unfathomable testimony.

Two amazing points of testimony I give you, especially to the people who say that the Bible is faulty, full of nice fable an written by mere men.  I give you this (YAY!):

And this bit of info that our pastor shared this morning:
If you take the probability of fulfilling eight of the most difficult to manipulate prophesies about Jesus that he fulfilled (there were over 300+ that he did fulfill) you get a number that is 1 x 10 to the 17th power.  That is the equivalent of covering Texas in stacks of silver dollars two feet deep, marking ONE of them, shuffling them completely up, blindly grabbing one it it being the ONE that you marked.  

WOW.  Just think about that.  Both of them.  Amazing, awesome testimony of who our God is.

Nothing from nothing can't produce that. :)
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thank you and a cute video. :)

video

I wanted to thank each and every one of you for your kind words and emails on my last post.  Between you all, you showed me that indeed, I was supposed to share my thoughts and heart on a matter that it seems we all struggle with.  Your emails and comments sharing your same thoughts, struggles and doubts gave me assurance and confirmation that it was more than I that needed to share that last post.

I strongly believe that giving our struggles a voice, makes them less powerful.  Sharing something "out loud" this way somehow minimizes it (in a good way!) like saying to the enemy "I know what you are trying to do and you won't be keeping me in the dark". 

And really, since writing that post, I have gotten so much awesome confirmation about so many things, God has blessed me beyond my expectations.  It's like crying out has opened the flood gates. 

I can't wait to share with you all the awesome details He is working out. 

And for the record, Doug has ALWAYS supported me in staying at home.  I told him from date number two that that was my intention and he has always lovingly supported that.  He also thinks I'm a pretty hot mama. :)

To say a little thank you...enjoy this super sweet video of Aaron trying to say the Lords prayer. :)  
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deep breaths and sighs.

This post sucks to write. 

But it feels like one of those posts I am supposed to share for reasons unknown to me.  It would be much easier to ignore it and pretend like it doesn't exist but the truth of the matter is that it does.  And if I ever feel like I am supposed to share something, I do.  Because even if I am wrong, at least I am learning to obey and that is key to me.   If this blog has taught me anything, it is that God can use me and my experiences in ways that amaze me if I only let him.  I want to be obedient to his will for me, even if it means looking foolish. 

We, the Johnsens, have a lot on our plate at the moment.  And like I have shared before, I can't quite share all of the details but you better believe I will as soon as I can because I believe God will continue to show up in amazing ways that MUST be told!  So while we are in the midst of an amazing God time, you wouldn't be surprised to know that it is also a major time for attack and negativity from the enemy.

Somehow and someway he finds the just right time and opportunity to build himself a little foothold in our lives and once it's there it's like chipping away at steel and concrete to get rid of it. 

(here comes the sucky part)...

And I'm ashamed and embarrassed to admit that I have given him, gift wrapped nearly, two strong footholds.  And I have let him stay there long enough that I am having a tough time getting rid of him.

I bet you can guess the areas.  They are actually two facets of the same issue that I think every woman deals with. 

And they are....

YOU are not a worth contributor to your family.  You NEED a REAL job already.  Because of YOU, your husband has all this pressure on him to provide.  Because of YOUR laziness (in not having a real job) he has to work harder and handle more pressure than he should.  YOU are a failure in society.  YOU are making worthless contributions.   

And the other one, also a classic, thrown in just for fun and jest I am sure...


YOU are also unattractive.  Overweight, out of shape,  unlovely and unlovable as you are.  YOU need to lose weight, tone up more, eat better, get rid of those stretch marks and make yourself more attractive. Everyone around you is working harder than you to be "beautiful" WHY AREN'T YOU?

Ugh.  That is what has been playing in my head since January.  And even if I KNOW they are lies, the enemy provides plenty of proof that they are not. 

I am surrounded by loads of wonderfully successful women who manage motherhood and careers beautifully.  I have no desire for a "real" job.  

Their accomplishments are neatly measured, countable and publicly praised.  My measurements include butts wiped and underwear washed.  Things sewed.  95% of what I do is never seen.

