Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Reflections: Beautiful

It's all I think when I look at my children. It constantly amazes me how different all three of my kids are. They each bring something different to our family. I'm grateful for all of them. Our family wouldn't be complete if any one of the three were missing.

Porter came into my life when he was seven. He moved in with his Dad and I when he was 11. What a blessing he's been to our family. Right now he's on a 2 year mission for our church. He's been out since August of 2010. We haven't seen him since the day he got on the plane. And we only get to talk to him twice a year on Mother's Day and Christmas Day. I am so proud of him and I miss him so much. He has overcome so many trials to become the man he is today.

Jordin came into my life when she was six. She was independent and spunky and wanted everyone to know she could handle anything that came her way. She just moved in with us this summer and I'm so grateful she's here! We've had so much fun together. She's still independent and spunky, and she definitely can handle anything that comes her way. I've watched her go through some really hard stuff and come out the other side of it stronger than ever.

The day Jay was born I knew I was in trouble. She was a little early and had some fluid in her lungs so the nurse put a tube down her throat to suction the fluid out. She pulled it out but Jay still had fluid in there. She tried to put the tube back down there but Jay clamped down on it and wouldn't let her. She was all of 10 minutes old at this point. Fifteen years later, she's still just like that strong willed baby. She knows what she wants and she wants to figure out how to get it all on her own. She's stronger than she knows, and that iron will of hers is going to take her where ever she wants to go.

They are so much of my joy and I will be eternally grateful I can call them mine.

                                      2 Nephi 2:25

Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Superwoman Saturday: Weeks 1 & 2

Two weeks ago I talked about some goals I wanted to set for myself. I also committed to updating everyone every Saturday on my progress. For me, the accountability part is the most important part. I don't have a "Week 1" post because I was in West Virginia.

So, how am I doing with my goals, you ask? Honestly, I've struggled with pretty much all of them. I've had good days and bad days just like I knew I would. But I've also made a lot of positive changes. It's slow going but I'm going to get there.

I've joined a Karate class. When I was 20 I found kickboxing. Kickboxing changed my life. It gave me much needed confidence and helped me lose 30 pounds. I fell in love with it right away. So when I set my goal to work out at least 4 times a week, I naturally thought of kickboxing. Alas, there were no real kickboxing classes to be found in my little town. In my search, I stumbled across the martial arts academy I now attend. I wasn't sure if I would like karate, but I'm finding that I love it as much as kickboxing. The school offers 5 classes a week for adults. Week 1 I made it to 2 classes and Week 2 I made it to 3 classes. I've learned that the most I will probably be able to attend is 3 days a week. Any more than that is too much time away from home. My next step with this goal is to figure out how to supplement the karate classes with more exercise time at home to get to my goal of 4 days a week.

We all take turns cooking dinner. This has been fun for me! On my night I made chicken fajitas and they were sooooo yummy! The best part is I just kind of came up with flavors I thought would be good and went with it. That's not how I usually cook. I'm a recipe cooker. I don't just throw stuff together, so I was really excited when it all came together and tasted good. We also had beef stroganoff, shrimp salad, and beef stew this week. Tonight we were going to grill burgers, but it's raining and cold so we may have to "Plan B" it. Just as soon as I figure out what that is.

My attitude toward myself is surprising to me. (Does that even make sense)? When it comes to weight loss I'm usually all or nothing. If I slip up, then that's it, I'm never going to get it right, so why bother... This time around, I've been OK with taking it slow. I haven't yet worked out 4 days a week, but I've worked out more than I did before I set the goal. And I know I'll get there eventually.

I haven't been weighing myself (mostly because I haven't found the box my scale is in yet). And honestly I've been reluctant to because that's when I start to obsess. But I think I may have to start because I like to see the numbers go down. So far I don't feel any difference in the way my clothes fit and I can't really see a difference in my body. But I feel different. I'm walking a little taller and I'm smiling more. When I look in the mirror I try to find something to compliment myself on instead of looking for things to criticize myself on. I found it really interesting that I know right where to look for all the things I hate about my body, but I have to search things I like. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

I think I'm off to a pretty good start all in all. This is a lifelong journey, I know the changes will be gradual, but they will come.

Do you have something in your life you would like to work on? Please link up and tell me about it. I can't wait to hear from all the Superwomen out there!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Top 8 Reasons Fall is the Best Season

I love everything about Fall. Here is a list of my top 8 reasons Fall kicks all other season's butts:

1. Fall weather - It's the Goldilocks of the seasons. It's not too hot or too cold. It's juuuuust right.

2. Fall colors - They are beautiful. They're everywhere you look. The whole world is transformed into an explosion of amazing reds, browns, and golds.

