May 2014 Flashback Post

Periodically I like to take a look back to see what I was doing this time last year. It’s fun to see where I was, what I was doing, and how things have changed.

The biggest thing that was going on a year about at this time was our move back up to Madison, Mississippi. It was actually a very scary and uncertain time for us. Our home in Biloxi had been on the market for over two years, and we finally got fed up and just moved anyway. Some friends of ours were gracious enough to let us rent their boathouse from them until our house sold and we were able to purchase one in Madison.

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Things haven’t exactly turned out as planned (per usual with us) but we are still hanging in there praying for certain things to unfold.

Another big and pretty obvious change is that this time last year I was pregnant with Emma Kate.

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We had our gender reveal party last May, and found out baby M was going to be a girl. We had a blast finding out together with all of our family and friends at my parents house.

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It’s still crazy to me to look back at bump shots and think our little Emma Kate was in there! Well…not so little She was quite the big girl when she joined us in the world!

Last May was definitely a hard month for my family, and I find myself looking upon more stressful times at the moment, and it is tempting to look back at last year and say “didn’t we JUST go through a hard time like this? We have to do this again?!?” But I am trying to stay at peace and remember that God is in control and that he has always always taken care of us even when things looked really bad. It’s all part of my story, and maybe it will be used to help someone else one day when I get around to writing one of my many book ideas. Smile

QOTD: What were you doing this time last year?

Easter Weekend 2015

A late happy Easter to everyone! I hope you had a fun weekend with friends and family. We did, but it went by sssoooo fast, I’m sad it’s over! Thursday night Bobby and I dyed Easter eggs, then forgot to put them in the refrigerator, whoops!

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Also we kind of made a mess, but love having a place to put the completed eggs!

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Bella was feeling left out and wanted to show off our cute new rug.

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Friday afternoon we loaded up the family and drove to my parents house. We dropped off the girls and headed downtown for the night. We were running the Crescent City Classic 10k in the morning but had the expo and a pasta dinner to get to first.

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At the pasta dinner I got to catch up with some friends/other bloggers, we had a blast! I was sure to carb load and eat plenty of desserts.

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After dinner we checked into our hotel, Aloft New Orleans, and went to bed. Poor Bobby had a cold and wasn’t feeling very good.

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The next morning was the race (recap coming soon)

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Then we drove back to my parents house for Easter.I was sure to get a celebratory wedding cake snowball.

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My dad’s 60th birthday is in a couple of weeks, so we went ahead and celebrated since we were in town. We had a delicious doberge cake (google it) and ice cream.

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Sunday morning we went to church, and of course Emma Kate got an Easter basket.

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The weather was gorgeous, sunny and 70, so we all hung out outside while my dad grilled. My aunt and uncles came over and joined us for lunch.

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Lunch was delicious as usual, but all too soon it was time to pack up and make the drive back to Mississippi. Out of nowhere a huge storm popped up and it rained the entire drive back home. Sad times.

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We had so much fun (except for Bobby being sick) celebrating Easter and the true reason we celebrate the holiday.

QOTD: What did you do for Easter?

What’s On Your Tree?

When I visit someone’s house during Christmastime, I like to spend some time looking at the ornaments on their tree. Not only do I find them beautiful and fun, but I think you can find out a lot about a family by looking at their tree. I look at it kind of like a scrapbook of sorts, and think that Christmas trees have so much personality! Let’s take a look at what I am talking about.

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Here are a few of the categories of ornaments you can typically find:

Hobbies: A lot of people have ornaments that tell you about what they like to do. For instance, my dad has a couple of golf ornaments, and at my house, you will find a volleyball ornament and running ornament.

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Favorite things: Just like different hobbies, everyone has their favorites. Movies, sports, teams, animated characters, sayings, and colors. Bobby has a Gandalf ornament on our tree, and I have a New Orleans Saints Superbowl one. Also, anyone who looked at my tree would know that I am a fan of McAlisters, especially their sweet tea. You may also find a few Disney princesses chilling on my tree.

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Occupation: Ornaments may also give you a hint as to a persons occupation.Fun fact some of you newer readers may not know, but I used to teach 5th grade!

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Handmade/Kid ornaments: Whether you have children in your house or are just sentimental, you probably have a few very old handmade ornaments hanging on your tree (ok, some of them may have been pushed to the back). The two below are ornaments that I made in grade school but can’t seem to part with. besides, who HASN’T made a clothespin reindeer?!?

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Places Visited: Another favorite category is places visited. I know a lot of people (myself included) that like to collect ornaments whenever they go on vacation or visit a new place. I think these are a great reminder of the fun vacations I have had, and bring back some of my favorite memories. I have several Disney resort ornaments, but the Polynesian and Grand Floridian are my favorites, along with my Disney Cruise Line and Disneyland ornament.

