Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Optimist's Creed for Weight Loss

The Optimist's Creed for Weight Loss
By: Linda James

I promise myself to be so strong that
nothing can stop me from losing weight. 
To talk health, fitness and weight loss
to every person who wants to listen
To help all my overweight
friends feel that they too can
lose their extra weight.
To look at the fact that
I really can lose weight and 
to make this fact come true. To 
think only of success, to work only
for success and to expect only successful
weight loss. To be just as enthusiastic about 
the weight loss of others as I am about my own.
To forget the failures of the past and press on to 
the great weight loss achievements of the future.
To be motivated to lose weight at all times and to help
every overweight person I meet to be motivated too.
To be so focused on doing things that help me lose weight
that I have no time left to do things that make me gain weight.
To be too determined to give up, too fit to be unhealthy, too slim
to be fat, and too focused on successful weight loss to permit the
thought of failure. To think well of myself and to proclaim this fact
to the world by losing all the extra weight and keeping it off. To live
in the faith that I can be slim for the rest of my life so long as I
stay focused on the slim and slender me that I know I can be.

I found this online and I love it. I will use this when I begin my weight loss journey starting in January. This was posted on if anyone is interested in checking out that blog.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

INTERESTING facts from our Road trip...

Here are a few things I found was interesting on our road trip:

  • You are not allowed to pump your own gas in Oregon. This I find really interesting. 
  • Motorcycles pass in between cars in Portland.
  • There are trees covered in MOSS everywhere in Oregon. They are so interesting and creepy looking, but very COOL!
  • NO ONE USES blinkers in California. It is the most frustrating thing and so weird no one does it. 
  • The lines at the drive thru In N Out were absolutely insane. There was always 10 cars in line waiting each time we went which was twice and every time we passed they were packed. So, crazy.
  • You are not allowed to bring fruit into California. They have a check point to see if you have any fruit in your car. If you don't, you are allowed to keep going.
  • There are SO many fruit trees in California... so MANY. I saw my first Olive tree and Blueberry tree. They were so cool!
  • The speed limit in California is enforced by aircraft. 
  • The amount of bridges in Portland and California are crazy. 
  • Round trip: 783 miles was our round trip mileage.

Road Trip with my husband

His brother was getting married and he asked him to be his best man... How exciting and fun! He lives in Sacramento, California. Flying was out of the question due to how much the tickets were for us to both fly down there. So, we decided to drive! And we started planning and saving for our road trip to California. 

I was pretty excited because I have never ventured out of the state of Washington, so it was a chance for me to see some new places and enjoy the time in the car with my husband.

The day before arrives and we spend the evening packing our bags and getting ready to leave. Our goal was to leave at 5 in the morning... we ended up leaving at 5:45 so not too much later, but at 5:45 we were on the road and headed to Sacramento. 

It was definitely an experience and one that I will never forget. I enjoyed spending the quality time with him as we listened to music, talked for hours about different things, made it through the stressed of our trip... 

We were coming through the Mountain Pass when his car started getting cold. He did a few things to it and we were on the road again... a little bit later we ended up stopping at a gas station to get something to help the car get us to an auto parts store. He thought his thermostat was going out. We finally made it to Yreka, California and we stopped at a NAPA store. We bought the new Thermostat and he was able to borrow tools from the guys in NAPA which was awesome and saved us money. He had a really hard time getting to the part. He spent close to an hour trying to get the old part out to install the new one. A man came to the store to buy something. On his way to his truck he stopped and asked if he needed help. This STRANGER helped him take the part out and install the new part. He also stayed around to make sure it started okay before he left. We offered to pay him, but he wouldn't take anything. His reply was, "I hope one day if my girls are stranded someone will be nice enough to help them, like I am helping you?" This man was sent from God and he is truly our lifesaver of this trip. I will never forget his generosity!

We were delayed 2 hours, but we were on the road again... we got to Sacramento around 7. 15 hours in the car was a bit much, but we had an adventure and even with the stress we did it together and enjoyed each other. We headed straight to the restaurant for the rehearsal dinner. We ate dinner and headed back to our brothers house where we slept for the next few nights. We went to sleep and then woke up the next day and started our running around. 

We had to go to a few stores and get the things we needed for the wedding and then we had to go to the TUX shop so he could try on his tux and make sure everything was good and then we picked up the other tuxes that needed to be picked up. We headed back to the house and got ready. We headed to the wedding location around 2. 

It was a beautiful location. They got married outside and it was decorated very beautifully with flowers... it was a small service and it lasted about 30 minutes or so. After that we headed over to the reception hall... we took a few pictures with the family and then the reception was very beautiful. The decorations were just very elegant. All and all it was a beautiful wedding and we were very blessed to be able to share this moment with his brother and his new wife. 

We left the reception hall around 9 and then headed back to the house to unwind and get some sleep before our long drive in the morning. I got all our stuff packed up and ready to put in the car in the morning and we sat down for a little bit before I started falling asleep.... off to bed we went. 

We got up the next day and headed out. The drive was a nice one. It rained off and on and we made great timing. We got to Portland around 7:30 and we ended up staying in a hotel for the night. We wanted to do something for us and it was nice to be able to sleep before we finished the last part of our trip.

We got up the next morning and went to the mall to go shopping. It was a fun time at a new mall... it was 3 stories and they had a skating rink in the middle of the mall. It was definitely an experience for me. We walked around for a few hours and then headed out... we went to a different part of Portland to look at a store and then have lunch and then we were on the road again... 

We got home around 4 and we were so thankful to be home. What a great experience to enter into Oregon and California with my husband. I got to meet his brother and enjoy his wedding and just a great bonding experience for us both. I will never forget our trip!

Monday, November 10, 2014

KIDNEY Infection PAIN is the WORST!

All I can say is Kidney infection pain is the absolute WORST!

