Thursday, June 30, 2011

You Capture - Water


When I saw this topic, I knew just the perfect thing! We caught the sprinklers on the golf course when we were out of town :) I loved how the sun was glowing through the water falling off the trees!

Jesus loves you

As I sit here and read another journal entry for the sweet and strong Kate Mcrae they are enduring something no one would wish on their worst enemy and her words enlightened me. Stregthened me. Were just what I needed to hear. Our lives couldn't be more different. They are experiencing the fight of a lifetime with their innocent daughter battling cancer, I am here sitting in a stable life. Yet, we have something in common. The core of our lives; Jesus. He loves them. He loves me. He loves you! This morning, I was internally struggling as I always do, not feeling what my husband needs from me. I often times feel defeated, that I am neglecting to give my husband what he needs and just not having it in me to give him. I spend a lot of time in prayer over this; and to be honest, I was just needing something today. Something that tells me it's ok; the job is not mine. I sat down here at my computer and opened up my email. A journal update for Kate; it was 2 years ago that Kate and her family learned of a brain tumor growing in her little body. The last paragraph gave me the sign I needed today; Kate's mom goes on to say that Jesus loves her sweet Kate more than she could. They clicked for me. Jesus loves my husband; more than I ever could! He loves my children more than I ever could; he loves my family and my neighbors and everyone in the world; more than I ever could. Jesus is bigger than me; a lot bigger and he has the capability to give each and every individual what they need. I am at a point where I believe my prayer needs to shift a little bit; yes I still would like to challenge myself to give my husband what he needs, but to know that it's not all my job; that I can pray that he opens himself up to receive Jesus' unending love and know deep down that's all he needs. It is a profound moment for me. More profound that I can ever type here. I have a thankful heart at this very moment. Peace and comfort and hope!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


We are home. Ahhhh, as much as I was anticipating being home the last few days, I found it really hard to say good bye to the ranch. The people there were so nice, I really enjoyed the horse back riding every day and the other animals there were so precious! The ride home was smooth sailing and when we hit our exit to head to my parent's house (to pick up Miles) I found myself crying! I was so happy to be home, I was overwhelmed with emotions. I am so thankful to God that this trip went so well and that He kept us safe and happy. I was chatting with a woman on my last trail, her name is Joanie and she's been coming to the ranch for 18 years with a friend she met AT the ranch. Our chatting had her revealing to me that in her cantering days, she fell off her favorite horse and broke her shoulder. It happens. Horse back riding can be dangerous and I am just so grateful that it was not dangerous on our clock! I have so many pictures that I am working through. What kind of friend would I be if I didn't atleast pick a few to share??

This ranch has over 90 horses!

Comfy rocking chairs :)

This is where all the fun happens! "The Back Forty"

Many more to come! Yeeeeehaw!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 7

10:40 pm

Well-there are no regrets today- we started the day with a 10 am trail ride-that was our only trail all day! Felt kind of weird! It was perfect though because it started raining when we were done! So Acilia took a "walk" trail and I took a "canter" trail. Acilia requested Blaster - I believe he's her favorite horse. I rode "Mater" It was just me and the wrangler again-this time it was Thomas- We ran up a huge hill- it was great! Got back early so we took a walk around the barn. I've taken many rides here this week I can't believe all the trails! So many and they are all beautiful! My favorite by far has been the "tall pines forest" rows and rows of trees- so beautiful! After our ride-we were informed our "steak dinner trail" was cancelled- we had signed up and paid in advance but there just weren't enough people signed up- Cya was let down- I had sort of expected it would happen- so I wasn't surprised. But I was disappointed. I though that would have been a great "last night" thing to do- we went and got the refund- which was a blessing because I am so low on cash and it was my mission not to use credit cards while here! We ordered a pizza and played in the arcade for a while- we went back to the room for a few hours and then left to try the rifle range. It was Acilia's first time with a gun and I was so happy she tried it! I plain old stunk at it! Didn't get one shot on the target! Not like my "cluster shot" days as a kid :( That rifle was hard to aim- so that's my justification for being so bad! Ha! We spent a lot of time at Back Forty today- visited the dogs and the petting farm and they had mock lasso practice and barrel racing set up- Acilia loved it all! We went back to the room for sandwiches- hung out for a bit and got ready for a night of fun at the talent show/line dancing. I SO enjoyed the line dancing- I love that kind of stuff - Acilia lasted about 5 minutes then asked if she could go outside- I could see her out the window so I told her it was OK. She went back to the lasso practice- Thomas the wrangler was out there- he spent a lot of time helping her-so sweet! When the line dancing was up- I went out to join Cya- there was quite a group of kid's by then and Thomas started a game called "Lasso the kids" Each child lasso'd had to sit on the sidelines- Cya was the last one standing; I got a cute video...she even slipped out once :) After that we visited the petting farm - I have the hardest time getting Acilia out of there! She loves the animals so much!!
So, tomorrow we check out! I have a little packing left- we have a 10 and 11:30 am trail- we will probably say good bye to the dogs and the petting farm animals and hit the road headed H O M E ! !

