Thursday, January 27, 2011

French Fries and Fish Sticks

What were your dreams as a child? I don't necessarily remember all of mine, but some are recorded in a special keepsake book my mom helped me with all throughout grade school.  I'm so glad she did because I wouldn't have remembered all of them! I don't have it with me at the moment, but I do remember looking through it in recent years - reminiscing about former dreams and aspirations.  Each school year there was a spot to record what I wanted to be when I "grew up".  For many years I wrote "teacher", then it changed to "doctor", then to "lawyer"; this was all before 7th grade!

I never did achieve any of those goals.  I did, however, receive a degree in Environmental Science.  Sometimes it saddens me that I can't use my degree in Abilene, as there just isn't industry to support it. Overall I understand that God knows what's best.  Sometimes I miss having a career though.  Putting in effort and receiving a "reward", also known to most people as a pay-check.  I liked annual reviews that allowed me to reflect on my past responsibilities, hearing feedback from my boss, to learn from challenges or mistakes and mostly to get ready to take the next step up the corporate ladder.

None of what I learned directly relates to being a homemaker. Sigh. I know and have known many moms who say "parenting is it's own reward" while smiling all a long, but can I be honest and say sometimes it doesn't feel like it?

In this season of life I am finding my main struggle or challenge is to be present.  To live for and love the season I'm in, without wishing it away for someday in the future.  I look around at friends with older children and see the freedom they have with their time, while most of my days start at 2, 3, or 4 am with my little gentleman poking me in the face saying "it's time to wake up momma."  I still have small children who are very dependent on me and it can be taxing at times.  Another challenge I'm walking through is to search out the rewards. They aren't always obvious, and may not come regularly, but they're there.  Just as I was typing out these thoughts my two-year-old ran up and gave me a squeeze and said "I love you berry so much mom" and took off again.

My tank has been filled up a little more. So I keep pressing forward, trying to remain present, grateful and to keep my eyes open for those little rewards that make it all worth it. You can't trust your feelings, you know, but you can trust the fruit of your labor.  Thanks for hearing me out on the woes of motherhood... it's time to run - again.

French fries, fish sticks, funny faces and funky smells are calling me! Until next time...


Monday, January 24, 2011

Where Has All the Time Gone?

Today I wasn't feeling so great. My stomach has been upside down since about 5:30 am and I can't really tell if it's the cheese pizza I ate last night or that silly stomach bug trying to take me down again.  I pray it was the pizza, since I'm fairly lactose intolerant it would make sense.  And since sickness isn't welcome at our home, Im sure it was the pizza.  Either way, today was a good day to hang out at the house!

I finally tackled a task today that I have been procrastinating on since July. Seriously.  I'm not really a procrastinator. Go ahead, ask my husband.  I like to get things done, especially if I get to check them off my list! HA! I know. It's sad. But I'm ok with that!  Today I finally transferred all my files that used to be on my PC and have been sitting on my external hard drive since July, onto our Mac.  Ugh. What a job.

To the best of my knowledge (which isn't much, technology-wise) there isn't software that can do that for you, so it was a very tedious job.  Years of data, pictures, records etc.  Making sure they were all not only transferred but also somewhat organized, so I can find them again!  It literally took all day.  I'm still not done with the organizing bit, but at least they are on the Mac now. Somewhere.  Thank the Lord!

This afternoon I had a really marvelous time watching my life flash before my eyes - in pictures. All 20,000+ of them.  It was really great! We've done some crazy things since getting married. I really had a moment laughing out loud thinking of how the last 3 years will look 30 years from now. HA!  Here are a few treasures I dug up today.  Hope you enjoy!


 6 months

1 yr

18 months

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I'm not sure how many of you follow international news.  I'll admit I'm pretty out of the loop because everything that makes the headlines is bad news, for the most part.  I don't receive a local newspaper, I don't have TV (gasp!!), but I do occasionally read the headlines of various papers online.  When I get the chance I like to catch up with the BBC.

Recently there have been reports of the flood disaster in Teresopolis, Brazil.  If you've seen any pictures of their housing situation, it's not really a mystery why whole homes are swept away when heavy rain comes. The "homes" are built on the side of steep hills - because it's the land that's affordable, or even free because it really shouldn't be used.  They are constructed out of scraps and the cheapest building materials available.   All because the biggest challenge with Brazil is that 10% of the population earns more than 50% of the wealth.  The poorest 10% share about 1% of the income.  That leaves a devastating gap between the well off and the poor of their nation.  {Please be in prayer for the leadership of their country to finds ways to lessen this gap.}

The headlines have also reported that over 800 people have died, directly due to the recent floods.  The morgues are full so they are having to bury bodies without identifying them first.  Early on in the flooding they were already low on plasma supplies.  But in all this devastation, and during a week of mourning for the city unbelievable news has rose up in the headlines, due to a different kind of flood; a flooding of the Holy Spirit.

