Thursday, December 8, 2016

It's Time :)

Black Friday has come and gone, and I have yet to put our Christmas tree up.It is sitting in the garage just waiting for me to send my hubby out side to drag it in. If it could think, it would probable be wondering why I have been taking so long.

 I am wondering the same thing.

Of course my artificial Christmas tree can't think....it has no feelings,  and it doesn't care that the day we usually set aside to put the tree up, has come and gone...its just a tree.

Me on the other hand, I do have feelings, and I do wonder why it has taken me this long to even want to get the tree out, let alone decorate for the holiday.

Lets be honest here, I still have my pumpkins on my front porch....I really do need to put them away!

I kept telling myself that I would put the tree up, on Black Friday, like we always do. Even though this year my Beautiful Mothers birthday fell on Black Friday. I was still going to put the tree up. I was going to have a great day, listening to Christmas music, decorating the tree and remembering my mother and celebrating her favorite holiday.

And then the day came, and I just couldn't...

I couldn't do anything...I avoided phone calls, stayed in my jammies for most of the day, and I didn't adult. 

I did remember though..I remembered putting up the tree with my mom, making cookies, and dancing around our huge house, with the music turned all the way up.

I remembered the laughs, and especially the love I felt, being surrounded by my family.

Then I remembered the 1st Christmas with out dad, how we celebrated through our tears, and I cried thinking about how this year, we will be celebrating through the tears again.

And even though I wanted to put up our tree, I just haven't been able to. The act of putting up the tree, isn't the hard part...no, that part will be fun. It is what happens afterward, when the hustle and bustle of decorating and making cookies is through. When the house is quiet,
and I am sitting in a dark room while everyone sleeps, looking at the lighted Christmas tree.

That is when all the memories will flood back. All the great Christmases filled with laughter and fun, the memories that we used to talk about for hours late in to the night.  Along with those memories, will come the sad ones. The last few years with out my father, and the thought of how this Christmas both of my parents will be gone, and the thought of making new memories with out my parents overwhelmed me.

That's why I haven't been in a huge rush to put my tree up.

I have let it sit, alone in the cold garage, collecting dust, because I didn't want to face making new memories. I know it sounds strange...life moves on, and I know that the memories I make will be great ones. But somewhere in the back of my mind I still feel like I can't make memories with out them.

I have decided to give myself grace in this area...I know that I will be sad, but I also know that I need to focus on the happy moments, and make sure that I am "present" with my family. I will cry, more then once, but I will also laugh, and act crazy, after all I was raised a Hopwood :)

Tomorrow I will put up my tree, make cookies with my daughter, and try my hardest to make her Christmas be like the ones I grew up with....Full of love, laughter, crazy dancing, loud Christmas music, and a ton of new memories.















Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Honesty and Hotdogs



"It's hotdogs"


Those were the words the teenager kept saying to my mom.

let me rewind just a bit.

I was eight years old, and after a long shopping trip, my mother and I were loading up the car, when she picked up her purse and noticed that a bag of hotdogs has slipped under it. Some people would have just tossed them in with the other grocery's, but not my mom. We finished loading the car, and then we walked back to the store and stood in line at customer service. My mom waited patiently as we moved closer and closer to the front of the line. I on the other hand, fidgeted, twirled, whined....you know everything a eight year old who is tired and just wants to go home would do.

when we finally reached the front of the line, my mom handed the hotdogs to the teenager and after explaining that she had forgotten to pay for them, reached for her wallet, only to find him looking at her like she was crazy!

"It's hotdogs"

"Yes" she replied

"Hotdogs"  He said it as if that would convey something to my mom. "You came all the way back in to pay for a bag of hotdogs?"

 My mom just smiled and said "it may only be hotdogs, but I cant take something that I didn't pay for.

"No one would know" he mumbled under his breath.

My mom handed the sulking teenager the money, collected her hotdogs, and we returned to the car.

Once we were in the car, she sat for a moment before turning to look at me.

"He was right, no one in that store would have know that we hadn't paid for the hotdogs. But I would have known, and you would have known, and more importantly God would have know."

That was not the last time this happened. There have been many times that I can remember her turning back and returning something that had not been paid for. She would always say the same thing. We would know and so would God.

