Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Today was one of those beautiful blue sky, 68 degree days that made you glad you live in Florida. For those of you who happen to live up north, don't be jealous. We'll be paying for it come July when a tank top and shorts are too much clothes to have on given the degree of heat and humidity.

Anyways I brought my bible outside for a change and decided to sit and read there instead of being cooped up inside the house. I feel like there is a lot to be learned from the things that J and I have been dealing with these past few weeks, but part of me has been feeling like I'm missing it. It's like the world has moved on and life keeps going, but part of me (that type A, obsessive, perfectionist part) is still holding on to the what ifs and what could have been. We've been talking a lot about when would be a good time to consider starting a family again and whether or not I'd be ready emotionally. Up til now, I havn't been sure of the answer. I get so caught up in everything that could possibly even remotely become a problem that I forget that ultimately, it's not up to me. I get so worried about what if I had another miscarriage, I don't think I could handle it or what if this goes wrong and things don't turn out the way I planned. The sad thing is, my plans and worries aren't only relegated to the concept of having a baby, but every other aspect of life I think I can control. And it always boils down to "enough". Do we have enough money, can I lose enough weight, do I have enough time or whatever my concern for that day may be. And today I really felt like God was speaking to me. Do I want to wait until I feel like I have enough control and can handle things my way, or do I want to trust in God's sufficiency. Truth is, I've been trusting in my own abilities and planning to get me through, rather than resting in the knowledge that He is enough. And it hasn't been working. I can put a smile on my face and pretend that everything is wonderful, but all the acting in the world won't make that true. I've been trying to heal myself instead of letting the Healer do His perfect work.

I've always been the type to try to do things myself, rather than ask for help. Not because I don't like asking for help, but because I think I can do it better my way. My sweet husband hired someone to come clean the house but I cancelled because "why pay someone to do something I can do better myself?" (yes, I know I'm crazy!!). I was saddened to realize that this mentality has carried over into my walk with God. I was led to 2 Corinthians 12 today and here is what I read: "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
So my prayer today is that I will let the truth of those verses penetrate my heart and be real to me. That I will allow God to be enough.

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
Isaiah 30:18

Monday, January 25, 2010

Weekend Fun

J and I had a great weekend and I'm just now getting the chance to post. After my wonderful trip to HL I went and babysat some of my favorite children. Ella and I had quite the girl's night after the two youngest ones went to bed, complete with an Easy Bake Oven cake, makeovers, and Snow White. We had a great time, although I'm beginning to wonder at what age will she be too cool to hang out with her Aunt Jessica.

Saturday was a little crazy with me having to go to work for a few hours to help give tours of the new hospital to the community. It was packed and I never expected that many people to come thru so I definitely stayed busy. The hsopital is beautiful and well designed and I'm excited for us to open!

We had our first experience entertaining Saturday night when we hosted game night at our place. Our plan was to play the SceneIt 80s game that he got for Christmas (guys vs. girls) but it didn't take long for us ladies to realize we were way out of our league. Which makes sense since we are all so young and could hardly be expected to remember that decade. Ok, maybe we're not that young, but it's my story and we're gonna go with what makes me feel better. We quickly moved on to a fun game called last word where I unfortunately demonstrated my lack of spelling skills and understanding of anatomy when I listed Amy Grant as a male singer and stated that orangutan started with the letter "A". Yes, people, I have a Masters degree. Scary, isn't it. Tara and Jenn made me promise to never homeschool my children. Steve and Jenn then went on to kick J and I's tail in Wii tennis. I think they play a lot more than we do. Especially seeing as how 've tried to avoid it ever since J brought home Wii fit and convinced me to try it out. I was a little down about putting on a few pounds after the wedding and he was trying to help. It was all well and good until I stepped onto the board where it weighed me and then proceeded to have my character blow up like a Macys Thanksgiving day balloon. Not helpful. Needless to say, I don't play with the Wii very often.
Overall we had a great night of fellowship and food and I'm thankful for such wonderful friends. I am going to try and be better about taking pictures to post on here for your visual enjoyment and to enhance my storytelling....I'll work on it.

