Monday, February 28, 2011


I haven't seen my mom in FOREVER (okay, a week or two).

She came over today and brought me an early birthday cake!  It's my favorite cake in the whole wide world!  Tiramisu.

Isn't it pretty?
I may have had a bite or two
I apologize for the blur.  It was an action shot.  Graham is sneaking in for the attack.  Fortunately, I did not consume the entire cake on my own.  However, it is my birthday Friday so I had a lot a bit.

Thank you mommy for fixing all my boo-boos.  Today was a stressful day with lots to accomplish between a morning and evening shift.  We got it all done and had cake and coffee.  Thank you so much for all your help!  

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Crazy Good

Last night while waiting for the spouse to come home I was watching The  Food Network.

I don't typically watch it and I was really enjoying the show The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Crazy Good.  It was really fun to see people describe their absolute favorite food they'd ever eaten all while giving some little shop some major publicity.

Of all the different foods on this particular episode the Matterhorn Cake, from Sweet Surrender Bakery, that Giada spoke of looked to be my favorite by far.  I love me some chocolate cake and that looks like the ultimate cake!!

Since I wasn't looking to completely sabotage myself, I decided to try a different food featured.  For lunch today I made the hamburger spinach egg dish.  It's super simple and is perfect for any Core (or any other low/no carb diet) followers out there and it's gluten free!

Start by caramelizing some onions with salt, pepper and a touch of olive oil.  Then add the hamburger.  I used 93% lean ground beef.

Once the hamburger is cooked through add some fresh spinach.
Stir in the spinach and stir for a few minutes.  Then add  the eggs.
Keep stirring until the eggs are fully cooked.  It's not a pretty dish by any means, but it is tasty!
Once it's done, dish it up and top with some FF mozzarella on top.  It's really good!  Who knew!

I think next time I'll add some garlic.  Not necessarily because it wasn't yummy but more because I add garlic and jalapenos to pretty much everything :)  This would be good over rice and it will still be gluten free.  Let me know if you try it!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


This is a quote from Dan Hasteltine (of Jars of Clay) about their new song, Shelter.

"When I'm singing about the attributes of God and about grace, and mercy, and healing, and love, and care, I don't usually attribute that to the person who is sitting next to me. But, if we actually believe that God is working through His people, then we are the means by which all of those things happen. It brought all of those conceptual ideas about God, all of those big vague words, and lofty words, and language that we use, and we’ve brought it back to the human experience."

I'm a big Jars of Clay fan and have been since early college. When I first heard this song on the radio it really spoke to me. As an individual in the full time ministry, the idea of His church being my shelter, brought me to tears.

It is a beautiful and scary thought all at once. We are so very broken as individuals. We all have our own sin, struggles, and insecurities and yet God still gave us the ability to be His arms to one another.  To put aside our brokenness and love on one another with His Agape love.  

I can't help but think of all the times I was my broken, imperfect self, and failed to be Jesus to you.

I am so very thankful for our church family. You have been our shelter for 10 years.  We are blessed to serve here.  You and I, we don't have to walk alone.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up

I would love to show you amazing pictures of the woman's retreat.  Unfortunately I was so worked up over speaking that I didn't think to take a single one!  I currently have a call into my sweet friend over at The Sweet Life to see if she has any pictures.  So, check back.  I may add one this afternoon.

The retreat was a great success.  We had over 50 women registered and on Friday night there were closer to 65.  At one point I counted the chairs and there were 67 and just about every one had a warm body in it. This is the best turn out in years, decades even.  I am so thankful to Rhonda M. for the willingness to put all the hard work into planning and praying for this reach out. 

I felt incredibly blessed and humbled by my friends and family who came to support me.  You make me smile just when I think about it.  There was a time or two my name was chanted from a group in the back corner.  Thank you for showing your love to me in this way.  My insecurities were through the roof and you gave me so much love and comfort. 

I have to admit, I'm thankful it's over for now.  I feel great relief and was hugely blessed/humbled by the experience.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (New Living Translation)

9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 

I am so thankful for God's work in my life.  I am thankful for all the trials and triumphs because He has used them to mold me. 