Fast forward to now.....I am running late, I put something I found on clearance for $2.50  under my purse so my daughter wouldn't see it and we finished up our shopping, paid and headed outside to load up our car. I reached for my purse and there it was sitting...needless to say my daughter saw it, and since I had to grab lunch and get it home for my hubby in the next ten minutes, I didn't have time to take it back in. So I did the next best thing, as I was pulling out of the parking lot, I made a phone call to the store. not going to lie, I "knew" that the person I talked to was probably going to be rolling his eyes. I told him what had happen (with my eleven year old freaking out because she thought they were going to call the police on us), and I explained that I would return it later that day. I was pleasantly surprised when he said "thank-you.

After eating lunch with the hubby, we got back in the car and headed back to the store, where we waited in line.

And there was a teenager working......I knew what was going to happen.

"You came back to pay $2.50?"

Since my daughter was there I just smiled, handed him my card and we left.

What I wanted to say, was no, I didn't come back just to pay $2.50!!!

I came back because it was the right thing to do!

I came back because I was showing my daughter the importance of honesty!

I came back because It is my job to teach her right from wrong!

I came back because my daughter and I would know, and more importantly God would know!

As we walked back to the car, I had the same conversation that my mom had with me and my sisters.

I told her that no matter what something costs, it is never right to just keep it.

This wont be the last time this happens ( it wasn't the 1st), but each time it happens, we will talk about why it is important to do the right thing. No matter what other people may think about you.

Because I'm not just teaching her about returning/paying for items. No, I am teaching her that no matter what happens in life, we are to always do what is right, and even when we think that no one would notice, that no one would care what we do, that we would know, and so would God.

To be honest in all things, even when you think no one is looking.

Even when it is something small. 

That is the lesson I want her to remember :)




















Sunday, October 30, 2016

Best Laid Plans

Plans....

We make them, prepare for them, and we expect to see them through.

Then life happens, and everything you have planned, gets thrown out the window.

That is what happened this week for our family.

My daughter had a project due for her co-op class, and we had a friend who lent us a cut out castle background so she could use it, and it is sitting, in the garage, not being used.

I bought all of the things needed, except the light saber, that was thankfully lent to us by another on of our friends, for my daughters Halloween costume. So far she hasn't even been able to try everything on together.

I scheduled today off from my job over a month ago, so we could attend as a family, a special service at our home church. I am currently sitting in my bed under, a mountain of blankets, with a pile of used tissues and Ricola wrappers right next to me. Needless to say we wont be going anywhere tonight.

Tomorrow is Halloween, and while I know this can be touchy subject, as of now, my husband and I do allow our daughter to dress up and collect candy from a few homes on our street.

This year she is going as Rey from Star Wars....or at least we hope she will be going as Rey. As of right now, we are planning a back up option just in case she is still not a hundred percent tomorrow.

Not sure why I though having a costume party at a different date would be a great back up plan, but she liked the idea, and if it will make her feel better, then I am all for it :)

Our plans do not always work out the way that we want them too. We are forced to adapt to what is happening in our life on any given day, and sometimes that is easier said then done.

I love having plans, I am a planer, it drives me crazy when everything is up in the air! I love being able to know what is going on, at any given time. I LIVE by my planner. If it is not in my planner, then chances are I will forget about it or it just wont get done.

In other words I am LOST with out it!

So when plans change, I get a little out of sorts.

However this week/end, I have realized that sometimes when plans change, it can be for the best.  Our family has needed rest, we have needed to slow down, and this week/end we were literally forced to do just that.

Its not about what we have missed by our plans being changed, its about what we have gained becasue they were changed.

Waking up late and snuggling under covers, watching old TV shows (our family is LOVING The Dick Van Dyke Show right now). Reading books with little miss, having long talks about absolutely nothing at all, spending time just laughing with my husband about crazy stuff we did when we dated.
 Taking a break from moving from one activity to another. This has been the 1st week that I haven't been rushing from one place to another. It has been nice to take a break, and let everything but my family be on the back burner.

I'm not saying it has been an easy week/end, no it is never easy when you are fighting an infection. We have spent plenty of time just laying in bed, reading quietly, or talking, and just basically letting our bodies heal.

We may not get to go to our special service tonight, or go trick or treating tomorrow. My house may be on the verge of  what I like to call a "tornado watch," but.....sometimes we just need rest.....so that is what we have done.

We have rested, and we are slowly getting better :)
 




























Friday, October 28, 2016

Bursts of Energy



It has been a very long week!!!

