Saturday, January 31, 2009


This time of year always takes me back. It takes me back seven years ago. I was finally content with where I was in life. I love looking back over the Bible Study I was doing at the time. It's so funny to read my notes now that I know the outcome.

From the age of 14, on a off until January 2002, I was in an unhealthy relationship. We were toxic for eachother but neither of us could get enough of eachother. There was a lot of damage done over the five years...baggage that I carried into my marriage. One night, after spending the evening with him, he dropped me off in the church parking lot where my car was parked. After I was given an ultimatum, I decided in my heart that I was done. I went home after that Sunday in early January and wrote a letter to God telling Him that I was done. I was done chasing after anything but Him. I promised that I would search no more. My next relationship would be forever. Enter Dan even though he had been there all along.

I had known this guy since I was little...grade school. Our parents were good friends. We would share Sunday dinners. We even went camping together two different years. They had four boys. He was the youngest...awkward, goofy, gross.

Years went by, my family and I moved further north. His family moved out here. Our parents kept in contact. I would read over their Christmas letter every year and pay close attention to what his older brothers were up to. It's funny to hear him tell the story. I guess he saw my senior picture and that's when he called. We spent the next two years emailing and instant messaging. He seemed stuck on himself and a little too into my sister. :-) He asked me to fly to Florida with him for his grandparents 50th. I thought that would be way too awkward! It just confirmed in my head that he was too desperate...kinda creepy.

Back to January 2002. From about October to January, I would go online at night and sit there waiting for him to pop up. He was a blast to IM back and escape. He kept asking me to fly out there. The time was never right until January. I called him, which was so not like me. I asked about the nearest airport. Hung up with him and booked my flight. I wasn't looking for anything. I just needed to get away. I needed an adventure. God had other plans. Little did I know, I had booked the rest of my life.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thanks Occifer...

Today would have not been such a great day. I have been up since 3AM with my little Zaiah who has been puking every hour. I have been doing laundry all day. Lysoling every door knob, light switch, phone, and hard surface. The other two have been bouncing off the walls. Dan has been running here and running there. I am tired and scheduled to work four to one this evening.

Not the case.

Dan got a part time job today (pending passing a background check) thanks to my bestest bud's hubby. It's his word that signed the deal. So, I pushed my conscience aside and called in for tonight...saying that I would no longer be working there (I am holding on for dear life to my phlebotomy job!). Truly a happy day. It will be tighter on our already strangling budget, but I will BE HOME! I know God will fill in the cracks. The kids are asking to celebrate. I think this calls for a little party tonight. I can't imagine, if it feels this good that he got a part time job, how good it will be when he finds permanent, well paying employment. Praise God! He heard my cries, caught every tear, and gave me the desire of my heart. I feel refreshed, yet kinda weird.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What would I do without em?

Thanks to my wonderful hubby, who not only watched our kids but also Hollie's kids, we were able to have a girls night. Chinese food, Wii, and Biggest was a great night. Love ya, girls!

Friday, January 23, 2009


take for granted - to underestimate the value of.

It's funny because the saying holds true: You don't know what you've got until it's gone. I have been living that for almost five months. It has made me that much more thankful for what we do have. Below are just a few of the things I now know the true value of.

My husband's job - For obvious reasons. I figured he would always have one...a good one...a well paying one. I was thankful when he had one but underestimated it's value completely.

My marriage - In the busyness of life, it's easy to let your marriage go. At the end of the day, afterall, they will still be next to you. This has been tough on our marriage...especially in the beginning. This has changed us and God has strengthened our marriage. Our marriage has never sucked, but up until recently, it hasn't ever been this good either. We used to go out...a lot. It became the norm. I just expected a date night once or twice a week. It got so the time wasn't special. Sometimes we would even fight all the way to dinner or all the way home. Terrible. I underestimated the value of my wonderful man. Thankfully, God gave us more time on this earth together to turn things around.

A second car - Again, I figured we would always have two vehicles. It was a need. How could we do without? Since the end of October, we have been driving around, all five of us, in a ChevyAveo. It's crammed but boy and I thankful for that car now! We had my in-law's car for almost two weeks while they we out of town and it was absolutely wonderful! To think we had that luxury for five and a half years! I can't even say I was thankful for having two cars...I guess I figured it was a given. Now, I know the value.

