Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Year, New You

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Now, we look forward to the New Year, and for a lot of people that means New Year's resolutions. You can read more about my thoughts on New Year's Resolutions in this post from last year. Simply put, I'm not a huge fan. I feel like people often make them out of obligation and because they feel like they should, not because they're really intent on changing something in their life.

While I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions, I am a big fan of deciding you'd like to make a change in your life, setting goals, and establishing a plan to reach those goals. You can do this ANY time, but the New Year is a great time to evaluate where you are and where you would like to be. Theron and I set aside time to do this every January, and then, we evaluate and adjust our goals throughout the year. Based on things we've learned from Keith Kochner at, we will be looking at goals related to our Faith, Finances, Foundation, Health, and Relationships this year. I think these are great general categories to evaluate every once in awhile. Of course, you can set your goals however you would like in any area(s) you would like.

One of my goals this year is to pursue my passion for health and wellness more intensely. In specific terms, I'm not exactly sure what this looks like yet. This is still a goal in progress :). However, one specific thing I am going to do is to blog consistently about health and wellness. I follow plenty of health and wellness blogs, so I know there are already a lot of them out there, but I feel like this is a way for me to connect to people who may be interested in weight loss, healthy eating, exercising, improving their overall health, or all of the above! These are all great areas of interest to me and while I am by no means an expert in any of these areas, I love to learn more about them all the time. I feel like the fact that I'm not an expert is actually an advantage in relating to real people just like me. I'm on a tight budget, I don't have lots of exercise equipment, I don't have lots of extra time, and I have a family to feed and take care of. Hopefully, as I find answers and simple ways for us to live a healthy lifestyle, I can pass them on to all of the other "regular" people out there who might be looking for the same answers.

I plan to blog healthy recipes, exercise routines that require little time and little/no equipment, general tips for healthy living, and encouragement and motivation. Even if your goals are not health-related, I also plan to blog about goal setting and simple steps you can take to reach your goals.

As you look forward to the new year, I hope you will look at areas in your life you would like to change or specific things you would like to accomplish. I also hope you'll check back in occasionally to see what's going on here!

- What are your goals for the new year? 
- Is there anything specific you would like me to post about in the future?

Monday, December 10, 2012

2 years old!

It's been awhile (a long while) since I've posted (again), but I couldn't miss out on Will's 2 year update! What a fast and fun 2 years it has been!

He got to have two fun birthday celebrations. One with my family in Elmer over the Thanksgiving holiday and one with lots of friends and family here in Oklahoma City.

I let him choose the theme he wanted, and he rather emphatically told me he wanted a "gween John Deewe twactor pawty!" The boy loves anything to do with the farm. Tractors, plows, cows, horses, pigs, fields, get the idea. He loves being able to visit both sets of his grandparents in the country, and we are proud to say he really is a country boy at heart.

Thanks to Pinterest, I was able to find some really cute decoration and food ideas. We had the party in a room at our church that has a door that leads directly to the outdoor play area. Thank goodness for 75 degree weather on December 1 because the kids were able to play outside all they wanted! I also set up a table with tractor coloring sheets and farm-themed puzzles for those who didn't want to battle the wind that day. There were also plenty of balloons, which seem to be able to keep kids of all ages entertained for hours.


The most important thing was that Will had a blast! He kept asking if we could go "back to Will's birthday party? Pweeeeeesss?" I told him mommy's can only handle one birthday party a year. I tried to keep things very simple, but I was still worn out by the time it was over.

We went in for his 2-year check up last week, and his growth is still about the same. He was 25 lbs. 15 oz. (25%) and 35 1/2 inches long (75%). Thank goodness for adjustable waistband pants! He is very healthy and is done with immunizations until he is 4. Woo hoo!!! His doctor also commented on how well he speaks, and I told her it's because he gets plenty of practice!

I will take a moment to do a little motherly bragging (that's allowed, right?). Will does speak very well for a 2-year-old. He also has an incredible memory! Sometimes it scares me. He knows all of his letters and letter sounds. He can count to 20 (twenty-teen to be exact). He knows lots of different colors and shapes and loves to label things that way (look at the red car; the tires are black circles). He inherited his father's analytic brain and loves to sort his toys in various ways. It is not unusual for me to find all of the cars lined up, all of the animals in another line, and all of his people in another line. One day he sorted his diapers by Sesame Street character (Elmos, Big Birds, Ernies, etc.), and then asked me to help him count each pile. When Theron came home for lunch, I told him we'd done some basic accounting that morning by taking inventory of Will's diapers. He was so proud.

I would love to take credit for having such a little smarty, but I give credit where credit is Leapfrog. The people who created the Leapfrog learning products and DVD's really knew what they were doing. Will absolutely loves the DVD's, and they have taught him so much. I do my best to reinforce what he is learning, but he honestly picked up a lot of things from watching those movies. His favorites are Letter Factory, Numbers Ahoy, Phonics Farm, and Let's Go to School. He also loves a lot of the toys and games made by Leapfrog, and I love that he can have fun and learn at the same time.

Lastly, here are a few things I never imagined I'd be dealing with when I had a 2-year-old:

- Limiting computer time: Who knew you would need to limit the computer time of a 2-year-old? I don't think I even saw a computer until I was in elementary school, and we didn't have one in our house until I was in middle school. Will would play on the computer or the Ipad all day if I would let him. He mostly plays educational games, but he also loves watching YouTube videos. No matter what he's doing, I know he doesn't need to be spending hours playing on either device.

- Brand recognition: The kid has clear preferences over which "brands" he likes. Of course there's John Deere (that's a given), but he can point out a Chick-fil-a from a mile away. If you even pull close to another fast food restaurant, he says "No, no. Chick-fi-way." He also recognizes Target, Aldi, and Wal-Mart as soon as he sees them. This isn't too surprising as frequently as we visit them. All of this has really made me aware of just how much information he is constantly taking in. I know I need to be aware of what I am putting in front of his eyes.

- Excessive hugging: Will has been affectionate since the day he was born. He's always loved to cuddle, and of course, I've given him all the hugs and kisses I possibly could. However, recently, we've had to discuss excessive hugging. As in hugging your friends so hard that you knock them down and put them in a head lock or squeezing them so tight that you're hurting them and they can't breathe. He's getting better about this. We still need to work on his sloppy, open-mouth kisses.

I truly cannot believe how fast the past 2 years have gone by. They have been some of the most joyful, exciting, and trying years of my life! I love my sweet Will. He is strong-willed, outgoing, inquisitive, active, funny, and loving. He loves music, dancing, racing, cars, trucks, the farm, hugs, kisses, cuddles, tickles, and wrestling. He can be oh so sweet and oh so ornery. He can make me laugh so hard, and he can also make me want to scream and pull my hair out.

