The Blessed Life

The Blessed Life

Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday

My day of updates has arrived.  I have lots of things to update you on! 

First, the kiddos.


BTW...that is a plastic hot dog Molly is chewing on, and Belle rockin' the towel after bath!

I think they both grew an inch this past week.  Seriously, they look huge to me.  I can't even stomach the thought that Molly is going to be one in a month.  Where does the time go?  Belle has started saying more new words and phrases and she cracks me up everyday.  Here are some of the most precious/funny things she has said recently.

"Yeah, hun."  When I call her or ask her something she calls me, Hun, like honey.  I guess maybe her dad and I say that a lot???

"Oh my goodness."  She says this pretty regularly.  The first time I heard her say it I was pulling up pictures of her on the computer.  She saw her pictures and with complete suprise said, "Oh my goodness."  It was presh.

"Yes, Sir" and "Yes, Mam"  She says this in response to being corrected and even though she has just done something wrong, I can't help but think how cute she is when she says it!

Next, my adventures in cooking. 

I continue to make something new, if not every week, at least once every two weeks.  I have tried to calm down on the desserts as to not gain a million pounds.  I am running in a 5K in April and running is harder when you are fat!  HA!  Anyway......one of the newest things I have attempted...and don't be too shockced by this next part......PW's Comfort Meatballs. These meatballs are not for spagetti, but are more like mini-meatloaf-balls.  My description doesn't exactly make your mouth water, but they were pretty delish.  If you don't mind a little work, and you like meatloaf, give these a try.  Here is the recipe.    I served them with mashed potatoes and a salad!  YUM.   Love that Pioneer Woman.

Lastly, and update on my blog.  I am going to be attempting to make some changes to the layout/design over the next couple of weeks.  If it looks weird or funny or out of whack next time you visit, I apologize.  I am new to all of this and really have no idea what I am doing, but am determined to learn.  So thanks for your patience!  I am also abandoning any sort of attempt to have a day set aside for a certain topic.  If I have a money saving idea on Tuesday, I am going to post it on Tuesday.  If I have a funny kid story on Saturday I am going to post it...no more silliness of certain days being certain topics!  And, at the request of one of my readers (he, he!), I am going to try and post more often, maybe even every day!!!

Hope you all have a great Monday.  If any of you have a great recipe or know a lot about blog design and would like to share, please leave me a comment!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Purpose

This week I was listening to our Pastor's message from last Saturday (we missed church....) and was really encouraged by something he said.   For quite awhile I have struggled with knowing my "purpose" in life.  I truly want to be one of those ladies that knows why she was put here and is super successful in that area.  Like Joyce Meyer, or Beth Moore, or the Pioneer Woman or tons of other super successful women I know.  I don't want to be them.  I don't even want to be good at what they are good at.  I just want to know what it is that I am gifted at and do that to the best of my ability.  Usually I feel the opposite.  I feel like I am not sure why I am here, that what I am doing is not very successful and that somewhere out there is the real thing I am supposed to be doing, only I can't figure it out.

So, when my Pastor discussed purpose and what God's purpose was for our lives, I was all ears.  Here's what he had to say and why it encouraged me. 

God's purpose for our lives:

1. Be a worshipper of Christ. 

It is what we were made to do.  It is the most important thing we can do.  I can handle this.  Yes, I need to be more focused on worshipping, but it seems like a reasonable thing to get better at!

2.  Raise Godly children.

This is obviously harder.  Children are not easy.  The work required to raise good kids, much less Godly ones is pretty difficult.  It requires non-stop work and prayer.  It requires not giving up or giving in.  I don't always feel like a success in this area, but I am trying.  I know all of the work required and I know it is hard and yet most days I feel like being a mom is a waste of my potential.  That is probably not the greatest thing to say, but it is how I feel.  Like I don't quite contribute enough by just being a mom.  Listening to someone say that raising Godly children is my purpose helped me feel a little better about myself and made me realize the job of being a mom is more important than I give it credit for.

3.  Be faithful to church.

It is important to be in a good, Bible based church.  Being around other like minded people is essential.

