Category Archives: A day in the life

A Curly Girl Hair Routine

Curly Girl 1

Alright friends, it once again has been a LONG time since I have updated about life here. The summer in our part of the state is still going strong and school won’t start for another 3 weeks (Lord help me those kids need to GO.BACK.TO.SCHOOL!!) Can I get an Amen?!

Anyways, I have been writing. But I can’t share what I am working on yet. It started with writing a study guide for the book Fervent and has led into a 31 day series that I am sharing in October! I am pretty excited about having over 1/3 of my posts fully written in early August. But it means that other writing has taken a back seat.

But last night at Bible study I was sharing my hair woes. I showed up with my hair in a ponytail. Which I never do unless I am having a real bad hair day. Which led to the discussion about my curly hair routine. It is pretty laughable and so I thought it would be fun to share here!

I was sent a new product to try and review that was a shampoo and conditioner. It did not get my glowing review, thus the ponytail…but I have weird, finicky hair and specific steps that I MUST take each day so that I don’t look freakish.

So a little background.

I had stick straight hair, and apparently a solid mullet as a child. Evidence below…

Kristin teenage pic

When I was 10 maybe 12 I started getting a perm at the local beauty school. It was the 80’s and what you did.

Kristin child pic

Once I started getting perms, it seemed the easiest way to do my hair. I have very fine hair but lots of it. So it can look thick, but if I try and wear it straight now it behaves terribly. The routine I will share in a minute would be 3x longer if I wanted to try and wear straight hair every day. And I have a longer face…straight, no body hair gives me a horse face. I don’t have a picture to prove it, so you are going to have to trust me on this! 😉

When I had Isaac I decided to cut all my hair off. It was SHORT. And Dominic hated it. It took me years, painfully slow years to grow it back out. Once it got long enough I permed it again to give it body. I like the big hair I guess, if it can’t be beautiful, sleek hair then it should be Texas big! ha!!

With each pregnancy my new hair seemed to grow in more and more curly. So today I think I have a mix of natural curl and perm. I get a perm about every 18 months or so. She uses these long rods which are different than the rods I traditionally had. Something like this. Only hers are more narrow and white. But you get the point.

Perm rods

The perm gives my hair nice curl, and good volume. But I think it looks pretty natural. Just a few days after my perm it doesn’t have that 80’s frizz look. Over the years I have tried EVERY shampoo, gel, mousse combination possible. I have finally found a system that my hair seems to respond well to. (I am telling you it is finicky hair) If I change it up my hair goes nuts. Every single time.

Steps

Deva Curl No-Poo shampoo is the only shampoo I like. Other shampoo makes my hair shaft expand 3 times its normal size. The product I was sent to test out made my hair a snarly ball in the shower.! It was awful. No-poo shampoo doesn’t create suds, but it still cleans your hair. I could easily comb through my hair in the shower, it keeps my hair light and non-expanded. The conditioner just adds some moisture.

A few years ago I read that curly girls shouldn’t use towels on their hair, but a t-shirt. Something about the towel sucking out the moisture too fast and causing frizz. So I have 2 t-shirts that I use each morning. One for when I get out of the shower, and another to use after all the products have been added.

So I wear t-shirt #1 while I get dressed and then I start the process of layering on my products. Layering? Seriously guys this hair of mine!! Anyways, I use Redkin snap to strengthen my ends and a small, pea-sized amount of argon oil right before I comb through my hair. Everything I do, I do with my head upside down. There is something about doing it this way that seems to comb easier, stress less, etc. It works, try it!

Once I have combed through (I use a pick) I apply my mousse. The only mousse that my hair likes is L’Oreal Everstyle Alcohol free curl enhancing mousse. It is light-weight and not sticky. I don’t know that the company is making it any more. I have probably 8 cans I bought in bulk in my closet. It is less than $6 a bottle and I will cry if I ever can’t find it anymore!!

After the mousse comes my Deva curl light defining gel. I use one-half a pump. So not much. The 32oz jug I bought 2 years ago is less than 1/2 full still. It lasts me a long time!

Steps Final

The entire time, I have my head upside down and I am scrunching my hair up. The final step {for now} is to use some Moroccan sea salt spray. This too is a light-weight product, but gives my hair extra bounce. Finally I get out t-shirt #2 and wrap up my hair to dry while I do my make-up.

