Thursday, November 17, 2011

God's my strength

This has been one of "those" weeks.
One of those weeks when I can't get out of bed without crying and hurting.

Source: via Kristin on Pinterest

Monday, Michael had off, so we went to eat supper with my daddy, sister & CJ. I was having problems with my left leg and by the time we'd eaten, I knew I needed a hot bath to loosen up the muscles for the ride home. Except -- it just made me sick. So Michael headed back home and the girls & I stayed with Allie. It's been an awful few days. I couldn't dress myself, couldn't walk by myself (even with crutches), it was probably the second worst episode I've had since the first week of September.
But late yesterday morning, we had some really bad weather pass through. There were tornados all around us (thank God everyone I know is okay). I laid in the bed with June while it stormed, ready to take cover, and used the time to pray. I fell on my face before God and begged him for strength to deal with it and grace to not complain. No, I wasn't literally on my face in the physical -- but in my heart, in my soul -- I was face down at His feet. Even as I sit here and remember that time, I'm tearing up. I like to say that sometimes we have to be totally broken before God before we can accept His healing, His help, or even just His mercy & peace of mind. I was there.

My body was weak. Probably the weakest it's been yet. Yesterday morning I needed a grown man to help me out of the bed. I couldn't even lift my leg a centimeter for my sister to slip my clothes on for me. Yep -- I couldn't even dress myself. After the storm broke (and I prayed), I got up from the bed and used crutches to get me to the living room. Yeah, it took me 10 minutes. Yeah, I was shaking and exhausted by the time I got to the rocking chair. But I did it. And then -- I actually made it into a vehicle, to town, ATE LUNCH (I've had NO appetite lately), kept it down, and came to my cousins house. That all doesn't sound big to you, but it was to me! I texted a good friend last night & asked for her to keep me in prayer. Somebody touched Heaven for me because this morning at 5 am, Sara came and asked me to turn the bathroom light on for her. I didn't even think -- I just got out of bed and walked right into the bathroom to turn it on.
No big deal, right? But yesterday morning, I could barely walk!
I thought, "that's God. He's doing what He does best!"

I still have some pain, but it's just a little bit.
Just a reminder of all I have to be thankful for.

Now, friends, I'm off to enjoy my pain-free day and play with my girls!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

oh, how pinteresting!


Head on over to The Vintage Apple to link up!

Peanut butter fudge brownie trifle....making this for Thanksgiving & can't WAIT to try it!
Tomato sandwich -- this looks DELICIOUS!
I think this is so cool. I want to do it in my hallway.
This would be great in my laundry room this winter. Definitely would come in handy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

happy tuesday!

Last week we had a few big milestones in our family. June and Sara both had their first dentist appointments:

(I apologize for the poor cell phone camera quality!)
I was pretty sick that day, so Michael took them. Sara has perfect teeth (thank you, Jesus!) and will probably never need braces. The dentist told us that only about 2% of children who come in his office have teeth like hers. Awesome!

June, of course, is still way too little to have a "real" dentist appointment, but I thought that it would be comforting for Sara to have her sister there. And also for June to have Sara there. June has six teeth in and is cutting another one.

We also had another "first" -- June wore her first ponytail!

 I think she is too cute! Love her sweet little dimple.

Do you remember a few weeks ago I posted how my little sister, Allie, lost her sweet Duke. She was (and still is) heartbroken over that little puppy. But....this past week, she decided it was time to get another dog. She chose a Red Bone (???) hunting dog...or something like that. I'm not for sure on the name. But anyway -- she named him Cooter (notice the trend here??) and he is the PRETTIEST dog I have laid eyes on in a long time. He has a coat like velvet. Here they are (don't I have the prettiest sister ever??)

I hope ya'll are having a great Tuesday! We are just hanging out at home, catching up some learning to write our alphabet & cleaning. A good rest day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

hello again....and menu plan monday!

Some sick bugs just WON'T go away! For the past 2-3 weeks, we have been so sick. Stomach viruses, regular viruses, I've had a severe ear infection, and I started PT which is killer. My house looks like a train wreck hit it, and we're scrounging to find clean clothes (hey, just being honest here!) but one day we'll feel better. Right? I hope so.