This has been such a great trip and I have really enjoyed writing updates each day! It's sure to be a trip we remember for a lifetime!

"Word" check in

It's been 6 months since deciding on a "word" for 2011 ; if you don't recall; my word is "commit". I have had numerous nudges since January where the word "commit" comes up and sort of reminds me to stick with the journey of growing and staying true to my "commitments" to that simple two syllable word. I will say that I have been pleased with my progress and will continue through the year (and longer!) but further admit there has been nothing earth shattering about sticking to things aside from feeling more like a stable individual that sticks by her word.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 6

9:00 pm

Time is winding down- I find myself counting down till we leave more and more- I miss Miles terribly- talking to him and Albert on Skype is so hard- I see them but the connection is awful so it's sort of like a tease. I spoke with them for almost an hour- I hung up with a headache after straining to hear but it was so nice to see little Miles bopping in and out of the room and the pups and of course the hubs! Can't wait to hug them all! Today is Sunday- I was hopeful all week that we could find a church to visit - there is one close by but they have only one service on Sunday (9:30 am) I didn't get out of bed until the service had already started. Needless to say we missed it :(
We left here about 11 am had plans to visit the "swimmin' hole" (pool) and say HI to the pups too! We had enough time to see the dogs and swim- I stayed out of the pool- water was freezing on one side and green on the other Bleck!- that's what the pool gets with all the rain! The green water didn't bother Cya much- she said it was warmer on that side and there were more things for her to do over there. We dried off and left in time to get some lunch before our 2:30 trail. I've been eating the chicken fingers, may be a kid's meal but they are sooooooo good! After lunch we changed in the bathroom and headed to our trail ride- I rode Josey- took her on the canter trail- I was the only one on that trail; so that was pretty nice! The wrangler Joanna and I cantered a few times- I had to laugh at Josey's method - she would canter canter canter TROT canter canter canter TROT- she couldn't make up her mind! I remember thinking I should have emptied my bladder before the ride- I was pleased there was no wetting the saddle! I *DO* still have bladder control! :) I made a joke to my wrangler and she said they have had people wet the saddle; I replied with "you must see some funny things having all these people on the trails!" We returned and then went out again- I love the back to back rides! I got Josey again! First time all week I've had the same horse twice in a row- Josey was sweet so I didn't mind. Acilia and I took the trot trail- I was so surprised she wanted to trot again- but impressed that she wanted to! We asked for a horse with a smooth trot- Dakota the appaloosa was her horse- she said it was still too bumpy! We'll see what she tries tomorrow :) Josey was a little better on the trot trail- though she cantered more than she trotted- silly horse! When we were done- we went for ice cream and have been in the room since. I went and did a load of laundry- disaster! It was coin laundry and they had no detergent on site- I had just enough money to wash-not enough to dry and with no soap- it was more like an expensive rinse! Ha! Atleast I tried! We ate here in the room and did some coloring and relaxing and are hoping to get to bed early tonight!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 5

