Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Worst Blogger Ever

Just want to take a moment to admit that I've been a blog "slacker". =) The holidays are still upon us, and so, I'm not making any promises. Just want you all to know I haven't forgotten you, and will be blogging again soon... I think. =)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Picture Time

This is the Smith family Christmas photo for this year. We're a little behind schedule, but hopefully family and friends will receive them before Christmas rather than after!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Being a leader others want to follow - Part 1

Boy is this something I'm definitely learning and working on. Before being at People's Church, I had always taken worship seriously, but now, I realize that there's so much more to it than just worshiping. I want the Lord to make me an extravagant worshiper, without a doubt. But even more than that, I desire for Him to make me a great worship "leader". Someone who others can look at and follow my example, not only in worship, but also in my everyday lifestyle. I want others to look at me and say, "Lord, show me how to worship You with the same passion and love that she worships you with. Help me to love my family and others that way. Help me to truly love and care about the interests of others like Jamie does." As of right now - I can confidently say, I have NOT arrived to this point. In fact, I can already see many areas where I need to grow, especially when it comes to investing in others and leading by example, but there's no reason why I can't get there someday, and it's one of my goals. I want to be able to look at my life and know I'm doing everything I can to lead others well. The reality of it is, for me and for anyone who is on stage worshiping for that matter, you're position has already been chosen for you. You're a leader whether you like it or not. People will be looking to you to set an example. The kind of example you set, well that choice is up to you and me.

I know this can sound like a broad area - being a leader. So I would like to share with you, over the next few blogs, just a few things that were shared with me that I'm working on right now. Here's the first area:

1. People knowing that you truly care. - If I'm not careful, I could definitely be misunderstood in this area. I definitely DO care about people. Ask anyone, and they would tell you I'm a people person, but I'm also a perfectionist. So when it comes to practices and services, I'm always thinking about the technical things: Who's late? Who may not show? How are the transitions between songs? What songs should we sing next week? Where should the podium be?..... all of these ?'s are decent ?'s I think. There's no doubt that they're all effect the worship service too, but other than just the technical side of worship, I need to be thinking about the personal side of worship. Maybe by thinking of things like these: (all the following names are made up) "Tim wasn't here for practice, I wonder how he's doing? Mary mentioned her mom was sick, I should call and ask how she's handling it? Bill has been playing for 6 weeks straight, I should tell him how much I appreciate him. Ed mentioned money is tight, is there some way the team can help?" These ?'s are the ones that so many times I think of, but fail to actually act out. It's funny too because personally, I really need that. I need to know people care and that I'm appreciated, yet it's not something I've been great at showing others. I really hope that I grow a lot in this area, and more than that, I hope that anyone I lead, will always have the confidence that I'm more than a team leader, but that I'm a friend who truly cares about them. Whether it be by an encouraging word, a quick phone call, or even just a pat on the back to say "good job", I hope that I can communicate to our team and to anyone else that I may lead, that I care.

In my next blog, I'll share part two of "being a leader others want to follow: People knowing they can trust You."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Worship Leading: Taking your audience on a journey WITH you.

Just recently I've been given the privilege of helping lead worship on Sunday mornings - so far, this has been an amazing experience, and it's only just begun.
I would like to share with you what I'm learning on this journey of becoming a well-rounded worship leader:

1. Taking your audience on a journey "with" you:
One area I've really had to grow in (and still have room to grow in) is opening my eyes and connecting with the audience. Before People's Church, I'd never even thought about this, and it's definitely not something that came natural at first. Not at all. In fact, I've always been the type to get really nervous just before singing. So for me, there's nothing more comforting than to just close my eyes, close everyone else out, and just pretend like it's just me and God. That usually always helps - unfortunately, the second I close my eyes, and decide to make it my worship time, I'm closing everyone else off and sending the message, "Here. Watch me worship and watch me on my journey with the Lord". Rather, the message I need to be sending is, "Here. Come with me and let's take this journey together." Brian Rush, the Programming Director at our church, is the one who gave me this nugget of wisdom, and it's something that has not only challenged me in the ways that I lead, but also in the way that I perceive my audience. They're not just spectators, and they're definitely not there to listen to me sing. They're my brothers, my sisters, my friends, and they're there because they're seeking. Seeking more of God and more of His presence. I pray that as I grow, I can learn to "lead" others into His presence in such a way that they know we're all in this journey together.

In my next blog, I'll share how I'm learning to be "a leader others would want to follow".

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Drop that cookie!

