December 27, 2012

Well, it happened again....

It seems like no matter how many times I tell myself I won't stray away from blogging, I blink and I've done it anyway. 
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out obvious reasons why I might not slow down to journal my thoughts with three busy girls, but honestly I think its beyond the obvious and expected. I feel like many of my thoughts are best shared through transparent writings. I know that my story has a purpose-one that has and will continue to glorify God. It needs to be shared. So it only stands to reason that the enemy will toss any hindrance my way to stop me. 
Now, I'm not one to blame the devil for every crummy moment...each time I stub my toe I don't feel personally attacked. But I'm aware of spiritual warfare and with or without reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis one can still use a small amount of biblical knowledge and logic to determine why Satan would want to stop anything God calls us to. 
With all that said, I'm making an effort to find balance between my top priorities as a wife and mother to also honor my vow to share my story.
For now, a partial update:

This past year I believe I've lost my mind. At least where my plan-it-all nature is concerned. I dove completely into something I said I'd never...homeschooling. God called...I answered and no matter how much I argued how ridiculous it was kindly disagreed, He was persistent. Borderline nagging. So I obeyed. Can I just tell you how good God is? This is one of those things I am so glad I decided to trust God on. We love it. And while its not always rainbows and butterflies, I wouldn't change it for anything. 
Its been a crazy year. Terrifying at times. Financially, emotionally, relationally....I've felt drained. So many things have transpired that I never would've imagined we'd see. But God has proven Himself faithful again and again. 
The most recent events of our life are sort of delicate and not appropriate to be shared in great detail but I will just sum it up. We've had the hardest year financially that we've ever had. We've made less money for the year than in many recent years. But we've managed to pay off more debt in the last 2.5 years than we were ever disciplined enough to do in our entire marriage. We've managed to budget down to the penny each month using our little Dave Ramsey tools online. And we've grown together leaps and bounds because of these trials. God showed up recently in a crazy way and relieved us of some crazy financial and emotional burdens. Y'all. These were life changing things that we were anticipating. Basically in one giant swoop (within about a month) he has relieved that stress. 
We are looking forward to January with hope once again. And "....From everyone who has been given much, much will be required...." (Luke 12:48 partial verse) We've been praying for some time now about a few things we'd love to do if things ever turned around for us financially. Some of them I'd like to keep private for now, but generally speaking it involves blessing others. 
The other major discussion has been adoption.
 I'm thrilled to finally say we are beginning that journey in the coming weeks. I'm sure more details will be shared along the way, but for now we covet your prayers that God will order our steps and protect both our biological children and our child we have yet to meet. We also appreciate prayers for continued provision as we trust God in this next chapter.

 "Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:45


September 19, 2012

Hello and a giveaway!

Hey! Its been a while!

Things are crazy busy around here with so many changes in our lives right now. I'll hopefully be back soon to share about some of those things. But first, one of the new things is that we've completely lost our minds and decided to start making our own bread from scratch. This of course involves grinding the wheat to make the flour-made much simpler with an electric grain mill. I'm currently in the process of saving to buy a mill but for now I am using a friend's mill each week.

There's a great giveaway on a Nutrimill right now, so for those of you that want to join me on this crazy journey, go on over to  Heavenly Homemakers to find out the details on entering to win!

I'll be back soon with more!


August 8, 2012

I love you Mommy....

"Mommy.... I love you..." Sweet words uttered no less than 15 times per day. This child just melts my heart with those random "I love you"s.

She's three years old today. How is it possible that my baby, my youngest child is three?

This child that I wasn't prepared for. This child that surprised me in the most unusual way, while I was still nursing Ansley.... Adalyn sort of just "surprised" us all. With only 13 months between them, they are incredibly close. Its a normal day when we are asked if they are twins.  I never thought I'd be crazy enough to have two children so close in age. Now I know I'm crazy, but I'd totally do it all over again if I could!

My little peanut.... You've rocked my world a time or two. I am so thankful for you...and that spitfire personality of yours. You keep me laughing. You have the sweetest little nose. The tiniest little hands! But man, do you pack a punch!

I love seeing the world through your eyes. Your perspective often stops me in my tracks.