10:28 pm

It took three tries but Acilia passed her trot evaluation! Her perseverance paid off! We took a trot trail right after the evaluation- she did NOT like it- what can ya do? I told her just because she can trot doesn't mean she has to! We'll see what tomorrow brings! We spent a lot of time at the "Back Forty" today - It's so fun to immerse yourself in the lifestyle of the place you are in- we spent a lot of time with the animals at the petting farm and we visited the sled dogs! I miss Franko and Remo so much - so visiting the dogs here was quite a treat! I think we will be visiting them again for sure! We gave lot's of belly rubs :) Our trails today were at 2:30 and 4 pm. First ride was on "Bullet" and second was "Bugs". Second trail we trotted- it was great! "Bugs" was very smooth and I practiced posting :) Tonight was the big rodeo- there's been lot's of talk around here so we figured we better go- I went to get tickets but was informed it was part of our package- nice surprise! I didn't quite know what to expect, never been to a rodeo- it was quite entertaining with kid's riding sheep for as long as they could stay on, bull riding (I've dubbed it "bullbucking"), barrel racing- I even teared up in the beginning as the wrangler's rode the arena with American flags proudly in the sky and a beautiful solo of the National Anthem- I was also pleased there was a prayer- even if it was a "Cowboy prayer" - I love when God is a part of a public event! Perhaps the most comical part was when I had to go in the arena- I was wearing a strapless dress and sandals (which I removed before going in!) and walked into a muddy sand pit to race other "out of towners" to chase down bull calves to retrieve a ribbon from their tail- at one point I was charged by a whole herd of them! Ha! I walked out full of muddy sand- the priss in me was thinking ewwwwww- but I must admit it felt pretty good! Almost like a sea salt scrub at the spa! Our time here is winding down, I absolutely can not WAIT to share all the pictures I've been taking!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 4

11:53 pm

Well- we are halfway through the trip and though I am still really enjoying the activities here at the ranch- I believe missing home has set in. I've had anxiety on and off throughout the day and my body hates me! It's not the kind of pain I anticipated- It's sciatica/low back pain that's making me highly uncomfortable. The day started with sleeping in a bit and then a good soak in the hot tub. While in there- I looked up stretches for sciatica - and it seemed to help! We left our room around lunchtime and headed to the General store. Acilia requested "backwards lunch" (code for she saw ice cream and wanted it!) I gave in because if you can't splurge while on vacation, when can you? Acilia attempted another trot evaluation- she did not pass but she was truly so close! She rode Dunnit and finished the whole course. Got him to trot the first half but he wouldn't trot the second half. I teared up watching her- I was so proud! She will try again tomorrow and I truly believe she will pass-Dunnit was so sweet- I hope and pray her horse tomorrow is just as good or better! We got to our first trail of the day at 2:30- Acilia got Cody again. She did excellent keeping up a good pace- improvement from yesterday- remember "Pokey Cody"? :)
I road Skunky- I've had great horses- truly no complaints! We came back and waited half an hour then saddled up again for a 4pm ride. Acilia rode Moose- tallest horse she's been on! I rode Cherokee- apparently it's an "adult only horse" so I was honored and intimidated to ride him. I took him on the canter trail and he was great!! (They say he's an adult horse because he spooks on things and then will back you up right into trees, etc. to get away from whatever scared him.) I couldn't get over how cute his ears were- brown with black borders- I may have taken pictures of his adorable ears :) I want to jump back to our visit to the general store- we met a man named Brett- he introduced himself to me and asked me to play checkers. Brett has downs syndrome and was sweet as can be! He hugged me and told me I am beautiful :) Bless his heart! I played two games with him then Acilia played once. I am always working on pulling her out of her shy ways-this trip has been great for that! Back to the trails, we finished at dinnertime- I was starving! We came back to the suite and made PB&J sandwiches- we relaxed a bit and then I thought it would be nice to go see a movie. We ventured almost 30 miles away to watch "Mr. Popper's Penquins" we both really liked it and came out super tired. I made the trek home and then we settled in- Acilia didn't even write in her journal- too tired...atleast I got her to brush her teeth!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 3

9:30 am
Woke up this morning to raindrops outside of my window! Not a good thing since horse trails are outside- Cya doesn't mind at all- she reminded me they go rain or shine-nothing gets between that girl and her horses! I am glad though that we have just one ride ahead of us for the day - I decided last night to trade our 4 PM ride for two passes to the water park- Good call!

