Monday, May 27, 2013

Summer Mini-Session 2013

We did another family mini-session with our friend Kamin.  Bella-3 years old.  Lucy-17 months. 
I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos....

Here are links to other mini-sessions that we've had with her in the past:

I hope that everyone is having a great Memorial Day!
I am reminded by last year's Memorial Day post, just how thankful I am that I now have a job working no weekends or holidays!  Praise God for holidays with my family!!

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Fitness Friday

So an update on the cooking from this post a couple weeks ago...all the recipes that I tried were fair.  Not terrible, but not that great in my opinion.  I might love them if someone else cooked them, but the 1 time that I tried-FAIR.  Also, the truth is Jacob and I are pretty strict on our diet throughout the week.  We splurge on the weekends, so he really isn't even enjoying some of the meals because he's worried that it isn't as healthy as what he's been eating on his diet.  So, I don't care enough to continue cooking right now!  So there.  That didn't last long at all.  I figured it wouldn't.  I mean, I'll still do an occasional meal, but probably for the kids only or weekend-splurge meals.

Fitness Friday-
There hasn't been a magical change in the numbers on the scales, which is a little disappointing.  However, I am VERY PROUD of the fact that I have been running often.  Since my last Fitness Friday post 3 weeks ago, I have ran 4-5 times each week!  Usually 3 miles each time, averaging 9:30 minute/mile.   And.....I have been WAKING UP AT 5AM TO RUN.  I am one of those girls who LOVES her sleep!  Like I could sleep 9-12 hours every night and be perfectly happy!
There are a few reason why I tried this early morning running & surprisingly liking it...

  • In the afternoons I have a very small opportunity to run.  If I have to go to the grocery store, some one visits, Jacob works late/works out longer than usual...then I lose that opportunity.  If I wake up early, before he goes to work and while the girls are asleep, then no one except me is in the way of getting my run in!
  • With the beginning of the hot summer coming, it is MUCH cooler in the mornings than the evenings.
  • My run is DONE for the day by 5:45am!  You know I've said before that I don't love running while I'm running, but I really like it running when I'm DONE.  I got a good workout out of my 3 mile runs, I'm challenging my time each time I go & actually improving!
I'm not committing to this early morning run everyday.  (If I did it might turn out like my cooking-commitment)  However, for right now, I'm enjoying getting it done early.  
(I wish that was my skinny tail in this picture, but it's not.  Just being honest.)

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
By: Max Ehrmann
This poem means a great deal to me.  It was written in 1927 and introduced to me 10 years ago in my Advanced Studies class my senior year of high school.  The lady who taught the class was also my AP English teacher that year.  Mrs. Stoup was by far my favorite teacher of all time.  She smiled a lot.  She laughed a lot.  She had no tolerance for students that weren't interested learning.  In this Advanced Studies class, each day she would pose a question and ask us to write an answer it.  She never read them.  They were just to get our minds going.  Some of the questions were "Are leaders made or born?"  "What makes a hero?"  "What are your prejudices?"  "What freedom do you value the most?"  "What do you desire?"  Which led us to "Desiderata" which means 'Things to be Desired'.  The day that she introduced us to the poem, she asked each person in the classroom to pick a piece of the poem and interpret the meaning of it.  Each word has such truth.  

Often throughout my life, I have gone back to this poem for guidance.  I'd love to find it on a huge poster/canvas to hang in my house.  About a year ago, I talked about it in this post and how I used those words to get me through my selfish thinking.  Hopefully you might find some meaning and truth in these words that might help guide you through your life.   

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mama's Day

I've had an awesome Mother's Day!  I got just what I wanted.  A couple weeks ago, I sent Jacob a text telling him exactly what I wanted for Mother's Day, it was nothing materialistic.  Just a day that I knew I would enjoy.  My wishes came true.

I enjoyed breakfast in bed.  Notice below the breakfast-in-bed prep work meant Bella and Jacob making a run to the Huddle House.  None the less, I got just what I asked for.  Bella brought the breakfast in along with the biggest smile. Jacob opened the blinds and windows to let the sunlight flood the room and the breeze blow in.  Us girls played on the bed for about a couple hours.  No TV, just lovin, giggles and jumping on the bed.  It was a wonderful start to the day.
We went to church together, it was a great service.  I really enjoyed it.  Then we spent a couple hours at with Jacob's side of the family.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch.
When my sisters and I asked our mama what she wanted for Mother's Day, she wanted us all to go get pedicures together then eat at the Mexican restaurant.  So, Mama, Lindsay, Rylee, Caitlin, Bella and I got pedicures!  It was Bella's 1st time to the nail place and as wiggly as she was, she enjoyed it.  She picked out a pretty pink with sparkles.  We sat next to one another and got the same color on our nails.
Me with my precious & sassy niece, Rylee
I loved all 10 of us sitting around that table during dinner being loud and having fun, as usual. I am so very blessed.  I'm kinda sad that I didn't get 1 picture with my mama today.  That's ok, I told her that I love her several times and enjoyed spending part of our day together.  

