Date Night

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I really do have the best husband ever. He loves our kids, he loves me, and he will do just about anything to make everyone happy. Here are some enjoyable pics of us from the past few months.

If you're married, you know that you can probably say just as many things that your spouse does to annoy you as things he does that you love about him. That's how relationships work. None of us are anywhere near perfect. I am lucky that I have always loved my husband.

*****Disclamer***** We do not always like each other, but we have always been in love. I think so many couples think they have to like each other all the time to have a successful relationship.

News Flash!!! That's NEVER going to happen. You cannot like someone all the time. For cryin' out loud, we don't even like our kids all the time, and they're our own flesh and blood.

I also think we don't talk enough about relationships. They're not anywhere near easy. It is so important to have a group of friends that you can be honest about your relationship with your spouse about. It makes you feel so much more normal, when you know you're not the only one who doesn't like their spouse sometimes.

The past couple weeks have been rough for Brian and me. We have both been working a lot, and trying to "do it all." Finally we had one of those, "um, hi?" conversations. Like it's been nice seeing every night when I come to sleep conversations.

With blogging, I have been on the computer a lot lately, and with Spring Bling (our annual Spring training event) around the corner, I've had a lot going on. Not to mention trying to train for this 1/2 marathon (tomorrow!...I'm not talking about it because I'm nervous), and everything the kids have going on. He just experienced Easter weekend at church, and a huge youth cookout (that brought in 412 kids!). We've both just been living our separate lives.

So tonight, we're going on date night. (Which we usually do at least twice a month). And it's super hard to schedule and make work, but it is so worth it! To have a conversation without a child crawling all over you, is extremely important.

I guess my point in all this writing is that YOU need a date night too! Take the time to spend with each other. Remember why you love each other and even like each other.

I'm off! Going to hang out with my hubby, and I can't wait. Wishing you intentional time with your spouse soon.

Stuff I Loved Today...

Friday, April 29, 2011

So today was just a normal day. But here are a few highlights...Hope yours was equally as interesting.

To start the day off, I had to catch up on the Royal Wedding happenings. Yes! Even I was sucked in! I had to see...I couldn't stay away. And Kate looked beautiful, of course. What a fun British day!

Then on my last pre-race run, I found this little guy attempting to cross the road. He was headed straight into traffic, so I picked him up and faced him the other way.

He wasn't having it. He wanted across the street. So I picked him up again, and ran him across the street. He seemed happy after that. Glad I could do my good deed for the day. Isn't he cute?!

Then it was on to Addy's school to pick her up for the day. When I arrived, they were all in the backyard, sitting in circles, letting their baby ducks get some exercise! They have baby ducks that were hatched at the school. They have raised them and taken care of them since they were still inside their eggs!

And today they got to go for their first swim. Not something you get to see on an average day! They were scared at first, but knew exactly what they were doing. So cool!

Then I told Addy that we could go anywhere she wanted for lunch....what did she pick?! Sonic. And she wanted to bring it back to school and eat in the cafeteria with the kids. Here she is with Audra at lunch today.

Then we headed to see one of my best friends officially adopt their baby girl. Addy and I had a lot of conversations about adoption. It was a fun and tearful experience. I'm tearing up just writing about it. What a beautiful day it was for that sweet family. (of course I don't have pics...sorry!)

Next we headed downtown to the Health and Wellness expo to pick up my race packet and bib! Yeah! So excited! Since we were so close.....and Addy and I both love it, we had to make a quick stop at the Festival of the Arts so she could get her face painted again....we were just there yesterday.

Here are some shots of the beautiful improvements to downtown OKC.

After a quick face painting, it was home to cook Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas for our Spring Bling speaker practice tonight. They were delicious (and easy!) and everyone wanted the recipe so look for that to come soon!

While I was at Amy's house (where we held speaker practice) I had to drool over all her great decorating. Her house is so stinkin cute! I need her to come decorate mine. I had to take a pic of her dining room centerpiece because I loved it so much and plan on copying it!

Hope you had a great Spring day.

Time Management: Eat That Frog

Thursday, April 28, 2011

While working on putting together a time management class, I've asked a lot of people what they need help with when it comes to finding more time to get things done.

