Friday, June 28, 2013

"What's Your Mark" review

I recently had the opportunity to read, "What's Your Mark" by Jeremy Cowart.  When I received it in the mail I was pretty excited to get started!  I read online that it was basically about how we 'make our mark' on the world as Christians and I thought it would be a really inspirational read.

I have to say, I was kind of disappointed!!  Instead of feeling inspired, the layout of the book was rather choppy.  I started reading and it was short stories of people who had done this and that in their lives that turned into something life-changing or inspirational (think twitter, song writers, educators).  While I found these stories easy to read and mind provoking, it was still 'big successful' people and not 'everyday folks' that I could relate to better in my own life. 

Mixed in between the short stories of those people were related bible scriptures.  While it went well with the short stories, it all became 'choppy' in my opinion. I would just really get into reading the scriptures, only to be interrupted by a couple 'short stories', and then have to pick back up, several pages later, with the bible study once again.  It made the book hard to read.

I guess all in all, I like a book that is easy to read and relatable, and felt this book fell short of my expectations.  For some though, it may be an easier read than it was for me!

This is my honest opinion based on reading this book.  To find out more about free books for bloggers, go to Booksneeze. 


Wednesday, June 26, 2013


You know how when your pregnant you can crave 'crazy' things sometimes?  Was just thinking on this subject today (and no, I'm not preggo!) and remembering my cravings I had while pregnant with Makayla. 

  • Milky Way candy bars
  • Fruit (except bananas)
  • Icy cold water
  • Steak..yummmmm
  • Pickles and sliced american cheese on crackers
Not all at once, mind you, but these were a few things that kinda popped up while I was pregnant that I found very yummy!  Some things I couldn't stand while pregnant were off the wall for me as well.  As in, they were things I usually loved to eat!

  • Chocolate/peanut butter combination ( ice cream/cake/etc)
  • Bananas
  • Chili
  • Meatloaf
Strange the things pregnancy does to a person, isn't it?  So I'm hoping A LOT of you will comment here.....

What were some of the things you craved and/or were repelled by while pregnant?


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Daddy's Girl

To say that Makayla is a "Daddy's girl" would be an understatement!  "Da" is all she talks about.  She definately loves him! 

So this is my post tribute to our Father's Day around was a day all about "Da"..and he enjoyed spending the day with his little girl!  We had a big ham dinner and a rainy day spent on the porch eating and enjoying popsicles.  And of course "Da" got a lot of gifts both on Father's Day and before (which I didn't get to take pictures of all of it!) but he made out well!

Here are some pictures I have to share of not only Father's Day..but Da and his little girl!

Her shirt says, "Coal Miner's Daughter"!

The card I just had to make!

Father's Day cookout at my parents the weekend before..

...and my daddy..he's done so much for us and is an incredible example!


Monday, June 24, 2013

When bloggers stop blogging...

I was thinking today about some fellow bloggers I once followed and then they just either all together stopped blogging or only blog once in a very short while.

A lot of things can cause this to happen.  But I think probably one of the biggest factor is lack of response.

Having others comment on your blog posts matters.  Face it..its why we blog!  We're looking for that support from others, to hear what they think about what we blogged about that day, to show care/concern, to give friendly advice, and so on.  I know there has been a time or two I've thought about giving up my blog for this reason alone.

Of course, other things plan into this as well.  Like life!  In 2011, how many other bloggers do you know had a baby?  I was one of them and it was staggering how many of 'us' became preggo within months of one another.  And its really fun now because we are watching 'our' kids grow up together as well and can relate in experiences we share! 

But you know, people move, they get jobs, have families, face life problems (like losing loved ones), and maybe just lose faith in the blog community.  I was thinking of one particular blogger who had a baby boy and named him Cohen (same year I had M) and some other things happen I'm sure I can't remember correctly, and then one day I didn't see her blog anymore.

And I miss that.

I think, "Did I comment over at her blog enough?", "Did she know how much her viewers liked reading her posts?". 

So make it a point today to stop over at your fellow bloggers pages, and leave them a comment!  Whether big or small, it doesn't matter.