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Favorite Memories: Following along the same thread as vacation/places visited, a special milestone such as a wedding or gradation always make great ornaments. Some of my favorites are ones that we purchased after running races. For instance, below you will see the ornament I bought after we completed the Inaugural Dumb Double Dare in Disneyland.

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As much as I love all of my ornaments, this last one means the most. If it wasn’t for Jesus’ birthday, we wouldn’t even be celebrating at all HE is the reason for the season, so amongst all your shopping, wrapping, eating and baking, don’t leave him out. Happy Birthday Jesus!

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QOTD: If I looked at your tree, what would it tell me about you?

A New Perspective

Call me way behind in the times, but I JUST watched the movie Soul Surfer about Bethany Hamilton on Saturday night. It’s one of those movies I always wanted to see, but wasn’t going to go out of my way to rent, etc. My mom happened to DVR it the other day, so we all watched it together. Yes there were a few cheesy parts, and parts of Carrie Underwood’s performance reminded me of the Sound of Music live TV special, but I really, really loved the message.

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Bobby and I are currently going through some unpleasant things in life, and we have said things that, just like the actress who played Bethany said….”I just don’t understand why this is happening to me.” In the movie, Carrie Underwood’s character challenges the kids to see things from a new perspective, that sometimes we are too close in on a situation, and need to back up a bit to try to see more of the big picture.

While I think this is a great thing to do, it is definitely easier said than done. For a control freak like me who likes to know everything NOW, waiting around to see the big picture, or waiting around to see that eventually something good will come of a situation, is not ideal in my mind….especially when I feel like I have already been waiting a long time.

It is my hope that maybe someone else can one day benefit by what we have been through/are going through and hearing our story (which is still in the making), so I do try really hard to set a good example and have a good attitude about it all, even when things don’t turn out as planned.

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So, while I know this is a big week for us and could end very happily or with us being very discouraged, I pray that no matter what we will be able to keep it all in perspective and see the bigger picture. I hope you are encouraged today to not get frustrated by things in life, but instead to step back and think.

QOTD: Have you ever wanted answers to come right away, and to be able to see why certain things were happening to you? Did you end up seeing the bigger picture eventually?

Big Changes (Again)

Ok guys, so it has been admittedly a bit insane over here this past week. There are still some logistics to work out so I won’t go into the whole long story just yet, but…we are finally moving!

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from last time we moved in 2011. Oh, the boxes!

Yall, we have been here over three years, and it is three years too long. We realized quickly after moving this just wasn’t the place for us, but unfortunately is has taken all this time to work everything out, and there are STILL some kinks we are dealing with. However, the bottom line is we are moving back to Madison, MS (north of Jackson) TODAY!

It happened so fast after so long of NOTHING happening, and I have been slightly overwhelmed this week to say the least (packing, packing and more packing), but we are getting it done. I am quickly reaching my pregnant lady limits though and can’t do near as much lifting and packing as non pregnant Heather can do, and it has gotten me frustrated a few times.

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Even though we don’t have it all figured out yet, I am ecstatic to be moving back to a town I love, and a church we miss so, so much and totally took for granted when we were living there before moving down here. I promise I will share more as things unfold. I will try to keep the blog posts coming on weekdays as I have been, but please understand if I miss a couple days here and there, as we try to unpack and settle in to a new normal. I will of course be posting pictures on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter even on the weekends when I am not blogging.

We are so excited, please pray for us as we embark on a new adventure! Things have not exactly turned out as we planned, but even when we thought we couldn’t handle any more, God has always provided for us and we are so thankful!

QOTD: Have you ever moved on short notice before?

You are Blessed

I had plans to write a blog post today, until I read a story. After reading said story, I just couldn’t focus to write. Everything I thought to write about just seemed so….trivial after reading and crying over this post. Instead of spending 5 minutes today reading about me, I encourage you to click over and read about a devastating circumstance a family in Arkansas now faces after the tornados.

http://thehodgepodgedarling.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-cheerleader.html

Please pray for this sweet family, and remember how blessed you are today. I will be back tomorrow!

Easter Weekend 2014

Good morning! We are back home from visiting my family for Easter, and we had a great weekend. We were blessed to have the most gorgeous weather the entire time, and spent a ton of time sitting outside enjoying the low humidity.

We arrived Friday afternoon and went to dinner for my dad’s birthday then had cake and ice cream back at the house.

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Saturday Bobby and I were up early for the Crescent city classic in New Orleans. Over 25,000 people were registered for the race! (Recap to come on Thursday). We had a blast, and came home and sat outside with my parents. Bobby may have fallen asleep on the porch.

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My parents got a new patio set for the backyard, and my dad spent a ton of time working in the backyard making it beautiful for spring and this is where we we spent most of the weekend.

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Sunday morning we went to my parent’s church and heard my mom sing in the choir.

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After church, we did some grilling in preparation of two of my aunts and uncles coming over for lunch.