I felt this pain for the first time a few months ago when the pain in my back woke me up in the middle of the night with tears running down my face it hurt so bad... That time I went to the ER at 4 in the morning and left around 9 with a kidney infection and urinary tract infection. I got my meds and went home and slept for most of the day. Thank God for my best friend Jenn who took my daughter so I could sleep. 

This time was the same thing.. I woke up at 1 in pain. At 4:30 I was able to get some motrin in and fell asleep at 5 until I woke up at 7 to get ready and head to the urgent care. The ER took way too long last time and its so much money to go there, even with my insurance. I got the kids ready and brought them to Jenn, who offered to watch them while I went. I got to urgent care and I was the first one in line when they opened at 8. I was in and out of there in 40 minutes with my prescription for an antibiotic for my kidney infection, bladder infection and urinary tract infection. She tends to think I have a kidney stone possibly hiding in there that is large enough that it isn't passing and that keeps popping these infections up. I have a follow up appointment next Monday to make sure I am all good. 

Talk about knock me on my butt. The kids came back around 10 yesterday but they were good. They played and watched their movies and shows and really helped me out when needed. Today I have been at work for 4 1/2 hours and its been the longest 4 1/2 hours ever. I am so ready to go home and lay down. I was expecting the meds to kick in sooner than this... 

Praying for quick healing and no kidney stones... 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Most Proud Moment

The moment my daughter was born was one of the most proudest moments of my life... I was her mother and I was going to raise her into this beautiful awesome little lady and I was so proud at that moment...

As life has gone by and my daughter keeps growing, she makes me proud of her every day! I love her more than words can express!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

21 things about ME

  1. I am currently married to the love of my life. Because of him I have become a better person and I am loving and enjoying life to the fullest. He is an amazing man and I am so thankful God put him in my life!
  2. I can say Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in Latin... I learned in Mrs. Perkins class at Sulphur High and it was one of my favorite classes of all time. It stuck with me all these years. 
  3. I have 2 beautiful girls in my life... the first one I gave birth to in 2008 and she is the light of my life... the second one God brought into my life when I married my husband and she keeps me laughing... They are both amazing girls and I look forward to watching them grow!
  4. I moved to Washington state when I was 19 and let me tell you, I believe God brought me here for reasons I didn't realize until I grew up. It is my home and I am in love with living here. 
  5. I gave birth to my daughter by emergency c-section... due to her birth I now have 2 scars not just one from that day... I have the c-section scar on my belly, but I also have a scar about the same length as my other scar and that one is from the tape they used to hold the epidural in. Apparently I had a reaction to the tape they used... 
  6. It bugs me extremely when my nails aren't painted... that goes for my fingernails and toes. 
  7. I am a very organized person and things have to be a certain way in my life... I won't go into many details but if you are around me long enough you will see me do things to make sure they are done the way I need them to be... An example is lights being on in the house when people aren't in a room or cabinets or doors being open when they usually are suppose to be shut... I will go around and turn off lights and shut things ALL the time. 
  8. I home state is Louisiana and it is my first love! I was born and raised there and it is never away from my heart. I visit as much as I can and I have taken so much away from that state and shared it with my loved ones up north. 
  9. My relaxing spot where I go to relax and just unwind is my bathroom... I love lighting all my candles and running a hot bath and playing God music, as my daughter calls it. It is one of the most relaxing places I can be... 
  10. I have a birth mark on my left leg right below my knee. It is 1 inch wide and 1 inch in length. I have had it since birth and I have even had doctors tell me I should probably had it removed. No thank you... I was born with it, I will die with it... The only reason I would remove it, is if it cancerous. 
  11. My favorite place to go in Washington state is the Ocean. The sound of the waves, the sand in your toes... it is just break taking!
  12. MY FAVORITE restaurant with my favorite food would be Red Lobster when they have the all you can eat shrimp. 
  13. I love all things craft... Pinterest is amazing for getting ideas for all these crafts I want to do... I love scrapbooking, sewing, etc... 
  14. My favorite drink is diet coke and something I spoil myself with from time to time is hot chocolate. 
  15. I absolutely love music of all kinds... I listen to Christian music the most until Christmas time and then that is all I listen to until after Christmas day!
  16. I have super super super thin hair. 
  17. My favorite candy is Godiva. If it is just something you can get at a grocery store it would be Hershey air chocolate bar :)
  18. My favorite holiday is Christmas...
  19. I love love love watching movies. I love all kinds. 
  20. I am the co-coordinator of our MOPS group and I love MOPS. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

12 courageous acts of leadership

I found this article on the blog. I think it has some great tips that I wanted to share...

12 courageous acts of leadership:
  1. Doubt first thoughts and question intuitions.
  2. Extend trust.
  3. Stop talking and listen.
  4. Let others be right.
  5. Ask awkward questions.
  6. Confront issues that hurt others.
  7. Challenge average in order to pursue exceptional.
  8. Comfort.
  9. Connect.
  10. Say, “I was wrong. Please forgive me.”
  11. Surrender control while remaining responsible.
  12. Honor the success of others without mentioning your contribution.
Bonus: Explore rather than defend.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fellow E-book readers

I love to read and love reading all kinds of books.

I just figured I would share a few websites that I have signed up to receive daily emails with discounted or free e-books. I love both these websites. I get the email each day and look through the list. Some days I don't download any books, but some days there are a few from each email that I get.

So, if you are interested the websites are:

BookBub - and the link to get there can be found here.

Free Kindle Books - and the link to this one can be found here. For this one, scroll to the bottom of the screen and there is a link to sign up for email. On this email, most of the books are free. If you look at the email the next day the price of these books have changed. Some might still be free, but the others will be priced differently. So, be sure if you are wanting the free book to look at the price before hitting download!

I hope you enjoy as much as I do...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

MOMcon Session 5

I am sad that this was our last session... But it was a great session! There were 2 speakers from this session... The first is Angie Smith and the last is Sherry Surrant who is our MOPS CEO and president!

