Be Intentional

Intentional. That word keeps popping up in all kinds of things in my every day life. It even came up in a Sunday school lesson at church Sunday. So what does it mean?
The definition of intentional is: to do on purpose; deliberate.
How many things do we do intentionally in our lives? How many other things should we do intentionally, but don’t?
I have really tried to make a few things more intentional the last few weeks. One of them is working out. I was just trying to get a workout in whenever. Which means most days it didn’t happen. The baby wouldn’t take a nap, or I had unexpected company, or a sick kid. And so a workout would be put on the back burner. So I finally made the decision to start getting up early to workout. I am NOT A morning person. But if I am serious about getting healthy and getting this weight off, it’s what I have to do. So I intentionally set my alarm at night, and get up at least 3 times a week to get a workout in. And can I tell you, I feel so good. It gives me crazy energy for the day. I am happier.
Next, I intentionally track my food, prepare and food prep. I can’t just fumble around through the day and not have a meal plan. That leads to eating junk. Junk that doesn’t go along with a healthy lifestyle nor makes me feel good.
So if I do all of that intentionally, what else do I need to do? The most important thing is my daily bible reading and quiet time with God. Again, it was one of those things that I just tried to fit into my day whenever. And guess what? Some days, alot of days, it didn’t happen. I had time to get on Facebook and instagram. I had time to text a friend. I had time to watch TV but somehow, I didn’t have time for God. So that’s something else I am making an intentional part of my life. With getting a workout in so early, it frees up time in my day. So I am now intentionally setting aside time to do a devotional, read my Bible, and read a book that’s not just a fiction book.
As I prioritize my life, and make the important things intentional, it really reveals to me all the things that I waste time on, and the things I need to make more intentional. I need to make time with my kids more intentional. I need to make time with my hubby more intentional. I need to make connecting with my true friends, more intentional. But top of that list, I still need to make more time with God, intentional.
Whether we think we have time for things or not, we make choices every day. We choose how much tv we watch, how much time we spend on social media. So why not choose, be intentional, with our time with God. And for me, for a more healthy lifestyle. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. It’s what we intentionally choose to do with it that counts, what shapes our lives, our attitudes, our thinking. So be intentional.

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A Busy Example

When did we let life become so busy? And yes I said let. It seems we are all running here and there and feel as if we and our kids have to participate in everything. Staying busy is not bad, but when we let it interfere with family, relationships, and most importantly church and our relationship with God, it becomes a problem.
I was talking to my mom yesterday as we were out and about together, and I told her that we are raising a generation of people that don’t and won’t know how important church is. Why? Because we, by example, show them that anything else we want or need to do on Sunday and Wednesday night is more important than church.
And it’s not just church. How often do they see us reading our Bibles during the week, or praying? I know I struggle with making all of that a priority. I won’t say that I don’t have time. I will say I don’t make the time. Actions speak louder than words. So by our actions, we are teaching them that tv, social media, sports, friends, and so much more are more important that reading and studying our Bibles and praying.
Everyone wants to talk about how bad the world is, and how bad this generation is. But we, as the examples, are not really helping. How are they supposed to know if we don’t lead?
Growing up, we went to church. It wasn’t an option. I didn’t wake up on Sunday and wonder if we were going. Unless you were throwing up or had fever, you were there. It wasn’t “we will go if we don’t have this, or go do that, etc ” Now, I hear kids telling parents why they can’t go to church. I hear the kids making the decisions. I hear adults letting kids make the decisions. Since when do we let kids make the rules, decide on what’s best? I hear adults make excuses, adults putting all kinds of things before church.
And let me go farther and say, it’s not just being so busy we are forgetting church and the things that draw us closer to God.
There are families that no longer ever have sit down family meals. There are families that no longer spend time as a family, because everyone is running in different directions. Our friendships that are so important to us, somehow get disregarded, put on the back burner. I am guilty of this as well. We have to work at friendships, at relationships, at all the things important to us.
Like I said, I am guilty of this too. I get so wrapped up in my life sometimes, that I am not a good friend. I have friendships over the years that have gone away because I didn’t put the effort in.  I believe that’s why so many marriages end. People don’t put in the work, they don’t make an effort.
Being a good Christian takes work. Being a good church member takes work. Being a good spouse, parent, child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, example, friend, takes work. It takes effort. It sometimes takes us getting rid of distractions, hobbies, and things. All these things are not bad, but when they interfere with our walk with God, it becomes a distraction. When our walk with God is not what it should be, it affects all aspects of our lives.
And it will not stop until we make it stop. The world will continue to throw more stuff at us. There’s always gonna be things that can take our attention away. It’s up to us to say no. It’s up to us to have our family at church everytime the doors are open. It’s up to us to reach out and be that friend. It’s up to us to strive to be more like Jesus and less like the world, no matter  what we have to give up. It’s up to us to be an example for our friends and family. It’s up to us to decide what our priorities are. It’s up to us to lead our kids in the way they should go, to give them love, time, structure and it’s up to us to make the hard decisions.

