Tuesday, December 31, 2013

review of 2013 big goals

2013
2012
2011
2010

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At the beginning of 2013 I set 4 big goals, as I do every year. They were big. They were scary. But I wrote them down and said, "let's do this."

How did I do? Well, let's just say they weren't all open and shut accomplished. But I'm more than okay with that. Here's why: I set goals, but the Lord directs my path. I know what I want, what I hope for, but only He knows where I will actually go, what will actually happen. And that's wonderful.

*get Isaac on a solid preschool schedule This one totally did not happen. And mid way though the year I was a bit disappointed. But as the next few months went on, I realized it was okay. Because, I actually learned something even more important than getting him on a schedule. I learned his learning style. My hope was to get him on a solid schedule, have rigid structure (because that's my style), but I realized, that's totally not his style. Instead, I discovered that learning works better when Isaac is allowed to initiate it. Instead of me having a specific lesson to do or activity planned, I have several things to choose from and he decides. Sometimes he chooses none of them and wants to put a puzzle together instead. And that's totally okay!

I will definitely be able to better teach him in 2014, as he moves into his 3's. I'm really excited about what he'll be learning next year as he has continuously blown me away with how smart he is already. And, we now have a separate school room in the house. Yay!

*move to an almost completely vegetarian diet Ya, this one didn't happen at all. I think I thought about it for a couple weeks and said, nope. Mostly because it takes a lot of effort and planning. And because sometimes I'm really lazy. But, we have cut out a lot, a lot of red meat. And that's because it's just so expensive. Instead we eat mostly chicken and some meatless dinner. But we have added a lot more green leafy veggies into our diets by way of the Nutribullet and some new family favorite recipes.

*bring in extra money for our family I think I set this goal every year, even if I don't write it down. I've had a shop set up for a while now. I even have some products made. I just have not had the guts to take the plunge and just do it. I think I'm scared that I'm going to get everything wrong. Which is dumb. Of course I'll get everything wrong! But I won't learn or succeed unless I just do it. But, I did make my first sale this month! And it gave me the boost I think I needed. I can do this. I can get this going. I can help contribute to my family's income. Stay tuned for more of that!

*pray and act about opening a PRC in Vegas This one did not happen, but something else did. Something I totally didn't see coming. Not that it still isn't on my goal list, because it is. I want this to happen. Ben wants this to happen. Lara Casey, at Influence, talked about making a goal that is so big it makes you want to throw up. This is that goal for me. Like, my life's one big, giant, scary, I sound totally crazy, goal. It's here to stay.

But, something else happened. I wrote about it here. Please read that post because I think it perfectly explains the situation, but I will summarize a bit. At the beginning of 2013, I was offered the position to take over a pro-life organization in Las Vegas. After several weeks of prayer, and what I thought was no answer from God, He finally solidified it for me, thanks to a fellow blogger. I accepted, both excited and a bit fearful. To be honest, I haven't done much with the organization this year. But that doesn't mean I don't have a bunch of ideas and a lot I want to accomplish in 2014. At the same time, I don't want to set huge, unrealistic goals for myself, and for Nevadans for Life that I know won't get done. I'm planning to take things one step at a time, but even more than that, I plan on following the Lord's path for this position and this organization. He has a plan. All I have to do is ask, listen and follow.

How does this fit into my 2013 goal? Aside from it being under the pro-life ministry umbrella, I think the Lord will use this position to prepare me for what He wants me to do later. Develop relationships, serve the community, get plugged in. Who knows. Well, God does so I'm trusting Him.

So there you have it, 2013 goals. Set, some met, some changed. That aside, I'm ready to close the book on this year and head into 2014. It's going to be a good one (we say that every year don't we?). But seriously, it's going to be good.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

what do you do for Thanksgiving? we camp.

Ever since I was about 7 years old, my family has been camping at the beach for Thanksgiving. We go with a group of about 5 other families. Ben and I haven't always been able to go thanks to distant moves and babies being born the same week. But this year, after a 2 year hiatus, we were finally back. It was beautiful. The food was delicious. The fellowship was awesome. And Isaac and Eli had a wonderful time playing in the sand for 3 days. I can't wait for next year.

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Monday, December 2, 2013

big news and a little q&a

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[funny story about the above photo: Isaac was looking at it on my mom's phone and naming all the shoes. Daddy's shoes, mommy's shoes. Isaac's shoes. Eli's shoes... Eli's shoes?? We hadn't told him about the new baby yet because he has a giant mouth. So he was a bit confused about whose shoes were on the end there.]

