Thursday, September 29, 2011

Superpowers and Imagination

My daughter informed me yesterday that she has superpowers.  Naturally, I asked her what they were.  Her answer:  "Brown."  Ok, brown is my enemy since it is the color of poop.  There's been some regression in potty training this week and I've seen too much of her superpower.  This morning she informed me that her superpower is white.  I can handle white superpowers and I'm praying I don't see the brown one today!
This morning she also informed me she has a black puppy.  His name is "rubber doggie" and he follows her behind her "bum."  By the time we were getting ready to head out the door for preschool, "rubber doggie" had changed from black to brown.

Since rubber doggy has changed colors, I thought I'd find a pic of 2 different colored puppies!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Speaker Spotlight: Marilyn Meberg

Oh, Marilyn, you touched on a topic that God has made more than evident to me this past year.  Amazing how He does things like that isn't it!!??!

She discussed cravings and yearnings in our daily lives.  When we are children we are yearning for the next stage of life.  We are always craving something beyond what we have.  When we get to the stage we've been so excited about, most of the time we think:  "This is it?!"

We want more of something good.  We want to feel something.  People sky dive, drive fast cars, zip line, bungee jump, all for the adrenaline rush.  Those things make us feel something.

Are you ever truly satisfied? Most of us would say no.  Her point was that God can meet all our longings, yearnings and cravings.  God created us to want more, but none of those longings and cravings will be fulfilled until we are in heaven.  Everything long lasting will be in eternity.

I feel like this quick summary doesn't do this speaker justice.  She was funny and insightful all at the same time.  I truly would like to know what fast car she drove at 120 mph?????

My reflections:   Throughout this past year God has made it more than evident to me that He is my true fulfillment.  No relationship on this earth will be that fulfillment for me.  I may lose loved ones but I know I will be okay as long as I have my true focus on God.  It doesn't mean life is easy.  But, through the pain of life, my true joy comes from God.  The peace that He gives me amidst my trials is what I can cling to knowing that someday I will be with him in heaven.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Jillian Michaels Killer Buns and Thighs

Ok, so the title of this workout is just that, killer buns and thighs.  Tried it for the first time last week and thought my legs were going to die in the first 10 minutes. I did this workout without doing the modified version for beginners...BIG mistake!  I was so sore the next day and my back went out.  I think I was sore for 3 days!

Since I learned from that, this week I decided to do the modified version of level 1 for beginners.  My back didn't go out this week and I wasn't nearly as sore.

I've had hip and low back issues since high school, which is due to genetics. These problems were enhanced after having my 1 and only child.  When she was 2 years old, I went to a physical therapist who told me my pelvis was still tilted from pregnancy and for some women it takes years to recover(not exactly what I wanted to hear!). Last week I was so disappointed when my back went out because usually that means I'm out of the workout groove for a while.  However, this time was different.  Since I'm in better shape, I saw improvement quickly in my back.  I'm still  modifying certain exercises, but it didn't stop me dead in my tracks... CELEBRATION DANCE!

Some people aren't fans of Jillian.  The reason I am:  I  get results from her workouts and they are affordable.  As usual, consistency is key to seeing results along with eating healthy.
I'm no fitness trainer, but I'd recommend doing the modified version for beginners your first time trying the workout.  This way you can see how your body responds and step it up the next time around if you feel like your body can take it.  Oh, and avoiding injury is always a good thing!

Thanks Jillian for this workout, I've been wanting a focused workout like this for some time now :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hermie a common caterpillar by Max Lucado illustrated by Daniel Hawarth

This is an adorable children's book meant for a level 2 reader.  However, my 3 year old loves to have this book read to her. In this story Hermie continues to tell God that he feels like a common caterpillar.  God tells him and his caterpillar friend Wormie: "Don't worry. I love you both just the way you are, but I'm not finished with you yet."  

This book has bright illustrations and kept the attention of my daughter when I read it to her.  And, then she sat down in her reading corner and attempted to retell the story.  This book is a good reminder for everyone that God is continually shaping and molding us.  I also liked that Hermie talked to God as a friend.  Not only does the story illustrate that God isn't finished with Hermie yet, but also that there is a relationship between Hermie and God.  

And, many times as a parent I feel I fail to show my daughter that I have a relationship with God beyond praying for meals and bedtime.  Maybe I'm being too hard on myself, which I'm really good at, but I do feel that books like these help begin the discussion about having a relationship with God.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 25

Thursday, September 22, 2011

WOF: Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God...? Romans 11:33 (MSG)

The above scripture was the theme scripture for Women of Faith.

So thankful for this opportunity to blog about a GREAT event! This was my first time attending Women of Faith. WOW!!! How do I even begin to describe my experience at Women of Faith?!! I'll start by saying it confirmed and reinforced what God has been teaching me this past year about life in general as a woman seeking God and His plan for my life.