I've always been happy and content with my body until...I have loads of friends frantically dieting and exercising and the enemy has convinced me that I need it more than they do.  Even if they don't. 

This past year has been amazing for me in terms of discovering who God wants to me to be and accepting AND loving the roles he has set in place for me.  The enemy is convincing me that they are selfish and not worldly enough.   

I finally become comfortable enough to say I am an artist and a sewist.  And the enemy convinces me that no one takes that seriously.  

I'm on a hamster wheel and I don't know how to get off.   And that is where I am.  I have no resolution to share at the moment because like I said, this is something I am still dealing with on a daily basis. 

And I have no idea why I was supposed to share this...because I'm sure it sounds like a huge pity party, but that is honestly not my intent.  I KNOW who I am in God I'm just having a hard time making the Lord's voice the louder one at the moment.  I'm doing all I know how to do...I am in the Word, I am reading encouraging books, but at the moment, it's like I am throwing things at the wall and waiting for them to stick. 

On the other hand, God has been showing me beauty in the mundane tasks of my day.  Finding JOY in washing the dishes, doing laundry and taking care of our home.  I'm proud to be a stay at home mother and my business is doing better than ever before.  Things, in reality, are going very well. 

It's a weird place to be...knowing your place and having questions and doubt thrown at it constantly.  Maybe I should take that as a sign that I am doing what I should?  I don't know yet, but I won't be giving up anytime soon.  I just know there is a lesson to be gained in here some where...

I'll keep you posted. 
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overheard at bathtime...


Last night during bath time I overheard this one telling his dad:
"Make sure you lotion my cheeks so that they are kissable for all the gwirls".  

We're in trouble.  And I love how he says "gwirls". 
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meet and greet-sponsor love-artsy matilda

Every so often you may see a new sponsor pop up over there on the right. 
I do offer a few slots but I am discriminate.  I only sell those spots to wonderful people (email me!).  They have to BE awesome and DO awesome.  Which is why Artsy Matilda fits right in.  She is one of THE most darling people I have met in a long, while. She is sweet and bubbly and happy!
Here's a little about Cheri:
Cheri has spent her entire life in performing and visual arts.  After 38 years of dancing from L.A. to Broadway, Cheri and her husband moved to the mountains in Northwestern NC and found a calmer, slower paced life.  Cheri began her mixed media mosaic art in earnest after meeting Chrissie Grace and has continued along that vein since 2005.  Not being able to stick to only one avenue, Cheri is also a fabric and paper enthusiast.  Her sewing skills from all those years in costumes and pointe shoe ribbons have taken a new turn into fabric inspiration and art journal making, ipod, ipad, computer, notebook and kindle covers, bags and purses.  Among the newer items are hand woven purses and journal covers, as well as “glass quilts”, which are made from vintage windows, glass and quilt designs.  Having always been an avid writer, Artsymatilda is the way Cheri records her journey while feeding her soul. 
Cheri was sweet enough to send me THE sweetest journal ever...each page was made with ME in mind.  I can only imagine the hours and hours and hours she pours into them. 
I couldn't believe the page after page of details.  I literally felt loved after looking through it. :)
You can just tell that she loves what she does, that she is an amazing artist that pours themselves into their work. 
Here is the darling one she made for one of you! :) I promise, with all the thought, love and care that went into this, that I have NO doubt that it will end up with just the right person.  This here journal is on a mission.  One of you NEED it, to document, to heal and to pour into words.

How can you enter to win it?
You can "like" Cheri's Facebook page. (You have to come back and tell me).
You can follow her sweet blog!  (You have to come back and tell me).
Or you can just leave a comment here telling me why this journal is calling to you! :) 
 
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failproof-easy-delicious chicken noodle soup {in a crock pot}

We are still trying to recover from illness...in fact this morning I had to take Moses to the doctor for what turned out to be an ear infection.  :(  Hoping and praying that we are on the mend!

Anyway, I woke up yesterday desperate for someone to bring me some chicken soup...and since I'm the mom, there wasn't a whole lot of chance of that happening.  I thought if I could just find a recipe easy enough...maybe I could handle doing it.  A little prayer and google later...voila.  I found/created the BEST chicken noodle soup recipe ever.