From your insisting to wear pajamas every day-all day long, to insisting that you are BIG... you never allow us a dull moment! You have your Grandaddy's eyes and a silly little giggle. You are a little stick of dynamite, feisty and mighty sure of yourself. Your daddy often says that you haven't figured out that there isn't a whole army behind you. I love that determination!

Your birthday list this year included a firetruck, a firefighter outfit, a motorcycle (that you think you will ride in the road-ha!), a ladder-so you can reach your "stings" (things), and a baby Lori from the store. You are rockin' that list, girlfriend! Here are a few pics of your prizes so far:

Most importantly behind all your shenanigans, mischief, and boldness you are a tenderhearted loving little princess. And we can't imagine our world without you! Happy birthday Peanut!

June 19, 2012

4 Years Ago Today...

I had just finished having a lovely discussion with my charming ob/gyn. Something along the lines of "I'm telling you I might explode if you don't get this ginormous kid out of me!"...He then proceeded to tell me I was OCD for being able to provide him with an exact date of conception, but since I could-he would move up the date a few days in order to safely avoid the c-section he was sure I would have. And that conversation, wasn't even the beginning of my difficulties.

You see, in August 2007 we lost our precious second baby at only 16 weeks gestation. We were told by our doctor that due to the healing needed, I should provide my body with a minimum of a 3 month break.

But God had other plans...
The very next month, I was pregnant again-and so scared. We had several "possibilities" of what may have happened to cause the loss of the previous pregnancy, but none confirmed. Knowing that, and knowing that my body was not given ample time to recover, I was worried sick. (Not to mention terrible "morning" sickness!) We had several ups and downs during the pregnancy, complete with tests revealing that our child would have intellectual disabilities, discovering the cause of the previous loss and our inability to prevent it from happening again, loss of control-knowing that either decision we made could be a 50/50 chance of being the wrong choice...the list goes on.

Fast forward to June 2008. We made it through the pregnancy-with stretch marks in places I didn't know they could exist- and were anxious to meet our second baby girl. With my first pregnancy we induced because my doctor felt that with my frame I would have difficulty delivering a baby over 8 lbs. (She was 7lb13oz) So in June, at 37 weeks I was sent to the hospital for an induction of a LARGE baby. She fought us through the induction, with multiple decelerations, and was finally born. The cord was wrapped around her neck 2 times, with a complete knot, cutting off the blood supply. She was gray from head to toe.. The room was hushed. I worried about permanent damage, gripping my husband's hand. My mother and my best friend Erin were there too, and Mom thought she was dead. That scary minute seemed to last for way too long. And as quickly as the room hushed, it filled with joy. She was fine. (And no-there's no intellectual disabilities or any other ones either like we were told.) She quickly gained her color. The doctor's first words? "Holy cow! Throw that baby up on that scale! I'll be she weighs 10 lbs!!!" (Spoken like a true fisherman. Our doc LOVES deep sea fishing.) He wasn't too terribly far off. This momma that "shouldn't deliver over an 8 lb baby" just delivered a 9lb 1oz beautiful baby girl.
This was taken the September after she was born. Allison (left) was almost 3-notice how big Ansley is!

Marker. Oh...this child.
The excitement, drama, heartache, fear, joy...complete roller coaster didn't stop there. My sweet Ansley is 4 years old today. She was in my arms when I discovered a devastating addiction affecting a special loved one. She was on my lap the morning I got a phone call that my dad was being taken by ambulance to the ER. She was in my arms standing in that same ER as they told me my Daddy didn't make it. This sweet baby has been through some storms with me, and her sisters and Daddy too, of course. And along with those storms, she's been there during our biggest, loudest, most joyous moments too. She was in my arms when I shared that knowing glance with her Daddy, that we were about to add even more fun to our family with her baby sister-born only 13 months after her. She has walked in and out of more than 75 (that's SEVENTY-FIVE) houses in search for a home where we'd start our new journey 300 miles from the only home we'd ever known.
Allison and Ansley located the instant pudding in the pantry and helped themselves while I took a shower. Nice, huh?

