Tuesday, May 4, 2010


My husband is so incredibly thoughtful. After 2 lawn mowers would not start and our grass could not be mowed, we all went on a walk to return the lawn mower in our neighborhood, and then take our sweaty selves home. Tim bathed the kids and put on pajamas and then came up with the idea of going to fetch some pomegranate sorbet from Kroger. Kendall fell asleep on the way there (our goal), and Tim came out of Kroger with flowers and my sorbet. He gave a rose to Isaac and a purple flower to Kendall from the bouquet. They are so fun and beautiful, and I love that he gave our little girl a flower (she hasn't even seen it b/c she has been asleep!) and also our little boy. What a man that can give a special flower to his little boy.

So...about the trash...the flowers were wrapped in that big ole piece of plastic, so there's that. I cleaned out the car today and found a Wendy's bag full of trash, a Starbucks cup, a couple of plastic candy wrappers, and a Chick Fil A ice cream cup and top. I washed the plastic spoons, recycled all the papers, and washed the ziploc bags i found.

Other trash, from yesterday and today, since I did not post yesterday...
sorbet container
oatmeal paper (reminds me i want to go back to my non packaged oatmeal, either in bulk or quaker)
sun chips bag and subway cookie paper (ate leftovers from subway from a few days ago)
a couple of small pieces of plastic/paper wrap and napkins found in various lunch bags, etc I cleaned off the table today.

Tons of recycling today. Peanut butter container, apple sauce jar, cardboard, boxes, paper, cans, plastic strawberries container. Compost was overflowing out of the bowl today too from the past two days. Just reminded Tim to take that out. :)

And now for the embarrassing part, but i promised to tell the truth about our trash, and so far, I have left nothing out! I do have pictures, but have not posted, and have also have thrown away trash at a restaurant a couple of times now, so the pictures have not included all outside trash.

Yesterday was a super crazy day characterized by me driving Tim to a couple of different cities for work while our car was getting a radiator at the shop. Boo to the cost of car repairs and also to our waste-FULL dinner. I picked Tim up from court, and we went to KFC. We ended up throwing away paper cups (no tops/straws, several paper wrappers from the $1 sandwiches, a box, a plate, and several styrofoam containers and tops, as no one can resist the mashed potatoes and gravy. yuck to our health and our trash!

Today was not much better for me. I stopped at McDonalds twice today and created guilt, some extra fat and crap in my body, and a good bit of trash. I ate a scrambled egg and english muffin with jelly in a styrofoam box (and the little bag of jelly) for breakfast and a fish sandwich and fries from a box and a paper cup with lid and straw at lunch. Ahhhhhhhh! Why do I do this to myself? The egg and English muffin was healthy, but I can eat that simple breakfast at home for cheaper than stopping at McDonalds...and then I wouldn't be supporting a really really crappy business either. Lunch was just not good all around...except that it *was* tasty.

Tomorrow is another day to make decisions and report about...not just our trash, obviously, but lots of other things about my life that my trash tells.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


A little Subway...for lunch with my buddy this time. Kendall and daddy stayed home from church, and Isaac and I went to church and then lunch before a birthday party. We went to lunch at Subway and created 2 pieces of sandwich wrapper trash and 2 napkins. I am allowing myself to wash the Subway cup (did not get a top or straw) and keep it in the trunk along with some other resuables so that I can take it into Subway if the cravings strike again. During the no plastic challenge, I learned that most restaurants will look at you CRAZY or refuse to let you use your own cup for a drink purchased. So...I will not be collecting trash to pile up until after the month is over, but I am going to keep a non recyclable container and cup here and there to reuse legitimately. So, besides compost, the subway trash, and recycling, here is what our trash consisted of today...
2 popsicle wrappers
plastic wrap for one sleeve of saltine crackers
apple sticker
plastic sheet sealing the pomegranate sorbet (OMG...it's my new favorite food!)
plastic ring around Earth Fare peanut butter
plastic ring around Smart Balance
paper from instant potatoes (remember...sick kids) :)
paper from stick butter
foil seal from milk at subway (bottle was #2, so recyclable)
4 diapers

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Wasted Life

I am so excited to get the focus off my waist and on to our family's waste this month. We are starting a compost pile ("pile" makes it sound like a snazzy one, huh?) and besides that, just taking a journey into the part of our life that usually does not get thought about much. We will be examining our trash each day. We will examine what we create at home as well as outside of our home. I'd love to share our trash with you each day, but we'll see if that works out or not. When I do share, I will be honest about every single piece. For today...

2 diapers (Kendall is sick and dehydrated, so that produced less waste...sort of!)
2 plastic popsicle wrappers (treat for sick kids)
Krispy Kreme cup, top, and straw (Isaac and my date on the 30th...cleaned out of car today)
inside rice cake plastic wrapper (thought about using it for packaging material though)
2 staples from tea bag tags (recycled the papers, composted the bags)
sticker from an apple
pen that no longer works
small piece of wax paper (cleaned out of diaper bag)
Subway sandwich paper and napkin (asked Tim for this treat when he left a fun party tonight, as I was home all day with the sickos and ate canned soup for dinner)
small paper cup and plastic lid from Olive Garden (leftovers from mom's bday dinner)
plastic drink lid (found on kitchen floor...not sure what from...prob not recyclable)

that's it! I recycled a bunch of paper, aluminum, and some #1 and #2 plastic from today, washed a ziploc bag for reuse, washed the popsicle sticks for reuse, and threw some food trash out to compost. Kendall threw up many times today, and we used all cloth for clean up...and 3 loads of laundry done! I swept the floor and threw all the food, dirt, and dust outside.

It is amazing how much thought it took not to just throw something in the trash can. It was good to examine each piece. I can see from today's trash, that most of what we are wasting resulted from eating out. I will need to have containers for leftovers and cups with me if I want to eliminate that type of waste.