Before I put him in bed each night I tell him: Will, Mommy loves you so much. You are a good, sweet boy. You are so special to Mommy and Daddy. God made you, and God loves you so much. God thinks you are so special. God didn't make anyone else just like Will, but he made Will exactly the way he is supposed to be. No matter what you do, Mommy and Daddy will always love you.

Happy 2nd birthday, sweet Will!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


So, almost 2 months ago I wrote a blog post about how I was going to try to post something new once a week. Well, it's been 2 months and here we are. I didn't write a new post once a week. I actually didn't write a new post for 2 whole months. I could give you a lot of reasons (read: excuses) why I haven't posted anything in the past 2 months. I could tell you how busy I've been. How I'm a full-time stay-at-home mom with a home-based business, lots of church activities, plenty of social activities, and a husband that actually likes me to spend time with him. I could tell you all those things, and all of those things would be true. Instead, I want to tell you the real reason I haven't been blogging lately, and it all boils down to one word:  Priorities.

I have given this a lot of thought lately. I started noticing how many times I caught myself using the phrase, "I just didn't have time for that." Or saying things like, "I really meant to get to it, I just didn't have time that day." I also started noticing how other people often used similar phrases to explain themselves and why they hadn't accomplished a certain task.

It's no secret that I love to read personal-development, personal-growth type books, and one theme I was noticing over and over in the books I was reading was taking personal responsibility for your actions. Not making excuses, not feeling like you have to constantly explain yourself, not whining, not complaining, not blaming anyone or anything else. Simply accepting responsibility for everything you do and do not do day in and day out.

As I started to think about this and to consider what it really looked like to take full responsibility of my actions, I kept coming back to the idea of priorities. I had plenty of time for the things I wanted to make time for in my day:

Look at Facebook at least 15 times a day - check
Check my email at least 15 times a day - check
Read all my favorite blogs - check
Spend at least 30 minutes on Pinterest - check

Sadly, all of these activities were consuming a big chunk of my time each day, and somehow, there wasn't enough time for me to do the things I actually needed to do. I don't think any of the activities I mentioned above are bad, but I do think they can be a distraction from things that could be more productive and beneficial. What I learned was that if I established my priorities and got to the important things first, I actually had plenty of time to do the other "time-wasting" stuff. Then, they weren't really time wasters, they were necessary breaks in my day. They were a chance for me to relax and have a few mindless moments to myself. I was actually able to enjoy doing those things more because I knew I had already accomplished the other things I needed to do that day.

So, in all honesty, this blog just hasn't been a priority lately. I enjoy blogging. I really enjoy blogging. But I needed a break to get my priorities straight and to manage my time wisely. What has been a priority?

- Spending more time in the Word, alone with God - seeking his will for my life, listening for His voice, and praying for my friends and family.

- Doing things around the house that I don't "love" doing but that need to be done. (Laundry, dishes, deep cleaning, etc.). Not that I didn't do these things before, but I had a tendency to put them off until they piled up, and I absolutely had to do them.

- Spending time playing with Will. You would think as a stay-at-home mom that I would spend lots of time playing with Will. The truth is there are some days that an entire day goes by, and I realize I never just got on the floor and played with him - whatever he wanted to play. We build blocks, we drive trucks, we jump on the bed, we play hide and seek. I love and cherish that I get to do these things with him and know that they need to be a top priority.

- Working my Arbonne business. When I decided I wanted this business to work for my family and for me, I knew I had to put work in, to get benefits out. Spending a small chunk of time on my business each day has already begun to pay off, and I cannot wait to see where things will go in the future. I could write an entire post on how much I believe in this company and the people who are associated with it, but that is another post for another time.

- Doing other necessary things such as preparing for my boot camp classes, preparing for the Wednesday night children's activities at our church, cooking our meals, getting breakfast ready the night before, taking time to volunteer and help out when and where I can.

The funny thing is I began to feel like I had more time each day. I was getting more done than I ever had before, and I had time to spare! Each of us is given the same 24 hours every day. It is up to us to choose how we use those hours we are given. I saw a quote on Pinterest (imagine that) that says: If it is important to you, you will find a way. If it's not, you will find an excuse.

What's important to you? Does the way you spend your time reflect that? Take the time to really look at the way you're spending your time each day. You might be surprised that you really do have time for "that," whatever that may be. Find time to do the important things.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekly Menu

I haven't posted our weekly menu in a long time. Ok, so I haven't posted anything in a long time. I really want to get back to posting more regularly. I don't know if anyone really misses reading my blog, but I sure do miss writing! I hope to start making time to post at least once a week, but I'm not making any promises.

Anyway, to get back into the swing of things I thought I'd post our menu for the week. This is pretty simple since I plan out our menu every week anyway. All I have to do is type it up and share it with you! Maybe this will give you some ideas and inspiration for your menu this week.

Monday - Breakfast: turkey bacon, whole-wheat toast, and eggs
                Dinner: Balsamic Chicken (from Skinny Ms.) over brown rice

Tuesday - Breakfast: Peach Crisp
                Dinner: Black Bean Pasta

Wednesday - Breakfast: Chocolate Baked Oatmeal
                     (adapted from this recipe from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures)
                     Dinner: Homemade Cheeseburger Pockets

Thursday - Breakfast: Cranberry Orange Muffins
                  Dinner: Spaghetti
                  (I'll be out of town, so Theron will be doing his own cooking.)

Friday - Breakfast: Cereal (again, I'm out of town, so Theron's on his own)
             Dinner: Pesto Chicken Pizza

I'll have to post some of these recipes soon, so you can make them for you family.

Saturday and Sunday we're visiting Theron's family in Kansas, so I don't have any meals planned for those days. I can't wait to see them, and I know our meals will be delicious!

Hope you have a great week!

Monday, June 18, 2012

18 Months


I have so much going on in my life that I would love to write and tell you about, but I have not been the most disciplined blogger lately. Maybe that's because I have so many things going on in my life right now! Nevertheless, I am not giving up on blogging, and I have plenty of things to write about for the next year or so (give or take a few months).

The one thing I have taken time to blog about (somewhat) consistently is Will's monthly update. So, here I am again, and my baby is 18 months old. One and a half! Closer to Two than he is to One. Why is time going so fast, and how in the world do I slow it down?

I may still call him my baby, but he is definitely not a baby. He truly is a little boy and does little boy things every day. I took him for his 18-month check up a couple weeks ago, and the pediatrician once again confirmed that he is a happy, healthy little boy. He is growing and developing just the way he is supposed to.

