Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Refusing to break free

Today is day 30 of NaBloPoMo! I have enjoyed blogging daily this November so much, in fact, that I am going to continue through the end of the year! Although I've enjoyed blogging, I am inspired to try to write more posts with quality content, versus just ramblings. Ramblings are great and definitely let us all get to know each other in the blog world. :) However, I'd like to be able to dwell on more edifying things sometimes then my daughters fascination with the leg of a deceased turkey. (See yesterday's post if you have no idea what I'm talking about).

Today was the last day of our "Breaking Free" Bible Study at church. I enjoyed this study immensely and feel like I need to go through it again as one can only absorb so much at one time, ya know? :)

Something that struck me today was in regards to the people in our lives that refuse to break free from the bondage that drags them down and keeps them hostage in a sense. I am not an overly sympathetic person at times in life towards people who are their own worst enemy in life and it's something that I need to really work on. I am annoyingly extremely optimistic (which is largely due to the man I married) and wish that others shared enjoying every aspect of life, even the unpleasant ones. One time I had to sit and listen to someone complain about rising gas prices and how depressing it is and I was like, "really?!?!". It's gas. You gotta have it to drive. If you don't want to buy it, don't drive. Or drive less. The end. I just don't get people that would rather be sad than happy. Just.don't.get.it. Yes, there are legitimate reasons for being sad or depressed and I'm not saying that there aren't. Just the cost of gas and other silly issues (I could write a novel....no joke....I seem to attract the debbie downers in life) aren't a reason to dwell on how unfortunate your life is.


Back to being unsympathetic. :) Instead of being sympathetic, often times I am quick to judge. I think to myself, "if only they could just quit their whining and focus on the positive" or "it's their own darn fault that everything goes wrong in their lives....negativity is a magnet for unfortunate situations". This is not an overly Christ like attitude however. I don't think that the Lord intends for us to enablers in peoples lives in regards to their pity parties, but I do think He intends for us to radiate His love.

Beth Moore says that something we should be aware of is described in 1 Corinthians 10:12 - "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!" I often am guilty of getting a little too comfortable with my optimistic view in life, almost to the point of thinking that I am invincible in a way if that makes sense. Then something bad happens and I feel sorry for myself thinking, "why me??" which is exactly the kind of attitude that I have no tolerance for in others.

Instead of focusing on all the areas that I see in my friends and family that could use a break through, instead I should just live my life in a way that testifies to God's goodness and faithfulness. I can't drag my friends and family to a better life, I can't force them or make them change in anyway....all I can do is show them how a life that is focused on the positive is a blessing.

I feel like my writing is so rusty.....yet another reason to try to dive back into more meaningful blogging. I hope I've explained what was on my heart today. I am challenged to watch my attitude and be a woman of grace, versus judgement. I know I am young(ish) and I certainly don't have all the answers but I'm so grateful to be holding the hand of the One who does. I'll let Him lead me and show me the way. :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Miscellany Monday

{1} A couple of days ago I was in the bathroom getting ready and I heard that distinct sound of Emersyn getting into the cat food, which is kind of a new thing for her. I yelled gently called out to Brett downstairs to let him know that Ems was up to no good and that I couldn't deal with it because I was trying to get ready. When he came upstairs I expected him to scold Emersyn for getting into the cat food. Instead, I heard him ask her what she was doing and she said she wanted to feed the kitty so Brett helped her go downstairs and get a smaller scoop for the food instead of trying to use the big bowl and get cat food everywhere. He then explained that she only needs to feed the kitty when mommy or daddy ask her to and she shouldn't get into it by herself. My first reaction would be to get annoyed and shoo Emersyn out of the food but Brett was patient and saw it as a teachable moment. I admire this about him and it makes me want to be a more patient parent.

{2} I wish that Fall lasted a little longer then it does.

{3} Emersyn has this new thing where she says, "soooo.....ummm...." like she is trying to start a conversation. It's hilarious and adorable.

{4} After we ate dinner on Thanksgiving, we put the turkey carcass back in the crockpot roaster thingy to boil off the meat and make a turkey broth. For some reason, whenever we took the lid off to check the turkey, this one turkey leg would raise up and peek outside the roaster and it was really creepy and funny at the same time. We were laughing about it and now that is Emersyn's FAVORITE story. She tells everyone about the "icky" turkey leg and says "it was soooo nasty!!!".


Enough said. :)
{6} Got my hair colored and cut today and am feelin' like a new woman.
{7} On the way to my in-laws, I drive by a lot of llamas. I may or may not honk at them for the amusement of my daughter. :)
{8} Taco salads for dinner tonight!
{9} We are trading in our car on Wednesday night, remember this post? The dealer took notice of the various unhappy reviews that I left regarding our experience and now wants to "make it right". They are giving us exactly what we paid for our car and we're getting a new one for 25% off which is a sale price. The best part is, we basically got a free car to drive for these past two weeks since our new loan will start this Wednesday and our payment won't be due for another 45 days. Whoo hoo. :)
Happy Monday everyone!!

