Friday, December 30, 2011

Getting ready for 2012

Wow! It's been a long time since I've had the chance to sit down and blog. Things have been busy with the holidays and getting ready for the holidays and celebrating the holidays, etc. Greg, Kirsten and I went to MS for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. It was great to see my MS peeps again and hang out. It was also great to spend some quality time with my family too.

Short story about Christmas with my family.....My mom gave all of us pj's and slippers this year. Most of the time when she buys our gifts, she'll give Andrea, Hayley and me gifts that are the same, or very similar with the same idea. She does the same for Jonathan and Greg. This year, she gave Hayley and me matching pj's. They're really cute too. Well, my dad wasn't aware my mom gave us pj's or what they looked like. He bought her a pair, and when she opened them she saw they were the same as ours. So, of course, we had to take a pic of the 3 of us wearing our pj's. I'll insert it as soon as I figure out how to put it on here from my phone :).

Christmas was full of good times, great blessings, and yummy food....way way way too much yummy food.

The New Year is around the corner, and it's time for the list of resolutions. I've been thinking about this for a while and I wanted to try to look deeper than the typical lose weight, eat better, etc. Those are always given resolutions.

Before I write my list, I want to take a look back at my 2011 resolutions and give an update on how those turned out....

Top 10 List of Goals and Things I am looking forward to in 2011:
10. Get more comfortable driving on Atlanta's scary interstates
(doing good with that, Yay me!)
9. Getting fully moved in our house
(still working on it but definitely much closer than this time last year)
8. Hoping we'll have or at least be expecting baby #2
(praying about this....much medical drama with this situation this year)
7. Pay off credit cards
(not fully out of debt yet, but much much closer, and we have a plan that works)
6. Get office set up, and kiln hooked up so I can get back to work
(office is set up, and I sold the kiln...will get back into that later)
5. Go to Disney World
(done...we went in Sept.)
4. Studying, Jesus The One and Only Bible study with my girls
(done...great study and met some great new friends)
3. Catching up with some old friends
(done...took a couple of long trips to MS to catch up, and some came to Atlanta this summer)
2. Kirsten will be participating in her first wedding as a flower girl
(Unfortunately, we weren't in the position for Kirsten to be able to participate in the wedding. It was a sad, hard, and disappointing decision we had to make due to lack of finances and the expenses of traveling.)
1. Celebrating 10 years with Greg
(done...we didn't do much to celebrate since our anniversary fell on the first day of school and first day of Kirsten's dance class. We did have a small date that day. No gifts or cards were exchanged...but we went to Disney a month later, so that was our gift to each other.)

2012 Resolutions:
1. I will do my best to serve healthier food options to Greg and Kirsten. I eat a lot healthier than I used to, but I don't enforce these practices on them. I make things that are fast and easy, and with that comes processed foods with no nutritional value. I'll substitute the hamburger helper with veggies and fruit.
2. Work towards participating in a 1/2 marathon. Before Thanksgiving I made it up to 10 miles, but I hurt my knee. I hope it won't take me long to get back to that point and go further.
3. Get better with my thank you notes. This past year I really dropped the ball with my thank you notes. I want to get back on track with these.
4. Make an effort to be kinder to others. I don't mean being nicer, I mean being kinder. "Anyone can be nice, but it takes sincerity to be kind." (Beth Moore)
5. Get deeper into the Word. I do the Bible Studies and the homework, but I want to learn more, and go deeper.
6. Learn to sew.
7. Master my scroll saw and jig saw.
8. Keep in better touch with my MS peeps.
9. Catch up on the scrapbooks I have to do for Kirsten.
10. Practice counting my blessings every day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crazy Fun Weekend

Last weekend we made a quick trip in to Mississippi to go to Southern Miss' Homecoming, run in Hayley's tribe's 5K, and go to her pinning ceremony. It was only after waking up at 4:30 am to make it to the race by 6:00 am that Hayley realized she got her dates mixed up. Nenemoosha's 5K is this Saturday. Props go out to sweet Ashley Chapman for allowing us to enter and get t'shirts for MC's Homecoming 5K. I think she felt sorry for us or was embarrassed for us for our mix up.

A shout out to my mom for participating in her 1st 5K. Not bad for a woman of her seasoning....let's just put it this way, if she isn't in Court on Tuesdays, you'll find her at Belk shopping with her discount. We were all ok with our finish times. Greg finished in 30:09. I finished in 36:03 and my mom was around 49 min. Hayley assured me that MC was a Hill free campus, but I beg to differ. It's not Peachtree Road, but it has it's inclines.

