Sunday, March 30, 2014

Beginning Again

The funny thing with prayer is that sometimes the answers you pray to find come in a very unexpected way. Sometimes you end up in a place you didn't even think you would be. Again. Guess it goes to show us (again and again) that God knows our hearts better than we do and He knows what our future holds.

So, here's what I am talking about: in December Mike and I decided to take some time apart....too bad our "time apart" really wasn't separate. We still talked and when we did, we talked a lot about what went wrong with us and what we could do to fix it. The fixing part meant that both of us needed to bend more than we did before and that we had to stop trying to fit each other into an image we had in our minds of what we should be. That can be a scary thing to do. But as scary as it can be, it's exciting. It's exciting to see things in a different light and to truly appreciate him for who he is (even though some of the stuff he does annoys the heck out of me). Without all my ideals on a "perfect for me" kind of guy, I am able to enjoy him without the second guessing and the what ifs.

About three weeks before we decided to give it another go, officially, I had four people tell me that just because he wasn't the strong spiritual family leader I had envisioned being with, to not discredit him. People change and grow and maybe he needed/wanted my support and encouragement to help him in his journey to having a relationship with Jesus. That whole statement just kinda floored me. The people who told me this are all people I admire, faith wise, and all people that I respect. Point taken, God. So, with that thought in my head and in my prayers, Mike and I started having the types of conversations we should have had in September before we started dating. It is so amazing when you have these light bulb moments and you have someone sharing them with you! In our many conversations, I learned a lot about him that I didn't know. Many times I have been pleasantly surprised to find out things about him that I had hoped to find in all areas, but mainly faith and family.

 I am not perfect, he is not perfect....but we both laid aside our ideals and differences and have created a relationship that is built on honesty, trust, open communication, quite a bit of silliness, and faith. I could go on and on about how he is so different than other guys but I won't. But he is pretty terrific and I love what we have together. I know that there are many people who don't get this or us and that's fine. It's not their life to live, it's ours. Second chances are a wonderful thing!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Discipline and Trust

The past couple of weeks I have noticed that so many things in my life have brought me to a place of stepping back and trusting God. Some little and some big, but all have proven to me time and again that if you just give it to God, He will take care of it. It's humbling and freeing all at once. I am a worrier by nature. Sometimes I sugar coat it and say I am a thinker, but I am just a plain old worrier. I have gotten much better in recent years, but that is still my go to response in times of trouble or doubt. I want to break that habit. I want to be able to say that I gave it to God before I had time to sabotage my peace. People often say it's good to remember your blessings and all the things that God has done in your life. I think that is good, but I also think it's good to think about all of the goodness he has in store for us. Is it hard to think about that when your car is broken down and you can't pay for it? Yes, it's hard...we are human. But, what you can choose to think about is how God will work that situation for good.

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."  Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

That is a true story, by the way. My car broke down, got fixed (super expensive), then broke again...yeah. I sold it. But, I did stress about it a lot. The solution came in the form of my parents who graciously signed over their van to me. They have a truck to drive, I have a van to drive and I was able to sell my Escape to a friend who was able to fix the car up on his own. Now his wife has a good car to drive. That whole scenario is not out the ordinary, people buy and sell cars all the time. What is unique is that this all happened in a matter of 24 hours. I decided to sell it and use the money to repair the two things the van needed to have fixed, so I simply posted a picture on my Facebook page and said I wanted to sell it and what was needing to be fixed. In about two hours, I had it sold and they came to pick it up the next day. It was so fast and so flawless. Thank you, God, for blessing us all!!

Quick side note- I have the most awesome parents ever. My mom loved her van but she wanted to give it to us. And you know what? We love the van! It's got so much space for the kids and I. I am really pleased with it, it fits our lifestyle right now perfectly. These kids are only going to get bigger.

So, the title also says discipline along with trust. The discipline I am referring to is for myself. I have told myself for the past few years that I would start tithing next week and the week after and so on. All the while I felt the conviction of wanting to give but not trusting that my financial needs would be met. It's not a secret that I have a limited income. But, this income and life is what I choose and I make the best of it that I can. Don't get me wrong, my kids and I do not lack for anything. But, I realized I have been holding onto money so tightly because I was so afraid I wouldn't have money to spend on fun stuff. That's hard to put out there publicly. But hey, I don't claim to be perfect and I stumble as much as the next person. But it's true. I pay my bills, we always have food in the house, all of our basic needs are met. But, because I spend so much of my income on paying what is necessary, I get a little crazy with the spending when I have extra. That is truly not how I want to be. I have made so many financial changes in the last few years, out of need, and I want to be able to change this too. My goal this year is to actually have money in a savings account and to tithe weekly as I get paid. I sat down the other night and wrote out the entire month of February's finances and I factored in tithe and savings. I feel pretty good about it! I am determined to stick to my budget and to save for the things I want. Just doing a budget and writing it all out made me feel free. Finances can be so can buy everything but it cages you in because it buys everything. I don't want to be owned by money, what it buys, or what it represents. My lifestyle drastically changed when I got divorced, the life I was accustomed to was no longer there and I was learning how to live on 1/4 of the income I had been living on before. I have often said that even though that was a huge change, I am happier now than I ever was before. It's been an eye opening few years, I feel so much richer now. I have such an incredibly great quality of life for my kids and I to share. And that is the very reason I want to tithe...God provides all of this for us. None of this would be possible without Him.

