Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Christmas Card Debate

I was recently flipping through a magazine and came across an article on the outgoing trend of sending Christmas cards. The author seemed very sure that this was an "old-fashioned, out-dated" tradition and that we should all embrace technology and do away with the old through-the-mail ritual. This saddened me.

For as long as I can remember, my Grandma Phyllis would always send out an annual Christmas card and a Christmas newsletter. They were so much fun to receive for a variety of reasons. The first was that you could always look forward to getting something in the mail that was not a bill. The second reason was to see how many Guidepost/LWML/Feed the Children stickers she would slap on the envelope. The third, and most important was the annual family newsletter. Grandma would document to all on the mailing list what was happening in her own life as well as the lives of her children and grandchildren. Even though I was always able to be present at most of these detailed events, it was fun to have a yearly account of what went on in all our lives.

As I became an adult, I decided that when I got married, I wanted to carry on that tradition with my own family. So the first year Michael and I were married, we sat down and wrote our first Christmas letter. It was fun to see what we had accomplished over the year and where we wanted to go for the next year. The first couple of years, we received oodles of cards and newsletters similar to ours. It was such a great way to stay in touch with those you went to college with or friends who had since moved away. I loved receiving pictures of my friends and their kids, seeing how each family had changed or remained exactly the same over the year. But as time as gone by, the letters/cards have gotten fewer and fewer. To be frank, it feels as though the merriment of Christmas cards has dwindled. Of the 50 people we send out cards to each year, I think we've only received about 15 actual cards in reciprocation. I believe this is a result of one of two things. Either we are loosing friends and being cut from lists (which I pray is not the case), or people are doing away with this age-old tradition. Maybe I'm particular, but there's something much more special to me about receiving a real card and update from friends and family in the actual mail, than receiving an e-card or a generic "Merry Christmas" to everyone I know on Facebook.

What do you think? The only con I see for sending out the cards is the cost of postage and the cards themselves if you're trying to cut back. But I believe the pros outweigh the cons considerably. My hope is that my friends, family, and readers of my blog that do send out letters/cards will continue to carry on this tradition. You're helping spread Christmas cheer to our family for sure!

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


As I was rocking my sniffling little boy this morning, I was reflecting on how blessed I was. It seems odd to have this thought pop in your head when you're awakened at 5:45am to the sound of crying and your little one suffering from a runny nose and a fever. But in the midst of his tears and little whimpers, I thought about how much I have and how thankful I am to be where I'm at in life. Here are just a few of the things I considered myself blessed with this morning.

1. My relationship with Jesus - This is something I have been blessed with for a long time, but seldom have the courage to talk about. Sure, people know I'm a Christian, but what exactly does that mean? To me, it means that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ died for my sins and has redeemed me. He is my bridge to a relationship with God the Father and I'm so grateful that He guides me through life. I've lived the life without God in it. It's not worth it. Sin is fun for a while, but it definitely catches up to you. And when it does, God is still there, waiting for you to come back, to restore you. I'm grateful that I figured this out pretty early on in college. I'm not perfect, things are not always easy for me, nor do I have life all figured out. But the one thing I do know at the end of the day is that Jesus loves me, no matter what. And that when everything and everyone else fails me, He's always there - encouraging me to stay the course and to trust in Him.

2. My family - Really it doesn't get much better than this. I have the most amazing husband in the whole world. He loves me in a sexy dress and even when I've whipped out the tattered sweatpants. Nothing tells you a man loves you more than when he'll snuggle with you in ratty sweats, wearing no make up, and your hair looks like Woody the Woodpecker may have tried to create a home in it. My son is also incredible. Although parenting has not been an easy adventure, I have a pretty well-behaved, respectful, sweet, and handsome little boy. My prayer is that his little brother will be just a duplicate of those things.

3. My church - When people say they love their church, I often wondered what they meant by that. Do they love the building? The atmosphere? The programing? Just the pastor? When I say it, I mean I love the people. All those extra things are wonderful too, but it's the people that have become dear to my heart. I have made so many friends at our church. These people don't just talk it, they live it. They are there for you when things get tough and love you enough to hold you accountable when you're too blind to see mistakes you're making. They truly love people like Jesus does.

