Saturday, January 29, 2011

What time is it? (Example 1)

I've been thinking on this blog for a while now, and a friend of mine posted on the same subject; so it's time for me to share my thoughts on the matter. It has the potential to be very long, but for your sake, I'll try to keep it short. I'm sure this is meant for someone, to encourage someone, though I'm not sure might even be for me sometime down the road to look back and remind myself of: God's perfect timing. I'm just gonna give you a few examples. (In typing this post, I have realized that each example is a lengthy story, so I'm gonna break it into segments, for you viewing pleasure.)

Our little Jetta was quickly approaching 100k miles when something went wrong with the transmission. We took it to our family mechanic, Mr. Larry at Kyser Automotive, and he informed us that we should take this problem to the dealership. He also told us he probably wouldn't be working on that car anymore as they have a history of falling apart after 100k, and he was really looking out for our best interest. Thank you, Mr. Larry!!

We went home and started doing some research. What we found was astonishing - and quite different from what we found when researching to BUY the car. (Yes, we did in fact do research!) Jettas have a record history of completely falling apart and losing all value once they reach 100k miles! Wow, who knew?! We felt devastated.

So we took it to the dealership, paid a nice chunk of change for them to look at it, and then they told us of all the other crazy stuff that needed to happen to "maintain" the Jetta. Now, I know that cars need maintenance regularly. I know that at certain points, belts need changing (preferably before they break), filters need cleaning, and so on and so forth. But we only had about 85k on the car and the stuff they were talking was big, shouldn't-be-needed-yet, stuff. What were we gonna do? We knew we were upside down and couldn't afford the payments on a new car. (We knew this because while the dealership was looking at the Jetta, a salesperson approached us and tried to sell us a brand new -gorgeous and tempting, mind you- pricey Jetta. We told him if he could get the payments the same as what we currently paid or lower - which was ridiculously low - then we'd buy. We knew it was impossible...he tried, nonetheless.)

After much prayer, we ventured out to other dealerships to search for a new car. Long story short, thanks to the awesome people at Treadwell Honda, we found the perfect car at the perfect price. We bought the car in April of 09, and just 2 short months later June 19 to be exact, we found out we were expecting our precious Carson. And you know what? A carseat would not fit in the back of the Jetta. It fits perfectly in our Accord :)

How's that for God's perfect timing?

Today's C.O.D.
Uh, huh...thought I forgot, didn't you? Nope, it's still here...and I have lots of these bad boys in cue. But today's goes along with this post. Have you ever thought Man, if I hadn't forgotten my sunglasses and had to run back in the house, that could have been me! as you came upon a wreck that just happened? Or some other misfortune set to that same tune? I believe that is God's perfect timing, my friends.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Well, it has been a while since my last post, sorry for being MIA. I have been working on several projects in my spare time - from getting ready for Carson's first birthday, to craft projects, to organizing closets, to lots and lots of reading. On that note, I have fallen slightly behind in my daily Bible reading and could use some accountability.

Last night, I snuck into Carson's room while he was sleeping, picked him up and snuggled him for a bit. I realize this is a big no-no in all the books, but my baby's growing up! Cut a girl some slack! As he lay (laid? lie?) sleeping, stretched across my body, with his head nuzzled into my neck, breath slow and steady on my chest, legs dangling off my lap, weighing just enough to put a bit of pressure on me, I realized that he's not really a baby anymore. I have had a hard time finding the line between infant, baby, and toddler - and soon enough pre-schooler. I don't know if it's an age that separates the categories, or if it's an ability (e.g. crawling, cruising, walking, talking, eating finger foods, etc.), but I guess I'm claiming toddler.

Just a day shy of his 11 month birthday, we are quickly approaching the big "1"! I have done my best to soak in every day of Carson's first year of life: drinking in his sweet baby smell, cherishing his chubby cheeks, savoring his delicious sugars (he gives the best open-mouth kiss you ever did get), caressing his soft skin. It's hard to believe this little boy that now stretches across my body used to curl up into a little ball on my chest:

Granted he was big from the get-go, 10 lbs and 12 oz to be exact, so I felt as though I birthed a 3-month-old. This is my sweet love on his first week home from the hospital. We were both worn out, and I snuggled him every single second that I could.

And now, my big boy - I love this child so much and can't wait to see what life has in store for our little family. I couldn't be more thankful for such an awesome child and husband...and watching Carson grow has been my greatest joy this year!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Double Dog Dare

I've been a Christian for 19 years and I have a confession: I've never read the Bible in it's entirety. That's all about to change. My very dear friend Rachel read through the Bible last year in 90 days. Reading it as more of a novel than a "requirement", she says that 46 hours of reading have "completely changed, encouraged, convicted, challenged, and humbled" her.  

I have (sporadically) attended a Bible study for SAHMs in Fairhope with Rachel. Last year we studied The Virtuous Woman and this year we will be reading through the Bible in 120 days together. It sounds like a boatload of reading, but...really? Is 30 minutes a day really all that much? That is totally doable. So who's with me? Will you accept this challenge? Whether you've read it before or not; whether you know Jesus as your Savior or not; just take a little time to read a non-fiction novel and see what happens. I am expecting change. 