A long time ago, I did a Menu Plan Monday. I think I'm going to get started back with doing it. I NEED to so that we can get back on track with grocery spending & not being wasteful. So starting today, I will be posting our weekly menus every Monday. I can't promise they'll be fun...sometimes they might even (gasp) say something like "frozen pizza" or "hamburger helper".....the horror! The truth is, that even though I'm a SAHM, we ARE a busy family & sometimes it's just better to eat easy things than cook a full blown meal.

Monday: grilled cheese with celery sticks & ranch.
Tuesday: chicken & dumplings
Wednesday: turkey burgers, roasted cauliflower & sweet potato fries
Thursday: hamburger helper, green beans, & crescent rolls
Friday: lasagna
Saturday: spaghetti & garlic bread
Sunday: pancakes & bacon

My goal is to NOT eat out at all any night this week. Cross your fingers for us!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

oh how pinteresting wednesday


Better late than never! Today I'm linking up with The Vintage Apple for Pinteresting Wednesday. I LOVE Pinterest. I can't say it enough. I haven't had as much time lately to browse on there, but here are some things I've found that I adore:

Source: via Deanna on Pinterest

I love this. I plan on redecorating our guest bath after the holidays and I will probably do this.

Definitely doing this for the girls bedroom AND for Christmas gifts!

Making this for our weekly squadron wives get-together on Tuesday.

I want this outfit. Stat.

That's all for today, folks. I'm off to ogle Pinterest and find more things I've just GOT to have!

Monday, October 24, 2011

rest in peace, bo duke

Back in May, my little sister Allie got the sweetest little puppy. 
She named him Bo Duke, but we called him Duke. 
Dukie (as I affectionately called him) went everywhere with Allie. She treated that dog like he was her son.  Duke was not just a dog to Allie...he was her best friend.

I will spare you the sad details, but sweet Duke was (we think) poisoned and he passed away  yesterday afternoon. Allie is completely devastated. She lives alone in a house full of men and Duke was her little buddy. Some of ya'll might think it's silly to be so upset over the loss of a dog, but Duke was NOT just a dog. He was so much more.

As a tribute to Bo Duke, here are a few pictures celebrating his life.
Allie May, I am so sorry for the pain you feel. Dukie was the sweetest dog. I promise you we will get you another puppy as soon as you are ready. There is a perfect one out there just waiting for all your loving!

I so wish ya'll could have been there for this. Duke jumped in the bathtub with the girls and Homer was trying to get him out!

Allie and Bo Duke

 She loved him so much she decorated his little grave

Duke riding with his Pawpaw (my dad)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

i'll take the good with the bad, the happy with the sad, and put it all in Jesus' hands

 Since I was a teenager, every once in a while I would get severe neck pain, down my shoulder. I went to the doctor several times -- x-rays always showed nothing. I just chalked it up to a bad car accident that I was in when I was 16.

Earlier this year, I started having problems with my lower back hurting. X-rays showed nothing. It was always right in my epidural spot, so I just chalked it up to an after effect of that.

This year, I've also started having migraine headaches & bruising easily. At any given time I will have 5-10 terrible bruises all over my body.

Around the same time that my back started hurting, my youngest sister (I have three) was diagnosed with this rare bone disease. Oddly, my older sister was diagnosed with it when she was about 25. After some research, we learned it was genetic. I decided to check it out with my doctor.

Sometime around the end of August, I went in & immediately she confirmed I had blue sclera, which is one of the leading symptoms. It's where the whites of your eyes have a bluish tint. It's extremely rare. My doctor was completely shocked and before I knew it there were about 15 people in my room with me -- doctors & residents all wanting to have a look. 
"It's something we learn in medical school, but are always told we'll never see it in our careers."

Not exactly something a 26 year old woman at the prime of her life wants to hear.

Osteogenesis Imperfecta is a brittle bone disease. It causes bones to break extremely easy and with it comes a terrible amount of pain.

Since then my body has completely went WHACK. I have experienced the worst pain I have EVER felt in my ENTIRE life. Natural childbirth was 10000% times easier than this. I feel like my bones are going snap, crackle, pop! at times. Since September 7, I have had my back go out once for a week, my left hip go out twice for a week each, and my right knee go out for 3 or so days. I have to take heavy pain medication to even be able to stand breathing. It feels like someone is scraping my bones against each other with no tissue to protect it. 

