Google analytics

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zzzz



I made it!  I really can hardly believe it.  Thank you all for sticking with me or stopping by just once. 

This has been quite the challenge.  I’ve written more in the last month than I can even think of at the moment.  My finger endurance and typing skills have increased dramatically.  As for my writing… meh.  This may be as good as it gets, and I am fine with that for now.  You gotta walk before you can run people!

I have discovered new blogs, new people, and even a few new kindred spirits through this process.  What an absolute blessing it has been.

If you’ve enjoyed my thoughts and words I’d love for you to subscribe and visit again.  Right now I think I need to go sleep.  Maybe we’ll meet again tomorrow, maybe not.  For some reason, I’m tired.

If you are still hankering to read, there is a great deal you should check out.  I have a link to The Ultimate Homemaking eBook Bundle.  Maybe I’ll get a few commissions and go get a hand massage.  

Blessings to you all!!


What was the last big challenge you completed?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for You




On the surface this seems redundant after W is forWomen.  However, if women are the forest, you are the trees - each singular, fabulous, intriguing YOU!

As we comment, tweet, chat, or even talk over cooling cups of our favorite drinks I am getting to know YOU better.  That, my friend, is PURE JOY!  Where the DNA can no longer determine who I am, you step in.  You become the paint, the veneer, the dressing of my life.

My eyes open wider as I learn to see through your eyes by the words that you share.  Your tears water my soul and grow tender shoots of understanding that are fresh and often painful. I grow because you offer up yourselves as nourishment to a hungry heart.

My secret hope is that I do the same for you.

Thank you for being you and being here with me.

3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Phillipians 1:3-6


photo credit: practicalowl via photopin cc

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Utlimate Mother's Day Gift Bundle (Are you Listening Husbands?)

This offer is no longer available.  Sorry.



For 6 days only, more than 75 widely-known bloggers and authors in the homemaking sphere have joined together to offer 97 of their most popular eBooks and eCourses, valued at just over $600, for the incredibly low price of $29.97!

 More than anything, our goal for this sale was for it to be, well… ultimate! We firmly believe that you will not find a more comprehensive collection of homemaking resources anywhere on the web, and particularly not in this price range.

For this low price, you gain access to every single one of these resources, so that you can customize your own collection to contain exactly the ones you want and know you'll use. This library of homemaking helps include topics such as mothering, organization and cleaning, recipes and kitchen helps, home education, spiritual growth for both moms and kids, home d├ęcor and DIY, pregnancy and baby care, frugal living, health and fitness, and even work-from-home and financial tools.

To sweeten the pot, we’ve also teamed up with 10 companies to bring you over $140 in bonus offers, giving you an affordable opportunity to get products you’ll use and love for only the cost of shipping, or in some cases, entirely for free!


What's Included in the Sale?


When you purchase The Ultimate Homemaking eBook collection , you will get instant access to any of the 97 eBooks and eCourses listed below.

PLUS over $140 of FREE Bonuses


The Ultimate Homemaking eBook collection comes with more than $140 of FREE Bonuses from 10 companies that we know you'll love. More on these bonuses below.
Please note: This collection is only available from 9 a.m. EST on April 29th to 11:59 p.m. EST on May 4th. There will be no late sales offered.
                                              

Home & Property {Cleaning, Organizing, Decor}

31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae @ SarahMae.com ($4.99) 
Getting it Together: Your Guide to Setting Up a Home Management System that Works by Kayse @ kayse pratt ($3.99)
Pulling Yourself Together: Implementing a Cleaning Routine that Sticks by Becky @ Clean Mama ($10.00) Simple Living by Lorilee @ Loving Simple Living ($2.99) 
NOT a DIY Diva by Melissa @ The Inspired Room ($3.99) 
One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler by Tsh @ Simple Mom ($5.00) 
28 Days to Hope for your Home by Dana @ A Slob Comes Clean ($5.00) 
Organizing Life as Mom by Jessica @ Life as Mom ($9.00) 
Clean Enough: Simple Solutions for the Overwhelmed by Jenni @ Live Called ($4.99) 
10 Steps to Organized Paper by Lisa @ Lisa Woodruff.net($5.00)
Handmade Walls by Jamin and Ashley @ the handmade home ($9.95) 
Easy Peasy Chores: An Easy-to-Use Chore System That Brings JOY Back Into Family Chores by Alina Joy @ The Good Old Days Farm ($17.99)

