Own Your Beauty

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Finding the Balance

So, as I've told you in my last few post, I'm exploring my faith more and more. I'm so excited about this "new chapter" in my life. It's opening up alot of avenues to go up and also forcing me to take a look at some areas of my life that may have been questionable.

One of the biggest challenges I've come across is I really feel out of balance these days with some of the hats I wear. I have to take a line from one of my favorite movies "The Women"... "Who are you, what do you want?" I am woman hear me roar, but I am also, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, etc. etc. How do we combine all of these roles to come up with our best self that we can be? Questions, questions, questions...

Now, you may notice that I stopped posting about my Love Dare Challenge. It was due to the fact that I had a dirty little secret I was keeping from my husband. I've no doubt in my mind that God put a shiny little mirror in front of my face a few Saturday mornings ago and said "How can you do this, if you are not sharing your whole self with him?" I spent the day very quiet, avoiding my husband and crying several times. Now, just so no one gets the wrong idea.. the secret was that we really needed to tighten up on our finances. I felt like telling him would make me a failure somehow because we have to drastically change our spending habits. ( I took a major paycut last fall!!! but tried not to change our lifestyle any)It finally came bubbling out of me later that evening in big gulping sobs. I was so scared that my husband would be disapointed in me and yet, when it all came out he was the exact opposite. He made me promise that I would not bear that burden again alone.

So, here I am, ready to start all over. I've spent the last 2 weeks, examing myself and the roles that play in life. I am now confident that I have gained some of the tools necessary to work towards finding more of that balance.

Monday, August 3, 2009

To Wine or not to Wine

In the past few weeks, I seem to have gotten more excited about re-discovering my religion. I've made more consciouses efforts to pray daily, had talks with God on my way home from work, joined a Women's group at my church, and a few other things. I did it because it felt good. I felt like it was where God wanted me to be, and the more I discovered, the more I saw every day little miracles happening all around me that I knew was God at work.

With all the excitement and new discovery, there is always some questioning of oneself. Was there anything that I was doing that wasn't Christian like? Was there anything that I was doing that might cause some of the women in my group to frown down on me? I feel like I always put my best foot forward for the most part in being a good wife, mother, and worker. I keep a clean house, take my grandma shopping every Friday, and tuck my babies in at night. Over the weekend, it hit me when we went to my cousins 40th birthday. I very gladly took the frozen fruity drink that was handed to me when we walked through the door Saturday night, in fact in the course of 4 hours, I took 2 more. I wasn't drunk, did not act immoral, did not do anything to embarrass myself,most certainly did not drive my family home, etc, etc. All that being said, it gnawed at me when I got in bed. Was it right? Was God frowning upon me for doing it? The longer I laid there, the more items that crossed my mind. I had dropped the "a" word earlier at the party, and possibly the "b" word, joking around. I had cleaned my house spotless earlier in the day, however I had simply shut the door to our bedroom, assuring myself that no one would be in there but myself and my husband, and while I had made the bed that morning, there was a towering pile of laundry to be put away in the floor and the dust bunnies under the bed had baby bunnies. My mind was racing at this point, almost to the point that had my husband not been snoring next to me, I would have jumped up and started cleaning like crazy.

Sunday morning in church I still pondered my questions. Now seriously, just who the heck was I going to ask? The sweet little old lady who sits behind us in church or my pastors wife who sits in front of us? So, I decided that I would put the question out there to you all. Is it morally right for a Woman of Faith to have an adult beverage socially? What do you think crosses the line when it comes to the behavior of Christian women? Do you ever have questions regarding your faith that you feel you can't ask anyone for fear of ridicule?

Have a beautiful week. I am anxious to see your answers!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Winner!!! Baby it's hot in here!

Ladies, I apologize for running a few hours late on announcing the winner of the hot contest. DH has been in and out of the ER for the last 2 weeks, and it looks like we are headed to back surgery. Anyhoo.. back to the contest! Our winner is ...... Miss. Kim! Kim's keep it cool tip was " POPSICLES & a nice fan right in front of me!!"