They had an amazing line up of speakers: Patsy Clairmont, Andy Andrews, Brenda Warner, Lisa Whelchel (Facts of Life), and Marylin Meberg. Then, also amazing music by Mandisa, Sandi Patty, Amy Grant,  and can't forget the worship team! Deborah Joy Winans isn't to be forgotten either with her wonderful dramatic performances about balancing motherhood.  And, yes, Cece Winans is her aunt.

What do I say about Patsy?  You can't help but fall in love with this 5 foot, petite, feisty woman who suffered from agoraphobia. She's quick to get you laughing, but quick to get you crying too.  I truly learned that God has been leading me on the right path this year in setting boundaries, focusing on good thoughts rather than impure thoughts, and accepting myself for the person God made me.  Patsy is sincere in sharing from her heart and life experiences.  She doesn't sugar coat anything and somehow finds humor in the toughest of circumstances. Patsy is Andy Andrews favorite "tiny" person and it was a blast watching their interactions on stage.

Now, on to Andy Andrews.  OK, so he is a high energy individual.  Can I say that again?!!  He is a high energy individual who I thought looked like a ping pong ball on and off the stage when he first began speaking.  His unpredictability made you wonder what he was going to do next and what audience member he was going to use as an example to get his point across.  He was pretty hilarious too, but he could quickly get down to business and share the heart of his story.  During Q and A time someone asked him if he'd ever considered drinking decaf...LOL!

Brenda Warner, Lisa Whelchel, and Marilyn Meberg were great women also. Brenda can do the splits being a 40 something mother of 7 and she has an amazing testimony. Lisa Welchel was Blair on the Facts of Life and gave us great wisdom about friendships.  Marilyn Meberg has a need for speed and has found herself going 120 mph! By the way, I'd love to know what fast car she has at the moment?  She is a shrink and discussed the cravings and desires in our lives.  I think she'd be a pretty cool grandmother too!

Mandisa, Sandi Patty and Amy Grant performed for us and it was AWESOME!  Sandy Patty and Amy Grants voices haven't changed since I was a kid.  And, ya know, this was the first time I've seen either of  them in concert.  A childhood dream of mine has been to see Amy grant in concert...dream accomplished :)

I still feel that words cannot express how thankful I am for the opportunity to blog about this Over the Top conference.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I'll leave you with some words of wisdom from the conference:
Change can be good
Prayer and people matter
Actively choose to be grateful
Look for God's grace no matter the circumstance
Imperfect people make real friends

In the days and weeks to come I will do some speaker spotlights to share what I learned at this conference because it was just THAT good! So, stay tuned for more!

Women of Faith can I be your traveling blogger?  ;)

And, don't forget to enter my book giveaway HERE The author, Nicole Johnson, is commonly an author on the agenda of the Women of Faith weekends.  Although, she didn't make a guest appearance at the event I attended.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

This is one of my favorite pictures from women of faith!  More pictures to come with my recap of the weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Just watched Kurt and Brenda Warner on the View. So excited to hear from Brenda Warner at Women of Faith!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fresh Brewed Life Giveaway

I recently posted my review of Fresh Brewed Life by Nicole Johnson. And, because I loved this book I want to give away a copy.

Here's what you need to do to enter:
1. Become a follower of my blog (required)

2. Write a comment telling me why you'd like the book (if you're having trouble leaving a comment please email me)


 Winner will be picked at random on September 24th.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Are 2 better than 1?

I'm a mother to 1.  Multiple people have tried to convince me that now is the time to have a 2nd child.  And, yes, I hear them out, but my husband has health concerns in regard to another pregnancy.  I've learned to listen to my husband! And, I've also have many people make it more than clear to me that I have a much easier life than them because I only have 1 child.

I'd really prefer to be treated as a parent instead of being marginalized because I only have 1 child.  The fact is, parenting is HARD no matter how many kids you have.  Yes, my life is different with 1 child, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm a parent. And, I realize that having multiple children adds extra craziness to life.  I obviously haven't lived it, so I really don't understand, but I can only imagine.

Recently, at the park I had a refreshing conversation with a mom that has multiple children. She was quick to include me in her circle of friends.  This mother observed that I'm a mother of 1 and ya know what she said, "I feel sorry for you because you have 1 child.  I have multiple children and all of them play together.  You are your daughter's playmate, entertainer, and everything all in 1."  I don't think this lady realizes how much this conversation meant to me.

All the sudden I had a fellow parent validating my position as a parent.  So,  I felt encouraged and refreshed. It lifted my spirits in a week of letting go and dropping my child off at preschool.  It also allowed me to  reflect on the opportunities I have as a parent.

I have a friend with multiple kids down the road.  We had an accidental meeting at the library today and I offered to bring her toddler home with me.  She needed some rest and it is always fun having a playmate for my daughter at our house.  My friend was well composed, but she has a lot going on in her life and I'm pretty sure she felt like this:

When these kids are together I see the benefits of having multiple children because there's so much laughter and joy in playing together as children.  And, then, it frees me up to get some neglected housework done!