I'm sure it'll make their day whether you realize it or not.  :-)


Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Secrets We Keep

You know, every individual has their own secrets.  I am no exception to the cause.  Please bear with me as this is a difficult post for me to type without going too far....

Don't ever think that you know a person and how their life has always been.  Unless you are that person.  I've had so many people tell me, "Oh, your life sounds like its just been perfect..your so lucky". 


My life has never been perfect.  Sure, I've been more fortunate than some.  I've not had to live on the streets.  I wasn't beaten as a child.  I never went hungry. 

But I have endured roads that I never thought, even now, that I should have had to of crossed in my life.  And I know I'll cross more in the future.  How did I endure?

With God.

Even though I hadn't accepted Jesus into my life and heart until the age of 15, God was with me in my earlier years when I went through many trying obstacles.  And yes, I went through a lot when I was younger.  I'm not talking the loss of a pet goldfish either.  Bigger things.  MUCH bigger.

Now that I am a parent myself, I fear for my child and am overprotective.  But I don't care if I am that parent who shadows over their child and gets talked about.  I don't ever want my child to endure something that she feels she couldn't come to me and talk to me about.  I never want her to stumble into a depression of overeating and end up overweight like I did. 

I always want her to know the truth.  I want her to know God's truth.  God's laws.  What is right and what is wrong.  God didn't give us laws to be mean, He gave us laws to protect us.   There will always be people who think that you can live any way you want to and its all ok because God loves everyone. 

They are right about one thing, God does love everyone.

But you can't live any old way you want to and think it'll be ok.  If that were true, then there would be no need for us to ask for salvation because everyone would be headed to heaven. 

Thats not what this is about though.  I admit, I've been guilty of reading other bloggers sites and thinking, "...boy so-and-so really has it made".  We all have had our battles and have them now.  Some worse than others.  Just don't judge a book by its cover, because you don't know the whole truth until you've read whats inside.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fifteen Ways Damon and I are different

I read a post by the Pioneer Woman that I thought was really cute and I had to take a stab at it myself!

  1. He likes the outdoors.
             I'd rather be indoors (though I secretly 'wish' I was more outdoorsy!)

     2.  He likes hot coffee with cream, no sugar.

             I am in love with iced coffee with plenty of sweet stuff added in!

     3.  He loved history when in school.

             History bored me to death.

     4.  He can fall asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow.

              I only wish I was that lucky!  Sometimes it takes me an hour (or more)!

     5.  He wears hats all the time.

              I look silly in hats.

     6.  He doesn't worry about anything.

              I worry about everything (well, not really, but I'm not as laid back as he is!)

     7.  He loves mayo.

              I can't stand the stuff.  Yuck.

     8.  He isn't much for sweets.

              I could live on sweets!

     9.  When he starts a project, he doesn't stop until its done.  No matter how long it may take!

             I'd rather take my time and enjoy the process.

    10.  I love to paint.

             He'd rather take a beating than to have to paint.

    11.  I could shop for hours (and hours, and hours)...

             He..well..he's a man!

    12.  I love chicken fixed just about any way.

             He thinks its meant for either a) frying or b) made with dumplings.  Period.

    13.  He trims his nose hair.

             I shave leg hair (ha!).

    14.  He likes to watch "The Waltons"

             I like to watch anything BUT "The Waltons".

    15.  My idea of a comfy casual outfit is a long maxi skirt, tank top, and flip flops

            His is a pair of denim shorts, and nothing else.

This list is so fun to make! Even though we have a lot of differences, it certainly doesn't 'define' us..we just work!!  How are you and your spouse different?


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mommy Tips

I was thinking the other day about things I've learned since earning the title, "Mommy".  Thing I found out along the way, things I'm still learning every day, and tips and tricks I've read over the past couple of years.  I know we (mommies) can all relate.  When we first started out on this journey, there was so much we didn't know.  So many unknowns. 

But we've all found out way.  :-)

I thought I'd share some of the things I've learned and maybe it'll help you if your expecting your first (or second, or third!) to know of some things that might help you in the future!