Kim, you have won a basket of keeping you cool items, including a hardback copy of "Return to Sullivans Island", some Lime and Coconut body wash and lotion, a cute hair acessory, a koozie, and a few other surprise goodies, as well as a recipe for a cool summer shrimp salad.

Thanks to everyone who participated. I will try to compile all of your tips and do a post in the next few days. As for the Love Dare... we are still doing it, however, I've taken on a whole new list of to do's with helping out DH.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

30 Days to being a better Wife- Day 4

Day 4: Love is thoughtful

How precious also are Your thoughts to me. . . .How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.

—Psalm 139:17–18


Contact your spouse sometime during the business of the day. Have no agenda other than asking how he or she is doing and if there is anything you could do for them.

SO this is probably the easiest one of all for me, as DH and I chat randomly throughout the day... a quick phone call here, an I love you text... that sort of thing. I think what I'm going to do is wait until I eat lunch and then text him that I love him and I prayed for him before I started to eat. What better prayer can I pray than for God to watch over the man I love throughout the day? One thing I really considered is asking God to take some of his pain away today. DH has 3 herniated disk in his back and 1 in his neck. We have an appointment with a neurosurgeon next week, but until then, he endures the pain during the day, as he can't take anything stronger than Tylenol or while working. I'm saving my "pennies" to put towards one of those Sleep Number beds for him as a surprise, but until then we will have to deal with a board under his side of the mattress.

Well my dear ladies, I'm gonna run. I have Statistics Reports to work on, payroll to do, and Cake Class tonight! Have a Terrific Tuesday!

**Thank you to everyone who participated in the Giveaway! I will announce the winner next Monday with a follow up post of everyone's Keep Cool ideas.***

Monday, July 13, 2009

30 Days to being a better Wife- Day 3

Day 3: Love is not selfish
Whatever you put your time, energy, and money into will become more important to you. It’s hard to care for something you are not investing in. Along with restraining from negative comments, buy your spouse something that says, “I love you!"

More to follow... slammed on the workfront this am.

30 Days to being a better Wife- Day 2

Day 2: Love is kind- "Love makes you kind. And kindness makes you likeable.
Day 2 Dare: In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.

More to follow, but wanted to get this back out there. For some reason, my post did not save yesterday! So I'm re-writting yesterday and today. I can already feel my neck starting to get hot.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

30 Days to Being a Better Wife... Day 1

So, I told you on date night we were going to watch a movie. And we did... "Fireproof" This was without a doubt one of the most wonderful, inspiring, funny, sweet, romantic movies I think I have seen in a really long time. If you and your sweetie have not seen it, please take the time to watch it together. It follows a plan called the Love Dare, which is based off of taking 40 days to become a better spouse. It was so fitting for me to watch this on the eve of me starting my own challenge. I will use some of the dares from the Love Dare, as I certainly feel like I need all the help I can get.
Day 1: Love is patient

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

—Ephesians 4:2 NIV


The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It’s better to hold your tongue than to say something you’ll regret.

I succeeded so far today. A friend of mine is having a party tonight. I know that dh does not want to go, however, I have really pushed the issue. Well, this morning over coffee, he finally just came out and said, he really did not want to attend. There had been a much younger crowd(early 20's) that had also been invited, it had grown to over 150 people, and he just really did not feel like it was something he would enjoy. I could feel the vein in my temple start to pulse and my blood pressure start to rise. I could also see DH shift his weight and knew he was waiting for me to blow. I sat for a few seconds and considered my options... I could blow up right now, pout, get angry, and ruin an otherwise lovely morning with DH going off to fish with his buddies and me cleaning house and bleaching anything that would stand still.... or I could just nicely say that was fine, I would go for a bit, then come home and we would have a nice dinner together if he would pick up something while he was out. Tic tock tick tock.... I chose the high road. I smiled sweetly, said my piece and DH agreed to pick up something yummy for dinner.

