When you have been married as long as Rich and I have, you can assume that valentines could be a little humdrum. We have been together for almost 30 years. Some break ups, issues, ups and downs but holy cow almost 30 years. Wait, I am not even 30 years old so how could I be with one person that long?
This was one of our best valentines ever. We didn’t do anything spectacular and it didn’t have the pomp and circumstance of other V-Days but it was perfect.
We started the night at the grocery store of all places buying the necessary ingredients for our dinner and then came home to concoct the deliciousness. We were listening to some jazz, chatting, laughing, drinking and cooking together (well I helped a little) We then had a super delicious meal that can’t be beat and settled in to watch a movie.
The part that made the night so perfect is Rich grabbed a sleeping bag and laid it on the living room floor. This sweet gesture was the icing on my cake and then we had yummy make your own ice cream sundaes.
Today we went shopping and had brunch and drinks. The simple things in life make me so happy and that is where we are in life. It doesn’t take some grand gesture or a ton of money to make me happy. I just like it that he cares about me and how I feel. Enjoy your love and the effort they make. They are doing the best they can. <3
I would like to start by giving a little background for this week. I gave up Facebook for Lent and really did not realize what a struggle it would really be. The fact that I have gotten used to sharing every moment of my life with friends, strangers, and family is eye opening.
Do not get me wrong, I definitely think some of what I do on Facebook is good. I have inspired people, helped them through difficult times, and inspired myself and helped myself through difficult times. When I moved here from Illinois and Rich worked nights and Michael was not here yet, it was my saving grace. It was then I think I realized the real power of this little social media tool. It had the ability to make me feel connected when I was so far away from everything and everyone I knew and loved.
I made the choice to give it up for Lent after praying to know God more. In order to be closer to God I need to remove some of the obstacles and morning Facebook time has been replaced with devotions, evening Facebook time has been replaced with prayers and I feel good but it still is really hard.
A friend of mine has something very sad going on in her life. My first thought was I want to ask for prayers for her. How can I do that if I am not on Facebook? I am pretty sure that the people of the old testament did not have Facebook in order to initiate prayers so that is a pretty naive thought but that is what my world has come to.
I love the act of sacrificing something for Lent. This practice in the past has been somewhat precursory on my part and I think I gave up chocolate for 3 out of 5 years but when you actually pray and listen and get an answer, it really is so intense.
I love sharing time with friends. Tuesday book club was small this week but it was perfect. The conversation was deep and company was fantastic and I cannot stop thinking about the Brie and Fig Jam that one of my friends brought. You must try it if you never have like me.
I love when plans get derailed and you end up having more fun than you probably would have in the first place.
I love surprises. That shouldn’t surprise anyone if you know me. Our new boss did something so sweet for us at work on Friday. It was just some valentines treats and decorations but it made my morning.
I love spending time with my coworkers in a less formal setting and getting to know them a little better.
I love that we are going car shopping this weekend. I am so happy to be getting a new car.
I love having more time with myself and with God. The world today is so overwhelming with constant noise. By giving up facebook I can feel the quiet restored to my body and mind.
I love soup weather but it can warm up anytime. We had gumbo and chili this week and it was perfect for the weather.
I hope that you all have a great week. Happy Valentines Day! Remember you are loved.
I love you.
Happy New Year everyone! Let’s make 2015 better than the year before. That’s all we can hope right, that each year will get a little better. And better is relative. I know even when I have had hard years, once I put a little space between myself and that time frame I can begin to see the blessings I was so oblivious to before. Like shiny diamonds in amongst the pebbles peeking out and shedding light on lessons learned. I will have little ah ha moments or God moments where I am like oh that’s why I went through that or that’s why that person came into my life or that’s why that person left my life. No regrets, just lessons. Each moment learning more than the moment before. Don’t get me wrong, there are some lessons I wish I would have learned the first or second or even third time but every single second has meaning in this life we happen to be living. God makes ALL THINGS work together for our good.
I am going to take this time to look back on my 2014 goals and see how I did and make some goals for 2015. Overall I can’t believe how much I grew in 2014. In my faith, in my intellect and unfortunately in my body. LOL
In case my New Year’s resolutions are not the top of your mind LOL, let me remind you what they were.
