Friday, April 30, 2010

Revamping My Blog

Please ignore the mess while I'm revamping my blog. I'm trying to "make it my own" and get a little more creative. Don't be suprised if you see several different versions or a few things that just don't look quite right . . . hopefully later tonight I'll have everything I want it! You'll have to let me know what you think about the new design once I'm finished!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Smiles at I Heart Faces

I love the theme this week at I Heart Faces - Smiles! I love this photo of Ella - not only is she smiling, she is also showing off her famous nose scrunch. :)

Check out all the great entries!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Silly, Silly Girl!

Just a couple of videos of Ella being silly. In the first one she starts "dancing" when she hits the music on her toy. In the second one, she's playing with a box of fruit snacks. She got a hold of the box, and I let her play with it because I didn't think she could open the fruit snacks (and she hasn't) but she has literally played with that box of fruit snacks for at least an hour today! Who knew I was buying such a fun toy?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is my sink still shiny?

Why, as a matter of fact, it is!  (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out this post.) I will freely admit that my mother-in-law was in over the weekend (she wanted to see Ella walking!), and she helped out around the house (which was wonderful, especially consider how awful I felt from my morning sickness this weekend), but I have also kept up on my own for a few days. ALL the dishes are done in my house and I'm not usually great at keeping the dishes done, but it sure does feel good.

On top of my shiny sink, I've taken Flylady's advice and tackled some hot spots (areas where stuff gathers and becomes an endless mess) around my house, starting in the living room/kitchen area. We have WAY too many hot spots in our house, and I have needed to get these areas under control for a long time. In the past couple of days I've gotten rid of three major hot spots in our main living area. And, following Flylady's advice, it actually wasn't hard or too time-consuming to get the areas under control (and these were areas I was absolutely dreading cleaning). Here are pictures of the "after" of two of the hot spots. I should have taken "before" pictures, but I wasn't thinking about it at the time. If you've been to my house before, you might not even recognize the first one of the cabinet in my dining room. The main shelf and the very top were overtaken with clutter, but not anymore!

The ugly flash in those pictures leads me to a final thought . . . if you aren't using swagbucks yet you should be! 
Search & Win
Over a few months my husband and I have gathered enough swagbucks to redeem for a decent amount of Amazon giftcards. In fact, those Amazon giftcards helped in the purchase of my newest piece of photography equipment - a speedlite. I cannot wait for it to arrive!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Proverbs 31:10

As I mentioned a couple of posts back, my friend Kristen over at Bringing Up Benjamin is starting a weekly discussion about being a godly woman. The discussion started yesterday, and I'm already behind, but at least I'm getting to it now. Check out Kristen's post and the comments for this week's discussion!

I'm around young Christian women quite often, and many times in discussion this passage and its entire context (Proverbs 31:10-31) is brought up as a passage to study. There is a reason these verses are brought up frequently! As a Christian woman, I should be striving to be like the woman of Proverbs 31. I'm thankful for this opportunity to study these verses individually and conduct an in-depth study with other women.

Far Above Rubies

Proverbs 31:10 (NKJV): "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies."

The woman of Proverbs 31 is rare and valuable. She is rare and valuable, not because of her outer appearance or even who her spouse is, but rather because of her inner qualities. She is rare and valuable because she is virtuous.

Virtuous is one of those words we (well, at least I don't) don't use often in our everyday speech. In fact, the last time I remember thinking about the word virtuous (or more specifically virtue) was when I was involved in a study about 2 Peter 1:5-7 where Peter instructs Christians to add virtue to their faith. So what does virtuous mean? One of the definitions on is "morally excellent;" in fact, the English Standard Version actually translates the word "virtuous" as "excellent." Although the word "excellent" is often used casually in our language today, I think we can perhaps grasp the idea of "morally excellent" a little easier than "virtuous." When I think about something that is excellent, I think about something that is high above something else or of a superior quality. Therefore to be morally excellent, one must be of "superior quality" in their morals - how one speaks, displays themselves, and acts.

Proverbs 31:10 clearly indicates that it is rare to find a wife who exhibits morally excellency, and that she is very valuable. To whom is she valuable? If you continue to read the verses following Proverbs 31:10, you'll find that she is valuable to not only her spouse (31:11-12,28), but to her children (31:28), to the poor and needy (31:20), as well as to others around her (31:15, 24).

I'm always thinking of Ella, and the things I must teach her so that she will choose to be a faithful godly woman one day. When thinking of this verse in particular, I want to compel her to realize that not only should she strive to be a virtuous wife, but that she should be rare when considering the women of the world. I want her to find a husband who values that rarity.