A small group of Christians in the medical field were already in Brazil before the floods started and quickly realized their trip would have a whole different purpose.  God is so good, and His timing is literally perfect.  The local news papers are reporting about a group of American Christians who started a small local riot when by the power of the Holy Spirit they raised 16 flood victims from the dead!! Don't take my word for it, please read the news links for yourself! Absolutely incredible!! 10 bodies that were dead in the morgue for over 3 days, as well as 5 more that were literally stacked outside the morgue were raised from the dead! This is the Good News of the gospel and the power of Jesus Christ.  And it's real.

I don't know if you've ever been to church, or currently go to church, or maybe feel like you'd burst into flames if you got too near one (you know I'm kidding, right?).  Regardless of where your faith is today, THIS is the Jesus that loves you. Forget what your idea of religion says about Him.  He is alive today and wants a relationship with you so badly He is will raise you from the dead to have it!

I think we'd all eagerly read the news if more headlines were like this!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ditching the American Dream

Every once in awhile you come across a book that is meant to inspire you to be a better version of you, and depending on the topic and the author, such a book can do a pretty good job at encouraging change.  Hmmmm.  I have read such a book lately.  Add to the equation that said book is powerfully written to glorify Christ and you have a deadly weapon of mass destruction (or construction) on your hands!

That is how I would describe RADICAL {subtitled: Taking back your faith from the American Dream} by David Platt.  This book not only encouraged me to change but has ruined my life...  I can confidently say that I will never be the same. You think I'm being dramatic? Let's just say it's not called RADICAL for no reason!  Here are a few great thoughts from the book:

"Instead of imagining all the things we can accomplish, we ask God to do what only he can accomplish.  ...Instead of dependence on ourselves, we express radical desperation for the power of his Spirit, and we trust that Jesus stands ready to give us everything we ask for so that he might make much of our Father in the world."

"The mega-strategy of Jesus: make disciples.  ...This raises the bar in our own Christianity. In order to teach someone else how to pray, we need to know how to pray. In order to help someone else learn how to study the Bible, we need to be active in studying the Bible. ...When we take responsibility for helping others grow in Christ, it automatically takes our own relationship with Christ to a new level."

"He (God) doesn't give options for people to consider; he gives commands for people to obey." 

"Give. Give generously, abundantly, and sacrificially.  ...Give because Christ is in you. Give because your heart has been captured by a Savior who has produced in you "overflowing joy," welling up in a "rich generosity."

"Everything in all creation responds in obedience to the Creator... until we get to you and me. We have the audacity to look God in the face and say "No."

"I don't want to be blind to these things in my own life. And I don't want to leave Christ behind. I don't want to pursue stuff- even stuff in the name of Christianity, of stuff in the name of the church- and in the process miss Christ and the pleasures he alone gives in a life free from bondage to the possessions of this world."

The author confidently and boldly makes much of Christ and clearly defines our eternal, global purpose and unravels the deception our entire Western culture has bought into through the American Dream.  I wish I would have read this years ago.  If it piques your interest in the least - run out and buy it today. You won't regret it! I can't say enough great things about RADICAL.  Which leads me to finish my thought I left you hanging with last week...


I want to obediently follow the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations..."  Mostly simply, go.  Initially it was my heart to just drop everything and take off to any poor nation and preach the gospel, immediately.  I then regained my sanity (partially, at least!) and understood that I will go when God's timing is perfect.  I believe the time will be relatively soon, and I also believe that I will go to the nation of Brazil.  So far this is what He has confirmed in my heart.  Please carry this information in your heart to see if you may desire to assist me with fundraising for such a trip.  I would love to see you partner with myself and the Lord on this endeavor!

In the meantime, I still plan to obey, and go.  I have been invited to join an amazing group of women whose sole purpose is to pray, hear from God, and then go out into our community to do whatever He says to do, on a weekly basis.  Exciting, right?!?

Hope you decide to jump in with both feet and read RADICAL.  I pray it will wreck your life in an even greater way than it has mine!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Upcoming Announcement

Hello Friends! Great news!  We've been fasting all non-essential media for 12 days now and I will admit I feel disconnected from the world, but the best part is that I feel far more connected to the heart of my Heavenly Father.  The 30 day fast has ended, not because I could not do it, but because He has released me so I can do something else. Something big. Exciting. Radical.  Bet you can't wait to hear the news, right?!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

30 Day Media Fast

Hey friends! Our family is taking the next 30 days to fast from all "non-essential" media.  Most internet, no movies, no tv, etc. You get the idea.  The purpose is to draw closer to God by eliminating these distractions.  Please feel free to call or email if you need to reach us.  See you in February!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Exercise More - Eat More

Today was the big day... back at it with the triathlon training after not doing much since August. Sigh.  Well, the morning was off to a rough start since a little someone decided to curl up beside me around 2:30 am.  I finally scooped Harrison up and carried his snoring little body back to his own bed around 4:45.  Something told me I was not going to make my 7 am wake up call to be at the gym by 8.  I was right.  I slept in until Harrison brought me my second wake up call at 8:15. "Time to woke up, Mom".  Who can resist that, and his big brown eyes to boot!