I made a discovery this morning.... my jeans are a little snugger than they were before Thanksgiving. That could mean only one thing - I've eaten way too much over the holiday =). I can't say that I'm surprised, because I'm not. I almost expected to gain some weight simply because I love eating, and I love Turkey and all the fixings!!!! That's okay. I'm 3 pounds up from where I was, but now that Thanksgiving is over, I'm going to get back down to business. I have to. I'd much rather do it now than wait and have 5 or even 10 pounds to lose. Right now I'm at 132. 129 here I come. And once I get there, I may even tag on an extra 4 pounds and try to get to 125. That would be amazing! Hard, but amazing! Wish me luck! =)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

There's no place like home =)

well vacation is definitely over, but it's so good to be home. the phrase, "there's no place like home" is so true. i don't know why, but there's just something about being in your own living room or your own bed, that beats being anywhere else.
with vacation being over, i'm back to work, and jace is getting back into his routine. this is definitely a good thing. for me it's good because i missed being at work. i have to say, i'm one of few people that can probably say i love where i work and all of the people i work with. being at people's church has completely revoluntionized my way of thinking in so many ways, and all in good ways. it's a place where i have great relationships, great leadership, and great rewards. i'm so glad to be back in OK, and back in the swing of things!
for jace it's a good thing because being on vacation really took a toll on his schedule. he's a pretty routined kid, and while on vacation, the word "routine" really didn't exist for us. each day was something like this: hop in the car. hug some necks. pass jace around. eat. say goodbyes. hop back in the car. hug more necks. pass jace around.... i think you get the picture. toward the end of the week, jace was definitely losing his patience with us, and it's no wonder. once we arrived in OK, i took jace to the pediatrician for a check up and not only was he exhausted from the busy travel, but he had a double ear infection! =( atleast now that we're home, and he's got some antibiotics, the both of us can get back to life like normal. ahh! home sweet home!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Things I'm Thankful For:

I just finished reading my husband's blog, and in it he included some things he was thankful for. Well I thought, in light of tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I'll share with you all a few things I'm thankful for as well.

1. Faithfulness: The Lord has been so faithful to Chris and I. From the day we were married, we've always looked to Him for direction, and as long as we've been faithful in the small areas of our lives, He's been more than faithful in all the big areas. It's amazing how just by placing our trust in Him, everything just always seems to fall into place. Thank You Lord for reminding us daily, that our lives are in Your hands, and that You'll always meet our needs.

2. Health: With all the sickness that's attacked some of our family and friends in the past year, I can't help but be thankful to God for his protection over me and my family. Yeah, we've had little colds here and there, (mostly Chris), but for the most part, He's kept us healthy and strong. Especially our little guy Jace. With as many germs as he comes in contact with, it's amazing to me that he's only been sick once since he was born. Each and every day I pray over him and his health, and God has been faithful every step of the way. Thank you Lord for your hand of protection over me and my family.

3. Family: Being home for Thanksgiving has been a real blessing. It's always great for Chris and I to get to see our parents and our brother, sisters, and so forth. But even moreso, I'm so thankful to have a loving husband and an adorable son. From the time Chris and I started dating, I always knew I could turn to him for love, protection, and honesty. He's my best friend and an amazing companion. I am so glad that the Lord brought us together. I truly am a very lucky lady!
Jace, well I could write a book on how he's changed my life! Not only has he shown me that I can love in a way I never thought possible, but he's made me a more loving, patient, and kind person. Seeing the joy in his eyes always lights up my day, and every day I get off work, I'm always looking forward to picking him up and getting a big hug from my little man! He's such a charmer, and he's definitely won me over!... and he knows it! I love that little guy so much. Thank you Lord for giving me the privilage of being a mom!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Don't forget to take a moment to be thankful for all God has given you. =)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Why I love vacations:

So right now I'm sitting with my feet up, reclined on the couch, Jace is upstairs snoozing, and there's nothing in the air but peace and quiet. No dinner to cook, no house to clean, no work to do, just simply sit here and do nothing! I love it! In fact, this morning I slept in..... actually almost every morning I've slept in =) and it's been wonderful!
Now being on vacation, isn't necessarily always this relaxing for us, especially when we decide to spend it here in Indy where all of our family live. If we're not careful, instead of relaxing, we can spend the entire visit driving from one person's house to the next. It's such an easy mistake to make, and we've made it many times before. All of our families live here, and of coarse, they all want to see Jace - who wouldn't! So knowing that, we planned ahead. This time home, we made it appoint to spend one night all to ourselves, and that night was last night. In fact, we didn't even bring Jace. We left him with Nina (grandma) for the night, and Chris and I hopped in the car and escaped all the hustle and bustle of being home for the holidays. It was great! We went out for dinner at this nice place called, "Rick's Boatyard and Cafe" where we had the most amazing goat cheese and french bread for an appetizer. And then for our main coarse, Chris selected these yummy pork chops and I chose the pan seared Tilapia and Shrimp. It was DE-LISHOUS!! =) Afterward, we spent some time together at our hotel and then decided to cheat on our diet and go out for late night hot fudge "sippable sundaes" from Steak n' Shake! Those were pretty good too! Then we relaxed, watched a late night movie and snoozed off into wonderful, un-interrupted sleep! It was awesome! The only downside is that we didn't plan to stay for two nights instead of one =)
So for the rest of our stay here, I don't think we'll be doing much, but that's okay. I think I like vacations better that way.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm such a kid!