He was 32 3/4 inches long (75%) and 22 lbs. 9 oz. (10%). The doctor promised me that his head would be on the growth charts one day. It has been in the < 3% since he's been born. I told her it was just God's way of answering my prayers because I prayed daily that I would not have to have a c-section. Thank you, God.

He is talking more and more all the time, and his words are becoming clearer each day. He is definitely quite the little parrot, and mommy and daddy have to be very aware of the words we choose to say. Not that we use horrible language on a regular basis, but we have to make sure that nothing slips out that could later embarrass us in public. 

He loves animals and is very good at making his animal sounds. He also has a few DVD's and computer games he likes that have been helpful in teaching him letters and numbers. He can recognize a few different letters, and anytime he sees written words (in books, on signs, wherever), he says, "ABC's?" We go to the library at least every other week, and he picks out 2 books and 2 DVD's to check out and take home. Sometimes, we go to story time, but we don't always make it.

One of the big events for this month was that Theron and I took a 4 day vacation with our Sunday School class and left Will with my parents. It was the longest I had ever been away from him, and the first time he had stayed somewhere else without Mommy or Daddy. He did great! He and my parents both loved every single minute of it. I think he was pretty well-taken care of (spoiled), but I was actually very proud of my parents for keeping him on his normal schedule (for the most part). It was definitely a good experience for everyone involved.

Let me just throw in a side note here. Even though it is SO difficult to leave our children, even for just a few days, I think it is essential to a marriage. It was so nice for Theron and I to have some time away where Will was not constantly the focus of our attention. I know it is hard to even make time for a monthly date night, so really getting away can be a challenge. But if you can do it...DO IT! It will be well worth it for you, your spouse, your marriage, and your child. I think it is especially helpful if you are a stay-at-home mom.

Moving on.

I really can't get enough of my little boy. He makes me laugh so hard. He gives me the sweetest hugs and kisses you've ever seen. He has such an ornery side but such a sweet side, too. He loves babies and treats them so nicely. He disobeys with a huge grin on his face, knowing he's about to get in trouble. He runs away and hides when I ask him to do anything (get a clean diaper, change his clothes, etc.), but I can't help but laugh when I hear that shriek and giggle as I chase after him. I love how I walk in his room in the morning, and he says, "Momma! Bye, bye bed!" And as much as I say it annoys me, I kind of love it when he comes up behind me while I'm cooking, beats on my legs, and says "Hold you," in the sweetest voice ever.

What I'm trying to say is, I love this little boy more than life itself, and even on the days I just want to run away because he's been so ornery, so whiny, or so clingy, I can't imagine my life without him.

Happy 18 Months, Sweet Will! Momma loves you bunches!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

17 Months

So, I'm a little behind. What's new? Will's been 17 months old for about a week and a half two weeks now, and I'm finally getting around to writing his monthly update. Oh well.

I would say the theme of this month has been "Go!" Maybe this is actually just the theme of our lives. I feel like we are constantly moving, constantly going, running here and there all the time. Will is no exception to this aspect of our family. If anything, he has just upped our game a little bit. He is a mover!

He loves jumping. He has loved jumping since he was 6 or 7 months old and that love has only evolved. He begs to jump in his bed several times a day. I don't mind this one bit since it keeps him contained, and I can things done while he's having a great time. It's definitely a win-win.

When he's not jumping, he's running, or asking to go to the park or to play outside. He loves taking walks in his "stro-stro," and often beats on the door to the garage saying it over and over again in his whiniest voice.

A new thing this month is his desire to tell everything and everyone bye-bye. He does this ALL.THE.TIME. It's not just when we're leaving the house. Oh no. It's every time he leaves a room - Bye-bye bed, bye-bye fan, bye-bye ball, bye-bye shoes. It's every time he's finished eating - Bye-bye chicken, bye-bye bread, bye-bye banana. It's every time I change his diaper - Bye-bye diaper, bye-bye poop. The kid says bye-bye to EVERYTHING. At first, I thought it was cute. Now, I just get annoyed when it takes us 20 minutes to leave a room.

I'm thinking all of this bye-bye business is a result of his new vocabulary. This month has definitely been an explosion of new words. It seemed like he woke up one day and knew how to label everything he was familiar with...and label he does. He loves practicing his words over and over before he goes to bed. I think he's just trying to make sure he won't forget them in the morning. He loves to point at things and label them and for you to repeat what he says. If you don't repeat it, he'll just keep saying the word until you do. I've gotten to be pretty good at understanding him just so I can repeat what he says as fast as I can.

It really is so much fun to see him learning. It is just amazing to watch a baby become a toddler, and I'm sure it only gets more amazing to watch them grow and develop through the years.

Some other favorite things this month would be the movie "Cars," and TV shows Super Why and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He also loves to play with anything that, trucks, trains (choo-choos), tractors, etc. Our backyard looks like a parking lot with all of his vehicles parked out there. He loves drinking smoothies and asks for one almost every day. This is a great way for him to get tons of fruit, and I even throw some protein powder in there every once in awhile. He still doesn't really play "with" his friends, but he's started getting really excited to see them. He just loves Kinlee and Ally, and his face lights up when I tell him we're going to play with them. He loves giving hugs and sloppy wet kisses. He takes great care of his stuffed animals and the baby dolls in the nursery at church. I think he's going to be an amazing daddy one day!

He keeps me busy, and sometimes I wish we could just slow down, but I do my best to soak up every minute and every new activity. Some days I try to remember what my life was like before Will was around, and I just can't do it. I truly cannot imagine my life without him. Trust me, we have our fair share of frustrations and there are times I wonder why parenting has to be so difficult, but I know that I am truly blessed and try to embrace the good and the bad along the way.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Healthy Living

It seems like everyone is concerned with being healthier these days, including me. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've always been a pretty healthy eater (even though I definitely have a sweet tooth!), and I've always been a pretty active person. However, I've recently made a few changes in my life, and I am loving the way I feel! I have so much more energy, less bloating and less of that nasty "ugh...I ate way too much" feeling, fewer problems with my digestion, and just an overall sense of feeling good about the decisions I am making about my health. 

I mentioned that I've always been pretty healthy. I'm finding that most of the time these days people equate being skinny with being healthy. I am here to tell you that's just not true. I am one of those "lucky" people who are somewhat on the lean side. I got blessed with a fast metabolism and good genes. However, over the years, I've come to realize that being skinny does not = being healthy. My arteries don't care what the scale says. If I'm filling my body with greasy fried foods every day, they will get clogged whether I weight 100 pounds or 200 pounds. Yes, weight is one indicator of health, but it is certainly not the only indicator. 

