Sunday, November 21, 2010


At church today, our pastor talked about something he calls ThanksLIVING. He talked about being thankful every, single day. For the little things. For the big things. For the painful things. For the exciting things. For the things that bring us to our knees.

Being thankful, when we don't feel like being very thankful.

It made me smile, because that is exactly what I am trying to do with my life. Through this blog, through my Twitter account. By making a conscious effort to be thankful every day, it has changed my outlook.

Being thankful has made me more thankful. And a better wife, mother, daughter. Being thankful has made me a better person.

The last six months have been mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting. World-rocking. The kind of things that bring a person to their knees.

Often, during this season of life, I have felt weighed down by the drama of life and death. On more than one occasion I have said: "I don't think I can bear anything else." My faith is deep. I trust God. But I am human.

I fear.
I stress.
I hurt.

Physically and emotionally feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders every day...

gravity tugging at my body with each step...

fear tugging on my heart/mind...

Something "else" would always happen:

The house floods. A loved-one dies. Work instability. Possible unplanned relocation. A child gets sick.

At times it is overwhelming, but my faith allows me to cling to hope.

Somehow, by the grace of God, I manage to maintain hope. I know that God is using these things in my life to His glory, whether I can see/understand it at this season in my life or not. I may never understand it.

I know that the path I had planned for my life is playing out completely differently than I had planned or could have imagined for myself. But you know what? I Love My Life.

The good.
The bad.
The ugly.
The painful.

Even when it hurts, I am blessed.

And I give thanks.

I still have fear at times, wondering how everything will work out, but I know that we'll be okay. No matter what happens we will be okay.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself or living in a constant state of fear, I give thanks in all things.

It is a paradigm-shift to
Thankful LIVING.

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, November 12, 2010

No milk, sugar or gluten, oh my!

Earlier this week my son's doctor recommended making some changes to his diet by eliminating milk, sugar and gluten. My first thought?

"HOLY COW! What else is there to eat??"

Now, if you know my son, you know what a picky eater he is and that most new foods result in flying food. Not my idea of fun. It is a bit overwhelming, so the nutritionist recommended eliminating milk from his diet first.

It sounds simple enough, until you factor in the fact that my son wants what he wants and he wants it right now.

The nutritionist recommended transitioning to Almond milk. We tried Blue Diamond Almond Breeze

My son hated it. My husband and daughter loved it.

Oh, this is going to be a fun process.

Pancakes are one food my son will eat every single time. He loves his pancakes.

So last night I decided to try making a gluten free pancake recipe the nutritionist assured us would be a sure-thing, even for a picky eater. It was my first attempt at making anything gluten free.

My son hated it. He spit it out. (So did my husband.)

I felt defeated and overwhelmed. How on earth am I going to be able to prepare and feed my family gluten free food they will actually eat?!?

Then this morning I found out something spectacular...


I can honestly say, never in my life have I ever been excited about Bisquick, or any "mix" for that matter. I am excited about Gluten Free Bisquick! :)

If anyone out there has great links, recipes, recommendations or advice, I would greatly appreciate it!!

Have you made the transition to milk or gluten free? Or eliminated any type of foods from your child's diets? Any advice? Any great links? Any great gluten free brands that are consistently delicious?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm thankful for Twitter

Oddly enough, I'm thankful for Twitter.

In May of this year I created a Twitter account. I was reluctant to create one, but wanted to force myself to be thankful for something each day:

To tell the world what I am thankful for each day.

To change my thinking, even on days when I feel overwhelmed as a stay-at-home-mom with two two-year-olds. (They can seriously make you question your sanity on some days!)

Little did I know how powerful a little old Twitter account would become for me and changing my thinking.

Creating and using my
Twitter account has made a huge difference for me. It has forced a paradigm shift. It forces me to think about and find things I am thankful for each day - even on really bad days. Like the day my father died. His funeral. When another friends newborn son died. When another mom's 4 month old daughter died. Instead of being overwhelmed by the sadness and grief, it made me view the experiences a little differently.