4. Our current situation - I've been a stay at home mom for about two and a half years now. It's been an interesting journey. I've loved being able to be with Gabriel and watch him grow and develop. It's crazy to think that we've been able to manage living off of just Michael's income. (Thank the good Lord for free TV online....) Although we don't have all the latest and greatest things, nicest cars, newest clothes, or the ability to go out to eat all the time, we really do love our life. God is putting a stirring in my heart to go back to work part time after the baby is born, which is exciting and frightening all at the same time. But as it stands now, I'm content with where He has us. Michael has a good job and I'm grateful I get to spend every day molding and training my son to be a good person and a man of God.

There are many more things I'm thankful for, but in the 15 minutes I spent giving Gabriel some much needed snuggling this morning, those are the four things that really stuck out to me. I may not have all the latest and greatest things, but I've got the essentials. That's all that really matters, right?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cloth Diapering Adventure

In about 19 weeks, we're going to have a newborn again. Another adorable, chubby, sweet little boy! Just last Wednesday, I found out that Baby @#2 was going to be a boy. Which was surprising for both Michael and I, considering we were totally convinced this baby was going to be a girl. But it makes no difference to us. We can't wait to have a little guy with chubby legs, cute baby coos, soft baby skin....

However, we're not looking forward to little to no sleep, maybe getting in 2-3 showers a week, and loads of diapers.

When we had Gabriel, I always thought it would be "fun" to try cloth diapering. But I didn't think it was realistic for our family. Who has time to do laundry once a day or every other day, and ewww! Wouldn't it be gross? And what do you do when you're on the go? Aren't they super expensive?

Fast forward two and a half years with one child being in diapers. I think Huggies, Pampers, Costco, and now Target have made a small fortune on the amount of money I've spent on disposable diapers. Earlier this week, I had to go buy yet another package of diapers for Gabriel (as potty training is not going so well), and had a small heart attack when I realized how much per diaper I was spending lately. $.39 a diaper!!! Because I've got a football player in the making, my son has to wear a size 6, which is the biggest diaper they make. Which also means that I have to buy packages that contain the least amount of diapers for the same amount of money. After handing over my $15 to Target for my small box of "generic" diapers, I took a deep breath and affirmed myself that with this new baby we would be doing things differently.

My friend Lauren, who's also expecting, threw a cloth diaper party a couple of months ago and I was able to see all the different kinds of cloth diapering systems. Needless to say I was overwhelmed. But that wasn't going to turn me back to using disposables. So for the past few months, I've been researching all different kinds of diapering systems. Unfortunately, I still haven't made a decision on what we want to try. The initial investment for cloth diapering can really add up, spending close to $200-300 up front. But when you compare that to the amount of money spent on diapering a baby for two years with disposables, it's just a drop in the bucket. And, the benefits of cloth diapering as opposed to disposables are awesome too! Less diaper rash, no torn tabs, no more killing the environment. All I need to do now is make a decision on what few diapers I want to try before we take a huge plunge into a system. Here are a couple of the brands we're looking at pretty seriously. Any thoughts, suggestions, or experiences that you think would help us make an informed decision are welcome!

Soft Bums

Fuzzi Bunz


Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Next Chapter

Several years ago, I decided that I wanted to be a counselor when I grew up. And for the past seven, I've been working, slowly and steadily (as I know that's what wins the race), to complete this master's level degree. About a month ago, all of that schooling, time away from my family, and hours of studying was finally put to the test. In Mid-September, I took the long journey to Dallas to take the most difficult exam in the history of the universe....okay, maybe not, but still it is tough.

After pouring over exhaustive questions for two and a half hours, the computer system requires you to take an "exit survey". The survey asks you questions about the ease of the test administration, the friendliness of the staff, blah, blah, blah. I don't even remember what I said. What I do remember is after I hit submit, the biggest knot in my stomach erupted and I thought I might hurl. This feeling, combined with being 12 weeks pregnant and still very nauseated did not sit well. I rushed up to the counter and a sweet little lady greeted me.

"Well, honey, how did it go?"

I took in a deep breath, trying to push down my breakfast, wishing she'd be a little quicker at handing over my scores.