So we just started our "Secret Santa" at work this week between all of us office ladies and the kid in me is so excited. I don't know what's more fun. Walking in the office to find a neatly, wrapped gift with MY name on it, or placing one somewhere for someone else, and them having no clue it's from me! I know I'm 24, but really I'm 100% kid at heart - just ask my husband!
It's funny. Yesterday I needed some pretty, red ribbon for my special gift, and the only place I could think of having any was in the attic with all the rest of our Christmas decorations. So of coarse, I didn't see this as an obstacle. No this was an opportunity to get the Christmas tree down and all of the wonderful stuff that goes along with it. Excited I ran to Chris and said, "OOoo. I need to get ribbon, but it's with all the Christmas stuff.... wanna help me take down the tree?!" He looked at me with a sheepish smile and said, "Are you serious? It's not even Thanksgiving. Babe, if we get that tree down, you're going to put it up in the next couple of days, even though, you know we're going to be super busy before we go vacation. Somehow you'll find a way and put it up. You're so impulsive." I replied, "YUP! So can you help me?!!" ha ha ha. Needless to say, my wonderful hubby gave into my pleas, and now our Christmas tree is patiently awaiting me to take it out of the box and dress it all up! Who knows. Maybe I'll surprise Chris and not even bother with it at all. We'll see because just thinking about it makes me get the warm and fuzzies!

Monday, November 17, 2008

4 days and counting!!!

It's almost time! Yes, I can't wait! In four days, (Thursday afternoon to be exact) we're flying home to Indy to visit family, and we're so excited. Being away from family makes you miss them so much, but it's also nice because you appreciate the time when you do see them so much more. I can think of a million reason's I love going home for the holidays, but here are just a few:

1. Mom's cooking - Hello?!! Yes, that's who I get my interest in food from, and if anyone can throw down, it's my mom! For thanksgiving she's making a roast, as oppose to the traditional turkey, and I can't wait! yum!!!

2. Turkey! Yeah, mom's not making turkey, but Chris's dad is! That's the benefit of having several families to visit - more food =)

3. Jace - Everyone is busting at the seems to see Jace. They can hardly wait, and neither can we. It will be so great to see Jace love on his grandparents, especially since he loves giving hugs right now =)

4. Memories - Even though I wasn't born in Indy, I spent all of middle school and high school there and needless to say, I have many wonderful memories there. I love going back and feeling like I'm back in my old home town.

5. Shopping - The day after Thanksgiving is always one of my favorite days to spend with my mom. We hit the stores running at around 5 am.... SO FUN! I can't wait!

6. Friends and Family - My dad, mom, brothers, in laws, nieces, nephews, all of them. I can't wait to see them and give them all a big hug and a kiss!

7. Thanksgiving - it's one of my favorite holidays and so far Chris and I have been lucky enough to always be home to spend it with family.

8. The cold - Even though I'm enjoying the mild weather here in OK, it will be nice to get out into the crisp air and be reminded of what winter really feels like.

9. Date Night! - The nice thing about going home, is everyone wants to see Jace, which is great. It gives Chris and I the perfect opportunity to go out just the two of us... and that doesn't happen often! =)

10. Christmas Tree - Yes I'm like a kid at heart when it comes to putting up the Christmas Tree - I can hardly wait. And I know, once we get back to OK, it's officially time to put it up!!! So the sooner we leave, the sooner we get to come back, and I get to put up the tree!! =) ... Even though I already threw Christmas lights up all over our house and yard! lol

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Nerves

it's funny. it's saturday night, i'm winding down, reflecting on what i did for the day, and what i'll be doing tomorrow, and suddenly it hits..... again. my saturday night nerves, or maybe i should say, my sunday morning nerves =)
i don't know why or when it will ever go away, but for whatever reason, every saturday night on the weekends i'm scheduled to lead worship in church, i get the jitters. i hate it. i'm such a dork. i've been singing since i was like 7. in fact, i think i could even prove it if i had to. somewhere, in an old dusty box, my mom has a vhs of me singing. i was the star of david in our christmas play about the birth of jesus. it was my big debut, me singing the lord's prayer, which might i add, that was when sandi patti was cool, so um yeah, shouldn't i be bigger than jitters by now? =)
sometimes, even though the nerves have my stomach all in knots, i think it's a good thing. mostly because as long as i'm nervous, i'm always praying! mostly saying, "dear god, please don't let me screw this up!" ha ha ha, but it's good. i'm relying on him with everything i have, and i'm sure that's probably right where he wants me. so there. i just taught myself something. i'm not a total dork, i'm just learning to rely on God. okay so maybe it's not so bad after all =)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Random Thoughts

- Why is everyone sick? My husband, my son, my babysitter, my friends, me..... we're all sick or are just getting over being sick. I wonder what it is with this time of year that makes everyone so "under the weather"?? I don't know, but I hope it passes soon!