Maybe I will figure out how to post our trashy pictures. :)

Monday, April 26, 2010


...late than never! I have been exercising my big booty off today! I got some motivation from somewhere...out of nowhere...yesterday to lose this weight I have gained. I lost around 15 pounds about this time last year, and somehow (OMG! why is it so easy for me to gain weight???!!!) have gained every single pound back. ok...I am not going to talk about all of that anymore, actually. Back to today...I worked this morning and then was home with the kids the rest of the day. I made lunch, and we ate outside, wind blowing, sitting on our pink quilt. I had to get jackets for the kids, we all laughed and ate, and just had so much fun. Lunch remains and dishes on the quilt, we ended up staying outside for hours! I trimmed back 5 dead butterfly bushes trying so hard to bloom again around all of the dead branches. I cut back this whole crazy area we have in front of our house and took all of the branches and brush to the woods in the back. Kendall sat in the iris bed for about an hour telling stories with a couple of acorns and sticks and such she picked up off the ground. Isaac filled up his watering can from the outside spigot, soaked himself, changed into some pajamas, and was right back outside watering and playing and riding. Kendall moved to the back to the sandbox for her second hour. I raked leaves, pulled weeds, swept, played with the kids some, and then went inside for cleaning and laundry and eventually dinner. The rest was welcomed by the kids, who ended up playing with playdough for the rest of the afternoon until dinner. After dinner, the kids and I (Tim has court on monday nights) drove to downtown Statham and parked and walked all over the place. We jogged some, walked lots, and found some little alley ways through which to adventure.

My arms are seriously sore from clipping/chopping/whatever with some very simple clipper/choppers. I ate well today. I am so happy to be on a good path.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


My heart is so heavy and full tonight. I have two friends who have recently found out about their husbands having an affair. Another friend's husband passed away (in his 30's) suddenly after collapsing and being transported to the hospital. My dad just returned from California where he was taking care of his sister and her family for a month, as she is dying from cancer very soon. Someone on Tim's side of the family and with whom we are close just found out he has bone cancer. My step father is quite sick and just not thriving or functioning very well. My mom's treatment for lymphoma has not begun to work after 4 weeks, as the doctors originally thought it would, so fear and terror are knocking at the doors of my heart. It is her birthday this week, and I am so very grateful to get to celebrate.

"Celebrate"...that word has struck something in me as I write it. I can not celebrate fear and anger and hurt. I can celebrate life and my incredible relationship with my mom. I can celebrate my marriage and the openness and vulnerability and respect and submissiveness and closeness and depth we share. I can celebrate the relationships I have with women that will be at my side in any hard times that may ever come my way.

Boy, life can be so tough. I think getting older has brought many more tough times in life. Besides what/who I mentioned is on my mind tonight, two close friends experienced tragic loss (husband, daughter) within the past year. My best friend's FIL is very sick, and this will be one of the first losses of a parent Tim and I have experienced with close friends. I mean, whoa...thank goodness getting older has brought many more joys with it as well.

Am I exercising? NO. In fact, I am looking forward to the end of the month when I can start a new challenge. Am I still feeling unhealthy and like I wish I was losing weight and working on being healthier? YES.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Well...must be honest. We are not exercising much over here. I worked a TON last week. I was away from home from early morning until later evening on tues, thurs, and friday, and pretty much could not move when I got home those days and had a busy Wednesday afternoon/evening as well. I basically only exercised on Monday. I feel gross, but am not sure if it's just the superficial kind of feeling of failure at something I said I would do on this blog, or the ten pounds I have gained since a year ago at this time, or my general low mood lately. Probably all of the above. I spent last week on the road to Commerce and Elberton and Watkinsville and Athens and back and forth all over again. With that, came stops at McDonald's, gas stations, and Subway (very familiar with the gas station subway in Comer on my way home from Elberton). I "needed" food and coffee and coke zero and this and that to keep me going. I had very little energy to pack food from home each night/morning, and so I just got and stayed on a roll spending money and eating lots of unhealthy stuff. Oh yes...the doughnuts. I got a dozen doughnuts one night on my way home after working and driving over 14 hours that day. I mean, it's understandable, but so yucky.

So...the most prominent things I feel today are that I don't have anything cute to wear, I want a $50 haircut (I love Lyric at Republic!) but spent all of my extra money and now don't have enough for groceries for the rest of the month, I wish my stomach wasn't so flabby and fat and don't understand why I don't see this sort of problem for anyone else I know, I hate that I started drinking soda after stopping for so long...and really, I think I'll stop there since there is little reason to think of more. :)

Am I really a failure? of course not. I totally know that I am amazing and strong and am doing great things in my life right now. I am even beautiful. Who isn't? I don't like the standards for beauty at all in this world. Of course I am beautiful. I have great character and love. God made me perfectly. Why do I look at myself with the same standards I hate as my judge? I should stop.

I should also spend my Christmas money on a haircut and clothes. But...then I will have none, and I will be insecure. lol.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Exercise Life

It is seriously way past time to announce the challenge for the month. Our challenge to ourselves this month is to exercise 30 minutes a day. Have I already missed? yes. It's super discouraging to not be 100% successful, as we learned from last month, but it's also not good to look at the challenges that way either. I mean, challenging ourselves not to consume plastic in November was super hard, and we made a couple of mistakes, and I felt incredible about the outcome. Why in the heck would I be discouraged that we averaged having sex 6 out 7 days of the week or exercise 4/8 days so far. I really do want to do much more exercising for the rest of the month and get closer to the goal, but the challenge can be exhilerating and great no matter what.

