2018 Weekend Warriors

Since Waring is now in grad school and testing season is about to kick off, our weekend family days are sacred. Here are just a few things that we have been up to so far for the first two months of 2018:

  1. January Beach Trip #1

 

2. February Beach Trip #2

 

3. Girl’s Spa Night

 

4. Valentine’s Family “Fancy” Dinner

 

Addie says “Family Days” are the best, and I have to agree!

 

Advertisements

Mommy Milestone: I Love You.

From the moment she was born I said it. I whispered it, prayed it, sang it, and repeated it over and over and over again. Even though those three little words couldn’t possibly describe my emotions bottled up inside, I said them anyway. “I love you.” From the moment she was born and for no reason at all I loved her. (It is in these moments that I feel I can see a glimpse of our Heavenly Father’s agape love towards man. We are nothing and could not possibly earn his favor, yet he so richly lavishes his love upon us.)

God has blessed our family with a sweet, sassy, silly, social butterfly named Addie. She has turned our world upside down, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Since she was born we make sure to tell her we love her each and every day so that it will be one of those undeniable truths that she can hold fast to when she becomes a teenager and thinks she knows it all, or her world is rocked by some unforeseen future or lingering doubt.

Most of our professions of love have been monologues spoken over her as she lie asleep, during late night rocking chair sessions, or fleeting and hurried moments throughout our time together. One day something different happened. She said it. Not “I love you too” as in a reply, but just out of the blue.  “Mommy, I’ll always love you.” And at that moment my heart grew three sizes and burst into a million tiny pieces all over the floor.

Now don’t forget, she is two…so shortly after this heartfelt moment she can usually be heard demanding another snack, drink, or negotiating five more minutes of playtime before her bath. But, in this moment I realize that another milestone of motherhood has come and I love her more with each passing day.

 

Painting pet rocks from the stones she collected at Granny Layne and Papa’s house.

 

Addie and April Take Over Summer 2016

Well, week two of Addie & April Take Over Summer is almost in the books. I think that I can speak for us both by saying that we are having a blast. Last Summer was complicated for many reasons and I didn’t get to spend as much time with her as I would have liked, but oh we are making up for it this year in true list-making, adventure-seeking, task-oriented, action item crossing-off fashion! When I look back on this Summer I don’t want to say…we sat around and watched TV. I want to make memories and grow closer together this Summer. Not trying to brag, but you should be jealous because…we are on a roll! 🙂 In all honestly, my prayers each night seem to be summed up in two simple words (Thank you.) Thank you Jesus for the blessing of this sweet time. Thank you Jesus for this crazy little girl that you have entrusted to us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Check out our progress below!

Summer Bucket List—2016 Edition

-Go see a $1 movie

-Make homemade ice cream

-Go camping

-See Sesame Street Live- check! Addie is in love with ELMO!


-Tiedye t-shirts– check! When the Tori and Mariah came down for the weekend we snagged a quick opportunity to tie-die a few shirts! This was so much fun, and the best part is that Addie and I still have some left over!!


-Pick black berries- check! Okay, so it was a little warm today when we finally got out to the farm today, but it was still fun. Addie is fighting a little Summer cold and doesn’t like to be sweaty, so she told us that she was “really, really thirsty and ready to go to Addie’s house” about 15 minutes after we got there. She DID love eating the fruits of our labor at lunch though!


-Make jam & can tomatoes

-Host a yard sale- check! We didn’t make a ton of cash, but we had a lot of fun trying! It was nice to spend a Saturday morning together with the family and get rid of some clutter in the process. 

-Get play make-up and have a makeover night- check! There really is no limit to the fun that $1 makeup from the corner Dollar General can provide!

-Paint Pet Rocks/Character Rocks

-Go to the Library– check! Addie absolutely LOVED Story Time at the library. I can’t say that I am not a little bit proud that she took a seat in the front row and tried to be Miss Star Student, even if she did tell some of the other kids to “shh….because this is a library.” 


