Saturday, September 10, 2016

Burning the Midnight Oil

Just some midnight thoughts

How Can I make a difference? How can I contribute? What can I do better? These questions—they are good questions. Why are we so forgetful—why do we so easily forget that this time on earth is not about us. So quickly, I return to concerns about me. How can Danny serve me? How can I get the kids down so that I can just eat chocolate and drink a beer? How can I—have more time to myself. Now, I know time to myself is really super, muy muy importante, but I still wonder how I can resist slipping into this mindset. 

Why do I even care about the kinds of cute pillows that are on my couch or not on my couch when people are having babies with no support, or flooded with water, or flooded with other things, or in a drought. WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT THESE THINGS when people are dying all around us or starving or ______________________ fill in the blank with whatever. 

How can I make a difference? What kind of structure can we create in our family to be OTHER focused…whether it be focusing on our children or our spouses or friends. We should be focusing on fulfilling the needs of others. 

How do we do that, yet also carve out enough time to fill our cups so that we CAN pour out to others. What is this balance, Lord? 

If you give me the pathway,  I will follow it. Holy Spirit, awaken in me an understanding as to how to live for others and not for myself. What can I do on a daily basis to refocus on YOU and on OTHERS and de-focus on ME. On my needs. Teach me your ways, O Lord, and guide me in paths of truth and righteousness—not in the path of empty trends and false pretenses. Help me to be MORE of who you made me to be. And less of a do-er who feels like DOing creates value. Help me to rest in you, my Jesus and to model this so that my children seek to serve others first. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

Does it really start THIS young?

Annabelle LOVES shoes.

She finds them everywhere...big ones, small ones (some as big as your head...anyone?) and brings them to me and says, "uh, uh!" while lifting her little foot.

She hops into my lap and sticks her little toes out for me to get the shoe on her. She walks around the house with them on...sometimes just one...and feels so happy.

The other night, after Annabelle was in her footy pjs, she found a pair of light pink little mary jane's that are far too big for her, brought them over to me, climbed in my lap, and stuck out her two little feet...mind you...covered her in her pjs. But she insisted. She wanted the shoes that's exactly what we did.

Let the obsession begin! She'll fit right in with her little cousins who prance around their house in their little Disney heels. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hard Times

Goodness...4-6 pm is a hard time in this house.

Let me try to paint the picture for you.

Annabelle wakes up from her nap. She should be well rested, right? After a solid two hour nap? No...not at all. I think she wakes up with the groggy, why can't I just sleep for the rest of the night, feeling. We all know that feeling--it's no fun, no fun at all. But no, she can't sleep for the rest of the night because then she'd wake up 3 am ready to party. And so then we wait desperately for Daddy whose fresh face makes all the groggy go away. We had gotten in the habit of waiting by the window, but as of late, Annabelle isn't so much a fan of waiting for Daddy to get home. And I don't think I am either. We just WANT Daddy to be home...we don't want to wait.

She wants Mommy to hold her. But then when Mommy is holding her, she still isn't happy and reaches all around like she wants something. Unfortunately, I can't quite figure out what. Annabelle, our sweet babe, is a smart little cookie (all parents probably say that and mean it...but I really mean it ;)). I think she really is frustrated with the fact that she can't truly communicate. She has some signs, but not a ton, and some words, but not a ton. This week she learned that a cow says "Moo" and says it when you ask her, but that doesn't really help her in the world of communication. It is pretty dang cute though. I tried video taping it, but of course, she refrained for that 30 seconds. I will capture it though because it is so cute, everybody has to see it!

The best is when Danny gets home. She really does give him the sweetest smiles ever. She loooves her daddy with her whole heart and it just beams out of her. I am happy to pass her off while I try to cook dinner...which was started approximately an hour before with no real evidence of that...I love hearing them play in the family room. Annabelle and Danny rough house and chase each other and she runs into my arms to protect her from the monster that is her daddy. And she does it with this belly laugh. Oh how I wish I could bottle that laugh and keep it forever. After about 30 minutes of this, bedtime routine starts. Danny is in charge of the bath (what a great husband I have!) and plays with her while I finish up dinner, get her night diaper ready, and pjs set out. He wraps her up warmly in her little lady bug towel and I get her ready for bed...warm a bottle and snuggle with her as I rock her to sleep. Oh my little Annabelle. We'll blink and you'll be so much bigger!