She's the little girl who can get me to tears the fastest. She also knows how to push every one of my buttons. Ansley is loving, nurturing, tender, and considerate. She's fiery, loud, quirky, and "out there". My little Mommy. My right hand girl in the kitchen. A great baker. A thoughtful friend. She's my prayer warrior. She loves Jesus. She loves her family. She's simply beautiful. And today, I celebrate her. I love you sweet girl! Here's to sharing the ride on this coaster for many years!

I'll leave you with this:
My girls and I all have "our song". Each one is different. Mine and Ansley's song is by Gungor and its called "Beautiful Things". Knowing her story, I'm sure you'll see how appropriate. I never imagined God could take the ruins and devastation of my life and turn it into this. :)

Gungor-Beautiful Things

March 22, 2012

This is Dedicated...

To the one I love...

Today we celebrate our 9 year anniversary. We are officially stepping into our 10th year of marriage. I'm taking a journey down memory lane....thinking about who we were back then.

I was the girl that got married before many of my friends. I was the girl who had a big career planned, in addition to an even bigger plan to eventually be a mommy. Funny, I never introduced those plans to each other. I was the girl that took a huge "risk" marrying him based not on our history, but on our future. Based on trust, not in my future husband, but in a God that I knew had it all under control.

We didn't have the perfect love story. Parts of it were sweet and sappy. Take our family history for example. Our grandparents regularly met each other for breakfast at the local Hardee's restaurant back in the day. Awww. So sweet. But our actual relationship? It really had not proven itself to be ...sturdy. I'd say rocky at best.

In fact, I was dating someone else when he decided he wanted to marry me. We had the young and crazy on again off again relationship. I wouldn't exactly call it a "fun" game, but it was the one we played. Back and forth. Eventually I grew weary of that game, so I moved on. Dated an old boyfriend. Ara decided to join a young singles group at a church we didn't attend. They were doing a study on courtship, and he asked if I would come too. Ha! I told him I would come, and bring a friend with me. But I was not going as his girlfriend. I was going as a friend. That lasted about 3 or 4 weeks....each week more intense than the previous one. He would walk me to my car, ask me a bunch of nonsense questions about my future plans... Then one night after the class, he told me he thought we should get married. He knew I was who he wanted for the rest of his life. Did I mention we weren't dating? I said, no way. I'm not even sure I want to date you again...I'm dating someone else. Two days later I broke off the deal with the old boyfriend, you I could sort things out in my head. And less than a month after that, I had a beautiful diamond ring on my left hand. The history.

Little did I know, that our "history" (to date) would include many more heartaches and struggles than I ever could guess we would endure. This man, that I was praying I made the right decision to trust with my the same man that has shielded my heart from so much. He has held me up when I literally couldn't stand anymore. When I thought I might die from anxiety. We've laughed together...probably an unnatural amount of laughter. No really...he's SO. FUNNY. And we've cried together. Happy tears. Sad tears. Tears of devastation... tears of disbelief. We've celebrated huge milestones. We've moved 300 miles away from the only home we've ever known. Away from all our extended family. We've battled health struggles. We've conquered debt. We've survived devastating losses. (Yep...more than one.) We've remodeled an entire house together. We've watched in awe as our oldest started Kindergarten just this year. Through all of these moments, he has been my constant.

He's gonna be thrilled to see this pic. :) Love you honey!

Going out on a limb with this man was the best thing I could've done. Even then, knowing it was a big step to jump into a relationship that was yet to show stability, I still knew he was a great guy. I had no idea he would be the man he is today. I'm so proud to call him my husband. I can't begin to tell you how thankful I am that he's mine.

I love you, Ara. Thank you for being the most wonderful husband and father a girl could ever ask for. Here's to many, many more years of laughs.


March 19, 2012

Blog Following and a few pics

I just realized recently that many people, including those I do and do not know, read my blog. This is not really accurately reflected in my "followers". I started thinking about this for a while, and after a discussion with a good friend I realized something: they may not know why it is favorable to "follow" a blog. After further reflection I realized that at one point I didn't follow other blogs myself. SO. Here's a few random thoughts from me... maybe it will help clear things up.

