Sunday, November 29, 2009


I have lots I wanna write about, so this will be a sort of random post.

First of all last Friday, November 20th, was my Mamaw’s birthday.  She turned 68, but does not look or act her age.  She is still very young at heart.  :)

For her birthday, all of the family decided to give her a surprise birthday party.  We all met up at my aunt and uncle’s house right before she was supposed to get there to pick my aunt up for a movie.  When she walked in she was so shocked… it was fun to surprise her like that!  We had lasagna, salad, garlic bread, cake and icecream.  She opened a few gifts, and then we all just visited a while.

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Saturday morning we decided to go to some garage sales with Justin’s Uncle Dennis and his wife, Laura.  We had lots of fun even though it was soooo stinkin’ early.

I found lots of good children’s books, a purse, a box(?), a shirt, and some other stuff.




Today Justin and I went and bought our first little Christmas tree and stuff to decorate it.  Last year we didn’t do a tree.  Well, we tried to, but the cats tried to climb it and eat it so we took it down after one day.

I’m loving Christmas time.  And I’m loving that my house feels more like the season now.  I put up the tree (it’s tiny like our apartment!), lit my Christmas candle, baked some cookies… aahhhhh…


We had to rearrange furniture and add this side table in order to fit the tree.  This is what our living room looks like now…


We both like it like this… it seems more open and spacious than before.  We will most likely leave it like this for good.  (We will have to re-center those paintings above the couch… yikes!)  Here is the before…

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Also today, I’ve played a little more with photoshop.  Here is one I did that I decided to post for my sister.  Love you, sis!!!

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and the SOOC shot….



That’s all for now… time for bed!  Church is gonna be here before I know it!!!     

Friday, November 27, 2009

my new friend

Well, we made it back home after a fun-filled week with family and friends.  I will definitely be posting later about our Thanksgiving week. 

Right now I should be unpacking and doing laundry, however…

I have made a new friend.  Photoshop.

I’m venturing to say that I will probably spend far too much time playing with my new friend in the days to come.  I have absolutely NO CLUE how to use photoshop as of right now.  I’m thinking about buying a book or two, or maybe just watching some online tutorials.  Either way, I know I need help!

For my first go at it, I chose my darling little Ava as a model.


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Now I know that is not even close to as good as it could be, but it’s better!

I need to learn how to use all eleventy billion tools! ha!

If anyone knows of any good sites/blogs that gives free tips, let me know please!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

thanks, grandma!

Justin’s momma paid to get Bobo his second haircut since becoming part of our family.  I could not get over how different he looked this time!  He’s such a cutie!


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He says, “thanks, grandma!!!”  He is running around as happy and as hyper as can be.  I guess he feels like a new man! haha… 

What are you thankful for?

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I’m thankful that my sister shares this sweet little munchkin with me :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

sometimes you just need to treat yourself

Yesterday I ordered this:


I’m SO excited to get it in.

I L.O.V.E. Ree’s blog… especially the photography tips and the recipes.  She gives step by step instructions AND pictures for the recipes that make them super easy to follow. 


Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankful Thoughts

I need to be showering and getting ready to spend some girl time with one of my best friends at the mall today, but I can’t.  I have too much flowing around inside my brain.  I need to blog first.


I just have to say that I adore this time of year.  Yes, it’s stressful and fast-paced and rushed, but I love it.  I love getting to spend time with my family.  My whole family.  Throughout the year I see bits and pieces here and there, but during the holidays everyone comes TOGETHER.  It’s so nice.  It’s so right.  We are all such crazy, messed up people, but when we come together, we make sense.  We get each other.  There is no other place I feel more comfortable and more at home than with my family.  And I feel like that should be a “duh” kind of statement to make.  It only seems natural that I should feel that way.  But I know that it’s simply not true for everyone.  Some people don’t feel comfortable around their family.  Some people may even dread family get-togethers. 