-Tomorrow is my day off and I can't wait! I'm exhausted. Wednesday's tend to do that though. Thursdays.... well those days are wonderful =) Maybe I'll even get in a nap!

- The healthy eating is still going pretty good. Chris is doing especially well. 4 months and still going strong. I'm so proud of him. Great job Babe!

- New recipe, DE-LISH! Paula Dean's pumpkin bars! I know, not so healthy, but SO good! mmmm!

- Bought my first pair of skinny jeans the other week, and I finally brought myself to wear them the other day. At first, I have to say, I was a little nervous. I was afraid that maybe I would look like a dork, but after getting several compliments from some of my girlfriends, I think this skinny jeans thing might be better than I thought!

- Thanksgiving is so close, and for us, vacation is only 9 days away! I miss my family in Indy alot so I can't wait to go home! Not to mention my mom's cooking is amazing and I'm really looking forward to a yummy Thanksgiving lunch!.... and Dinner!

- Jace gives hugs now - It's definitely my new favorite thing. I squat down near the floor, spread open my arms and say, "JACE!", and every time he runs right at me, squeezes my shoulders, lays his cute little head on my arms and says, "Ahhhh". IT'S TOO CUTE!!!

- Oklahoma weather is really different. It's mid November and I'm still only wearing a sweater! I could get used to this!

- I just got my hair cut, well trimmed and I love it. Now that I've had my hair semi-short for a little while, I'm not sure when I'll grow my hair out again. Short is much easier!

- Christmas is already almost here! Crazy! I'm already thinking about lights, trees, shopping, but more importantly I've been trying to think of what I want. Hm? Maybe some new cookware? I'll have to think on this one.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Taking a Moment

These past few weeks have flown by, pretty much slipping right through my fingers. Every day seems to be shorter than the last! - well today is Saturday, and I pretty much decided when I woke up this morning, that I was going to slow things down for a change! =)
The plan: relax! Right now I'm sitting in my slippers and watching my favorite T.V. station, Food Network of coarse =). Jace is peacefully sleeping and should be asleep for probably the next hour - nice! Chris is at the gym working out which means one thing.... I get the T.V. (he he)
Times like these are nice, no not just because I get the T.V.! But because it gives me time to breathe and clear my head. So many days go by where I'm just like a little energizer bunny, going and going. Unfortunately, half the time I'm so busy getting things done, I don't even stop to enjoy what I'm doing. So today, I've decided to just relax and enjoy the slow pace.
It's so easy when you're busy to go through life, and not realize how many great things you've been given. Well right now, I have to say, I'm a pretty lucky lady. When I actually take a moment to think about my life right now, there's not much to complain about. I have an amazing, loving and patient husband, a beautiful, happy and healthy baby boy, and a job I love. God has been so good to me and our family. I just hope I can take more moments like this to thank him for it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend Recap

Oh what a Monday! Ever have one of those days where you sit back and ask yourself, "Wait? What just happened?" Ha, ha, well that's me every Monday! Mostly because it's our busy day at the office, trying to catch up from the weekend, and everyone is still pooped from our four services Sunday. Athough today, I am a little more pooped than my norm because this past Sunday, I was given the opportunity to lead worship. It was awesome! Leading for that many people was definitely scary, don't get me wrong, but simply having the opportunity to be stretched and being able to use my gift, doing what I love, it was great. One thing I never realized though was how exhausted I'd be by the end of the 4th service! By the end of the afternoon, I felt like I had just ran a marathon! Definitely makes you appreciate what Brian and Herbert do EVERY Sunday! =) So as soon as church had ended, I had a game plan: Grab lunch. Go home. Get into my P.J.'s, and take a nap! .... And I did!.... And it was wonderful!!! Not something I get to do much anymore, but when I do, I definitely try to take full advantage.

Rewinding back to Saturday, Chris and I went to our Ignite Cookout which was great. We love any opportunity we can get to spend time just hanging with friends. Later that night, I decided to go to the movies with some girl friends - FUN! We were going to see something called, "the secret life of Bee" or something like that =P. Well we were all excited to see it because we had heard it was supposed to be really good, but much to our dismay, once we were all there, we realized the movie had already started!... 20 minutes ago! No worries =) We hopped in our cars, drove to the nearest Starbucks, and just sat, talked, laughed, and enjoyed one another's company. I had a great time. There's just something about being with friends that's so refreshing!