                                     

Educational Children's Resources

Princess Training by Richele @ Under the Golden Apple Tree ($3.99)
The Armor of God by Richele @ Under the Golden Apple Tree ($2.50)
My Bedtime Learning Book by Richele @ Under the Golden Apple Tree ($1.00)
Think Outside the Classroom by Kelly @ Generation Cedar ($6.97)
Raising Rock Stars — Kindergarten Bundle by Carissa @ 1plus1plus1equals1 ($10.00)
The ABC's For Godly Boys Curriculum by Lindsey @ Road to 31 ($8.00)
The ABC's For Godly Girls Curriculum by Lindsey @ Road to 31 ($8.00)
K4 Curriculum by Erica @ Confessions of a Homeschooler ($15.00)
Write Through the Bible (print) by Trisha @ Intoxicated on Life ($5.00)
Write Through the Bible (cursive) by Trisha @ Intoxicated on Life ($5.00)
Balcony Girls (books 1 & 2) by Sandy @ Reluctant Entertainer ($19.90)
The Dig for Kids: Luke (Volumes 1 and 2) by Patrick, husband of Ruth @ The Better Mom ($5.98)
Music: An Essential Ingredient for Life by Ryan @ Resound School of Music ($6.99)

Budgeting {Finance & Time}


From Debtor to Better by Barry @ From Debtor to Better ($10.00)
Tell Your Time by Amy @ Blogging with Amy ($2.99)
The Homemakers Guide to Creating the Perfect Schedule by Amy @ Raising Arrows ($4.99)
Your Grocery Budget Toolbox by Anne @ Authentic Simplicity ($7.99)
Finding Financial Freedom by Kelly @ Generation Cedar ($5.97)
Become a Frugalista in 30 Days by Susan @ The Confident Mom ($3.99)

In the Kitchen {Recipes and Cooking}

Crock On by Stacy @ Stacy Makes Cents ($5.00)
Real Food, Real Easy by various bloggers @ The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95) Wholesome Mixes by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage ($4.00)
20-Minute Meals by Leigh Ann @ Intentional by Grace ($4.99)
Restocking the Pantry by Kresha @ Nourishing Joy ($9.99)
Money Saving Mom's Guide to Freezer Cooking by Crystal @ Money Saving Mom ($3.99)
Simply Summer by Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama ($7.95)
Do the Funky Kitchen by Laura @ Heavenly Homemakers ($4.95)
Real Food Kids: In the Kitchen plus 1 month access to select Real Food Kids eCourse videos by Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS and Jami @ Eat Nourishing ($20.00)
Seasonal Menu Plans on a Budget: A Month of Meals from My Humble Kitchen to Yours by Diana @ My Humble Kitchen ($4.99)
Just Making Ice Cream by Marillyn @ Just Making Noise ($12.00)
The Curative Kitchen by Susan @ Handy Pantry ($20.00)

Pregnancy & Baby Care

First Bites by Hilary @ Accidentally Green ($9.99)
Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert by Erin @ The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)
Stress-Free Baby Shower by Sara @ Your Thriving Family ($4.00)
Unbound Birth by Jenny @ The Southern Institute ($2.99)
My Pregnancy Journey by Mindy @ Simply Designs ($9.99)
My Buttered Life Baby Edition by Renee @ Made On Hard Lotion ($5.00)
The Minimalist Mom’s Guide to Baby’s First Year by Rachel @ The Minimalist Mom ($5.00)
Redeeming Childbirth: Growth & Study Guide by Angie @ Redeeming Childbirth ($3.99)

Holidays & Special Events

Festive Traditions by Jill @ Modern Alternative Kitchen ($7.95)
Holiday Mixes: Gifts in a Jar by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage ($4.00)
Flourishing Spring by Michele @ Frugal Granola ($5.95)
Family Camping Handbook by Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship ($6.95)
Truth in the Tinsel by Amanda @ Oh, Amanda! ($7.99)
Plan a Fabulous Party by Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect ($4.99)
iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide by Alli @ Alli Worthington($9.97)