In the words of Sara Groves,

"Take me, Make me, Break me..."  All for His glory. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Physical Class

Mark 12:29-30
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f]

When Rhonda first approached me to be a speaker this weekend I went through several emotions: flattered, scared, insecure.  I've stayed with insecure for the duration.
She asked if I would consider speaking on loving God through physical, financial, and spiritual means.  

I guess since this is based on the physical I should start with a bit of my story.  

Nine years ago I joined Weight Watchers and started a journey that changed my life.  I lost 86lbs over the course of ten months.  I was an over eater and used food to salve a lot of pain that I chose not to deal with.  The weight was a symptom not the problem.

I spent a year refusing to eat anything I didn't prepare.  I brought my own food to family gatherings or just chose to not eat.  I took pride in eating as few points (Weight Watchers) as possible in a day.  I set weight loss goals for my self each week.  I lost those 86lbs in just 10 months.  After losing the weight I had a very difficult time.  I decided that in order to maintain my weight I needed to become and employee of Weight Watchers.  I believed that being in that environment, along with having to maintain my goal in order to stay employed, I would be forced to stay disciplined. 

In the eyes of the public I was successful.  I had reached my goal and maintained it.  What was not as obvious to those around me, was I had gone from an over eater to an over manager.  I was still imprisoned by food and was actually in poorer health than I had been at my heaviest.  I forced myself down to a weight that was extremely hard to maintain.  It was impossible for me to continue down this path of self discipline.  I knew I would slip in time and that became a time bomb.  After a binge of 4 slices of Pizza Hut pizza at a friends, I forced myself to vomit for the first time.  I started losing hair and even though I was super thin, I still wore Spanx and control top pantyhose due to feeling overweight.  I was sick, physically and emotionally. 

When I was heavy I felt ignored, even invisible.  Going to the grocery store with two little babies and arms full of bags, no one offered to help me.  Never did a stranger offer to open a door, give a polite smile etc.  Once I achieved my goal, I lived in fear of waking up invisible again.  People finally noticed me.  I began to desire others approval.  I strove for others attention all while ignoring my husbands.  There was no freedom in what I had accomplished.  The thinner I became, God and family were moved to the back burner.  Nothing was more important than losing just a bit more, maintaining a particular pant size, and exercise.  My life, my heart was consumed with the physical.  

Over time the Lord worked on my heart.  I went through the devastation of losing my father.  Priorities shifted.  In time, I began to realize in my obsessive behavior I was worshiping self.  

I had to reevaluate.  How do I maintain overall health without making everything about physical health?

I was being convicted about allowing God ownership over all things including my physical body.  My goals needed to be based in building relationships, not tearing them down.  When I first joined WW my goal was to be "sexy."  Now there's a goal with some depth.  There's nothing about that that was redeemable.  It was completely selfish and self serving. I wasn't even interested in what my spouse considered sexy.  It was all about my perception, my goal, me...   

When we hear the word stewardship we often think of the financial like in the devo this morning.  Truth is, all belongs to Him.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (New Living Translation)

19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Regardless of where you are on the spectrum; heavy or thin, our bodies belong to Him and they are simply on loan to us.  Our desires for health and fitness should be for His glory and to edify His body and nothing else.

1 Tim 4:8 says:
8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Please understand that I say this to you as a Personal Trainer who loves to run, lift, and train others to be fit.  but…

It says it's of "some value."  We need to take care of our physical bodies.  They are His and when we take care of ourselves we are showing that we value what He values.  He created us in His image and by being physically healthy we are not abusing His creation.

When it comes to the sin of over-indulgence or over-management or even worshiping of self, we have to evaluate the "why" of it all if we ever hope to have healing this side of Glory.

For me it was feeding an emptiness.  I was broken due to pain in my past and eating was a way to have control over something.

As believers we are "born again."

