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Wife, doggy-mother, Jesus follower, CANCER FIGHTER! Just enjoying each day as it comes and remembering what is really important - family and GOD.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

BlogLovin'

I'm devastated that Google Reader will be no more. But - I guess since it won't, I will make the switch now to bloglovin'. Follow me now!

A Chord of Three

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Family Weekend

This was a weekend full of family. Saturday Justin, my mom and I drove to Cape to meet with my sister Miste and niece Ella. Ella's 10th birthday was Friday and she wanted to go shopping in St. Louis for her present. A little diva! She in particular wanted to go to the American Girl store because she had convinced my Mom, "Coy," to buy her bitty baby twins.

Ella managed to convince her Justin to go with her. To the American Girl store. Justin, who at this point says his beard is 1 1/2 reed lengths. She has how wrapped around that finger for sure. I had to giggle at the slight of a very manly man following her (and me) around the store pretending to be interested.

Having lunch with Abby Marie.

I can't even lie. I was so excited! I want to have a little girl just so I can relive American Girls. I had Molly when I was younger. She is a historical doll. And, from what I could remembered, the only one  who hasn't been retired that were original to my time. Haha. It was such an awesome store and no doubt a little girls dream.

Needless to say, Ella walked out with two bitty baby Asian girl twins, SIX bitty baby outfits, training pants for the babies, and hair accessories. She is one smart cookie bringing Baba, Justin AND Coy along.

Ella says this will be Baba and Jay's future.

Today, we went to Cape to church with Miste and Clay to see our sweet Sam as today was his Confirmation. I was so very proud of him. To see my baby boy openly profess his faith and publicly accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior was overwhelming. We just love him so much and he is turning into such a sweet spirited young man. Though according to his parents he is a typical teenager :) However, he knows that Baba and Justin will be there always and no matter what.



We are just so blessed to have these two wonderful children in our life and a great family to boot. This weekend was busy but full of love!

Friday, March 22, 2013

SUYL: Pinterest!

Today I am linking up with Kelly's Korner Show Us Your Life! It is all about the best website ever - Pinterest! Who doesn't love Pinterest?

I thought today I would share some of my latest pins. They are pretty random!





I love these colors! I think grey and yellow with pops of bright colors are super sophisticated but still cute for a baby's nursery.




All dog-lovers unite!




Let's be honest. Who doesn't have these days?! Ha!




I have been looking for ideas for my niece Sophie's 3rd (!!!) birthday. She is all about the Princesses right now. I think this shabby-chic, vintage inspired princess theme is ADORABLE without being over-the-top or cheesy.


Source: rstyle.me via Claire on Pinterest


I think my southern sweet tea would taste SOOOO much sweeter in these! Anyone? Bueller?




I did this and it worked. Fantastically! I need to do it for the other pillows on the guest beds.

Follow me on Pinterest by clicking on the link below or by clicking here!

Friday, March 15, 2013

SUYL: Vacation

Once again, I am linking up with Kelly's Korner Show Us You Life. Today is all about favorite vacation spots!

Last year was what we dubbed "the year of fun" and believe me - it was! We rang in the New Year in the Carribbean, went to Disney World in April, and went back to the beach to Destin, Florida in May. What can I say? We took advantage of every vacation possible!

Instead of writing a blog post trying to condense all that travel down into one - I will include the links from each!

**And as I went back, I realized I never recapped our Honeymoon! What was I thinking?**

Here are a few pictures. We went on a 6-day cruise to Ochios Rios, Jamaica  the Grand Cayman Islands, and Cozumel, Mexico. Despite all the problems cruise ships seem to be having now - we loved it.













Moving on to Disney World. Let me just say - NOTHING tops the magic. Nothing. Nada. I can't wait to go back. Again and again and again!!!!!! Everyone should go to Disney World once in their lifetime - and I am a big BIG advocate that everyone should go once as an adult without children!