If I let my hair naturally dry, it is lifeless and a little crunchy. If I use a hairdryer it gets too frizzy. So a few years ago I discovered that if I sit in front of a space heater it dries the outside layer enough so that I can curl it and gives it body, but doesn’t leave it too frizzy.

Seriously, do you know anyone who needs to use a space heater to dry their hair?! My hair has it’s own DIVA personality!

Wet with heater

So in the picture above it me with wet hair, and my trusty space heater. :):)

Scrunch and Dry

While I sit, I scrunch, always the scrunch to help enhance the curls. The picture above it me scrunching away and the after picture once it is dry. (It is not fully dry…the underneath layer is always still damp and just dries naturally.

Now I am almost done!! YAY! I am tired, aren’t you?!

I have never found a hairstyle that has allowed me to not pull my hair back a little. I can’t stand having hair in my face, and I don’t want to be constantly tucking it behind my ears…so I pull it back every day. It used to bother me but then I remembered that girls with straight hair, or short hair pretty much style their hair the same every day too…I am no different.

Before and After

My final step is to curl the very bottoms of the front of my hair and add in some soft curls around my face. My ends, even when newly cut, can have a bit of frizz to them…the curling iron softens those. I don’t have to do much else, but set it with hairspray.

At this point I have been up 4 hours and 42 minutes…ha! Kidding!! But I would say that everything, start to finish, including showering, dressing, my make-up etc takes me a full hour. I do not have wash and go hair. I can’t skip a few days and not wash in between either. My hair would be gross if I did that. Dry shampoos don’t work on my hair, so this is a routine I have mastered and accepted as my life.

Seems a bit extreme doesn’t it?! I am so jealous of those women who can just wash and go, or dry brush and go. I may never know that kind of luxury!! #curlygirlproblems

Are you a #curlygirl? What are some of the products you use that you love?! I’d love to hear!!

Shining Light in the Corners

Light

We have a vacuum with a light on the front of it. It feels all fancy-like really and my only complaint is that when I switch over to use the hose, the light goes off. There have been times I wish I still had the light on when I use the hose, but that’s not what I am here to talk to you about today.

My vacuum and I have become fast friends. It sits out in my kitchen because I use it almost every day. No I am not completely OCD, but we have this dog. Now at the risk of offending my true pet-loving friends can I just take a moment and admit that the reality of pets in my home is waaaay less appealing that the original idea of having pets.

There, I’ve said it. I am a horrible person I know, but I just am realizing that I am not a great dog owner. I am tolerating her for the sake of my husband and kids. My husband said she is a good lesson in me not giving up on something that is hard. I resent him just a bit for the truth in that statement. 😉

But this dog of ours sheds 352,000 pounds of fur approximately every other day. It doesn’t matter what we do…she sheds, it is her breed. I thought she might only shed after winter, but no she sheds every waking moment.

Thus the need for the vacuum out and available.

I can’t stand dog hair in clumps all over my kitchen, on my rugs, the sides of my couch…I am drowning in fur balls…but that really wasn’t what I came here to talk to you about today.

I was vacuuming the other day and my handy light on the front was revealing hair in places that I hadn’t seen without the light. If you came into my kitchen right now you might look at the floor and think it is fine…but with the light of the vacuum the true reality is revealed.

And I was struck by the idea that is just how sin is in my life.

I can pretty myself up just enough so that I look clean to those I come in contact with. And just like when I walk through my kitchen, I stop and deal with the visible chunks and then I think things are just fine.

But when you shine a light on the edges and the corners of the room, the reality of the “dirt” is revealed. And it isn’t pretty.

Sin that I try to hide and ignore, while it may be tucked away in the corners of my life and not completely visible to others, is still there and at some point it needs to be taken care of.

I have been a “stuffer” for the majority of my life. I get hurt, feel slighted, feel angry, whatever and instead of dealing with it, I stuff it away. I easily get resentful and then I allow those resentments to fester. Pretty soon I have made a mountain out of a mole hill…and it keeps going until I explode.

You can only stuff emotions away so long….at some point everything comes to the surface.

And so last fall I got angry and said some terrible, hurtful things to my husband. Something needed to change and it needed to start with me. It was a hard season, one that I went into kicking and screaming, if we are being honest.

I didn’t want to deal with my issues, I had gotten so good at pointing out the wrong in others I had been unable and unwilling to look inward. But with the help of a wonderful Christian counselor I started to examine my life. My responses, my feelings, my anger and what caused it.