We are expecting a new addition to our little family!

We told our family over the weekend and now I get to tell all of you! I thought it would be kinda fun to answer some of the most common questions I've gotten. And if you have any more, ask away!

how far along are you and when are you due? short answer: I don't know. long answer: Of course that was the one month I didn't chart my cycle and I always put it into my calender on my phone but for some reason, my phone decided to delete all that info from previous months. Otherwise I would have been able to go back and count forward 28 days. Nope. Couldn't do it. But, based on our best guess at the conception date, I am about 13 weeks and due in early June.

(In case you are wondering why my doctor didn't do an early ultrasound to measure gestation, I don't see an OB, I see a midwife and she doesn't do ultrasounds. At my next appointment she'll measure my uterus to get a better idea. Then when I go in at 20 weeks for the anatomy scan we'll get a better idea. But, it doesn't really matter all that much to me because baby will come when baby is ready!)

are you on progesterone this time around? If you know my story, you know I've been on progesterone with the last 2 kiddos. And it's horrible. But, this time around I felt a peace about not using it. At least, I didn't get a prescription for a pill, which is actually progesterin and is synthetic and takes a huge toll on your body. I had considered getting my progesterone levels checked before we conceived just to see where I was at, but I didn't get a chance to and then, boom, we were pregnant. So, the day I had a positive test, which was super early, I started putting on a natural progesterone cream. I used it every day, then every other day, then every few days, until I was completely off of it. If you're interested, you can read more about it here and this is the cream I use. So I guess the answer to the question is I did use it, but not as routinely as before.

are you having morning sickness? Yes. all.the.time. And it's really rough with 2 kiddos to take care of. I'm just cursed with horrible morning sickness. Nausea all the time. Vomiting? check. At Target. At Fresh 'n Easy. At home. So fun, right? Also, super tired. I take at least 2 naps a day and go to bed before 9. Usually all this lasts until around 15 weeks-ish. So, hoping it fades away soon!

were you pregnant at Influence? Yup. But I didn't know yet. I would have been like a week pregnant.

will you find out if it's a boy or girl? Yes. I can't take the suspense. And I need to plan.

are you still nursing Eli? I sure am. My goal with each babe is to go a little past 1 year. That way they have plenty of time to get onto almond, coconut, hazlenut milk, whichever kind they prefer. And then we wean. The plan is to have Eli weaned by the end of the year.

how far apart in age with Eli and the new baby be? They will be 19 months apart. Eli and Isaac are 22 months apart. We like them close in age ;)

where in the world will the baby sleep? I haven't given this one a whole lot of thought yet. In the beginning baby will be in our room but when it's time to move out I'm not sure. Eventually the baby will end up in the boys' room whether we have a girl or boy. But we didn't move them in together until Eli was 6 months. Not sure if we'll wait that long with this babe or not. I'll guess you'll have to check back to find out!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

i got me some fancy photos

While I was at Influence Conference this year I jumped on the opportunity to meet with Megan for some new head shots. I haven't had photos taken of myself since I was about 6 weeks pregnant with Isaac and Ben was deployed to Afghanistan (so that was almost 4 years ago?). I mean, I love those photos and I still use a lot of them. But, it was definitely time for some updated ones.

If you are in Florida, check out Megan. She is super sweet and does a fabulous job! If you're not in Florida, you can read her blog.

I don't know about you, but I love them.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

a house tour (the before photos)

There's not a whole lot to say. I'll let the photos do all the talking. This place is a mess. Every single room needs to be gutted and redone. Although we won't be doing that entirely. But we do have some big giant plans for this place. I will tell you that as of now we have painted all the rooms and put in new carpet. We're also in the process of putting all new (to me) appliances in the kitchen. And on top of semi-renovating, we're moving everything into the house too. I'm exhausted. Ben is more than exhausted. Even the kids are down-right worn out. And there is still so much left to do.

I'm hoping to keep the blog updated as we make progress. I'm not the best at remembering to snap photos as we're going (my mom took all of these), but I will make every effort to do so!