I must admit, I'm not happy with his decision, however, in thinking it over, I took what could have turned into a childish argument and difused it. I can't promise that I will act the same the next time something happens, but I will try. I will end this post by saying a small prayer quoted from the book "One Minute Prayers for Wives" by Hope Lyda"

"A man's wisdom gives him patience, it is his glory to overlook an offense"
Proverbs 19:11
Calm my heart and my mind when they are raging towards accusation and frustration. Allow me a bridge of compassion so that I can step above and over the hurdle before me. On the other side I will find the beauty of forgiveness and mercy. I will experience the freedom of overlooking flaws and the human ways of another.

Have a wonderful rest of the day! I'm off to go get dressed for the party.

Friday, July 10, 2009

30 Days to being a better Wife

Ladies... last night, I blew it and I don't just mean a little. Bad moods, created tension, led to an argument over watching a movie (Fireproof no less), lead to tears, and a turned back all night. I admit, DH was in not the greatest of moods when he came home from work, and I probably should have just let it go, but the rolling of the eyes when I pulled out the movie and the irritated "Is this a chic flick", really set me off. I lost it!

I finally just called and said I'm sorry with reminders of date night. It all got me thinking though... maybe I'm not being the best wife that I could be. A recent comment about my attire for sleeping recently, is what started the thoughts actually. I admit, after 10 years, my pj pants, a tshirt, (a sweatshirt) if I'm cold, sock, and a bra. Yes, a bra... tmi, I'm sure, but I had to let you know the full spectrum. I forgot to add, a messy bun. Gone are the days of cute pjs from Vic's Secret with taking the time to put on scented lotion, etc, before bed. Gone too are the days of taking a moment to freshen up my makeup and hair before he gets home. Heck by the end of the day, when DH gets home, I've changed outta my work clothes, taken off my jewelry (except my wedding rings)and my makeup. I've usually changed to shorts and a t'shirt. Not the sweetest sight to come home to.

So, I am committing myself, to trying to be better. Being a better wife, not only is nicer for DH, I think it will make me feel better about myself as well. If there is anyone who would like to join this challenge with me, I would be grateful and honored. Please leave your comments on how you are striving to be the best wife you can below.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

For the love of Date Night

I admit, I'm a sucker for romance. Romance novels, romantic movies, romantic songs, heck, I even check out the romantic cards when I go to the Kroger! Now, DH, does pretty good most of the time when he plans, and last weekend he totally blew me away by taking me dancing. Sooooo, here I sit, on Tuesday afternoon, and by goodness, I'm fresh out of ideas.

For probably the last 2 hours I have racked my brain. Dinner and a movie, wine tasting at our favorite local vineyard, sushi, etc. etc..... I'm practically in tears now. Is it a sign that the romance may be gone, because I can't come up with an idea for date night? Am I bored, What the heck is going on??

I humbly will say, that after a while of thinking about it, stressing about it, and worried to death that he would be disappointed, I called him. Yes, I had to break the news that I could not come up with any new creative ideas for this Friday night. What he said, made me fall for my big brown eyed sweetie all over again. The sweet little words of "That's okay honey, we will figure something out.". He was just happy that I still after all this time, wanted to impress him, wanted to look nice for him, and just wanted to spend time with him. It was a little bit after we got off of the phone, that it hit me, to just sit out on the deck, order chinese, get a grocery store (YIKES) bottle of wine, and be together. In the words of Mastercard.... priceless.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Baby it's hot in here!

I'm about to confess.... yes, I have been so neglectful of my little blog for the last month or so. With my grandfather passing away in May, my daughter leaving for a whole month and a half to go to camp, and the garden... (the zucchini runneth over), I have been a little overwhelmed.