I didn’t want to be the woman, the wife and mother that didn’t have it all together. It hurt admitting my faults. I was humiliated by who I had become.

Thankfully I had people in my life who loved me in spite of me. I joined a bible study of women that I felt compelled to be honest with. They accepted me and encouraged me. The need for perfection started to fall away as I realized that I was ok not being ok.

I can honestly say it has been an amazing work of the Holy Spirit in my life. There has been a transformation in my heart, in my mind. Things that would upset me before can be let go. I am not holding resentments but rather extending grace to others in a way it has been given to me.

There is still “dirt” in my life. It will always be a walk of progress not perfection. But I am not walking covered in shame anymore either. I have a desire to be more transparent, if anything maybe my admission will allow someone else to seek out freedom in their own life as well.

Today I am not afraid of the light shining in the corners of my life. I may not like what I find there, and I might need to do some heart work to make things clean again…but even though the work is hard, the joys that come from that kind of freedom-work are immeasurable.

Are there areas you need to address today so that you can walk in freedom? 

Photo Credit: williamnyk

Mom Confessions and Updates

Mom Confessions

I haven’t blogged any real life confessions in a few weeks! I have had things to share, but we went on a vacation 2 weeks ago and had no wifi! So even though I had things I would have shared, I couldn’t…and can I confess that having a few weeks off felt good.

I love blogging, I love sharing my heart here and working out the nitty gritty of my faith, but when I start to feel the pressure to write, to have a certain number of posts in a week…it starts to lose its appeal.

Taking a break was good for me, necessary really and while I will continue to write, I am trying to lower the expectations I have for myself here.

Things have been a blur since coming back to the “real world.” We were scheduled to be greeters at church the Sunday morning after our return. Note to self, if you are randomly scheduled to greet the day after a vacation…switch with someone.

We were up until almost 1am unpacking and when the alarm went off I groaned…and I am a morning person! Karlena was the worst…crying that she was just SOOO tired! I felt her pain. But we were there, not with bells on…but we were there. The sermon was on baptism and so good..so there was a good reason we needed to be there besides greeting! 🙂

Last week flew by. I really don’t know what we did even. Why is it that you need a vacation from life after a vacation? We had a busy work week scheduled and I think we all struggled to maintain at full speed right out of the gate! Who does our scheduling anyways? A crazy person?!

Oh wait, that is me. :/

This week is VBS week.

VBS

I LOVE LOVE VBS week. Really it is a blast. I am helping lead the singing/dancing again this year and it is the highlight of my summer! It is the one time that I can laugh and dance and be goofy and I don’t feel people are judging me. And if they are I don’t even care because VBS just rocks so much!

I just unpacked my suitcase yesterday. I am honestly surprised that I did it this soon. But it was time, and I couldn’t find a second pair of clean socks to wear to VBS so it was necessary that I search for them in my bag. Isn’t unpacking after vacation the worst?

The Fruit Truck came to town last Friday and we purchased 40lbs of bing cherries. Yes we are nuts but oh were they delicious!! We also bought this cherry pitter.

Cherry Pitter

It was $22 and a splurge but oh how worth it! We set up an assembly line and had 20lbs pitted and frozen in no time!

This weekend the kids asked if they could do an experiment. Karlena grabbed a container and just wanted to add food coloring to water. Then Elijah joined in and wanted to make “goo”…he thought the ingredients were water, Elmer’s glue and “white powder”…I could have searched for a recipe but I was too tired…so we just let them dump and pour.

The result was not what they were hoping for and it made a mess everywhere.

Experiments

Karlena dripped green slops all over the floor. I have yet to mop it. I am secretly hoping the dog does the job for me. I know, I know.

I have fed the kids fried eggs for dinner 3 nights in a row. It is late when we get home from VBS and the kids are usually starving and since it seems we NEVER have anything to eat…eggs are the easiest answer. Thank goodness they love eggs.

We spent the afternoon on Sunday with friends and came home with 2 packs of farm-fresh eggs. Karlena calls them “chicken eggs”…I am not sure what animal’s eggs she thinks we eat normally, but apparently farm-fresh = chicken eggs.

There may be more I could share, but I am tired…and out of words. 🙂 I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week and hopefully I will be back sometime soon!