I love The Simple Life by Janet Luhrs. She suggests never ever to spend money on using a gym, but rather to use the "Earth gym." I love the concept so much! Exercise is so very inspiring to me when I think about ways to use the earth gym. One night, I called my neighbor, and we walked together and talked about super important things going on in her life. It was such a great way to exercise at no cost to me and connect with a friend. One day this week, the kids and I drove to downtown Statham, parked, and walked all over town. We went to the little Statham library and gathered some free magazines for a couple of people I had in mind, checked out books on CD and a movie, and then went to Subway and bought a bag of sun chips for the kids to share as their treat. I let Isaac lead the way a couple of times, I took us through a little alley way b/w a couple of buildings and houses to the sidewalks of the main road, and then we got back in the van and drove home. It was so great to be out in space, without the boundaries of walls, moving our legs back and forth and back and forth, thinking about how grateful I am to walk and watch my healthy kids walk. I need more time for using my earth gym soon. This has been an insanely busy week b/c I committed to working at a nursing home in Elberton in addition to my usual work and half a day at treatment with my mom and a couple of church meetings. I had two 14 hours away from the house days starting from early morning, and there was NO way that I was going to exercise when I got home. Nearly impossible, it seems.

So, this weekend and next week will be much simpler, and I am going to try to really look forward to spending time moving my body and improving my health and my body.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Time seems to be flying. Since my last post, Tim turned 35, my mom had two cancer treatments, and Tim and I have both worked tons as well as having lots of fun times with the kids, mostly at home lately. Then there has also been lots of the topic of this month's challenge...no comment there.

I am not sure what I want to blog/share. I am not sleepy for the first night in weeks, which is a direct result of nothing changing besides that I started my thyroid medicine again today. I swear that I can feel a difference today. I seriously feel totally different. craziness.

I finally broke down and bought toothpaste yesterday. We have been making do with and using up every last drop of toothpaste and other products in this house since we started our examined life challenge in November. I have bought dw and laundry detergent, but no other products. We finally couldn't take the toothpaste deficit any longer. The little sample packets of all different types of Crest that came in the mail at some point were my favorite. The sample size Burt's Bees orange creme was my absolute least favorite, which is actually what drove me to buy some. The tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner and body wash are slowly but surely dwindling down. We are out of dish soap now, but I decided to just mix water with the Dr. Bronner's we have, and use that for dishes for a while. It's fun to make do and stretch our money...and ourselves sometimes in the process!

Yesterday, Isaac and Kendall and I bought plastic eggs and candy for their mother's morning out program Easter egg hunt. Isaac asked what we would put in the eggs when we bought them, and I listed candy, prizes or money as ideas. He insisted on candy, but then later thought maybe coins with the candy would be good. As soon as we got home, Isaac got his wallet out of his room, requested the eggs and candy, and sat down in the living room. "You don't have to use your money," I said. "I want to," Isaac exclaimed as he looked at me longingly. "That's what I want to do with my money, mommy. Giving money away is what you're supposed to do with it. That's why I have so much already (about 15 coins), I bet. Maybe I'll find one of these eggs and get some of it back anyway." What a wonderful interaction with my four year old. It amazes me that he sees and hears and processes SO much...everything down to Tim's and my very soul, it seems. I love that boy beyond all comprehension.

On a similar note, I was talking to someone a couple of Wednesday nights ago about my mom starting treatment the next morning for her lymphoma. That next Sunday...a card from the couple saying to "hang in there"...with $65 enclosed. I had mentioned my mom's financial burdens in having to endure the health stuff without insurance. wow...I was so shocked and amazed. This money felt like such an incredible gift...of money, or care and concern, of validation...i don't know...hard to explain. I desire to be this sort of generous. I want to hear needs and give, if even just $15, from my heart, immediately, with whatever I have or whatever I can do at the time. I dream of being in a financial position to give lots.

Thank you to Isaac and the S's for letting me see the gift of generosity this week. I want to be like you both.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

doing without

...like this title/topic...obviously not related to this month's challenge. LOL!

I put on a boring set of scrubs (1/4 tops and 1/3 pants) this morning as I was getting ready for work, and got the thought that I really needed to buy a couple more scrub tops. Pulling on my socks as I was about to leave, I realized the uncomfortable feeling was my big toe sticking out the top of my sock. "My only pair of brown socks," I thought. A mental note was made that I need socks. By this afternoon, my desire to eat dinner out had grown into a full blown need because we have no food in the house.

I will not get either of those things in the near future, and we had an amazing dinner at home. Doing without, not consuming, living simply, being content...this is the way we are paying off our credit card debt this year (in addition to about $4000 from my accident settlement). I started this year thinking paying off THAT much debt was totally impossible, but with Tim's great passion and determination and both of our desire to do without for the greater good of our family, I think we will actually do it! Tim is blogging daily about our journey to cc debt freedom. A couple of years ago, we had an income about half the size of our outgoing needs. It was a hard, hard time. We did without and life was ok, but I eventually realized how hard it was to have $40/week for groceries and to really have to do without anything absolutely unnecessary. Doing without because you have cc debt you want to pay or something fun you want to do with your money can be very exhilarating and fun. I am so grateful to be in this place now.

Also, you know, both my mom being sick and really paying attention to her financial needs and the needs around me in the world has helped me to *really* consider what is important. Even if we did not have to use it, money to help with her needs, whatever they may be, especially medically, seems SO very much more important than clothes and shoes or paying more for food at a restaurant or for something for this house. We have SUCH high standards in this society. It's hard to keep up to them, even. Basic needs being met is such a low standard...the house needs to be decorated, the clothes need to be everything you ever wanted for your particular body, the accessories are a necessity, eating out is a total given. My thoughts on this are just too long to list.

I just feel like begging and pleading with the world to open our eyes to the poor, to the sick, to the many needs around us. Try hard to do without and pay off debt so you have the freedom to give it and use it for important things like human connection and building up your relationships and loving and supporting others.

In our entire house today, besides the baking supplies and condiments and such, we had oranges, 3 pieces of bread, small amt of applesauce, eggs, milk, garlic, frozen beef (we bought a 1/4 of a grassfed cow last year!), 3 cans of salmon, a can of soup, polenta, rice cakes, ww pasta, annie's mac and cheese, boxed mashed potatoes, barley, popcorn, hummus, homemade banana bread, some thawed cocktail shrimp, leftover spaghetti, and leftover broccoli. Tim and I both thought the food choices were pretty depressing at first glance. Instead, we decided to get excited about making it all work and changing our thoughts. We had...cinnamon toast, banana bread, applesauce, and oranges in the first part of the day, and popcorn, leftover spaghetti, rice cakes with hummus, and shrimp sauteed with garlic and butter tossed with ww pasta with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was delicious!