My previous thoughts regarding why I didn't commit to "following" other blogs I read:

1.I don't really have the time for all that hassle, first of all. (This one is really silly, since it takes only minutes to sign up for blogger or some other rss feed. Even sillier considering the amount of time I actually used to sit at my computer and read these blogs...but I digress.)

2.I don't know this person that well (or in some cases I didn't know them at all!) and they might think it strange for someone like me to be reading their stuff. Awkward! That might be uncomfortable for both of us.

3.I'm doing just fine finding the blogs in my bookmark section on my browser.

I'm sure I could continue on with other reasons why many people don't "follow" publicly. But those are just the random thoughts I once had on the subject. You might think its not even important, and wonder why I may be bothering to actually create a post on the subject. Well, please allow me to shed a little light on the subject.

First, it really doesn't  take that much time to create a google/blogger account. Many people also choose to sign up via rss feed and have blogs sent directly to their email or a reader. Regardless, it is so much more convenient to scroll through the blogs that interest you and have them at your fingertips. Occasionally I'm not in the mood or don't have the time to read all of them at once ( I follow waaaay too many for that) but I can quickly see the subject lines and determine which ones I want to read immediately. I have a few favorites that I read, regardless if the subject looks catchy. Sort of my "go to" reading. A friend of mine once said that each morning when she pulls up each blog, if they haven't posted that day its like getting the voicemail of a friend you were really hoping would answer the phone. I feel the same way!
Second, let's talk about the awkward thing. While at first glance you might think it weird to publicly admit to reading a blog of someone you've never met, or someone you've met but barely know, believe me when I say its not! Don't let that assumption stop you. I speak for most bloggers I know when I say that if they are putting it out there for public access, its because they want you to read it! There are private blogs. You know, ones that you grant access to each reader individually. Still think it's weird? Think of it this way: I have the option to write in a private journal the old fashioned way and slip it between my mattress if I choose. I choose to write publicly for a purpose. That purpose has recently become very clear to me, and I will be sharing more on that in the coming weeks. For now, suffice it to say that I'm not putting this out there to keep any secrets. With that said, if you want to read my thoughts and take interest in what I have to share, then PLEASE read it! And if you are willing to let me know...even better!
Finally, whether or not you have these conflicting whirling around in your head like I did, you may not be following the blogs you read. Can I just tell you that for me, personally, it is so encouraging to know that my friends support me in what I am doing. I had someone the other day tell me that she reads my writings and it encourages her. How awesome to know I have that influence on her day! Made me want to go write another post right then. Seriously, if I didn't want to encourage (or entertain at times-haha) others then I wouldn't waste my time here. This is very therapeutic for me, true. But I could just as easily save a Word document and call it a day.
I don't say all of this to beg you to "follow" me. I mean, if that's what it takes, I will beg. Just kidding. I say all of this to encourage you to let your favorite writers and thought provokers know that they are helpful to you. Its what keeps them going...honestly. I like to know who I'm talking to, and I know many others feel the same way. Ya with me?

So now that everyone clicked "follow" on their favorite blogs, (wink wink) how about a few pictures to brighten your day, huh? They sure brighten mine.
First, some pics of my little Cowgirl and my sweet Ansley before preschool the other day: (Adalyn lives and breathes to make faces. I think being dramatic is some sort of requirement for her. )

 Here are a few pics from our banana pudding masterpiece when Baba and Pop-pop visited last weekend:

Knock-knock. Who's there? Banana...
Banana who?
Banana Ice cream head.
(this is the new thing around here...telling knock knock jokes.)

So heeeere's Adalyn:

And Ya-ya, doing a little quality assurance:

And Ansley... High five anyone?

Let's do this again soon, okay?


March 18, 2012

He Makes All Things New

I wanted to share a song with you that we sing somewhat frequently at our home church. If you click the title below, it will take you to a YouTube video as well. I believe it is written by Clay Edwards? It's absolutely beautiful:

Restoration song

You bring restoration
You bring restoration
You bring restoration
to my soul

You've taken my pain
You call me by a new name,
You've taken my shame
And in its place You give me joy

You take my mourning
turn it into dancing,
You take my weeping
turn it into laughing,
You take my mourning
turn it into dancing,
You take my sadness
turn into joy

You make all things new
You make all things new

Isn't that great? If you've never heard it, I highly recommend checking out the video. 