No joke.  Doug says it's the best homemade soup he's ever had.  And he's a picky eater.

Even better.  Prep takes less than ten minutes. And it cooks in the crock pot.

Don't stick your nose up like that...it's good!:)

If I insist on it, will you make this?  Quickly before winter leaves us, ok?

Here's my new favorite recipe for good ol' chicken noodle soup. 
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used these to make it easier...no bones or skin to deal with)
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste, depending on saltiness of broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small onion chopped (about 3/4c-1c)
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly chopped (roughly the same amount as the onion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 ounces egg noodles (I did two reach in the bag handfuls)
  • (if you INSIST you can add one chopped carrot but who would do that?)
Place everything but chicken and noodles in the crockpot.  Stir them all together.  Add chicken, raw.  Cook on low for 5-6 hours.  Remove chicken and cut up...I held the chicken with tongs and cut it up with kitchen scissors...put chicken back in.  Add the noodles and cook for another hour.  Remove bay leaf...Serve and enjoy!

See!  Told you it was easy. :) 
I love finding a good recipe for my crockpot!

And I just had leftovers for lunch!  The noodles were still good and the soup was still amazing!

Enjoy!
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20 minute crafter. super basic embroidery. little bit funky style.

I get asked a lot how I do my little hoops.  It's really easy to explain in two words.  Back stitch. 
Really, I use that stitch 90% of the time.  It's easy, fast and it doesn't require thought.  You can bet if I do something a lot, that means it doesn't require a lot of patience.
Here is some basic equipment you will need:
embroidery hoop (I find that 8in is a good working size)
(I get these from consumercrafts.com for less than $1 each)
scissors (bought from a local shop)
embroidery thread (averages about .33c per skein)
embroidery needle
iron on transfer pencil  (my favorite brand is clover in blue, you can find them on amazon).
pattern
fabric (i use all sorts but muslin is a good basic fabric to use)
My favorite way of transferring a pattern is to use the iron on transfer pencil.  You print your pattern of choice off of your printer in REVERSE, especially important if you have words in your pattern.  Once printed, you trace over the pattern with your iron on pencil, then iron it onto the fabric of your choice.  Super easy and uncomplicated.  
Here's the super easy back stitch.  Start with about 18in of thread on your needle, with a knot tied in the end.  Num one above is where you pull the thread through...into two and out three. 
Then four (which was two in the previous photo) and five. 
And repeat for your whole pattern.  

See?  Easy.  You can do it! :)  Any questions?  I'll answer them in the comment section!
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cinnamon rolls in a waffle iron! who knew!!

So, I've been seriously sick for the last few days...no voice, no appetite, chills, fever, coughing and all the fun that goes away with it.  I've been self-medicating with Zicam, OJ and over the counter meds.  My head has not been all that clear and I am still not well...on the upswing maybe...but still far from 100%.

With all that going on, do you know what my first coherent thought was this morning?  I bet I can make cinnamon rolls in my waffle iron.  Really.  My first thought of the day.  I have no idea where it came from...maybe it was birthed from a pinterest pin about making cookies in a waffle iron but in my nyquil induced cloud, THIS is what my brain does to me.

So during a "good" moment today, I managed to drag myself to the grocery store and get the shopping done and I was sure to throw some good ol' pillsbury cinnamon rolls in my cart.
 I got home and spent some time on the couch to recover. 
And then I went for it.
I would spray your waffle iron with cooking spray and arrange your rolls close to the center. 
You DO NOT want them squishing out of the edge.
You need to hold your waffle iron down if it doesn't have a latch...I only had to wait the same amount of time that I do when I use the iron to make waffles.  Really.  I was shocked that it worked so quickly. 
 Just a couple minutes later...and we had cinnamon roll waffles! 
They were wonderful...and had nicely textured edges...I think I like them better this way!
They were a hit and GONE within moments.  This will be a new thing for us!

Did you know this was possible?  Try it, you'll like it. :)
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ask the internets.

You know one of my favorite things about having this blog?  It's the ability to get the perspective of 1,000's of different people in one swoop! 

