Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday's Walk with God: Contentment!

God has been teaching me that I need to be content over the past week.  I haven't shared this with the world yet, but my wonderful husband is searching for a job yet again!  It's beyond ridiculous and I'm tired of this!  He's a hard worker, I mean HARD worker!  Everybody and their brother want him, but there is always something in the way (currently it's his lack of top secret clearances, which he's working on.  He has the temporary clearances, but I guess the government decided suddenly, AFTER hiring him, that this isn't going to cut it).  He's talking about taking classes, maybe doing this or that, looking into this job, applying for that one, and so on and so forth.  I know what I want, I know what he's thinking and they don't always match up.  It's fine, though.  He's the head of our house, he's the one who has to go to work every day.  Our eventual goals are the same.  I respect him and trust him enough to do what he thinks is the best thing for our family.  That's where the contentment thing comes into play, though.  I keep dreaming about buying a house in South Carolina, of even better, Florida.  Somewhere warm, near the ocean, peaceful and quiet.  I'm tired of this DC living.  I'm dreading winter already and it's only July.  I'm ready to move.  But is that in God's plan for our lives right now?  Probably not.  And it's OK.  More than OK, it's where He has placed us and wants us.  He has a perfect will for my life and I may not know all the details, but I need to just let Him guide us, especially Jason, to the right place at the right time.   It may not be what I would choose, but when I look back at other things I've wanted in the past that God has said no to (or wait), I realize how much of a blessing it was that I did not get what I thought I wanted.  So, I'm choosing the be content.  I'm choosing to make the best of this crazy, career driven, stressful area.  I'm choosing to trust God :)

I know I haven't blogged much this week.  We have been busy with all this job stuff (J is searching like crazy for the best path to follow and trying to figure out if he wants a degree, a certificate, or something else to further his career), with T's swim lessons, which he loves by the way, and with other house projects.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's post about all the organizational progress I've made this past week!  I'm super excited about it!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Clean Thursdays: the flood

As I mentioned earlier this week, we had an in door rain shower that required lots of plumbing work and has ruined lots of drywall.  We finally have the plumbing issue fixed and it has forced us to deep clean pretty much everything on our second floor.  We scrubbed the bathrooms from top to bottom and got our carpets cleaned.  J mopped the bathrooms three times, lol.  Everything looks great!  We still have lots of clutter because his closet has a huge hole in it and we haven't put the living room back together yet.  It would be silly to set everything up just to move it again when we get the dry wall repaired.  So it's all over the place.  It's cluttered, but clean clutter, lol.  That's about it for this week.  I'm exhausted so I really need to get some sleep.  Hoping to write more tomorrow :)  Good night!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday's Walk with God: Moving a different direction

I logged onto blogger today thinking I was going to post one thing, but my sister and my dear friend both posted similar things, so maybe God is trying to say something.  Instead of me getting in the way today, I'm just going to post links to their blogs first.  Read them before you read another word of this blog (click on "sister" and "dear friend")

Ok, now for what God has been teaching me.  With my husband's job situation and all of our lovely house problems, I've been stressing out about money recently.  I've been thinking a lot about two things.  First of all, I've been thinking about my responsibility to spend my money wisely.  I have a really hard time with this because I love buying things for my kids and my house.  Unlike most girls, I don't really have a hard time with buying lots of nice clothes, shoes, or designer purses, but I do have many other weaknesses.  Do my kids really need to brand new gymboree outfits when I can get thing adorable things at the thrift store?  They have tons of toys, do they really need another car/train/ball?  The second thing I've been learning is that I must put my faith in God, not in money.  It's easy to think that I need money to pay my bills, but I have to remember where that money is coming from.  I heard something on the radio the other day that has been going through my head a lot.  Some of you have heard this story, probably three times already, but it has helped me keep my focus so much that I feel like I need to share it again.  When you are stressed out about your finances, take that dollar and turn it around.  What does the back of it say?  It says "In GOD We Trust"  Where should our trust be?  Not in that dollar, but in God!

I hope that whether you have a million dollars or you have a million debts, that you are using your money to glorify God and using your money wisely.  I encourage you to look at your checkbook (or whatever you use to track your spending) and see if your money is going to build God's Kingdom, or your own.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday madness at it's finest: Plumbing fun

This past week was a doozy for us!  As I mentioned, it was VBS week at church.  I was in the nursery, so I had to make sure I was there in time for the parents to drop off their babies before heading to their assigned group.  In other words, EARLY!  What was a I thinking???  I have myself and two little boys to get ready.  One little boy (T) wants to do things himself, which is fabulous but takes forever.  The other just doesn't want anything done at all.  Unless it involves him eating, ha!  Getting up and ready was not easy.  Thankfully, my sweet hubby went into work late so that he could help me get everything together and everyone out the door. 