  • Hiccups.  Its something every child will get.  Sure they don't enjoy it (especially babies) and neither do we when we see them get upset when they don't go away as quickly as they 'think' they should!  Something I read on another blog/website (can't remember where) and I was like yeah right but it actually works!!!!  SUGAR!  Whenever Makayla would get the hiccups when she was a baby, I'd either dip her pacifier or my finger in some sugar and pop it in her mouth for a second.  It doesn't take much, they like it (of course!), and for me anyways, it worked like a charm every...single...time!
  • Speaking of which, I learned to keep extra sugar in my diaper bag for 'hiccup emergencies' because it worked so well (and the fact that Makayla got them a lot).  Best tip for you momma's out there, next time your in a restaurant, grab a few sugar packets thats on your table and toss them in your bag.  Perfect amount and doesn't cost you anything!
  • Along with the hiccups comes tummy aches from time to time.  When your breastfeeding, you find out quickly that sometimes certain foods you eat will affect your baby and give them a sour tummy.  For me, I had to stay clear of lemonade.  For others, it spicy foods, chocolate, or anything from a-z basically.  Its a matter of figuring it out as you go along the journey.  But..a must have is GRIPE WATER.  Its fabulous stuff, all natural, and works brilliantly.  I kept a bottle in my bag, at my mom's house, and at home.  Nuff said.
  • If you do plan on breastfeeding (which I think is awesome, btw), know that it takes some time to get the hang of things.  Don't give up too soon.  Every mother I've known thats breastfed had a hard time at some point in time or another.  But it does get easier.  For me in particular, I was doing pretty well until we took a mini vacation when Makayla was 5 weeks old.  Having to breastfeed in the rental car (with no tinted windows, mind you!) in crowded parking lots quickly became VERY hard.  So, I decided to pump and give her a bottle of breastmilk.  Worked great!  Only problem, when we got back home and back into our normal routine, she wanted a bottle and not me!  You may be thinking, 'oh thats not so bad, at least you wouldn't have to worry about breastfeeding in public anymore', oh no honey.  Pumping exclusively = double work.  Its something you will not have the time for (or energy).  Think about it, do you really want to get up in the middle of the night to feed your baby a bottle, burp her, and get her back to sleep, only then to have to pump for 20 minutes before you can go back to bed?  So what was my solution? 
This was my #1 must have while breastfeeing.  If you do enough research on these, a lot of websites/blogs will tell you that you shouldn't use them for very long because it can make your milk supply get low.  I am going to tell you that I used this from the time that Makayla was between 6-7 weeks old and 16 months old (when she self-weaned)!!  It did not dimish my supply in the least and if it hadn't been for the nipple shield, I don't honestly know what I would have done or if I could have continued breastfeeding.  Thank you Target.
And some other things I learned, but most people probably already know (I counted myself as extremely on the dumb side when I stepped into motherhood because I had never been around babies but maybe 3% of my life)....
  • Babies like to be warm.  As in, it can be 100 degrees outside, but they'd still prefer to be in long clothes (while inside an A/C house that is).  Of course, you wouldn't want them to be overly warm if you were outside...
  • Do what works for you and forget what everyone else tells you.  YOU are their mother, not the world!
  • If you breastfeed, drink lots and lots and lots of water.  More liquids=more milk.  :-)
  • When your baby starts solids, be prepared.  Their diapers will change (you know what I'm talking about!).  Don't freak out!  Get some baby pear juice (not apple, its binding!!), works like a charm and tastes better than prune.
  • If someone wants to help, let them!  Don't ever pass up the opportunity for someone to cook you a meal or clean your house if they offer.  Because lets face it, it won't last!
  • Rest when you can. 
  • Get a sleep sheep, its a great thing to help a baby get to sleep.
  • Go with the flow (and I'm not talking breastfeeding, now that my baby is a toddler, I have to pick my battles.  Everything is a lesson.  If she wants to make a mess, let her.  But she's also got to learn that she'll have to pick it up. 
  • I still use my shopping cart cover to this day and recommend you get one and I'll tell you why.  Germs.  Last year, I wasn't able to get Makayla a flu shot.  I was digilent about using my cover all..the...time.  She never got sick.  I'm not saying thats 100% why, but I do believe they help!
  • And finally, enjoy this time in your lives.  Your baby is just a baby once (no matter how hard you want to wish they'll stay little forever!).  Hold them, snuggle them, and take lots and lots of pictures.  Trust me, you won't regret it one minute.  :-)


Monday, June 17, 2013

My Two Year Old

Sometimes its hard to believe she's really two already.