First up was Angie Smith:
He sent me here to be me and I am enough. And I am NOT alone. We are all fighting the same fight. You are a beloved daughter of His. You need to learn to live in the now. Let go of things that happened in the past. It doesn't matter the bad and issues that happened in the past. Now is being choked by yesterday and strangled by tomorrow. You need to be there and stop missing it, (LIFE!)

It's enough. Do you believe that. You are enough. YOU ARE ENOUGH! You are enough. 

It's so hard to be here now. It's reality. We try to escape as much as we can. Enjoy life for what it is. No matter how hard the season is. Thank God for this exact moment He is giving me. 

You can't see the whole picture. But you can see today. If you listen, every moment you will hear a word: SCENE... God is the director of your life! Today is just another scene in your life.

You might not be able to see the future but focus on today. God is with you. 

God was not looking for the perfect mom. He wants the mom who knows HE is perfect. Things might not be good, but He is.

We were handed a clothes pin during this session and here is what she said about that:
Use the clothes pin to pin your moments. LIVE EACH moment with your children no matter what is going on. Pin the moments and THANK GOD for that moment and say it's enough and I am enough!

Live exactly where we are... not for ourselves, but for HIM!

Next up was Sherry Surrant:

Fear makes us want to run and hide. Satan makes the fear grow so much. Satan makes things seem so big. 

MOPS verse says = Do not dwell in the past!
  • I am doing a new thing.
  • God is speaking new things into your life.
God is calling some to be Bravely, generous.
God is calling some to be Bravely, financially.
God is calling some to be Bravely, Honest.
God is calling some to be Bravely, Free!

- Have that conversation with Him today. 

Why are you trying so desperately to fit in when He has called you to be bravely!
Don't miss this chance to be a woman who says yes when God calls. Heart and soul! 

What could your brave look like?
What WILL your brave look like?
You and God will decide what your brave looks like. Continue to work on it with Him. 

You will hear negative voices that says you can't do something. Whose voice will you listen to. Yours, Satan's or God's voice. 

God will hold your hand along the way!


MOMcon Workshop D

Raising Girls - What our daughters need to hear
By: Alexandra Kuykendall

We are the ones to tell them who they are!
You are the model for them... show them who you are and they will watch you as you go.
So, Be you, BRAVELY!

Girls Brain
- Earlier Hemisphere Development
- More Serotonin
- More Oxytocin
- Higher Sensory Intake

Estrogen - The "she" hormone
- The most influential hormone on a daily basis
- Named intimacy hormone, creates an urge for bonding, nurturing and communication

We don't want to over protect them so they can be ready to go out into the world when the time comes... 

A great book to read is "Cinderella ate my daughter." It is a great book to read and be informed!

Legos helps with skills in science, etc. 

Bratz are spoiled, sexy and six. 

Am I contributing to her growing up too fast with the things we allow now?

We need to preserve their innocence!

Where are our daughters headed? How am I preparing her for that?


We are their number 1 influence!

A great book to read: Captivating: Unveiling the mystery of a woman's soul by Stasi and John Eldredge

1st thing to do...
- Embrace the princess!

2nd thing to do... 
- Help her discover her talents!
Failure is a god thing because it means you are trying new things!

God created you uniquely. Let's discover who He created her to be.

3rd thing to do...
- Encourage her relationship with her dad!
It's crucial. You can't control their relationship. Encourage alone time with the girls separately. 

Our children learn by how we live. 

Compliment them all the time, especially the dad's. 

Limit media use:
- The more stuff she is exposed to the lower her self esteem image becomes

- The dove self-esteem video is powerful
- We can control what's in the house!!!

4th thing to do...
- Remind our daughters who God says they are!

Again... MOM=MODEL

If we don't believe the things about ourselves, how are they suppose to believe us when we say they are beautiful or awesome or great?

10 things our daughters need to hear:

1. She is chose and dearly loved. (Colossians 3:12)

  • The everyday acting towards them!
  • Quit being distracted and LOVE them. Be excited to see them every second of the day. 
2. She is a citizen of Heaven. (Philippians 3:20)
  • To know that we belong to God.
  • We are HIS and will see Him in heaven.
  • Only answer what she is asking. She doesn't need all the answers right now!
3. She is Christ's friend. (John 15:15)
  • We have to help them navigate the drama of their life. 
  • Remind them Christ is their friend. 
  • Practice role playing if there is conflict.
4. She is Forgiven. (Ephesians 1:7)
  • She is abundantly free. 
  • Don't ignore behavior, but let her know she is forgiven. We need to ask for their forgiveness if we mess up also. 
  • We need to teach them about life and forgiveness is a big part of that!
5. God looks at her inner beauty. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
  • What traits do we want to cultivate. 
  • Remind her what God cares about. 
6. She uniquely reflects the creator. (Genesis 1:27)
  • We recognize what is important to her. 
  • Watch our words about them and ourselves. 
  • If your trying to lose weight talk about being healthy and not about being skinny!
  • (Remember they are watching you and being just like you!)
7. She has special gifts and talents. (Romans 12:8)
  • Broaden our ideas. Let them do what they want with full passion. 
8. She is responsible for her actions. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
  • Give them consequences when they mess up.
  • She is not you. She makes her own mistakes.
9. She is part of a family. (Ephesians 2:19)
  • Your church family counts as part of the family as well. 
  • Your community counts too.
10. She is a messenger of Hope. (Mark 16:15)
  • She is a hope bringer.
Challenge: Look over this list and consider:
- What I have a hard time believing about myself... Is there a coalition between the two.

Good comment from MOMcon...

How others see you is not important... 
How you see yourself means EVERYTHING!

MOMcon Session 4

By: Shauna Niequist

- The way we walk together through Christ.

Words are really important. 
Friends make you brave. 
When your scared, you do it shoulder to shoulder with your friends!

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! No friend is alone... no mom alone!