Spiritual Growth

Pursuit of the Proverbs 31 by Amy @ Amy Bayliss ($3.99)
The Best of Visionary Womanhood by Natalie @ Visionary Womanhood ($5.00)
God’s Word in my Heart: A Scripture Memory Learning Guide with Verses {all 4 versions} by Jenn @ The Purposeful Mom ($3.99)
Kept: a 13-Week Inductive Study on 1 Peter by Lara and Katie @ Quench Bible ($4.99)
Love Like Him: an 8 week Inductive Bible study on 1 Corinthians 13 by Lara and Katie @ Quench Bible ($2.99)

Marriage & Romance

Rekindling Romance by Jason & Jami @ A Biblical Marriage ($4.99)
Good Wife’s Guide by Darlene @ Time-Warp Wife ($2.99)
31 Days to Build a Better Spouse by Ashley @ Ashley Pichea ($4.99)
31 Days to Great Sex by Sheila @ To Love, Honor and Vacuum ($4.99)
Entangled: Recognize Your Emotional Affair by Amy @ Amy J. Bennett ($4.99)

Motherhood

The Heart of Simplicity by various authors @ The Heart of Simplicity ($9.99)
True Christian Motherhood by June @ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home ($7.00)
Hula Hoop Girl by September @ One September Day ($4.99)
When Motherhood Feels Too Hard by Kelly @ Generation Cedar ($4.97)
Mindset for Moms by Jamie @ Steady Days ($4.99)
From Cube to Farm by Heather @ From Cube to Farm ($2.99)
4 Moms of 35+ Kids Answer Your Parenting Questions by various authors @ 4 Moms, 35+ Kids Parenting E-book ($7.99)
That Works for Me! by Kristen @ We are THAT Family ($8.00)

                                        

Health & Fitness

100-pound Loser by Jessica @ Muthering Heights ($4.99)
Honoring the Rhythm of Rest by Danielle @ Domestic Serenity ($2.99)
42 Days to Fit by Brandy @ The Marathon Mom, Emma @ Real Fit Moms and Stacy @ A Delightful Home ($4.99)
Healthy Homemaking by Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home ($12.95)
Personal ePlanner by Jennifer @ ListPlanIt ($5.00)

Beauty

Frumps to Pumps by Sarah Mae @ SaraMae.com ($4.99)
The Cottage Mama’s DIY Guide by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage ($4.00)
Simple Scrubs to Make and Give by Stacy @ A Delightful Home ($3.99)
The No Brainer Wardrobe by Hayley @ The No Brainer Wardrobe ($7.99)
Embracing Beauty by Trina @ Trina Holden ($9.00)
Reuse, Refresh, Repurpose by Kristen @ The Frugal Girl ($3.99)



Working from Home & Blogging

Your Blogging Business: Tax, Talk and Tips by Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger ($4.99)
The Bootstrap VA by Lisa @ The Home Life {and Me} ($12.99)
How to Grow Your Blog and Manage Your Home by Jacinda @ Growing Home ($4.99)
How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too by Mandi @ Life Your Way ($12.00)
Simple Blogging: Less Computer Time, Better Blogging by Rachel @ Small Notebook ($8.00)



 

Ecourses

Learning in Love: The Preschool Years by Renee @ FIMBY ($7.99)
Homeschooling from the Heart by Renee @ FIMBY ($7.99)
Grocery University by Carrie @ Colorado Bargains ($24.95)
Vibrant Living Strategies for Moms by Lisa @ Well-Grounded Life ($59)
You Can Do This! The First Five Steps to a Real Food Kitchen by Laura @ Heavenly Homemakers ($5.00)

PLUS, You will receive FREE Bonuses from these companies...

Buy Now
A FREE Two-Month Membership to Fit2B Studio (for new members) or $20 off a Yearly Membership (for current members), where their wholesome workouts for the whole family are tummy safe and particularly target Diastasis Recti (split abs). ($19.98 value. No shipping restrictions.)

  A $15 store credit to TruKid. With products like their aware-winning sun care, they are dedicated to providing all natural skin and hair care for kids, babies, and now pets. ($15.00 value. Standard shipping applies. International shipping available.)