We have been battling a bug, that for some reason just doesn't want to leave our house! Puking, fever, and cough are what we have been dealing with this past week. If you have been reading my blog for awhile you will know that I LOVE oils, (dont worry this in not an oil post), but I would be remiss if I didn't say how much they have helped us get through this week of illness :)

I would love to say that when I am sick, I am still able to keep my house clean, feed y family, and work on my blog/business....I would really LOVE to say that! however I am one of those people who when they are sick they turn in to a blob, hide under a mountain of blankets and whine...I know its not a pretty picture, at all....Its actually pretty sad, lol

I ended up calling off 2 days of work, we were unable to to go to our weekly co-op groups and the school work that my daughter did (before she got sick) was pretty much self led. I laid in bed 3 days straight and when I did make it from the bed to the recliner in the living room, it was a monumental on my part, and it also wore me out!

Today is the 1st day that I have started to feel like I can be up and about. I actually got dressed today....OK, so I threw a skirt on over my pajama bottoms, but that is technically dressed.

What I should say, is that today is the 1st day I have had short bursts of energy....I should probably be resting, and I started my day doing just that, but I am the type of person that if her house is cluttered and things not straight (it will NEVER be spotless, and I am OK with that), they go crazy.

So, while I started out resting, I am now using my short bursts of energy to pick up and straighten up my home.

My family have done a great job at keeping everything pretty much straight, but I (and probably only me) can see the dust, the little flecks of paper on the floor, and the few cups that were laid down in random places around the house. These little things, if left for awhile, can drive me crazy.

I know that I will have a few more days where I will still not feel 100%, and I will be relying on my small bursts of energy to keep up with the day to day craziness that is my life.

It is amazing what you can accomplish with just a few short bursts of energy.

Fold a load of towels!

Pick up a few toys!

Fluff up the pillows on the couch!

Read a book to my sick little girl!

And the list goes on....even when you are not feeling the best, and only have short bursts of energy, you can still have a good day, and you can still make memories with your loved ones.

Today, I will embrace my bursts of energy, even the short ones, and make the most of every moment.


































Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fall

Can you believe that it is already the middle of October? I sure cant. I have been trying to fill every possible spare moment with "fall" things. We have our pumpkins sitting on the front porch, the diffuser is constantly filled with a "fallish" scent, and we are loving the fall parties and bonfires/hayrides! Even with all of the events going on around us to remind me that it is actually indeed fall.....something is missing.

Maybe its the weather, October usually means sweaters and hoodies, tights and boots, but this year its been a little warm for all my favorite fall clothing. It was seriously almost 80 degrees yesterday! I was sweating and had turned the air back on. What is up with that!

Maybe its becasue Fall is the season for change and I, a creature of habit, do not care for change at all.

Maybe its just as simple as this was my Moms favorite time of year and every time I see a leaf fall, I think of her.

It is probably a combination of all three...The heat, the season, and the knowledge that Mom is no longer here to watch the trees change.

I'm crossing my fingers that the weather will start acting like it supposed to, not going to lie, I have prayed for cooler weather to come :)

I have also decided that change can be good. It gets you out of your comfort zone, and makes you look at the world from a new perspective. It causes you to grow. The last few years, it feels like our family has been stuck in a constant season of change. We lost my father 3 years ago this coming December, and this coming January will mark the 1st year with mom gone.

This change in our life has made us weak, so weak that sometimes we didn't know how we would get through another day. But through that weakness,and that season of change, we also grew stronger. Stronger as a family, Stronger in our faith, and Stronger individually.

 We went through a storm, and even though it may have knocked the wind out of us, and we may have lost sight  the bigger picture, we did come through it. We didn't get through it alone. No, if we tried to walk through that alone, we would still be stuck, never moving forward, living in the past.

We leaned on the promise in Deuteronomy 31:6, "... He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."And true to His word,  He did not fail us. He was with us in the hospital room while we watch my father slip away. He was with us when we sat the long hours while mom was on hospice. He held our hands as we said goodbye, for the last time, to the people who brought us into this world. He walked with us through the fog that surrounded our life during the weeks/months after each funeral. He led us when we couldn't find the strength to move forward. He stayed true to his promise.  He was always there.

 I know that grief takes all forms. Today I smile, but tomorrow may be filled with tears, and that's OK.  the death of my parents was, and still is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. Our family is still so raw, but I know that even on the worst days, I can get through it as long as I keep holding on to Gods promise.

So during this Fall season, which is my favorite time of year, I will focus on the great memories, pray for some cooler weather, and remember that God is still holding my hand!






Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Much Needed Day :)

Today has been one of those days...you know the kind that you know you will not easily forget. It was not a planned day at all, but when we decided to do one thing different in our schedule, the whole day was open to possibilities.

We got to bed kind of late (after 12am) last night, and after what seemed like 5 minutes, my alarm was chirping(gotta love the alarm tones on my phone)! it was 7:55am and I did NOT want to get up. and I knew if I didn't want to get up, that probably meant my 11 year old daughter didn't want to get up either.

I snuggled deeper under the covers as my hubby started getting ready for work, and called out to my daughter to come snuggle for a few minutes before we start the day! I have realized that if we do not have morning quiet/snuggle time EVERYDAY, then our day gets off to a rough start. She climbed into bed, telling me how she didn't think she had the energy to do school work today (wonder when she will realize that that argument is NEVER going to work on me), and we started talking about our day.
after 10 min I sent her off to get dressed and I "Slooooooooowly climbed out from under my covers. It was then that I got and idea....so I texted (yes you read that right) my daughter who was getting dressed in her room, across the hall from my room(yes I know I could have walked, but she LOVES getting text messages,  so every now and then I send her random texts, even if we are in the same house).

the text read....

"lets go to Mcdonalds to do your school work today"

Nothing life changing, just something we do every now and then to break up the  monotony of the school year.

I got back..."good idea" .....followed by the sounds of her getting dressed really fast. She was dressed and ready to go before I was even out of bed.

What I thought would be a fun time while we did school work turned in to a day of craziness, laughing and having a wonderful time with just me and my little girl.

She got through all her assignments in record time ( we did take a french fry break), and we decided to head to the newer Party City, where we had a blast trying on Halloween hats and masks. there were quite a few odd looks directed our way, but we couldn't stop laughing.

After we got home, we had a My Little Pony marathon and snuggled up on the couch and just vegged for awhile. It was heavenly!!

Olivia helped me with dinner and setting the table, and afterward we made cookies and icing and played a few games.

We ended our night, snuggling on the couch and reading a Thea Stilton Book.

Since this is a Wednesday night, we usually would have been at church, but tonight we needed to be home to talk to our landlord and becasue he works full time, we needed to work with his schedule. While I missed the fellowship with our church family and hearing the weekly bible study, I believe that God gave us the night that we needed.

As I sit here typing this, I am going over the events of the day, and I so needed a day like today! I needed to let loose and be crazy, to spend time with just me and Olivia, and to make memories that we will remember forever. I needed today to help me continue to heal. The closer we get to the holidays and the anniversary  of my parents deaths, I need days like today.

Its amazing how a simple action, something out of the ordinary,  can set into motion exactly what you need in your life.

Take every moment and live it to the fullest. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Take each moment and turn it into something beautiful, something that will last long after we are gone.

Make a memory every day!

This is my goal in life....


To make memories every day, to live in the moment, to leave behind a small piece of me, so that when they look back on my life,  it makes them smile.















Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How we do it....Homeschooling on a day when this mama is sick!


We left for vacation on Friday, I started getting sick on Saturday :( we opted to stay and finish out our mini vacation, and I am so glad we did. Check out how our trip went here!

Since we have been home though, I have been taking it easy, attempting to get better. I have been oiling up and taking OTC cough med's, and while I am starting to feel better, school this week has been a little unorthodox! but we got it done... and that is what matters the most :)

Monday we were technically still on vacation, and since I was sick in bed and Dallas was off of work, we let Olivia take the day off as well. We all spent the day relaxing and recouping from vacation (seriously am I the only one who needs to recoup after a relaxing vacation?).

Tuesday, I was still sick, but I crawled from my comfy bed and made it to the recliner in the living room. My little girl, who wanted another day off, was less then excited for school to start back up, but even homeschooler's need to stick to some kind of schedule ( at least these homeschooler's need to ). She brought all her school work to the couch, and while I sat next to her in the recliner she completed all her school work and was done in record time.

Usually we are at the table in the kitchen, working on her school work, but when you are sick and your child is not...ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Tuesday night I thought I was getting better and we would be back to normal schooling on Wednesday....however that was not to be. I slept in a little, and when I finaly got up, showered and got dressed into new jammies (when your sick, jammies are perfectly acceptable day clothes), I was ready to go back to bed. So we did what we did yesterday....We used our living room as a school room!