So, now that I've gotten my whining over why I haven't blogged for a month or so, I'm super excited to announce my very first giveaway! For anyone that lives in the south you know what the humidity is doing to your hair, make-up, clothes, house, flowers.. etc. etc. I'm putting together a whole little basket of stuff to keep you cool as a cucumber! There will be a pretty hair accessory to get the hair off your neck and outta your face, some great smelling lotion and body wash , a cooling eye mask that you freeze,of course a summer read for a day spent lounging on the beach,a clean linen candle guaranteed to give the house a clean cool smell, and some sweet little surprises! The winner will be announced on July 20 (my mommas birthday)at 9pm, est. The deadline for entering is July 13 at Midnight.

Miss. Jenifer, how do I enter, you ask? Well, very simple honey! Give me you best keeping cool ideas in the comments section, get 1 entry! Become a follower, get 2 entries, and let others know on your blog... you guessed it, 3 entries! Have fun, stay cool, and pray that my zuchini's don't overtake the house soon.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fabulous Giveaway!

Miss Janice is having a lovely giveaway on her blog to celebrate her 100th post. Etiquette with Miss Janice....(click her to go there)

Now for any of ya'll reading this who aren't Southern, this may be just the thing for you, if you (like so many others) are fascinated with all things southern. She's the lady to see if you need to be in the know.

Congratulations Miss. Janice on your 100th post. Your blog was the first that I found and I've been hooked ever since.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Smallest Blessings... family ambitions

So for the past few weeks, I have missed doing this... My reasons are simple, sweet and sad. You see my grandfather turned 98 years old in January. He has been married to my grandmother for close to 70 years. My grandfather has lived a very active life up until mid April. He has never once complained a single bit, however it became very obvious, that his body and mind were getting tired. From april 13 on he he has gone down hill just a little bit each day. My grandmother has tirelessly stayed by his side answering to his every whim and request. Even heating up apple juice and water, because... well, that's just how he liked it.

I have been going by there every Friday afternoon for lunch and to help out any way I can. I made him a homeade strawberry and plum pie, took him his favorite ribs from O'Charleys, whatever he liked. I will jokingly say that I believe he may have been just a little spoiled, but then again, we are talking about a man that had 3 children, 9 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren... I guess he's done his fair share of spoiling us as well.

On Friday May 15, I went over there, to find him unable to get out of bed by himself. This is the bed that he and my grandmother have shared all of their marriage. On Saturday, my aunt had a hospital bed brought in, and that's where he stayed. Monday evening, my grandmother called everyone around 7:30 to let them know that he just wasn't himself..... everyone came quickly! We all sat up all night long Monday night. On tuesday morning, the hospice nurse that has been helping out came by to help bath him and shave him. From the time he started shaving, my grandfather has shaved every single day!! She was certainly surprised to see a house full of exhausted, coffee jacked up people. She went on about her business and shaved him. When she moved out of the front of him, my cousin made a comment that he had not moved.... the nurse turned around and told us all what we already knew. He was gone. I felt like someone had ripped my heart out. He simply went to sleep Monday night and never woke back up. It is hard for me to accept, but I know that this was God's will. My grandfather was Roy M. Long... aged 98, passed away May 19, 2009, in his home, with his family around him.He gave his life to the Lord in 1955 and has remained active in his churchall of these years. He was loved and respected by many, as a man, a father, a grandfather, and as a soilder.

To his tribute, I reaffirmed my faith and life this past Sunday. I can hope that I am as good of a wife to my husband as he was a husband to my grandmother, and a mother as he was a father. Please say a prayer for my grandmother as she is feeling lost without the love of her life.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Tip for the Week....

Well Ladies, I must say, that I enjoy reading every one's blogs so much! I always find such helpful advice and thoughtful dialogue. That is what gave me this idea sort of a tip central....

I am a collector of books. New books, old books, books on gardening, books on cooking, books on etiquette, books, books, books, and of course we own several copies of"The Good Book". I thought that since I had such a wealth of knowledge at my hands, that I would perhaps find something that I felt like would be a thoughtful and lovely tip for the coming new week. I encourage your tips and ideas too... goodness knows we can all always use new ideas. I'm breaking it up into 4 categories of marriage, home, beauty, and including a recipe. If this seems like it is catching, I may add more areas of interest in the future. Thanks for your ideas!