We can thaw some beef and have that and broccoli and mashed potatoes for dinner and mac and cheese and oranges for lunch, and bake some muffins for breakfast with milk for tomorrow. Yes, I obviously need to go to the grocery store, but I am not depriving my family of nutrition and it is great practice to see what I can do with what I have and what we can do without. I bet I can even wear the same clothes over and over to work and still be happy. I sure hope so.

Friday, March 5, 2010


I thought about putting funny titles on this month's posts irrelevant to content and scaring everyone! lol! Update on this month is that we're on track. I will not say how it's going because every word I could use sounds weird and not enough to describe, but then noone needs a longer description obviously.

It's an eventful weekend, and I am so blessed. My mom went to the hospital tonight, but was able to get what she needed (blood...hemoglobin dangerously low) and get back home before too late. We are blessed to have a third little addition to our family for the night and morning/day. Tomorrow, a good friend of mine from work and her best friend are coming over to hang out. Usually, when someone (or two) is coming over for the first time, one is compelled to clean and present yourself in the best way, but you know what? Especially with my mom being sick, I am learning more and more and more to not even give those sorts of ideas a second thought. Relationships are so very important and such an amazing part of life...and how clean the house is has nothing to do with anything important. So, I will spend my morning with the three precious kiddos and Tim and let them play and make whatever mess they want, and then welcome my friends with open arms. Tim and Isaac are going to IKEA to eat lunch tomorrow and then to the They Might Be Giants kids' concert tomorrow afternoon. Isaac told of this adventure at least ten times today and could not be more excited. I am overjoyed for them. Tim is an amazing dad and husband. Sunday, we will spend the day after church getting together packages from Tim's ebay store. The auctions end on Saturday, and the store is over halfway to Tim's goal. Go bids go!

We settled on my car accident and will be able to see some of our cc debt go away because of it. And...you want to know something super amazing? Someone I have never met gave me $200 to help with my mom's medical bills. My good friend put my mom on her church's prayer list and was praying about her situation one night with some other women. After the prayer, her friend wrote a check to give to me for $200. My friend called to tell me about it while i was in the hospital with my mom last week. It took everything I had to wait to cry until later. amazing. The Emory appointment on Monday is costing us $500, and Tim and I had only been able to figure out a portion. This is an amazing blessing, and my heart is still full because of it.

Whew! Little Moon is finally back to her bed. Time may be short, so I must go. ;)

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Romantic Life

So...although I know a couple of my friends disagree with posting on this topic, Tim and I both feel comfortable sharing this month's challenge, which is to have sex everyday this month. Posting throughout the month will be about whatever is on my mind, as I will certainly not be sharing much else about the month's challenge. I titled the month using "romantic" for fun because surely it will be hard to keep up the romance all month. Here's hoping neither of us get sick or something that would prove to *really* be challenging. Romance and intimacy are both things that Tim and I value greatly and are commited to keeping great with two small kids and jobs and ten years of marriage.

This idea on my year long brainstorm always makes the listener laugh...or sorry they asked...lol...but although initially a little funny, it's nothing I want to hide about or never speak of. I think it's a super respectable challenge. All of that said, I am hoping and praying that noone asks me in a large group or in front of my single friends. oh...and watch my family suddenly begin to follow the blog. Wish me luck! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." Isaiah 26:3

"Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:30-31

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Tonight, I love my Steaz organic sparkling green tea I found at Big Lots, my .01 Publix mystery deal coffee from my in laws, the last couple of posts on my husband's blog that I just got caught up on, and these scriptures.

I am so grateful for renewed strength and perfect peace that transcends understanding.

My mind keeps going to next month and what will be our next challenge. It's Tim's birthday month, and he hates sleeping, so I guess we won't shoot for 8 hours of sleep a night. It's not quite warm enough for our daily exercise challenge, nor is the harvest plentiful enough to eat 90% locally grown food. hmmm. narrows down the brainstorm list a bit.

Tim is out of his concert and headed home. He had the time of his life. Tegan and Sara in Atlanta. Many hours spent outside today reading and people watching to be on the front row. I can't wait to hear.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Well...things have not been as dry and uneventful as my lack of blogging might indicate. Life has been full and wonderful and challenging.

My mom has an appointment to be seen at Emory on March 8th. The call with an appointment time...finally...was so relieving and helped me feel hopeful as well as very overwhelmed. They need $500 for us to walk in the door...everything else after that will be discussed and set on a payment plan. you know what though? Who cares about the money really. We just want so badly to have answers and plans and solutions. Besides, can't you add paypal buttons to blogs? LOL! Tim has had a great couple of months in his practice and because of that, sacrifices, and his incredible commitment and drive to pay off our debt, he has been able to put a significant amount of money toward paying down our credit card debt. It has been so very encouraging and inspiring and wonderful despite the sacrifices. Now it just seems so hard to struggle with the idea of $500 being so monstrous when we just had it...just not for medical bills...except that we MUST pay off some debt for our own lives and freedom...except I'd give up everything I have for my mom...except she would never ever want that...and so on.

Anyway, I have to be honest and say that I have missed a couple of days of reading and praying for 30 minutes since the last post. Ironically, it was during or due to preparing for a conference our church just hosted for the southeast. I had several hour practices several nights last week that led me into my door and straight in the bed, had full, good days, over the weekend with the conference, and then ended the weekend with a late night out when Tim surprised me with a babysitter on Valentine's Day while we were already in Atlanta. This week's challenge has been being sick with a nasty cold Tim and I both seem to have gotten from the kids.