Allowing me to look deep and find things I am thankful for, when I feel overwhelmed by life, sadness and loss. So many of my friends and family have had a difficult year this year, often enduring unimaginable pain and heartache. It has certainly been a year full of trials for me personally.

I wrote the previous post back in June 2010. It is now November. I'm not sure what happened to the time between June and November, it is all pretty much a blur for me. It has been eventful to say the least. Here is our last 6 months in a nutshell:

  • Two weeks after the June post was written I received news that another friend's newborn son had died, two weeks before his due date.
  • Two weeks later, our home flooded. Big time. As in, tear out drywall and flooring and deal with contractors flooded.
  • A week after the flood, we received word that my father was terminal - and had days to live.
  • A week after that call, my Dad died. We were out of state for about 6 weeks taking care of my mom and the unfortunate logistics of death & notifications.
  • Two weeks after returning home we found out that our precious and perfect (in every way) son has some developmental delays and began the process of getting him some early intervention services.
  • That same week, we learned that my husband may be getting Orders to relocate soon. (We're a military family.) The "limbo" feeling begins:Will we have to sell our house in this market? Where will we go? Will our son's early intervention services be available there? Where will we go? Etc., etc., etc. Stress Level High!
  • A few weeks later, we learned that I need to have surgery. UGH. Who has time to be sick, especially with two two-year-olds?
  • The same week we learned that our son is "at risk" for an Autism Spectrum Disorder (That will be another post altogether.)

To say I have been and am feeling very overwhelmed is an understatement. I have pretty much been in a constant state of STRESSED OUT since June.

It makes me ask the same questions I think everyone asks with such chaos on in their lives:
  • Why? What purpose does this serve?
  • What else can go wrong/happen? (Not a great question to ask - because something can and will go wrong!)
  • Why all of this pain & suffering?
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • When will things get better?
  • Why is the world off of it's axis?
This summer, I frequently found myself saying, "It feels like the world is off of it's axis."

Nothing feels right. Everything feels out of balance. Nothing is as it should be.

I don't understand why we are going through everything we are going through, but I maintain hope. And that hope allows peace. Part of that hope and peace is because even in the midst of our pain, we know God is going to use it to his glory, and even in the worst of it we are not alone. There is always something to be thankful for, even in the midst of the storm.

I always thought I was a thankful person. Even for the little things, but I realized something this summer:
How thankful are we when it hurts?

Share your thoughts and tell me: What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thankful for my Healthy Children

I've had a pretty sobering experience this week:

A fellow mommy in my MOPS group lost her 4 month old baby girl (unexpectedly and shockingly) on Saturday night.

Did your stomach just fall into the floor and you grab at your heart? I did when I heard the news on Sunday morning.


There are no words... only sorrow. This woman is living through my (and probably every mother I know) greatest fear: losing a child. I know that she is a woman of Faith and she will one day see her sweet baby girl again, but until that time, she must survive this time, the funeral and keeping life as normal as possible for her other three children.

The news brought me to tears. It made me hold my babies even tighter. I have frequently said out loud, to hubby, friends, family, etc., how blessed and thankful I am to have healthy children. That it really is a blessing. Then to receive news on the sudden loss of another's child, it makes me that much more thankful.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Two and a Zoo

It is hard to wrap my head around the fact that my babies are almost TWO years old. It seems like they were just babies who couldn't even hold their heads up, feed themselves, or even crawl. Now they are crazy, active, funny little toddlers who never stop until they are passed out asleep in their cribs. They are such a joy.