1. Marriage- This is timeless advice, but I have always found it to be true.... "Never go to bed angry at your spouse." Anger and emotions does a couple of things, first being that if you are angry, you probably are not doing alot of snuggling, thus losing that contact with each other. Secondly, anger and heavy emotion do not make for a good night sleep. Your blood pressure rises, your heart beats faster, and your body does not get to that relaxation state that you need to achieve REM. Thirdly, when you do not achieve a good nights sleep, your face tells it all. You have circles under your eyes, your skin looks dull, and by the end of the day you are dragging. Now, I don't know about you, but this is not the face I really want my husband to come home to. Moral- Do not go to bed angry with each other. Work it out, and your body will thank you for it!

2.Home- Try to clean up your clutter- Clutter breeds, I am a firm believer of this. Think about how easy it is to add to clutter. However, if you spend just 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes ( I recommend after the dinner dishes are done) in the evening, just picking up, it will be much harder for your clutter to pile up on you.
Joshua 24:15 "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord."

3.Beauty- Take time every morning to say a small prayer for yourself. I put this under beauty, because as women, we so often take care of everyone else's needs, leaving ourselves to the last. Suddenly you look up, it's 4:30 and you've still got your workout wear on and your hair in a crazy half ponytail, half bun. By taking this 5 minutes or so,to focus on yourself, you probably will be more apt to take a few more minutes to slap on some moisturizer, maybe a little blush and some gloss on your lips. I promise it will make you feel better.

4. Recipe- Ok, for my chicken lovers....here's a recipe so simple and easy, it'll blow your mind!

Take 8 chicken pieces... (I personally love breast and the boneless work great on this, but whatever floats your boat. ) about 8 hours before you are ready to fry, soak your chicken in a mixture of buttermilk (enough to coat evenly all pieces) 2 tsp of black pepper, and Jane's Crazy mixed up Salt. Refrigerate and soak for at least 8 hrs. After this, place 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour & 1/2 cup of House Autry Chicken Breader, and a tsp of each, basil, oregano, and Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt in a large dish and whisk, whip 2 eggs and set beside your flour mixture. In a large skillet(cast iron if you've got it!) heat 2 tbsp of oil, any kind you have and heat. Coat each piece of chicken on both sides with the flour mix, then dip in the egg wash, then back in the flour mix. Gently lay in your oil. An easy way to test your oil, is to take a small piece of potato, and dip in the oil... if it bubbles, your oil is hot enough. Depending on what type of chicken you are using, a general rule is about 8-10 min. before flipping the first time, the cover and let cook. You will want to check on this about every 3-5 minutes, by gently piercing with a fork, once the juices start to clear, flip one more time and cut the heat down to medium low. Generally it takes about 25-30 minutes . This sounds labor intensive, but actually it's not, and if you really want to jack it up one more Southern notch... once your chicken is totally done, add one stick of butter, and one bottle of Kraft Barbecue sauce. You should also fill the bottle half up with water and add this. Cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Let this simmer for about 8 minutes, and it's outta this world! The sauce forms a gravy, which, my kids go nuts over and usually are sopping up with biscuits.

Because the chicken is so rich, I usually serve pretty simple sides, like rice cooked with chicken broth instead of water, applesauce, and a green salad of spinach, green onions, green olives and cilantro. Dessert at this point is totally optional, you may even want to save you applesauce for last and serve it over pound cake. It may sound simple... but in a case like this, especially if you serve it really cold, it'll be great

Friday, May 1, 2009

Confessions of a Big Girl

I have a struggle with my weight. It bogs me down, and in fact there are times when if I don't watch out, it will consume me! I try to follow Weight Watchers, however I am an Epileptic and am on a medicine that unfortunatly makes my metabolism like a turtle. I come from a long line of hippy girls and I've come to accept it as a fact of my life. Once I came to terms with the fact that I would always, always, be on a diet, I actually started to find some humor in it. I have included a clip of fiction that I wrote inhopes that if there is anyone out there who shares this struggle, you may find a few minutes of humor and understanding. Enjoy!