Read more (24 Books (2 per month))
- I did read more. I am pretty sure I did not make the 24 books total but I read more than I did in 2013 so I will consider this a success
Travel more (12 Trips (1 per month)
- We did travel more. We missed a couple months but I am pretty sure we did some sort of trip 10 out of the 12 months. It was awesome. I do enjoy a long vacation but it is pretty cool to take a bunch of weekend trips and explore new places. Some highlights were Tybee (twice) Jacksonville, Nashville, Chicago, Atlanta, Blue Ridge, and many other little day trips.
Work out more
- This one was a failure and usually is. I continue to make the resolution and then quit before January is even over.
Enroll and Start School
- I did it! I am just about halfway done and will have my degree in 2015 then on to my MBA
- Go to church 40 times per year (at least 3/4 time per month)
- I don’t know if I really made it to church 40 times this year but I know that I went at least a couple times every month. Some weekends we were out of town and others I just didn’t make it. No excuses. I did however listen to probably 70 sermons on top of going to church and took a New Testament and Old Testament class and my relationship with God is better than ever.
Learn how to knit or do something crafty
- I didn’t do this. I really still want to be crafty but I don’t think its in my nature. I guess if you count our Halloween decoration mason jars then I did accomplish this but Rich did most of the work.
Do two bible studies at least 1 month long
- I completed 10 online bible studies and went to bible study whenever possible at church plus I read two books by Jen Hatmaker, 2 books by Beth Moore, Took a New Testament Class and an Old testament class. I am closer to Gods word than I ever have been and so many light bulbs have gone off this year.
Have 1 month of bills in savings and decrease debt by 50% more
- We do not have 1 month of bills but we do have some savings. I am still working towards this. We did decrease our debt this year and will continue to make this a priority.
Budget and stick to it
- Budgeting is always so hard for me. I love making the graphs and spreadsheets and on paper everything looks fantastic but I just can’t ever seem to make the paper reality. I am going to keep trying.
Organize and declutter one room per month by working for minimum 15 minutes per day
- This is another one that I was quite ambitious about at the beginning of the year but faltered as the year went on. I really need a clean sweep and I seriously want to pare down our belongings. The less you have, the easier it is to keep clean and I want to bless others.
Watch one television series from beginning to end
- I watched Scandal up to the new episodes and man that is a fantastic show
Send out one card per month to brighten someone’s day
- I did not accomplish this. I did send out more snail mail than usual this year but did not meet the card a month goal.
Pay it forward once a month
- I was fairly successful with this but could have done better for sure. I did not actually do it every month but did some good things when the opportunity arose
Start and keep up with a blog (Minimum 12 posts per year)
- I was jamming along on my blog but I had no readers so I need that instant gratification that Facebook gives me. I do still double post on Facebook and the blog but I haven’t been the best at keeping up the last couple months.
Spend Less time on the computer
- I think overall I probably spent less time on the computer in 2014 but that’s just a technicality as I spend my time on the couch with my tablet in hand, I may be taking a bold move in 2015 if I can get brave enough
- I did meditate more in 2014 but not daily by far. I did fairly well some months and others I didn’t even think about it. I did spend almost every morning reading bible passages for my bible studies so I have to say that I would consider this one a success.
- Be a better wife
- I don’t think I accomplished this goal. I have buttons, I push buttons, my tongue is sharp, and my natural response is to fight. I hope to improve this in the coming year
Argue and yell Less
- I don’t think I did a great job with this either. I just can’t seem to turn the other cheek. When people annoy me I argue. I have a lot to work on.
- I am not sure how you measure loving more but my heart is full. I have so much love for my family, my friends, the stranger down the street, the little boy in Haiti that is still living in a blue tarp, the millions of girls each day that are sold into sex trafficking, our world is so big and there is so much love to give. My hope is to put some action behind my heart in 2015
Try something new once a month
- I think I might have accomplished this without even trying. Unless you are dead, you are going to experience something new each month. I think my 2014 self, wanted it to be more concrete so I am not sure if I can count this as a success.
Journal more ( Write for 15 minutes each day)
- This another resolution I make every year and start out strong but then falter as the days/months go by.
Overall I think 2014 was a pretty successful year. The voice in my heart is getting louder so I am excited and scared at what 2015 might bring. My favorite things from this year:
All of my travels but the trip to Tybee in September was so amazing. It had the perfect amount of activity and relaxation. I loved riding bikes down the beach and exploring more of our favorite little beach town. We ate some amazing food, read some books, painted a little bit, flew kites, sat by the beach, hung out with friends, drank cocktails, shopped, and just were together. It was a fantastic trip that I hope to repeat in 2015.