Your a masterpiece... - Ephesians 2:10

Choose a few people to go extremely deep with your friendships. You can either connect or compare. You can not do both!

You have to appreciate who you are and what you have. Everything we have has been given to us from God. Quit worrying about what other's have and focus on your own life. Stay in your lane. 


You don't need to compare or compete. Water your own garden and watch it grow. Focus on you and your family. It may not be perfect, but it is YOURS! And God has given it to you. 

God made you for a purpose. This is your life and you will miss it if you don't connect but instead compare. Use technology to connect instead of compare. The hard times you are going through, connect with your friends not Facebook!

All the little details don't matter. Sometimes people need you to just be there for them instead of all the little details. BE THERE! Be with them!


Sometimes it takes time and set expectations. When there is conflict and confession you are getting deeper. It's normal. It's an opportunity to grow in that life. 

Don't ever be afraid of conflict. Be afraid of NO conflict. Handle conflict in private and at the moment it happens. 

Friendship teaches us how we should treat ourself. Friendship grabs you by the hand and reminds you that you are loved. 

Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness, 
will we discover the infinite power of our light!

MOMcon Session 3

Session 3 by Lisa Chan

BE YOU BRAVELY: There is only one YOU!

What is unique about you?

Most issues you have could be spiritually based. If you are great in your spirit, things will be good. 

How spiritually connected are you?
Is your goal to be a great wife and mom instead of a great daughter of God?

We are here for God. Not for anything else. Are you in it with God?
He is by your side every step of the way. 

God has called you for so much more. He has invited us in. He wants more from you!

We need to engage ourselves with the truth of the word. There is freedom in following Christ! You need to take the time to be with Jesus. We need to be in touch with God's heartbeat. Ask God questions daily... 

Jeremiah 2:13

God has everything you need. Quit putting him on the back burner. You need that time with God. GOD'S LOVE NEVER STOPS! Without water we will die. Jesus is the spring water that never runs out. It is your choice to take Him in and get filled up. Don't forget about God. We have to fight to keep our eyes on Him. 

God always gives you what you need. You just need to ask for it. 

It doesn't matter what you think about yourself. It only matters what HE thinks about you. Only you can be brave and offer your life to God. God's grace is sufficient enough for ME!

Taking a step of faith is not always perfect. Trust in Him. 

MOMcon Workshop B

This workshop was Rest and Rhythms of Life by Deidra Riggs

She said that she uses the app Pray as you go daily. When she can't get her time with the bible, she will use this and at least get some time in...

REST and SLEEP are NOT the same thing.

Richard Foster wrote a book called "Prayer." She said it was a great book!

God is eternal.
We live in time, not Him!
Your season of life will change. PRAY.
A new season is coming... Hang in there!

The story of Noah: Means rest.

Rest is a solid place for your feet to land. It is not always about sleep.

Exodus 33:14
My presence will go with you and I will give you rest!
Type of rest here is permission to release.

His presence is going to be with you.

We are on a journey with God. Every day God needs to get into your heart and find rest there!

EXPECTATIONS = FAILURE (You are NOT a failure)
- This is something I struggle with. I expect things to go a certain way and if they don't I am upset or disappointed. I am working to quit having such high expectations so I will not feel this way. I am also working to live life to the fullest and trying to give the worries/stresses to God.

We need to find a solid place to rest. He will help us find peace. Then we can focus on our relationship with God.

God wants us to cling to Him. We can't do that if we don't give him the time. Find the time and the space to find peace and to have your time with God.

Let all the stresses go and find rest in Him.

Your relationship with God is personal. You do it whenever you can and you do it together. Your rest will change from day to day. Sometimes all you have to do is just go out for a walk...

Another good book to read is "Spiritual Pathways."

Give yourself permission to rest! God gives you the permission, so why can't you give yourself that?

MOMcon Session 2


The speaker for this session was Jennie Allen. Here are the notes I took during this session:

NOTHING changes us more than a glimpse of God our savior. 

  • We are doing HIS work.
  • Our mom's want something more. We are the way to introduce them to Jesus.
We have made ourselves small. We have felt invisible and unimportant. At the end of the day you are exhausted and run down. You don't feel free! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

What are you fighting that no one else can see?

Everyone is fighting something. No one is alone. We are all broken and need HIS help. We need God. 

Fight the Fight for God. Everyone needs to wake up. 

What do you believe about:
  • Yourself?
  • Your circumstances?
  • our God?
You need to get healthy and free. Pray with your kids together!

I believe you are enough. 

Bible verses she said to read that goes along with this:
- 1 Peter               - John 1, John 8, John 10, John 13, and John 17
- Matthew 5          - 1 Corinthians
- Romans 5 and 8   - 2 Corinthians 2, 2 Corinthians 5 and 2 Corinthians 12 
- Joshua 1             - Ephesians 1, Ephesians 4 and Ephesians 6

We are a mighty courageous strong women. Do not get weary. DO not pull out. 

People will not feel our souls. God is the only one that can do that. There is more... BE with Jesus!

Monday, October 13, 2014

MOMcon Workshop A

The first workshop I went to was called "Menu for Raising Children" and the speaker was Deborah Tillman from the Lifetime series called Super Nanny. Her entrance was absolutely amazing. She came in dancing and singing to Brave by Sarah Barallis. She got the whole room to get involved and had ladies singing with her. It was very amazing to be in this workshop.

During the beginning before she started speaking the voice of Larry from Veggie Tales got up and told us about the new series from Netflix they are starting in a few months. He showed us a preview of the Netflix series and then he sang a hair song. It was funny and awesome all at the same time.

And then her workshop began... Here are my notes...


I am a parent. My purpose is to train. I will be what God wants me to be. So that I can do what God has called me to do. Time out for fear, doubt, guilt and shame. After this MOPS conference, I will never be the same. In Jesus' name. AMEN!