I'm not telling you this for you to feel sorry for me. I'm being honest and real and saying that some days, I HURT. It helps that I can talk to my sisters about this. It helps that I have an amazing doctor (how I found her in the Army, I'll never know!) who is giving me referrals to wonderful specialist to help me out. I'll be traveling to Alpharetta, GA soon to get some genetic testing & a whole bunch of other test that I won't bore you with -- to determine exactly what type I have & where I am in the process.

There's no cure for OI. But I'm not worried. Because let me tell you -- I serve a God who is still in the healing business. I have proof of that sleeping in the bedroom right next to me. He will carry me through. I'm not saying I will never worry, because I know I will. Some days (like yesterday when my doctor told me she could get a walker or wheelchair for the bad days) I will cry my eyes out. But at the end of the day, I WILL turn it over to Him and I WILL trust that He will help me. 

We are not promised a life full of happiness & sunshine. If I EVER portray on my blog that my life is full of that -- let me clear it up right now that it's NOT. Most of the time, I choose to only write about the happy because it's what I want my girls to remember when they read this later in life. I just wanted to explain to ya'll why I may be absent for days at a time in the future. Some days I just cannot sit to type a blog. 

If you or anyone you know has this, please feel free to set up contact between us. I would love to learn more about this from a PERSON rather than GOOGLE. I have not googled anything further than what I shared with you at the beginning of this post.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

long time, no blog

I can't believe I haven't posted since last WEDNESDAY! That's almost a week ago. Friday night I had a baby shower, Saturday I had a baby shower, and Saturday night we went to visit with my aunt & uncle and then my dad & sister. Sunday morning we went to church, Sunday afternoon we had a birthday dinner, and shortly after that I got REALLY sick. I'll spare you all the sick details, but it involved a trip to the ER where they thought I was having a stroke. Thank God it was just an awful, awful sinus infection. I hope I never have another one of those again! I've just been recovering since then.

This week I'll post about all the showers & parties -- they are all for special people in my life!

Last Wednesday, I took the girls to story time. Sara has literally NOT stopped asking about going back since then! So if I feel alright, we will be heading down there again tomorrow. 

#1) I don't know what to do about Sara's chap ring below her lip. I've put loads of Burts Bees and even Vaseline on it and nothing seems to help. Any ideas?

#2) This was June's very first craft!

I have lots of other things I want to blog about...but my energy is quickly slipping away. 
It's time to go lay down and rest while June sleeps. 
If I'm still feeling well, I'll be back tomorrow with baby shower pictures! 
I hope ya'll have a wonderful Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

oh how pinteresting wednesday

Linking up with The Vintage Apple this week for Pinteresting Wednesday

First of all -- ya'll remember last week when I showed ya'll the Alabama wreath? Well -- my cousin (who owns a florist) made me one! She made me a "house divided" one -- with Alabama colors & Gators colors. It's SO cute! I will post a picture of it tomorrow. I love it! If ya'll live around the Montgomery area -- contact me & I'll give you the name of their florist. They have great prices -- the cheapest I've seen around here. (Yes, that WAS a shameless plug!)

Made this for Sara's birthday party last weekend -- it turned out SO good! I love it!

This is a FREE birthday printable!

This are awesome!

I duplicated this cake in a very homemade way.

These are all birthday/party related -- I had one birthday last week & two baby showers this week.
I'm on a party overload!

it's party time!

Anybody else think, "It's Hammer time!" in their head?
No? Just me? :)

This past Sunday was Sara's 4th birthday party. She wanted it to be princess themed, but I'm sick a little bored of Disney princesses, so we just went with super girly & she got to wear a princess dress. 
I'm sure all the boys were very happy about that. :)

Saturday night, I had seven children and four adults in my home. I didn't get all the decorating done that I wanted (I couldn't find my tissue paper last minute, so that meant no tissue paper balls from the dining room chandelier), and Michael decided he wanted to grill at the last minute, but it still all turned out and we happily hosted around 40 people Sunday afternoon. 