There was actually a time in my life where I was skinny, and I was not healthy at all. I was never diagnosed with an eating disorder, and I wouldn't necessarily classify it as an eating disorder, but I would classify it as disordered eating. More than that, I had disordered thinking. I obsessed over food. I thought about every little thing I put into my mouth. I wrote down every calorie I ate each day. I obsessed over exercising enough, even though I was often working out 3 or 4 hours a day. Food was constantly on my mind. I would sometimes go walk around the grocery store when I was hungry, just to prove to myself that I had the willpower to resist "temptation." Pure craziness. I am happy that part of my life is in the past and that I've learned from it. 

What I've learned is that it's not important to be skinny. It's important to be healthy, and I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and helping others live a healthy lifestyle, as well. I recently came across some startling and somewhat scary statistics. Did you know that the #1 killer of both men and women in America is heart disease? Did you know American adults consume 2-3 lbs. of sugar each week? Did you know the rate of childhood obesity in the United States has more than tripled in the past 30 years? To me, these statistics are scary. They show that something needs to be done. 

So, I've been doing lots of research and reading lots of books. Trying to figure out how to incorporate a healthy lifestyle in our world of convenience and busyness. I love the way Michael Pollan boils everything down so simply in his book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. His basic philosophy is this: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. How simple is that? He breaks this simple statement down even further into even more simplified "rules" in his book Food Rules: An Eater's Manual. I would highly recommend both books. 

I have tried to incorporate this simple philosophy into my daily life. Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Here's a little more information about each part:
1. Eat Food - Sounds simple, but so much of what we eat shouldn't even be considered food. We eat things that are highly processed and chemically manufactured with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and colors. Food is the stuff that grows in the ground, on a plant, or on a tree. It is the meat that comes from animals that have not been treated with chemicals and hormones, let alone battered and deep fried. It is real food. In its pure, natural state. The stuff our ancestors ate when heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity were not national epidemics.

2. Not too much. - Portion control. It is so important to just be aware of the amount of food you are consuming. Always pay attention to serving sizes. Everything today is "supersized," and we need to get back to only eating the food our bodies truly need. 

3. Mostly plants. - I am not a vegetarian, and I never will be. I like meat. My husband really likes meat and would never go for a vegetarian household. However, we have been limiting our meat intake by eating 2 meatless meals (for dinner) each week. Meat contains cholesterol and saturated fat that you don't get from plants and plant products. This is such an easy change to make.

I have also been limiting my intake of gluten, dairy, and soy, simply because these are highly allergenic foods that often cause issues with digestion. By completely eliminating these foods for a short time, I allow my body to detoxify, and I can see what a difference it makes in the way I feel. I do not completely eliminate these foods all the time, but I am more aware of how much I eat and how my body feels as a result. 

One of the most difficult things for me has been limiting my sugar intake! I love sugar. It has actually been shown to be addictive. The more sugar your body has, the more sugar it craves, which is why it's so difficult to quit eating it! I have been trying to use more natural sugar replacements such as raw honey, agave, stevia or unrefined sugar. Too much of these sweeteners is still not good for you, but it is a better alternative to the highly processed, refined white sugar that we usually eat. 

Just making a few simple changes in my diet has totally changed the way I feel. Like I mentioned before, I have more energy, and I don't deal with those yucky bloated feelings after I eat. It's not like I'm suffering either. I promise, I eat well! There are so many healthy options out there these days that you don't have to feel deprived or like you're missing out on anything. You simply substitute what you used to eat with something healthier in its place. The key for me is staying away from those highly processed foods. Reaching for an apple, a carrot, or a bell pepper instead of potato chips, cookies, or granola bars (unless they're the yummy homemade kind!). By eating this way most of the time, I don't feel guilty when I have a piece of cake or an ice cream cone. I just enjoy every single bite of what I'm eating! I know that the food I'm putting into my body is doing good things and being helpful rather than harmful. 

There are plenty of "quick fixes" out there and all kinds of fad diets, but are they really healthy? Most of them are not. Most of them will help you lose weight quickly, but they are not doing anything for you long-term. They are not providing the nutrition your body really needs. They are trying to make you skinny. Not healthy. But let me tell you this, if you get healthy, you'll lose the weight you need to lose. You won't just be getting skinny, you'll be doing amazing things for your insides, as well as your outside. 

I am planning to post more healthy living tips on here on a regular basis. I've also considered starting a completely separate blog just for healthy living information, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to devote that much time yet. Maybe in the future. Until then, keep looking here for info on healthy eating (including recipes) and exercise. If you would like to get together to talk about how you can start living a healthy lifestyle, I would love to talk to you! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment. I am so excited about helping people achieve a healthier life for themselves and their families!

Disclaimer: What you see here on my blog is based off of my own personal knowledge, opinions, and experiences. I am not a doctor nor a health professional, so concerning your diet you should always consult a health professional/doctor first to fit your own personal needs.

Monday, April 2, 2012

16 Months

Will is 16 months old! He is turning into such a big boy. He seems bigger, older, smarter, funnier, crazier, and more lovable every single day.

This month has had a common theme. Ducks. Yes, you heard me. Ducks. Will has what I consider to be an unhealthy obsession with ducks.

We have a couple of ponds in our neighborhood (conveniently located next to 2 playground areas), and Will wants to go every day to see the ducks. I get him out of bed in the morning and hold him in my lap on the couch for a few minutes, until he wakes up enough to jump down and run to the front door, saying: quack, quack, quack, quack, quack...bread? He wants to feed the ducks. At 7:00 a.m. I always tell him the ducks are still sleeping. I'm pretty sure they really are.

But the obsession doesn't stop there. Oh no. That's just the beginning. He only wants to watch DVD's that have ducks on them. In particular, he wants to watch his Sing-Along video that has Old McDonald's Farm on it, and he wants to watch that song over and over and over again. He only wants to read books that have ducks in them. Once you find a duck, he doesn't even want you to turn the page. He just wants to point and quack. He carries around a duck puzzle piece, he plays with his rubber ducks in the bathtub, he's even been sleeping with one of his rubber ducks. I'm telling you....unhealthy obsession.

I try to get him to notice other animals. We even took him to the zoo. All he wanted to look at were the ducks. At the zoo! With tons of other, much cooler animals around. But he couldn't be swayed. The boy loves his ducks.

So every day (usually 2 or 3 times a day), we go feed the ducks. We throw them bread, we quack at them, and we tell them bye-bye. I'm pretty sure those ducks know our names.

