Jun 26, 2012

Insomnia: Stuff To Do When You're Not Sleeping

Insomnia and I have become close friends.

Not by my choosing.

But I'm guessing that I'm not the only one she is stalking.

So, in case you, too, are failing at avoiding her, I have some suggestions for stuff to do while you hang.

10.  Ask Your Husband If He's Awake.  And if he's not, go ahead and wake him up.  Just to chat.  Husbands love having heart-to-hearts in the middle of the night.

9.  Peruse Pinterest.  If you're lucky, you can find some great DIY projects to keep you busy the next night when you're not sleeping.

8.  Do A DIY Project.  See #9.

7.  Watch Infomericals.  I am in awe of the sheer amount of Ah-Maz-Ing products out there that I never knew existed.  For instance, how in the world have I lived my whole life without using InstaHang?  I mean, I have spent years hanging pictures with a plain old hammer and nails.   Never again my friend!  And I really think the Hypnosis Weight Loss program is going to be what finally does the trick for me.  Seriously, those 'actual customers' said it really worked for them.  I'm a believer!

6.  Read.  Since you're sleepy, you won't be able to focus on anything heavy, so stock up on People, US Weekly, and anything else that has a Kardashian on the front. 

5.  Check out AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com  I promise you won't be disappointed!

4.  Eat.  There is no one around to witness you consuming the ENTIRE half gallon of ice cream AND/or the leftover pizza.  And if no one saw it, did it ever really happen?  I didn't think so.

3.  Give Yourself a Mani/Pedi.  I have learned from experience that if you are a parent of young children, this may be the ONLY time that you can get by with painting your nails without the risk of them being immediately ruined by the urgent need for juice or a snack or bathroom assistance.

2.  Clean.  Oh wait, did you think I was serious with this one?  No way!  Not even insomnia and the extra hours she brings are enough to make me want to do actual housework.  I'm still me after all...

1.  Write A Blog Post. If you haven't started a blog yet, this is a great time to join in. Plenty of time to write and not a soul in the world to interrupt you. If you're already a blogger, go ahead and write a post about your insomnia. As you can see, this is riveting stuff.

Linking up with Many Little Blessings for Top Ten Tuesday.  Go check them out!

Jun 21, 2012

Awkward and Awesome Thursday

It's been a little tough to think about the Awesome lately, but there has truly been too much of it NOT to share. 


I have said before how much I love our House Church.  And I have to say it again.

After my mom's passing, they rallied around our family and took care of us in a way that is beyond anything I can express.  The called, brought food, sent emails, watched my girls, and even came over THREE TIMES to do yard work and pull up our deck that was falling apart. 

Our yard looks better than it ever has, and I am THRILLED to be able to let my girls out on our back patio without worrying that they will fall and get hurt by an old board coming up.

I know that these people are a blessing from God and I am so very thankful for them!

Also Awesome:

The pool!  We have spent a lot of days lately relaxing by the pool.  We bring our lunch and snacks, and just spend the day.  Sometimes we even stay long enough to have dinner there also.  It just puts us all in a different place.  We take a breath, enjoy the sun and water, and move at a slower pace.  This is what summer is about to me.


This past weekend was Father's Day.  On Saturday afternoon we went to my in-laws to spend time with Jeremy's dad, Bill.  After lunch and cake, he began to open the cards the girls had made for him and then the gift.

After he took out the gift we got him, he looked back into the bag and said, "what is this?"

And he pulled out my younger daughter's underwear.

Ummmm, Happy Father's Day??

We still have no idea exactly how they got in there, but it was definitely an awkward moment.

Honestly, I was just glad they were clean underwear. 

He was a great sport about it, and if nothing else, it makes for great memories.

Here's hoping you have a lot of Awesome in your week!

Jun 19, 2012

Top Ten Sides to Take To A Cookout

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One of the reasons I love summer is the food.

Because let's face it, corn on the cob isn't the same in November.

Nope, summer brings on some of the best food there is.

And the very best thing is to get invited to a cookout where you get to sample all kinds of calorie loaded yumminess. 

And you don't have to feel one bit of guilt for it either because it would be impolite to not try everything.

Some things must even be tried twice to make sure no feelings are hurt.

{I am such a people pleaser...}

And of course, you can't show up without some yumminess of your own to share.

That's where I come in.

Here are 10 dishes that you can't go wrong with!

10.  Baked Beans!  My mom always made the very best baked beans, and I still use her recipe to this day.  Here it is:

2 large cans of beans, (any variety will do...I usually use the store brand)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 TBSP of ketchup
2 TBSP of yellow mustard
2 TBSP of Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP of Tabasco Sauce

Mix it all together and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until onions are soft.  Allow it to cool for about 15 minutes before serving so that the sauce can thicken.