10:20 pm
The day has been great!
We set out to have Acilia tested to trot, got there 15 minutes late and couldn't do it. We took a ride to kill some time before our 11:30 trail- I was on a mission to find boots! The shoes I packed are horribly uncomfortable-never were a problem before this trip but I knew it would be a long few days if I didn't find boots! We stopped at a Factory Surplus store- they had nothing that would work so they suggested a horse tack store about a mile away- we had a major time crunch but I tried anyway-made it to the store but they didn't open until 11. It was 10:40. We waited until a few minutes after 11-still no sign of anyone. We had to leave or we would be late for our 11:30 trail. I was so disappointed. Riding in wet ugly weather with horrible shoes-Boy was I crabby! We made it in time and I got on Simon- what a sweetheart! He was so easy and PRETTY! He was light brown with white "dapples". Acilia rode Cody today-Pokey Cody that is :) The group was big and since the weather was iffy- we had three wranglers with us- I was chatting with "Justin" he was telling us stories about his time here at JJ. He was also helping Acilia keep Cody at a good pace. All the while giving her pointers on good posture while trotting. Very enjoyable ride- All things considered! Ride ended- I was back on a mission for boots. We went back to the tack shop it was adorable in there! We spent a lot of time in there and I did walk out with a pair of AWESOME CUTE & COMFY boots! I can't wait to try them tomorrow! The rest of the time day was spent at the water park- we ran into a mom and daughter - we buddied up and spent the whole evening together- social treat! Sandy & Casey- Sandy recognized me from the canter trail last night and Casey was an 11 year old well mannered sweet girl! I am bummed to report they are leaving tomorrow :( We left the water park and headed to get a bite to eat- we had just ordered when Sandy and Casey walked in- we invited them to join us for dinner- it was nice to have company! We finished dinner and then went for some ice cream- Sandy and Casey came back to our room to see what the suites looked like- Sandy is considering JJ for a family reunion trip- we finished up the evening with "It was nice to meet you" I gave her my email address and they left. You meet so many people in your life- some you know you will never see again; always makes me sad! Tomorrow is a new day- I can't believe tomorrow marks half way through our trip!
P.S. I forgot to add Acilia did attempt a trot evaluation, the horse wasn't great and neither was the woman evaluating. Acilia did not pass- she was so disappointed she got off the horse in tears :( She is determined to try again tomorrow though! That's my girl!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 2

***UPDATED with second part of the day****

June 22nd - 11:45 am
Just got back to our room after a busy morning! Acilia passed her evaluation- YAY! I could tell she was nervous- but she did GREAT! She rode "Mustang" and Christa was her evaluator. We set up our rides for the week - I am going to be hobbling with soreness when we are done here! It's almost noon- we are relaxing now- Acilia is locked in the bedroom playing horses and I am on the "western cowboy" themed couch- with TLC on the flat screen, computer in my lap and some coffee (Starbucks!) Life is good!!!
P.S. My legs are soooooo sore! I haven't even gotten on a horse yet- I am kicking myself for weeding the dog pen before leaving for the Dude ranch- the back of my legs feel like they are full of knots!

9:52 pm
Well two trail rides done since I wrote last! We had a 2:30-3:30 ride and then turned around and went back out from 4:00-5:00 pm. The first ride, Acilia rode "Blaster" (named because he "blasts gas"! Ha! He and Cya were the perfect match!) I road Cash, love that name! Both of us were happy with our horses, Blaster was so good! I think he really boosted Acilia's confidence. Cash was great too- so sweet! We walked the whole trail which definitely got monotonous! I was thrilled that we have the option to split up...the second ride- Acilia went with "the walkers" I went to "canter"! Acilia was on "Cleo"- nothing but trouble that horse was! Cya was not pleased- kept calling Cleo a bad horse (after the ride was over) and said she doesn't want to ride him again! I had "Spring" he was good-amused me that he grabbed every low branch as we passed. Eat on the go kind of horse :) The canter trail was T H R I L L I N G! What a treat! Acilia wants to be evaluated tomorrow to take the trot ride- Go Cya! She is also talking about being evaluated to canter- eeeeeek my little thrill seeker! We came back from the trails- got a bite to eat to dine in our room- we started the hot tub that was sooooooooooo nice- just what this 30 year old body needs after what's sure to be a sore butt, knee, ankle sort of day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Acilia and I arrived at the Dude Ranch today. I bought each of us a journal to note each day; I decided I will type my entries word for word here on the blog :

Day 1

We are here! We arrived today at 3:15 PM - thought we would have time to make it to our 4 PM trail ride- turns out time here is an hour later than IL! So we actually checked in at 4:15 - missed our first ride - kinda bummed! Cya was bummed too but we got to our room and I was blown away! A W E S O M E room- complete with kitchen, sitting areas, a balcony (corner room too!) one bedroom with a hot tub in the room! We have two fireplaces- nice is an understatement! I got unpacked- Acilia was hungry so we set out to explore - we got a bite to eat at a restaurant that had a pull down screen to play movies. An Old West movie was on- Acilia wasn't too happy about that- moments later the server came to ask if we minded if she put a kid's movie on- Yes Please! She turned on Madagascar 2- Cya slowed down with her eating because she wanted to stay longer and watch :) We left afterwhile and got Cya an ice cream cone- one of many this week I am sure!
We shopped a bit and enjoyed the resort-It's a mix of Dude Ranch West with modern touches- It's great! I look forward to exploring more tomorrow and taking LOT'S of pictures!!! Speaking of better run, this time change could be a problem tomorrow morning when we have to be out the door between 8 and 10 AM to get Acilia's horse riding skills evaluated so we can get to the trails!!

