Thursday, April 30, 2009

A New Tomorrow

My dad for the last 49 years has gotten up at the crack of dawn, made a lunch and has driven off into the sunrise. His craft is sheet metal welding and he is the best. He's the one person I've known in life that absolutely loves his job. He is an artist. He can look at a complicated blueprint and then make the most amazing things out of metal. It's just his gift. It's not even a glamorous job. He stands on a hard concrete floor in heavy work boots and layers and layers of clothes. In the summer heat he would come home and I would think to myself how does he do that...as he would take off his boots and his 4 pairs of socks. His face and neck "fireburned" and his arms always had little scabs from the sparks burning through his shirts. Yet he never complained. It was the job he was made for and that's all that mattered.


Today after all those years he is retiring. I know this is going to be a huge life change for him. When someone loves what they do and then they don't do it anymore...well that's got to be an adjustment. My prayer for him is that he will be able to rest, rejuvenate and find new purpose. Because no matter who you are or what stage of life you are in, we all need purpose. That's what gets us out of bed in the morning. I am so proud of him and the work he's done. I can't wait to see what this next season holds for my daddy!!



Have a blessed day!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Honey!!



Today is my honey's birthday. He is...drum roll please 36:)


Here's wishing, hoping and praying that this year will be full of all the things you've ever dreamed of! We love you soooooo much!!


xoxo,

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Vacation here we come!!

I have been writing this post in my head for weeks now. This morning my family is flying to Palm Springs for the week...YAY!! We have not taken a vacation, just the four of us, to anywhere other than back home in like...forever. So I will have lots to share with you when I get back.

If you think about me, which I hope you will, please say a little prayer that I don't blow it with my "weight loss journey". I usually become a ravenous monster on vacation;) My plan is to stay active with my workouts and not to over eat. Maintain, maintain, maintain!!!



Have a great week!!





Photo Credit: Great Girl Trips blogsite
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Friday, April 24, 2009

The Prize

I had a million things I could have done today...should have done, but instead I went antiquing with my friend Kristine.

We had so much fun. With map in hand we took off for uncharted territory and found "The Prize" an antiquing event sponsored by one of my favorite stores Hunt and Gather.
(Kristine with scalp tingler thingy in her hair)
(My 5 year old "Little Chick" took this pic)
After oohing and ahing over all kinds of unique old things, we went on to another favorite store Patina, where we found some truly cool stuff. It was a fun Friday indeed.


Have a blessed day!

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Unexpected Blessing

Recently I was walking through a new grocery store close to my house that has a nice gift section. They had some really cute little Easter chicks and bunnies and I fell in love with them, had them in my cart and carried them throughout the entire store. Then right before I checked out I decided to put them back because I'm trying not to impulse buy anymore.
Well this week when I went to my bible study my friend Kristine whipped out a sack and said "here I thought of you when I saw these", and low and behold she gave me my two little chicks...Big chick and Little chick:) Isn't that God? He used her to bless my socks off. He never fails to amaze me. I just had to share.


Have a blessed day!

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Amazing Grace

Several years ago my mom bought me a book entitled "101 Hymn Stories". When I was little my family went to a Baptist church and I always loved the hymns: Trust and Obey, I Surrender All, It is well with my soul etc... They always evoked such emotion in me mainly because every week our pastor would talk a little bit about the author of the hymn. It definitely made the words come alive and mean more when you found out what the person had gone through to write such a beautiful song.

I was reading this book and came upon the author of "Amazing Grace", John Newton. His story IS amazing. In his early years he was the captain of a slave ship! He accepted Christ while returning to England from Africa. The voyage was extremely stormy and they thought they were all going to die. He picked up a copy of Thomas A. Kempis's book, Imitation of Christ and the combination of fear from the storm and the message of the book convicted his heart and he eventually gave it over to the Lord. He stayed the captain for several more years and tried to improve conditions and even held worship services, but overtime felt so convicted that he eventually became a strong crusader against the inhumanity of slavery. He went on to preach the gospel and used his past as a sounding board to show God's incredible mercy and grace.


