Thursday, May 24, 2012

letting go of anything to have everything

let me just start by saying i don't even know if this post will make sense. so continue to read, but know you were warned.

i've been wrecked by the words written by jennie allen in a book called anything. and yes, i know i hear people say things like this all the time and i think really?? you look pretty okay to me. but a few days ago this girl posted on her blog about this book and a giveaway for it...count me in! so i read her description of it and decided to sign right up to win! but something inside wouldn't let me wait til she posted a winner. so i quickly downloaded it onto my eli's nook and began to read.

"God, we will do anything. Anything,"
Anything is a prayer of surrender that will spark something. A prayer that will move us to stop chasing things that just make us feel happy and start living a life that matters. A life that is...
Surrendered. Reckless. Courageous.
If we truly know a God worth giving anything for, everything changes.
book description from amazon.

her words in this book hit a nerve with me ok, several nerves.

it is too easy in this country for blessings to become rights, for stuff and money to become what calls the shots in our lives. and before we know it, God's gifts have replaced God himself.

my questions come when i ask myself, if he ever told me to give up some of those things...
a nice car
a spacious home in a safe neighborhood
shopping at name brand stores
dining on occasion with friends
going on nice trips
would i, would i give up a comfortable life and do anything?

i want to live out the lyrics to this song. one of my most favorite songs. especially since colton dixon sang it on american idol. :)

i want Him to be my purpose. my Everything.

Monday, May 21, 2012

you can take the girl out of the country but...

i just recently saw the movie the lucky one. and yes, while zac ephron was dreamy to look at, i couldn't help but become facinated with the farmhouse where it all took place.

i grew up on a farm. i don't just mean a little bit of land and an old house. it was a we had a dairy farm and two hundred twenty acres. that's right. 2-2-0. my dad would get up at four o'clock every morning and milk cows with his dad and his granddad on our farm. and they would do it all again at four o'clock in the afternoon.

growing up on land was so much fun. i remember as a little girl always riding the tractor with my daddy out in our field while he baled hay. i remember feeding our baby calves with bottles. i remember my brother and i riding our dirt bikes for hours through the open land.

no cell phones. no xbox. no computers. just going outside in the mornings and not coming in til it was dark. that was the life and i didn't even realize it at the time.

so when i saw this movie...all of those memories came rushing back. oh how i would love for my boys to be able to experience land living.  a simple life. a life full of imagination. full of hot summer days where no one complains that it's too hot. and full of cool nights sitting on a back porch with a tall glass of sweet tea.

 so i did what any of us would do...i created a new pin board and began pinning all images that reminded me of that time and the dream that's stirring in my heart.

here's some of what i found...

love this house. maybe in white?

it would need a couple of these...

i would definiitely need a screen door like this that leads to the porch.

or what about this one....

my kitchen would look like this...

where i would cook veggies from a garden that looked like this...

and eggs from these guys...

and we'd live at the end of a road like this...

oh how i would love this living...maybe someday!

what have you been dreaming about lately?

Friday, May 11, 2012

remembering a mother and honoring one

it was 1996. i was about to start planning a wedding. newly engaged. newly in love. my life was, in a way, just beginning.

i remember the exact day all too clearly. my mom sat me down on our living room couch.  "i have cancer." those were the words out of her mouth. it was almost like i didn't even hear what she said next. everything became foggy. something about going to houston for treatments. something about it spreading from her ovaries to her abdomen.
growing up, my brother and i were my mom's life. she always told me she didn't know what she would do if something happened to one of us. there wasn't a basketball game my brother played in or a sporting event i cheered at that she missed.

she would bend over backwards to make sure we had everything we needed and most of the time what we wanted. she did without just so we could have more.

my friends loved her almost as much as i did and she loved them.
 by the time i left for college, our relationship had taken a whole other turn. the arguments and disagreements that we had in my adolescent years had diminished and it was starting to become a real adult relationship between the two of us.

she was so excited when i got engaged. she loved kevin. she was also constantly asking him if he was sure he knew what he was getting into with me. she knew i could be hard headed at times :)

so here we were, planning a wedding in the midst of  chemo treatments and taking trips to m.d. anderson in houston.

not once did she miss a chance to help me make a decision about the biggest day of my life. she was in every detail of the whole event.

we finally made it to our wedding day. she donned a navy dress and a blond wig. she was gorgeous.

our first year of marriage she did what any mom would do. she gave me advice on washing clothes, cooking and just becoming adjusted to this new life i had.