So here I sat, with my cup of real coffee trying to decide just what the heck I could use to expand my advertising. I mean let's face it would you rather have someone cater your affair, wedding, etc who really looked like she enjoyed the food, or some twig who looked like she had never even eaten? Ding ding ding... go for the girl with the gut and the butt, you'll be more satisfied with the end result, I promise, or my name's not Jenifer Helton! Great, I certainly don't think I could put that on my advertising. I'm stuck! I'm hungry, but something in me wanted to bust out laughing. The concept of the idea was good, but I really don't think the words gut and butt belonged in advertising.... I somehow think the whole Nair incident yesterday may have wiped away some brain cells. Which by the way... NEVER PUT THAT STUFF ON YOUR EYEBROWS. Don't ask, just adhere to my advice, and trust me, don't leave the towel in the bathroom floor, for the cat to lay on.... let's just say that Oscar the Fat Cat's big orange fluffy belly, is welllll, it turns out he wasn't so fat after all, just furry.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Smallest Blessings... Memories

Spring has officially sprung here in beautiful Virginia. My sweetie and I went this past weekend to get the first batch of "mater" plants and some squash. I also planted 6 strawberry plants, 2 rhubarb plants and 1 new rose bush. Needless to say, it was a long and HOT (94 degrees!!) weekend. But, we sat on the deck, listening to the 60's beach music station and simply enjoying each other's company. It was a sweet moment that we got to spend together, with no cell phones ringing, without a house full of teenage girls, or a yard full of friends.

Tonight I made a comfort food dinner... hamburgers with gravy and onions,cucumbers in vinegar, beets, squash and onions, and a yummy peach pie for desert. In the midst of eating dinner it occurred to me that we were eating my Great grandmother's favorite dinner. She always made this every Wednesday when my mom and I would go visit during the summers when I was a little girl. I don't know what made me think about it, as my granny has been dead for over 10 years. I spent the rest of dinner telling my sweetie and my baby about her. She was beautiful, elegant, and a little bit feisty! She and her friends had mink stoles, cat eye glasses, and big jars of ponds cold cream on their dressers. She raised a huge garden, had the most fabulous red geraniums, and made the best potato salad ever. She taught me and all of my cousins how to drive in her trusty green maverick and then a snazzy red Taurus.I could go on and on for hours, perhaps even days, but that's a blog for another day.

My blessing this week is my memories... whether they are new or old, they are treasured and sweet. When was the last time you took some of your best memories out and dusted them off? I once heard that as long as you remembered, things and people never really went away.Take the time to make memories with your family and you too will have a gift to treasure for years to come, both to enjoy and to give. Have a lovely and memorable week.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pennies from Heaven

Now, I know that some of you may be wondering what the heck I'm doing... I'm suppose to be in Myrtle Beach. Well, the Lord works in mysterious ways.

I originally was not suppose to even go this year. Financially I just could not swing it, and the accountant in me wasn't going to take away from something else to go and play. However, through the wonder of friendship, my girlfriends decided that they were going to treat me! I was so excited and feel so blessed. Still, though in the back of my mind, something just wasn't sitting right.

On Sunday evening, I totally cleaned the car out. I have the biggest vehicle (yes, I am the proud owner of a gas guzzler, I must admit), so I had decided that the least I could do was to drive. I took every single thing (a small feat in itself, as I believe I may have found Jimmy Hoffa) out of the truck. I finished my day out, still feeling uneasy, but starting to really get excited.

At 2 am, Monday morning, my dear friend Debra's father, Charles Erwin Farmer, affectionately known as "Bubba" lost his battle with lung cancer. At 6:45 am my dear friend Vickie lost her sister unexpectedly to diabetes. She was 42 years old.