I made a baked sweet onion dip (which my husband loves even though he hates onions....I just told him it was a "cheese dip") and an easy black bean and corn salsa. I first made the dip for my sister-in-law's bridal shower and it was devoured in about 5 minutes. I've since taken it to a bunch of other parties cause it's so easy to make and everyone loves it. It's from tasty kitchen:

Baked Sweet Onion Dip

8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese (Very Softened)
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (I use the cheap powder kind and it works just fine)
1 cup Minced Sweet Onion
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Crusty Bread, Crackers
*I've also been known to add in shredded swiss cheese. I had to add it the first time I made it because I was short on the parmesan and it was great, so now I just add a handful or so.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, place softened cream cheese. The cream cheese must be very, very, soft (like spreadable butter) to allow all ingredients to blend evenly together (you can put in the microwave for a few seconds if you need to). Add mayo, Parmesan cheese, onions and fresh cracked black pepper to soft cream cheese till everything is mixed thoroughly. Place mixture in ramekins or any oven-safe dishes. Bake slowly, for about 30-45 minutes for all ingredients to cook together. When the top crust is brown, almost burnt-looking, then the dip is ready. The darker brown the crust of the dip becomes, the better the flavors are cooked. I usually end up having to cook it for about 50-60 minutes.
Serve with your favorite bread (mini baguettes or crackers)

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The HAPPIEST Place on Earth (and the longest post ever)

Today was just as fun as I expected. Earlier this week I asked my mother-in-law Ann if she wanted to take a trip with me to Ocala to shop at Hobby Lobby. She lives about an hour and a half away and I don't get to see her nearly as much as I would like to. I enjoyed the time we spent together, listening as she told me what kind of a child my husband was and all the wonderful stories that only a mother could remember. I am so thankful we had that time together.

So I updated my facebook status this morning to state that I was headed to Hobbly Lobby and based on the number of comments made about the store, they should be sending me a check for free advertising (which,ironically, would help undo the damage that I just did to my budget while I was there)! It was by far the happiest place I've ever visited. I've been telling J (this is what I'll call him since he would like to remain anonymous, which is really amusing since anyone who is likely to read this blog knows me, and therefore knows my husband's name. I was gonna call him "Dutch" since for some reason that is what google named him when he left a comment on my first post, but I'll be nice). Have you noticed I like to ramble? Anyways, I am having a hard time coming up with words that would adequately describe this happiest of places, so here are some pictures.
All kinds of random decorative items like candlesticks, bookends, and wall art


And isles and isles of items to make all of your crafting fantasies come true

I was there for a couple of hours. At one point, I was pretty sure I'd lost Ann, which I didn't think J would have been happy about. But eventually, we found each other and here's what she saw:

I think she was worried that I would send her son to the poorhouse and we'd end up moving in with her secondary to my newfound Hobby Lobby addiction. But no worries Ann, that's what my mom's for.

Needless to say, there was quite the back up on isle 2 at check out time. I got to talking with the check out lady telling her my story of how I drove to Ocala just to go to the store (cause let's face it, I'm sure she was just dying to hear about my life and travel, rather than, let's say, wondering how many minutes til break time and freedom from insane crafters like me) when she stated that they are building a Hobby Lobby in Tampa. I don't know who was more excited, me or the checkout lady who wouldn't have to deal with insane people driving from Tampa looking for a good deal. Anyways, here are a few things I came home with

A few of things that I got were for projects that I had seen on a DIY website and I'm excited to get started with them. I'll let you know how it goes.

Overall I got some wonderful things and am currently looking at my schedule to see how soon I can get back. Of course, my schedule isn't going to be so open since I will likely have to get a second job to continue going there. If any of you Tampa girls want to plan a trip let me know and I'll plan one. Besides, my mom will be clearing her calendar as soon as she reads this post to make plans to "visit" when her real reason will be to visit my newfound crafting holy land.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I can't begin to tell you how incredible thankful I am for all of the encouragement and support that everyone has given regarding my last post. I received a bunch of emails today that lifted my spirits and helped me to see that God is indeed working in my life and the lives of others. So thank you all-I've been thanking God for you all day.