I feel like this post is all over the map. In my head, this all blended together better. Oh well. What you see is what you get. And hopefully you understand where this is all coming from. I have been wanting to sit down and write this post out for a couple days but it seems like every time I turned on my computer, my brain was out to lunch. Now that I have written it out, I can spend the remainder of my evening deciding which book to start (book #9 for the year!) and get a few chapters in before it's lights out!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Monday, January 6, 2014

Routines are good

We started back to school and work today and I'm so happy to be back in our regular routine.  I am definitely the type of person who loves a routine and thrives in it.  I like to know what's going on and where we will be.  It was really good to see all the students and my coworkers today.  And I'm not going to lie,  it was great to be at my desk,  in my office... Just doing my thing.  Ahhh. Feels good to be back in the saddle again. 

The kids both enjoyed their first day back.  They were both really excited to tell their friends about their new toys,  the fun they had and hear all about how their break was.  It was cute to see them so excited to go back. 

This evening Zane started up with basketball again.  He joined a short weekend booster program in November and December and really liked it.  He and I were happy when a few parents organized a twice weekly practice for kids who are interested.  It's fun to watch him out on the court.  He has the potential to be a good player if he keeps up practicing and applies what he is learning.  I'm so proud of him for wanting to try this new sport out! 

Zane with his super cool new basketball t-shirt!

The most fun aspect of today was getting my hair cut!  I've been growing it out for several months but got tired of longer hair.  So today I cut it off!  Short hair is more flattering on me I think.  I also love the ease of it.  I'm really happy with the cut and style.  What a welcome and fun change!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm a Survivor!

Yes, I have survived the first hectic week back to school and work. I think that my planning ahead at work (and at home) helped that along. I started preparing for the new school year, at work, during the final month of last school year. That helped me out immensely this week. It was still chaotic with some longer work days than I had planned on, but it has gone well so far! I really love my job and I am continually glad I made the choice to commit to one job and be in one place each day. The Lord has truly blessed me with wonderful bosses and co-workers and I couldn't ask for more from a job. I love how His timing and planning totally rocks when you least expect it!

On the home front, life is good! Both kids love school and love their teachers. I love that they love school so much. The newness of this school year has not worn off yet, so they are still in the happy, "honeymoon" phase. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that my son is in second grade. That just doesn't seem possible. And my sweet girl is going to be turning five in a couple months. Please stop growing up!!!

We had a sad adjustment to make in our family this week. One of our beloved kitties starting being super naughty (escaping to the outside, marking her territory inside, etc) and we just couldn't keep her anymore. We were so happy that the family we got her from was able to take her back. She is now free to be the outdoor kitty she is born to be. We miss her but we are happy to know that we can see her anytime we want to go visit and that she is happy playing with her brothers and sisters.

Also kind of exciting...I reopened my Etsy shop! Now that I am down to just one job and have less extra curricular commitments, I have time to sew again. I've missed having the shop open. There is such satisfaction in creating something you love and seeing other people love it too. Same feeling as giving the perfect gift. If you are interested in checking out my shop, you can find it here, on Etsy or click the link on the sidebar of my blog.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


We started a new school year today!  Zane is in second grade and Claire is in Pre K this year and they are both so excited!  They both have super great teachers again this year,  which makes school even more fun. Although,  Claire would say that painting makes school the most fun.  Zane just says he feels older,  like a teenager and not like a kid now. I guess that's what happens when you turn 7 and start second grade.  :)

I also started back to work today and am happily employed by just one school now.  Last week I resigned as a school district employee and am committed full time to the Christian school. I am the secretary there and I love my job!  So today,  I enjoyed my first day back also. 

Besides starting the new school year,  both kids have decided to play soccer this fall and have started practices this week.  They play in two different age groups and two different teams,  so we are very busy! So far,  they both really like it and I am glad!  Neither one of them have ever shown interest in sports until now.  We are eagerly anticipating their first games next weekend. Nana and Papa are coming to visit and staying the night before so we can all attend the games as a family. The day of the games also happens to be Papa's birthday,  so we will be celebrating that as well!

Last,  but not least, some pictures from the last couple of days. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Barbie Clothes

Barbie and Ken are quite the popular couple with my kids lately, so I have been scouring the internet (ok, Pinterest) for all sorts of DIY Barbie and Ken clothes, furniture, housing, etc. I am happy to say that I have found plans for a house and my dad has the materials needed to build said house. Once its constructed, I will decorate and furnish it. The best part? My kids have no idea and I cannot wait to surprise them with a handmade house. yay!

I have also found (and used) a few really great tutorials on making Barbie some cute dresses, skirts and tops. I tried to make some pants for ken but I am not good at sewing pants...of any size. It's just not in the cards. I am going to work on drafting a simple shirt pattern tomorrow. In the meantime, all of Claire's Barbies are getting a whole new, more real to life, cute, handmade wardrobe. Don't get me wrong, I love the ball gowns and the sequined strappy dresses but who wears those around everyday? Now these Barbies have something to wear that is just like what Claire is wearing. I found all the tutorials for what I have made in the last couple of days over at Craftiness is Not Optional. These tutorials are amazing and are packed full of great pictures and easy to follow instructions. I love that all these little articles of clothing hardly take any time at all to whip up.

And now, without further ado, pictures of my creations.

This is the Basic Easy Dress. So easy and so fun to make!

This is the Easy Skirt (elastic waist) and Cap Sleeve Top. I am in love with this top.

The Froufy Skirt...I think this is my favorite to make.

And another Cap Sleeve Top...I got uneven and too close darts on this top but oh well. My almost 5 year old daughter doesn't care. :)

Last night I cut out fabric for several skirts, a few dresses and more tops. I am just loving this stuff! I am so glad I stumbled on these tutorials on Pinterest. Its been a good way to get my sewing on and create stuff, but without the hassle of needing a huge work space or a big chunk of time. I do feel bad about Ken not getting much, but I did find this gem of a shop on Etsy and plan on buying some stuff from her. Check out BarbieBoutiqueBasics for some super cute stuff for Barbie, Ken and other larger dolls.

I just realized I have yet another excuse to buy fabric...