4.  Be engaged in the spreading of the gospel and the winning of souls.

Sometimes this will be by inviting someone to church, other times from giving to missions, perhaps even leading someone to Christ.  The truth is you can be involved in the spreading of the gospel in many ways.

5.  Live a Godly life. 

It is easy to talk the talk, much harder to walk the walk.  We should stand out because of our actions, not because of our words. 

Each of these five things is something I can do, something I can work to be better at.  So even though I am not a wonderful photographer, cook, author, or whatever, I can work to fulfill my purpose.  I am doing something valuable and worthwhile.  I hope that each mom out there that has ever felt the same as me finds some comfort in this as well. 

Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend.

If you would like to listen to the whole message, you can find it here titled Repentance.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Smile

It's Thursday and that means it is time to embrace the camera.  Today a pic of Jason with Isabelle.  Taken last week when I managed to get a somewhat decent photo of Isabelle and me.  I think he is pretty handsome, and I think she is ADORABLE.  I am one lucky lady to have such a great hubby and two wonderful daughters.


If you would like to join me and a ton of other bloggers by embracing the camera, head on over to Emily's blog and link up.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Many faces of Belle

Isabelle is hilarious.  She has so many funny faces she makes.  I crack up at her pretty much everyday. 



She was not very happy about me trying to take her picture.  Can't you feel her saying, "Mommmmm."



Still adorable.


Much more excited and happy here!  She loves being outside and playing on her swing set!


Getting ready to slide for like the thousandth time.  She kept trying to go down face first!

I love that little girl and love all the different expressions she makes!  I am so blessed to be her mom!


Friday, February 18, 2011

A Few Things

Molly started saying, "mama."  It is adorable and I love it and I don't care if she even knows what she is saying, I pretend she does.  She has also started giving kisses.  They are wet, open mouth, lots of tongue kisses, but they are great!  I can't believe that she will be one in like a month and a half.  Time goes by so quickly.  Guess I should think about #3???  KIDDING...(maybe).



Speaking of babies, I have many friends who have either just had babies or are getting ready to have babies and I was considering doing a post about my advice for new mommies.  I realize my advice may not be worth that much to everyone, but I think I have some things worth saying to new moms.  Like, "crying will not kill your baby."  I remember being so worried about how I was going to go to the bathroom when Isabelle was a baby and was crying.  I went, but felt SO guilty for letting her cry while I relieved myself!  No worries now, Molly and Isabelle stand outside the bathroom screaming and crying and I have realized that it doesn't kill them to wait.  For Belle I think it is actually helping her with the concept of patience and not getting everything her way right away.  Molly is just a momma's girl and doesn't like to be away from me during the day.  Well...tough.  Moms need time to pee.  Just sayin'.  I have a lot more great advice.  Seriously.  So maybe next week a whole post just for me to put in my two cents.

I also wanted to do a favorites post today, but only so I could talk about my favorite album of the moment.  Not Ray today, though I have decided that Till The Sun Turns Black is my favorite album of his.
Love ya, Ray.  Anyway, as I was saying, my favorite at the moment is Sara Bareilles Kaleidoscope Heart.


I am loving this right now.  I have had it for awhile but just started listening to it more.  Pretty awesome. 

Lastly for today,  a cooking update.  Last week I attempted Butter Chicken.  Just alright for me.  Tasted better than it smelled.  If you are a lover of Indian food, this might be right up your alley.  I was not about it.  The dessert I made most recently was called Striped Delight.  I made it for my mom's birthday.  Simple, easy, delicious.  I have never posted about Bow Tie Lasagna, another Tasty Kitchen recipe.  It is also great.  If you need something easy, inexpensive and delicious, you should try it out.  Better than having spaghetti for like the hundredth time!

I am pondering the idea of sharing my menu planning ideas, my budgeting ideas and some organization tips, but am not sure yet.  Don't want to bore everyone to death!  I am a huge nerd and the idea of budgeting gets me all excited.  Others not so much. 

