I'm Free!

So, I graduated from massage therapy school last Thursday! And then I finished my clinic hours on Saturday. :) I'm so relieved, but now I have to start studying for my national exam so I can actually apply for my license and look for a job. More to come on that later, I'm sure.

I've also finished a few knitting projects since I last blogged, and I'm pretty impressed with myself if I do say so! I finished Zeeby's Bag from Stitch n Bitch, and then Seedy Scarf, which was a free pattern on Ravelry. The latter is a gift for an e-friend for a gift exchange, and I really hope she likes it! I knit into the wee hours of the morning to get it finished to send out today. I also cast on a new project today, the Ripened Scarf (another free Ravelry pattern). This is by far the most "advanced" project I've taken on, which sort of a lace pattern. I'm hoping it turns out well! I'll post pictures of my progress when I get a little farther along.

Other than that, not a whole lot has been going on. I still have about half of our Christmas shopping to do, and I still haven't figured out what I'm getting Tyler for the holiday. Hopefully whatever I come up with won't be too lame. ;)

We did have a slight mishap with our heater this week. It had been issuing a foul, somewhat acrid smell through the vents whenever the heater was running for about a week. Last night as I was going to bed I thought it was odd that the heater wasn't on, because the temperature inside was around 63*, and we had the thermostat set to 70*. When we woke up this morning, it was 58*, so the heater obviously never came on. DH discovered that the breaker for the heater was tripped, and when he flipped it back, it tripped again. So we called the repair people to come out this afternoon. I was very worried that it would be a costly repair, thereby casting a shadow over the holidays, but it turned out to be a fairly simple fix, and we're only out $109. Apparently, the incoming power source wires for the heater had grounded out, melting the wire nuts and some other stuff (hence the nasty smell). All is well now, and it's a toasty 73* in here now (the repairman set the thermostat to 80* when he was fiddling with it, and I didn't realize it until I got really hot, lol).

That's all the update I have for now. I'll be back tomorrow (or later tonight, who knows!) with more thrilling tales from my mundane life. Ciao!


Apparently, I'm a terrible blog-mom. I keep saying I'll get better, but it keeps not happening! Maybe after graduation (t-6 days!!)...?


October = big fat fail. Oh well, it's a new month, right??

This month I need to focus on finishing up with my school stuff as much as possible. I also want to work out at least 3 times per week. I also think I need to hire someone to come let my dog out for an hour each day, since he's currently spending about 11 hours in his crate the days Tyler and I carpool, and that feels almost like torture in my mind. :(

I did a really great goal-setting exercise for my business class this past week, and once I get my papers back, I will share some of that here on the ol' blog. It really helped me to think about the future and what I want, which is something I think everyone could use more of.

It's already time to be thinking about the holidays, and I'm on the verge of being overwhelmed with non-holiday stuff, so it should be an interesting season.

This is very rambly, and if you actually read it, I appreciate it. Please leave a comment!! :)



It's been a whole month since I posted last! Oops.

I'm taking a cue from Kari over at Better Together and posting my goals for the month. These are in place solely because I have been exceedingly lazy the past few months and now it's catching up to me. :( The hubs is going to keep my accountable by purchasing me a pair of Vibram Five Fingers if I meet all of my goals. (And I really, really want some, so I think it just may work!) Most of these are school related, btw.

1) No missing class in October (1 freebie)

2) No missing clinic in October, unless it’s a week pre-planned (2 freebies)

3) Make 2/3 of your gym classes every week during October (1 freebie)

4) Finish watching chair massage video by the end of next week, and sign up for POD 40 hour

5) Kiss Tyler at least a dozen times a day during October

6) Run 2.5 miles (aka keep up with Couch to 5K) by the end of the month

What are your goals for the month??



(Image via amny.com)

It's that time of year, again, folks! Time for Starbucks' fall specials, including the awesome Pumpkin Spice Latte. I'm totally picking one up later today. Mmmmm.



