My Grace Is Sufficient…More Than Enough

Oh my…

What did I get myself into? I have two awesome recipes to share with you all, but right at this particular moment, I really can’t be bothered to put the effort in. Why? Because my brain hurts! For some reason, as soon as we decided that I was going to stay home with the girls, my Peanut decided it was a good time for an attitude change. Instead of her normal, easy going, mostly well-behaved self, she became this…this…this…my goodness, I don’t even know! I’ve had to discipline her more in the last three weeks than I usually would in two months combined. When we’re out, I am constantly telling her to stop what she’s doing. She’s so tired and crabby. We’ve even gone back to naps, which had been pretty nonexistent for about 8 or 9 months.Ok, moment over. Thank You, Lord, for my beautiful little girl and I thank You that, someday, that stubbornness and strong will are going to bring glory to You!

We have a new favorite word in the house! “Why”. Oh, and it’s not just “Why?” *Insert answer to question.* “Oh. Okay.” It usually goes like this:
Peanut: “Why?”
Mommy: “Because…*answer*”
And so on, and so on. I literally take the answer back as far as I possibly can until I finally just look at her and say, “Why, what?” At that point she realizes she doesn’t have a clue what she’s asking why about and she just says, “I don’t know”. Now, as much as this is a tad bit annoying, I have to say I actually like it. Why has always been my favorite question (ask anyone who knows me). I’m all about learning the reason for everything in life, so I am, perhaps surreptitiously, loving the fact that my little girl has discovered my favorite word.

While we’re on the subject, Sunday was her birthday. If I’m being honest, I will say that the day made this momma sit back and reflect a lot. My little Peanut is 3 years old. It makes me choke up, just thinking about it. She will be going to school next year. Gone will be the days when Mommy is the center of her world. I swear, she has already grown up so much in the past month, I can’t even imagine what this next year is going to bring.

I remember the first night we had her home after she was born. I sat in her room and rocked her in the glider. I cried and cried as I held her close and realized the gravity of having a child. It was going to be up to her Daddy and me to raise her right, to teach her about God, to help her to learn manners, to instill in her good ethics and morals, to raise her so that she would not be lazy…all those things were MY responsibility…the future of my daughter’s life rested in my hands.

Three years later and I feel a little more confident…but not much. I think the longer you are a mother, the more you realize that you really know nothing and it’s all up to God to make your kids turn out right. Of course, I have to do my part, but every day I am painfully aware of my shortcomings and the ways I fail my girls. As my Peanut gets closer to the time when she will be out the house for long periods of time without me (school), I have begun to realize that I have fallen short in so many areas and I am desperately trying to make up for lost time. She may be the only Jesus the little kids in her class have ever seen in their short lives. What am I doing to ensure that they want to know what makes her different? When the other little kids are saying words that they’ve heard at home, have I made enough of an impact on my little girl that she won’t fall into the temptation of trying out those “bad” words?

God and I have been having some serious chats lately. Me to Him about how inadequate I feel, and Him to me about the strength that He has promised to provide me daily. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 it says, “…’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Now, obviously, Paul was talking about the thorn in his flesh, but I feel that I can so relate to this because there is no way that my baby girl can turn out to be awesome without God being the one who works through me to make her that way. Despite my vent of frustration at the beginning of this post, my oldest daughter is amazing, (usually) well-behaved, and incredibly intelligent. She is one incredible little girl, one who blesses me over and over every day. God didn’t give me a perfect child, but He gave me the one that was perfect for me.

Both of my girls are phenomenal and I am humbled, daily, that God has chosen me to be their mother for the short time we are on this earth. There is no greater joy than to watch my beauties grow and learn new things.

Lord, bless my children. Raise them up to be mighty women in Your name, women who do amazing things for Your kingdom. Wrap Your arms of protection around them, keep them safe wherever they go, whatever they do. Prosper them, oh God, and keep them pure of heart as they grow older. Thank You, Father, for my beautiful children.


Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized


My (not so) Brilliant Idea

Ooookay…so, today was a busy day. Adaya and I slept in this morning so that made us late for our usual routine. So, once the chores were done this morning, I got the brilliant idea to get creative. Cue the *dun, dun, dun* music. So, here’s the thing: I have this obsession with magazines. You know those people that you see on Hoarders that have like ten years of magazines and newspapers piled high to the ceiling? *Raises hand* I would just like to say that those people are nutty and I thank God that I am not that bad. Ahh, see, you all thought I was going to say I had stacks of magazines, didn’t you?

