October 8, 2012

Get to know you ABC's

Y'all I  am so stinkin' excited! I pretty much have the sweetest roomies/travel buddies. I seriously can't wait to hug all of you. Please feel free to seek me out and hug me.

A- Accent you wish you had - I really love my southern accent. But I guess if I had to choose I'd pick the obvious and go British.
B- Baking or Cooking? - I enjoy both, but get excited about baking. So baking.
C- Can't Get Enough..... - Sunset roll. (a sushi roll from a locally owned Thai restaurant.) If you ever come to western Kentucky, let me know and we'll do lunch. You won't regret it.
D- Drink you can't go without - Coffee, but sweet tea is a very close second.
E-Emotion you get when those Hallmark commercials come on - Happy tears, and sometimes an ugly cry.
F-Fictional Character you relate to - I haven't read a fictional book since Twilight. And since I'm not a vampire, I don't really relate to any of those characters. So let's go TV- I'd say Christina Braverman from Parenthood. Not so much in the 3 kids/breast cancer way. Rather in the crazy hectic life, love my husband like mad .. way.
G-Guilty Pleasure - Days of Our Lives. Don't judge me.
H- Hometown - Paducah, KY. Quilt City, USA.
I- Ice Cream Flavor - Double fudge moose tracks.
J- Jumpstart Go To (aka how you get your day started)
- Hug from Chance and Olivia, Coffee, Social Media.
K- Keepsake Item - The letter my PawPaw write me on the day I graduated high school. I carry it with me in my wallet and read it when I'm feeling down. Never fails to remind me how much he loved me.
L- Life Verse(s) - "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24
M-Memory that makes you smile - Gracious, there's so many. One of my favorites is the first time Olivia really belly laughed.
N- Non-fiction writer you want to have dinner with - Ann Voskamp and Angie Smith
O- Opulent Item You Want (something that is way out of your price range) - Trip to Italy.
P-Pattern You Love - Polka dots, chevron, paisley.
Q- Quirk You Have - I talk with my hands, a lot.
R- Relaxing Spot - The rocking chair in Olivia's room.
S- Snow or Sun? - Snow. Because when you're cold you can just keep adding layers. But when your hot- well, once you're naked your naked. And hot.
T- TV show you miss - Law and Order SVU. Yes, I know it's still on the air, but Elliot is gone and it's just not the same.
U- Unique Fact About You - I was stabbed in the nose with a pencil in 1st grade. If you look closely, you can still see the dot on my nose.
V- Valentine's Day ...big deal or not? - So not a big deal.
W- What's Your Love Language? Physical touch, words of affirmation and office supplies.
X- X-Factor Song You Would Sing (sidenote: I don't watch the show...) - Honestly, I've never seen the show. But my favorite song is Reedemer, by Nicole C. Mullen.
Y- Yoga or Not? -
I don't really do exercise.
Z- Zealous Dream You Have
- to own a children's clothing boutique. There, I said it.

October 6, 2012

Influence Conference Get to Know You Questions... part 2

What was your favorite food when you were a child?
Spaghetti. Maybe because it was good.. maybe because we ate it at least once a week. 3 small girls, one income= momma cooked on a budget!

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?

Usually I check twitter, facebook, instagram, and pinterest. In that order. And repeat. 

Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best?

I left a full-time position because I didn't feel like it was a good fit for me, with no job to go to. Ended up not working for nearly 6 months. It was a much needed break. I had worked full time since I was 16, and had a job since I was 12. Those 6 months were full of uncertainty- but I was able to spend so much time with Olivia. But most importantly- I learned to fully depend on God. We went from 2 incomes to 1, hard for any family, at any time. So many times He was there, and provided in ways we never expected.
What is your favorite body part?

Awkward?  Umm, Chance likes my smile. Let's go with that one.

If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?

So far I'm liking 25 pretty well.   

October 5, 2012

Influence Conference Get to Know You Questions.. pt1

 One of my lovely room-mates for the conference had the great idea to host a "Get to know you series" and because I want to be a good roomie, and because she's really sweet (seriously y'all are going to love her), and because it really is a good idea I wanted to participate.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
"I'm with you" by Amy Grant and Nichole Nordeman. It reminds me of my incredible best friend. It reminds me of this beautiful online community. It reminds me to truly "be with" the people in my life. It's a beautiful song. #2 is "Stand Up" by the Veggietales. So there's that too.

If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?

Grace. Grace for myself, for my husband, and for others. Sometimes I get caught up in the doing and my obsessive need for tidiness (both literal and figurative), and forget that we are not all perfect. That we are broken. And in that brokenness He is made whole.

What story does your family always tell about you?

My word, there are tons. But the first one that comes to mind is my 5th birthday. I'll set the scene: I had asked for a pink and purple bicycle. I may or may not have been spoiled by my grandparents. I may or may not have acted like a spoiled brat. Anyway, after eating cake and opening a ton of presents I was told we needed to go to the back patio to see my last present. I wasn't a dim child so I knew what it was. (see also, spoiled brat) When the door opened, it was there. My brand new shiny, pink and green bike. I had a melt down. My uncle quickly swooped in and started asking me what my favorite colors were. As I listed them off one by one it happened. My beloved Uncle Barry had done it. He tricked me. I said green. Once I admitted (to myself as much as everyone else) that green was one of my favorite colors I was fine. And I loved my bike. That bike is still in a family members garage. There's another story about the day my sister Lindsay was born, it's really sweet, but totally not embarrassing. So I'll leave you with the bratty story and hope you still want to be my friend.