2 Corinthians 5:17 (New Living Translation)
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

I like to think of Lazarus.  He was dead.  Wrapped in grave clothes, bound and placed in a tomb.  He had been dead for 4 days!  They rolled the stone away and Jesus shouted, "Lazarus, come out!"

John 11:44 (New Living Translation)

44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”

We are a new creation and all the things of our past are our graveclothes.  When I was a Weight Watchers leader I would tell my clients there is nothing that has happened to you, or anything you did in your past that has taken away your right to take care of yourself.  It's unreal how often woman punish themselves due to a sense of being undeserving.  God grants you value whether you agree with Him or not.

Lets read 1 Cor again:

1 Cor 6:19-20 (New Living Translation)
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Jesus is calling you to "COME OUT" drop the grave clothes of your past.  Take care of what God has granted.  He will return and you will be held accountable for how you treated His bride.


Realistic expectations,

As women we are naturally "comparers."  We look to those around us to see what normal or even ideal is.  Do you remember when Jessica Simpson was in the tabloids for her "mom jeans" and everyone was talking about how fat she was?  I looked up an interview with her and she was wearing a size 6, she fluctuates between a 4 and a 6.  What a fatty watty.

Or how about in 07' when America's next top model awarded their first Plus sized model winner.  You can imagine my shock when I read the article and found out that Whitney Thompson was a size 8/10.  Everyone was applauding AMNTM for being so ahead of the game and willing to celebrate a chubby model.

Lets talk about truth.  Listen to this quote, "One great study in the USA was eye opening. The average American woman is 5'4" tall, and size 14. In terms of fashion, modeling, and Hollywood, that is a plus size. Yet, if you ask men "who is the sexiest woman ever?", Marilyn Monroe, who happened to be size 14, comes second to "my wife". Men really think that curvy is beautiful."

In order for most to achieve and maintain the waif like figure society tells us is beautiful, we would have to make it a part time job. 

Mark Moore, a professor at OCC, said that worshiping the body is a more dangerous sin than letting the body go.  Think about it...

Who are we starving ourselves for, or beating our selves up over?  What other women think!  Specifically other women who are editors of magazines.  Since when do they get to determine our value?  The images they chose to show us are touched up, photo-shopped.  They are not real!  My favorite line, most convicting statement in his sermon was:

"If we, as women, strive to achieve the fictitious example we see in these magazines, we will not be successful.  They are not real. It is not possible.  And in making this our goal we will not become like Christ."

In the same sermon, Mark Moore also mentioned Julia Roberts.  "Pretty Woman"  Did you know that when they made the poster for the movie, it's Julia's head but not her body?  Even Pretty Woman wasn't perfect enough to have her own body on her own poster for her own movie!  The images we are bombarded with aren't even real.  They're not true, not fact.

Each of us has a size that is perfect for our own unique bodies.  Our goals need to have some criteria.  They need to build relationships not tear them down.  Like I mentioned before my goal had nothing to do with what my husband wanted/preferred. 

Set realistic goals, allow for mistakes, and recognize that in the end...

God loves you.  He loves you regardless of your size, your history, your choices.  He cherishes you.  He likes you, He loves you. 

Listen to Angela Thomas describe what our Father sees:

"When God looks into the eyes of a woman, He sees all the beauty He created there.  He sees every potential and every gift.  He sees what can be and redeems what has been.  He loves the curly hair that you wish were straight.  He is taken with your smile and the shape of your nose.  He's crazy about big feet and knobby knees and every curve that is particular to you.  He is the One who loves the inside and the outside of you.  You were all His idea, and you are physically and emotionally beautiful to Him.  

Do you want to dance?  Does your soul cry out, "Does anyone see me?  Do you think I'm beautiful?"  The hear again Psalm 45:10-11:

Psalm 45:10-11 (New International Version, ©2010)
 10 Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention:
   Forget your people and your father’s house.
11 Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;
   honor him, for he is your lord. "

Financial Devo

When preparing for this devotion I tried to decide what exactly to speak on in the whole wide world of financial stewardship.

After taking the Dave Ramsey class, twice, it became abundantly clear what is important to us women.