P.S. I hope to stay on a budget this week I'm saving receipts and will track our spending - we took a trip to Meijer (half hour away! Grrr-not local!) to get some groceries and goodies :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011


8 years ago at this very moment, I was approximately 1 hour away from delivering you. My 7 pound, 1 ounce baby girl who was arriving 13 days early. My labor was blissful. Truly. I remember the anesthesiologist that came to administer my epidural was amused that I was giggling and happy when most women are in pain at that point. I watched movies and conversed with my mom and your dad and the nurse on call. Time came to push. I pushed for 40 minutes. The whole experience was surreal. I had the movie "What Women Want" playing and between pushes I was watching the movie. You were born at 1:08 am; you came out with bright beautiful red lips that the nurses dubbed you "A Revlon Model"! We both had a rocky start. I nearly bled to death immediately after you were born; came very close to losing my reproductive organs, thankfully the doctor was quick about getting me to surgery to do a D&C to stop the bleeding. You got to meet me hours after birth where you nursed for the first time. It was seamless and perfect. Your coloring was off though and I mentioned to the nurse that you looked blue. The nurse whisked you away to the NICU where you stayed for 3 days. They thought you were showing signs of infection. That was sheer torture due to the fact that I was bedridden for the first day of your life due to the blood loss. At one point I begged to be wheeled down in my bed to the NICU to see you. It was then that we bonded in a most amazing way. You were placed on my chest. We snuggled as you inched your way up to nuzzle in to the crook of my neck. You ever so gently started to suck on my cheek. It was then that I knew that we would have a special relationship.
You can never go back to the experience of having your first child. I would give anything to bottle that time up and treasure it forever. Each day that passes, each year you grow, I enjoy watching you blossom before my very eyes! It seems like just yesterday I was giving you your first bite of solid food, and now you are growing into a wonderful young lady! Life is amazing; being a mother is such a gift and I am so very thankful that I have you my sweet little girl to call my "First born"

Hard Working

This post is dedicated to my husband. When I think of one word to describe my husband it's "Hard Working"
The way he worked through dialysis while still supporting his family and the way he started a business while dealing with kidney failure says so much about him; it's hard not to note his extreme loyalty to taking care of his loved ones. He makes me feel like I will always be taken care of and I just know my kids will grow up feeling the same way! We are so happy he now has a working kidney so he can work and love as hard as his little heart desires! :)
Digging a little deeper, I could describe him as "FUN!" The man likes to have fun and he likes everyone around him to have fun too! He works hard and plays hard!
He was a man that was sincerely surprised when I found out we were pregnant with our first child
A surprise that took some adjustment for both of us.
He proposed to me at our baby shower when I was 8 months pregnant.
It meant so much to me! It showed me he was willing to embrace the new life we were about to embark on.
He is the father of two children now; he adores his children and they adore his tickle monster antics!
He's loving and carefree and is growing as a spiritual role model
No one can treat my kids the way their daddy does and as the mom that gets to see it from the outside, 
I am blessed that I like what I see!
Happy Father's Day to my one of a kind husband Al
We love you

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Yes, I donated a kidney to my husband. Yes it was awesome to be able to do it. Yes we LOVE talking about the experience. My husband still tells everyone who will listen how I was his donor and that genuinely melts my heart to see him talking about it. Truly though; it was not *MY* act. It must be clear that it was not my *CHOICE* to give my husband a kidney it was a *CALLING*. My message from God was so very clear. Al was on dialysis for a total of 4 years. It still bothers me deep down that I didn't think to test sooner; so he wouldn't have had to suffer through dialysis for so long. But that wasn't in God's plan. We were trying to get pregnant right before Al's kidney failed. We were unsuccessful and after about 3 months of trying; we found out that Al was infact suffering from kidney failure. I look back and think how different the whole situation would have been if I was pregnant and found out my husband was gravely ill. God protected us. About a year later, we had settled in to our new life as "dialysis family" and we decided to try again for another child. We got pregnant on the first try. Miles was born and our lives would not be the same without him. God knew what was best for us. Miles got a little older, Al got a lot sicker and the calling began. God urging me to get tested. It didn't take long for me to listen to the voice telling me I would be a match for my husband. The second I made the decision to be tested, I *knew* that I would be a match and I *knew* that the process would all work out. All I did was make a decision to listen to God and God has done so much more than I could have ever asked for! I stepped out in faith and through that faith I have been blessed. So YES I donated a kidney to my husband, but I firmly believe and will attest to the fact that no one deserves the Glory for it, besides God. He made it happen, I was just the tool that he used.

