Friday, March 13, 2015

Lessons in Contentment & Letting God Lead

Being an adult is hard! We all know that and sometimes I can't believe I am old enough to be making a mortgage payment and changing a diaper that is my own child's. I know that seems crazy but it's just true some days. Lately I feel like I've been living a season of life that has been stressful and hard. I mean hard is probably too strong because there are definitely people going through truly hard things right now and mine doesn't even compare.

So basically about 10 months ago, Michael and I decided that now was the time to get our house ready to sell so that we could start the process of building our dream home (well our last home) on some family land nearby. Well basically we took all the proper steps to help make that happen but yet here we are...still in the same place. A six month period of having our house listed and trying to keep it as clean as possible while still living our lives and just hoping that the right person would come along and want it. Of course these were all of OUR plans. Obviously God has a different plan in mind. I have no idea what it is but I think it may have something to do with teaching us (well mainly me) about being content.


Source
There is so much about this house that I am just so sick of. The backyard is a huge downward hill that the kids can't play in. I am sick of dealing with the pool maintenance. The basement is not tall enough. My laundry is downstairs. We only have ONE FEAKING bathroom! It was like the moment we inked the listing papers I was ready to ditch this joint.

But over the last couple of months I think God has been working on me a lot in this area regarding where we live. I have worried and stressed over it enough. It's time to let God take control of the situation and trust that He knows when and where our family needs to be. The truth is this home is special to me and it's cozy and comfortable (for the most part). It's been the vessel to hold me as I became a Mom for the first time and the second time. It's been where we have enjoyed so many precious moments as a young family. The truth is I know that a bigger and better home is not always the best thing or the solution to all your problems. 

So we've decided that listing this Spring again is not what feels right. With Jonah starting Kindergarten in a few short months, we think that keeping our lives simple and settled here and enjoying this time together before he starts school full-time is right. I have just had such a peace over having made this decision together.

I feel like this time has been given to me to grow in trusting God to guide our lives and know that He has a purpose for this time of non-change. In fact, I know He has a purpose as I've already experienced so much peace from letting go of the extra plates I have been trying to balance on my head...and in my mind...and in my heart.



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Monday, March 9, 2015

February Pages & Jonah's PreK Art Show

I am trucking along with more digital scrapbooking for the kid's books. I recently finished a 2-page February layout and a single page layout of Jonah's art show.
















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Monday, February 16, 2015

How I Met Michael, Our Engagement & Wedding {Show & Tell Tues.}

Hello and welcome!! Today I am linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals for Show and Tell Tuesday. I am sharing how I met and got engaged to my husband, Michael. Welcome to any newcomers and I hope you enjoy these lovely throw-back pictures. I had a great time going through my old PRINTED pictures and scanning then in. Ya'll I even kept all the negatives and film rolls! Nerd-alert!!


About 2003 - some early engagement pictures taken by my Dad


HOW WE MET:

I had just gotten out of my high school romance (first love) of 3 years and I was a freshman in college. I was living with my wonderful grandmother in town and commuting to school in Nashville. I was ready to date but not looking (I had just had my heart-broken). I went to my cousin's college graduation party at my Aunt's house and there were some of their friends there that I didn't know. Their son was their too (Michael) but I didn't meet him that night. I definitely got a good look at him and later I told my Aunt that I thought he was a "hottie" (this was Dec. 2001). Well she is a notorious match-maker (she set up my parents and her daughter with their spouses) and she told Michael what I had said and gave him my number (after she asked my parent's permission). He called me out of the blue and asked if we could go out to eat and I said yes. He came and picked me up at my parent's home one weekend that I was there and we went out to eat at Olive Garden and went to see some movie. The main thing you need to know is at the time he drove a jacked up Ford bronco that he had to literally hoist me into. So yeah it got a little personal that first date. Haha! We did kiss goodnight and I remember thinking that was a fun date but didn't have any expectations. Well the next day he shows back up to our house on his Harley-Davidson Sportster motorcycle and spends the day with me and my family and we got to know each other more.

We ended up dating for a while....like about 8 months and then we broke it off. The fact was that I was a Christian and he wasn't. So some things he was ready for at that point, I was not ready for. Michael will tell you that he "had his head up his butt" during our 1 month breakup and he wrote me really sweet letter (no texting back then) and we made up and started dating again very soon. I did make him earn my trust back though and he started to go to church with me fairly regularly.

The main thing was that God and church were first in my life (or at least I was trying to make them my top priority) and so a lot of times he would want me to go riding on the motorcycle on pretty Sunday mornings and I was like "no, I will be at church and you are welcome to join me." He finally got the hint that this God thing wasn't going away if he wanted to be with me.

HOW WE GOT ENGAGED:

In December 2002, a couple of days after Christmas, my extended family on my Mom's side was all gathered for our family Christmas. After the festivities were over, Michael and I left to head back to my house (my parent's house) and decided to take a walk down by the riverfront area of the town we were in. They have a huge Christmas light display every year along the river front walking area so we wanted to just walk around and talk. I didn't know it at the time but Michael had bought a ring a few weeks prior and was just waiting for the right moment to ask me. I didn't have a clue and we left there and headed to take me home. When we got to my house we went in and got warm and we were just hanging out and waiting for the rest of my family to arrive home from the gathering. Then Michael asked me to step out on the front porch for a minute to look outside at the stars (or something...I honestly can't recall the reason LOL). Then once out on the porch of my childhood home he dropped to one knee and gave me the biggest shock by asking me to marry him. I said "oh my God" when I saw him take a knee and then said "yes" through tears. The ring was beautiful and perfectly picked out for me by him. A little bit later all my family (parents and siblings) arrived home and we shared our happy news. Michael had came down the week before (when I was at my grandmother's house for school) and asked for Dad's permission to have my hand in marriage. Once he got his blessing he met them for supper one night to show my Mom the ring too. Shortly after we got engaged, Michael decided to give his life to the Lord and was baptized into Christ. I am not sure if we would be here today if he hadn't of decided to change his life. I am glad that I trusted the Lord and said yes even though he hadn't said yes to God yet. We were engaged for 1.5 years while I finished my Associates degree and planned our wedding.