I found this balloon wreath idea on Pinterest. I originally wanted to do it in pink, purple, and white -- but ya'll, that was expensive. So we got the multi-colored ones & used those instead. I figured that this way, I can lend them out and it's both girl AND boy colors. More use...hey, I'm trying to justify $$$ spent, can you tell? ;)

I think it turned out pretty well! I borrowed a spray stand from my aunt who owns a florist & spray painted it white to hold the wreath. I really like it a lot.
 (And she forgot to take the stand home, so now my Alabama/Florida "house divided" wreath is on it. I will show ya'll that in another post -- it's super cute!)

I wanted to do big lollipops as favors, but couldn't find any. So I opted for bubbles. I'm not a fan of huge goody bags filled with lots of little things that will be thrown in the trash in five seconds that the kids never really play with. One year I gave out books, one year was coloring books & crayons, etc. 

I found the plate at Ross back around Easter for $3.99, I think. I used it for June's birthday & then now for Sara's. I had a pink one, but it got broken. I put pink tulle around the bottom of it & tied curly ribbons to the bubbles. Simple, easy, and cute.

I found these plates/napkins/flatware at Target on clearance. SUPER cheap -- and so cute!

I found this idea on Pinterest, too. 
I don't know about ya'll, but I loooove chocolate dipped pretzels! These were a HUGE hit and I will definitely be doing this more at get togethers.
Note -- this was about 3/4 of a bag of pretzels & a whole package of almond bark.

I thought about this last minute. I found it on...wait for it...Pinterest! I painted an old yellow planter (baby pink, if you can't tell) & filled it with water bottles. If I'd thought it out, I would have ordered labels for the bottles, but oh well. It was still cute. :)

And....the cake!
Oh, this cake. 
I am NOT a good baker. I don't claim to be, and I never will be.
I found this idea on Pinterest (where else??) and HAD to try it. It was super easy, but I'll be the FIRST to say my cake turned out lopsided, uneven, and all around NOT the best. But I made it, Sara loved it, and I got a few compliments on it. That made me happy. :)

I tried to make the inside pink & purple layers...
Well, I got the pink, but the purple could have been more pigmented.
It was the first time I've ever done anything like that, so I'm happy with how it turned out.

And let me leave you with the birthday girl showin' off her moo-lah!

We are SO thankful for all our family & friends who took the time out to come to her birthday party. This is probably her last birthday here for a few years and it was so nice to get everyone together. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

show us your life -- where do you shop for kids?

Linking up with Kelly again this week for Show Us Your Life Friday. Today the topic is -- where do you shop for your kids clothes?

Ahahaha. couldn't have picked a better one for me!
I LOVE shopping, and I love dressing my girls in sweet little outfits.
I like my girls to look like little girls. I am NOT a fan of most outfits size 8 & up. 
I don't know what I'm going to do when they're older!

One of my favorite ways to shop are consignment shops, thrift stores, childrens clothing expos. 
There is an amazing consignment shop in my town where I have gotten several good smocked dresses at for $7 and under. THAT is a good price! She also sells bows & that means I'm there a LOT! 
I have found good things at Goodwill before, but it's few & far between. 
Childrens clothing expos are probably my favorite. We have one that comes to our area twice a year & I always load up. A few weeks ago I got three smocked bishop dresses, another boutique dress, and a ride-on toy for $45. You can't even buy ONE smocked bishop dress for that price, hardly!

One place I've recently found is the Monogram Exchange on Facebook. People sell their monogrammed kids clothes for decent prices. I haven't found anything there for Sara or June....YET. But I'm sure I will, and I'm sure I'll be completely excited!

I love Zulily. You have to sign up to use it -- if you want an invite, please let me know! I will send one to your e-mail. It's good to recommend it because for every recommendation, you get $15 credit when they make their first purchase. I think that's awesome!
I've seen lots of good sales on there. They start at 8am CST and 9am EST. The best things go first, so if you can catch it early, that's better. Yesterday I ordered June the sweetest little owl dress for $14.99! You can't even hardly find something for that price in Wal-Mart or Target. And it's free shipping!

I also love Totsy. Same exact concept as Zulily.

I love Facebook pages for kids clothes, too. Smockadot, SmockItToMe, Shrimp & Grits, Lolly Wolly Doodle, just to name a few.

