Sunday, September 9, 2012

I'm going to share with you a story.... One that was written in a book I read by Beth Moore. If I didn't know better, I would think she wrote it just for me. It is a true story.

Once upon a time there was an unhappy couple. She said it was because they were so mismatched. She married beneath herself. In actuality, they were not altogether different. After all, the reality is that baggage attracts baggage. One set may have looked more like a brown paper sack and the other like fine, leather Gucci, but it's all baggage.
She kept a cold heart toward him because she knew he had to be bad. Somewhere deep inside of her it was the very thing that had first attracted her, but she would never admit to such a thing. Yes, she knew he had to be bad. And just as she suspected, he was. His sins were many and grievous by anyone's standards. Terrible and as broad in consequence as a thundering black horizon. She caught him in his sin, and shame reverberated throughout the broken family. 
He fell on his knees in repentance and begged God to save his life and spare his family. He did. Though the change in the man was obvious, some things never changed. She held on to her cold heart and wore her unforgiveness like a corsage of dead roses. It was her badge of honor to remind her children she would never forgive. She said it was for their sake. 
He took his punishment for years, as did the children. If she had only known that the effects of her coldness, self-righteousness, and perpetual punishment were just as devastating to their trembling home as were his terrible sins.
One day she died. The chains of bondage draped a body that had finally turned as cold as her heart. The last remaining blackened petals on her corsage of dead roses fell to the floor. She died in her bitterness.
 He grieved for awhile and strangely would have had her back- if he could have.
Then God did a most peculiar thing. In the man's aging years- years spent feeding hungry people and ministering to any who would have him- God brought him another mate. One whose heart was warm with affection. God blessed the latter years of the old man's life with joy and usefulness- yes, even after grievous sins.
His wife of many years never committed any such sins, yet she drowned in the gall of her own 
self-righteousness- proud to the very last breath that she had never sinned against her family like he.

And he? Well. He lived happily ever after.

Powerful story, right? I pray that it speaks to your heart the way it has mine.... As I hear God calling me and asking me to lay my "Gucci" baggage at the foot of His cross, I have come face to face with who my Jesus is.... and what GRACE really does. Thank You, Lord for Your unending, immeasurable love for this daughter of Yours. The last thing I want is to die a bitter woman who You do not know and who never really knew You.

So in case you ever hear a story about a strange girl who sobbed uncontrollably on a United Airlines flight while reading a book..... it was Me. And this story still moves me to tears every time I read it.

Lesson #1: Happily ever after happens in the FREEDOM of life in CHRIST.

Lesson #2: Don't read a Beth Moore book on a plane. (on second thought, DO. it feels pretty good to not care a whit about what people think of you!) 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Some random pictures....

I found a couple more pictures from the b-day celebration that I thought I would share, so here they are:

Payslie and I had a tea party..... She got to eat a little bit of cake....
This is what I was given.

Adorable Deux Lux wallet from my mom... LOVE!

quote on my birthday... love it.

the finished product of the bday pedicure... on date night :)

We went to the horse races at Keeneland last week... the girls loved watching the horses! 

I made rice krispy treats the other night...... this was my second attempt at doing them by myself... the first was a disaster. Sounds crazy, right? How can you mess up rice krispy treat??? Well let me tell you. You can. By dumping the WHOLE box of cereal in your marshmellow mixture that was only supposed to take about 5 cups(less than half the box). And then trying to "add" more marshmellow mix. Didn't work. But this time.... perfection. :) with sprinkles. (channeling our inner-"Fancy Nancy") And so I've decided. Sprinkles can go on everything. And it's better that way. In our house, we add sprinkles to: rice krispy treats, vanilla yogurt(it makes it "just like orangeleaf"), applesauce, pb&j.... for special occasions, you know???

We had a pig-tail day because Felicity's hair fits in piggies now!!!

We love our hang-out buddies! It is chaotic and crazy and lots of fun!:)

You know those days when you see something that your kids are doing and you think, "Gross!.... I better take a picture!"???? Today we had a moment. Payslie and Felicity were "taking a nap" on the DIRTY kitchen floor, UNDERNEATH the DIRTY kitchen rugs, ON the couch PILLOWS. That's the sort of stuff that happens when Mom has to be on the phone for way to long with the water company.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Birthday Love....

I LOVE birthdays. Actually, I love all occasions that call for a celebration. Oh, and all those showers that most people dread going to??? Love those too. Favorite part??? Present part. I love watching people open presents. Love giving them..... and oh yes, I most definitely enjoy getting them.