  Your choice of incredible natural products like sea salt and clay for FREE. Choose from the Redmond Trading Earthpaste Bundle ($24.90 value) or the Facial Mud Bundle ($26.90 value). (Standard shipping applies. Continental US only.)

  Your choice of a FREE heirloom sourdough starter or FREE yogurt starter from Cultures for Health, the leading supplier of starter cultures and supplies for making cultured and fermented foods ($12.95 value. US & CAN addresses only. Standard shipping applies.)

Your choice of: a FREE 3-Month Subscription (for new accounts) or 30% off a One Year Subscription. Plan to Eat is an online menu planner that uses your recipes, scheduled for the days you want them. ($15.00 value. No shipping restrictions.)

  A FREE Culinary Herbs Assorted Seed Pack Check just in time for spring planting from www.wheatgrasskits.com, a living whole foods company. ($11.95 value. Standard shipping applies to all US states and territories- no international shipping for seeds.)

  Get $10 off Union28's original "my husband rocks" tee. Their marriage apparel lets you celebrate your spouse in style. ($10.00 value. Standard shipping rates apply. International shipping available, but free shipping only available within USA.)

  A $10 store credit plus 1 FREE lip balm from Bee All Natural. Their whole body products nourish and heal, and are made using only the highest quality, food grade, organic ingredients. ($13.49 value. Standard shipping applies. International shipping available.)

  A FREE 2 oz. bottle of your choice of liquid herbal formula from TriLight Health. They specialize in fast acting, great tasting natural herbal remedies. ($12.95 value or more. Standard shipping applies, within the USA only.)

Your choice of 3 FREE ePlanners OR a 3-Month FREE Membership to ListPlanIt, whose mobile lists will help to organize your life. ($15.00 value. No shipping restrictions.)

The fine print:

Bonus Offers
  • Each bonus offer can be redeemed once only per eBook Bundle purchase.
  • For each bonus offer, transaction numbers or proof of purchase may be required at the time of redemption.
  • All bonus offers are free gifts from the bonus sponsors, are their sole responsibility to provide, and are subject to availability.
  • All bonus offers expire at midnight on May 19th, 2013 (2 weeks from the last day of this sale).
General
  • It is your responsibility to download and back-up your purchase within the 1-month download time-frame. With proof of purchase, we can renew download links up until August 1st, 2013. After this date we will no longer have access to the books and will not be able to provide any new links to download.
  • Due to the nature of this sale, there will be no refunds available. However, we would invite you to read our Frequently Asked Questions page (<Click here to view more details) to learn more about the file types, the download process, how the bonus offers work, etc.

Please note: This collection is only available from 9 a.m. EST on April 29th to 11:59 p.m. EST on May 4th. There will be no late sales offered, so make sure that you get your bundle right away!
Particularly for those wanting to read these ebooks on their mobile devices (iPhones or iPads, Android, Kindle, etc.) you will want to learn more about the file types, how to download them correctly, and how to transfer them to your device.





Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for Xavier


You met my little guy about a week ago and I said there was more to his story.  Really it’s our story and its title should be his middle name – Xavier

Xavier – new house, of Basque origin, from Etcheberria

Honestly, I just learned the last part – the Basque origin, from Etcheberria.  We are big cycling fans.  If you ever watch the Tour de France you know about the crazy Basque fans in their orange shirts.  Hmm… should’ve been a clue.  When you add that to his first name… well, let’s just say it explains a lot.
Back to Xavier



We didn’t choose that name.  He came with it already.  What, you say?  Your baby didn’t come with a name?  Ours actually came with a few.  That and the clothes on his back were about all he came with.  You see?  We got our precious little bundle at nearly 19 pounds and 9 months of age – with 2 weeks notice! (Those two weeks are their own story)

We adopted our son domestically through an open adoption.  We were actually chosen by the birthmother to take over the care and raising of this amazing little boy; a little boy she had been taking wonderful care of for nearly 9 months.

The rest of the story belongs to our son and will be his to learn and decide who knows what.  It is ours to tell to him, but he owns that truth.

