Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Reality

So I felt like I wanted to be real with everyone. I used to be a full on perfectionist. My home had to be in order. My life had to be in order. Everything had to be perfect or I felt like my life was spinning out of control.

Those expectations are hard to live up to. They left me feeling stressed and run ragged.

Once I had my daughter everything changed. I never had a spotless house. I was stretched thin & barely holding on. (Doesn't sound like an orderly life to me!) I was drowning and something had to change.

So here is a glimpse of my new reality.

That's my dirty kitchen. Oh and those are my piles of laundry. Over there are the toys scattering my living room.

I no longer want to paint this picture of perfection that I used to hold on to so tightly. I want to be real. Open and vulnerable.

I'm still not quite there yet. It stills panics me when my kitchen has dirty dishes in it. I can only look at a basket of unfolded laundry so long before I just need to fold it. I'm trying though. I'm trying to lay that perfectionist side of me at the foot of the cross. It's hard though. It's fighting the very nature of my being.

These words are encouraging:

"Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; 
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken."
-Psalm 55:22 (NASB)

So here's to being real! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Starting Off This Week Right!

My goal this week is to make sure I'm striving to choose JOY!

I've really been struggling lately with being joyful. I could give a million reasons as to why, but I honestly know that they are all just excuses. It just seems to be that once you let that tiny bit of discontentment in it takes over like a parasite robbing you of all joy that surrounds you. I've been letting that tiny parasite of discontentment run wild in my heart and I'm ready to make a change.

I don't exactly know how I'm going to get all of this discontentment gone. But that first step is just to choose joy.

So today in order to start my week of right and to make sure I'm choosing joy; I am going to list 10 things I'm thankful for right now. I'm going to make it a point to choose somewhat mundane things, because frankly my life is a bit mundane and I need to strive to see all the wonderfulness that is hiding in the ordinary if I'm going to rid myself of my discontentment.

Here it goes!

1. Coffee! I love coffee. Always have and always will. I couldn't even bare to give it up while I was pregnant. I just cut myself back to one cup a day. I even have gotten my coffee hating husband addicted. I think that had more to do with his lack of energy after being up all night with a crying baby than it did me, but oh well!

2. The Nursery at Church! I was so nervous the first time we took Evelyn to the nursery at church. (It was about a month ago.) We hadn't been to church since I had given birth and it was taking it's toll on me. I knew that Evelyn wouldn't make it through the service with us though so I was dreading going back. Finally we just did it, we made the decision to go and we put her in the nursery figuring that if she does horrible at least we tried. Oh believe me I just stared at the little sign that flashed the numbers of the kids who need their parents the whole service. I don't even think I listen to one word of that first sermon, because I was so nervous that my little baby was just screaming without me. I was totally wrong though. Evelyn loves the nursery! She does better for them than she does for me! (I'm just chalking that up to there being enough distractions there.) So I love that nursery and I love that I'm able to worship God while my little one is having fun with all the sweets women in there.

3. My Dishwasher! This is kind of an odd think to be so thankful for, but I said I want to focus more on the mundane. Seriously though what would we do without dishwashers! I don't know if I would ever have a clean kitchen if we didn't have a dishwasher. (It's hardly ever clean now & we do have one!) Dishwashers are wonderful inventions. And husbands who are willing to help out with the dishes on the weekends are true blessings from God!

4. My Washer & Dyer! I thought I'd just keep this appliance kick going! When you are doing laundry every other day it's a live saver to have a machine that does everything for you. I can't imagine having to wash everything by hand & then find some place to dry it all. Laundry is time consuming enough, but if we didn't have washers and dryers I don't know what I would do!

5. Cloth Diapering! We made the choice to cloth diaper mostly for the budget friendly factor. Honestly though I'm loving our cloth diapers more then the disposables we use on occasion. I have only had a cloth diaper leak once or twice; I can't say the same for the disposables. It has ended up being much easier then I anticipated, which is always a plus.

6. My Mom! My mom has been nothing but a blessing in my life. Now that I have a little one the fact that she lives a mere 5 minutes away has been a sanity saver on more then one occasion. She is always willing to take Evelyn for me so I can run to a store and she always lets us come over and hang-out when I just need to get out of the house. She has been someone I've always looked up to. Her relationship with God has always been one I've envied and striven to have myself. I love my mom!

