Reboot

As some of you may have noticed, I have been MIA for awhile. Some days I just do not feel like writing or posting. Other days, I have so many ideas that before I can even get the computer out to start typing a new idea pops up into my mind. In the end, nothing ends up being written. I have no true excuses for why I do not post more frequently. I cannot blame it on the baby or a hectic work schedule. I just have not.

After some introspection and reflection on the blog I realized that I am just not happy with the way that it looks, the traffic I receive, etc. I have finally decided to do something about it. My absence here most likely means I am working on the new site, working to get it to look exactly like I want it to and to communicate exactly what I feel God is leading me to say. To say that I am excited about this change is an understatement. I just pray that it will bless people and bring all the Glory to my heavenly Father. If you have any suggestions for things you would like to see or ideas for posts, etc. please let me know! I will occasionally post here before relaunching the site and I hope that you all will follow me over at the new site once it is ready.

So, essentially, I am taking some time to reboot with the expectation of coming back stronger, better, and different. Thank you for your patience!

Summer Adventures Update

It is so hard to believe that it is already July! I looked at our Summer Adventures list and realized that we have not made much progress. But, progress has been made! So far, we have gone to Savannah/Tybee Island and Mayfield Dairy Farms and we enjoyed ourselves immensely at both! Here are a few pictures of our visit to Mayfield Dairy Farms.  Come back for more! Up next is Savannah/Tybee Island and the World of Coca-Cola!

Mayfield Dairy Farms

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I was so excited to see this sign! This location is actually only a few miles down the road from Chateau Elan.
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This was a fairly inexpensive little outing, costing less than $10 for both of us which included our scoops of ice cream. The tour starts with a video detailing the history of the company and then you go through the facility. We were able to see firsthand milk being processed, tested, and packaged for delivery to schools and grocery stores.
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We learned so much about the differences in cows and the type of milk they produce. The brown cow featured on many of their products is a jersey cow, which produces a richer more fatty milk. Nowadays, they use a different type of cow that produces milk that is less fatty.

 

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The name of this place can definitely be misleading. This actually is not a farm, it is a factory. Unfortunately, there are no real cows or any animals for that matter on the property.
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IMG_3476 There was, however, a pretend barn set up, with a pretend cow, that you could pretend to milk. LOL!
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Everyone had to wear hairnets throughout the building. And if you were a man with a beard, you also had to wear a beard net. Poor Joe, but he still looks so cute!
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Our little guy slept through the entire tour. He woke up just in time for Joe and I to get our ice cream.
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All in all, it was a nice outing. I would love to come back when Nehemiah is a little older and can enjoy the experience. Joe and I really enjoyed ourselves, we especially enjoyed the ice cream! Although, it was not made at this location, it certainly tasted super fresh! Maybe it was all in our minds!

 

 

 

Stop Signs and Red Lights

A few months ago, Nehemiah went through this phase where he did not like to sit still in his carseat… at all. It seemed as though he felt like carseat = movement/driving/etc and if he was not doing any of those things he should not have been in it. One evening as we were riding home we came to a stop light and he began to get upset. I started to speak to him about being patient. As I was talking, I realized that there was a message in those words for me. I told him how sometimes God places red lights and stop signs in certain places to protect us, comfort us, save us, etc. Those pauses in life may come at the most inopportune times from our point of view, but they are essential. It is during those times that we grow and learn. We have the opportunity to take a look back at where we have been and to focus on where we are headed.
I am starting to learn to appreciate those brief pauses in the road. I am learning to see those red lights and stop signs as blessings instead of obstacles that I must hop over immediately. I am beginning to view them as God’s way of saying “hold on one second… its almost ready for you”, or “you are almost ready” or even “watch out!” I am thankful that Nehemiah has learned to be patient at those stop signs and red lights. My prayer is that I would be able to apply the same principles to my everyday life.

What I’ve Been Up to Lately

So, as you can clearly tell I took a little hiatus from blogging for a couple of weeks. The break was not really intentional but it gave me some time to work some things out, explore, and most importantly time to spend with my two boos! I am now back to work until summer break and back to writing. I did, however, want to share some of what I have been working on lately… my photography.

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It is so exciting and exhilarating to discover new interests and to actually pursue them wholeheartedly. It is also just as exciting when your spouse is supportive of it even though it costs an arm and a leg to fund.

 

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I recently got to shoot a baby other than Nehemiah and I was so thrilled with how the pictures turned out.

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My goal is to move forward with my photography and to someday soon officially start a photography business. I feel like I am finally starting to step out and be bold like I said I wanted to at the beginning of the year.

 

What have you been up to lately? Pursuing anything new?

Feeling Stuck

There have been so many times where I have just felt stuck. Stuck in my relationship with God, Stuck in my career, stuck in my marriage, stuck in my friendships… just stuck! I have always felt the need to make sure that I am progressing. I get joy out of that in the most simple ways, like checking off an item on my to do list.

Over the years, I have come to learn that being busy does not mean that you are truly moving forward. At times I am so “busy” that I am literally running in circles, no forward movement to be seen. I have felt like this particularly lately when it comes to my career. I frequently feel as though no progress is being made and I am simply wading in the water. Before going out on leave I would create a daily to do list and see how many items I could check off by the time 4pm rolled around. I used that list, with the neatly placed checked marks, as a measure of my success and progress for the day. By 4:05pm that feeling of progress waned and the feeling of being stuck returned.

My desire to progress or to be successful is often a distraction. I can easily get so wrapped up in  where I feel like I should be career wise and in other aspects of life that I quiet God’s voice within me. Perhaps I am feeling stuck because I am hard-headed, or maybe it’s fear. Maybe I am chasing the wrong things with the wrong motivation or even listening and taking advice from the wrong people.

