10 Things My Parents Taught Me

Day 4

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10 Things My Parents Taught Me

1. For better OR for worse…not either or.

2. Being a loyal spouse means being faithful even when your needs aren’t being met.

3. Working alongside each other tells you mountains about the other person…like how much a tree limb can hurt when dropped.

4. Children make you 1,000x less selfish.

5. The wife is usually right…except when it comes to math problems.

6. Have “The Talk” with all of your daughter’s boyfriends.  Even when you’re looking at a police officer in uniform who just finished a shift.

7. Sometimes you have to let go.

8. Hard work is essential for the soul.

9. Trust in God and love him with all your heart, soul, and mind.

10. Parents don’t stop loving their children…they also don’t stop worrying about them either.

11. (It had to be said) Parents are always thinking about the day they become grandparents.

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10 Things My Sisters Taught Me

Here we are Day 3.

10 Things My Sisters Taught Me

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1. Sisters are the salt of life…and basil…oregano…paprika…garlic…basically every spice.

2. You fight most often with the people you love the most.

3. Uncontrollable laughter is always a good idea.

4. If you fall I may point and laugh but I’ll always help you back up.

5. Siblings never forget the horrible nicknames your parents came up with when you were young.

6. Husbands and babies don’t change us.

7. You share more DNA in common with your siblings than you do with anyone else on the planet…that’s why you turn out so completely different.

8. Baby sisters can have the wisdom of an 80 year old.

9. Life is rough and hard…but we will always have our mud pies baked on the top of the dog house.

10. Sisters may get up with the sole intention of driving you crazy…but there is no replacement for them in the entire world.

Photo Courtesy of Courtney Jacobs Photography

10 Things My Husband Has Taught Me

10 Things My Husband Has Taught Me

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1. Life isn’t perfect.  And neither is the person you marry.

2. Love isn’t automatic in marriage.  You have to put love in on a daily basis.

3. You won’t have your parent’s marriage…you make your own mistakes.

4. Talking is the best form of stress relief.

5. Strange as it is…your spouse loves your flaws about as much as you hate them.

6. Sex complicates everything.

7. Men can surprise you, especially in the capacity to be a doting father to your children.

8. To love and be loved in return allows us to blossom in ways unimaginable before and to achieve more than we thought possible.

9. We are our own worst critic.

10. Dating doesn’t last forever…but you can make the honeymoon phase last a lifetime.

Photo Courtesy of Courtney Jacobs Photography

10 Things My Daughter Has Taught Me

This week I’m doing a series of posts about what those close to me have taught me about; life, love, marriage, parenting, God, and a million other things…

Starting with the most recent addition to my life.

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10 Things My Daughter Has Taught Me

1. Time moves with lightning speed…it is best to enjoy life to the fullest every moment.

2. Laugh and Dance as much as possible.

3. Love unconditionally, irrevocably, and forget about yesterday’s trials.

4. Those who love us do not wake up every day with the express desire to torment us.

5. The rough patches in life only last for a short time…even the sleepless nights and the projectile vomiting.

6. The good in life completely overwhelms the bad.

7. Smiles are the best way to win people over.

8.Reading is always a good idea…especially before bed.

9. Grandparents should be around early and often.

10. Love is a choice, every day.  A choice to accept another person as imperfect and hug and kiss them anyways.

A Drive For Friendship

At 10am Little Miss Owl and I headed out of our house to make the two hour drive to Cimarron, CO where the Youth With A Mission campus is located. Ok, so it’s not exactly in Cimarron. It’s 12 miles outside of it up a dirt road that makes my parents ranch look as if it’s located in a gleaming metropolis.

The reason for the trip was to meet one of my best friends from college, Rachel. To our good friend Melissa we are known as Rachel squared. We haven’t seen each other in almost two and a half years and she hasn’t even met my little one.

The drive up was…well…what you would expect from a 2 year old who didn’t get to watch Ratatouille long enough before we left. But what do you know…two hours before her nap as soon as we hit the dirt road she is out. Out like a light. Snoring away in the backseat…well not snoring but the deep baby breathing that I love. Slumped over in her carseat which would definitely give me neck pain for a week.