A Balancing Act

So I know I have been M.I.A. for quite awhile. Lots of things have happened since my last blog post. A couple of weeks after my last post, I found out I was pregnant. July 15, 2015 I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl. For those of you counting or keeping up, that’s 3 girls. To say life has changed is an understatement.

Whomever said that after 2 kids, the number doesn’t matter, lied. Haha. I didn’t know going from two to three, would be so hard. Just being honest. It’s those kind of things people don’t tell you. By far, she has been the hardest baby yet. And please don’t get in an uproar by that. It doesn’t mean I don’t love her or thank God for her every single day. It just means that she’s a baby with her own needs and personality and for awhile, it didn’t align with the rest of the family. Haha

For the first 6-8 weeks, she cried all the time. If she was awake, she was crying. It was almost like she didn’t know how to be awake. And she hardly ever slept. She cat napped alot. She wouldn’t sleep at night. I felt like a walking zombie. She hated her swing, her bouncy seat, basically anything that meant putting her down.

But with blurry eyes, we made our way through that phase. She’s now a pretty happy baby that loves to be talked to and held. She loves her big sisters talking to her and dancing in front of her.

So where does that leave me? It leaves me feeling like I’m on a tightrope, and could fall at any moment.

As far as food went, I enjoyed this pregnancy. I ate healthy some, but also ate whatever I wanted. So I gained about 30+pounds back of the 51 I had lost. I promised myself that once I had this baby, since I knew it would be my last, that after the 6 weeks, I would get back at it full force. And I have tried unsuccessfully.

I don’t know how to fit it all in. I am exhausted. I have never been this tired. I still have the want to, to lose this weight and get back to eating right and exercising but making time for myself is an issue.

On days I might get a workout in, it usually means something else doesn’t get done, dishes, laundry, bills etc. And some days that’s ok, but it can’t happen everyday. And trying to cook healthy and keep healthy food in the house is a struggle. Some nights,  my family is lucky to get a hotdog.

The baby still gets up some nights, so getting up earlier in the morning is impossible. I still run alot of my days off little sleep. And she tends to be a night owl,  so by the time she goes to bed, everyone else is in bed and I am exhausted.

I have joined several challenge groups on Facebook to try and keep me accountable and motivate me. But all they really do is make me feel worse. Because they are all working out and killing it, losing weight and inches, and I’m over here, feeling like a fish out of water, just flopping around on the sand.

I know what I have to do to lose the weight.  I know how much work and effort it takes. So where do I fit it all in? It’s not that I don’t want to do it. And I’m usually the first to not finish stuff, not stick to things, to make excuses. But I don’t even have that choice right now. Life is dictating that.

As a mom, how do you do it all? How do you make time for yourself, workout, food prep, and still take care of everyone else? Goodness knows I don’t have the answers.