Thankfully, he also likes to go play in the park, so we don't have to spend all of our time with the ducks. He's getting so good at climbing up and going down the slide all by himself. He loves to swing and throws his head back and says, Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, when I push him.

He loves playing with any kind of ball. He kicks them, throws them, and puts them through the hoop on his basketball goal. He does take them in the bathtub with him sometimes, too. It's always nice to have a break from the ducks! He got to go to his first Thunder game this month, and he loved it! He kept saying, a ball, a ball! Then he would clap his hands and cheer so hard when everyone else did. It was so sweet! I was really surprised at how well behaved he was, but I think there was so much going on that he was thoroughly entertained.

He loves being outside, and we've been so thankful for the beautiful weather we've been having. We both have great tans to prove it! Whether it's going to the park, playing in the back yard, splashing in the water, or playing in the front yard with the neighbors, he's a happy boy if he's "ow-side."

Like I said, he is becoming such a big boy. Doing more and more big boy things. It is sad to see my little baby disappearing, but it is so much fun to see this toddler emerging. He keeps me entertained and makes me laugh every day. Like when he wants to sleep with random objects (DVD's, shoes, rubber ducks, etc.). Or when he wants to take random objects in the car with him (hangers, all of his bath toys, tupperware containers, etc.) He is definitely his own person, and I hope he stays that way.

Love you so much, sweet Will!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I'm not gonna lie. The last few days have been rough. I haven't been feeling well. My allergy and sinus troubles are back again. Let me just say, I do NOT love pollen. I know it's necessary, but pollen and I just don't get along. Unfortunately, the pollen count here has been very high, so I haven't really been feeling my best. On top of that, Will is getting some of his molars, and they are really bothering him. We've been so blessed in the area of teething and really haven't had much trouble...until now. The poor guy is having a hard time eating, drinking, and sleeping, which makes him really cranky. Which makes me really cranky.

All that to say, I haven't been in the best mood for a few days. I've been cranky, irritable, frustrated, discouraged, angry, and just plain tired. I've shed tears of anger and frustration. I've screamed and yelled. I've gone to my bedroom and just buried my face in my pillow because I didn't know what else to do. Last night, before I went to bed, I really thought over the past few days, and I realized something. They were over, and I had to let them be over. The more I carried the previous bad day into the next, the more things piled up, and the worse things got. So, I said a very long prayer, asking God for forgiveness, for a new attitude, for a new perspective, and for a fresh start. I told myself: Tomorrow's a new day. You can choose to be miserable, or you can choose have a better day.

So, that's what I'm doing. I'm choosing a better day. Because the bad days are no fun. Because I have so much to be thankful for. Because my situation could be so much worse. Because I whine and complain about things that other people would be blessed to have in their lives.

I know I'm allowed to have a bad day. Everyone has bad days. I think it's ok to be unhappy and even miserable sometimes. Our feelings and frustrations are real. We shouldn't deny that they exist and pretend that our lives are perfect and that everything is ok. But we shouldn't dwell there, either. We can get stuck in a rut and bad day gets piled on top of bad day. Bad moods become the norm. This doesn't just affect us, it affects everyone around us. I don't know about you, but I don't like to be around people who are constantly in a bad mood, so I certainly don't want to be one of those people!

Today, I am thankful. Thankful for a fresh start. Thankful that despite minor allergy problems, I am very healthy. Thankful that despite some painful teething problems, I have a very happy, healthy little boy. Thankful for a husband who has put up with my bad attitude over the past few days. Thankful for friends who encourage me in the midst of my frustration. Thankful for a mom I can call and talk to and cry to anytime I want. Thankful for a loving, supportive family. Thankful for having more than I need. Thankful for a God who loves, comforts, forgives, and restores.

Today is going to be a good day.

Friday, March 2, 2012

15 Months

Will is 15 months old! Just like every other month, I can't believe it. One of these days I'll start believing that my child ages like all other human beings, but for now, I'm still in denial. Each month, I'm shocked that he's already another month older.

I was looking back over some of my "Will posts," and I feel like they're getting a little boring. They're pretty much the same stuff each month, so I thought I would change it up a little bit. Instead of sharing all of his "stats," I just want to share some of my favorite Will stories from the past month. He is a funny little guy and does things every day that just crack me up (and disgust me all at the same time). I also conveniently forgot to mention his temper tantrums last month. I honestly don't know how they slipped my mind. I think I subconsciously block them out, so I can remember what a sweet little boy he is when he's not screaming at the top of his lungs and throwing himself on the floor in a public place. Thankfully (insert sarcasm here), they didn't go anywhere, so I still have plenty of time to write about them.

- I'll go ahead and give the stats just so I'll remember them. He is 20 lbs. 6 oz. (5%) and 31 1/2 inches long (50%). Needless to say, he's long and lean, and it's quite a challenge to find pants that fit!

- We had 2 very public temper tantrums and several not-so-public ones. I'm not going to go into all the details right now because I have a post solely dedicated to them coming up soon. Let's just say, I've apologized to my parents more than once now for ever throwing a temper tantrum in public. I know this is something a lot of toddlers go through, but it is definitely not a fun part of parenting.

- On a happier note, we went to Kansas to visit Theron's family, and Will got to sit on a real tractor for the very first time. Theron said as soon as he saw it, he said, Tractor! Tractor! He loves to drive his toy tractors around, so I'm sure getting to sit on a real tractor was so awesome for him.

- One day, I heard shrieking coming from our guest bathroom. I walked in to see what was wrong, and all I saw were Will's legs sticking straight up in the air kicking furiously. The top half of his body was in the bathtub, reaching for a toy he had dropped in there. I did go help him out, but I had a really good laugh first.

- That same day, he was walking around with an empty wrapper. He loves Arbonne fit chews (they're like candy to him), and when he finishes them, he likes to lick the wrapper. I can't say I blame him. So, he's walking around licking the wrapper, and I notice it's getting very wet and looking pretty disgusting. I said, "Will, that looks yucky. Will you go put it in the trash?" He walked off, and I followed him to see if he was actually going to put it in the trash can. Nope. He went straight to the bathroom, dropped it in the toilet, got it back out, and stuck it back in his mouth. No wonder it had gotten so wet and nasty looking.

- He always makes me feel so good about my cooking and the food I feed him because when he eats, he always says, "Mmmmmm....mmmmmmm," or "Yummmmm." A few days ago, I was humbled. I heard him in the living room, saying, "mmmmmm....mmmmmm." I knew he had been playing in my purse, so I thought...oh no, he's probably eating my lip gloss or something like that. I walked in there to see what was so delicious, and there he was, sucking on a tampon. Thankfully (I guess), the wrapper was still on. Now, I've never tasted one, but I can't imagine it tasted that good. Apparently, my cooking might not be as good as I thought.