Part of my own "restoration" has been the commitment I made to get back to this blog. Because I believe He really does make all things new, and because of the inspiration I received during The Pearl Event, I think this is a valid place for me to share my heart. 

I'm still soaking up what I experienced during my weekend in Nashville. I've seen several people already starting to write about the weekend they had. I guess comparatively that may make me seem a little behind, but I am really pondering the details. 

In addition to that, my hubby's parents just left this morning. I arrived home last Sunday evening, with anticipation of a busy week. I was right! Monday, Tuesday, and  Wednesday had packed schedules themselves, and then his parents arrived on Thursday to spend the weekend with us. For the few of you that don't know me personally, his parents (especially his mom) keep us hopping while they are here. She LOVES to hit a few places that she doesn't have addition to spoiling my girls absolutely rotten. We typically have a good visit, but I'm usually exhausted by the time they leave. And this time is no different. (Wink wink) Anyway, all that to say that although I am slow to process my Nashville weekend, I am not avoiding the subject and plan to share very soon. And since it has prompted my thoughts toward this blog, I'm positive that it will require multiple posts to keep you all from snoozing by your computers. 

More soon....



March 6, 2012

Love Notes

Where have I found encouragement, specifically?  I believe it started with a conversation with a person I barely know. She spoke some very strong words over a situation I've been facing with my health. (Random issues that no one could explain...very frustrating.) Sounds crazy, but things slowly began to change after that discussion. Hmm...

Then it was just another Sunday morning worship service (yeah right...its never "just another") that just really resonated with me. So encouraged by the music, connecting with old songs that go waaay back. Worship leader speaking powerful and uplifting words, the ones I needed to hear Right.Then. More change....

Little rough situations worked themselves out beautifully with no effort on my part. Even in the form of random blessings bestowed upon our family, I have seen His hand. Love notes. My girls have dealt with a virus the past 2 weeks, ending up with 2 of the 3 having walking pneumonia. Could've been so much worse, and while it was tough and scary at times I have surely seen God's hand on us, protecting them and granting me grace and strength just as I needed it.

 Oh, and let me tell you about the friendships. This has been an area that I didn't even recognize as an issue until recently.Moving here was such a peaceful decision for us, which is hysterical since I have only known my hometown... But recently I have suddenly felt kind of empty, craving close friendships like I had. Missing my partner in crime that did decorating projects for hours on end with me. Wishing I had someone to come over and hang out, that didn't mind if my house was a disaster. That didn't find it necessary to put on the fake polite show and only connect on a surface level. I needed a REAL friend. I just knew as we left the church we'd come to know since we moved here that I'd be lonely.

 Wouldn't you know that God would work it out to replace those "empty" spots in my life in a more incredible way than I could've envisioned? Its like a breath of fresh air. There's so many instances that I'm sure I could attempt to list them but a. You'd be bored to tears and close this page before I got 1/4 of the way through or b. I'd never be able to list them all anyway. 

But for a few examples... I have a good friend who is incredibly shy so she can remain nameless. :) The fact that she is shy even is so funny to me...that God would line me up to befriend such a reserved person. I tend to be rather chatty (you didn't notice, I know) and I also somehow am painfully honest at times. Not qualities that shy people are usually drawn to. And I am usually so uncomfortable around someone who is soooo quiet.  Not her. Its truly a match made in heaven. Our entire families love each other. Hubby included. I am so grateful to have a friend like that in my life. Makes the day go by so much easier. On top of that I have a few new friendship buds blossoming with fellow crafters, blog junkies, "home decor girls", etc. Its just amazing the way God heard my prayer and answered so quickly to put these people in my path. Honestly if I didn't know better it would seem like it was out of the clear blue sky. But I know that He had His hand in this all the way.

Even down to continued financial provision, I'm finding my strength and hope to be restored. Amazing amazing amazing stuff.

I think I've slowly typed my way in to that "this is so long that everyone quit reading two paragraphs ago..." zone. Ha! Oh well...if anyone is still with me.... (anyone????)