So somehow, the hard times are also the best times. Isn't life funny like that...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bunny Ears

I weaned Annabelle this month, and it was hard. Easier than expected, probably because Annabelle is a pretty independent little thing-already walking and talking-but still hard. I think the hardest time was when she fell and for the first time, I couldn't just soothe her by nursing. I mean...I could..but I couldn't for the sake of weaning. And I really wanted to wean. For a couple different reasons, numero uno being that I would like to have some time between nursing and being pregnant with bambino #2 and numero dos being that nursing was never the easiest for me. I made it a year and for me and Annabelle, that was great!

Anyway, with weaning came some bottle feeding. Some hilarious things: Annabelle legitimately will not hold a bottle. She will put her hands on while you are holding it, but as soon as you take your hands off, she takes her hands off. Frustrating as all get out, but really funny! Sign of breastfed child, me thinks. Okay, so maybe no some hilarious things...that was my only one. And maybe it's just the mom of the sweet girl who finds it funny. No offense taken if you don't. None. at.all.

Onto bunny ears...over the past few months, Annabelle has been sleeping with one of those little blankets that has an animal on the corner. Her's is pink and has a little bunny. She has become attached to it and loves it. I just really wanted to remember this little bunny and her attachment to it. When she takes her bottle, she must have her little bunny and she has to be playing with it. And not just any piece of the blanket, but the ears. It is so sweet; as I hold her she just drink her bottle and relaxes as she rubs her little sweet fingers over the ears. Gosh. I love her.

Monday, September 15, 2014

For Old Times Sake

Gosh...where has time gone. It is the middle of September and my sweet baby girl is going to be turning 1 in two weeks. And that's all I can think: "Where has time gone."

Last week my wonderful husband and I were able to go on a nice long date. Our great friend Faith, fondly known as Mary Poppins in our house...because she's the best, watched Annabelle and we didn't feel the need to eat dinner and rush home to get her. So we didn't. We went out to dinner and then to a great little wine bar. Anyway...over dinner we got to talking about how our life has changed so drastically in the last 8 months. For those of you who read this blog before it dropped off the face of the earth, you know that I started my own business with Arbonne about 9 months ago. And that was the start of the change...

Now we are out of debt (woohoo!), I am home full time, Danny has a new job which is totally in line with his goals and vision for his career, Annabelle is the sweetest little baby (toddler?) in the world...not that she wasn't sweet before...but man was she colicky! Anyway...things have just changed.

Of course there is one person to thank for all of these positive changes, and that is the Lord, but after the Lord, I realize Danny and I also have to thank ourselves.

You know, starting my business with Arbonne was risky, and it had every.single.possibility of being a humiliating failure, but I wasn't going to let it be. It is an opportunity. And like all of opportunities, you can take it or leave it. I decided to take it and I am going to keep taking it. I am at a new crossroads in my business, one that I have spent the last two weeks really mulling over. Some of you may know that I recently promoted to Area Manager (the 2nd of only 4 promotions). This was my goal, my short term vision. This is why I started and stayed committed to Arbonne. As an Area Manager, I would more than replace my salary. And the Lord is so good...I replaced my salary literally the month my job ended. Um hello! Divine Providence, much? Anyway...back to the point. But now I have to rethink my vision. When I started, I wanted to 1) replace my salary so that I could stay home full time with Annabelle and 2) get out of student and car debt. The moment I promoted to Area, those two things became a reality. And getting out of debt replaces my income as a I could theoretically stop working my business. But I am not. Why? Why am I going to continue to work my business? Because this opportunity is life changing. It changed my life. And I am not saying that to be cheesy. It is just the truth. I honestly feel like it is my calling to share this opportunity with as many people as I can because if it can change my life, it can change someone else's life too.

I am so incredibly thankful that I married such a wonderful man. Not only does he have a deep and abiding love for the Lord, he has so much love and belief in me. So while I started my Arbonne business, Danny took it upon himself to learn taxes on the side. Gosh. Our lives were busy. So every weekend from January to April, Danny did taxes with a fellow CPA. What a man.

But here we are, September 15th. Our life is so full and so beautiful and we can enjoy it! Every moment is so sweet and I don't want to let another moment pass me by without recognizing how truly blessed we are.

Here's to the rest of 2014! Let's finish strong!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hello, Again!

Gosh! Life is just a whirlwind these days. Between being a good mommy and wife, a teacher, and growing my Arbonne business, the days of been packed. Packed but gloriously wonderful.