We will be visiting here:
(Picture found at outdoors.webshots.com)

in just 4 short days! Thursday we are flying into Denver International Airport to visit my aunt and uncle. Thursday night will be spent at their home in Greeley, and on Friday we will be driving to their cabin just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, where we will get to enjoy the cool air and beautiful views of Mt. Meeker and Long's Peak. :)


Feel Your Boobies

I just wanted to remind everyone (well, mostly the ladies, but the men, too!) to do a monthly breast self-exam to screen for possible lumps. My massage client this morning is a breast cancer patient currently undergoing radiation (she just finished chemo this week), and although I didn't talk with her much about her condition at all, it still served as a real-life reminder that cancer can strike anytime, any person. Visit the link below for a refresher course (or to learn for the first time!) on how to perform a breast self-exam. And please remind the women you know and love to do the same, each month!

How to perform a breast self-exam

How to perform a self-exam


Hello again! It's been a while since my last update, but there's not a whole lot to catch you up on. Let's see..

My classmates and I are now giving massages to paying clients at our school's clinic. It has been an interesting 2 weeks, and I'm really enjoying working with people! It is a pretty relaxing job, and I hope that I'm actually making people feel better. This afternoon I got an appointment notification which informed me that my first client has scheduled another appointment with me, which makes me hopeful that people are enjoying my services. :)

The house hasn't changed much since the picture post I updated with. We did add soaker hoses to our trees and the foundation. We also finished roofing the shed, so it looks a little less ridiculous. We still need to paint the shed, and at some point (probably October?) we're going to put up a fence and then get the yard ready to be seeded for grass.

Tyler is keeping busy at work. This week has been a bit of a turning point on his team, and it's changing for the better, it would seem. I'm praying that the changes to his work atmosphere will continue, because he's generally been in a better mood as a result.

Not much else is going on around here. I've been totally unmotivated to do anything (include work in clinic) this week, which is not the greatest thing in the world. Hopefully it will turn around for me soon! I've thrown myself into reading more lately, which is great, as usual. Tyler and I also made a trip to our local used bookstore this past weekend, which was awesome. I have a feeling we will be spending a lot of time there from now on. I also saw some new faces at my knitting group this week, which was awesome. It's always fun to get to know new people and be impressed by their knitting abilities (which always way outshine mine, lol). I'm looking forward to going to the group again on Monday, and I've set a goal for myself to finish the bag I've been working on since March/April by the end of this month. Wish me luck!


Welcome to our new home!

Yes, I finally took the time to take some pictures to show you people. ;-) I've included captions and a list of things to add/change in each room/area for your reading pleasure. If you have any questions, feel free to ask (aside from name, social security number, street address, etc. of course!!)

Front of the House (we are going to add flower beds under the windows at some point, and probably paint the mailbox post, but that's about it out front!)

Welcome! (Thanks to Jessica for the signage!)

View from the front door (We have one more picture to hang, but this is it!)

View from the couch

Close-up of the “mantle”

The office from the doorway (the paint color is closer to the turquoise box on the top shelf than how it appears in the picture)

Bookshelf in the office

Eat-in area (obviously need to clear it off, and add a tablecloth (probably plain white))

Kitchen (have some decorative plaques to hang, and a secret project for above the cabinets, plus adding baskets to hold the crap on the "island")

Guest bath (adding a hotel-style towel/toiletry rack above the existing towel rack or over the toilet, and possibly some artwork)

Guest room (refinish dresser and bookshelf, buy a queen bed and DIY a headboard, create photo collage on bookshelf. Bedding is already purchased - Nautica spread and shams, CK sheets, all from HomeGoods)

Master Bathroom (adding a hotel-style towel/toiletry rack above the toilet)

Master Bedroom from the door

View from the bed (Just need to hang a print and our mirror!)

Disaster that is the back yard (finish roofing/painting shed, putting in a fence, tilling and seeding for grass, adding a veggie garden next summer)


Q & A

OK, folks, it's time for a little Q & A with GSG. :-) I got a few questions from you readers, and here are the answers.

Elaine at Little Bitty Pickle asked:
"As a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?"

Now, as with most children, I had lots of ideas about what I wanted to be. But the first (and most memorable) career path I laid out for myself was paleontology. I LOVED dinosaurs and studying all about them. I probably checked out every book about dinosaurs from the main library in town at some point between ages 6-9. After that I became interested in Egyptology, followed by a desire to be a veterinarian. This was followed by a period of not knowing what I wanted, then I wanted to be a teacher or a band director. That lasted until the end of my freshman year in college, when I changed my major to Anthropology. And now I'm in massage therapy school, so that just goes to show how crazy life can be, haha.

