Category: family & friends


I think I am sort of a hippy at heart and just don’t know how to do it. I grew up in a home where everything was provided for me without me having to work much at all for it. Boy was I spoiled (and a brat). At least I know it now and can grow from it. 🙂 My parents, bless their hearts, wanted to provide and give us everything we could ever want and they worked their tails off and sacrificed a lot for us kids… only to have us become horrid (at least the girls, Josh was always the favorite) teenagers. I never got into major trouble, but I was most certainly entitled and ungrateful. (I already know now my mom will comment here or on Facebook about this).

Wait a minute… I was going to talk about babywearing.

Anywho… back to being a hippy and not knowing how. I want to be a hippy I think. And not the wearing rainbows, free loving kind, but the grow my own food, be a stay-at-home mom, buy local produce, cook my own healthy food, cloth diapers, sewing loving and wear my babies kind. I just don’t know how. Also, I am extremely a bit lazy.

Lately, I have really wanted to start utilizing my baby sling my very sweet friend made for me. I haven’t used it a ton lately, my son is 15 months old and not super used to it. Also, it hurts my shoulders and back because I have not gradually built those muscles as he grows like I have with my arms. I have been dealing with a lot of guilt lately because Jet (my kiddo) plays by himself a lot. We have play dates, go to the park, read to him a TON and play with him as well, but I feel like when I am moving around the house I would rather be having face-to-face time with him more often (not all of the time).

I know what you are thinking: “That child is going to be awful or a momma’s boy”. Well to the first, he is not awful. He is super happy and we get the comment “He is such a happy baby”  so often that I have wondered if it is common for babies to be depressed or in full blown trantrums 90% of the time. To the second, he has been called a momma’s boy, to my face, a couple of times before. At first I was offended. Then, I thought, “You know what, I am ok with that. In my line of work (social work) I have seen this is sorely lacking in our world”. So, say what you want, I am ok with that. My boy is happy and well loved. Ok, sorry for the rant. Again, not defensive  just well thought out. Jeez with the rants already!

I really like the ring slings because they seem the most practical and the easiest to carry around. Oh, not the no-sew ones though because that does NOT seem practical to have to re-thread it each time if you are on the go. I am youtubing it up trying to learn different holds and ways to use the ring sling. I am excited. I want a couple of different ring slings, instead of just the one I have now. It is looking like I am going to make them since they are usually around $100 to buy new (seriously!).  It will probably be a little bit though because the bobbin on my sewing machine hates me and even though I am threading it EXACTLY like the youtube videos say (see a trend here?), it’s answer is still “Nope, not this time”. We are taking a break from each other now in an effort for me to not thrown the dang thing out my really high upstairs window.

What are your thoughts on babywearing? Any suggestions on type of fabric to use? Have any of you used the ring sling and have any thoughts? And can anyone fix my bobbin? Please?

As a teenager and even early 20-something I always would say, “I just don’t get along with other girls”. I thought that I was just a girl who did better with guy friends. Truth be told, I didn’t really care much about having guys as friends as much as receiving the attention they gave me. I just said I liked them as friends to justify it all in my own mind. But as I have gotten older, I have heard it come from the mouths of other girls too. It apparently is a pretty common statement. And yes, there are aspects of relationships with other women that are just not appealing. I for some reason always compare how I look to them (i.e. makeup, clothes, body, etc), there is usually more drama, you never really know what the other girl thinks of something or you don’t think you can speak your own mind, so on and so on. But I really don’t think those are the reasons I have stayed away from friendships with other females all of those years.

I in no way can speak for other women who have made the above statement, but I really do believe I have pursued friendships/relationships with guys more than girls because I felt more secure with myself… I was more affirmed (in a not so healthy way). I also stayed away from challenging the lies in my own head that I am not good enough, or even avoided challenging myself to be better. You see, in the past probably four or five years I have been pulled away from close relationships with men (besides with Tim, and he is seriously my best friend) due to being married. I was really lonely in the first couple of years of marriage b/c I did not know how to invest in relationships with other women. I literally would beg God to send me women to be friends with. And finally, after a couple of years, He answered my prayer (in HIS perfect timing).

Over the past couple of years I have really developed new friendships with other women. And honestly, they are completely different than relationships with guys. In no way am I stating that any past friendships with guys were not good, just different. Friendships with other women have challenged me to get over myself, to realize the purpose of the friendship is not to uplift my ownself, to learn how to really affirm one another in a way that has no hidden agenda, to be able to spur one another on to be better and it always be considered appropriate. I am a totally self-centered person a lot of the time. These new friendships have forced me to be even more real with myself and with others. Now, I might be a little too real at times, but I am SO much more comfortable with who I am. And yes, since beginning this season there has been drama, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, insecurities and so much more; but I have for some reason also been pushed to work through them moreso than ever before. I am thankful for every bit of that drama b/c it has made me better. I am becoming more secure in my Saviour than in myself or what someone else can offer me.