Going back to Illinois to see my grandma, sisters, family and friends. It was so awesome to catch up with old friends and just be. I love how it feels when you go home.
Going to Nashville in September and going to the boat dock. Love hanging out with friends that are like family and trying new things.
Going to Jacksonville for our anniversary and hang out with our awesome friends. I love spending time with them and that weekend was the perfect mix of a little of everything.
Basically all of my trips were fantastic. I love that we are so lucky to get to travel and even though we didn’t take a “real” vacation all of our little trips added up to the fun that kept on giving all throughout the year.
Having my eyes opened up to so many things in the bible and to Gods word. I have considered myself a Christian my entire life and have been a fairly active churchgoer for most of my life but I learned so much this year. It was mind blowing how all of the promises were fulfilled. All the prophecies in the Old Testament lead to the New and God loves us. No matter how messy, how much a sinner, no matter how many mistakes or good deeds. He just loves us. The moment when I realized that there is nothing I can do or did to earn his love nor is there anything I didn’t do or did that will make him stop loving me. That is good news and I am so blessed.
Spending time with friends. Either my neighbors, out of state friends, or weekly girls night out. I love having a community of people that I can call my own. Several years back, I had a car situation and I had no one I could call except for Rich. That was so sad to me to know I had no one to celebrate the good or to help share the burden of the bad. I can no longer say that. I have some of the best people that I am grateful to call friends. Thank you for being in my life and cannot wait to see what 2015 brings.
This is long enough and I haven’t even started with my 2015 goals/resolutions. I think I will leave that for a different day. I am considering doing it on my birthday that way I get a month to marinate on some ideas I have and in reality “my” New year doesn’t start until then.
If you have made it this far, I give you alot of credit. I didn’t mean this to be so long but thank you again for being a part of my life.
Thank you for sharing my 2014!
I love you all.
I often wonder why Christmas is so full of memories. I mean things happen every year but at the holidays it always seems so raw and emotional.
I think it’s because Christmas gives us a point of reference from years past. Even in the Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge goes from Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas Future. My mind is like that every year. Like we always listened to this song at Christmas, or eat this cookie or do this tradition or tell this story. We talk about Christmas past while decorating the tree. Christmas immerses all of the senses. The smell of Christmas, the sounds of Christmas, the tastes of Christmas and the sights of Christmas. Pine trees and cookies baking, the holiday ham and smell of candles burning at the candlelight service. Hearing or singing favorite Christmas carol or the choir from church, laughter of children and jingle bells, Christmas dinner, cookies, egg nog and hot cocoa and the lights around the house and the neighborhood or the blanket of white snow on the ground.
Its one thing that even though we get older, and things change that is the “same” every year.
I find myself missing home so much at Christmas, missing loved ones who have passed and just the overwhelming sense of melancholy but at the same time I find myself excited for people to open their gifts from me, love sitting in the glow of the Christmas lights listening to Christmas music and just the festive happy feeling at this time of year. People are a little nicer and a little happier and act with a nature of grace.
I love Christmas and hope I always will. Some years we have had much, some years we have had little but I never really remember the gifts we got or the feeling of lack. When I have been strong and when I have been weak. I remember the feelings, the love, the family. The sadness fades but the good feelings live on. Memories like a video playing over and over in my mind. Sneaking up the driveway at my grandmas to shout Christmas gifts so we were able to catch them by surprise, Hanging out with cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents, Michael singing songs with his sweet little voice at his Christmas pageant, Cartoons and movies we watch each year, a late night visitor of old family friends and the gift of an ice cream comb (a comb shaped like and ice cream, clever right). Years of gift exchanges and karaoke nights with our friends, Christmas parties with my family, driving from one grandparents to the next singing Christmas carols all the way and oohing and ahhing over the lights. Remembering driving around with Rich when we were first dating to look at Christmas lights, going to church and the feeling of such incredible blessing and Gods best gift to us.
I know this time of year can be a sad time for some people for all of the reasons I mentioned above but I pray that they will find comfort and peace in the knowing that Jesus was born for us and then died for us. That gift is the most amazing of all and making new traditions while incorporating old ones is what makes Christmas continue to be my favorite time.