This simple fact makes me realize how blessed I truly am.  God has blessed me with a one-of-a-kind family that I would not trade for the world.  Then He blessed me all over again when He gave me Justin.  Along with the best husband on earth, I inherited a whole new family that loves me like crazy.  I don’t deserve it, but I sure am thankful.


I’ve been thinking a lot this past week about material things, too.

I have always pictured my future like this: husband with a great paying job and great benefits, several children running around inside a big, beautiful home with a bedroom for each child, sparkling new SUV to haul all the children around in, a big yard with a fence to hold our animals and playsets and possibly swimming pool, closets full of the latest fashions, and all the toys I could think of….

But lately, I’ve had a heart change.  I’ve come to the point where if I never have any of those things I will be content.  I realize now how much those things just don’t matter.  Those things will not make us happy.  They will not make us better people.  They will not impact eternity.

I told Justin the other day that I would rather live in a small place with our children all sharing a bedroom, driving a used minivan, and shopping/eating out only on rare occasion if it means I could be happy and have children that grow up knowing the Lord and knowing their parents love them.

I’m not saying I don’t want nice things.  Just that I don’t need things to be happy.


With all of this thinking I’ve been doing, I’ve become much more grateful for what we currently have.  I realize that although we don’t have much, we have much more than many people do.  We are blessed beyond measure.

And during this Thanksgiving week, I will be sure to tell God many times how thankful I am.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

he keeps me laughing

One thing I love about my husband is his sense of humor.

We have the same dry-cooky-very different humor.  We get each other.

The most recent example comes in picture form.





I bought this little black bean bag type pillow a little while back.

Justin very quickly realized the pillow can double as a hat.  And I cannot stop laughing about it.


On a totally different and much more serious note, my brother and sister-in-law (Justin’s sister) are dealing with a difficult situation right now.  My brother-in-law’s mother is critically ill and in the hospital.  As of today the doctors say she only has about 2 days if things don’t turn around. 

So, if you pray, please pray for this family.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I woke up at 2:30 this morning feeling pretty sick.  I stayed up for a couple of hours, started feeling better, and went back to bed.

I decided to go ahead and call in today though.  I work in childcare, and it’s not worth the risk of infecting that many children.

So today I have spent some time catching up on laundry.  We have to get packed for our week-long trip that is coming up soon!

I also made chicken pot pie for lunch.  It’s one of Justin’s favorite meals now.  And it’s probably one of the easiest things I’ve ever made.  :)

I think having me home with a warm meal ready when he got home from school made him realize how much better life will be when I stay home all the time.  I’ve always wanted to be a stay at home mom, at least while our children are young.  He used to be opposed to that idea simply because it’s so hard to make it on one income these days.  So, yay! for him seeing it my way! haha.

Besides that I’ve pretty much stayed on the couch with my drink of choice and my two lazy boys….

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So, happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, November 13, 2009

What if there really isn’t a God?

One of Kingdom Mama’s readers asked a very tough question.  I loved her answer so much that I’m linking to it here.  I think everyone, Christian or not, should take a moment to read her answer.


Thursday, November 12, 2009


I’m over the moon happy right now.

This week in general I have had abundant joy in my life.  I think I’m FINALLY starting to get used to the idea of living 4.5 hours away from my closest friends and family.  I’ve FINALLY started to build some relationships here.  God is really working in my life and in Justin’s life right now.

Besides all that, though, I’m happy!  In exactly one week and one day I will be sitting around eating birthday cake with family for my Mamaw’s birthday.

I just got off the phone with my aunt making some plans for the occasion.  :) :) :)

Of course I’m ridiculously excited to see ALL of my family members, but in particular is this one little girl.  (yes, little girl.  not baby.  just look at those long legs!)

I cannot wait to love on her and snap some new pics of her!

And then, after the birthday party, I still get another WHOLE WEEK of friends and family!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Energizer Bunny!

Today I worked, did laundry, did dishes, went grocery shopping, worked out, and made brownies for my hubby’s class at school!