After the 5K we rushed back to Benton to get ready for Southern Miss' Homecoming. Our good friends Darren and Tracy Short and their kids went with us. I hate we didn't get to do the usual tailgating scene but we still had fun showing them around the campus. I have no doubt where Cole and Halle will be furthering their education in a few years. We consumed an uncountable amount of delicious calories at Crescent City Grill and topped everything off with some New Orleans bread pudding, formerly known as Jack Daniels bread pudding. If I was in the position to tell some officers what I wanted for my last meal, New Orleans bread pudding would make the list. (probably only 2 doz. eggs in one serving)

Greg and Darren stayed for the game while Tracy and I brought the kids back. Because I can't come to MS without getting Bop's, Tracy stopped for me. Still so great....sugar free chocolate shake with a spoonful of peanut butter. We had a great time talking sweet about our men and our dreams. Hers of course is to pack up her family and move to Atlanta....the land of opportunity :).

Sunday we slept in. This is unusual for us. My mom got Newk's sandwich trays for lunch while also making taco soup. Jonathan, Andrea and the boys came over, as well as Hayley. It was great to have family time, even though it was so short. Hopefully we'll get more time at Thanksgiving.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

2 Month Run Down

Wow so much has been going on with us the last two months, it's been hard to stop and blog. First, we had a leak in our kitchen that lead to the plumbers tearing up the wall, bar, cabinets and floor to find it. Fortunately, it was in the corner of the wall instead of the ground so they didn't have to break up our slab. Unfortunately, we've been living with a really messed up kitchen that the contractors taped up with butcher paper and visqueen. That look is so 2010.

For our 10 yr. anniversary we went to Disney World. We decided to wait and go in September because there are no lines, great weather, and it's a lot less expensive. My mom hooked us up with a sweet resort from her timeshare. Even though it wasn't on property, it was so nice to have 2 bedrooms, a full kitchen, a washer and dryer, balcony, and a jacuzzi tub in our bedroom...not our bathroom, our bedroom. We had a huge shower in the bathroom. The resort had 2 gigantic with a mini water park and the other with an indoor/outdoor option, hot tubs, zen area and dive in movies. Greg and I would only be able to stay in places like this with my mom's timeshare, so we were grateful for her generosity.

We realized how much we missed working at Disney when we met up with Kevin. It was so great seeing him again and meeting his wife. I miss the discounts, the parking, and the shortcuts through the parks. Kevin did take us to Property Control so we got some goodies. But, since we aren't cast members anymore we couldn't go to "the back of the store". :( We ran into one of the trainers from the store where Greg used to work. She still works for Disney, but she works in one of the HR depts now. We spent the entire safari ride at Animal Kingdom figuring out our strategy to get some real jobs with Disney and move back to Orlando. So worth it for the perks alone.

The weekend after we got back from Disney, my brother, sister in law and nephews came to see us. We had a great time catching up and showing off our new ghetto/retro kitchen. Greg and Jonathan went to the MSU/UGA football game while Andrea and I took the kids to Chick-fil-A and the Children's Museum. We dined at the finest dining establishments in Atlanta ... Cheeseburger Bobby's and Chow Baby. Good times.

Greg had to go to Chicago last week, and Kirsten and I had some much needed girl time. We did makeovers, watched princess movies, had tea parties, and went to Stevie B's.

Allison flew in to see me last weekend. That was fun. Greg had to work all weekend so Allison, Kirsten and I had girl time all over town. We went to Bumblebee Bakery for cupcakes and Cheeseburger Bobby's for dinner. We all went to church Sunday since Allison really digs West Ridge. We wanted to catch a word and James Griffin leading worship. So good. We spent Sunday afternoon at home reading tabloid magazines and watching tv, while cooking taco soup in the crock pot. It's been a while since I've had the chance to sit and chill on a Sunday afternoon. It was glorious.

I didn't take really take any pictures while my brother and Allison were in town. I really need to get better about that. I took hundreds of pictures on the Disney trip, but I didn't think about taking pictures while I had guests in town. I'll just have to do better next time.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Loving Difficult People , A New Perspective

I enjoyed the first part of Beth Moore's message, "Loving Difficult People", so much I had to go on and watch the rest of them. This message was so humbling. It taught me to see issues with difficult people from a different perspective.

Honestly, I just thought that for some reason, God didn't want me to have great relationships with the difficult people in my life. I prayed for years to have closer relationships with these people. As I grew impatient, and as matters seemed to get worse instead of better, I prayed for God to just help us get along with each other. I even went as far as confronting the people and explained that certain things they did hurt me. I offered my apologies to things I may have done that causes them to treat me the way they do, but this would just add fuel to their fire.

I then approached the situation with constant prayers for strength to offer forgiveness, whether they wanted it or not. I knew forgiveness couldn't be the end, because it didn't seem to leave me fulfilled. Satisfied, maybe, but not fulfilled. I would pray with wonder if I actually did forgive, because the matters seemed to get more and more challenging.

After this message, I realize that I have the ability to love, because God first loved me. Therefore, my love tank is filled from having His approval, not theirs. I can still offer them love without receiving it. I may never receive it. My only job is to love them. God will handle the rest. I need to find my peace in that.