So, if you are a female and think you just can’t get along with other girls, I would like to challenge you to look deeper to find out why. Are you just allowing yourself to live in your own insecurities? Are you living a life unchallenged? I know I have and still do, but I am working on it and am SO glad for every new friendship God has brought into my life.

I know this is all so random, but I read another blog today and just in passing she mentioned she just struggled to connect with other women. You may not be hiding from your fear of connecting with other women in seeking attention from other guys, but you may be hiding from it in taking care of the details or just immersing yourself in the life of your kids. That is wonderful to be super involved with your kids, most definitely. But they also need to see you living out healthy friendships with others if they are ever going to know how to invest in others as well.

Also, this whole “seeking attention from guys” thing is something I dealt with in my past, hardcore. But, the Lord has saught me out, opened my eyes and healed me from it, mostly with a stubborn, thick skinned husband who loves me SO much and is unbelieveably loyal. He has allowed me to talk through this struggle and even prayed over me about it. For that I am incredibily thankful to be released from that stronghold. HE truly is good and faithful.

I failed miserably…

Did I tell you that I failed my glucose/sugar test? Because I did. And when I fail something, apparently I fail it real good. They don’t like for your level to be above 135, well I was 176. Yikes. And it totally surprised me b/c I am measuring exactly where I should be (weight gain wise) and have really tried to eat healthy… well healthier than I usually do. I am definitely not one of those pregnant women who eat half a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts late at night. Believe me, I wish I wanted to, but this kid is apparently a health nut. So instead of Krispy Kreme, I crave carrots. Not even joking.

Since I failed the one-hour test (I fasted for two hours, drank a nasty glucose drink, then had my blood drawn), I had to go back for the 3-hour test. If you don’t know what this one is, then let me tell you: I was not able to eat after 8 PM last night (what about my 10:00 snack people?!) until about 11:30 this morning. That is over 15 hours! At 8 this morning I had my blood drawn and drank the nasty drink again, then I had to wait an hour to have my blood drawn again, and then again, and then again. My blood was drawn 4 times in 3 hours, and I hadn’t eaten in 15 hours. And I am pregnant. I am not exaggerating when I say I almost passed out around Noon today. I was sweating and shaky and weak. So I ate some good ole Barberito’s (and throw in there a Snickers Ice Cream bar…. and maybe a cookie) and then took a nap. I feel SO MUCH BETTER now, but it was rough there for a bit.

Still waiting to hear if I failed again. Really hoping the first one was a fluke. I’ll let you know on that one.

I will leave you with a recent favorite photo. My family all met up in Gatlinburg last week. Tim and me had a picture with my two younger sisters. Tim put his hand on my belly mainly to hold me upright. I seriously tripped and almost fell down several times that day. But in the end I loved how sweet it looked in the photo and declared that was our maternity session 🙂

reading to the babe

On my weekly baby updates I get in my inbox, I am told that if I were to start talking to my baby now (16 weeks) the baby should be able to hear me. This is also a way for Mom and Dad to feel more connected to the baby. Am I the only one who feels awkward talking to my belly? I suddenly feel like Ross from Friends. You know, b/c he thought the whole concept was absurd… at first.

I tried to talk to the babe while folding laundry but had no clue what to say. If you know me, this is an uncommon occurrence for me. One that I didn’t much care for. So, I have decided that I am going to try to read to the bundle of joy (wait, is it the baby considered that yet when it is yet to be out of the womb and unable to be “bundled”?) to make up for this sudden lack of wordage. I have a couple of books that I know I will read (I love you to the moon and back, Oh the places you will go, oh yeah, the Bible) but I wanted to get feedback from you.

What are some books from your childhood that you loved? Or books you have read to your kiddos? Oh, also include books that I can read during pregnancy that the pictures don’t necessarily matter, but they won’t drive me crazy 🙂

the smucks…

I have two younger sisters who are 15 & 16 years old (12 & 13 years younger than me). I live about six hours away from them so I don’t always get to participate in their life. That makes me really sad. I know that is just part of life, moving away and separating from your family, but I sometimes have a really hard time with it.

Anyway, last night my whole family, excluding me b/c I am 6 hours away, went out to celebrate my youngest sibling’s 15th birthday. Oh my word they are getting old. Both of my sisters took their boyfriends with them. I asked them to send me pictures since I have never met these smucks guys. My mom sent me pictures that I got this morning. Why do I go into super over protective mode and immediately want to beat these kids up? When I met one of the last boyfriends I wanted to try to be mean scare him a bit (I didn’t thank goodness). Didn’t think he was showing enough respect to my sister nor my parents. When in reality, the kid was really sweet and great. I am not even their parents, haven’t even met the new guys, and I already know they are up to no good and don’t deserve my sweet and precious little sisters. Now, I am not stupid naive and think that the girls are perfect little angels, but they are too young to have boyfriends. Good gosh I am old to be thinking that way!! But I remember what I was like and what guys were like at that age, and I DON’T want that for them. Please tell me I am not alone in feeling psycho like this? Somebody…?

