Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things I Love About Fall!

I am so glad it's fall!  Even down here in southeast Texas, where we don't have a "real" fall, the weather is getting much nicer and it's beginning to feel like fall...or as close to it as we get!

Mama's Losin' It

Mama Kat's writing assignments sparked this list, and I decided that it would be perfect for Thankful Thursday as well...

10 Things I Love About Fall!

1.  It's my favorite season of the year!  I get so excited when I see fall approaching.
2. The cooler weather...I love summer and hot weather, but by October, I'm ready for a change.
3. The countdown to Christmas begins - I love Christmas!
4. The leaves changing colors - actually, we don't get a lot of that here.  That's one thing I miss about Arkansas...
5. It's pefect coffee weather!
6. The cool, rainy fall days...perfect for curling up with a good book.
7. Thanksgiving - my favorite holiday!  Christmas is great, but it's so busy.  Thanksgiving is just a fun, relaxed time to be with family, eating, shopping, and watching movies.
8. My new wardrobe - I love pulling out my long sleeve shirts, my leather jacket, cute scarves, etc.
9. Great food - time for chili, soup, and other goodies.
10. The wonderful smells - I love walking into stores and smelling the pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon candles...

Working Mom Wednesday - a few simple words...

Okay, I'm going off the beaten path today for Working Mom Wednesday...

1. Having a career makes me a better/ worse mom.

2. Your work/ home/ room/ drive to work/ morning routine in pictures.

I was really wanting to do the second question, especially since we just finished remodeling our house (compliments of Hurricane Ike in 2008), but I need to snap more pictures and get them upload, and right now the house is a wreck!  We had a water leak in our hallway, which meant we had to pull up the hardwood in the hallway and replace get the idea.  Maybe in a few weeks....

This past Sunday, my husband paid me the greatest compliment I could have asked for...we were having dinner at the church - a fundraiser I'd put together for our children's ministry, which I direct.  We were talking to a couple whose grandson is in Kids BLAST, and we were talking about how much I have going right now.  My husband said, "I don't know how she does it.  I can go and go for a couple of days, then I'm exhausted.  She goes all the time.  She never stops."

It may not sound like much...but he noticed.  I know he does, but just to hear him say that he knows how hard I work and how hard it is for me to juggle everything, made my day.  I needed that.  I know he loves me, I know he appreciates what I do, and I know he brags on me to other people, but for him to say that in front of me really made me feel good.  It's nice to appreciated.

And while I'm here...I'm putting in a shameless plug for my giveaway!  lol  You can find it here - Pillsbury chocolate giveaway!  It ends Sunday.  Good luck!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Giveaway - Pillsbury Sweet Moments

I love chocolate...I think most women do.  One thing my friends hear me say very often is that there are few things in life coffee and chocolate can't make better.  So I was thrilled when My Blog Spark offered me a chance to try new Pillsbury Sweet Moments desserts.

I was excited to receive my goodies from My Blog Spark.  It couldn't have arrived at a better time - I needed some stress relief as I headed into my first round of tests for this semester.  I received a lovely gift box set containing chocolate-themed bath goodies.  (My favorite is the chocolate mint foot scrub!)  Tucked inside was a coupon to try the Pillsbury Sweet Moments dessert of my choice for free.

I've been trying to eat healthier, so I chose the bite-sized brownies.  They are wonderful!  They taste great, and I allowed myself two brownies a day.  It satisfied my sweet teeth without breaking the calorie bank for the day.  I will definately buy them in the future!

Now for the really fun part...a giveaway!  My Blog Spark and Pillsbury are allowing me to give away a set like the one above, along with a coupon to try Pillsbury Sweet Moments for yourself!  Here are the rules:

To enter, leave a comment telling me what time of you most need a pick me up.  For extra chances to win...
  • Become a follower (or let me know you already are one)

  • Become a Twitter follower

  • Subscribe via email

  • Share the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or your own blog

  • The winner be chosen at random this Sunday, October 3rd.  Good luck!

    * Disclaimer:  My Blog Spark and Pillsbury provided me with the above mentioned prize pack, coupon, and information on the product for this review and giveaway.

    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    To Do or Did Do?

    I'm a chronic list maker...I've always got numerous to-do lists going in my day planner.  Lately, though, seeing those lists is getting a little depressing due to the fact that so few things on my lists are actually getting done.  I'm wondering if I should just start keeping a list of the things I actually get done!

    This weekend, for instance, I need several of me...I need to study, especially microbiology - I have another big round of tests starting in about two weeks.  I need to finish getting my children's church lesson together for tomorrow.  I've been needing to update my blog (at least I'm accomplishing that!).  I need to finish getting ready for our baked potato fundraiser dinner that we're having after church tomorrow for children's ministry.  I want and need to spend some quality time with my kids.  And I need to clean my house, do laundry, and get my menu and shopping list together.