IMG_5458 This is looking at the front door if you're standing in the middle of the living room. There's a coat closet directly across from the front door, obviously not pictured. IMG_5457 From the last picture, if you turn to the right, this is the wall you would see. And actually, this is after it had been painted. Before, it was a nasty off-white, yellow-y stained color. So gross. To the left of this photo and directly behind it are just big giant walls. IMG_5447IMG_5448
Obviously the kitchen. When we looked at the house, that window was busted out and had been boarded up. Before we bought the house it was a rental and apparently the tenant had broken the window and not told the landlord. The day we saw it was the day she found out it was like that. Lovely right? We had it repaired a couple days before we got the house since it was a short sale and she had exactly $0 to pay for anything. I never knew how expensive windows are to replace. Oh, and that awesome make-shift "curtain." Awesome, right?
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From the kitchen, this is heading down the hallway to the bedrooms. On the left is the guest bathroom. On the right are the tow smaller bedrooms. Directly ahead is the master. Can we just talk about these floors for a minute? They are disgusting. And cheap. And horribly installed (laminate). And they are throughout the entire house. What are people thinking? Not to mention, they laid them left to right instead of long ways. Does that make sense? So they had to make a million cuts to put them in instead of just laying them straight down the hall. Just not very smart to me.

We will be replacing it with something. We put carpet in the living room and the 3 bedrooms. The rest of the house will be either a better laminate (that sort of hurts to say because I just hate it so much, but we can't afford hard wood), bamboo or maybe tile.
IMG_5451 The boys' bedroom. You can't see it in the photos, but the fan installation by the previous occupants is amazing. And I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible. Instead of wiring through the ceiling, they hung the fans and ran a chord down the wall to plug them in. Every bedroom is like that. I'm pretty sure that's totally against code. Definitely on the list to remedy. That and replace the ceiling fans. IMG_5452
My beautiful laundry area. It sits off of the hallways. When we first looked at the house we noticed the doors had been taken off. Later on we discovered them in the garage. And they are in pretty good condition. Why would you take the doors off? Who wants to looks at a washer and dryer every time they walk down the hallway? IMG_5454 The master bathroom. We have basically blocked this room off. I joked about putting up crime scene tape. Seriously. It's a scary place. That gray toilet? The shower pan is Ga.Ross. I mean, yuck. Isn't that the weirdest shower you've ever seen? There are 2 doors that slide and meet in the corner. Um, what? And the hair floating around from whoever lived here before. I think I might puke just typing this. Anyway. I have big plans for that bathroom. But it's definitely going to have to be gutted. And it's going to have to be it's own project. Eventually.

Okay, I don't have any photos of the master bedroom. It's basically a small square room. Big enough for our queen bed, side tables and maybe a small piece of furniture. I'm planning to put a dresser in the closet because it's basically huge. But as for the bedroom, nothing special. Except for the deadbolt on the door. And the giant patched up hole next to the deadbolt. It's um, weird? Scary? I don't know what. But that door is getting replaced like, yesterday. Lowe's has doors on sale for $22 this week so you can guess what's on our list for this weekend.
IMG_5456 This is looking from the master back toward the rest of the house. On the right is the kitchen, on the left is the living room. Dream: bust out a portion of the wall separating the two rooms so I can see what's going on when I'm in the kitchen cooking. Mostly so I can keep an eye on my tiny tykes.

 Now for the backyard tour. AKA, my favorite part! IMG_5464
So the "back" door is actually on the side of the house, off of the kitchen. This is if you step outside and look down the side of the house. IMG_5462
If you turn around, this is what you see. I'm thinking chicken coup in that corner behind the palm tree (which is on our list to be removed. I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of palm trees, or scorpions). IMG_5460 Turn to the left and this is the back patio. I love that there's an overhang. As ganky as it is, it works. Yay! Oh, and that giant palm, in the middle of the yard (what? weirdest idea ever), is also going. And do you see that giant pile of fire wood to the right of the shed? Score. We have a wood burning fire place! And yes, that is a shopping cart.IMG_5463 Turn to the left a little more and this is what you see. The first window is the kitchen. The second one is the living room. Dream: replace the living room window with french doors that open onto the patio and extend the living space to the outside. And as in every other photos, trash and more trash everywhere. They left so.much.junk. So much.

That's basically it. The garage is one car. It's on the side of the house along the living room. There isn't access from the house. Just a door in the backyard. I feel like it was an add-on but then again, this house is kinda old so it may have just been built weird. To the side of the garage is the side yard. It's big enough for RV parking. We may pave it and add a gate so my parents can park their pop-up trailer there.