Our Thanksgiving

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.” - Psalm 136: 1,26

"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you." - Deuteronomy 8:10

Let us thank God heartily as often as we pray that we have His Spirit in us to teach us to pray. Thanksgiving will draw our hearts out to God and keep us engaged with Him;
it will take our attention from ourselves and
give the Spirit room in our hearts.
- Andrew Murray

‎"The root of joy is gratefulness...It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful." ~ David Steindl-Rast

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Another reason to be thankful....

October 2010

Yesterday our city had it's annual "Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony" in our downtown at Pioneer Square, which is commonly referred to as "Portland's Living Room". My parents used to attend this fun event and I have always wanted to go but large crowds make me kinda nervous, especially now that we have Emersyn.

Yesterday the FBI thwarted a terrorist attack on this event and it made national news. You can read the article here. A 19 year old young man purchased a fake bomb from an FBI associate who he though was affiliated with fellow terrorists and attempted to detonate it with his cell phone from a train station. I am so thankful for our law enforcement who was able to prevent this tragedy.

Honestly though, it scares me. I know that God is my shield and my protector but still, I have feared going to those kinds of events for that exact reason...large gatherings like that just seem like an obvious target for terrorism.

It's a scary world that I am raising my daughter in but I'm so thankful for the hope I have in my God.

Isaiah 41:10- 10So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Friday, November 26, 2010


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration yesterday but man, am I tired? I got some cute pictures from yesterday but those will be posted later. Right now, I have a husband to snuggle with and a movie to watch. :) But since I committed to NaBloPoMo I had to post something....

This is a picture of Emersyn playing with some black beans tonight. I had a bag in a drawer and decided to bust them open and let Ems go to town. I was so proud of my self control. I originally wanted to vacuum the downstairs but realized that Ems would be going to be in the next hour or so and I wanted to play with her instead. We had fun with the beans. We scooped them up with various things, we buried things and then I got this picture of her when she was dumping beans on my foot and I was pretending it tickled. She thought it was hilarious. I love my sweet girl and love watching her learn. Daddy even paused his football game (go Ducks!) and came and played with us too. It was a fun evening activity.

Happy Black Friday everyone! I went to ONE store today at about 2pm...nothing crazy early and spent a grand total of $15. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Last year's Thanksgiving post came so easily to me and now this year, I struggle to find the words. I am so overwhelmingly thankful for the many blessings that this year has brought that I can't quite put it into words.

This year I am grateful for God's provision that will allow me to stay home with my daughter. I'm thankful for the calling He has on my life to bless others with my talents and abilities. I'm thankful for my incredible family. I'm thankful for my handsome husband who never ceases to amaze me with his patience with myself and our daughter. I'm thankful for the sweetest baby girl in the world whose smile can melt my heart in a split second. I'm thankful for friends that encourage me through emails, texts, Facebook messages, etc, and have supported me during this crazy time of learning to be a working mom, wife and woman in general.

I honestly haven't felt an ounce of stress regarding this Thanksgiving, even though it's at my house. When I stop and think about all I have to be thankful for, I can't help but have joy in my heart. Stress or worry over something as trivial as a dinner would be a slap in the face to the gracious God I serve.

I pray that whether you are with family or friends this Thanksgiving that you will stop and truly count all the blessings in your life. No matter what, we have a heavenly Father that loves and adores us. How could we not adore Him? *sniff sniff* I always get a little teary eyed when I think of how incredibly blessed I am.


Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu

This is what's on the menu for Thanksgiving at our house this year!

Mashed Potatoes
Cheesy Potatoes*
Indian Corn*
Yams/Sweet Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole*
Cranberry Relish
Fruit Salad
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Bread Pudding*

The dishes marked with an asterik* are the ones that I will be preparing!

It should be a fun day. Brett's mom, dad, brother, niece, great aunt, great uncle and grandma will be joining us, ten in all including Emersyn.

I got some cloth napkins yesterday at Kohl's. I stole borrowed some gourds from my friend Caitlin that I am using for place card holders. I cut out cute little tags that will have names stamped on them to go on the gourds and be tied on with raffia. I picked up two 8x10's from Costco that are adorable fall inspired pictures of Emersyn to put up to add a festive feel. Tonight we are going to finish cleaning up the downstairs in preparation for cleaning the carpets tomorrow night. We also need to get the leaf out from under the guest bed to put in the table to accommodate our 8 adults and two children.

I have a bit of a sore throat but I'm telling my body that getting sick isn't an option this week!

I'm really excited for Thursday and wish my parents were going to be there too but they are going to be living it up at a nice restaurant in Minneapolis! Yay for them. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Miscellany

{1} Due to a variety of circumstances, I found out yesterday that Thanksgiving is going to be at MY house this year! Normally the planner in me would be freaking out at the last minute notice but I'm determined to make the holidays STRESS free! I'm excited to create a warm atmosphere in my home this Thanksgiving.