My second question came from Heather at Life and Times With the Ryans:
"What were the best and worst parts of buying your first home?"

I haven't asked the Mr. his opinion on these questions, but I can pretty much guarantee that we will be of one mind when it comes to the worst part of our first home purchase. We were fortunate enough to purchase a newly constructed home straight from the builder (it was already finished, but unoccupied). While this was awesome on many levels, working with the builder was a nightmare. First we had to deal with them being confused about the incentives they had offered and that were listed on the MLS (notably the $3000 fence/closing cost allowance) and tried to tack an extra $3000 onto the contract price. After that, we didn't have many problems with them until the week of closing. We had a pretty long list of repairs that we had mutually agreed that the builder would take care of before closing, including replacing a dead tree and several other things inside and outside the house. The day before closing these things still were not completed, and after several trips to the house the day of closing, only 1/2 of the items were completed, although the builder told our realtor directly that they had been finished that afternoon. Questionable, no?? So we signed the closing papers but were unable to obtain the keys until the builder completed the repairs, which didn't happen until the following afternoon. To top it all off, the trees didn't get replaced until the following day!

On a more cheerful note, the best part of buying our first home for me was imagining what our life would be like in each of the homes we visited and truly picturing what our future might be like. Although we never know what God has in store for us, I believe that He has many wonderful things placed in our future, and buying our first home was the first step in that journey. This reminds me of a scripture I received via email yesterday (if you're interested in receiving a daily Scripture, email "SUBSCRIBE" to scripture-subscribe@lists.tagnet.org):

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.
He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so,
people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from
beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

Please stay tuned for a mega-update/photo tour of the new house (coming this weekend to a computer screen near you)...


Check back soon for answers to some reader questions and an update on our new HOUSE! That we OWN! :-D



Apparently my blog has only one reader (thanks to biomaj5!). That makes me a little sad, but now I know if I update the blog it's just for my own personal satisfaction, not to enrich the lives of any readers.

To answer bio's question "What is your favorite breed of dog?", would truly be impossible. I have known many great dogs, and have admired others on the television, at parks, etc. It would be a very long list. I wish I had pictures of some of the dogs in my life (besides just my own, haha) to share with the internets, but alas, I do not. Suffice it to say that my aunt owns 2 bullmastiffs (I've only met one, but he's awesome, so I bet the other one is following suit!), and they seem to be great big lap dogs. I love most breeds of large dogs (including labs, retrievers, pit bulls, boxers, Great Danes, Great Pyrenees, etc. etc.), although I've never owned one myself. I also like many breeds of small dogs - beagles, shih tzus, schnauzers, dachsunds, poodles, pugs, Maltese, etc.

So, now that I have presented you with an answer as clear as mud, I will leave you at that. I'm not sure how often I'll be updating the ole blog anymore, but I'm sure I will at least occasionally.



Before I begin, just a reminder that I'm still taking questions about myself, my marriage, etc. etc. I've only received one so far, so keep them coming!!

Now, I'm not sure if I've mentioned this here on the blog before or not, but I am completely in love with Stephenie Meyer' Twilight saga. I know these books are geared toward teens, but there is something very seductive about the way they are written and the overall themes that keeps me coming back to them again and again.

I think part of the reason I love these books so much is the way they portray true love between the characters. Not just romantic love, but love of family and friends and place. While the "first love" parts of the books are sure to draw in the teenage crowd, I think as a woman who is married to her perfect match I get a lot more out of these books than a junior high or high school kid ever would.

Today I am reading Midnight Sun (the unfinished companion novel to Twilight written from Edward's point of view), and it makes me wonder how my husband views me, and how he sees me. I know his view is so different from my own, but I can't understand it. I only know how I love him, and that gives me only hazy glimpses of how he must love me in return.


I really need some motivation to update this blog more frequently!! For now I'll settle on an update on our life.