Anyway, thanks for sticking with me through the hodgepodge that was this post.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Embrace the Camera

Last time I embraced the camera I was wearing no makeup.  I fixed that problem this time (I did forget lip gloss)!  However, what did happen was Isabelle making the same goofy face she has started making every time we try to take her picture.  Maybe next week I will get a picture where both the children and I look decent.  We'll see. 


If you would like to know more about 'embracing the camera' check out this blog.  I love her and her blog and am so glad I have started taking more pics WITH the girls.  Their scrapbooks are full of pages with pictures of them and them with their dad, but I am missing.  Hopefully now I will have more pictures with my girls!  If you do decide to participate, link up to Emily's site!  Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Our Love Story


In honor of Valentine's Day, I had intended to post our love story on my Monday blog.  Due to my internet deciding to crash, it had to wait until today!  Praise the Lord, we have internet again.  How did we ever make it without the internet?  What did I do all day before I could check email, read blogs and update my facebook status?  Anyway, here it is, how we met, fell in love, got married and started our crazy family...in as few words as possible!

Jason and I both moved into our dorm rooms the weekend before classes started at OSU.  Somehow our floors ended up being put together to do things like campus tours and weekend events designed to help freshman ease into college life and meet new people.  One of the oldest memories about that weekend was when we were at a pizza dinner on the President's lawn.  Jason and I were sitting at the same table, and I thought he was so funny!  I liked him right away, not as a love interest, but as a friend.  For some reason I kicked him in the butt that evening trying to be funny and luckily did not scare him away!  We both had a significant other back home and were not looking to meet anyone new.  At least that is what we said at the time. 

We quickly formed a great friendship and did most things together during our first months on campus.  Along with a core group of people we ate dinner together, walked to class together, watched TV and movies together, attempted to study together, drank coffee at "The Bean" together.  Everything.  We would talk for hours on the phone when we couldn't hang out any longer and discuss pretty much everything from family to our current boyfriend/girlfriend.  Nothing was off limits and we got to know each other very well in a short amount of time.  One thing led to another and pretty soon it was clear that we were developing a deeper bond than just friendship.  The boyfriend and girlfriend back home both faded away, and pretty soon we were on our first date. 

From there we did have some hiccups.  We were in college and well, not the most mature people.  We also were not in church and not really following God's plan for our lives.  Needless to say, there were many times when we made poor decisions and it affected our relationship.  Through it all, however, we always managed to be honest with each other and work things out.  Honesty was key for us then and still is today.

Jason proposed during our sophomore year at OSU.  Not everyone was as excited as we were and many of our friends and family thought we were getting married too soon.  The fact that we had both had long relationships with people that were less than great before college didn't help us out much.  It took some work to convince people that we were making a good decision and that we would finish school and that, "No, Tracy is not pregnant."  And even after making every attempt to convince our family that we were not rushing into things, not everyone was sold.

A year later at the end of our junior year, we were married.  We had a great wedding and a great honeymoon and when the summer was over we went back to being college students only now we were married.  I would like to say that we lived happily ever after, but we had our ups and downs like anyone else.  We argued, we made mistakes, and we still were not putting God first in our marriage.  There was more than one time when I wondered if we had made a mistake and I am sure Jason felt the same way.  But we had promised each other long before we got married, that when we did, it would be forever.  We both came from divorced families and had decided we were not going to have the same lives as our parents.  We were going to make our marriage work no matter how hard it was.  I am so glad we made that decision!

Eventually we got back into church, started seeking God and His plan for our lives.  Slowly we started making better decisions and through God's mercy and love we were able to start building the marriage we had both dreamed of.  College led to employment (thankfully!) and we moved away from our friends and family for three years.  We were forced to rely on each other and deepen our relationship because we had no one else around to distract us.  It was a great time for us and though we missed OK, being in Texas was one of the best things that could have happened to us. We came away with a better relationship with each other, with Jesus, and made some lifelong friendships as well.