- Almost every day at lunch we watch Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. Will gets so excited for people when they get a question right. He claps his hands and looks so happy and proud. What's really funny, though, is when they get the question wrong. He always says a very dramatic, "Oh, noooo!"

He is so much fun and really does have such a sweet personality. Sometimes, I feel like I talk to other people about his temper tantrums and his orneriness way more than I talk about what a sweet, funny little boy he is. I'm trying to be better about this.

No matter what, I tell him how much I love him and what a good, sweet boy he is every single day. Even when he throws fits, even when tests my patience, even when he chews on paper out of the toilet.  I love him so much, and nothing could ever change that!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Get Ready to Change Your Life

I know most of my blog posts are probably not "life changing." Interesting? Maybe. Informative? Perhaps. Funny? Of course! But, life changing? Probably not.

This post, however, is different. Not because of something brilliant I'm going to write (sorry to disappoint you), but because of something I'm going to share.
I'm reading a book called Success Is Not an Accident by Tommy Newberry. I wanted to wait until I was actually finished reading it to write about it, but I just can't wait! I have been telling everyone I know about this book since the day I started reading it. It really isn't a long book, but I only get to read when I can squeeze it in, so it's taking me a little while to finish it. Plus, it is so full of information that I like to take my time and really absorb what I'm reading.
Success Is Not an Accident: Change Your Choices; Change Your Life

Obviously, the book is about success and being successful with your life. The thing I love about this book is that it lets you define what success means for you. There are actually short assignments at the end of each chapter, and one of your first assignments is to write your definition of success. Because, how can you be successful if you don't know what that looks like?

Once you have defined success, the author gives you very concrete, detailed instructions for writing out your goals, so you can ultimately achieve them. He has you look forward to where you want to be in 30 years. You imagine what your life looks like, what you're doing, what your family looks like, what your free time looks like. Your only limit is your imagination! Then, you work backward from there.

You write down specific goals you want to accomplish in 30 years. Then you figure out what you need to have done in 15 years, so those goals can be accomplished. Then you look at what needs to be done in the next 10 years, 5 years, 1 year, 6 months, 1 month, 1 week, all the way to what needs to be done today. He starts at 30 years out, but you could really start at any point in the future and work backward from there. This may seem really simple to all of you, but to me, this was an "A-HA" moment.

You look to where you want to be, and then you figure out what you need to do to get there. And then...get do it! It sounds so simple when you think about it that way, and you can apply this to absolutely any goal you have.

For example, if you want to lose weight: How much do you want to weigh in 1 year? What do you need to do to get there? What do you need to have done in 6 months? 1 month? 1 week? What steps can you take every day to reach your goal?

It is so practical and helps you focus on what you CAN do. One of my favorite quotes from the book says, "Focus on reaching your goals rather than the obstacles that stand in your way. " So often, we focus on what we can't do, what we can't control. We look at everything that's going to stop us. This hinders us from doing what we CAN. This moves our focus away from the daily things we can do to get us where we want to be. Another great quote from the book says, "The moment you want a goal more than you want an excuse, you can succeed."

What's your excuse? It's easy to come up with them. I can come up with all kinds of excuses not to pursue my dreams. I'm too young. I don't have enough money. I don't have enough education or the right education. I have a one-year-old. I'm too busy. I'll do it someday. I don't have the right personality for that. I don't have the proper training to do that. I might fail. People might think I'm crazy.

Get my point? I could go on and on and on, creating one excuse after another about why I can't do something. But what if I stop thinking about what could go wrong and start thinking about what could go RIGHT? What if I don't focus on the obstacles, but instead, focus on the destination and what I can do to get there?Anything worth having is worth working for, and those obstacles that come up only make us stronger.

I love that the author is a Christian and repeatedly asks you to think about what God has created you to do. God created YOU to do something unique and special with your life. There is absolutely no one else like you on the face of this earth. You are truly an original, and God has a specific plan for your life.

What does it look like? What does God want you to do? What does He want to use you to accomplish? The book asks, "How do you believe God wants the world to be different because of your particular life?" You see, God has big plans for all of us. He wants to use us to change the world, but if we don't embace those plans, if we don't pursue Him and what He wants for our lives, He will still accomplish His plans...He'll just use someone else to do it. Don't you want Him to use YOU? Don't you want to be part of something big?

I know I do. I want to use every ounce of potential God has given me. When I get to Heaven, I want Him to say, I had to bring you home because you had absolutely nothing left in you. This book truly has inspired me to do whatever it takes to be the person God created me to be. If you're looking for encouragement and direction on how to reach your full potential, I would highly recommend that you read it, too. In the next several posts, I'm going to be sharing some of the dreams and goals God has given me and how I plan to pursue them.

Just remember...He created YOU to do great things.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I must admit...I'm not the biggest fan of Valentine's Day. Maybe a little bit of my husband's cynicism has actually rubbed off on me over the years. According to him, Valentine's Day is a meaningless holiday created by people who sell chocolate, flowers, and greeting cards. In a way, I sort of have to agree.

I always received a Valentine's Day gift from my parents (and still do)! Thanks, Mom and Dad, :). I always celebrated with friends and boyfriends throughout the years. We got Will a gift this year...a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD, which he loves! So, I'm not a total Scrooge, but when you really stop to think about it what is the point of Valentine's Day?

Theron and I really don't get gifts for each other. We discussed this while we were dating and agreed that we'd rather do nice things to show our love and appreciation for each other throughout the year, rather than buying each other gifts one day a year just because it's Valentine's Day. Don't get me wrong...if you love Valentine's Day, I'm not judging you. This is just something we decided before we even got married.

Here are my thoughts. I would rather my husband buy me flowers just because he feels like it or because he knows I would like them. Like a couple weeks ago, for example. I had a really rough day. Will was in a terrible mood and had thrown multiple temper tantrums that morning. By lunch time, I'd had enough. Theron came home to eat with us, and I lost it. I told him I quit. I said, "I am NOT cut out to be a stay at home mom!" I don't have the patience. I want to go back to work where people are nice to me. (I tend to get a little irrational from time to time). After patiently listening to my tirade, he gave me a hug and said, "I'm so sorry you're having a bad day. I hope it gets better." He went back to work, Will took a nap, and our day did get better. Theron was supposed to run that evening after work. Those of you who know him, know his running means a lot to him, and he's worked really hard lately to get back into shape. That evening, instead of running, he came home...with favorite flower. He also brought me a box of Thin very favorite Girl Scout cookie ever. He took Will to his room and played with him, so I could make dinner in peace and quiet. I love my husband every single day, but I appreciated him so much that night. He knew exactly what would make me feel better and sacrificed what he wanted to do in order to make me happy.