But that she is..and I'm enjoying every minute of it!  We had her 2 year checkup last week and here are her stats...

Weight ~ 30 lbs 10 oz. (90 or 95% percentile)
Height ~  36 inches (90 or 95% percentile)
Head ~ 20 inches (95% percentile)

(I say 'or' in each of those because I can't was one or the other)

To say that I was majorly stressed before this appointment is an understatement.  For a couple of weeks beforehand, I was dealing with some fear concerning her head size.  At her 18 month appointment, her head growth was 'off the charts'.  Her pediatrician was asking me if she was doing ok, talking, walking, etc.  I didn't think anything of it at the time but it all came flashing back at me and worry set in (thanks alot Satan!).  I was making myself sick over it.  But after talking it out with my BFF the night before her appointment, I found clarity in the situation.  And the next day at her appointment, it wasn't even an issue any longer. 

Thing ever notice me and Damon?  Our heads are both pretty big....

Turkey Day 2012
I was so pleased at this visit.  Makayla was able (amist the hysterics of crying!) to show her doctor how she knows so much sign language (that is, I do the sign and she says what I'm signing).  She was really, really impressed.  And it made this momma proud!  She's been hooked for months now on the "My Baby Can Talk" dvds (we have 2..I'm fixing to order the 3rd!).  Even though they are geared for babies (starting at 10 months) Makayla loves her 'movies'.  I would love to find one geared towards toddlers as well (suggestions?) but really these suit toddlers too (there are alot of kids her age on the videos). 
She also had a chance in the waiting room to interact with a little girl about her age.  This is something I've really been wanting for her.  Our church has no kids her age to interact with (its a very small church), and we don't have 'play dates' or anything around here to get involved in.  So to see her interacting with another little girl just blessed my heart.  Makayla was actually going up to her, giving her that huge cheesy smile, to try to get her to play with her.  She eventually won the little girl over!
So to sum it up, basically I have a 3 foot tall 2 year old who is doing fantasic. 


Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Letter to Me

Thanks to West Virginia native Brad Paisley for the inspiration to this post!

Dear Me,

The lyrics in this song are so very true.  You might not be able to see it at 17, but your life is going in the right direction.  You may stumble from time to time and shed some tears, but in the end it'll all be worth it.

Your going to get married, just like you always hoped you would.  It'll come with struggles, but he's gonna love you beyond belief.  Your even going to become a mother to a beautiful little girl.  I know, your saying, "ME?  A mother?"..but trust me, she's the best thing that's ever going to happen to you.  You'll find a love so deep you never knew existed.  

Hug Grandpa more, he won't be around much longer.  Say "I love you" more.  Time is shorter than you think. That old saying that time goes by faster with age is something you'll learn is very true. 

Enjoy every moment.  Savor every memory.  Make memories.  Take more pictures (even though you don't see how that's possible).  Learn to trust God more.  Don't stress out over the small stuff, you'll find its all for nothing.  Trust your instincts, more likely than not, they're right.  Never give up.  Let go when you need to and hold on tight to what really matters. 

Friends will come and go (believe me!), but you'll find a true friend that you'll never know what you ever did before she came along.  At 17, Friday night ballgames rule in the fall, but like the song says, your best years are ahead of you.  Don't fear the future, look forward to living it.

And hold onto God with all that lies within you. 


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Creature of Habit

I tend to be a creature of habit.  I do the same things each the same the same way.  Are any of y'all like that? 

I sure hope I'm not alone...

I was just thinking how every night when I tuck Makayla always goes the same way...