"I'm not sure. But that was definitely the hardest exam I have ever taken in my life."

As she reached across the printer to hand me my scores, I threw up a prayer to God, knowing that whatever the outcome, He has plans for me and those plans were to be prosperous. He also told me over and over again that morning not be anxious about anything, but I was struggling with that one. The sweet woman finally locates my name in the stack of test results, hands me my scores and looks at me hopefully, waiting for my reaction. I feverishly scan the sheet, just looking for the words pass or fail. After about 30 secs, I spot it in the upper right hand corner of the paper.


I let out a scream, and then quickly covered my mouth (as other people were still taking exams), and began jumping up and down. The sweet little lady giggled, embraced me in a hug and we jumped up and down together a couple of times. I couldn't believe it.

I was finally going to be a legitimate counselor.

That was a month ago. Now we're at the present. I still haven't actually applied for my license, as the five year time limit to complete your internship begins as soon as you receive your license. What's the hold up, you might ask? Well, back to reality. I think I mentioned that I'm pregnant, now close to 19 weeks into this journey and finally starting to feel good. I'm ready to get back to work, but Michael and I are trying to figure out what's sensible and realistic. Do I go back to work for 3-4 months, only to take maternity leave for 2 months later? What employer is going to go for that?

We've relied on God's guidance throughout our marriage, especially when big decisions were at hand. This is no exception. I'm believing that God will reveal to us His will and where He wants to take our family, having faith in His timing. What's the next step in our little, expanding family's journey? Guess we'll have to wait and see...although it sure would be nice to get a call or e-mail from Jesus with his tentative schedule for us.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tomorrow's D-Day

Well, it's finally here. In less than 24 hours, I'll be taking the National Counselors Exam, FINALLY! I have to give mad props to Dr. Rosenthal. His book, The Encyclopedia of Counseling and his CD set really helped me prep for this test. I think I finally know what a measure of central tendency is, as well as a T-Score! I also have a grasp on Career Counseling Theories. Acing the test may be out of the question, but passing it is definitely possible now. In the next 10 hours or so, I'll be cramming in all the last minute info I can. Hopefully all those memory devices will pay off! I'm also hoping I can get through the test without throwing up...not only due to nerves, but due to my crazy amount of morning sickness.

Oh yeah.

I forgot to tell you.

I'm pregnant again. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I'm taking a 15 minute break from studying and thought I'd give an update on where I'm at. The countdown to taking the big NCE (National Counselor's Exam) has begun. D-Day is set for Sept. 16th. I'm not sure if I've been blessed with wisdom or ignorance for scheduling this test the morning we leave for vacation. My logic behind this is taking it the day we leave will allow me to enjoy my vacation with my family, as opposed to trying to cram in more studying while on the road and then taking the exam the day after we get back. It's logical right? But, by my logic, that only gives me 9 days to study. EEK!!!

So far, I've been listening to Dr. Howard Rosenthal's Study Guide on CD and reading his Encyclopedia of Counseling. Although the man is a bit on the cheese-ball side, I really don't mind listening to him. He knows his stuff and at least he provides a study guide that's easy to understand and is almost enjoyable to read. Did I just say that?

Hopefully while Gabriel is meeting new friends and having fun at Mother's Day Out, I can get in some good, uninterrupted study time...that is if I can keep myself off the computer long enough to try.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's a S-L-O-W Process

Well, it's the middle of August and guess what? I have yet to take the NCE (National Counselors Exam). Sometimes processes tend to be much more complicated and time consuming than they need to be. I found out after waiting a month and a half that the fee for taking the exam went up $40!! Who raises an exam fee by $40?!? And why does an exam really need to cost $200? On top of all the other money I've got to spend to obtain a license. Shesh.

But complaining aside, I "should" be set to take that sucker come the third week in September. I'm so excited to finally be done listening to Dr. Howard Rosenthal and be OFFICIAL. I'm still searching out an internship, which also seems to be dragging out. It's been difficult to find a site that is relatively close to home. Proximity is important because Gabriel is starting Mother's Day Out in the fall and it's only for 5 hours, 3 days a week. We're excited that he's going to have the opportunity to make some new friends and that I'm going to be able to start having big kid interactions and a regular basis. I'm trusting that God is going to lead me right where He wants me to be.