We try to keep a pretty consistent routine for the boys.  T is flexible and just goes with the flow.  We were spoiled with him :)  L makes up for it!  My sweet little guy thrives with his routine, but has a very difficult time adjusting to new things.  I thought he'd be just as easy going, maybe even more so since we were always on the go when he was little.  As he got older, I realized more and more how important a routine is for him.  When we are not in routine, everything, especially sleep, goes out the window.  The boys were cranky, tired, and so hyper.

The craziest part of the week hasn't even been mentioned yet.  Plumbing.  That area has caused us more stress this past week than anything else.   Monday morning, J took a shower and it started to back up.  Then it started running through the floor, and leaking onto the floor below.  Thank the Lord that I was down there getting the boys ready for VBS because I was able to run up and tell him what was going on.  It could have been a lot worse!  Can you imagine if he had continued to take his shower?  And if I hadn't been there to put buckets and towels down to catch the water?  Yep, it would have been a lot worse.  We of course called a plumber immediately.  The first appt they had was for the following day.  Great!  I was hoping for something that day but at least it was going to get fixed soon, right?  Wrong.  The guy replaced a part that had nothing to do with the leak.  Of course we didn't try it out until after he left.  This time, we barely used the bathroom at all because as soon as we heard the water leaking, J turned it off.  It was still enough that it leaked through the ceiling again, and to bring down the dry wall!!!  YIKES!  So again we called the plumber, so scheduled an appt for Friday (remember this started Monday?  Thankful we live close to family so we could shower and bathe our kids!!!).  Friday comes and goes, no plumber!  He did eventually call and recommend we reschedule the following day (Saturday).  When I did, they told me that they were full until Tuesday!!!  OH NO!  But I threw a fit and they agreed to send someone out that day.  After putting three massive holes in our dry wall (one upstairs in my husband's closet, and two in the ceiling downstairs), he found the problem.  A clog.  Yay!  But the drama isn't over yet.  Our home warranty then calls us to inform us that they do not  cover clogs.  They also don't cover secondary damage (the dry wall).  And the plumber had to schedule another day to come fix it (today).  So basically, it's Monday, a week later and we still can't use the showers, sinks, or even the toilet!  We are all using the half bath downstairs which is NOT fun.  We will have to pay for all of the repairs and our house is a mess.  Seriously, a mess!  We had to move our furniture around to make room for the repairs, the kids are into everything and I'm just trying to not think about the dry wall disaster that will soon take place as the plumber fixes everything.   Hopefully, we'll have our bathrooms back today.  No clue when we'll get our wall and ceiling replaced though. 

That's basically our week.  That and Insanity. Yes, this whole thing is insane, but I'm talking about the Insanity DVD's that I'm doing with my friend and sister.  Hoping to see results soon because it's kicking our butts!

Happy Monday, all.  Here's to a better week :)

EDIT TO ADD: If you don't see me blogging much, it means that our house is still a wreck and our computer isn't set up.  I have to do all my computer stuff at the parents' house.  Let's all pray this is over soon!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Motherhood is Calling

We are having a few minor disasters at our house today, so the boys and I are at my parents' house.  I don't have any cute pictures to post, so instead, I'd like to share a link with you.  This link will take you to an article written about motherhood.  I found it very inspiring so I thought I'd share it on my blog.  I hope you mommies out there enjoy it as much as I did.  Happy Weekend, to all :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mixing it up a bit!

Today is Thursday, it should be about my cleaning journey.  But in all honesty, the house is a mess!  With VBS, J working late every night, and the indoor rain shower that has happened twice (and is destroying my ceiling), I've been too tired, stressed, and BUSY to worry about it.  So instead, I'm going to write about all the baby related things I love :)  I have a friend who was telling me about another baby blog where the writer does this, and I though it was a great idea!  I have things that I'm in love with and want to tell everyone about, so why not do a post about it?  Whoopie!  (Yes, Stace, I did just say Whoopie!)  Here we GO:

Car Seat:
I love the Britax Marathon that Little L has.  T has a different brand and I am far from impressed, but this Britax one is wonderful!  I feel really good about L in there.  It was easy to install, looks safe and comfy, and has excellent ratings.  I wish I had just spent the money and bought one for T.
Next up is my Ergo.  I could NOT handle two boys this young without my Ergo.  It is so much more comfortable than the Bjorn or any similar brand.  I have walked around DC with Sweet T in it...he was 32 lbs and I was completely fine.  My back, shoulders, everything felt great!  Little L likes to be held and sometimes I just don't have the hands to do it all while holding him, so in the Ergo he goes.  I use it every time I go shopping, especially grocery shopping.  I use it around the house.  I use it to take both boys to the park when J isn't with me.  This is definitely a must have for moms!  (I have also heard great things about the Beco, but I haven't tried it)
For breastfeeding, I found nipple shields to be very helpful in the beginning.  Now, L hated these.  I think it was the rubbery feel of things that bothered him because he also hated bottles and pacis.  With T, on the other hand, these were a life savor!!!  Seriously, they taught him how to latch on easily and they minimized the pain tremendously!
I also enjoyed making their baby food when it was time for them to start eating.  Here is the website I used to teach me what to do.  A few other things I loved (or my kids loved) were:

For sleeping arrangements, my babies were in my room until the were 6 and 7 months old.  I used a pack n play for them to sleep in.  The one I loved most had the bassinet attachment and a co sleeper attachment.  It also had a higher weight limit, which was a HUGE plus for us since my babies tend to be big.  The brand is Baby Trend and I have a sports themed one

Both my boys loved their swing.  It goes both ways (side to side, and forward to back)  It looked super comfy too.  It's the Fisher Price Papasan Swing.  See above

I have a lot more that my kids loved, but this blog entry is getting long and the boys are awake now, so I'll save it for another day.  Happy Thursday, all!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: GF Oreos

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before or not, but I love oreos.  They are my favorite type of cookie.  And the very best Oreo of all?  Fudgees.  I think I miss my Fudgees more than any other gluten food!  I was so, so excited when my MIL e-mailed me a link to a GF blog with a recipe for oreos.  Seriously, words cannot express my joy :)  These are no Fudgee, but they're pretty darn good!  HERE is the link to the blog with the recipe.  Enjoy.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Happy Weekend, July 9th edition

Here's a pic of my sweet Little L wearing one of my favorite outfits ever.  Isn't he adorable?  Make sure to notice how amazing his eyes look too :)

“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday's Looking Good: Even better than last week!

After writing last week's Friday blog, I decided to weigh myself on our Wii Fit.  It's the only scale we have in our house, ha!  According to the Wii, I am... DOWN TO MY PRE-T WEIGHT!!!  Oh my goodness!  Oh my goodness!  Oh my goodness!!!  I am thrilled!!!  Seriously so excited!

On a not-so-good note, I have not been exercising or eating as well lately.  My wonderful sister and I have been traveling some and it's really thrown me off track.  We went to the OBX in the beginning of June, and then a couple weeks after coming home, we went to TN.  Both times, I had plans to run.  I even packed my running clothes and shoes!  I went twice while at the beach and not at all while in TN.  I ran a mile and thought I was going to die earlier this week!  Yesterday I was able to go a mile and a half, but that's it.  I run veeeerry slow too.  I hate it!  I was doing SO well but now I feel like I have to start all over.  And it's HOT.  So hot!  To make matters worse, I have been snacking on candy.  I can't eat cookies or cakes or things like that (unless I pay a lot of money for GF ones or spend the time to make them...), so I've moved on to candy.  It's been bad lately.  I need to start eating less sugary stuff and make sure to drink more water!!!  My plan for running and exercising is to start running with a friend.  She has run the Army 10 miler in the past and is much more athletic than I am!  I will be embarrassed for her to see how out of shape I am, but I know it will be encouraging to have someone to go with.  Hopefully that will motivate me to keep going and push myself!  She even volunteered to push the boys in the jogging stroller :)  I'm really excited!  At this point, I'm not trying to lose weight.  I am really happy at this size.  I just need to maintain this and change my focus on getting healthy.  I still want to work on the rest of my looks, but I'm so very excited to have reached this goal!  Yay!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thoroughly Clean Thursday: Fighting through loss of motivation.