Long days stuck at home with my kids - Right before Dan lost his job, he was working long hours. He would leave at 4 in the morning and not get home until around 6. I love my kids to death but sometimes I just wanted to lock myself in the closet and pray they wouldn't notice I was gone. Those days were priceless and I underestimated the value and privilege that was given to me. I pray days stuck at home are quickly approaching for me. I miss my kiddos.

People - If you would have asked me at the beginning of all of this if I truly needed people, I would have told you no. It wasn't until we were back at WBC that I began to see that I desperately needed people around me, supporting me, loving me, encouraging me and it's alright to admit that I can't do this alone. It's such a blessing to be home again. I am blessed to be among a church family that knows how to love and encourage!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


A week or so ago Stephanie posted six random things about herself. I have finally gotten around to playing along...

1. In the winter months, I am terrible about shaving my legs. My husband is lucky if I shave twice a month. I sometimes worry what the EMT will think if I am in a serious car accident. Hey, it keeps me warm.

2. On the subject of hair, I love pit hair...on men that is...mainly my man. He recently did some manscaping and shaved it all off. I was devastated.

3. I hate when I go to someones blog and they have music playing on it. It drives me nuts and I end up just keeping my computer muted. It's too distracting.

4. I have been confronted by my husband with a problem that I have. My house looks neat and tidy but behind closed doors (closet doors), it's a mess. Dan has been deep cleaning and it's wonderful. I guess it's a lot like my life was. I was trying to be perfect...keep everything neat and tidy on the outside, but deep down, things were a mess. So, feel free to stop by and look in closets, drawers, storage room. It's clean.

5. I am obsessed with Dog the Bounty Hunter. If I can't fall asleep at night, I know that an episode of Dog will help me relax. I hope to someday meet him...okay, maybe that's going a little too far. And if you don't know who The Dog is...shame on you bra!

6. I am a recovering control freak. The root: fear. I remember learning a verse when I was very young that my Mom would say to me : Psalms 56:3 ~ When I am afraid, I will trust in thee. I remember laying awake at night, saying that verse over and over. Now, as an adult, I find myself doing the same thing. Ironic.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Many times throughout the past four and a half months, I have told God that I just can't do this anymore. He got the wrong daughter when he picked me to walk through this...or crawl depending on the day. I am not a quitter but I have never wanted to quit so bad in my entire life. Sometimes I think this can't be happening...wonder if this is some sort of Truman Show. I am waiting for a voice from Heaven to tell me that the show is over, the test is over, and I can resume my "normal" life. God has been more than faithful, not only to provide for us financially, but also in meeting my emotional needs. These past two weeks have been the most trying two weeks of my life. I was emotionally unstable, exhausted, and drained. I was not made to be away from my family 48 hours out of the week. When I start to feel drained like this, my first instinct is to focus inward. Over the past month, I have learned that it's a much better walk when we focus on others, when we think of encouraging others, reaching out to others, instead of going into survival mode. I have a long way to go on this, but I have recognized this and will continue to trust God to help me. I am working on being a more encouraging person....because it doesn't come easy.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
~1 Thessalonians 5:11

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
~Ephesians 4:29

And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
~1 Thessalonians 5:14

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Slim-down Sundays

It's been a week. This week was a tough one. I finally started my . and I have never been so happy about it. But, it made it really hard to exercise and stick with it this week. Results after this week : 137.4. Slowly, but surely, I am working off these last few pounds. I am still loving The 30 day shred! My abs have been burning like crazy. Last night, I did my "last chance workout" and ran 4 miles on the treadmill and then did a little spinning. The past week, I have been feeling an ever so familiar pain in my foot. Yep, I think it's time for new shoes...we will have to see what the budget holds. I might just have to suck it up for another month or two. :-/ So, that's all I have to report...not much, just another pound.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I am thoroughly convinced that no matter what kind or what you do to it, pasta is terrible for you. Don't fool yourselves by going with whole grain...not so much better. Don't get me wrong, I love pasta. It's one of those foods that I think is laced with crack. On the menu for tonight: spaghetti. Dan did a wonderful job on the sauce. It was cooked to perfection. Which left me with quite a dilemma: Eat or not to eat. I chose to moderation.

