Saturday, July 28, 2012

I'm not a hoarder. I promise.

I have a lot of clothes.  
I also have way too many articles of clothing that don't fit or that just don't "look good."
And--quick now
 holdyourbritchesbecauseI'mgoingtoadmitsomethingthatmakesmefeelawfullyguilty--
some of those non-fitting items hanging so beautifully in our closet I haven't worn in AGES.  
Like months.  Or even years.

Why on earth do I keep ill-fitting shirts, skirts, shorts, jeans, and dresses? Because I feel so sinful for getting rid of them.  Somewhere in the back (or right there in front) of my closet mind, I have had myself convinced that I will one day wear those things again.  
One day.

But, since giving my gal-pal Amy ten dresses and six skirts to try to sell for me on the great worldwide web, I believe I've turned over a new leaf.  What's the point of cluttering up our closet with things that never get worn?  Why should I selfishly hang on to something that's in perfectly good shape, when someone else out there could benefit from it? 

Where to begin though?

The Husband suggested that we try something new in the closet to help us in this daunting task.

Can you see what he proposed?

He recommended that we turn the coat hangers around. 

Although it took me a while, you can see that I was able to manage it.  And, yes, I do organize our clothes by style (and mine by color...).  
The idea is a simple one that we can't take credit for.  If I knew where he found the idea, I'd give credit where credit is due, you know?  But I don't.  So, just know that this was not an original idea by either of us.

Moving on.

So, we started fresh with all of the hangers turned backward.  

As things get chosen to wear and then are washed, they will be hung back up facing the normal way (not the backward way).  This lets us see what we wear often.  This also shows us, without a doubt, what we neglect.  After a few months of this, we'll be able to see clearly what we can remove.  These things will then be donated.

Here's how it looks at the present.
Already, we have a few things that have been worn and washed and placed back on the hangers facing the regular way.  I'm excited about this new way to organize and this new opportunity to help us be good stewards of what we have. 

And, it helps me work on my hoarding, ahem, saving issues...

How do you decide what to keep and what to remove?  Or do you actually wear everything that resides in your closet? 

Monday, July 23, 2012

1st

 Through many highs....
and far too many lows....
with lots of laughter 
(and a little bit of cake) along the way....
and with much hand-holding prayer to unite us as one....
this year has been a beautiful journey with you, 
My Dear,....
and I look forward to the next fifty years of dancing together as husband and wife.
Happy first anniversary, 
My Love.
So glad you are mine and I am yours.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

More Hope

"Who knows how one experience, so singularly horrible, can set in motion a chain of events that will bless future generations?  Loss may appear to be random, but that does not mean it is.  It may fit into a scheme that surpasses even what our imaginations dare to think." from Jerry Sittser in A Grace Disguised

I was given a copy of A Grace Disguised by my sweet friend Ann.  She was one of the first people to come by after we lost Hadley.  That afternoon, as I sat curled up on the couch, she pulled up a chair and held my hand.  She shared her own stories of loss with me, and she has continued to check up on me since then.  We had coffee last week, and she gifted me with the book and shared how meaningful it was and still is to her.  I started reading it on Monday, and each night before bed, I've been reading page after page until my eyes grow heavy.  It's not a book one can fly through.  There's so much wisdom and insight written on the pages that I feel like I have to read and re-read to grasp the meaning behind each tidbit.  

I feel the loss daily;  mostly in small ways, but sometimes I break down into quiet sobs.  If something upsets me, I change the subject.  

I do that often.  

I can talk about what happened for only so long before the tears start to come and the trouble breathing sets in.  I don't like those feelings, and I don't want to make others uncomfortable.  So, I laugh one of those small, breathy laughs--almost like a sigh--and change the subject to one that doesn't include my daughter, my pregnancy, or her death.  Her death.  I don't believe I've typed those words, nor said them out loud, before today.   

Facebook has been a source a pain for me lately.  I see friend after friend on there posting their exciting pregnancy announcements, and, like some horrible train wreck, I can't look away.  Instead, I cry as I read post after post and the slew of congratulatory comments that follow.  Sometimes, I really just want to scream.  I'm not a screamer, so that particular feeling always throws me for a loop.  Most of me is happy for these gals because I remember that excitement so very vividly.  A small part of me wants to shout out that it's just "not fair" or some other nonsensical phrase.  I know it's nonsense because, no matter how cliche it is, life is simply not fair.  Bad things happen all of the time.  We can't prevent them from happening, we can't change what has already occurred, we can't live in a state of fear that something terrible will befall us again.  