I cannot believe it.  Usually after work I just want a nap. 

I was feeling tired when I got off, but drank a Spark energy drink (came with my 2 week kit), and it worked!!!

Anyone remember The Shred?  I dug mine out of storage where it had been hiding since APRIL!!!  Jillian Michaels kicked my bootay again.  I made it through though.  On Level 1 of course.  :)

Now, about those brownies!!!

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

Brownie Base:

1 box (1 lb 6.5 oz) Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix

Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box


1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

2 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons milk


1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup butter

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray or shortening.

In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, pouch of chocolate syrup, water, oil and eggs until well blended. Spread in pan. Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In medium bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownie base.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave topping ingredients uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set. For brownies, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.


I got the recipe from this blog. I knew I had to try it as soon as I saw it.  Justin’s favorite thing is peanut butter and chocolate!

And, no, we won’t be keeping these at home.  I am trying to lose weight, not gain it!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

something new

I’ve been married for 1 year and 3 months.

In that short amount of time, plus about 7 months of dating, I have gained some weight. A good bit of weight considering I’m only 5’2” tall.  The problem is that I love to eat.  I LOVE sweets.  And Justin and I really enjoy eating together.  It’s just what we do.  Oh, and he does not like healthy food!

I know that I need to be working out at least a few times a week.  In all honesty, though, I’m too tired.  After work everyday, and especially on my 10 hour days, I come home and just want to relax.  Not good.

I say all of that to say this:  I have got to make some changes.

I know the holidays are coming up, and I will not be dieting through the holidays.  That would be no fun at all!  So, my plan is to lose a little weight before the holidays, eat whatever during the holidays, and then get back on track after the holidays.  I know it doesn’t make much sense, but whatever! Haha :)

My big question is “how do I do this?”.  I have tried so many diets and plans, but nothing seems to really work.  I don’t have the will power to stick with most of my crazy fad diets.  Plus, I really want to stay as healthy as possible and eat from all of the food groups.

So… I have decided to give something new (for me) a try. 

Ever heard of Advocare?

This is from their website: “AdvoCare is a premier health and wellness company offering world-class energy, weight-loss, nutrition, and sports performance products…”

Tomorrow I’m starting a two week program called the MNS Max 3 kit.  Hopefully it will work for me! 

The reason I’m posting about this is to give myself some accountability.  It’s too easy for me to give up on something if I’m the only one that knows I’m doing it.  Plus, if I find out it really works, I want all my friends to know about it!

Wish me luck!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

bits and pieces

For a while now I have felt like blogging, but could not think of a thing to write about.  My life has seemed utterly and completely ordinary. mundane. BORING.

And it still does.

But I am procrastinating on house work bored and feel like blogging!

As you can see, I just made over the blog for the second time in, what, a week? Ha

Besides waking up, going to work, coming home, doing dishes, doing laundry, taking the dog out, eating, showering, and sleeping… I have finally finished reading Crazy Love.  I didn’t keep up with the online group of readers as much as I hoped I would.  However, the book in itself was wonderful.  It’s so very eye opening.  So convicting.  So real.  I think every single chapter touched me in some way.  I definitely feel inspired to walk out the life that God has called me to.  It’s a life of abandonment and sacrifice.  It’s going to be hard, but it’s going to be worth it all.

Chan says this in the last chapter of the book: “We say things like, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” and “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”  Then we live and plan like we don’t believe God even exists… But true faith means holding nothing back.  It means putting every hope in God’s fidelity to His promises.”

Wow.  That strikes home with me.  I can quote those scriptures along with some others just as well as anyone else, but do I live like I believe them?  Not sure I can say that I do 100% of the time.  I want to though.  I want to have a greater faith and trust in God.  Not just one that I talk about and tell others about, but one that I actually LIVE out day to day. 