Tonight was the first night of the challenge and Marc and I read the first 16 chapters of Genesis together. That's good stuff, folks. A couple of observations:
  • What an awesome Lifetime movie the story of Cain and Able would make.
  • People were meant to be vegetarians until sin came about. Who knew? (And naked, but I already knew that...and that, friends, is a subject for another day, another time.)
  • Noah spent like a whole year on the ark! Woah! I mean, you always hear that it rained for 40 days and nights. Can you imagine? I hope he built a bathroom on that thing. With a shower and jacuzzi. Right?
  • There is a whole lot of name dropping in Genesis.
  • So many long, drawn out, run-on sentences are found in this chapter, it's not even funny. Especially 2:4b-7. 
It didn't take us that long to read it, and we really enjoyed reading together. I am greatly looking forward to the change that can happen in our lives, our marriage, our home, our family, just by taking the time to read the Manual. God's holy and spoken word. The living word. You knew it was alive, right? Don't believe me? I dare you to join me. You'll see.

Here's the schedule: (click on it to enlarge)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bad Day? You're in Good Company!

"If at first you don't succeed, you're running about average."
                                                                     -- M. H. Anderson

Even the greatest geniuses fail...many, many times!  Dr. Suess, America's beloved children's author, was rejected twenty-eight times before he found a publisher for The Cat in the Hat. Barbra Streisand's off-Broadway debut opened and closed the same night. Walt Disney was once fired because he "lacked imagination" and "had no original ideas."

Luckily, parenthood is chock-full of second chances. So if you're having a tough day, don't get stuck obsessing over it. To paraphrase Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind, tomorrow really is another day.

This is an excerpt from The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp, M. D.  This tidbit really encouraged me and I hope it will be an encouragement for you as well. I had no idea all those awesome people had those first "failures" before becoming so successful. :)

Needing some bathtime help!

Let's have a tub talk. No, not for me, silly. It's for bath-time with Carson. He recently graduated from his baby tub to the big boy tub. This is long overdue since he's huge and outgrew it long ago. However, he was still in it because even I didn't like to sit in my tub to take a bath because I was so nervous about how dirty it was before I started my cleaning schedule...but now, it's squeaky clean. Weekly!! :)

Since he's in the real tub now, I put down a child's mat that suctions to the floor so he doesn't slide all over the place. Problem is, he likes to stand up and cruise all around the tub. Mainly he goes for the faucet - and last night, he busted! Bless his heart, it was so not cool. And then he got caught face down trying to get back up and when he started to cry, he sucked up a mouthful of water. It all happened so fast!! (Mom moment happened moments later while going through bedtime routine: instead of singing him a song, I cried holding him ever-so-closely telling him how much mommy and daddy love him and how we hope nothing ever hurts him -ever- in the whole wide world. But even if it does, we'll be right here to pick him up and kiss his bruises and make him all better. It's the simple things in life, folks. I love these moments!)

So my question is this: What did you do with your 10 1/2 month old in the bathtub? Do I go back to the baby tub? It's a constant battle to get him to sit at the back of the tub away from the faucet. I've turned him so he can't see it. I've given him toys to distract him from it. Nothing deters this child from the things he's not supposed to have. If mommy says it's okay for him to play with something, he snobs it and goes for what I say he can't  play with!

Friends with kids: HELP!!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

24 Simple Truths

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die. 

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. 

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How in the world are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. 
I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died. 

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired. 

10. Bad decisions make good stories. 

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day. 

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after BluRay? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again. 

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to. 

14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call. 

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well. 

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay. 

17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option. 

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger. 

19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said? 

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters! 

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever. 

22. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is. 

23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet 
everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time. 

24. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.
 I saw this on another blog and thought it was too funny!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My one and only goal for 2011

I have been pondering what my "New Year Resolution" would be, but my hubby and I don't really like to declare resolutions that are going to fizzle by mid-January. I mean, let's face it, has anyone ever kept their resolution until the next year? Last year, my best friend Paige offered a new take on the matter. Instead of declaring a resolution, spend time praying and asking God to reveal the one area of your life that needs the most work.

My word for 2010 was FORGIVENESS. Boy, that was a really, really, really tough one. I am the queen of holding grudges...and I don't know that I have 100% forgiven some people that were at the top of my list of needing it. About mid-year, our ABF (Adult Bible Fellowship at FB North Mobile, for future reference) decided to do a study on Love and Respect in marriage...but if you apply the "respect" portion to all areas of life, i.e. respecting all people as human beings, then forgiveness just flows with it. Let's just say I'm still working on it. (Side note: I highly encourage all of my married/engaged/dating friends to read the book above, it completely changed our marriage. COMPLETELY.)  But enough about last year.