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Mr. Wonderful wasn’t able to make the trip with us as he had meetings and had to catch up on work. The mountains at the camp reminded me a little of the highlands of Scotland with little ranches and rolling hills flowing down from the bases of snow capped peaks. The perfect place to worship God, surrounded by the beauty of nature.

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Looking down into the valley

We spent most of our precious time walking around picking dandelions and as of yesterday there were none to be found when we left.  They are such a little thing that most people view as a menace but Miss Owl loves them…when her hands get too full she hands the others off to me and goes off in search of more.

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Here they are!!!

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Dump trucks are obviously for carting around dandelions…

Spending precious hours with Rachel felt like returning to our college days…chatting about history and keeping each other up to date on our lives.  The time flew by altogether too quickly although we promised to meet next year.  Time with good friends is a balm to the soul the life equivalent of curling up with a good book and coffee.  Comforting.

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The parting…so sad

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“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace”

And we did watch Ratatouille when we returned home…

“Making It”

Yesterday a good friend of mine discussed the feeling of failure and how each of our lives seems to us to be lacking in some way.  I’m a stay at home mom but I have two college degrees and at times I do feel as if I am lacking…not doing enough for my family by not having a ‘career.’  My friend on the other hand is single and she put it in perspective for me, I have a wonderful husband and daughter and raising a child is quite literally a ‘full-time’ job.

We talked about how almost everyone has this feeling of inadequacy in some area and how we all feel as if he haven’t “made it” yet.  The blame falls for this falls squarely on comparing ourselves to others.  Comparison kills our joy.  The only person we should be competing with is ourselves.  To be better than the person we were yesterday.

How ever many times I may think to myself that I should have a job in order to feel that I am of worth, it’s just not true.  Motherhood is a calling in and of itself.  And we are all on different tracks.  I married young and started my family young.  It was because I had found Him and waiting wasn’t something I wanted or needed to do.  And it doesn’t happen that way for everyone.

In the end I need to give myself some slack, to sit back and look at the many blessings I have in my life.  Blessings like my family.  Today when my daughter wanted to be rocked I remembered all those late night and early mornings that I took for granted when she was an infant.  And I realized that I wished them away…now I’m trying to hold on, trying to not let the precious moments slip through my fingers.

Remembrances

As Little Miss Owls’s birthday draws near, which is also coincidentally Mr. Wonderful and I’s anniversary, I can’t help but remember all of the little trails (and larger ones) and misadventures we have gone through on our journey here. But what overwhelmingly gets me are the memories of the great times and the happiness. The overflowing happiness.

What I find most wondrous is the ability to have pictures and cameras literally at our fingertips. Something that my grandparents did not have. Looking at the multitude of photos that are stored on my computer allowed me to momentarily slip back in time and remember little moments that I had forgotten. Moments like when my little one used to crawl around on the floor with her plastic tea cup in her mouth. Or others like when Mr. Wonderful and I moved into our first house and how the gigantic tv we had weighed close to a ton.

I’m a hopeless romantic and I love pictures. Becca, my eldest sister, once told me that she viewed pictures as an expression of love. To hang pictures of other people in your home was to show how much you care about them. I’d say I couldn’t agree more.

Fits of Cooking

Fits of cooking.  Or DIY Projects.  Or cleaning.  I cook fairly often.  And I usually have a DIY project going and my house is always clean.  But you know it’s the little things that stick out at you like the dirt that’s built up on the one hallway from the garage.

Today, since Mr. Wonderful was doing work stuff (boo), I decided to make soup.  Not just any soup.  A soup Julia Child recommended in her book My Life in France. Aigo Bouido.  Or garlic soup.  Julia has this to say about the soup.

“Enjoying your first bowl of garlic soup, you might never suspect what it is made of.  Because the garlic is boiled, its after-effects are at a minimum, and its flavor becomes exquisite, aromatic, and almost unidentifiable.  Along the Mediterranean, an aigo bouido is considered to be very good indeed for the liver, blood circulation, general physical tone, and spiritual health.”