Magic Kingdom
Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom
Epcot

If we could go back right now, I would drop everything and RUN LIKE THE WIND people. I don't run - so you've got to understand how much I love me some Disney!

We have also visited Destin, Florida twice now with Justin's family. We stayed both times at the Emerald Grande which is right on the boardwalk. You take a little boat to a private beach. I really love the area and would go back in a heartbeat! There are lots of great restaurants and shops right there - so really, you would never have to get in your car (if you drove) and if you flew it would be no big deal!


We just really enjoy vacationing. We feel that we work very hard for our money - and this is how we like to spend what little extra we have! 

I am feeling a little sad that, with what it looks like our future holds in regards to becoming pregnant, I don't think we will manage a vacation this year. At least not this summer. I am sure, however, it will all be worth it. Justin promises me a "babymoon" when we finally ARE expecting - so I can wait!

Oh - we have also traveled to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for vacation. We had a blast! Definitely more of an outdoorsy type summer vacation - we white water rafted and also ziplined. WAY out of my comfort zone!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bringing Faith to Life

Today I'm linking up with a group of bloggers over at Kelly's Korner who are talking about faith. Today's topic is "Bringing Faith to Life."

I was recently talking to one of my closest friends about a woman who is one of the most faith-filled people I've ever met. My friend described it as "God shining through" her. That is what I strive to be in life. Each day, I want to bring my faith to life in such a way that everyone I meet sees God shine His light straight through me.

I will be the first to admit that I am a Sinner with a capital "S." I make mistakes and mess up every day. Here lately, I can admit that with the way life has happened, I haven't allowed God to shine from me - at least not very brightly.

But each day I wake up, I try to remember that I have the potential to bring my faith to life.

I do this through prayer. I have always been a constant prayer. If that's a term. I pray all day long on and off. It may be a 2 second prayer or a 2 minute prayer, but I stop many times throughout the day to speak to my Father. I need to make more of a priority to have specific prayer time. That is another way I strongly believe I can allow God to shine through me during the day. I'm not a morning person y'all. I'm late to work every single day of my life. But I think if I would just set my alarm, brew a cup of coffee and open up my Bible each morning I would be so richly rewarded.

Another way I've more recently started to bring my faith to life is through praise and worship music. My sweet new ride has XM radio, and I listen to The Message anytime I'm in the vehicle. Some days this can be quite a lot. I also listen to KLOVE or my Pandora Christian contemporary station during the day at work. I find myself stopping to sing along to songs or lyrics that call to me, and feel myself reach a sense of peace. It's a wonderful way to keep that connection all day long.

With our hectic, busy lifestyles, I think it can be easy to lose ourselves during the days and weeks and only live our faith on Sundays or at church or when it's convenient. I am just as guilty of this as anyone. I have been trying to make an effort however to be thoughtful in my actions, and pray God-sized prayers, and live each day as an example of my faith and the wonderful love my God and Jesus Christ provides to me.

I hope that this blog, when I'm not complaining or talking about our random weekend dates, somehow reaches out and touches a life. I hope that the clients I come in contact with daily hear the faith in my voice and see it in my eyes. I hope my heart radiates warmth and my soul reaches out to embrace my brothers and sisters in Christ. I hope each evening, as I say my prayers and close my eyes, that God can look down and say "I'm proud of you my child. You are getting closer."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekend Wrap

We had a very nice, relaxing weekend. Friday evening, we got out of the house by taking the new vehicle for a little ride around our booming town. Ha! We like to get out and just drive the back/country roads and talk. It's always quiet and pretty.

We slept late Saturday morning, then headed to Cape. We had an appointment for a couples massage at Belladonna Salon and Spa. It was amazing! I would do without a lot to get a massage. The last probably 10 minutes of the massage I kept going back and forth in my mind on whether I wanted My Daddy's Cheesecake or Dairy Queen for an after-massage treat. I went with the cheesecake. I have such a love affair with dessert. Obviously. We ran some errands and also went to watch Ella, my niece, at a gymnastics competition. We just had a fun all-around time.