Now that I am feeling a little more like myself with my health issues, and feeling encouraged by all of the evident work God is doing in these areas of my life, I'm starting a new journey. Getting back into shape. Health. Which, for me, equals counting calories, drinking more water, and becoming more active. Gonna need lots of encouragement with all of the above, ha! I know many people are constantly dieting and doing the on again/off again exercise thing, but that's not what I'm going for here. I just want to continue what I feel God has stirred in me, and do my part physically to continue to feel better. So, here's to an awesome weekend at the Pearl Event, meeting Paige and Edie and many other fabulous ladies; and catching up with an old friend, and restoration and encouragement! I'll be back soon to tell you all about my weekend. I am so excited! (Oh, and then to start on my workout routine...hold me to that!)

I'll leave you with one of my most favorite verses (it was one of my Dad's favorites too):
"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31


Thankful for:
5. The old and new friends...
6.Financial provision in multiple forms this week
7. Taking a GIANT step in our Dave Ramsey journey this week!
8. The discovery of my fitness pal app on my phone!
9. Our random visit to Passion City Church this past Sunday
10. Hubby's sacrificial support of this upcoming weekend. :)

February 22, 2012

All I can say is WOW.

Clearly, even as I type these words I am being bombarded with things to come against me and attempt to put a damper on the moment. But I refuse to let the enemy steal my joy, and certainly not my hope.

God's on a reclaiming streak with me right now. I feel Him taking back each area of my life that I allowed to slip away. Its awful to admit, but I have been in such a terrible rut. And from that rut, based originally on many negative circumstances, came an even deeper "pit" that I seemed to fall into.

 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18 NIV

I've been pondering this verse lately. I still am. I think it may be related to a lot of what I was dealing with. Fear of hurt. Fear of giving in to my grief only to see it swallow me whole. Fear of the "what ifs"...fear of being alone, fear of failure, fear of imperfection, blah blah blah....Wondering about the "Perfect love drives out {or casts out} fear" part. I know God is love, and if He is, and I have allowed Him to reign in my life, then how is there room for fear? Ouch. Guess that means that I've let fear displace an area I should be fully surrendering. Man I hate it when that happens.

 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 

Just resolved this recently. For the 80 millionth time. But back to the rut...

Lots of prayer. And I do mean LOTS. Still nothing. And more nothing...followed by guessed it, more NOTHING. I know He hears me. I know He never once left. But are you familiar with silence? Ouch. Seemed like everywhere I turned, I just couldn't get a grip. I'm being vague, and for good reason. Sometimes its easier to relate to each other this way....perhaps you've been there too? Rough spot? Circumstances got you down? Girlfriend, I get it. But through all these trials I've been fighting, I never forgot where to turn. I have to tell you, sometimes I didn't say the right things, or do the right things. There have been days when I felt like I couldn't offer enough to my husband or my family, and certainly not to my creator. On those days, and even on the days when I feel a little better about my "offerings", His grace is enough. It has carried me these past several months years. So of course, what I'm about to tell you...totally has the enemy turning his wheels, waiting to ruin it. But I can't keep this to myself.

Despite the awful week I've had so far with a very sick child (not sure if its strep...some other virus..who knows?) and random other things going wrong, I have had a peace wash over me. The past two weeks I have found encouragement that I feel like was totally orchestrated by God. Every area of my life, and in different places throughout my week,  He's found a way to drop me a little "love note". He's still in charge, and He's got this. * More details about the little love notes to follow in another post...

Why did I doubt? 

I'm so thankful that God knows to send just the right encouragement along....He's never too late.

One more thing....

I've read a few good books lately, and I don't think I have mentioned them since I've not been writing. The first one is called Grace for the Good Girl, by Emily P. Freeman. You can visit her blog here to read more frequently, but today she even pointed you to a great deal at Lifeway to purchase her book on the cheap!
The other book is called One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. She has a blog as well, A Holy Experience, which you can find in my blog list on the sidebar. One thing I've noticed in blogland is that many of the blogs I follow have started listing a few of their thankful things at the end of each post. I think I will join that movement, as gratitude just seems to overflow into every crack and crevice. Good stuff.

It feels so good to be back.