I really believe that we have all the time we need if we effectively manage it. It's all about making your time work for you. I know, it's a lot easier said than done. But I think you'll find when you attempt to manage your time and make it work for you, you can find the time to do the things you really want to do instead of only doing things you have to do.

One of my favorite time management principles comes from a book called, Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. His book is all about ways to get more done in less time. And the main idea is simply to do the worst thing on the list first!

Let's say your to-do list looks something like this:

make dinner
pay bills
respond to e-mails
eat a frog

Now obviously, the worst thing on that list is eating a frog! And if you had to do, you would want to do it first. Here are some notes from the 1st 6 pages of the book (that I found here):

    "Your ability to select your most important task at each moment, and then to start on that task and get it done both quickly and well, will probably have more of an impact on your success than any other quality or skill you can develop! If you develop the habit of setting clear priorities and getting important tasks completed quickly, you will run circles around a genius who talks a lot and makes wonderful plans but gets very little done. 
     An old saying is that "If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long!" Your "FROG" is the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don't do something about it now! It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment. 
     It has also been said that "If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first!" This is another way of saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else. 
     You can think of it as a "TEST" or personal challenge. You must resist the temptation to start with the easier task! You must continually remind yourself that one of the most important decisions you make each day is your choice of what you will do immediately and what you will do later --- if you do it at all!
     One final assumption is "If you have to eat a live frog, it does not pay to sit and look at it for a very long time!" MAIN IDEA = The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is for you to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning. 
    You must develop the routine of "eating your frog" before you do anything else and without taking too much time to think about it! Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete."

So what are we all waiting for?! I think it's time to eat some frogs! What is your frog tomorrow? Do it (or eat it) first, and see how much more you accomplish in a day. 

Being a People Pleaser...

Okay so I actually just typed this entire post out and then deleted it! Are you kidding me?! How could I have done such a thing!? I was trying in embed a video from youtube and completely screwed up 25 minutes worth of work!

Okay that was my vent. Here is what the post said....

So last week, I did what we call a "call to Christ" on stage in front of our middle and high school kids at church. The way it works is the kids watch a video message/teaching. Then someone comes up and does what we call "the close." The close is basically supposed to help kids relate to the message, possibly reveal something about the speaker that the kids can relate to, challenge the kids, and then give those who don't know Christ, a chance to ask Him into their hearts. I thought you might find it interesting to read what I said. I will leave out a lot of the examples and hand raising questions.

It went something like this:

"What an amazing message, but I want to take it one step further. How many of you would say that not only do you attempt to please people, but you try to impress people? Yeah, most of us. 

We naturally try to impress other people. Pastor Craig mentioned the 4 things that people pleasers do. 

The first: People pleasers take criticism personally. (example was included)

Secondly, people pleasers often find it hard to express their true feelings. (example was included)

The 3rd thing people pleasers do is they have an extraordinary fear of rejection. 

I know when I was in middle school and high school, this one was huge for me. I wanted to be "cool" so bad. I wanted to be liked, and I was willing to do anything to feel accepted. It's the reason I took my first sip of alcohol. It's the reason I went too far with guys. I just didn't want to feel rejected. How many of you can honestly say that you have that same fear of rejection? You just want people to like you...

And the last thing that people pleasers do, is they have a hard time saying no. (example was included)

All of us have some desire to please and impress others. We desperately want to be liked. The problem is, we often get wrapped up in attempting to please others and we forget that our main goal should be to please God. You may have to change some things in your life if you really want to please God. 

I want you all to think right now about something in your life that may be pleasing to others, but that you know is not pleasing to God. Ask God what you're doing that He wants you to let go of. While you're thinking about that thing, let's pray...

Father, I thank you for stirring in us. I ask, Lord, that you make each of us very aware of the things in our life that you want us to change so that we can focus more on pleasing you and less on pleasing the world. Father show us these things and give us the strength to change them no matter how many people aren't pleased with us. Remind us this week, that our job is to please you, not the world. 

While we're still praying tonight, I know there are some of you here tonight who don't personally know Jesus. There are those of you who think you'd like to be able to please God, but you don't even know where to start. The great thing about our God is that you don't have to do it alone. The bible says that if you declare with your lips that Jesus is Lord, then you will be saved. 

Some of you have spent your entire lives attempting to please the world, and unfortunately you'll never be able to please the world. Instead our focus should be on pleasing God, our heavenly Father. 