I think that I saw things from the perspective of, "If you are nice to them, they'll be nice to you." This isn't always true. This is not what God means when he says to love the unlovely. He offers no promises that they'll love back. It's selfish of me to assume this. Instead, God tells me that He'll love me no matter how much I love them. BUT, if I don't love them, regardless of their response, I will not look like Him. He will not be seen through me. Basically, this isn't a mission to gain approval from these difficult people anymore. I already feel like a load of work is lifted off. It takes the chore of trying so hard out of it. I can be me, and just choose to love them. This opens the opportunity for God to work through me. He'll do all the work.

Here are the links to parts 2-6 of this message.

Monday, August 8, 2011

WOW 10 Years!

I can't believe Greg and I have been married 10 years. Time flies. I've invited Greg to join me in writing this post since this is a celebration we share equally. Our marriage has definitely had its ups and downs, but mostly it's on the upswing. I am so blessed to have such a great man for my partner. He is the greatest gift I could ever have on earth. I believe this celebration calls for some lists in honor of 10 years. This is what we've come up with.

Top 10 things that make our marriage work:
10. Know each others' sensitivities and honor them.
9. Learn each others' love language and practice it.
8. Never talk about each other in a negative way to others.
7. Build each other up. Compliment each other.
6. Say good things about each other to others. Especially those that irritate each other.
5. Leave family drama with the family, and move away. Keep extended family time to a minimum to avoid the drama. This is Biblical.
4. COMMUNICATE with each other. Never keep secrets.
3. Make time for each other/date nights.
2. Be true friends and speak TRUTH to each other, no matter if it's hard to hear.
1. Have God as the center of your relationship.

Top 10 Hardest things we've dealt with the past 10 years.

10. Living together. We went from seeing each other once a week to living together.
9. Unemployment off and on.
8. Changing careers.
7. Fertility issues.
6. A huge move.
5. Living apart for 3 months.
4. Becoming parents and balancing that with time with each other.
3. Selling our house in a bad economy.
2. Finances / getting out of debt.
1. In laws/families

Top 10 Things I LOVE about being married.
10. The partnership.
9. Making decisions together.
8. Unchaperoned snuggles on the couch.
7. It feels like we're playing house.
6. Waking up every morning to each other.
5. Coffee in bed with each other before Kirsten wakes up.
4. Kirsten snuggling in bed with us on Sat. mornings to watch cartoons and discuss the day.
3. Parenthood and everything with it.
2. Being each others' wing man/wing woman. When we want out of something we use the other person as an excuse to not do it...oops, just gave away our secret
1. Each others' company.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Greg!

My most favorite guy in the world has a birthday tomorrow! Since we'll be out celebrating tomorrow, I am going to post my tribute to Greg today.

Top 33 Things I love about Greg!

33. He's the smartest guy I know.
32. He's brilliant.
31. He's the sweetest guy I know.
30. He's considerate of others.
29. He has integrity. I don't know many people I can say that about these days.
28. He's completely independent. Has been as long as I've known him...since he was 18.
27. He doesn't take advantage of people, and feels strongly against doing such.
26. He is an amazing person.
25. He treats me like a queen.
24. He treats Kirsten like a princess.
23. He's a great listener.
22. He's very patient.
21. He's slow to anger.
20. He doesn't talk about people or gossip.
19. He is compassionate.
18. He'll do anything to help out anyone.
17. He has his priorities straight.
16. He's not a pushover.
15. He takes care of himself.
14. He's fun.
13. He's hilarious.
12. He's a hard worker.
11. He's not lazy.
10. He's got extremely strong faith.
9. He's adorable.
8. He's got a great smile.
7. He smells good.
6. He looks cute in anything.
5. He's got my back if I encounter an issue with a "difficult person."
4. He's not someone to mess with.
3. He will never put you down or make you feel dumb for not knowing computer stuff.
2. I love how he calls out big talkers without making it obvious.
1. He's got a huge heart.

Happy 33rd Birthday, Greg. I hope it's great! Love you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Loving Difficult People

I was doing my occasional YouTube scan tonight and I came across this Beth Moore message.

It's 1 of 6. Like everyone else, I have some "difficult people" to love in my life. I have prayed for years for God to allow the relationships I have with these people to be easier to deal with. I have 3 difficult people in my life that at times seem to take turns poking me with their thorns. I know everyone has those difficult people they deal with. This message gave me some insight into what I can do to try to learn to not only deal with them, but with God's grace, learn to love them. It's easy to love those who love us back. But it's quite a challenge to love those who don't care for us. I am choosing to face the challenge in obedience and allow God to work on me so He can work through me.

My notes from the message:
1- Change my attitude about the situations
2- Remain in prayer, but take my pride out of it
3- Realize that God's got His hand in this and He's got a plan

These are small steps, but I think they are some that I could go on and try to achieve.