Olivia is finishing up her last subject for the day, other then her typing lesson, and then she will be done. It took a little longer to finish school work today, because we got a late start, but all in all it was a great school day for our family.

This is not the norm, and I am sure I will get tired of this "type' of schooling, but for now, while I am sick, I am OK with it!

 I  LOVE the flexibility that homeschooling gives us.

So that's it in a nutshell, how we home school while this mama is sick :) 


















Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Our Mini Vacation in Pictures

Last weekend, my family and I packed up our car and after stopping to get our nieces, we headed to Branson, for a back-to-school mini vacay! We decided to celebrate the start of another homeschooling year, by going to an indoor water park called Grand Country!

This is the 2nd time we have been there, and other then a few things that had changed since our previous trip ( we really missed the falling balloons at the fun spot party), it was just as great

The following is our weekend in pictures/videos :) The girls loved the Water Park, and spent most of the time running back and forth between the slides and the lazy river (I liked the hot tub and lazy river the best).

While I got sick 1/2 way through the weekend, I can honestly say that the trip was a success, and we will be returning there at the beginning of the year.


We were in all need of a break from the car! I needed to visit the restroom and stretch my legs. The girls needed to dance and sing and get a little playtime in before finishing off the last leg of the trip! I love the way these girls interact with each other. They are crazy, fun loving kids and they always have a great time when they are together. Cousins are the best friends ever!
Rest stop an hour from Branson







 I'm putting this picture in because....well if you know me you know I'm an oil addict, and these oils go EVERYWHERE with me. Thankfully we brought the diffuser along this time as well....it really helped me keep my cold/upper respiratory issues under control while we were on vacation. 
Never leave home without them!

Big Chair across from the hotel we stayed at!




Love these kids



Me and my Hubby

Lydia, Jaida, Olivia, and me


relaxing after a long drive 






We love the Fun Spot! Every weekend they have a party in the fun spot for all the kids. It starts at 10pm and goes till midnight ( yes it is late, and yes we let the kids stay up....its vacation). While at the party we had FREE tickets for Glow Golf! I had a blast Cheating (I can not golf) and I got a TON of hole in ones (very easy to do when you just drop your ball in the hole lol)! dont worry...everyone knew I was going to cheat...lol I told them all before we started playing! We ended up skipping some of the holes altogether in an effort to get back to the party before they did the light show. while we were expecting balloons filled with prizes to be dumped from the ceiling, we were a little disappointed that they no longer did that :( but the girls walked away with a ton of prizes, and they each got a bouncy ball from the party to take home with them. They also were given free popcorn, cake and glow in the dark necklaces. All in all it was a great party, one we will be going to again at our next visit. 
glow golf at the Fun Spot













When you go to Grand Country and take advantage of their Great deals, you get to pick 2 shoes to see as a family. This time around we decided to spend more time at the water park with the girls, so we only went to one show. We choose the Amazing Pets, becasue it is family friendly and we have seen it before, so we knew there wouldn't be any surprises, and as always it was AMAZING!


Amazing Pets at the Grand Country



Apple Jack
 Apple Jack was funny as always! He made the kids and us laugh! Wish we could have gotten some pictures of the Amazing Pets, but they asked everyone to not video/take pictures while the animals were performing! We love this show and have been both times we have stayed at Grand Country!




This weekend was great, not only were we able to spend time as a family and create life long  memories, but we were also able to relax, which to be honest has been kind of hard to do. Life has gotten pretty hectic, even though I am trying my hardest to slow things down, what with Homeschooling, both my husband and I working, my oil business and my blog, it sometimes seems like there is not enough time or energy to go around. This weekend allowed us to chill out, and have fun. with no other expectations, other then what we were going to eat! That is one of the reasons we LOVE going here....they have great deals, include a ton of freebies and its all family friendly. so if you find you have a free weekend and want a place to spend some quality time with your family, give this place a look.

Oh......and if you are like me, in the rush to get everything packed up, you may want to double check the pillows are all yours!!! thankfully they front desk person was really nice, and we are now the new owners of a hotel pillow :) 

P.S.  This is not a review for Grand Country, this is my family's recent mini vacation that we spent here. I am not being paid for (they dont even know I am writing this) this post. We just Love this place and wanted to share our love for it with you all :)






Thursday, September 15, 2016

Looking for Blessings



I read a post on Social Media about finding your own "magic" in everything around you. While I do not believe in magic, I decided to read the post to see what types of magic these people were finding in their every day lives. They were looking for "Magic" in everything, and since they were looking they found "Magic" in everything. They could "see" magic all around them, and this made them happy.