If you've never asked Jesus into your heart and you know that you want more from life than what you have, it doesn't matter who you are or what you've done in the past, He will take you exactly as you are. If you ask Jesus, into your heart, you will immediately be washed clean and made new. 

If you want to be made new, if you want to be washed clean, if you don't want to walk alone anymore, and you want to ask Jesus into your heart, then raise your hand and meet me eye to eye. 

As a family, we pray out loud together, this prayer:

Father thank you for sending your only son to die on a cross for me. I know that I'm a sinner. I need a saviour. Come into my heart. Make me new. Today I make you Lord and leader of my life. I promise to follow you all the days of my life. In Jesus name we pray....Amen!"

If you haven't yet seen this video from Carrie Underwood, you have to check it out. Inspirational and moving. How Great Thou Art....

A Post A Day....Ahhh!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

 Okay so if you haven't been following, I committed to blog "a post a day in March, April, and May." Tonight is one of those nights, that I'm wondering why on Earth I would do such a thing?!

It's not easy to write every day. And really, I don't have all that much to say. But through this whole process I have started following other people's blogs. I find it interesting what other people write about and what I choose to read and what I choose to skip over.

Things I have learned:
People like pictures and people like deep posts about big ideas. Who knew?

The problem is, I don't have deep thoughts and big ideas everyday, and I don't always have time to upload pictures. hmmmmm....just the thoughts going on in my head.

I also wonder how the heck people get 1,000+ followers on their blogs?! How on Earth does that happen?! Do they know that many people or what? Maybe they're just that good. I dunno.

So I guess, this is my lame attempt at posting for today. Sorry for the disappointment. I'm hoping this means there is something great to come tomorrow. Who knows?

I mean I had a productive day, went for a run, check quite a few things off my list, and this is all I can come up with?!

Don't bail on me now. I'm sure I'll be inspired tomorrow, and if I'm not, I promise to read or listen to something until I am inspired. I hope you were inspired today!
And I guess my signature should say, Until tomorrow ;) Talk to you then! 

Dream Bigger!

I so often fail to dream big dreams because I am extremely afraid of failure. But the more I learn, the more I know that our gifts and talents are not for our keeping. They were given to us to be shared with the world.

I am lucky to have a group of women who are so open, honest, and real to share my big dreams with. It's scary to tell someone the desires of your heart; to be truly honest. But it is so amazing to watch a group of women open their hearts and share their biggest dreams.

That's exactly what we did tonight. Tonight was our 4th session of Chazown, and tonight we had to write and share our purpose statements. We looked at our past experiences, our spiritual gifts, and our core values to come up with our purpose statements; the vision for our lives.

Craig Groschel tells us in the book Chazown that we should be "most passionate about what we were created and gifted to do. Why would a loving God create you to do something well but not give you enormous fulfillment in doing it?"

He also tells us that, "God will call you to do something you can't do on your own, so you will have to take a step of faith into the unknown." Tonight we all took a step of faith into the unknown. We went around the table sharing our Chazowns wondering what would be the next step for each of us.

So we all had these great visions and dreams for our lives, and then suddenly we started to dream bigger! " When you've dreamed as big as you can, dream bigger!"

 From each of our individual Chazowns, came the idea for a huge concert benefiting numerous organizations and ministries throughout the OKC area. I'm telling you, we have one big dream right now.

And we know that there will be a million things that try to get in the way of attempting to do something truly great, something much bigger than each of us, something we could never do on our own. But we are choosing to dream big, then dream even bigger, and then believe! We believe that we were all brought to the table tonight to for a reason. We all have something to contribute.

I can't encourage you enough to check out and challenge yourself with what God has in mind for your life. It may scare you and even seem crazy or impossible, but I promise that your Chazown will make your soul smile. And everything in you will crave to seek after it.

I can't wait to keep you updated on our really, really, really BIG DREAMS! Stay tuned for updates on what God has planned for our group of women. And I hope to hear about your dreams becoming bigger in the very near future.

All things are possible to him who believes.
Mark 9:23 

The Sunday Seven

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tonight I'm writing in the midst of being behind. Since it's Easter Sunday, I didn't get a chance to do my weekly grocery shopping or to really set down and worries, I'll have my plan for the week before I go to bed, and hopefully you will too after reading this.