You are a vast resource of information and I am calling on you once again.  Will you help?

So, Doug is seriously considering going back to school to get his Masters degree in business.  We've only gotten as far as filling out the fafsa and began looking at places where he could get an ONLINE degree.  Online is key. 

So my question, OUR question is this, what do you think of a place like University of Phoenix versus someplace more traditional like Penn State or Liberty University?  U of P is accredited.  It's flexible and seems very conducive to our lives, which is important. 

He is not aiming to work as a professor or really even in the educational field but more likely industry.

Do you have a degree from Phoenix?  What is your experience?  There seems to be a great divide between those who have gone there and loved it and those who completely discount it. 

I would love to hear your input!  Thanks in advance and please be nice! :)
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on being an eternal optimist.




In all honesty, it's been years since I could say with confidence that I am an optimist.

For years and years I have been unpacking all the hurt, pain and disappointments from the first 20 or years of my life.  There is a point in life that one gets to where you have to make a choice.  Either you get up swinging, determined to push through, or you lay down in the dust and let weeds take you over.

I strongly believe that where there is a will, there is a way and nothing can stop a determined woman.  This I KNOW to be true.  

I can remember a distinct moment in my life, where the darkness was so dark, years ago now.  That my only choice was to jump full forward into nothing.  Not delicately inch, testing the strength of the ground below me, but to immediately run full force and do a long jump into darkness, where I wasn't even certain there was ground to catch me.  My only other option was to sink into the depths of the mud and muck that I knew wouldn't kill me physically, but would squelch everything about me.  The kind of muck that leaves you empty, a true skeleton in your own skin, where every light and opportunity has long been snuffed out. 

For years after the leap, solid darkness surrounded me and over time tiny flickers of light would pop up.  Over time, with work, God and prayers the light took over and became the majority but teetered a while on the half empty half full.  Scripture to me became like a chain I used to pull myself through.  One step forward and two steps back was the norm.  I longed for hope and joy.  I longed for the optimism that I once felt despite the circumstances I was in.  Optimism can exist in the dreariest of places, it's what keeps you holding on and holding out for the good.  It died that day of the jump or at least was severely stunned for years, but I knew that life with it, with no action behind it would be the worst kind of fate. 

As I have worked, and the light has taken full hold once again a phenomena has occurred...optimism has sprung anew in my life.  Like a droopy plant that just needs a good drink, so has optimism finally been quenched in my soul to the point it can spread.  

A speck of a dream flourishes in me with every avenue explored in depth, with wonder at every turn and joy in every crevice.

I've learned that optimism isn't as involuntary as I once thought it to be...it's not something you either are or aren't, it's a choice of perspective.   Even if it's not in your nature, you can nurture it into existence. 

What do you think?  What do you consider yourself and why?
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*gasp*

My name is Crystal and I am about to make a confession that will rock 95% of the mommy blog worlds out there.  At least that is what I calculate from the number of related posts written on the matter.  I am fairly used to being the odd girl out but it's never without it's own backlash or pity for my children.

The confession?  Sometimes, my kids will come to me, all fresh faced and doe eyed and ask "Mom, will you play with me?"...and in return, I sometimes say "No honey, right now mommy has work to do". 

*gasp*.

I know, I know, right?  How dare I?  It goes against what oh so many bloggers are pining right now.  There is always an ebb and flow of posts that follow the theme of "put off all other responsibilities and play with your kids right now and always or else you are a terrible mother".  And before I get too far, if you are reading this, more likely than not, I am not talking about a post you have written so please take no offense.

I've just had my reader saturated with post after post that goes something like this...
...my kids will be grown before I know it so I must take every opportunity to play with them and put everything else off...no household duties, no laundry, no job, no responsibility is as important as playing with my child at every moment his whim suggests it.  If nothing gets done day after day but legos and coloring books then that is what is best.     

I completely disagree.  And will even go as far as saying that a children need to be told no from time to time.  They need you to say "Go play.".  They need to see adults in their life taking care of their responsibilities and putting fun after work. 