Folks, this is what true love looks like in my opinion. I am not perfect. My husband's not perfect. We get mad at each other, we argue, we don't love each other the way we should each and every day. But we do our best to put each other's needs ahead of our own, to forgive quickly and wholeheartedly, to show appreciation for one another, to do nice things for each other, to make each other laugh, to give each other space when it is needed, to support and encourage one another in our daily lives, to push each other to be better every day, to help each other pursue our goals and dreams. Simply put, we strive to love the way God first loved us. Obviously, we fail, but we pursue that kind of love anyway.

Marriage and relationships in general can be hard. They can take a lot of work. For us, we believe that the key to successful relationships is putting God first. When we are both seeking Him, we are growing closer to one another. When we even attempt to love each other the way God loves us, it is better than anything we could ever do on our own.

So, enjoy your Valentine's Day. I won't judge you. But I am constantly grateful for my Valentine who chooses to show me his love and affection throughout the year, not just on February 14th.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

13 and 14 Months

So, I totally didn't write a post for Will's 13 month update. Perhaps it had something to do with the craziness of the holidays, the craziness of my 13-month-old, or the craziness of life in general (it's pretty crazy around here!). Whatever the reason, I didn't do it, and one day when Will is reading the blog books I've printed for him (I know it will be his favorite pasttime), he will say, "Wow, Mom. Thanks for forgetting about my 13th month of life." Will, if you're reading this at some point in the future, I didn't forget, I just didn't have a chance to blog about it. or sit down. or breathe.

Anyway, I'll try to combine months 13 and 14 in this post, so I can remember what was going on, and so Will knows I didn't totally skip out on one month of his life.

I don't know his exact weight and height, but I do know he went through a huge growth spurt. I'm pretty sure he grew 2 inches or more in the span of a month. Pants are too short, jammies are too small, and he's almost as tall as some of his friends that he's never even been close too. His weight didn't seem to increase as fast, though, and he's looking kind of skinny these days. Maybe he's just losing some of that precious baby fat. Whatever it is, he is starting to look less like a baby and more like a toddler every day.

He definitely does not act like a baby. I can't believe all the things he can do. He just amazes me every day.

His vocabulary has really picked up over the past couple of months. He can repeat tons of words, but he has actually started using several words to communicate on his own. Some of his favorite words are tractor, ball, more, milk, touchdown (complete with arm motions), and his favorite of all...NO! I have to say, I'm already tired of him telling me "NO!" and I know I have years of this to look forward to. He can also say all done, bath time, Grandad, and DVD.

Speaking of DVD, he has become much more interested in TV shows and movies. His favorite shows are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Sesame Street. He loves Elmo (Mo). What is it about Elmo that kids love so much? I don't get it, but it seems to be universal. He also loves watching his Baby Einstein on the Farm dvd and his Sing Along Songs dvd. He will bring me both remote controls and say "DVD?" I try not to let him watch too much TV, but when he asks so sweetly, I sometimes have trouble telling him no. I am, however, getting VERY tired of watching the same two dvds over and over and over again.

Thankfully, we've had a very mild winter, so we've been able to play outside quite a bit. Will loves playing outside, and I am so ready for spring and summer to get here! Hopefully, we won't be dealing with 100+ degree heat every day like last summer, but we plan on being outside. A LOT.

He still has a great appetite and eats just about anything that's put in front of him. Sometimes I'm amazed by the quantity of food such a small person can consume. I dread my future grocery bills! Some of his favorite foods are bananas, blueberries, pumpkin muffins, meatballs, green beans, and any type of bread. It's funny, because even though he will eat just about anything, a lot of his favorite foods are still the same as when he first started eating solids.

This month has brought an obsession...yes, obsession....with jumping on the bed. I'm pretty sure he would stay on my bed all day long if I'd let him. Sometimes, I'll be on the computer, or washing dishes, or getting ready, and he'll come grab my hand and drag me into the bedroom. He'll walk up to the bed and stand there saying "up,up,up." I lift him up onto the bed, and look out! He is a crazy man. He jumps, he falls flat on his face, flat on his back, he walks to the very edge and looks at me just so I'll careful, Will!

He loves testing the limits. To him, "no" is just an invitation to do whatever you don't want him to do. In the same way, "be careful" is an invitation to step a little closer to the edge of the bed, or the couch, or the street. It is fun and scary to see his personality emerge. I can see some of the battles we are going to face, but I can also see the strong, independent man he is going to become. He won't be afraid to question things, to test the limits. Sometimes, this might be dangerous, but I can also see it being very beneficial. I can see him being a leader. An adventurer, ready to test uncharted waters. I know he will get into his fair share of trouble. I know he will probably be an ornery little boy and very likely an ornery teenage boy and an ornery adult. However, I pray that God will take those qualities - his strong will, his adventurous personality, his curious nature - and will develop them and shape them to be used for His glory.

I know my sweet Will was created just the way he is for a purpose, and my prayer every day is that he will become a man who seeks God and follows Him in every area of his life. If He does, I know God will use him and that strong personality to do great things.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Remembering Brandon

January 17. 2005. I remember this date seven years ago as if it were yesterday. It started out like any other day and ended like no day I had ever experienced.

I was a freshman at OBU. I was taking J-term classes, so I had already been back at school for a couple weeks. I woke up and went to class - Government with Dr. Litherland. I sat through my class, went to lunch, and went to track practice. After practice, I went back to my dorm, showered, and got ready for dinner. Very ordinary.

To finish off my ordinary day, I went to our track Bible study that evening. It was led by my friend Daniel, and I always looked forward to it. We met at his apartment every Monday night, and it was a great way to start the week. In an attempt to practice good cell phone manners, I put my phone on silent before we started the Bible study. I'm sure our study didn't last too long. I can't remember exactly. 30 minutes. An hour at the most. Little did I know that in that short amount of time my entire life would change.

After we were finished, I looked at my phone and noticed I had several missed calls from my mom and dad. It was not weird to have a missed call from my mom or dad, but it seemed like they were trying pretty desperately to get a hold of me. I also had a new voicemail, so I checked it to see what was going on. It was very short and vague...Hey, Meagan. It's Dad. Call me as soon as you can. No details, but I could sense that something was wrong.