We have to live.  

We have to live with hope.  

Sittser says, "Somehow we manage to live reasonably well, expecting the best and, when the time comes to face the worst, accepting it as part of the bargain of living in a fallen world.  We are remarkably resilient creatures.  When knocked down, most of us get up, like weeds bouncing back after being trampled.  We love again, work again, and hope again.  We think it is worth the risk and trouble to live in the world, though terrors surely await us, and we take our chances that, all things considered, life is still worth living."

Life is still worth living.  I know this in my very soul to be true. 

We went out to the cemetery today to just be.  
Her gravestone still isn't there, and that made me sad.
Each time, I find myself hoping it will be there when we visit.  Something inside of me needs to see it.  To read her name, to look at those words.

The Husband is a constant comfort to me.  We laugh together, we enjoy each other's company, we hold one another, we love, and we live.   We did all of those things before, but now, the joy seems even deeper, truer, somehow.  Our marriage is stronger, steadier, more grace-filled.  The length of our arguments has shortened drastically, and the ugly content, too, has changed.  Our relationship with God has grown, as well, and I'm grateful for The Husband's growth as spiritual leader in our home.  God has done some phenomenal things in our marriage, in our life together, that may not have come about had we not experienced such grief and loss so early on.  

Our first anniversary is in four days.  I can't believe how quickly this first year has flown by and how we ourselves have changed so radically in the process.  
For the better, I might add.  
Things could have swung the other way so easily had we reacted differently to our circumstances.  But don't be misled.  We didn't do it on our own.  Our God was for us every single messy step of this journey.  We stumbled often (you know, those times where we tried to do it on our own?), but He caught us and held us close until we were steady enough to press on.  

How He loves us.

Thanks, guys and gals, for continuing on this journey with us.  We look forward to the future with much anticipation and with even more hope. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Breakfast revealed

There were some very close and very yummy-sounding guesses (Jennifer, you were the closest! 10 points to you!) on the  last post!  Good job, y'all!

I'm eating the very same breakfast right now, and I just can't tell you how much I enjoy it.  It fills us up  in a healthy, delicious way.  We like it so much that we've even had it for an after-the-gym-before-bedtime snack!

The first ingredient (that all who took a guess got right) is two big spoonfuls of Greek yogurt.  We buy the vanilla flavor.  It has lots of protein!  
The second (one of you guessed right!) is a handful (though I don't actually pour them into my hand because it's way too messy) frozen blueberries.  Good carbs!
Third, I chop up (in my magic bullet blender!) lots of cashews! No one guessed this ingredient, but I would say it's my favorite one.  I love the flavor cashews adds to the mix.  
And fourth, I sprinkle in some (a couple of you got this one!) sunflower seeds.  It's a good source of magnesium!
I stir everything together.  Voila!
And enjoy every. last. bite.   

If you try it out, or if you take something away and add in something different, I'd love to hear about it! My mom's chocolate chip idea (thought less healthy, haha) sounded so yummy!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Any guesses...

...on what The Husband and I have had for breakfast most mornings this past month?

10 bonus points to the closest guess ;)

Here's a snapshot to help you out...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

To lose or not to lose...

**Y'all are all so lovely.  I know I shouldn't have to put a disclaimer at the top of this post, but there are people in this life who don't fully weigh their words before sharing them.  We all fall short; no one is perfect.  I realize my problems aren't nearly what they could be.  I know there are horrible things happening in the world every day, and there's a great deal of suffering going on around us.  But.  I struggle, too.  Because this is my blog, and because I value your friendship and your prayers and good wishes, most of the time I choose to be open with what's pressing on my heart.  I do so love reading your comments, but you and I both know that words have the power to uplift and to tear down.  That being said, if you desire to read further and comment on this post, please be kind.  I appreciate you!**

The six months I was pregnant with Hadley were amazing (except the morning sickness hah!).  I loved almost every minute of it, and I certainly wouldn't exchange those months for anything.  Like most pregnant women, I gained weight.  Weight that was healthy because it meant she was growing.  I gained fourteen to fifteen pounds over that span of time.

After the delivery and the month that followed, I lost six pounds.  It has been over two months now, and I have not been able to lose any of the eight or nine pounds remaining.  I have been eating healthy (not starving myself or gorging myself), and I have been exercising four to five times a week for the last five weeks (weights, Pilates, cardio).  

Nothing.  

