Monday, December 29, 2014


Bear with me, as the first Monday after Christmas I'm just going to ramble for a bit.

Makayla got some new bedding and wall decals for Christmas.  She is going to have a Frozen themed room.  So bye bye to the baby room and hello more grown up little girl room.

Sniff sniff.

Anyways she was DYING to get the new "stickers" hung on her wall.  I told her we first had to take down her big tree (you remember that?  It was gorgeous..and I put it up when I was 30+ weeks pregnant).  So I peeled off her tree and some paint with it.
Sigh.  So I just finished re-painting that area on her wall after sanding and priming it on Saturday.

Nothing is ever easy.

Damon has really been enjoying his new Scolfield large print study bible I got him for Christmas.  I have had my eye on a study bible too..its a Greek-Hebrew study bible.  I think I may order it soon.  Oh..and both are King James Versions in case you were wondering.  :-)

I'm wanting to try a couple new recipes this week. One is something called "funeral sandwiches".  Seriously.  Has anyone tried them before?  I'll let you know how they turn out.  The other is some Mediterranean food.  Chicken schwarma, tabouli, and this lamb meatball thing.  It all looked very interesting and yummy!  Ill have to do a food post later in the week.

Gearing up for the New Year too.  I always take my Christmas decor down then, have a meal of corned beef & cabbage, fried potatoes, black eyed peas, and cornbread. Yum! Though I do feel like after all the sweets we've had maybe some good old fruit salad is in order.

Hope you've enjoyed my rambling Monday!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Santa 'business'

I'm gonna talk a little bit about this guy today.  Santa.
This time of the year he is everywhere.  He's at the mall, on Christmas cards, on tv, and even in cartoons!  Makayla knows who he is.  But 'he' isn't something I have pushed.
Media has.
I don't care really, that she knows who he is.  What I do care about is that she knows 'he' isn't the reason why we celebrate Christmas. 
Its not called 'Santamas'..its CHRISTmas.
And she knows.
I've instilled in her since as early as she could possibly understand that Jesus is why we celebrate Christmas.  And she knows who baby Jesus is, and the angels with their trumpets as she points out every time we go down the road and she see's the decorations along the road.  She knows we give gifts because they gave baby Jesus gifts when He was born.  We read the story from the Bible every year before we open gifts. 
The one thing that does bother me, is when unassuming people come up and ask her if she's "asked Santa what she wants for Christmas and that he will bring it to her if she's good".  Um no.  I don't teach my child that.  And I never will. 
Why?  Because its a lie. 
Yes its all in good fun and nature, but it is a lie.  Why would you lie to your child, only years later to have to tell them it wasn't true after all?  Then how does that shape their minds to believe you about other things? 
Just like the Easter bunny (don't even get me started there!), Santa is right up there with biggest lies children are told.  Why don't we tell them the truth?  Because Santa is more fun than Jesus?
Jesus was a miracle baby.  Born of a virgin.  Lived 33 1/2 years.  Died on a cross.  Rose again 3 days later.  He gives us hope in a world that is full of lies and darkness. 
Sounds pretty good to me, doesn't it to you?
And you know, making Jesus' birthday a celebration isn't hard.  We can throw Him a birthday 'party'!  We even found a gingerbread nativity scene this year at Target!  We have plays at church and choirs sing Christmas songs. 
So this year, make Christ the center of your Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New Blog!

Just in case you may have missed my announcement not too long ago, I started a new, private blog for posts pertaining to Makayla.  Well, the first post is now up!  If you want to follow along, just leave me a comment here along with your email address!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Massage, anyone?

Have you ever had a massage before?

I haven't myself (though it would make for a nice gift, hint hint!).   But I have a good friend who just opened her own massage business in her own home!  I have to say, her determination through schooling and every aspect afterwards (getting licensed, etc.) has impressed me.  I've read more about massage since she started her new journey and learned so much just by her posts on Facebook than I ever thought imaginable! 

Did you know....

Photo: Benefits a Massage Therapist can help with. Call for an appointment (304) 247-6768 or Facebook me. Owner of Balancing Touch Massage. Specializing with in home massages. Allow me to bring my massage table to your comfort zone
There are so many benefits to massage, especially if done on a regular basis I would imagine.  Who couldn't use some stress relief?  Or improved sleep?  I know I could!  If you live in my area and would enjoy some of these benefits, some of the areas she concentrates on are:
  • Swedish Massage
  • Hot Stone Massage
  • Bamboo Massage
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Geriatric Massage
  • Prenatal Massage
Offering in-home massage as well as being located in Madison, you can call today for an appointment and/or questions at (304) 247-6768 or (304) 382-5296 or send a PM on Facebook.  Just look up "Balancing Touch"!