"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)"
Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing grace
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine


Have a blessed day!



(Song adapted from original by Chris Tomlin)
Photo Credit: Langdon
101 Hymn Stories by Kenneth W. Osbeck
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Do it Afraid!

Driving home the other day a man on a motorcycle passed me and he was wearing a bright orange and yellow reflective vest, a helmet and had shiny reflector tape all over the back of his bike. He even used the arm signals. I commented casually to my husband, "Boy that guy is really into safety". It was weird, but as I thought more about this person it became very obvious to me that he was either a very strict rule follower, had been in an accident and was braving the road again or that he was scared to death to be riding a motorcycle. What makes a person do something that they are obviously so afraid of? And is that a good thing or bad??


In life there are plenty of things to be afraid of: death, divorce, aging, poverty, pain etc... When we decide to live life and do it afraid that's when I think we actually start living. If that motorcycle man was facing his fears I commend him. It may not be the smartest thing to do, but at least he was doing something.


Have a great day!



Photo credit: Stumax
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 14 of 49

Well this week had some hurdles as most do. I ate out three times and had Bunco on Friday night. My strategy with the eating out was to eat small and skip things I normally would eat. For instance, at Wendy's I had a chicken wrap and a baked potato instead of a burger, Frosty and fries. Bunco was challenging because I am a huge social eater. I don't drink and so I think I compensate with food! I went with gum in my pocket and I ate a little sandwich first so I wouldn't be so hungry. I still ate, but with restrain...so I'm proud of myself. As of Sunday I was up a pound, so I ran like crazy at the gym and actually clocked an impressive 6 miles...which is a personal best for me:) My weight loss total for this week was to lose the pound I gained and one more...for a grand total of one pound lost. I'm super pleased, right on track:)

My inspiration photo this week is of Jennifer Garner. I have always loved her as an actress. Alias was one of my all time favorite shows. She just looks fit and fabulous...definitely inspiring.
The plan for this week is to continue with 6 days of working out at least 1 hour and writing down what I eat. This seems to be working for me!


Have a blessed day!


Photo Credit: InStyle Magazine
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Tag your it!

I'm always getting stuff like this in my email, but today's a first for my blog. Suzanne from Shabby Chicks "tagged me". Who doesn't like talking about themselves? So if you want follow along...


8 things I'm looking forward to.
  1. My family leaves for vacation in 6 days. More to come on that topic:)
  2. Reaching my weight loss goal. There is nothing like the feeling of actually achieving a goal.
  3. Going back to Illinois in July. We have a super fun wedding in Chicago and my cousin Tammy is dedicating her baby William. So lots to look forward to.
  4. Summer time with my "chicks". I can't wait to go to the pool, take walks and just enjoy their company.
  5. Spending time with my honey. He is in the tax field and busy season is finally over. I'm looking forward to him being home every night for dinner.
  6. Warm weather...driving with my windows down, listening to the birds outside, wearing flip-flops and capri's.
  7. Getting projects done around the house: spreading mulch, cleaning out the garage, planting flowers etc...
  8. Pursuing an etsy store and selling my little creations one day:)

8 things I did yesterday.
  1. Ate at Wendy's because my favorite restaurant closed:(
  2. Went to the gym and ran 6 miles!! This is unbelievable for me.
  3. Took a hot bath because I was so sore from running the 6 miles.
  4. Popped some ibuprofen to take away the pain.
  5. Blogged of course:)
  6. Went to church and listened to a sermon on Daniel about the end times...heavy stuff.
  7. Watched Edie get killed off of Desperate Housewives.
  8. Cuddled with my furry little creature...Fergie.