Sometimes, I swear that scale teases me. It will show that I lost a pound or half a pound only to show that I gained it back the next day.  I can tell my arms look more toned than they did while I was pregnant, so I know the Pilates and the weights are working.  It's just frustrating to work so hard and to not see the results I was hoping for.  Most of the "problem" areas seems to be in my upper legs and my stomach.  Y'all, I am a short girl.  Any weight gain is noticeable.  

So, this is me.  Being completely honest.  I need some ideas from gals who have struggled with getting rid of those extra pounds that just linger.  What did you do that helped?  I completely admit that I am not obese nor am I considered "over-weight," but I would really like for my old clothes to fit the way they used to.  Not out of vanity, mind you, but out of being a good steward of what we have.  I can't justify buying a new wardrobe just because I can't lose these extra pounds/inches.  Because I wished for things to feel more normal, I gave all of the maternity clothes I had borrowed months ago back to their owners.  So.   I'm left with the things hanging in my closet, and y'all, I just can't keep wearing the same two pairs of shorts and same three shirts over and over again this summer.  When fall and winter hit, I need to be able to wear more than just the four dresses I can fit into.  I have to be able to shimmy into my jeans and slacks again.  Being able to zip and button them would be a beautiful bonus...

We are on a limited income right now, so purchasing something new is not really an option.  We have a prepaid year-long membership to the gym that's not up until November (thank you, Lord!), and we have healthy food in the refrigerator.  

I have the will-power.  I just need the know-how.  

If you have helpful hints, please share them.  
If you have a word or two of encouragement, I'd love to read those, too.  
Funny stories regarding standing on your head in order to get your jeans to slide just one more inch? By all means, type away.  
I'd love to read about others who have struggled with this and who have succeeded. 

On your mark.
Get set.
Go! :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Fourth

What did y'all do to celebrate the 4th? 
The Husband and I celebrated with a few of our friends, and we had such a great time! We went over to Tina and Darryl's house after lunch and were joined by Lesa and her family.  
We swam--well I put on a bathing suit...but the sun just wouldn't stay out, so I never actually got in the pool, haha!  It was the coolest (as in temperature) 4th of July I can ever remember! 
We ate delicious food.  
We played fun games: Empire--The Husband won!  Quelf--Have y'all ever played that game? It's crazy!! Every time someone drew a card, The Husband and I had to clap our hands, twirl them around, and say, "Abracadabra!" Catch Phrase--The ladies killed it! We won all but one game!
We fought the traffic to watch fireworks with thousands of other people and just generally enjoyed one another's company.  Thank you, sweet friends, for inviting us over! We love you guys! 

The Husband, Tina, and Lesa
 Ryan (my man-of-honor!) and me




  Playing Catch Phrase!
 Ryan's "sweet" hat
 I'm not quite sure what's happening here....

 Still playing Catch Phrase :)

 Lauren took this picture.  I'm not sure why... :)
 Tina! Love her.



 This last one is my favorite shot.  
Because it's so, well, us :)
Goodness I sure love him!

I hope you all had a wonderful day surrounded by family and friends!
I'm so very thankful for all that day stands for and for the men and women who have bravely fought so hard for our country's freedom.
I feel very, very blessed to live where I do.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Prayers *updated*

*Update (as of this afternoon)* - Hudson was born via c-section and weighed in at 2 pounds 14 ounces.  I don't know that I'll update any more unless something happens that warrants extra prayers, but I do want to thank you all for praying for that sweet baby and his family.  Blessings.


*Update (as of yesterday afternoon)* - It looks like she will be having a c-section today or tomorrow.  They are estimating that he'll weigh between 3 and 4 pounds.  Right now, they are trying to stabilize her blood pressure, and they have been giving her steroid shots to strengthen the baby's lungs.  Thanks for praying, and I'll try to update again as information is made available.

A gal I went to high school with and am friends with on Facebook is a little over 30 weeks pregnant.  I don't know many details other than these:

~something has gone wrong
~she's in the hospital
~they play on delivering her baby boy soon

My heart hurts for her as I sit here crying.  Our situations aren't really that similar, but her prayer post on FB caused my heart to race just remembering our day exactly two months ago.

I know that she and her husband have waited for so very long for their chance to be parents and that they love this baby more than words can say.  Let's pour out our requests before our Mighty God for them and for their sweet baby Hudson.   

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Day in Pictures

The Husband, my cousin Paige, and I met up with a few of our cousins at their home on Lake Conroe last Friday. 

Here's our day.





















It was a good day.