I love you all of my friends and family and am so blessed with the GIFT of you in my life. Even if there were nothing under my tree, I have already been given the best gifts of all. Merry Christmas.
I have currently undertaken one of the biggest challenges of my life. I have committed to the Whole 30 plan and wow is it harder than I thought. For those of you not familiar with the Whole 30 (that was me just last week) it is a program not intended as a diet but more a lifestyle.
The Whole30.com website explains it as this:
“Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat – even the “healthy” stuff. So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you?”
You heard correctly I will not be eating sugar, dairy, grains or legumes for 30 days. Those of you that know me know that I struggle with my weight and honestly have been on one diet or another since I was ten years old probably. I struggle with belly fat and a fairly sedentary lifestyle. I like to think I eat fairly healthy but will splurge and overeat on occasion. I love CARBS and chocolate, and cheese.
Since Rich was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol and my cancer past and recent scare, decided to do something drastic. It has been challenging but doable. You don’t realize how deep your food addictions lie until you try to restrict yourself.
On October 1, 2014, I started my first Whole 30. I hadn’t been to the grocery store yet and that was a definite struggle.
Day 1 I ate 3 apples, an orange, a piece of chicken, some lettuce and a salad. Needless to say I was starving and was not sure I could even accomplish this. According to fitness pal I only consumed 743 calories that day. The biggest struggle I found was drinking my coffee without cream and finding Whole 30 compliant foods already in my house.
Day 2 I was still unprepared and had not been to the store. I ate apples and oranges again, chicken and salad for lunch and meatloaf for dinner. I did have a tremendous success this day because I went out for my weekly girls night out and consumed only water and carrots and celery. I really wanted a beer and a piece of pizza but I made it through. I did feel fuller this day because of the meatloaf for dinner but I still did not have any vegetables.
Day 3 I stopped at the store on my way to work and bought some peapods, baby carrots, almonds, pineapple and watermelon. I had also brought my meatloaf from home. I was satisfied all day but felt like I ate nonstop all day. I went grocery shopping on the way home from work and got a bunch of items for our menu for the week. I made salmon in coconut oil and a big salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions and rice wine v vinaigrette. I really wanted a drink this day. Friday is usually a glass of wine or two but the salmon was delicious and I learned I love coconut oil.
Day 4 The hardest day by far. I was home all day and I didn’t realize how much I associate boredom with eating. I had a scrambled egg, blueberries, strawberries and pineapple for breakfast. I had a salad with the rice wine/olive oil vinaigrette for lunch and coffee marinated pork chop with arugula salad for dinner. I ate really well and didn’t feel hungry per se but felt like I was missing something.
Day 5 So far so good. I had a banana and pork chop for breakfast and I am making a shrimp salad with avocado and lime for lunch and we are going to have some delicious chili. I hope this gets easier as time goes on but I really miss cheese, and bread, and pasta, and wine J Today wasn’t too bad and I found that if I am prepared it is a lot easier.
If you were forced to give up one sense and gain supersensitivity in another which senses would you choose. Wow a hard question. I would have to say I would give up smell as much as it saddens me. I love flowers and plug ins and good smells but I would miss seeing and hearing and tasting and touching too much. I would like to gain supersensitivity in tasting although I am not sure I would be able to taste without a sense of smell.
3 Gifts Shared
Snark Bombs away
Try your hand at parody or satire- take an article, film, blog post or song you find misguided and use humor to show us how.
I am not sure how to do this, I will definitely have to think about this one.
A gift scented, scrawled, and started
Love my plug ins and scentsy warmers
My blog-so happy to finally be doing it
Bible study on Esther-it is very touching and eye opening
Grab the nearest book. Open it and go to the tenth word. Do a google image search of the word. Write about what that image brings to mind.
The tenth word was home and the google search brought up tons of pictures of houses, little houses, and big houses. It made me think that home is relative. We always say there’s no place like home but where is home to you? Is it where you live? Is it where you grew up? Is it where your mom is? Is it where your kids are? It’s just hard to say a specific place/house is home. I think home is a feeling rather than a place. I remember when I first moved to Georgia, I was always talking about missing home but now Georgia has become my home and I miss people from where I used to live. Another cliches saying but one I find to be absolutely true. Home is where the heart is, so with that being said, anywhere can be home.
Three gifts drawn
My husband’s art
Blood to show I am still healthy
Sorry I’m busy
Tell us about the one time you should have helped someone but you didn’t.