Up and Running on Etsy!

After 3 hours of hard work, we finally have an Etsy store! Hooray! I'm going to start selling all of my Like A Diamond Baby items here until my website is up and running. I've had friends that have used Etsy for a while and have had a good amount of success with it. I'm excited to try it out for myself. Check out my shop and let me know what you think!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Like a Diamond Baby Boutique

It's official! We have a new business! Michael just finished my logo and we're up and running. I started a Facebook page and we're hoping to have our website up and running soon. I can also start taking orders via e-mail at our new e-mail address: orders@likeadiamondbaby.com.

Sometimes it feels surreal that this is actually happening, that I'm really going to try to sell what I love making. But I have a peace that this is something God wants us to do. Our prayer and hope is that He will bless this venture.

Let me know what you think of my snazzy new logo!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A New Venture

I've been a stay at home mom now for approximately 25 months. And I love it. It has great benefits, no dress code, and I can usually take a bathroom break whenever I feel the need. But there is one slight disadvantage.

Lack of payment.

Yes, I get paid in love, tickles, hugs, peanut butter and jelly, and an occasional nap. But as far as seeing a monetary benefit, I've got nothing. Hopefully that will change in the near future as I'm getting closer to taking my National Counselors Exam (NCE) and securing a (cross your fingers here) PAID internship. But until then, money remains tight. Knowing that I'm a Freeland, it may not surprise you that I'm careful with our money. We save, Save, SAVE - all the time. But since I've been without a job for two years, it's been harder to take advantage of various "fun" activities because what we save has been paying bills...and insurance...and school loans. Going to the movies, out to eat, getting a pedicure, or buying clothes and shoes are all luxuries that I don't get to partake in very often. And now that graduation is over and the degree is in hand, more school loans are about to arrive in nice little white envelopes come November.

My solution for this has been to not only seek a paid internship, but to dabble in a little side business. I may not have mentioned it before but I love to sew. Back in college, I was able to train and learn under an awesome guy named Mark at Kansas State when I worked in the costume shop. I learned how to make lots of things, from petticoats and corsets, to ballgowns and dress pants. Within the past year, I've started making more things with my nifty little sewing machine. Specifically baby items. So far I've mastered how to make Slings, Embellished Burp Cloths, Nursing Aprons, Blankets, Diaper Bag Changing Pads, and Snugglers (mini-security blankets). After I started making these for friends, people kept telling me, "You should sell these." So after much prayer and a leap of faith, I decided to go through with it. Here's a peek at some of the items I've made over the past year.

The following are various other custom orders for friends -
from Burp Cloths to Nursing Aprons:
For Baby Liam

For Baby Owen
For Baby Caitlin
Various other designs and items (Snugglers not pictured)

Right now I'm working on choosing a name, getting a logo and website, and setting up an online store. But in the interim, I'm taking orders over e-mail and Facebook. I would love to make you something special. As an incentive to try me out, I'm offering a 20% discount to anyone that contacts me and mentions my blog "Some Babies Just". I guarantee you'll receive an item that is made with love and creativity. Leave me a comment or e-mail me (find the email in my profile box) if you're interested in having me start a special project just for you or someone you love.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

With a swipe of the brush...Wa-la!

Michael and I just recently finished our next home improvement project. We finally finished painting the inside of our house. About 2 or 3 years ago, Michael did a wonderful job painting our kitchen, but we decided to hold off on the rest of the house due to lack of moo-lah to buy more paint and the time it would take to finish. Well, luckily, we held off and got a great deal on paint at Lowe's Memorial Day weekend. Michael dissembled our living room and hallways, and drug out the paint brushes. We set G up in his play room with a movie and away we went. We were able to get the whole living room and both hallways done in just a couple of days. We're pretty happy with the results. Now, it's time to move on to making pillows!


Drum Roll, please.....


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sugar and Spice

I told myself that this summer was going to be the summer for projects. I have loads of things on my list, which I'll be sure to share throughout the summer. But the first project that I was ready to head up was organizing my spice cupboard.