I’m not a great cook by any means but the soup turned out amazing.  Its a simple recipe but yields a great soup.  I also made toasted french bread to dip in the soup.  What an amazing lunch.  Mr. Wonderful has promised to at least try the soup.

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Ratatouille

After yesterday’s soup I have now made five of the over 500 recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  A great onion soup, ratatouille (to everyone’s great enjoyment), poulet roti (roast chicken-now the only way I will make it), and reine de saba the most wonderful chocolate almond cake in the world. Next on the list (probably tomorrow) is a chocolate mousse.  This is obviously not the healthiest choice but…my theory is treats are good for the soul.  And mind.

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I never liked eggplant…then came the ratatouille.

Daily Hiit 7 Day Challenge

Just a preface…the 7 Day challenge is a mix between the Insanity workouts and a normal Daily Hiit Workout.  And it’s brutal.  Yesterday I completed Day 3 and my abs were already sore from the beating they took on Day 2.

It’s a great feeling, that soreness, and it also helped remind me today to stay away from the foods that would completely ruin the work I have been doing.  Although yesterday that wasn’t really necessary.

We have beige carpet.  There are a lot of strange things the builders did in our house.  The master bathroom without a door separating it, the ugly brass, and the fireplace that’s not centered.  But the beige carpet.  That’s the crowning jewel of the crazy thinking of men.  It’s probably because men don’t have to clean the carpets so they forget about it.  That was my morning.  Little Miss Owl was off to play and eat, and eat some more, at Grandma’s so I can clean the carpets.  And the micro fiber couch.  After two hours the carpets look great and the couch is better.  When we move, the next house is having all hard wood.  I’ll take the sweeping and moping any day.

So the housework succeeded in making me feel every twist in my abs.  And I ate pretty well today…plus a little glass of wine for a treat.

You can sign up for the Seven Day Challenge on the Daily Hiit Website.  Emails are sent to you every day with two videos, one of Lisa giving a pep talk and the other of the workout.

Wish me luck with the next four days!

How to Create a Scrapbook Paper Wall: Final Look

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I’ve decided to give a complete run down of the scrapbook paper wall.  My first piece of advice is that it’s going to be extremely difficult to maintain in a humid climate (whether man made or nature).

First things first.  Measure your wall.  Mine was a little shy of 8’x8′ which means I needed 64 sheets of the 12″ scrapbook paper.

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And there it is.  Go to Joanns or Hobby Lobby armed with one of their amazing coupons and snag this for about $11.Plus you are set for a LONG LONG time for paper.  While at said store also pick up spray adhesive, the light to medium strength will do.  I would err on the side of the medium with textured walls.  It’s best to spray both the wall and the paper, let sit for 1 minute and then put up.

I laid out all of my paper on our living room floor like so…

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which allowed me to easily see how it was going to look on the wall, for more info on the set up of the paper click here.

Make sure you keep track of how the sheets will go on the wall.  Something like Row 2-Column 3 (2-3) works really well written on the back of each sheet.

I put up the first column on the wall to make sure everything was straight and then did the first row.  If the sheets are too long along the bottom and second side merely take a sharp blade and cut right along the crease.

I went through a couple of bad moments with this wall…a couple sheets fell down…then a couple more.  And I wanted to give up.  We run the humidifier in our daughters room and it was causing the paper to pull away.  Then I taped the bad spots with some extremely clear tape to give it a little more stability and repressed the sheets to the wall.  I tried modpodge over the paper but it’s not the best.  The paper warps yet again.

This is an incredibly time consuming task…or at least it seemed so with a two year old running around.

Here’s a look at her room before…

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It’s ok…a little boring.

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Much better…

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I feel drawn to her room now…and with the fact that I picked out the fabric for her new quilt…it’s going to be fabulous.

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Here’s the fabric…

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Sorry about the fuzziness…Mr. Wonderful has the camera.

Hope you enjoyed!