Mom Confessions – Smiths in Real Life – Part Ten

Mom ConfessionsIt has been fun sharing my “confessions” here each week. Like therapy, but free! 😉 And even though I would love for you all to go on believing that I have it all together, that isn’t my reality. At all. So I am joining up with my friend Anna over at Girl With Blog and sharing some of my Mom Confessions.

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I may have told Karlena that I needed 3 minutes without words the other day…I really couldn’t take all the talking.  I promptly hurt her feelings and then came the tears. Awesome. So I apologized and gave her all.the.things. Because that’s how I roll sometimes. Ok all the time.

karlena crying

I have a new guilty pleasure. I am not typically an ice cream eater. But last time we were at the grocery store I saw some waffle ice cream comes on an end cap. There was a coupon for $1.50 off ice cream too so it seemed like a great treat for the kids.  I made the mistake of trying one myself. For whatever reason I thought I should line the inside of the cone with caramel sauce. Oh my goodness it was like my very own homemade drumstick. Oh it is so good. It was my dinner on Saturday night. I have a serious problem.

ice cream 1

ice cream 2Oh and after my ice cream I are Doritos…because I needed some salty after my sweet.

Folding/pairing socks together is not something I enjoy. I had let our basket get overrun again this week and begged the kids to help. I told them they didn’t even have to do the folding of the socks, just the matching. I came home later and found this…

socks pile

It was pretty funny actually, any movement at all and that stack was going down. But I was able to whip through the pile in no time flat so I was a happy mama!

One morning this week Karlena woke up and just wanted to watch horse jumping on my computer…in her room. I obliged and found her later like this, she cracks me up!

Karlena computer

The fruit truck came to town again on Monday and this time it was blueberries and melons. We bought 24 pints. What can I say our kids love fruit and these were sooo good! One the way home Dominic and I may (or may not have) eaten an entire pint.

blueberries

I plan on freezing a bunch so that I can use them in my blueberry banana bread recipe later in the year. Does a fruit truck come to your area? Next up is bing cherries and I can’t wait!!

And finally it was our 19 year anniversary on Monday and boy did Dominic surprise me!! I am usually a card giver…but the reality is, Dominic isn’t as moved by cards as I am…so I didn’t get him anything. We typically haven’t made a big deal out of our anniversary…although we should right?! Being married this long is hard work – we should reward ourselves!

Anyways, not only did he get me a beautiful card, acknowledging my love of words…he also made mention of it at church and we were recognized AND he ordered flowers for me that Isaac delivered to the office!

This is HUGE people! And I likely won’t get flowers next year, but this year…I am totally soaking it up! 🙂

Anniversary flowers

Aren’t they beautiful?! I was just so so excited!! I am enjoying them all week!

Well that’s about all my brain can muster right now. It has been a week of long days and nights and little sleep…but rest is in sight! Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Mom Confessions – Smiths in Real Life – Part Nine

Mom Confessions

How is it I have written 9 of these posts now?! It has been fun sharing my “confessions” here each week. Like therapy, but free! 😉 And even though I would love for you all to go on believing that I have it all together, that isn’t my reality. At all. So I am joining up with my friend Anna over at Girl With Blog and sharing some of my Mom Confessions.

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A few weeks ago Dominic ran to Walmart for me with the kids and got some groceries. He brought home a couple packs for toilet paper….good man right? Yes, but then we realized that he didn’t get the “right stuff.” He said it felt much heavier than he had remembered, but didn’t know why. So we decided to open a pack and try it out.

Let me tell you this stuff was NOT GOOD. it is the cheapest toilet paper we have ever encountered. So we had opened one pack and figured we were stuck with it…but decided to take the other one back to Walmart the other day.

mom confessions toilet paper

So, as they always do, the cashier asks us if there was anything wrong with the item we were returning? ahem….well actually yes, yes indeed there was. Dominic tells her that it was the worst toilet paper ever. That it was like wiping with a thistle. 🙂 Oh we were all laughing by the time we were done. I am thinking we made that woman’s day because she laughed so hard…and I bet you anything she won’t ever buy that toilet paper!!

I don’t know if you saw my post yesterday about our Open House for Isaac? Well there were a couple of things that I didn’t share there that are fitting now.

First of all I never got around to washing my kitchen/dining room floors before the party. Yes there were sticky spots all around, but I ran out of time. And you know what?! It is a good thing I didn’t bother because after 100+ people came through our kitchen, got food and drinks…there were spills and I would have had to do it all over again.