I have been working hard in this past week to keep the house clean.  Today, I have no motivation.  Seriously, all I want to do is veg.  My mom has Sweet T and L is down for a nap.  I really need to get off the computer but I just don't want to.  I want a break.  I want to relax.  I'm tired and want time to myself.  But in the back of my mind, I am telling myself that it will benefit my family for me to get off my keister and get things done.  What a blessing it would be for my hubby to come home to a clean home.  Laundry wont get done on it's own!  I want to sign up for a class or two next semester so that I can get my degree and be sure that nothing will stand in my way of homeschooling in a couple years.  So, off I go to fight my selfish desires.  Off I go to work at becoming a Proverbs 31 momma :)

Wednesday's Walk With God: Enjoying my devotional :)

So I mentioned a couple posts ago that I started reading a random book that I pulled out of my closet early one morning.  It's called The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace.  It's very old fashioned and definitely not politically correct, but I have enjoyed it!  It is all about a woman's role in the home.  I know many women can't stay home for one reason or another, or maybe some women choose to go back to work because they don't think they're "cut out" for being a SAHM, but I strongly believe that God's desire is for mothers to be home raising their children.  I know this is a VERY unpopular opinion and I have probably offended many of my few readers, but I'm ok with that.  I mean, I hate to offend people, but it's my blog and I am expressing what I believe.    Back to the book... I haven't been reading it very long, but I feel like everything I've read has been something that I am currently dealing with, something I have dealt with in the past, or something that pops up from time to time in my life.  If you are looking for a new book to read, I highly recommend it :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: GF Hamburger buns

This is yet another recipe from my amazing mother-in-law. Have I said how thankful I am that she has been doing this whole gluten free thing for years? She has the best recipes and helps me out more than she will ever know! I made this early last week and planned to save some for our cook outs (we had two... one with neighbors on Saturday and one with my parents on the 4th of July). They were so good, though! L and I ended up eating them all before then ;) So, here are her buns:

3 large eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
1 TBSP xanthan gum
1/3 cup potato starch (NOT flour)
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1/3 c. GF buckwheat flour
1 TBSP active dry yeast
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Preheat Oven to 380 degrees.

Beat eggs in heavy duty mixer and then add oil, vinegar, and sugar, combining.

Add dry ingredients.

Warm milk in the microwave (or on the stove) and add to the bowl, gently folding it into the flour. Turn on motor, let ingredients combine thoroughly then turn power to medium and leave for 4 minutes while it stirs.

Spray baking pan (cookie sheet type) with nonstick cooking spray and/or line with parchment paper.
Oil your hands and grab a ball of dough from the mixing bowl. Gently shape it into a roll. Place it on the prepared cookie sheet. Make another roll (or hamburger bun in my case), continuing until all dough has been used for rolls. (This part is fun!)
Brush with whisked egg. Sprinkle with garnish (fresh herbs, salt, onion), poppy seeds or sesame seeds if desired.
Let it rise in a warm place for five minutes. Open oven, put in your rack of rolls and let bake for 20-25 minutes. (Halfway through baking time, you may wish to turn over your rolls for even browning.)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday's Looking Good: OH YEAH! (July1)

I am not sure when I blogged last, so this may actually be old news to everyone. If that's the case, I'm still excited about it so I'm blogging again. If I haven't written about this yet, then YAY! Great news! I have reached my first goal!!! My first goal is to be down to my Pre-L weight (L is baby #2). I did it! I did it! Finally! Breastfeeding helped me lose the weight a lot. I also started running (remember I was training for a 5K?) and am continuing to exercise. In fact, I'm not training to run a 10 miler. I am trying to run three days a week, cross train twice a week, stretch (yoga maybe?) once a week, and then rest once a week. This is all new to me and already I'm having a hard time with it. Who has time to do all this training with two small boys? I have to do it, though. J said he would get me a dog if I can run 10 miles in an hour and 45 minutes! Do you know how long I've been begging him for a dog??? Years. I'm talking YEARS! I asked him long before we even got engaged :) He said yes back then. Funny how things change when you get married! Anyway, back to my improving looks. Ha! I feel vain just writing that! Anyway, I am also eating better now. There's only so many snacks you can eat while on a gluten free diet! Gone are the days where I'd by a pack of cookies or snack cakes every time I went grocery shopping. I don't even go down those isles anymore. Sure, the stores sell gf cookies too, but they're expensive and honestly, not very good. I like the taste of the homemade ones, but like I said earlier, who has the time with two small boys to chase around? I haven't been on a scale in a while, so I'm hoping that I'm getting closer to my Pre-T weight now too. I'm guessing it will still be a few more months, but it's nice to fit into some of my old clothes again.
The newest down side to my looks? Wrinkles. I have noticed more and more wrinkles around my eyes lately. I'm only 26. I should not have wrinkles like this! But growing up in CA, we were in the sun a lot! My mom always made us wear sun screen, but we are very fair skinned, have red hair, blue eyes and lots of freckles. We are the type of people who lather up in SPF 100, then get burned within two seconds of even *thinking* about going outside. Ha! Maybe it's not quite THAT bad, but I'm pretty sure it's close... I am destined to be a very wrinkly old lady, I was just hoping to wait until I'm old before getting so wrinkly, lol.