I love this man. He makes my days so bright!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Nieces and Nephews

Today I am linking up with Kelly's Korner: Show Us Your Life. Today is about nieces and nephews!

We are blessed (seriously) with 2 beautiful nieces and a nephew. I cannot imagine life without being a Baba to these precious littles. They make my days happier, brighter and so much better.

My sweet Sam was born when I was only 13. My sister lived at home with us for 6 months of her pregnancy and again when Sam was 6months to a year old because my brother-in-law was on deployment with the Navy. I read every. single. book. Possible on pregnancy/babies when Miste was pregnant. I knew Sam's weekly stages of development - had it memorized. I read and talked and rubbed her belly. When Sam was born, at 13, I spent weeks in Virginia with Miste and Clay helping them take care of a newborn. Needless to say, Sam was like MY baby too.


Circa 2010



My handsome Sam-Sam. 2011.

Sam & Jay

Sam & Poppy. Circa 2008.

Circa 2009.

There years later my sweet as sassy Ella came along. I went to visit as much as possible, considering Miste and Clay lived in Rhode Island and later Florida. I was so blessed that Miste and Clay loved the relationship I had/have with their children - and I was elated to be their BaBa. Sam frequently tells his Miste that if his Mom can't be there, his BaBa is the next best thing.

Circa 2008.

Circa 2009.
2011.

My sweet girl!


Samuel and Ella have been a part of our lives for what feels like forever!




About a year before I married Justin, his twin brother Dustin and wife Casey found out they were expecting. I was so happy o have another baby to love! Sophie came along and once again stole our hearts. It's so amazing to see her little personality shine through. We love spending as much time with her as possible - though she has a very busy social schedule for a 2 year old!

Sweet baby. 2010.

Spring 2011.

Summer 2011.

Happy Birthday!

Flower Girl.

We spend as much time with our nieces and nephews as possible. We love each of them like they are our very own. We have an open-house policy. Sam and Ella are really old enough to take advantage of the now. They often scheme and call us asking to come stay. They know that unless we aren't home - the answer is always yes!

Our favorite littles.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Funkity Funk

Ya'll. I am in such a FUNK. I think there is just so much going on around me that I can't focus or concentrate. Most everything and everyone, minus a few exceptions are getting on my last nerve.

Whatever.

I am just so. tired. I really want a vacation. This time last year we were preparing for Disney. So maybe that is part of my funk? Not having a fun trip to look forward to. I am not sure we will even get a vaca this year. And with my job, sometimes it is really essential for me to get AWAY. Physically.

Who knows, though. Maybe an opportunity will come up! Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Thoughtful Tuesday: Jeremiah

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:11-14

I have struggled today.... And this verse keeps swirling around my head. I feel myself becoming upset, angry, frustrated - and suddenly, I would start repeating these words. Comfort and peace would come.

 I am in a time right now of "growing pains" as my sweet friend so affectionately called them. Growing pains are never fun, especially when your ability to provide/livelihood comes into play.

However, just this morning I was telling my Mom that I can see God really moving in my life right now, specifically in my work. I can see His hand opening up doors that I weren't sure were possible. I had faith this morning - and someone else's actions and remarks should not shake that! He was faithful this morning, and He is faithful NOW.


Source: flickr.com via Claire on Pinterest

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Sweet Potatoes

I had a baked sweet potato for supper. I'm obsEssed. It's so weird because I used to hate them. Then my mother-in-law called me one night after watching some show on the history channel that said sweet potatoes can cause multiples. I decided to give them a try and WHAM! Love them. I bought some Land-o-Lakes cinnamon sugar butter to put on mine tonight and it was heaven.

I also made Italian Crockpot Beef for tonight. It's the easiest and yummiest meal.