The highlight of my day today was getting to come home this morning after working my first night shift in a LONG time. I'm working for a brand new hospital scheduled to open next month and we are starting to have run through/simlations of everything to help get ready. Which ultimately means me surviving staying up for 12 hours without patients or caffeine....not exactly fun. It's a beautiful hospital and we're all
looking forward to the opening.
I'll be going to Hobby Lobby tomorrow for the first time with my wonderful mother-in-law (can't wait!). I heard that it's an incredible store and I'm hoping to come back with a few things to help me decorate the house a little. I'll keep you posted on the experience (I'm pretty sure my mom's gonna be jealous). Anyways, that's about all for today, hubby just got home from a business trip so we're gonna go get caught up on the DVR. We're having a game night Saturday night with some friends and I'll be making a few appetizers that have been a hit in the past and I'm going to post the recipes, so stay tuned!


I'm excited about my little blog "makeover" and am thankful to the DesignGirl for helping me out.

I've been going back and forth about whether or not to post this, but it's been on my mind and heart and I decided to just do it. I figure that if the purpose of this blog is to share my life, then that's what I need to do. Even when it hurts.

Not many people know this, but Jackson and I found out that I was pregnant back in December. We were so excited, but decided just to share the news with our immediate family until things were further along. I woke up Christmas morning bleeding and ended up having a miscarriage. It was the hardest day of my life. I pretty much cried all weekend and stayed in bed, relying on my husband to pass along the news to our loved ones. I wasn't planning on talking about it on the blog, but I got a call from the doctor's office today reminding me of the appointment I was supposed to have tomorrow for my first baby visit. I had forgotten to call and cancel it and it seemed to open up the wound that was slowly healing. There are so many ways to rationalize this type of thing: it happens to a lot of women; there was probably something wrong with the baby; it doesn't mean you won't ever have a baby. Those are all truths that I believe. But there isn't enough truth in the world for me to feel okay about it. I see the many ways that God has shown himself to me during the past month and I am thankful. It makes me sad that the memories of our first Christmas together will be stained with loss, and that chances are, when I do get pregnant next time I will be even more of a paranoid mess. But I know it will only cause me to cling to God more and trust in Him more and I know that He wants nothing more than for me to draw closer to Him and be holy. And so my prayer is that experience won't be wasted. That He will be glorified, in the good times and the painful times. I realize that I can't praise Him on a Monday and curse Him on a Friday. He hasn't changed. He won't change. And I rest in that. I'm thankful that this experience has drawn my husband and I closer together and that I have someone I love to help me carry my burdens.
bought Selah's newest CD on itunes a while back after they sang at our church's Christmas presentation and I love it. There is one particular song that has ministered to me these past few weeks. It's called "Unredeemed" and here are the words to the first verse and chorus:

The cruelest words, the coldest heart
The deepest wounds, the endless dark
The lonely ache, the burning tears
The bitter nights, the wasted years

Life breaks and falls apart
But we know these are

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
They may be unfulfilled, they may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see it will not be

I am so thankful that I serve a God who is faithful. Who promises that all things work together for our good. A God who redeems my life.

Sorry this ended up being such a long post. I know this is all new and I'm thankful for my friends who are reading....and I promise my next post will be a little happier!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Beginnings...

Not one to stick with the crowds or follow the "norm", I've decided to have a new beginning in the middle of January. I figured by now most people have already abandoned their New Year's resolutions, so technically I'm not behind. During the past year I've stumbled upon a bunch of blogs that have served a number of purposes: keeping me connected with friends, challenging me spiritually, giving me great decorating ideas, new places to shop, and entertaining me while my husband works from home at night. I never thought I'd join the ranks of these fascinating people, mostly because I'm not as witty and my life is nowhere near as exciting! However, after thinking about it for a while, I decided why not. Even if no one else stumbles upon this little corner of the internet, blogging will be a way of chronicling my thoughts, my life, the many misadventures I'm sure I'll get myself into, and just maybe help me learn a few things about myself along the way. And so it begins.