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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Too much to say, too little words...

Tonight would have to be the 15th time I've sat down to write lately and found myself staring at the flashing cursor on a blank white screen, with only my signature looking back me. I have so much on my mind, which seems to have a whole new affect on me these days. Silence.

Usually, I'm all words. I think out loud. But, lately I'm just quiet.

I feel a shifting at the shoebox. Not so much a change as much as a narrowing of my blog focus. I've realized I cannot blog about it all, and I certainly cannot blog about it everyday. I've been feeling this pressure to post lately, but I refuse to become the blogger who blabs. I don't want to write if I don't have anything to say, and I don't want to get carried away with the popularity contests of blogging.

Let's face it. It's easy to get caught up. We try to participate in every meme, reply to every email, visit all of our followers, and click our way through the list of blogs we love. Before we know it, the day is gone, and we've clicked away precious hours of our day.

Or maybe for you (like me lately) it's the other end of the spectrum. You've been thinking about sitting down and whipping up a phenomenal post all day, then  9:00am turns into 9:00pm. One day turns into one week, and you feel the opposite of popular. Disconnected. Please tell me I'm speaking to somebody. I feel like using phrases like "popularity contests" have a negative tone. It's not intentional. But, we click around to connect with others and market our own blogs. In the process we hope to gain a following in return. What else do I call it?

Don't misunderstand me. I love all of you! I enjoy connecting with other women and moms. I have met some incredible people over the last few months, and blogging has become one of my favorite things to do. The blogoshpere has opened up a whole new world for me. I have even made some friends. Totally unexpected, but I've met a few bloggers who I actually consider friends. Who would have thought?

But, I have to attempt to stay balanced. As much as I love this whole thing, and all of you, it has become something else I love to do, yet don't have time to do it. So how will I find balance? I have no idea.  But I'm going to start with a bit of housecleaning. I feel strongly that a blog should be quality not quantity.

So, I've decided to take my own advice. I am cleaning things up a bit around the shoebox and sifting through the boatload of thoughts that I have. When I need to think, I bake!

There's just something therapeutic about it.
I know that I can always turn these...
...into this.

I love a bit of certainty in life!


Be an encouragement to one another!
Hebrews 3:13





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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dear God, it's me Adrienne...PINT Style!







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Only Parent Chronicles

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I still do

My husband and I recently celebrated our 7th anniversary. I asked him how it feels to be married for seven years. He says, "Like it's really been 12." Haha!

Seven years just doesn't seem long enough to describe the life we've shared together. Our journey began over 12 years ago. One very nontraditional journey! It's been a long road. One we're still trying to navigate most days. I love my husband, and he's a wonderful father.

But, marriage is hard. You go through seasons. Sometimes you're in sync with each other, and other times you're not. Sometimes your differences seem to out weigh the things you have in common. These are the days that are hard.

We each have our flaws. He has several things about him that I wish would go away. I know he would say the same about me. Last night we were on a date. It wasn't the sweet, newlywed kind of date. It was the old married couple kind of date. We started discussing this season period of pure aggravation with each other. He always tries to defend himself by telling me how far he's come from the guy I was hanging around 13 years ago. Well, I hope so! It was 13 years ago!

I many ways we've grown up together. We've each become different people than the two kids from years ago. In good ways. We've become parents, adults-real grown-ups. We have grown-up problems. It's crazy thinking of our lives so many years ago. By God's grace and mercy we are where we are. I know God has even more planned. But, it's hard getting there.

Last night he says, "What were you thinking getting involved with me back then?"

I say, "I wasn't thinking. I just knew I loved you."

I still do.







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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Effort is something...right?

I cannot believe it's been a week since I posted! Where does a whole 7 days go? At my house this past week it's been a little hectic. I haven't posted much because sometimes I should just be quiet. It's safer for me and others. I haven't even been able to reply to a lot of your emails. Which I guess is a good thing, since I found out yesterday that the few I actually did respond to were all funky computer language instead of what I actually typed. Ok, I give up.

It's the one week of the month I hate. On top of that my youngest has a sinus infection, and I spent Monday night in the ER with a terrible UTI! Perhaps this is T-M-I? My antibiotics make me feel like crap, and I feel like this...



Anybody?

So, I haven't posted much.
But, I can't be Debbie Downer forever, so I'm going to put in an effort today. No promises, an effort.

I began with reading cramming through 4 days of bible study this morning.
Thank you, Lord!

I'm still internalizing most of it, but at least I won't have to go to my study group with an empty workbook. This would have just made me feel worse.

I blow dried my hair. And last but not least, I'm about to wax my eyebrows.

There's something therapeutic in waxing my brows...swipe! It's a visual of a clean slate. Not to mention I'm much less scarier with two eyebrows instead of one.