Have you ever measured out 2 oz of pasta for yourself? It's less than what I slap on the plate for my 17 month old. I was left with a little baby plate that was equivalent of about three bites. Before I took my first of three bites, I stared longingly at my plate and thought back to this past summer when I could eat four times that and not have anything to show for it (on my butt or hips...darn winter!) I wanted more so bad but chose to fill up on broccoli and water instead.

Bottom line: Pasta is not the food of choice when trying to drop a few pounds. BEWARE!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Little Business Woman

Kaitlyn is dying to go to Disney World. Afterall, that is where she is going to live when she grows up. Since a vacation is not in our budget, she thought up a business idea and is now selling crowns. She asked my Mom the other day if she would be interested in buying a crown. My Mom said that she would buy four.

Well, today, Kaitlyn wanted to speak to her on the phone. She went on to tell my Mom that if she bought four crowns (and I quote), "you will get a bonus crown for free!" What a hoot! I swear my princess is an old soul trapped in a four year old body. I can't wait to see what God is going to do with her!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Way Back Wednesdays

May 2006
We took Kaitlyn on a train ride for her 3rd birthday. She was totally annoyed that Landon came along with us. This picture always makes me laugh.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I have had enough, yet, He is enough.

I. Am. Tired....

Not sugar coated today people. I have had a rough past couple of days. I feel lonely, isolated, exhausted, frustrated. I feel like giving up. I have been through this enough to know that my hormones have something to do with this...not all of it though.

Today, I am feeling particularly hopeless. Is this going to last forever? I want to throw my hands up in the air and scream, "I have had enough!"

I am ready for my husband to head off to work. I am ready to stand in the front door with the kids crowded around me waving good-bye to Daddy. I am ready to have the whole day to stay in our PJs like we used to. To have the whole day to play pretend, make crafts, cuddle in bed, read books, and hold them while they watch TV. I am ready for my daughter to not have to ask when I am going to be able to stay home with her or tell me that she wishes we could be like we "used to be, remember?" I am ready for my little man's prayer of, "Dear Jesus, help my Daddy get a job," to be answered. I am ready for my littlest man to stop throwing himself on the floor or hanging on to me for dear life when I have to leave. I am ready for the pain of missing my kids incredibly much to be replaced with the pure joy of staying home with them. I am ready for the tears to stop.

My Loving Father, I thank you that I don't have to always come to you whole. I am hurting, Lord. I am tired and I don't know if I can hold on any longer. I thank you that you know every tear that has fallen in public and in secret. You know my heart. Lord, I want more than anything to be able to stay home with my kids. Lord, you have said to first be concerned about God's kingdom and his righteousness, and all of these things will be provided for you as well. I thank you for what you have done and what you are doing in my life. I am asking that you provide a job for Dan within the next month. I know your timing is perfect and I am waiting for you. Sustain me above all else to endure. Amen.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Slim-down Sundays

I am disappointed but I guess I can't ask for any more considering:

  • I have had one day off since last Thursday
  • I came down with Strep on Wednesday
  • I haven't gotten my much needed friend

I enjoyed working out with Hollie this week. Jillian kicked my butt and it was nice to change it up a bit by doing the 30 Day Shred along with 20 minutes of running. This snow has been a tad bit depressing but hopefully the roads will clear and I can get out there sometime this week.

Results: I am now down to 138.2. I was hoping for more but my goal is to pull a bigger number next week.

I am sure getting my shirt will motivate me even more ;-)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Funny Photos Friday

Kaitlyn got an easy bake oven for Christmas from Gammy and Poppy. She must have on her ensemble before baking anything.

Landon was coloring at the table last night. I glanced up and saw that he had tucked a pen away for later. I hurried and grabbed the camera.

Collin riding a "horsey" on the counter.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"I vant to draw your blood."

I was a phlebotomist for two years before marrying Dan. I loved the job. I was good at it. It was fast paced and I never had the same day twice. I like variety because I am high energy and get bored very easy.

I said goodbye to the lab when Dan and I were married. I sold all of my scrubs and figured that I would never be back in the lab...if I was, it wouldn't be until the kids were grown and I had nothing better to do.