On the mommy/wife front, Annabelle continues to bring us SO much joy. The sweet girl finally rolled over from her back to her tummy this morning. She rolled from her tummy to her back at 9 weeks, but she just wanted to take her sweet time going the other way! I swear she could do it, but she just didn't have the motivation. You know what, I am okay with that! Danny likes to egg her on to crawl, but I am loving this little stage. Plus, a mobile baby is going to be a whole new ball game! She also sleeps in her own room in a crib now! In the night when she wakes, Danny gets her and bring her to bed so I can nurse her and then I bring her back to her crib. It's a good little system. She also goes to bed at 6 pm, which is so nice because Danny and I get to have some quiet quality time. Annabelle also starting sucking her thumb a few weeks ago which we may hate eventually but we love it for now! She loves her exersaucer and laughs at the silliest things. She is outgrowing the sink bath, so we will be moving to the tub as soon as she can sit up on her own. She's getting close, but hasn't mastered sitting yet! (Isn't it amazing that we had to learn all these little things like sitting!) Annabelle really is such a beautiful grace to our life; she is an ever present reminder of God's abundant love for us!

On the school front, it is hard for me to go and leave Annabelle. I thought it would get easier, but it really doesn't. And then my job doesn't end when I leave the campus. I have grading and reading and other things that have to get done for me to be a good teacher. The good news is, I have 8 more Mondays (I think) of the school year and then I will be a stay at home mama! Yep, you read right! I am staying home next year. SAWEET!

So that brings us to Arbonne. It is going SO well! I love growing my own business. It has challenged me in so many ways I didn't know it would. It has caused me to really look inside and see my strengths and weaknesses. It has pushed me and challenged me and made me a better woman. I love, love, love the products and I love getting to use them in our own home and sharing them with everyone. I am so blessed by the business opportunity, since now I get to be home with Annabelle next year. You have no idea the peace that brings to this mama's heart!

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Gift to Share

About two months ago,  I joined Arbonne as a way to bring in some extra income in hopes of staying home with sweet Annabelle. You might remember from this post about my jump in and this one about Arbonne's amazing nutritional detox! The deeper I get in the company, the more excited I am about the opportunity to stay home while sharing these amazing products with whomever I come across! The opportunity and the products have already begun to change my life and I see this as a sign of God's sure provision. So I just wanted to take minute and share with you about the products I have come to love! 

First off, all the products are 100% botanically based and toxin free! Before Arbonne, I didn't realize how much crap was hidden in all of our products! In fact, I thought it was good to have mineral oil in your products! I mean, minerals are good, right? Well I quickly learned that mineral oil is TERRIBLE for your skin! It is a by-product of petroleum (which has been refined 7 times!). It is so bad for the environment that the petroleum companies aren't even allowed to throw it away! It is against the law. But wait: they can sell it to cosmetic/health companies to put it in our face wash, make up, skincare, etc. as a filler? Doesn't that just seem mixed up? Not only that, but mineral oil and parabens (another toxin our products don't have) have been found in almost every type of cancer tissue! Gosh...the information continues to blow my mind as I write this blog. 

I just wanted to take a minute to share with you about some of our best products! 

This amazing anti-aging set is called RE9. The "RE" stands for "renew" because that is exactly what it does! It helps to metabolize the production of skin cells so that your skin repairs and refreshes much faster! The best part is that it is loaded with absorbable vitamin C (which makes it smell heavenly) and tons of antioxidants which give your skin a healthy glow and lift. I love the whole system which includes a face wash, witch hazel based toner, a cellular renewal serum (LOVE IT!), an eye cream, and a day and night cream. 

The set below is called the SeaSource Detox Spa. What is amazing about this line is that it naturally pulls out the toxins from your skin. Do you know anyone with severe skin issues like eczema or psoriasis, or just super dry skin? The SeaSource Re-mineralizing lotion has been proven to help cure those types of skin issues! How amazing is that? 

Anyway, Arbonne has just been such an amazing gift to my family, both in the products we get to use at an extremely discounted price and in the business opportunity it has provided for me and for my family. It has given me such motivation to stay home and such joy to know that I can do so without putting a great amount of financial burden on my wonderful and supportive husband. If you are interested in trying the products at a discount or hearing more about the great opportunity, please message me on Facebook or leave a response on this blog post. I would be more than happy to get you trying some of these (and many other!) products or share more info about all the success there is to be had in this company! (For another testament, check out this blog by my friend Jill over at You, Me, and Capri!).