The problem with planning is that it's often hard to get started. Sometimes it's hard to figure out exactly what needs to get done each week. A few posts ago, I talked about the idea of putting all the Big Rocks (or most important things in your life) into a jar before attempting to put in the smaller rocks. That way, everything fits easier.

So I came up with an idea, and we're going to call it "The Sunday Seven." I have to thank my friend Nicole for giving me the idea. She does something similar on her blog called 5 for Friday. But we're going to start "The Sunday Seven."

If we look at the ares of our life that need our attention and focus, we can usually find about 7.

  1. Faith
  2. Family
  3. Relationships 
  4. Work 
  5. Health and Fitness
  6. Finances
  7. Me Time 

"The Sunday Seven" are the 7 biggest "rocks" in your life; the 7 things or tasks that really need to happen in each area of your life each week. This is not a list of everything that needs to be done, but it is a list of the most important things in each section of your life.

For example, this week, my "Sunday Seven" looks something like this:
  1. Faith: read my bible 20 minutes a day, 6 days this week. 
  2. Family and Relationships: scheduled, intentional, fun time with each of my kids this week; movie night with Brian
  3. Home Organization: closets switched over from Fall/Winter to Spring/Summer
  4. Work: Team and Director Updates; Spring Bling presentation preparation
  5. Health and Fitness: 4 home cooked meals this week; 3 runs in prep for 1/2 marathon on Sunday
  6. Finances: balance both checking accounts and budget the remainder of the month
  7. Me Time: bible study (small group), runs, at least 1 bubble bath this week!
 As you can see, I slightly edited my 7 by grouping family and relationships together and adding Home Organization. I've been working on making the house more organized and functional, so I thought this would be an appropriate category for me right now.

Your 7 categories may be slightly different, and the activities will more than likely change each week. This is a great way to start your week intentionally by identifying the things that are most important in a week and making sure they get done before anything else. There are lots of other things that need to be done, but they should be smaller things that can fit in around the biggest and most important things.

And I must make a note about "Me Time." Yes, it needs to be a category! As women, we often neglect this very important section of our life. When we don't have time in quiet, time to focus on nothing else but the ramblings of our mind, we can go crazy. Finding time for yourself each week should definitely be a priority. Don't skip this one!

So, I hope you're up to the "Sunday Seven" challenge. Join me for the next 7 Sundays in a row, as we list "The Sunday Seven" and become intentional about our plans for the week.

What are your "Sunday Seven"?

That's My King...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Everything in me wanted to post pictures from our Easter fun tonight, but after an amazing night at church, I can't help but think a day like today deserves more than just pictures.

All I can think about tonight is my king, and what He he did for us more than 2,000 years ago. This year, more than ever before, I am moved by every mention of Jesus. I'm moved by His mercy, His grace, His perfectness in a sin filled world.

And I am truly in awe of the way that He works. No, I don't completely understand Him, and I won't until the day I see His face.

But I see Him work over and over again in our lives, doing only things that He can do in ways only He can do them. And my prayer tonight, is that you come to know Him more than just casually. I knew Him casually for far too long.

I really wanted to be on fire for God. I wanted to have passion flowing out of me. I wanted to be plugged in and a part of all He was doing, but I don't think I was willing to believe Him. I don't think I knew how to believe Him. And more than anything, I think I was scared.

What if I really got to know Him, and He wasn't who I thought He was going to be? What if He didn't hold all the answers? What if I got to know Him, and I was still full of fear and doubt? Then what?

I don't know how I feel so in love. I don't know when I went head over heels. I prayed for it for a long time, and finally I feel. I feel in love with the one who saved me, with the one who died for me, with the one who wants nothing more from me than for me to believe by faith that He is God. I got rid of my selfish pride, and let His righteousness reign over me.

And you can too. You can love Him the way you've always wanted to. You can serve Him and His people the way He asks us to. You can be all He created you to be.....and all you have to do is know Him.

Take 3 minutes. Watch this video. May it shake you. May you see the true King of Kings through the words of the late Dr. S.M. Lockridge. It gives me chills.

