Be Super.

Okay, if you know me... you know I'm not a health freak. I think I've only had a few eyebrows raised at me and have had one person tell me I'm a hippie.

Anyway, I have really been trying to create a life my kids will remember! I want to raise a God-centered family and sometimes it takes a lot out on the mommy having babies, raising toddlers, meal planning, scheduling, appointments, and then throw on all the household chores!

The more organized I have become here, the more efficient our household runs. Also, the more I get poured into (by my husband, bible studies, reading) the better wife and mother I am. Along side of that, the better I take care of myself mentally and physically, the even BETTER wife and mom I can be. So, I have been setting our household on these simple elements and it has been wonderful!

My progress so far has been:
1. Plugging In, get your self connected with other moms and christians
2. Organize now. Don't put it off, throw away, donate, clean out, and get a system
3. Read. We joined our public library and go weekly to get books, movies, ect.
4. Exercise. Okay, some days this is cardio from vacuuming, mopping, or rocking a child
5. Eat Super. This is my list below of super foods that we have been loving.
Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries
Coconut/ coconut oil
Cocao- chocolate bars that are at least 75% cocao
Peanut Butter
Tea (green or black)

Most of them you can get creative with, but here are a few ideas.

1. My kids don't like blueberries, but you can blend them up and make smoothies- banana, yogurt, throw in some blueberries!
2. I hide spinach in everything. Chop it up finely and throw it in scrambled eggs, a casserole, or last night i hide it in their quesadillas. It's tasteless.
3. I have a cup of green tea every morning.
4. Walnuts- same thing. Chop them up and put them in cookies. You can puree this stuff too so it's completely invisible.
5. We've also replaced our regular milk with Almond Milk. Just for cereals and recipes... its not so great to chug down a glass. The kids didnt even notice.
6. Anytime we have Mexican... get some guacomole and you can hide it in tacos! So easy to make
Here is a chocolate chip cookie recipe using garbanzo beans (chick peas) from Jessica Seinfields Deceptively Delcious cookbook.
Super Foods are basically how you get the most bang for your buck and pack in your punch. They are loaded with huge amounts of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and omega-3s.
They have been proven to reduce cholestoral, risks of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, and even put you in a better mood!!

So, if you call and ask me to go to McDonalds, I'll always say yes. But, if you come to my house for dinner.... it's going to be SUPER!!


Space Savers #2 and My Life

Okay, if you missed my Space Saver # 1 it is a few posts down and a huge built-in we are currently under construction with! Hopefully, it will be all finished this weekend.
Toys and clothes are also in abundance at our house. So, I have a few rules I live by. If a toy is broken or missing pieces, it goes to Goodwill. If it is also unused and they haven't played with it forever, it goes.
Ikea sells this awesome grid shelf for super cheap, i think $89. They also sell these huge plastic toy bins for 1.99. You can't find a better deal, I have looked! They are perfect for toddlers b/c they are sturdy, big, and you can write the toys that go in them. This is great for clean up b/c they know where to put the toys.

I have also packed up the opposite season of clothes and put them under each persons bed in our house. Big Lots sells these awesome clear, zippered, under the bed storage bags! They are 2 for $5. Again, you can't beat that deal anywhere. I love them and they have one for each gender!
Miss Mackenzie got her first haircut. It was basically just a trim, but here are pics for the grandparents =) She thinks she is one big 2 year old! And yes, we took advantage of the Great Clips 7.99 haircuts, I think they did a fabulous job, ha! Here is the before..
Here is the after, yes she has swoopy bangs and I love them!!
And, this was my fun Mom's Night Out with my Canton Mom's group. Our babies have known eachother since birth and we all still try and do an occasional playgroup and dinner out alone! We went to the Alpine Bakery Restaurant in Roswell, Ga and it was absolutely amazing.
Peggy...Amber and KristenAnd me, Susan, and Lisa are not pictured.... I got distracted by my dessert! I love you girls! Yes, I'll have my cake and eat it too thankyouverymuch! That's been our past week! I still need to post pics of more storage tips and Davids room!