Well, God had other plans and this past Tuesday was my first day back in the lab. I am working at a cute little hospital. At the old hospital, it was nothing for me to have 20-30 morning draws to do. I learned on Tuesday that it is considered a busy morning if we have 10! I have quickly picked it back up. I am not as good or fast as I used to be, but I know that in no time I will be drawing the patients that no one else can get. There is quite a bit of clerical work along with this job. I am not used to that. Before, I just drew blood. Here, we order our own tests, spin blood down, prepare paperwork for doctors, and a few extras. So, with all the other stuff along with drawing blood, it makes for a full day.

I am looking forward to my next week in the lab. I am not looking forward to going back to my other job for the weekend...blah!

Monday, January 5, 2009

God's Calling

Let me just start by saying, what I am about to write will come as a shock to sure has thrown me for a loop! But, I am so excited about what God has been doing. This is all no coincidence, it's a God thing.

I have always had a heart for two things: missions and kids. Looking back, I think it all started with a wonderful missionary family who I had the privilege of baby-sitting for while they were home on furlough. In highschool, I babysat and spent sometime on short term mission trips in the states. The trips always involved vacation bible school. It broke my heart to have to leave the kids behind...some poor, hungry, and starving for attention. After highschool, I got through college, got a job, got married, moved away, got pregnant, moved again, got pregnant again, and then got pregnant again. It's been a whirlwind. My main focus through the craziness has been just to survive.

Through blogging and a couple other families that we know in real life, I have gotten to sit back and watch (and read) about their journeys to foster care and adoption. It got me thinking.

The past four months has been change after change. God slowing chipping away my layers revealing what he wants for me. Showing me that I can trust Him with everything I am. Showing me that He is a God of grace and mercy, of compassion and acceptance, forgiveness and love. God brought us back to the church Dan grew up in and the one that we attended together for about two years after we were married. I don't regret leaving WBC. We didn't leave on bad terms two years ago. Go was telling us it was time to go back. What a blessing it has been!

God brought me to a low, low point. He broke me. He brought me through a dark valley to show me His light, His green pastures, His blue skies. I have never wanted to get my hands dirty...admit that I was hurting or admit that I was broken...I was running. This time, I had no choice. I was crumbling before everyone's eyes and could no longer hide ANYTHING. Through this, He has given me a heart for those who are hurting. The guy at work who is trying to fight his addiction to drugs, another who is angry at the world, another who was rejected by his family, a girl who's mother walked out on the family. I don't like the job, but I know I am there for a reason. Before, I would have been judgemental. Now, I look at them and see the pain and spend a lot of time just talking about life with judgements, no condemnation...this could only come from God.

I recently, in my quiet time, told God, "Here am I, send me." I surrendered to Him. Told Him, that I will go anywhere, do anything. I am His. He has proven Himself over and over to me. He is more than faithful, more than trustworthy. He has taken much away in the past four months, but given us so much more that really matters.

Which brings me to my calling:

God has told me to go to Zambia and go love on orphans there. I can't tell you how excited I am about this!! I just want to go and tell everyone. I was excited Saturday night and Sunday morning to get in to church and see what God had for me. I was sitting there listening about living life just to survive when we are called to thrive. I used to be a risk taker...not so much anymore. I am cautious. I like everything written out so I can make an educated decision...see if it's logical, achievable. I told God in my head that I wanted to thrive, I wanted to live dangerously...take a few risks...things that don't make sense. Then, Pastor Len said that he was being called to Zambia and He was praying for those who God has called to go with him. I knew that was it. I got hot and felt sick. I thought, Oh Lord, this is crazy. This doesn't make sense but I know without a doubt this is what You want me to do. Then he said that he was called to go with Every Orphan's Hope. Tears filled my eyes. I couldn't wait to go up to Pastor Len after the service and tell him that I was ready to go...and I did. So, I know, I know, my husband doesn't have a job and we are scraping by. This doesn't pan out on paper financially but God has taught me over these past four months, that with Him, it doesn't have to add up on paper. I am supposed to go and He will supply. I went today and got my application to apply for my passport, I am researching, and praying. Please pray also.

Secondly, we feel God is calling us to adopt. Not right now, maybe not in the next year or two, but it's something both Dan and I feel like He's telling us to do. All we know is that it will be a child over two (maybe siblings) and that they will be from the US. God has blessed us, strengthened us, sustained us and we want to share that.