And if you're not planning on attending church tomorrow, I encourage you to check out church online. You don't have to leave the comfort of your home. You can hear the gospel, and be moved by the truth. Join us LIVE online for over 60 live services in the next week. Go to

May peace the peace of knowing Him fill you.

A Night of Sugary Fun!

I think I've mentioned that I love holidays. One of the main reasons is because I really like to entertain. It's always a lot of work, but I think it's fun!

Tonight my mom, sister, and I stayed up way too late making lots of sugary confections for our family Easter celebration tomorrow. We each wanted to make dessert.

Mom took on what was supposed to be a "crock pot" brownie turtle dessert, but she ended up making it in the oven.

I decided to tackle those cute little Rice Krispie treat surprises (you may have seen the commercial)....they're egg shaped and have M&Ms inside. (and looked simple enough to make)

And my ambitious sister decided to attempt to make cake balls on a stick. (Not as easy as it sounds.)

Here we are around 11:45pm with our creations in hand. (Mom is holding a piece of caramel...she didn't think it would be a good idea to pick up the entire pan of brownies)

Here is my sister with the 1st cake ball she got to stick on the stick. (All the other ones poked right through the stick)

Ahhhhh the wonderful Rice Krispie surprise eggs. The commercial makes them look like they are sooooo easy to make. Wrong! Not easy. You have to put Pam on your hands to even attempt rice krispie treats. (But oh how good they are!)

Oh look cake ball #2! Now with Easter sprinkles. She's excited....can you tell?

My mom, placing her brownie creation into the oven.

This is me, getting my hands sprayed with Pam so I can make rice krispie eggs. "Grease me up!" It is a very necessary step in making krispie eggs. Don't skip this step.

They look fun don't they? Let me warn you, they are sticky! 

Mom's brownie thing. No one really knows what it is. All I know is it had to bake twice as long as the instructions said it would. But it looks delicious. 

And the cake balls (definitely the messiest!) but they turned out cute. No word as to whether they taste good or not yet. We were all to sugared out to try them at this point. I guess we'll know tomorrow. 
What a fun night! These are the memories I want to create with Addison (and Luke if he'll bake with me). I remember being in the kitchen with my mom and sister when we were growing up all the time, and I wouldn't trade any of it for the world.

I am so incredibly blessed to be able to spend great days like today with my family. It's fun to create, reminisce, stay up late, and eat too much sugar. Thanks for another great night of memories mom and sister!

Wishing you many nights of memories made with your matter how late you have to stay up. 

Fun, Easy, Kid-Friendly Easter Craft (Part 1)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I have the best Easter craft idea!

My friend Rachel has a neighbor who has the cutest wire basket on her porch filled with big, pastel Easter eggs. Every time I drive by that house, I can't help but think of how stinkin' cute those eggs are! That is where my inspiration for this fun Easter craft came from.

Addy is soooo into arts and anything crafty. She loves it all. So I decided that we would come up with our own Easter craft.

Luke and I went to Hobby Lobby today to scope out all the paper mache and wooden eggs they had, and we bought them all (so don't go to the Hobby Lobby on Danforth for eggs. They're out!).

We found eggs of varying sizes and pastel paints to go with them. I bought a cheap bag full of paint brushes and out we went. (Such a lie! Of course we bought other stuff) It's a weakness. I know!

So here is what we started with:

 I decided to take the 1st step on my own. I painted each egg a solid color. I will say, the wooden eggs are more expensive than the paper mache eggs, but they take paint a lot better.

I found 5 great Easterish colors....robin blue, light pink, lavender, pale yellow, and a soft green.

 The paper mache eggs had to have a 2nd coat of paint. The wooden ones, turned out great on the 1st coat. I gave them all a great solid color start to their lives as Easter eggs.

So here is the rest of the plan...

Tomorrow, I am going to let each of my kiddos paint a couple eggs. (I plan on leaving quite a few of them solid). Of course, I am supplying/choosing the colors. Then I'm going to endorse their names and the year on the bottom, and keep them forever!

My plan is to do this every year around Easter. Each year they'll be able to look at the eggs they did in years past. We'll have baskets full of eggs every Easter! I can't wait! I will post more pics tomorrow with them in action and of the final products.

It's an easy, fun, inexpensive tradition that you can start at your house this Easter. And it's a great way to spend intentional time with your kids. Happy egg painting!

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