Life is so full, isn't it? I guess I wouldn't want it any other way. The bible urges us to "consider it pure joy whenever [we] face trials of many kinds." I could list a lot of things that bring me joy, and trials and suffering would not make it to the list at all, but this scripture (James 1:2) tells me to consider those bad things (to me) "pure joy." Maybe hard times are what allows me to experience true, pure joy. I was deeply moved by God while singing in the choir at the conference this past weekend. This is what I want my heart to sing out to God each day:

Blessed be your name in the land that is plentiful, where your streams of abundance flow, blessed be your name.
Blessed be your name when I'm found in the desert place, though I walk through the wilderness, blessed be your name.
Blessed be your name when the sun's shining down on me, when the world's all as it should be, blessed be your name.
Blessed be your name on the road marked with suffering, though there's pain in the offering, blessed be your name.

Every blessing you pour out, I'll turn back to praise. When the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say, "Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be your name. Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be your glorious name."
You give and take away. You give and take away.
My heart will chose to say, "Lord, blessed be your name."

I could not stop crying while singing the "give and take away" "my heart will chose to say." wow...just so who I want to be. My friend Brianne, whose husband died of brain cancer less than a year ago, had this heart. I could actually see her in the crowd while I was singing this song. No matter what happens in my life, I want to be able to sing this song and mean it.

Off to drink some coffee and get more caught up on Lost and American Idol on the computer (we have not missed our TV service, btw!!).

Friday, February 5, 2010


My mom had an early doctor's appointment today, and we got called back so quickly that I did not even have time to make my free coffee, of which I am very fond. The rest of the appointment was absolutely no good either, as we found out that her blood levels/counts have dropped again, which makes the doctor unsure (again) of what he thinks is happening. He referred us to Emory, and we should know the date of that appointment by Monday. Hopefully, it will be this week. Mom appeared overwhelmed and worried, and although I bet I did not appear to be, I too, was discouraged and super concerned. Let me just spell it out, actually...I am worried.

I felt like cracking, but instead, picked up my oragnic grassfed beef from a friend's freezer and then went to Marmalade Pottery to pick out a birthday present. Maria Dondero is an amazing artist, and it makes me so happy to visit and buy and give her pottery. I found two great pieces for two friends (which were on sale in the studio) and then something amazing happened! I was looking at one of the "seconds" and contemplating if I wanted to buy it for myself with my Christmas money. We discussed the small imperfection that made it a "second" and then I spotted and asked about a crack. Maria grabbed it and examined it and then asked if I would like to have it, as she would not be able to sell it with the crack. Wow! What an amazing blessing and uplifting end to the morning hours.

Later in the day, I closed my finger in the car door. Not sure how, but I did, and it was/is so very painful. It's my right pointer finger and is killing me to type. I was so glad that, after a while, it was obvious that I had not cracked my bone. I will hurt for anyone I hear of closing their finger in a door from now on!!

I am doing lots of praying and reading my Bible so far this month. It has been great. Great to be close to God, great to rely on him and the strength I get from him rather than on myself, great to pray with Tim, great to cry out with my desperate prayers for my mom, great to be reminded that God loves me deeply and holds me in his arms.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Spiritual Life

Today is the first day of February and the first day of our committment to read and pray for at least 30 minutes each day this month. We have a list of brainstormed ideas for challenges for the year and chose this focus for the month due to a three week fast our church just completed and a spiritual retreat Tim just took with some of his best friends in the mountains this weekend. This used to be something I did everyday for years and years, but it has not been an absolute in my life, sadly, for several years. Life with young kids and my own selfishness and pride has gotten in the way.

I want to rely on God and his strength every day. I want to be all that God wants me to be every day. I want to know God more and more. I want to grow and change. I want to be more faithful. I want to be less fearful.

I have a pile of spiritual books on my bed side table right now, and I will be reading out of those and my Bible this month. They include Secure in Heart, He Loves Me, and Your Best Life Now for Moms. I have lots of others that I may be using for topics and Bible study, but these are the ones I have already been reading...just not consistently at all.

I have not read for today. I did listen to a spiritual CD a friend just made me while I was in the car today. Some of the songs were familiar, almost all of them were moving to me, and the best part of all, was thinking about the thought my friend put into making them for me along with a card and small gift to cheer my mom and let her know she cares. wow. I am so very lucky to have lifelong friends and a relationship with God.

I am going to read my Bible now and finish my coffee and homemade pumpkin bread. And by the way, I bought coffee and Chick-fil-a today. :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Let it Rain

My heart was so moved at choir practice at church tonight. There's a simple song, "Let it Rain," that brought tears to my eyes that I could not stop from rolling down my face for a few minutes. The words?

Let it rain, let it rain. Open the floodgates of heaven. Let it rain, let it rain. Open the floodgates of heaven. Let it rain, let it rain. Open the floodgates of heaven. Let it rain.

4 parts are sung, and the repeated words ebb and flow and are written and played to sound like the intensity and depth of nature. The choir director asked us to sing it with meaning, and how he interpreted the song is that this is being sung in a time of desperation, hanging on in a tough time with one hand lifted up to God and begging him for blessings.

I cried because I thought of how desperately I want my mom to be healthy, and sang these words to God for a couple of minutes, begging him to open the floodgates and heal her.

After I got choked up about that for a while, I thought about my friend sitting one person over from me battling lymphoma and driving to Emory tomorrow for her fifth treatment. I watched the woman in front of me who lost her husband to cancer not that long ago and wondered if what I saw in her face was what I thought it was while singing this song. I thought about my best friend, whose FIL is very sick, my friend who desperately wants to have a baby, my friend who has children that struggle greatly with mental health issues, my friend who lost a child last year, my friend who lost her husband to brain cancer 6 months ago. My goodness...the list is not to be depressing...just reality. I felt so connected to these women and their sorrow and just imagined them/me flat on the ground begging for God to open the floodgates and pour down blessings. I am amazed that I know so many people with such loss and hard times, but then it helps me to see I am so not alone in any sorrow I may feel, and that life truly is an amazing journey. I am so very glad to be on it.