So, in my recent organizational fit that’s been going on, my magazines have been driving me crazy. I have them on shelves, but it’s just been getting to me that they aren’t neat and organized. Enter what I am calling The Brilliant Idea That Turned Out To Be My Worst Nightmare…or TBITTOTBMWN, for short. 😀 Ready for a tutorial on how to waste almost an ENTIRE day? Here we go:

It started out with this box:

I looked at it and thought, “Hey, I could just make this a magazine holder”. You see, I was at Target last night and found some super cute magazine holders that would fit perfectly with the theme of the living room that is floating around in my imagination somewhere. However, when I contemplated the $10 price tag PER ITEM, I could not, in good conscience, purchase said magazine holders. Thus, my stroke of “brilliance” this morning.

I have to admit, I originally thought the box was long enough that I could put two rows of magazines inside, making this job MUCH less time consuming. This, however, unfortunately, regrettably, sadly, was not the case. Silly me, I shrugged to myself and said, “No problem, I’ll just cut it down to make a holder for one row of magazines. I really should know better.

So, first, I measured and drew my line to cut:

Note: If you’re going to attempt this project, I would suggest using a fine tipped Sharpie, rather than an ink pen. The finish on the box that gives it that nice glossy look made it very difficult to get the pen on the box.

Then I cut:

Ok, so, notice how the lines do not line up together? This is where the frustration began. The box just fit together on the bottom so it shifted whenever it was moved. Keep this in mind.

My beautiful, cut box. I should have stopped while I was ahead…

I made sure to reenforce the bottom with packing tape. Any kind of strong tape would probably get the job done. I taped until that box wouldn’t budge. As I taped, I held the wandering pieces together to make sure everything lined up. Apparently, this did NOT make the lines of the box straight, just an fyi.

Ok, so now I decided that I needed to put a front on my magazine holder. Ahem…this would be my 739th so called “brilliant” idea of the morning. How to do it? Aha! I still had the piece of the box that I had cut off of my beauty.

So, what did I decide to do? I cut off the closed up end of the leftover piece of box so that I could reattach it to the bigger piece of box. And, looky there, I’m the genius who created a smaller box out of a bigger box!

Couldn’t stop there, could I? I decided I wanted to get all fancy and have easy access to my magazines, just like the ones in the store (silly, right? who wants to actually GET to their magazines?). Sooo, I measured, drew and cut my perrrty lines.

And, presto! My magazine holder!

Erm…one small detail that might not have mattered to anyone else, but it bugged me. I had forgotten to measure the height of my magazines BEFORE I cut my beautiful diagonal lines. There was a good inch and a half of dead, extra space above the magazine. So, you know what’s coming, right? Yep, I had to tweak my design:

I then re-reenforced the bottom (do ya think I wanted the bottom of this bad boy to fall out after all the work I put into it?):

Hooray! I’m done!!! Right? Wrong. You didn’t really think I was going to put a cut up box in my room, all ugly and junk, did you?

Ok, let me point out to you that an hour and a half had passed at this point. Had I known the trauma that was about to ensue, I just may have stuck with ugly cut up box. I decided to use some cute Con-Tact paper that I had recently purchased to cover all the hot mess that was my current reality.

Allow me to take this moment and give all you would be copycats a word of advice (although, I’m sure by this point that you’ve already learned from my mistakes and know better than to try and recreate my madness). Use Con-Tact paper!!!!! Do not use anything that sticks the first time you lay it down. The beauty of Con-Tact paper is that you can stick, un-stick, re-stick, un-stick, re-stick…are you starting to get a feel for how the rest of this project went?

Up to this point, it was going alright…

I will spare all the gory details of the rest of the project. There is not much how-to on this part except that you just wrap the box in the paper…hehe…sure, just wrap it in paper…

Round about this point, I almost gave up:

And this one:

Oh, yeah, aaaaand this one:

All I kept saying to myself throughout the whole process was, “Why do I have to be SUCH a perfectionist?!” If there was even a tiny air pocket between the box and the paper, the whole thing came up and the wrapping process of that piece started over again.

Finally, 9,765,298 hours later, I had my finished product!

Voila! I am artistic! I literally wanted to stab myself in the eye while I was doing the wrapping. Ahh, but here’s the kicker…I have a whole separate pile of magazines staring at me, just waiting for me to find a home for them…I made this holder for about $2 (not including labor, of course), which is quite a steal, compared to $10. I have this horrible feeling that I will be revisiting this project again some time in the too near future…

                 From THIS                                                        To THIS

I need mental help.