Someday I would love to have another child, whether biological or adopted, but it isn't the right timing. So, at the moment I'll enjoy lending a helping hand to those friends that God puts in my life and enjoy the time I have with my daughter.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Am I normal?

My baby started preschool this week.  Tuesday was her first day.  I came home and cried.  Letting go and letting her grow up is hard.  My mom told me I'm normal and that was so good to hear! So, I must be doing something right then??!!!

The 2nd and 3rd days of preschool drop off were easier.  Plus, my daughter is quite enthusiastic about school right now. Not sure if this will last, but it is fun to watch her excitement along with talking about the new friends she's made.

 Can I go back on vacation???!!!

I've been using the the Duggar family liquid laundry detergent for about 3 weeks now.  So far I like it, but would like it to be a little more fragrant.  So, I may add some essential oils like they suggest.  And, since my body likes to sweat (i know, maybe TMI?) I'll be interested to see how this detergent continues with long term use on my sweaty clothes.

Stay tuned for a book giveaway to vacuum the house before I pickup my sweet girl!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Journey to Women of Faith....

Friday was a day of excitement for me!  Went to the mailbox to find my Women of Faith tickets waiting for me.  I've always wanted to go to this conference, but either timing or finances just haven't worked.  Well, I've been given tickets to blog about the conference....

The road hasn't been easy to try to get there and I haven't made it yet!
*I had tickets to the Portland conference, but with my daughter in preschool and my hubby's work schedule it just wasn't going to happen.  
* Got Spokane Women of Faith tickets instead
* It just so happens that my hubby has a conference the middle of that week and will be coming home the day I'm heading to the conference. 
*Asked multiple people to attend with me, most couldn't make it.
*Thought I was going to attend by myself, which I was okay with.
*I found a dear friend to attend with me and be my ride(since my hubby will have our 1 and only vehicle). 
*Found a babysitter for the gap of time that I'll be leaving and my hubby will be on his way home.  
*Lastly, I have a place to stay Friday night.  

WHEW! Since all of this was so difficult, I'm wondering what obstacles will come up before I'm actually sitting in my seat at the conference. And, believe me, you'll hear about it!

The most familiar names to me that will be at the conference are: Amy Grant and Sandi Patti. Other than that I'm not familiar with the lineup of speakers.  I'm definitely a first timer and am so excited to hear what God has to teach me.

"God loves us more than we know. He gives us more than we can ask or dream. He's unrestrained... excessive... outrageous... Over the Top"

Fresh Brewed Life

Fresh Brewed Life, a stirring invitation to wake up your soul, by Nicole Johnson came at the right time in my life!  Honestly, as I'm reading some of these chapters, I was thinking: "Wow, was this book written for me?!!"  Obviously, it was written for women in general, but it really got me thinking about my life and helped me dig deep emotionally.  Since this book has become my favorite out of all the books I've read recently, I want to give you the topics for each chapter:

Chapter 1:Surrender to God
Chapter 2:Encounter your journal
Chapter 3.Listen to your longings
Chapter 4: Embrace your beauty
Chapter 5: Interview your anger
Chapter 6: Savor your sexuality
Chapter 7: Celebrate your friendships
Chapter 8: Change your world
Chapter 9: Enrich your relationships
Chapter 10: Enjoy your freedom

Nichole shares honestly and openly about her life and what God has done to give her a fresh brewed life.  How he's changed relationships and given her new opportunities for growth. She encourages journaling, which I love, as a way to get emotions out on paper.  She approaches subjects that sometimes aren't focused on in churches today, but are necessary to further understand the way God made us as women. 

I will be looking at more of her books in the future.  This one was therapeutic for me, giving me so much to think about and to be thankful for in my life.  I will most definitely be reading it again.

Here's one of my favorite quotes from Chapter 7, celebrate your friendships: "Women are sisters who speak the same language, like many of the same movies, often enjoy eating off the same plate, and laugh over the guilt we feel for all the same things."

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 25

Friday, September 2, 2011

Welcome... my innermost fitness geek! I haven't discussed fitness much on this blog and something new is coming out that I'm excited for!  First of all, I'm a fan of exercise and find it necessary in my daily life.  It is my quiet time where I pray and reflect on my day.  However, when I do a Jillian Michaels workout I'm definitely not praying...oh wait, maybe I'm praying I will survive the torture!  I have been doing her 30 day shred workouts for a while now and need to get back into a routine.  What I like about her workouts are the fact that they are short enough to fit into a busy schedule and they work every muscle, sometimes muscles you didn't know you had.

Anyway, she has a butt and thigh workout coming out on September 6th and I just found out about it!  Ok, I've decided I MUST have this dvd(insert excited voice)!!!  Since I've taken some time off working out(due to some shoulder issues), I've noticed that my body needs those Jillian Michaels workouts to stay firm...

Check it out:  Jillian Michaels Killer Buns and Thighs  I think I'm sore already