Thankful for:
1. Evidence of God's hand in new friendships
2. Anticipating my upcoming trip
3. More orders for my Burlap business
4. Clear answers to prayer in determining which pediatrician to switch to

February 10, 2012

Baby Steps

I haven't slowed down to write in a while. Do you ever feel like life is just "piling up" on you? I've been under the pile for a while now, and trying to slowly climb out from underneath it. I don't just want to get out, I want to climb out and make my way to the top of it. There, it can't pile on me anymore. Might be a pipe dream...but that's what I'm aiming for. 

Anyway, the rut that I've been in has been largely due to some health issues. I finally found a good doctor here and she actually listens to me and my concerns. So I'm hoping that will have a huge impact on the upcoming weeks. I will spare you the details, but I think I may have some thyroid issues, which in turn seem to affect every. area. of. your. life. Ugh. I just haven't been myself. Haven't had any energy to do what I need to do, much less to do what I love. While the energy isn't there, the wheels are still turning in my little brain, and I am craving some creativity. I still want to cook fabulous meals, repaint the house room by room, whip up a few hundred dozen or so burlap crafts to sell on my etsy shop, rummage through the thrift shops, and accessorize with my little divas. But my body didn't get the memo. I guess it isn't really a black and white type of issue, but this doctor is willing to talk me through the gray areas regarding my treatment options and help me start feeling more like me. 
I think just the hope that I've gained from talking to her multiple times has inspired me to push through the exhaustion and ickiness to accomplish a few little things I've been waiting to do. I managed to wrap up a few loose projects for my burlap customers, including this little gal:

Isn't she a trip? I named her "Elle" the Diva. The sweet lady that requested her waited quite some time for me to get it right in my head and put it on burlap. I'm pretty happy with the results, and she was delighted. Of course, I always criticize my own work and can think of a few things I would change, but I still think its pretty fun. 

The burlap stuff became quite exhausting over Christmas, since I was blessed with so many orders. Now as we head into all things Spring, including Easter...I'm hoping to gather a few more orders and get the creativity churning again. 

Another thing that has inspired a little motivation in me, is a women's event. I'm still working out the final details, but a friend of mine is planning to drive up and join me...and there are still a few spots available the last I heard. I am so excited to get away with a good friend, and also to hear a few of my most favorite bloggers ever speak at this event! I've never met them in real life, in fact, I'm pretty sure they don't know I exist, but I am so thrilled! Paige from the blog Simple Thoughts and Edie from the blog Life in Grace are both going to be there. Soooo excited! There also are other speakers that I don't know too much about, but I'm going to guess that if they are in the same category of friends with these awesome ladies, it will be a weekend to remember. 

So all together with the hope of working with my new doctor, and the excitement from the upcoming Pearl Event , I actually started a few little projects for my own home, outside of my burlap shop. It's still a work in progress, but the fact that I did something at all was progress, so I thought I would share what I've done so far. I was hoping to put a little *Spring* in our step around here. I am aiming to be extremely cost efficient these days, since we are intense in our Dave Ramsey plan, so I had to get creative with the financial portion of it too. I purchased an old window months ago, even before everyone started pinning ideas with them on Pinterest. (I'm totally not bashing that either...I'm admittedly a Pinterest addict.) I don't really care to paint it or turn it into a menu or anything just yet. I am enjoying it leaned up on my mantel. But for Spring, I thought I could at least use it in my decor. Joann Fabrics had the garland on a pretty good sale, and I had most of my other items stashed around from thrifting. I am still hoping to buy one more piece at Hobby Lobby, and I do also still have another idea in my head for that birdcage. But here it is so far:

I considered editing out the fan reflection...then decided that was too much effort. :) Now that I look at the picture, I've decided my sweet little lantern needs to go. I'm going to whip out my coupon and head for that rabbit at Hobby Lobby. Also considering some sort of garland or grass along the bottom. I despise the plastic sticky Easter grass. Maybe some of the more natural feeling stuff or garland might do the trick though. I'm working on some little burlap eggs for the inside of that cage. I'll let you know how that works out too. 
For now, I'm off to finish another wreath order that I received late last night from a sweet lady I've known for years. I love it when I can do these for people I know, and pray over them as I make it. Here's to baby steps ...crawling out from under the pile. We'll chat again soon.