Am I saying that you shouldn't play with your kids?  No way, we DO play every day.  We frequent playgrounds and family dates to do fun things as often as the weather and time allows. There is a time and a place for all things.  I personally think that putting off all that needs to be done in life and spending it playing sends a bad message to our children.

There's a saying in our house that goes "Do what you have to, so you can do what you want to".  And we teach that to our children.  Would I love a life with no responsibilities where playing whatever came to mind could be pursued?  Well, I'm sure I could get used to it.  But the reality is, my "job" is to run this house, to make dinner and laundry and get people where they need to go.  And then there is my business.  If I spent day after day playing and not taking care of what needed to be done, I'm sure my husband would have something to say about that. 

I think this idea of stopping what you are doing every time you child wants to play sets them up for a life of entitlement and expectations on others to entertain them in every moment.  Never saying no and setting the example that responsibilities can be put off until whenever doesn't do much to teach them how to be dependable people, no matter their age.  We've been this way with our kids since day one.      
Do I think that I am setting them up to feel unloved or unwanted or unimportant? No, I think quite the opposite.  I am showing them that there are different times in our day for different things, sometimes we play more and sometimes we work more.  That is life.     

More often than not, it seems like a nice excuse for why things don't get done.  I've actually had people say, to my face no less, "Well, it's great that you get so many things done in a day, but I like to play with my kids'.  Real nice.

There seems to be a concurrent theme that moves along with these kinds of posts and it goes something like "I'm a much better mom than that mom who has a cleaner house and caught up laundry because I spent the day playing and being fun instead". 

To that I say: Mary and Proverbs 31. 

Mary, mother of Jesus, was a mom with all the normal mom and wife responsibilities.  Do you think she played all day with the Savior of the world?  I seriously doubt that she put off all household duties, that would have been much more numerous than those of our day, until Jesus was out of the house or do you think she said sometimes "Not now Jesus, I have to make dinner".  Good enough for Jesus = good enough for my kids.   

And where in Proverbs 31, Gods amazing example of a Godly woman for us, does it say "And she played until the cows came home and milked themselves because she was too busy doing puzzles and painting with her kids." 

I think a balanced flow to the day is what is required...you can't be all work and no play or all play and no work.  Sometimes you HAVE to say no.  Sometimes you can say yes.  At the end of the day, you will be responsible for the children you have raised and how they interact with the world around them.  As will I.
 
My name is Crystal and sometimes I say no to my children.

I'm sure I've missed a point or two I meant to make so if I need to I'll post a follow up.    
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Sunday dinner--DElicious Roast beef Sandwiches!

I made these for dinner a few nights ago and did not expect them to turn out at ALL as amazing as they were...hence the not so great photos.  I was literally half-way through my dinner when I stopped and told Doug "I have to take a photo of these...they are SO good"...to which he said "Yup, write this down, we need to make these again".  SO GOOD!  And easy!

Now, I've said before, that I use Emeals.  This recipe is based on a recipe from them, with my own twist.  Emeals is super, if you don't use it you should try it.  I generally take what they make, make it healthier if I can, and add my own touch to it.  It saves me TONS of time and aggravation when it comes to meal planning and their shopping lists are the BEST.  If there are meals we don't like in a week, I skip them and make breakfast for dinner or something else easy.  Using Emeals also saves us a ton of money on groceries...combined with my new hobby (couponing) we save A LOT of money.  Try it with a grain of salt and don't be afraid to add and change the recipes a bit! 

Ok non-solicited commercial over...

Make these Amazing roast beef sandwiches like this (Serves 2-3 Adults):

You need:
2-3 english muffins (I used whole wheat)
1/2lb of thinly sliced roast beef (I bought mine from the deli)

Sacuce:
4oz cream cheese
1tbl butter
garlic salt to taste (or sub in 1ts horseradish).
very thinly sliced onion
provolone or mozzarella cheese

Open up your english muffins and lay them face up on a baking sheet.

In a sauce pan melt together cream cheese, butter, salt and cook with onion on low until onion is tender.  When the onion is almost done put your roast beef in the microwave just long enough to get it hot, I think I did mine for about 45 seconds.  Divide and pile the roast beef onto the english muffins.  Pour some of the cream cheese mixture onto each sandwich, top with cheese and toast in the oven or toaster oven until cheese is melty and starts to brown.