While I complain about our grocery bill or get bored with our dinner menu, 58% of Haiti's population is undernourished. And every day, 16,000 children will die from a hunger related cause. And it's not just Haiti.... maybe this will change your dinnertime blessing, it has mine!

And the next time I go to complain about how many kids I want and when I want them.... I will remind myself to look at this. Some countries have a 50% infant mortality rate. Can we really say we are suffering? I think suffering in America has a whole different definition than what the rest of the world might deem as suffering. Children are definitely a gift from the Lord, how am I treating my gifts?

And I know I can find myself complaining about my wardrobe, space in my house, or that gas is too high. But, here are some real problems people carry around:

7.6 million people will die of cancer this year

220 million have diabetes

1.8 million people died of AIDS last year

33.3 million people are living with AIDS

Am I thanking God for the health or myself and my loved ones?

And, while we may have disagreements and issues with our spouses.... some do not view marriage as a vowed lifelong commitment. Am I praying for my marriage and investing time and energy into it?

41% of people will divorce in their first marriage

60% of people will divorce in their second marriage

73% of people will divorce in their third marriage.

And while we complain about our finances, retirement, college funds, ect....

1 in every 200 homes will foreclose

The average consumer debt is $7,800 per person in your household, NOT including real estate

33% of this debt is totally consumer debt, aka credit cards

67% of this debt is auto loans, student loans, ect.

and the average new car loan is $27,000

and 1 in every 160 people will file bankruptcy

Am I trusting God will my money, making wise choices about spending, and honoring God with my tithe?

It is all about perspective. YOU can change your perspective. And you can pray and ask God to bring His truth and help you with your perspective.

We are reading, Death by Suburbs and I have been thinking about all of this. Here is an email from our group leader that asked some great questions.
The Bible is clear that we will all face tribulation. We don’t have to go looking for trouble in order to legitimize our faith, and we absolutely don’t want to confuse getting a bad parking place with suffering. We live in a fallen world and suffering will touch us all- guaranteed. We don’t know what that tribulation will look like- chronic illness, premature death of a loved one, job loss, etc- but when it comes, God will expect us to ‘stand firm until the End.’
Given the following four options (1) an attack from the devil, (2) discipline from God, (3) the result of living in a fallen and sin-filled world, (4) you reap what you sow, how do you tend to view the pain/suffering/disappointment you experience in life? If you say, “it depends on the circumstances,” then how do you decide which theory fits a particular circumstance? How does your perspective influence the way you respond to pain/suffering/disappointment?

Are we having a pity party for our life? I know I do sometimes. Satan truly wants to kill, steal, and destroy your life.
I need to get over it, pull my bootstraps up, and focus on the blessings God has poured out in my life. While at the same time, extending my arms out to those really in need and raising my children to live self-lessly and help those around us.



I have to read books or my brain feels like it's turning to mush being around babies all day!

And among lots of answered prayers recently, God has answered a big prayer since we've moved here: connection.

We have found a home at Stonebridge Church here in Marietta and joined a weekly small group. I also joined a huge Mom's Bible Study at Church of the Apostles that meets weekly. I can't tell you how incredible it has been to have 2 consistent groups studying God's Word with. I love that we are meeting people and I love that I am constantly being reminded of the truth throughout the week. When we were on staff with a college ministry for 2 years, one of the biggest values we have pulled away is being immersed in a community of believers. We naturally find ourselves around non-christians b/c that is our passion, but it is hard to build up an intentional environment where we are not only finding our own friendships, but the kid's parents our children will be friends with too.
Here is the book we are reading with our small group.
Death by Suburbs- Keeping the suburbs from killing your soul. I am loving this one!
The moms bible study I am in is reading, The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot.
It is fantastic so far. I love anything by her. Because if you can have your husband sphered by a tribe and then move back and lead them all to Christ.... I'll listen to anything you have to say!

Anyway, I'll let you know my reviews on these books after I finish. I have just had to MAKE time to read. It was my excuse for years and now its baloney. I cut back my time on the computer and television and there is plenty of time! And spent way more importantly!