We're about 17 days out from closing on our first home, and I'm starting to get antsy! Our loan just went to underwriting on Thursday, so hopefully we will come through that all right. If that comes back OK, we should be able to set a closing date, because the appraisal and inspection have been done, and the survey has been ordered. We started packing yesterday (the most loathsome part of moving, IMO!), but we still have a looooong way to go. :-/

School is moving right along. I passed my midterms with flying colors (yay!), and I'm only 1 week away from my anatomy and physiology final. I have like a 98 average in that class right now, so I'm not worried, but I do need to start studying, since it is a cumulative final and we have covered a LOT of territory in just 8 weeks. I'm also really enjoying my Swedish massage class (who doesn't love getting a massage 3 times a week?!), and I'm really starting to feel like a massage therapist.

I've also started seeing a chiropractic intern at my school (I'm not sure if I've mentioned it, but my massage program is located at a chiropractic college), which has been really cool. I got the most thorough physical of my life, with lots of nerve tests and range of motion tests, and now I'm receiving regular Upper Cervical adjustments (where they adjust the position of the 1st vertebra under your skull) and doing lots of strengthening exercises for my right hip, which is significantly weaker than my left, causing me pain and instability on occasion.

This week my mom and sister moved to their new locations. My mom to Las Vegas, and my sister to Los Angeles. My sister attended orientation for her school program yesterday (at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising), and my mom will be starting her new job at the Cleveland Clinic's Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health soon. We also learned last week that Tyler's father has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, which appears to be stage III or IV. He is also having a biopsy on his spine this week to determine if a mass there is cancerous, and the results of that test will be the deciding factor between surgery and hormone therapy. Please be praying for our family, and especially Gary as we go through this difficult time. We are trusting that God has a plan bigger than we can imagine.

And for something a bit lighter, I'd like to follow in the footsteps of many of my fellow bloggers and open the floor to questions from the audience! I'm not sure how many people read this blog anymore, but I'd love to get to know my readers and let you all know more about myself! I try to be an open book on this blog, so I'd like to open myself a bit wider to you all. So, leave a comment introducing yourself (if I don't know you, or if you don't think I do) and ask me a question! I'll try my hardest to answer them all. :-)



I'm so behind here, folks. I apologize!! Things have been a bit crazy lately.

1) I'm in massage therapy school. I've been in for 2 weeks, and I'm loving every minute of it.
2) We're not trying for a baby anymore since I'm in school until December. We'll see how things go after I find a job and work for a while.
3) We're house hunting. Today was our first day out looking, and we put in a bid on an awesome foreclosure that we could stay in for a very long time. We should know by Tuesday if we won! Please be thinking about us on that front.

Other than that, not much has been going on. We've been busy with school, talking about buying a house, and church stuff. I also helped my grandmother move into an apartment, and in the process, I acquired an awesome handmade china service for 12 from the 1960s - hand-painted in Japan and beautiful. I also got quite a few other things out of her move.

We're also planning on visiting my aunt and uncle in Colorado over Labor Day weekend, which should be nice and relaxing (and hopefully a break from the potential house renovating we'll be doing!!), but potentially also frustrating, because my aunt and uncle can be a bit pushy and opinionated.

Also found out my mom is moving to Las Vegas. She took a new job and will be moving around the first of July. I will miss having her within driving distance, but I'm definitely looking forward to visiting her in Vegas, plus she'll be more conveniently located to my sister who is moving to L.A. for school in July.

My step-father has had some health complications that have left him unable to stay alone (lots of memory problems, which cause him to wander off and not remember that he is on severe fluid restrictions), which is adding lots of additional stress on my mom in the middle of getting their house on the market and sold, training for her new job, packing up their house and my sister's stuff to move, and buying a new house in the new city. Please keep her and my step-dad in your prayers.

I just realized I have no idea if anyone even reads this anymore, but if so, please leave a comment and let me know! :-)


Last night I couldn't sleep, but I had a wave of creativity come over me, and I jotted down some ideas for a bathroom mood board. This is the first mood board I've ever made, but I think it turned out OK! It is frustrating to have something 'just so' in your head but be unable to find it in real life/on the interwebs, but I did what I could. Let me know what you think!
Click on the image above for a bigger view!