And this is my last baby so I want to enjoy the time with her. I don’t want to look back and wish I had done something different or spent more time with her and less working out. But where’s the balance?

I sometimes feel like I’m over here doing a whole lot of things, but nothing really well. I miss working out. I miss feeling good and seeing results. I miss having energy. But none of that compares to when I hold my baby girl. When it’s just her and I. I would give up every night of sleep and every pound lost for her.

So I’m back to the rambling statement, how do you balance?  How do you find time for it all? How do you take time for yourself without sacrificing your families needs?

It’s a journey, a process, but not a race.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve already seen post after post about my weight loss journey. At this point I have lost 24 pounds. It’s hard for me not to add the word “only” in there. But I am proud of every pound. But yes I am hard on myself at times, and don’t give myself enough credit.
People ask me what my “secret” is to losing weight, to staying motivated, to having willpower. I hate to disappoint, but there is no secret. There are lots of prayers, lots of talking to God, lots of hard work, lots of planning, and figuring out what works for me.
I am not on a diet. This is not something I can or will get off of. You’ve all heard it before, but it’s definitely a lifestyle change. It’s not about eating very little food I don’t like and doing exercises I hate. I eat “real” food and lots of it and I have found workouts I like to do.
For me, it’s about being healthy. Yes the scale is a big part of it, but also how I feel, the way my clothes fit, my energy level, is all driving forces. If I told you my starting weight, some of you wouldn’t be able to close your mouth. You might would even fall off your seat. And 24 pounds down, compared to that number is not a lot. I will be the first to say it. But with those 24 pounds less, comes more energy, finding foods I enjoy to eat that are good for my body, and clothes that fit better and that I feel better in.
I think people carry around extra weight for a lot of different reasons. And for me, it’s about figuring that stuff out and changing me from the inside out. If I don’t work on the inside, my way of thinking and my relationship to food, then it will be a losing battle. Because I would have never fixed the real problem. I’m planning on doing several blogs about all of this, such as food addiction, what I eat, how I push through body pain, what keeps me going, etc. Let me know if there’s anything you would like for me to include, talk about, or blog about. I am open to putting myself out there to help others, to motivate others, and to keep others accountable. I just started on this journey and I am excited to see what’s next, what the future holds. And I’m not gonna lie, I know there will be ups and downs, emotionally, physically, and weight wise. But I am not giving up. I am not stopping.
You may ask how this time is different than all the other times I have started and stopped. Because this time I want it, I want it for me. I am excited about it, and I am making changes I can continue with day after day. I am loving me now so I can also love me later. I may not have taken care of this body in the past, but God still loves me and I’m still here so I changing this body, this head and the inside. Follow me on this journey.