So that was my weekend. All in all, it was great, but boy did it fly by! Hopefully this week will fly by too so I can enjoy the weekend again!

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Great Day

Today was a wonderful day. After having a great day at work, I swung by the babysitter's and picked up my little peanut ( that would be Jace ;). It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and even though I knew he was probably due for a nap, I decided we needed some outside play time. We spent an hour or so just chasing each other around the backyard, sliding down the slide, picking up dirt clumps and trying to eat them... you know the usual ;) Then we went for a walk, and even though the air was crisp, the sun was warm, and it was the perfect time of day to be outside. The kind that makes you wish you had a sweater, a cup of hot chocolate, and a comfy chair. After our walk, I put Jace down for a late nap, and knocked out some housework I've had on my list for like three days. Wasn't necessarily fun, but knowing it was finally done was so refreshing! There's nothing like a clean home! It's the only time I'm really able to relax. So once I finished up my house work, Jace and I went to Sam's and picked up some food for our fall cookout tomorrow.... I can't wait! Fall, Football, Food.... Fun!!! So we shopped til we dropped, and I don't know why, but there's just something so fun about shopping when you've got the cutest baby in the world sitting in the front of your cart, smiling at you the whole time =) What a cutie!! Once we were finished, we came home and relaxed. Luckily I decided tonight's dinner was going to be made by the crock pot, so instead of coming home after work and having to make dinner on top of all my housework, I was able to come home from shopping and simply relax! What a wonderful way to end out the day. Even though it wasn't anything exciting, today was still a great day, and tomorrow is Saturday so it can only get better =)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Random Ramblings

So I haven't done so good at keeping my word and staying on top of this blog lately! Funny. I always think I'm going to be able to get everything done, and yet somehow I never do! The story of my life =)
I find that when I've been blogging on a consistent basis, I always know exactly what I want to say. Yet when I haven't written anything in a while, like tonight (=)), I just sit here, speechless, thinking, "What should I say? Something profound maybe?" ha. Not tonight. I'm too tired to even spell words longer than my name, let alone actually think about what I want to say. I've just decided, it's time for some random rambling. So here goes:
-Got back from our retreat yesterday. It was a looooooong drive, but it was an excuse to spend some great time with our kids. It's funny, and I don't know why, but it's always on trips like that, that I realize how much I love doing what we do. I just love being with the kids and getting to know them. ...And when you're stuck in a van for about 6 hours, you've got plenty of time to get know one another =)
-Our trip to MO. also brought me back to memories I have from the many times Chris and I made trips just like that when we were in youth group with our youth pastors, Paul and Debbie Hinzman. Not sure if they'll get to read this, but in case they do, just want to say thanks guys. Not only did they invest in us then, but even now, they're still investing in us. From being our youth pastors back then to being some of our dearest friends today, they've played a huge part in the people we've become, and I'm so thankful that God's allowed our paths to meet. Thanks guys and we love you!
-When I arrived at the church for work today, I saw the progress that's been made with our new auditorium, and I literally squeeled! ha ha. I am so grateful to be a part of this exciting time at Peoples Church. What a blessing it's been to our family, and what a blessing it's going to be to so many others! We're reaching the lost, and it never gets old! I can't wait to see where God is going to take us!
-Jace is getting cuter by the day. He's just started saying, "Hi", and it's impossible to hear it and not grin. His vocabulary is almost large enough to count on two hands! ha ha. He's now saying, "Momma", "Dadda", "Hi" and "All done". That kid's a genius =)
-It's been pretty busy lately, and with the recent traveling, I actually had french fries for the first time in three months last weekend. It's was good going down, but once it reached my tummy, it wasn't good for long =( I forgot how heavy fast food can be on your stomache when you haven't been eating it. I'm hoping I'll eat extra good this week to make up for being bad over the weekend =[] I'm not trying to gain weight back after all that hard work!
-I'm starting to get into a routine: Get up, go to work, get Jace, go home, stay up way too late! ha ha. Not sure when it started, but I've been going to bed later lately, and my body is mad at me for it. I'm hoping to be a little more disciplined in the next upcoming weeks, but it's going to be hard. Hopefully I can make myself go to bed..... you know a lack of sleep speeds up aging - YIKES!!!!
-Speaking of, "Goodnight" - I'll hopefully talk to you sooner than later =)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

EASY Chicken Tortilla Soup

I was talking to some friends today about what I was making for lunch, and after 3 different people asked me for the recipe, I just figured I would post it that way I can share it with all my friends =) This is literally the easiest/simplest recipe known to man - In fact, when it was first passed onto me, I was a bit in disbelief because it doesn't even require salt or pepper! I don't know about you, but I put salt on everything! So don't knock it til' you try it. Take it from someone who usually likes to make everything from scratch, you may be leery, but you will love this recipe. Mom's, it's fast, easy, and I've yet to meat someone who didn't like it. So jot it down, print it out... enjoy =)