So we decided that from now on we will clean after the party only! 🙂

Second there was a door that I was REALLLLLY embarrassed about. We had even tried about a month ago to get a new door to fix it but we couldn’t. The door is a screen door that is part of a built in insert and we can’t find a new glass storm door to replace it like we had hoped.

Here is why I wanted to fix the door.

broken door

It started when our dog would jump on the screen door to let us know she wanted back in the house…. she had that thing ripped to shreds in about 2 days.

So Dominic bought a new screen and this vinyl sheeting stuff and tried to build a barrier. One afternoon the big door was left open and from the inside she scratched at the screen and tore it again.

broken door 2

So now we have broken screen view from the inside and dirty white vinyl from the outside. It is gross and I hate not having a screen so we can let light and air in…but we are stuck right now. To replace it would mean removing siding to get to the door casing and would cost a lot of money….not happening now.

But yuck right?!

The reality is most of our guests on Saturday didn’t even go near the door and the ones that did were family and they don’t care. Why do I let things like this bother me so?! 🙂

And speaking of Isaac…this is some of the fun he has to look forward to when he starts school.

Mines beenie

Interestingly, they don’t tell the students about this when they visit the school…but we knew and apparently he will get to wear this beauty for a full semester. Kind of has a greek-initiation feel to it doesn’t it? All I can say is with my hair, that hat would NOT have happened. No sir!

And finally these….really are words even necessary?! Just that I want these and can’t stop thinking of them. They look so delicious! You are welcome!

knock yo naked bars

And so, that about wraps up our week. I am hoping to get back to some more consistent writing soon…but there are no promises. Have a blessed rest of the week!!

Mom Confessions – Smiths in Real Life – Part One

Mom Confessions

Last week’s “Lest You Think We are Normal” post was so much fun to write. While I would love for you all to go on believing that I have it all together, that isn’t my reality. At all. So I am joining up with my friend Anna over at Girl With Blog and sharing some of my Mom Confessions. Hopefully these posts will be a little lighthearted humor for your day!

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I made the mistake of showing Dominic the “Tight Pants” You Tube video a few weeks ago. You know the one with Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell? We were playing it and the kids were in the room. I know, I know. And yes there is one bad word in it. The kids weren’t aware but yes, not appropriate…anyways… Karlena has been humming that song now for everything. EVERYTHING. She makes up songs to that tune which makes me all kinds of proud. #momfail

5 of the 6 of us had dentist appointments today. This was Karlena’s first visit. Yes we should have started sooner…but she did really good and didn’t fuss or cry at all. I was so proud of her. She has a small cavity starting in her back molar, which stinks. Apparently it has deep divots in it so it wasn’t a surprise to the dentist, but somehow I feel like it a reflection on my mothering. Do you ever feel this way?

Karlena dentist

Oh and while we are talking dentists, I don’t floss. I have basically lied about it for years, because who wants to admit that they don’t floss? But I don’t. It kind of grosses me out. I have been in the car enough times with a certain someone who flosses and meat chunks fly out onto the dashboard. Makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little…so to avoid the barfing I avoid the flossing. I do use a Sonicare toothbrush…so I am counting that as close enough to the actual thing without actually having to floss. (My hygienist doesn’t buy it either) 😉

The other day Karlena came up to me and rubbed my side and asked me what that bump was….well my darling daughter that is my muffin top. Oh yes I just did! She laughed and said that her side was flat. I smirked and said just you wait my girl. After you birth babies and have a love addiction to all things sweet, it will change. It will change.

The graduation announcements that I made for Isaac came yesterday. I loved how they look until I realized that I didn’t add an RSVP….the reality is that most wouldn’t RSVP…but now they won’t for sure, because of course. So if you are coming just me a shout won’t you? Seriously how do you even begin to plan for an event like this?!

Isaac Graduation

Well that is all the fun I can share for now….but I would love to hear your Mom Confessions for the week! Jump on over to Anna’s place and join in the fun won’t you?!

Lest You Think We May Be “Normal”….

Family

One of my friends does a weekly “confessional” on FB and shares a bit of the reality of her life and asks others to join on in.