-Finish Thanksgiving table cloth

-Make flash cards

-Homemade pizza night

-Oatland Island nature walk

-Throw a Tea-Party

-Make a Pillow Fort & hold a Disney Movie Marathon- check (sort-of). We haven’t had a full-on Disney Movie Marathon, but Hubby and I have been binge watching Black List while Addie watches a plethora of different DVDs in the evening time. By the end of the day the Summer heat has gotten to everyone and nothing is better than some lounge time in bed with the whole family!

-Make a Stepping Stone- check! The stepping stone turned out to be the cutest thing ever, thanks to the help of my Papa, Granny Layne, and Aunt Jenny. I can’t wait to make this a Summer traditions and get to see these precious pavers in the yard for years to come!

-Take swim lessons- check! Addie had a blast swimming with Mrs. Loren. She talked and talked about her each day until we finally arrived for her lessons!




Adventures of a Working Woman: How to Clean Your House & Keep Your Sanity

2014-07-24 18.05.50
and so it begins…

Am I the only one that is running on caffeine and Jesus? My days start before daylight and end long after sunset. On any given day I am burning through the midnight oil and into the next day’s allotment! As I scroll through Pinterest I am bombarded with pins and posts with lengthy/complicated cleaning schedules, tips for cleaning tile grout, and fancy new techniques to fold my socks. I can help but think to myself, “Is this real life?” I don’t know about you, but right now I am lucky if I can find a pair of matching socks (I swear my dryer eats them), and the shower grout is the last thing on my mind when my head hits the pillow each night! I don’t need another thing to add to the to-do list and I CERTAINLY do not need another thing to feel overwhelmed or insecure about.

I have to get rid of my perfection infection at the front door. I live with a two year old. My husband and I work…a lot. We love to travel and escape on adventures whenever we get a free second. My faith, my family, and our amazing memory-filed adventures are what matters most to me. While I often have to put these things into perspective for myself and realize that is truly important, I also know that our lives function more smoothly when we are in a doing life in a tidy home. Things just seem to flow, and we are able to truly relax in our space. While my husband and I work outside of the home, and we both do our fair share of the work, I feel a certain responsibility to my family to make sure that our home is one that we can truly take pride in.

So…I did what I always do when I feel overwhelmed. I made a list. I gave myself 30 minutes each day and divided the tasks over a week. I set a few ground rules for myself: #1 Set a timer for 30 minutes max, and stop whenever that buzzer dings, no exceptions! #2 Only touch the clutter once, this means no piles and no pushing stuff around from room to room. #3 Put away perfection! I made this chart to help me visualize everything and added these tasks into my planner each week.

I have found that often even the most well-intentioned plans cannot run on willpower alone. If I have a system in place I can in turn build a habit, and that consistency over time allows me to build momentum and find success (with a little help from that caffeine and Jesus, of course)!

Check-Out The Schedule I Use:

Working Girl’s Cleaning Schedule

Mommy Milestone: When Parenting Feels Like Failure

I am pretty sure that parenthood is a constant practice in the art of failure. You see,  I know that this parenting gig is going to be full of ups and downs, but as I clean up an “accident” off of the kitchen floor for the 1,232 time during our never-ending potty training saga I feel a twinge of guilt. What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I get her to understand that the she needs to go in the potty instead of all over the floor in front our dinner guests from Church. What will they think? Maybe I should consult the all-knowing Mr. Google….

So here I am tonight. I am acutely aware of the fact that I can not and will not always be able to do the right thing for her (despite my best intentions), but ultimately it is Christ who holds her future. I can not make her into a good little girl, productive citizen, or successful adult, no more than I can grant her eternal life. Tonight I rest in the fact that He is all that she or I will ever need, and He certainly does not have a fear of failure.

 

Coming Up For Air…

How many times have you swam in the ocean or a swimming pool and dove down as deep as your lungs and your legs will take you? As every inch of your body searches for the water’s surface you stretch and strain, and when your nostrils fill with air you suddenly feel relieved, rejuvenated, and filled with life-preserving and sustaining oxygen.