3. Fall clothes - I love the sweaters and scarves and boots I get to wear in Fall. I love them so much I try to wear them in the summer. I usually regret it and can't wait until Fall when I can wear them again.

4. The change that's in the air. - Fall brings with it the reminder that change can be beautiful. It's a time to slow down and enjoy the change. For me I feel this much more in the Fall than any other time of year.

5. Snuggling under a blanket and reading on a stormy day.

6. Yummy fall food. - 'nuff said!

7. Pumpkins - I love pumpkin orange, pumpkin flavored food, everything pumpkin.

8. Crunchy leaves - Is there anything more fun than crunching though a pile of leaves?

What are your favorite things about fall?


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Road Trip

Last weekend the girls (Jay and Jordin) and I drove up to West Virginia for the weekend. We were supposed to leave Thursday night, but because of an "OH FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY IS MY HEAD GOING TO EXPLODE?!?!?!" headache, we left on Friday.

I just love the rolled out of bed look, don't you?
Even with the delayed start good times were had by all. We left dark and early at 6:30 am Friday morning. Our first stop Chick-fil-A. We got breakfast milkshakes, chicken and tater tots. It was yummy!!

Isn't she sweet?
After our power breakfast, we hit the open highway to make the long-ish treck to West Virginia. Conversations ensued, naps were taken (don't worry, Jay woke me up before I ran the car into anything) and semi truck drivers were persuaded to honk their horns.

We stayed with my awesome friends Heidi...

And Morgan...

And Wade.

I thought I had an awesome picture of Wade with pink hair but I can't find it.
If I find it, I'll update it here.

We had a great time. We went on a midnight donught run and stayed up talking and laughing. We watched movies and ate at my favorite restaurant, Habanero. While we were there the Macarana (not sure how to spell that) came on their radio. So, of course my girls had to get up and actually DO the Macarana. Everyone stopped what they were doing to watch. They were a hit.

Taken with my camera phone. Bad picture, but you get the idea...

After lunch it was time to get ready for Homecoming. (Did I mention it was Homecoming weekend?)

Hair was curled, 

pictures were taken,

and the girls had a great time at the dance.

Sunday we went to church and it was awesome to see everyone again. Especially my Young Women. I can't believe how much I miss them! After church, it was time to go home. The leaving is the worst part of any trip. On the way home, we listend to a ton of great music, thanks to the girls. (Sill waiting for my playlists ladies....) And there was more talking and laughing and ice cream. I think we have a new road trip tradition. We got home pretty late Sunday night and had to get up early Monday morning. That was hard, but it was totally worth it!

Thanks again Heidi, Wade and Morgan for letting us crash with you! Let's do it again soon!  *Nov 11* ahem.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Survival Skills

I am supposed to be on my way to West Virginia right now. I had to put the drive off until tomorrow because I got a wicked headache. Seriously, it was so bad that if I moved I almost threw up. (TMI?) And by moved I mean breathing, blinking, etc. You know, those type of non-essential movements we can all do without.

Husband was awesome. He pulled me off the floor (where I was rolling around in pain) and put me to bed. He then called my friend to let her know I wouldn't be there until tomorrow because of my headache. She told him to get Dramamine because it helps with headaches and sleeping. Because he's so awesome, Greg ran right out to get some.

Once home, he had the task of opening the pills so he could give them to me. Apparently he had trouble with this.

Being an Eagle Scout, his motto is "Be Prepared", so luckily he had the right tool for this job.

The moral of this story: Practice your survival skills, you never know when you will need them!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thank You

Last week marked the 4 year anniversary of the passing of an amazing man.

Thank you JD for raising your your son with integrity.
Thank you for hanging in there through his rebelous years.
Thank you for teaching him it's not how a child comes into your life but that they come into your life that matters.
Thank you for recognizing the truth of the gospel when you heard it and choosing to be baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Thank you for sticking with church all those years even though it couldn't have been easy.
Thank you for bringing me into the family with open arms and love.
Thank you for always making me feel welcome.
Thank you for always being the first to laugh and enjoy life.
Thank you for starting family traditions that we carry on today.
Thank you for working hard and teaching by example.
Thank you for picking out JJ's last birthday present from you yourself. She still talks about how special that pig is to her because of the effort put into it.
Thank you for teaching your son to be generous and giving.
Thank you for showing him how to be a good dad and to love unconditionally.
Thank you for teaching your son the importance of the temple and eternal families.