I am also hoping and praying for God to open the floodgates in our finances. We have a settlement for my car accident outstanding, and I am praying to be surprised and amazed! I am praying for God to open the floodgates in Tim's business and bless him with professional and financial success.

I must continue no spend month in some huge way the rest of the year! It will take lots more thought and planning. So much to do, so much to see, so many medical bills and financial burden on my mom, so many people hurting and in need. Chicken nuggets and starbucks just aren't worth a penny in comparison. Surely I can do without.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


My husband is truly amazing. He is an incredibly brilliant man who graduated at the top of his UGA Law School class. He has his own law practice, where he works part time, and then stays home with our kids part time while I work. He is an amazing stay at home dad. He takes the kids to the library, conducts semi regular learning times, builds forts, reads tons of books, bathes them, dresses them every morning, takes them to Mother's Morning Out on tues/thurs mornings, and is constantly baking with them. They truly have so much time together, and it makes me fall completely in love with Tim regularly. This month, he has completely dumbfounded me. I have felt the burden of our debt and lack of savings and/or retirement with intense emotion for a while now. It weighs heavily on me, and I have tried to explain it many times. This month, Tim started a blog and an amazing journey to pay off our credit card debt this year. It's super inspirational and sacrificial and intense. I am so so so happy and grateful and lucky. I got a text from him today saying that he had decided he wanted to stop receiving satellite service and put that $55/month toward the debt. His other decisions include not spending money on himself this year. No lunches out, no coffee from drive thrus, no video games or music or graphic novels or any other form of entertainment for himself. whoa. It's kind of stunning. We have a few movie tickets and Netflix for the year gifted to us, and Tim is super grateful.

There's no way that I can match his sacrifice, and that is so cool to me. We're praying and working hard, and wow....it just might happen!!!!

My mom has always wanted to go to Disney World. I am extremely concerned about her health and life situation at the moment. We will pay off this debt this year and take our second trip to Disney World, where the kids are dreaming to return, sometime after. We will do it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I loved tonight. A fire in the fire place, my family, and no electricity put true joy in my heart. We spent time with friends at their house after church and then went together as a family to the grocery store. It was raining so very hard when we got out of the grocery store, but having Tim there to get the van and load it was such a blessing. The kids and I had been planning on asking Tim to make a fire in the fire place all afternoon, and Tim happily accepted the job. We got some free firewood from Tim's parents a couple of weekends ago, and I have been desperate to use it.

I used to dream of living in a house with a fire place. I grew up living in a mobile home. I had everything I ever wanted and certainly anything I needed, but we would spend time every once in a while walking through open houses. I would pick out my bedroom and big closet and dream of having a fire place one day. As I sat in front of the fire tonight, the warmth and the peace that came over me as I stretched out in front of it brought me so much joy. The kids asked to watch Space Buddies, our Netflix movie, and eat a homemade cookie they made with Tim yesterday. They had asked for chocolate milk at the grocery store, and although I did not buy any, we decided to see if we could make our own (without having to use high fructose corn syrup, that is). Cocoa, milk, water, and a little sugar later, and we sat down to our movie, homemade chocolate milk and cookies, and a fire in the fire place.

Before bed, Tim asked that the kids help clean the living room. Working on that as a family and hopping into bed seemed like a great end to the night. Soon after the kids got in bed, the electricity went out. Kendall fell asleep quickly, and Tim ended up getting lots of extra time spent with Isaac, as he was very fearful about the storm and the darkness. While Tim was with Isaac, I lit our oh so familiar candles from last month (lol!) and snuggled up in a blanket by the tiny tiny fire that was still burning with my book. Tim and I talked and read and had a great time with the stillness in the house for an hour or so.

The lights are back on, and I am so grateful to be reminded that I am living my dream. Not all of my life is a dream. There are certainly unexpected and unwanted components, but a lot of my life is what I dreamt of as a little girl. I am going to get in my bed under a warm blanket and do all I can to remember the warmth I felt from the fire and my family this evening.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


It feels close to the end of no spend month. Not spending money has truly been mostly perfect. Tim and I have not discussed what we will continue from this month, but I would love to keep our spending within very strict parameters for as long as we are able. Maybe we can only eat out if we are spending time with other people, but not just for convenience here and there and everywhere...or maybe I'll continue to have self control and not buy coffee and drinks and treats for myself for a few more months. I'll be thinking... It was VERY hard the other night to be sleepy and thirsty and driving home from Atlanta in the pouring rain...and not be able to buy a drink at the QT where Tim stopped to walk around and get refreshed a little before continuing to drive. lots and lots of victories...and money saved.

Funny thing happened the other day...I made plans to have lunch with a friend. The night before our lunch date, as I was drifting off to sleep, I thought, "oh my goodness! what in the world am I doing? I can not spend money on lunch." so...well...I called my old, close friend with whom I have not spent time in over a year and asked her to pay for my lunch. It was a little embarassing and lots funny, but, of course, she didn't mind, and we set up in the next lunch date in February...when I get to pay. :)

Nothing came about at my mom's appointment today. More talk about "complicated" and "didn't think that would happen" and "surprised the steroids didn't do anything" and "probably," but nothing that really brought peace or security...or better health, really. sigh. Next week's conversation may be a little difficlt, as I think I will address the possible need for/lack of urgency. I did hug the man today. I have hugged lots of people that were not expecting it. LOL!

I don't think I ever blogged, but Tim and I bought dinner at IKEA the other night when we were there with his parents as a part of a family day together (their christmas present). The whole process of how that happened is complicated, but ultimately our fault. It would have been VERY awkward to turn it around, but in the end, it was a choice we made. So...all the party poopers can get excited that we messed up now. $16 and change spent this month outside of bills and groceries. oh...and tim soent $10 for parking at Monster Truck Jam, but those tickets were bought and the trip planned in December...but if we're being totally totally honest...I thought I'd mention it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Stillness, patience, waiting, learning, blessings.

