Monday, September 30, 2013


A few days ago I mentioned elaborated on my journey with running. That journey is in the very earliest stage, but I wouldn't even be this far without this handy checklist. Thanks to my mister for whipping this up for me. It has definitely kept me on track with the water drinking part of it. I may miss a glass [or three] every now and then, but this gets me back on track the next day.

With this guy hanging on my refrigerator I will surely meet my goal...which is just to stay on track. So far so good!


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Simple Things Sunday: Burgers and Snuggles

I try not to whine too much, but my husband is gone a lot. Notice that I try not to whine. I don't want to seem unappreciative of all he does. He works so hard and may just be the busiest guy I know. Yet in all of this he doesn't forget me and my needs/wants. He works 40 hours a week, goes to school, comes home to do homework, and he still makes time for "us" time. Today we had just a couple of hours between church and him leaving for work again, but we made the most of it. He cooked us hamburgers followed by snuggles and last weeks season premiere of NCIS. Simple? Yes. Does it get any better? Nope. 

This is bliss, ya'll. 

It has been a while since I have participated, but I am glad to be linking up with Simple As That for Simple Things Sunday. I love this idea, and I look forward to this little reminder to appreciate the beauty in all the fabulously simple things. Now I just need to work on capturing these moments with my 5D instead of my potato of a phone camera.


Friday, September 27, 2013

My [super awesome] guy

My guy is great.

He is great on any given day just being sweet, helpful, totally silly, and all the things I love. But in this season of our lives I have found an entirely new appreciation for him. He works hard at his job 40 hours a week, but on top of that he is going to school three days a week in order to better provide for us in the future. He pretty much never complains even though I know he has to be feeling the pressure. If he ever gets a day off from work, he is home doing homework. He usually does the grocery shopping, and all I can do is try to keep him supplied with cupcakes and cookies from the bakery and make sure he has clean socks. I know part his the drive comes from knowing that when he is finished he will finally be doing what he loves. I also know a lot of it is because it is what is right and honorable, and he is just a stand-up guy. Sometimes I feel like whining when I come home from work, and I know he won't be home until midnight. But then I have to remember that he has been at school since 8 a.m. and then straight to work until 11:30 p.m. I only hope that he knows how much I appreciate him and all his sacrifices. 

On top of all that, he does adorable stuff like this. One day this past week I casually mentioned that I might like to make some caramel apples. That's it. I didn't make a big deal about it. I came home from work Thursday to find this [which he bought while out doing the grocery shopping on his day off because he knows I hate doing it].

I love that guy.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Watch your mouth." -love, God

I will be honest and say that I have not had many of those "The Lord has laid it on my heart" moments in my life, but lately He has been making a few things pretty clear. To put it briefly He is saying, "Watch your mouth." In recent weeks I would read a verse here or there that would make me think briefly about how the things coming out of my mouth affect others and blah blah blah...then that was about it, and I was sidetracked doing something else. This past Sunday I was pretty much smacked in the face with it when we read James 3:1-18 in our Sunday School class. This passage basically sums up the warnings and wisdom James gave about the power of the tongue. Every word is truth that needs to be read over and over. I still haven't fully digested it, but this verse in particular really grabbed hold of me.

9 "We praise our Lord and Father with it, and we curse men who are made in God's likeness with it."

I am often so quick to judge others without knowing their circumstance or intentions. Who am I that I should judge another who is no further down the "totem pole" than me?

Then, someone shared this: 

 Okay, so I am pretty sure I have never cussed anyone out on Facebook. Does that mean I get a free pass? Most definitely not. Maybe I am not guilty of this exact thing, but how is that different than me letting a word slip when I burn my arm on the oven door? What about when I drop half a tray of cookies on the floor at work, curse it, and then invite someone to church?  How is this different than me complaining about someone's snippy comment about our pie prices and then encouraging someone to join a Sunday School class? Real answer? It isn't. 

I had another epiphany today when I commented [without much thought really] that I not only need to control what goes into my mouth but also what comes out of it.  I have been trying so hard to filter what I have been eating lately, but I also need to focus my attention on what comes out of my mouth. After thinking about that verse for a few days I went back to read our lesson from class in more depth. So many things hit me right where it hurts. 

"Words don't kill physically, but they do bring death to another person's joy, peace, confidence, hope, love, or desire." 

When I am quick to speak I don't always realize the impact my words are having on others. I long to possess the ability to examine my words before allowing insults and ignorance to spew from my mouth.