The Last Days

We were apart of an amazing small group when we lived in Canton with North Point Community Church. We not only naturally clicked with everyone in the group, we all lived close to eachother and really did life together. Everyone was so open and we experienced seeing people be real. Our friendships have remained and for that I am blessed.

One of my dear friends from the group, Sara, has had a tremendous year. And by tremendous, I mean going through major hardships and still clinging so close to God. Sara's mother has been battling cancer and specifically, the past year it has gone downhill. You can read Sara's blog here about her family's journey through fighting this. Also on top of this, she found out that her 1 1/2 year old son has severe to profound loss of hearing. Meaning that he is mostly deaf.

Sara is a huge woman of faith in my life because despite dealing with her mother, who by the way also lives far away, Sara has packed up her 2 small children and made the drive over and over to go be with her mom. When she is at home recently, all she is dealing with is her son's doctor appointments and figuring out her son's future.

And today it happened. Sara got called home last week to be with her mother and sent the following email today:

"...For those of you I have not had the opportunity to talk to, I was called home last week to be with mom as her condition had severely worsened since my last trip 10 days before. I am heartbroken to share these are her final days but feel very fortunate to be able to love on and take care of her while she is still with us. We have chosen to keep her at home, but hospice is stopping by to make sure she is as pain free as possible.

Since many of you have asked how we are...we're getting by. Let's just say God's grace has been sufficient! There have been many tears and the heartbreak at times is unbearable, but there has also been laughter and love! "...

Would you please join me in prayer for my friend Sara? My heart physically hurts for her and her family. I can't imagine spending the last days with my mother. I know she would appreciate any encouraging comments in the days ahead. Sara is a loving, truthful friend and her mother has fought an inspiring battle.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Heb. 4:16 KJV



Valentine's Day was lovely with my sweet little family.
We spent the day at with the kid's playgroup and had a Valentine Swap. And it was adorable. It was sweet to watch the kids exchange the valentines, sometimes they would hug and say, "I love you." Ha! They were precious, precious babies!!
I've been meaning to post this pic of the kids doing what they do best, running wild.

Today, David drew himself for me. He may be an artist, huh?

My mom used to make these cookies all the time, so it's my new Valentine tradition to make them for my kids and their friends. They are very holidayish and so yummy!

Tim came home with a new jacket for me today, some candy, and we had a candlelight dinner. Before you get jealous, we had our toddlers spilling food, blowing out candles, and interrupting any conversation we might have had! But, we just smiled at each other and soaked in our little children.

We kind of celebrated this weekend by going on a Marriage Retreat. It was Friday to Saturday and it was a christian counseling team in Marietta that came to our church. They lectured, gave exercises, individual time, couple time, and then counseling sessions. It was truly amazing and so needed. We have been through a lot together and have known eachother for 11 years. We are about to celebrate 7 years of marriage and decided to do this because honestly, it's been hard recently. Constant stress from change can wear a couple down.

Boy, was it an answer to prayer. I could literally blog forever about what we learned, ways to communicate better, tools, problem identifiers, ect.... but, I am still digesting so much. All I know is that we are on the same page. We feel unified. We feel stronger. We feel open and encouraged and ready for this new adventure we are embarking on. And mostly, we feel thankful.

One huge thing I keep thinking about from the retreat is this. It's so simple, yet so profound. I think I momentarily forgot that we are in the middle of a spiritual warfare. Our marriages are also in the middle of a spiritual warfare. Look around. Look at the media. What do they portray as a healthy marriage? Affairs, homosexuality, lying, there is no respect for either spouse, your spouse being a roommate or a paycheck, or just the father of your children.

It's really sad. And the truth is, there is an enemy. And he is trying to destroy your marriage. With all of the things above. John 10:10 says, "the thief (satan) has come to kill, steal, and destroy. I have come that you may have life, and have it abundantly."

That's straight from the Word, people. Your marriage is under attack. It's God's most holy covenant to man.... of course Satan is going to attack and feed you lies.
Being reminded of this truth is a game-changer for me. It was a slap in the face of saying, Get on the same page now!!