Can you tell I am freaking out a bit?

Oh Katie…

That is probably what people say when they hear about something my dear friend Katie has done. How would I describe this girl? Innocent, pure, a passionate Christ follower, naive, infuriating, creative, a very good friend, thoughtful, and probably a lot more. I love this girl. I met her my very first week at ETSU. We both will tell you that it was like we had known each other for years. We lived down the hall in the dorms. We were involved in the BCM together and we both worked in the campus book store. We were together a lot. Since then, we have both graduated and gone our separate ways. She lives close to my family, so that would be about 6 hours away. And let me tell you that she is an amazing long distance friend. She sends me (snail) mail all of the time. She will see a road sign that reminds her of me, stop, take a picture of it and then send it to me. She finds pretty glittery cards and sends them to me. I am like a little kid still… getting mail, I mean real mail, makes me so happy 🙂 I just love this girl!

I love this picture of us on Roan Mountain 🙂

Who blesses you in your life with little surprises here and there? Even if they don’t realize they are doing it?

Josh & me

Today is my little brother’s birthday. He is a quarter of a century old today. I used to be a mean older sister and tell him that he was born on April Fool’s Day b/c he was God’s idea of a joke. Yeah, I know. That is only a joke a kid would find funny, or maybe just me. Truth is, I am SO proud of Josh. He is such a hard worker and a really good man. He is so smart and is one of those guys that everyone loves to be around. I hate that he lives so far away and I hardly get to see him. But I am excited to see where his future leads him.

Happy birthday Josh! I love you!

I don’t really like New Year Resolutions. I don’t think they really ever work out. Or do they and I am just totally wrong? Well, maybe they just don’t work out for me. Having my memory, and fickleness (yes, that is a word, or it is now), these lists are just a waste of time usually. So, there are two things I want to work on this year. Okay, four. Hopefully they will work out better than the other lists.

1) Do better with sending cards for special occasions. I used to be decent with this. But this year I have failed.

2) Journal more (I doubt this one will happen. I tend to romanticize journaling, and then when it comes to actually doing it, I think to myself, “I don’t really care about what I am doing”, and then I stop. Must be less shallow and actually think things thru…)

3) Take more pictures (since I have received two cameras as presents this year, I really hope to fulfill this one)

4) Run a FULL marathon (oh, for the love! Everything in me says I won’t do this one, and so does my husband, but I hope to at least. I hope to become the type of person who does this kind of stuff. But then there are those people who say people don’t change)

5) FINISH a Bible study. I am famous (well, probably no one knew this before now, except my mom) for starting Bible studies and not finishing them. I seriously think the last Bible study I finished was when I was 16. Hopefully I can do this.

6) Make a new friend.

7) Serve those who are at or below poverty level.

8) Love people more (I am a pretty cynical person, and sometimes it is just easier/more comfortable to stand back from the crowd rather than be vulnerable and actually get to know someone)

9) Be less self-centered (just being honest here)

10) Be a better wife.

Ha, who knew. I did actually have a list. Well, I hope to look back on it in December and see that I have checked off some of these, and that I continually work on others. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

lookey what I got!!

Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook!!!

Eat your heart out folks (ha, no pun intended)! I got the Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook for Christmas. My wonderfully amazing friend Mary gave this to me last night. I screamed! Seriously! I am SO excited about this! Just wanted to share.

What has been your favorite Christmas gift?

Last night I saw the show on MTV “World’s Strictest Parents”. Basically, at the beginning of the show there are two teenagers who are ridiculous with bad behavior. Their parents don’t know how to control them. So they are sent off to spend the week with a family with strict parents.

When they get to the house, really all the parents do is hold high expectations for the kids and they don’t take any of their crap. The parents present house rules to the kids and they stand by them through the show. Two of the families I saw upheld good family values. They were parents that understood their job was not to just be the kids friend, but to guide them.

I thought it was pretty amazing (and sad) that these parents are put into a category that is so extreme, when really they are just fulfilling the duty of a parent. Not only were they strict, but they were loving and still wanted the best for the child.

I don’t really have much to say about it all. I don’t have kids right now and know that it will be very hard to make a choice for my child that makes him/her unhappy for any amount of time. So I won’t judge. But dang.

I also want to encourage strict parents. The world needs strict parents who truly desire the best for their kids.

What about you? Did you have “strict” parents? Did you hate the choices your parents chose for you and now understand them? Tell me about them.