Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I wrote a post today on my other blog Fearfully and Wonderfully made about emotional overeating.

I had made a decision to start another blog as a means of accountability to myself and hopefully to be an encouragement to others as they journey through losing and gaining.

I stated my mission like this:
I'm a woman who is taking a journey of faith. i'm trusting God to help me come to a place of better health. I have had four children in 3 1/2 years. And with all that change of going up and down in weight with each pregnancy and the stress of having young children, some with special needs, and the stress of my life in general I have accumulated extra weight. So this is my challenge: a challenge to lose. Not just weight. Anyone can really do that if determined enough. But to lose negativity, to lose emotional eating, to lose my distrust in God, to lose the pain and stress by shedding it off myself.. and hopefully to shed a few pounds or many pounds while I'm at it. But I don't want to be just a loser. I want to gain strength. Gain health. Gain muscle. Gain self-control. Gain hope and more faith and trust in my big Daddy God. This is a mission. Something, very new for me. Something that I hope would encourage you... in whatever you need to lose and in whatever you need to gain... and may God gain glory through this.. and may you see Him clearly for the faithful God He is.

All this to say I'm trying to figure out how you go about changing your life drastically. There are some that can radically change everything all at one time. And as much as I'd like that I don't think it's realistic.

One thing I've done has been exercising consistently this past month. That's a plus.

But how do you change your diet and lifestyle? Do you quit things one at a time? Do I join Weight Watchers? Do I set a list of rules? There are so many ways to go about this, how do you choose what works?

My life is so full as it is taking care of the kids and trying to meet all the needs, appointments, therapists, specialists, doctors, etc. Blah. So what do I do? How do I plan ahead? I know there's no "quick-fix" but I want to keep moving in the right direction.

I write these things because I'm looking for input. What do you suggest to a very busy mom who wants to improve her overall health?

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Aunt Jo & Mom.
Miss Elizabeth.
Libby & Lauren.
Girls at play.
Anne & Casey.

One of my favorite traditions is making centerpieces with my Aunt, cousin and Mom. This year was no different... except in North Carolina. Thanks Aunt Jo!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The past several days.

Happy Birthday Mom!
We have had a few busy days....

My mother-in-law celebrated on Tuesday her 60th birthday! She looks 50 in my opinion. We had a wonderful time celebrating with her! Happy Birthday Mom!

On Wednesday we had our traditional Cousin's Christmas Party with my cousins the Bensons and with John and David and my brother Christopher. It was a fun & relaxed time of good food and sharing wonderful past memories.

Thursday was our Christmas Eve party... also a lot of fun. Mike and I were up late wrapping presents and trying to not fall asleep.

By Christmas on Friday I was feeling exhausted. The kids enjoyed opening their presents and we had a meal of cinnamon rolls and eggs together. It was fun watching them play and seeing their grateful hearts. We had a big turkey dinner that night with the Napiers and Mike's grandparents. It was a great time. Lots of laughter and good food.

Now, did I take a single picture... no, of course not! Ooops. But it was good because I was actually getting to live in the moment and join in instead of focusing on taking pictures.

Today (Saturday).. the kids and I are hanging out at the Napiers. Enjoying time with family and just being chill. Mike is out working hard.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

May you experience the presence of Jesus Christ both now and always! Rejoice! Emmanuel has come! God is with us! May His peace and joy rule and reign in your hearts. We wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

I got joy... on my wall.

One of my favorite projects this Christmas was making "holiday" plates.

I found plates at a thrift store for dirt cheap. I then took them home. Washed them. Made cut-out letters and mod-podged them to the plates. These are my joy plates. I also have plates that spell out noel. So fun, huh? I think I got the idea from better homes & gardens... or some other magazine.

thinking back on the 7th.

One of the highlights of the 7th for me was getting to release balloons up to my sister Libby and nephew Sam. As it would have been her 27th birthday we sent 27 balloons. It was a great memory.

Another wonderful thing was breakfast with a dear friend. She brought me tulips and a beautiful card about how Libby touched her life.

I am so blessed.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hair no longer there.

Cutting my hair was a pretty quick decision. i had only thought about it for a couple of days when I decided that it would be really meaningful to donate my hair. It was something my sister loved to do. I've done it in the past but it was something that I knew would be challenging for my husband to part with.

End result. He likes it. I love it. I feel clean and light and healthy... and I was happy to donate 2 whole tails worth of hair!

Locks of Love. Check it out.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Michael. I love to watch him playing and engaging in his environment. He's scooting on his diaper everywhere. Getting into things. Playing. Pulling things out.

He and Ian had doctor's appts. yesterday (for a well visit). Both are doing well and making tremendous progress. We are so excited!


One of the things that brings me so much joy is watching my kids do that which they love.