Gift giving and getting is my primary language of l-o-v-e. There is just something about it.... it's like a tangible thing that says "I was thinking of you". Seriously, I can remember who most of our wedding gifts are from.... still remember the year I turned 11 and got an inflatable chair, the Christmas I got a lime green phone for my room, the year we discovered the dollar store and bought my mom every little snowman figurine they had for Christmas.... such sweet and treasured memories of mine. And you know what I remember about those days? the way I felt. the excitement(yes, always lots of screaming and squealing from me).... the anticipation... the surprise. I just LOVE IT!!!

Today I turned 24 years old.

It was the best day. A friend generously watched the girls for me so I could go get a pedicure and it felt. so. good. I arrived home and received the first surprise package of the day... a dozen roses from my love. Second surprise package arrived by what I am calling---- "the guy with the awesome black bag". The first one brought 6 delectable cupcakes from GIGIs cupcakes(which are the world's- yes, world's- best cupcakes).... Second "guy with the awesome black bag" brought me my favorite meal from Chili's..... cajun chicken pasta, chips and queso.... and I didn't have to make dinner. Heck to the yes.

Seriously, so spoiled, right??? You know those moments when you feel wrapped up in a hug even when you are all by yourself?? That's how I felt today. Days filled with memories are always the days that make me feel extra homesick.... but by the end of today... I just felt.........................

And loved.

It really was the best day.

Oh.... and just in case you didn't know, MY HUSBAND IS AWESOME. Look what he spoiled me with!!! Gorgeous, huh?!?! LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Doctor, Shoes, Fits, and TREASURE!!!!

Monday morning started out with a trip to the new doctor and a surprise of 3 shots for BOTH girls... now I knew that we needed shots, but I didn't think they would do them in that visit. Thankfully, there were helpful nurses on hand to help me with my full hands.

Yesterday, we took a trip with some friends to the Zappos outlet..(cool, right?? I didn't even know there was one!!) However, when we got there... it was closed. for a "team outing". after we drove an hour and a half. I. WAS. SO. DISSAPOINTED.

I realized recently that I have made a big mistake a few times while out in public with the girls... given in after I said no to something. UGH. So today we had the queen of all fits while at Wal-Mart. Because I said NO. and meant it. So not fun..... and so embarrassing. What did I say no to? pacifier in the mouth. And you can bet your bottom dollar I will be watching what I say extra careful and praying that we master this thing so we don't have another one of "those" moments. At least not with the same child.

The "as promised" cute pictures :)..... 

Payslie playing with play-doh... and her "smile at the camera" attempt.

This cheese-face is adorable.

this girl loves to get pretty...

I am OH SO EXCITED about my recently found treasure... take a peek:

For those of you who don't know... this is the sweetest little song... and my Grandma used to sing this to me and my sister all the time. I made a scene in Home Goods when I found this because that kind of excitement cannot be contained. And anyone who has ever shopped with me knows that I tend to be a little loud about what I like.(some people must find this strange, because I get a lot of's worse when I'm with someone who is the exact same way...MOM.) In case you have never heard this song, and can't read the words, here is how it goes:

A you're adorable, B you're so beautiful, C you're a cutie full of charms.... D you're a darling and E you're exciting and F you're a feather in my arms.... G you look good to me, H you're so heavenly, I you're the one I idolize..... J we're like Jack and Jill, K you're so kissable, L is the lovelight in your eyes.... MNOP I could go on all day.... QRST alphabetically speaking, you're okay.... U make my life complete, V you're so very sweet WXYZ.... I love to wander through the alphabet with you to tell you what you mean to me!

Really, you should google the song and listen to it so you can get the sweet tune that it is set to.... Can't wait to put it up in the girls room!

Friday, April 20, 2012

A quick overview of this week....

This week, I started doing the "couch-to-5k" running plan.... so I have been very sore ALL. WEEK. LONG. The girls and I start our day by going to workout at 9am every morning. We have aerobics/run/strength training 3 mornings a week and zumba the other 2. It totally forces me to get out and get our day started and we love the exercise.

I'm currently shopping craigslist and garage sales for a double jogging stroller.... hoping I find one sooner than later.

I have been feeling very "spray-paint" inspired lately. This means that I have been frequenting the thrift stores and goodwills to find projects. Which means... lots of mess. And not a single, finished project yet. *deep, deep sigh*

I have re-gotten into studying personality types this week. Do you know yours??? I find it all very fascinating. The weird thing is that the test tells me I am something I am so not. I could tell which one I was by reading the description.... pretty sure I am an ISTJ= The Duty Fulfiller. So... everyone should google personality types and take the Myers-Briggs test. Or go to and just read about them to figure it out.

I told Payslie that we were going to swim at the gym pool last night.... she was very excited, of course.... until she became very concerned about what I was going to wear. Her words to me were: "Mommy, we need to get you a mom swimsuit. That's what we will do!" If she only knew what that statement meant.