Monday, December 8, 2014

Lemons and Peaches

That's how I would sum up my weekend.

Let me explain.

Saturday started out rather well.  I fixed a nice dinner for us at home and the night before had made 2 batches of fudge (peanut butter and chocolate..yum!) for the church dinner we were to have on Sunday.  I made it then so I wouldn't have to worry about it Saturday night.  I had to go to the store then and wouldn't be back until late.

I had told Damon Friday night when he came in from work the fudge was for the dinner on Sunday so he'd know not to eat it.  All was well until we were all fixing to leave and go our ways Saturday afternoon (him to work and me and Makayla to the store).  I looked and the fudge had been almost halfway taken by Damon!

I gave him a pretty hard time about it, I'll admit.  I probably shouldn't have, but I felt like all the work I put into helping myself have an easier time that night had just went down the drain.  I guess I felt like no matter what I touch sometimes (housework, food prep, etc) it is under appreciated because as soon as its done, sometimes it all comes un-done.

Those of you with little children know what I'm talking about.

So, off we all went on our separate ways.  I was stewing for the good first half of our outing.  I wish I could say I handled it better, but I didn't.  I was mad. 

Finally, when I was on the brink of tears, I knew I needed to talk to my best friend.  So I called her.  I am SO glad I did.  While ranting and going on and then saying, "I know I shouldn't be upset over something so trivial, I have a great husband and great child, he's got a job, we've got a roof over our heads, food on our tables, etc, etc, etc"..and she cut me off and said, "Yeah of course you do, but this is something that matters to YOU.  And you matter."

Those last 3 words were exactly what I was needing to hear.  That I mattered.  My day that had started as a lemon, suddenly was made as sweet as a peach.

And that peachy feeling continued on Sunday.  We had a wonderful morning church service, followed by communion, followed by the dinner.  I got to enjoy fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ, and was even able to laugh about the whole 'fudge incident' the day before.

Then we had some unexpected, but welcome visitors stop by our house to chat for a bit.  It was such a blessing to see an old friend and meet a new one.  :-)  Definitely a friend who has come a long way.  It hasn't been an easy road for him, Damon and I prayed many times for him, but Praise God he is doing well now and in a new relationship with a sweet girl.

As if all of that weren't enough, the sweetness continued!  Church Sunday evening was to be a special event as we had the hanging of the greens in church.  I had participated in this in another church in the past, but it had been a long time ago.  I was excited from the time they mentioned it until tonight and rightfully so.  It was a wonderful time in the Lord..we had the best singing, sang Christmas hymns, decorated the tree and learned the meaning of the ornaments and decorations, and fellowshipped with one another.  It was a blessing, indeed.

So though my weekend started out as a lemon, it definitely ended on a sweet note.  As sweet as a peach.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Being "ready"

All our lives, in different situations, we are asked if we are ready.

As a child ~ "Are you ready to start school"
First date ~ "Are you ready for your first date"
At high school ~ "Are you ready to graduate"
At college ~ "Are you ready for your first day in college"
Getting married ~ "Are you ready to walk down the aisle"
Having a baby ~ "Are you ready to be a parent"

And especially this time of the year...

Christmastime ~ "Are you ready for Christmas"

But did you ever stop to think about Mary.  How ready was she?  She was, after all, a virgin, untouched by man.  And carrying the Son of God. Conceived by the Holy Spirit.  How ready was she do you think?  Do you think she knew, her son would change the world?  Would save people from their sins?  Would die such a horrible death?  And rise from the grave?

How ready was she?

And importantly, how ready are we?

To witness for Him.  To pray to Him.  To confess that He died on the cross so we may live, and have life more abundantly through Him.  How ready are we to live for Him?  To let Him live through our lives, to be a light to this lost and dying world. 

I sometimes imagine, if His birth actually occurred in late December as we celebrate, well, you know how dark winter nights are.  When He was born, how much brighter that night must have been. 

Are you ready for Him today?


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Because sometimes a mom needs a break

Let's face it, mom's get tired.

No matter how well behaved (or not) your kids are, being a mom is a tiring job.  It requires your FULL attention, 24/7, regardless if your sick, tired, depressed, anxious, sad, or anything else.  It's not like a 9-5 job where you leave it all at the "office".

