Thursday, January 29, 2015

There's a Hole in My Favorite Cardigan

I was fifteen years old when the song Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter came out. There wasn't a teenage girl alive at the time that didn't know the lyrics.

"I still remember, when thirty was old..."

I loved this song. What teenage girl at the time didn't? However, I remember thinking, Um, I hate to disappoint you Ms. Carter, but thirty IS old...ancient actually. And life is pretty much over once that happens.

I'm not sure when it happened, but I am now a few years passed thirty. Now I'm thinking, I still remember when I was only thirty.

I've also reached a point in my life where I am not in the least bit cool. Probably because I still use the word "cool." Seriously, when I exclaim, "Cool!" to one of my kids--or worse, a teenager I know--I immediately cringe upon hearing it and wish to sew my mouth shut. It reminds me of when my dad would say things like, "He's come a courtin'," referring to a boy taking me on a date.

Other things let me know I am in fact this old...

I own a sewing machine and I am in love with it.

My hips ache with arthritis when it storms or the weather drastically changes. So much so that I have to take ibuprofen at times.

I have a hole in my favorite cardigan.

The fact that I have a favorite cardigan.

The fact that I have at least ten cardigans and think I need more. Please God, don't let them ever be unacceptable to wear.

The overwhelming awkwardness I feel if I try to step foot into an Aeropostale, Rue 21, or Forever 21. Don't even get me started about Hollister or Abercrombie...I feel like I cannot even walk near them. And what's with the loud music and fog of cologne pouring out the doors?

My nine year old is mortified when I dance.

The smell of Axe body spray is highly offensive to me.

I hate to be out past 8:30 pm.

When my daughter was in tumbling a few years ago I tried to show her a cartwheel...I nearly puked.

I drive a mini-van...and I freaking love it.  Haters gonna hate.

I have a bad back.

I saw a commercial for a car seat that goes from fitting an infant to practically a teenager and I immediately texted 3 friends to tell them how amazing this car seat was and that I NEEDED it.

Ninety-nine percent of my wardrobe choice is based on comfort.  High heels? I don't think so.

I like to watch Wheel of Fortune

Jumping on a trampoline will guarantee that I will be sore in a few hours and that I do not have the bladder control I once did.

I refuse to download Facebook Messenger and I get really mad at the little otter holding the sign up telling me to download it. Don't tell me what to do, otter.

I was in a group text the other day with two good friends from college discussing how embarrassing our choices were in our weddings. Other than my groom, I shouldn't have been allowed to pick out decor, hair, songs...dear lord.

We all had weddings eons before Pinterest.

I miss Destiny's Child.

My favorite television show of all time has been on Nick At Nite...for several years.

I find myself Googling things like "bae," "emoji," and most recently "piog" because I keep seeing it on an online yard sale----also this.

I love watching the news and am very particular about only watching Channel 6. I may have went into a little depression when Dish dropped them for a few weeks. Please! I need to see Leanne, Rich, Alan, Teri, Scott, Lori, Craig, and especially Travis!

My high school friends and I went to dinner last week. One of the topics of discussion was what we were going to do about this Dish/Channel 6 dispute because we couldn't possibly go on any longer with this chaos. We also discussed prices of satellite TV and cell phone bills.

We had to leave dinner by 8:30 because we were all yawning and ready for bed.

I'm a great aunt. Not great as in awesome, but great as in I have two nieces and a nephew who have children of their own making them my great nieces and nephews.

I love Cracker Barrel. The food, the store, all of it.


I get really mad when I hear the price of stamps are going up.  Can we calm down with this?

I graduated high school last millennium.

My daughter has asked me if they had TV back when I was a kid.

I can say I easily remember what life was like before the Internet existed.

Eating fast food wreaks havoc on my body. Long John Silver's is not even kind of an option.

I am always cold.

When I think back to the days to when Kerry was a youth minister and we had all night lock-ins I do not understand how I could possibly function if I had to do that now. Just no.

The fact that this list is so very long and I could keep going.

Tell me some of the things that make you old...

