making plans to do some more consistent blogging ~ Figuring our how to get Haddie to nap a bit during the day ... so far, the car seat is our saving grace ;) ~ gaming with the hubby ~ absolutely loving this season of my life!

Practice is my word; thankfulness is my attitude!
Happy 2016, y'all! :)