May not sound amazing but totally is. 
These will be in our family recipe box for years to come! Let me know if you try them! :)

And in reference to my post calling out all lurkers...THANK YOU!  It's been so good to hear from some of you!  And I want you to know something...YOUR comments DO matter, each and every comment makes me happy!  A full inbox is a happy inbox!  You DO have something to add and I very much like to hear from you all! :) 

Now...who else will come out of the shadows to say hello! :)

xo
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Happy Birthday Aaron!

Today is my Aaron's birthday!  You might know him as hoho!  I'm not sure how much longer he will allow me to call him hoho or refer to his little buns as my "snack crackers" but for however many moments I have left, I will take them.  For each birthday, I like to write the boys a letter, just to say all the things that should be said, to be sure that one day, they know all the ways they fill my heart.
Dear Aaron,
Today you are three.  I know that every mom in the history of moms has said this...but didn't we JUST bring you home from the hospital?  Wasn't your grandma just here for a week to help us get adjusted to you?  Weren't you just tiny and helpless?  These have, indeed, been the fastest three years of my life.  Time has not only flown, it has soared.  You are three and you are wonderful. 

I won't lie, your strong personality has been tough to get used to.  You don't follow in your brothers rule following, toeing the line kind of ways.  You hear your own drummer.  You push buttons (real and figurative), climb walls (literally), talk back, eat things you shouldn't eat, stick things in places they should never go, define sass and are loud and crazy most of the time.  But you know what?  That doesn't bother me one bit.  You be you.  Even if it wears me out and I have to read a million parenting books to figure out what you need from me, I will do it.  And you know why?  Underneath all that wild and crazy is really sweet little boy.  I can see your heart and see all the goodness in there.  Even though you are a wild thing, there is not a speck of malice or ill intent in you.  You are loving and kind.  You love babies and little girls.  You love to help and do big boy jobs.  Instead of trying to change you or make you more like your brother, like some have advised, I am going to do what I feel like God is telling me to do...steer you in His direction.  God has a purpose for you JUST how you are.  He made you you for a reason, and I am learning how to be the kind of mom that you need me to be. 

I was just telling your dad just the other day that I could see you as a really great youth pastor.  You know the kind that is fun and crazy and on fire for the Lord.  The kind that needs a little reminder to tone it down now and then but who also makes loving Jesus as attractive as it should be.  I don't know what you will do with your life, but I know that God has the perfect purpose for you and all you are.

Your dad and I love you just the way God made you.  You are fun and funny and full of energy.  Don't ever let anyone change your spunk and love for life.  Your joy is contagious and I hope it always stays that way. 

I hope your third year on Earth is the best yet.  Thank you for teaching me and stretching me.  You being YOU makes me a better me. :)

Love when you are good, bad and crazy, too! :) --Love, your mama.
 Showing three in fingers is a tough trick...
 ...maybe this will help...
 ...almost...
 ...a little help from dad...
 and you got it! :) Yay for three! :)
 And just for fun...here's Aaron at birth...
 ...through one!
 And two!
And three!  Happy birthday to my favorite three year old! :)
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a thank you and a favor.

Hi friends!

Just wanted to take a moment and thank you SO much for stopping by, for reading, for emailing and commenting and hanging in there for my weeks of health and fitness saturation. :)

I know that health and fitness is a bit out of the ordinary for me on this here blog but I want you to know something...when I consider doing a review or giveaway, the first people I think about is YOU!  There are many offers for giveaways and reviews that I turn down because I don't think it's something that fits in with the feeling here...or would be offensive to many or doesn't saddle up next to my belief system. 

The truth is, I really needed the health and fitness series, with the encouragement of Best Buy and Blogher behind me, to get my butt in gear and MAKE exercise a regular thing to me.  I really do hope you are encouraged on your own journey in some way.