So in the spirit of that I thought I would give you a look into our little lives, and lest you think we may be “normal”…well sit back, read along and be transformed in the truth! 😉

I let Karlena eat the chocolate snack she got from dance class on the way home in the car. I know it is right before dinner but it was this tiny kit kat bar..how much trouble could it cause? Well after our 3 minute car ride she was covered in melted chocolate, even getting it on her brand new tights. That’s what I get apparently.

Today we took our dog Sydney to a “spa day” aka she needed a trim and a wash and mama ain’t got no time for that so let’s pay someone else $30 to do it for me day. She was soft and fluffy and clean, And then it rained (because of course) and someone aka Gabriel let her outside and left her outside for a long time…and she is no longer clean nor fluffy. She basically smells like wet dog. Ahh good times.

Speaking of dogs, ours is shedding at an incredible rate (lest the reason a haircut seemed appropriate). It is as though she births 15,000 small rabbits each day all across our main living space. They tuck themselves in each nook and cranny that they can find and hide there until I can vacuum. I have done so the past 2 nights and am frightened at how much I am picking up. Will this end before graduation in May, please tell me it will.

My 2 youngest children speak in a slightly British accent. I am not sure where it came from as it doesn’t always show itself. I call it Minnesota British. It is really quite unique and I can’t even begin to describe it…but if you are ever around my kids listen to them say something about “the last morning” and you will know what I am talking about.

Oh did I mention that I have a SENIOR this year and I am basically doing my best to hold it together before he ditches our family all together for life! Ok maybe that is a little extreme but when he is moving 7 hours away I am guessing that we won’t see him very often. And can I say that this whole transition phase is also not fun. He needed a copy of his medical records for college, I call and can’t get them because he is 18.

I know, I know the rules, but such a hassle, especially when he is working or in school from 7:45am to 7pm most days. We have all of his Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive/HIPPA docs prepared so that if something ever did happen we could make decisions for him…but we have to pick a date when he isn’t working and we are free and can find a Notary that isn’t one of us and get the darn things signed.

On my list of things to do. Along with painting those stupid shelves. I know kids we don’t say stupid but right now I am over those shelves and wishing they would paint themselves.

Anywho…

Oh and speaking of toy rooms, ours is incredibly clean right now which only means they are not engaging in playing with toys and likely spending too much time playing video games instead. But sometimes when I need 20 minutes to write a ridiculous blog post, I just let it slide. You understand right?!

Oh and a little behind the scenes to the picture above…Isaac looks like he was in a drug induced stupor (he was not)…and Dominic is, if I remember correctly, grabbing my “bumper” as Elijah would call it trying to make me laugh. Always a good time happening around these parts.

So there you go. A look into our wild and wacky and sometimes weird but hardly “normal” lives.

Life These Days

Last week was a rough one. After I wrote that post our furnace broke. I am not kidding. Thankfully it was (I think, we don’t have a bill yet) an easy fix. And we had heat again by that evening.

And the weekend didn’t get much better when Dominic came home about an hour after he left for the office with the stomach flu. Yuck for him. He was in bed all day and only started feeling better by Sunday afternoon.

As for now, we are all healthy and SO ready for Spring…which by the looks of it may be right around the corner. A girl can hope can’t she?!

forecast

I mentioned in my post last week that I am “fasting”, if you will, from spending money (on myself mostly) that isn’t classified as “necessary”. I felt convicted that I maybe had been a little too “loose” with my purchases as of late.  So I got an accountability partner and told her that I wasn’t going to spend money on myself until after Easter.

Then a picture of this blouse came in my inbox.

Shirt

And it is only $29 and in my favorite color and it’s called the PERFECT BLOUSE..and they only have a few mediums left (justify, rationalize)…ultimately I didn’t buy it. I sent a picture to my friend, said I was struggling but wouldn’t buy it. We talked about self-control and how it is times like these that help us to be more thoughtful about our purchases. It was hard for me but it is good.

A few hours later I got an email from Melanie at Unexpected.org that I had won a giveaway she had earlier this month!

This beauty from Trades of Hope came in the mail yesterday…like a little love letter from God.

Trades of Hope

Speaking of Melanie’s blog…if you haven’t ever read it – start with this post about her Overdramatic Family . It had me busting a gut, much needed laughter for my Thursday!

It has been 6 months since my PRK surgery. For the last month I have been on Restasis eye drops. My eyes haven’t gotten to where they would like to see them, and I was showing symptoms of chronic dry eyes (which makes no sense because they NEVER feel dry)…but I figured it was worth a try. The pharm companies are charging a RACKET for these drops. $187 for 1 month and not covered by insurance. Can you even believe that?!