I feel fortunate that my child is well behaved.  She does as she's told but she also knows how to make a mess really quick (as seen above).  Sometimes this makes me stressed, frazzled, and aggravated.  Trying to do everything I need to get done in a day's time (and no..I don't expect or strive to keep my house "perfect"..but I do like to keep it clean!) sometimes it's just nice to have a break.

Yesterday, I got a break.  For the first time in 3 1/2 years, she went to her grandparents house for a short amount of time.  Without me.  I didn't ask for her to go up there, it was offered.

I'm not saying I don't love my child.  Anyone who knows me knows the love I have for my child is beyond words. I will go to the ends of the earth and beyond to do what I can for her, to protect her and keep her safe.  And not only that, but I do love being with her all the time.

But sometimes, a mom just needs a break.  Even though she is good..I still need time for myself.  Every mom does.  Time to meditate, time to unwind, time to close my eyes for one second and not having that little voice say "WAKE UP MOMMY, WAKE UP!!".

It was nice.  And I hope it happens again.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Mmm, soup

I love soup.

My taste for soup has definitely broadened since my childhood when I wouldn't touch the stuff.  Now I say "bring it on"!

I have several go-to soup recipes I make every fall and winter.  Potato, cheeseburger, Zuppa Toscana, Chicken Tortilla, and Clam Chowder to name off a few.  I've been wanting to find some new favorites.  So I made the above picture, which is Pasta e Fagoli.  It was great and made enough for leftovers (which was frozen for later).  Score!

Chicken tortilla soup

I've got a few on Pinterest pinned that I plan on making as well.  Lasagna soup and a cabbage kielbasa soup that looked promising.  A lot of my recipes for soup have actually came from Rachael Ray from the Food Network...she always came up with the best soup concoctions!!

What are your favorite soups you enjoy this time of year??  I'd love to hear your suggestions!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Miracle in a bottle!

This is my new favorite beauty product.

It's Urban Decay All Nighter makeup setting spray.  I received this sample sized bottle in a package I ordered from Ulta for free along with a bunch of other nice freebies.  Wow!  It's amazing stuff y'all!  I forgot to take a picture last night of myself, but my makeup looked like it did when I applied it that morning.  And this was after a day of doing 4 loads of laundry, cooking, cleaning house, and chasing after a 3 year old.  I'm planning on buying some but in a different brand (it's like $30 for a tiny bottle!).  I had never even heard of makeup setting spray until a couple months ago.   Where has this stuff been all my life?!

Have you discovered any new makeup/beauty products recently that really impressed you?


Thursday, November 13, 2014

A slight change around here

I wanted to let all of you guys know that I am going to be creating another entirely separate blog in the coming weeks.  Don't worry, Country Roads will still be here and isn't going anywhere!  And I'll still be blogging here regularly, none of that is going to change.

What will be changing is what I post on Makayla.  I've felt since her last birthday and I received a comment from someone anonymous about 'how much she's grown' that it was in my family's best interest to have a separate, private blog showing any pictures of Makayla from here on out.  To know someone is viewing my precious daughter without giving me their identity (though I have a good idea of who it is), sorry no.  That's not happening.  I'll protect my girl with every ounce of my being as much as possible.

If you would like to be able to view this blog that I'll be creating just about Makayla, so you can stay in the loop, please, just ask!  Its not restricted just to family, its open to all my friends I've made through blogger as well.  Just drop me a line on here and let me know.  When I get it up and running, I'll follow the appropriate steps (links, emails, and the like) so you can become a follower over there as well!

Thank you all and God Bless!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A visit to remember!

I mentioned in one of my post's last week that my best friend Wendy came in for a visit.  She came in around the middle of October and stayed with us for about a week and a half.  It was so much fun! 

Wendy, in case you didn't know, lives in Pennsylvania.  About 8 hours from where I do.  So when we get to see each other, its few and far between.  The last time we were together was right after Makayla was born, when she was 5 months old.  Oh how things have changed since then! 

Makayla loved seeing her "Aunt We" and immediately took her hand after we had our initial hug when she arrived and I basically didn't get to see her again until Makayla was in bed that night!  Ha!  She kept her busy seeing all her toys, showing her the front and back yard, and exploring every nook and cranny there was to be found at our place.  And of course, showing her the new room we fixed up..just in time for her visit!!