We want to feel secure, taken care of, provided for.  I want to know that my husband is going to go to work tomorrow, a month from now, a year from now, ten years from now.  I want to know that he will provide for his family.  I want security that I can take care of what's in the house, including the people, and Jared will provide a way to keep the house through his hard work and diligence. 

After all, 1 Timothy 5:8 says:

New International Version (©1984)
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

We women are quick to place financial hardship on the shoulders of the men in our lives completely ignoring the vital role we play.

Which of you are responsible for your family's checkbook?  Who pays the bills?

The security that we seek can be destroyed by our own hands.  Are we being good stewards over the money that we and our husbands provide?  Are we supportive of our spouses when they try to control superfluous spending or do we buck against rules and guidelines?  Is "retail therapy" your drug of choice?

The first step in securing your security is to recognize that all we have is not ours.

To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it (Deuteronomy 10:14).

For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10).
The world is mine, and all that is in it (Psalm 50:12).

"The silver is mine and the gold is mine," declares the LORD Almighty (Haggai 2:8).

It all belongs to Him.

When you control your checkbook understanding that the balance does not belong to you it changes things.  Dishonest behavior, such as… Spending money while hiding purchases from your spouse takes on a new more serious.  Manipulating your spouse in order to get approval for purchases you know are unnecessary, all while spending God's money creates conviction.

Why would you purposefully undermine your marriage?  Sabotaging your own security like this is removing your foundation one brick at a time.

Proverbs 31 speaks of a noble woman of character.  She works hard to add to her family's security.

11 Her husband can trust her,
      and she will greatly enrich his life.
 12 She brings him good, not harm,
      all the days of her life.

She busies herself making her earnings stretch.

16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
      with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
 17 She is energetic and strong,
      a hard worker.
 18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
      her lamp burns late into the night.

It is not uncommon for us broken women to look at the Proverbs 31 passage and feel it unattainable so we dismiss it all together.  Let alone those who are too broken or selfish to even try.  

I'm not challenging you to be perfect.  I am challenging you to shop for your needs and allow God to grant your wants.  Manage your spending, your income, and your view of "things" with the mindset that it is not yours.

Jared and I have been surviving on a single income with 5 children.  Due to necessity I have learned different trades.  I enjoy decorating cakes and have even earned income doing so.  I just wanted the kids to have nice cakes and we couldn't afford to have them made.  I cut the kids hair.  A good friend gave me some lessons and after a few months of crazy hair they started looking better and better :)

Google is a beautiful thing.  If something is broken, try to fix it.  You really don't have anything to lose, it's already broken!  You'd be amazed at the information and instruction you can find on Google.  I once googled, "my washer is making a waa waa sound and isn't agitating."  I found out instantly that my "agitator dogs" were worn out.  $8 and 2 hours later we were back in action :)


The master has left it all in your care and will return.  When He comes back He is going to ask how you managed His resources. 

What will your answer be?

Matthew 25:14-30

The Parable of the Bags of Gold
    14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
   19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
   21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
   22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
   23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
   24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
   26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
   28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth


Friday, February 18, 2011

Woman's Retreat

Today started the woman's retreat! We have 12 ladies and 2 babies from WCCC.

I thought I should let you know that I scripted my 3 talks and scheduled them to post tonight and in the morning.

I wish you were here! This is the best turn out we've had! There has to be 60+ women.

God is good!!!

Spiritual Class

Mark 12:29-30
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f]

I struggled with this topic the most.  Where to start?  What to include, what to exclude.  Jared and I talked about spiritual stewardship and he warned me that it would be easy to veer off into legalism and even heresy.  YIKES.

So, when reading through scripture trying to find a dominant thought to land on I kept coming back to the word, "Authenticity."

What does being authentic mean?  According to the dictionary it means,
not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique.
entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy
A few years back I felt a calling on my life.  Not a traditional calling like to go to China or a full time ministry of sorts, but to become authentic.  To allow you to see me, warts and all.  It became clear to me that in order to do the most effective ministry I needed to let my guard down and allow those around me to see my brokenness.  