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Tornado

After getting the kids off to school one morning I attempted to lay back down and go to sleep. Ainslee wasn't up yet, so I thought I'd get a few more minutes of rest. However, my mind raced with things I wanted and needed to get accomplished for the day.

My entire house looked like a tornado had blew through. Which did sort of happen. Ainslee is just as destructive as an EF4. You can see a trail of debris around her at all times. Her hair most of the time even resembles tornado damage. Wild and scattered.

Anyhow, I had lots to get done around my house.

Here is the laundry that was waiting on me.

Top picture is the clean laundry I never got around to folding/putting away the previous week.

Bottom photo is the mountain of laundry waiting to be washed...then folded...then put away. It's a vicious cycle, and if I get behind this is what I deal with. I have no idea what the Duggers do on laundry day. Maybe they do laundry month.

Also not pictured was a stack of Ainslee's clothing that had to be pre-treated before washing because, again she eats like I imagine a little tornado would eat. 

Ainslee ate breakfast like four times. 

I gave her a yogurt...that was not enough.

I gave her half of my cream of wheat...that was not enough.

I gave her a bowl of Cheerios...she still signed the word "more" and had a meltdown when I attempted to get her out of her high chair.

So, I gave her an entire huge bowl of blueberries...she devoured them but it finally seem to satisfy her teenage boy appetite.

Upon her release from the highchair she was off. Off to destruct and climb. Destruct, climb onto the dining table, get into trash, turn her CD player up full volume and blast "Let it Go," (something she does at least 5 times a day) and empty out the contents of every drawer, container, bin she can possibly find.

If Ainslee is quiet you don't walk, you run to see what the girl is up to. It's never a good thing. I seriously stopped one second to read a text message on my phone, looked up and she had the toothbrush I used to scrub stains out of clothes in her mouth.

I know you are all dying for an opportunity to babysit. 

Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will destroy your home.
Around mid day I put her down for a nap. On days where I am disciplined enough, I use a portion of her nap time to read my Bible. It's the only time of day I have alone. It's the time of day I feel I can give God my best, my full attention with no distractions. Sadly some days I am tempted to just watch TV or browse the Internet. Today I thought, "I have so much housework to get done...I really just need to get it done." But I felt God gently remind me I really need him more.

So I stopped. I grabbed my Bible and sat down. I read and prayed unrushed while my little cyclone took a nap.

God's word is good, and I always always need it. Even when I think I'm good on my own, I need it. I needed it today, and I absorbed the goodness God had to offer me.

Making the time for prayer and studying God's word daily should be a top priority. Yet, I do neglect it more than I care to admit.

Here is where I notice a significant difference in my day when I stop and give God my full attention...

My little EF4 eventually woke up...hungry of course. After eating she continued on her path of destruction. After all, her changing table contents were not going to empty themselves.

She did a million little things that normally would cause a desire to pull my hair out, but I was calm and not even annoyed. I instead saw the beauty in her destructive curious little face. 

Shortly after 3:00 I decided I would leave a little earlier to pick up the kids from the bus stop so I could go to the post office first. After loading Ainslee up I turned the key to start the didn't even try to start. Completely dead. For a quick second I almost panicked. 

Kerry is in Tulsa...

Our other vehicle is at the mechanic...

Then I stopped and thought:

Well, it looks like I'm just going to have to walk.

Now, I am out of shape, Ainslee is heavy, and I have a bad back. But these thoughts came to mind:

It is such a good thing you were going to leave early! This gives you just enough time to walk the back road to the campground.

I'm so glad it's not one of those freezing days with awful weather or pouring rain!

I'm glad my back is okay enough today to be able to carry Ainslee this distance.

Thank goodness the kids ride the bus to a place that I can actually walk to.

When the van didn't start I had called Kerry and he was having coffee with a friend he hadn't seen in a few years. He didn't answer. Honestly there was nothing he could have done anyways, but in the first moments I instinctively called him first.

He called me back when I was halfway to the bus stop. I was short of breath when I answered, and I explained the situation. He was apologetic and then suddenly remembered he had left the headlights on...he was then very apologetic.