When we got home, I watched as the girls colored and played.  I rocked Lucy, kissed her, and laid her in her crib.  I read a story to Bella, prayed with her, gave her kisses and hugs and made sure her ladybug light was on.  Several times throughout the day, I thanked God for my girls, for my mama. I'm a blessed woman to have this life.  

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bella's very 1st dentist visit

At 3, Bella went to her 1st dentist visit and did great!  She was very excited about going.  We changed dentist offices for 2 reasons, because Emily, my cousin, is a hygienist at the new office and because it's also closer to our house.  We made an good decision!  Dr Salmon and his staff was very nice!  Bella did a great job, not scared a bit!  She even giggled her way through the cleaning.  Emily, who Bella calls "Memo", was fun and made the cleaning so easy! She was even able to get X-rays. For it not to be a pediatric dentist office, it was close enough for me!  We had a wonderful experience...except the part when they told me that I had cavities.  Ugh!  Yes Em, I'll start flossing regularly.  

FYI...nurses HATE getting dental work done.  Don't know why, we are brave about anything medical, but you ask us to open our mouths and we get all anxious about it.  I dread these upcoming fillings.

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Mama actually cooked 3 nights last week! WHAT?!?

Y'all remember me saying how I'm attempting to prepare actual meals for my family instead of microwaving processed food for them EVERY SINGLE NIGHT?  I wanted to give a little update.
(Click on the highlighted words for links to recipes).  
  • Last Monday- I did the Poppy Seed Chicken Cassarole.  It was a big hit and Jacob and I really enjoyed it.  The girls ended up snacking so much before it was ready, they weren't hungry when it was time to eat.  Brynn did remind me that she gave me that recipe a long time ago.  It's one of their favorites.  I'd call that an extremely successful night!
  • Last Tuesday - I tried Chicken Spaghetti.  Here is the recipe that I used.  Several of my friends like this, but we tried it and didn't like it.  FAIL.
  • Last Wednesday - I did Zesty BBQ chicken sliders.  I liked this one because it was a quick crock-pot recipe.  Jacob liked it, but instead of 6 chicken breast, he wished I would've cooked about 6 pounds of chicken. SUCCESS!
  • Last Thursday - a friend was messaging me about how she was having the same issues being in a  cooking-funk also.  She guiltily told me how she never cooks and was feeding her toddler cheese toast and green beans (again).  Which was exactly what I'm used to preparing.  There's no shame in that!!!  I fessed up and sent her a picture of our dinner...
  • Last Friday - Taco Bell.  

The fact that I actually cooked 3 nights is a pretty big accomplishment for me, even though 1 night was a FAIL.  This post that I read is focusing on meal planning.  Which, I'm learning is important, just so you'll have the ingredients in the pantry when you need them!  So I made a plan for this week, bought the ingredients and am hoping for the best.  I think 3 meals were manageable, so here are the 3 that I plan to do this week...
Click for links to the recipes:

Check back next week and I'll tell you how I did or if Jacob contacted The Food Network to sign me up to be on America's Worst Cooks.

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Sunday, May 5, 2013


This post is about nothing more than cute random moments.
I'm not sure why they chose to go uphill in the grass with their baby stroller.  We have a nice, flat, smooth mini-concrete pond in front of our 3-car garage.
3 year old Bella
17 month old Lucy
Bella and Daddy on the tractor, spreading fertilizer.  Hoping for a big, thick, green front & back yard this year

When I found this hole in Bella's panties, I asked her what happened, she tried to explain that she had a string (elastic) hanging and she tried to cut it off...the elastic was still dangling.  She just barely missed it.
Lucy was standing behind the easel.  I thought she was drawing on it....but she chose to turn around and color on the wall.  She was too darn cute to fuss at, plus chalk made for an easy clean up.
I love smiles and cheerful moods in the mornings!
We surprised mama & daddy at the lake for a little visit.  Lucy was the cute captain and Pops was fishing with Bella.
I noticed Lucy's curls and took a picture and saw this beautiful face.  Thank you, God for these precious children.
Our Saturday morning.

The many faces of Lucy Lee.

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