I can remember it clearly.  Jared and I went to OCC for the preaching and teaching convention.  During a breakfast the guest speaker talked about weakness.  This was within a couple years of my Dad's passing and I was  a mess and  felt that in my mess, I was no good to anyone.
During the process of grieving my Dad I lost the ability to control my anger.  I was angry at everyone and everything.  My kids were little and I had 4 at the time: 7, 6, 2, and newborn.  Eli was at a very difficult stage and I couldn't handle it on some days.  I had feelings of wanting to just go away from my family and those feelings brought great guilt along with the grief.  I felt I was failing as a mother.  
I had relationships at church that were strained due to my lack of a filter.  I said and did stupid things.  I felt alone and abandoned by them even though they had tried.  No matter what they did, it wasn't enough.  So I isolated myself from them.  I felt I was failing as a friend and a minister's wife.  

Jared was doing his best to comfort and guide me and I was angry with him.  He wanted me to work through my grief and I wanted to wallow.  I felt I was failing as his partner and friend.  

The scripture his talk was based on was

2 Corinthians 12:9 (New Living Translation)

9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 

Yes, weakness.  That was something I could do and do well.  It was as if God was calling me to admit my brokenness.  Asking me to allow His grace to cover my mistakes and allow His strength to comfort me and bring me out of the darkness I had felt for so long.  

I was breaking down under the pressure to fix myself.  

Christians feel the need to prove our piety.  We feel the need for a perfect front that tries to imply that we have it all together and that somehow we are responsible for that togetherness.  We need to give credit where credit is due.  If you were raised in a Christian home with loving parents, security, etc., the security you have in your day to day life was gifted to you by your parents.  I was reading "Do you think I'm beautiful" by Angela Thomas.  In it she tells a story of walking into a room and being able to recognize which of the women had loving, supportive fathers.  
She says "there's a confidence and peace that comes from a woman who has known such love.  And there is an anxiousness and insecurity buried inside a woman who has never known a father's love or, worse, who has suffered wounds from his words, or his distance, or his hands."  
Who we are is not something we can take credit or blame for.  Just as we can not take credit for God's redemption of our story, let alone claim to be better than or have it more figured out than our peers. 
When will we stop behaving like the Pharisees and allow people to into see our brokenness?  To see how, if it weren't by the Grace of God, we would be big piles of unforgiven sinful goo.

In Matthew we read about the Pharisees and all their ways.  Jesus warns us not to be like them, to not be hypocritical.

Matthew 6:5 (New Living Translation)

Teaching about Prayer and Fasting
 5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.
It's a misnomer that the opposite of a Pharisee is someone who is worldly and full of sin.  Reality is, the opposite of a Pharisee is someone who is humble and understands that it is God who redeems us.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (New Living Translation)

 8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 

Being authentic will be the best ministry to those around you.  We all have family that we wish to witness to.  How much more would it affect them if you were honest about where you are and how much you still need a Savior.  The "holier than thou," "I've got this all figured out" approach is a turn off to most.

There have been times in this process when some have said I'm different than most minister's wives and meant it in a good way.  There are others who wished I was more reserved and fit the mold of the Pastor's wife they had always known.  I have to do my best to be what God is calling me to be regardless.  Authentic.  I'm called to be authentic, "not false or copied."
I was listening to a radio program once with Dr. Dobson.  There were several mothers speaking on guilt.  One mother in particular captured my heart.  She had 3 grown children.  Not one of them chose salvation.  One was a homosexual and the other two were worldly and they all refused their mother's faith.  She began to explain that when she's at church all the other moms like to boast of their children and their children's great accomplishments for the kingdom.  She felt isolated, even judged.  When others would start on this subject she would leave the room for fear they would ask about her children.  

Come to find out, she homeschooled them, raised them in the church and they still chose not to follow.  This mother did what she could to ensure her children would know the truth and yet she feels abandoned and isolated from her Christian friends.