Today, we spent the day at the zoo as a family. Daddy is off work, so we decided to spend the day together and do something fun to decompress. We've had a lot of stress lately with a sick family member, and we needed to spend some time as a family having fun. We had a blast. The kids went crazy, loved seeing all the animals (elephants, monkeys, ducks, turtles, horses and feeding the goats were a few of the highlights.) One of the most fun parts of the afternoon was coming across a water-play feature. The kids were fully clothed, but we encouraged them to "go for it." They had so much fun running through the random fountain "squirts" and getting wet. I love my little family so very much. I could not ask for more.

I have thought of many things I'm so thankful for in recent weeks. Mostly influenced by circumstances and my father's illness, but I'm thankful nonetheless.

1000 Things I am Thankful For..some are silly, some are deep, but all things I am thankful for:

#14 - Sleepng in - and an awesome hubby who lets me sleep when I need it most.

#15 - Living near a zoo and the opportunity to expose my precious children to new opportunities.

#16 - I'm thankful I'm a Mom. It is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

#17 - Two amazing women who made me a Mommy. My children's birthmoms. The most amazing women I've ever met in my life and whom I think about every single day.

#18 - Loving parents. Parents who love each other and after 42 years of marriage still adore each other.

#19 - Believing in Miracles when "life" and doctors say it isn't looking hopeful.

#20 - My dad's great doctor, Allison Garner. She has saved his life several times over the last 15 years. She is what we wish every doctor could be. I'm thankful that despite my dad's horrific illness and health setbacks, she has faith, prays for her patients and has never given up.

#21 - Knowing my babies "love cups" are full when they go to bed each night.

#22 - Singing songs at bedtime while cuddling with my babies.

#23 - I love that my babygirl sings along, even though she doesn't know the words. "Sheshus (Jesus) ovvvs MEEEE da I NOOOO (know), fa da bablil tas me soooo."

#24 - Thankful that my babies WANT to cuddle with Mommy & Daddy every day.

#25 - Friends who truly know what friendship means.Who don't let you down.

#26 - That my ENTIRE family was able to be present at my babies' baptisms on 4/25/10.

#27 - That my Mom was able to baptize our precious gifts.

#28 - Our entire family was able to be together for a weekend, for the first time in over 20 years.

#29 - Wildflowers. Nature. Beautiful Trees.

#30 - Long country walks with my family. Something we recently did for the first time, several times, and LOVED IT!!!!

#31- History. Hopefully we can learn from it.

#32- Listing to my son and daughter say "ARRRGHHH" and sing the pirate song from The Backyardigans. They LOVE the song. It tickles my heart to hear them sing the song with such joy and then giggle after they say "ARGGGGHHHH!"

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thankful Momma

I am the luckiest Momma in the entire world. Yeah, it's a fact. I'm Momma to the two most amazing toddlers in the entire world. :) I'm also married to the best hubby ever, who loves me beyond what I could ask. I love my life. I love my husband. I love my children. I love my God. I could not ask for more. My cup overflows.

1000 Things I am Thankful For..some are silly, some are deep, but all things I am thankful for:

#1 - The beautiful smiles on my children's face when they see me for the first time in the morning.

#2 - My husband who appreciates me and my imperfections.

#3 - An awesome house, even though I complain and don't always (usually) take as good of care of it as I should.

#4 - Having have such an amazing example of motherhood, as my Mom provides.

#5 - A forgiving and loving God who welcomes me back with open arms.

#6 - Finding a new church recently, that excites me. Makes me want to go to back to church and re-engage in church. The pastor really speaks to my heart. I've been looking for that in a church for nearly 15 years.

#7 - Bedtime snuggles.

#8 - Unsolicited hugs and smooches.

#9 - Sunny Days.

#10 - Music. All types. It stirs my heart and soul.

#11 - Hearty laughter and belly giggles as my husband plays with our babies. I'm not sure there is a better sound. :)

#12 - The ability to capture moments and memories (my camera).

#13 - Morning cuddle time with my babies. They just want to be close and be held. It is the best way to start the day before the chaos kicks into full gear!

More to come...

In the meantime, what are you thankful for??