The year you were born and the year you die... The dash is what is most important between those 2 dates. It's the stuff in between that matters! God has blessed us with these little moments and these little ones to cherish and enjoy during those years.

The two most important days of your life are the days you were born and the day you find out why.

Habakkuk 2:2
And the Lord answered me, and said, write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

When you operate in God's vision so many things will open up!

Raising today's children requires purpose. Read these: Proverbs 22:6 and Ephesians 6:4


God created us fearfully and wonderfully made.

Start with PARENT:

Fear keeps us from doing all that is needed!

Start with you!
Lay aside every weight:
- Guilt
- Fear

Don't be afraid to raise your children. You are doing it with God's help.

What do your kids really need?
Love to them is spelled TIME!

You need to change you! There are no perfect parents.

MOVE on = Letting go of your past

Be present in your child's life!

Follow your ABC's (Speak Positives)

A is for Attitudes - how we think (Proverbs 22:7)
- Expect the best
- Aim High
- Give children encouragement

B is for Behaviors - how we act (life and death, Proverbs 18:21)
- Evaluate your words
- Speak life
- Change your tone

C is for Choices - how to live (by faith - Romans 12:1-2)
- Enjoy the journey
- Turn off technology and tune into YOUR children
- Model the behavior you want them to have

Children want attention. Give them the positive attention. Speak life to your children.

Believe God... LET GOD!

As long as you can look up, you can surely GET up!

You are teaching your children by your behavior!

Friday, October 10, 2014

My favorite from MOMcon

I went to the conference for my MOPS group called MOMcon. I will write more about my time away when I get a few minutes this weekend. One of my favorite things from the weekend was Amena Brown's presentation of this poem... She was amazing as she presented it to us mom's. It was absolutely breathtaking!

By Amena Brown...
You start the day
With a few moments to pray
A few seconds for thank you
Before the chaos hits
Before the minutes get spent on playing all the roles you play
This great God
Gave you one of the most important jobs
To help mold and shape your little birds
To build a nest
Until they learn to fly on their own
On any given day
You are mom, wife, doctor and nurse
Counselor, CEO, "let mommy see where it hurts"
Coach and referee
Disciplinarian, chef, event coordinator
Accountant and creative
Teacher and attendee of tea parties
Many days
You are a supershero with no cape
Just flats, jeans, sneakers, and yoga pants
Ready to answer the mom signal at any time
You are also a woman
A feeling, breathing, thinking, dreaming woman
Motherhood may have brought you a few extra curves
But it also taught you the power of words
Of knowing your limitations
Of finding strength and resting in weakness
That you are more than your morning routine
Or all of the thoughts that invade your mind before you try to sleep
You were made for adventure
Not the kind where we put on a brave face just to save face
In the face of insecurity and laundry and worries
God wants you to find the courage to be yourself
To remember the calling and the dreams
To remember the seeds he planted in your heart
To remember it only takes one step to start
To remember out of all your roles, hats, jobs, titles
You are first the daughter of an everlasting father
Who holds your hand at the precipice of all of life’s steep hills and dangerous cliffs
Who when the wind is whipping at your ears
And your mind is filled with can’ts, won’ts, and should I’s
Reminds you that he’s with you
He is the one who makes you brave
He is the one who helps you face the day
Gives you strength
Gives you permission to be weak
Gives you the boldness to speak
A quiet place to breathe
Ears to hear the heart
Eyes to see the dreams
We all long to be rescued
But we are not Lois Lane searching for Superman
Or Gotham on the look out for Bruce Wayne
The hero we live for has no flaws
No weakness
No kryptonite
He is love, mercy, and sacrifice
Conqueror of death
Creator of life
The Hero of all heroes
The inventor of time
He is with you
You are not alone
He wants to walk with you daily
So today, take a step
Be you, bravely.

She was not born...

C told me last night that she was NOT born grumpy.

Oh how I love her.

So close to 40...

It is so funny how 2 different people can see 6 years totally different...

C says to me last night that I am 34. I look at her and say yes baby girl, I am. She says wow... you are almost 40. I was like ummmm NO I AM NOT! She says, well really you are.

And she is so true. To a 6 year old 34 is so close to 40... but to me who is 34 it feels like a lifetime away from me reaching 40.

Costco foods...

We went to Costco the other day and did a little bit of shopping. We needed something for dinner so we decided to grab dinner there. We ended up getting a Ravioli Lasagna and a Caesar salad....

I put it in the oven and while it is cooking, it fills my home with the best smelling pasta ever. My mouth was watering as it was cooking. It finally is done cooking and I take it out of the oven and it looked so beautiful...

After my 6 year old eats, she says to me... "Momma, this was the best dinner I have ever had in my life!"

Thank you Costco, for giving my daughter a chance to enjoy the best dinner she has ever had in her 6 years of  LIFE!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Kentucky is calling...

On Wednesday I fly out to head to Louisville, Kentucky for my MOPS convention. My co-coordinator and I are flying out together and we will get to Kentucky at 7 pm. We will be able to get settled and grab dinner and enjoy a relaxing evening before the craziness begins. Thursday we have meetings/sessions starting at 12 until 9 pm. Friday we have sessions from 9 am until 6 pm and then we have the evening free to go out to dinner and have girl time with any ladies we meet. Saturday we will had all day sessions again and then we have a reception at the end of the night for all the ladies to have fun... We fly out Sunday morning at 10 and then have a whole day of flying. Hoping we can catch a connecting flight sooner than later so we aren't waiting for 4 hours for our connecting flight. 

I am so super excited for this time to be able to go and experience all that God wants me to experience. I feel it will be a lot of knowledge and I will take great notes because I am sure I will not be able to take it all in during the conference. I am excited for this time with my co-coordinator and our time together. I feel it will be a great time for us to just have some us time and get to know each other more. I am excited for the experiences and the friends I will get to meet and the few people I know through online/email only. 