Chicken Tortilla Soup:
(serves about 6)

2 cans golden corn (drained)
2 cans black beans (rinsed/drained)
1 large jar of chunky salsa (mild, medium, or hot - whatever you prefer =)
1 packet of taco seasoning
2 large cans of boneless (all white meat) chunked chicken breast (drained)
4-6 cups chicken stock (depending on how thick you want your soup. I like mine thick enough to scoop up with chips, almost like chili, so I only use 4)

1 small canister sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar-jack cheese
1 bag tostitos "scoops" tortilla chips


In a large saucepan, combine corn, beans, salsa, seasoning mix, chicken, and chicken stock. Cook and let simmer on medium to medium low heat for about 45 minutes.

Serve in bowls topped with a generous dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with cheddar-jack cheese. Serve with chips for your dipping pleasure and enjoy!!!

... Really! It's that easy!! =D

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Random Thoughts

- So I've decided I need to start going to bed at a decent time. For me that's around 10, 10:30.... Oh look what time it is! 10:34 - I'm already breaking my new rule =(

- This losing weight thing is good and bad. Good because I feel better than ever. Bad because I finally feel like shopping.... every day!

- Starbucks has become a part of my morning routine. I think I've had it everyday for almost the last two weeks! I better slow down or I'm not going to have a money left over to do that shopping I want to do!

- Jace is cuter than ever! Dropping him off at the baby sitter's every day only makes me appreciate our time together more. Today we spent an hour, after I got home from work, just playing in the backyard. I love that little guy so much!

- Chris is thinner than ever! He's changing weight almost as often as I change my socks. He's almost down to 210 - Great job babe. I'm so proud of you!

- I discovered a great new recipe. Paula Dean's Spinach and Gruyere Pinwheels. Tiny little pinwheels made from warm, flaky puff pastry, wrapped around a mixture of sauteed mushrooms, warm spinach, and melted Gruyere cheese! If you like any of those things, you've gotta check this recipe out on foodnetwork.com. It's the perfect finger food for anytime, any occasion.

- Finally, it feels like Autumn and I love it! I actually wore a turtle neck today! YAY! =)

- I think we may be getting rid or our Dog. If you know anyone who may be interested in a Yellow Lab, let us know. He's cute as can be, just too much work for a family that's not home very much =(

- I have a big day tomorrow - work and church with not much time in between... on that note, I'm going to bed =) Night.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Catching up!!

Alright, so I've been really bad this past week and a half keeping everyone in the loop! Sorry, let's just say the past two weeks have been a blur. So here's the quick run down of my life the past two weeks =)

-Jace had two birthday parties!! His first party was on the day of his birth date (Sept. 25, 4:15pm to be exact =) and we celebrated with family. It was great to have Chris' family in town. His mom, Carolyn, Stepdad, Guy, and little brother, Benjamin, were all here to help us sing "Happy Birthday". We had a great time catching up with eachother and soaking in the moments we had together. We also had a great time observing Jace and his very first adventure with cake! YUM! He was so funny, at first he wasn't so sure, but within a matter of 2 minutes, he was shoving the cake faster than I could snap a picture! =) Here are a few pictures of our cutie pie on his very first birthday! :

-The second party we had for Jace, we decided to do on a Saturday at the park, that way some of our friends could come and join in the birthday fun. We enjoyed cake, yet again, which was good to my mouth, but not so good to my diet! All in all, we had a great time though, and Jace, even though he basically had no clue it was all for him, he was of coarse cute as ever eating his cake and greeting his guests =) Here are a few pics of his party :

(I'm picking the icing out of his hair.... Yeah he got it everywhere! =)

-Before Chris' family left town, we decided to take them to bricktown where we ate at this cute New Orleans Cafe called the Bourbon Street Cafe??? I think? Anyways, whatever it was called, it was good.... not to mention I finally got to try crawfish. It was pretty tasty, although everyone else wasn't so pleased with the aroma coming off my plate! Oh well, that only made it more fun to eat :P Here are a few family pics from our last night with the Magana family :

(I thought this was funny because when I leaned over to take a picture with him, he just nonchalantly put his arm around me like such a little man!)
- During this past week, I've started working part time at our church which I love! It's been such a blessing to join the team and help out with whatever I can. I am so blessed to be doing what I'm doing right now, and even though I'm a little more tired at the end of the day, I feel like I'm actually getting something accomplished, which I didn't feel as much when I was home all the time.
Even though the amount of time I spend at home as changed, one thing will never change.... my silly boy! This past week he made a discovery, "Hey! I can take this diaper off! Being naked is great!!!" ha ha ha. Yeah, pretty much. I have to watch him too because he's got quick hands! One minute he's acting like he's checking out his belly button, the next he's streaking through the house! ha ha ha. It's so funny though! It's kinda hard to tell say, "no Jace" with a straight face, when he's smiling at you butt naked! So yes, you get to share in the fun. Here are a few pics of our crazy little man! :