7. Pinterest! So I'm a little addicted. I admit it! I mostly just use it for recipes and other meal ideas. I could spend hours just browsing other people's boards. I don't, but I could. (Maybe I do sometimes...)

8. Nap Time! Nap time has been hit or miss lately. (Today though it's been an almost 3 hour morning nap! I can't believe it.) Oh but do I love nap time. I'm just so thankful for the down time to pray/read my bible or just get somethings done. (Like showers!) I just wish I could be more joyful when nap time is a no go...

9. Hot Showers! I love taking hot showers. I could be in there forever! I just love every moment of them. I'm so lucky that if I can't get a shower in while Evelyn is napping she doesn't protest to being on the floor of the bathroom for 10-15 minutes while I get clean.

10. My Little Family! I am so thankful for my little family. My dear friend gave me a wall hanging for Evelyn's room or my birthday last year. (I was 7 months pregnant at the time) It has 1 Samuel 1:27 on it. Which says, "I have prayed for this child and the LORD has granted me what I have asked of Him." (NIV) It's very fitting. I'm not only thankful for my beautiful daughter, but also my wonderful hubby. God has blessing me with both of them and I couldn't be more grateful.

Well there you have it! It's Monday and I'm choosing to be JOYFUL!
bits of splendor monday

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Baby Smiles!

Having a 4 month old isn't easy. Especially when it's your first child. There is a lot of questioning yourself and wondering how you are going to get through the hard times. When you have a needy child like we do it seems to make things even harder. I struggle to get anything done because I'm constantly having to deal with Evelyn if she's awake.

God has given us parents something to get us through these hard times. Baby SMILES!

The day Evelyn started smiling everything seemed a little more worth it. Now as she coos and has started to giggle more and more, the fits of fussiness are soon forgotten. I just wish it was easier to recall those smiles and giggles when the crying is in full effect. I'll take what I can get at this point.

My little one on Valentine's Day!

My 2 Valentines!

Trying on Dad's glasses!

bits of splendor monday

I had meant to post this yesterday but I'm linking up with Laura at Bits of Splendor for Bits of Splendor Monday. I've been following her blog for awhile now and it's wonderful. She's defiantly an inspiring woman of God! Go check her out.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

14 Things

So today is Valentine's Day. Honestly I've never been one to really celebrate Valentine's Day. I mean Nick and I would usually do something special. Though getting married young and not having much expendable income meant that usually it was just a special dinner at home. Before Nick I never celebrated Valentine's Day except with my girlfriends, because I never had a special someone.

Now being parents to a 4 month old means that this year is pretty much like any other year. We are having a lovely dinner from the wonderful Trader Joes! Complete with cheesecake, because Nick loves it. (I'm not much of a fan.) Sounds like a good night to me.

I thought since it's Valentine's Day which is of course February 14th I'd write a post filled with the top 14 things I love about my hubby. There is of course more than 14 so I'll try to narrow it down! No one else probably cares about this, but I don't care. It gives me a chance to focus on the specific things I love about my hubby and I must admit I don't do that enough. So here it goes.

14. He & I can have extremely deep conversations & in the next moment be silly and goofy. I've always loved how we have had this ability to really talk and talk for hours. We also have this amazing ability to just be goofy. That leads to my next love.

13. He lets me beat on him and tickle him when we're playing around. I can get kind of rough when we are play fighting with each other. I've been known to give a few bruises from time to time. Yet he still lets me beat on him time and again with only minimal complaining.

12. From the moment we met we've enjoyed spending all of our free time with each other. I love how we have the ability to spend so much time with each other and not get annoyed with the other one. It's been like this since we started dating. (Which was 6 days after meeting, by the way.) We're inseparable and I wouldn't have it any other way. We're truly each other's best friend.

11. He's rarely ever angry. Even when we're fighting he generally stays completely calm. I unfortunately tend to land toward the other extreme. (It's something I'm working on.) I know this will come in handy once our kids have the ability to talk back.