I am not ready to be away from my husband or my daughter, but I know that God is leading me here and He has some plans in my future :)

Mom, did Jesus get married?

My conversation with my daughter this past week was her asking me if Jesus ever got married.

My reply was, no honey he didn't. She then asks, why not? I tell her that he died before he was able to get married. 

Her reply stopped me in my tracks by how awesome and smart she is... 

She says, "But momma, he is alive so why can't he get married now?"

I love her so much!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

MOPS has started again...

After all the stress and worrying my co-coordinator and I did, we finally made it to the first meeting of the year.

Our first meeting was this past Tuesday and I sure did feel like a chicken with my head cut off, but it went off well and we had a total of 20 new mom's visit and out of those 20 moms, about 8 or so registered for this next year. They get to try it out for 2 meetings before registering... hopefully all of them will be registered by next month!

The stresses and worrying we did was worth it. For those 20 ladies to show up and have a place to come to get that mom time and enjoy the crafts and speakers we have, it was all worth it! 

Looking forward to the rest of the year and praying it goes smoothly after we get in the hang of things!

MOPS motto is NO MOM ALONE... I highly feel that is a great motto and every mom needs a good friend in their life! Why not have more than one with MOPS!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

She has my back...

The other day I spent all day shopping for our MOPS group and standing the rest of the day cleaning out the closet that we have to store all our MOPS supplies. 

At the end of the day my feet hurt so bad. The next day we went to church and then had to go grocery shopping. 

When we got home, I mentioned to C that my feet hurt so bad. Her reply without missing a beat, "Well, you should have told me and I would have pushed you in the grocery cart instead."

I love her and her big heart! Makes me proud to be her momma. 


C was always the only child until I met Abe and she gained a sister. Both the girls have mentioned that they have always wanted another sibling, but we told them it is not happening right now. 

The other day C and I were driving to the store and this is our conversation... ENJOY!

C: "Momma, I would like another sibling to have at the house. I don't really care if it comes from your belly or if we adopt one, I just want one."

Me: "Oh okay. So you don't care if we adopt?"
C: "No, mam. Can we go to the adopt store and pick one out today?"
Me: Holding back my laughter, "Baby, it doesn't work that way. It takes time to complete an adoption process."
C: "Oh, well either way I would like a sibling."
Me: "I don't think we are going to have anymore kiddo, so you need to go talk to your daddy."
C: "Okay. I will."

New Pet Idea

We are not able to have cats at the home because Abe and I are both allergic. The kids want a pet, but right now it just isn't in the cards for us. We can not have pets in our place which has stopped us from getting a dog. They have had fish before, but that is the extent of it. 

So the other day C says in the most serious voice... "momma, can I get a dolphin as a pet. It doesn't have to be big, but a baby little dolphin, would work". 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Momma doesn't like the NEW me...

The other day I picked C up from the sitter. I noticed that she had a bit of an attitude so I let it go for a few minutes thinking it would probably change as we drove home. About 15 minutes later I told her that the attitude that she has needs to stop because it is not funny anymore. 

Her reply in all seriousness: "Momma is mad at me?"

It caught me off guard because this is the first time she has ever spoke in 3rd person. So, I explained to her that I am at mad at her, but instead I am not happy with her attitude. 

Not missing a beat she says, in the most saddest voice: "Momma doesn't like the new me?" After this was said I just died laughing inside. I was thinking, what do you mean the new you, YOU ARE 6.

I replied with, "No baby I do not like the attitude but that is not WHO you are. You are my beautiful 6 year old who is awesome and doesn't have this attitude. That is who you are and the attitude does not make you NEW.

She later said she was trying to be funny and I just explained to her that is fine, but sometimes you have to realize when being funny is getting you in trouble instead of making things funny. 

She keeps me laughing and I love her more than anything!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The past is not yours...

I am currently reading a new book by Lisa Bevere and her husband and I am loving it. 

I did a bible study with my church last year I think in June or July and the series was "Lioness Arising" by Lisa Bevere. It changed my life. It was about being the woman God meant for you to be and stepping into the role and being brave and rising up! I stepped into MOPS Leadership after that study and I also decided to get water baptized. 

In this new book called "The Story of Marriage", I have found my favorite quote by Lisa and her husband. It says:

"The past is not yours. It belongs to God. The enemy of your soul will try to use your past to thwart God's plans for your future. Remember that God has given you today and that the choices you make today will shape your tomorrow - not your yesterday."

I LOVE THAT! When I got divorced it weighed heavy on me that it was the choice that I had to make. I have always heard that its not okay to get divorced because God says... but in this book it talks about those that do get divorced and the quote above just hit home to me. I love it and I will make sure I remember that for people who are having a hard time with their past!

Great book. I am so excited to continue reading!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fundraiser is DONE!

After a few months doing the fundraiser for my MOPS group, we are finally done. 

We have raised $4,329.60 by collecting clothes! What a great fundraiser to have and let others clean out their closets in doing so. Great job ladies! Looking forward to the next year of MOPS and what we will accomplish together!

Monday, August 4, 2014

White trash bags EVERYWHERE

Our MOPS group tried out a new fundraiser this year. It is called clothes for the cause fundraising and it seemed like it would be an amazing one to do. You collect old clothes, shoes, belts, bags, rags, blankets, stuffed animals and you make money on the weight you collect. Sounded pretty easy... 

Our goal was to make $5,000 and that would have been us collecting around 2,500 white trash bags. I found the fundraiser on another MOPS site so I was like sweet... I was put in charge of getting it going. We started the 2nd week in May and we were going to end July 26th. 

May - the storage unit we found donated the smaller unit to us. What an amazing thing to happen when you are trying to raise money. By the end of May we had the storage unit filled to the top. June - we were able to get the biggest unit they had in addition to our smaller one and we ended up getting a sponsor for the first month. They gave us the unit minus the amount the smaller one cost so it was a great deal. We started piling bags into the unit. July we had a sponsor as well and we were on a roll. 