I can't wait to see you again.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Me Day 1

I recently had a friend tell me he needed to re-evaluate things because he was "blah". We talked about it for a while and I started thinking about my life. My life is really good right now. My family, my job, our ward and stake are incredible, I even love our new town. But there is one thing that I would change. I haven't been taking good care of my body. I don't drink or smoke, but I have been eating out waaaaaaaay more than I should and eating a ton of junk food. I haven't been exercising or doing anything active at all. I know that if I take the time to take better care of myself then I'll be happier and that translates to a happier family.

Because of this I've decided to set a goal: Get Healthy and Stay Healthy. I know this isn't going to be easy. There's going to be a lot of mistakes and backtracking. It's the "stay healthy" part of this goal I'm worried about. This is a lifelong change I want to make. There will be a lot of steps along the way. Here's what I've come up with so far. 
  • Exercise at least 4 times a week.
    • Focus on Cardio right now because that's the fat burner. Add weights into the routine in a couple of months.
  • Learn how to eat healthy.
    • I know the basics, eat fruits and veggies, grains that kind of thing, but when it comes to making a whole meal, I freeze. Hence, the step below.
    • No more eating out on weekdays. Only eat out once a weekend.
  • Be kind to myself. 
    • This is the most important step. There are going to be bad days. Days that are busy and there isn't enough time and days where I just feel crappy. That's okay. This is a lifelong journey that I'm starting today. I'm not going to be perfect and that's okay.
This list will grow and evolve as I do on this journey but it's a start. I've decided to document my journey here (which absolutely terrifies me!) every Saturday. This is a really hard post to put out there, mostly because everyone that reads this blog right now knows me and has heard about a million of declarations like this from me over the years. I imagine you reading this and rolling your eyes right now. But I started this blog to put myself out there, as an outlet for me to share my thoughts and my experiences. So that's what I'm doing. Here's to Day 1!

*BEWARE* Scary Day 1 pictures below!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

And Then She Turned 19

Today is my daughter's 19th birthday. She's an amazing girl. She's got a huge heart, she's full of compassion, kindness, love. She works hard and finds the joy in life. She's a wonderful artist and I love seeing her art work. I'm enormously jealous of her talent!! She loves to bake and is wonderful at that too. In fact, I'm hoping there is banana bread when I get home from work. I planted that seed right before bed last night. (My evil genius has no limits!) She works hard and (mostly) doesn't complain about it.

I married her dad when she was 6 years old and she was pretty sure she didn't need a step-mom. I was pretty sure she was still hoping Mom and Dad would get back together and who could blame her? Anyway the years that followed were happy, sad, full of joy and heartache. When she wasn't with us, I wished she was and when she was struggling, I cried because I couldn't go to her and give her a hug. She's been through a lot in her short life. And through it all she's been able to keep her compassion, sense of humor, and her ability to find joy.

She came out for an extended visit this summer and that turned into moving in. And I couldn't be happier. We spent years trying to build a relationship with each other. And in the past few months, it's blossomed! She is even more awesome than I ever knew. My favorite thing she does is when she wanders into my room and sits down on the bed next to me. That's when I know she wants to talk. I *love* those moments. They are precious and our time for them is limited.

She's at a crossroads in her life. She's making big decisions right now and trying to find her direction for the next few years. I have no doubt she will find her way and do it with her typical excitement for life. She's an adventure seeker and after all, what is life but the best adventure we have?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JORDIN! I know you are supposed to make a wish, but my wish for you is that where ever you go and what ever you do, you find your true love and joy.

I love you!!

Baby Jordin

Jordin about the time she came into my life. That's her older brother next to her. (More about him later).

Letterboxing in Harper's Ferry this summer.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Just another Saturday...

*My apologies to anyone who also reads my daughter's blog. You've probably already heard this story.

The family went to IKEA on Saturday afternoon. I have to say I wasn't fully prepared for the experience I was about to have. Let's start at the beginning. Jordin needed a bed and dresser. Jay needed a desk, so I, in my infinite wisdom, suggested we go to IKEA. I had heard it was a great place to get inexpensive furniture that looked nice. So we piled in the Suburban and off we went.

Once on the highway, I realized Jay didn't have her seat belt on. She's had an aversion to seat belts for a couple of years now. Being tired of this battle I decided to hit her where it hurt. I told her that if I had to tell her to put her seat belt on again I would take her phone away for a week. 

We got to IKEA-land and I immediately started to question my wisdom. It was insanity. At this point I have to say the inventors of IKEA are genius. They laid out the store so you HAVE to walk through the entire thing to check out! To those people, I say you are brilliant. And probably responsible for driving several parents crazy from hearing, "Ooooohhhhhh! I want that!!" a million times in the 15 hours it takes to get from the front door to the check out. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. 

