the mother of invention.

 so i mentioned that we moved aaron to a toddler bed ON his second birthday.  
his no fear tumbles out of his crib made it necessary. 
well...the second night in it he fell out.  
i went to his room and found him asleep on the floor...he stayed asleep as i picked him up and put him back in his bed. 
the next day i managed to figure out how to make a full size bed rail work for this little bed and that worked well for a while. 
until...he started using that railing as a balance beam.  for real. 
so i took it off and thought for sure he would "get" it now and not fall out of the bed. 
i thought wrong.
 clearly he needed something...just enough to keep him in, but enough to let him get out safely.
because he fell out again. 
 it also needed to be something that would NOT let him practice his parkour.
 this is what i came up's basically a very sturdy canvas bed rail...with pockets.
 i used sturdy ties because i thought they would be stronger than buttons or velcro or anything else i could think of....
i added pockets on each side to hold books or some of the million and one animals he insists on sleeping with.

seems to be working great.  no more falling out of the bed, he can get out safely and no more parkour in his bed. 

if only that would fix all of his naughty.  yesterday he had to learn the hard way that having light bulbs in your room is a privilege NOT a right. 

in other news...i have completed day eight of the shred!! once again, this is HUGE for me.  and i feel GREAT.  as crazy as it sounds, i feel like i can start to feel the body of my 20's (pre-kids) coming back to me...i have more energy and TONS more endurance.  how are you doing?

in other other news...we still have a LOT of question marks for our future.  house, job, life, etc.  i would appreciate your continued prayers...overall i seem to be much better at "handling things" but at the same time my hopes are SOARING once more...i know that God is good and He is going to work it all out...and if it's not all worked out...then He's not done. 

happy friday to you!

make this for dinner.

 this is one of my new favorite go-to meals.  
the best part is that it is finished in a matter of minutes...and it's super tasty. 
i call them french dip sandwiches...but there may be a different name for them out there. 

all you need is:
a 1-1 1/2lb roast
one packet of french onion soup mix
one can of beef broth

a loaf of french bread
mozzarella cheese 
(i used a shredded mozz/provolone blend)
 put the broth and soup mix in your crock pot...stir it around to mix it up. 
add your roast, put on the lid, set the crock pot on high and walk away for 6-8 hours.
yessss...i love having dinner technically done before lunch, right?
 30 minutes before you are ready to eat take the roast out of the crock pot and shred or slice it.
i cut mine in thirds and was able to put a third away for dinner the next day.
keep the broth in the pot on low for now.
 slice your french bread in half length wise and pile on the meat and cheese.
 wrap it all in foil and put it in a 325 oven for 25 minutes.
 get it out of the oven and slice it into individual sandwiches...i make mine about 2in wide each. 
serve with a couple of sides...i did corn and a big salad. put some of the "juice"  or au jus from the crock pot into little bowls to dip the sandwiches in...

with just the two of us eating these there were not only leftover sandwiches for lunch but the next day but i was able to use the other third of the roast...add some mashed potatoes and rolls and dinner was a cinch the next day too!

i'll be making these for years i'm sure. :)

in other news.  i just finished day six of the shred.  and i am happy to report that i am almost over all of the soreness...i can move freely and i was able to do more the the entire workout than i have been able to do to date.  

results i have seen so far:  increased endurance, more shapely arms and more firmness in my middle...especially the love handle area. :) 

i had started with 10lb weights but today i did it with 5lb ones and it seemed like a much better fit for me. :) 

and is it just me or do you expect her to say different things everyday...even if it is the same  just me?  ok...that's cool.  

how are you doing?  i am thrilled that SO many of you are suffering working hard along with me. :)


just so you know...

i just finished up day four of the shred!  i am super proud of myself...and am already seeing results!!

i know that some of you more athletic types are thinking..."big deal, it's been four days, what a wuss".  

yes, i am a wuss.  four days in a row of exercise that is kicking my booty is big for me.  
allow me to present some evidence.  

article number one: these are my "athletic shoes".  i wear them any time i am going to exercise or do anything remotely athletic.  i have dutifully worn them each and every time they were deemed appropriate.  aren't they in great shape?  no stains, minimal scuffs, 100% tread on the bottom. 

know what's wrong with this photo?  i bought them in 1997!!!  
they are 14 years old and in excellent shape.  i could lend them out without fear of embarrassment on their condition or smell.  need i say more?

article number two:  in high school i ALWAYS offered to sweep the gym floor in lieu of participating in class.  always. 

so you IS a big deal to me. :) it IS getting easier and I am finding it less and less necessary to concentrate hard on my walking to avoid looking like a clobbering camel due to muscle pain.