Hannah-The Name Says it All

It’s been a long time since I have written in my blog. Sometimes life just takes over, and I feel almost like I am just hanging out in the water, and then the waves come and just toss me all about.
Last year, I wrote about Katelyns story. And I said Hannah’s story was for another time. Well since her birthday was last week, I think this is the perfect time.
After we had Katelyn, we knew we didn’t want to wait too long to have another. I have a twin brother, but we have a sister that is six years older than us. Patrick, my husband, has a sister that is 8 years older than him. We wanted our kids to be closer together. But with it taking so long to have Katelyn, we weren’t sure when to start. Like I said in another blog, Katelyn was a great baby. She was very laid back. She would sit in front of the tv at 6 months old, and watch Backyardigans. So that really helped our decision along.
At Katelyn’s first birthday party, I pulled my best friend aside and told her we we going to start trying for baby #2. We knew it could possibly happen quick, but really thought it would take awhile. Katelyn’s birthday is in March, and by May, we knew we were pregnant.
We were so excited. And at that point I knew God had a sense of humor. As we started telling people, the response was mixed. People were shocked but happy. And we got a lot of, “So soon?”
I remember people who didn’t know me that well would ask things like, ” What are you going to do?” What did that mean? I’m pretty sure I was not the first person to have kids almost two years apart. And I will admit I was a little nieve and just thought it was no big deal.
I had a fairly easy pregnancy with both girls. So Jan. 7th, I went in to have Hannah. Just like Katelyn, she was two days overdue. Two of the hardest things were being away from Katelyn and then the spinal headache. There is no other headache that compares to a headache due to the epidural. They had trouble with my epidural due to a curve in my spine. I had Hannah on a Wed., and had a headache from that Wed., until Sunday. A never ending, horrible headache.
As I was being discharged from the hospital on that Friday, I remember the doctor told me to go home and lay as flat as possible as much as I could for the headache. I laughed out loud. I had a newborn and 21 month old. Was he serious?
Well I quickly learned my girls were vastly different. Hannah cried a lot. She had acid reflux and colic. So from afternoon to night, she cried. She was probably 4-6 months old before I got to sit through an entire night service at church. I found myself more times than not, in the nursery, just my two kids and I. I’m not going to lie. Having two in diapers, and two so young was tough at times. But at the same time I loved it. I knew no difference and just did it.
Hannah has taught me so much. And every day her and Katelyn show me time and time again how different they are.
They have switched roles somewhat. Hannah is now more like me, laid back, go with the flow kind of person. She’s like her daddy in that she can make quick decisions and stick to them. It amazes me in their differences, but also just when you think you have them figured out, they change.
Hannah turned five last week. I still can’t believe my baby is 5. Some days, I feel like she should still be in an infant carrier. Or as a toddler running away from me at Wal-Mart and having to be caught by employees.
Hannah makes me laugh every single day. She is so funny and doesn’t mean to be. She gives the best hugs, and that smile of hers gets her out of a lot of trouble. She is brutally honest at times. I cringe when I hear her speak to people at times, because I don’t know what’s coming out of her mouth. When she’s sick or in trouble, she wants her mama, but she’s a true daddy’s girl. Her favorite thing to do is cuddle with him or sit in the floor and play. At 5, she still doesn’t really have an attention span for tv very long. She loves music, and loves to sing. While Katelyn is a dramatic girly girl, Hannah is fine with jeans, t-shirt and ponytail. She’s left handed and sucks her right thumb. She’s very sneaky. She’s boy crazy. She has two nicknames, Monkey and Hannah bug. I call her monkey and it fits her perfectly.
There is never a way to truly describe my girls in a paragraph or two. They, along with my hubby, are my blessings. On my worst days, I look at those little blonde headed girls faces, and all is right with the world. I am truly in awe that God chose me to be their mommy. It’s a big responsibility, but one I wouldn’t have any other way.
So this is a little about Hannah. This is not even what I meant to write. But oh well. My prayer is both my girls will grow up to love The Lord, have a servants heart, and to always seek Him.

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BzzAgent Review for Maggi So Juicy

I absolutely love being a BzzAgent and getting to try products and review them for free. I love finding things my family loves and things that make my job as wife and mom easier.

I was accepted to review the Maggi So Juicy seasonings blend. I was excited to try this. We love chicken, and I am always looking for new flavors and seasonings to change it up. I bought chicken legs really cheap at my grocery store. I chose the Italian CountrySide Herb Blend to use. I thought my kids would like it the best. I followed the directions on the pack. No oils, no messy blending. It comes with a baking bag.

My entire family loved it. I can’t wait to try the other flavors.

You can pick these up at your local Kroger for less that $2.00 a packet. Well worth it.

Oh Be Careful Little Eyes

If you follow me on facebook, then you have already seen a glimpse of what I thought about the whole Miley Cyrus/VMA’s performance.  But the more I see about it, the more of an opinion I have.  I was shocked when I watched it.  Not because I didn’t expect it of her, but because this is what so called music, dancing and videos have become.  If you have followed any news about her in the last two years, this was not unexpected.  She has been headed this way for awhile.  But to be honest, look at any Vine video, Utube video, or even instagram video of a high school or college girl and what do you see?  Alot of girls “twerking.”  Maybe not to the extent of Miley, but none the less, girls with their bottoms stuck in the air, shaking it for all the world to see.