The one thing I need the most work on this year is SELFLESSNESS. (I'm being transparent here because I need some accountability from my peeps.) When I really dug into the heart of the matter of all the resolutions I wanted to set, the root of them all is self-ish-ness. Take a look:

  • Selfishness says: "I'm hungry but I don't feel like cooking anything, I'll just eat an oatmeal cream pie."
  • Selflessness says: "It's time for my family and me to eat, and since nutrition and health is really the only reason for eating, I'll get off the couch to put time and care into preparing a well-balanced meal for my family."
  • Selfishness says: "I can't take my eyes off of facebook (or the tv, blogging, email, and other distractions), and I really just want to sit on the couch and not do anything today. I'll put "Mopping Monday" off until tomorrow."
  • Selflessness says: "My husband deserves to come home to a clean and peaceful home each day, and Carson deserves a clean floor to crawl around on. I will put aside my laziness and distractions to serve them and clean these floors. (Plus if I stay on top of my chores, they are not as hard to complete.)"
  • Selfishness says: "I really want that new pair of super-cute shoes, even though I'm wearing a pair that are almost identical right now. They're only $30, and we have that right now. I'll just get them and if Marc doesn't like them, then I'll bring them back." (If you know my husband, you know he HATES taking things back, so this always works in my favor.)
  • Selflessness says: "Instead of spending the extra money on new shoes that I don't really need just because we have it, I'll save that money for something we really need. After all, we still have bills that are not paid off, and our savings is not anywhere near where we would like for it to be. And who knows when we will have emergency expenses such as those we experienced in December."
  • Selfishness says: "I don't feel like preparing food right now, we'll just stop and get fast food while we're out. We have a little bit of extra money." -or- "While I'm here at the grocery store, I'd better get some highly processed quick foods and junky snacks for those times when I don't feel like cooking."
  • Selflessness says: "I'll take the time now to prepare wholesome snacks and on-the-go foods for my family so that we don't get caught hungry and have to compromise our wallets and health."

I really could go on and on with this topic, but I think you get the picture. When setting a one-word goal, there is room for mistakes, and with plenty of prayer and dedication, selflessness will come naturally to me. Selflessness also -and most importantly- applies to the way I treat/act around/respond to others. Thinking less about my needs and wants and more about the needs and wants of others will keep me in check. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all did this?

It certainly won't be easy, and I could use some major accountability, folks. Why does God always give me the tough ones? lol. So what's your Word of the Year? (or NY Resolution?) 

Saturday, January 1, 2011


This might not be a big deal to you, but it's super huge to me: I won the De-Clutter Bug contest from the Little Joys blog!!! Wanna see my "after" pics? If you remember, I already posted my before pics, so it's only fair that I share with you the afters, right? (Please note when viewing my post with the before pics, this is what I thought was "clean" in my home.)

Without further ado:

 The living room - a few changes with the addition of our Christmas present, the new tv over the fireplace. 

 (Please disregard my handsome sleeping hubby). When these pictures were taken, we were in the process of hanging our new family photos and changing the pictures throughout the room. Hence the bare walls. 

(Here are the pics we'll be hanging.) The new tv allowed us this additional little space for a home for our computer and printer. Thanks to my Aunt Shaney for this desk!

Seriously, this bookshelf has always been cluttered to the hills with junk mail, baby toys, and random trash that would land there when we came in the door. All of that stuff has a home, and now we use it. :)

 This is Carson's toy corner. Each day, after pulling every toy out and playing with it, we put it away here so it's not cluttering our living space. 

 Notice the tile grout, please. I spent many a Cinderella night scrubbing that, thankyouverymuch. I'm far from done, but it looks like we have a new kitchen floor.

Remember the counter at the bottom left of this picture in my previous post of before pics? Yeah, it stays clean now! 

 This red hutch was not included in the before pics because I didn't view it as "dirty" - plus I just forgot. Anyway, this is a special hutch on this cleaning journey, because the top of this hutch hadn't been seen since I got pregnant. We had just been piling and piling and piling junk on it...if I didn't know where to put something, it went here. Now, thanks to Tidy Tuesday, it stays clean.

Marc's bathroom...the biggest change here is another floor renovation. Clean tile grout really makes a HUGE difference.

As do clean countertops and sinks. :)

Big changes in the spare bedroom with the removal of the huge queen bed. Now there is more room to move about, and this room is no longer the catch all for clothes I don't feel like hanging up. 

 Oh, if only you could have seen this closet before!

 You may not see a huge difference in the master. However, please note that in the before post, I considered this room clean. With unmade bed, crap all over the dresser and everything. Now we try hard to keep the bed made and the floors clean.

 My bathroom - woah the change. I take my clothes out everyday instead of leaving a pile in the floor.

See that tub to the left? Well, even though you can't see in it, know that now, because of Thorough Thursday, I can give Carson baths in the tub instead of his baby tub that he had way outgrown. I was still putting him in it because I didn't feel like his tiny body could handle the plethora of germs that MUST have been crawling in that tub with the (in)frequency of my cleanings!

More clean bathroom :)

I didn't post a pic of Carson's room in my previous post because he was asleep. But tonight I just went in anyway, got the camera ready, turned the light on for 2 seconds, snapped the pic, and turned the light back off. No flinch from him, so...

I did that again and snapped a pic of him in all his adorableness.

I read a statistic that says 97% of all moms think that their child is cuter than everyone elses. I'm in that 97% :)

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