..lay her in bed..cover her up..make sure she's got her brown monkey..kiss my hand then touch her head (since I can't reach into her crib that far down) and say, "Mommy loves you..I'll see you in the morning..get yourself some sleep..nighty night!"..turn out the lamp..look at her again..kiss her again..and say, "love you baby girl..nighty night!"..turn off her 'fishtank' on the wall..turn back and say, "love you! see you in the morning!  love you Makayla!"..then leave her door cracked open.

Every night it goes down the same way.  Is anyone else like that?!  And also..when its time for daddy leave for work..we have our routine...

Damon kisses her forehead.  "Be good baby girl..mind mommy!" and I say, "Listen to daddy!"..Damon says, "Love you!" and Makayla says "Byeeeeeeee" while waving her little hand.  And when he backs his truck out to leave and honks the horn Makayla always says "Choo choo!"..cracks me up every time! 

I'd love to hear your stories of things you do on a daily basis!!!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"Howers" least thats how Makayla says it!  Flowers is actually what I'm talking about!  I've taken a lot of pictures of my blooming abode here lately since it seems everything is in bloom this time of the year!  I thought y'all would enjoy!!!

So here they 'howers'....


FREE "Treat Card"!

I was recently contacted by the awesome people over at Shutterfly about a promotion they are currently doing for treat greeting cards.  Its called the Treat 1 Million Card Giveaway ..and its basically just that!

Would y'all be interested in being the first million to grab a free Treat card?

I know I am!!  I just checked out some of their cards..with Father's Day just around the corner they have some awesome cards to choose from!  Even though I already bought Damon's cards (one from me and one from Makayla)..I definately think one of these cards would be a great memento!

Just click on the picture below to get your free card!

Offer expires 6/17/2013 (11:59 P.M. PT).  Offer is good for one (1) free greeting card using the code TRTC63XA2E  at checkout.  Postage may apply.  Customer must be a first-time Treat customer.   Offer is valid for one-time redemption per billing address.  Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with other offers, discounts, promotions or credits.  Offer is not applicable to previously placed orders.  Offer is only valid on www.treat.com and does not apply to purchases made from the Treat Cards for iPhone app.  Offer is not applicable to Treat Card Club, gifts, or third party or partner websites


Monday, June 3, 2013

The Present

Do you ever catch yourself thinking more on things in the future (or the past) than whats going on right now?

I have a bad habit of doing this..and I'm determined to make it come to a stop!

The old saying that says something like, "..the present is just what it is..a gift to be enjoyed right now" holds so much truth.  I'll talk about myself personally since I don't know the situations of all of my readers at the moment.  Its been so easy for me lately to look back on our situation, a year ago, and think of how hard things were in that moment in time.  Don't get me wrong, it does make me grateful for what God has done for us and so extremely thankful for our blessings, but at the same time its wrong for me to go over this, over and over again, instead of living in the present. 

Right now is what matters. 

Right now, God is blessing us.  He's in control of our present.  AND our future.

Do you pray for your children (I hope so...) you ever think to pray for their future?  This is something I read about recently (..somewhere) and it really struck me.  I had always prayed about Makayla in the present..but not always her future.  Let's face it..when children are little, we don't want to think about them growing up!  But..they do just like we all do.  So I began praying for her future. 

Her future friends.  Her future husband.  Her path in life.  Her salvation.

Its all important. I said before..its important to live in the present and not think so much on things that were behind or are before us.  While I feel its a good choice to pray for her future..I don't dwell on it either.  I need to apply that thinking to my whole life. 

Since most of you are probably not familiar with our area, the company Damon just started working for filed for bankruptcy.  The judge sided with the company last week.  Now although this may or may not lead to job losses, it could lead to some changes.  Its just kinda a 'wait and see' thing.  I've caught myself thinking about us being unemployed..again..and worrying. 

Thats not what God wants for me.  Because God is bigger than anything..anyone..any situation.  I want to live for now.  I want to be happy now.  And enjoy my family now.  I don't want or need to think about worst case scenarios or the 'what ifs'..because it all could be for nothing. 

The sun is shining out and God has blessed husband is at toddler is napping..we have a roof over our in the fridge..and clothes on our back. 

God is good.