Getting my dress fitted at the bridal salon



A group of friends that gave me a lingerie shower. Mandy (top - right) is now my sister-in-law


At my work shower the spring before we married. Tanning bed anyone?



Just playing around with hairstyles for the wedding. Tiaras were all the rage in 2004!

THE WEDDING DAY:

We married on a beautiful June day in 2004 at my home church. There was a pop-up thunderstorm (as happens in the south when the humidity goes up) during the ceremony but was gone shortly after the ceremony ended and reception began. Then God decided to really show off and sent us a beautiful rainbow during the reception. We are so thankful to our photographer (my cousin whose graduation party we first saw each other) that she got this incredible picture that we will treasure forever.



Anybody else get married in 2004? I can't believe it's been so long and yes we were babies when we got married. I was barely 21 and he was 25!

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Fun, Informative and Useful Friday Links

I just wanted to share some things that caught my eye this week around the blog or social media world. Some are probably ones you've already found but maybe not!

1. I enjoyed THIS podcast by Focus on the Family regarding what is really the message in the book and movie, Fifty Shades of Gray. It's worth a listen even if you have no intention of reading the book or going to see the movie, which honestly, I hope you don't.


2. I enjoyed reading THIS post by Lauren Pinkston from her blog Upwardly Dependent. It speaks about her feeling towards women's roles in the church and how her perception has changed over the years as she has grown in Christ and in her God-given role.


3. I am thinking of getting a small group together to attend the dotMOM conference since it will be in my neck of the woods this year (well less than 2 hours away) and two of my favorite blogger/authors will be speaking! Sophie Hudson (of Boo Mama blog) and Melanie Shankle (of Big Mama blog) will be speaking along with the Christian fiction author Karen Kingsbury. I would also love to hear Christy Nockels perform live. She is one of my favorite Christian women singers.




4. I have been studying the Esther Bible study on my She Reads Truth app and loving it. The devotionals just bring so much to the story. It only takes a few minutes and I feel like I've learned something new each time.




5. Jonah and I worked on some lil love monsters for his teachers and he ended up wanting to make one for just about everyone he knows. LOL They were so cute and easy to make. Here is link to the actual tutorial. (He missed his Valentines party day because of a bad cough but hopefully he will be better next week).



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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Snow & Our Sweet Boy! {Digital Scrapbooking}



A couple of weeks ago we got a good bit of snow overnight. It was on a Saturday morning so we bundled up the kids and broke out Jonah's new sled. He loved playing in the little bit of snow we got but Haley didn't care much for it. LOL I just finished up a layout to commemorate the fun morning.


I also finished a 2-page layout for Jonah from our Fall family portraits. I loved that our photographer got several cute shots of our busy boy! They show his personality so well!






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Friday, January 30, 2015

Just the Two of Us....In the Smoky Mountains

A couple of weekends ago, Michael and I got to have a mini-vacation in the Smoky Mountains area. It's about 4.5 hours from our house, so it's not too bad of a drive. We drove out Thursday afternoon and came back on Monday. My parent's were gracious enough to watch the kids for us. The kids had a great time but Haley had a little cold (or just teething) while we were gone. Jonah didn't even miss us. LOL

We stayed at Oak Haven Resort in Sevierville, TN and it was so nice! It had a hot tub, fireplace, beautiful lodge decor and a comfy bed too. I always worry that I won't sleep good away from home but I slept great because the mattress was so soft...and we brought our own pillows.

We didn't have any major plans other than catching a movie, eating out for supper each night, relaxing, reading and a little shopping. There is a huge outlet mall in the next town over, Pigeon Forge, that we spent one day at. So many fun stores all in one place. We enjoyed sleeping in a little (or waking up when we wanted to and not to alarms or kids) and going out to breakfast each morning. We ate wonderful meals at The Chop House, The Park Grille, The Diner and Cracker Barrell.

It's so nice to have a little time to just be "us" and not Mommy and Daddy sometimes. We love our kids, that's a given, but we both think it's important to remember who we are together, too.

We also went to see American Sniper (I had just finished the book) and I can't say enough about how good the movie was. It's sad, yes, but it's a great reminder to us all of the sacrifices that have been made over the last couple decades for our freedom (and during all the wars over the years). The movie has a lot of language in it but that is not what I remember from the movie at all.


He was happy LOL! I said "we need at least one pictures of us from our trip." It was early and very cold out. He said "ok but do I have to smile?" Men....


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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Some Christmas Pages

I am enjoying getting caught up on my digital scrapbooking pages since this summer. Both kids' birthdays are in the summer (July & August) so I do them a book each year from their birthday to right before the next birthday. So I needed to catch up on Aug-Christmas. Here are some of the layouts I've finished so far. I still have a couple more Christmas layouts to do for each.








For 2015 my goal is to continue to do both kids' albums and to start a Project Life family album. I plan to just do a 2-page layout for each month of the year for the family album. I am really loving the look and simplicity of doing Project Life so I want to give it a chance.

If you have any questions on anything I used for my layouts just comment or email me.

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