After three years and two great jobs, we moved back to OK.  A little more than a year later we had Isabelle and then a little more than a year after that had Molly.  Life is great.  Yes, we still have our issues.  Yes, sometimes we argue, but now more than ever we strive to put God first in our lives and in our marriage and that has made all the difference.  This year we celebrate 10 years.  Looking back I will tell you I fell in love with Jason at first sight.  No, I didn't recognize that right away, but I remember at that pizza dinner thinking that he was so different from anyone I had ever met and liking him so much right away that I didn't want to stop talking to him EVER.  And I was convinced I wasn't looking for a boyfriend.  He was amazing then and continues to be amazing today.  We have not just 'lucked' into a great marriage, we have worked at it.  We know that a great marriage doesn't just happen and we continue to make the effort everyday to ensure we have a great marriage for many more years to come.

I hope you all had a great Valentine's Day.  I am so glad to be back in the digital world!  See you tomorrow for Embrace the Camera!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Let the purge begin....

For the past two weeks one of the four people living in my house has been sick.  At one point we were all sick.  The past few days it has been just me that was sick.  The point I am trying to make here is that sickness has lived in our house for two LONG weeks and my house has suffered because of it.

I thought about posting pics of different disgustingly dirty areas of my home to show you just how much my house does need to be purged....but I am too embarrassed.  It's a mess over here.

The laundry has piled up.
The dishes have piled up.
The floor crunches when you walk (thanks to the cheerios that Molly has thrown around the house).
There is an inch-thick layer of dust on all surfaces.
I won't even discuss the bathroom situation....I HATE cleaning bathrooms!

I think I might have to clean for 48 straight hours to make a dent in the situation.

My blog has suffered, my kids have been neglected, emails have not been returned, Isabelle has watched WAY too many hours of television.  Things are all out of whack.

But today is a new day.  Today I am beginning the process of getting my house, my kids, my life back in order. 

Since I missed yesterday's Embrace the Camera day, I thought I would post one of my fav pics of Jason with Isabelle.  Taken by C.C. Miller Photography.


She is such a daddy's girl! 

Now off to clean!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shake That Booty

Molly is a rump shaka'.  It started with  bouncing up and down, to swaying, to now, shakin' her booty.  It is one of the funniest things I have ever seen.  She does it ALL the time.  So, I thought, why not share the hilarity with the world?  So here she is, my precious little girl, shaking her butt.

video

Thursday, February 3, 2011

First time to Embrace the Camera!

One of my favorite blogs, which you can read here, challenges readers to 'embrace the camera' every Thursday by taking a picture with your kids.  Since moms so often are behind the camera it is great incentive to get out from behind the lens and get some pics WITH your kids, not just OF your kids!  So today I decided to go for it.  I am posting a picture from our snow day yesterday.  I must admit that the Mary Kay lady in me is screaming, "NO," because I am wearing ZERO makeup, but I am doing it anyway.  I don't think Belle or Molly will care much about it, so I am not going to stress either.

So without further delay, I embrace the camera!


Molly looks pretty cute.  You can't really tell how cold she was in this photo!  I had to bring her in the garage out of the wind to take the picture!

I hope when my girls are older they won't be afraid to capture the moment just because they don't have on any makeup.   I am glad I didn't stop J from taking this picture!  Have a great day and if you too want to embrace the camera today, be sure to link up to the blog I referred to here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowed In

Here in T-town we got about 14 inches of snow on Tuesday.  Needless to say, pretty much the entire town shut down.  In fact, for the first time ever the Tulsa World didn't put out a paper.  That is how crazy it is when it snows in OK.  People lose their minds.  And now I am losing my mind from being cooped up for two days straight.  The girls are a little under the weather, but Belle was still itching to go outside.  So we took them out for like 5 minutes and let them play!  Okay, Molly didn't really play, but Belle did!  Here are a few pics of our outdoor adventure.  Keep in mind I realize these are not award winning photos!!!




Belle had a great time.  She did a great job helping her dad clear off the driveway!!! 


Molly didn't enjoy the snow quite as much as Isabelle, so after sticking her in a pile of snow and snapping her picture, we went inside. 


I think Jason is going to try and go to work tomorrow, so it will be back to life as normal for him, but since he is taking my car the girls and I will continue to be snowed in!  Hope you and your loved ones are staying safe, warm and sane!