Deuteronomy 28:2
All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One week from today...

Acilia and I are packin' our bags and headed "out west" (Or ummm north michigan) to spend 8 blissful days just the two of us, with horses, lots and lots of horses!! I picked up journals last night for each of us to pen the details so we can look back and remember this awesome trip! Acilia is a writer like me. I look forward to opening our journals each night and marking the happenings each day we are gone. I am thankful for technology because without it, I wouldn't have the hope of Skyping with my hubs and my little boy who we will miss dearly!! Each mess I clean though; I think to myself how nice it will be to not have to clean messes while we are away, and then I get a thought of sheer horror thinking about what this house will look like when we return. Leaving the boys behind; neither of which are very good at cleaning, I may have to call an S.O.S! Either way, Acilia and I are counting down the days; the the time we will get to spend together; it will be so special. I can just feel it!

I can't believe it's really happening! My big girl will be 8 years old the day before we leave and this Dude Ranch trip is something we have been talking about since she was 4 years old! I've been promising her a mommy/daughter trip when she turns 8. She's 8 you guys! Where does the time GO!??!

Friday, June 10, 2011

I love my mom

Acilia and I are leaving for an 8 day trip to a dude ranch soon. My mom keeps telling Acilia she should do a countdown calendar. We haven't gotten around to it, so my mom took it upon herself to spend some time this afternoon crafting an ADORABLE little countdown calendar for Acilia to use until we leave on the 21st. Looking at the love she put into this; it just reminds me why I feel so very blessed to have the parents that I do!

She even found ROPE to use as the "hanger"

The little caption says "The wind of Heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears"

She even added Acilia's birthday to it; 8 candles and all!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You capture! - Flowers


My neighbor's allium. I adore these round purple balls! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Why do I blog?

*Disclaimer, I started writing this on Sunday*
I have been asking myself this question lately. Not because I don't know the answer, but because I want to explain it to you; in a way that adequately describes my thoughts. Today I was enlightened. In church I was listening to the sermon and the light bulb moment occurred. Boy do I love those moments!! I blog to inspire. Yes indeed, I do. You have no idea how happy it makes me to read comments about how my words have touched others, or better yet, how my words have inspired others to *change* God guides all I do. Truly!! I have been embracing my relationship with God and making things less about *me* and more about *others*. Difficult task, especially when it comes to my closest "neighbors" (read: Husband!! Ha!) BUT I also believe I am a work in progress and my life is a journey to be shared.

I took specific notes during the sermon, I would like to share them with you to go with today's theme of "inspiring others" the sermon in church inspired me :)

It was pulled from Acts 1:1-11

"What we need to know about getting into Heaven"

1. You are a sinner!
2. God is Holy- he must punish sin- but doesn't want to lose you.
3. Jesus is the solution.
4. Believe it! Receive it!
5. Real faith bears fruit.
6. You are not alone!

"Just be a witness"
"Simply tell other's what has happened to you"

Yup! That last statement was what cued the light bulb. It's so simple. Share friends, share what happens, share the good news!! I so enjoy typing out my journey and having others read along with me, is just icing on the cake! (Ooh, who wants cake now? I do I do!!)

I also have to share that Acilia and I had a conversation about church that went somewhat like this:
 I was explaining to Acilia that she's getting to the age where she should be walking into church and taking more away from it than just sitting there taking up space and doing her own thing (reading, drawing, etc.) she replied (not proud here, but she was being truthful) "Why do I need to listen in church?? I already know all about Jesus?" I replied that I know Jesus too, but I am working on a relationship with him. I want to *know* him more deeply than knowledge of him can offer. I then went on to point out a few times that she has felt Jesus with her, and how that will keep happening if she keeps pursuing him. The point in the sermon where the Pastor stated "real faith bears fruit" solidified what I was saying to her, so I perked up in church and nudged her to listen so she could soak in the message. Sometimes kids listen when it's not their parents telling them; but others reinforcing what mom and dad have taught!