The break-down (contact me for more specifics, I didn't really keep track but I'll have them in my history folder):
-multi-colored slate tile for shower surround
-black slate tile for floors
-purple paint for walls
-grey paint for trim, door, and vanity
-brushed nickel hardware
-silver/grey shower curtain and bath rug
-navy towels
-white vessel sink
-black and white photography in black frames


I could use some prayers today. I spent most of yesterday dreading the fact that today is Monday, which means I should be going to work. I wrestled with my emotions all night, and had some discussions with my husband. I went to bed with nothing being resolved.

I woke up this morning fully intending to go to work. I got up, showered, ate breakfast. Then I noticed that my stomach is a little upset. Not fun to go to work with an upset stomach, right? So of course then it looks like I'm trying to find an excuse not to go to work. Not great.

Then I get to thinking. I think "I wish I could have a day to just sit and think and pray and to listen for God's voice, to do what I need to do to take care of me". So I tell my husband how I'm feeling, yet he encourages me to go to work and to "plan ahead" for that type of day. Then I felt like crap for my feelings. I talked to him about it a bit more, and decided that I would in fact stay home and try to figure out a way to make it through the situation that is work.

So today, please be praying for me, if you are the praying type. I am going to spend a lot of time in prayer, time reading my Bible, and time just listening for God. I hope to come out on the other side feeling a sense of renewal and a sense of hope. Maybe I'll have some answers at the end of the day. Or maybe an inkling of what I'm supposed to do. Or maybe I'll hear nothing at all today. But I am taking today as my time to be with God.


Mini Update

Not much has happened since the last time I posted. I did get to buy some books and magazines on Sunday, which is always awesome. I really shouldn't be allowed to go into a bookstore by myself, though. Too many temptations.

I have decided for sure to apply to massage therapy school. I have filled out my application, and I am going for a tour tomorrow, and will drop it off then. I also need to fax my transcript request to UNT. And a whole slew of other things (mostly financial aid stuff) needs to be done soon, too.

I also started a new knitting project this week, because my old one had too many mistakes and I had to frog it. I'm working on a knit bag now, and I think it will turn out pretty well! We shall see.

We leave for vacation on Friday morning, and I can't wait. I really need to get away from work for a while, and Tyler has promised to get me relaxed and not thinking about anything too important while we are gone. I hope it works!

That's all for now. I have the evening to myself, and I plan on reading (The Friday Night Knitting Club), possibly knitting, and probably going to Starbucks. :-)


More Changes

Well ladies (and gentlemen? I have no idea.), I may have decided upon something that will change my life. I am looking into going back to school to be a massage therapist. I know it seems like this is coming out of the blue (trust me, I know!), and I still have some praying and seeking to do, but it is looking like a real possibility.

I am drawn to MT for many reasons - the ability to help people, the chance to work for myself (and the flexibility that will bring to scheduling), learning more about the human body/being in a health & wellness related field. I know that going back to school may be tough, and that I still won't be 100% happy with my job all of the time, but I think it would be a great improvement over the kinds of jobs I've had and the job I have now, and I really believe I would enjoy it a lot.

I am looking at 1 school in particular right now, based on the advice of the massage therapist I went to see this week. This school is part of a chiropractic college, and because of that has access to and observation time in a gross anatomy lab, which is very rare for massage therapy schools. It also provides more clinical and classroom hours than required by the state, which should = really knowing and understanding what I'm doing by the time I graduate. It is an 8 month program, and I would most likely start in May. That is only 2 months away, people!

If I do this, we will most likely stop trying actively for our first child, at least until I have been in the program for a few months, so that I will be able to finish before potentially giving birth. We will probably also put off moving until after I graduate, in order to help build our savings a little more and to avoid putting extra stress on me while I'm in school. Ideally we will be able to create a massage studio in our future home so that I can work from home and avoid paying to work in someone else's studio, but it will depend on several variables, of course.

That is where I'm at right now. Tyler and I are going to continue praying about this, but unless we get the feeling that this is definitely not something I should be doing, it is the most probably course for my future at this point. :-)


Change is a-comin'

Hey everyone! I've decided I'd really like to increase the comments and readership I get here on the ol' blog, so I've come up with a list of possible ideas. Let me know what you think, and what you'd like to see!