This inspired me :) not to look for magic, but to look at my life and find all the little blessings that are right in front of me. Blessings that may not look like much to anyone else, but to me they are HUGE.

When I started looking, I was amazed at how happy finding and acknowledging these blessings made me feel. These are my blessings from today!

I started looking around my house for blessings....then I realized, I am living in a great neighborhood, in a house, that may not be completely finished, but it is a home for me and my family.

When I got into our truck, I stopped and thanked God for the blessing of this vehicle, we had been praying for a 2nd vehicle, and God blessed us with an opportunity to purchase this truck from a family member, and we LOVE it!

As I was clocking into work this afternoon, I hugged my client, and saw the smile on her face when I said Hi, and the 1st thing I thought of was how blessed I was to have a client that is so sweet, and that I enjoy spending time with :)

As I walked in from work, my family met me at the door with hugs ad kisses, which in my opinion is the BEST blessing of today! My family truly are the best blessing I have, and I think God for them daily. My husband Loves and supports me in all my crazy adventures, and my daughter makes my heart smile all the time. She is kind and sweet and is a little crazy like her mom :)

While I wasn't looking for "magical" moments in my life, I sure did find something so much better.

Blessings are contagious, once you find one, you want to look for more. Once you see them in your life, you will want to be a blessing to others in your life.

So this weekend, take a look around, and find your blessings....I promise,
they are all around you! 





















Monday, September 12, 2016

Giving Up Control

Four days until our family leaves for a mini vacation to Branson.....only four days! I have actually been counting down for the last month! My hubby got the suitcase down and I have little piles of folded laundry sitting around the house, just waiting for me to pack them in the suitcase for our vacation. I am SO ready to leave! I have high expectations for this vacation. a weekend of reading, watching my daughter and nieces have fun at the indoor water park at Grand Country, and spending some quality time with my hubby! I have lists of what needs to be done, what should be packed and in which bags, and I have already picked out some new books that I really want to read while I relax!

I have it all planned out!

I know I'm not the only one who packs way a head of time, has great expectations of what the days ahead will hold for them and their family and drives everyone around them crazy while they are in "preparing mode"...at least I hope I am not the only one who is like this!

Unfortunately when I plan something out it usually does not go the way I have planned it. That NEVER stops me from planning and working out every detail the next time....however it does make me stop and wonder "why" I NEED to plan. its not something I love to do...Its something I HAVE to do, or I get anxious that I will forget something.

Today I woke up thinking "only four more days" and I was getting excited! I got my daughter up and we started school, she was coughing a little bit, but I chalked it up to her allergies acting up and we went about out school day.  It wasn't until later in the day that she started complaining about not feeling good. Her cheeks looked flushed, so we took her temp....and she had one!

Not going to lie.. the 1st thing that entered into my head was "there goes our weekend away" quickly followed by "why does this always happen to us"? It seems that every time I plan something It never goes the way I plan it.

In an effort to make sure she doesn't get worse, I canceled her Ice skating lesson for tomorrow morning, and we are planning on staying indoors until she feels better. I am using Essential Oils on her and in our diffuser in an effort to keep the air clean and ward off anymore ickys floating around.

And I am praying....Praying that she is not getting something more then a cold. Praying that she gets better by Thursday, and praying that if she doesn't get better that our family is not disappointed if we have to miss our weekend away.

But what I am praying for the most...is a Peace...I find comfort in lists and planning. Writing them calms me down. Knowing exactly what will happen, when it will happen, and how it will happen allows me to not be stressed.

Yes.... I know that we cant really control what will happen, or when it will happen, but we can plan for different out comes.

One of my favorite phrases to say is "luck favors the prepared" and lately I have been relying on what "I" have prepared for, more then what God has prepared me for.

I need to be able to let go of my crazy lists, my obsession  with being in control of every detail, and let God be able to prepare me for what He has planned for me.

Its kind of scary to even write that...for someone like me, it is very hard to give up control in certain areas.

Control....that is what this is all about. Me, needing to have control over certain activities that cause me to have stress and anxiety. I use my lists as a way to combat the anxiety, to help me deal with the overwhelming stress and dread I feel when ever I have something big coming up. I always end up having a great time, and I love taking vacations, but the preparing and the stress that comes with it, can sometimes be crippling. I start early, because it will take me at least a week to do everything that has to be done on my lists.