And God answers those prayers. He'll bring you together, for better or worse. And we've had a lost of worse. For sickness and health and for richer or poorer. God knew these things were going to happen and the question is, will you fight? will you fight for your relationship with God and fight for your marriage with the man you vowed to?
I hope that your Valentine's Day was extra special this year, I know mine was!
Here is Tim and I's first Christmas together. I love looking at old photos. We laugh at them... we were so blissfully unaware of what life had ahead for us.
Happy Valentines Day sweetheart. I love you and you are my lifelong partner and best friend.


Tim's Big Break

Today is the day we can share our news!
I did have several friends call and email to see what in the world was going on now! My favorite question was rhetorical and asking people what they thought we were up to. The best response was from my friend Anna...... that we were moving to Africa!
I love it. But, it's not that outrageous.

So, to preface. Tim has found his passion. He loves the industry he is in, thriving in it, and fully embraced the technical hands on work he is doing. Praise the Lord! Back in the summer, Tim was doing some contract HVAC work with a family friend named Richard. Richard has been in the industry for over 10 years and then began running his own company 7 years ago. He is a Christian and has run the company debt free. He has built up his business and slowly made steps over the years to be able to grow. Anyway, Tim worked for him this summer while going to school and renovating the house. Tim took a job with a big company at the end of the summer.

Well, Tim and Richard have kept in touch and a few weeks ago he approached Tim with his plan. He wants to launch the company. Hire crews, have an office, grow the company. And.....
he wants Tim to be his business partner.

Richard is the brains of the company and a brilliant technician. His vision for Tim is to go under his wing and learn everything he knows, but to have Tim bring in his Sales experience, people skills, and grow and market the company like crazy! Which Tim loves and is really good at. He is by nature a motivator and very extroverted.

I think the 2 of them are going to run one amazing company. So, we are very excited and ready for this adventure!
The longer this decision has sat with us, the more clear it has become. We have had so much change and were not planning on making this kind of change.
But honestly, when Tim came home and told me (this was right after our open house and a miscarriage that followed), I don't get Wife of the Year. My first response was, "Shut-up." And then followed by, "Wait, are you serious?" And then followed by, "I hate you." Obviously, I was a little rattled by anymore change brought in our path. Even though this was an amazing opportunity.

But, what do you do when an amazing opportunity comes along? Not take it because you don't want change? And won't there always be a greener pasture? Do you always seek it or do you just be? And be content? At what point do you stop making changes?
These are all the questions we have wrestled with and pleaded to God to show up. In the end, we feel as though we have made the wisest decision for Tim to take the partnership. And it's a great long term plan for our family. The potential of the company and his partnership could be such a blessing! Even though the next few months may be a logistical nightmare, we feel as though this is a great long term move with deep commitment. And we are all about making roots right now. Church roots, friend roots, house roots, and career roots.

A family can't thrive in limbo. For a short time, but it indeed produces and breeds stress. We have lived under that alot. Decision making times are gut wrenching. It is hard on a marriage. But, sometimes it is just part of life. You can stay in limbo for a short time, but make every effort to get out of it as soon as possible.
We are going on a marriage retreat this weekend. It is to get counsel and strengthen where you are. I know if Tim and I have made it through the past 7 years, specifically the past 12 months... we can make it through this little adventure.

There are so many un-knowns and that tends to bring fear. Again, fear is not from the Lord, so we embrace this opportunity and I am praying for peace, grace with my husband, and God's hand to be on us... and with us.
Grace is a funny thing. We want it so bad, but it is so hard to give..... I've had so many conversations with my girlfriends about grace. When you feel like you've given all the grace you can.... give more grace. Give extra grace. Our husbands need it. Our children need it. And, our marriages need it. When the rubber meets the road.... are you gonna bail or give more grace?
I am really proud of Tim, he has worked really hard and I feel like this is his "Big Break."

So, no Africa, but hellooooooo entrepreneurship! So for all your HVAC needs in the Atlanta area, I have a great recommendation.


Space Saving Rescue #1

Okay! Space Savers to the rescue!! We've had some great ideas to create space in our tiny little cottage over here! We have 1200 square feet and 2 closets. Yes I said 2 closets. Two of the bedrooms have closets, but they are small. I have a husband,toddler, preschooler, and a dog! So, to make as much room space and have a simplistic clutter free space, we've had to get creative! I have a few great ideas, but here is the first I will post about.