Samuel has a passion for building. For stacking. For creating. He creates towers that are unbelievable. He is able to stack something on top of each other so high that even an adult couldn't do it without toppling it over... but Samuel does it. Somehow. The kids a genius. It's so fun to watch him in action.

I love these pictures of him... and seeing his genuine, sweet, chocolatey smile of satisfaction after it's all done....

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Sleep. Wake. Stretch.

Exercise. Shower. Breakfast. meds dispensed. Michael's food bag is beeping upstairs.

Kids to school. After clothes and breakfasts and sloppy good morning kisses and tousled bed head hair.

And trying to breathe as one remembers the needs for the school Christmas party. Or the food for food pantry. Or the permission slip. Or that other thing that's sneaking in the back of the mind waiting to surprise me when it's already "too late."

And car breaking down again. And God being faithful to bring someone again.

And getting ready for lunch and naps... and washing faces again and hands... and cleaning up the spilled yogurt or mac n cheese. The oatmeal is still residue in the hair of one. The other threw his food on the floor only to be trampled later.

And sweeping the floor.

The therapist arrives.

Throwing in the next load of laundry. And doing the dishes.

Singing a praise song or whispering a prayer. Crying out to the Lord in desperateness. Shouting His faithfulness. Lingering to watch the lights on my tree or see one of the older two hugging a younger and lending a hand to help build the tower. Block upon block.

A text to my husband to see how his day is going.

And it's naptime.

A rest... what, what was that disruption? A dirty diaper. A phone call. A friend stopping by. A meeting. Phone interviews for a personal attendant. "I need a glass of water." "I'm hungry."

I lay down and kick up my feet and then someone starts shouting to let me know they're awake and ready for the next course.

I prepare dinner while making dessert for Caregroup and cutting up meat for dinner the next night. And fix 3 separate meals. Hooking up Michael's feeding tube... again. And breathe.

And off to the races. Kids in pajamas and brushing teeth and stories read and prayers said and goodnight kisses... off to bed.

Leave to go to caregroup and mingle and share and talk and fellowship and laugh... and it's time to leave.

To home... to talk, discuss... agree, disagree... and laugh.... and cry... and hope and wish and dream... and read and I fall asleep forgetting to turn off my light... and my husband puts on another comforter and kisses my forehead and turns off the light.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

the day after Thanksgiving...

Sleepy Bear.

After a trip in the car it's often that I find one or more kids asleep. I couldn't resist this shot of Ian as he was asleep. Sweet little bear.

And yes... he is in a big boy seat...

Monday, December 14, 2009

A taste of Thanksgiving.

You might be wondering why there are no people in these pictures. I had such a great time that I forgot to take any pictures until the food was eaten and people were wandering around or falling asleep on the couches. Here are some representatives of the time. More of an ambience if you will.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Messed up.

My days constantly confront me with messes. It often feels i have cleaned up one mess only to find another mess awaiting me. It doesn't matter if the kids are contained are not... it always seems to get out of control. It's like do and redo, and redo. Repeat. One of the funnies things that happened was Samuel snuck in the outdoor play car when I had the door open and was attending the twins. I walk into the kitchen after shutting the outside door and voila there is the car.

So here are few samples of daily life.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The best 7th yet.

I can't tell you how honestly surprised I am by how amazing this day has been.

Today would have been my sister's 27th birthday.

I woke up with my honey on a get-away overnight. Yep, you heard right! We've been gone for two overnights.

It started with a 2 hour massage first thing in the morning. I then had breakfast with a dear friend who brought me tulips and wrote the loveliest note.

I then picked up Mike and drove home in time for the kids to arrive back home. I left with my mom to go and donate my hair. I cut off over 10 inches! In fact they were able to make two donations from my hair. 2 pigtails.... each cut and donated. I was so thrilled. Double offering. I donated my hair to Locks of Love... something my sister used to do.

My mom and I went grocery shopping and had some Starbucks together, picked up a prescription and came home. My dad was busy blowing up 27 balloons which we released in the sky.

My parents had a special present they gave my daughter Libby. It was my sister's American Girl doll, Samantha. I couldn't believe it. They had found the doll and as a surprise gave it to my little Libby. It was very moving.

I made a huge "Olive Garden Dinner" of fettuccine alfredo with portabello mushrooms and garlic and chicken, French baguettes with olive oil and dipping seasonings.... and a huge salad with tomatoes, parmesan cheese & baby romaine topped with croutons and italian (home-made) salad dressing.

We sang Happy Birthday to Libby and let Libby (my daughter) blow out the candles since Auntie Libby couldn't blow them out here. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting was passed around.

It was a special day.

I helped my mom work on a paper for her schoolwork and went to bed falling asleep with my honey reading to me a J.D. Salinger novel.

A wonderful day.

So thank you for your prayers. You must have been praying. I don't know how I would have gotten through otherwise! God's gracious love and mercy were felt throughout the entire day! God is so good.