We were sent a few pictures and documents on a Friday.  We were given his full name.  His first name didn’t seem to fit. Little did we know. But the middle name, when we discovered the meaning, was perfect. 

This child would be in a “new house”.  We would also be in a “new house”.  If you know our history with moving, then you also know how much of our story is entwined with “new houses”. 

Seems like Xavier is a good title to our story.

4 even as he chose us on him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.  In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.   
Ephesians 1:4-6

Thursday, April 25, 2013

W is for Women

Five Minute Friday post is at the end.  :) 


I do not want to be one of those girls.  You know, the one that makes other girls feel bad.  Here’s the thing.  I have always had great girlfriends – ALWAYS!  Just recently have I discovered that this isn’t normally the case.  Can I say right now that I am deeply sorry for the other girls that have hurt you and made it hard for you to have great girlfriends.  There really are some amazing ones out there.

With friends from elementary school after our 20th reunion
I realize how blessed I am.  I have amazing women in my life that I have known since we were just wee, little things – including my sister, who you already met.  As a matter of fact, I am getting ready to spend part of this weekend with some amazing women at an inRL Meetup.  It’s not too late to join us if you are reading this on Friday.  Just click on over to register.

I love working with women, hanging out with other gals, growing and learning with other fabulous chicas.  I think you are amazing and fabulous. (I have guy friends, too, chief among them is my super-awesome husband.)

I have friends that are single, married, divorced, single moms, without children, have 6+ kids, are grandmothers…..  My life is like the Baskin-Robbins of female friendships.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So while I recognize that a stray male, or two, may read my words I know that you are most likely a gal!  Let me just tell you now how much I appreciate you, how special you are, and how loved you are. 
To quote Holley Gerth, “You’re Already Amazing”! 

I am honored that you would spend any part of your day with me here.

Here is a bonus!!
Five Minute Friday
Just 5 minutes.  Only 5 minutes.  That’s all I have to spill the beans, make sense of it all, and pray you understand just a bit of what’s in my head and my heart about:


Friend

Where are you friend?  Are you next door? Have we even met yet?

For me, friends are area codes and time zones and even oceans away – but not all of them. 
For me, friends are cups of coffee, walks in Manhattan, cupcakes discovered, Bible studies completer – but not all of them.

For me, friends are weddings, and funerals, and babies, and miscarriages, and every other kind of pain – but not all of them.

For me, friends are still 17 in my mind, are fellow grad students, other newlyweds, new moms, and transplants – but not all of them.

For me, friends are small square avatars, comments left at the end of pouring out your heart, 140 characters at a time – but not all of them.

For me friends are the connections, long and short, near and far, new and old, some I don’t even know yet – yes, all of them.

STOP

Then, head over to Lisa-Jo’s to link up with others, then check out the one who linked before me, leave some comment love, then hit as many others as I can and do the same.  Join us?

Looking forward to meeting my new friends tomorrow at my inRL meetup.  Where do you become a friend?

V is for Value


Once again, I am changing my word of the day halfway through the day.  You would’ve been reading about my beloved home, The Commonwealth of Virginia.  I love this place with all my heart.  I grew up in the mountains of southwest Virginia and now live in northern Virginia.  I went to college in the Shenandoah Valley.  This place is special and I urge you to visit if you have never been here.  Enough said.

Today, V is for Value.  I did not mean “Values”.  This is no typo here. 

I have a saying about myself that many have heard me use.  I always claim “I was born cheap and raised poor”.  Granted both of those are hyperbole, to a point.  I am more than willing to spend when I want to and was always raised with plenty.  However, as I am learning more about myself, and lately more about economics, I’m discovering that I actually place a high value on, well, value.

I recently checked out a book on economics from the library.  I figured after being married to an economics finance guy for so long I should know a little about the subject.  It is actually fascinating to me!  I also have been struggling withexcess and the need for comfort.  It is no accident that there is a strong correlation for me.  When this is compounded with my ideals of stewardship, I begin to question many of the decisions I make on a daily basis.

I am learning that value is of utmost importance to me.  Superficially, this can be the value of goods that I purchase – or choose not to purchase.  It goes much deeper.  I want to value, or make valuable, all that is in my life.  The key to this: being intentional.  How am I to become more intentional?  I must pay attention to the details and the big picture.  Mindlessness is the enemy.