When these feelings arise I know that I need to take a step back. I have to quiet everything around me and focus on His face. I have to (in the words of one my favorite celebrity families) get out of my own feelings and remember why I am here. I have to remember that it is not about me, it is all about Jesus and how I can be a blessing to His Kingdom. When I am feeling stuck or stagnant, I know it is time for a perspective shift.

Mom #2

So my brother is turning 23 in just a few days!!! Whoa! It is hard for me to see him as that old even though he is not my child. He commonly jokes around with our family and his friends that I am Mom #2. At first I heard that and thought to myself what is that supposed to mean?
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Those close to me know that I take my role as big sister very seriously. Maybe too serious sometimes, and over the years I have really worked hard on backing off. We were raised that we are each other’s keepers and for both of us that comes out in different ways. For my brother, when we were younger he thought he had to protect me from boys and he tried to intimidate them when they would come to the house. It was actually super funny because he is definitely younger than me and would be half the boy’s size trying to be intimidating. He would put on a sleeveless tank top to show his little muscles and break pencils in front of them with glaring eyes. At that time, it was so annoying and embarrassing to me! I never considered how he felt about the way that I treated him! Until he started to tell people that I was like his second mom!

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We are adults now and I was questioning if I was being too motherly towards him. To be honest, I still do not know! What I do know is that I love my brother and I want him to be comfortable enough to come to me for anything. We do have a pretty healthy relationship so I am going to accept my title as Mom #2 for now. I have decided to think about it as a term of endearment and as a sign that he respects me and my role in his life. So as he prepares to turn another year older, I am also preparing for him to turn another year older. I am realizing that he is getting closer to getting married and starting a family and sometimes that thought is crazy to me! At the same time, I see him growing in so many ways and I am excited! I am excited to have a sister in law on that side and to be an auntie (TiTi) sometime in the future.

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So from Mom #2/your favorite sister… Happy Early Birthday to my BABY brother!

 

 

I’m So Happy For You!

                         “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15

That scripture hit me like a ton of bricks one day. It definitely felt like the world kept moving even though I was down  and out last Spring/Summer. People kept having healthy babies, getting engaged and married, buying houses, etc. They were living life and from what I could tell they were happy while I was at home feeling miserable and unable to walk on my own. It used to bother me so deeply when someone would text me or call me and tell me that this person just had their baby and how adorable they were. Or that someone else had just purchased a home and it was beautiful. I would hear of how this person or that person was expecting and the entire family was so excited. All I could think of was how I once felt like that. I envied their innocence. You see when nothing bad has ever happened to you in a particular area it is so easy to be almost child like in your excitement. It is also very difficult to get that feeling back once you have experienced the other side.

So what is a girl like me to do? I was so hurt and heartbroken but I felt horrible that I was not able to truly be happy for other people. Then I realized that I did not want their house or baby. I wanted my baby and she was gone. I realized that just like I have my burdens and heartaches, so do others. Finally, I realized that if I continued like I was that I would be an ugly person on the inside. So I prayed about it. I prayed that God would grant me peace, that I would be able to be happy for my friends and loved ones without considering myself, that I would learn to be selfless in my thoughts and actions towards others, and that I would learn to be a better friend. I wanted to be able to rejoice with them. I then started praying for my friends. I prayed that they would all bring healthy babies home, that they would never experience the pain that I felt as I buried my first child, and that those children would be blessed.

I always wondered why I was surrounded by so many people who were having babies at the same time! I mean it is like non-stop! But it is such a blessing and has enabled me to grow so much in so many ways. I am thankful to God for granting me peace and for blessing my friends with healthy babies. I am looking forward to next month when you all will also be able to rejoice with me as we bring our baby boy home!

The Center of My Joy

Focus
 

Lately, I have had some moments where I have felt very down. It can be triggered by something small and I just try to focus and meditate on scripture, particularly Isaiah 43:18-19,

 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

 This morning I realized that my attitude and down moments are a direct result of taking my eyes off of His face. A very familiar song came on this morning and if you know my family from way back to our Clarkston days you know my dad used to sing this song with such passion, Jesus You are the Center of My Joy. It was in that moment, I was taken back to my childhood. I saw myself in the congregation of the old church building, sitting on the wooden pews with maroon colored cushions as my dad belted out the notes and I remember the emotion that was being expressed around me. I always just assumed it was because he sounded pretty good. Now I understand something different (but you did sound good dad!). If you really listen to the lyrics of the song you cannot help but feel a certain way. This morning it caused me to think introspectively about where I have been spiritually and mentally in these past few weeks. It caused me to remember where my focus has been, who or what has been the focus and the center of my joy and happiness, which led to me discovering why that happiness was short lived.

 I was focusing on my fears, focusing on the tasks I need to check off my list, focusing on my dislike for my current work situation, and focusing on the joy that other pregnant women and new moms are experiencing that I am not. Instead of creating a list of gratitude, I was creating a list of complaints. I was focusing on the wave and not on His face.

This morning, I decided to work on changing that. I realize, that I am still grieving my baby girl and that this will take time. Instead of hiding those feelings and emotions, my husband is really encouraging me to let them out and put them in God’s hands. I also started working on a gratitude list, just so I can start to focus on all the good in my life and all the ways that God is blessing me. I am deciding to make sure that I keep Jesus at the Center. I am focusing my thoughts on Him and on things that are happy, good, and pure. So I want to encourage you to do the same today and focus your thoughts on God and His goodness. I am going to work to test my thoughts with this scripture, Philippians 4:8,

 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.