The best part of waking up is?

Waking Olivia up. She is always has such a big smile on her face when she wakes up and she's in such a good mood. I'll be holding tightly to those memories when she's 12 I'm sure.

What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?

Time of day: bedtime. Hands down. Olivia and I don't listen to lullabies at bedtime, I play praise and worship songs. It's a beautiful combination. One of the things/people I am most thankful for in my life and my Jesus. It almost always amounts to my reduced to a puddle of tears.
Day of the week: Friday. Because I get to take Olivia to dance, and it's adorable.
Month of the year: December. I'm just so happy in December. All the decorating, and baking, and gift giving, and doing for others. It fills my cup.

October 2, 2012

i don't want to be superwoman.


A friend to me one time that she didn't know how I did it all. How I worked full time, maintained our home, took care of our family, nurtured friendships and still made time to sew a pair of ruffle pants for Olivia. She referred to me a "superwoman." I nearly spit my coffee across the room. Seriously? Me, superwoman? I'm a wreck. My planner is so marked, and highlighted that if you tilt it just the right way it looks like a 4 year old scribbled all over it. On any given day I have a list a mile long- that I never seem to get all marked off. I work crazy hours and Chance and my schedules very rarely lead to time off together. Weeks go by with little more than 15 minutes of conversation each day. Orchestrating a family event is very much like an act of congress.

Superwoman I am not. Not even close.

I've felt like I was falling short lately. Way short.
I wasn't being in the moment with Olivia. I was harsh with Chance. Stressing about money, irritable at work, neglectful with friends.  It was really starting to take a toll.

I'm been praying about how overwhelmed I was, and that He would show me where I needed to cut back. What areas of my life needed a little pruning. I kept feeling Him reminding me that none of that matters.
That as long as I was fulfilling His purpose and His plan for me, it didn't matter if Olivia's bow is falling out, or if I had to wash that load of laundry 3 times in a row because I kept forgetting them in there.

He reminded me that I didn't need to "do." I just needed to "be."
That I shouldn't see my worth in my accomplishments, rather through His eyes.
That He is made perfect in my imperfections.
That I should give myself, and others about a hundred times more grace each day.
That Olivia's adorable outfit doesn't matter a hill-of-beans if she doesn't know Jesus died on the cross for her.

I don't want to be seen as a super woman. I want to be seen as a Godly woman. As a light for Him here. I want people to hear Him before they hear me. And I'm never going to stop seeking that.

October 1, 2012

when you don't get the answers + big picture

When Olivia was diagnosed with PFAPA (pronounced "fappa") I wasn't surprised. It wasn't scary. It was actually the diagnosis I prayed for. It sounds silly, but I had a peace about Periodic Fever Syndrome, I was ready for it. I had done the research and talked at length with a woman with a daughter who was diagnosed with PFAPA. But before all of that, when it was just us against the fever, with a seemingly endless cycle of motrin and tylenol, I was scared. It was that shake you to the core, anything is possible, paralyzing fear. Because we didn't know what monsters were lurking in the shadows of that fever.

That's why I'm writing this post.
For the mama out there, who doesn't know what's going on with her baby and will scream if she hears "virus" even one more time. I want you to know that you are not crazy; there is an answer to all of this. And good for you for not taking a doctor's word as gospel, and being your child's advocate.

{the sight that stopped my heart}

If you're new here you can read this, this, and this to catch up. 

To put it simply. Olivia gets fevers, regularly. For no reason. There's never any specific virus, or bug that the doctors can identify. Just the fever. PFAPA is characterized by a recurring fever of unknown origin. It took the doctors at Vanderbilt about 20 minutes to diagnose her. If you are going through something similar with your little one, and you don't feel like you are getting the answers you need- I would encourage you to seek another opinion. We were very lucky to have a doctor who doesn't have a God-complex, and knows she doesn't always have the answers. I know not everyone is as lucky. Remember, the doctors work for you. If you don't feel like you are getting the best possible care your (& your baby) deserve better. {stepping off my soapbox now}

Next, I would tell you to seek community. As with most things- walking through the unknown of childhood illnesses is easier when you are surrounded by your people. It is important for you and your child to have a support system. There were many instances where I had been sitting at Olivia's bedside for days with no break, and a friend or family member would all but push me to the bathroom so that I could take a shower, or brought dinner by. Those acts of service were exactly what we needed in that moment.

That brings me to the next point; take care of yourself. I'm sure you've been told before, "if you don't take care of yourself, you're no good to anyone else." Y'all, it's so true. You have to make time to shower, eat and rest. Let the people in your life help. Yes, I agree no one can take care of that baby better than you. But I doubt anything horrible will happen because you take a 5 minutes shower. And you'll feel like a different person after those 5 minutes.

My final piece of advice is to pray. There were many days (and still are) that I would lay in bed with Olivia, her body so hot I could barely stand to hold her- but couldn't let go. In those moments I prayed. I prayed about the temperature of her body, I prayed about the terrifying thoughts in my mind, I prayed He would give the doctors wisdom. This is your baby, the most special tangible thing in your life. You can't just leave it to the doctors- you've got to hand it over to the Great Physician too. These precious babies that He has placed in our care, are after all not our own. They are His.