In our eating area, we have a wide open space! Tim did a cased opening to our family room so we have a very large "main area" in our house! Going from the main area to our kitchen, Tim is going to build these. They will be on each side of the open doorway. They are going to be quite simple and a HUGE space saver! We are just looking for a few cabinets for the base, then he will use the wood and trim to make shelves and make them "built-in". I also love the bead board they added behind. We are possibly going to make one side of these a dual desk/office space. All of our projects always start with..."I mean this can't be rocket science... we'll figure it out."
For me, this is where I will put (in the cabinets): office supplies, movies, books, gift wrapping supplies and cards, in and out going mail, and to put some of my pretty breakable decorative stuff out. No little hands can reach =)
So, this is my picture we are going to use for our basic idea.... what'dya think?!
This is my Valentines gift from Tim and I'm so excited. Wow, you know you are getting old when you want a home construction project for a present. Ha!
I'll be photographing our progress!


Grieving Lost Plans

God has really blessed and answered many prayers over here. But first and before I dive into our future, I wanted to post about how I have been processing our past a little...
Everyone has hopes, dreams, and desires for their future. Sometimes, for whatever reason, God choses a different path and answers prayers differently. In our eyes, sometimes the plans are better, sometimes they are worse, and sometimes it makes no sense.

Either way, if you walk with the Lord, you know that He is good. You know that He will provide, take care of you, and give you the best for your life. Your circumstances may be opposite of that, but you know that He is with you and is Lord of your life. Even when things have been at the bottom for us, we have hope that God is with us. I constantly have just claimed Emmanuel: God With Us, for the past year of our lives. Because even though we have not had the answers and our future looked not so bright, we knew God was with us. And knowing that can give you the peace that passes all understanding.

All that to say, I have really learned in a healthy way to grieve plans that are lost. I think that it's healthy. You think life is supposed to be a certain way, and when you are wrong.... you have to let go and say goodbye to what you thought your plans were. Just like you would grieve a death of a loved one, it's okay to grieve things, hopes, and wishes that maybe aren't coming true yet. Do you give up hope? No. But, it is a constant reminder that "You Lord, are in control and Lord of my life. I grieve my disappointment that things aren't going my way."

I've had to grieve and let go of a lot. Yes, many babies, but even after miscarriages: the due dates, milestones, and seeing others progress in front of you. Moreso than that kind of loss, the loss of where you thought you would be. I am 29, is this where I wanted to be with my life? I know so many who are dealing with loss of so many things: losing health of yourself or a loved one, losing a house, losing a job, losing a mother, losing the battle of fertility, losing the abilty to have more children, losing the control of when to have more children, losing the "security" of your 5 year plan.
Grieve those things.
I have had to grieve the loss of tims job, the loss of our house, the loss of the new house we almost signed a contract on the day before tim lost his job. The loss of community we had in our old neighborhood. The loss of friends due to distance. The loss of friends b/c I don't think some can handle my life. The loss of being where I "thought" we should be when we were almost 30.

I share all this as a lesson learned in hindsight for me. Everytime our plans have fallen through, I have grieved them, been sad about them, tried to learn from them, and asked God to give me more hopes and dreams.... knowing they may or may not come true. If I had not grieved all the loss and changes we have gone through, I really might be a crazy person. Some might still argue that =)
But, it is so healthy. And you will feel a little dumb to grieve something that is intangible. But, you have to let go, move on, and tell God you are still on board. And you are ready for more. Because as my mama always says, "And this too shall pass..."
Let them pass.

If you hang on to those things, they will always follow you around. You will constantly ask, What If? And say, Well if this would have happened... And you will carry around your fallen-through plans and be bitter.

Life is too short to be bitter. Jesus has hopes to make you prosperous and successful. For us, He has. He has shown up in a big way. And I am grateful I have grieved every loss along the way. It makes His blessings that much more of a blessing. And we learn to give thanks, no matter what the circumstances.

This may not make sense to some, but for many.... it's right where you are.

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