So, today's a new day.

Joy cometh in the morning!
Psalm 30:5











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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A season has passed

It's been over three years since I lost my job. Before I lived this life of a SAHM and home schooling, I worked as a Title agent in a demanding office with dear friends. Everyday I wished I was home with my boys, and longed for God to get me here. In my heart I was never a working mom, but it's what worked for us at the time and I did what I needed to do. I worked with this Title agency for 5 years. In addition to these years being some of the most hated memories of a working mom, it was also the sweetest memories with special friends. I wouldn't trade the blessing of being home for anything, but I do miss the conveniences of seeing my sweet sistas everyday. The job itself-you can have it! My heart has always been at home. But...

I had the blessing of working daily with some of my dearest friends. One of which, I grew up with. My BFF, my sista! Over the years we have shared almost every job together. I'm talking EVERY JOB! From the good old days of irresponsibility and cluelessness as bartenders and waitresses to the real world of career moms and Real Estate closings.

Everyday I went to the office I could count on seeing her smile, hear her laugh, shop during lunch, and just get the play-by-play of her daily life and family news. I never missed a beat of anything. As happy as I am to be finally home, and living a life I used to cry over not having. I miss my sweet friend.

This is nothing new-it's been over 3 years. But every now and then, I have a tender spot in my heart. I guess today is one of those days. Our lives are so different now. For the first time since I was 18 our lives are just different. We are in different seasons. She has a brand new baby boy (who is precious, by the way) that I should get to see every day. But, then I remember we don't live near each other, and the conveniences of years passed are just not there. Our lives have priorities to our husbands and our children, and right now, friendship sort of takes the back seat.

I'm experiencing awkward phone calls, because as much as we want to chat and catch up-it's bittersweet. A phone call is nothing compared to the days of endless conversation. The phone calls are almost a reminder of what we don't have anymore-time.

Sometimes I'm so used to having so much in common with her and our lives matching up perfectly, I don't really know how to be at different stages in life than her. Sometimes I don't think she knows how to either. It's just a funky kind of thirty-something-moment for me.

I love my sweet friend, and I know that when our kids are grown we'll be sipping hot coffee with good creamer somewhere on a porch cracking up about so many good stories. I could get together with her today, and it would be as if no time had passed. She is my sista. But until then, I just plain miss her in the day-to-day! That's her place in my heart.








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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Through the Eyes of a Child

On Saturday morning, I took my youngest to hunt garage sales and get pancakes from McDonald's. One of his favorite things to do. My oldest was home finishing his school work. Yes, on a Saturday morning. That subject may have to be a whole other post!

As we were driving around we pulled up to the stoplight at a 4-way intersection. The sweet voice from the backseat said, "Mom, these must be God's favorite kind of roads."

"What kind of roads?", I ask.

"The cross kind.", he says matter-of-factly as he looks out the window.

I took me a minute to realize that we were at a 4-way stop. My heart just melted. How sweet.

All I could muster up was, "I bet they are sweetheart, I bet they are."

It really got me thinking...Do I see Jesus in the smallest of things like this?

It's not like we were in an airplane getting a view from above. We were only at the stoplight. Getting a view from only our side of the street. I thought it was interesting that he would notice the road as 4-way, and put that thought together. How often do I only see "my side of the street", and fail to recognize God's hand in everything on the other sides?

Oh, to have a childlike faith that never fails or forgets who Christ is, and what He did for me!

Lord, teach me to see you through the eyes of a child. In everything and everywhere.

"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
~Matthew 18:3-4







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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Almost Famous



What makes you smile? I'm linking up with Mama Hen for Smile Sunday with a little story from our week that made me smile.

I took the kids to an art class this past Thursday. During the lesson the art teacher asked if any of the children knew of any famous artists. My 5 yr. old quickly and politely raised his hand and said, "Me".

Oh, how darn cute! He was serious too. A few months back he entered one of his creations in a contest to be published in the local newspaper. He was ecstatic to find he was picked!

His drawing + the local newspaper = FAMOUS ARTISIT (of course he would think he's famous!)

He not only made the spread along with all the other kids who made it, but they picked his drawing as one of few select "spotlights" that were featured on the front of the article. Seeing the light in his eye when he accomplished this goal was something I never want to forget! He was on top of the world for two straight weeks!

I have that newspaper saved, of course. If he has anything to do with it there will be many more in my hope chest when I'm old and grey.

I hope to always encourage my children to follow their dreams.






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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Changing Directions and Breaking Chains

I'm four weeks into Breaking Free, by Beth Moore. It's amazing to say the least, and this past week of study has really rocked my world! The topic was generational sin.

There is absolutely no way I could cram all of my thoughts on this study into one post, but this morning I'm up at 4:00AM thinking about how profound what I'm learning this week is.