But they seem to be making a difference, so I am continuing for a month and will check things out again in 3 months. Currently I am 20/15 in my right eye and 20/20, with random blurriness at times, in my left. Overall I am really happy with my results…but to get 20/15 in both eyes would be ideal.

I had an opportunity to review a few pieces of ViBella jewelry  and share a bit of my story over at their blog this week. Their company represents transformation and I loved sharing a bit of my transformation journey with them!

ViBella

I have a big list of things that I need to get done this weekend, mostly projects that I have started and never completely finished. I did a toy room redo, which I will blog about once it is all done. I have 2 long shelves I need to paint and then once they are hung, I would be finished. I just need to paint the darn things.

In addition I started painting my sunroom and am almost done, but after my fall 2 weeks ago I didn’t ever get back to completing it. It WILL be done this weekend.

On my to-do list is also sleeping, because this week and last have left me exhausted.

And I guess that’s all I have for now. Nothing much of substance but at least a record for myself of all we have had going on recently! 🙂 Happy Weekend friends!

Goodbye Week, I am Done With You!

Dear last 7 days,

I am breaking up with you.

There I said it. I have tried REALLLLLY hard the last several days to keep an upbeat and positive attitude, but you have made it difficult to say the least.

Last Saturday started out so good, a Missions Committee meeting where I got to share my passion about community, a successful trip to the grocery store and ready to start the day. We are repainting our sun room space, little by little, and I wanted to get it completed that day. I was headed in the right direction until I decided to step off of the bar top/counter I was standing on to reach near the ceiling and through the ladder instead of on to the ladder.

Painting Sunroom

Yep, that’s right and this girl went a tumbling down, all.the.way.down.

There was paint on the floor and all over my clothes and my leg/ankle was hurting BAD. Gabriel came running right away asking if I was ok and all I could say to him was “don’t speak to me, just don’t speak.” I cleaned up the mess, assessed the damage to my leg, quickly finished painting that section of wall on 1 foot and then spent the rest of the night with my foot elevated and iced.

Thankfully nothing was broken, although I have one large/long bruise down my leg to remember the fall by.

On top of the fall, Elijah spent Saturday night and on and off on Sunday with weird stomach pains. No fever, no vomiting or other symptoms…just sharp pains in his gut that would last 20 minutes and then go away for several hours only to return later.

We stayed home from church to recover (which never starts my week right) and spent the day resting.

On Tuesday the High School called because Isaac was sick, same stomach pains but with some nausea to boot. In 4 years he has never gone home sick, so I knew he wasn’t feeling right. We thought it was the same thing that Elijah had…

Then on Wednesday morning he sent me a text at 4:30am asking me to call him when I was up. Because Karlena has not been sleeping well ALL.WEEK. I was up. (I am exhausted btw, exhausted and need sound sleep more than I can say)

Isaac had been unable to sleep all night, the pain had also radiated to his back and we were worried about the possibility of appendicitis, and his pain was bad enough that off to the ER we went.

Isaac Hospital

After blood work and a fun drink of mylanta and lydacaine, they sent us home thinking it was likely a virus, but to watch and see. Being the awesome mom I am I forgot to fill his prescription for the anti-nausea pills they gave us, so Isaac got to suffer another sleepless night again. Good times.

When Isaac went to school yesterday, still not feeling great but unable to miss anymore in-class work that his schedule demands, I noticed he had a red spot on his cheek. I figured it was a pimple and didn’t think anything of it.

When I got home from work he came downstairs and I took one look at him and said “You need to go to the Dr. immediately!” It looked like he had been in a bad fight. His entire cheek was bright red and swollen and too close to his eye for my comfort.

So as I ran Gabriel to his band concert, Dominic was in a late meeting and Isaac had to go to Acute Care alone. Turns out he not only has a staph infection that came out of nowhere on his cheek, he has such a terrible ear infection in both ears that he can’t even hear out of one side.

So lucky Isaac, got a shot of some heavy duty antibiotics, and a prescription of horse pills to take for the next 10 days.

Friday, you couldn’t have come fast enough.

My only prayer is that as we come close to the close of this week, that we won’t carry any of the terribleness forward with us. Please God, no more.