I have a painting in my bedroom by a local artist that says, "In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you." I think it applies to what I am experiencing with my mom as we continue to meet with the doctor weekly and look at all of the blood counts and listen to him speculate about what MAY be happening. He is trying something with her this week to see what happens and if the numbers improve, and if not, says he will send us to Emory to delve further into reaching answers and solutions. There are moments when it is really hard to just wait in the chaos and there are moments when I am happy to be sitting in the stillness.

Isaac seemed to have lots of chaos inside today. He brought home a number tracing/practice sheet from mother's morning out on Tuesday. It was blank, and Tim said that his teacher reported that Isaac did not want to work on it, which was totally fine with them. Today, Tim said that Isaac saw the sheet on the table and wanted to practice writing. He traced the "1" and practiced writing it on his own beside it, and then traced the "2" while seemingly happy. All of a sudden, he started scribbling all over the entire page and then got up from the table, opened the front door, and ran outside. He went outside to sit with his bird feeder, of which he is very proud. Wow. I love this little boy so intensely and it hurts me to think that he got so down and frustrated with not doing something well/not being able to do something. It is neat to me, although scary (you know...that he would run out the door) that he ran to try to find some stillness inside of him. We've seen this part of him for several years. He is just now able to hold a pencil correctly, although it's still very awkward for him, and his written name is just barely legible, with all of the letters being backwards most of the time. It's not his strength. He can cut nearly like an adult. He likes to practice cutting. He appears to need to gather up courage to practice writing. He has no pressure and tons of encouragement from us, and we will continue to guide him and lift him up and honor his strengths and weaknesses. I am positive he will not be a non-writer. LOL. He will learn to write. He will learn stillness and patience as well.

I have had some neat blessings this week. I had 2 friends take me to lunch this week and one taking the kids and me out tomorrow. I requested a refund for the $229 we paid for the emergency electrician we called based on Georgia Power's reccommendation only to find out that it was GA Power's problem after all...all on the night of my car accident. So this happened 11/16, and although I just got around to making the call and requesting a refund of the money almost 2 months later, they granted our request and put a check in the mail the next day. My mom's doctor did say that her liver is no longer enlarged and appeared normal on the scan. Blessings came. I am so grateful.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I am praying diligently to understand God's love for *me,* how he's truly on my side, and how he has great plans for me. I know and understand these things intellectually, but I think God has been trying to plant seeds of greatness in my mind and heart, and I immediately down play and minimize and settle for a barely get by sort of attitude. I am so excited and inspired by Tim's mission to pay off our debt, but I immediately get this feeling of "we'll do what we can do...probably won't be too much" feeling/attitude. How is that helpful at all? God wants me to have the desires of my heart, nothing is impossible with him, he blesses my faith, he has great plans for me...these are all in the Bible.

It's not just in the area of debt that I need to understand these things. I want to remember that in being a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend, at my job, everywhere! I want to know and be confident that God has great plans for me, that he can turn bad situations around...even if it takes a LONG time (like with Job). I am passionate and have great dreams, but my mind fails me and takes me back so far to the "I'll never get up when I need to," "I dream of doing this and this for the world, but that will probably never happen," etc. My mind is not set on great things happening, my eyes are not "fixed on Jesus." My faith is little. Hence, I am praying and changing...and excited about all of the great things that will happen this year.

Today was a great day. I got home from work at 10:30 and the kids were asleep by 7:30. So we had nine great hours at home. I got 100 pages of my book read as well as time reading my Bible at different times throughout the day while the kids played or watched TV. The kids ate a yummy picnic lunch in front of the TV while I ate and read my Bible and then made coffee for myself. We had a fun dinner together where the kids ate (get ready!) cheese tortellini and pesto and walnut ravioli with garlic and olive oil sauce. I cooked the frozen ravioli because I wanted to be able to use the sauce on both pasta dishes and have plenty to eat for lunches/dinners for the week. I was not expecting the kids to eat the pesto and walnut part, but Isaac loved it. I served the kids yogurt with dinner, like I usually do when I am not sure if they will eat what I cook, so they ate the yogurt and a full plate of pasta. Tim just ate when he walked in the door from court to a sleeping house, which made him "happy, but I do miss the kids." The kids and I had a dress up time today where Isaac and I took turns being the king and queen and "getting married together." Getting married means dancing for a long time in beautiful attire. I hope Isaac keeps his love of singing and dancing...and dressing up. Kendall was the princess every time, of course. Being a princess meant wearing some swim goggles along with the regular princess attire, which had Isaac and I both laughing. Isaac also performed a magic show and several puppet shows while Kendall and I watched and clapped.

Today truly was great.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Just coming to say hello to anyone out there reading this blog. I got together with some friends to discuss dreams and plans for the new year tonight, so between that and the raspberry tea I just made, I am feeling super faithful and happy. I was reading some facebook profiles and such from some old friends and acquaintances yesterday and started feeling like everyone had more money, kids involved in so many more activities, more trips taken, etc than we had. Again, I was absolutely amazed at how quickly I forgot about how much I love my life. I truly do have a great life, and I am positive great things will happen this year.

Tim is determined to pay off our credit card debt this year. It's his "mission," and in fact, he even started a blog. It's scary to commit to that and does not even seem possible at all, but I have all the hope in the world that it really could happen. I love dreaming. I love that my husband has so many hopes and dreams of his own and for our finances as well.

Not spending money has made me excited about what we are saving. I filled the bubble bath bottle with water to make sure I got every last drop of bubble bath in there, and the remains actually produced a ton of bubbles last night. Relaxing night, no money spent. I ran out of shampoo, but decided to use all of the many samples I have collected over the years before I buy new. (seriously people...take the good shampoos from all the hotels...you paid for it...and they throw it away anyway...lol!) I love to see my tiny bottle of something fun and non matching when I get in the shower.

I am excited about the library events for the month. There are a couple of free documentaries being shown this month that will be great free dates for Tim and me. We also found 2 books of $1 theater tickets, so we may use those this month, but either way, we will have those to enjoy whenever.