To value you, I must give thought to my words, to your replies, and my response in return.  Valuing takes time and focus.  Value is not cheap, nothing worthwhile ever is.

I’ll be returning to this often.  I am reading, and praying, and studying, and thinking about what this all means to me.  One thing I know – it is very important to me.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. 
Phillipians 4:8

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for the Unseen


I was going to be all cute and clever today with this word.  My original intention was to talk about my closets, cabinets and drawers.  While most of what you can see in my home lies in utter chaos, what is UNSEEN is actually very neat and organized.  Since we are moving in just over a month and transitioning between seasons, this isn’t entirely the case right now.  I’m also not going to post a photo to prove that.

I was reminded of the old saying “a Bible that is falling apart is often a sign of a life that isn’t”.  I’d much rather, be a little disheveled than be crumbling at my core.  This is not to say that I have a perfect life, or that everything is stress-free.  Neither am I living a life that it absolutely obedient and utterly submitted to my LORD.  I am daily being refined and sanctified – it isn’t a pretty process at times.

I also think of all the unseen that will be revealed to me one day.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.  All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.  
I Corinthians 13:12 (New Living Translation)

I will have answers to all my “why”s and “when”s.  My “who”s will also be answered.  

The ones I long to know the most are my children I never got to meet in this world.  Based on all I can remember and all I have been able to piece together through four unsuccessful in vitro fertilizations is that I have about 18 children waiting for me.  I did have the awesome privilege of seeing a photograph of about 7 when they were about 4 days into life and could count the individual cells.

Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.  
Hebrews 11:1

Faith is the thing you really need to know about me to get close in.  To get past all the clutter, the shoes, the chocolate wrappers and coffee cups.  To know why I love learning, why I love creating, why I love connecting, you need to understand how important my faith is to me.  It IS who I am, because it is all about the I AM.

These things are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name. 
John 20:31 (ESV)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Time




I’m going to do us all a favor Today.  We are each only given 24 hours in each day.   A good portion of those go to sleep, another chunk to work.  My hope is that you’ll take the Time you didn’t spend reading a long post and go spend it with your family or a nice cup of TEA (another fave of mine).  My Treat!  Enjoy and I’ll see U Tomorrow.



photo credit: Kaustav Bhattacharya via photopin cc

Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for My Sweetie



Today is all about my Sweetie (whose name also starts with the letter S).  There is so much to tell you and no way to put it all here.  If you want to know me better, you definitely need to know him.

My big guy was raised on a farm in my hometown.  We went to the same elementary school and high school, but our families never really knew each other.  Even rural areas are like that.  We worked at the same grocery store while in college and that is where we really got to know each other and the rest became history.

So, back to my Sweetie!  He is one of the most loyal, hard-working, loving people you will ever meet.  Growing up with farm work as part of your daily life will do that to a person.  From high school and through college, he worked while studying and helping out the family.  He also managed to find time to cultivate a love for cycling and old Mustangs – good thing he had that work ethic to support those hobbies.  He has shared those loves with me and they have become a big part of who I am today.

My guy also happens to be one of a handful of individuals across the nation capable of doing his job.  He holds a very specialized position in a large financial institution.  Early on God blessed us by being in the right place at the right time for his first real banking job.  To this day, he is still asked about being a 24 year old and recapitalizing a bank after the whole Savings & Loan debacle of the mid-90’s. 


His work has allowed us to live all over the eastern half of the United States and make more wonderful friends than any two people should reasonably expect to know in a lifetime.

To say that I am blessed and highly favored is an understatement.  After nearly 22 years of marriage, I can assert this with full confidence.  It hasn’t all been easy, some of it has been incredibly painful and testing, but we have worked through it all together.  Our latest adventure raising our son is proving no different – I wouldn’t expect anything else.




Love is so much more than emotion or feeling.  It is choice, preferring another over self, sacrifice, accountability, grit and determination.  If anyone tells you otherwise, they are leaving out most of the story – the really interesting bits, anyway.