Now I love to cook, but I often get frustrated because my cupboard is booby trapped. Where is Data from The Goonies when I need him? I have approximately 50+ spices and seasonings, so this organization is LONG over due.

Spices are crammed in there so tight I have to take
half the cupboard out before I can find what I need.

And look how ghetto I am! I have some spices in Ziplock bags.

This is to show how much was in that cupboard
and the varying sizes of everything.

I got the idea to tackle this from my friend Jenny (check out her blog, it's cool...). She was in the same predicament that I was. Lots of spices, all in different size bottles and lacking uniformity (something us perfectionists REALLY need). She did the leg work and found out that buying jars that would be cute and fun would cost approximately $2-3 a piece. Well, who has that kind of money to spend on spice jars? So she came up with a brilliant idea to re-use baby food jars! I had no idea what she was up to when she asked me to start saving Gabriel's old ones, but let's just say I was thoroughly impressed. She caught some great pictures of her results. Now, my pictures are not nearly as fancy or artistically taken as hers, but you get the point.

I used Goo Gone to get the sticky off the jars
(see my notes for a better way to do this)
Washed them several times to make sure they were sanitized.
This was about half of the jars I used.
I also used larger 6 oz jars for spices I had a bigger quantity of.

Clean Lids!
Spray painting the lids with chrome paint and polyurethane.
I decided to use a polyurethane to seal the lids but it's so important
to let this dry fully before you try to use them.
(I got a little impatient and left finger prints on some of my lids)

Look at how cute my jars turned out!
You can hand write the labels like Jenny did
(which she has fantastic handwriting!),

or you can cheat and print them off like me!

FINISHED PRODUCT!! I feel so fancy now!
Don't they look pretty? I love how the colors look against one another.
My new cupboard!

Couple of things that I wish I had done differently (if you think of doing this yourself):

1. No matter how anxious or excited you are about finishing up, WAIT FOR THE PAINT TO DRY! It's worth it to wait.

2. If you are able to get a hold of jars with the label still attached, keep them on there and soak them overnight in a soapy bath. Then use your fingernail or a razor blade to take the sticky off. I used the Goo Gone which worked until it dried, then I realized I had smeared the glue everywhere. It was a pain to take off.

3. I would still like to find some thing recyclable that goes with my theme to put my extracts and my shakers in.

That's it! I'm so happy with how they turned out! My life is just a little more organized now, which is always a special blessing! I think it turned out really well. And the spices look so pretty in there. It feels so good to be recycling used things and I think the total cost for me was $2 for a can of spray paint. That beats $2-3 a jar and they look just as nice. If you need a place to get jars b/c you don't have any kiddos leaving you with a large amount of them, check out your local Freecycle (this is where I got more jars). More likely than not, some mommy is saving hers and would be happy to give them to you.

Now, all I have to do if I run out of a spice is head to Central Market and just buy the spice in the quantity I need, no wasting of a plastic jar! Go Green and try to organize by using recyclable products. :) Next up, painting the living room!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


It's done. Degree achieved! It took about 7 years to complete, but I'm officially a graduate and have a Master's Degree! Isn't it pretty?

Now what to do? I know! How about a break! I'm planning on taking the whole summer off and just having fun; something I haven't gotten to do in a long time. My hope is that I'll be able to make up for some lost time with Gabriel. I'm looking forward to many date nights with Michael as well! This summer is going to be awesome.

Then come August, it'll be time to start a new journey with a new internship! Yep. It's time to grow up and be a big kid. But for the next three months, I think I'll just play.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

7 days and counting

One week.

That's it. One week until my hot little hands are holding my master's degree! Last Thursday I was overwhelmed with relief as I finished up my last class. Then on Monday, God gave me even more relief as I e-mailed off my last paper. Technically, I am finished with graduate school at DBU. It's done and it feels amazing! All that I have left to do is walk across the stage on the 13th.