Ugh, this hurts my heart. There are many times that I should have helped a person but I didn’t in my past. I definitely try to not use the “I’m busy” excuse now. I read something once that you will make time for something that is a priority to you so if you are saying no to someone or not helping them, then I think maybe they are not a priority to you. You may think they are but if it were your mom or sister or best friend that asked the question that you are saying no to, wouldn’t you find the time to help them? It is also about setting boundaries. I am not saying you should say yes and do everything to help everyone because then you will burn out quickly. I challenge myself to keep a helping spirit and try to do my best when asked for help.
3 gifts paired
My husband and I
Dice to play games with
This was a week of relief for me. I had mellowed somewhat last week with my worrying but there was still the underlying fear that there was something wrong. I am happy to know that I am still cancer free and am so humbled by all the support from you guys. You are Amazing to me and I am so lucky. Rich and I have been doing new things and making our little adventures this year. We continued that and did something new this weekend. I am enjoying trying new things, stepping out of my comfort zone and feeling like I am enjoying my weekends to the fullest.
I love that we went kayaking this weekend. We are really lucky to have such a nice place to go so nearby. Savanah Rapids is beautiful and kayaking on the canal was breathtaking. I did flip over once and freaked myself out and the paddling at the end in Lake Olmstead was harder than it should have been but just floating odwn the canal, listening to the birds around us, enjoying the beauty of the trees and water and flower and wildlife, There is so much peace in nature and I can feel the calm wash over me. I love that we were active. I mean we mostly floated but we did have to paddle some and it was more active than sitting and watching television or surfing the internet.
I love that I have one more week and I will be done with my third class, just about halfway done. It is going by so quickly and by this time next year I will have accomplished step one of my goal.
I love shopping at goodwill especially when there is a ton of stuff that is perfect for me. I get bored and love getting new clothes and especially new shoes for next to nothing. I got two pairs of super cute boots and some skirts and pretty much a new fall wardrobe J It is so relaxing to search through the racks and find the treasures and to know that I am not spending that much money makes it even better.
I love my new phone, well its really rich’s old phone but its nice to dial a number and it actually rings and the camera on his phone is way better than mine and I have a front facing camera now so woohoo selfies LOL
I love that we have been eating healthy and the food tastes so good. The pork chops and pineapple/cucumber salsa was amazing.
I love that I have been blogging every day, kept up with my bible study and my photo a day. I rock J Usually I am totally off the bandwagon by Day 7 let alone day 11 and I have also done my TILT successfully for the last month.
I love that Rich has been blogging as well. He writes fantastic travel reviews and should be a travel writer. 🙂
I love random surprises from Rich to brighten my day.
I love that we are going to visit our friends in Tennessee and Arts in the heart is coming. Two super fun things. I think this weekend I need to stay home and get all my housework done so I can enjoy the next couple weeks. I still don’t understand how our house can get so messy in such a short amount of time with three grown people in the house.
I love having an opportunity to do stuff for other people or brighten peoples day. I cannot begin to express how much people have done for me and how much they have helped me to stay sane and cheered me up and listened to me so when I get to reciprocate I am overjoyed. IT is always easier to give than to receive. I have heard about if you don’t let others help you, then you are stealing their blessing and I am glad I am better at accepting help than I used to be but still love when I get to be the giver.
I love that I think I have gotten a bit of my style back. It is a different style than it used to be but I have started to put together outfits that I love and get complimented for. A certain person had me doubting myself and everything I put on so it has been nice to get back to me again.
I am looking forward to the next few weekends and love you all. Thank you for being here for me.
What was your favorite plaything as a child? Do you see any connection between your life now and your favorite plaything.
I was more often with my nose in a book rather than playing. I didn’t have a lot of toys and I cannot really remember a specific toy. Isn’t that crazy? When you are a kid, the newest, latest greatest toy is al you think about and now 30 some years later I cannot really remember a single toy I played with. I had a stuffed dog named fluffy that I loved but I spent a lot of time out doors and reading. I can tell you the toys I wanted and never got but had I received them they would probably be in the list of toys I cannot remember. I don’t know whether it had a connection to who I am today but I know books changed my life. They took me to a place that I couldn’t go in the real world and helped me escape all my troubles. They helped me to survive and they were my best friends when I didn’t have any.
3 Gifts in his word