No one really thinks about it being such a crazy fundraiser until after you have collected the first 500 bags. After that it becomes a piece of cake to hike bags into the storage unit, but its the time it takes to get the bags and bring them to storage and the pickups we needed. I put a lot on myself, but I finally stepped back a little and ask for help... 

We got our final numbers and we are about 50 bags away from 20,000 pounds. At this mark we get more cents per pound and we get an extra $1,000 just from that extra cents mark. I feel we can hit that mark in the next week.

A few pictures of our journey so far:

The start of our collection... 
First unit filling up quickly
Our big unit, the day we loaded it up into the uhaul to get weighed.

The trailer with our final collection before the fundraiser ended. 

A new journey begins

There are many things that I have been introduced to by my husband and by far the best thing that I have found because of him was my new church family and my MOPS group. He brought me to church with him the Sunday after we started dating and I absolutely fell in love with the church. 

A month later I found out that the church had a MOPS group. MOPS is for mothers of preschoolers. At the time I did not know what it meant, but it was for mom's to get together and just hang out with FREE childcare. I was all for this! I needed that extra mom time with ladies who wanted to encourage those that came in. 

I fell in love with it from the start. I have made a lot of new friendships from the group and it keeps getting better and better. C loves going to her MOPS meeting too as she calls it. It just really has been a blessing for me. 

Once your child finishes kindergarten you graduate out and you can either find another venture to take on or you can find a MOPS next group that is for mothers who have graduated out of the original MOPS group. Well, this year was my year to graduate and I was devastated. I could not imagine my life without being a part of MOPS in some way. I felt so strongly about what MOPS has to offer women who are in need of finding women to love on them, that I just couldn't imagine leaving. 

At the beginning of this year, I was approached and asked if I would consider the position of co-coordinator for the next year coming up. I was hesitant because I was suppose to graduate out and I wasn't sure I would be able to, but I was able to as a coordinator if I choose to. I thought about it for a bit and prayed about it even more. I went to the coordinator meetings to find out what it was all about and after talking to my husband and praying some more, I made the decision to sign up and see what happens.

I was choose to be co-coordinator with another lady and now the final process began. I had to interview with the lady pastors at my church and get their final approval. After waiting what seemed like forever I finally got the position as co-coordinator for our MOPS group. I was so excited about the opportunity and so excited to be able to reach out to the mom's that could really use the support of a group like this. I was no longer going to be a member of MOPS, but I was going to have to use my skills and the skills of the other co-coordinator and make it all work and make it the best it could be. 

So far, there have been some hills to climb over, but I have a great group of ladies that supports me and wants me to grow spiritually and emotionally on this journey. My co-coordinator is great because we have different skills and hers are different than mine, so we were able to choose roles in this position that fit those skills so it worked out perfectly. 

I look forward to these next few years as their co-coordinator and making amazing! It has taken me some time to realize that I am now a ministry leader at my church and these ladies are going to depend on the coordinators to make things run smoothly. 

The ladies in this picture are 2 of my closest friends I have made through my last year at MOPS. These 2 ladies encourage me to be the best that I can be and are there supporting me along the way helping me when I need it. They are amazing women who will never know how amazing their support is and how thankful I am because of them!

If you pray... keep me in your prayers this next year as I walk this journey together with my leaders and we make it the best we can make it. I am praying that we can reach out to the community more and introduce the MOPS group and get more ladies signed up for the evening meetings which is where I will be...


And just like that... time flies

We were so very excited because the weekend after we got back from Mexico we were getting Isa and she was staying all week with us and spending 2 weekends. We were so looking forward to this time with her. 

It is Monday the 4th and she is back at home with her momma. I wish we could spend more time with her, but we enjoy what time we have with her... 

On her final day with us we went to see the Blue Angels at Seafair. It was a great show and like always the kids had fun and enjoyed it just like we did. Here are a few pictures from their show:

PawPaw's Alligator

This is the close to 10 foot alligator that lives in the canal behind my parents house. When the kids are there dad uses his fishing pole and tries to feed him and a few times he has fed him. Because of this C tells all her friends at school that her PawPaw has a real Alligator as her pet. 

I laughed when she first told me that. I told her that he doesn't really have him as a pet and her reply was: "But momma, he feds him." She had a really good point, so I left it alone. 

Day 13 of our vacation

Day 13 was July 21st

Today was a day to sleep in and catch up from the nausea I experience during flying and getting things back to normal after being gone for so long. I got things unpacked and started washing clothes and just getting things organized at home. 

I also got to see my baby girl today and it made everything about this day much better!!!!

I am very thankful we had this time together. I felt like it really was a great one for us... our first trip alone together. It was basically our honeymoon combined with everything else. We had some really amazing moments in the mist of the craziness we experience. 

Day 12 of our vacation

Day 12 was July 20th

This day is always bittersweet... I am so excited to get home and get back into my own bed and this case I was so ready to see my baby girl. This has been the longest I have gone without seeing her and I was so ready. But I was having such a great time on vacation and not having to deal with the stresses of life and just enjoying some good time with my mom and dad and family that I wasn't ready to go... 

We got up and started getting ready to pack up. We visited and just relaxed most of the morning. I got things all packed up and ready to go and we just visited before heading out at noon. 

Dad brought us back to the airport. The ride there was a good one. Not much traffic and no rain so that is always good for me. We gave our last hugs and we headed into the airport. 

Our flight was on time and we were scheduled to leave. The plane didn't get there until 30 minutes before our flight was suppose to leave. All the people got off the plane and then we got on. And we sat and waited for about an hour. We were on a new Alaska Air plane which was nice and roomy, but they had extra paperwork to do and it took them what seemed like forever. Especially with me who just wanted to be home already. 

The flight was a good one and we had no real issues. We got home later than expected but we got home and we got our luggage and our friend Tom was there to pick us up. I was just ready to go to bed... IT was a very long and exhausting vacation, but it was a great one spent with my husband and enjoying time together. 

