Friday, April 19, 2013

Blessing #202 - A Father's Love


On Sunday, you will be turning 60, and I know you are not looking forward to it very much.  C'mon Dad! It's just a number.  I don't know anyone who had trouble with a birthday.  I definitely don't know anyone who did something crazy just to make turning 30 a little easier.

Okay. Maybe I do know somebody like that. Okay!!! Maybe it's me.

Maybe a fear of birthdays that are multiples of ten is a hereditary thing.

Anyway, I know when I was struggling with 30, I tended to look back and only focus on my missed accomplishments and failures.  In the midst of turning 30, I had a hard time focusing on the good I had done.

As an eye witness to the last half of your life, let me raise my hand and share with you something you got right.

In all my thirty years, never have I ever doubted that you loved me.  You love me not for the things that I do or don't do, but you love me fiercely simply because I am your daughter.

I know that may not sound like a big accomplishment, but trust me, as the one who has had the assurance of your love, it's a big accomplishment.

The older I get the more I've  learned how important your love was for me, and the more women I talk to, the more I realize how lucky I am to have your love and acceptance.

To be honest, I know you didn't have the greatest example to show you love, but as something only God can do, you showed me your love not only in words but in actions my entire life.

Your love and acceptance molded me into the confident and strong woman that I am today.

I could go on, but my words don't seem to do it justice.

Happy 60th birthday Pop! I know you've had many more accomplishments than the one I mentioned, but that one means the most to me.  I love you, but even more importantly, I know you love me.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blessing #201 - My New Pantry Door

Last week, I took one more step in ridding my house of paneling.  Here is a quick reminder of what my kitchen looked like before...

And now!!!

Seriously! My dark little kitchen is so much lighter! I am so, SoOoOoOo happy with how it turned out!

It took me six weeks to paint my dining room, but I had to get this room done in a week.  Sometimes, when I see a makeover on a blog, my mind fills in the blanks.  I assume the woman worked on the makeover all day, cooked supper, and kept up with all the laundry.

Let me help you fill in the blanks. Last week, I painted the kitchen....and that's it.  I am not super woman. I can't do it all. For one week though, I focused and got this job done, and when it was finished, I took a day to dig out of the disaster that was my house. Now, things are running back in normal normal as it can get around here.

Originally, I planned on painting the walls blue gray.  I spent 40 minutes in Sherwin Williams with two workers helping me pick out just the right shade of blue gray that matched my dining room too.  (Reason #357 that I love Sherwin Williams)

Once I found just the right color, I took it home a sample and painted a big part of the wall, and....I hated it! Hated every bit of it.

I don't know what it is, but I'm just a fan of having neutrals on my walls.  I did find a good use for that blue paint sample, and it is my favorite part of the kitchen.

I just love my blue pantry door.  I originally saw this on The House of Smiths. I spray painted the door handle with my favorite dark bronze paint and roughed up all the edges on the door.  Making the door look a little older really fits the character of this 150 year old house.

The new door even makes my pantry look better.

I still have a few projects to do on another wall, but for today, I just wanted to share my pantry door.  It's amazing what a difference a little paint can make.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Blessing #200 - Spring Mantle

Last week was crazy! I decided to paint my kitchen in one week.  It took me six weeks to paint the dining room so painting a paneled room in one week was quite a feat for me.

Sometime this week, I'll show part of the kitchen redo, and I can't wait. I loOoOoOove it! The hard work is not so bad when you get such a good result.

For today though, I thought I would share my quick spring mantle.

I raided my stash and just combined different elements that I already had to come up with this spring mantle.

 I got the fake plant things at a yard sale for $2 last year.

Since we've moved into the house, this little corner beside the fireplace has stayed the same, but this week I added a little element that I love.

A few weeks ago, a friend was throwing out one of those wooden calendars, and she asked me if I wanted it.  I knew I would do something with it, and immediately said yes.

I planned on remaking the calendar, but I ended up white washing some of the numbers and putting them in my little shadow box.  Each row is one of our birthdays.

I love having our special days on displays, but I really love having numbers incorporated into our living room.

If you know me, you know how much I love numbers and math.  It means a lot to me to have something I thin is beautiful on display at my house....Wait. I realize you are probably saying one of two words right now, "Nerd" or "Crazy," but that's okay, I would have to agree.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Blessing #199 - Whole 30 Recap

I finished my whole 30 on Sunday! Woohoo! I survived! I don't know what it is, but I love a challenge.  The whole 30 definitely proved to be a big challenge to me, but I learned so much during my 30 days.

1. Either before or during your whole 30, read the book "It All Starts With Food" which was written by the creators of whole 30.  Some parts are a little scientificy (I realize that's not a word), but it really explained the why's of doing it.

2. Have a go to meal.  A quick and easy meal that you can use on nights when it's busy.

3. The first week is hard, feel like you have the flu hard, but if you power through it, you will learn so much.

4. I kept checking #whole30 on instagram.  It really helps to see pictures from others that are going through the same thing.

5. Make it work for your family.  Most nights, Shad would eat what I ate, but I would usually add a grain for him.  If I ate beef, peppers, and onions, I would make some rice to add to it for him.  The boys usually ate a quesadilla, grilled cheese, or whatever meat we were having.  We decided that for 30 days, this would work for our family.