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We had a great lunch and a fun time visiting with family Sunday.

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The rest of Sunday was just relaxing and chatting, a great way tow rap up a holiday weekend. We left Monday morning, with plenty of leftovers now in our refrigerator. What a great weekend!

Bella is worn out, too. By the way, today is Bella’s 6th birthday!

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QOTD: What did you do for Easter?

Easter Meaning

Happy (Good) Friday yall! Today is a very special day for me. I know a lot of you aren’t religious, but hopefully you know if you had read my blog at all that I am a Christian, so this weekend means a lot to me.

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I will be visiting with my family all weekend, so I won’t be around much. Bobby and I are also running the Crescent City Classic 10k on Saturday! I am really looking forward to a fun weekend and hope you are, too.

I hope you know if you ever have any questions about Good Friday, or resurrection Sunday (or anything else related!) That I would be more than happy to talk to you about it, and not in a pushy way!

Have a great weekend everyone, see ya on Monday! I leave you with the lyrics to a great song: (you can listen here)

Christ Is Risen

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
We fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely you bled, for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bow to none but heavens will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer’s crown
No burden great can hold you down
In strength you reign
Forever let your church proclaim

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
The glory of God has defeated the night!
Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
Our God is not dead, he’s alive! he’s alive!

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave
Rise up from the grave…

 

QOTD: Do you celebrate Easter?

Motivational Pins

Some days everyone can use a little pep talk right? There are certain sayings that I glance over and they don’t mean a thing to me, but then there are some that hit right to my heart. So maybe someone who is struggling with something today will be able to be encouraged by one of these pictures. I hope everyone has a great Thursday!

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QOTD: Which of these is your favorite? What is something you tell people to encourage them?

The Year of Optimism

Oh, 2013. My head is swimming with so many thoughts that I don’t know where to start. I feel like every year I start the year off all excited and ready for change, but by February I have slipped back into my same old mindset. Not only that, but I totally forget about my resolutions and at the end of the year it’s a surprise to me to even read what they were!
In my house, we have a tradition where we write our resolutions down and put them in our Christmas stockings for safe keeping. Then, the next year when we pull out the decorations we have them ready to read….and ready to be depressed about. I realized that a lot of my “resolutions” are actually things that are mostly out of my control. No wonder I get so disappointed when they don’t happen! This isn’t true for all of them, but a lot, yes. I have decided that this year I am not going to set myself up for failure and disappointment by writing down lofty things that may or may not happen during the year. Especially when I know I will forget about them in a couple weeks.
Hear me out, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have goals or strive for certain things, if you have been reading my blog for awhile you know I typically do small monthly goals. I just think a laundry list of lofty things for the year may not be the way to go for some people (like me).

This year, instead of setting myself up for disappointment, I am going to try to focus on bettering myself as a whole person. I’m not labeling it, I’m not putting limitations, restrictions, or specifics on it. I know technical goal people are probably having a panic attack right now because that isn’t exactly “measurable”, but I want the freedom to make it whatever I want it to be for that day, hour, or even minute. For example: I may wake up one day and decide I want to run 25 miles that week. So I will focus on bettering myself in that way, and then that’s that. The next day or week, I may decide I want to volunteer in some way,do it, then move on to something else. I don’t want to limit myself, box myself in, or set myself up to fail. Heck I may decide in the middle of something to change my mind!

Bottom line, January puts a lot of STRESS on me, and it’s not necessary. I want 2014 to be low key and laid back. This in itself will be a huge feat because I am quite high strung. I have always been very competitive and in turn am very hard on myself. This year I don’t want to beat myself up for things I DON’T do, but instead want to CELEBRATE the things I do accomplish.

It’s all about your mindset and attitude, and I am striving to be more of a glass half full kind of girl. So, my word for the year is OPTIMISTIC. Again, not putting any rules on this, I just want to strive to be an overall better and more optimistic person, whatever that looks like depending on the day. You are the only one who can change your attitude, and we all know your mental health has a huge bearing on your physical health.

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So for 2014, I will be counting my blessings and being optimistic about the future. I think if I can do those things, then I will WANT to better myself because I will have the right attitude. It’s a cycle! 2013 was tough, I don’t share everything here on the blog as I don’t want to air my personal issues online…so just know there were a lot of days I really struggled. I’m not sad to see it go and am ready to start fresh with this new approach. Even though things last year didn’t go as planned, I am a very blessed girl and owe every good thing I have to God, who has been with me even when I felt the most alone and sad. It’s tough, but I am trying to remember that my plans may not be what God has in mind for me, and may not be best for me. I don’t want to settle, so I will be optimistic and try to go with the flow and remember it will all work out!

Here’s to a laid back, glass half full 2014. I just know it’s going to be my best year yet. (See, already working on that optimism!)
Thank you for reading my blog in 2013, you all mean a lot to me, more than you can know.

Cheers!