Ingredients:

Chuck roast (size depending on how many you feed - 2lb roast should serve approx 4)
2 jars peppercinni peppers OR mild pepper rings
2 packets Italian dressing seasoning
Beef broth (enough to cover roast)
Swiss cheese slices
Hoagie buns
Steak sauce

Directions:

Place chuck roast on bottom of crockpot. Pour in one jar of peppers with juice. Pour in about half the 2nd jar of peppers with juice, reserving the remainder for garnish. Sprinkle on 1-2 packets of Italian seasoning mix (depending on preference - I use both). Cover with beef broth until roast is covered. Cook on low approximately 6-8 hours. Shred meat when done and serve on hoagie buns with Swiss cheese, steak sauce and peppers.

Easy and delicious. We make it a lot for company because its a crowd pleaser and very easy, especially if I have worked all day.

This past week has been out of our norm. Justin was gone from Sat-Tues on a business trip. I hate being alone. I was alone for SO long when I was in law school, and now that I've gotten used to being home with him everyday it's like I forgot how to handle it. I spent a lot of time and nights at my parents. Oreo was very happy. He loves staying with them, and having Mom there too was like icing on the doggie cake.

Wednesday and Thursday night our sweet niece Sophie stayed with us while her parents had "mommy and daddy" time. We absolutely loved having her here with us. I was so glad she got to stay and that her momma and daddy got the chance to get away for a couple days. She was very good and so much fun. We went to bed the second night feeling so blessed to have a little one in our home and both felt this tug in our hearts for when we will have that feeling every night. I loved watching Sophie and Jay together. She would get so excited when he walked in the door. We also visited him at school and she ran from the car to the door to get to him. It seriously made my heart burst out of my chest. She is such a loving little girl. You can tell there is no shortage of love for her, because she so easily returns it to everyone.

Yesterday we finally broke down and traded in my baby. She had 171,000 miles on her and made 1000s of trips back and forth to St. Louis and never once let me down. She made half a dozen trips to Florida and back, a couple to Georgia, many trips to Cape, Memphis, Jefferson City and Columbia. However, it was time. The gas pedal just really didn't want to work anymore which was my sign. That, and paying at least $300 a month to the local garage to keep her running. So we are the proud owners of a gently used 2013 GMC Terrain. It's like driving a freaking Mercedes compared to what I did have! So far I'm very impressed.

I'm watching Justin work on my website now... Thank goodness he loves that stuff and can get my business going, because I would be in trouble if it were up to me!

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Day in the Life

Today I am linking up with Kelly's Korner again for Show Us You Life. Today's theme is a day in the life.... Obviously, since we don't have children or anything such as that (unless you count Oreo) our daily life isn't that crazy or fun.

I always think it is really fun or interesting to see what other people do on a "normal" day though!

On a normal weekday, my alarm is set for 6:36am. I hit snooze about 7 million times. I finally roll out of bed sometime after 7:00am, usually when Justin hollars at me that I am going to be late. I take a quick shower, send him off to work, feed and water Oreo, and pick up the house.

I am obviously running late by then. I hurry up to get my makeup and hair done, and fly out the door like a bat out of you-know-where.

I slide into work around 8:30am and go straight to my office after checking for messages. I brew myself a cup of coffee and usually grab a pop-tart from our mega pop-tart stash. Healthy. I sit at my desk and take some time to acclimate to work. I am not a morning person. I drink my coffee, eat my pop-tart, catch up with CB and check emails.

If I have morning court, I will prepare. If not, typically my mornings are more of returning calls, emails and working on paperwork. I try to schedule appointments in the afternoons. I usually take a lunch break at some point. If I have afternoon court, I sometimes don't get the chance. Afternoons are usually busy and filled with appointments and phone calls.

I am usually home by around 5:30pm at the latest. I typically come in and pick up the house and start dinner. We are super exciting at night, laying around on the couch and relaxing. I try to be asleep by midnight. CRAZY.

I can only imagine how this will change for the better one day.