People keep asking me, "So, what are you going to do next?" As much as I'd like to say, "I'm going to Disney World!" or "I have my future path all mapped out!", the truth is I really don't have a clue. The only thing I am counting on is taking (and hopefully passing) my NCE (National Counseling Exam) in July. Then who knows? I'm not in a huge hurry to grow up. I do plan to take the entire summer off and have fun with Gabriel. My hope is that I'll be able to make up for some lost time from the months of school and evenings I've been away for the past 2 years. I also plan on reading FOR FUN, going on a few small trips, and sewing. But after that, it's really up to God.

I'm not short of goals though. My big goal is to find a good, solid, Christian counseling center that I can start my internship with. But I'm not in too big of a rush. I know that if I'm focused on being in God's will, he'll put me right where He wants me. Until then, I'm going to sit back, relax, and enjoy this long awaited accomplishment!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


So I'm going to get mushy for a minute.

I just love my husband. He really is the best. After almost 6 years of marriage, some people might start to refer to their husbands in less than appealing terms, but not me. I got the cream of the crop ladies.

Last weekend, our family had the chance to be photographed by the ever talented Shelley Foster. She caught some amazing shots of our sweet little guy, Gabriel. But on a whim, she took some photos of just Michael and I. This picture really sums it up of how much I love and adore my husband. And we're past the ooey, gooey, make you want to throw up infatuation. This is deep, folks. Our marriage has definitely had some trials, but the one thing that has remained constant through those trials has been our love for one another.

We're approaching our 6 year anniversary and I can say with confidence, I'm ready to spend 66 more years with this man, if God allows it to be.

Alright, a few paragraphs of gushing is about all I can handle for one day. I love you, babe. Enough said.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The 30 Day Challenge

I get all my best ideas when I'm in the shower, and this day did not disappoint. As I'm trying not to get soap in my eyes, I begin reflecting on the countless times I have failed meeting my healthy living goals. I stink at eating right, I'm horrible at counting calories, and working out is a joke.

But why?

If you were to read my journals, you'd see they're littered with outcries to God to give me the motivation and the will power to make a change that would stick. A change that would push me to get rid of the extra weight having a child can leave behind. A change that would encourage me to choose a carrot over carrot cake.

Then it dawned on me, why don't I make this a game? I have a bit of a competitive nature in me, even if the competition is myself. What if I set up the game to include a prize at the end. I really liked where this was going. And through my routine of lather, rinse, repeat, I came up with this.

The 30 Day Challenge:
For 30 days (5 weeks total - M-F only), the contestant (that's me) will do the following: will get up by 6:00 or 6:30 each morning, have quiet time, and then do 30-60 minutes of physical activity. This activity may include workout DVDs, going for a power walk (Remember, no running aloud. Doctor's orders.), or after child gets up, taking him on a walk in his stroller. If the morning gets thrown off with child waking up early or it's raining, or some other act of God occurs, then working out will be done in the evening after child goes to bed.

This challenge must be met for 30 consecutive days, where upon meeting said challenge, the contestant will win a prize! However, should the contestant miss even one day in the 30 days, the challenge starts over from the beginning.

What do you think? Was I enlightened? Guess we'll just have to see how effective it is in the next 5 weeks. Day one was tonight. So far, so good. I'm following it up by tracking my food intake at Spark People (they have a great app for the iPhone too). It's like Weight Watchers for F-R-E-E. This added portion to the challenge would consist of logging everything I eat. Not just the good things, but everything. Even the bad. It may seem daunting, but I have hope. I have excitement. It's now a real challenge.

Now I have to figure out what the prize will be....hmm....I'm thinking a Coach purse might be in my future.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Pass me some expensive cheese and a fine bottle of wine! I just finished up my last test of graduate school and I'm ready to celebrate!

It seems surreal that in just five short weeks I'm going to have a real master's degree in my hot little hands. Reflecting on this with my friend Ali, I realized how big of an accomplishment this is for me. Ali exclaimed, "Wow! You did this, and were also able to be a full time mommy and wife!" You know what? She's right! I DID! I stuck with it. And it was hard. But it was worth it. I've found a career that I absolutely love. It's extremely rewarding and allows me to incorporate God's truth into helping people heal from their hurts.

So now, before I begin "working" for real (aka getting PAID to counsel), I'm going to enjoy this reprieve and bask in the greatness of God blessing me with this moment.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Easter is this weekend. I'm so excited about it! Our church is putting on an original production for Easter called Emmaus. (click on the link to check it out!)