I've gotten several emails from some of you who have decided to do this with me...that makes me so happy!! yay us!!!

tell me why you aren't doing it?

20 minute crafter: fabric covered photo mat

i had this adorable print from modmemento and just knew it needed a frame and mat with a little spunk...i bought the frame ($5 from micheals) and it came with a BLAND off white mat...i thought for a minute and came up with this fun and funky alternative...and the the best part is that i had everything on just may too...
you will need:
a mat
a piece of fabric a couple inches taller and wider than your mat
heat and bond no-sew variety.
cut your piece of fabric a bit bigger than your mat...i used about an inch on each the same thing with your heat and bond...iron the heat and bond onto the back of your fabric and peel off the paper backing...
center your mat under the fabric and cery carefully use your iron to tack the fabric in sure to not go crazy or you will iron your fabric onto your ironing this point you are just trying to hold it in place...
flip over...cut a triangle off of each corner...fold in and iron in wrapping a gift...
once you get the outside finished...cut out the center rectangle of your sure to stay an inch or so away from the edge...cut from the corner of the fabric to the corner of your mat...fold in each as before and iron down...
this photo shows a little better what i meant by cutting to the corner.  fold each side in and iron flat...when done with that you can turn it over and iron the front flat down...
add your print and pop it in a frame...unique and colorful cuteness. :) 

sorry the photos aren't super...we are having a dreary wet day here with minimal sun...i'll answer any questions in the comments. :) 

will = peace

 i don't mean to keep disappearing for days at a time...i've just been 
preoccupied with life...with trying to figure out God's will for my life...and what that means.  
And how to get information from my head to my heart.
 i can tell you that i know that i know, that i want HIS will for my life.  i want HIS path.  i want to make the choices that HE would have me make.  i want to do what HE wants me to do.  whatever that is.  the trouble i am having, is finding that will.  i seek and do all i can.  i pray.  and read my Bible.  and seek wise council.  i know that i want HIS will.  i am learning how to find it.
 i have had many interactions with people about this very topic.  and have learned that you either get someone who will listen and offer prayer...OR you get someone who offers you "justs" know...just believe, just pray, just read, just know.  just.  just.  just.  well, let me tell you...if i could "just" i would have by now.  and i don't think that JUST is the answer.  as i fell asleep last night, thinking about the choices and decisions to make in my life right now...i wondered...why can it all JUST happen at once...and i got this word picture in my head. 

imagine you are at a beautiful banquet.  you are wearing your best good clothes.  your kids are at a good, free sitter.  your honey is with you.  you have taken your time to get ready and be present at the meal you are about to have.  the only catch is that you get ONE bite at a time.  you are given wonderful delicious, mouth watering food.  one.  bite.  at a time.  and you only get one bite every couple of minutes.  in between bites you are expected to study that savor study get to know it that you can really enjoy it.  you cannot rush it.  the bites come when they have no control over when they do.  all you can control is how react to the much to pay attention to much you learn from it and enjoy it.   you leave happy, content and at peace...closing your eyes every so often to remember a particular bite like an old friend.

now imagine the same banquet.  only you are wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants.  you haven't taken a shower or washed your hair.  you were hurried out the door...unsure of your sitter but you HAD to leave.  you get the same mouth watering, glorious food.  only you have to eat it AS FAST as you can.  no time to drink or taste or enjoy.  you have to eat quickly before it is taken away.  hurry, hurry hurry.  you choke a little, you are messy and frazzled.  you leave feeling fat and bloated and you just want to throw up to relieve your uncomfortable stomach.
i have had both of the meals.  less of the former lately.  but there are days when i can remember a certain meal with my the house of blues in NC...I think there was some teeny bopper concert going on there(justin beiber??)...we had to wait forever but it didn't matter because we didn't have kids yet...we enjoyed the moments we spent waiting for our table to be ready...looking at the artwork...talking...enjoying each moment together.  and we had a shrimp dish that night that i can still taste to this day.  

i don't have many memories of the hurry up and eat meals.  when i do remember them, i usually cringe from the stress that i can remember from them but the good ones always bring me peace.

today, don't make fun of me, for fun i googled "how to follow God's will for my life".  and i read through some of the links...mostly Bible study types but one thing struck me.  peace. 

God's will for you is always accompanied by His peace.  His way is peaceful.  His path is peaceful.  He does not want stress for me...or you...He wants us to slow take small bites of His will and learn from memorize them.  we aren't built to handle life all at once.  if we try it that way we are not asking for peace...we are kicking and screaming for our way.  we want it all and we want it now.  and "all, now" means stress, pressure, sadness, problems.  His way leads to peace and goodness.  
and i want peace and goodness.  

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declared the Lord,
‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, 
plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11). 
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