Sorry if I was all over the place and hard to follow. I am just bursting here! This week is a big week for us. Along with all of this coming to light, I officially start in the lab tomorrow AM and on Wednesday Dan has his psychological testing. I pray that there is employment in sight for him, but most of all, I pray that whatever God's will is in it all that I will continue to say, "blessed be Your name!"

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Slim-down Sundays

Hollie's idea...I thought I would play along. She is smart like that.

Well, I have taken a few steps backward. I am not as good at this as I thought. People think that losing weight comes easy to me. Not so. Come work out with me and you will see how hard I work. Unlike most people though, on most days, I love me a challenging run and a good work out. I like to sweat and feel sick means I have done my job.

So, here I am with an extra five pounds on me. Not too bad considering how much I ate from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Everyone knows I can't resist a good dessert or that supersize piece of cake with extra frosting (my mouth is watering as I type). Did I enjoy my indulgence? Most certainly. Was it worth it? I'll get back to you on this one. It depends on how easily it comes off.

Stats: 5'8",139.4, size 6 getting tighter. I would like to lose five pounds by the end of the month to be back at the weight I am comfortable with. After that, I want to tone, tone, tone and prepare my abs for the summer. My goal is some definition this summer...not much, but I would like tight. I also want to be in great shape for my first race.

Plan of attack: I am somewhere in between counting points and limiting carbs and sweets, running, and skipping my late night snack at work. I will still be eating my dessert, ya'll. Just not for my main course every meal. :-)

I will update in a week...crossing my fingers that I start my . by then...I am feeling a tad bit bloated. :-)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Love Affair: Rekindled

Almost one year ago, Hollie, Erin, and I took a spinning class together on a little girls weekend. We had a blast! One thing that the instructor kept saying was, "No excuses!" It came in handy this past summer while training for The CRIM. As long as I am able to run, I need to.

Those two words have been forgotten somewhere along the way. It's been too cold, I have been too tired, the treadmill is too boring. There is always some excuses. It's not okay with me anymore. This past week, I ran everyday but New Years Day and it felt good...relationship restored. I missed it.

So, in honor of my love affair rekindled, I planned out my racing year. God willing, I will be running these races in 2009 (Pending Dan getting a job, I would also like to do my first half-marathon in VA):

May 2009 ~ Lake Geneva 10K
June 2009 ~ Milk Days 10K
August 2009 ~ The CRIM 10mile
October 2009 ~ The Pumpkin Fest 10K

Along with with adding another race this year, I also have made goals for each race. My goals for the 10K's are to beat the time I had in 2008. My goal for The CRIM is to run the whole entire 10 walking! Looking forward to it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Four Months...already...

Well, it's the second of the month and if you have been following along you know what the significance is. Another month has passed since the lay off and my husband is still unemployed. This past month was the best one yet.

It's very hard for me to give up control to anyone even when I know that it's the best for me. This was a month of wrestling with that and finally being able to surrender not just bits and pieces that I wanted to, but all to God and my husband...I guess that's why I feel so much peace about our situation now. I have been able to begin to view this time as a "vacation" of sorts. The kids and I are blessed to have Dan home everyday with us. I have finally realized that I need to be cherishing this time and it has been pretty fun. Don't get me wrong...I still have my days.

I have found myself in tears a few times this month. Not because of hopelessness but because my God has filled me with hope through the generosity of other people. Never in my life have I felt so loved on and so supported. Not only was our entire trip to Michigan paid for, but we were also given cash and several gift cards over the holidays. Our Heavenly Father is taking great care of us. We are trying to be ever so faithful with all He has blessed us with. Every now and then, thoughts of panic set in about what we will do if unemployment runs dry, but then I am reminded of this verse:

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? ~Matthew 6:26-27
So, please be in pray for this upcoming month for us. Some specifics:
  • Dan is going in for further testing for a PD on the 7th @ 9AM. Pray that he is well rested, calm, and that the Dan that I am crazy about shines brighter than the other guys.
  • I start working at the hospital on the 5th, my first day in the lab being Tuesday. I will be working both jobs and it will be very crazy. I am working fourteen days in a row with no days off. I am talking to my manager at work tonight to see if anything could be worked out for these two weeks. Because of past experiences, it doesn't seem promising.

Thank you, everyone! We are not only hanging in there, we are flourishing and it's only because of the Awesome God we serve.