I’ve been thinking about the future SO much lately.  It’s pretty much all I can think about.  I try to sit back and tell myself to “enjoy the journey” and whatnot, but it’s easier said than done.  I have such big dreams and high hopes for my future.  In my mind my future years will hold much more excitement and love and passion than my current life does.  Is that how it always is for everyone?  I very much want to be happy with where I am now.  I am to an extent.  But still, I yearn for the things/times/people/places that aren’t here yet.  I cannot wait to see my future children’s faces.  I cannot wait to see the foreign countries and people that I will meet while doing missions work with my husband.  I cannot wait to see how my future career situation looks (if I even have one!).  I could go on and on. 

I have had such vision and purpose poured back into me lately.  I have had ideas of how to bless others with my talents.  It’s really cool.  Now I'm just in the period of waiting.  I’m looking at it as a period of training.  Right now we are being trained and prepared for what the future holds.  And I guess I’m developing my patience.  Why is it so hard to wait?!! 

Another thing I have been spending a lot of time with lately is photography.  I have not actually been shooting, but just educating myself more.  I have been reading and watching online tutorials.  I’ve been playing around a little bit with photoshop.  I love it.

I’m super excited about going back to LA for the Thanksgiving holiday.  We will be there for an entire week.  An entire week of family and friends and food!  What could be better??!!  Wahooo!

I guess that’s all for now. 

Well, after this picture…

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I so wanna be there right now!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Have you guys seen this yet?
I just saw this on The Foster Family blog.
I figure it's worth a try! You can win prizes, giftcards, etc.

Just click the link if you wanna find out more! It's super easy to sign up and start collecting bucks!

Search & Win

Bloggy Love

I have decided tonight to post about my blog buddy, Sarah.  I have linked to her blog a few times in the past because it is just that awesome.  She inspires me to be a better wife and a one day awesome mommy.

kingdom mama

I love looking at pics of her kiddos.  She has two sets of twins and a precious singleton baby boy. 

I love her recipes.

I love her boldness in speaking about her faith and beliefs.  (We agree on a bunch of these issues)

I love that she is not shy about going public with her problems and issues.  She uses her experience to help others in tough times.

I love the way she parents.  Even Justin has commented on this.  She comes up with some really neat ways to explain things to children.  I’m stealing some when I have my own children.  :)

I love that anytime I have questions, she is quick to respond with an answer/advice/etc.

I could go on, but instead I’m just gonna link to her again and tell you to check her out!!!


Kingdom Twindom

Sunday, November 1, 2009

weekend review

I did not take any pictures this weekend, but we had a busy one.

Friday evening our church (Heartland World Ministries Church) partnered with the city of Irving to put on a fall fest type thing called October Jam.  It was a huge success with well over 1400 people.  This event was for families of the area to come have a fun alternative to trick-or-treating, and for Heartland to minister to some of them.  I was glad to get to meet some new people there, too.

  (A not so great pic of us at October Jam that I took from Facebook!)

Saturday night we went to One Voice, a church service geared towards the young adults.  It was incredible.  This was my third one to go to, and they have all been intense!  I got an encouraging word and had some wonderful time in worship.  After service, Justin and I got together with about 12 other people and headed to downtown Dallas.  It was crazy down there since it was Halloween night.  We split into a few different groups and walked around evangelizing for about an hour.  Overall I think the group had about 4-5 people respond and give us their phone numbers so we can keep in contact with them.  Another couple of people just wanted us to pray for them/with them.  It was definitely a neat experience that I think we will look forward to doing again.

Today we had church again and then went and ate some yummy On The Border Mexican food with some friends.  :)  After that it was nap time for me.  Then we took a trip to Half Price Books where I picked up a copy of The Giver.  I remember reading it in like 6th grade and for some reason feel like re-reading it now.  Anyway, perfect Sunday in my book.

Oh, and I just found out that I WON a giveaway!!!!

Life with the Lairds did a giveaway for a year’s subscription to Clickin’ Moms.Clickin' Moms 

I’m excited to get signed up and get to learning some new photography stuff!