How much would it mean to this mother for one of the ladies at church to be open and admit their children are not perfect.  If someone would say, "my child struggles with X, and I have a hard time with it.  Maybe we could pray for them together."  
But we don't.  Instead, we wear spiritual Spanx.  We do our best to present a smooth put together image when in reality there are stretch marks, cellulite, and lumps underneath.  

Allow people in.  It's scary and unnerving but we all have insecurities, brokenness, and sin.  

Romans 3:23 (New International Version, ©2010)

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

We are not fooling anyone.  Share your testimony, allow others to see that it is God who has redeemed you.  
I have a redemption story.  It's one of a lot of mistakes on my part, but thankfully it includes a Holy God who loved me enough to send His only son to die for those mistakes.    

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Poor Little Weirdos

Last night while at bible study this happened:
These would be my *new* glasses.  I've had them for 5 days.  My frames were hand me downs from my sweet friend who was trying to help me save money.  The right arm had been loose since I got them filled.  I was told that the spring in the hinge was broken but that it would be an easy repair if I wanted to mess with it.  Apparently, that is not what was wrong.  A screw was broken within the arm and it was only a matter of time before the arm fell off.

My total investment in these frames is $100 for lenses and $13 for a pair of sunglasses that fit perfectly on the front (yes clip-ons, but they're not flip.  These are totally cool and not dorky at all).

I loaded up my kids this morning and headed to Oak Park mall to LensCrafters to see if they could be salvaged. 

**A quick side note.  I loaded up the kids after I got up extra early and went to work for an 8am appointment who did not show up or call...awesome**

I first went into EyeMasters since they were right inside the entrance of the mall.  They said there was no way to repair the frames and I couldn't move the lenses to another pair.  My only hope was to find another pair of the exact frames.  I already looked online and couldn't find them anywhere.  Plus they're BCBG and very pricey.  Not a great solution.  I headed up to LensCrafters.

They also said they were not repairable and seemed really sad for me, but their sadness didn't fix them.

I wandered around the mall with the kids.  They acted as if I took them to Disney World for the first time.  They had a ball wandering around, looking down from the top level to the lower level, riding the escalator and going up and down in the elevator.  It was amazing :)

Feeling defeated and praying, I examined the glasses and realized both pieces were metal.  Maybe my friends at the Jewelry Doctor could solder them.  I've taken things there a few times for sizing, repair, and engraving.

I told them my sob story and they said they could likely fix them, "but it won't be pretty."  The frames are plastic and the heat would likely "wrinkle" them.  I didn't really care about aesthetics at this point so I went ahead.  It took over a hour.

In the mean time I fed the kids at the food court:
$5, $5 foot longs...
I went to the BareMinerals store and had them do my makeup.  I've used their makeup for a while but never been in the store.  I buy it online.  The kids were extremely well behaved.  It only took 15 minutes and now I have a list of things to start watching for on eBay :)

After being at the mall for close to 3 hours I realized a couple things:

1.  My kids really need to get out more.  As we were leaving they kept saying, "This was the best day ever mom!!"

2.  Sometimes trying to be frugal can back fire, but on the whole, I usually come out smelling like roses.  This was unfortunate, but it won't detour me from doing it again.  My last pair of glasses I purchased at the MOPS auction for $5 and they served me well for 2 1/2 years. 

3.  Sis really likes samples:
 4.  And lastly, I still really like these frames.  Praise God they're fixed, and the damage to the arm is minimal.  No one will ever be the wiser :)
***please forgive the fuzzy photos.  They were all taken with my camera phone.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lora Elizabeth Again

Whenever I see a giveaway for Lora's jewelry I always sign up.  It has been a desire of mine for close to two years to be the proud owner of the Great Love Necklace.

You may recognize the pic from previous posts on the matter :)

But here is another opportunity for me to win a gift certificate and blogging it grants me another entry. 

Yay for beautiful hand crafted jewelry. 

I own the little baby necklaces where they're in the shape of children and have the birth stone in the body.  Jared asked me, "You want another customized necklace?  Don't you have a bracelet with their names?"