And lastly, because this is the most boring post ever, I will post some fun pics of my cuties very soon :) ... as well as a hilarious video of Felicity coming down the stairs at record speed. She can actually beat me. Michael and I just die laughing everytime she does it.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Let's Make a Deal...

Anyone who knows me very well, probably knows that I am a terrible housekeeper. And sadly, I sometimes choose to not take a picture just to avoid there being evidence of this fact. Today I decided to stop using that excuse. I treasure the pictures of my childhood.... the story that they tell. and I want to have that for my kids. At times, these moments:

...... seem like they will last forever. They won't. They don't. And as much as it seems like I'll never forget them.... I know that these precious memories will fade. Therefore, I am going to get my camera out and snap like crazy!

Now for the deal. I am going to post pictures on here. And there may be some craziness that you see. So let's agree to not bring up my bad habits and I'll keep the pics coming ;) btw- I'm working on the whole tidy thing. this is day 9 of clean kitchen before I go to bed... WOOHOO!! I love waking up to a clean kitchen. It was the best habit I've decided to create in a long time!

I'll leave you with a fun pic from our recent family photos... this is one of the FAVORITES!

Friday, April 13, 2012

And now for our little Noel's turn....

 The sweetness of this girl cannot be described in words... We have more nicknames for her than even possible. And since I took a couple minutes to talk about her sister, it only seems fair to give her a little of the spotlight too:)

  So here are some of the new stages and phases that are happening with Felicity:

1. My munchkin loves to wear this backpack. She looks pretty cute, I think. ;)

2.  I took this picture today. It is one of my faves EVER. She is laughing... Her adorable, sucking air into her lungs, mouth hanging open, eyes squinted closed in pure delight, giggle. Felicity will laugh at anything... especially others laughing. She just can't stand to be left out.(can't imagine where she gets that???)
And let me tell ya, this girl has the most infectious laugh ever..

 3.  Just like sister and mother, the girl loves shoes. LOVES. She wears them to bed sometimes.

4.  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is her favorite show. Favorite part? The Hot Dog Dance. She has it down. And if she hears it, she stops whatever she is doing and gets her groove on. Other music she likes is: the Veggie Tunes soundtrack, mommy's singing(she is crazy), and just about any children's songs there are.

5. Felicity is far more cuddly than Payslie ever was. Hugs, cuddles, kisses... she is all about it. I love it. And I just hope she doesn't out grow it! Her favorite right now is eskimo kisses(known to her as nose rubs)... she walks back and forth between me and Michael with her nose stretched up in the air to get some. :)

6.  Felicity loves food. Like all food. First thing she eats of her plate? Green things. Broccoli, asparagus, celery, peas... she loves the rest of the veggies too. And there isn't a fruit that she doesn't like(right now her favorites are mandarin oranges and blueberries). Ketchup... ya, she would eat it with a spoon if I let her. Same with ranch(that's my girl!!!). She has mastered the fork and she is getting the hang of the spoon. Just makes it so messy... Mom isn't such a fan. This girl can snack with the best of them. And I'll just say, that one of her first 3 words---- juice.

1st time trying ranch... she is hooked.

 7.  Felicity sits still better than Payslie does when I do her hair. We usually put a little side pony on the top of her head and stick a bow in. She loves looking pretty. And just look how long that little mop is getting!!!

8.  10, yes, 10 little teeth occupy her little mouth. She shows them off when she cheeses it up for pictures.

Please excuse the messy mouth.... right after dinner. And too cute not to post.

Oh ya.... excuse that mess too. 
9.  Felicity's favorite person is big sis, Payslie. The moment I get her out of bed, she starts calling her name..."Paysee!!!" and as soon as she sees her she wiggles like she has the hebbie jebbies.

10.  Felicity... for all her sweetness, has a little sass, too. The girl can scream with the best of them. And she does. The last 4 days or so I have started to crack down on it. Because I just can't take it anymore. And the drama we got goin on in this house..... whew wee... The little bug melts down over the smallest things. Way more sensitive than Payslie. A stern "No" and she dissolves into crocodile tears, wailing as if she broke a bone, and laying prostrate on the ground(on special occasions).

11. Vocabulary is in small demand for our second born. Daddy, Mama(she was saying Mommy, but now its reverted back to mama), Payseee:), paci, hi, bye, ball, baby, balloon, bubbles, juice, thank-you, please, dog, Ava, Elmo .... there are some more but these are the most commonly used. 

      So, those are the things I can think of right now.... she has grown into a little girl since we left California. As you can see, she is super cute :). She adds a lot of sunshine to our lives.