-Thursday was Chris' day off and it was a busy day. We both had doctors appointments in the morning, which are never fun =( but the upside is, I haven't weighed myself since I was in the hospital from having Jace, so when I stepped on the scale and it read, "129" I looked at the nurse and said, "did that say '129'?" and she looked at me like, "oh stop gloating." But I just couldn't help but smile! ... and smile! ha ha ha. That reading was such a great sight! I haven't been this weight since Highschool, so you better believe I'm going to soak it in as much as I can! =)
After our doctor's appt., Chris, Jace, and I decided to go and have breakfast together, and that was great. It's not often we get to go out for breakfast, so that for a change, was so much fun.
Later, at 2, Jace had a doctor's appt. where he got his 1 year shots!!! NO FUN!!! I always hate those appointments, but I know it's only to make him big and strong some day.... and he already forgot what happened so that's comforting! =)

-This past weekend was Amy Deas baby shower! I had the honor of helping host, and of coarse I love doing that sorta stuff! Anything I can cook for is fun for me! Not only did we have a great turn out, but I think Amy got a pretty good Asst. of gifts which is always nice. I hope she enjoyed it and it was everything she had hoped for. Amy is not only a great youth leader, but a loving friend and I wished her and Vernon the best wishes for their little bundle!! Here are a few pics from her baby shower:

(Amy and the "Hostesses": Nicole, Dorynda, (Amy), Me, and Nicole =)

-Tonight is our "BigNite" and I can't wait! Food and fellowship, what's not to like?! Plus, I'm really excited to lead worship tonight. There's just something about getting the opportunity to pour my heart out to God in a song, that's just hard to replace. I'm so thankful I'm at a place where he's allowing me to help others do the same. It's such a privilage and I'm so undeserving, but He allows me to be used anyway. I truly am so blessed!

-Well I think that pretty much catches me up to speed. Until Monday! .... oh stink! That's tomorrow! I'll be in touch soon =)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Reasons to Smile

Today when my husband came out of our bedroom, he was wearing a pink polo that he's had for over a year and has never wore it until today. He never felt comfortable in it, but since he's lost all his weight, not only does it fit him, but he looked fine this morning! ha ha. I'm so stinking proud of all his hard work. Keep it up babe! I just might start chasing you around the house! (If you heard pastor Herbert's sermon, you know what I'm talking about. If not, you need to check it out!)
Yesterday, pastor preached an amazing sermon. It really hit my heart, and made me think long and hard about protecting my marriage. Everything he said was right on point for people who are married, and I am so thankful to be at a church where they tell it like it is. Thank you God for bringing Chris and I to people's church. It's so great to know that every Sunday we're going to be challenged by God's word, and it's also so great to be on staff with such amazing people. What an experience it is to know you're somewhere where you're making a difference in the lives of others. We are so blessed!

**If you'd like to hear this sermon, just follow the link below =)

"How To Have An Affair"


Today is the first day of Autumn!!! I've been counting down the days it seems, and it's finally here! Now I just need the weather to get chilly so I can finally break my hoodies back in! =)

My son Jace is turning one THIS Thursday!!!! I can't believe how fast this past year has flown! It's been so fun and exciting watching him grow and turn into our little man. He's such a great kid, and I'm really looking forward to all the developmental changes to come in the next year. This time next year we'll actually be able to have somewhat of a conversation!! Yay!

Our Ignite service was last night, and I always look forward to going. Being around other young adults is so refreshing. It's definitely a great way to make new relationships. I'm really looking forward to all God is going to do through this Sunday night experience!

Two of our very dear friends, Bart and Melissa Shadle, and Marc and Stacy Petty, had babies this past week! Melissa gave birth to little baby Noah. He's their first baby and I just know they're going to be amazing parents. Stacy gave birth to baby Brady (no connection to the N.E. Patriots, just in case you were wondering ;) and he is as cute as pie. I'm so excited for both of our friends!! Congratulations and we love you guys very much!

Baby Petty: "Brady"

Baby Shadle: "Noah"

My coffee tastes exceptionally good this morning! I love it when that happens!

Jace is taking a nap at this very moment. That means mommy time =) That's definitely a reason to smile =)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yay for New Jeans!!!

I'm so excited! I went shopping today for jeans, and for the first time in I don't know how long, I actually enjoyed it. I tried on only a few pairs and instantly fell in love. Before losing my baby weight, I probably would have tried on at least 10 pairs and then I still would have left with none, but I'm finally at my goal size. I'm finally at the place where I feel good in most of the things I put on where as before, it was definitely the opposite.