Day 11 of our vacation

Day 11 was July 19th 

Today was a good day. We hung out at home with mom and dad until about 2 or a little after. We went to Derrick's house for the rest of the day. He was having a barbecue with all of us before we left. 

Earlier in the day a few other family members were there and then as they left Michael and his family showed up. It was very nice. The kids got to swim and enjoy playing and us adults enjoyed visiting. 

There were a few ping pong games that went down and a few proud winners. My mom and dad even played a few games. It was AWESOME to watch them get into the fun as well. 

I love my family and I feel so blessed to have such amazing parents and brothers. We have not always gotten along 100%, but every family goes through their moments. I love all my nieces and nephews and I just feel very blessed to be a part of this great family.

Derrick and his boys

Heather and I... been hanging together since we were 2. I am lucky to call her my sister now :)

Michael and Dad's match

Mom and Dad

My mom and dad's match...

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Day 10 of our vacation

Day 10 was July 18th

This day was very fun for us. We went with Heather around 11 to see Michael and Michelle's new house. It was nice to get to tour the house and see where they are living now and see my nieces and nephews.

We hung out at home for most of the day before and after that... 

At 5:30 we went to dinner with most of my cousins. We even had some come in from out of town so it was pretty awesome. We had dinner at Coyote Blues and then went back to Derrick's house and just visited the rest of the night. I think the last person left at midnight. 

It was so good to catch up and just talk about our past and tell stories that no one has ever heard before. I really had a good time and I was so thankful I could get with them and just not worry about anything and have a great time! 

Day 9 of our vacation

Day 9 of our vacation was July 17th 

We didn't do too much on this day. We stayed at home and just relaxed with my parents. My aunts came over around 8 to visit and so did my godparents. It was a great visit with all of them. Of course my godparents brought me donut holes. It is our tradition and I loved it! It doesn't matter how old I get, we still stick with the traditions and I love it. I love them more than they will ever know!

We took my parents out to dinner at LeBleu's and it was really good. I have never been there and I enjoyed it. I think Abe did as well. It was a great evening out with my parents and my dad was filled with hilarious moments which made our evening. 

All and all day 9 was great and we are so blessed!

Day 8 of our vacation

Day 8 of our vacation was July 16th

Today was a very long day... We got up at 4:15 am to get ready and head out for our flight. We shared a taxi with our nephew who was going to the airport as well. We ended up getting there a little after 5. 

We walked what seemed like forever to find our airline and we checked in. We had to wait in the long line to get our luggage checked in. We waited in that line for over 40 minutes. It went by really slow because they only had 2 people working the lines. We finally got our bag checked in and then got into the line for security. The line was going really slow and our flight was really soon, so we go out of this security line and headed to the other security entrance and there were maybe 5 people in line. Awesome! We got through security and went and found our gate. Abe went to try to find coffee and get me a diet coke and I headed to the bathroom before we had to board our plane. We sat for maybe 10 minutes before we boarded the plane. 

We get on the plane and we wait. And we wait and we waited some more. 30 minutes after the flight was suppose to take off and they let us know that the plane is having some mechanical issues and they are trying to get them fixed. We wait a little bit more and then they tell us that we are going to deplane and head to the next gate and get on a new plane. We gather up all our bags and we start getting off the plane. We were not even out of the gate yet and they told us to turn around and get back onto the plane. So confusing and so nerve racking. We get back on the same plane, get seated and they tell us that we are going to take off in a few minutes and that the issues were fixed. I do not love flying, so this made me very anxious. About 30 minutes later and we were on our way to Dallas airport. The flight wasn't a bad one so that was a good thing for me. 

We get off the plane and we are an hour late. We have to board our connecting flight in 45 minutes. We get off the plane and get our express tickets they had waiting for us. And we were off... we had to first go through customs. That took maybe 10 minutes if that. We had to wait because we selected a wrong answer for Abe's pass and he had to go and talk with a live person. So, after a few minutes he came out and we went down to baggage claim and got our luggage. We headed out to where we needed to go to recheck our bag. We were in a hurry and they took our bag really quickly and we headed to the security line. Because we got the cool express tickets, once we got to security we went through a different line and we were able to get through security before everyone else in line which was neat. We had our own agent to deal with and it was very helpful. We got through security and headed to our next gate. We had enough time to go use the restroom and for Abe to get a wrap for lunch and we were boarding. Nothing like a close call... 

The flight from Dallas to Houston was so short. We took off, go to cruising altitude and then we started descending. It only took about an hour and 5 minutes. Once we were there we got off the plane and I was so happy to be in Houston. We went to baggage claim and there was my cousin Vicky waiting for us with a smile on her face. Abe and I were so happy and thankful to be done with flying for 3 1/2 days. We get to rest and relax and just enjoy family with no rush to go from hotel to hotel. 

We get our luggage and then we head off to go surprise my daddy with a visit home. We head to Vicky's house first so she can get her luggage. It was good to see Dylan who was home when we got there. We visited while she packed her bags. She got done and we headed out. Abe watched a movie and slept while we visited. We got to mom's house a little after 5. 

When we got there I noticed that everyone was at the canal with my dad. We got out of Vicky's car and we headed to the back porch where we were going to sit and just visit until my dad came back... One of the grandkids went and got dad and he headed back. His comment was "Well, look who is here." The first hug is the best. Especially when you surprise him! I didn't want to let my daddy go. 

Mom had cooked chicken spaghetti and my brothers and all of their family was there for dinner. It was a good surprise and we were definitely thankful to be there. I was so happy to have my mom's cooking waiting for us. We all ate dinner and visited. We sang Happy Birthday to Julia since mom made her a birthday cake for her birthday.

We all visited before everyone started leaving. Once everyone left we did a few things to unpack and we headed to bed. I was so exhausted. My head hit the pillow and I was out.