After paying Greg and Jordin started loading everything into the car and found that the mattress and box springs we bought weren't going to fit IN the Suburban, so they tied it to the top of the car with the twine provided by the store. Anytime we're driving with anything strapped to the top of the car I get nervous. As we're pulling away, I ask Greg if he's sure it's secure. He sighed the sigh of the unjustly questioned and said it was fine.

Being a control freak woman, I decided to keep an eye on things in the side view mirror. After the 3rd 5th 10th time I asked Greg if he was sure it was okay, he told me to let him know if it looked like it was starting to float. I immediately told him it looked like it was floating. Sighing another sigh of the unjustly persecuted, he pulled to the shoulder of the highway and tightened everything down and off we went again. 

Still nervous, I kept watch in the mirror. I had just finished telling Greg that it looked like the box springs was being pulled up by air when we all heard a weird noise. I looked back to the mirror in time to see the box springs floating vertically in the air behind us! Greg pulled to the shoulder and backed up as much as possible. Then hopped out of the car to try to get the mattress and box springs off the highway. The highway was four lanes across. The box springs landed right in the middle of the highway and the mattress made it all the way to the other shoulder. 

I don't think I can really describe the feelings going through me as I watched my husband defy death by running across the highway 4 times. Although the point where he stopped and did something resembling jumping jacks to make sure the cars barreling toward him knew he was there was interesting. Miraculously, both the mattress and box springs were fine (although the corner of the mattress did get run over by 1 car).

So now Greg and I are standing on the side of the highway trying to figure out how to get everything IN the Suburban because that's our only option. We had to fold down the middle seat (aka: where the girls were sitting) so everything fit. We wrestled both items into the car, moved Jordin to the front seat with me and Jay sat in the back squished in with the furniture boxes. I just kept praying we would make it home without catching the attention of any cops. Because the only thing that could make the day any crazier would be a ticket.

The best part of the day? When we were almost home Jay says, "Hey Jordin, remember the time your mattress got run over by a car?" We didn't stop laughing the rest of the way home.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Meeting Our New Neighbors

Last Saturday we moved into our new house. 

Our furniture was delivered the Tuesday after we moved in and our appliances were delivered on Wednesday. The front door was off it's hinges and the dogs were out back. We were still trying to unpack so the entire house was in chaos. While all this was going one of our new neighbors came over. Below is the conversation we had.

Me: Hi! I'm Angie it's nice to meet you!

NN (New Neighbor): Hi, I live behind you and we're home all day. And I have a dog so I totally understand, but could you do something about your dog's barking all day, it's annoying.

(I'd like to point out that the delivery men had been there for about 20 minutes and that's when the dogs were put out back).

Me: Well he doesn't usually bark. The dogs are out back because our appliances are being delivered and he's barking at the delivery men. He'll quit once they're done.

(At this point they are standing in the front door because they need to get out to get another appliance to bring in the house and we're in their way.)

NN: Well like I said I have a dog so I totally understand, but can you do something about his barking all day, it's annoying. (Insert huge smile here).

Me: ...

Delivery Men, still standing in the door waiting: ...

Me: Sure.

NN: Great, Thanks!! 

And she walks away, leaving me to try to pick my jaw up off the front walk so the delivery men could finish their job. I guess there was a reason the only other people we've met in the neighborhood warned us about them.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Awesome License Plate

I saw this license plate today while I was out. I knew North Carolina was going to be awesome!!

Because Doctor Who is cool.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Eternal Sweetheart

My husband is a good sport. Any man who lives with 3 women (1 wife, 2 teenage daughters) has to be! Since our move to North Carolina, he's been picked on more than usual which is saying something. There was the time I took the picture of him in his sleep mask (because he worked nights and slept during the day) and JJ posted it on Facebook...

Or the time we filmed him falling asleep in church. (Sadly I don't have that video anymore). And the countless times he's said something completely innocent and the 3 of us start giggling and can't stop. Usually he just stands there and stares at us.

But he's also full of awesomeness. He took us to dinner and the movies because he knew we needed to get out of the house. He bought JJ ice cream to reward her for working so hard in school. He took Jordin to Waffle House for no other reason than he wanted to spend time with her. He hugged me while I cried when I found out we didn't get our home loan and I had a minor panic attack. He danced with me in the living room just because. He sings along with us at random times and he can still make me laugh after 13 years. Not just chuckle, but really big belly laughs. I've found it's the little moments like these that the love I feel for him completely overwhelms me. 

I want our daughters to understand how lucky they are to have him as a father and pray that they marry someone just as wonderful as him. I want our son to turn out just like his dad. I can't think of anything better than that for him.

Thank you Greg for 13 wonderful years. I can't wait to spend the rest of eternity with you!