I called my dad and from the moment he answered, I knew it wasn't just that something was wrong. I knew something really terrible had happened. The tone of his voice, the seriousness I could feel through our connection over the phone.

Hey, Dad. What's wrong? (My mind is jumping to a million conclusions at this point)
Meagan, it's Brandon (my 7-year-old cousin). He collapsed at basketball practice.
Is he ok? He's ok, isn't he? (It was one of those moments where I knew he wasn't ok, but I was just praying my dad would say, Yes, he's fine.)
No. They tried to save him, but there wasn't anything they could do. He's gone.

I stood there in shock. Things like this didn't happen. 7-year-olds don't just collapse and die at basketball practice. I was dreaming. Having a nightmare. This was too impossible to be true. It didn't make any sense.

I burst into tears. I stood outside my friend's apartment door, sobbing. Uncontrollably. I don't remember much of the rest of the conversation with my dad. He told me my cousin Amanda was coming to pick me up to bring me home. I couldn't really process anything.

I hung up the phone and walked back into my friend's apartment still sobbing. Theron met me at the door and hugged me. I hysterically explained what was going on, and Theron and I went back to a bedroom away from everyone else for a little while. I just sat there and cried still trying to process how this could be true. Theron just sat there and held me and let me cry. We had only been dating a few months, and I knew he probably thought I was absolutely crazy, but I didn't care. I couldn't do anything else but sit there and cry.

I finally pulled myself together enough to get back to my dorm room and start packing a few things, so I could go home. My cousin Amanda came, and we headed home together. I was so thankful for her. Thankful that I didn't have to drive by myself. I don't really remember much of that car ride. It is all a blur.

When we finally got home, we went to my Nannie's house where a lot of my family had gathered. It was comforting and horrifying all at the same time. I was so glad to be there with them, but it made it so much more real that he was really gone. I didn't sleep that night. I'm pretty sure I didn't really sleep for a few days. I would drift in and out, but every time I got close to real sleep, Brandon's precious face appeared in my mind.

A seemingly ordinary day, ended up changing my life forever. A matter of a few moments impacted the rest of my life. From that point forward, I begin to see the importance of each and every day of my life. If a 7-year-old could die could I. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. I had always known this, but this experience made it so much more real.

I am so thankful for the life of Brandon Beach. In his short 7 years and 1 day (he died the day after his birthday), he taught me so much. He brought so much joy to my life. He was a natural-born athlete. Any and every sport came easily to him. I remember when he was only about 3 or 4 he didn't want to hit the baseball off the tee, he wanted you to pitch to him. He loved sports, and he loved OU. He did a great Mack Brown impression. He could tell you all of his favorite players. A lot of times, he wasn't Brandon, he was Kevin Bookout, or whoever he decided to be that day. He was competitive. I remember playing this dice game called Horse Race with him just a few weeks before he died. He wanted to win SO bad and hated to lose. He was the first little kid I got to babysit all by myself. He was my little buddy, and I loved playing with him.

Everyone just knew he had a great life ahead of him, but God had a different plan. I still don't understand why God chose to take him when he did, and I probably never will. However, I know God has a plan for my life, and I don't know how many days that life has in it. Since I don't know, I have to make the most of each and every one He decides to give me. I can't take even one for granted because I never know when it might be my last. Each one has to count.

Like I said, this whole experience changed my life. It made me value and appreciate time with my family. Now that I have a son, I realize that he is not mine. I have been given the privilege of loving him while he is here with me and entrusted with the responsibility of raising him and teaching him how to love the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. I have been given a sense of urgency, knowing that the people in my life, those I know well and those I don't, could be here today and gone tomorrow, so I can't waste a moment with any of them. I have a responsibility to share the Truth...that even though our lives on Earth may be short, we can spend eternity with our Father in Heaven. I am so thankful that because of my relationship with Jesus, I will get to be reunited with Brandon one day.

I was given a gift shortly after his death. God allowed me to have a dream where Brandon visited me and let me know that he was ok. Some of you may think this is crazy talk, but I know it was a gift from God. I woke up sobbing when the dream was over because he had to go, but he reassured me that everything was ok and that he was fine and that I would see him again some day.

Please remember that each day is a gift, and we are not promised tomorrow. I know I will hug my family a little tighter today and say a few extra prayers for all the blessings I've been given. I hope you will, too.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Goals for the New Year

Hey, everyone! I feel like I haven't see you guys since last year! Hahaha...I'm still as funny as ever. Or not. You don't have to think I'm funny, but please don't tell me and burst my bubble.

How's the new year treating you so far? I have to say, I can't complain. I didn't get the best start to 2012...I was sick. I had a really high fever and felt like I had been hit by a truck. At times, I was wishing the truck would've just gone ahead and finished me off. Thankfully, I made a full recovery, and I think the rest of 2012 can only get better!

I've never been a huge fan of New Year's resolutions. I feel like real resolutions are made any time throughout the year when a person decides they need to make a change or do something differently in their life. I often thought people only made New Year's resolutions because they felt like they were supposed to, not because they truly saw a need for change. Always having my Psychology major tucked away in the back of my mind, I know people will not truly change until they see the need to change and are ready to do what is necessary to make it happen. Because of this, I thought the majority of New Year's resolutions were pretty pointless. While I haven't changed my mind entirely, I do see some benefit in using a new year for somewhat of a "fresh start." It is a nice time to look back and reflect on the past year and to think about some things you would like to challenge yourself to do or to change in the coming year. That's why I have made New Year's Goals rather than New Year's resolutions. These are goals that will be constantly looked at, evaluated, and revised throughout this year and possibly years to come. So, here they are. You can all hold me accountable.

- Say at least 5 positive things to my husband and son every day
- Take time to read to and play with Will every day
- Spend less time online (email, Facebook, blogs...this will be a struggle)
- Run a half marathon (I'm shooting for the OKC Memorial half)
- Exercise at least 5 days a week (this should be easily accomplished with my 1/2 marathon training)
- Make an effort to get to know my neighbors or get to know them better
- Eat fruits and veggies every day
- Drink more water
- Be more bold in sharing my faith.
- Read through the New Testament
- Find a place to volunteer on a regular basis (and actually follow through with it)
- Blog at least once a week

These are just a few things that have been on my heart over the past few weeks. I'm sure more goals will be added, and some of these may be modified, but I always like to have an idea of things I'd like to accomplish and things I need to be aware of in my daily life. I have a few other adventures I may be embarking upon this year. I will be praying about them and thinking through them and will be happy to share them when the time is right. For now, I will focus on these goals, a few specific things God has put in my heart for 2012. I can't wait to see what this year holds!