    What I've done so far this weekend is help my husband at the church, help him repair our hardwood floor in our hallway (water leak...long story), and work.  Sigh.  Let's see, how many me's do I need?  Six should do it, I think...that should cover everything I need to do and everywhere I need to be this weekend.  Just 2 1/2 months left in this semester, then life will calm down...I think. ;)

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Directionally Challenged...

    This week's question over at Women of Faith is...

    How are you at directions? Do you get lost easily or do you carry a map in your head?

    Let's just say that I am...directionally challenged.  I can get lost in my hometown, population 10,000.  If you blink, you'll miss the town, yet I got lost there more than once.

    When we moved to Texas 3 1/2 years ago, I was totally, hopelessly, completely lost.  I once took a "shortcut" home from work and arrived 30 minutes later than normal.  So that first Christmas in Texas, when my husband asked me what I wanted, I quickly replied, "A GPS."  That was one of the best gifts I ever received...finally, I could go shopping and not get lost!

    Working Mom Wednesday!

    This week's Working Mom Wednesday promts are...

    1. you know you're working mom when...

    2. a time you said something inappropriate (a bad joke, a snarky remark, a comment to your boss, etc) know you're a working mom when you neglect your blog for days at a time when you have lot of things you want to say, but can't find time to type it...I've had to put my blog on the back burner recently with my new work schedule and my tough course load at college this semester.  I'm really hoping to get back on track soon.

    You know you're a working mom...
    • When your idea of quiet time is your commute to work with radio turned off
    • When you day begins and ends in the dark
    • When you're serving as a coach, cheerleader, teacher, nutrionist, nurse, chauffer, short order cook, and personal assistant - all before 8:00 a.m.
    • When you can discuss deadlines and work projects in the same sentence as potty training and breastfeeding, without missing a beat
    • When people don't recognize you without a coffee cup and work clothes

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Bittersweet Milestones

    My eight year old is growing up way too fast.  Last night I had just finished reading with the boys when he looked at and hesitantly asked if he could ask me a question without hurting my feelings.  "Of course," I said.  He had my curiosity up.  "Well, I'm getting old enough that you don't have to tuck me in every night."

    Ouch.  He didn't hurt my feelings...I assured him that I understand he's growing up.  What I didn't tell him is that I felt like he ripped my heart out and stomped on it.  But at the same time, I felt proud that he has the confidence and independence to grow up and let go.

    I have a feeling that there are many more bittersweet milestones still to come.  Girlfriends, driver's licenses, college, weddings..both of my boys are growing and changing so fast.  But despite the occasional sadness, I'm so proud to see the young men they are becoming, and I feel so blessed to have the privelage of being their mom.  Its time to hang on and enjoy their childhoods...and do some letting go, too.

    Sunday, September 12, 2010


    This semester is eating my lunch.  I knew from the beginning of January that this fall would be my hardest semester, but I'm still surprised by just how hard it is for me to juggle everything.

    The classes are hard and require lots of homework and hours of studying.  I'm still helping my husband at our church-  we were there until 11:00 last night-  and I'm still teaching children's church-  although I haven't even looked at my lesson this week.  I have to get to the church early today to get my lesson ready.  Lots of changes are taking place at work...they are great changes, much needed changes, and I'm very happy about them, but it brings stress nonetheless.  Even my normal relaxation and planning times have disappeared-  I have to get groceries on Sunday afternoons now instead of Monday mornings.

    It's exhausting.  My husband has no idea how tired I really am...I don’t think many people understand.  It's bone numbing exhaustion.  Its walking around like a zombie exhaustion.  The only thing I can compare it to is the exhaustion I felt after my sons were born, those first three or four months before they started sleeping through the night.  If I sit still for five minutes, I'm falling asleep.

    Once this semester is over, I'll have a seven month break before the dental hygiene program begins...I can't wait!  I will need every minute of it to recover from this first year back at school.

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Thankful Thursday - 10 Years

    Ten years ago tomorrow (Thursday) I married the man of my dreams.  We've lived in 4 towns in 2 states, 5 houses, and 1 church gym.  We've pastored 4 churches.  We've had two wonderful kids.  And through it all, we found one true love that grows deeper every day.  I love you, Robby!  I'm so thankful God brought you into my life.

    Getting through the day...

    It's Working Mom Wednesday!  Here are today's question...

    What do you consider necessary to get through the day? (items, routines, coffee, etc.)