We all have things about us that are products of how we were raised.

Before I go on I would like to start by saying that I love my parents, and if I needed help right now, they would be there for me. There were many positives about my childhood. They had five kids, and did the best they could. That being said, there is a laundry list of things I want to do differently for my kids. But, I'm learning that bashing them or the way they parented isn't going to get me anywhere.

There are so many things about myself that I don't like that are a result of the environment I was raised in. How many of those qualities or behaviors do I accept as my "personality", due to my parents or my childhood? Lots! I found this quote from the study to be profound.

"We tend to think of hand-me-down baggage as part of who we are rather than how we're bound. In many cases, we grew up with these chains so they feel completely natural. We consider them part of our personalities rather than a yoke squeezing abundant life out of us." ~ Beth Moore, Breaking Free

Here's a an example. I grew up in a household that argued, yelled, cussed, screamed, and fought like crazy. My parents argued, the kids argued, and the house was generally ten octaves above the average house every day. It was loud, chaotic, and had a negative vibe a lot of the days because of it.

Even though this is something I hated about my household growing up, I yell all the time here. I'm argumentative at times, and my temper is pretty short. If I'm having a bad day, it doesn't take a whole lot to set me off down the yelling and screaming path. My children have witnessed arguments between my husband and I, and I'm usually the one to keep it going when I should calm down and wait for a more appropriate time to talk to hubs. I have a hard time finding self control when I'm all fired up. It's hard for me to admit this, but it's true. Have I accepted this behavior in myself as my personality? Accept is a hard word. I don't like this about me, but I haven't changed it. I often find myself making excuses for this behavior by saying things like "It's so hard, because this is the way I was raised".

There's more about my past, me today, and the me of my future that is a result of past generations that I DO NOT want to pass down to my own children. The yelling has already reared it's head in them at times, and I'm heartbroken over it. I already find myself saying things like, "Oh, he's just like me. He has to be right all the time." This is something I grew up hearing about myself!

Here's another example...premarital sex. I was the youngest of four girls. My oldest sisters are six years my senior. When I was 10 yrs., they were on birth control with steady boyfriends who were allowed to sleep over. By the time I was old enough for boyfriends, there was no talk about sex. It was just understood that I knew it all because I was the youngest of four sexually active daughters. Ugh! I had a very warped view of sex, love, and realtionships because of this. I made the mistake of going down the path of casual sex, and crappy relationships, with crappy people. I don't want that for my boys!

There's tons more, but this is a post not a book. The list that God has opened my eyes to this week is too long(and some too personal) to share, even for an honest blogger. However, I've learned I can break the chains for my children, thier children, and their grandchildren, and thousands of my decendants after I'm gone from this earth!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!"
~2 Corinthians 5:17

I am a new creation in Christ! I don't have to settle for the me I was going to be. I can be the me God had planned for me!

"So many people yearn to be part of something significant. Something important. We want to make useful contributions to society. We look at people who do and we're anvious, yet do we realize what kind of contribution we could make in our own family lines? I can't think of anyone to whom I'd want my life to be a blessing more than my children's children and their children's children. Ten generations later our names might be forgotten, but one day in heaven I beleive they'll get to meet the link that changed the direction of the chain. Sometimes we're willing to criticize what happened before us, but are we willing to take the challenge of positively affecting those after us? The little slice of time God offers each generation is a trust." ~Beth Moore, Breaking Free

With God's help, I'm changing directions and breaking chains!










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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cute Halloween Craft-Egg Carton Spiders!

I'm linking this post up with the SITS Girls for a chance to win a new camera! I soooo need one! Mine is on the fritz, and it's demotivating me in the pictutre taking dept. Thanks SITS girls for this awesome giveaway. Visit their site for the best blogging tips out there!

I love to save household items in the hopes of finding something creative to do with them. I save glass jars from spaghetti sauce, baby food jars (from my SIL), and a bunch of other items I may never find a use for. But, last week I stumbled upon this blog with an adorable idea for egg cartons. "I have those!", I thought.

I modified the project a little to fit what I had on hand. It's one of those "make it however you want" type crafts. Love those! This is a simple craft to get the Halloween juices flowing in your house this week!
My youngest loved it!

All you need is:
scissors
black paint
googley eyes
glue gun
toothpick
paintbrush or sponge
pipe cleaner
The paint in the pic is regular poster paint.
We had to switch it up to acrylic paint to get it to stick to the egg cartons.

Doing school and crafts in your undies rocks!
We had to paint two coats on these.
We hot glued eyes and painted a scary mouth and fangs. 
(I found a toothpick worked best for the mouth.) 
We didn't have any black pipe cleaner,
so we just used whatever color we wanted.
It works! Isn't he cute?







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