{2} I rented THIS book from the library this weekend:

I'm excited to read it. I read some bits and pieces from "The Macs" blog and I really liked it. At this point in my life, I am ready to be a better friend.
{3} In light of our hosting gig this upcoming week, Brett and I decided to dive head first into cleaning the garage F.I.N.A.L.L.Y. We also picked the coldest day ever to be out there but it was all good. Ems took a nice long nap and Brett and I got the garage cleaned out and organized. We loaded my van up with items to be donated, recycled, and tossed. It was liberating. Now we can have a ping pong tournament on Thanksgiving. What's a holiday without a little healthy competition? :)
{4} Here's a miscellaneous picture of my adorable daughter playing with her puzzle this morning while I did some bible study.

{5} I am going to take Emersyn to a professional to have her bangs cut, maybe on Wednesday? In the meantime she is rocking a Cindy Loo Hoo look. :)

{6} I used to hate Chipotle. Like with a passion. But now I like it. I think my husband was praying for this to happen. God answers even silly prayers. I prayed that Brett would like sushi and now he does.
{7} Last night while I was going through toys to donate I could tell that Emersyn wasn't entirely thrilled but she didn't say anything really. I finally had sorted through the toys and had a pile set to the side of stuff that belongs in her kitchen, including this block of fake Tillamook cheese.

I gathered up the pile and headed to Emersyn's kitchen to put it all away. Emersyn looked at me with pleading eyes and said very seriously, "don't give away my cheese mama". Brett and I died laughing. It's like she drew the line when it came to the cheese being donated. I adore her. And I didn't want to forget this little story (I already Facebook'd it) so here it is again on my blog. :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I am thankful for friends

Yesterday we celebrated an early Thanksgiving feast with the Young Adult and Young Marrieds group at our church. It was such a great event and one we look forward to every year. Our hosts' are the most incredible couple you could ever meet. They are actually my crafty friend's parents (Rachelle). The Lord has blessed them with a beautiful home that has the capacity to hold large groups and they are always willing to open it up to this ministry. I was so inspired by Deborah, the hostess, yesterday. Here we are, making dinner for 50+ people and everyone is asking her questions left and right. Never once did she get flustered or snap or become irritated. I know I might after all the questions we were asking. She is a great example of a gracious host.

Anyways, we enjoyed a beautiful feast and then I had set up a "photo booth" where we wrote things that we are thankful for. It was a hit. Some people wrote silly things, some wrote more meaningful things. Here are a couple of my favorites.....

Chelsea & Dave



Vanessa and sweet Audrey

Carissa, Joe and baby Kaypha

Tyler & Wendy

Rachelle, James and baby Sophia

This sign was all her idea, I promise. ;)

Stella's mommy and daddy, Caleb and Jonette

Amy & Jessica

All of these are on my Facebook too. There are a lot more but you get the idea. God is so good and we have SO much to be thankful for. A great reminder, particularly for this upcoming week.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


My little helper

Last February I wrote a post about "longing to be crafty"....remember?

Basically, I came to grips with the fact that I am just not cut out for craftiness in this stage of my life.


That was then and this is now. :)

My friend Rachelle has decided to take me under her oh so crafty wing and thought that this wreath would be a great starting point! Thank you Eddie Ross. :)

It was probably the easiest thing I have ever made. In fact, next year if I get some good plastic bulbs on clearance this year, Emersyn can help me make it. The most challenging thing was bending the silly wire coat hanger.

I was going to wait to blog about it until I hung it up in my house but since that could be weeks away (hopefully not) I decided to blog about it NOW so that if you wanted to make one yourself for the holiday season, you could!

Here are the directions, in my own words:

1) Get a wire hanger

2) Get some bulbs. I used two packs of 36. You do the math, I'm tired. (ha) I used glass bulbs which I like the overall look of better but it definitely makes it a more delicate project.

3) Bend the wire hanger to look like a wreath.

4) Hot glue the little metal thingy that holds the hook where you put the thing that hangs on the tree to the ornament. Hahahaha. I am TERRIBLE at describing things. This would be much better described with a picture, don't you think? But alas, I took like two pictures while I was making my wreath because I was also trying to keep a 2 year old entertained, bless her heart. This is how Eddie Ross describes this step in case you couldn't translate what I was trying to say: To secure the metal cap to the ball, dab a little hot glue and press. That way, the cap will remain attached as the ornaments are strung.

5) String the ornaments however you like onto the hanger.

6) Have your husband or someone strong help you bend the wire to secure it together. Brett found that if he bent each end into like a narrow "u" shape, he could link the "u's" together and then the wreath holds itself together with it's own resistance....does that make sense? Eddie Ross doesn't really say how to secure the wire together, just to finish it off with a ribbon.

This isn't the greatest picture but it works to show the overall concept. I still need to tweak some of the bulbs to make the colors more evenly spread out.

This is so simple and would be a great gift idea! It would be fun to do yellow and green ornaments for a Ducks fan or do a pink one for a little girls room?

It was a fun simple craft and I'm on my way to a craftier life. Rachelle was also working on this amazing advent garland thing. I tried to hide my jealousy but I think she was on to me.

If you make a wreath, let me know! I'd love to see a picture!