Instead of stressing out, and struggling to keep up with my huge "control list" I need to be seeking God and finding His perfect peace.

The world will not end if I forget to pack a roll of toilet paper ( you know, for that off chance we need some and the hotel we are staying in runs out....yes, this is actually how my mind works).

It will also not end, if I forget to pack wipes, extra socks, or my Ipad...our vacation will go on, as planned, it will not be ruined.

I could look at my daughter not feeling 100% as a freak out moment (lets be honest here, I did kind of freak out for a moment), or I could look at is as God giving me an opportunity to let go of what I think this week is "supposed to look like," and instead, rest in the peace that He knows what my future holds and no matter what I plan...it will NEVER be as GREAT as what He has planned for me.

I think today I will choose His peace :)







a-wise-woman-builds-her-home


 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Uncluttering My Life

The last few days have been pretty hectic around our house! Our homeschooling year starts the 6th of September, and I am in full "Crazy cleaning/purging" mom mode! I think I may have made a bigger mess in my house then what was here before. I cant be the only one who has to make a mess in order to organize/clean....right? So far today, I have gotten rid of pictures, wall decorations, clothes my daughter no longer fits in, and a fair amount of books (yes, I am cringing as I write about my books, but it must be done)! My goal is to focus on each room in my home, until it is de-cluttered and deep cleaned, BEFORE school starts!

While my house looks nothing like I want it to...and if you stop by, please remember that I am "working" on more then one project at a time....it will soon be "sorted."

In the midst of cleaning/rearranging I am also planning out my daughters schedule for this fall.....so if you can imagine my living room with boxes by the door that are going to people, school books on the coffee table, my daughters toys on the floor, and random books stacked everywhere, waiting for a home........in other words imagine CHAOS!

That's where I am at this point in my life....complete and utter chaos...while I am trying to see the end goal (yes I do have one), but at this moment all I see is the clutter around me. It is really starting to annoy me...and I'm pretty sure my wonderful hubby feels the same way...he may or may not have tripped over the wall decorations that were in the middle of the room the other day! lets just say, I'm glad he loves me for better of for worse!

Unfortunately, the clutter in my home, is not the only clutter that I have been consumed with...Its amazing how little things can clutter up your mind...listing to other peoples problems, even if they are the ones telling them to you, can clutter up your mind.

Worrying about what people think about you, or what they are saying about you...clutters up your mind.

Spending to much time worrying about the past or the future will clutter up your mind.

I have been cluttering up my mind with un-needed stuff...worrying about my past, worrying about what people think about me, worrying about what will happen in our future...it is nothing but clutter!!!

I am in the mood to de-clutter everything....not only in my home, but in my whole life!

While I was cleaning today, I was thinking about all the clutter that is in our lives. and I had a "light bulb" moment... I dont need this in my life to be happy. I don't need the extra worry, the constantly thinking about "what if's", the nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me what people "may think."



After coming to this realization, I also realized that the reason all this clutter was in my house/life, was because I ALLOWED it to be there. I brought it in to my house/life and the only way I can de-clutter is to evaluate everything. Is it worth keeping, does it bring me joy, am I a better person because it is in my life?

some things (in both my house and life) I said YES to....but there were way more things that I needed to say No to.

At the top of my list were, negative relationships. They dont uplift, or bring happiness to me or my family.  what they do bring is unnecessary clutter and chaos to our life. so while I was throwing out the old DVDs and packing away clothes to give away, I started making a list of what I wanted less of and what I wanted more of in our lives. As the start of the school year is quickly approaching, I want less clutter, less negativity, and less distractions. I want more time to spend with my family, more time spent working for Gods Kingdom, and more time focusing on the relationships I have that are healthy for both me and my family!

my house/life didn't become cluttered overnight....no, it was a long processes that I have been feeding my whole life. unfortunately, becasue it took so long to get to where I am, its going to take me longer then one day to de-clutter. I will be working on this for awhile. I am sure that just like with the chaos that is my home at the moment, I will get frustrated and annoyed, when I see the "work in progress" that is my life, but if I can just remember that there is an end goal, I will be OK.

Sometimes we have to make bigger messes, in order to take care of the ones we have already created!



a-wise-woman-builds-her-home

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Someday

Its been a while....maybe too long. But I am here now, willing to open my heart and let anyone who is curious enough, to take a look inside.