    What do you do on your commute to work - listen to the radio, enjoy peace and quiet, etc.
    I'm not a hard person to please - it really doesn't take much to make my happy.  You should have seen my reaction when my new boss told us she's putting a coffee maker in our breakroom...  I do have a few things that I consider absolutely necessary to get through one of my crazy days, though.
    One thing I had let slide for a while, but is now (again) an absolute necessity for my day is my quiet time.  I get up at 5:45 on most days.  I grab breakfast and watch the news (or an episode of one of favorite TV shows - I record everything and watch is as I can on our DVR).  Then I settle in for my quiet time with my Bible and prayer journal.  Some days I have more time, and on those days I do a Kay Arthur Inductive study.  On days when I'm more pressed for time, I love the daily devotionals at Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Once that's done, I can get ready and get on with my day.
    Coffee...I must have coffee!  lol  I'm seriously addicted.  I'm not so much a morning coffee person as I am an afternoon person.  As I said, I get up at 5:45, and half the time I'm not home until 8:00 p.m., so by 2 or 3, I need the pick me up of a good cup of coffee. 
    Other than that my only real necessities are my phone and my Day Planner.  I love my new Droid X, and I'm already so dependant on it.  But as much as I love technology, I still have to have my pen-and-paper day planner.  I love being able to open up my calendar to look at all the details of a month at time...I haven't found anything digitial that take its place.  I rely on my Day Planner so much I've started referring to it as my brain, because if it's not in there, it's not getting done.

    Monday, September 6, 2010

    Weekend Recap

    I love long weekends!  Ours has been a busy one, but a good one.  I spent a big part of it playing catch-up (I think I lost) but we had time for some fun too.

    I had to go to work early Friday...very early.  I had to open the gym where I work at 5:30 am...meaning I had to leave home at 5 am...meaning I had to get up at 4 am.  So when I got home at 2:30, I grabbed a bite to eat, and my sweet hubby kept the kids entertained while I took a much needed two hour nap.

    On Saturday we went out to eat at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.  After church on Sunday I took another nap (I could get used to this) and made s'mores bars with my oldest.  Today we dodged the rain long enough to play some football in the backyard.

    It's been a good weekend, and I got some much needed rest.  Tomorrow the chaos begins again with my 8 am microbiology class. Until then, I'm going to enjoy a little more weekend.

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    A very late 5 Question Friday

    I love 5 Question Friday, but with my work and school schedules lately, I haven't gotten to take part in it.  Now, I'm back! :)

    1. What do you do when you have time to yourself?

    Time to myself...what's that?  lol  I think I've forgotten!  Seriously, whenever I get a chance, I've got a book in my hand.  I love to read, I love getting lost in a book and getting wrapped up in the story.  Mysteries are my favorites, and my absolute favorite author is Ted Dekker. 

    Another love that I rarely get to indulge in anymore is horseback riding.  Nothing is more relaxing than spending time at the barn, grooming, feeding, and riding.  I had a horse when I was growing up, and I really miss that.  One of my dreams for when my kids get older is to once again have horses.

    And of course, sometimes I like to just sit and watch some TV because I don't have the energy for anything else.  Once again - mysteries and crime shows.  I'm still in mourning that 24 went off the air...

    2. When you look out your kitchen window, what do you see?

    Our peaceful backyard...our storage shed, the kids playground, their turtle sandbox...
    3. Who/What would you want to be reincarnated as?

    Honestly...nothing and no one.  When I'm done here, I'm done!
    4. What is your biggest pet peeve about other people's kids?

    Probably when other people don't make their kids obey...that drives me nuts!  When they let their kids run wild, totally out of control...not that my perfect angels EVER do that!  (wink, wink)

    5. Regular or Diet soda?
    I'm really limiting myself on sodas...I love real Coke - no diet!  But I also like diet Dr. Pepper a lot - I get the Route 44 from Sonic during Happy Hour.  Probably half/half on real Coke and diet DP.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Working Mom Wednesday - the hardest part...

    Welcome to Working Mom Wednesday!  Today's prompts are...

    #1. Favorite Recipe!

    #2. Hardest part about being a mom is....

    I don't think there's really any "easy" part of motherhood!  I love being a mom.  It is definately the greatest job in the world...and it's also the hardest job in the world.  My husband and I joked about it when we took our oldest home from the hospital - you have to have a license to drive a car or get married, but when you have kids, they hand them over, give you a diaper bag full of samples, and say, "Here's your kid - have a nice life!"
    I think if I had to pick the hardest part it's either the worry or the fact that I second guess myself a lot...which kind of goes hand-in-hand with worry.  There is just so much I can't control that affects my kids, and I hope I'm making the right decisions on the things I can control.  I hope that my kids don't end up in therapy one day because of me!  lol  I know that I'm doing the best I can, but I hope it's good enough.  I hope that my kids live long, happy, healthy lives, and most of all I hope they put God first in everything they do.

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