9.  Macaroni and Cheese!  I always use this recipe from Paula Deen.  It's my absolute favorite, and truly southern.

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8.  Crack Potatoes!  They have a gazillion different names, but it's basically the hash brown casserole that becomes completely addictive.  Here's my recipe:

1 bag of frozen shredded hash browns
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of cheese (or more if you like them really cheesy!)
1 TBSP of Onion Powder
1 TBSP of salt

Mix it all together and cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

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7.  Fruit Salad!  Someone has to bring something healthy, right?!  I opt for fresh fruit, and this recipe looks really delicious!

6.  Taco Dip and Chips!  I think I've shared this recipe before, but it's super easy and always a hit.  So, I'll share it again!

1 Can of Refried Beans
16 oz. sour cream
1 packet of taco seasoning
shredded lettuce
2 Cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 tomato, diced

Mix the sour cream and taco seasoning.  Layer in a 9X13 pan: Refried beans, sour cream mixture, shredded lettuce, cheese and diced tomatoes.  Serve with tortilla chips.

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5.  Ranch Pasta Salad!  I like a Pasta Salad with Italian dressing as much as the next gal.  But my mom made this ranch version and it has become a favorite, too.

1 16 oz. box of macaroni noodles, (or any pasta!), cooked and drained
2-3 carrots, chopped into small pieces
1 cucumber, chopped
1 packet of ranch dressing mix, prepared.
1 Cup of shredded cheddar

Mix all the ingredients together and allow it to chill in the fridge for at least one hour.  Note: You can get REALLY creative with this and add any veggies you like!  Sometimes we have added frozen peas, red or green peppers, ham, etc.  And if you want a southwestern flair, try adding corn and black beans.

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4.  Pulled Pork!  If you're going to a gathering where a heartier dish would be appreciated, try this slow cooker recipe.  It is my go-to pulled pork recipe and the whole family enjoys it!

2-1/4- to 3-pound pork shoulder roast
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin or chili powder
3 cups bottled barbecue sauce
12 to 16 hamburger buns
Trim the fat from the roast. Cut roast, if necessary, to fit in your slow cooker. Add water, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and cumin or chili powder. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.
Remove meat from the cooker; discard cooking liquid. Using two forks, pull the meat apart and return it to the cooker. Stir in barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on high-heat setting for 30 to 45 minutes or until heated through. Transport in slow cooker and serve within 2 hours.  Makes 12 to 16 sandwiches.

3.  Corn on The Cob!  I haven't tried this method yet, but I certainly am going to as soon as I get a chance!

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2.  Loaded Potato Salad!  This is the recipe that my husband always requests. 

4-5 baking potatoes, diced and boiled until semi-soft
16 oz. sour cream
1/4 cup of mayo
1/2 lb. of bacon, cooked until crispy and chopped
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/8 cup of diced green onion. (or you could use red onion...or none at all.  Your call!)
1 TBSP of salt

Mix all the ingredients together and chill at least two hours.

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1.  Coleslaw!  I am NOT a fan of traditional coleslaw, so I would opt for this Crunchy Asian version!

I will be linking up with Many Little Blessings for Top Ten Tuesday!  Be sure to check them out!

Jun 18, 2012

My Husband Doesn't Like What I Wear

I read an online article the other week that was something like, "10 Things Men Don't Like That Women Wear". 

It made me curious because I didn't really think that men paid much attention to what women wear. 

Some things that made the list were harem pants, Uggs and anything neon.

It made me question if there were things I wore that my own husband didn't like.

But just as I thought, my husband loves everything I wear.

Ha!  Did you believe that? 

Nope, turns out he does have some opinions about what I wear, or how I wear my hair etc.

Fortunately for me, he usually keeps them to himself.  But when I ask, he is honest, (in a kind and sensitive way, of course!)

Turns out, his main pet peeve is when I wear my hair wavy/curly.  He says that it looks unkept and he prefers that I take the time to straighten it. 

my "unkept" hair...

He also isn't a fan of boots...especially my cowgirl boots. (Obviously, he doesn't know a great thing when he sees it!)

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Sometimes I listen, sometimes I don't.

Because while I like to look nice for my husband, and appreciate it when he thinks I look good, I dress more for myself than anyone else.

So what about you?  Do you dress for yourself or for your husband/others? 

Jun 14, 2012


Transitions can be tough.

And this is where I find myself right now.

My last post was about the passing of my mom and how much it hurts and how awful I feel.

And while I want to blog about "normal" life again, it's hard.

How do you go from, 'here's what I said at my mom's memorial service' to 'Top Ten ways to entertain your kids this summer'?

It seems awkward at best.

But the truth is that no matter how much it feels like life should kind of stop for a while, it doesn't.

My girls are still going to VBS, having sleepovers, and going to the pool.

I am still watching the Bachelorette on Mondays, shopping at Target, and celebrating my birthday in a couple weeks.

