Manic Monday: Mom, mom, mom

Yep…my baby girl finally said mama! Woo (10 months, but whose counting)!

Sweet Baby N!

How was your weekend?  Thanksgiving? Shopping? Serving? Here are some things for you, when you have a minute to sit down and breath in life…

“I am committed to the Practice of Speaking Life. I can’t get away from the truth that is this: Words Matter. The words that we speak about ourselves, about our children, about our life matter.”  Sarah Bessey

“…because giving thanks is only this: making the canyon of pain into a megaphone to proclaim the ultimate goodness of God.” A Holy Experience

“You are meant for magnificence, not squalor. God marked you for his dance partner at the big finale, and God gets what God wants. Whatever dogs you, whatever whispers ruin in the cold night, whatever troubles your memory or your hope, remember this: glory is in you, and glory wins the day.” Deeper Story

Thinking of all the moms this week.  As we prepare for the holidays, live our every day lives and strive for what God has for us, live in His will for you and all will be well.

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Manic Monday: They Say It’s Your Birthday…

I was inspired by this post: (Hi Marla!) to list 32 things I’m dreaming of on my birthday today…so in no particular order…here are some hopes for today…some of them include YOU!

1. My traveling husband being home, he is, woo!



2. Savoring my first cup of morning coffee



3. Listening to this song at least once…Born



4.  I’ll cuddle  each of my children for a few quiet moments



5. Escape as many Monday chores as possible



6. I’ll do at least one random nice thing for a non-family member (anyone need anything? let me know!)



7. Wishing  my sweet friend Jack happy 2 years and 1 day (we were ALMOST birthday buddies!)



8. Spending a few minutes working on the floor we are trying to refinish



9. Curling up for some uninterrupted time reading. (Have a blog, link below, I’ll read it today!)



10. Stopping, Breathing in this new year of life and all it might bring



11. Reading Philippians at least once today



12. Saying hello to you all!  HI!  🙂



13. Praying for Michelle and her sweet boy who just had his 2nd heart procedure 



14. Sitting in the play room and eating pretend cupcakes with a super hero and fairy princess.



15. Putting on full make up just because



16. Staying warm with some coffee or hot chocolate after dinner (tonites anticipated low of 30)



17. Talking to a friend, or two



18. Making sure a new baby gift gets delivered



19. Making sure my husband knows how much I appreciate his presence today.



20. Seeing family



21. Browsing paint colors for the kitchen for when the floor is finished.



22. Encouraging everyone to text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to hurricane Sandy relief efforts 



23. Take a nap



24. Squeeze is a fun homeschooling lesson



25. Bundle up and take in one last deep breath of fall



26. Recover from daylight savings time change



27. Have a group hug with my family that includes laughing (and maybe some tickling!)



28. Appreciate each moment as it comes, even the unpleasant ones that are bound to happen with kids



29. Smile more!



30. Stop and pray for local, state and nationwide leaders, please vote tomorrow. (Fun Fact: I was born on an Election Day!)



31. Encourage you to think about your perfect birthday day (if you blog about it send me the link, I’ll read!)



32. Being thankful for each day I’ve had til now and looking forward to each new day to come.

Manic Monday: Coffee Date

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YES!  It’s MONDAY!  I know, not many of us get excited about Monday but I am!  My love is taking me out on a date (coffee and conversation) and I can’t wait!

While you are waiting for Monday to pass here are a few things to read…

  • We keep our focus and eyes on Jesus and not on our trials. That is how we can share the love of God with others rather than wallowing in our own problems. Mom Life Today
  • Is the kindness I show to others based on how they treat me or am I able to return a smile for an insult? And not the kind of sarcastic smile I can give when I’m annoyed either. A genuine, “I’ll love you anyways” smile. Grace. Destiny In Bloom
  • We may have many earthly identities: single, married, wife, mother, daughter, friend, sister, butcher, baker, candlestick-maker, etc. etc. However, there is a wider and deeper reality than all of this: A Christian woman is in union with Christ. A Christian woman is in Christ. THAT is our objective reality. It is Christ who defines person-hood. Gospel Grace

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Enjoy your monday!

Manic Monday: 11 Things, Plus some…

A friend, fellow blogger and first time expecting mama (woo!) sent me this little blog survey to be a part of…so here are some fun, random things you may or may not know about me.  Enjoy!

Just Me!

Section 1: 11 Random Things About Myself

1. I like sports…Okay, like might be an understatement! I tried to be athletic but it never really worked out but my spirit of competition runs deep, I enjoy a good battle in baseball, soccer, college basketball and sometimes football. GO CARDS!

2. 90% of my diet is gluten free!  We switched my son to this diet and it stuck.  I feel great and it isn’t as hard as it sounds. (I still sneak a cupcake or yummy sandwich on occasion!)

3. I prefer to be barefoot.  Maybe it’s my growing up, maybe it’s because my favorite season is summer but if I can get away with bare feet I will! (Also, I enjoy pedicures so bare feet just make sense!)

4. I was born in California. People ask me where I’m from and it’s confusing. I’ve lived the longest in Illinois but my birth certificate identifies me as a west coast babe!

5. I have a not so secret love affair with Shakespeare. Something about Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing get me every time.