During my whole 30, Shad really surprised me. He cut the caffeine and sodas way back.  If we had to eat out, he would complain, "This isn't as good as what we've been eating."  I was shocked at how much he liked eating this way with out me ever pressuring him.

6. Pay attention to how you feel.  When you are done with your whole 30, take the time to add back different foods groups one at a time. You never know what you may be allergic or sensitive to.  A year ago, I laughed when my doctor told me to try quitting dairy, and I am now amazed at just how allergic I am to it.  

7. Do what you can.

The whole 30 suggests buying really good, organic meat, and I couldn't afford those meats right now. However, that doesn't mean I can't try whole 30.  Sometimes we look for excuses to stop, but just do what you can.

8. Make a bet with someone.

That dumb bet that I made with Shad really encouraged me when it got tough.  Even though I lost, I'm so glad I did as good as I did.

1. Artificial sweeteners aren't aren't a free pass just because they have no calories. I talked about that here, and it blew my mind!

2. Vegetables are not nasty.

 I really enjoyed trying a new vegetable every week.  I learned that I like avocados, asparagus, and spaghetti squash. What have I been missing out on all these years.

3. I forgot about my dairy allergy during whole 30.

When I first went 100% dairy free, I tried to do some substitute cooking, but I always just end up feeling deprived.  When I cook simply with meat and veggies, I don't feel as deprived. I don't focus on the foods I can't have, but on the foods I can have.

4. I love how pretty my fridge looks filled with fruits and veggies. Aldi was a big help to keep the cost down during my whole 30.

5. This month, I had tons of practice with not emotionally eating.  I am so proud of myself for staying focused while Collin was in the hospital and sticking to the whole 30.  I really believe that is why I didn't get sick with all the stress and no sleep.

6. The biggest lesson I learned is, sugar and I aren't as close of friends as I thought we were.

 Sugar was a beast to get off of because I loOoOoOove sugar. Now that I've added it back some, I see how much it affects me.  During the whole 30, I liked a day without the highs and lows of sugar. Now, I am much more conscious to how much sugar I am eating.

Overall, the whole 30 was a really good, eye opening experience.  I would recommend it to anyone who is struggling with energy and their health.  A year ago, I would have thought this was crazy, but now, I really do believe that many illnesses and problems can be controlled or helped by what we eat.

On Monday, I weighed myself and found out I lost 13 pounds through the whole process. That's not a bad perk, but I'm glad whole 30 has opened my eyes to the fact that food is more than just calories.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Blessing #198 - Healing Up

Thank you so much for your kind words after Thursday's post.  Honestly, it was a rough day for me, and your words and comments meant so much.

One of the things that bothered me about the whole thing was, "How could people be so mean?"

Friday, as I was talking to a friend, I had a moment of clarity. You know an "aha moment" as Oprah would say.

When another mother hears about what happened to Collin, it is very scary to her even though Collin is not her child.  My friends that are mothers, all reacted very strongly when they learned of the accident.  As mothers, when we hear of something sad and scary happening to a child our knee jerk reaction is, "Wow that is sad and scary." Which is immediately followed by the thought, "Could that happen to my child?"

That thought, "Could that happen to my child?" is very scary for a mother.  It is a place where no mother wants to go.

The mothers that don't know me, don't allow themselves to go to that scary place.  Their knee jerk reaction is, "Wow that is sad and scary." Which is immediately followed by the thought, "That mother must be negligent and stupid."  That may sound mean, but by blaming the other mother, they protect themselves.

They think, "Of course, that could not happen to my child.  That was just a "bad mother" and I'm a "good mother" so I wouldn't let it happen. No, my child is safe, and that could never happen."

 By vilifying me, those mothers protect themselves from going to the place of, "Could this happen to my child?"

Does that make sense? It really helped me. As a mathematical person, my brain works step by step.  When I see a problem like, "How can other mothers be so mean," I have to solve it, and this solution works for me.

 That realization made me realize that their anger is not about me at all. They are just trying to protect themselves, and I can understand that.

Shad solution is just, "People say stupid things at stupid times because people are stupid."  Typical man, doesn't he know I have to analyze things!

If Collin's accident happened ten years ago, I would have handled very differently.  I probably would have written a post filled with Christian cliches, and just told myself to be strong because that's what people expect.

However over the past ten years, I have realized the importance of not hiding my feelings or just trying to be tough.  I have to process through things and not just stuff them down. In the long run, anger, fear, and sorrow always catch up to you if you don't deal with them, and they seem to have a way of growing when you don't deal with them.

Sometimes as Christians, we feel the need to be strong or make big displays of our faith in times of crisis.  However, I believe it's okay to be sad. It's okay to say, "This is tough," or "This stinks." If you don't believe me, just read the Psalms.  They are filled with David expressing his true heart to God, and sometimes it's not so pretty.

That's why when I first read the comments, I had no trouble admitting how much they bothered me, and how tough it has been dealing with Collin's accident.

This weekend, after my "aha moment," I could tell I was on the upswing.  My mother load of guilt started to lighten. It's just easier to talk or think about the accident, and my heart seems to be patching up!

Writing really helps me process through things. Thank you for listening. Thank you for not pushing me and giving me time to work through this. You don't know how much y'all have helped me through all this.