If this had been one of the days I neglected to spend time with God, I would've probably made him feel bad and then continued to be cranky and whiny the entire evening.

This day, I laughed and said, "It's fine! At least we know for sure it's the battery...I'm just glad to know nothing serious is wrong with the van!"

I wasn't upset with him. I was just relieved our vehicle wasn't broken down.

I even thought about him visiting with his friend. I was so glad he had the opportunity to get away for the day and enjoy fellowship with someone else.

Those of you that know me well know that I am not "miss optimist look on the bright side." I can quickly be a Negative Nancy, a Debbie Downer. For example, the day before I bawled and screamed after I got off the phone with the Health Marketplace. I also made sure everyone around me knew I was not happy. Guess what? I also did not make any time for God that day. I did that day all on my own.

However, on this day I realized the calmness I felt. I know Kerry was pleasantly surprised I wasn't snapping at him or the kids. I thought back to my prayer earlier in the day...

God, give me wisdom and knowledge. May I be slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to listen. Fill me with You. I need you Lord, every day, every hour, every minute.

God is faithful.

My attitude is significantly different on days where God is my focus versus days where my circumstances are. Even when the hardest days come, and they will, my peace and calm are found in God alone.

Butt crack out and Barbie leg on the floor. This is Miss Ainslee Blake, ladies and gentlemen.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Hayden's Favorites, Nine-Year-Old Edition

My first born child in nine. Nine! As in, half way to 18!! So with that, I give you Hayden's annual favorites list.

Color -- Hot Pink
Toy -- My Science Kit
Fruit -- Orange
Veggie -- Spinach
Dinner to eat -- Breakfast for Dinner
Outfit -- My Tiara, jeggings, my purple owl shirt, and Chevron Shoes
Board Game -- Scrabble
Snack -- Toast with strawberry cream cheese
Animal -- Dinosaur
Song -- "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift
Book -- Kelsey Green Reading Queen
Friend -- Annika
Cereal -- Chocolate Chex
Outside Activity -- Softball
Beverage -- Root Beer Float
Holiday -- Christmas
Breakfast Food -- Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits 
TV Show -- The Biggest Loser
Candy -- Andes Mints
Movie -- Stick It
Restaurant -- Sam n Ella's
Store -- Dick's Five and Ten (Branson)
Sport -- Softball and Basketball
Season -- Summer
Thing to do with Mama -- Shopping and going out to eat
Thing to do with Daddy -- Go watch NSU basketball
Place to go --  Sky Zone
Favorite thing to play with Deacon -- Play house

Favorite thing to do with Ainslee -- Watch movies
Guy -- Daddy

Gal -- Ainslee
What do you want to be when you grow up?  An Astronaut 

Monday, January 05, 2015

Pray for Angela

Several nights ago I was reading a parenting book when I came across a passage of scripture the author included at the end of a chapter.  Instantly I forgot everything I had just read regarding parenting. The scripture passage seem to be jumping off the pages. God's word was so powerful and so striking in that moment that I couldn't help but to pause and take notice. I first thought, "My gosh, this is so beautiful." I read it over and over, just trying to absorb it and internalize it.

It struck such a strong chord with me. I could feel it reaching out and gripping my heart. I knew God was speaking. Suddenly my heart grew very heavy. I knew I was reading this scripture because someone I knew would need it...they would need it very soon.

The very next day Kerry and I found out a friend of ours was diagnosed with breast cancer. Our hearts sank. My eyes filled with tears and I hurt for our friend and her family. Immediately I felt God reminding me that passage was for them.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. for I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.  -Isaiah 43:1-3

This isn't a journey I want for her or her family. I hate that this is happening and it's so difficult to wrap my mind around.


I do know that God loves her more than anyone else possibly can. I do know that they will not be walking through this trial alone. I do know that God will get glory from this situation. I do know that she belongs to Him and there is no safer place to be than in His arms. I do know that He is God and He is good.

Please family and friends be in prayer for Angela Marrs and her family. This family means so much to my family. Click on the link below to be directed to their Facebook page they have started to keep everyone up to date on what is going on. It will also give you specific ways to pray for them.

Angela's Cancer Story