As the weekend is approaching, God is placing something on my heart that I've never experienced before. And it makes me feel WEIRD AND UNCOMFORTABLE. Actually, it's been on my heart for about 3 weeks now, but I've been ignoring it, thinking God will stop pestering me about it if I continue to ignore Him. But it looks as though that's not how He works. You see, I have this burden on my heart to invite our neighbors to church. Now, I know that probably doesn't seem like a big deal. But it is to me. I wouldn't exactly describe myself as evangelical. And, we aren't exactly "neighborly" with our neighbors. Not that there's any bad blood or hard feelings. But, we (meaning Michael and I, as well as the neighbors) haven't really ventured across our little plot of land and just visited. So the idea of showing up on their doorstep, ringing the bell, and saying, "Hey, I know we've never really talked or hung out, but do you want to visit our church this weekend?" is an incredibly daunting thought. It seems almost insane.

Michael and I talked about it in depth last night. Why are we so afraid to ask them to church? We know our church is awesome and very welcoming. And, we're pretty sure they don't know Jesus, which means they've got reserved seats on the 245 to Hellsville. Shouldn't that prompt us to act? Why is reaching out to people near you so difficult? I'll tell you why. Fear of rejection. What if we do ask them and they say no? Then we might be the "weird, Christian neighbors...." But then I remind myself that Christ says to follow Him means to take up our cross and to leave the worldly behind. Am I ashamed of Him? No. Do I believe that He can save us from a life destined for hell? Yes. Do I believe that He is the Savior of the world? Yes. Do I believe that if our neighbors don't hear about what He did for them and accept Him, they will continue down the path to hell? Yes. So what's stopping me?


I know that to step out of my little house of comfort and cross the street, cookies and an invitation in hand, could possible change their lives. Why does God stretching me have to feel so uncomfortable?


So, if you read this before Easter, please pray for me, Michael and our neighbors. Pray for courage, pray for openness, and pray for God to do a work in us. They may reject our idea, and yes, we may end up being labeled as "weird." But then again, they may accept our invitation and come to know Jesus the way we do. As a Savior.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Face Lift

My blog just had much needed update, thanks to my sweet husband. Comments from the peanut gallery?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Two of our dearest friends, Chris and Ali, recently had a four year long prayer answered. This past Friday, they got to bring home their new baby girl, Olivia Nicole. This moment was joyous for a variety of reasons, but for me, the biggest joy was finally getting to see one of my best friends finally get to be a mom.

I know that I take it for granted that I'm a mother some days. Those days when Gabriel tests my limits and my patience is not present. But on Sunday, when we met Ms. Olivia, I was overwhelmed with the goodness of God. Not only did God bless this family with the adoption of sweet Olivia, but God blessed Olivia with a wonderful set of parents. It reminded me that God chose Michael and I to be Gabriel's parents; what an awesome privilege! I'm so excited for my friends to be able to experience all the wonderful firsts of parenthood. I'm excited for this little girl to have the opportunity to grow up with parents that love God with all their hearts. And most of all, I'm excited that she has parents that will introduce her to God's beautiful and precious gift of salvation.

Congratulations Chris and Ali! She's beautiful!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pause, Jane.

I want to tell you about a woman I know; let's call her Jane. Jane's had a tough day. Her son woke up at 6:00am and has only taken an hour nap today. Which means that laundry is the only thing she's really gotten started today. Although the day has flown by with sweet play time with her son, the evening is approaching along with the witching hour. Jane realizes that only one thing on her list of 10 thing she needed to get done today has been completed. As Jane sighs from exhaustion, she remembers that her hard working husband (we'll call him Bob), will be arriving soon from a long day of work.