Umm, silly boy!  Of course I want another.  First, this is different, and special since it also includes our anniversary and names.  This is silver (my baby necklace is all gold) like the bulk of my jewelry.  

And two, my bracelet is missing the girl's name :) 

See, it's a necessity. 

Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bringing Home Turkey Bacon

I feel like I should give a quick update on the work front.

I have been working quite a bit as a trainer at the Y. I worked about 15 hours last week and will do the same this week.

There are parts of it that are everything I thought it would be.

For example, I love the Wellness Training. When you sign up for a membership you get 3 free sessions with a personal trainer, like yours truly. The first appointment is an interview and assessment. We chat about what your hobbies are, work, kids, previous success in weight/fitness management and the like. I ask what your goals are and how I can help you achieve them. I like to talk and meet people so this fits my personality. After the interview we do a postural analysis to see what muscles are weak and which are strong.

This gives us the foundation to write a very specific workout for the individual. I appreciate the creativity to design different work outs. I work to make them challenging and fun.

The 2nd and 3rd sessions are actually putting into practice the workout I design. I also enjoy doing the workouts with the clients.

I enjoy Ebony. She's the other trainer that works evenings. Before I started working as a PT I hadn't really even met her other than in passing. She has an awesome base of knowledge and experience and is super willing to help me out as I gain experience. My co-workers as a whole are kind and fun to be around. That makes being away from my family so much easier. If it were a negative work environment it would be torture.

Now for the reason not everyone is not flocking to the local Y to be a personal trainer...

People don't show. They don't call.

I can't even begin to count the number of appointments I've had already that stood me up. I make dozens of phone calls to schedule free personal training sessions that would cost around $36/hour. At times, I drag all 5 kiddos along and place 3 in child watch while the other 2 swim. I take time away from my family, from my spouse, from things I'd rather do (like play volleyball) to sit in an empty office. I wait for someone to show up that has no intention of coming.

That's frustrating.

But alas, overall I'm enjoying it. We're filling a gap in our finances that will hopefully get us closer to legal tags on the cars and eventually to debt free living.

My babies cheer, "Mommy's home!" When I walk in the door. Can't beat that!

Friday, February 11, 2011

4 Year Olds Rock

Graham has been extra witty as of late.

Last night we were watching a show with Larry the Cable Guy.  It's a documentary called Only in America. 

As soon as Larry started talking, the kids recognized his voice from Cars.  Brennan asked, "Is he Mater?"  Jared and I told him yes and didn't see Graham's confusion. 

Within a few minutes Graham looked at me and said, "He's a hoo-man (human).  He's not Mater, Mater is a car."   He had a slight look of devastation on his face. 

Brennan sat down and tried to explain animation to him.  Graham seemed to understand but he kept staring at the television in bewilderment. 

This morning he walked into the kitchen and started asking me about a "show."

"Remember that show, where there are dogs?  The dogs talk and there are hoo-mans too. "

So I start guessing, Bolt? No.  Milo and Otis? No.  Stewart Little? No. 

Since most kids cartoons have talking animals I was at a loss.  Finally he revealed that we don't actually own this movie.  I give up!  Who knows!

Brennan is sitting in the living room listening on and says, "I think he's talking about Beverly Hills Chihuahua."

Graham started giggling.  He began to explain to me that Chihuahuas talk but only when hoomans aren't there.  But hoomans can be close, just not close enough to hear them.

Then he tells me Sophie (our beagle) is a Chihuahua because he's heard her talk.

Ummm, Okay....

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just To Clarify

It has been my goal for quite some time to not be a daily weigher.  In my history I have been obsessed with such things and in order to healthy mentally as well as physically, this is a goal I set for myself.

Over the last few months I have kicked my workouts into high gear. My job lends itself to multiple days a week of being very active. I have been super excited and decided to give the ol' scale a dust off. It's been months, literally. I feel toned and like I'm getting more so with each passing week. I noticed that I've been eating to compensate for my new rigorous routine so I felt a check in was in order.