Monday, June 6, 2011

My kids are growing :)

I know it happens, and usually I am ok with it. Afterall, it's NATURAL for your kids to grow. It never hits me until I see a progression of pictures. That's when I choke up a bit and realize how quickly life really goes. The last time I had the kids pictures taken professionally, Miles was 18 months. He is 3.5 now and obviously things have changed for both of them. I took the kids today to get new pictures. My grandma wants one of both kids to put on her picture wall. Glad she requested that because it gave me a little push to get in and get updated pictures. Here are my faves from the day.

I adore this pose! Too sweet

Holy cow they are grown up!

Miles looks like such a little charmer in this pic :)

I love how Acilia is sort of looking off to the side

I am so impressed with how well they did!! We were in and out within a half an hour! The kids were cooperative in a way that made this mom proud! It was quite a relief because they usually team up against me when we are out in public and I usually walk out of photo shoots in a sweat!! HA!

Friday, June 3, 2011


My husband is a perfectionist. That is a really hard thing to live up to. As his wife, who is admittedly NOT perfect, it's exhausting to try to keep up with the needs to fulfill my husband. Tonight it was the lights. My husband doesn't like paying for lights on in a room that no one is occupying. I completely understand and respect this, but I fault and lights get left on all. the. time. He goes around in a huff and a puff nagging as he turns off the lights and just expresses how he doesn't understand why it's so hard. Lights on in the big picture is a very small thing, but there are many many MANY intricacies that drive my husband up the wall and he seems to like to concentrate on those things, instead of looking for the good. As his wife, I do *strive* to improve in all ways, but at the end of the day, I wonder who I am true to? I am not perfect, I will never be perfect, and my hope that trying to improve is good enough is just falling short. When I think I have gotten better at something, he will find the one time I mess up and notice it. My best analogy is that I am on a treadmill at full speed sweating to keep up! Never catching up and always feeling less than good enough. How do you live with not being "good enough" for your spouse? He never seems happy with me. He seems as though I make his life so much more difficult. Is it him? I want it to be just "his" problem. I want to believe I can be happy with who I am, but when the ones closest to you pick and pick and pick at your wounds, it's hard to scab over and heal. It's lonely in this place.
"Failure: When your best isn't good enough"

Life's new path

Well, I had surgery on my foot a week ago today. I got a call from the doctor yesterday about the biopsy. It's never good when you hear from the doctor; but for some reason this call was unexpected and I don't think anything really registered as he told me. It was found that what I had was a "rheumatoid nodule". I didn't know I had rheumatoid arthritis, and it's not officially diagnosed until I see a doctor and have some blood work but the nodules almost exclusively mean you have RA. I took the news and hung up the phone. My mind started going, but I was minutes away from a playdate with a friend and her boys, so I made the conscious decision to put it aside in my mind. I began to research when I had the chance and am working on nailing down a doctor appointment (I haven't had a primary care physician because I am a healthy lady!! But was on the path to finding one due to some back pain I've been having) as the day went on, pieces of recent years were puzzling themselves together  (severe neck pain/stiffness, random days of pain in wrist, knee, ankles, exhaustion) and I was really just trying not to go nuts about this whole thing. Nothing is 100% aside from the fact that what was removed is infact a rheumatoid nodule and if I say that any more; I may just enter an out of body experience. :)

The reading I have done on rheumatoid arthritis makes the prognosis sound manageable and to be honest, there are definitely people in the world that have way worse problems, AND I am incredibly thankful for my high pain tolerance. I am under the impression that if it IS RA, I have had it for quite sometime; rheumatoid nodules generally appear in advanced cases of RA and I've been having symptoms for many years.

I worked hard yesterday to focus on NOT developing symptoms because of what I was told :) I remember clearly the day I took a pregnancy test with my daughter (first born) the test turned positive and I IMMEDIATELY felt like morning sickness kicked in! Ha! I know for a fact if I hadn't taken a test at that very moment, I would not have been experiencing any symptoms, but pulling something to your consciousness suddenly makes me ultra sensitive to "clues" :)

My prayers are that I always remember God is good and I know he has a plan for me; this is part of the plan, nothing is a surprise to the almighty Heavenly Father!