And while there are still plenty of rough days, where all I do is sit around and cry, there are also still lots of fun days that I want to share about on this blog.

But if I only share about the fun stuff, and leave out all the hard stuff, I wouldn't feel like I'm being 100% honest with you.

Not that I want this blog to turn into Debbie Downer...my mom would hate that!

But I guess what I'm saying is that I want to be real with you, both on the good days and bad. 

So, for a while at least, you might get a post on Monday about a great skirt I found, and the next day might be about what grief looks like for me. 

And then the next day might be about ice cream.

You just never know.

Hope you'll take this roller coaster ride with me.

Jun 4, 2012

A Post I Never Wanted To Write

This is a post I never wanted to write. 

But a week ago last Thursday evening, my momma went to be with Jesus.

It was unexpected and sudden, and it has turned my world upside down.

Some days I handle it well, and others, I don't.

I just miss her like crazy and I'm not sure yet if this pain inside me, this feeling like someone has kicked me in the gut, will ever go away.

And I wonder when I won't think about it every second of the day.

Because I do.

Even when I'm having a good moment or something funny happens, it's always there.

And my pain isn't about her, because I know she's loving her life in heaven. 

It's about me, and how much my life has changed, and how much I want my momma back.

She was funny, and sweet, and knew me like no one else. 

And I wish you could have known her. 

I spoke about her at the memorial service last week, and I want to share it with you, too.

Most of those of you here today knew my mom, and knew her wonderful spirit.  You knew how giving she could be, how funny and silly she was, and how much she loved her friends and family.

But some of you may not have known her, or at least not in a personal way.  And today, I want to share a few things about my mom that I think you ought to know.

First, my mom was a great cook.  That may be obvious from looking at her family, as we enjoyed the fruits of her labor more than anyone.  But if you ever had the pleasure of tasting her fudge, her homemade pies, or her fried chicken, then you knew what food made with love tasted like.

My mom was also a world class bargain hunter.  In fact, she taught me the art of haggling.  If you were at a garage sale and someone was asking 25 cents, she was sure to get it for 10. 

My mom loved Lifetime movies.  She could spend an entire day in her recliner watching them.  Often, she would tell me that her life could be a Lifetime movie and we’d wonder what the name of it would be.  Something dramatic like, Breaking through into Light: A Story of Hope.

My mom also enjoyed traveling.  She never made it to Paris, or Italy or Hawaii, but just to be in the car driving to Gatlinburg, or Myrtle Beach or Pennsylvania was just fine with her.  It wasn’t just about the destination for my mom.  It was about the experience, and the people she was with.

One thing probably everyone knew about my mom was how much she loved her grandchildren.  They called her Mimi, and her favorite thing was to spoil them like crazy.  It wasn’t uncommon for us to leave our kids with her for a short time, only to return and find out that they had been given ice cream, cookies, juice, and muffins.  And after that, they had dessert.

My mom also loved animals.  In fact, they had several pets over the years.  She only ever actually adopted one herself.  The others all came from my sister, Ro, who has a talent for adopting pets that somehow always found themselves in the full time care of my mother.

Another thing my mom was great at was sticking her foot in her mouth.  She always meant well, but somehow, she had a knack for saying exactly the wrong thing.  For example, when my best friend, Debbie, came to tell my mom she was getting married, my mom congratulated her, and then went on to say, “You know your kids are gonna have red hair, right?”  As her fiancĂ© was standing there.  With his red hair.

But the thing I would want you to know most about my mom is how strong her faith was.  My mom was the person who taught me about Jesus and His love for me.  She taught me that His love was greater than anything.  It was what gave her strength when she felt like life was too hard.  It was what carried her when she felt too weak.  It was her truth when life became confusing.  And it was the foundation on which everything else in her life was built on.

And I am so grateful that my momma passed that love on to me.  That she encouraged me to find my own faith in Christ.  Because not only does that faith provide comfort in my suffering now, but it gives me hope for the future.   

Because I know Christ, and have given my life to Him, I KNOW I will see my mom again.  I can celebrate her life today, because I know that her life continues. Right at this moment, she is living in the presence of Jesus, and that is beyond anything this world could offer. I can rejoice and be glad, because for us, this is not an ending, but a momentary separation.  We will be together one day. And after that, we will never have to know separation again.

Until then, momma, may you dance for your King, may you sing your Heaven Song, and may you delight in His glorious riches!

Even now to read it, it just seems unreal.  But it is real.  This is my new reality.

So, for now, as I try to adjust to this new life, and try to get back into a "normal" schedule, I will probably be inconsistent, at best, on this blog.

I know I won't be posting at all this week.

But I hope that you'll pray for me, and my family. 

And hopefully, sooner rather than later, I will be sharing the fun things in life again.