"Words can ruin a reputation and defile our Christian witness." 

I walk around talking about going to church and Sunday School and how great it is, but then I curse when I burn my finger? This behavior only reaffirms the "hypocrite" idea that so many nonbelievers have about Christians. Why should I want to provide further support of that idea?

"The mouth speaks out of the overflow of the heart." 

That last one got me. What comes out of my mouth is not born there. It comes from within me. What comes from my mouth reveals what is in my heart. This tells me that I need to ask God to work on my heart. I want to be slower to judge and rid myself of the desire to articulate those human thoughts that so quickly enter my mind and so easily fall from my lips. I want to change the reaction that follows me stubbing my toe or my ipod not working the way it should [that happened just tonight]. 

So I recognize it. The hard part now is living it. I am praying that I can monitor my words. At first I may not catch the negativity before it comes out, but I don't have to be numb to it. I hope that eventually I can replace each snippy comment, every negative reaction, and every single foul word with words that are uplifting and kind. This will not be easy. Being a natural born "smart mouth" I will fail many times. But I want to make positive changes to be a better friend, a more encouraging sister, and an uplifting wife. Pray for is gonna be a long road. 


Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I came across this questionnaire on Emily's blog, Jones Design Company. At the risk of this feeling like an old Myspace quiz I thought I would share my answers to the questions since I don't have a famous blogger asking me. I will just pretend I do since it will be fun for me to look back and see how my answers have changed. 

Where I live in the summertime means

me being anywhere with an air conditioner. I am so not a Summer kind of girl.

My favorite spot in our house is 

where my husband is. We don't get a lot of time together these day with his busy school and work schedule. I am grateful for every minute he is here with me, and we love spending time together even doing the most mundane of things.

Where I see myself in five years 

is in the country with a big garden, ongoing home and diy projects, and a little one running around.

My favorite late night snack is

usually a bowl of cereal. I can eat cereal any time of day.

Best DIY project I have ever done

This is a hard question because there are sooooo many to choose from. My entire house is a DIY project! I love my hand drawn birch tree wall in our bedroom, the ruffled curtain on the back door, and the shelves we added to either side of our living room fireplace. However, I must say that my favorite diy would have to be my coat rack. I especially love that my mister, my daddy, and I all contributed to it!

When I was little I wanted to be 

a teacher during the school year and a life guard in the Summer...true story.

One thing every room in your house should have is 

something handmade. While I do have several things that I have created myself, some of the items I treasure most are things that have been made by my family members and handed down or gifted to me. I have the hand embroidered pillow cases from my mother-in-law, the crocheted throw from my aunt Patti, the porch swing made by my paternal grandfather 45 years ago, and the doilies made by my great-grandmother, among other things. I treasure these items, and I hold tightly to the concept of handmade hoping that someday my children and grandchildren will hold the same appreciation for these things.

And bunting...every room in the house should probably have bunting too. Just ask my mister.

Well, that was fun. Feel free to share your answers if you want. You can pretend like I am famous and interviewing you if you want. It is more fun that way. 


Monday, September 23, 2013

I am a runner

The definition of a runner is: 
runner: noun
 a person who runs, esp. in a specified way.

Until recently I have struggled with this definition. I have always thought that in order to call myself a "runner" I have to run marathons or something. Part of the problem is that I am an overachiever. Like...really badly. I am one of those people who will actually not do something if I don't think I can do it best. The sad part is that my version of "best" is sometimes defined by what someone else has done, and I HATE that. I hate that I would actually let myself be discouraged by doing something because I may not be able to do it as well as someone else. Don't get me wrong. Not everything is this way, but I do struggle with this on certain things. One of those things is running.

When I was in high school I played basketball and softball so running was a given, but it was never something I enjoyed. However, I did it all summer long every summer so that I didn't die trying to get back in shape when we started conditioning for basketball in the Fall. I continued running for a bit after graduation, but you can probably guess what happened as I got into college. Life got busy. I stopped running. Before I got married I ran occasionally, and I don't remember it really being an "issue" then either. However, in the last few years I have developed this love/hate [mostly hate] relationship with running. At the beginning of this year I was determined to get back to it and drop a few pounds so that things didn't get out of hand around here, and I did. Things were slow at work so I was home a lot during the first part of the year. I had time to get on the treadmill, and I ate better, pushed myself, and drank a lot of water. I was feeling great, and I was satisfied with what I was doing on the treadmill. Then the weather got warmer, and work got busier. I tried running outside, knowing that it would be more challenging than my treadmill run, but it was even more difficult than I had imagined. I got discouraged. Instead of kicking butt, I allowed being busy to take over. I just stopped.