8 things I wish I could do.
  1. I wish I could live part of the year somewhere warm...like Hawaii.
  2. I would love to actually go to Hawaii someday.
  3. I would really love to live in the country with a big old farmhouse with a wrap around porch and a big yard for my "chicks" to run around in.
  4. I would love to spend all summer traveling around going to various flea markets and garage sales buying up all kinds of old ugly furniture. Then spend all winter painting the furniture and then reselling it. Oh that sounds like so much fun!
  5. I would love to collaborate on a children's book with my mama. She could write it and I could illustrate.
  6. I would love to visit New York and see and do everything like a local not a tourist.
  7. I think it would be fun to take a hot air balloon ride!
  8. I wish I could pay off my mortgage so my husband could do whatever he wanted. No big financial obligations just pursue the job of your dreams.


8 shows I watch on t.v.

  1. Dancing with the Stars
  2. Castle
  3. American Idol
  4. Color Splash with David Bromstad (HGTV)
  5. The New Adventures of Old Christine
  6. The Biggest Loser
  7. Grey's Anatomy
  8. Desperate Housewives


8 people I tagged.
These are the lovely ladies that I tagged. So show them some love and visit their sites to see what they have to say. I know I will! Oh and ladies if you don't want to do this...you won't hurt my feelings:)
  1. Lissa @ Humble Pie
  2. Sheila @ Pieces of me
  3. Ashley Cornewell @ Domestic Divas Fancy

Have a blessed day!

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

A lost tradition

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. Every Sunday for the last 2-3 years my family has piled into the car and drove to our favorite restaurant to eat lunch. Today was no exception, but as we drove up I had that feeling in my stomach. There was a sign on the front door and as I jumped out to see what it said I just stood there in disbelief. Our special place, our family tradition was no longer in business. I got back in the car and immediately started to cry...not just a tear, but a full on emotional mess for a solid 10 minutes. It surprised even me. I'm not even PMSing. Who knew that Nick-N-Willy's meant that much to me...but it did! There is something so comforting in the familiar. We knew the people there and they knew us. Everyone has been affected by the down turn in the economy in some way, but I guess until today with my beloved "special place" it hadn't really hit home. I'm thinking it's time for us to make a new family tradition:)

Thanks for listening.

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Overcoming the Clutter Monster

Today is a proud moment for me. I have a deep dark secret I have never told you...I am a pack rat! My house appears perfectly straightened and tidy but beyond the closet and storage room doors it is a huge overwhelming mess! Well it's been bothering me and my husband so much lately that we decided to take charge and conquer the clutter. {Before}

{During}
So yesterday we spent 3 hours taking everything out of the storage closet and then selectively put items back in. {After}
What a wonderful feeling. I can actually open the door and walk in now! We have so much crap to get rid of that is beyond charity that we actually have to get a dumpster delivered:0 How does this happen? I really don't know...it's not like I'm a shopaholic or anything. But what a feeling, ahhh it's like I can breathe again!


Have a blessed day!


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Friday, April 17, 2009

An easy fix!

{Before}
A few months ago I tackled a project that I was dreading. My bathroom needed a little redo and I wanted to do it in the least expensive way possible. So with some sandpaper, primer and paint I set out to give my vanity a facelift. {After}

It was a pain to do, but I really like the end result. You can't see it very well in the photo but the knobs are glass and they really make it look nice. It kind of gave the room more of a spa feel:) I eventually painted the Chick's bathroom vanity too. It looks so much better white. My next easy fix is to frame out the mirrors!

Have a great weekend!

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Arboretum

The weather today was glorious. It was flip-flop's and capri weather of about 70 degrees. Which for us Northerners makes you want to whoop and holler after a nasty winter!! So my friend Tina and I took our girls to one of my favorite places... The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The barn above is one of my absolute favorite views.
The girls had a ball exploring and running through the mazes that the Arboretum has. It was nice because Tina and I could sit and just catch up. When I first moved to Minnesota I used to take my chicks to the Arboretum and I was sooo lonely. I will never forget that time and it was just a real blessing to be there visiting with a friend.