11 For I know the plans I have for you. Declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-13  NIV

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Reading & Research

Today was going to be Recycling, but I’ve already touched on the Green aspect of me and recycling is obviously part of that.  So, I decided to go with 2 others instead.



I love to read!  I also love to research.  Learning is a huge part of who I am and this is my main avenue.  I have taught myself how to knit (minimally), discovered many great charitable organizations, and as recently as this morning, started learning a little about economics.  The last item is because of my letter S!

My library card is my ticket to adventure and growth.  I’ve checked out some real losers from the library, but since it’s free, I had no loss!  The Kindle app on my phone is always with me to put any manner of book at my fingertips at a moment’s notice.  A library is one of my happy places and some of my favorite tourist stops.  Have you ever been to the main branch of the NYC Public Library?  Ah-Mazing!!

I’m mainly a fan of non-fiction, but I do love a good yarn every now and again.  I also love catalogs – for anything!  I don’t care if it’s car parts, reloading equipment, hardware (another love), patterns, craft supplies, seeds (swoon)… I love looking at it.  I think my brain has an insatiable need for information, not that it all gets organized or even used, it just wants it.

So what’s your infatuation? Politics, news, geography & travel, fashion?  I’d love to hear about you!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Meet our Mascot & Jump


On Fridays, we gather at Lisa-Jo’s place in reckless abandon with words and hearts and comment love for as many as we can visit, but especially the one that linked up just before.  Some are bleary-eyed from a late night gathering we call #FMFParty on twitter.  Some are scraping to find the 15 minutes it takes to write, find the perfect right photo and then post.  Whatever your situation today, I’m glad you are here and I offer you a cupcake as a reward.  Enjoy!!  It has ZERO calories or fat!


As a bonus, I want to introduce you to Fluffachu, the unofficial mascot of #FMFParty.  The photo is courtesy of the ever-lovely, uber-ninja Crystal Stine.  She can often be found occupying the #1 position on this here link up.  If you want to learn more about the origins, search #Fluffachu on twitter and have a read.


Here are my five minutes on:  JUMP

Oh, yesterday was a day of leaping.  Not of leaping for joy or playing leap frog with the little in the yard, but the big girl kind with prayers, and knotted stomach.  The first was more of like a scary free fall as I wrote about a phobia I’ve had.  Trembling hands hit publish and the photo at the end was still hard to look at without hyperventilating a little.

The second was a bigger leap.  This was the leap from a steady, even place of minimal responsibility to much higher ground.  This leap, if I don’t quite make the other side, will let down friends, me, and I fear God – but I know I can’t make it on my own strength.

The third leap – well, I’m praying, bending the knees, swinging the arms, building momentum.  

Thinking I might just make this

Jump!

Time.

Five Minute Friday

Q is for the Quad

The Quad is the heart of James Madison University.  If you know me well, you know I love my Dukes!  This was my first home away from home.  I’m not sure that I can fully express how I feel about this place.  If you are a fellow Duke, you understand.  Many schools inspire intense loyalty.  I’ve seen it from Notre Dame to Virginia Tech, but this is a little different.

I know it isn’t Christmas, but here is a perfect example of the heart of JMU



I have fond memories of the food, yes, the food.  It was amazing!  The flowers and landscaping have garnered many institutional awards for good reason.  Walking to class along blossom lined streets in the spring fills your heart.  Having doors opened and strangers saying hello at every turn, makes one feel welcomed – and loved.  Bluestones and the Blue Ridge give you the sense of a strong foundation.


My van proudly takes Duke Dog with us everywhere and proclaims my love on my license plate. 

One glimpse of purple forges an instant connection – even with an author, a fellow alum, you’ve never met before.



I struggle fully share the depth of sentiment and passion I have for JMU so I’ll let the words of my Alma Mater speak for me.
Madison, James Madison, We’ll be forever true.
Our loyalty will always be to JMU
While friends remain within our hearts
And knowledge guides our way
James Madison will lead us on
To conquer each new day

I’ll leave you with a little ah-mazing music from the pride of JMU  - The Marching Royal Dukes.  Enjoy!

                   

Tell me why you love your Alma Mater?  Give them a little love by leaving their name while you’re at it.  No hatin’ here.

photo credit: hyperion327 via photopin cc