then she got sick. really sick. her cancer had gotten worse. it was superbowl night, january 25, 1998. we had both our families over that night to eat and watch the game. while everyone was in the kitchen making sub sandwiches and my mom sat in her wheelchair because she was too weak to walk, we told them we were expecting our first child.

just two short months after she found out i was pregnant with her first grandchild, my mom lost her battle with cancer. it was march 23, 1998.

this was one of the most difficult seasons of my life. there was a lot of things going on in my personal life at the same time my mom was dealing with her illness that i won't share. but there was also one person there giving me advice through it all. not too much and not too little. kevin's mom shared with me some of her own story. she opened up to me which in turn opened a door for us to start this new beginning that God was creating for the both of us.

 if i had to sum it all up, this mom is a woman of faith.. she puts God first and foremost in her life. she puts her husband (kevin's dad) a very close second. and she has taught me to do the same. her first piece of advice for me, almost immediately after giving birth was,  "remember you were a wife before you were a mother".

she believes in the power of prayer. i went into labor with our first son, ethan, while kevin's parents were at our house. i was twenty-nine weeks pregnant.  something happened. i was in our guest bathroom and blood filled our toilet sorry about the details. i was screaming for kevin to come quickly but i think his mom made it to me first. i just remember her wrapping her arms around my neck and praying out loud for God to watch over ethan and me.

she and i have a lot in common. she often asks if i'm sure i'm not really hers. we love to decorate. when she's adds something new to her home, she can't wait for me to see it. and i'm the same way with her.

she has been a role model for me in what i want my marriage to look like. she's shown me in many ways how to put God first in my marriage and let everything else fall into place.

in any one conversation we have, we can talk about decorating, raising kids, and something we're learning in God's no particular order.

i had a wonderful mom growing up. God blessed me with being able to spend the first 22 years of my life with her and for that, i will be forever grateful.

but what i'm also grateful for is how He created this relationship for kevin's mom and me to have to carry me into these adult years of my life.

happy mother's day mama!! i couldn't have asked for a better mom to share the younger years of my life with. i love you and miss you each and every day!

happy mother's day pat! you have taught me so much. i love you and thank God that he put you in my life to guide me, teach me, and to be the mom He knew i would still need as i continue to grow as a  woman.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

monterrey chicken

well...we had another kid tested mother approved meal from our beloved pinterest this week.
this one is almost too easy. but i had to share nonetheless.

monterrey chicken.
here's what you'll need:

shredded sharp cheddar cheese, real bacon pieces, rotel tomatoes (all i could find at the store was the chili version) sweet baby rays bbq sauce (or your fav brand) green onions and of course, the chicken.

i have some grill mates mesquite flavor seasoning so i put that on some chicken breast and kevin cooked them up on the grill.

once chicken is cooked place on a baking sheet and top with above ingredients. the order in which i did this was...
bbq sauce
green onions

once toppings are on, place in a 350* oven until cheese is melted.

that's it. we served ours up with some grilled corn on the cob and cheese bread!

it was delish...y'all enjoy!

Monday, May 7, 2012

playing with fire

well, we're still working on our backyard. seems like it's a never ending process. but we're slllooooowwwllllyyy getting there.

we have a good sized backyard. not too big. not too small. it's a space where i can easily utilize every inch without it feeling overcrowded or too spread out.

 just like our home, our back porch, patio and yard are very open, which i love! nothing feels closed off and separated and there's such an easy flow from one area of our space to the next.

so far we've cut down four trees, added some azaleas and gardenias (which add the most wonderful fragrance as you enter our backyard) i've added some hanging baskets to our covered porch. and thrown in some cute accent pieces.  we've added some river rocks to a couple of beds right off the house and added pops of color with flower baskets and potted plants.

with it raining on and off, our sod (the next step in this design) has been put on hold. hopefully we'll be getting it later this week.

but even with the rain and the yard kinda at a stand still, it hasn't kept me from still finding that perfect design that fits what we're looking for.

our next idea is a firepit. this was kevin's idea. but of course, i was totally on board with it. and it wasn't long after the words came out of his mouth, that i logged into my pinterest account to immediately start locating the perfect one for us.

we want an area that will be perfect for hanging out with friends and family by the fire on cool spring and fall evenings but we also want a space that's kid friendly for the nights when we roast marshmallows and load up on s'mores!

needless to say i found thousands several pictures i loved. here are just a few...

love all of the nature surrounding this

built-in seating with great pillows

shade, benches and hanging lights!!!

so cozy yet so open!

great space for entertaining

love the flagstone!

so there are just a few of my ideas....i'll post pics of our whole process from start to finish once we're complete!!

hope you all have a great week!!!