This is my life. A new job, a new house, a little girl who is all of a sudden a toddler, and a husband whom I have had the blessing of sharing life with for over seven years. With new professional responsibilities and a more demanding work schedule the past nine months have been a time of growth, pruning, and sacrifice. God has humbled me in some areas and given me courage and strength in others. This year my prayer has been (will continue to be) for wisdom.

This year, like all of the years past, I have cried, laughed, and loved. God in his mercy, grace, and faithfulness has been steadfast in guiding and equipping our family even in the midst of my doubts and fears. While each day brings new challenges, it also brings opportunity. I look forward to the start of each day and coming up for air…

PS: We didn’t get a ton of action items off of the bucket list, but we managed to have quite a bit of fun!

 

 

 

 

 

Best Thanksgiving Ever!

I am a little late….but in case you were wondering, this year was the best Thanksgiving EVER!

 

At her Granny's (Great Grandma Mary) she wanted to walk everywhere like a big kid. This was the last weekend that she needed our hand to walk...
At her Granny’s (Great Grandma Mary) she wanted to walk everywhere like a big kid. This was the last weekend that she needed our hand to walk…
She is trying to bring Gigi some Double or Nothing luck!
She is trying to bring Gigi some Double or Nothing luck!
Playing double or nothing...a family tradition.
Playing double or nothing…a family tradition.
Addie loves when Daddy throws her in the air...but not too far!
Addie loves when Daddy throws her in the air…but not too far!

This Fall has certainly been crazy for Team Too Busy (that is our family’s new nickname…and it is certainly fitting!) It was great to be able to spend a few days with family resting and reflecting upon the past year.

Blessings in which we are thankful to God for:

-The health of our family

-A growing little munchkin affectionately referred to as “Baby Addie”

-The sell of our first home

-Plans for the building of our dream home right next door to family

-Waring’s graduation from Luther Rice Seminary and Bible College this December!

-Friendships that can withstand moving across the country, to other continents, and training for a half-marathon

-The ability to cross many new things off the Ole Bucket List

-The gift of grace, mercy, and salvation through Christ

This Thanksgiving was EXTRA SPECIAL because I got the opportunity to mark off TWO Bucket List Items:

1. The start of a new tradition: Thanksgiving Table Cloth! (Each year I will get all of our family to sign their names and a little message. I will hand stich embroidery over the names. Each year the names will be stitched in a different color to denote a different year. Pretty soon we will have a FULL table cloth representing how FULL our lives are as we surround ourselves with family and friends each holiday season.

This is an example of what it will look like in a few years!
This is an example of what it will look like in a few years!

2. The next occurred after Thanksgiving, and is something that I have always wanted to do: Trapeze Lessons! Thanks to my sister, AJ, who is always up for my crazy schemes and outrageous ideas, we drove to Orlando, climbed a 30ft ladder, and took the leap! We had a blast…and I think AJ may change her major to Trapeze/Circus Performing Arts.

Whoa!
Whoa!
Watching my crazy Aunt and Mama!
Watching my crazy Aunt and Mama!
Before...we are nervous!
Before…we are nervous!
Trapeze Artists...
Trapeze Artists…
So. Much. Fun! There isn't anything like accomplishing something you didn't think you were capable of doing!
So. Much. Fun! There isn’t anything like accomplishing something you didn’t think you were capable of doing!

IMAGE_2127

***Also, Waring got to do something he had always wanted to do…go to the Turkey Rod Run in Daytona, FL. Going to this car show has always been something he has wanted to do, but something has always come up. This year we were able to take a family mini-vacay! Addie got to play on the Beach, we shopped with Mama, AJ and I swung from a trapeze bar, and Dad and Waring got to drool over thousands of classic cars and outrageous hotrods. I can’t wait until next year. It was a blast!

SAND!
SAND!
Addie LOVED The Beach!
Addie LOVED The Beach!
Watching the Wiggles with G-PA!
Watching the Wiggles with G-PA!
Bathtime with Addie is never a dull moment!
Bathtime with Addie is never a dull moment!
Look Ma...NO HANDS!
Look Ma…NO HANDS!
Aunt AJ...I want to walk faster!
Aunt AJ…I want to walk faster!