6. I don’t slow down well.  Sandy beaches and quiet afternoons sound great but when I get the opportunity I have a hard time sitting still and just taking it all in.

7. I don’t have cable. We do watch Netflix and we can get a channel here or there with our antenna.  I watch very little TV and don’t feel like i’m missing out.

8. I freelance write. Outside of blogging (which I wish I did more of), I take various freelance writing jobs (mostly attorney’s and CPAs).

9. My husband is a chef. Oh yes. 4 grueling years of culinary school and some considerable sacrifice was all worth it.  When he is home our house sees some of the most amazing meals around.

10. My son is on the Autism Spectrum. Something I’m still learning about and trying to understand but the one thing I have found is I know there is a plan for his life and I want to be the person to help him figure it out!

11. I’m an introvert. Most people who know me in passing see me as outgoing but on most days crowds wear me out and I’m happy to curl up with a book (or my blog reader) or a game of Scrabble and just enjoy the quiet.

My reality!

Section 2: My Answers to Samantha’s 11 Questions (since she tagged me! You can visit her questions here)

1. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? I would take my husband and head to Paris. Europe, food, fun. A little cliche perhaps, but true!

2. If you could have a free one day shopping spree, where would it be? Chicago Neighborhoods!  I’d hit up Lincoln Square, Wicker Park/Bucktown, Roscoe Village and Chinatown to get started.

3. What is the best gift you’ve ever received? This is tough. I still get mushy when I look at my wedding rings. The stones came from my mom but they were designed by my husband. I think of him every time it catches my eye.

4. If you could be on any reality show, what would it be? I’d like to be one of the judges on Top Chef. Yes, I like eating that much!

5. If you had to live in another era, which one would you want to live in? The Regency Era (think Jane Austen) It seems a bit ridiculous but it could be fun!

6. What is your favorite book? A Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Every mom should read this book.

7. If you could trade lives for a day with any celebrity, who would it be? Tina Fey. I would just like to be funny!

8. What’s your guilty pleasure? People.com  Totally serious. When I worked a really stressful job it is what I would do during lunch to escape. I still do occasionally!

9. What’s up with the Hunger Games? Is it worth reading? I think the whole premise sounds weird… I can’t help you here Sam!  I didn’t read them and was so-so about the movie.

10. If you could change your hair color, what would it be? An attractive red color!

11. What is your dream job? Writer and/or speaker.  I have a deep, deep desire to see women grow.

***

So what about you?
Any random facts you are hoping to get off your chest today?

Manic Monday: DIY…Or Not?

So I have this dream that I will someday be able to eat only organic/real food, make all my own cleaning supplies and basically be the perfect modern but old fashioned homemaker.  I am far from this but I am trying! Here are some things I am interested in…any other suggestions I should look into?

by Badboy of Maths

Hair Detangler:  My daughter has crazy hair, also, she is 2 and I am constantly fishing food out of it and rebrushing it so she doesn’t look like one of the Box Car Children.

Bug Spray: We have great weather and in the 2 weeks we have been playing outside 2 of my children and my niece have received good sized bug bites.

Dishwasher Detergent: We run our dishwasher every 1.5 days or so. I really like Cascade Complete pacs but they are expensive (even with my super couponing!) so if this works I could save a bundle!

All Purpose Cleaner: I am trying to go through all my cleaners and I am down to the last few.  I am wondering if I can find a homemade all purpose cleaner to take the place of the multiple cleaners I was purchasing before.

Do you have a favorite homemade cleaner or product?  I’d love to know about it! Share with all of us below!

Manic Monday: Being

I read this recently from a sweet blogger, Daniele

We speak of creating time…

but really, time has already been created.  It’s a finite gift at our disposal, an offering from One who is timeless.  From He who has no need for hours and days, minutes and moments.  He fills all of time, beginning to end.

And we are given a slice.  A blessing to manage, and so we do.  We strategize, organize, and agonize around this idea of how to spend our gift.

We cannot create more time, but we can create space.  In our calendars, in our plans…we can make room, tell time where to go and where to stay.  This too is a gift.

And that perfectly defines where I have been…I have been creating space for my family…

Being Together...

Spending girl time with my first girl...

Loving the new baby...

But I have also been giving time to myself, to think, to ponder, to pray…

Trying to be me...

So here I am…back to being me, back to write from a new heart…

Tell me…What have you been doing?

Inspiration: Divinity

by BuckeyeinTriad

January is the first month of the next 12 months of your life.  It is also a time where, just because the year changed, we feel free to start over, take deeper breaths and try new things.

This January I have been thinking about Inspiration.  I long to be inspired and to inspire others. As I was thinking about it though I became keenly aware that outside of the classic British love story idea of being inspired I wasn’t sure what the true definition of inspiration was…so here you go!

Inspiration:
a
 : a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation
b : the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions
c : the act of influencing or suggesting opinions

To be inspired and to inspire others is a much deeper process than I first thought.  True inspiration includes the Divine.  This thought is so beautiful.

So this year I am hoping to take the bit of the Divine happening (hopefully) daily in my life, be more appreciative of those moments and then seek to encourage others that they too might be Divinely touched.

So here we are…ready to start again.  Ready to be inspired from the heart and soul.  I can’t wait to see what happens next…Happy 2012!