10. He treats me like a princess. For example, this last week I was sick. He took such good care of me the whole week. He gave in to my needy wants. Even when he started to not feel well he didn't let it show and continued to focus on taking care of me. Not only that, but he tells me how much he loves me and how beautiful he finds me every day. Multiple times a day! I'm getting pretty spoiled.

9. He has an amazing work ethic. Right now he's only working a temp job out on the Air National Guard Base, but he puts his all into it. When someone else might just do what they have to get by he is busting his butt making sure he's doing the best job he can. I think that's one reason why it is so hard for him to still be unemployed. He wants so badly to be putting his all into a job that is permanent, but right now he's stuck working temporarily.

8. His mind is filled with random facts. He has tons and tons of random facts just floating around in his head. A couple that we've talked about during the last week were, "Why are manhole covers round?" and "Why is up on a light switch 'on'?". I don't know how he remembers all of this stuff!

7. He is extremely respectful. Not just of me, but of everyone he comes in contact with. He refuses to judge people. Again something I wish I was better at. A lot of the things I love about him happen to be things I wish I was better at.

6. He gives sound advice. I am constantly going to him for advice. If I'm upset by how someone is treating me he's the first person I talk to about it. He talks me down from being upset by helping me to see that they probably didn't mean it the way I'm taking it. (I tend to be a bit sensitive and only see things from my point of view.) Or he helps me figure out what I should do in any given situation. His advice seems always to well meant, coming from the right place and taking into account what God's Will might be in that particular situation.

5. He wants to better himself. He is defiantly striving to be the man God wants him to be. Whenever we have a fight he always asks me how he might better handle that situation in the future.

4. He asks for my advice. He always asks for my input even when he doesn't have to. He makes me feel like you genuinely cares about my opinions. Being the youngest of 4 girls there has been many a time when I felt like my opinions didn't matter, but Nick makes sure I never feel that way.

3. He's quick to forgive. Here's another one of his attributes that I wish I was better at myself. I hold on to something till I physically can't anymore. Not Nick, his first instinct is to apologize. He doesn't hold grudges and always lets things go. I'm trying to do the same, but old habits die hard.

2. He's an amazing father. For having never really held and infant before, you never would have known it. He instantly because an awesome father the moment Evelyn was born. Seeing him with her has made me fall in love with him all over again. I respect and love him on a whole new level.

1. He has an amazing passion for God. Nick has come such a long way since we met. When we met he didn't even believe in God, now 3.5 years later he is on fire for God. I have so much to learn from him, especially in the area of trusting God in all circumstances. I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful man as my husband. God certainly has blessed me more than I could imagine.

Well there you have it, my 14 things I love about my hubby. Surprisingly that was easier then I imagine it would be. (That kind of sounds bad, oh well!)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Decor

Since tomorrow is Valentine's Day I thought I'd take the time to show you my Valentine's decor. The camera I have isn't the best so the pictures are sub-par, but whatever!

The picture on the left (Sorry it's so dark, like I said not the best of cameras.) is a pipe-cleaner heart garland that I made after Katie over at the parenting saga posted about making one here. Her's is much cuter then mine. I like the shape of her hearts better. Overall I think mine turned out cute and it gives our kitchen a little valentine's day touch.

The center picture is my console table that sits behind our couch. It's the first thing you see when you walk in our front door. That little heart bowl used to be filled with conversational hearts, but my husband has finished them off long before valentine's day.

The right picture is our dinning room table. I got the red candles super cheap at Hobby Lobby, because technically they were Christmas candles. Oh well, they still work and they smell nice. I used to have my table runner under the candles, but it got spilled on and never made it back to the table.

These are the pictures I made for my bookcases. The one on the left is just a scrapbook paper heart on black card stock. The framed LOVE on the right I made by tracing a wall hanging I have. It was kind of a pain to cut out, but it ended up looking nice. Look more of the super cheap Hobby Lobby candles!

I know Evelyn is still too young to notice, but I would like to get in the habit of decorating for different holidays or seasons. I figure if I start now it won't be such a daunting task farther down the road.

I'm hoping to post again tomorrow. I have a special post all planned out. Hopefully Evelyn will let me!