While Wendy was in, we hung out at the house, watching some of our favorite shows and baking some yummy treats.  We definitely splurged the first Monday we spend together!  Its probably one of my favorite memories of her visit too!  We watched Dancing with the Stars together, ate biscuits, queso and chips, and chocolate cake!  Yes..we ate all of that in one evening and no, we didn't get sick!!

I also showed her how I in..when we go shopping around here we make a whole day of it!  I put a new meaning to 'shop till you drop' in Wendy's eyes!  We went out more than I normally do at any given time, but I wanted to make sure she got to see everything while here!  Yes, we spent a lot of money but more so we made some great memories!  We even had Makayla's yearly pictures made at Target when we went out once and believe me, I was very grateful for the extra set of hands to help me that day!

There are just some things that is easier when you have a friend with you.  Like rounding a wild 3 year old into a shopping cart, getting something to eat, or just having an extra set of hands available that you can trust 110% with your child.  That is something that is rare, at least for me.

There are very few people I totally trust with my child, and Wendy is definitely at the top of the list.  I'm not only grateful for that, but the beautiful friendship we have developed over the 15 years we've known each other. There are family members I wouldn't trust half as much as I do her with Makayla and I think that says a lot.

As if all of the above wasn't grate enough, the best part of her visit came just a few short days before she was to head back home.  Wendy has always loved our church.  She's always expressed how much love she felt each time she's visited from all the members of our congregation and has even made good friends with a few of them and keeps in touch via Facebook.  Part of her visit was due to the fact that she wanted to be baptized at our church!!!!!  It was a huge blessing and an even bigger one, that I got to witness my best friends baptism!  Praise God!  Though there are many details leading up to the baptism I won't mention on here, I will say this..God was in it.  He was in it before it ever happened.  God placed it upon her heart to be baptized.  God let me know in that still small voice that she wanted to be baptized, before she even verbalized it to me.  After she told me, God allowed the trip to happen, effortlessly.  Things just fell into place from her getting the appropriate time off of work to us having the time to fix up the spare bedroom for her arrival.  And to think there for a little while, we didn't know if it was even going to happen.  There were tears shed, hugs given, and reassurance passed along during that time.  But it was just that, a small trial.  God was in it.  He was in it all.  And it was worth it.

Though she's back home now, I miss her.  Every time I walk back into 'her' room, I remember the times we shared together. The fun times, the laughter, and the concerns.  It was a time I'll treasure forever and look forward to the day we get to see each other again.


Thursday, November 6, 2014


I thought I'd do a little post on the many things I am loving lately!

My kindle.  Seriously guys, I don't know what I did before I got it for my birthday last year!  It's so handy for so many things.  Check the weather, Facebook, study the Bible, BLOG (which is what I'm doing this post from now), take pictures.  It's awesome!

Christmas.  For once in my married life, I couldn't have cared less if I decorated for fall.  All I've had on my mind is Christmas, and trees, and all the trimmings!!

Ulta.  If you don't have one in your area or have never heard of it, it's basically a really nice makeup store.  It's awesome.  And addicting.  And expensive (depending on what your after).  But it's awesomeness makes up for that.  Trust me.

7up biscuits.  Have you ever had them?  Heavenly little gems they are.  Google the recipe's only 4 ingredients.  You will thank me later.

Chocolate milk with ice.  Yum.
This is my glass at the moment

Dancing with the Stars, Duck Dynasty, and 19 Kids and counting.  I know, quite the array of tv shows, but I love them all!  And, Sadie Robertson is on DWTS this season.  Plus, who could not want to watch Jill and Derek tie the knot and Jessa's engagement?!  Sniff good!

Our "new" room.  I couldn't be more happier with how it turned out.  I'm just sad our first guest to stay in it is gone.  :-(  I know all good things must come to an end, but we had a blast while my best friend visited.  Look for a blog post next week!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I was recently contacted by a very sweet lady with an incredible story.  Heather Von St. James is a pleural mesothelioma survivor.  To hear it is one thing, but to know her story will take your breath away!

Imagine, you are a healthy 36 year old woman and have just given birth to a beautiful baby girl.  Three months later, you are told you only have 15 months to live.  You have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.  All thoughts of raising your beautiful baby and watching her grow slowly fade in your mind as you wonder how she will live without you in her life.  And your husband, he will be left to raise your daughter and try his best to keep your memory alive in her as she grows, as well as growing old without you by his side.  How could life be so unfair?  And even more, how did this happen?