Thank you Jesus so much for giving me the self control and discipline I needed to lose that baby weight! I feel so happy and good about myself again.

Thanks also to my husband who not only has helped me by setting an amazing example, but for always holding me accountable..... well except for maybe at the fair! ;) I couldn't have done it without you, your love, and your support.

Just wanted to share my exciting news! Here's to keeping it off!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


We went to the fair last night with the Jackson family, and we had a great time. The smells, the lights, the crowd... it was definitely exactly what I had imagined it would be before we had arrived.
Shortly after we got there, it didn't take us long to decide we were hungry. Then again, how can you not be hungry when around every corner there's another stand with big painted signs advertising "Hot Funnel Cake" and "Fried Cheese"!!! YUM!!! So I decided I wanted an "Indian taco", (which my friend Umo promised me I would love=)), and Chris and Jace went looking for some "Chicken on a stick". After standing in line for probably a good 20 minutes, and then buying this "Indian taco" which by the way, they should rename it the "mountain taco" because it was so huge, I was sadly dissapointed when I realized that the "Indian taco" actually wasn't very Indian at all! =( I thought it was going to be authentic Indian food, like from India! Little did I realize that all an "Indian taco" is, is some pinto beans on a yummy taco shell with about two handfuls of shredded lettuce and cheddar cheese! Bummer! It was still good though.
After eating, we decided to do some walking, and hopefully burn off half of what we'd already consumed! =) We took Jace around pretty much the entire fairgrounds until finally we decided to take him to the Petting Zoo. This was my favorite part I think! Watching him trying to touch the animals was SO cute! He definitely knew which ones he like, disliked, or just had no interest in at all. He definitely like the chicks, the hens, the sheep, and the swine. The big dairy cow, he wasn't so sure =) He definitely looked at those big beety eyes and took a step back like, "Wait a minute mom. I don't think I want to touch that one!" It was pretty cute.
Finally, when we were done meeting and petting all the animals, and after Jace had decided he was done showing US where to go, we figured we'd better get something sweet before we left. So we walked around in search of the infamous chocolate covered cheesecake and after looking, for quite a bit I might add, we finally found it - and it was SO worth it! It was so good! I definitely knew that was my "cheat quota" for the week though!
All in all, we had a great time, and the best part of all is we were able to have some good quality family time together. =)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mornings like these =)

Not much to write about today. I just woke up, felt the chilly breeze blowing through our bedroom window, and suddenly became really happy =) Yes, right now at this very moment, I'm sitting on my love-seat, in my comfy flannel P.J.s, sipping a delicious cup of french pressed coffee, wearing my soft slippers, and slouching.... Oh how I love mornings like these. Jace is napping, Dungy is passed out in our room somewhere, the dishes are done, the house is caught up, and I for once have nothing that I really HAVE to do. Well, atleast not for the next hour ;) So I'm probably going to sit here, watch an episode of SVU perhaps, and enjoy every second of this time. I probably should do that more. Just soak in the present moments I do have, instead of fretting about what I have going on later. So bye for now, I'll be relaxing if you need anything. Thank you Lord for mornings like these =)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Being a Mom

So this is a day late, but yesterday I was tied up pretty
much all day, and today, well hopefully it will involve a lot of relaxing =)
Just the other night, we had our cram night at epic. The theme of the night was "craziest fan", and of coarse me and Jace had to participate =)

I was trying to figure out what I should dress him in because he really doesn't have any sports jerseys, and the one colts outfit he did have, well it's in a box in the attic with the rest of his newborn clothes. So being the crafty person I am, we decided (as in I decided) to make Jace a shirt!

Yeah, yeah, it was more so I could have fun - I love doing stuff like that, but it turned out pretty good actually. And the best part was we matched=) We both had our royal blue on in support of our team. And I have to say, Jace looked stinking adorable, but then again I think he looks stinking adorable in everything!

After we were all dressed for church we still had a few minutes until it was time to go, so we went out in the backyard and played for a little bit, and standing there watching my little man, walking around everywhere, just made me smile and feel so overwhelmed with love. It's so funny how simply being near someone can make you feel so much. This little guy has changed my life! And it's all for the good =) Being a mom is one of the greatest gifts I've ever recieved.

So here's to all the fun things you get to do when you're a mom. Making t-shirts, baking cupcakes, or going to play dates... being a mom sure is great!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I just have to share this with anyone who reads this because this website has completely revolutionized my music listening experience!!! The website is absolutely free, and it has all your favorite music organized by genre, author, song title, whatever you want! Just type in one of your favorite tunes and it automatically plays songs from that author and all other music that's similar. So I typed in Ella Fitzgerald, love her, and now I'm listening to Billie Holiday, Etta James, Julie London..... I love this website! You've gotta check it out =) Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Just go to www.pandora.com