Everyone quickly kicked into gear, calling, making arrangements, etc. At 7:30 am, I went out to my truck and saw 2 brand new shiny pennies sitting in my seat. I was having such a bad morning that I thought, what the heck, I'll sit on them. thinking for sure that my husband must have put them there, I really thought nothing of it. After all, it was such a busy day. On Tuesday morning, I went out and giggled at the thought of riding to work on them again. When I opened the door, I reached for my cell phone, as I had agreed to make the call to cancel our reservations. I happened to glance down, and dropped the phone!!!! There now were 3 pennies. This is crazy I know, right? Well, I called my honey and asked him why he kept leaving pennies in my seat, only to have him tell me he had no idea what I was talking about. I shook it off, and began the trip to work, riding on my pennies. About 9:30 am, I called Kingston Plantation to cancel our reservation. The clerk told me I must have been mistaken, that the reservation had already been canceled on Sunday. We disagreed for a few minutes, however I finally took the cancellation number to call each one of my friends.

We still today, do not know who canceled the reservations, or where the pennies came from. I sadly received a call this morning that my 98 year old grandfather is being put in Hospice. It is a strange story and it has been a stranger week. I typically only work 2 hours on Fridays, and you can bet that my first stop will be to see my grandfather tomorrow as soon as I leave here. Have a beautiful week and remember to kiss and hug the ones you love every single chance you get. Life is my blessing this week, and perhaps it is one of the greatest blessings, as we never know when it will be taken away as quickly as it came.

Note* I still have the pennies in my seat, and am working on getting a picture of them to add to my post. *

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Smallest Blessings-Friendship

Every year in April, 5 close friends and myself go to Myrtle Beach for a "Girls Weekend". It's my mother, my cousin, and some other ladies. Unfortunately I got laid off last September, and although I did go back to work, it was at a much reduced salary. I scrimped and saved for the last few months, but something always has come up, so I made the decision ( a big girl decision) that I just wasn't going to go this year, we simply could not afford it. I was very sad to have to tell everyone, especially my mother. We in the past had made the 5 hour ride together, and it really served as a sweet and private time for us.

About 2 weeks ago, I got a call from one of my dearest friends, asking me if I still was not going to be able to go. I told her yes, financially there really was just no way. She said ok and after a few minuets of idle chit chat, we said goodbye. The next day she called me again, asking the same question. I have to admit, that at first, I was a bit angry. I told her again, that nothing had changed... she quickly cut me off by saying that everyone had talked the night before and that I had to go. She then laughed and said that one of the best things about friendship was the chance to do something nice for someone else and that the "girls" had decided that they were paying my portion.

I encourage everyone who read this to take this to heart. Friendship, true friendship is being able to experience the joy of not only each other, but the opportunity to do something nice for someone else. It doesn't have to be extravagant, it doesn't even have to cost anything. I challenge you all to do something unexpected today for your friend. Whether that be your spouse, your sister, or just a girlfriend from college, surprise them with a gesture and when the thanks come, encourage them to pass it on. If everyone did this for one day, perhaps it would spill over into the next.
Have a wonderful day!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Blessings of being a Woman

I'm a few days late, with my post I realize. I hope that everyone will understand upon hearing my reasons.
For the past 9 years, my gorgeous husband and I have been trying to have another baby. Unfortunatly it just doesn't seem to be in the cards. We've done every test under the sun, treatments, etc, and nothing has worked. Last monday, I geared up for "the day"... anyone who has been through the whole precision of trying to concieve knows what I am speaking of. As the events of the day unfolded... work, taking our daughter to ball practice, making dinner, laundry, I grew more and more tired. At about 9 pm, I thought I would just lay down for a quick nap... well, the next thing I knew, the clock was going off and it was 6 am, tuesday morning. I panicked, I cried, and I yelled at the ceiling! I had missed my little window of opportunity.I went through the morning like someone in slow motion.At about 11:30, one of my dearest friends called me with some exciting news..... she was expecting her third child. I think I went into a hazy fog.
I spent the next few days in a state of turmoil. I was so happy for her, and yet felt so betrayed by my own body.
On Sunday at our Easter services, there was a little girl in the pew in front of us. She looked to be about 18 months old... cute as a button! I stared at her, and then felt a little pat on my arm from my husband. I think in that moment, we came to a mutual decision that we would just let nature decide what was best for us as a family. My husband told me that whether I had 1 child or 40, I was a woman in his eyes. I know it's crazy, but I felt like I needed that confirmation.