We need to make actual plans to have people over the rest of the month. We are so very grateful to have great relationships. I love having people over, but usually just don't make it happen. Maybe I'll address that in a radical way one month.

I feel great about being home lots this week. I NEVER enjoy being at home more than one day in a row. I am changing my mindset...little by little.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

water fountain

I got a text from Tim tonight during intermission at Monster Truck Jam. He and Isaac and 2 other daddy/son pairs went together for fun and memories with friends. His text was that they had gone to the water fountain and gotten some really good water while they were waiting for the monster trucks and the friends to return. I felt so bad that they were packing dinner beforehand and then not buying any snacks or treats at the show, but this text made me laugh out loud. Water fountains are almost obsolete, it seems. How could you go to an event at The Dome and not buy several very overpriced food/drink items? Those were my first thoughts, and then as the minutes passed, I realized how very much I respect Tim for taking our complaining (wanted a drink...can't bring in outside stuff) 4 year old boy to the water fountain. Not spending money (the tickets were bought in December, by the way)while you are already at a great event does not lessen the great memories. We will not deprive him of these overpriced event foods for the rest of his life or anything. For this month/once, it is great for him to be able to appreciate the time and relationships...and the water fountain.

This week was great. I had to buy a tire to replace a flat...$61.50. No other money spent outside of bills and groceries. My aunt took my mom and me to lunch on Thursday, which was so generous and fun. I got several invitations to do things that cost money, but was able to figure out how to make it all work without spending...or not...and just decline. I went to a coffee shop with friends twice and just drank coffee from home. I love the dessert at this coffee shop, so I saved around $10 by not spending money on those two nights.

We had an entire Saturday at home today. Whoa. I can not think of the last time that has happened. We left at 5 to go have dinner at my mom's house, but all day was spent at home. We've had several days like that this month already. It's good. Good things WILL come from this challenge, for sure. I enojyed free coffee while I waited on my tire this week. I truly enjoyed it. It felt like a blessing that day to get coffee while out and then a soda for my drive to Commerce (work) when I dropped off something at Julie's house. I see little blessings all around me so far, and I am also feeling more confident about our financial situation just from the committment not to spend for 30 days.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I think and worry about money as if it is of super high importance...maybe the most important. Today, as I thought about Isaac, my 4 year old, and how much he values time and relationships and simple experiences together, I was reminded of how little control I want money to have over my life and feelings. Isaac asks for "things" almost daily...something he sees, something he thinks about or remembers, somewhere special he wants to go or do. Tim and I decided a long time ago when he was 2 years old and asking to go see a real castle, ride in a plane, on a train, go to France and China (thanks, Dora...lol), and all sorts of other exquisite things he holds in his amazing imagination, we would just say yes, that we hoped we could do that one day. We have both been so amazed by Isaac's dreams and thoughts of wonderful adventures. The best part about all of it, though, is that he truly does believe these things will happen "sometime." Now, at 4, he simply says, "we can go there sometime" or "I can get that sometime" I love that he just dreams and believes with the purest heart. I love that he doesn't have a care in the world about money.

On Christmas day, after opening and playing with presents for a while, Isaac asked if he could get a bucket and collect acorns outside. The implications behind this request has stuck with me. He has a passion for nature and simplicity...collecting, the cold air, open endings. He stated that his favorite present from Santa was the one that cost $2.99. His response to "what did Santa get you?" this week has been small items from his stocking mostly. Money does not impress him.

I was sad that I was going out for coffee last night and was not going to be able to buy anything, but I did not miss out on anything important by drinking water while there. The relationships were the most important...of course...I was sad that it bothered me at all not to be able to buy something.

Kendall cried wholeheartedly when we reminded her we would not be going out to eat this month yesterday after church. She begged not to go home and instead to "go to lunch." It was great to hear Isaac console her. I want my kids to value voluntary simplicity, eating at home together, eating simple, whole foods, what is important to our family. I can explain all of these values when the kids ask why we are not spending money. I usually leave out the explanation of the debt and such...lol. Isaac has declared he only wants to eat "food that makes me grow."

I want to be more like Isaac.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The No Spend Life

January is our month to not spend money outside of the essentials. We will pay our bills and buy gasoline and groceries and any essential health/house items, but we will not be going out to eat, grabbing a treat here and there, or picking up any good deals at the goodwill store or target. No movies or dates that cost money.

We spent the day with Tim's family celebrating Christmas and cooking and eating a big dinner. Tim's brother had been sick on Thanksgiving and was out of town for Christmas week, so today was a great day to cook our meal together, eat it all up, and open Christmas presents. After everyone left, Tim suggested we take down the Christmas tree. Funny idea since it was sitting in the place where the television formerly lived. I was so happy to see the Christmas bins going into the attic and the simpleness that seemed to magically appear in the house again. I can not say that I am happy to be looking at the big machine with several other little machines all around it that look out into the living room now.

Well...Happy New Year! I am actually not feeling happy at all right now, but I really want to take control of that and just chose to be happy. You would think my Christmas money would make me very happy, but it actually has made me feel overwhelmed and a little sad today. I need clothes. I want the broken blinds in the house replaced. I was planning to get a really nice french press, but Tim expressed he would not be interested in using it over the plastic drip pot (lol...it doesn't have many qualities that make me happy besides the coffee producing ability), and he usually makes the coffee, so I don't think I want one now. I want the big dent out of the front of my new van. I want shoes, but have pairs that will do. I would love a new piece of pottery. I could spend a night in a hotel with Tim, which I love to do. I want to get family passes to Stone Mountain with it. I want to just forget it all and put it towards debt. And then...that leads to...oh you don't want to know...but there are people who need it badly. Then I ask myself why I can not be content with the clothes I have, etc. Truly there is something wrong with me. This is why I will have this Christmas money in May when my birthday rolls around. By then, I will have a little more and feel able to spend a little of what I have now. It'll get spent eventually...it certainly will. One of these days I am going to shock everyone and actually not spend it. At the end of this month, I am going to be truly amazed that I did not eat out at all. I can't wait for the victory!