I pray for her and her possible future spouse (although admittedly not as often as I should) and I encourage you to do the same for your children, in private and in front of your children. Consider the impact on your children when they have heard you pray for them and their future spouse as they grow up! This idea was brought to my attention in Your Mama Don't Dance by Glenn and Cindy Colley - a great Christian parenting book that I think all Christian parents should read.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Collages at I Heart Faces

There are many things I love about I Heart Faces, but one of those things is that it really challenges me. Like this week - the challenge is to create a collage of photos - something I have never done!
Be sure to check out all the other great entries at I Heart Faces!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Far Above Rubies

One of my blogging friends, Kristen, who is also a sister in Christ, over at Bringing Up Benjamin, has decided to do a weekly study and discussion on her blog devoted to studying about becoming a godly woman. I'm excited about the opportunity to participate in this study and I hope you'll participate also! It will be a great opportunity to learn more about the word of God!
Far Above Rubies

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Company-Ready House

One of the things that stresses me out the most is the fact that I cannot keep my house in a state that I would deem as "company-ready." I'm not proud of this fact and it truly drives me crazy. There are many reasons for this issue.
I haven't properly unpacked/organized from when we moved in. I think the major reason for the lack of properly organizing/unpacking is that we did a ton of work on our house when we moved in and we were constantly shifting stuff from room to room depending on where we were working. Once we finished (well, we still aren't finished) I just never took the time I needed to take to put things away properly. Sad, I know.
Since things aren't organized properly, it really makes putting things away properly almost impossible because a lot of things don't have a real place to live.
Finally, I never feel like I have the time I need to truly clean/pick up like I should, and it just makes me frustrated . . . kind of like how I feel when I'm on a diet and I don't eat right one meal - it is hard to get into a good habit!

But, I'm determined to make a change for the good. I'm determined to have an organized house, and a house that is always (well, at least 90% of the time!) in company-ready condition. I've come across a few websites that have some great suggestions. The first one, I'm an Organizing Junkie, has some great organizational tips. The second one, Flylady, gives a method to do a little each day to keep things in order and clean.

The first day's activity on Flylady is to shine your sink. So I did. I only missed one step (due to the fact I just ran out of Comet), but my sink really does look nice now!

The sink before. I had to wash some dishes to get to the sink!
The sink after washing the dishes (at least the ones in the sink that would fit in the dishwasher!), but before the cleaning treatment.

The sink after the cleaning process! Now, to keep it shiny everyday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


As a new parent I probably can't count the number of times I've had other parents tell me that my child will prove me wrong. Well, Ella has certainly proved me wrong. At Thanksgiving, Ella was pulling up on furniture and cruising around. I thought for sure she'd be walking by Christmas . . . and I told folks I knew she'd be walking by then. Ella proved me wrong, and refused to walk by Christmas. As her first birthday approached, I just knew she'd be walking by the time she was a year old. Ella proved me wrong, and refused to walk by her first birthday. Two weeks after her first birthday she took a real step. I just knew this was it - she'd be walking any time after that first step. And once again, I told folks she'd be walking any day after that. Ella proved me wrong once again. Finally, today, after months of proving me wrong, Ella walked. And I have some proof below!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I can't count the number of times a day I tell Ella "no."

And I can't count the number of times a day I chase her into the other room because she's run out of my sight.

And I don't want to count the number of times a day I change her diaper.

And I can't count the number of times a day I search for her pacifiers or her sippy cups.

But I also can't count the number of times a day her smile lights up the room.

And I can't count the number of times I beam with pride when she learns something new or does something cute.

And I can't count how many times a day I think about how I can't imagine my world without the joy she brings to it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I know I've been slacking

I know I've been slacking especially when my husband finally jokes with me about the fact that I haven't blogged much lately! I could blame this lack of blogging on the fact that we've been crazy busy with lots of different activities, such as our trip to Jamaica, but we live a busy life normally, and those things really aren't the reason. I could blame this lack of blogging on the fact that I have a very mobile and curious 14-month-old, but I'm used to her and the daily challenge she provides me, and she isn't the main reason. Rather, I think I will blame this lack of blogging on the fact that Ella is going to be a big sister. That's right, we are on our way to two kids under the age of two!

I'm not just being lazy about blogging because I'm pregnant again, but instead, it has to do with how I've been feeling. If you know me personally, you might know that I had a lot of trouble with morning sickness, more specifically hyperemesis gravidarum, when I was pregnant with Ella. Starting at about seven weeks pregnant, I was so sick that I couldn't keep water down without being medicated. This time around, I wasn't very sick in the beginning and I thought maybe I would pass up the sickness. Unfortunately, the sickness hit me full force again (it just started a little later). I throw up if I'm not medicated, and even when I'm medicated my stomach never feels "right." It is hard to eat, but I feel worse if I don't eat, and it is really a vicious cycle.

I know you really don't want to read about my morning sickness issues, so I'll quit writing about them! Even though I was so sick with Ella, and I'm sick again this time around, I'm so thankful for Ella and this baby. The sickness is worth it in the end (although, I might change my mind about this when Ella is a teenager - just kidding!)! And I leave you with a sweet picture of Ella . . . I love to put pictures in my posts!