I was a little disappointed that things weren't progressing faster with nature. I get a little impatient in the Spring. I want the trees all budded out and super green grass and for the most part it still looked like Winter, but I know it's coming...I hope, I hope, I hope:)



Have a blessed day!



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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Favorite Scripture

When I was in high school I had to give a speech and the requirement was to quote a certain number of lines in a poem. I asked permission to quote the bible because to me it is the most beautiful of all poetic works. At the time I didn't have a favorite passage, so I asked my mom and she told me that Psalms 139 was always a favorite of hers. So I read it and it literally spoke to me. It was all about God's love for me and how nothing could ever separate me from Him. It was revolutionary. Why isn't everybody talking about this chapter? The last few scriptures really became a prayer for me and as I meditated and studied for my "speech" it was these words that became my heart cry.


Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalms 139:23-24


That is still my prayer today. The testing part is scary, but how else are we supposed to grow? Do you have a favorite scripture? If so please share. I would love to hear it!


Have a blessed day!


Photo credit: Theopolis
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Milestones

We hit a milestone tonight. Little chick lost her first tooth...YAY! I had to yank it out and there was lots of blood and tears, but by georgie we are so proud:) The tooth fairy will be visiting us and as you can see from her little tooth pouch she is all ready. Hopefully I will be. I'm always afraid I'll forget.

Just look at that little face. She is just so ecstatic. She's probably been secretly worried that it was going to hurt really bad...and it did, but for just a second. Oh if all the other milestones in life were this easy.


Have a blessed day!


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Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 7 of 49

Well it's been a week and I've lost, drum-roll please....3 pounds! Yay, right on target. But what was I thinking starting a "diet" the week of Easter? That seriously was not a very good idea. I did pretty good though. On Sat. and Sun. I cheated a little. I mean come on there were lemon squares and those Reeses Peanut Butter Cup eggs, creamy hashbrown casserole, yummy corn puddin'. What's a girl to do...not eat anything! I had a little of everything and worked out really hard. I managed to meet my goal of exercising 6 times. The calories were a little harder to get right, but I wrote down everything. Which brings me to my inspiration photo...Carrie Underwood. I just think she is the cutest thing and I've read magazine articles in which she admits to keeping a food journal. So if Carrie does it, it must work right? My friend Missy actually saw her at a Charity fundraising event this week. I'm so jealous. But I've gotten off track.


My goals for this week:
  • Exercise at least 1 hour for 6 days.
  • Write down everything I eat and drink. Try to stay within 1500-1700 calories.
  • Avoid diet soda.

**A big thank you to all of my sweet blogger friends out there who took the time to cheer me on and give me a "you can do it" comment. I really appreciate it. There were a few times this week that I could have strayed, but because of the accountability thing you kept me on track:)




Photo Courtesy: Carrie Underwood, Flickr

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Easter Memories

Our fun-filled Easter weekend continued on Saturday night with the dying of the Easter eggs. We really love doing this. If only it weren't for the mess! Notice the extensive measures we went to not to get any on the counter or on the girl's shirts:) It sure brings back childhood memories. After the eggs we watched the Jesus movie. I think we are going to make that a tradition. It was really good.
Our lovely Chicks on Easter Morning. We had our own kick-butt indoor Easter egg hunt. It was sooo fun. After the fiasco, the day before it wouldn't take much to beat that:) Later after church we went to our neighbor's house for a wonderful lunch and another Easter egg hunt!! It was rockin' too I might add. My lovely friend Kelly decorated all of the kid's pails with their names on it and went to an extraordinary amount of trouble to make sure all of them got certain "special" eggs with goodies like nail polish and lip gloss! Isn't she the best?!

Full on action shots of the girls huntin' down those eggs. They had a blast and it was so cute to see them desperately looking for the eggs and then running right past them. Those darn eggs are kind of hard to see;0

Last but not least, me and my honey.
Isn't he cute? We had such a wonderful Easter spent with our loved ones. Hope you did too!!
Have a blessed day!

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