Normally a trip to my favorite local shopping boutique would be warranted right about now, and would probably make me feel better about things (ahem)…but I have committed to no unnecessary spending (and even more specifically on myself) over this period of lent…so I  must suffer through. 🙂

I wonder if I can find any chocolate around here…that may just help! 😉

Worn and weary and wishing for a new shirt, Kristin

2014 – A Review

Battle Lake Sunset 2Our family just spent a week up in a “cabin”…which in this case is code for very large home on a lake with its own theatre room which was ridiculous…except for a few of the bathrooms that only provided cold showers, we were surrounded in luxury. It was nice to get away from the “normal” and spend time with my extended family.

My dad commented that most years we get about 4 hours together at Christmas, and this year we had several days. It was a treat and a blessing that God provided for us. Yes, God has really provided for us this year. It hasn’t come without hard work, long hours and sacrifices…but He has been good.

I have been thinking a lot about the past year and what I thought 2014 was going to bring. In some ways I can’t believe that it is over and in others 2015 can’t come fast enough.

One of the biggest and continued blessings of 2014 has been the community of women that God has surrounded me with. Women that support and encourage me. Women that pray over me and love without judgement. These women in my tribe are the greatest gift I could have ever received this year. While community wasn’t what I was seeking when I started this God-sized Dream journey 2 years ago, it has been better than I could have hoped or imagined.

At the beginning of 2014, with wobbly and knocking knees, I shared my hopes to be called to the platform and speak. It terrifies me even still because even thinking about it makes me want to throw up a little, but still it is a calling that I feel. And while 2014 brought only 2 opportunities, one for my husband and I together at church and another at a local MOPS group early in December, both were an honor to be a part of.

I think starting the year, sharing that dream, I thought that maybe there would be something “bigger”…but I was reminded recently when listening to my 40 Day Prayer Challenge devotional by Mark Batterson, that I don’t have to influence thousands….maybe God calls me to be an influence to 1 who then goes on to influence thousands. Each is important. And so while my dream to speak didn’t end up looking like I had hoped, it was a blessing to be given an opportunity to share my story at all.

Because our stories matter, don’t they?! Our hurts and our hopes, they need to be shared. I have said before that I started blogging because of one woman who was brave enough to share the difficult…and her testimony and faith were what got me through a very dark time in my own life.

If you feel called to share your story, do it! We may not get a book deal, or a viral post….but our words may touch the heart of another who is hurting and THAT my friends is what makes it worth it!

At the beginning of the year I also felt challenged to find balance for my home, work and family. I felt like God wanted that for me and so I made it my word for 2014. And can I just say that challenge was a FAIL. Like a BIG TIME FAIL.

I think I walked away from 2014 with less balance than I started! 😉 So if you feel the same don’t feel discouraged! I am reminded once again that this road we are on is one of progress, not perfection. It is easy to look back at our year and feel like we have missed the mark. But I don’t want to end this year focusing on all the things that I didn’t get done, or I didn’t do well. Because intermixed in those failures are so so many blessings. And that is what I want to remember!

There has been growth in ways I hadn’t expected. Approximately 3 months ago I started my first 40 Day Prayer Challenge. I wasn’t sure what I expected, and with my track record of starting but not finishing so many other things….I didn’t hold high expectations for me on this. But yesterday I finished my 2nd 40 day challenge!

I have journaled through the process and while some of the prayers are yet to be answered, I have seen God moving and I can’t wait to keep going. I even got a new Prayer Circle Journal from my dear friend Delonna and it will be the perfect way to start praying through 2015!

Yes God has been moving.

So I leave 2014 filled with gratitude. No it didn’t always work out like I had hoped or imagined, but each step was a learning experience, an opportunity to grow, and for all of those things I am thankful.

And 2015? I thought I had a word to start the new year and now I feel like God has given me a different word. Because of course, and a little thank you to Christine who spoke life and truth to me this morning that helped in that revelation! I will share more about that tomorrow though.

Until then, can I just end this by saying thank you. Thank you for walking with me here, For encouraging me, believing in me. For each uplifting comment, and those who shared my writing. I know that many of us haven’t met in real life, but I count you all friends. You make this journey worth it! Happy New Year friends!

Today I am joining my friends over at God-sized Dreams linking up our dreaming stories from 2014!  And Kristin Hill Taylor’s Three Word Wednesday!

GSD Link Up Picture

 

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