Jane begins searching through the pantry, thinking about what she can make for dinner that will be fast and easy while the toddler is attached to her leg, screaming for more milk. While trying to pick out the quick meal and attempting to the toddler's grip on her leg, Jane remember that she had an assignment due to her professor the night before. You see, Jane isn't just a wife and a mother, she's a graduate student. And Jane completely forgot about that stupid assignment. So Jane sticks her kid in front of the TV, tries to whip up some Hamburger Helper and while it's simmering on the stove, she attempts to do her assignment that was due yesterday. But only 3 minutes into her attempt to further her education, Jane's son feels the need to bother her. He begins demanding to be picked up so he can watch Murray on Sesame Street on her computer. While trying to pull up to windows on the computer (one for her son and the other for her assignment), Jane remembers that she has another assignment due by Sunday. But, she has already committed to a couple meetings at church and a lunch date with a friend on Sunday. While these thoughts are going through her head, she realizes her child is glued to the show she's pulled up on the computer, not moving a muscle; completely captivated by the animated pictures and crazy music.

Jane begins to feel horrible, remembering that "the TV should not be a babysitter." Then in the midst of her tears welling up due to feeling like a failure, her sister-in-law calls. Jane answers the phone, leaving her toddler planted at the computer. After diving into what a terrible mom she's become, Jane takes a breath and is about to tell her sister-in-law she should throw in the towel. But before she can say one more word, her beloved sister-in-law says, "STOP."

"What? Why?"

"You need to give yourself a break."

"A break? But how? I'm behind in school, my kid is becoming a television zombie, and---"


Then after giving Jane a slew of reasons why she's a great mother, wife and student, Jane lets out a sigh of relief. Jane's dear old sister-in-law is right. Jane is doing the best she can with what God's given her. Her toddler is not going to "get dumb" by watching a few shows. Jane is not going to suck as a student just because she missed one assignment. Bob is not going to leave her just because they've had Hamburger Helper 2 times this past week. She's doing the best she can. And the people around her know that.

So breath, Jane. Breath in and out, in and out. It's going to be okay. May is only a few months away....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010, the Latest Frontier

2010. It's here. No stopping it. Only 2 more years until the world ends, according to the sun worshiping folk from 100's of years ago. I think someone must have put something in the Kool-Aid, because according to my calculations (and my calculations are based on fact; aka the Word of God), I don't think we're going to "know" when the world will end and when Jesus is making his second appearance. So, I'm not worrying about it.

But thinking about the passing of years and how many I may have left (I'm only one year from 30 as of yesterday, you know...) I've recently been contemplating what this year is going to hold for me. From the looks of it, it could be quiet exciting. Here's just a few things that may (or may not) get accomplished this year.

1. I graduate with my master's degree in May. PRAISE JESUS! After three long years (longer if you include my first attempt back in 2003...), I'm finally going to finish what I started with a Master of Arts in Counseling. It's been an uphill battle, but well worth it. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it's standing there waiting for me, holding a big margarita to celebrate.

2. Taking my NCE (National Counselors Exam) soon after graduation to attain my temporary license so I can officially start working at an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)!

3. Finishing up the MFT (Marriage and Family Therapy) requirements of my program by August and taking the required exam for that so I can obtain my LMFT (can you guess what that stands for?).

4. Leading a group of mommies in our 2010 Spring MOPS group. I'm so excited to minister to these gals and to be a part of such a wonderful program. Building relationships with new and veteran mommies is such a soft spot on my heart and I can't wait to see what unfolds. Plus, hello, free breakfast every two weeks???

5. Maybe, just maybe make us a family of four....we'll see if God has that in the cards.

6. Continue to watch Gabriel grow up and celebrate his SECOND birthday in May. I can't believe he's almost two. Tomorrow he'll be 20 months. That's only 4 months away from 2! He's at such a fun stage right now and I know it's fleeting, but we're enjoying it while it's here. I love that he will sit in his room for 15-20 minutes at times, just reading to himself in his own language. It melts my heart to hear that gibberish that has such meaning to him.

7. Celebrate 6 wonderful years with the love of my life...I wonder where we'll go to celebrate this year?

8. Getting involved in our church and growing as a leader.

9. Growing closer to the Lord. I've been pretty bad about putting my relationship with Him on the back burner for several months and I think it's time that my position of apathy changes. He is the only reason I am blessed to celebrate, experience and grow from the above 8 things. This year, I want to make Him the priority instead of the things in life that really don't matter.

10. Come up with more acronyms.

Just a few things that 2010 has in store for me. Here's to a new, prosperous year!