Post of the Day: I would like to share my favorite post from my Google Reader subscriptions each day, with permission of the blog's author, of course. I would also include a link to their blog.

Weekly Wrap-up: Highlights from our day-to-day life each week

Posts of scriptures or songs that I'm finding particularly uplifting, situation-specific, etc.

Reader Q & As

Reader special requests (for topic-specific posts, recipes, etc.)


Book reviews

Product Raves/Service Reviews

Eco-Friendly tips

5K training progress

Guest blog posts

Any feedback or further suggestions are welcome!


It's been awhile, once again! I am really bad about updating this thing, sorry everyone!

I started a new job 2.5 weeks ago, and it is keeping me really busy. I don't really have the time to do all the stuff around the house that I am used to, and that is really bumming me out. I realize now how lucky I was to be able to stay home. I keep trying to tell myself that this job is only for 5 months, and then I'll be free again, but 5 months is a LONG time when your job is fairly repetitive and your productivity at that job is completely reliant on other people answering their phone or email and/or returning your voicemails. It's pretty hard to hire someone when no one will call you back. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that all the money I make will be going toward a downpayment for our first house, which we will hopefully be purchasing this summer.

Other than work, not a whole lot has been going on lately. Tyler and I ran our first 5K this past Saturday, which was really cool. I even finished under my goal of 45 minutes (by about 1 minute). I was ecstatic! After I crossed the finish I searched for Tyler for at least half an hour, both around the finish line and back where we checked in. I was on the verge of having a meltdown and crying in the midst of 17,000 people when I finally spotted him passing through a crowd. I was so relieved to find him. Next race, we will definitely designate a meeting place for post-race. We're hoping to run another race before this summer, and to make this a pretty regular thing. I never thought I'd become a runner, but here I am! :-)

We're still trying for kid #1, this is our 6th month. Everything seems to be in working order for me so far, so we'll just keep on keepin' on until something happens. Prayers for this are always appreciated. Since I am part of an online community of other women in the same boat as me, I try to pray every day for women who are trying to get pregnant, who are pregnant, etc. because I know how stressful this journey can be. I have faith that God will carry us through this.

Lastly, I am feeling so blessed in my life right now. Tyler and I are both lucky to have jobs that support our lifestyle and allow us to save. We are both healthy. We are blessed with wonderful relationships, with each other, our families, and our friends. God has provided us with a church home that richly blesses our lives as well as the lives of thousands of people. We couldn't really ask for anything more in life.




Sorry I've been MIA. I got this in an email from my mom and thought it was worth sharing. :-)

From: GOD
Reference: YOUR LIFE

This is God. Today I will be handling all your problems for you. I do not need your help. So, have a nice day. I love you.

Remember, if life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it yourself! Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box. I will get to it in MY time. All situations will be resolved, but in my time, not yours. Should you decide to send this message to a friend, thank you. You may have touched their life in ways you will never know.

Now, you have a nice day!


Interview with Pastor Rick Warren

No, I didn't personally interview Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life. My mother actually sent this to me in a forward, but I thought it was worthy of sharing.

You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with his wife now having cancer and him having 'wealth' from the book sales. This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren,
'Purpose Driven Life ' author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California.

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.

God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Godlike character.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.

And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems.

If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness,'which is my problem, my issues, my pain.' But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her.

It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with bo th the good and the bad of life.

Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.

It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.
Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?

Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.
God's Blessings on you today.


This cycle is coming to an end, folks. On to cycle #5! I'm praying that this will be the lucky one, even though I'd be due right before the holidays.

I'm going to talk with Dan (the campus center minister) on Thursday about the job opportunity I applied for there. I have a few other prospects on the horizon as well, which could bring in some extra $$. Any money I make will be going straight into savings for baby/house/car.