And really...THAT is why I do this whole blog thing in the first place...to encourage journeys.  Whether it's my boys in the future, my husband, my family, my friends (YOU and those I get to hug), the point of most posts is to bring some encouragement, in some form, to this place.  God has taken this blog and done more with and through it than I EVER, EVER imagined years ago when I started it.  I am blown away by all this blog had taught me, the people it has brought into my life and all of the unexpected ways that it has blessed me.

So thank you.  I mean it.  If you've been here since the beginning or are just stopping by for the first time, I am genuinely thankful for you.  You have been part of the blessing and I am grateful and humbled by that.

And I have a favor to ask.  I KNOW how many people pass through these doors.  I want to know why you never say hello?  What makes you stop in and not say a thing?  I'm really curious...this is a call to the lurkers out there...or those I haven't heard from in a while!

I DO try to respond to many comments with an email address attached to them...so I want to hear from you! Please.  Pretty please, with a cherry on top!

Tell me...why lurk?  Why not say hello?  How long have you been here?  How did you find me?  What would you like to see me show you how to make or talk about or share?  How can we make this blog better?

This is your personal invitation to de-lurk and say hello! :) Introduce yourself.  I triple dog dare you...so now you have to.  :)

You would totally make my day...I really DO want to hear from you. :)  
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Inspiration to Fitness-Num 7-Last one!!!

Hey, hey friends! :) Welcome to my last installment of the Inspiration to Fitness series! It's been an adventure and I can't believe it's already been seven weeks since I started this whole, crazy (and mostly new) adventure!

It's been a fun adventure that has stretched me and taught much more than I thought it would.

I can say with absolute certainty, that without this series...I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be exercising regularly.  Pure and simple.  I really needed this structure and accountability to stay on track and to establish something that I have wanted for some time now.

And even though this is my last official journal entry for Blogher and this particular series...I fully intend on keeping up with my new habit.  To help me do that, I have found a real life accountability partner.  I found a friend who is also trying to keep up an exercise routine and everyday we text each other when we are finished with our workout for the day.   Just a simple text usually, "done".

Seems like a simple thing, but let me tell you, more often than not, getting her text that she is already done, really makes me get my bum in gear and get mine over with as well.  And yes, I meant over with.  While this journey has helped me develop a new routine, I still HATE exercise, at least in the work out form.  Very often you can find me, during a work out, chanting "I can do hard things, I can do hard things, I can do hard things" during my cardio session and there usually isn't a minute of my workout that goes by that I don't want to quit.




But I don't.  Only because I know, that at the end of the workout, I will feel great, both physically and mentally.  It's been worth it for that alone.  The bonus of it all?  I'm being a great example to my boys.  They see their mom being active and taking care of herself and that speaks more to them than just words ever could.

I hope you've been inspired to start a new journey for yourself to better health through exercise and I hope you've learned as much through your journey as I have with mine.

I would love to hear about any progress you've made or journey you have begun!

Be sure to check out Alysa and all the great info she has to get your started or keep you going!

Hang in there and keep on keeping on! :)



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back in town!

We've been hiding out in Blacksburg since Friday.  Can you find us?  
We spent some time with our favorite Jack.
I made hoho a giant "PB & J" for his first birthday party cake. :)
It snowed 6 inches and managed to be warm enough the next day for my husband to play in the snow with the boys in short sleeves and gloves.   
It was well received by all.
 It was beautiful and not even the best part of the weekend. 
We got to spend lots of time with this little guy...
 ...who managed to completely change since we saw him last.
He was not impressed with Aaron's party.
And apparently neither was Aaron, who informed me at bedtime, that for his real birthday, he would like a "regular" birthday cake.  Stinker.

It was a good break from reality.  And while we were there we got two big wins for us(things we have been praying for!!)!  One HUGE one and one good one. :) We just need one more HUGE thing and eeeek!! Keep praying! :) And thank you for all the prayers you've said on my behalf! :) 
And one last thing...I wanted some bright hair pins, so I made some for myself and I have these extras.  I won't be making more and if you would like to claim some, just leave me a comment with the numbers you would like and your paypal email address.  $4.75 a pair and $3 for shipping.  Pairs ( 5, 9, & 12 are already claimed).

Happy week to you!
xo
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