My point to this, is that my blessing this week is womanhood. We as women, run ourselves to the max. We try to do it all, we down ourselves, if our hips or bottoms aren't what society thinks they should be, or if we aren't looking like a Victorias Secret model in our wonderbras. I encourage each and every woman who reads this to take a moment and hug yourself, your curves, and your femininity, not to harbor disappointment when you feel as though your body is betraying you. God made us in the image that he felt was right for us, it is for him to decide what our bodies should do, and no one else.
I recommitted myself to God yesterday, feeling as though I had gotten off the path in striving for something that maybe just wasn't meant for me as a woman to do more than once. Til next week..... or I guess I should say thursday!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My loves

I hope that I get this right.... I have so much that I am thankful for everyday, so this was very hard for me. I hate to sound selfish... but my blessing today will be for my eyes. Now before you stop reading and think I've gone crazy, hear me out.
With my eyes, I see every morning when I get up that the "coffee fairy" (my sweet husband) has left me coffee to enjoy and a note to read. I see the way that my daughter is curled up sleeping looking about 8 years old (until she unfolds her legs and turns into my little super model at 13). I see the love that we have put into making our house beautiful and the feel pride deep in my heart. I see the daffodils that we planted years ago when we first moved here to our home.I see that Oscar, the cat's big orange belly is now fully covering his bottom paws when he sits up and I have to laugh.
I see a million things a day, but none as sweet or dear to me, as those things that I see within my first hour of waking each day. I thank God everyday for this amzing gift that he has given me, and know that if tomorrow I woke and could not see, I will have been more blessed than I ever could have imagined by what I had seen the day before.
I have included a picture of my beautiful daughter, as watching her grow into a young lady has been amazing.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

21 Days to becoming a more effective wife......

Being all that I can be.... I had to ponder if I was really doing this after reading some lovely blogs by some Good ole Christian southern Women. My conclusions... I most definatly was not. I have flower beds that are running amuke, walls that need to be painted, a fridge that needs to be cleaned out, ironing.. (we won't even go there!) and the list just goes on and on. I am embarassed to admit, we haven't been to church in 3 weeks, and I have to wonder if that's what got me sooooo out of sorts.
I am making my commitment to myself, and perhaps anyone who will read this of a few things I'm going to start doing (re-doing).....
1. I will make a point to rise earlier than 6:45. My job has changed to where I now longer have to dress up daily, and believe me, the routine of falling into jeans, a hoodie or tee and throwing my hair up in a ponytial, has gotten just wayyyy to easy.
2. I will set aside more time to pray for my family and myself. I see lots of women that are praying for their families, however I did not see where alot of women where making it a priority to make sure that they were praying for themselves as well. How can we be the best wives, mothers, daughters, friends... all of the roles that we as women take on, if we do not pray for God to give us that gentle helping hand?
3. I will make sure that the kitchen is totally clean everynight and that my bed is made every morning.
4. I will put the laundry acutally in the drawers of my dresser, and not just sit it on top.
5. I will set my egg timer and do a 15 minuet clean up every evening before I start dinner.

These are my goals this week. I have a notebook that I tried writing down my goals in. they looked lovely on paper, however they were so lofty that they were totally unattainable. Wish me luck, and please bear with me as I try to "prettify" my blog area.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I may be slighty blog challenged...

Alright girls.. I'm seeing all of these gorgeous blogs out there and I'll be honest... I'm just having a little trouble in getting my blog to look as pretty as it should. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!!