It's tax season, and we already have all of our documents ready to go. I think we'll probably go to H&R Block this weekend and file. :-) I'm not sure if we'll get a refund or not, but hopefully we won't have to pay much. (By the way, I LOVE living in a state that has no state income tax. It is wonderful)

I am in the middle of a cleaning rampage through my house. It has been neglected for far too long, especially considering I stay at home. I filed all of our paperwork, and I'm in the midst of doing laundry. I still have a lot to do:
-clean bathroom
-tidy kitchen
-mop kitchen and bath
-water plants

I really need to buy a new, bigger file box to keep all our paperwork in. We currently have two small accordion files, but they are full to the max. It's a bit ridiculous, really.

I'm still working on my homespun scarf. I think I may send it to my mom when I finish, since I really don't need another scarf right now. She kept commenting on what a pretty color it was when I was visiting her last week, so I think she'd like it. :-)

I use :-) too much. I apologize for that, but it probably will not stop.

I made homemade bread last week. It turned out wonderfully, and I am pumped about adding this to my repertoire of housewifely accomplishments.

This concludes my most rambling-est blog post to date. Your comments are encouraged and I await their arrival in my inbox anxiously. TIA!



Not a whole lot has been going on since my last post. Tyler is in Georgia through Friday for some training thing with work. He left on Tuesday. On Wednesday I had a doctor's appointment and then Pongo and I drove 5.5 hours to visit my mom. We've been here since then. I plan on leaving tomorrow around noon to return home, but I'm dreading the drive. I don't have cruise control, so my right hip and leg really get a workout keeping a constant speed. Not to mention the fact that I really hope all the ice has melted by the time I get on the road. Be praying for me if you think about it!

In other news, I chopped off all of my hair this weekend. It wasn't terribly long to begin with, as many of you know, but now it's even shorter. I'd say it's a pixie cut, approximately. I promise to post a picture once I get back to my digital camera, because all of the webcam pics I've taken look kinda weird.

Also, I was sick for almost a week straight this past week. The peak of it was last Monday and Tuesday, and I am pretty much recovered now. Unfortunately, I had 4 days of waking temperatures within fever range, so my chart is kind of messed up. I think I probably ovulated on CD15 or CD16, but I can't be positive. Now it's just a waiting game!

I have also learned about a few money-making opportunities in the last week. One involves helping my grandmother to sell her Hummel collection and other odds and ends from around her home as she prepares to move into a senior/retired apartment complex. I will get 30% of the sales revenue, which is not too bad. Also, my uncle's company is looking for people to make and transcribe recruitment calls. I would get paid $22 for each call I complete, transcribe, and submit to the company (each of which takes about an hour - 1.5 hours). I could do as much or as little as I want, and all the work is from home. Hopefully I'll hear more about these soon!

Lastly, I'm planning an awesome dinner for Tyler's return home on Friday, since I missed celebrating his birthday with him today. I will be making homemade French bread with homemade honey butter, herb-crusted steaks, roast potatoes, and a peanut butter chocolate mousse pie. I hope he loves it!

Lastly, two of my mother's co-workers now believe that I somewhat resemble Bella Cullen. I find this highly amusing and very flattering. In fact, I'm almost giddy about it. And I truly don't care if that makes me a freak. Or a geek. Because I already knew I was all of those things.



I am suffering from a terrible cold, or something. I've never had a cold with fever and chills, but that's what I experienced last night. :-( Not only am I sick, but it's messing with my chart, which is not cool.

Not much to update on. Tyler is going out of town tomorrow for two weeks, and on Wednesday I'm traveling to visit our family for a while. I'll probably stay until Monday and then drive back. I don't want to miss life group on Tuesday!



I have found a new hobby that I love - that's right, knitting! Knitting has been gaining popularity in the past decade with the younger generation, and I think it's easy to see why - it is really fulfilling to be able to make something that is both functional and beautiful with your own two hands. Plus, knitting is rhythmic and repetitive, which makes it great for stress relief - and who doesn't need a little stress relief in these trying times??

So far, the only completed project I have is a scarf. It is by no means perfect, but I made it, and I'm proud of it! Since completing said scarf, I have been practicing my technique, so that the next time I start a project, it might be a little closer to "perfect". I have mastered the garter stitch (basic knit stitch), binding off knit-wise, the purl, and the stockinette stitch (knit one row, purl the next). I am about to conquer binding off purl-wise. I think once I finish that, I will make another scarf, before moving on to the infamous ear/neck warmer.