     Now are they all doing it for attention or for the wrong reasons?  Probably not.  Its now a trend.  So girls follow the trend, see if they can do it, and then video it.  I am sure some think its cute and harmless.  But then I pose this question.  Who are our girls and guys looking up to?  Admiring?  Copying?  What are they listening to?  Watching? 

     No matter the age, we need to remember the song, “Oh be careful little eyes.”  Whether we are kids, teens, or adults, we all need to be careful or what we see, hear and do.  I think some of you would be shocked if you googled lyrics to the “popular” songs or even songs you hear on the radio and sing and dance along to.  Half of them you can’t understand what they are saying, so we dance along because it has a good beat.  But before we allow music in our vehicles, on our t.v, and in our heads, we might want to know what its saying.

     I had never even heard the “song of the summer” Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke until about two weeks ago.  Someone was telling me how bad it was so I googled the lyrics.  They are very suggestive and condescending to women.  After I read the lyrics, I heard it for the first time the next week on the radio.  And if I had not googled the words before hand, I probably would have never known what he was saying or suggesting.  Its a catchy song with a good beat.  But the lyrics are suggestive and say otherwise.

     So when he comes out on the VMA’s and him and Miley grind and do suggestive things on stage, is it really any surprise?  If you know the lyrics, what they did should be no surprise. The thing that is shocking to me is her mom gave her a standing ovation.  She is 20 and he is 36.  Oh and he has a wife and kids.  So her mom stood up and clapped for her.  Good job mom.  Good job on telling your “little girl” that you are proud of her for parading around of stage with barely any clothes on, for hanging your tongue out the entire time, and for dancing with a married man, in a way that only his wife should do.  And to the guy, great job dad on showing your kids that its ok for you to basically view girls as just a play thing and its perfectly ok to sing about women in a deragatory way and treat them onstage as your play thing.  Thats exactly what your kids need to know.

So who are your kids watching?  Who do they listen to?

Parents its up to us to show them whats right and wrong.  I don’t care if Robin Thicke has 100 hits, he will not be played in my vehicle, we will not watch anything he is on or performing on.  If I get a hint of a song by him, the station will be turned with an explanation to my girls that he says not so nice stuff and acts in a way that is inappropriate.  That my friends is my job as a mom.  We are so surprised by how people dress and act but yet, as parents we allow it.  We tell them its ok.  We say, “Oh its just a song, or just a tv show, or just a video.”  if that was the case then we wouldn’t have girls dressing in a way that tells the world they don’t care who sees their bodies, and any attention is good attention. 

I am a firm believer that we show and tell people how to treat us.  If you want guys to view you as less, ladies, then dress in a way that leaves little to the imagination, “twerk” in your videos, and basically degrade yourself.  If you want guys or anyone to treat you with respect, you have to respect yourself.  Respect yourself enough to be modest and clothe yourself where you are not getting attention for whats showing but for who you really are.  Conduct yourself in a way that shows people you respect yourself, and you give respect so you deserve respect.

I want my girls to learn right from wrong from me and my husband, not from the world.  I want them to know whats respectable and acceptable to us, and in our house, and why.  Because when they get to be an adult, I want them to have a firm, Godly foundation to base their life, decisions, the way they date, the friends they have, and even how they dress on. If we don’t set the standards for them, then the world will. 

Its my job to set the example.  Does that mean they will not rebel or have some not so great shining moments? Nope.  They will mess up and make wrong decisions.  But if we raise them right, be their biggest supporter but also their greatest example, then when they do mess up, make wrong decisions, they will know it because they were raised with that foundation. 

So what kind of parent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, or friend are you?  The one that gives the standing O even when they have shamed themselves or the one who is the example so the other person would know not to be up there doing it in the first place?