When you think of grief, what do you think of?

Is it of someone who is sitting in a quiet room surrounded by their loved ones things?

Is it a crying woman, clinging to the picture of their lost loved one?

What does grief look like....?

If you look at me, what would you see?

Would you see the tears hidden behind my smiles and jokes? would you hear the catch in my voice every time I talk about my parents. Would you know that sometimes I cry in the shower, with the water drowning out my sorrow so that my daughter doesn't hear me cry.

This is what my grief looks like.

For each person, grief takes on a different look. It can never be the same, for each one of us loves differently, so therefor we will each grieve differently.

I realize that this can be a topic that makes some uncomfortable, but it is what many of us are living through. Every day is filled with memories and moments that you want to share when the ones you have lost.

And every day takes you one day further from the day where you lost them, they day that your life changed forever.

This can be good and bad...its good because time does tend to heal wounds....but on the other hand, time is going by without the ones you love beside you.

Time will always march forward, never stopping so we can adjust to the new normal that is our life. Sometimes it feels like we need to push ourselves to heal quicker, to "get over" our grief...but that is not how our hearts are wired. We were created by God,  and He knows that we can sometimes be an emotional mess. He know the process that we each have to go through, in order to get through  a profound loss in our lives.

I am so thankful that He does not judge me for the moments in my life when I have been "less then perfect" in my walk through this tough time. That He never walked away from me, but instead kept His hand stretched out to me, ready for the moment when I would reach out in my desperation and grab a hold of it.

The one thing I have learned while walking through grief, is that His love never fails. He has reminded me over and over again that He is always walking with me. I have been finding comfort in this knowledge, and the knowledge that I will see my loved ones again.

Until that day, I will cling to Gods promise, that He will never leave me or forsake me. I will continue on my path though grief, and hopefully there will come a day when the grief wont overshadow me, where the tears wont fall, and when I think about my parents, all I will do is smile :) It may not be tomorrow, or even next week.....but I will get there, someday.


















A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Monday, June 20, 2016

My Adventurous Life



I have been staring at a blank page, trying to figure out what to write for quite a bit of time…writers block, is kind of new to me…my brain is always overflowing with thoughts I want to put on paper, but lately I have found something that I love to do, and that helps me unwind, very hard.

And I don’t like it!

I like being able to write out my plans, sit with my laptop and escape in my writing…and now it seems as if my writing is something my mind is trying to run from, instead of running towards.

I could blame it on everything around me, no inspiration, nothing “write worthy has happened” but that would be wrong.

While I don’t live a James Bond (would that be Jane Bond?) exciting type of life, I still have one. 

And as much as I try to make it slow down, it keeps marching on.

I have a wonderful mountain that I climb every morning, sometimes slipping to the bottom, and having to start all over again on the SLOW and steady walk to reach the top and claim victory over it…OK, OK… it’s actually a mountain of laundry…but the goal to get over it is the same. It’s a never ending battle…Just when I think I have reached the top, more laundry is found and thrown on top and I have to start at the bottom again.

I also do a daily battle with a small dragon, who likes to pee in my kitchen, wreak havoc on my daughter’s toys, and stink up all my clean laundry, by laying on my freshly folded mountain of cloths. Our Toy Yorkie, is more like a dragon then a dog…battling a dragon sounds so much more exciting then picking up after a dog!

I am also a chef, who makes fabulous meals that consist of grilled cheese and chips for a quick lunch, before we risk life and limb fighting our way past the long lines and gates and into our local water park!

Sometimes I even take on an apprentice and teach her to clean (free labor) and how to cook and bake from scratch.

 While anyone’s life can seem exciting if you put the right twist on it, I am reminded that while it may not be as exciting as fighting a dragon, or climbing a mountain, my life is pretty exciting as it is.

Olivia made her daddy a homemade cake!
I have a great family that I LOVE spending time with. I have friends that are here for me anytime I call, and they know that whenever they need me I am here as well. I have an AWESOME God that goes before me in every situation, and who has never forsaken me.

My life is how I look at it, and while laundry, dog duty, and making quick lunches, may not seem exciting to anyone (lol me included), and choosing to look at it with a smile on my face and a happy heart will make it easier. My life revolves around my family and doing things for them, makes my heart smile. 

SO while I may not have much to write about today, I do have a mountain of laundry waiting for me, and it’s almost lunch time, so I will close the computer, and get back to my wonderful life!