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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Uncategorized


Corn Dog Muffins…yummy!

Wow! What an exhausting couple of days this has been! I am trying to get everything settled and ready for my Peanut’s birthday party on Saturday. Plus, I’ve got this urge to get everything super organized so I’ve been making myself crazy with that. *Deep breath*

So, the other night I decided to try a fun recipe that I found on Pinterest. Yep, good ol’ Pinterest again. I’m calling them Corn Dog Muffins. Here we go:

Mix up a box of Jiffy corn bread mix. Unless, of course, you’re uber domestic and make your own. Perhaps someday I will achieve that level of greatness, but for now I’m good with my boxed stuff. Jiffy mix, one egg and 1/3 cup of milk.

Grease a muffin tin. I used cooking spray. One box of the mix makes nine muffins. I then took three ALL BEEF hot dogs and cut them into thirds. Please, DO NOT subject your children or family members to those nasty, unknown parts hot dogs. But, of course, this is something you must decide on your own. 😉

Once I poured the mix into the pan, I stuck the hot dog pieces into the middle of the goop.

Cook at 325 for 12 minutes. You could probably even get away with 11 minutes because a couple edges were just a teensy bit well done when I took them out. They looked pretty!

Notice how most of the hot dogs ended up leaning a bit…oh well…

I paired the muffins with fries and it was a big hit for my hubby and my big girl.

The next time I make these, I think I’m going to put the hot dog INSIDE the muffin, laying down. It was a little awkward trying to bite down on a hot dog that was standing vertical…Overall, this was a fun, easy meal that was different.

Best moment of the whole process: I sat my Peanut’s plate in front of her and she goes, “A cupcake?!” I said, “No, it’s a muffin”.
“A muffin?”
“And a hot dog?”
“And fries???”
No pause whatsover…”I love it!!!” with her arms thrown up in the air. I love my little girl!

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Posted by on August 14, 2012 in Uncategorized


I’m A Trash Picker

So, as many who know me have recently become aware, I have become slightly addicted to Pinterest. Looking at all the DIY projects and home decor has given me the itch to be domestic. One trend that I’m loving is repurposing old items.

Last night, on the way to worship practice, I passed our neighbor’s house and saw that he had an interesting piece set out by the road for garbage pick up. I made a mental note to myself that I would stop and pick it up on the way home, if it was still there. I was so excited when I came back and saw that no one had picked it up yet! Into the van it went.

Here is my diamond in the rough:


Yes, folks, a ladder. An old, wooden ladder became my inspiration. So, to start, I sanded the entire ladder with a 320 grit sand paper (this is quite tiring on the arm, by the way):

Once the entire ladder was sanded, I set to work with the stain. I wanted a dark wood to match the decor that we have (it’s in storage for now, but still…) so I got a cherry stain:

I just used a cheap paintbrush from Walmart to apply the stain. My reasoning was that I wanted it to keep a used, rustic, old feel so there was no point in trying to make the stain look like it came from Pier 1 or somewhere like that. I was liberal with the stain and did not wipe any off, as I also wanted it to be fairly uneven (to stick with the used, rustic, old feel that I mentioned). Here’s my beauty just after I finished staining:

My next step was to make it appear more “used”. To do this, I splattered ivory acrylic paint on the ladder. I did this by holding a stick in my left hand and running the bristles of the loaded paint brush across the stick, toward the ladder. Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture of the process of me doing that. Here is a close up of the splattered paint right after I did it:

I let the stain set in for about two hours then lightly sanded over the top of the stain and paint to soften the color just a hair. Once that was done, I sat back and admired my finished product. I seriously didn’t stop smiling like a fool for about three minutes. Below are the photos:

Total cost: $9.50 for sand paper, stain, paint, and paintbrushes.
This will, more than likely, go into the living room to be used as a shelf of some sort. The other option I am contemplating is to hang it from the ceiling in the kitchen to hang pots and pans on. I am super excited about my little project and can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s fully dry in the morning!

So, yes, I am officially a trash picker. However, I think, considering the end result, I will gladly accept that title (to a point, anyway).

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Posted by on August 12, 2012 in Uncategorized


Fruition of a lifelong (ok, three year) dream.

This blog symbolizes the start of a new era for my family and I.

Let’s back up a little bit and lay the ground work for where I am coming from, shall we? Almost three years ago, I gave birth to my eldest daughter.

I had an unplanned c section so I didn’t get to hold her right away; but the second they brought her over to me and let me touch her and give her a kiss before they whisked her away, I knew I was doomed. No one had ever impacted me so much in such a short span of time. In that moment, I realized that my heart’s desire was to stay home with her and teach her the things she needed to know.