Crazy 8 (a lower end version of Gymboree), Gymboree, Target, & Old Navy also have super cute things at really affordable prices.

These are just a few of my favorite places -- head on over to Kelly's Korner, link up & share yours!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

happy FOURTH birthday, sara faith!

Happy Birthday, Sara Faith!

On September 29, 2007, God blessed us with our firstborn.
We named her Sara Faith. 
We chose Sara because of the Biblical story of Abraham and Sarah, where they had difficulty conceiving and waiting so long for their precious son, Isaac. We chose Faith because, well...
it took faith to get her here.
I went to the hospital around 8 pm on the night of the 28th because my vision was really blurred and I just felt weird. Within 30 minutes, I was admitted and started on Pitocin and Magnesium. It was a 26 hour labor, it was brutal, it was scary at times -- especially seconds before and after delivery. But God intervened, placed His hands over those doctors hands and put breath in her lungs.

About two hours after birth.

After a four day stay in the hospital, we brought our precious little girl home. 
After waiting my WHOLE life, I was FINALLY a mama. 
That's the only thing I've EVER wanted to be.

Dear Miss Sara,
The past four years have truly been the most wonderful of my life. You have shown me so many things. You have taught me compassion, you have brought silliness to my life, you have made me remember that life does not need to always be so serious. You have shown me what it is like to have unconditional love, and SO much love for someone. You healed my heart after so much grief and loss. Some days you make me want to beat my head into a concrete wall, but at the end of those days, when I look at you sleeping in your bed, snuggled up to your sister -- I know that I would not trade one fraction of a second of this life with you for anything in this entire world. 

I pray daily that you grow up to allow God to move and work in your life. I pray that you have a musical talent like me, or that you can fix anything with your hands like your daddy, or that you have your Mamaws dedication, or your Papaws kind heart, your Nana's way with words, your Grandma's love for her family, your Pop Pop's healthy way of life, or your Grandpa's sense of humor. But most of all, I pray that you are YOU, and that you never change that.

Love, Mama

 Mamaw holding Sara for the first time.

 Nana and Sara for the first time.

Meeting Grandpa and Grandma for the first time.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

oh how pinteresting wednesday

I have long since fallen into the clean cut, well lined, beautiful depths of Pinterest.
And I haven't looked back since.
If you don't know what Pinterest is -- shoot me your e-mail and I will send you an invite.
It's seriously AMAZING!


Today I'm linking up with The Vintage Apple for "Oh how Pinteresting Wednesday" for the very first time! I'm excited to show ya'll some of my finds that I'm loving -- but I'm saving some of the best for a post next week -- they are for Sara's birthday party! 

Without further ado:

How CUTE is this Alabama wreath? You could totally do it in your favorite teams colors -- but this house will definitely be rocking the Crimson Tide colors. And maybe the Florida Gators colors. 
I guess I'll give in. 
Because we are a family divided & game days are SERIOUS around here!

I'm going to be making this veeeery soon. I love it! I want one for my front door -- but I think I may make one for the girls room first!

Isn't this the sweetest prayer ever? I need to remind myself of this more often than not. I plan on printing something like this off, framing it, and putting it somewhere in my home to remind myself daily.

I love this tree skirt. And it just so happens I'm going to be needing a new one this year.

I must be on a wreath kick here lately. I think I need to make this one for Halloween!

Don't forget to head on over to The Vintage Apple and link up! 

I hope ya'll have a wonderful Wednesday. It's storming here, so we will be spending it inside, doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms (you know -- the FUN stuff!) and things like that. June has speech therapy this afternoon...I'm not wanting to get out of the house in the rain for that, but I guess I will!

Please remain in prayer for my friends husband, SSG Jeremy Simon. I posted about them here
Further attempts to fly Jeremy home have been unsuccessful, so Erica is flying to Germany today to be with him. They are going to attempt to fly him to Walter Reed tomorrow.
Our military families make a great sacrifice to protect this country -- it's selfess and it's unexplainable. But when your loved one is critically injured while fighting that fight -- it's the worst thing in the world.
You don't have to support this war.
I don't.
But you CAN support our men & women fighting for your freedom to choose whether or not to support it.