I was in sticker shock when I saw the scale.  I am 12lbs above my Weight Watcher's goal and 7lbs above the weight range for my height!  That's a little humble pill for ya (me)!  WOWZERS, I didn't see that coming.

Now to be fair, I weigh more than the average bear.  I have friends who are the same height and clothing size but I typically weigh a full 10lbs heavier.  It's just the way I'm built I guess.  And...I don't mind being at the top of the weight range for my height since that's where the hubs thinks I'm "smokin."  :)

All of this to get to the point of my blog.  Apparently I'm long winded even in type.

A common statement in a time like this is, "well, don't forget muscle weighs more than fat.  You've been working out a lot and are likely just building muscle."

So here's my question for you:

Which weighs more, a pound of these:

Or this:

The answer...they weigh the same.  Each weighs a pound.  A pound is a pound is a pound.  Now a pound of feathers is going to take up a whole lot more space than a 1lb brick, but they still both weigh a pound.

This is a super common misnomer.

A more accurate way to phrase it is, "You're likely losing inches even if you're not losing pounds since a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat."

Three times less space, to be specific.  This is why you can weigh the same as you did in HS but be a completely different body type.  If you were super fit then and aren't now, the difference could be significant.

This is a 5lb chunk of fat sitting next to a 5lb chunk of muscle:
First of all, ewwww.  Second of all, I would much rather have the muscle than the fat!  Look at how smooth and dense the muscle mass is compared to the giggly fat blob.

I know that I've been overeating, that's part of the reason for my weigh in yesterday.  I knew I was overdoing it.  I'll work on getting my portions back under control, but as far as the scale goes....

I would much rather have pound after pound of brick than pound after pound of feathers.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Writer's Block

I don't have a whole lot of new stuff to say :)

I've been working on my talks for the woman's retreat and scripting them out.  Apparently that is soaking up all my writing juices.

Add to that, I'm working every bit I can, and there's not a lot of extra time for much of anything. 

It has come to my attention that the girl will be two in a little over a month.  That is crazy talk.  Grahahmalama will be 5! and then in just a few more weeks Eli will be 7!  How is this possible?! 

Jared and I like to discuss what we can do to better parent our brood almost daily.  The big conviction and realization came Sunday when Jared mentioned we let Graham off with warning after warning.  The little guy is just so cute and witty we often shout warnings vs actually disciplining him. 

In working on this, I also realized that I'm bad about sending him off.  He's not in school just yet, and he doesn't nap anymore.  So during the afternoon hours he's on his own and often wants to chat at me.  I don't listen to him and after several sentences I'll send him away to find something to do.  Poor kid.

We fall into the trap a lot of families do.  I get wrapped up in the day to day and forget to engage in the little things.  In this case, the little thing is Graham.  

This morning I snuggled his tiny self up and talked to him about his upcoming birthday.  Apparently he likes Spider-man.  So we'll have a Spider-man cake and he requested a bucket of trains for a gift.  It's time to soak up these moments because they go by so very quickly.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snowed In, And Loving It

My family is all home snug as an Eskimo in an igloo.

I just made a big batch of homemade pizza dough and the girl just awoke from her nap.

So far, all of today's plans are canceled and I'm assuming all of tomorrow's will be as well.  I can't say I'm sorry.  I love having the hubby home and all of us in PJ's all day.  The kids did their school early in the day so we've just been lazy all afternoon. 

Anneliese has been struggling with a pretty nasty cold, so being home and resting has been good for her.  Speaking of the pink one, she has a favorite blanket.  Natasha gifted it to her before she was even born.  It is by far her favorite possession.  It gets laundered regularly and due to her nasty nose I've washed it every day for the last 3 days.  We have a lot of fun gifting it back to her.  Her face lights up and she squeals with joy each time it's returned to her. 

Lately it's been a battle of who gets to be her "hero" and give her the blanky.  Daddy usually wins :)

I pray you all stay in and stay safe!  Oh, and eats lots of comfort food :)  God Bless!!