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos.  Mesothelioma is a type of cancer (which I didn't really know before reading up on it).  It occurs in the thin membrane that surrounds the body's internal organs and cavities.  If you have swallowed asbestos, you can develop peritoneal mesothelioma which forms in the abdomen.  And oddly enough, you don't have to have direct contact with the asbestos itself.  You can develop it from secondhand exposure, much like cigarette smoke can lead to secondhand lung cancer.  All you have to do is come in contact with something like an asbestos covered garmet, like her father's jacket in Heather's case, and develop it.  Just think, something as simple as putting on your daddy's work coat could result in something so catastrophic. 

Dangers of Asbestos Infographic

Image courtesy of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

Though the diagnosis itself was quite scary, Heather and her family knew they needed to find the best support they could to ensure their lives could be spent together and she could see her daughter grow up.  She turned to Dr. David Sugarbaker , a renowned mesothelioma surgeon at the Boston based Brigham and Women's Hospital.  Heather endured a new procedure called extrapleural pneumonectomy.  Now, Heather is an 8 year survivor and is on a mission to let everyone know the dangers of mesothelioma as well as sharing her story of faith and hope to all who will listen.  I am very glad she came to me to share her story, as I know feel more educated on the subject than ever. 


Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone is having (or already had, in our case!) a fun time with the kiddos celebrating Halloween this year!  And yes, I am back from my hiatus (I know..I've been gone for a while, but I'm hoping the end of my rut is over!)! 

So what were your kids this year for Halloween?  Did you buy their costume(s) or make them yourself?  I went with the homemade version this year, as I know the older Makayla gets probably the less likely it will be that I'll be able to make (or that she will want) a homemade costume.

This year is all about Elsa from Frozen around here.  Makayla was kind of late on jumping on the Frozen bandwagon (we are talking late summer!) but boy when she did, she went all out and is just crazy about all things Frozen nowadays! 

Originally, I had purchased her an Elsa costume online, but then when the order from the company was cancelled, I had to go to a backup plan which was to make it myself!  After seeing the fabrics available at Hobby Lobby and Walmart I knew it would be a relatively easy one to put together.  And it was!

All I used was:

1 long sleeved plain white V-neck shirt from Walmart
1/2 yard of blue sequined fabric (for the top of the dress)
1 yard of blue shiny fabric (for the bottom half)
1 yard of sheer snowflake fabric (for the attached cape)

I use no patterns when I sew.  They confuse me.  Everything I do is basically by eye (or a good tutorial on pinterest, like the pj pants I often make for her).  I just sewed everything to the tshirt basically! There wasn't a rhyme or reason to any of it..just cut, eye ball it, and sew and keep going!  I also made her a pair of glitter shoes to go along with it.  I found some canvas mary janes on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $3 something and used mod podge and very fine blue glitter.  A very cheap project (and fun!). 

And here is our little Elsa this year!

I hope you and yours had a fun time trick or treating!


Monday, October 13, 2014

A Quiet October (but not for long!)

So far, October has been a quiet month for us.  You'll hear no complaints from me about that either.

Of course, my best friend is coming in this week for a long awaited visit, so it's been more of anticipation building over the past few weeks!

I have been readying our guest room for her arrival in the past month as you know.  Course, it just became a guest room over that time period!  Not just for her, but also for us.  It's been great to see that room transformed into something so nice.  Instead of being clutter filled!!

It's so much different when you have a real friend.  One you can trust and one who shares your beliefs and the same faith in God.  We have no secrets.  There isn't anything about my friend that I secretly "wonder" about.  She is who she is.  A solid Christian girl, strong in her beliefs, funny, smart, and a load of fun.  I'm so blessed to have a friend like her!!

Picture of when we first met, my wedding day!

So as we plan on spending tons of time together, going shopping, baking, and of course just hanging out and talking up a storm, I probably won't be posting much for a couple weeks.  Not that it will be much different than how my blog has been going lately!  I guess I have been in a bit of a rut when it comes to sitting down and doing a blog post in the past months.  And I do apologize to my readers, but I also know we have all gone through this a time or two!  I have also been contemplating making my blog private, or something.  I have had an uneasiness with posting pictures, especially of Makayla, as of late.  So if any of you could give me advice on how to go private, or another route that you think would be beneficial to someone in my situation, I would love to hear your input!

Here's to a fun couple of weeks!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Just being her

Makayla was wanting me to snap some pictures of her on my Kindle tonight just for fun.

She was just being Makayla!

Gotta say, I love this age.  She's independent, but still needs mommy.

I "heart" her.