My other hobby of late is Twilight. Yes, I have fallen into
the seductive teen novel series, and I can't free myself! I will admit to having read all four books in the Twilight saga twice in the last 2.5 months. And I'm finally going to see the movie tomorrow, for which I can.not.wait! I could probably even read the books again right now, even though I just finished Breaking Dawn this weekend for the second time. I feel like a crazy person, but I also don't really care!

Stay tuned for a post about my stay-at-home situation and other fun news! :-)


Quick update!

Not much news here, except that I am SUPER EXCITED to find out that a United Market Street is opening in my town. I never thought I'd be that excited about a grocery store, but, here I am! :-) It opens Wednesday, and you can bet that I'll be there!

We've done a pretty decent job of working out and not eating out too much this week. I don't know if I'll see any weight loss, but I'll update on that in the morning (you know, when I wake up. It's technically morning now, lol).

I'm already starting to dread Tyler going out of town for business the last two weeks of the month. The first week I'll be spending in Lubbock with my mom, as well as visiting Tyler's parents and brother/sister-in-law/niece. And driving down to visit my BFF and her husband. I'm not sure how long I'll stay in the LBK, since I'm really not looking forward to sleeping alone in the apartment. :-/

Knitting has taken a backseat this week, as I decided to re-read the Twilight saga. I'll finish the last book before going to sleep tonight, and then I'll be back to knitting. And possibly scrapbooking and playing flute. Oh yeah, and housework. ;-)

Now, I have a dilemma - I have a lot of un-eco-friendly cleaners around the house. I want to start using eco-friendly products ASAP. Would it be better to get rid of/donate my old supplies to friends and start new with the eco-friendly cleaners, or to use up my stash and then replace stuff as needed? I'm not sure which is less wasteful.

Hopefully I'll have a better update for you soon! Stay tuned. :-D



Today is officially CD1 of TTC#1, Cycle#4. I feel pretty blah, as is typical of CD1. But, I'm staying positive about my empty ute by remembering Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plants to give you hope and a future". I know that God has big things in store for Tyler and I, and that those plans are bigger than we can even hope or imagine.

Not much has been happening around these parts, other than trying to keep up with our New Year's resolutions and cleaning up around the house some. As for our resolutions, here's an update:

-exercise at least 3 times per week - we've already worked out together 3 times since the 1st, plus I've done yoga on my own
-eat healthier (including using our new salad bowls for salad and not dessert, LOL): this isn't going so well yet, but we're getting there!
-stick to budget better and save more: we're doing pretty well here, we used some giftcards for eating out/buying stuff rather than our own money
-be more eco-friendly: we have plans in the works for this. We already drive fuel-efficient vehicles, purchase 100% wind energy from Reliant for our electricity, and try to have the AC/heater off when we can. I also plan on purchasing eco-friendly laundry detergent (from www.crunchyclean.com) and some dryer balls (Fuzzy Wuzzy dryer balls, to be exact) in addition to finding green cleaning recipes.
-get pregnant - haven't really worked on this yet, but this month probably won't be the one :-(

I hope everyone else is having a great new year so far and working toward their goals/sticking to their resolutions. Keep your eyes peeled for that post about the things I want to do!


2008 wrap-up and obligatory New Year post

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Christmas. We had a great time visiting our families in west Texas and eastern New Mexico, but we're glad to be home, too. We got to spend plenty of time with our 6.5 month old niece, too, which did nothing to help our baby fever. I'm in the 2ww right now, and we should know more within the week!

Now, of course, everyone tries to make some New Year's resolutions to help improve their lives every year. This year is no different for us, but our goals are pretty limited. Here is our short list of expectations for 2009:

-exercise at least 3 times per week
-eat healthier (including using our new salad bowls for salad and not dessert, LOL)
-stick to budget better and save more
-be more eco-friendly
-get pregnant

I also have a long list of things I'd like to do or get better at, but those aren't really resolutions, per se. I will make another post soon outlining some of these things!

So, for today, we have worked toward one of our resolutions by spending some time at the gym. It felt good to work out those muscles, and I can't wait to do more soon! :-)

That's it for now. Also be on the lookout for a post about knitting in the near future!