Fast forward six months and I had to go back to work. We put her in day care and the first day that I had to walk away from her, get in my car, and drive 20 miles to work, I almost had a breakdown. Day care wasn’t working out so, thankfully, God allowed my dad to watch my Peanut while I worked. Going to work got easier, but it was never fun. I missed moments that I can never get back. As she got older, she began to realize that I was leaving to go to work. There is nothing more heartbreaking than for your toddler to cling to you and cry, saying “No, no, no, no…” over and over again as you’re getting ready to leave for work. We made it work…because we had to.

Imagine our surprise when, on October 17, 2011, we found out we had another little blessing coming our way! With our Peanut, we had been trying, but this was completely unexpected and, to be honest, I was devastated. I knew every baby was a blessing from God, but I did not want another child. I was in love with my daughter and didn’t need another baby to share the love with. And, financially…well, let’s just say, we weren’t in the best place. Thankfully, my husband had a good job and was getting ready to get a raise. I was working, making decent money, and we knew it would be tight, but we knew we just had to do it.

October 18th, I was at work and got a phone call from my husband. “They laid me off” were the words that I heard right before my heart plummeted down to my feet. What were we going to do? A two year old and another child on the way was not the greatest situation to be in at that particular moment. For the next month, while he struggled to find work, I battled with anger, fear, and regret. I was starting to love the little jelly bean that was growing inside of me, but was also having a hard time allowing myself to be excited.

In February, things started looking up a little bit and we found out we were having another girl. As much as I wanted my husband to be able to have his boy, my heart leapt in joy to hear it was a girl. As the months went on, I got more excited about our coming bundle of joy, but I still wasn’t sure how I could love this little one like I loved my oldest daughter. On some level, I think I almost thought that she would know she wasn’t planned and that I didn’t connect with her like I did her sister during that pregnancy. This then led to the rationale that she would not love me like my oldest did, or that she wouldn’t even like me. I still wasn’t entirely convinced that I could love a second like I loved my first.

The morning of my c section, I was excited and nervous as we prepared to go into the operating room. I felt a mini panic attack as I waited for the nurses to come get me. I looked at my husband and whispered, “I can’t do this”.

When my Sweet Pea was born, she came out screaming. She screamed the whole time they were cleaning her up and whatever other nonsense they do. Just before they took her from the OR, they brought her to me and laid her in the crook of my arm. I put my cheek against hers and said, “Hi, baby girl.” The moment the sound of my voice reached her ears, her screams ceased. My eyes filled with tears as I realized that she recognized my voice (that was something that didn’t come til later with my first). After a moment of me talking to her, the  nurse took her away. As soon as I stopped talking, my little Sweet Pea started crying again. As they left the room, love that I had been trying to conjure up for the last nine months filled my heart without any effort on my part.

I had resigned from my job the month before and, due to our current financial situation, I knew I would have to start looking for another job soon. The thought of leaving my two angels at home while I worked with strangers all day broke my heart…but it had to be done. The six weeks following the birth of Sweet Pea were amazing. I got to spend time with my daughters. I got to hear the new words my Peanut was learning. I was (am) exhausted, but cherished every moment with my girls. The day came that I knew was going to come sooner than what I wanted. I got a call for a job interview. I killed it in the interview and two days later they called me with a job offer. I accepted the offer with a heavy heart. I knew we needed the money, but my heart was breaking. I was excited to be contributing financially again, but I wondered what the cost of lost time with my girls would be.

A week before my job was set to start, my husband picked up a second job. With his new hours, all he has time to do is work and sleep. There is no time for him to watch the girls while I’m at work and he’s making almost three times more at the second job than I would be making. After running some numbers, I went to him with a dilemma. By the time we paid a babysitter for the two girls, we would be paying out $150 a month for me to work and be away from my children. That’s right…$150 more a month than what I would be bringing in. The choice was obvious and fairly simple to make. I struggled with fear of the stigma that surrounds stay at home moms. I worried about not contributing financially. In the long run, it makes more sense this way, and we both feel at peace about our decision. Now, if a job that pays $30 an hour comes up, I will probably be all over it, but in the mean time, we are waiting and doing what we feel is best for us and our family.

From the moment our oldest was born to the decision made just days ago was a long  journey that was filled with many events and happenings, but my dream of being a stay at home mommy has finally become a reality. Let the fun begin!

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Posted by on August 11, 2012 in Uncategorized