Despite how it may sound, my biggest struggle is not with the on again/off again running cycle that I seem to be stuck in. It is my attitude in comparing myself to others. Before I got back to it this month I would see what seemed like everyone and their dog running 5Ks ALL.THE.TIME. My struggle has been with the fact that it seemed like everyone in the world is able to do it, and they were able to do it [what seemed like] so effortlessly. It has always seemed, and still does, that running comes much easier to others. No matter how hard I work and how much I push myself it is always a fight. It still seems like every day I see another person that saying, “Yeah, I just woke up and decided I wanted to run a marathon, so I did!”  In the past instead of using these people as inspiration or fuel to get going I would secretly get mad [and jealous of] them. I chose to sulk on the couch instead of doing something about it. But recently I had a change of heart.

I have been jogging for only a short time this month, but just like I mentioned here, my outlook is different. I am improving both my endurance and my way of thinking. Before, if I had a slow day or didn't make it quite as far without stopping I would get discouraged. Before I had to force myself to get out for a run and often looked for any excuse not to. Now I actually want to run. Now I am scheduling other things around my run so that I am sure to get it done. Now when I feel like I might die I just walk for a few seconds-even if it is only half a mile in. Now when I finish, and I have only ran 1.5 miles total-I am proud that I did it instead of disappointed in what I didn’t do. Now when I see that someone ran a 5K-I am proud to say that I got off my duff and ran that day too. I have never had this feeling towards running, and I am so thankful that I am at a place where it doesn't matter how far anyone else runs. It does not affect me. I know that every mile I run, no matter how slow, is better than no miles at all.

 I will actually consider it a miracle if someone has made it [reading] this far, but this was kind of therapeutic for me to write. Today's run was hard, and tomorrow's will be too. But I am proud to say that I look forward to getting out there tomorrow-and that is a big deal, folks, a really big deal.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

I'm back...I think...

I have been thinking for some time now that I might like to get back to blogging. However, this time it is for different reasons. Until today I hadn't even given this place a second look since I last posted...actually I have avoided it. I am not exactly sure, but I think it almost gave me a feeling of failure. But I am learning to look at things a bit differently than I did a year [or even 6 months] ago. When I stopped posting here things were busy, and I had started working on my photography blog. I was swamped with fall sessions and Christmas card designs and Christmas shopping and wanting to make the most of the holidays with my family, etc...[end super long run-on sentence]. On top of all those reasons I think I stopped posting because I wasn't getting the response I had hoped for. Actually I wasn't really getting much of a response at all. A year ago I thought I was wasting my time if no one was commenting or showing interest. I thought if I didn't have a huge following it was pointless, but now I have such a different point of view. Just before I started this post I was still second guessing whether I should "waste" my time again, but then I looked back at my old posts. Those posts were boring to most people. They weren't fabulously styled, featured on blogs with followings in the thousands, and in half the photos I wasn't even wearing makeup. But I smiled when I viewed those posts because I realized they were a sort of diary of my [happy] life.  I realize now that it doesn't matter if I have hundreds or even tens of viewers. I can look back at the things I loved, the things I photographed, and every silly, sarcastic comment I wrote and remember what I was like then. Though it was only a year ago, I know I have changed immensely in some ways and none in others, but I love having such a common, candid look into our lives for the short time I was sharing. Though I may have a tiny bit of regret not having recorded tidbits from this last year, I think the break was what I needed. I have done some much needed reflecting, and now I will start again with a new motivation for each post. I make no promises to myself or anyone else on how often I will post, how glamorous [or totally unglamorous] each post will be, or even how long I will continue posting. I will be the first to admit that sometimes I am wishy washy when it comes to commitments to myself. Today I have grand ideas of recording our day-to-day in a bit more detail so that I can remember every seed planted and every pillow cushion sewn. Tomorrow I may have a change of heart, but we will see what tomorrow brings.  At least I wrote this down so I will remember how I felt today, after my run, sitting on the porch swing my grandpa built some 45 years ago, and enjoying the most beautiful weather I think I have ever witnessed.

And now after all that reflecting I think I am going to go make myself a burrito.