We got up and I had an apple for breakfast that didn't taste very good.  It was a Jonah Gold. Don't buy them unless you like Red Delicious apples. Yuck.  I never bought them before so I didn't know what I was getting, but I'll never buy them again.  False advertising! red delicious in Fuji clothing!!  I like my apples cold, crisp and slightly sour/tart tasting. Oh well.

Harrison finished eating and off we went to the Y so I could workout and he could go to play group.  He loves going to school, church, and any other group where there's going to be other kids.  Daddy and Heidi were staying home to hang out, and this way Ms. Heidi wouldn't miss her nap.

I started my workout with a 45 minute strength training session.  I like to work my complete body, not just upper or just lower. It was challenging but not too tough. I didn't work my arms too hard because I knew I still needed strength to swim! It sure felt good to be training again though!  After the weights I got changed for the pool.  I was bombarded in the locker room by about 20 elderly women getting ready for their aquasize class.  I sure hope I'm at least that active when I'm older!  One woman asked me where she's seen me before.  I told her the truth.  I must have a generic face because I hear that nearly every where I go, doesn't matter if I've never been there before.  I introduced myself and told her now she knows me from the Y.  How funny!

In the pool I started a 10 minute warm up of easy effort freestyle.  It felt good to be back in the water although my new cap, goggles and nose plug all felt... well, new. They were tighter than normal and I felt slightly claustrophobic.  I had also never been in this pool before, not that it should make much difference, but I just felt a little off.  I started my main session which was supposed to be 30 minutes of non-stop swimming, but after about 200 yards I felt very faint and dizzy and had to take a break.  I realized that I had not eaten enough for breakfast and that this feeling wasn't just going to go away.  I swam at an easy pace, taking breaks as needed, until I had completed 30 minutes total, instead of my planned 45.  I will plan better next time and realize that I need (1) more time to eat and (2) better options of what to have.

Lesson(s) learned!  Tomorrow is my first bike/run session of 2011.  Yay!!  Harrison finished the morning with a trip to the bank, a haircut for Harrison (woohoo for $7.95 family cuts!) and a quick stop at Office Depot.

Now for a little down time at home - maybe.  Or house cleaning.  Hard choice to make!  I like my rest but I also enjoy a clean home. Hmmmmm.  Such a cliff hanger, I know!!  I'll keep you posted.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

A 2011 Facelift

Don't leave!! You have the right site!  I've just decided to do a bit of sprucing up around the ol' place.  What do you think?  I really like the new look. Fresh. Clean. More me.  I also wanted to reflect more of myself on the blog.  Initially when I started blogging it was more of a "journal" of my day to day life, mostly focused on our children.  Don't get me wrong - I will still have plenty to write about our kiddos, but I want to be able to include other topics without feeling I am getting off topic... does that make sense to anyone other than me?

I also wanted to change the web address to ( but I don't yet know how to do it without losing my followers, or all my posts, widgets, etc. I have created it, so it's out there but it may be awhile before the address changes. So keep coming back here until further notice.

Happy New Year to each and every one of you!  Mike and I had a lovely, quiet evening all alone and it was wonderful.  We smooched at midnight, finished our movie, and went to bed.  Ahhhhhhh. Bliss!

We spent most of Jan 1 in our jammies, cleaned the house up a little {or messed it up a little depending on who you are} and just hung out.  We are not sure at this point when Mike will head back to work or where he's off to next, so we are enjoying every minute with him while we have him home.

I only have one day left until my triathlon training kicks into high gear.  Since August it has been in no gear so I am sure this will be a shock to my system!  Last year was my first triathlon "season" if you could call it that.  It consisted of 2 months of dedicated workouts, followed by 2 months of slacking (aka doing nothing), followed by a very pathetic and sad effort in my first race.  I learned TONS from that experience though, the number 1 thing being that no one is going to get me from A to B to C except me.  When you are out in the middle of the lake, only you can get you back to the transition.  Same goes with my training.  Last year I did it all alone. It sucked. I didn't know what I was doing. So I gave up. And I paid for it come race day. At least I didn't quit there, thank you Jesus!

This year things are going to be very, very different for me.  I will have a virtual coach through BeginnerTriathlete, as well as a virtual training team made up of a few newbies and lots of veterans.  I will make the most of their experience and learn as much as possible! I am starting with a 12 week sprint training plan and as my base fitness improves I will continue with a bridge program that will take me into training for the Olympic distance race.  I am very excited and it all starts January 3! Soon!

In the meantime I attended a Boot Camp class 3 days ago and I still can't walk properly. You think I'm joking, but I'm not. It was tough. And I'll go back for more.  I now know that my ab muscles are somewhere under that baby belly. My legs are bound to recover just in time for another beating, um, I mean workout.

What are some of your goals for 2011? Drop me a note in the comments box, I'd love to cheer you on in your own "race"!